Thursday, 17 November 2011

Aside #17: Shout-Out to the best Food Blogging Sites

November 2011

As part of the SmartCooks portion of the blog, I've scoured most of the major foodie sites and have a list of about 12 sites (of hundreds) that I like the best.  There's an incredible range of people food blogging, either as an outlet or hobby or because they are serious chefs being paid by advertisers to write up their recipes and post them.  They have in common:  a love of making and eating good, healthy, nutritious food. 

Here's my top 5 web blogs:

Smitten Kitchen

Written from a tiny kitchen in New York, Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen blog is about five years old and has gained a large set of followers. 

Deb is a freelance writer/photographer who has received numerous awards for best food weblog and best photography.  She is currently working on "The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook", to be released in Fall 2012.  She was recently a guest columnist in Martha Stewart's 'Food' app (more on that later).  She has hundreds of recipes on her site, all indexed from 'Sweets' and 'Seasonal Favourites' to 'Drinks' and 'Disasters'.  She is a fabulous writer and photographer, with a real ability to mix family anecdotes and recipes in one creative posting. 

Her predominant entries are food but she also apparently loves bourbon, which just happens to be my Husband's favourite Drink of Choice.  On May 14, 2011, she posted a recipe for Vermontucky Lemonade and I decided we needed to taste-test it for Husband's July birthday.  He and friends had a fine time polishing off the pitcher I made up.  She also has a wicked Tart Marg that she calls a "day-erasing, stress-obliterating margarita".  Cheers!


Food 52

Another unique food blog is Food 52, written by two New York Times writers, Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs (creators of the "The Essential New York Times Cookbook")

The idea behind the Food 52 weblog was to create a 'buzzing' place for people to talk about food; it took 52 weeks to create Food 52 weblog.  It's wildly successful.  They have a thriving community of home cooks, encouraged through contests, a cooking 'hotline' and promotion of recipes that are submitted to them for vetting. It's sophisticated and high quality.   

They love to work by themes, such as the 'Best Appetizer' or 'Best Dessert' and post the winning recipes.  Their website is choc-a-bloc full of recipes and tips, all done with exceptional writing and photography.  They love to promote aspiring young cooks.  They even have a Cooking Manifesto that includes promotion of cooking as the centrepiece of the family experience.   

Recently they released both a new cookbook (pictured above) based on the recipes submitted to them on the Food 52 weblog and an ipad app featuring their best recipes. 

I have many favourites from their recipe list, and find their ideas for simple, straightforward, uncomplicated dinners among the best I've found. 

About a month ago, for example, I cooked the recipe from the winner of 'The Best Holiday Roast Contest'.  The Porcini and Rosemary Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Port Wine Sauce was as good as posted.  It definitely deserved to be the winner.  Yummmm....

Martha Stewart The Everyday Food Blog 

I know. I know.  But if I'm looking for easy, classic, low-calorie (mostly), gluten-free, quick recipes for dinner or menu ideas, Martha is it.  Recent sample of entries:  "Roasted Salmon with Lemon Relish (below), Crispy Apricot Pork Chops , Roast Beef with Cabbage, Squash and Carrots .  It's all wholesome and good food. 

But where Martha Stewart really, really shines is the Ipad app version of her Food magazine.  It defines 'cutting edge', with the highest quality cooking videos, interactive recipes, and special effects like lights winking on a tree etc.  It's a treat to download the monthy magazine (ok, that part takes awhile) and spend an hour going through it.  There are just so many quick tips, creative ideas, and interesting columnists (like Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen). 

There are only a handful of magazines apps in general and food ones in particular.  Her company is hands-down the trend-setter for wireless mobile app technology.

Vegan Yum Yum and Kalyn's Kitchen 

The fourth spot is actually a tie between two vegetarian food blogs.  The first is Vegan Yum Yum , written by a 20s something named Lolo who has her own cookbook (left, also just released), has won Best Blog of the Year awards and was a guest on Martha Stewart's show to promote her sidelines of cupcake making and knitting (sigh).  Her photography is as amazing as her ability to pick wonderful recipes, like Spîcy Lemon Pepper Pasta with Broccoli or Avocado Wasabi Salad  (pictured below).  

She has been voted as best vegetarian weblog (among hundreds of competitors) and has thousands of followers.  And she's not even 30 years old yet.

The other vegetarian favourite is Kalyn's Kitchen, a home-cooking blog.  Kalyn shares recipes that combine her love for delicious food with a commitment to healthy, lower-glycemic eating. She bases her recipes on the South Beach diet that helped her lose 40 pounds a few years back.  She too has been blogging for a number of years. 

I cook her recipes all the time, especially on Meatless Mondays, which the food blogs are all promoting.  I do more than one day a week meatless and find plenty of excellent offerings on her site. Barely Blanched Broccoli Salad with Feta and Fried Almonds is typical of the recipes on her site.  She is also a skilled photographer and, at times, posts an entry on her marvellous back garden with its rows of vegetables. 

My New Roots  

The newest of the blogs that I like is written and created on Bloggers, the site that I use.  Its focus is more on picking healthy choices to eat every day.  Its recipes are mostly vegetarian but it varies.  There's not much about the author but she puts a lot of work into the explanations of each recipe. 
There's beautiful photography and creativity associated with recipes like Heart Beet Rawvioli with Pesto Oil .  I will leave you with the cute pix. 
Shout Out to ALL!!!


No comments:

Post a Comment