Isaac loves to cook. His sister, Evie, gave him a subscription to Cooks Illustrated magazine for Christmas one year and now we're hooked. I'm pretty sure I would never have picked up this magazine from the shelf of a bookstore. But it's great!
Cooks Illustrated covers the science of cooking in a fun, easy-to-follow format. In any given issue, you might learn how to best hard-boil an egg so the yolk stays centered (helpful for deviled eggs), or which brand of stone-ground mustard is the most flavorful, or the science behind aged cheese. Who knows -- all kinds of interesting things. Their test-kitchen cooks tirelessly compare techniques and recipes to arrive at the best methods and flavors. Then they quickly outline their test results and make suggestions in the magazine. Even better, their research and info is completely unbiased - like Consumer Reports for cooking techniques, food, & recipes. The magazine doesn't have any ads and is illustrated in old-fashioned pen-and-ink-drawings, which I love.
Anyhow. Yes, I'm recommending a cooking magazine as a favorite tool for March of the Tools. Next time you're out shopping, stop by the magazine row and take a peek through Cooks Illustrated. I love knowing the 'why' behind a good recommendation. And Cooks Illustrated is full of 'whys' -- and good recommendations.