Looking for fresh inspiration in the kitchen? You’ll find lots of great ideas at these five blogs. And you’ll find an exciting addition at a perennial favorite.
1. Food in Jars
My approach to blogging matches my magpie-eye approach to everything. Random cool new things are always catching my attention; as a result, you never know what you’ll find at Blue Kitchen. So I can’t help but admire Marisa’s decidedly focused approach to her blog, Food in Jars. For her, it’s all about canning.
Marisa’s stated goal is to “get as many people excited about canning as is possible.” Her own obsession began with collecting Mason and Ball jars, using them for food storage and just admiring their design and beauty. Finally, she started using them for their intended purpose. In her Philadelphia apartment kitchen, she cans just about every fruit and vegetable imaginable, making jams, jellies, pickles, salsas, sauces and more. You’ll also find tips and tricks as well as jar love and, um, jar porn. Canning food has always seemed a bit daunting to me. But with Marisa’s excellent guidance, I just may have to try my hand at it.
2. Madame Fromage
Another single-minded Philadelphian, this time dedicated to cheese. Even though she lives in Philadelphia, writer Tenaya [aka Madame Fromage] still considers Madison, Wisconsin, home. This would explain her love of cheese. Since April, she’s been exploring this love in her blog, Madame Fromage, and taking readers along for the ride.
Blue cheese varieties are especially well represented in her posts [and as a comparatively recent convert, I can see why]. But Tenaya explores plenty of other cheeses too. She offers up tasting notes, practical buying, storing and serving tips and great stories about her discoveries. A word of warning, though. When you read Madame Fromage, you’ll definitely want some cheese on hand—a glass of wine wouldn’t be a bad call either.
3. Straight from the Farm
Okay, this is getting weird—another specialized blog from Philadelphia. The name of Jennie’s blog says it all, sort of: Straight from the Farm. You hear a lot about “locally sourced” and “from the farm to the table” these days. Well, Jennie is living it, right in the heart of the City of Brotherly Love. In the spring of 2007, she began volunteering at Weavers Way Farm, an urban farm “providing fresh produce and neighborhood revitalization in America’s fifth largest city.” It has been a life-changing experience; she is now working toward a degree in professional horticulture. The photo above is of her 15×50-foot garden plot in a community garden, something Jennie started just this spring.
Straight from the Farm celebrates local, sustainable farming. And it serves up plenty of recipes that make the most of fresh produce. Whether yours comes from your own garden, a local farmers market or even the grocery store, you’ll find lots of fresh ideas here.
4. Ezra Pound Cake
This blog had me at its name. As Rebecca says of the name, “it combines Ezra Pound, the Modernist poet, and Pound Cake, a simple-but-delicious dessert containing an abundance of butter and sugar.” And what would you expect from a writer turned baker? Despite the name, though, this Nashville-based [whew!] blog isn’t just about baking. Recent Ezra Pound Cake recipes include taco soup, chai-poached pears, grilled zucchini rollatini and… well, yes, and lots of baked goodies.
Besides good food, a couple of things that attract me to many of the food blogs I read are smart, entertaining writing and beautiful photography. Rebecca serves up both on her blog. I’ve already bookmarked Ezra Pound Cake; if you spend even a few minutes there, I bet you’ll do the same.
5. Lottie + Doof
Fellow Chicagoan Tim serves up a visual feast with his blog, Lottie + Doof. His photographs have a fresh, clean spareness to them, as does the blog’s entire design. The deceptive simplicity of the bold, graphic images gives the food itself a sumptuous presence—you can almost touch it, almost taste it.
After singing the praises of some very specialized blogs above, Lottie + Doof is refreshingly generalist in approach. Recent posts include a raspberry tart, pickled peppers, focaccia and homemade frozen yogurt, all looking [ironically, perhaps] “almost too good to eat.” That said, baked goods are especially well represented here. As even casual readers of Blue Kitchen know, I don’t bake much. Looking at Tim’s gorgeous efforts, I’m beginning to wonder why.
Big news comes in small packages, at Smitten Kitchen
And finally, welcome to the world, Jacob Henry! Deb over at Smitten Kitchen announced his arrival to the blogosphere with a post charmingly titled look what we baked! Congratulations, Deb and Alex, and welcome to your next big adventure.