Saturday, October 31, 2009

Off the Shelf: November Magazines

Are you thinking about purchasing a food magazine for Thanksgiving inspiration? Do you look at all the selections and wonder which one will be best for you? Today, I'm reviewing four different magazines. Each was inspiring in different ways with the full-color photos, mouth-watering recipes, and great ideas!

IMG_8511FOOD NETWORK MAGAZINE (November 2009)

Food Network Magazine boasts 138 recipes - some holiday and some general, yummy, mostly easy-looking recipes for every day.

They feature at least 4 turkey recipes using various cuts and methods as well as six stuffing recipes including a Pear-Pecan Stuffing that sounds amazing and I plan to make next week! There are several side dish recipes to change up your normal offerings but perhaps the very best feature of this publication is the pull-out in the middle - 50 mashed potato recipes. The many takes on white and sweet potatoes are sure to inspire you to try something new!

A few other holiday recipes that caught my eye are the Pumpkin Banana Mousse Tart, Ellie Krieger's Creamed Spinach, and the snack recipes using Thanksgiving leftovers. One last thing that I really like about the Food Network Magazine is the picture recipe index which is divided by category -  you can see photos of every recipes offered with the exception of the pull-out. It's a lovely and delicious way to inspire your creativity.

IMG_8508 FOOD & WINE (November 2009)

Food & Wine is, of course (!), a star when it comes to wine pairings with your Thanksgiving feast but it doesn't end there. They have some wonderful looking recipes including a full Thanksgiving menu with photos and recipes. A few other recipes that especially sounded delcious were a Bacon, Onion, & Rye Stuffing, 5-Spice Glazed Sweet Potatoes w/Walnut Toffee, Carrot Soup, and Pear Tarte Tatin w/Red Wine Caramel.

They feature a pull-out with 15 wine pairing rules - it includes a wine and a recipe to pair it with in addition to the rules. Very nice! I also thoroughly enjoy their chef interviews and beautiful photos.

I made the Maple-Ginger-Roasted Vegetables w/Pecans and while I don't prefer turnips and brussel sprouts (I know, I'm sorry!), this recipe also had cauliflower, butternut squash, and carrots and would make a terrific and different side dish for the holidays! And you could easily substitute other vegetables. Let me tell you - the pecans were an amazing and slightly unexpected addition to this recipe!

IMG_8445

You can find the recipe in the November 2009 issue or on Food & Wine's website.

IMG_8507COOKING LIGHT (November 2009)

Once again, Cooking Light has outdone itself. It has wonderful holiday recipes and boasts a picture for every recipe - inspiring for any cook! It also divides the recipes by category.

If you are wanting to do a protein other than turkey, then this is definitely the magazine for you. While they have the traditional turkey recipe, they also feature lamb, beef, salmon, and more which I think is really nice.

I like that they feature several lighter dessert recipes that all look amazing and delicious! I would be proud to present any of them at my holiday table.

Some of the recipes that I especially would enjoy making are Herbed Beef Tenderloin w/2 Onion Jus, Fontina Stuffed Potato Skins, Cranberry Upside-Down Cake, and Winter Sangria.

I did make the delicious Sweet Potato & Butternut Gratin. It would be an excellent side dish for a holiday meal! I did substitute swiss cheese for the Gruyere and as a suggested substitute used a smoked bacon instead of the pancetta. All in all, very good and very pretty!

IMG_8456

You can find the recipe in the November 2009 magazine or on Cooking Light's website.

IMG_8515BON APPETIT (Novebemer 2009)

This is the first time I have really looked at an issue of Bon Appetit and I am hooked. Their Thanksgiving recipe section is beautiful, easy to use, and completely inspiring - the photos are awesome! It is divided into sections:  Turkey & Gravy, Stuffing, Relishes, Potatoes, Sides,  Breads, & Desserts. It features many recipes in each section.

They offer 10 themed feast menues including Farm-To-Table, Do Ahead, Fresh & Light, Quick & Easy, Beginners, and five others! I also like the recipe key: M=Make Ahead, S=Show-Off, Q=Quick & Easy, and T=Take Along. It makes the magazine very user friendly.

Some of the recipes that I really want to try are Cranberry Vanilla Bean Sorbet, Butternut Squash & Cheddar Bread Pudding, Herb & Cheese Popovers, and Green Beans w/Walnuts & Lemon Vinagrette. Yum!

If I were to reccomend only one magazine purchase for Thanksgiving, Bon Appetit would be it! The others are all great and feature fabulous recipes and would certainly be worth your while but this is the one I enjoyed and look forward to using the most for the holidays!