Parties That Cook’s Top 10 Favorite Food Blogs of 2011

Nowadays, there are so many food blogs calling for your attention that it is hard to know where to start! There is even a blog for food blogs. To make it easier for you, we are superwoman-ing in and narrowing down all of the scrumptious options at your fingertips. Back in 2009, we wrote this post detailing some of our favorite blogs. Today, we bring you an updated Top 10!

Number one on our list is What’s Gaby Cooking Simple Sassy Gourmet. Gabby Dalkin is a twenty four year old blogger who attended culinary school in 2009 and pastry school in 2010. She is a personal chef, professional recipe developer and food photographer.  She is also a sucker for a good margarita and absolutely obsessed with cheese. To top it all off, she has a mean recipe for Pizza Monkey Bread– it seriously may change your life!

Coming in at number two: Smitten Kitchen. You can definitely let your eyes feast on this blog; it boasts absolutely stunning photography! Deb and her husband Alex seem very down to earth. They stay away from fussy ingredients like Himalayan pink salt, and stick to what is accessible. Fantastic cooking doesn’t have to leave a hole in your pocket at the end of the meal! Best of all, Smitten Kitchen recently received one of Time Magazine’s 25 Best Blogs of 2011 awards!

Kiss My Spatula is up next… Recently featured in Gourmet Magazine for its incredible food photography and unforgettable recipes, a visit to this blog will definitely stir up hunger pangs. Be sure to check out the Homemade Pantry tab that offers recipes for necessities such as peanut butter, ketchup, hummus, and even homemade organic butter.  If you are in need of a refreshing Fourth of July beverage, try the Lychee Mojito. You can even mix up some thirst quenching Raspberry Lemonade for the under 21 crowd.

Another staff favorite, Savory Sweet Life, provides easy everyday recipes for the everyday home cook. Alice is a cook, a baker, a writer, and a photographer.  She started her blog as a creative outlet — she wanted to share her joys in life with others. We love her blog because she keeps it simple; the recipes are approachable, yet impressive. Check this out: prior to having kids, she worked in 3D animation, which led her to start her own wedding cake business! I bet her kids would kill to have one of those triple layer birthday cakes!

With a Best of 2010 Special Interest Blog award, we can’t leave La Tartine Gourmande off of our list. Béa is a French expatriate who lives in Boston. She feels privileged to be able to share her food discoveries, experiments, stories, and creativity with her readers. She is a regular contributor to the Boston Globe Food Section and she has even done work for Trader Joe’s. She makes incredible gazpacho and amazing spiced pumpkin pots de creme with sautéed apples and pistachios. Be sure to check out her Gluten Free tab as well!

Cooking everything but the kitchen sink is Kristin, the author of the Kitchen Sink Recipes blog. Kristin lives in Chicago and is a pro at keeping things seasonal! She also has some fantastic pre-made menus including a Summer BBQ Menu, a Picnic Menu, and a Fiesta Menu. Her blog has been featured on The Pioneer Woman’s delicious food site and in the Chicago Sun Times as well.

Still with us? We sure hope so, because you don’t want to miss Sprouted Kitchen. Though you won’t find a lot of meat and potatoes on this blog, you will find recipes that use healthy, local, and organic ingredients. This blog is all about eating seasonally! This mushroom and poblano tart in a cornmeal crust sure looks perfect for a Sunday brunch!

In 2006, Helene Dujardin started writing Tartelette… on the sweet side of life… She is also the author of Plate to Pixel, a book about digital food photography and styling that came out this April. We love this blog because of the way it celebrates life! Helene takes amazing photos and likes to add a French twist (she used to be a pastry chef at a French restaurant.) Fun side note: though she does not have Celiac’s disease, she has chosen to be 100% gluten free. She says that this change has made her laugh more and feel better every single day.

Orangette is up next. Molly Wizenberg lives in Seattle and has been writing her food blog since July of 2004.  Guess what? She met her husband through her site! She wrote this book, which is a food memoir (with 50 recipes) and opened this restaurant in Seattle. We love her photos, the simplicity of her site, and her Napa cabbage kimchi!

And finally… (drum roll please!!!)…

Rounding out our Top 10: food52, which features not one or two bloggers, but a whole team of foodies. The cool thing about this blog is that it is super engaging! There are videos and even contests– for instance, each Friday they solicit recipes for different themes (whether it be “best summer cocktail” or “best shrimp recipe”). Then, they test a bunch of the entries, and whittle it down to two finalists.  A week later, the winning recipes are posted on their blog! Then readers choose their favorite recipe, and that recipe is added to the food52 cookbook.  You never know, you could be the next finalist!

So there you have it! Parties that Cook’s Top 10 food blogs of 2011! Are you up for a challenge? See if you can make one meal from each of these 10 blogs this summer. Be sure to let us know your favorites!

Fry Up Flavor this Father’s Day with Parties That Cook’s Sweet ‘n Sour Fried Chicken Wings

Haven’t you heard? Wings are the hot new thing! We know you’re cool, so if you want to celebrate Father’s Day in style this Sunday, this NEW Parties That Cook recipe is sure to help! We love these Sweet and Sour Korean Fried Chicken Wings so much, we’re featuring them in our NEW Brews and Bites cooking class in Chicago!

Here in San Francisco, everyone’s buzzing about Wings Wings — the cool new house of wing-y awesomeness on Haight Street. Wings Wings is serving up domesticated fowl that are deep fried and doused with a variety of glazes (check out the Jerk, a sweet/spicy signature Wing).

Sweet and Sour Korean Fried Chicken Wings
This recipe can also be found in our Appetizer Recipe Library!

Ingredients Smaller Sweet and Sour Korean Fried Chicken Wings

Soy Ginger Glaze:
1 cup water
1 cup ginger, thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon Sriracha

Chicken Wings:
1 cup Wondra flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground
3 pounds chicken wings and drummettes (washed and patted dry)

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

Methods/Steps

Make Glaze: In a small saucepan, add the water, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar. Bring to boil. Then add the honey and Sriracha. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half. It will be a thick maple syrup-like consistency. Remove ginger and discard. Set glaze aside.

Heat Oil: Heat the canola oil in a large frying pan to 350°F.

Coat Chicken Wings: Place the Wondra, salt and pepper into a large bowl. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture to get a fine light coat.

Fry Wings: Working in small batches with a spider or skimmer, gently lower the wings into the hot oil. Do not overcrowd and adjust heat to ensure temperature remains at 350°F. Fry for 5 minutes. Transfer wings to a cooling rack placed on top of a sheet pan to drain and allow to cool. Keep the wings in a single layer so you know which ones were fried first and thus, cooled earlier.

RE-FRY Wings: Ensure the temperature of the oil is still at 350°F. Starting with the wings that came out of the fryer first, re-fry the wings until crispy golden brown, about another 5 minutes. Drain again and repeat until all of the wings have been double fried.

Glaze Wings: In a big bowl, toss wings with glaze to evenly coat. Then toss in cilantro and sesame seeds. Transfer to serving platter.

Serves/Makes

Serves 24. Recipe adapted by Parties That Cook® from RavenousCouple.com

Get out and enjoy the sun with Dad! Maybe go on a hike and work up an appetite, then come home and cook up some delicious wings!
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!