I HAVE A LITTLE problem. I love cookbooks, and cooking magazines. The piles mount; something has to give, my husband says. Do I really need all this paper in order to cook? Well, no, I don’t, I guess, but cookbooks make me feel at home, bring me solace, and inspire me. Thankfully, the sisterhood and brotherhood of passionate cooks I’ve met the last three years in the food blogosphere provide a glimmer of light at the end of this paper tunnel. Meet my most recent culinary muses:
It all started for me with this 2006 Los Angeles Times article, and the then-anonymous blog The Wednesday Chef. One site led to another, and down the cooking blog rabbit hole I went. Here are some places you’ll find me in the comments:
Paige’s Favorite Foodie Blogs
Luisa started my food-blog love affair, and I cook her recipes constantly. Since I, too, have overflowing files of newspaper recipe clippings, I found her concept (cooking through those piles of clippings, and rating the results) totally brilliant, but her writing kept me coming back. She introduced me to the no-knead bread craze (back in the days when I was still eating wheat regularly–sigh) and I love her writing about Italy, ingredients, the recipes that work and the ones that don’t…everything about her voice and her cooking enthusiasms just charms me.
I don’t need to tell you about Shauna, do I? You’ve already read the profile of her over in the TSP Galleries; you’ve visited her glorious site; maybe you’ve even baked some cupcakes. Me, I’ve wracked my brain to figure out how I found Shauna, but no matter the path, I’m so glad I landed on her virtual doorstep. Even if you don’t avoid gluten (and I do) her recipes work and her joyful attitude is one I long to emulate.
Another gluten-free site (also dairy- and sugar-free) with delicious recipes and beautiful presentation. Oh, and a beautiful author, to boot. One look at Elana, and you think, “Damn! I want to eat that way, too!” Elana’s also a personal hero of mine because she convinces her kids to eat the healthful food she prepares. Try her recipes, and you’ll see why. One new dish I’m planning to try is her Roasted Chicken with Olives and Prunes.
Possibly the most gorgeous of my fave food blogs, this site by Heidi Swanson is also a destination for healthful recipes. I found the site searching for recipes using soba noodles, a favorite of my husband’s. I found this recipe, and never looked back. When I want a super-healthy, vegetable-intensive main dish, 101 Cookbooks is the first place I look.
See? I promised a brother in this group. I don’t know this writer’s real name, and sadly, he has not posted this year. I’m hoping he’ll come back, because I love his meandering way of writing, the way every recipe is a story and then some. I found him searching for information about legendary food writer Laurie Colwin and her take on the near-mythical Black Cake, and kept coming back for his wit, and his palate. Dig around, and you’re bound to find a delicious dish wrapped up in a delectable, hysterical anecdote.
Here’s another blogger who leaves something to be desired when it comes to consistency-of-posting, but I love TTT’s sweetly snarky wit, succinct and honest cookbook reviews, and the fact that once upon a time, she used to live right here, in the exact remote part of the country where I live now, and she now lives in Venice Beach, where, once upon a time, I used to live. There’s some kind of poetry there, I have to believe. That, and the star of her kitchen is a bright red Aga, the stove of dreams. What’s not to love?
The only corporate blog in this list, Mark Bittman’s Bitten is just lovely, and totally useful. I cook from it all the time, because it is exactly in tune with my cooking sensibilities: Use fresh and local whenever possible; be as healthy as you can; experiment with flavor; err on the side of simplicity. I love Bittman’s columns for the New York Times, most of his cookbooks, and this eminently useful blog.
My buddy Hugh Garvey is a real-deal foodie, an editor at Bon Appétit, a super hipster, and a proud papa of two cute kids. All of these characteristics inform this site, in which he and his writing partner, Matthew Yeomans, chronicle the culinary exploits of adventurous eaters with kids along for the ride. Gastrokid mercifully doesn’t fall into the icky “hide the vegetables in the brownies” trap, and thus offers recipes that adults and kids can try without cringing.
This blog holds a special place in this list and in my affections, because it’s the first food blog I discovered because of The Sister Project. Marilyn came commenting, I clicked back over to her site, and fell in love. A professional baker, Marilyn’s also a fantastic writer, whose stories about food and cooking are deeply personal and instantly relatable. She’s got her own sister stories to tell, too, some of which will make you laugh; others will break your heart. But with so much comfort food on offer (check out the four sisters’ versions of noodle kugel) Marilyn can make you smile through the tears. She even draws beautifully. I think I want to be Marilyn when I grow up; I definitely want to bake like her.
Would you care to nominate someone special for number 10? Let me know!