Spring is in the air—whether Mother Nature will admit to it or not aka GO AWAY POLAR VORTEX—and with every hint of spring like weather I get the accompanying compulsion to clean out the old and bring in the new.
I’m often asked about new blogs I’ve discovered, who I’m reading now, and where to find inspiration through great recipes and beautiful food photography.
So on the first Friday of each month I’m sharing the very abbreviated list of which food blogs are flipping my lid. And because I love sharing these tidbits of goodness, let’s ring in March with some amazing inspiration, and leave the lions and lambs to the lore of our kid’s riddles and rhymes.
It must be awards season—or so I’ve heard—and it isn’t just J-Law who’s in the running.
Food bloggers are also getting their fair dues. See who got honors at The Kitchn and Better Homes and Gardens and if you want to keep the awards flowing, Saveur Magazine is currently compiling their list of nominations for their annual Saveur Best Food Blog Awards. You can enter your favorites noms here.
Following is the short list of 5 food blogs I’m following now. Some might be more well known, some could be flying under the radar. Either way, they’re spots on the web you don’t want to miss.
And if you missed February’s 5 Food Blog’s I’m Following Now list, get it here.
Cookie and Kate
“I always feel like I’m experiencing that 101 Dalmations scene where all of the dogs match their owners, remember that one?…I suppose Cookie and I match, too. I will shamelessly admit that we both have great hair and it doesn’t hurt that I’m always dressed in black or gray.”
For any of you interested in healthy, whole food cooking, Cookie and Kate has most likely been on your blog roll list for a while. If you aren’t already fan, now is the time to get in line and join the rest of us who are.
Since starting in April of 2010, Kate—or better known to her friends as Kathryne—with her 4-legged side kick, Cookie, have shared amazingly delicious vegetarian, whole-food cooking recipes and lest not neglect her grand selection of cocktails to toast to them.
I first met Kathryne as many of us bloggers do, online. I immediately felt a kindred spirit to her thanks to our common backgrounds as magazine art directors. Lucky for me, I also have had the chance to share a glass of wine, or two, with her in person. To talk about just about everything and anything from SEO tips and trick to dating crushes on and even to ask her to guest edit a story in FoodieCrush magazine for me. Which she did with sophisticated aplomb, natch.
So what’s my favorite part of Cookie and Kate?
It could be the occasional appearances and many references to her four legged partner in cooking crime, but more likely it’s thanks to her dedication to popularizing the style of food she eats in such a way that you don’t feel all hippy-dippy-vegetarian-get-out-the-patchouli sort of way. Her recipes are totally approachable and appealing even to a meat eater like me. It’s almost enough to make a meat eater go veg. Which I’m sure could be her ultimate goal.
Her quippy writing style always has me entertained and while she isn’t one to pour her heart out in so many words, I always feel like I get to know her just a little bit better with every post. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that her photography leaves me lapping at my computer screen. Okay, I concede. Who needs meat with loveliness like that?
Bonus: Kathryne just debuted a new look for Cookie and Kate. Hop over and take a tour of her new digs.
Fresh Cranberry Margarita
Kathryne calls this her “pink kryptonite” and with good measure. I’d be happy to clink a glass or two with her.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Barley
There’s not much that can move me off center of saying I never eat Brussels sprouts, but with recipes like this, I can feel a tidal shift coming on.
Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili with Avocado
Earthy, healthy and landing squarely in the midline of spicy and sweet. Chili topped with avocado and with more recipes like this, we’ll soon have the Clashing of the Spoons.
Bijouxs Little Kitchen Jewels
“The stew is clearly of the period, frugally using just one flavor note, that of the celery grown in the garden, including the tops. As in many families, there were no formal written recipes, no measurements, and as my Mother tried to write this recipe for me she started with one line, “Simmer chicken with celery until tender.” Ok, then?”
As a former personal chef, Lynn definitely knows how to cook. As a former graphic designer, she also knows great style. And that my friends, is what makes the blog Bijouxs Little Kitchen Jewels one of my favorite, love-to-look-at-and-get-lost-in food blogs.
I became a serious devoteé when I found myself with a handful of carrots and a basket of beets and at a loss for inspiration of what in the heck to do with the assortment.
A quick web search and I landed on Lynn’s lovely blog, where she encourages readers to take her recipes and, “add your own touches to make it your own Bijouxs!” Of which inspired me to create this favorite recipe with the hopes I could even possibly come close to her original.
But what keeps me coming back is her simplicity in both styling and prose because it’s often not how much you say, it’s more about how you say it. That, combined with her ability to elevate a bulb of cauliflower into an artfully photographed dish, is an art in and of itself. In my opinion, Lynn balances the blogging act perfectly.
Bonus: Don’t miss Lynn’s Bijoux Family and Friends Cookbook, an inspired collection of recipes that are of course, are beautifully masterminded and designed with inimitable style.
Quick Miso Glazed Salmon
Whether it’s dinner for a table of one or supper for two, one of my all-time fave dishes, Miso Glazed Salmon, is so simple yet so elegant on anybody’s plate.
Meyer Lemon Pudding with Blueberries
I’m a huge fan of Meyer lemons so when this pudding popped up with Lynn’s description of: “lightly baked pudding that yields a soft crust with a creamy lemon filling.” I was immediately sold on the idea twice.
Farmhouse Chicken and Dumplings
A staple recipe that came down the line of family members to her mother, and with a nod to her mother’s no-need-for-a-recipe style of cooking, Lynn takes a humble dish of chicken to a whole new level.
Get more of Bijouxs Little Kitchen Jewels
The Yellow Table
“My dream is happening NOW. This blog, this journey, the cooking, the writing, the food-styling, and most of all the relationships I’m building along the way – this IS my dream. I’m living it, and I want to be present enough to enjoy the process.”
Anna had a dream. Anna had a goal. And very, very soon, Anna will have a cookbook. But not a cookbook where she got an agent and a publisher paid her an advance to go out and create recipes and test recipes and take pictures and then promised they’d edit it, print it and deliver it to hungry little kitchen hands.
Nope. Anna isn’t depending on anyone else to make her dream come true. Anna is doing it all on her own and taking her readers along for the ride.
The Yellow Table blog documents the creation of this cookbook (in a section she calls The Cookbook Diaries) that is very nearly complete. Alongside gorgeous imagery by her sidekick / contributing photog Signe, recipes and stories come to life and are shared in Anna’s conversational, easy going style. I just love how she writes and I love being the voyeur.
Ever the party girl, Anna and her yellow table (yep, there really is one) also plays host to a dinner parties section giving tons of inspiration so that my faraway dreams of simply creating an anytime brunch, lunch or dinner can come true. Anna spells it all out and takes us all along on her dining adventures and proves that enjoying good food with friends and family just. isn’t. that. hard.
Bonus: Don’t miss her intro video that explains it all. It’s pretty much the cutest.
Heirloom Tomato Breakfast Casserole
Anna digs deep into her Southern roots and casts her usual kale and quinoa cravings aside for this cheesy, egg breakfast bake. What’s not to love?
Favorite Citrus Salad
I agree with Anna in wondering: Why is it that the darkest winter days produce the juiciest, jeweled fruit. It’s an answer we may never know. At least we have this salad.
Favorite Turkey Spinach Lasagna
Packed with veggies and lightened up on the sauce, this home-cooked, comfort-food dinner is still a serious winner.
Get more of The Yellow Table
“In addition to the meal, I love to start “cocktail hour” with a special cocktail. Holiday dinners are just like a fun dinner party in most ways, so a signature drink is always appreciated.”
There’s a misnomer that happens when you meet Heather in person. See, Heather in pictures is a very, very pretty woman. I mean, really pretty. And it’s staggering how much even more she so she is in real life. The perfect round bun to accent the lined eyes, the perfect skin (um, can I get your beauty secret and please don’t tell me it’s genetics) and a perfectly curated wardrobe to match.
But there’s another side to Heather that’s in full force on her blog, Heather Christo Cooks, and is fields from perfect. Heather possesses a wonderfully unique, carefree flair that few food bloggers possess and one that gives her recipes a specialness that even if another photographer did try to emulate (but who else has such a well-seasoned backdrop?) would simply never compare.
Food is the star here. Far from fussy and hardly pretentious, Heather’s recipes defy the precision her diploma from California’s Le Cordon Bleu ingrained in her. The look and feel of her dishes showcase that there’s no reason to spend hours overworking and overpropping a recipe to make it look fantastically delicious. A toss of herbs here, a dollop of creamy sour cream there, all topped with a drizzle of a little something special and BAM! You have food.
But not just any food. Unctious, totally cravable food. From lobster to asian soups to chocolate hazelnut pancakes (oh, yes she did), I not only love looking at what she creates, but more importantly, I totally yearn to eat every bite of it.
Note: Her daughter was recently diagnosed with severe food allergies, so if you have resources to share, pop over and do so here.
Bonus: If you’re like me and yearn for more of Heather’s style, her cookbook is definitely one to add to your shelves. Get it here.
Chicken Flautas with Creamy Avocado Sauce
While I’ve followed her blog here and there for a long time, this may have been the recipe that made me stand up and take notice. To crawl through her archives and discover what other goodness was lurking within. To simply want to grab one of those fried rolls, dredge it in hot sauced avocado and slurk off in a corner and crunch.
Fried Chicken Cobb Salad
Knowing the value of clearing out the cobwebs and keeping the lb-s in check, Heather still delivers flavor with each home spun with a flair bite.
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes
No, it wasn’t enough to make chocolate cupcakes. With strawberry cream cheese frosting. No. Heather combines the two flavors to create a chocolate covered strawberry topper. Oh how I love her for that.
Get more of Heather Christo
Feasting at Home
“After years of labeling how I eat—going through phases of being vegan, vegetarian, low-carb, gluten free, dairy free, or sugar free—I decided to let go of all the rules and labels and eat more mindfully.”
Long days creating food for others hasn’t dimmed Sylvia’s love of creating delicious dinners at home, or for the readers of her blog aptly named Feasting at Home.
As a the owner of a catering biz with her husband Brian, Sylvia focuses on seasonal ingredients efficiently prepared with seasonal techniques. Summer focuses on garden fresh veggies on the grill where fall and winter call for long braises and comfort food at it’s best.
What I love about Sylvie’s style is her use of worldwide flavors to create home cooked dishes. Harissa, fish sauce, tahini and béchamel all play together like best friends in her cooking playland, creating recipes that don’t simply follow food trends, it creates them.
Man, everything I see on Feasting at Home is crazy inspiring to me.
Crispy Spaghetti Squash Crepes with Mushrooms
The many layers of decadent flavors meld together to create a dish that anyone, including the most ardent meat lover, will love.
Portugese Chicken and Potatoes
This is the type of recipe that convinces me I really need to expand my chicken recipe repertoire. Chiles are involved, yes, but less for spice and more for flavor.
Vietnamese Vermicelli Bowl
I recently shared this recipe on my Facebook page and you guys…you guys REALLY liked it. And shared it. A lot. It’s the style of recipe we eat at least 3 times a week. And reminds me I need to share with you too.
Get more of Feasting at Home
As always the conversation starts in the comments below. I’d love to hear what food blogs you’re reading now, even your own. Leave a link in the comments below.
Next week I’ll be back with my regular Friday Faves link love format. Here’s to a great weekend of cooking and eating. Happy Friday.
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