Sure, some blogs offer unashamed food porn. Joy the Baker’s voluptuous cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread, Smitten Kitchen’s chocolate peanut butter cake and Bakerella’s red velvet cake balls have the power to derail even the most devoted dieter. But aside from causing us to lick our computer screens, blogs can be seriously useful. Stuck for a midweek dinner? Need to bake a cake for somebody with wheat intolerance? Have an urgent need to find out how to make saffron-vanilla snickerdoodles?
To keep you inspired and cool-headed in any food-related emergency, here is our pick of the best food blogs:
My Easy Cooking
Local blogger Nina Timm took home the award for best local blog in this year’s Eat In DStv Food Network Produce Awards for her user-friendly, practical guide to cooking for the family. Economical and easy, it’s packed full of quick ideas like these chocolate samosas and a few that require some patience, like this crusty bread.
You may well know Cape Town-based blogger Jane-Anne Hobbs Rayner from her Scrumptious recipe books. Wholesome, homemade achievable food is what’s on the menu here, from peri-peri calamari to garlic and herb bread with peppered cheese.
The name may signify sweet treats, but the grandmother of local food blogging, Colleen Grove, has plenty of midweek wonders to offer too. You may well have spotted her French toast with brie and boozy vanilla bean compote and her baby beetroot, blue cheese and walnut risotto before on our site.
Food and the Fabulous
Another who defies categorising, well-traveled writer, Ishay Govender offers recipes, and reviews of restaurants and markets and more on her aptly-titled blog. Easy to see why she won the best South African Food and Wine Blog 2011 at the South African Blog Awards.
Sardines on Toast
Oep ve Koep’s Kobus van der Merwe catalogues the natural produce of the West Coast in this beautifully photographed, thoughtful blog.
Drizzle and Dip
Local food stylist and after-hours blogger Sam Linsell turns out beautiful photographed recipes and reviews, from sweet treats like clementine upside-down cakes to sumptuous savouries like mac and cheese with buffalo sausage, roast tomatoes and pickled peppers.
Confessions of a Hungry Woman
We weren’t sure whether to put the lovely Sam Woulidge under inspiration or humour, because Sam’s diverse scrawlings on a wide variety of foodie topics make us laugh and dream at the same time. A great blog for lovers of good writing.
Special dietary requirements
Photographer Helene Dujardin began making gluten-free dishes to manage her Menieres Disease. The results are beautiful, inspiring and droolworthy.
Blogger Caitlyn began cooking without grains or sugar to help combat her husband’s Crohn’s disease. Gorgeous moody photography makes dishes like almond and cherry upside-down cake utterly irresistible.
In this feast of colour, Aran Goyoaga serves up delicious gluten-free sweets and savouries.
The Clothes Make the Girl
Even we feel the need for a healthy (and tasty) meal once in a while.
Fat Free Vegan
Head here for fat-free vegan recipes that are much more delicious than they sound!
The blog of local blogger Bernice Griffiths started as a record of recipes free of corn and gluten but has expanded to cover her original cooking and baking recipes of all kinds, restaurant reviews and food events – all with a focus on healthy living.
How Sweet It Is
Sure, there are some wicked things on this blog (okay, a lot of wicked things), but if you keep your eyes front, you’ll find your way to dishes like these crispy quinoa sliders, fudgy avocado brownies and corn salsa.
Live to Eat
With loads of gardening tips, foodie news and championing of local suppliers, Bernadette Le Roux’s blog is a great place for cooking with a conscience.
Travel and food
As food critic for the Wall Street Journal, and one of the judges of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Bruce Palling has had occasion to eat at the top restaurants around the world as well as attend some mindblowing culinary events, such as Cook it Raw. (As if that’s not enough to make you jealous, he’s just visited SA as one of our judges for the Eat Out DStv Food Network Restaurant Awards.)
New World Review
Nicholas Gill’s attempt to preserve the culinary heritage of Latin America makes for fascinating reading, from smoking hollowed-out pumpkins in Mexico to ceviche with coconut milk vinaigrette.
Paris by Mouth
More collaborative website than blog, this is a great place to see what’s hot in the city before you visit.
Eat Like a Girl
‘A food and travel blog (with lots of stuff on London too)’ is how Niamh Shields styles her exploration of recipes, food and culture. The photography might not be as gorgeous as some, but Niamh took home last year’s Observer Food Monthly Blogger award for her old, unfussy recipes for dishes like smoked mayonnaise and duck ragu.
My Drunk Kitchen
Taking Keith Floyd’s culinary drinking to the next level, Hannah Hart decided to make a cooking show whilst drunk. “My Drunk Kitchen has received much critical acclaim from aspiring alcoholics everywhere,” reads the bio for the site. “For this she is very proud.”
Fancy Fast Food
The premise behind this site is to make beautiful dishes using ingredients from fast food chains. Probably the only place on the web you’ll find the term ‘Coke reduction’ used with any frequency…
With badly punctuated birthday cakes, hideous wedding cakes and downright disturbing confectionary, this blog is good as a pick-me-up after (or during) a particularly dull board meeting.
By Katharine Jacobs