Chef Confidential

…every pantry has a story

Magazine Monday…Taste of Home Cooking School

This weeks Magazine is Taste of Home Cooking School two things drew me to this magazine, one was cost love doing this but my job situation isn’t looking any brighter so I need watch costs.  I do buy magazines at a wholesale club so they are discounted between 20 – 30 % the selection is limited so I’ll be branching out.  I also thought it would be interesting to see what was offered in a magazine styled cooking school.

April 11, 2011

Magazine Name: Taste of Home Cooking School


Publisher: Taste of Home Media Group

Issue Number and Date: Spring 2011

Newsstand Cost: 5.99

Number of pages: 82

Pages until contents: 3

Inserts: 1

Pages of Advertising

Full: 5

Partial: 7

Types of Advertising

Food: 5

Other: 8

Articles: 0

Issue Features: 4

Recipes: 140

Picture count article or recipe related: 123

Let’s just say it’s quaint, very basic and not very school like. The magazine is broken down into four areas, Readers Favorites, Cooking School Spotlight, Simple Solutions and Entertaining. I was expecting to see some technique or equipment suggestions because on the cover it says”pro secrets” but there are none. Ok that is not completely true each page has a sidebar of tips and I use the term tips loosely. Some of them were good simple common sense things, while some hinged on the “we need to fill space” side. One that was particularly awful was the idea of buying chicken breasts in bulk, ok sounds logical enough here’s where they lose me.  Bake all the chicken breasts then cube them and put them in the freezer to use in future casseroles and quick suppers. Uh not “winning”, I’d like my chicken to be flavored fresh with the recipes ingredients not watery and rubbery floaters 

It’s pretty much just a big honking collection of recipes from prior issues of Taste of Home Magazine repackaged into “school”. There is a picture in the beginning of the magazine of “Culinary Specialists”, but they don’t delve into what type of credentials they have but they are all wearing Chef coats. Two of them have brief half page contributions which were more like Bio’s then anything else. On the cover they are touted as “Jamie’s party time saver” and “Michelle’s creative recipe rescue”.  Well let me save you six bucks, Jamie’s party time saver is setting the table the night before, and Michelle’s creative recipe rescue was when a cake stuck in a pan and she had to piece it together. Culinary Specialist indeed I’m guessing it was Jamie that wrote the tip on page 65 to avoid a brunch time crunch set the coffee up the night before.

The recipes are all simple and easy to prepare for the most part they use fresh ingredients each recipe has a little blurbs from a reader.  I was really impressed with the lack of advertising when I first flipped through it, they camouflage it very well.  I can only say for this issue, but they have a replaced a bulk of the reader comments with advertiser’s names Weight Watchers, Hungry Jack, West Bend in the cooking school spotlight section.  You go from ‘Roux Brannigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania’ to, ‘Basic American Foods, Walnut Creek, California’ AKA Hungry Jack Premium Hashbrown Potatoes, which is bold font in the recipe below. There is also one hotel giving travel tips on several pages small unobtrusive little squares. So it’s a trade off for sure very little advertising more space for recipes which is why we buy a cooking magazine. I just wonder if the recipe is in the magazine because it produces a quality product or that it’s revenue.

Unlike previous magazines there really isn’t anything in here enticing me to make it, the quality of the photography is also low-grade. The real kicker is that this was the most expensive newstand price magazine at $5.99, you get what you pay for certainly does not apply in this case. The entire cooking school spotlight section was full of recipes with advertiser’s processed ingredients how is that teaching someone how to cook?

2 comments on “Magazine Monday…Taste of Home Cooking School

  1. Carol J. Garvin
    April 12, 2011

    Thanks so much for visiting my ‘Careann’s Musings’ blog today via Freshly Pressed. I love meeting new people here in cyberspace. As a writer I keep my blog’s focus mostly on writing, but I do love to cook, too. I’m one who rips recipes out of my everyday assortment of magazines but I’ve never bought a magazine devoted totally to cooking, so found your post very enlightening.


    • mb
      April 13, 2011

      Thank you for taking the time to stop by, I’m glad you enjoyed the content.


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This entry was posted on April 11, 2011 by in Reviews and tagged , , , .

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