I trust by now everyone has awoken from their holiday-induced food comas and are back to the grind so I’m hoping today’s post brightens up any of those post-holiday blues. My name is Caroline Taft and I am the “culinary creative” behind The Brazen Gourmand blog, food photography service and dining and travel Instagram @TheBrazenGourmand. Today I’m excited to share 5 of my favorite posts from other local Chicagoland Area bloggers.
So Christmas may have come and gone and that giving spirit subsided, BUT there’s no rule against treating yo’ self (or a friend of course) to a New Year just-because treat. Alex of Gilded Gal put together a lust-worthy collection of shopping guides for under $25, under $50 and under $100 gifts with links to each product for easy binge shopping. I guess if we all end up with the same polka dot J. Crew sweatshirt we know why!
Butter & Type
As a content creator/food photographer, I am constantly looking for props, background, and tools I can use to style shoots. For content I style in my own apartment for recipes I’ve created or products I am featuring, it’s always a challenge to set up beautifully styled photos in a small space, especially because my kitchen is one of the darkest rooms (and installing a gorgeous marble countertop to make my photos pop is not exactly on my priority list!). Lindsey of Butter & Type offers a genius solution in her DIY Chalkboard and Marble Surface Prop article offering instructions for making both photo props on a budget. I haven’t had this much fun with contact paper since covering my textbooks in grade school (did anyone else have to do that?!).
The Hungary Buddha
During the 2 years I lived in South Korea I developed a MAJOR addiction to these fried, crispy outside, chewy inside Korean pancakes filled with molten cinnamon and sugar called Hotteok. Just thinking about the street vendors frying these morsels to order is making my mouth water! Chrissy of The Hungary Buddha ups the flavor ante on the traditional hotter recipe by stuffing them with leftover pumpkin pie filling (brilliant!). I can’t wait to give this recipe a try and if you know whats good for you (or at least your appetite) you should as well!
The Golden Girl
Perhaps it is just me, but one method I employ for surviving bone chilling bouts of winter cold is fantasizing about the summer and all of the minimal-layers-of-clothing-necessary activities I am going to take part in. One of my absolute favorite warm weather activities, which should be no surprise, is outdoor dining and drinking. There are but a few outdoor patio bars and alfresco dining locales I’ve met and haven’t enjoyed. Summer might not be right around the corner but Jess of The Golden Girl blog gave me plenty of ideas for my cold weather daydreaming in her Top 25 Patios & Rooftops in Chicago post.
Although since moving from South Korea back to the U.S. I’ve been embarking on far more road trips than long flights, in a few weeks I’ll be taking off for Singapore and Thailand and have an unfortunate tendency to get sick from long distance traveling. Reading Rachel of Wayfaring Rachel’s post about How to Stay Healthy While Traveling was a perfectly timed reminder to take care of myself! If you’ve got a long trip on your horizon, check out her tips on what to pack, how to plan, and what to eat and drink to keep on track and prevent wasted vacay days feeling icky.
I hope you enjoyed my recommendations and are inspired to get out and experience, create, or explore. Be sure to visit TheBrazenGourmand.com and follow along on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter for recipes, dining recommendations and more of my dining adventures around the world.