olives-for-dinner

Olives for Dinner

I was drawn to Erin’s blog initially because her recipes put a creative vegan twist on Asian recipes -- such as Crispy Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts, Vegan Crab Rangoon, Sweet and Sticky Cashew Tofu -- and the photography was lovely. My interest grew when I read in her profile that she came to veganism as a result of her long-held support of the ethical treatment of animals and that she differentiates herself from vegans who desire dietary perfection. Her laid back philosophy and enthusiasm for developing plant-based recipes that taste great made me want to get into the kitchen, pronto. As she puts it -- after making clear that she enjoys a wholesome, balanced diet -- “the recipes you’ll find on this blog may not always be 100% healthy, but they are all 100% vegan.”

~ by Eva Baughman

Peach Pie Bars

A Little Saffron

Julia Child once said “People who love to eat are always the best people.” This breezy blog by Ileana Morales Valentine, a food writer for the Tampa Bay Times and a prize winning photographer, is testament to that. Whether at home enjoying a cookout with friends, collaborating with 25 other bloggers on summer potluck recipes at #soletspigout or traveling to culinary hot spots and posting about the very best things she ate and drank that year, this young woman is fun to be around! Her eclectic assortment of recipes: peach pie bars, caramel barbecued ribs, Danny’s (puff pastry wrapped, boursin stuffed) shrimp to name a few, are accompanied by gorgeous photographs and well written instructions. Her joie de vivre is a side dish you’ll enjoy, too. ~ Eva Baughman

cake-over-steak2

Cake Over Steak

Sara Cornelius unashamedly admits that, given the choice, she would eat cake rather than steak. A full-time graphic designer,  she has made regular blog posts since 2013 about her love of food (especially, but not exclusively, sweets) and her cookbook addiction. Other entertaining posts  include family genealogy (complete with a charming family tree illustration), travel abroad, and a series of Instagram inspired paintings, derived over months, from her daily commute. "Finding beauty everywhere" describes her work well and makes for very pleasant reading and cooking inspiration for her followers.

~ Eva Baughman

a-cozy-kitchen

A Cozy Kitchen

Look no further for inspiration this holiday season. Cookbook author, Adrianna Adarme’s (The Year of Cozy) beautiful blog will get you motivated whether you’re in the mood for a party or just a comfy night in. I love perusing her thumbnail recipe index to whet my appetite and get the creative juices flowing. It’s easy to imagine accomplishing your culinary mission when you read her easy, inventive recipes such as Strawberry and Thyme Tarts and Spicy Rhubarb Margaritas (from her Etsy blog). A jar of Homemade Luxardo Maraschino Cherries makes a great gift as would a less involved, but still wow-worthy, Dark Chocolate Chunk Walnut Skillet Cookie. To the kitchen!

~ Eva Baughman

korean-bapsang-hobak-mandu

Korean Bapsang

Hyosun Ro is a Korean-American woman living and working in Washington, DC. She began her blog, Korean Bapsang (Korean Table), as a way to teach her children, now young adults, about Korean home cooking. Her appealing recipes, accompanied by attractive photos and clear instructions, are mouth-watering and look eminently do-able. Fascinating information about Korean food and culture—don’t miss the August 19th post about temple food and Hobak Mandu (zucchini dumplings)—provides pleasurable reading and inspiration. ~ Denise Landis

grilled-tomato-lollipop-toasts

White on Rice Couple

  1. Caramel Macchiato Coffee Ice Cream,
  2. Detailed How-To Guide for Judging Watermelon Ripeness (Spank It!)
  3. Zucchini Soft Taco Shells

The aforementioned are currently featured and nicely illustrated on this husband and wife team's blog home page. They are professional photographers who do quite a bit of travel for assignment work and also teach photography and food styling skills in workshops. They recently published a lovely cookbook, Bountiful, which includes recipes they developed to creatively use what they reap from their home garden. Their writing is appealing, their ideas are fresh and excellent photography ties it all together. What's not to like? ~ Eva Baughman

spoon-fork-bacon

Spoon Fork Bacon

This blog, written by Jenny Park and Teri Lyn Fisher (who is also the excellent photographer), caught our eye from the get-go with its gorgeous, pared-down front page. The clean design relies upon generous amounts of really great photography which complements the delicious sounding, frequently unique, recipes perfectly. Between their casual, upbeat style and the beautiful food you are sure to be propelled out of your chair and into the kitchen. The authors have also begun interviewing artists and other inspiring folks; the first installment (with potter Lindsay Emery) was absolutely delightful and well written. Last, don't miss their eye-catching interactive bulletin board found in the "About" section - it's very creative and fun.

~ Eva Baughman

panning-the-globe

Panning the Globe

Lisa Goldfinger is an artist turned food writer who says she wants to introduce her followers to "the most delicious recipes in the world."  This sounds ambitious but the proof is in the pudding. Her posts, like Fusion Salmon Niçoise Salad and Reina Pepiada: Arepas with Chicken and Avocado, certainly look both beautiful and delicious and are accompanied by plenty of background information to whet the appetite for food and travel. Across the top of her home page she has listed continents of the world; click on one and the countries, about which she has posted and provided recipes, drop down.  While this blog may not have the slickest look, with ads that are a bit obtrusive, the food and writing keep me coming back. Lisa is an enthusiastic proponent of broadening one's horizons and leads delicious virtual tours via her blog. Bon voyage! ~ Eva Baughman

fig-jam-lime

Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

This blog is a ray of sunshine from, as the author writes, "The Great Southern Land." Celia and Pete live there--in Sydney Australia, to be precise--with their two children. They chronicle their endeavors to make as much of their own food as possible, employing a healthy sense of humor along the way. I am in awe viewing all the photos they post of their remarkably well-spent time. One finds gorgeous images of sourdough bread (there are around 100 posts devoted to bread); and dozens of interesting pastry recipes such as canelés (a French pastry like a caramelized crispy baked custard) to choose from. Then they are off on a trip to the National Bonsai Collection at the Canberra Arboretum, then back home with their beloved backyard flock of chickens - known as "chooks"-- Down Under. I say "living well," indeed! ~ Eva Baugman

american-food-roots

American Food Roots

If you have some time on your hands, rather than heading to the Food Network, try opening up this gem of a blog. Edited by Carol Guensburg, Michele Kayal, Domenica Marchetti and Bonny Wolf, it is a cornucopia of food stories and information. Recently awarded two awards from the Association of Food Journalists for Best Food Blog 2014 (second place) and Best Non-Newspaper News Feature: "Step right up! Circus food is no sideshow stunt!" Besides other fascinating feature articles, you'll find Information about American made products which goes way beyond the cursory blurbs you usually see in print. These are stories with substance and human interest, often with recipes. I enjoyed reading about a California cook who became interested in jam making at his grandmother's side and now creates unique preserves, like pear-tarragon jam, while pursuing "cottage food operation" certification by the state. There are stories about American mulberries, "the cockroach of the berry family" (with pie recipe), an article about the origins of Jiffy baking mix; and one about paw paws, America's lost fruit. Delicious subject matter and artful writing make this a top notch blog. ~ Eva Baughman