You’ve just picked up Finnegans Wake for the first time. Finding yourself on the edge of literary sanity, where do you turn for comfort? A) Ol’ faithful, these here internets? B) Your kitchen for a very elaborate sandwich? C) Both?
If you fall into that last camp, boy do we have something for you. Not only do the food blogs on this list belong in your bookmarks for their delicious recipes and mouthwatering food porn, but because the writing on them is also worth savoring. So whether you’re in need of a cocktail inspired by literature or hor d'oeuvres for your next book swap party, our 10 favorite food blogs have got you covered. Because the only thing worse than not having anything good to read is not having anything delicious to reward yourself with when the reading gets tough.
Okay, you might already know about Joy’s baking blog because it’s pretty much the food blog equivalent of a novel on the bestseller list (like if all of the characters in The Corrections worked out their problems by baking with brown butter and tossing kale salad). If you haven’t, however, heard of Joy the Baker, you need to head there immediately. All the cookie, grilled cheese and scone recipes will cater to your every mood and tide you over for weeks. And even if you have previously heard of Joy, be sure you’re familiar with her cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread, a recipe that will help with any friend-making, romance-wooing and parent-impressing needs for the rest of your life. Seriously, it’s that good.
Ever thought about making pesto your part-time hobby? Now you can, with Love and Lemon’s extensive recipe archive. (Who knew pea shoot and pistachio pesto was a thing?) The website is also full of gluten-free recipes that actually sound edible, like these black bean and quinoa burgers, so the next time you have your gluten-intolerant friends over for dinner, they can stop looking sad over their wilted salad while you chow down on pizza.
All you need to know in order to understand the importance of this website is one thing: pancakes. The author, Adrianna Adarme, has published an entire cookbook on the breakfast treat, which means her site is filled with recipes like banana bourbon pancakes and cinnamon bun pancakes, which can all be made in under 30 minutes. At that rate, the only thing holding you back from eating breakfast at every meal are the website’s other delectable recipes for pasta, soups and pizza.
Even without knowing the details of this site’s recipes, is there any way that a food blog with the word “bacon” in its title could be disappointing? There are plenty of recipes on the website (like salted caramel and candied bacon ice cream) to keep the bacon-obsessed busy, but for the less carnally inclined, there are vegetarian and vegan sections too. The authors, Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park, are also huge party food fans whose recipes include Teeny Tiny BLTs. (Have sweeter words ever been spoken?) Even if you don’t have a celebration coming up, you might want to muster one up yourself because you need Spoon Fork Bacon’s beer-battered fried olives in your life.
5. Thug Kitchen
Too many cooking websites conjure scenes of a clean, well-lit kitchen happily staffed by a well-dressed family working together to cook an everyday Thanksgiving feast with local, organic ingredients. But for those occasions when your prep table looks more like a war zone, turn to Thug Kitchen, a blog with a sense of humor. Each recipe is presented alongside an illustration with important life lessons like "Don't fuck around with some sorry-ass ten dollar take-out," and their dishes are delicious takes on foods you already know and love. "Eat like you give a fuck" the website demands and then shows you how to do so.
6. The Kitchn
In need of a few cooking hacks? Search no further. The Kitchn has drool-worthy recipes for food and drinks, but they also have tips on jazzing up the classics, storing food, accommodating people’s eating habits and organizing your kitchen. It’s a great blog for foodies, whether they are serious about cooking or just looking to learn more than their grandmother’s recipe for tuna casserole.
Have a hankering for Lemon Risotto with Asparagus and Mint? Try it the way Friedrich Nietzsche would have made it, thanks to Paper and Salt. By day, author Nicole Villeneuve works as a book publicist, but off-hours, she puts together the most amazing literary food blog out there. Villeneuve investigates the eating and drinking habits of famous writer, so you’re likely to learn a few delicious fun-facts while whipping up some pretty amazing recipes.
If a blog dedicated to sandwich foolery doesn’t win you over right away, then check out this recipe for The Scarface Superbabe: a grilled-cheese hybrid with jalapeño, bacon and mac 'n cheese. It’s 100 percent shameless comfort food, which is a GODSEND considering the number of food blogs preaching flavorless food fads. Plus, we love how excited and sassy author Emily Iseman is in each post. We basically want to hang out with her forever, and not just for the sandwiches. She’s just that awesome.
You don’t have to eat paleo to love this blog. Many of the recipes are simple and delicious, like these amazing avocado-bacon sammies you can put together without even really knowing how to cook. And for the more experience cooks in the kitchen, many of these recipes, like this one for roasted red peppers, feel like cooking-cheats you wish your mother had passed down to you — but hey, that’s why the internet is everyone’s best friend.
10. The Daily Meal
For our last pick, we’re bringing out one of the big buys: The Daily Meal has everything you could want of a food blog, from video interviews with famous chefs to local restaurant listicles to charming news stories, like this one about how some kid’s essay on ramen actually got him into college. The best thing about The Daily Meal? It’s impossible to get bored with them as they’re constantly churning out new recipes, tips and recommendations for places to eat. They’re even tough enough to talk about tasty bugs. What more could you ask for?
Did any of your favorites show up on your list? Are there any food blogs you turn to when you’re feeling especially literary or any sites that have successfully concocted doable adaptations of food from your favorite books? And do you have any favorite recipes you’ve found online that are so delicious they’ll woo even the most devout bookworm out of a novel and into the kitchen? Let us know below in the comments!
Black Balloon Publishing is an independent press headquartered in New York, NY, with both print and digital distribution channels. We've published literary fiction, nonfiction and memoir, and we're willing to grow our reach in any direction that suits. Our books evolve, rotate, get mapped onto cities and light up your screen. We champion the weird, the unwieldy and the unclassifiable. The Airship is our blog and chief propaganda vehicle.
(Image credits, from top: Joy the Baker, Love and Lemons, A Cozy Kitchen, Spoon Fork Bacon, Facebook, Jester King Brewery, Paper and Salt, The Forest Feast, Glorious Sandwiches, Nom Nom Paleo, The Daily Meal)
This blog post about the best online culinary websites is brought to you by Nine Rabbits, the bestselling novel by Virginia Zaharieva now available from Black Balloon Publishing.
About the Book:
A restless writer's fiery enthusiasm for her family's culinary traditions defines her from childhood to passionate adulthood as she strives for a life less ordinary. Lush gardens, nostalgic meals and sensual memories are as charming as the narrator herself.
About the Author:
Virginia Zaharieva was born in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1959. She is a writer, psychotherapist, feminist and mother. Her novel Nine Rabbits is among the most celebrated Bulgarian books to appear over the past two decades and the first of Zaharieva's work available in English.
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