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Discovery Friday

6 May 2011

When I started this blog last summer, I was utterly clueless about the blogosphere. One of my new-to-me favorites, The Wednesday Chef, has a regular “Link Love” feature to highlight some of her recent finds, and I thought it would be fun to do the same. Today’s post is to catch up any of you who, like me, may have missed the blog boom over the last few years.

What I love about blogs is that by and large they are written by individuals, and they are as unique as people. As a result, they can be crazy cool, intensely focused, wide-ranging, bizarre, funny or educational. Some are personality-driven, others more information-driven. But in most cases, the person behind the blog is a palpable presence, and when I find a blog I really like, it feels like finding a friend.

It nourishes my traveling spirit to read the bloggers from around the world (the ones writing in English, that is). Two favorites are in Paris – ah, Paris. David Lebowitz, a restaurant-industry veteran who has worked at Chez Panisse among others, is always interesting and almost always makes me laugh. There’s Claudette Dusoulier of Chocolate and Zucchini, who seems so lovely, as does her food. In Berlin is the blogger I’d most like to have lunch with, Luisa Weiss from The Wednesday Chef, who seems so nice, thoughtful and down-to-earth (I’m dying to try her homemade bagels when I get off this no-wheat thing).

Even from my post-motherhood seclusion of the last 10 years, I’d heard of Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen. She has an incredibly appealing blog, well-written and beautifully photographed. I’d love to make her apple cake, chocolate-chip sour cream coffee cake and ooh, that peanut nutella. My friends in Columbus should check out her recipe for buckeyes, our hometown chocolate-dipped peanut butter confection looking just like the big glossy acorns from the Ohio state tree.

It’s impossible not to love Ree Drummond of The Pioneer Woman. Even though she’s a bazillionaire taking over the world, with a cookbook, a memoir and a children’s book selling like crazy and a Food Network show coming out this summer, she seems like the real deal: homeschooling mom of four, Oklahoman ranch wife, self-effacing published author, modest juggernaut of the blogosphere. There are few things that I avoid as much as crowds, but I braved the mob to see Ree at a book signing here in Columbus a couple of months ago. She was so nice, did personalized book signatures and took pictures with everyone.

Then there’s Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes, a northern California native and food blog star who started her incredibly comprehensive online collection of recipes in 2003 with her parents as her test kitchen. It’s an amazing resource of simple, well-tested recipes.

In San Francisco is Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks, a photographer and natural-food lover who has legions of followers. I adore her photographs and her calm, soothing site. Her recipes use a lot of ingredients I don’t have, but I know it’ll be worth a trip to the store. This orange-glazed tempeh recipe is high on my list of recipes to try. She has one very successful cookbook as well as a new one just out.

I always enjoy Jen Yu from use real butter. She’s freelance photographer, avid skier, cancer survivor and food blogger living in Colorado. She’s funny, and she is Chinese, so she has great-looking Asian recipes in her wide repertoire.

Seattle-based Molly Wizenberg of Orangette has mouthwatering recipes – but its her writing that stays with me. She met her husband Brandon through her hugely popular blog – he sent her fan mail – and they have a restaurant, Delancey. Molly has published one successful book and is working on a second.

Shauna Ahern of Gluten-free Girl has a wide and avid following, and not just among the gluten-free. It must be because she seems like such a loving, generous soul. After suffering undiagnosed from celiac disease for most of her life, she is now living the dream, with a wildly successful blog, a kind, doting chef-husband that she met on Match.com, an adorable two year old daughter and, at last, good health. Shauna and her husband Danny published a gluten-free cookbook and are working on another that will feature more everyday food (how parenthood changes our perspectives!).

I love reading the kids of the Kitchen Generation – four teens, each with their own food blog, who met on Twitter and teamed up to start another food blog together. Their blog is fresh, with great images and writing. Their youth, energy and creativity makes me want to be 18 again.

Aside from food blogs, I adore Dance with the Reaper, a writer, breast cancer survivor and mom of two living in Dallas. I admire her honesty and skillful writing, and she makes me laugh. For a break from reading, it’s fun to browse through Scott Schuman’s images on the Sartorialist of people around the world who catch his eye. It’s an eclectic bunch, and always interesting. Finally there’s Leo Babauta of Zen Habits, who seems so genuine in his mission to help people lead simpler, happier lives.

What are your favorite blogs? Please share!

And just because I’ve missed you guys, and because I couldn’t quite allow myself to use this as the lead photo, here’s a bonus for anyone who made it to the end.

Happy Friday, everyone!

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

cc 19 June 2011 at 10:38 pm

Seriously, yours is the only blog that’s held my attention for more than a couple weeks! The only other cooking site (though more a list of recipes than a blog) I occasionally turn to is http://www.thecookingguy.com. My husband and I used to watch his local low-budget cooking show when we lived in San Diego several years ago (before the books and DVDs came along… seems his fame and reach has grown since then!). I love how he made simple and tasty-looking dishes and just how he seemed so “real” — he’d be rummaging through his kitchen to find tools and his kids or dog would come in and interrupt 🙂 Anyhow, thought I’d share back!

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cg 20 June 2011 at 12:21 pm

wow, you really made my monday with all these sweet comments! thanks for the link to the cooking guy, what a cool success story. i look forward to checking out his recipes too.

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