August 21, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Food Blogs Worth Reading

From "Food52" to "Chocolate and Zucchini," "What Katie Ate" and more, food bloggers are taking the art of cooking to new heights

By Lynn Cline

Gourmet Girl

Lynn Cline is a former food editor and the author of two books – Romantic Days and Nights in Santa Fe and Literary Pilgrims: The Santa Fe and Taos Writers' Colonies, 1915-1950. She also loves to cook, when not dining out.

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Flickr User: Lesleyk

I have stumbled across some very fine food blogs over the years so thought I'd devote a blog to them so you can enjoy them, too. They cover the gamut, really…everything from the inventive recipes of food52.com, co-founded by the former New York Times food writer Amanda Hesser, to the amazing food photographs of Katie Quinn Davies and the food-inspired writings of Parisian chef Clotilde Dusoulier.

I love reading about food as much as I love writing about it. And when someone can bring the art of cooking to life through words, I'm usually hooked. When I find myself searching for a topic for my weekly blog, or in need of inspiration, I turn to these seasoned writers for help, and they always come through. Yes, I have bookshelves full of works by M.F.K. Fisher and Elizabeth David and old copies of Saveur, Bon Appetit and Gourmet magazines to thumb through. But these websites offer a look at trendy food topics and recipes as well as profiles of contemporary chefs and unusual ingredients, fabulous restaurants and home kitchens.

Clotilde Dusoulier, a French food writer based in Paris, started her food blog, chocolateandzucchini.com in 2003. It soon became a hit, and today, Dusoulier has three published cookbooks and writes for food and travel magazines. Chocolate and Zucchini focuses on fresh, colorful and seasonal foods, offering recipes, inspiration and the author's own musings on quirky ingredients, cool kitchen tools and restaurant experiences. Her recipes are the kind that make you want to run out right after you've read them to buy the ingredients and make them yourself, from the scallop mango tartlet and Swiss chard strudel to zucchini pasta with almonds and lemon zest and what else but chocolate and zucchini cake. I've signed up for her monthly e-newsletters, which are full of tempting recipes and the author's passion for food.

food52.com, which takes its name from that fact that we cook 52 weeks a year, brings cooks from all over together to exchange ideas and recipes and talk about food. Founded on the idea that memorable food doesn't have to be complicated or precious, Food52 offers creative and delicious recipes, including grilled figs with homemade lavender creme fraiche, short rib ragu, and blueberry schlumpf. Food52 also offers contests and helpful articles like "11 Iconic Summer Desserts" and "9 Back to School Sandwiches." Recently, the website launched a new online store, Provisions, which sells ingredients as well as kitchenware. But beware...shopping here could become an addiction!

Deb Perelman's smittenkitchen.com is a place to celebrate comfort food that's dressed up a bit, from corn, buttermilk chive popovers to broccoli parmesan fritters served with greek yogurt and lemon, which I made recently and were delicious. Perelman isn't interested in pink Himalayan salt that costs as much as a Manhattan rental or truffle oil. Instead she hows you how to bake a birthday from scratch and perfectly poach an egg. He website presents recipes by the season as well as by ingredients and each recipe is accompanied by gorgeous photographs that show the steps for making it. Her new cookbook, "The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook," is filled with the same mouth-watering photographs.

I've been a big fan of the Barefoot Contessa for years, having watched her on the Food Network. There's something oddly calming about watching Ina Garten in her sunny, spacious Long Island kitchen, breaking eggs into a bowl for flaky biscuits and chocolate cupcakes or expertly tossing a gorgeous salad with homemade vinaigrette. She knows what she's doing, having run The Barefoot Contessa, a successful specialty foods shop in East Hampton, L.I., barefootcontessa.com includes recipes  and menus as well as Ina's blog, with posts about where she's been, what she's been eating and other events from her life. Simple and easy to navigate, the Barefoot Contessa is where I go when I want to plan a special dinner party or brunch, or find a unique recipe. I just wish I had her huge kitchen in which to whip up her lobster mac 'n cheese, sopressetta and cheese in puff pastry and plum tart.

When you're in need of some serious inspiration in your kitchen, check out whatkatieate.com a foodie photography site showcasing recipes by Katie Quinn Davies, a Dublin native now living in Sydney. Her stunning photos and recipes will have you wanting to cook in no time, from the buckwheat pancakes with spinach, ricotta and pine nuts with sour cream and hot sauce to caramelized onion and goat cheese tartlets with balsamic syrup and gluten-free lemon and coconut cake. She also has a section to provide info she finds relevant or simply likes, from food news to easy recipes and her thoughts on food. Warning: If you're hungry, do not browse this site as every one of Davies' gorgeous photographs will stimulate your taste buds.

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