The Yummy Life

Monica, our blog of the week writer who hails from St. Louis, Missouri, is very much into DIY (do it yourself.) Her recipes are usually of the hearty, rib-sticking kind. She's not ashamed to admit that she enjoys an occasional Egg McMuffin and she will then proceed to tell you how to make them better at home, in quantity, for future quick meals. She makes homemade versions of popular items like fruit flavored waters (they are pretty too), flavored salts and natural air fresheners. Her overnight oatmeal-based breakfast foods - one made in the fridge, one in the slow cooker - are nutritious and convenient for the busy weekday household. There are clever tips, too, like using a slow cooker as a double boiler for keeping melted chocolate at the perfect temperature for candy making (you can keep several types of chocolate at the ready by placing individual flavors in mason jars).

Monica makes life's ups and downs seem less daunting as she confronts her challenges with "can do" optimism. When her mother recently moved in due to health issues, it necessitated some quick changes. With less room for storage in the basement after making an in-law suite, Monica created an attractive and voluminous pantry, very cleverly arranged, for her dry goods using a cabinet with a very small footprint which fit into a corner in her kitchen. Reading her blog is like visiting someone who, despite always having multiple projects going on and a busy family life, manages to make time to welcome you into her home for a spell and send you home with a little something, too. ~ Eva Baughman


Hunter • Angler • Gardener • Cook

Hank Shaw's blog title sums up his current life situation, only omitting food writer, James Beard Award winner and author of two cookbooks, the most recent, Duck, Duck, Goose, published October 2013. In his former life he was a line cook, clam digger and political journalist. It comes as no surprise that his writing is engaging and his topics are so very interesting. His latest post informed the reader about the art and science behind authentic Tabasco sauce with THE recipe for same. Though the recipe is technically not a secret, the writer pulls his readership along on a experience that feels like delicious insider information due to his skill in crafting his story. Even the recipe method is presented in an entertaining manner. The pickled chanterelles story and recipe in another post also rang my chimes. Lovely food photography by his partner, Holly Heyser. ~ Eva Baughman



This blog writer is not a nutritionist or dietitian, (though she states she is a certified Holistic Health Counselor, having trained at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYC ) nor does she ascribe to a certain diet. It is also important to note that despite the word "detox" appearing, she does not suggest drastic measures but rather incorporating all-natural whole foods into one's eating regimen in order to gradually improve health and well being. Even though I'm more of a 'moderation in all things' type, I was intrigued and drawn in by her joie de vivre (I bet she is a good counselor) and most of all, her recipes.

All of her recipes are gluten-free and refined sugar-free and many are raw, vegan and Paleo friendly. The variety is very good: there's something for the very serious diet adherent as well as for the follower of a less restrictive lifestyle. Her photography is good, and often includes step-by-step shots. Her site is full of tips relating to healthy nutrition and even has a formula for a natural beauty product to make at home. She also has a cute feature where she chronicles what she ate for each meal one day a week. I think you'll like this very pleasant place which showcases the writer's creativity and nurturing personality. ~ Eva Baughman


Aglaia’s Table

This intriguing blog, lovingly produced by cookbook author and culinary professional, Aglaia Kremezi, a former journalist and fashion photographer, has a lot to offer. There's great writing about the idyllic Greek island of Kea in the Cyclades archipelago, unique, well-written recipes - including some which use foraged ingredients from the area - and it's all tied together with gorgeous photography. You'll make the acquaintance of a very talented and creative guide to the Mediterranean lifestyle when you visit Aglaia's Table. ~ Eva Baughman


Lottie and Doof

This whimsically named (go to FAQ's for the story) literary food blog, initially served as a creative outlet for the recent Northwestern U. MFA graduate, Tim Masurek, as he pondered his future. Now that he is a full-fledged food writer with a long list of accomplishments, we are lucky to still be able to enjoy this blog where the writing is smart and funny, photography is rendered and composed beautifully, and the recipes, of which there are hundreds, are varied and appealing. The author's love of entertaining and food is joyful and welcoming and a great way to learn about living well. As a reader remarked in the comments section of one of the blog entries, it provides a “mini mental vacation”. That's a good description of what excellent writing is about. ~ Eva Baughman


Leite’s Culinaria

IACP and James Beard Award winning author David Leite (rhymes with "eat") has achieved a food writing triple play: a terrific cookbook, The New Portuguese Table: Exciting Flavors from Europe's Western Coast; a congenial Facebook group, Leite's Culinaria, What's for Dinner?; and the Leite's Culinaria website, "Established 1999, Hot Food, Dry Wit."  Within the website resides his rather personal blog, which can be poignant and often hilarious, like his post-Thanksgiving musings from December 2013,   "Liar, Liar Pants on Fire." The website has a huge recipe archive that includes, to name a just a few, special dietary considerations, holiday and special-occasion cooking, and family cooking tips, aka Mom 911. ~ Eva Baughman


Smitten Kitchen

We're guessing most foodies are acquainted with Deb Perelman's witty and wildly popular blog. If you are not, we want you to read it, as it is the crème de la crème of food blogs. Deb is a polished writer and photographer who has more than 800 inspiring recipes, made with accessible ingredients, in her archive dating back to 2008. She regularly interacts with her readers in the comments portion of each post, answering questions and providing guidance. She also has interesting tips and topics to browse where you can learn food facts such as the difference between butterscotch and caramel (one is brown sugar based, the other white). She has recently written The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, a winner of the IACP Julia Child First Book Award. Whether you are a cook, writer or photographer, Smitten Kitchen is a treasure trove to mine. ~ Eva Baughman


Vegan Richa

This popular vegan blog, with 100,000+ followers on Facebook, is written by Richa, who grew up in India and now resides in Seattle. She is married, a cancer survivor and a fosterer of dogs from the local animal shelter. Vegan since 2009, Richa has especially used baking as a coping mechanism through her health challenges. She is an intuitive cook with a sense of humor about her life and recipe development (she refers to her earlier cooking days as pre-gan). An aspiring photographer, her recipes are attractively presented, flavorful tributes to healthy living. She advocates using organic, whole foods eschewing processed products as much as possible. Her foods are also often gluten-free. ~ Eva Baughman


Alexandra Cooks

Here you will find lots of mouthwatering sounding recipes paired with beautiful step by step photographs.  Alexandra has a strong culinary background and often goes the extra mile researching and experimenting to accommodate her readers' requests. Such was the case with her popular My Mother's Peasant Bread - baked in a Pyrex bowl - which she reconfigured to be gluten-free, with two versions! She goes the extra mile in other ways too, always advocating for local and homemade because, you know, if it's worth doing, it's worth doing well. Don't miss the photo of her 'studio' found in the photography section on the home page, bottom right. ~ Eva Baughman

Roasted Peppers in Olive Oil

The Noshery

We first became acquainted with this blog while researching recipes for the ethereal Puerto Rican sweet roll, Mallorca. The author of this visually bright and airy blog is Meseidy, who spent her high school years in Puerto Rico and currently lives in Tulsa, OK. With a sunny writing style, culinary school background and excellent camera skills, her creativity is infectious. She also includes fun crafting and design tidbits. ~ Eva Baughman