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cook1928's picture

I just received the April/May issue. It inspired me to cook even less than the last issue. Seemed like it was mostly full-page photos, with very little content. Sigh...I guess I will cancel if this is what the magazine has in store for us. Time to start pulling out the old issues instead. Any suggestions for what to subscribe to instead?

kathymcmo's picture

(post #39640, reply #1 of 249)

So have they made many changes from the last issue or is it the same? Is the typeface more legible?

Gretchen's picture

(post #39640, reply #2 of 249)

I don't know if it is more legible because I'm not sure I had a big problem.


I am sorry, but it is really ho hum. I kept myself from posting about having received BA and Food&Wine this week. I probably turned down or marked 20 pages in each.


This month our "food fixed 3 ways" is brisket (that was last month's pork).
Our weekend project is making sausage--complete with the sausage stuffer (which they review for their kitchen test). If you don't have a sausage stuffer you won't be interested, and if you do you already know how to do it.


There are the grilled sandwiches--can you say panini. 
And the how tos are how to crack a coconut, how to carve a roast chicken (which is the big recipe for "perfect roast chicken", and how to cut up a whole beef brisket (this is pretty good if you have a whole one like IC did today). Oh, and why parmigiano Reggiano is so good.


There is a pretty nice looking recipe for a smoked salmon, artichoke, goat cheese quiche. The person looking for brunch ideas might be interested. It DID take 4 pages to present this one recipe--big picture close up, page for the menu with someone's back to the camera and the entire picture out of focus, then a whole page for the recipe, and finally another full page picture of the quiche on the plate with veggies and a bite about to be put in YOUR mouth.  If ads don't take up pages in the magazine, then overdone presentation DOES. The next page is a closeup of the peas and carrots that are on the plate in the photo previous, and then there is a whole page for 2 recipes (peas and carrots) and citrus tea punch, with the ever importan picture of a ladle of punch being served.


Mussels with lemon grass?


Ellie Krieger is back  making mini pizzas.  And the food geek is talking about butter and why you can't use it for all sauteeing and how to clarify butter. At least he didn't do an experiment (I guess).


One dessert recipe--Brazillian brigadeiros


Oh, and strawberry shortcakes.


And the letters to the editors--GLOWING, can't believe how much work you put into this, etc. Six.  Four anti.


Winning tip--something my DDIL does all the time--use a cheese plane or vegetable peeler to get strips of cold butter to put on toast.


Gretchen


Edited 3/12/2009 4:18 pm ET by Gretchen

Gretchen
DJHinAZ's picture

(post #39640, reply #36 of 249)

Actually, I thought this latest issue was an improvement over the last one. More tempting recipes for me. And I thought it was a nicer balance of more difficult things to do (sausage) coupled with simpler basics (roast chicken). I think they're trying. The one complaint I have is that they keep picking ingredients I don't use! A whole article on mint, which I don't care for, and only one sausage recipe that's pork with a whole lotta fat... I'd be more interested in suggestions for a recipe for making my own chicken sausage. Also, I was annoyed they didn't review the KitchenAid meat grinder attachment--just the Cuisinart and Viking attachments. Anyone have the KitchenAid one?

Gretchen's picture

(post #39640, reply #37 of 249)

There are 3 sausage recipes. The variations are on the reverse of a page that is all color and they are printed in black tiny font.


Yes, I have the KA grinder and sausage attachment. Have had it for 40 years, although the new one is not as sturdy as my metal one. Make chicken sausage a lot.


I can honestly say that the only recipes that even mildly appealed to me were the quick and easy. Oh, and the quiche.


The magazine has stretched "features" into many empty pages--as I said earlier, 6 fulllllll  pages for 3 recipes for the quiche menu. That is called "filler" for page numbers with no content.


This was so much worse than the last one I almost can't express my disdain--just a different opinion.


Gretchen
Gretchen
bwf17's picture

(post #39640, reply #38 of 249)

I totally agree with you, Gretchen.  The only one of interest to me was the dessert recipe and I really don't think I would make them.


I went throught it in less than 10 minutes.


 
 
MadMom's picture

(post #39640, reply #39 of 249)

ITA - I was only interested in the cover picture, and that just for the idea...didn't even try to follow the recipe.  If they wanted to get rid of us old folks and fight for the burgeoning crowd of never cooked, never tried, newbies, that is their business.  As someone (was it TracyK?) said, it takes 3-4 months to redirect a magazine if it has gone off in the wrong direction, so perhaps there's still hope.


Remember the good old days when we raced to the mailbox to get our FC?




Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!
cook1928's picture

(post #39640, reply #44 of 249)

Your mailbox comment is so true. It was always a delight to open the mailbox and see a new FC. This time I pulled it out with trepidation. Getting a magazine should make me happy, not glum.

bunnycook's picture

(post #39640, reply #186 of 249)

The re-make seems to be mostly "food porn" like Gourmet's makeover. 


If I want pretty pictures, posed, softly lit and airbrushed, I'll go to Maxim, thank you.


Just had to vent.  not happy with the lack of content and excess of photos in ALL the cooking (NOT "food", thank you) mags I have taken for years (Bon App, FC, Cooks Ill, Gourmet).  I realize they have to compete with Rachael Ray, Paula Deen, Taste of Home, etc., BUT they aren't going to get the "just open a can" crowd of Taste of Home without losing all the current subscribers. If they care.

BASILQ's picture

(post #39640, reply #41 of 249)

I have a Kitchen Aide food grinder that I have used for years.  It works extremely well.  If you are using it for chicken, I would suggest that you partially freeze the meat first ( or at least make sure it is very cold) I have used it for pork for pot stickers and sausage.  Would recommend that you check out this product.


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

MadMom's picture

(post #39640, reply #42 of 249)

I think the question in many people's minds is why the KA grinder attachment wasn't tested, when they obviously tested the Viking and Cuisinart attachments.  I have no problem if it were tested and found lacking.  The article does mention that they tested three grinder attachments.  They recommended the Cuisinart, said the Viking performed "on par" with the Cuisinart.  Was the third one a KA, and if so, what did they find lacking in it?  It seemed that one manual, one attachment, and two electrics were found to be below par, but no where are the brands mentioned, nor the complaints.  Maybe I'm just picky, but I would like to know.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

designercook's picture

(post #39640, reply #183 of 249)

Gretchen,

Your searing (pun intended) review of the new issue said it well.

It reminds me of the dizzying editing found in Martha Stewart's shows like "Everyday Food". An extreme close up of chives on a bright wood cutting board as a knife appears and expertly chops the chives into teeny bits followed by extreme close up of pepper falling like snow into a fry pan as a overdubbed voice explains they're chopping chives and adding pepper.

Seemingly, it's now style over substance.

Gordon

2830cocoa's picture

(post #39640, reply #184 of 249)

Gretchen,


I am extremely upset also,  I called 1-800-309-0744, which is a phone number to the staff, no one answered.  I also just posted my complaint constructively, telling the new people at Finecooking what this magazine has symbolized in the past and I gave direction on how things need to change for future issues.  If you and others are not pleased, you need to voice your concern, and express specifically what you want back.  I hope we can make a difference.

Gretchen's picture

(post #39640, reply #185 of 249)

Oh, m'dear, you are praching to the choir.  ;o)  There are now about 5 threads about it all, saying much the same and more than you have posted. And welcome.  I'm not renewing--even got my "reminder" (6 months in advance, of course) in yesterday's mail. As I also said in an earlier post, it just is too costly to be not even as good as Bon Appetit and Food and Wine--in MY opinion, before the "jumping on" comes!!


But hang around here. Lots of good cooks and thoughts available, with the occasional dustup.


Gretchen
Gretchen
2830cocoa's picture

(post #39640, reply #215 of 249)

Gretchen,


I think you are very articulate, and I would love for you to do as I.  I googled Molly Stevens and found her website.  I sent he an email with my thoughts.  Although she is not contributing as much as she used to, she said she has an article due out in the fall.  I think she may be the person to contact with our concerns since she still has access directly to the editors, and she is very responsive to her emails.

Gretchen's picture

(post #39640, reply #216 of 249)

I think you give Molly too much power. She is a great contributor, but it is just that--a contributing chef/cookbook author.  I just don't think we can go tattling to someone like that.   ;o)


We will just have to wait and see what happens. They bit off a BIG format change--all at once.


Gretchen
Gretchen
cook1928's picture

(post #39640, reply #3 of 249)

Typeface is the same. The Roast Chicken recipe, consisting of chicken, salt, pepper and oil, is so basic it's kind of insulting to their "former" audience of seasoned cooks. It's certainly not worth paying $30 a year for content like that.

TracyK's picture

(post #39640, reply #4 of 249)

Since the new issue would have already been in production (likely for several months) when the first redesigned issue came out, there would have been no time for FC to change the font even if they are amenable to such a change. Most magazines have a lead time of 4-6 months.


"I really do not know that anything has ever been more exciting than diagramming sentences."
                                                            --Gertrude Stein

Gretchen's picture

(post #39640, reply #5 of 249)

I don't think there is a chance that they are going to change the type face. That was a "cornerstone" featire of the new design!! 


Gretchen
Gretchen
TracyK's picture

(post #39640, reply #6 of 249)

I disagree -- since even those of us who liked the new design said the typeface was harder to read, I'd be surprised if they didn't address it in some fashion. :)


"I really do not know that anything has ever been more exciting than diagramming sentences."
                                                            --Gertrude Stein

Gretchen's picture

(post #39640, reply #8 of 249)

Maybe larger?


Oh, and there is no "Cook the Issue" feature--gone with the wind.  ;o)


Gretchen
Gretchen
TracyK's picture

(post #39640, reply #9 of 249)

Larger or bolder or a different color or something would be good.


"I really do not know that anything has ever been more exciting than diagramming sentences."
                                                            --Gertrude Stein

Gretchen's picture

(post #39640, reply #10 of 249)

Still a lot print on colored background like black on brown. Not easy. But black on white is OK--for me.

Gretchen

Gretchen
shar999's picture

(post #39640, reply #12 of 249)

Just received today and looked through it briefly.


Less pages and less recipes than last issue and some very basic recipes at that.


Photography seems less blurred than before,  Some of the adverisements have much better pictures.  I must say though, that the Quiche picture is great, but the roast chicken looks cold and shriveled.


All in all, this issue did not make me want to cheat on my diet.


 


 


 


 


 

MadMom's picture

(post #39640, reply #13 of 249)

Maybe you have hit on the secret!  They don't want us to cheat on our diets, so they make the food either non-appetizing or bland?



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

hsnow73's picture

(post #39640, reply #14 of 249)

I don't know what has changed but I can actually read this issue.

Sheri's picture

(post #39640, reply #15 of 249)

Mine came today also. I cooked a lot out of the last issue. This one... the Brazilian brigadeiros and maybe a couple of the fast recipes from the back. Unusual that so little appeals to me from an issue.

MadMom's picture

(post #39640, reply #11 of 249)

I also got the April/May issue today.  Yes, most of the type is too small to be readable for old eyes, but perhaps they want to get rid of the old folks.  Yes, I already know how to roast a chicken (and bet mine is better than theirs), and I already know how to cook a brisket.  In other words, just skimmed through it and didn't find anything which really turned me on.  Did like the color photo, though, and took one look at the cover recipe and madmommed it for dinner tonight, with some flounder.  I had some snow peas, some frozen peas, some garlic, and some carrots, combined with paperdelle, and topped with parmesan.  Willie Ray loved it.  Didn't have any fresh herbs or other toppings, but liked it anyway.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

debpasc's picture

(post #39640, reply #228 of 249)

I know you tried this when the issue first came out, and now I made the cover recipe (fresh pasta and vegetables) from #98 for dinner yesterday.  I made fresh pasta sheets and cut them crooked and wide with my dull pizza cutter, used asparagus tips, carrot sticks, snap peas and frozen peas for the vegetables, fresh water cress, and mint, tarragon and Italian parsley for the herbs.  It was pretty sensational.  SO went crazy for it and is now begging me not to let the subscription lapse!!!

Gretchen's picture

(post #39640, reply #229 of 249)

Are they going to reprint this recipe!!!???   ;o) 


 Glad it was good. I'll have to give it a look too. MadMom liked it as I recall.  I don't think there is any argument that there will be useable recipes in any given issue. Just a matter of "is it worth it". 


Gretchen
Gretchen
debpasc's picture

(post #39640, reply #230 of 249)

I encourage you to make this pasta -- I'm a real carnivore so for me to like it, it has to be special (on the other hand, could anything with fresh pasta ever be bad?).  I'm with you on whether the "new" magazine is worth the money.  I'll decide by the time my subscription runs out in December/January.  Like most, we've done some real budget re-evaluation since retiring at age 54 (SO was 49) and watching the money that was supposed to last us until age 99 disappear over the past 7 months!