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Blogs We Heart

Blogs We Heart

Oh boy, do we swoon blogs. Not just as distraction, but as real, ready inspiration for all things food and festive. We love getting to know the voices of each blogger, becoming familiar with their palates and quirks. They become our compadres in kitchen-based devotion. So as we share our shortlist of favorites blogs, we invite you to comment with your own top picks.

Cannelle et Vanille: By bucketing her posts into three big-picture categories  – food, life and photography  – Basque-expat Aran can find inspiration anywhere and everywhere, but all must be beautiful. From stunningly-styled recipes to travelogues, Cannelle et Vanille shares memories and musings (even the name evokes the scents of her childhood nostalgia). A utilitarian note: past posts are filtered by season, course and ingredients, making a recipe search easy to maneuver. To quote Aran’s own philosophy on blogging and aesthetics: “People often ask me what it is that attracts me to a blog. Ultimately, it is all about telling a story of food and life.”

Tartelette: Helene began Tartelette eight years ago, after leaving her job as a pastry chef at a French restaurant (she’s French). The blog has since evolved into her homage to all things food, be it photography, seasonal ingredients or meals with friends. She also works as senior photographer at Oxmoor House, the cookbook division for a host of magazines (Cooking Light, Southern Living, Coastal, etc), which translates into an impeccable aesthetic throughout Tartelette. Newly transplanted from Charleston to Birmingham, Helene is taking readers along for the ride as she explores a new city, a new culinary landscape.

Love and Lemons: The tagline, “eat well, love food,” bodes well for a bounteous food blog. Austin-based foodie Jeanine whips up creative seasonal fare in her kitchen, which her husband Jack then photographs. Recent recipes we can’t wait to try include her fancy s’mores scheme, which would work beautifully with Persephone marshmallows and Mast Brothers’ chocolate bars (in lieu of berries, you could turn to our stock of Jam Stand’s creative concoctions). While not a vegetarian, Jeanine focuses her culinary plotting on plants, inspired by the Michael Pollen creed: “Eat food, mostly plants, not too much.”

Food52: Food52 is psychic, always reading our minds. Just this week, the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink blog featured a host of timely topics (er, timely to us), from 5 Variations on a Spritz to a recipe for Low-Maintenance Fish Tacos (done and done). Our competitive natures love the recipe contests; last week’s call for Your Best Grilled Vegetable Dish was won by a perfect application for Persephone loaves, a grilled bread salad with broccoli rabe and summer squash. In addition to the rich archive of relevant columns and enticing recipes, Food52 recently launched an online store, Provisions, which stocks impeccable products from French kitchen soap to aerodynamic ice cream scoops. The site also includes a Hotline, which promises to resolve “cooking dilemmas” and answer “burning questions.” Superchef to the rescue.

Smitten Kitchen: Food porn at its finest. Inspiration seeps from every post in the form of recipes, tutorials and tips (a recent post on brownie ice cream sandwiches reminds us to split ours in half and smother them). Deb tried on a lot of careers – record store shift supervisor, birthday cake calligrapher, art therapist, technology reporter – before settling on “the one where she wakes up and cooks whatever she feels like that day.” The actual site of her smittenness is a 42 sq.ft. half-gallery kitchen in NYC, circa 1935, with a single counter, tiny stove and checkered floor. With equal parts spunk and scruples, Deb details recipes that are easy to follow and not at all fussy or pretentious. Beyond her deep index of recipes (some 800 strong!), she offers useful resources like conversions and equivalents and a lengthy reading list of blogs and cookbooks.

Happy (hungry) reading!