Monday, August 29, 2011

real simple . . . not really simple

The magazine (and, more recently, website) Real Simple has captivated me for years.  The clean, bright layout.  The mixture of food, fashion, culture, and decorating advice.  The lithe and lovely models.  Jeff will tell you, I salivate at new issues on the Target magazine shelf. 

When I was in Divinity School, a mom and fellow student saw me reading a Real Simple and commented on how ridiculous the title was.  Like, to make your life more simple, you need all this stuff that we recommend.  The irony of this consumerist myth had never struck me before.  It began to color my perception of the magazine, and I did realize that I had been sold on a vision of life that would never quite materialize for me. 

Additionally, has anyone noticed that the recipes have gotten really bad?  They used to be hit-or-miss, but you could get at least a few good dinners and sides out of an issue.  Now, most of them don't even sound appetizing, and I haven't had success with one of their recipes in months. 

These days, I prefer my public television cooking shows.  America's Test Kitchen, Everyday Food, and Cook's Country provide me with a wealth of recipe ideas.  In fact, after watching Everyday Food Saturday morning, I'm inspired to add roast chicken tacos, meatballs and garlic bread, and red beans and sausage to my menu this week.  Anybody have recipe sources they just love that they want to share?


Jen said...

I am all about Epicurious for my recipes, although about 90% of it is out of my league. I would also like to recommend my COOKING BLOG, It has been a little neglected lately, but all of my favorites are on there.

I also wanted to say that it does seem remarkably dumb to use simplicity as a marketing strategy to sell us more crap. How have I been falling for it for years??

Emily said...

Jennifer - I also love epicurious, although I frequently feel that I need to buy specialty ingredients for their recipes. And simplicity . . . the goal that shouldn't be so hard to achieve, right?

Andrea said...

Gimmesomeoven is one of my favorite recipe blogs. It's a friend of mine who loves cooking and decided to start blogging it. She has some great recipes, typically easy and tasty, and some great tips for how to make things a little differently.