Today is the first group blogging day of the blogathon, meaning that all participants have the option of writing about the same thing, the easy topic of our favorite blogs. Since I write mostly about food, gardening and books, I'm going to name a few of my favorites in each of those categories. (Alas, I haven't found an Indian-related blog that I read regularly, so I'm going to skip that category.) I'm also going to throw in a few miscellaneous blogs that I also read often, just to round it out to 10. (I have to say that blogs I can't live without is rather a dramatic statement, but it's getting late, and I don't want to parse words too much. Suffice it to say that these are all blogs I read, enjoy and recommend. Whether I could or couldn't live without them is another story.)
I hate to admit it, but I'm not very adventurous when it comes to food blogs. I do use the excellent Food Blog Search when I'm looking for lots of recipes using one particular ingredient or for variations on a particular dish, and that's led me to a number of interesting blogs and good recipes. On a daily basis, though, I find myself going back to the same few sites.
Smitten Kitchen: Beautiful photos, well-tested recipes, glimpses of an adorable baby--what more could one want? Deb has a recent book deal for The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, and it's well-deserved. I don't know why she didn't have one sooner. Favorite recipes from there that I've written about include the excellent chewy granola bars and blueberry buttermilk cake. Then, there's her recipe for creamed chard and spring onions with pasta, which I've made twice in the past 2 weeks and have had to fight Alex for the leftovers . . .
Orangette: Lovely writing and lovely recipes. Plus, vicarious glimpses into opening a new restaurant, as Molly and her husband did last year. Over and over again, I've made her spinach and green garlic soup and her warm chickpea salad, not to mention the banana bread with chocolate chip and crystallized ginger. I can only say yum. (Molly's memoir with recipes, A Homemade Life, came out last year.)
The Wednesday Chef: I'm a more recent reader of this blog, but I like Luisa's sensibility, her writing and the recipes she chooses. Now that my rhubarb plant is close to its usual massive size, I'm particularly intrigued by her recent forays into new ways to cook rhubarb. (Luisa's book, tentatively titled My Berlin Kitchen, is under contract. Not sure when it's due out.)
A Way to Garden: Former Martha Stewart garden editor Margaret Roach has created a site with gorgeous photos, handy monthly to-do lists and a wealth of gardening information. There's also a forum, where you can ask gardening questions. The site has only been up for a few years, but it's an invaluable resource. Margaret's book, which she calls her "dropout memoir", is due out next year.
Garden Rant: I have to admit, I don't read this one as often as I'd like, but whenever I do, I'm glad. This is, in part, a reminder to myself to check it more often.
Like Fire: I may be biased, since Lisa Peet, woman behind the blog, is a friend, but I think she's done a fabulous job with Like Fire, where you can find news, reviews, interviews and all things bookish and often quirky. In Lisa's words, "Like Fire champions the offbeat, the independent, and the underdog." I'm all for it.
Keeper of the Snails: This blog, by British writer Claire Dudman, is a recent discovery for me. (I found her through a post she wrote on my beloved Barbara Trapido.) Since then, I keep going back, as Claire's posts are always interesting, and her last few reviews have made me want to pick up the books she's writing about immediately, even if it means paying lots of postage to get them here from Britain.
My Porch: Another recent discovery (through a review Thomas wrote on Maggie O'Farrell's new novel). Thomas is a prolific poster and reader, and I like his taste in books. He also takes on reading projects, which I admire in a person, even if I can't always manage it myself.
A few others:
The Daily Dish: I started reading Andrew Sullivan's blog at the Atlantic website during the election and haven't stopped. I don't always agree with him (and think he can be annoying, certainly), but I haven't found any other place that gathers up the quantity and quality of stuff that he and his under-bloggers do. I like that he sometimes focuses on stories the mainstream press isn't covering, and I like that he frequently posts letters from people who disagree with him. I often skim, but this is one I do look at every day.
Local or Express: I can no longer remember how I found my way to Robin Aronson's blog, but it's another I check often. I like Robin's musings and like to think that if we actually knew each other, we'd be friends.