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The Best of the Blogs

BY SUSAN FILSON

{xtypo_dropcap}D{/xtypo_dropcap}epending on whom you ask, there are anywhere from 60,000 to 100,000 food-related blogs out there on the web. While it is virtually impossible to physically count them all, it’s safe to say that food blogs have taken the internet by storm! Some are dedicated to restaurant and dining reviews and some are bundled in with lifestyle, travel, and magazine sites. However, by far the most popular kind of food blogs are those written by average people.

These online journals reflect the individual voices of their authors, sharing recipes, photos, personal stories, and kitchen adventures, often falling into a particular culinary niche. Some tantalize with their droolworthy photography, while others engage with artfully crafted prose. All are driven by a love affair with food. And all are distinguished by their uniqueness.

Many of these blogs are not authored by professional writers or chefs, but rather by avid home cooks who are passionate about what they do. While it’s by no means comprehensive, below is a list of our picks of some of the best and brightest food blogs we’ve found on the web.

SIMPLY RECIPES

One could safely say that Elise Bauer is the grande dame of food blogging. Her award-winning blog Simply Recipes was started in 2003 as a means of recording her family’s personal recipe collection. Since then, it has blossomed into a foodie gold mine, garnering over 100,000 visitors each day. The site is well organized and uncluttered. The recipes are straightforward and concise. Plus, with thousands of entries to choose from, you can find a recipe for just about anything you ever wanted to cook. simplyrecipes.com

SMITTEN KITCHEN

One visit to Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen blog and you will indeed be hopelessly “smitten” for life. A freelance writer and photographer, Perelman focuses on made-from-scratch, amped-up comfort foods encompassing everything from five-minute side dishes to homemade wedding cakes—all prepared in her tiny, 42-square-foot New York City kitchen. Smitten Kitchen is a feast for the senses with beautifully crafted narratives woven around dreamy pictures of very tempting food. Whether you’re in the mood for a slice of cake or a slice of life, Smitten Kitchen is the place to find it. smittenkitchen.com

USE REAL BUTTER

Use Real Butter, or URB to those in the know, is the brainchild of geologist turned pro photographer Jennifer Yu. Yu is a smart, sassy, take-no-prisoners kind of gal as is reflected in her razor-sharp blog posts, peppered with drop-deadgorgeous photos of everything from perfectly manicured sushi rolls to stunning panoramas of the Colorado Rockies where she resides. userealbutter.com

THE PERFECT PANTRY

Food writer and cooking instructor, Lydia Walshin, blogs and teaches from her real life log cabin in northwest Rhode Island. Her site The Perfect Pantry includes over 250 common pantry ingredients used in everyday cooking, as well as a collection of specialty items needed for a variety of ethnic cuisines. Each post highlights one or more pantry items and features them in a tasty recipe paired with an assortment of fresh veggies, meat, and fish. You can search the site by pantry ingredient, main ingredient, food type, or cuisine. theperfectpantry.com

GLUTEN-FREE GIRL AND THE CHEF

Shauna James Ahern was reborn in 2005. Prior to that, most of her days were spent in a spiral of unexplained, debilitating fatigue, digestive ailments, and frequent depression. She searched doggedly for the cause and found it seven years ago in the form of celiac disease. Ahern started Gluten-Free Girl shortly after her diagnosis to document her journey to wellness and to provide education and support to others. And then there’s the food. GFG is a beautifully written and artfully photographed homage to the pleasures of eating. Ahern and her husband Chef Danny have created a cornucopia of soulsatisfying recipes that celebrate abundance rather than deprivation. glutenfreegirl.com

TARTELETTE

Any chef worth his weight in foie gras will tell you that “we eat with our eyes first.” If that holds true, then a visit to Charleston-based Helene Dujardin’s Tartelette blog is a veritable feast. French-born Dujardin was a pastry chef in a previous life and began blogging to record her dazzling culinary creations for posterity. Tartelette’s immense popularity soon parlayed itself into a brand new career for Dujardin, which includes traveling around the world conducting food styling and photography workshops as well as writing a best-selling how-to book. Winsome stories provide the perfect backdrop for Dujardin’s stunning photography. And her food is exquisite! tarteletteblog.com

KALYN’S KITCHEN

Kalyn’s Kitchen was born out of the need for author Kalyn Denney to keep track of all of the great recipes she discovered and developed during her stint on the South Beach Diet. Denney’s blog represents her commitment to healthy, lower-glycemic eating, and Kalyn’s Kitchen is a haven for readers looking to do the same. You won’t find many carrot sticks and lettuce wedges here, though. The site is chock-full of creative and inspired recipes that are big on flavor but not on fat and calories. kalynskitchen.com

SALTY SEATTLE

The food isn’t the only salty thing about Seattleite Linda Nicholson’s blog. Nicholson is irreverent, outspoken, and at times outrageous. Her food is creative, inspired, and always outside the box. A selfdescribed “foodie fashionista and conscious omnivore who loves slow food and modern gastronomy,” Nicholson is fearless in the kitchen when it comes to combining flavors and culinary techniques—usually while decked out in her favorite pair of Louboutins. saltyseattle.com

POST PUNK KITCHEN

Vegetarian and vegan blogs abound on the internet, but Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Post Punk Kitchen stands out from the rest. The site is cool and slick and filled with recipes for luscious food that most people—vegan or not—would actually want to eat. If yummy sounding dishes like Eggplant Potato Moussaka with Pine Nut Cream, Apple Pie Pancakes, or Berry Creme Tart with Cocoa Olive Oil Crust don’t get you salivating, probably nothing will. theppk.com

HUNTER ANGLER GARDENER COOK

Hank Shaw is the Indiana Jones of food. Other than the occasional hog jowl, Shaw hasn’t purchased commercially sold meat or fish since 2005. He’s all about honest food—the kind you fish, grow, forage, gather, and hunt. And he writes about it in his blog Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, where he focuses solely on food cooked from scratch using only local, seasonal ingredients. In HAGC, you’ll find lots of items made from wild game and lesser-used proteins, like venison, rabbit, dove, boar, and even bear. There’s even a whole section on homemade charcuterie. HAGC isn’t for the culinarily faint of heart, but it’s intelligently written, educational, and entertaining. Shaw has also garnered both a James Beard Award nomination and two IACP wins for Best Blog. honest-food.net


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