Firstly I must apologise for the lack of posts lately – I had great intentions for December but then the untimely demise of my camera coupled with year-end preparations got the better of me. I hope you all had a wonderful break and 2011 brings you peace and happiness.
In October last year the fabulous English Mum put together a very lovely Around the web in 20 clicks – in praise of bloggers post setting out some of the blogs she likes to read. The baton was swiftly passed to Tara at Sticky Fingers and then on to Like Mam Used To Bake. Seeing as it is the start of a new year I thought that this might be a good time to pick up the baton and put together my own ‘top 20’ list of blogs that I like to read – and here it is.
- Starting at the very beginning it has to be www.beaut.ie. This is the first blog that I really got stuck in to as it were and has become a regular read for me. As well as being a fabulous resource for reviews and news on all things beautiful also has a rather unique feel thanks to the daily Blather where chat can meander from politics to perfume in a blink of an eye! If it wasn’t for the encouragement of many beauts I don’t think my blog would exist today. The blog appears to be a real labour of love for its creators, sisters Aisling and Kirstie McDermott.
- The truly wonderful shining star that is English Mum is guaranteed to give me a good old chuckle on a regular basis and when you combine this with some very drool-worthy recipes then you can’t possibly go wrong. Check out this Food Trends for 2011 post for some great inspiration for the year ahead (I very much like the ‘more cake’ idea). I am also very envious of her bundts.
- One of the nicest bloggers I have met on my journey has to be Like Mam Use To Bake. Beautiful recipes that always have a story – sometimes funny, sometimes poignant nostalgia but always heartfelt and a joy to read. I love this post on the trip to New York and the BLT Popovers and her Mint Crisp Pie is becoming the stuff of legend.
- The man who helped get all of us Irish foodies ‘together’ is the rather brilliant Donal Skehan of The Good Mood Food Blog. A young man of many talents Donal has just launched his new website www.donalskehan.com, where you can check out his amazing recipes and photography, and in spring of this year we will see his second cookbook, Kitchen Hero, hit the shelves.
- Ever helpful and truly the font of all knowledge (especially when it comes to shopping in France!) is the delightfully witty and clever Aoife over at Babaduck Babbles. Mouth-watering posts keep me entertained regularly. I have yet to sample Aoife’s cocktail making abilities but I have no doubt she will be very very good at it and in light of Aoife’s win of two of the Irish monthly cookalongs I am beginning to suspect that there may be no end to the woman’s talents.
- An Irish food blog that I love to read for amazing recipes and equally brilliant photographs is Dinner du Jour and I can highly recommend this recipe for ‘the best chocolate chip cookies ever‘ (according to my son the aficionado). Kristin’s rather brilliant tip for freezing pre-measured balls of cookie dough in individual wrappers means that I can now produce a spanking fresh cookie or two daily with no fuss, genius!
- And whilst on the subject of amazing recipes and beautiful photos take a look at Italian Foodies, a blog created by Lors – one half of the dynamic duo that own La Cucina, an award-winning eatery in Castletroy, Co Limerick. Just take a look at this Mac n’Cheese (but not as we know it).
- Sunday mornings for me are a great time to relax and read through a few of my favourite blogs and Ken over at Any Given Food very thoughtfully posts a weekly Round Up of Irish food blog posts so this is a great place to check out a few of the weeks offerings.
- Hugely inspiring for food bloggers everywhere is London based Irish lady Niamh over at Eat Like a Girl. Niamh’s passion for food is so evident in her writing and there are at least a million things on her blog that I want to try! It is no wonder that ELAG was listed by The Telegraph as one of the best food blogs.
- Jay over at Mocha Beanie Mummy is so blindingly honest and open and on top of this she is also a fantastic photographer and one of the most irreverent and funny people I follow on Twitter.
- For all things pretty, from nail art to dresses to shoe cabinets and beyond I love Lynnie’s blog Lyndar the Merciless. Plus she has the cutest little doggie called Boris.
- An American in Ireland is Clare Kleinedler’s refreshingly honest account of life here in Ireland following the move from her native LA to Drogheda in 2010. A wonderful mix of anecdotes, observations and recipes.
- Imen’s beautifully stylish blog I Married An Irish Farmer is a wonderful account of life on an 18th Century farm in Limerick through the eyes of an American girl.
- For great inspiration for your home is Maggy Moon and I love this amazingly simple idea of painting plastic plants pots! Genius idea and definitely on the ‘to do’ list before this summer.
- Sarah over at Cake in the Country is a modern-day wonder woman! Gorgeous treats in the form of fabulous food posts mixed with amazing pictures of her horses and life in the west of Ireland. In addition to all this Sarah is a medical student and also runs the monthly Irish foodie cookalongs! Amazing.
- Another very lovely Irish food blogger that I love to read is Cooking in Mammy’s Kitchen and I particularly like this idea of the Cookbook Challenge – something I definitely need to do this year!
- Cook with Tina is a blog I will certainly be keeping an eye on this year for healthy vegetarian recipes – something I really want to explore more in 2011 and this Channa Masala recipe is top of the list to try.
- I couldn’t possibly put together a list of Top 20’s without mention of the brilliant The Daily Spud. Just look at this recipe for Crusty Potatoes Anna, but be warned – it may induce feelings of extreme hunger.
- Not only does Caroline over at Bibliocook have a fabulous collection of recipes and reviews but last Autumn also saw the introduction of two Bronze turkeys to the mix and I loved reading this post on rearing the turkeys for the family’s Thanksgiving feast. I can’t wait to see what 2011 brings!
- A little bend of the rules here as I want to squeeze in two great UK food blogs – Food Urchin‘s latest post The Gluttony and the Resolution and Meemalee’s Kitchen‘s post on eating rotten shark are two that had me laughing out loud.
There are so many amazing, inspirational and funny blogs out there this list could easily have run on and on. I really hope in 2011 to discover more and more and also perhaps keep my own a bit more up to date.