happy weekend!

I have been looking forward to this weekend for WEEKS. I am so excited to go home tonight for Easter.

Things that I will NOT be doing to celebrate include making many of the weird Easter creations I’ve seen on Pinterest.

Who wants to hack off a chunk of a bunny’s backside for dessert? I guess it’s a cute pudgy little image, but I don’t want to eat that.

Similarly, I don’t want to be forced to make a comparison between some creamy dip and the stomach contents of an animal like this: And this yolky cupcake-stuffed-into-eggshell isn’t in any way appealing at all.

I’ll be sticking to the classics this year

Happy Easter, and happy weekend!

(images)

the omgosh yum.

The well of inspiration for blog reviews is running a little dry, so here’s a collection of recipes from around the web that have made turn my eyes into love crumbs (name that poem!) and my heart beat faster. I happily receive any and all cooking/baking donations. I’d even review them on the blog! :)

Just make sure you’re in an Adele frame of mind.

First, Cake Batter Blondies. Looks like it would be impossible to eat these and not be happy. The blogger says they’re the best thing she’s eaten/made. Recipe.

Oreo Layer Dessert. Recipe.

Skillet Strawberry Cobbler. Recipe.

This one looks/sounds a little suspect, but I bet it’s delicious. Apple Nachos. Recipe.

Frosty S’more Cups. Recipe.

Ending on an adorable one. Baby Birds Nest Pretzels. Recipe.

Hope to have gotten your sweet tooth revved. Come my way with any proceeds!

 

the blogger who writes the best.

If someone asked me whose writing style is the most admired in the blogosphere and whose voice most bloggers attempt to emulate (obviously I get questions like this all the time), I wouldn’t have to think about my answer. It’s The Pioneer Woman. Le duh. If you haven’t already heard of her, here’s Wikipedia’s quick rundown:

Ree Drummond is an award-winning American blogger, No. 1 New York Times bestselling author, food writer, photographer, television personality who lives on a working ranch outside of Pawhuska, Oklahoma. In February 2010, she was listed as No. 22 on Forbes’ Top 24 Web Celebrities– one of only three women. Her blog, The Pioneer Woman, which documents Drummond’s daily life as a ranch wife and mother, was named Weblog of the Year in 2009 and 2010 and the Annual Weblog awards.

Her blog is massive and multi-faceted, and I’m convinced that the woman doesn’t sleep. Apart from all she manages though (homeschooling her kids, castrating cows  (was just alerted that bulls are typically the ones getting castrated, not cows), cooking for her cookbook, cooking for her tv show, blogging, going on book tours, etc), I really am most impressed with by the quality and quantity of her writing. As I’ve said, she’s SO famous, and yet she writes with total humility and such great humor. She walks on blog water, and other bloggers (especially food ones, perhaps even one who has been reviewed here? Not naming any names…) labor endlessly to copy her style of food writing. No one comes close. Check that out here (and find a treasure trove of incredible recipes): Pioneer Woman Cooks.

Or, for a more specific entry point, I highly recommend that you read All I Wanted Was A Doughnut, a post that she wrote last Friday that I enjoyed more than anything else I’ve seen on the web recently. Teaser phrases: “my back fat is violent,” “the conversation about my getting up at five to work out for an hour really wore me out,” and “My pride is hurt. It is badly, badly injured.”

Go read the article. You’ll laugh. If you don’t, you can give it to me in the comments. But she’s still The Blogger Who Writes The Best in my mind.

(Image via The Pioneer Woman).

the sweetie.

My blog all about blogs could be a blog just about food blogs. It could actually be a blog all about gluten-free/vegan/raw/sustainable/local food blogs. There are a gajillion sites about food, and just in case you can’t get to them all, here is one that I consider one of the (sugary, as that is my preference 100 times over) cream (cheese icing) of the crop.

Joy the Baker cooked up her mouthwateringly good site in 2008 and since then has offered the web sweet treats every few days. The ones that are getting me going this morning?

Peanut Butter Fudge Treats. Gah, I want one (well, if I’m being honest, seven) now.

Red Velvet Black and White Cookies. YUM.

Lemon Drenched Raspberry Bread, you know, for something healthy.

Her recipe archives are immense (look here to see what I mean), and I feel like I want to take on a Julie & Julia-like project to try to make that entire list. What sets Joy’s blog above the rest (for me, at least) is her incorporation of lifestyle writing in with the food. Joy the Baker is not only about recipes, and while technical detail required in a blog about how to cook and bake things is there, each post is very human and gives the reader a peek into Joy’s life. She lives in LA with her cat (and makes being a cat lady a total rockstar thing) and has a great group of quirky friends. She hosts frequent dinner parties. She loves the color navy and reads books in bed with a headlamp. In these personal snippets, it becomes apparent that the incredible confections Joy bakes are rivaled only by her writing, and her site’s biggest draw is that humorous, self-deprecating style.

Clearly other people think she’s gold, as she has been called Saveur’s Best Baking and Dessert Blog, Bloggies’ and Foodbuzz’s Best Food Blog, and one of the Top Fifty Food Blogs in the World by the London Times. A big three years of baking (and she won’t admit how many pounds) for Joy!

(Images via Joy the Baker)

the gals.

So I know the famous quote says something along the lines of “blowing out someone else’s candle doesn’t make yours burn any brighter.” I understand that it’s a good thing to remember. Even so, I fear passing this blog along because it’s so great that I think many people’s blogging needs can and might be totally satisfied by it. But in the spirit of spreading the light, I will take a big gulp and send it forth. Hello Giggles was born 6 months ago, and it’s a collection of videos/articles/tips/drawings/thought essays/polls that are hilarious/girly/cool.  Sophia Rossi (LA socialite (but not in the terrible Paris Hilton way); when she refers to Nicole and Lauren she means Richie and Conrad), Molly McAleer (Hollywood writer), and Zooey Deschanel (girl crush of 98% of the population. I’m in the leftover 2%. I can’t get over her breaking my sweetie’s heart in 500 Days of Summer) run the blog. Hello Giggles deems itself an “entertainment site” and its audience “smart, independent, and creative females.”

Where to start on this blog? Here are a couple pieces that have been particularly popular.

Love letter to Ryan Gosling– if you haven’t seen it yet, you’re in for a treat. I don’t laugh out loud while reading too often, but I definitely did when I first saw that one.

My Disney Top Five– a snippet about #2, Young Simba:

“Young Simba is pretty much the whole package. He’s adorable, scrappy, fun-loving, and brave. But, more important, he actually likes and respects girls. His best friend is Nala, a female lion cub. He skipped right past the whole female-lion-cubs-have-cooties stage of life. Talk about mature! He also experiences great tragedy, perfect if you’re the type who wants a man you can really take care of. And let us not forget that Jonathan Taylor Thomas, pre-pubescent heartthrob of our universal preteen dreams, was the voice behind this cute little guy. Adorably enough, Young Simba even looks like JTT (possibly the source of my confusing yet unrelenting fascination with Furries). But seriously, guys, check out a side-by-side comparison.”

The blog is sassy, estrogen-filled (like that, my two male readers?), and fun. Hope you like it!

(images via HelloGiggles)

the resourceful.

Clueless was never one of my favorite movies. Somehow I found it much easier to forgive Austen’s Emma for her snooty sins than I could for her modern reincarnation in Cher. The movie wasn’t a total waste for me though – - I remember being SO fascinated by/envious of Cher’s virtual outfit planner.

Today’s site is just like that computer program, except it’s not about clothes, it’s not run with a pink/”like totally omg”/valley girl backdrop, and it’s available for more than only the 1%. Gojee is new recipe site that currently has over 10,000 recipes from over 160 food writers. The cool part is that you tell the site what you’re craving (and what you dislike) and/or you list the ingredients you currently have in your kitchen, and Gojee will tell you what things you can make. So, rather than combing food sites for a recipe that looks good and then discovering that you can’t make it because you don’t have some obscure ingredient, the only recipes  that will be generated for you are the ones for which you already have all the necessary components (if, however, you don’t mind dashing to the store, you can define your search around only what you’re craving). While the data use/search functions are cool enough on their own, the site’s even better for its design layout, with picture slideshows (it’s so ripe for ipad usage) and amazing photographs.

S’more pudding.

Grilled peach salad.

Chocolate Malt Krispey Bars.

The site is designed well, it’s visually appealing, and it’s fun to see some famous food writers pop up on there. You do have to sign up, but it takes all of 2 seconds and I’ve gotten no annoying emails from them.

At one point in Clueless, Cher says, “I feel like such a heifer. I had two bowls of Special K, 3 pieces of turkey bacon, a handful of popcorn, 5 peanut butter M&M’s and like 3 pieces of licorice.” If only her boxy computer had the internet and Gojee, she could have had a much more cohesive meal.

Happy cooking!

(Images courtesy of Gojee)

the sisters.

I am hardcore crushing on this blog. A Piece of Toast is a lifestyle blog that is stylish without a hint of snobbishness, picture-heavy but not devoid of good writing, and sweet but far from saccharine. Add the fact that it’s run by two sisters from the South, and I’m smitten. Sally Ann and Molly Bernadette started A Piece of Toast in November 2010, and they’ve posted a few times a day every day since then.

They feature clothes (that are wearable/affordable/you wouldn’t feel foolish trying to copy), beauty, food (their criteria for wine/beer is the same as mine– low price and good packaging), interiors, happenings in the fashion world, interesting articles of note, and other lifestyley things.

The girls live together in Texas, and they blog when they’re not at their day jobs (one is a teacher, one works in marketing). In their “Meet Us” section, they say they are the types that “stalk Sprinkles for the free cupcake of the day and aren’t embarrassed that the people there now easily recognize them.” I do this as well, and I’m not either. Totally shameless with free samples.

They write well*, they’ve got their thumbs on the fashion/blogging pulse, and they are so very likable. I (truly madly) deeply want to be best friends with them.

(Images via A Piece of Toast)