Wednesday, July 1, 2009

If You Like CHG, You’ll Love These: 18 Stellar Food Blogs

Yesterday, as part of CHG’s Sonic Gift Card Giveaway, we asked readers to name their favorite food blogs. 101 dalmations of you lovely people submitted ideas, and suggestions ranged from the timely and sublime Obama Foodorama to awesome and overwhelming favorite The Pioneer Woman Cooks. Needless to say, it was really neat to see so many different culinary angles and points of view. Thank you for passing them on.

Today, for kicks, I compiled and counted all the nominees. In the process, I found that quite a few were name-checked more than once, and a solid handful could be described as widely beloved.

So, here you go. In descending order according to number of mentions, these are CHG readers’ very favorite food blogs. If you’re not familiar and you get the chance, take a gander. You won’t be disappointed.

1. Pioneer Woman (20 mentions)
READERS SAY: “Step by step instructions with pictures, and usually easy-to-find ingredients.” “Not always cheap, not always healthy, but always really good.” “I'm a visual learner.” “I'm a fan of gratuitous amounts of butter.” “She is just fabulous.” “I can't do her justice.”
OH, AND ALSO: From Ree, creator of the wildly popular Confessions of a Pioneer Woman, comes this gorgeously designed cooking site with the drooliest photos this side of Smitten Kitchen. Beyond the food, the writing rocks and the step-by-step instructions (with accompanying photos, natch) are incredibly helpful. Also? Her. Kitchen. Is. So. Pretty. (*drowns in own envy*)

2. Smitten Kitchen (eleven mentions)
READERS SAY: “Her photos are almost as good as the recipes.” “I love the index and searchability.” “I have yet to make anything that didn't taste fabulous.”
OH, AND ALSO: Armed with mouth-watering photography, giggle-inducing wordsmithery, and a neat logo, Smitten Kitchen is, as Martha Stewart deems it, “a very cute website.” If you have any doubts after Miss M’s ringing endorsement, take a look at this blondie recipe or peruse bon mots like: “I almost offered to marry the guy giving it out just for the recipe but I was torn because I already have a kick-ass kugel recipe and… oh right. I’m also already married.”

3. A Year of Crockpotting (nine mentions)
READERS SAY: “The breakfast risotto is delicious!” “Her crockpot applesauce … easy and DELICIOUS!” “My wife made fantastic refried beans using a recipe she got from there.”
OH, AND ALSO: For kicks, Stephanie spent a year making a new slow cooker recipe every night. Then, each following morning, she's posted a picture, a procedural rundown, and her tastiness verdict. Sweet. While some meals contain processed ingredients, there's really an effort to balance them with healthy, whole foods. The overall effect is dang skippy. If you’re looking for a crockpot recipe – ANY crockpot recipe – this is a good place to start.

4. $5 Dinners (five mentions)
READERS SAY: “Perfect for the poor student.” “To cook cheaply for my family -- it's been an invaluable resource!”
OH, AND ALSO: Wonderful recipe site with frequent giveaways, lots of coupon info, and a metric ton of money-saving tips. Oh, and everything’s under $5. You can beat that.

5. Bakerella (three mentions)
I wasn’t familiar with Bakerella until recently, when she was a featured guest on on Pioneer Woman. And … whoa. I’m getting a sugar rush just thinking about her site, which is chock full of cupcake porn (and beyond). It’s seriously gorgeous. Go now.

6. Closet Cooking (three mentions)
READERS SAY: “Uses easy to find ingredients in new ways.” “Simple, delicious meals from [a] closet-sized kitchen.”
OH, AND ALSO: Simple, no-frills food blog filled with fairly easy, delicious-looking recipes and dazzling pictures. I’ve tried two dishes off of it now (White Bean and Kale Soup with Turkey Sausage and Peach Blueberry Cobbler) and they’ve both been aces. Instant blogroll material.

7. Orangette (three mentions)
READERS SAY: “She loves food and writes so well.” “Currently on hiatus.”
OH, AND ALSO: One of the best known and most well-loved cooking sites around, Orangette is more than a great food blog – it’s a wonderful read. Right now Molly’s on break helping her husband start a business, but when she gets back … there will be food. Good food. And lots of it.

8. The Kitchn (three mentions)
READERS SAY: “A wide variety of articles.” “The photos make me drool!”
OH, AND ALSO: You might be familiar with it already, because we link to the Kitchn all the time in Tuesday’s Megalinks comps. Part of the Apartment Therapy empire, it’s a gorgeous, well-designed cooking blog that's been on a total roll the last year or so. Definitely worth a daily visit.

Each of the following sites garnered two nods each. Some are better known than others, but across the board, they’re worth looking into. Please do so if you get the chance.

Sweet readers, if you have any other suggestions, our ears are open. And thank you!

(Image courtesy of The Little Pink Clubhouse, drawn by Charles M. Schulz.)

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