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Project: Bon Appétit

August 20, 2012

I love food magazines.  A lot.  I subscribe to Cooking Light, Bon Appetit, Cook’s Illustrated, Vegetarian Times, and Cuisine At Home. 

Yep.  I love food magazines.


Despite my excitement at getting my new magazine each month, despite the gusto with which I peruse each new recipe…I rarely cook from my cooking magazines.

I don’t know why.  The recipes all look great.  I just…never seem to actually cook any of them.

Part of it is me—I’m not a recipe person.  I tend to make stuff up as I go along, throwing in a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  Sometimes this works to my advantage.  And sometimes it most definitely does not.

Also, if I’m being honest, some of the recipes intimidate me.  And so, I end up sticking with a pretty basic rotation of meals each night—tacos…stir fries…easy soups and stews…basic pasta dishes.  All of our dinners are good, but they’ve gotten pretty repetitive—even boring. 

I know, I know—we have an excuse.  Her name is Lila. 

But even so, I’d like to try to get out of this dull dinner routine that we’ve found ourselves settling into. 

And so…I’m embarking on a new little project that will, hopefully, breathe a little bit of life back into our kitchen.

Of all the food magazines I subscribe too, Bon Appetit is probably the one that I find most intimidating.  Salmon rillettes.  Milk jam creme fraiche.  Peanut milk.


All of the recipes sound great, but I often find myself thinking, “I could never make that.”

Well…I’m going to try.

I’m going to pick ten recipes from my Bon Appetit magazine each month, and do my damndest to make them.  I received my September issue on Saturday, and promptly picked out ten recipes that sound delicious (and challenging—some more so than others):

  1. Old-fashioned Blueberry Coffee Cake
  2. Crispy Kale Salad with Lime Dressing
  3. Almond-crusted Halibut with Vegetable Curry
  4. Braised Chicken with Capers and Parsley
  5. Chicken Sausage Lettuce Wraps
  6. Corn Farrotto
  7. Eggplant, Mozzarella, and Saffron Rice Bake
  8. Gruyere Grilled Cheese with Apple
  9. Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Citrus Glaze
  10. Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Whew!  This should be interesting… :-) 

Stay tuned to see how this turns out!

19 Comments leave one →
  1. August 20, 2012 3:59 pm

    I’m the same with recipes. I love my cookbooks and magazines. I have a huge binder of recipes I’ve pulled from magazines. But I almost never ever follow one. I use them mostly for inspiration. And some do seem so intimidating. But then I see what I make and some of mine are pretty out there LOL.

  2. August 20, 2012 4:21 pm

    this is such a fun challenge! I’ve been SO boring in the kitchen lately, i could use something like this to get me motivated!

  3. August 20, 2012 4:55 pm

    Fun! 8.Gruyere Grilled Cheese with Apple? Im in!

  4. August 20, 2012 5:52 pm

    I LOVE this idea. It’s kinda how I feel about all the food blogs I read which is exactly why I started doing the From Bookmark to Blog series and actually making the stuff I star and usually forget about. This looks like a great list of delicious recipes, excited to read along!

  5. ginger635 permalink
    August 21, 2012 1:03 am

    What fun! This reminds me of your monthly challenge a few years ago! I’m going to try and make these recipes right along with you. (By the way, I used your Southwest Quinoa Salad recipe and your blackberry/basil sauce recipe for our Supper Club menu Saturday night – both were delicious and everyone loved them) Thanks!

  6. August 21, 2012 1:08 am

    ooh corn farroto. I like the sound of that!

    • August 21, 2012 1:20 am

      Haha…I told Ryan that one and he said, “What the hell is a farroto?” I guess we’ll find out… 🙂

  7. August 21, 2012 1:51 am

    Oooh this is a fun challenge! Good luck. I would like to try more new recipes, but I do get kinda lazy about things. And I’m with you, if a recipe is too extensive or has too many ingredients, I tend to shy away… really… I am a lazy cook 😉

  8. August 21, 2012 2:00 am

    Love this idea! Can’t wait to see your creations!

  9. August 21, 2012 3:56 am

    so i never got to respond to your other post, but i totally feel the same way sometimes about blogging. i really truly love it but it can be a bit much at times! i’m so excited for this new project though…i just got my September BA – i should join in!

    • August 21, 2012 11:34 am

      Thanks, Heather. I feel like we’re on the same page with a LOT of things these days 🙂 Yes, join in!!

  10. August 21, 2012 3:54 pm

    May I recommend Cook’s Illustrated? Even for a seasoned cook, it is a wealth of information on each recipe. Best of all, no advertisements.


  11. Patti permalink
    August 21, 2012 4:05 pm

    These recipes all sound delicious. I used to tell my students that with some basic cooking knowledge, ability to read and videos on the Internet, they would be able to make any recipe. I love it when you write about these challenges and look forward to the results:)

  12. August 21, 2012 5:37 pm

    Haha! I do the same thing! I only cook the easiest recipes from the mag’s. Can’t wait to see how your experiement goes! Maybe it will motivate me to try some harder one’s that cross my path!

  13. August 21, 2012 7:06 pm

    I love this idea!

  14. August 22, 2012 12:24 am

    Cream cheese pound cake?! Send me some please!

  15. August 22, 2012 1:04 am

    What a great idea! I need to get motivated to cook more from my magazines, too.

  16. August 22, 2012 2:04 am

    Awesome idea! Looking forward to seeing how your challenge turns out! I subscribe to cooking light and love all of the recipes that I actually make- I need to make an effort to do this more often!

    Re: blogging- I totally feel the same way. While I love it, there is only a finite amount of time to get all of my fun things done so- it falls by the wayside a lot.

  17. August 22, 2012 3:02 am

    I am not a recipe person at all! I hardly cook anything, I just assemble. It’s just way easier to do when one’s fridge is perpetually empty. 🙂

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