Friday, February 7, 2014

the friday happy list: recipe sources

Nothing is more discouraging than wasting time and ingredients on a bad recipe, but finding trusted sources can be really difficult in such a saturated market. Here are my most trusted sources that I find myself turning to time and time again. None of these are hidden gems - you've probably heard of all of them - but they've all earned my stamp of approval for being consistent and reliable.

Southern Living. My Mom always depended on her Southern Living cookbooks, and I've recently been enamored with their print magazine. It's hard to go wrong when most of the recipes involve butter and cream. Their crowd-pleasing recipes are approachable and comforting, yet indulgent enough for special occasions. I've never met a Southern Living recipe that I didn't want to make immediately.

Smitten Kitchen. Probably my favorite recipe website, Smitten Kitchen never fails. She takes each detail into consideration and tweaks every recipe until it's fit to print. The end result is a straightforward, easy-to-follow recipe. She provides great introductions, and the comments section is helpful for any additional questions you might have. I also love how uncluttered and organized her website is - it really stands out in a sea of sensory-overloaded cooking sites.

Cook's Illustrated. If you want to add 20 steps to a recipe that could probably be completed in 5, this magazine is for you. It's not for the faint of heart, but I love reading about the techniques behind each recipe (it's especially helpful for baking, which is more science-y in nature). Even if you don't want to go to all the trouble of actually making one of their recipes, you can still gain some helpful tips and tricks just by reading them. And it's not all about complicating things, sometimes their focus is on making equally tasty, but quicker/simpler versions of dishes.

Now in the unhappy section, I have to mention two popular sources that I just don't love - The Pioneer Woman & Real Simple magazine. I've tried multiple recipes from both sources and not one has really wowed me. I have no idea what it is - I know many people rave about PW - but I've had too many failed dishes from these two sources to trust them with another stick of precious butter.

What did I miss? Where do you find your favorite recipes?


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