Feeling peckish? If you weren’t hungry before, you sure will be when you see this roundup of our favourite Ontario food blogs!
It will come as no surprise that our favourites are Ontario-based blogs that have a special focus on local, seasonal ingredients. These writers are passionate about eating freshly-grown Ontario foods, and their commitment to sharing recipes will help you share in their enthusiasm!
1. Seven Spoons
Seven Spoons is published out of southern Ontario by Tara O’Brady, who’s been blogging for almost nine(!) years. She writes that “Through [the years,] seven spoons has become about more than recipes; it’s also a story of sorts, a collection of thoughts and family and food.” Her recipes are simple to make, but look seriously elegant, like her plum-rippled ginger ice cream, for example, or roasted cauliflower and leek soup. Her photographs really showcase her ingredients and meals, and will make you immediately want to try her recipes for yourself.
In The Weeds is an awesome video-blog web series that showcases the thrill and skill of foraging for fresh food in Ontario. Each episode features a different group of local chefs as they learn from foraging experts how to locate a particular ingredient. At the end of each foraging excursion, they prepare an amazing-looking meal with their foraged finds! Places they’ve foraged food so far includes the property of the Mad Maple Country Inn and Toronto’s Craigleigh Garden. We have recurring dreams about their chokecherry and beer caramel sundae, and this wild mint + wild ginger cocktail.
It was less than a year ago that Christine Manning quit her day job as a digital marketer and started preserving full time, and boy, are we glad she did! The quality of Christine’s preserves is mirrored in her blog posts, which are always funny and thoughtful, and come with a fantastic recipe. Her blog just won 1st place in the Canadian Blog Awards in the ‘Best Art, Crafts, Cooking and Other Creative Activities Blogs’ category. This recipe for 25-minute raspberry tarts looks delicious! — and dangerously easy to make. Have we mentioned that she teaches canning classes in real life? You can look for them at The Depanneur.
Not many bloggers can successfully maintain their shtick for over seven years, but Seasonal Ontario Food’s Jennifer Sanders has managed to do just that. Just like her blog’s name suggests, she sticks to local, seasonal ingredients with a slight bias towards what’s organic. Her writing is approachable and down-to-earth, like talking with a friend. Plus, her recipes can be searched by ingredients and by month, which is a major inspiration source for those of us cooking in February. This carrot soup with ginger, cardamom, and orange looks like just the dish we need to transition from winter to spring.
Another local food champion is Tiffany Mayer, who spent eight years as a daily news reporter mostly covering agriculture before she switched to blogging. Mayer’s goal with Eating Niagara “is to tell the stories of the people growing and making our food here…and cover all the ways that someone could eat Niagara” — whether it takes place at a farmers’ market, a CSA, a grocery store, a restaurant, or a home kitchen. In addition to her blog, she is currently writing a book about Niagara food and farming for the History Press’s American Palate Series, which is due out in late 2014. This recipe for A Whiter Shade of Borscht looks like the perfect way to help use up the last of the winter staples! And if you have some cabbage leftover from the borscht, try your hand at her homemade sauerkraut.
“We are all connected through food,” writes Kelly Brisson, the voice behind The Gouda Life. Her 5-year-old blog features seasonal, accessible recipes made from wholesome foods, with a healthy dose of indulgent desserts. It’s clear from her writing that Brisson truly takes pleasure in cooking, and her powerful words are evenly matched by her gorgeous photography. She recently posted a recipe for Roasted Pear and Apple Sauce with Whiskey and Brown Butter, which is clearly a combination of everything that is right and good in the world.
Joel MacCharles and Dana Harrison are behind this one-stop-shop for everything you’ve ever wanted to know about pickling, canning, and preserving. Their blog’s been running strong since 2008, and contains more than 1700 (!) articles on topics ranging from hunting to urban gardening to food security (and, naturally) to preserving, just to name a few. This past month, WellPreserved won the ‘Best Food Blog from Abroad’ awards from Apartment Therapy! If you’ve always dreamed of making something like their Quick Dill Pickles but have been too intimidated to try, why not check out one of their monthly HomeEc workshops in Toronto?
On the kind of dishes she likes to cook for her blog, Jennifer Maloney says: “I love to cook simple, seasonal food, making use of what’s fresh and at its best.” Her recipes, from Peach Dutch Baby with Blueberry Sauce to Creamy Asparagus and Aged Cheddar Bake are simple, down-to-earth comfort foods that are perfect for feeding a family. Each and every recipe is accompanied by a story about her life just outside of Bracebridge, Ontario and beautifully captures a day in the life of rural Ontario.
Laura Wright is another blogger who expertly captures what it’s like to live in the Niagara region. Her recipes are often snapshots of what’s fresh and seasonal — often straight from her own garden! The quality of her writing and the sheer gorgeousness of her pictures landed her on Saveur magazine’s list of ‘Food Blogs We Love.’ We love that instead of merely posting recipes, Wright often goes into detail about the gardening or harvesting aspect of a particular ingredient, and isn’t afraid to call attention to issues of sustainability, as she did with her post about Asparagus Ramp Soup. You’ve really got to check her out!
10. One Tough Cookie
Okay, so we might be slightly biased on this one, but we couldn’t write a list of our favourites without including the blog written by our communications intern, Alanna Lipson. One Tough Cookie features seasonal recipes and heartfelt writing that feels like you’re having a chat with an old friend. Her photographs capture her recipes beautifully, and she’s got you covered for everything from Homemade Vegetable Bouillon to Pear Bourbon Crumble, with a half-dozen pie recipes to boot. Go send some love her way!