Friday, October 2, 2015


I'm often shocked by the wardrobe choices of some of my fellow upstate New Yorkers (one lovely lady I spotted in the grocery store today was sporting a "I'm with Stupid" t-shirt under a barn jacket with the fresh scent of manure wafting from its fiber.  What was even more shocking about my grocery store adventure, however, was the display of pumpkins and Thanksgiving goodies EVERYWHERE. As much as I love this time of year, I feel like I'm being forced to participate in a swimsuit contest before dropping the necessary poundage; I'm just not ready!  But, just like everything in life, NOTHING waits for anyone, so here we go, get ready to jump on the fall train to cold weather and holiday cheer! With teeth-chattering, I shivered my way to our post office where I was greeted by one of my dear, old friends; a copy of the latest COOKS ILLUSTRATED MAGAZINE. Before meeting Joe I HATED cooking.  I loved eating out, loved collecting kitchen utensils, pots and pans, dishes, etc. but despised using them.  CORRECTION: I loved making breakfast and cocktails (and still do), but the thought of preparing a dinner was as daunting as participating in the aforementioned swimsuit contest. Today, I love it.  Not only is cooking at home often far more healthy and cost-effective than store-bought crapola (find my recipe for the easiest, most delicious salad dressing...Newman's has NOTHING on me!) it can also be FUN!  One of our favorite series of cookbooks for everything from soup to warm nuts is the Cooks Illustrated series.  CI also publishes a monthly magazine that is chocked full of wonderful, easy recipes and tests of food products and appliances, etc.  For example, this months edition has a recipe for the best scrambled eggs (cooks from CI break down the best way to create any type of egg dish). They also test the best store-bought puddings, show us how to choose the perfect crock pot and much more.  Each edition of the magazine (often found on stands in your grocery stores meat department) feels like a TV show, not surprising because the editor in chief is also host of the PBS show COOKS COUNTRY and COOKS KITCHEN and is a frequent guest on morning chat shows.  So, grab a copy of this great magazine, whip up an amazing dinner tonight and reserve a subscription now for the foodie in your life.  Nothing makes a better gift, in my opinion, than the one that keeps on giving!