Adventures in food: Top food blogs

Warning: If you’re not hungry now, you might be by the end of this article. It’s nearly impossible to avoid hunger pangs when browsing through cooking websites, but they’re the perfect places to look for new ideas and tips.

Food blogs aren’t just about the recipes and techniques — they’re about sharing the stories, the discoveries, the humour and often the mistakes behind our love affair with food. (And oh, the photography!)

But where to start? There are thousands of food blogs on the Internet, and everyone has their favourites based on personal preferences and abilities. Even if you’re not a die-hard foodie, this baker’s dozen of food blogs will have you reaching for the pots and pans:

101 Cookbooks. Got a shelf full of unexplored cookbooks and clippings? That was the dilemma facing writer Heidi Swanson when she started this blog. Now she writes about the recipes that come into her life through her cookbook collection, her travels, her friends and family and even her own creations. The posts combine anecdotes and recipes along with tips and substitutions for making them a success.

The Amateur Gourmet. This popular blog proves you can’t take cooking too seriously. When it comes to awards, Adam Roberts gets the nod for humourous writing as well as the reviews, recipes and “how-to” section. His style is a little off-beat — think Condoleezza Rice Pudding with Berries of Mass Destruction — but the recipes won’t require a diploma in cooking.

Canelle et Vanille. It’s not hard to see why this blog is as famous for its photography as its recipes. Inspired by her favourite childhood aromas, this site is the brainchild of Spanish pastry chef and food photographer Aran Goyoaga. It’s easy to get lost in the visuals and the stories, but the detailed recipes shouldn’t be overlooked!

Delicious Days. Named one of Time Magazine‘s “50 coolest websites” and the Times Online’s “50 of the world’s best food blogs”, this blog aims to cover “all things delicious”. Co-bloggers Nicky and Oliver write about a wide variety of topics including recipes, cookbook reviews and travel. The blog hails from Munich, Germany (featuring a section on the city, of course) and draws inspiration from local cuisine (like learning how to make Zwetschgendatschi — a staple fall dessert.)

Gluten-Free Girl and The Chef. After being diagnosed with celiac disease, Shauna James Ahern (now teamed up with her husband, known to readers as “The Chef”) set out to prove that a gluten-free diet doesn’t mean deprivation. The pair offer tips, recipes and recommendations for eating well — and the photographs alone will make your mouth water. There are recipes you’d be happy to prepare for guests, regardless of their dietary needs. (Plus there’s a cookbook on the way!)

Mennonite Girls Can Cook. Looking for a daily dose of deliciousness? Each day, one of the “girls” behind this blog — Anneliese, Betty, Bev, Charlotte, Ellen, Judy, Julie, Kathy Lovella and Marg — share a tried-and-true family favourite (thoroughly explained and tested, of course!) The blog features not just traditional, “from scratch” recipes, but stories of faith and inspiration in their “Bread for the Journey” posts each Sunday. Any money earned from their blog and cookbook of the same name extends their goals of sharing through donations to charities that feed children.

Orangette. Dubbed “the ultimate food lovers’ blog” by the Times Online food expert Lynne Robinson, this blog includes stories and recipes from PhD student-turned-blogger Molly Wizenberg. Her style is engaging and humourous as she discusses home cooking and life at her new restaurant. (Just how provocative is her style? Wizenberg actually met her husband through her blog.)

Picky Palate. If you’ve got fussy eaters in your home — whether they are adults or children — you’ll appreciate the family-friendly recipes on this site. Backed by her cooking contest wins and experience feeding two fussy children, blogger Jenny Flake offers a selection of “dressed up” recipes that are kid-approved but still offer some flare.

Pinch My Salt. Health website awarded this blog with its “Fresh Foods” accolade for a reason. Blogger Nicole Hamaker tackles cooking from scratch using fresh foods and whole ingredients. This navy wife was posted to Sicily for four years and found her culinary calling in the sights and tastes of this renowned city.

Simply Recipes. It’s like peeking into the family recipe box, according to blogger Elise Bauer. In fact, the blog came out of a project she started after her 40th birthday. The goal: to document and share her family’s tried-and-true favourite recipes. Like a good conversation round the family table, Bauer’s readers chime in with their own comments and suggestions too.

Smitten Kitchen. This blog got its start from Deb Perelman’s 40 square foot kitchen in New York and has now extended into social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. You won’t find “fussy foods” or “pretentious ingredients” here; instead, you’ll find a wealth of accessible recipes and tutorials. There’s even a separate “Tips” section featuring how-tos that you can follow through an RSS feed.

Tartelette. French ex-patriot and pastry chef Helene Dujardin turned her love for food into a writing and photography career to share her passion. At Tartelette, it’s all about the “sweet side of life”, or more specifically the decadent desserts with the occasional savory thrown in. (Think Tiramisu Pear Tarts and Cold Strawberry Mint Soup, for instance.)

Vegalicious. Whether you’ve adopted a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle or simply want to whip up some meatless meals, this blog has you covered. Authors Chris Walker and Harold Walker provide balanced, healthy fare that is both tasty and satisfying. (You might not miss the meat!)

Hungry yet? As you can see, this list is only a small selection of the many food and cooking blogs out there. The good news is that perusing and subscribing is free — no books or cash required. Finding one (or a few) to suit your tastes and talents may take a little time and effort, but it’s worth the effort to find some inspiration in the kitchen.

To find more top blogs, try to find recipes from food blogs.

What’s your favourite foodie blog? Tell us in the comments!

Photo © Kelly Cline


Foods that help you lose weight

Entertaining on a budget

Help for a hangover