When Taste of Home magazine launched in 1993, no one could have imagined the revolution it would spur in food publications, or that its model of reader-generated content would anticipate today's crowdsourcing. Taste of Home now boasts an audience of more than 12 million print and digital readers—cooks and food lovers of all kinds. To celebrate the brand's 25th anniversary, the staff editors of Taste of Home, with the help of its 200 field editors, have compiled Taste of Home Favorites: Delicious Recipes Shared Across Generations, a cookbook packed with the most-loved family recipes from across Taste of Home's platforms.
Taste of Home is cooking content by and for food lovers. "These are the foods we make for our own families; the dishes we take to barbecues and block parties; and the foods we serve on busy weeknights and holiday menus," says Mark Hagen, deputy editor of Taste of Home Books. Though all Taste of Home recipes are submitted by real home cooks (often as entries into online contests), before being published, they're carefully vetted, cooked, and taste-tested in the Taste of Home test kitchen and in the field editors' homes. The editors make sure the recipes meet the brand's criteria: they must utilize common ingredients, be easy to prepare, and be delicious.
To compile Taste of Home Favorites, "We reached out to the entire Taste of Home staff—because we eat everything here!—to see what the staff's favorite dishes were," Hagen says. "We also asked our field editors for their all-time favorites, and we looked at which recipes received the highest marks on tasteofhome.com. We included a grand prize contest winner from each of the last 25 years, as well as dishes that generated the most letters to the editor."
A lifetime of meals waits between these covers. There's plenty for every kind of cook and eater: sturdy everyday recipes (Meat Loaf from the Slow Cooker); slight twists on the everyday (Cobb Salad Sub); healthy, though no less tantalizing, options (Warm Apple and Pistachio Spinach Salad); and utterly irresistible desserts (Salted Caramel Cappuccino Cheesecake). The recipes, organized into 12 sections, including "Best of Taste of Home Holiday," "Five-Ingredient Favorites," and "Slow-Cooked Wonders," are all clearly presented, and the photos are utterly mouthwatering.
Hagen says the book is packed with his own "go-to recipes": "The Caprese Salad Kabobs from the five-ingredient section of the cookbook are outstanding. I had to make sure Chicken Alfredo Lasagna appeared in the Comfy Casseroles chapter, because it's an all-time favorite at my house. I also love Rustic Nut Bars from the Grand Prize Winners area of the book. They're so buttery and impressive-looking, the perfect addition to a cookie platter."
Alongside the new book, Taste of Home is rolling out an updated logo. The brand has grown over the years from a print magazine to encompass a bustling website that publishes 650 pieces of digital content per month and boasts 1.5 billion annual visits; a book imprint; and digital products and special editions. Now, Hagen says, Taste of Home is moving into new areas: "We're also planning live events to bring our editorial content to life, and we're exploring television programming and expanded video production. We'll be branding merchandise with plans to launch cookware, bakeware, and cooking gadgets and accessories." All of this remains rooted in the brand's founding principle: real recipes shared by real home cooks.
Hagen and the Taste of Home editors are excited to share this silver anniversary with the tremendous community that has grown around the brand. "We've been helping families create heartwarming moments around the dinner table for 25 years," Hagen says. "Taste of Home recipes help readers create memories over mouthwatering meals. That's truly something to celebrate."