In the magazine rack
Everyday Food.Martha Stewart's purse-sized magazine will inspire you like no other for everyday cooking. Heavy on the photos and recipes. Good food couldn't look much simpler.
Taste of Home.Full of recipes sent in from readers around the country. It's not fancy, and convenience products are used a lot, but isn't that how we really cook?
Cook's Illustrated.For the scientist-cook in you. Editor Christopher Kimball and his crew exhaustively test recipes and equipment. You want to know the best way to cook a goose? Here's where you should turn.
Cooking Light.Part lifestyle, part cooking guide, all inspirational. The beautiful photos will push you into the kitchen. Plus, all the recipes have less than 30 percent fat.
On the Web
The Internet is loaded with recipes, but how-to-cook websites are not prevalent. We used to love the Food Network site but a redesign has made it infuriatingly slow. The following three sites have helpful information and decent recipes:
www.about.com Interesting food stories plus cooking tips and recipes.
• www.cookandeat.com It's funky and fresh, and just plain fun. If you want to get turned on about cooking, start here.
www.epicurious.com Some of the recipes aren't for beginners, but the videos are worth watching.
Cooking on TV
The Food Network has traded its prime time cooking shows for food entertainment programming. Watch or record Food Network during the daytime to learn how to cook for real. Check the website, www.foodnetwork.com, for shows and times. Many programs are repeated during the week. Some worthy shows:
"How to Boil Water With Tyler Florence."The show is virtually hidden at dawn on Mondays, but it's worth watching (or recording). Since Sara Moulton left the network a few years ago, Florence is the best cooking instructor. Check out Tyler's Ultimate, too.
"Barefoot Contessa With Ina Garten."Her specialty is French bistro cooking, and the former caterer's food always looks delicious and the recipes are doable. She likes to measure and so should you.
"Cooking for Real With Sunny Anderson." Her uncomplicated approach to good cooking is a lesson for us all.
"Rescue Chef With Danny Boome." Just like Florence in his old "Food 911," Boome travels the country to help home cooks solve problems. You may find your own solutions here.
"Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger."The nutritionist/host demonstrates how to prepare healthful food that tastes and looks good.
For basic cooking instruction on PBS, we like "Everyday Food" inspired by the Martha Stewart magazine, "America's Test Kitchen" and "Joanne Weir's Cooking Class." They definitely have the quiet-voice PBS vibe, but there's a lot to be learned here. Check out more Joanne Weir at cookingclass. joanneweir.com.
JANET K. KEELER St. Petersburg TimesWhen you have the utensils and have stocked the pantry, it's time for some "how-to."