This week I’m debuting two new weekly columns, because I love you an awkward amount and can’t stop myself from offering you small, precious gifts on a regular basis. Also because now that I have a rad new weekly newsletter, it would be totally mortifying if I had to send it out empty. The first new column, ta-da!, is called Week Links. Each week I’ll highlight 10 links from around the web that have recently caught my eye or that I’ve been wanting to share with you for eons. Sometimes they’ll just be articles or products or rude things from Pinterest, but I thought it would be fitting to start with 10 food blogs that I’ve recently come to know, love, and respect. Each is totally wonderful in its own unique way, and I hope you’ll visit them all and enjoy them as much as I do. Mouse over the photos to link to the sites. And please feel free to share links to some of your own favorites in the comments.
LOVE AND LEMONS. Jeanine Donofrio and her husband Jack have created one of my favorite new little spots on the web. It’s so beautifully designed I almost can’t talk about it, but I’ll manage. The site reminds me of a trip to my beloved Balthazar in NY if Balthazar’s french fries didn’t taste very, very much like meat. Lucky for me, Jeanine and Jack’s cooking style is mostly vegetarian with some fish, and mostly non-dairy, a.k.a. perfect. I’m excited to see how this site evolves in the coming months.
COOKIE + KATE. Kathryne Taylor first caught my eye for her generosity. She freely and genuinely promotes other people’s work almost as much as she produces her own, which is to say, constantly. Even better, we seem to have exactly the same taste. So basically all I have to do to keep myself entertained and learning is stand slightly behind her and not blink too much. Kathryne’s blog Cookie + Kate focuses on vegetarian whole foods in a fun, down-to-earth way, with terrific photography and a great sense of humor. C + K was even nominated on Saveur.com as one of this year’s best cooking blogs. If you don’t already know Kathryne, go say hello!
DASH AND BELLA. Former pastry chef and admirably engaged mom of two Phyllis Grant knows her way around a bone saw, but it’s her words that really cut right to the essence of cooking, parenthood, and a little thing called modern life. Her writing will suck you in and leave you breathless. And if that’s not enough, I really like her cooking style. It’s umami central — anchovies and capers flying everywhere — plus a ton of fresh produce, and a way of cooking with kids that doesn’t involve control-freaking them to within an inch of their lives like mine (um…never) does.
FEED ME PHOEBE. Phoebe Lapine, the multi-talented culinary artist formerly known as half of Big Girls, Small Kitchen, recently launched this new site, where her contagious personality really shines through. I love her cooking style for its practicality, abundant use of fresh produce, and comfortable balance of healthfulness and…well…all of our many other motivations for cooking and eating. There’s no question in my mind that Phoebe will be a well-known food personality one day soon. So if you want to be able to say you knew her back in the day, don’t delay in getting to know this great new site.
MY NEW ROOTS. This blog is a major inspiration and a place you’ll want to move into for a while, so pack an overnight bag before you visit. Sarah Britton is a Canadian holistic nutritionist and vegetarian chef living in Denmark. My New Roots is unique among the health-focused food blogs I know in the depth and breadth of information Sarah provides on how our bodies utilize the beautiful whole ingredients in her recipes. But better yet, her style is just absolutely lovely, so you’ll be seduced into doing what’s good for you without even trying.
THE PARSLEY THIEF. Katie Vitucci’s The Parsley Thief is one of my happy places on the web. She cooks a lot of great recipes (including a homemade Saag Paneer I’m obsessed with) and also posts about crafting, products and styles to covet, design, and family-related goodness. Katie is another generous spirit with a lot of energy to share with colleagues and friends. If you don’t know Katie and The Parsley Thief yet, you’ve been missing out. Now would be a good time to fix that.
GREEN KITCHEN STORIES. Under the creative leadership of Luise Vindahl and David Frenkiel (inspired — if not supervised? — by their young daughter Elsa), Green Kitchen Stories has quickly become one of the most inspiring healthy vegetarian food blogs out there. The family lives in Sweden, which, judging from the blog, must be a magical land where it’s always sunny and all the food is gorgeous, but not as gorgeous as the people. (Actually, I’m pretty sure at least one of those statements is true.) As you know, I’m a big fan of thoughtful cuisine and not a big fan of labels, and GKS’s cooking style is just that — lots of smart choices made in style and very few grand pronouncements. They even have an iPad and iPhone app, which I own and love, as well as a cookbook on the way. What more can I say?
SCANDI FOODIE. At the risk of incurring a restraining order from the entire Nordic region, I’ve been loving yet another blog with Scandinavian roots. Maria Laitinen, a Finn living in Sydney, posts about healthful whole foods, often with a Scandinavian bent. She’s a professional prop stylist, so her photos are as beautiful as her recipes. Maria has recently become vegan, so recipes from 2012 reflect that development. Search further into the archives for some non-vegan fare if you like. Bonus points for revisiting 2009 and 2010, when the blog was written entirely in Finnish.
NATURALLY ELLA. If you’re a newer reader of Umami Girl, you may not know that once upon a time I started this site as a resource for the members of a CSF (Community Supported Farm) I helped to coordinate. Well, you can take a girl out of her CSF, but you can’t take the CSF out of the girl. For that and many other reasons, I feel very much at home on Naturally Ella, a wonderful vegetarian blog by Erin Alderson with fresh vegetables galore. The site is beautifully photographed and also beautifully organized to make it easy to learn about Community Supported Agriculture, cook by the season, and find imaginative recipes for specific vegetables that you may or may not find at your average grocery store. I could mention, too, that Erin is a professional musician — another reason for me to love this lady if ever there were — but as she says, that’s a story for another day.
HAPPYOLKS. Are you ready for a little soul, sista? Because Kelsey Brown has soul in spades, and she and her BF Shaun share it lovingly in words and photos on their charming blog Happyolks. This site is like edible yoga, and I mean that in the best possible way (whatever the heck that may be). Happyolks is about lovely whole vegetarian foods, sure, and it honors food the way food deserves to be honored. But it’s one of those sites where the talk about eating is just a convenient excuse for talk about living. I’m a total sucker for those kinds of sites. You always walk away from them with so much more than you bargained for — more than you realized you needed. Pay a visit to Happyolks pretty much immediately. You’ll be richly rewarded, whether or not you’ve got a decent downward dog.