April 16, 2008

Recipes for Busy People

I'm not quite sure what to make of this Kraft Food & Family Simple Shortcuts (2008, 34 pages) recipe magazine that I received in the mail last month. This new magazine was sent instead of the regular Food & Family Spring 2008 issue.

It's for "time-challenged" people who want to get "food on the table fast" (using Kraft brands, of course).

The magazine features "easy directions and pictures."

That may be an understatement.

I have all kinds of cookbooks, recipe pamphlets and cooking magazines around here, both old and new, but this one is a first. It really reminds me of the beginning cookbooks for children. Except this is for adults. That's the scary part.

I'm a little short on time myself, but I'm not sure this dumbed down recipe format is the answer.

The standard ingredient lists found in most recipes are absent here; instead, there are pictures of the ingredients along with little plus signs in case we don't know what to do with the ingredients once we've identified them.

I enjoy pictures accompanying recipes when they're presented in a good way, like over at Pioneer Woman Cooks. Her recipe presentations manage not to insult my intelligence and it's rather interesting to see how someone else does things in the kitchen. (I also share her lack of local access to a real grocery store--to this end, I admire her achievement in making lemonade out of lemons. I usually just develop a stomachache when I have to go into my local stores.)

And then there's the matter of the dishes resulting from the recipes in the magazine -- like this one for Speedy Tuna Casserole.

Will anyone actually prepare and eat this?

This magazine is a keeper, for sure. Only not for cooking purposes. All those little pictures of Kraft products are a great example of consumer branding. I'm happy to add that to my collection.


At 3:36 PM CDT, Blogger T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I think they "borrowed" this format from Real Simple magazine which has a feature called something like "fake it, don't make it," or something like that. It adds a variety of convenience products together in the same way. Only, somehow the Real Simple recipes look like they may yield different results.

At 9:00 AM CDT, Blogger Kathy said...

I haven't looked at Real Simple in a while--I'll have to check out their version. Their recipes probably don't exclusively feature Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Cool Whip as the main ingredients either. :-)

At 2:17 AM CDT, Blogger Rochelle R. said...

I gave my husband A Man, A Can, A Plan and it has the photo + format. There are also basic instructions like this: "Dump all the ingredients plus 1 cup water into a skillet. Bring to a boil". That is about his style of cooking and I am sure he is not alone :).

At 8:31 AM CDT, Blogger Kathy said...

Rochelle - I guess these type recipes are more prevalent than I thought. Maybe I had better take a slower browse through the new cookbooks at the bookstore!


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