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A friend of mine has been subscribing to this cookery magazine for years and lucky me gets the mag when she has finished. It is a monthly magazine.
Just inside the cover there is a large contents page. This has a photo of the front cover with pointers telling you where all the features starring on the cover can be found inside the magazine. There is also little symbols in the contents next to any recipe that is healthy, gluten free, low fat or suitable for freezing (which was a surprising number).
A particularly useful part of the magazine for me is the list of what foods are in season in any particular month. This is divided into seasonal fruit and veg, fish and seafood and game. There are then recipes for some of them. I find the recipes are well explained. I am never left wondering what the writer means for me to do. The only thing I would say is that they sometimes put quite a lot of different actions together in one step. I am sure that this because they want most recipes to be only 4 or 5 steps.
Another part of the magazine that I especially like is " Make it healthier" where a traditional recipe is given a healthy tweak.
Because the magazine is a BBC one as well as original recipes from the writing team there are some from different BBC cooking shows. Also chefs from them offer up new recipes.
As my friend has had a subscription for more than one year I do find the is quite a familiar feel to the recipes each season. Not identical recipes each month I don't mean, just not too different. I recommend Good Food to those looking for recipe inspiration though. Maybe just don't automatically subscribe for a second year in a row.
I got a gift subscription to this magazine and now I look forward to hearing it come through the letter box every month.
I can't think of anything negative to write about it so it's just a list of all the things I love about it!
It starts off on the opening pages with the contents page but then also a list of all the recipes which come under different headings i.e. soups/starters, fish/seafood etc so you can easily find the dish you're looking for.
There are some good little news snippets about what's current in the food industry as well as some more in depth articles about things like nutrition or shopping local for example.
One of my favourite features is a look into a celebrities kitchen and an interview with them to describe why they went for that style of design and their must have gadgets or cookware.
Of course it is also jam packed with recipes! There are everyday dishes as well as more complicated ones that you'd need more time to spend creating.
For each of the recipes there is a key to help you see at a glance the essentials for that dish including it's effort level, nutrients that it's high in, whether it can be frozen, if it's vegetarian. Then a nutritional breakdown is included per serving so you know just what you're eating which is especially helpful if you're dieting.
I suppose the only thing that may be a slight disadvantage for some is the amount of adverts included, but I personally don't mind these and I think everyone expects adverts in glossy magazines anyway!
I been a subscriber for years and in the last three have taken it a step further and now go to the 'Good Food Shows in Olympia' The magazine is very positive and uplifting, engaging and inspiring.
I started off burning everything and four years later I am so much more confident.
The magazine has taught me about when the seasonal products are in and even better what to do with them! [Ovbiously cook but what to 'marry' it together with as Nigel Slater would say.]
The subscriber benefits are great and there are so many deals available for you.
The way it is formatted is very current, very relevant and packed with great interviews with winners from GBBO, MASTERCHEF etc not just professional. People just like you with a passion for cookng are also featured.
The Good Food Shows are a great reflection of the magazine, like they just walked off the page!
I was bought a 6month subscription to this magazine for my birthday, I've now had all six so feel able to give a good review.
The magazine is a good thickness with plenty of pages of recipes for all types and styles of cooking. I was very lucky that the subscription fell over Christmas as I've now plenty of Christmas and Party recipes which I can keep for the future.
The magazine costs about £15.00 by direct debit every six months, this is the cheapest way to buy it or £34 to £42 one off payment for 12 issues, it does depend on the current offer as to how much you get it for. As for single issues I'm not sure I looked online and there's no information, they've designed a new cover for subscribers now so it doesn't say how much the magazine is at all! my guess is around £4 per issue it used to be £3.50.
The magazine usually arrives a month in advance ready so you have it in time for the month it's written for.
Each magazine is made up of the following sections; Everyday, Healthy (new section), In season, Weekend, Cooks notes and every month. At the front there is a recipe index which I find quite helpful when looking for a recipe to do rather than reading the whole magazine or searching through knowing there was a recipe I liked you can look in the index. It lists every recipe included in each magazine there are on average about 100 recipes per magazine which when you think about it compared to a book that's a really good deal. This index has a great recipe key which says if it's a 'healthy option', a 'low fat' option or 'suitable for freezing'. It is also broken down into catagories; meat, poultry and game, fish and seafood, vegetarian, side dishes and salads, baking and deserts.
There are plenty of hints and tips and all types of kitchen appliance and gadgets for you to read about, helping you to make the right choices and learning new techniques.
The last section of the magazine is TV news and Recipes, this usually has information on the cooking programmes which are on or have been and and recipes from them and also the top chefs with a selection of the best recipes.
Each magazine usually has a theme such as February has Valentines meals, January had party New Year food, December had Christmas recipes and October had autumnal meals.
Each recipe is tested in the goodfood test kitchen so they have tried and tested the recipes before they are printed which I think is great - it gives reassurance that if you follow the instructions correctly it will work out.
Each recipe in the magazine has a key which says if it's;
Easy - recipes everyone can make, even beginners. These dishes are usually quick, often on the table within 20minutes.
Moderately easy - These require a bit more skill - such as making pastry.
For the confident cook - Recipes aimed at experienced cooks who cook for pleasure and like a challenge.
There is also a vegetarian symbol and suitable for freezing symbol and the following types of healthyness; Superhealthy, Low fat, Good for you and Heart healthy.
Each recipe also tells you how many it serves (how many it's for), how long the preparation is and how long for cooking.
Now down to the testing of it! I have to say that EVERY recipe I've tried has worked out exactly as it should and has tasted fab, I'm not a professional cook I love cooking and having a go at new recipes most of the recipes I've tried have been easy or moderately easy. Put it this way creme brulee is supposed to be hard, it said easy on their recipe so I tried it and it worked out absolutely gorgeous and I impressed our friends we had round over Christmas!.
All in all a great magazine to have pop through your letter box and a great way to try new and tested recipes it's always lovely to have a magazine to read through.
Extra's (added since original review)
As one of the comments says (thanks Azana) it is possible to get this magazine through tesco clubcard vouchers and also through nectar points which is a great way to treat yourself!
I also forgot to mention that this magazine also has it's own website which you can access whether you are subscribed or not! it actually has a lot of the recipes and a recipe search plus competitions and much more - all free!! Personally I still like a good flick through a magazine but this is an alternative way to read it!
I notice that in the latest issue they also have this magazine available for download for the ipad through apple app's! at an introductory price of £1.79.
Being a budding amateur chef, much of my spare time is spent reading about, cooking or eating food. The books my the side of my bed tend to be recipe books...
I have been reading food magazines for many years and one of my regular titles is BBC Good Food magazine. What I really like about food magazines is the seasonality, highlighting what is good to eat now and this is something Good Food does well.
This magazine tends to be focussed more towards families - even with a section encouraging cookery with kids. Having said that, I do not have any children, but still find this a good read and love the 'Everyday' meals section where it even highlights the cost per head - great for those on a budget. It also tells you what meals you can freeze, the skill required for making it and nutritional value details (something you rarely get in a cookbook).
During the main holiday periods they have sections dedicated to entertaining - Easter, Christmas and Bank Holidays, and always a good barbecue issue in the summer.
The magazine also has a Gordon Ramsey Masterclass and frequently features other celebrity chefs, including recipes from some of the BBC cookery show output.
Overall, it is a good read with great recipes and seasonal features, but probably geared more towards the family cook.
BBC Good Food magazine is from the BBC Magazines stable. It comes out monthly, generally in the first few days of each month, and costs £3.20.
I would say that it is aimed at the averagely skilled cook who likes to both challenge themselves occasionally and also have cheaper, simpler recipes on standby for midweek. Alternatively, if you want predominantly simpler recipes I would recommend BBC EasyCook, and Olive magazine for the more adventurous.
I am a keen, though I wouldn't say overly skilled cook and buy this magazine from a few times to several times a year. I would buy it more or maybe even subscribe but as I tend to keep the magazines for reference afterwards, if I did this I would quickly run out of room in my bookshelf.
You can get the magazine from most newspaper and magazine outlets, although to get optimum value for money I recommend getting it from a place with a loyalty card scheme; I believe that some Waterstones and Boots stores tend to sell it, in particular as they have the most generous ones.
There are digital TV channels which are associated with this magazine - GoodFood and GoodFood +1 (formally UKTV Food) which are worth a look. The magazine also has a website - www.bbcgoodfood.com which is very comprehensive.
Each magazine typically has 120 recipes which are tested by the Good Food team. I have to admit that I have cooked several recipes of theirs over the years and have not yet found any errors; this is especially important to me as I need to follow recipes to the letter.
Near the beginning is a "This Month's recipes" section which lists all of the recipes in the issue with their page number. These are classified by type - vegetarian, fish and seafood, meat, poultry and game, baking and desserts, sides and drinks. There is also a key to indicate healthy options and low-fat. Normally, alongside this section there is some information which is meant to be applied to all the recipes in the magazine, including how to interpret codes and nutritional information.
There is then a cook's notes section which details things such as quirky new food products and utensils as well as general food news, details of events and mini-interviews with chefs etc.
The reader's letters pages of this magazine are particularly good as they respond to queries and even minor criticisms of the magazine.
Another regular feature is "here to help" which discusses a particular issue to do with cookery. In the particular issue that I am looking at (August 2009) there is an extensive and informative section on preserving and freezing fruit and vegetables; particularly prevalent in these "credit crunch" times and when this is a growing awareness of the issue of "food waste."
Then you get into the recipes good and proper. As a rule they are linked around a theme - eg everyday, modern vegetarian, 5 ways with.... And Great British cooking.
Each recipe is clearly laid out on the page and written in an easy-to-understand and non-patronising way. The recipe generally details how many it will serve, how long it will take to prepare and cook, its difficulty rating, information such as whether it is vegetarian, "healthy" or freezable. It may also contain additional information such as if it is high in any particular vitamin or mineral or how many portions of fruit or veg that the dish contains. At the end of the recipe there are also nutritional statistics and some short recipes which can act as a side dish or a quick way to amend the recipe to your liking. It does not feature nutritional information for any recipes that are aimed specifically at children.
Being a BBC magazine there is prominence on featuring chefs and recipes from BBC programmes. But as far as I'm concerned this doesn't override the feature and the recipes are still in keeping with the tone of the magazine, which is the most important thing. For instance, in the August 09 issue there was a feature on Levi Roots' Caribbean Food Made Easy which may have served as a promotion for the new show but also served as a really good introduction to Caribbean Food, with recipes to complement this.
Actually, that's another nice about this magazine as there is a wide variety of all different types of cooking. How much of this is "watered down," simplified and made palatable for the mainstream British market. Whether this is the case is down to the individual reader I think. Personally, I think anything which encourages people to try new ingredients and techniques in cooking is no bad thing.
Another regular feature is one by Gregg Wallace of Masterchef Goes Large, discussing a particular seasonal fruit or veg with associated recipes. There is a lot of emphasis on buying local and reducing food miles throughout the magazine, but this message is not preached at you.
On the whole compared to a lot of other mainstream magazines there are thankfully few adverts and those that there are are largely unobtrusive. There are also some advertisement features but these are clearly labelled and often include recipes themselves.
There is a grow-your-own regular feature is which very detailed and features excellent photographs to explain tricky concepts. In fact the photography throughout the magazine is excellent, making the food look wonderfully appetising but not too intimidating to make.
There is also a wine and drinks section with recommendations of wines, ales, mixers and non-alcoholic drinks.
A lot of specialist products that are featured come from small local concerns around the country. This obviously provides good publicity to small specialist suppliers.
Gordon Ramsey also does a feature of a recipe which is just a little special, but this is well photographed especially if there are techniques involved to master.
Towards the back, being a BBC magazine, there is a section on TV news referring to programmes like Saturday Kitchen and MasterChef, including recipes from these shows or the chefs involved.
There is a classified section advertising some interesting food related companies, cooking courses etc.
The magazine often comes with an additional mini book of recipes based around a theme. The Christmas issue which comes out at the beginning of November is a bumper issue, with more recipes as well as a recipe calendar and a Xmas day meal planner with lots of additional tips to make the main meal run more smoothly.
On the last page there is a regular feature called "My Life On a Plate" interview with a different chef each month detailing their own food favourites and memories.
All-in-all, and having bought all of them over a period of time I think that this magazine is about the best out of them out there. Not least because of the variety of recipes available and just how adaptable to everyday life that they are. I have picked up so many recipes which are easy and nutritious to make after a long day at work which are now in my staple repertoire.
For the last two years now, my sister has paid for my subscription to Good Food magazine as part of my birthday present. My father used to buy it monthly, and I was always looking through it myself, stealing ideas and recipes from it, so I was particularly glad to receive such a useful present, and my father was delghted that he no longer had pages torn out of his magazines.
The monthly issues of GoodFood cost £3.20, however annual subscriptions can cost around £32, depending on offers at the time. My sister purchases my subscription through the BBC official magazine subcription webpage.
As well as the magazine, GoodFood also offer ideas and recipes online at their website www.bbcgoodfood.com, and I have sourced other recipes from here as well.
The front cover of Good Food naturally, always has some delicious looking meal, very often sweet treats, but not always. Inside there is a welcome note from editor Gillian Carter, before coming to a contents page, outlining and dividing up recipe ideas and articles into various sections such as:
There is also a list of recipes that are included in the book on one of the earlier pages, which I find quite a useful addition, giving me an overview of the range of recipes on offer on any particular month.
Some sections of the magazine include regular articles such as 'cook notes;, where the latest info, utensils and cooks ideas are given.
There is also always a section giving readers the change to write in with ideas or even their own recipes, which can get published. Readers are also introduced to a 'taste team' made up of four panel members who will try out some of the recipes on offer in the issue and record their opinions (usually found underneath the recipes they have tried). This again, is another usefull addition to the recipes, as sometimes the taste panel even suggest a little twist to the recipe which can be interesting.
With every issue there is also a 'here to help' section where information about cooking, foods etc can be found, and everyday queries and questions answered. For example, in the latest issue of GoodFood, there is excellent advice about freezing home grown fruit and vegetables, giving preparing guidance, blanching times and storage months. There is also guidance and recipes on making jam, an idea that I will be trying myself now.
After these regular montly sections, readers then get on to the recipes, startgin with everyday recipes, that can both save you money and time. In this edition, such recipes include: spanish rice and prawn one pot, nutty chicen curry, fruit summer Charlotte and bacon and tomato pasta. Underneath each recipe are nutritional information, and readers are also told the number of servings to expect from a recipe, the preparation time required, and teh cookign time. Each recipe also comes with a code of 'easy'. 'moderately easy', 'for the confident cook', and again this is very useful to know, although a good look through the method part of each recipe usually gives me a fair idea whether or not I will be able to have a go or not. There is often useful tips alongside some recipes, or suggestions for making a recipe slightly different.
There have also recently been quite a few 'storecupboard' recipe pages. For example, in the latest issue, there is a section on the 'caribbean storecupboard', featuring ingredients that a lot of caribbean cooking requires, and some recipe ideas, brought in this edition by Levi Roots (of the Reggae reggae sauce success on Dragon's Den).
There is usually a few pages devoted to 'cooking with auntie sarah', which allows parents to get their children cooking, with step by step pictorial instructions on how to cook some basic food such a fajitas, cottage pie etc etc.
The 'In Season' section then follows the 'Everyday' meals section. Readers can find out the fruit and veg that are in season at the time of year, as well as a little bit more about particular these fruits and veg. For instance, in this latest edition, readers can learn more about the various melons that are available. This information is then followed by recipes that include thse 'in season' fruit or veg.
There is sometimes articles on growing your own vegetables, with step by step guidance and photographs.
The last main section of teh magazine is on 'weekend' cooking, and these recipes usually involve much more time, effort and cost. Well known chefs such as Gordon Ramswy, James Martin etc, create meals that can be replicated, some easier than others, and even create a whole dinner menu for guests. Gordon Ramsey has pages devoted to his 'masterclass' where he shows in a step by step guide how to master a particular culinary skill, eg deboning a cooked dover sole. I have to admit that I rarely use recipes from this last section.
The latest issue also comes with a 'holiday special' describing the best places to go for a picnic, days out, making your own ice cream cornetto's etc
At the end of the magazine are recipes from TV food programmes, such as Saturday kitchen or celebrity masterchef, allowing readers to replicate recipes they have seen on screen.
All in all, if you enjoy cooking or learning how to make new things then this is a great magazine to either purchase monthly or subscrube to. I love getting mine through the post, and can spend hours looking through the mouth watering recipes, tearing out those that I would like to try, or simply reading through the articles, finding out more about the foods that are in season that I can cook with. I love the fact that recipes are labelled as easy, moderately easy or for the confident cook, and I know then not to waste time on some of the most elaborate recipes, since my cookign skills wouldn't be as sharp as that. The magazine is simply brimming with ideas, and you'll find yourself with an armful of recipe ideas for the weekend and weeknight meals so you are no longer simply cooking the same meals day in day out. A great magazine for anyone who likes food and likes cooking.
I've always been obsessed with food. It's no secret and i don't make any excuses, just embrace it. This magazine fuels my addiction.
How much is it?
£3.20 of your finest money will buy you this glossy treat. It's not the cheapest of magazines, but as it is only a monthly mag so i'm only too happy to justify the spend. I tell myself to buy less of the weekly trash magazines and buy this instead. Reality is i buy the trash AND this!
There are always well over 100 recipes in each issue. The majority are beautifully photographed and all have been tested either by readers or the Good Food team of experts. As well as recipes created by the GF team, there are a good number of recipes from well know celebrity chefs. There is the usual letters page where readers can write in with their views and maybe win a prize for the star letter of the month. They do a regular taste test section where each month one product is reviewed. They mention which is the best value for money, which is the best tasting, which is fairtrade or organic and which is best for those with food allergies. In the past i've found this section very useful and it has helped me make decisions when in the supermarket. Also featured are new kitchen products. You know what i mean, all the gadgets that we just don't need but have to have as they'd look so good on our kitchen units. (Blushes as recalls how she ended up with a £300 Kitchen aid!)
What i think:
I really enjoy reading this magazine. There is a good mixture of articles, recipes, pictures, reviews and adverts. I am the first to admit i have a short attention span but the variety in content stops me from getting bored and just flicking through. I particularly like that all the recipes have nutritional information on. It's great if you are calorie counting or weight watching. Over the past few months there have been many more budget recipes that have come in handy during this leaner time we live in. I also like that the recipes vary in difficulty, and they tell you whether the recipe is easy, moderately easy or for the accomplished cook. When i first got the magazine i was newly married, an unaccomplished and overwhelmed cook. The easy to follow and no fuss recipes really helped me hone my cooking skills. I loved that there were simple recipes for things you would make on a weeknight after a long day at work, as well as more challenging 4 course dinners for the weekend. Now i have been cooking for a few years i have taken on some of the more challenging recipes, and i can honestly say i have never been disappointed with the results. There are always plenty of vegetarian recipes (im not a vegetarian but like to eat veggie occasionally as it's good for me), as well as low fat, gluten free and loads of recipes that feature 'normal' store cupboard ingredients.
A great magazine that I can't wait to receive the next issue.
I have long been in to cookery but have just in the past year I have subscribed to Goodfood. I have read one or two of the other magazines of this type and this stands out head and shoulders above the rest.
Not only does it have many recipes it also has sections devoted to In season veg, readers qustions and some masterclasses.
Most of the recipes are very simple and have been triple tested. By and large the meals are excellant, but I have had one or two duffers; one tasted terrible because it was, and once the 'simple' recipe was almost impossible to follow.
From time to time one of the writers gives a classic dish guide, such as quiche etc. The Celeb Chef list is like a who's who of UK cooking with the likes of James Martin and Gordon Ramsay.
Every recipe gets a rating as to ease etc and also a costing, no of five a day, fat content etc. This allwos you to make a decision before hand.
The one thing missing I feel is a section for new cooks on what to have in your store cupboard.
This will remain on my list of subscriptions for some time. I may staop after my 3rd Michelin star
This is glossy magazine priced at £3.20 per issue and they run a month ahead ie Mays issue is available in April and so on, although the contents, covers and so on differ ever month they tend to be glossy and do have certain sections that are always there. There is also a website to go alongside- www.goodfood.co.uk, it is a bbc publication. This magazine often though not always has free gifts for example a small booklet devoted to cake recipes, a bbq special and so forth.
Anyone who enjoys reading about and cooking food will love this magazine, there are too many good bits to point out, the seasonal page is quite good as it tells you what is in season and makes suggestions on how best to use said produce. There are always plenty of recipes and hints and tips aswell as a readers panel and readers letters where you can gain prizes. They do run offers and competitions quite a lot and at the back are a few pages left for advertising, which is not as bad as it seems, it is great for finding little gems you didn't know existed at the very least you can ogle the goodies!
I love this magazine and buy it religiously
***BBC Good Food Magazine***
I recently subscribed to this magazine (needing a bit of inspiration!) under a 3 for £1 taster offer, which I thought was a good deal.
***What's it like?***
This is a monthly magazine which has a cover price of £3.20 and it is printed on good quality paper, with a glossy front cover and the latest issue (June) has 146 pages. There is also an accompanying website, www.bbcgoodfood.com.
It also had an extra booklet with recipes for barbecues this month too. The front cover states that this month the magazine offers:
~Eat in for less
~Simply seasonal recipes
~Kids cook Father's Day brunch
~Celebrate with a cake - 1 recipe, 3 ways to decorate
~Healthy suppers to make you feel good
~Gordon Ramsay - Step-by-step stylish seafood
~James Martin - New recipes
~Everyday easy - a month of midweek meals
There is a recipe index at the front of the magazine which is quite handy for looking up recipes you may fancy. The magazine starts with an editors letter and as well as the usual gorgeous pictures and accompanying recipes there are also additional features such as:
~Cooking news, tips and best buys
~A letters page
~Books for cooks page
~A help page where readers write in with problems
~A test page - this month the product tested is lemon curd
~Behind the scenes at the Good Food Show
~Grow your own herbs for cooks
~What's on tv for cooks this month
~Gordon Ramsey's masterclass
I quite liked the balance of recipes and articles in this magazine and was also pleased to see that there were only 5 pages of classifieds. There were plenty of advertisements as you would expect, but I didn't mind these as much as I do in fashion magazines. This is probably because I might actually buy and eat some of these products!
I also like how the recipes are rated according to ease - or not! The recipes also give an indication of preparation time and cooking time. Some of the recipes also have the cost per serving worked out, which I thought was useful.
There are also symbols denoting whether you can freeze the recipe and if it is suitable for vegetarians.
There was a good balance of savoury and sweet recipes. When buying a magazine like this, for myself I didn't want recipes that were too fancy, difficult or required obscure ingredients and in the main this magazine fulfilled this. Yes, there were some recipes that I would class as 'posh', such as 'Crispy squid with caponata', but maybe everyone has this for their evening meal and sausage, chips and beans (at our house) is a bit common!!
I didn't find the magazine patronising in tone at all and the photos are fab to get you in the mood for cooking!
This month's magazine had a 50p off voucher towards some Swartz spice mixes, but I don't know if money off coupons are a regular occurrence.
There did seem to be a bit of emphasis on budget cooking which I thought was quite useful, as everyone is looking to save a few pennies.
I have also subscribed to Olive which I will review later, but I have to say that in comparison this magazine is a bit more down to earth and not as snobby.
Overall, I think I will perhaps subscribe to this magazine for a while to continue to get some new ideas and will also visit the associated website for inspiration. I hope that it isn't going to be a case of spending my time looking at photos and then just cooking the same old meals, we will have to see...
The cover price I think is a little expensive and I wouldn't like to buy it from the newsagents. I would rather take out a subscription either through an intermediary website or use Tesco Clubcard Vouchers. I noticed that on subscription it arrives earlier than when it appears in the shops.
If you buy it through the magazine group uk you will save 15% on an annual subscription £32.50 and can save a further 15% by going via topcashback. Alternatively I think the bbc are offering 3 for £1 on a taster promotion at the minute.
This review will also appear on ciao.uk under the same username.
I've subscribed to this magazine for two years now, and they have even published one of my emails (in praise of the upside down pineapple cake, it was that good, honestly!), I read and enjoy this magazine every month.
My first tip if thinking of subscribing would be to consider using Tesco clubcard points, currently at £9.50 in vouchers. As a monthly magazine the cover price is £3.10, but whichever way you buy it I think it is a good buy and here are some of the reasons why;
What the magazine contains:
There are different sections, some of kitcheny things to buy, reviews of the same and then the actual recipes. These are broken down into "everyday" a section for the kind of meals you would make for yourself and a family, "in season", seasonal recipes for that month, and then a "special", e.g. on Christmas, Easter or a theme like Italian food. There is a section for children's recipes of late, a helpful new feature.
There are also some food related articles, food and travel and health. A section at the end has the schedule and recipes for BBC food programmes for the month. Sometimes the magazine comes with a mini recipe book, eg on kids' food or baking, these are always excellent.
Generally the recipes are fairly easy to follow, and have a breakdown of the calories (unless a recipe from another book, eg Jamie Oliver) and difficulty rating. If you cook and enjoy something you can find it again on the bbcgoodfood website, where you will also find ratings for all the recipes from other people and can create a "virtual recipe binder". Even if you don't buy the magazine the website is an excellent place for reference and inspiration. All the recipes are tested in the bbcgood food kitchen.
My experience of the magazine:
Having subscribed for 2 years now I have cooked a fair few of the recipes. When the magazine arrives I also sit down and flick through and identify a couple of recipes to try that month, and if I am feeling ultra organised I will plan a week of recipes. I do find that the magazine can get a little repetitive; this month there are hot cross buns in the magazine as there were last year in a slightly different form, having said that I tried that recipe last year and it was excellent. I find Christmas does overdominate - 2 editions the December and January editions were Christmas filled, having said that again some of the recipes were very good.
I haven't had too many disasters following the recipes in the magazine, and in fact some are now family favourites, the aforementioned pineapple upside down cake, sausage casserole, a scrummy cherry cake that has me salivating to think about it, and smartie cookies!
The magazine has given me the confidence and skills to try new things; the photos always make everything look absolutely delicious. BBC Good Food does follow trends closely - there have been a lot of cost cutting meals of late, in line with the times and cook at home takeaways. I have made lots of the recipes and there are more I could dip into.
The recipes are indexed by type at the front of the magazine so easy to find within the magazine.
Would I recommend?
I would recommed anyone trying to vary their cooking to buy this magazine as a one off or as a subscriber. It costs £29.75 for 12 issues, £3.10 for one copy, or clubcard points as already mentioned. The magazine is not too ad-heavy and for me the skill level is perfect. If you are a slightly less confident cook you may want to try "Delicious" which I have found to be a little simpler. This magazine is probably the reason my friends think I am a better cook than I actually am!
Overall BBC Good Food is a well written magazine which is excellent value and sure to be enjoyed by any good or aspiring cook. Bon appetit!
My husband loves cooking and every now and then, on top of his impressive collection of cookery books, he will buy BBC Good Food.
The last one he purchased is the December issue. It costs £3.10, which you may think is a bit steep but I can assure you it is good value for money.
There are 218 pages, some of which are of course ads but most pages are not.
I was struck by the beauty of the photos. The food is shown in all its splendour and I challenge anyone to look at them and not feel like trying one of the recipes.
This issue is obviously focused on Christmas but the recipes are so varied that you won't find the same old boring Christmas recipes.
BBC Good Food suggests original recipes, easy to make and fairly cheap. The desserts look amazing and every time I turn a page of the magazine it makes me want to have a go at cooking or baking even more than I bother to do usually.
They also suggest alternative recipes to Christmas pudding. I personally hate the traditional one and don't actually know many people who like it. Well, there is a recipe for a chocolate Christmas cake and it looks easy to make and delicious.
My birthday's coming up soon and rather than go to a restaurant I think I wouldn't mind preparing a meal highly inspired by BBC Good Food. First I would make the pineapple, fig and ginger chutney to be served with cold meats then I would have a go at the Salmon en croute and finally for the best part of the meal, I would make a sticky clementine cake with cheesecake cream.
My mouth's watering by just looking at the beautiful dishes.
Whether you're a skilled cook or a beginner, give it a try. It will give you inspiration.
You will find a lot of advice on what wine to buy and where to buy kitchen gadgets. Cookery courses are also advertised.
As a bonus, in the December issue, you also get a free 2009 Calendar with great pictures and a recipe for each month.
I would highly recommend it and subscribing to it would probably make a nice gift to anyone who enjoys cooking or wishes to get better at it.
When the other half and I first moved in together I decided to become a domestic goddess, now in theory this was a good idea but the reality was a bit different you see my mum gave up teaching me to cook after the 3rd time I set fire to the frying pan! She basically told me it would be kinder to the human race if I just bought a microwave and nuked everything! But seeing I am a stubborn little so and so I decided to teach myself to cook and use the other half as a guinea pig (he was so happy NOT!). This lasted until my eldest was born and then the stress of working full time and looking after a baby made me forget the domestic goddess bit and just concentrate on keeping us fed as quick, easy and healthy as possible. I did learn the basics of cooking and actually began to enjoy it, especially for my boys but I started to find that I seemed to be cooking the same old things and got bored. I found recipe books patronising and half the ingredients you can never find and then a while back a friend recommended this magazine so I decided to give it a go and have never looked back.
The magazine comes out monthly and is £2.99; you get a nice glossy cover with guess what no stupid celebs on the front! Just a nice plate of food, the magazine is quite heavy and good quality and you always seem to get an extra separate little booklet for free, this month is great food for kids. This has 50 recipes for children including zesty chicken pasta, macaroni cheese with mushrooms & speedy shepherds pie. All these recipes seem to be quick and easy to cook.
We start with the usual editors letter, which is always quite short, and to the point,
Then the magazines contents and this is colourful and well laid out with lovely pictures. The next bit is the recipe index, which is really handy as it is split into food groups and you can quickly see which recipe you want to check out instead of trawling all the way through to find it.
You then go onto the cooks notes, which give you a run down of food festivals for the month and lots of other tit bits including the newest gizmos and gadgets for the kitchen, this month includes a new salad spinner that looks like a piece of art! And Jamie Olivers new dry rub for meat.
Its then on to the you tell us section where readers send in their ideas and recipes, the star letter wins 2 cases of wine worth £120!! Like that would last 5 minutes in my house!!
You also get the peoples cookbook, which is a recipe from a reader this is a competition that is running on UKTV food.
Then it is on to the recipes this month they all have a summer theme and can be used for the BBQ or grill. These include the easy suppers that are ready in 20 minutes or less (great for me!) This month includes Italian tuna balls with spaghetti and red curry kebabs. The recipes are very easy to follow and are not full of stupid obscure
ingredients and of course the pictures look amazing not like my attempts but hey at least it is edible! Each recipe comes with handy tips and the taste teams comments. The taste team are a group of people who get to taste the finished food.
There is also a take 5 ingredients bit that gives you ideas with 5 basic ingredients this is another good bit as it shows what you can do with only a few ingredients.
You then have the make it tonight section which gives you interesting ideas for an evening meal this month is creamy prawn pasta, the instructions are really simple to follow and they give you tips for serving as well.
Then onto my favourite Puddings!!!
These are also easy but look and taste delicious; this month we have peach & almond crunch which I have actually made and was lovely and also a sorbet fizz. This month the main pud is a summer pudding and they go into great detail on how to make it.
We then go onto the 10 ways with bit; this takes an ingredient and gives you 10 ways to use it, this month its avocados and it gives you some great tips and recipes for dips and salads.
Its then off to the kids section and this month is suggestion for kids parties, these include sausage roll twists and smoothie jellies. These always look interesting and fun to make, i have made some of these bits from the kids section and they have gone down really well. The favourite one was a sausage and leek hash served in wraps and the boys loved it.
Then moving on to the In season part of the mag, this is the bit where they tell you all the veg that is in season now and give you good tips and advice on looking for the best and ripest. This month is tomatoes, beans, cherries & strawberries, then you get some fabulous recipes for all the in season veg. This includes tarts, salads, and of
course puddings! Then onto the in season fish section which gives loads of advice on buying and preparing fish and of course cooking it!
We then come to the weekend section, which gives some lovely recipes. For this month the BBQ which is the part I give to the other half as he does all our barbequing. They have a gorgeous looking steak sandwich and a hot & sour BBQ chicken that I think I will have to get him to make. Through this bit you have various famous chefs
turn up including Gordon Ramsey and James Martin. Also a whole spread on Indian summer cooking with Sara Buenfield which again looks stunning.
Obviously for this type of mag there is a dinner party section so you can wow your guests with beautiful and well prepared food.
Through the mag you also get a few test features including cookbooks and kitchen utensils and of course different food products, these are given ratings and gives you a good idea of what to look for.
There is also a section on TV cooks and gives you a run down on a few cookery programmes and their chefs and when they are on.
Running through the mag are a lot of adverts as you can imagine and at the end there about 6 pages dedicated to them but its not as bad as some magazines.
If you like this mag and want to subscribe then it works out cheaper and currently you can get your first 3 issues for £3 and then £15 for 6 issues which saves you about £3.
There are lots of other bits and pieces in this mag that I havent mentioned but if i went through the lot I would be here forever and wouldnt be doing any cooking!
So basically you get a good quality magazine packed with recipes and ideas that are easy to follow and lots of additional info all for £2.99 cant be bad really.
As for me yes I can cook now and have even had friends round and not ordered takeaway! I do like this magazine though as it gives me lots of different ideas to feed my lot without cooking becoming boring and I have even had my mum around for Christmas dinner and she couldnt believe that her little girl didnt burn a thing!
( well not that she saw anyway!!)
Property of madmum71 & lisa8871
How Good is Good Food?
The Good Food magazine is a monthly cookery magazine produced by the BBC and claims to be the UKs Number 1 food magazine. It costs £2.90 per issue but if you subscribe it can work out as little as £2.33 delivered direct to your door. I am lucky enough to receive my Good Food magazine as a wedding anniversary present from my mother and father-in-law, maybe they think I need some help in feeding their son!
Inside there is a recipe index divided into Starters, Vegetarian, Fish, Meat, Chicken Duck and Game, Baking and Desserts. Each is colour coded to show easy recipes, ones that serve only 1 or 2 people, low fat (12g or less of fat per portion), superhealthy (less than 5g of fat and low in sugar and salt), special diet, kids will love these and healthy options. This index is useful for when you want to find a recipe for beef for example or when you are trying to find a particular recipe from a back issue.
Make it Tonight
This section has simple and quick recipes which take no more than 5-10 min preparation time. This month the recipes include minted salmon and pea fishcakes, chunky sausage and tomato pasta, creamy waldorf potato topper, pork chops with fruity red cabbage, thai squash and pineapple curry and spice and lime chicken. Each recipe gives an estimated price per portion, whether it is freezable or not, nutritional information and ideas to adapt the recipe to your taste.
Take a Pack .
This section each month takes a different ingredient (this month it is spaghetti) and gives you 4 different ideas of things you can make with it.
Pick of the month
Looks at what fresh ingredients are in season at the moment (this month its cavelo nero (a type of cabbage), pumpkin, quince and pear) they then give you a recipe for each of the ingredients. I like the look of the pear and custard tart.
The Complete Guide
This month it is about braising. And we have a recipe for chicken and chunky vegetables which features on the front cover. We have various lamb, beef and pork recipes and also a fennel with tomatoes and white wine for the vegetarians.
Freeze Ahead Special
These are recipes from TV chefs especially designed for you to freeze for when you want a quick and easy meal. Paul Rankin gives us an Irish Stew, Nigella gives us a Vegetarian Chilli with cornbread topping, James Tanner does a Seafood lasagne with parmesan and parsley crust and Nick Nairn does a quick chicken cassoulet.
Its the Weekend
Is a section of relaxed entertaining and cooking for pleasure. There is a recipe for 7hour lamb, it supposedly takes 7 hours in the oven but only 7mins preparation by the cook! I dont think I will be trying this one. There is also recipes for an Indian supper, I am not a big fan of Indian food but the Laddoos which are a type of Indian-style fudge made from condensed milk and coconut sound really nice.
They encourage you to start preparing for Christmas and there are recipes for Mulled Wine Christmas Cake, Christmas Pudding and Mince Pies.
A different chef each month gives advice and recipes. This month Gordon Ramsay does a mix and match supper. There are 3 steaks, 3 sauces and 3 side dishes for you to choose which ones you prefer. He starts by giving advice on how to choose your steak, the preparation, cooking and the recipes. There are photos as well as clear written instructions.
In this section the magazine gives advice on healthy food and how to improve your diet. We are given foods to boost our immune system and how to make your lunch more healthy.
This month there is a £2 voucher off a box of Thorntons Continental chocolates.
This selection gives a review of the different food programmes on television this month and a selection of the recipes from them.
I love food and enjoy cooking (well most of the time) and I like trying new things so thats why I enjoy this magazine. It gives you inspiration to try different recipes. I like the fact that there is so much to choose from, there are quick meals for during the week and more special meal ideas for dinner parties. I think for £2.90 you get a lot of recipe ideas for your money. I have in the past bought recipe books and only made one or two things from them but here you have only spent £2.90 and get so many recipes, even if you only make one or two meals from it its worth the money. So I think if you want good food then get Good Food.
© AJ26 2005