a second chance for cooking light?

21 Mar

I have been a fan of the magazine Cooking Light for years. Actually, “fan” might be putting it mildly. I LOVED this magazine.

I looked forward to seeing it in my mailbox each month. In fact, the day it arrived, I would immediately sit down and read it cover to cover.  I would literally read every word. I would dog ear all the recipes I thought looked good and then every 6 months to a year, I would tear out those recipes to add to my recipe binders. (Yes, not only do I love cookbooks, I also have 4, 3-ring binders of recipes that I pull from magazines or printed out from online sources.)

Cooking Light recipes made up about 75% of the meals I made. Out of all the cooking magazines that come to my mailbox (which at one point was 6, but now is down to 4), Cooking Light was hands down my favorite.

That is….until the re-design. See,  a few months back (6 or so), Cooking Light did a pretty big re-design of the magazine.  It included a whole new lay-out, new columns, moving the index to the front (which I despise), and in general, a whole new look.

A look that I did not like.  Many of the articles I mistook for ads and some of the photography I felt was to Gourmet wannabe (RIP Gourmet).  At first, I thought “hey, it’s the first one, I’m sure it’ll improve and this is just an off issue”. Well, they didn’t. I new it was bad when the latest issue had sat unread for a week or two. In fact, there were a couple issues that not one recipe was dog-eared and went straight to the recycling bag. What was happening to my go-to mag?

Well, I refused to give up. The April issue arrived last week and I sat down with a hopefulness that this one would win me over.

I can honestly say, it was a vast improvement! In fact, I have a ton of pages marked with recipes to try. And there was some great articles including one on nutrition myths. I liked it so much, I will blog about it separately. ( I know, you can’t contain your excitement.)

So, in this week’s menu, I’m featuring three recipes from the April issue.  I’m giving it an all out second chance to see if it can prove its worthiness. Here’s what’s on the menu:

I’m hoping the live up to the standards of previous recipes. One thing I have loved about Cooking Light is although the recipes are healthy and well-balanced, they are not full of stuff like fat-free cheese and splenda. They use fresh ingredients plus wonderful items like olive oil, bacon, and butter. Everything in moderation ya know. I’ll give you a full report of these recipes when the week is done. I promise.

So,  I know I’m not the only one that had some troubles with this re-design. What do you think? Have you gotten used to it? Have you given up? Did you think the April issue is a vast improvement or did it just catch me on a good day?

This is a serious issue folks. If April was a fluke good issue, I might just have to write Cooking Light a strongly worded letter.

4 Responses to “a second chance for cooking light?”

  1. Monica March 21, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

    Funny – after years of getting cooking light (and tagging recipes just like you described) I gave it up. When I moved here, I found a Cooking Light group and joined and for a few years we were faithfully having dinners once every few months and I was using back issues to find recipes. Just a few months ago, my future MIL had a buy-one-get-one subscription, so I’m waiting (patiently!) for the first issue to arrive! I printed the BBB with MS – looks awesome.

    Now that I’m doing my wedding registry, I’m thinking about how little I cook now (and how much I used to!). I *have* to get back to it!

  2. Liza March 21, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

    Jen – I am so glad you wrote about this. I know you and I have discussed this topic. I am behind and haven’t looked at my April issue yet but I have already decided to let my subscription go for many of the reasons you listed. I now prefer other publications and find myself making recipes from those magazines much more often.
    It is a bit sad as you were the one that turned me onto Cooking Light but the new look and lack of good recipes has left me no choice.

  3. Kris March 22, 2010 at 11:54 am #

    First of all, I’m so glad there is at least one other person out there with 3-ring binders. I have 2 biggies for “keeper” recipes, which I’ve been using a lot lately as impatiently await the reemergence of fresh veggies at the farmers market, another biggie for recipes I want to try and then 3 or 4 other small ones with recipes from my supper club.
    On the CL redesign, I actually have been very fond of it. I’ll admit it took a bit of adjusting to the new look but I love the increase in photos with the recipes.

  4. Monica March 23, 2010 at 7:58 am #

    I got it! I got the new CL!

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