Cooking Light

I can’t remember when my Mom first subscribed to Cooking Light, but her pile of ripped out recipe pages has been a fixture in our home for as long as I can remember.  When I received the news that the magazine was folding, my mind flashed back on so many small moments.  My mom sorting through her pile for dinner inspiration, me snapping a picture as I pulled the newest addition from the mailbox outside Joey and I’s first solo apartment, suggesting a subscription to my mother-in-law, many holiday meals based on recipes from the CL archive and far too many weeknight dinners that kept us fed both literally and creatively.  Would I be who I am without this magazine?

I’m not sure I can express how much this magazine has given me, from techniques, to tips, to recipes that I know I’ll cook for the rest of my life.  It has, of course, given me many flops.  Dinners that felt very cooking light and left me wanting twice as much sauce or seasoning as listed, but it has given me far more successes that kept me passionate about cooking and a believer in food that is both delicious and good for you.  As I flipped open the final issue, I felt a sadness so deep.  When I posted a picture of it on Instagram, I got responses from friends and family, whom I didn’t even know were subscribers, that let me know they were sad too.  This is a heartbreaking goodbye to a magazine that meant a lot to a lot of people.

I wanted to share some of our favorite recipes here, as a tribute and I hope, if you’re a Cooking Light enthusiast as well, you’ll share yours.  If we all keep cooking these recipes, Cooking Light won’t ever really be gone.

Simple Flaky Crab Cakes

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Creamy Butternut, Blue Cheese and Walnut Cavatappi

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Beet Wellingtons

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Black Eyed Peas and Cornmeal Dumplings

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Butter-Roasted Carrots

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Fettuccine with Tomato-Cream Sauce

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Cranberry-Almond Broccoli Salad

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Orzo Salad with Spicy Buttermilk Dressing

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Grainy Mustard Brussels Sprouts

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Orecchiette with Peas, Shrimp & Buttermilk-Herb Dressing

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Winter Salad with Roasted Beets & Citrus Reduction Dressing

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Salted Caramel Brownies

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Hasselback Apples

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Make This Now: New Summer Favorites

Hi, hi!  I’m currently in a stage where I only want to try new recipes and that’s okay.  Old favorites can wait till I feel inspired to make them again — lookin at you, Summer Squash and Basil Pasta! — and in the meantime, I’ll be delighting in burrito bowls, grilled chicken, punchy salad dressings, creamy desserts and elevated BLTs.  I really hope you find something new to try here and feel as inspired by it as I did!

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Spicy Black Bean Burrito Bowls with Cashew + Hemp Seed Chipotle Sauce

If you have black beans already cooked and waiting in the freezer (or heck, just a can of beans in the pantry), this recipe is such a breeze to make!  We took it up a notch by making Cilantro-Lime Rice and assembled with the beans, corn, salsa, cabbage slaw, cilantro, avocado and most importantly, THAT CHIPOTLE SAUCE, this was damn delicious.  I worship at the shrine of Illegal Pete’s but at first bite, I was like “Illegal Pete’s who?”  It was that good!

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Peruvian-Style Spatchcock Chicken with Creamy Cilantro Sauce

I pledge allegiance to the recipes of Jeff Mauro!  The directions for this chicken tell you how to do it in the oven but look, the last thing I need in my air conditioner-less home, is to have the oven on for an hour so we made this on the grill — just put the cast-iron straight on there — and it worked perfectly!  Also, it tasted incredible.  Super juicy, super flavorful and really extra good dipped in that cilantro sauce.

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Corn & Chickpea Bowl with Miso-Jalapeño Tahini

Not to dismiss this salad, because it is very good, but the shining star here is the miso-jalapeño tahini dressing.  It’s flavor-packed, creamy, and very ginger-forward.  So if you’re not that person just straight eating the pile of fresh ginger that comes with your sushi, maybe this isn’t for you.  But I AM that person, so I found this dressing to be just incredible.  It’s such a bold and bright note to contrast with the rich goat cheese and avocado in this salad and Joey and I both really really loved it, so we hope you do too!

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No-Churn Ice Cream

Raise your hand if your house is tiny and you just do not have room for yet another kitchen appliance.  I am raising my hand high.  Even though an ice cream maker sounds fun, it’s really a question of where I’m going to store it.  So, when I saw a recipe for no-churn ice cream, I was VERY VERY EXCITED.  I didn’t even know this was an option.  Turns out, you just have to make some whipped cream, fold it into some sweetened condensed milk, toss in some mix-in and let the whole thing chill for a few hours and you are rewarded with thee absolute creamiest ice cream I’ve EVER tasted.  The recipe post includes lots of flavor combination suggestions but I’m here to tell you mini chocolate chips and peppermint extract is DELIGHTFUL.

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Egg-in-a-Nest BLT Sandwich

I’m hesitant to share this recipe because, well, it’s a BLT.  But it’s better than a BLT because there’s also an egg cooked into the bread!  What a perfect mashup!  Also, you basically make a mayo-bacon guacamole to spread on the bread and it tastes pretty incredible.  Joey and I were very impressed by what seemed like a quick and easy dinner but ended up tasting like something special.  Also, I was thisclose to buying regular white bread instead of sourdough but am so glad I didn’t because it tasted extra good!

Happy Friday!