Taste of Home has come a long way since its magazine launched in 1993. The reader-generated media brand is right at home in today’s crowdsourcing world and bills itself as the world’s largest recipe swap. The publication has grown its print and digital audience to more than 12 million cooks and food lovers. The staff editors of Taste of Home, with the help of its 200 field editors, have compiled The Taste of Home Cookbook, which features more than 1,000 family recipes submitted by family cooks from across Taste of Home’s platforms, and the fifth edition of its cookbook comes out this fall.
“These are the dishes that today’s family cooks can’t get enough of, and now everyone can enjoy them at their own tables,” says Mark Hagen, executive editor, print and digital books at Trusted Media Brands. “We’ve added new takes on doz- ens of classic family favorites, making these all-time greats better suited to today’s busy households. For instance, the recipe for Great-Grandma’s Italian Meatballs comes together in about 30 minutes, includes step-by-step photos, and offers tips to make preparation as easy as possible. We’ve also redesigned this edition. Now, every chapter begins with a quick review of the foods at hand. Which cut of beef is best for which recipes? How many appetizers do you need for your party? What are the secrets to perfect pie crusts?”
The 638-page book provides meal ideas for the whole year, with plenty to go around for every kind of cook and eater. Sturdy everyday staples such as Golden Chicken Potpie are balanced with healthy options such as Minty Watermelon-Cucumber Salad, and the tantalizing desserts include Black Forest Chocolate Cake. The recipes are organized into easy-to-browse categories— Fast Fix, Five Ingredients, Freeze It—presented with nutritional information and large colorful photos in a five-ring, stay-put binder.
This year’s edition features a new chapter dedicated to recipes that employ Instant Pots and air fryers. “Our readers absolutely love these two kitchen devices, and they come to Taste of Home for new ways to use them,”Hagen says. “As such, we’re happy to offer dozens of delicious recipes for appetizers and desserts as well as entrees and side dishes made easy.” Another new addition to this year’s edition is a feature called Reader Raves. “These are quotes from home cooks who actually prepared the recipes and posted their reviews at tasteofhome.com,” Hagen says, adding that the “callouts even suggest ingredient substitutions or ways to round out specific entrées.”
The publisher is also releasing a new edition of Taste of Home: Grandma’s Favorites in October. The collection of 475 recipes for classic comfort foods includes nine complete menus to support those who are hoping to streamline their meal planning. The editors sought heritage recipes for comfort foods that people enjoyed when they were growing up, to stimulate readers’ nostalgia. Think roasted chicken, juicy meatloaf, bubbling casseroles, pot roast, and pecan pie. “The dishes really needed to be something Grandma would serve,” Hagen says. “They needed to have that vintage flair people are looking for. We ended up with a very comprehensive cookbook of traditional dishes for today’s home cooks.”
True to form, Taste of Home turned to social media and its online audience to source classic recipes for the book. The challenge was to balance the classics with contemporary nutritional concerns, and the recipes are updated with calorie and carb counts, fat grams, and sodium milligrams. “Now everyone can enjoy the hearty goodness of Grandma’s most popular recipes while understanding their caloric intake,” Hagen says.
Today’s cooks can turn to these pages to find an entire meal plan in one place, inviting them to replicate Grandma’s chicken dinner with spinach salad and dinner rolls and cap it off with their favorite cheesecake. “These are the meals Grandma served,” Hagen says, “the Sunday dinners, the holiday buffets, and hearty meals from the old country,” and now cooks can preserve those traditions with a nod to nutrition, modern cooking methods, and time-saving strategies.