A longstanding favorite of foodies everywhere, Gourmet is equal parts gastronomical fantasy and practical tips. The magazine contains a blend of super close-up photos of world-class foods, features about the culture surrounding food, drool-inducing reviews of restaurants around the world, and, perhaps most importantly, practical how-to advice for home cooks. Come for a shot of inspiration and stay for the not-too-fancy and surprisingly manageable recipes.
If your tastes are more Kraft Single than Camembert, or if dinner is not the highlight of your day but rather a quick chore between soccer practice and piano lessons, then Every Day with Rachel Ray may be just the magazine for you. Ray, who has built a media empire based on cooking homemade meals on the cheap using a blend of fresh and prepared foods, has attached her name and her philosophy to a bimonthly magazine. Every Day with Rachel Ray is devoted to inspire those who may otherwise rely on takeout to try some quick and easy weekday recipes at home. Emphasis is placed on meals that take around half an hour to prepare and can be assembled inexpensively with ingredients regularly found at supermarkets.
If you appreciate a scientific approach to cooking, then maybe you'll find Cook's Illustrated appealing. The recipes, equipment reviews, and technique features are as precise as lab reports, which isn't surprising considering that the magazine comes out of the popular public television program America's Test Kitchen. Read a couple of issues of this title, and you may just have a bit more confidence approaching the contents of your fridge.
If none of these titles appeal to you, we have a couple dozen more that may be more to your taste. To get a full listing of cooking magazines at the San Francisco Public Library, follow these steps: