Cooking Classy Saves Lives

Growing up in a big, fat, crazy Italian family means cooking has always been a big part of my life. I have been helping my grandmother and aunts and cousins in the kitchen for as long as I can remember. Cooking came naturally to me since I was always completely surrounded by it. Before I came to college it was easy to cook for myself, and I did almost every day. But at the beginning of my freshman year I quickly learned cooking for myself would not be easy. I ended up throwing out a lot of food because I didn’t have the space for leftovers or I struggled to make some of my staple meals because of the limitations of living in a dorm. I got sick of cereal, ramen noodles and microwavable meals within my first month of college.

 

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 7.53.36 PMEnter Cooking Classy. I randomly found this blog, which has truly saved my life, while desperately searching for any other food besides frozen pizzas. Completely run by a 20 something year old woman, Jaclyn, Cooking Classy has everything for people who enjoy making themselves good food. She posts recipes of different difficulty levels, meaning I can still find an amazing recipe even if I’m feeling lazy and want something quick. All the recipes have accompanying photos, which makes trying them out even more irresistible. And you can follow Cooking Classy on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram if you want to fill your social media feeds with tantalizing pictures of food.

 

The recipes are broken down into categories, like Italian or Southwestern,Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 7.53.02 PM or my favorite, Brownies and Bars. There is a recipe for a “small batch of brownies” which allegedly serves 3-4 people but no judgements if 3-4 servings turns into a single serving like it has for me. There are all kinds of dessert options to satisfy any sweet tooth. Sometimes you desperately need chocolate frosted peanut butter bars at 2 AM during finals. Cooking Classy is there for you. Sometimes you drastically overbuy vegetables and need to make them fast. Cooking Classy lets you search by ingredients. No matter what mood you are in or what you have lying around the house, you will find a recipe you will want to make immediately.

 

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 8.04.07 PMRun by a Mormon wife and mother,
the blog is aimed at other women and mothers but the content is not exclusive to these groups by any means. I think she speaks to this audience because it is the audience she can most relate to. She often replies to comments that visitors leave which gives the blog a strong sense of community. It is hard not to like Jaclyn because she presents herself and her interests, cooking and photography, in such a genuine way. I challenge you to look through some recipes and not want to try and match her process and final products. And who doesn’t like a woman who dedicated and entire category to breads and rolls that look like this.

 

While this blog isn’t going to be for everyone (Jaclyn does get a little preachy sometimes), if you like to cook real food like I do, you will love this blog. A few of my personal favorites besides the brownies are Grilled Greek Lemon Chicken, Chicken Parmesan and Zucchini (although I like to make my own sauce), Creamy Tomato and Tortellini Soup and Energy Cookies. If you don’t mind spending some time making your dinner, I promise you find recipes you will want to make for the rest of your life. The recipes are easy to find and easy to follow. I strongly recommend checking out this site before your next trip to the grocery store.

 

Foodgawker

I love eating delicious food.  And looking at delicious-looking food.  And just food in general.  That’s why Foodgawker.com has earned a top spot in my internet-surfing repertoire.

Foodgawker is not so much a blog as it is a collection of food photography.  The editors collect photographs from food bloggers around the world, categorize them, and repost the pictures into a large, searchable, drool-worthy gallery, always linking to the original post by the photographer/food blogger.

There are three main reasons why I love Foodgawker (and why you should, too):

  1. Photographs
  2. Dozens of categories
  3. Links

Photographs:

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S’mores Brownies.  Enough said.

Categories:

Foodgawker labels and organizes its posts very well.  This allows you to search by type of food (ex: Nutella), type of dish (ex: dessert), and even by submitter of the post.  The multitude of categories also makes it incredibly simple to find diet-specific foods, such as vegan or gluten-free recipes.

Links:

Clicking on a post on Foodgawker will bring you directly to the original post of the submitter, which is usually on a personal food blog.  This gives you the recipe so you can make delicious food for yourself at home, as well as background on the recipe and reasons why the original creator/their family/their friends enjoy it.  I love this feature because reading a recipe off a food blog makes me feel as if I’m getting the information from a friend rather than the anonymous sources behind general recipe websites.  Foodgawker gives me access to thousands of blogs and points of view that I may not otherwise have found.  And although I have not started following any specific food blogs, I like knowing where I can find them.

 

Oh, and did I mention the food?

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Eggplant Penne Pasta Bake