By Joni McNeal
Best Baking & Personality Food Blog [Joy Wilson]
Joy the Baker started in 2008 on a borrowed computer and a flip-phone camera, and evolved into something of a pastry chef’s digital diary. This led to food blogger fame and the release of two cookbooks. Still a baking blog at its core, the 35-year-old Wilson’s online outlet has since turned into a lifestyle guide, with posts about her new favorite nail polish and dinner party symbolism nestled among a feed filled with mouth-watering recipes.
Homemade Decadence: Irresistibly Sweet, Salty, Gooey, Sticky, Fluffy, Creamy, Crunchy Treats, Joy’s second cookbook, released in October 2014. Rumor has it Joy is working on a new cookbook all about brunch. Stay tuned.
“Can’t Stop/Won’t Stop” Recipe
Dad’s Famous Sweet Potato Pie – the recipe she mentions (and makes) time and time again.
Prepare to get stuffed when following Joy’s guide to New Orleans, her adopted hometown.
Hot dog loaded with spicy mustard and sauerkraut.
Best Entertaining-at-Home Food Blog [Jenny Steffens Hobick]
While it has been an exciting couple of years (including a move from the East Coast back to her hometown of Kansas City and the launch of her online shop, which features handcrafted kitchen and entertaining products), Hobick admits that some of her favorite moments have always been hosting one or two other couples for dinner or a board game party during the week. “It keeps our home feeling open and full of friends – and it keeps me from getting too far behind on housework,” she says.
Best Entertaining Advice
“I always recommend to entertain in a style that is well-suited to your personality,” Hobick says. “Don’t try to be a June Cleaver if you are a clearly a Lucille Ball.”
White everyday Williams-Sonoma plates, crisp linens, and hand-stitched napkins.
Kraft Macaroni & Cheese
Coarse sea salt, fresh-cracked pepper, and anything with truffles.
Best Vegetarian Food Blog [Sara Forte]
It was the perfect pairing when this English major and then-boyfriend (now-husband) photographer decided to launch a blog in 2009. Sprouted Kitchen has always been just as much about the food photography as it is about the recipes, and the images and design of the site reflect the philosophy of the recipes: simple and clean. If you’re looking for a simple, but elegant meal built upon seasonal, plant-based ingredients and a relaxed cooking philosophy, Sprouted Kitchen is the place to find it.