My Favorite Food Blogs

What Is a Food Blog?

This story was originally published in Sauce Magazine in December 2006. Since Sauce has removed the piece from its website, I publish much of it here.

On the surface, food blogs look much like other food sites, magazines and cookbooks. But look closer, they stand apart. Food blogs are extraordinarily personal, even when produced with knowledge and professionalism. They radiate curiosity, excitement and creativity. They often exude rich humor, sweet charm and unedited spontaneity.

"Food blogs are like memoirs with recipes. Every recipe comes with a backstory woven from family, culture and personal experience. Tales abound of early lessons from mothers and grandmothers, first experiences with fresh figs, strategies for Thanksgiving turkeys, and frustration with breads that fall and tomatoes that char. If there’s a rant, it’s Reggiano versus Kraft or lard versus butter, not the left versus right of politics.

"Food bloggers may start blogging with some notion of organizing favorite recipes, but we keep blogging because of connection and community. We covet comments from readers and go lengths to lure ‘lurkers’ into conversation. We watch for online food events to cook together. When we bring new babies into the world, we celebrate. When we lose a parent or a job, we console. When we struggle with illness or decision, we encourage. When we meet in person for the first time, we’re already friends.

Food blogging is a tight community inhabited by food enthusiasts, both writers and readers, from across the world who speak the universal language of food. Still, like seasonal fruits and vegetables, food blogs are inherently local too.

St. Louis Food Blogs

St. Louis is home to a small cadre of food bloggers. I write a blog called A Veggie Venture (you're here!) that’s packed with every-day vegetable inspiration. Karen from FamilyStyle Food cooks for the husband, kids and recipe contests in Webster Groves. Nupur from One Hot Stove hails from India, lives in New York but will soon move to St. Louis. (For security, many bloggers reveal only their first names.)

Zinfully Delicious is written by a pair whose friendship dates back to UCity schools and is now cemented by food, wine and a blog. In 2000, Bruno was a licensed counselor specializing in substance abuse. Encouraged by his Swiss-born mother, Bruno left St. Louis to spend 15 months at the California Culinary Society and now is a chef aboard executive jets. When his friend Duane suggested starting a blog, Bruno was uncertain. “I didn’t know what it would entail and sure didn’t know about all the great food blogs.” Software makes blogging easy, even for those like Bruno with limited technical experience. “It’s just fun,” he said. “I really love it.” Duane is adventurous about technology and food. “My Dad Dad taught me to say ‘Sure, I’ll try it’ to anything new,” said Duane, who recently moved with his wife from Webster Groves to central Texas. “The blog helps demystify food and wine.”

While most blogs are published by individuals, blog publishing concepts are increasingly being adopted by companies. An example is Kirk’s Traveling Kitchen, the new online kitchen of Kirk Warner, the former executive chef at King Louie’s and Savor who recently launched a personal chef business. Warner said, “The web designer suggested the blog. It’s an easy way to keep the site fresh.” Warner also appreciates having a forum in which to explore his ideas about food and culture. “I hope my blog becomes a sounding board.”

Nearby Food Blogs

Further afield, Susan of Farmgirl Fare chases Cary the Lamb Daughter around some holler in rural Missouri. Susan is a California girl turned Missouri farm girl and started her blog to break writer’s block and create a visual record of the farm. Farmgirl Fare is less about food than a daily snapshot of life on a small farm in rural Missouri. With a veil of morning fog and laugh-out-loud animal antics, farm life appears idyllic. “People visit Farmgirl as a daily stress reducer,” Susan said. On Mother’s Day, Susan introduced Cary, a lamb rejected by its mother. Now visitors are charmed by new tales of Cary the Lamb Daughter, 60 pounds of housebroken lamb who curls nearby while Susan works at the computer.

Still, Farmgirl portrays farm reality too. Despite all precautions, last spring Susan lived a shepherd’s nightmare, losing lambs to an unidentified predator. With each night’s flock reduction, Susan expressed her grief and frustration on the blog and Farmgirl’s visitors mourned the losses as if their own. And in a way, the missing lambs were as much her visitors’ loss as Susan’s because Farmgirl readers connect to the farm, to the animals and to Susan herself with an authentic sense of community.

Lisa of Champaign, Illinois writes Champaign Taste. Like many food bloggers, she discovered food blogs by accident but right away, she said, “I wanted one.” Lisa’s husband Keith is a partner behind the scenes. “Keith gave me our first digital camera and drags out the stepladder for pictures.” Her blog creates a “wonderful outlet,” Lisa said, but like other bloggers, she finds blogging addictive. “Some times all I want to do is work on the blog. It’s so great when someone from Champaign says, ‘I read your blog’.”

Other food bloggers call Missouri and Illinois home. A Fridge Full of Food is written by former cake maker and caterer Glenna Anderson Muse of Springfield, Missouri. Vyanjanaa is written by a mother-daughter team, one in Delhi, India, the other an assistant professor at Mizzou. Annie from Bon Appegeek writes with style and humor from east central Illinois.

Are Food Blogs Food Journalism?

The short answer is ‘no’ but a more thoughtful one is, ‘some times’.

Because the best food blogs feature magazine-quality writing, styling and photography, some conjecture that food blogging represents a threat to traditional food magazines and cookbooks. Certainly some food bloggers are wannabe food writers who would happily ditch day jobs to write about food. But others realize that the passion expressed in their blogs exists only because the blog isn’t work and blogging isn’t a job. For most, the consensus is, Blogging is fun, for sure! But it will remain so only so long as it remains a hobby.

Still, traditional publishers are increasingly impressed by blogs. Last summer, TIME picked its 50 coolest websites; in food, Delicious Days and Simply Recipes got the nod. Every week, Food & Wine’s website highlights favorite posts from food bloggers. And a handful of bloggers have earned cookbook deals.

After writing critically of political blogs cloaked in anonymity and agenda in 2005, long-time journalist Joe Pollack and his wife, the writer Ann Lemons Pollack, thought hard before launching a food blog in 2006. Still, the temptation to experiment with a new publishing venue was strong, “partly for fun, partly for ego,” he said. St. Louis Eats and Drinks features restaurant reviews, wine recommendations and occasional recipes in the professional Pollack style St. Louisans know to expect.

Explore the World

For a food-blog tour of the globe without leaving your laptop, visit www.Saucemagazine.com. Better yet, start your own food blog. The Internet is a big table with room for many chairs, many voices. There’s place for yours, too, in the warm, welcoming community of food blogs.

Recent Recipes from My Favorite Food Blogs (updates automatically)




Food Bloggers I've Met

FamilyStyle FoodOne Hot StoveBruno's DreamThe Inadvertent Gardener
My Sister's KitchenKate in the KitchenKalyn's KitchenChampaign Taste
VyanjanaaBaking BitesFood BloggaPart-Time Pro Bono Baker
My Little KitchenAnali's First AmendmentBlue KitchenConfessions of a Cardamom Addict
Cook & EatCook ThinkDaily EatsDani Spies
Egg BeaterFatFree Vegan KitchenInquisitive PalateKung Foodie
La Tartine GourmandeLittle SpatulaMy Vegetable BlogOnce Upon a Feast
Pinch My SaltSimply RecipesThe Inadvertent GardenerThe Pioneer Woman Cooks
This Mama CooksTwo Bites in SuburbiaMichael RuhlmanSt Louis Eats & Drinks
STL BitesSTL HopsZinurCupcake Project
Iron Stef

Kids & Vegetables

Besides PizzaGreat Big Vegetable ChallengeTummy Treasure

101 Cookbooks28 Cooks

A

A Blithe PalateA Finger in Every PieA Fridge Full of FoodA Slice of Cherry Pie
A Spoonful of SugarAn Open CupboardAlbion CooksAlpineberry
Andrea's RecipesAround the Table

B

Baking BitesBaking and BooksBecks & PoshBeyond Salmon
Blue KitchenBon AppegeekBoxcar KitchenBrownie Points
Buttermilk Clouds

C

C Is for CookingCafeLynnyLuChampaign TasteCherry's English Kitchen
Chocolate & ZucchiniClivia's CuisineColumbus FoodieConfessions of a Cardamom Addict
Cook & EatCook Almost AnythingCookie MadnessCooking for Kodiak
Cooking with AmyCouteau BonswanCream Puffs in VeniceCulinary Concoctions by Peabody
Culinary in the DesertCumin & CorianderCurious Cook (Harold McGee)

D

David LebovitzDaydream DeliciousDelicious DaysDessert First
Domestic CatDoughboy

E

Egg HuntEggbeaterErin's KitchenEverybody Likes Sandwiches

F

FamilyStyle FoodFancy ToastFarmgirl FareFatfree Vegan Kitchen
Feeding My EnthusiamsField to FeastFood & ThoughtsFood Blogga
FoodbeamFrench Kitchen in AmericaFresh Approach CookingFridge Full of Food

G

[gluten free] GoddessGreat Big Vegetable Challenge

H

Habeas BruleeHomesick TexanHooked on HeatHumble Pie
Home Ec Failure

I

Iron Stef

J

Je Mange la VilleJumbo EmpanadasJust Braise

K

Kalyn's KitchenKitchen ExhibitionistKitchen UnpluggedKitchen Wench
KitchenographyKochtopfkokblog

L

La Tartine GourmandLaura Rebecca's KitchenLaurie's KitchenLex Culinaria
LobstersquadLucullian DelightsLucy's Kitchen Notebook

M

Matt BitesMele CotteMilk and CookiesMy Husband Cooks
My Kitchen in Half CupsMy Plate or YoursMy Recipes

N

Nami-NamiNever Trust a Skinny ChefNosh, Thoughts & RevesNot Eating Out in New York

O

One Hot StoveOne Whole CloveOrangette

P - Q

Peanut Butter ÉtouffeePinch My Salt

R

Raspberry DebacleRubber Slippers in ItalyRunning with Tweezers

S

S'kat and the FoodSaffron TrailSeriously GoodSeven Spoons
She Fills the BeansSimply RecipesSmitten KitchenSomething in Season
StephenCooksSu Good EatsSugar DeliriumSuperSpark

T

Talk of TomatoesTartletteTasting LifeTea & Cookies
The Domestic GoddessThe Flying AppleThe Inadvertent GardenerThe Maggpie
The Passionate CookThe Perfect PantryThe Savory NotebookThe Thorngrove Table
The Traveler's LunchboxThe Village VegetableThe Wednesday ChefThis Mama Cooks
Thyme for CookingTigers & StrawberriesTip of the IcebergTo Be Mrs. Marv
ToastToastpointTummy Treasure

U-V-W-X-Y-Z

VanesscipesVeronica's Text KitchenWhat Did You Eat?What's for Lunch, Honey?
Weekly DishZinfully Delicious

Finding Food Blog Events

Is My Blog Burning?Sticky Date

Browsing for New Food Blogs


BlogHer Food & Drink

Food Blog S'cool

Food Porn Watch

Foodie Blogs

Food Blog Blog

Simply Recipes

Ex Pat Food Blogs

About This List


This is a personal list of favorite food blogs and is not meant to list all the growing number of food blogs. If you're a food blogger and would like your blog added to a comprehensive list, check out the section above titled "Browsing for Food Blogs"; most accept new entries.

That said, I do love discovering new food blogs! If your food blog isn't listed here, please introduce your blog via blog AT kitchen [hyphen] parade {dot] com; be sure to include the URL and tell me a bit about what's special about your blog. Please be aware that I do not do link exchanges.

[Thinking about starting a food blog? Please don't be overwhelmed by the increasing number of 'polished' blogs: we all write our first (nervous) posts, all take our first (blurry) photographs.. You know those wobbly steps a toddler takes? Even marathon runners and Olympic athletes make those same first steps. Food blogging is a wonderful hobby with a warm and supportive community! Never Trust a Skinny Chef offers great counsel and a realistic approach for how to start a food blog. It's worth a read.]

If I think my readers will like your blog, I'll be happy to add it to the list. These are some of the many ways for a blog to catch my attention.
  • Does your blog reflect your personality? Do you share where you live, even in a general way? (The 'United States' isn't good enough, 'the Midwest' comes close, 'a small farm in the Midwest' is plenty.) What about your family?
  • Is your blog recipe centric? Occasional commercial food reviews and restaurant reviews are fine but my mission is to help home cooks find good recipes they can count on.
  • That said, if your blog simply copies recipes from other sources and contains little sense of your own excitement, curiosity and learning, it's not likely going to be a favorite.
  • Does your blog actively link to other food bloggers in its blogroll and its entries? I like to promote blogs that support other food bloggers and participate in the community.
  • How long have you been blogging? It takes awhile for bloggers to find their "voices" and learn whether they can/want to sustain a blog. There's no hard and fast time period but give yourself at least a couple of months of at least a post a week before introducing yourself.
  • Decent photos or illustrations.
  • Good original writing with punctuation and grammar and little to no profanity.
  • While your blog design is your design, please be aware that dark backgrounds, small fonts and few paragraph breaks are especially hard on the eyes.
  • A link to A Veggie Venture is not required but frankly, it can't hurt! Neither can occasionally commenting on my own posts that catch your attention.
Thanks for reading all the way to the end. I look forward to your introduction! ~ Alanna



A Veggie Venture is home of the Veggie Evangelist Alanna Kellogg and vegetable inspiration from Asparagus to Zucchini. © Copyright 2007


16 comments:

Wow Alanna! Look at all those food blogs! No wonder it seems like I'm always trying to keep up with my foodie friends.

What a great job you've done on this.

Great list!

Great list - I've spent the past hour browsing through them and adding some new ones to my feed reader!

Nice work Alanna - this is a great resource.

This is a terrific resource, Alanna. Thanks so much for including me!

Hey Alanna - great points, especially "Does your blog reflect your personality?"
I read food blogs for many reasons but it sort of boils down to two:
1) for cooking "inspiration"
2) because I've grown attached to the writer and want to keep up with their latest goings-on... it's the personality, style and agreement with their cooking philosophy that keeps me coming back. For sure.

Gosh Alanna what a great work here. This is your special spirit that keeps me coming back. Thanks much for including me.

Enjoyed the Sauce article!

Wow, Alanna! This is so cool!! I loved the write-up you did. I was actually surprised to see myself listed (*blush*). Thanks a bunch!

Impressive article, Alanna and an impressive list of blogs. This is really useful information. Thanks for writing it. I am standing before an overwhelming buffet -- where do I begin?

I'm honoured to be included (which means that I must have done at least one or two of your requirements to catch your eye:). There's quite a few blogs that are new to me, so I'm about the check them out..

How great: what a superb overview and idea for a post. Thanks for including Talk of Tomatoes, what a great list to be a part of!

I recently started another (second?!?!?!) food blog for 'what to pack in kids' lunches?' called Brown Bag Blues (www.brownbagblues.com)!

Erika ~ There truly has been an explosion of really good food blogs, hasn't there?!

Kalyn ~ Thanks, a labor of love!

Rachel ~ Thanks!!

Ellie ~ I've been watching the stats and it seems like there's quite a few new blogs to people as it's some of the newer blogs that are getting the most clicks.

Karen ~ Interesting, I didn't think of a blogroll as a resource but you're right, it can be.

Genie ~ Yes you mostly blog about gardens but food people must know their sources, yes? Besides, I think about you every time I don't save scraps for compost -- maybe I should order that pot of yours after all!

Vanessa ~ Me too. Karen from FamilyStyle and I gave a presentation about food blogging to a group of St. Louis food people last week. We were 'browsing' and got onto Cookie Madness just when Anna posted that her grandmother had died. I got all teary, in front of all those people, because I knew she'd been ill, knew she was important to Anna, and so there I was!

Tanna ~ My goodness, thank you! You made my morning with that particular comment!

Sally ~ It's fun to meet bloggers from my former home state of Iowa!

Christine ~ Dessert First. (oh wait, did I miss one?)

Pille ~ You sure do! Who else shares my proclivities to carrots AND beets!!

Janelle ~ You're welcome. Brown Bag Blues sounds like a great concept for a blog.

Hi Alanna, thanks for linking to my blog. I lurk on yours almost every day.

Hi Alana. Great piece on food blogging! I am so pleased to see my blog included in your list. Thanks for that and for introducing me to some other great blogs.

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna