blog crush: Once Upon a Chef

Once Upon a Chef has the best organised posts i’ve found on any food site. the pictures and directions are second to none in terms of clarity and helpfulness. this follows for the site as a whole, too. going to jenn’s site is like being back in your kitchen after making cooking in other homes. you can zip around and grab just what you need without thinking, maybe even without looking (as long as it isn’t a blade attachment for a Ninja blender, because i just cut myself typing about it). anyway, it just makes sense, and it looks good doing it.

now all this stuff wouldn’t matter at all without great recipes, and i only found out how much i liked the site because of how much i liked the food i made from it. It may just be in my head, but i feel like the recipes are healthy without sacrificing ingredients. i believe in moderation and balance rather than counting each calorie and cutting ingredients out of meals when the change really alters the dish for the worse, and this is a site that fits perfectly with what i’m after.

a couple of things i’ve enjoyed so far:

i actually wrote about these Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (that’s a link to her recipe. this is the link to my words about it)

see! i did that!

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Chicken Curry is the kind of dish i think a lot of people are afraid to try making. i’d probably have stayed in that group if it weren’t from this site.

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Perfect Basmati Rice – this is the best rice i’ve every made. thx 🙂

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blog crush: A Year of Slow Cooking

A Year of Slow Cooking is really where this all started for me. i had just gotten back into cooking after years away from it. a friend recommended this site, and it was my first experience exploring a site for inspiration. previously i had always had keywords floating in my head and nothing in my stomach when i got online to look for a recipe. ‘hmm, i have noodles,’ or ‘i really need to use these tomatoes’ would be my starting points. it was all function and no fun. it was ‘ction.’ i haven’t even said anything about this site yet. is it just here for personal reasons? nope nope, but i think that would have been enough. you could just have clicked away if you didn’t agree [are you really still reading my babbling incoherence? what? you love it 😉 aww, thanks!] reason #1 Stephanie is funny. her personality really comes through despite the fairly professional approach to her posts. i think everyone else is more coherent than me, but she is great at being concise and still very personable. she must just have so much personality that a sprinkle here and there shines through. i’m giving up trying to pick the right spice to make an analogy with 🙂 reason #2 there is a huge variety of things you can try. some are off-the-wall, others are standard fare, and a lot of them are just fun things that you wouldn’t picture being so well-suited for the little appliance. you could dig for a long time and not come up with so varied a list. of course, she did dedicate a year to the endeavor. i think it paid off. reason #3-10000 crock pots / slow cookers i’d like to take a moment to introduce the slow pot! those other names just don’t sound nice. but borrow a little from each and you have something special. it flows, it’s fun, it gets rid of k’s (usually a good thing in my book…oops). so Slow Pots are a great way to get into cooking, and this site is all about that journey. if your bag of cooking tricks consists of spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, and meatloaf, slow pots will blow your mind, and they’re really cheap for what they allow you to do. the best thing is that when i was starting to exhaust my interest in the recipes, i found myself looking for other means of making the same dishes. it was such a natural step to go from the ‘throw it all in and turn the knob’ approach to something a little more hands on. some favs from the site: 5-Ingredient Homemade Beef Stew– nothing will replace my mom’s beef stew, but this was my first solo adventure with it, so it’s special for me. i even made it in the same slow pot i grew up eating from! (thanks, mom) P1020708 21-Ingredient Chili Slow Cooker Recipe– i pretty much made a bunch of soups/stews/you get the idea. i love soup. You Can Make Yogurt in Your Crock Pot– (or your Slow Pot) just so you don’t think she only did soups, this was one of those mind-blowing cooking experiences for me. so much can be make from scratch so easily. i’ve since moved on to doing this in a large pot on the stove, but i’m so glad i found this recipe. thanks, Stephanie! I’m really selling this site short in terms of variety. Just check out the Desserts page! and there is a page called ‘Fun Stuff’ and another for her ‘Flops,’ a page for recipes you shouldn’t make! there you have it! you thought this post was long at first, but then you realised that i fit 9998 reasons into a few lines of text. you owe me.

blog crush: the kitchn

the kitchn the kitchn provides me with plenty of recipes. they are always well-written and clear. it is one of my blog crushes because it is my first choice when i run into something i don’t understand about cooking. with that in mind, i should probably make it my home page 😉 it is almost silly to give examples, because they feel endless, but here are a couple i’ve used recently: How to Make Homemade Chicken Stock How to Cook Moist & Tender Chicken Breasts Every Time How to Cook Beans on the Stove

blog crush: Pinch of Yum

Pinch of Yum
i end up at this site a lot naturally because their recipes are everywhere and fantastic. but this is a site i also seek out often, because Lindsay and Bjork realised that they could give people a lot more than ideas for what to make. they’ve taken their well-earned success as food bloggers and given back in a big way. whether you want to know how they make their food look so mouth-watering or are skeptical about or bewildered by the monetization of a blog, they have everything from casual posts to a dedicated teaching platform catering to your every need as a would-be or budding blogger. my thanks to the folks at Pinch of Yum for being a great example of the idea that when you help others, everyone wins.