When I started blogging 100(!) posts ago, I had my reasons:

  • I wanted to keep my hand in writing;
  • I wanted to share my love of food;
  • I wanted to dispel the myth of the complex kitchen; and (total honesty here …)
  • I wanted to continue branding my business.

The idea of community never crossed my mind. But 14 months, 100 posts and 400-some followers later, I find myself surrounded by a community of creative, generous, passionate people.

I love all the bloggers I follow (and I’m humbled by those of you who follow me), but 10 of them have written a special place in my heart. These are the folks I look forward to reading each day; the bloggers I miss when they fall silent. They’re the people I have an ongoing conversation with — the cooks, philosophers, writers and artists whose insights, meanderings and humor are always authentic and never forced.

If I could have you all to dinner, I’d create a fabulous party in your honor. In lieu of that, I raise a virtual glass to your wit and wisdom.

Here — in no order other than alphabetical — are my blogging party guests:

A Little Fluff (http://fibercompulsion.com/). Thank you, Jennifer, for your transparency; your strength in the face of adversity; and your textile artistry. When life throws me unexpected sadness, I hope I can emulate your carefully conscious presence of mind.

Aly GarlicHands (http://alygarlichands.wordpress.com/). Any blog with “garlic” in the title is bound to grab my attention. Aly delivers with creative recipes, approachable writing and some of the most beautiful food photography I’ve seen.

Blowing Off Steam … and Other Cooking Adventures (http://blowingoffsteamandmore.wordpress.com/). Jamie’s playful writing is a joy to read, but her generous spirit captivates me. Thank you for taking me along on your journey.

It’s A Process, Not An Event (http://itsaprocessnotanevent.wordpress.com/). True confession time: Traci is the ubiquitous “T” in so many of my posts, and she often eats at my table. But while we can “talk” life anytime, her lovingly crafted insights are delicious to read, too.

Let It Come From Your Heart (http://letitcomefromyourheart.wordpress.com/). So simple. So clean. A quote and an achingly beautiful photograph. I take inspiration from every post.

Life In Our Little LA Garden (http://littlelagarden.wordpress.com/). Sam, I aspire to have a garden like yours. The life you coax from a tiny plot of land is truly impressive. I would love to spend a day weeding, harvesting and canning with you!

Mama’s Gotta Bake (http://mamasgottabake.wordpress.com/). All hail, the pastry queens! Mama understands that sometimes the fastest way to a loved one’s heart is via sugar and butter. I love your lighthearted stories and your sophisticated dishes.

Much Ado About Muffin (http://muchadoaboutmuffin.wordpress.com/). I have no problem playing with my savory food, but playing with baking is a whole other matter. Your creativity (not to mention courage … you’re messin’ with chemistry, after all!) encourages me to get out of my kitchen comfort zone.

My French Heaven (http://myfrenchheaven.com/). Stéphane, your every post teaches me something about cooking or hospitality or joie de vivre. Your photography reminds me of why I love France. (And have I told you that my family and I are visiting next summer?)

Slow Down Sunday (http://slowdownsunday.org/). I don’t know if it’s the picture you paint of a front porch swing or the fact that you live in my hometown state, but I look forward to each of your posts. Yolanda teaches me that I, too, can make time in my busy life for creativity and imagination.