A Review of a Magazine

I just returned home from seeing the movie, Julie and Julia, which I thought was a wonderful film.  Julia Child is the heroine of every woman who not only runs a restaurant, but who writes and cooks.  French cooks lean heavily on butter and cream, and there’s no question that both ingredients make food taste good.  But in this era of watching our waistlines expanding, where we face an epidemic of childhood obesity, I believe it’s important that we start to cook and eat healthy.  We need not forego good taste, however, which is why I’m constantly on the lookout for new ways to cook healthy, but with delicious, recipes.  That’s the reason I burrowed into the September issue of Cooking Light magazine.

Generally I try to stay away from magazine fare.  Most seem to pander to women of all ages.   And why not?  Don’t we know that women control how most of the money in a household is spent?  Magazines seem to overload us with advertising directed at just that demographic—women who control the money.

I was surprised to see that, although Cooking Light has its share of advertising, what I liked about this issue is that even the ads are directed toward healthy cooking.   For example, the issue contained a special advertising section covering the American South, but even then the advertising text tells us where to eat in each state covered, as well as other matters dealing with the southern states. 

But the article on New Orleans was totally devoid of advertising, a very interesting take of eating in this fabled city, even after Katrina destroyed a great part of it.

Also helpful for a restaurateur such as me as well as the general public was the CNNMoney poll that was featured, extracting opinions from those polled on such questions for the general public as “What healthy foods are worth paying more for?” and “How are you cutting back on restaurant bills?”

I also liked the series of recipes under the heading of “30 minutes,” which are designed for, one supposes, working women who have to cook dinner after coming home from work.  Someday, maybe, Cooking Light will feature recipes for the husband who might take it upon himself to fix dinner while his wife relaxes with the newspaper.

The magazine is more organized than before.  The recipes are printed in an easy-to-clip format, ready to put in your own cooking scrapbook.  They are creative, but not intimidating.  Cooking Light now provides a food photo with each recipe, something that is helpful for any cooks.

Cooking Light has a section on budget cooking and "The Enlightened Cook" which features recipe that are interesting, gourmet and easy to make.

  The editor tells us at the beginning of the issue that most of the changes made in this issue are in response to reader requests.  I’m for that.


Warm Carnberry-Walnut Brie

serves 8

1     8-ounce round Brie cheese

2     tablespoons dried cranberries

1     teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1     teaspoon chopped walnuts, toasted

40   low-sodium 100 percent whole wheat crackers

-Preheat ovent to 350 degree F.

-Using a serrated knife, remove topmost rind from cheese; discard rind.  Place cheese, cut side up, in a small ovenproof baking dish; sprinkle with cranberries and thyme.  Top evenly with nuts.

-Bake at 350 degree F. for 15 minutes or until cheese is soft and warm.  Serve immediately with crackers.

I’m copying below a recipe for Warm Brie, Cranberries and Walnuts.  Not only was the photo tantalizing, but at the end of the recipe was a listing of the value of the nutrients in the recipe.  That is something I do with the cookbooks that I write, and it’s something that has to be helpful to all cooks at home.