Monday, February 13, 2012

Get Cooking: 5 Social Sites For Chefs, Amateur Cooks, and Foodies

Whenever I'm looking for food ideas, I always go online and search for recipes. A few of the sites listed below are my favorite places to go to.

Social media has helped foodies everywhere cultivate their passion for fine delicacies and good home cooking in a whole new way. Whether you like cooking, eating, or just ogling an immaculately prepared gourmet meal, social media allows us to swap our favorite recipes, gain invaluable entertaining tips from likeminded foodies, and celebrate the things we eat to nourish our bodies. (It’s also a real lifesaver for those of us who have a knack for burning a pot of water!) So forget microwave meals and over-priced pre-prepared dishes: channel your inner culinary connoisseur with these five great social sites for foodies:

1.) Gojee: Let the oohing and ahhing commence. Gojee is a foodie’s dream manifest. The site features dozens of gorgeous, magazine-quality photos of swoon-worthy meals—from exotic Thai dishes to the sexiest bowl of spaghetti and meatballs you’ve ever seen. And they don’t stop there: Gojee has awe-inspiring images and easy-to-master recipes for top shelf cocktails, hors d’oeurves, pasta, salads, and more. Plus, you can tell the site what’s in your cupboard and it’ll suggest recipes for dishes you can make without an undesirable trip to the market. Oh, and don’t forget to tweet, like or circle your favorite dish to loop your friends into your kitchen.

2.) AllRecipes: Want to know why I know All Recipes is a true testament to the power of social media? Because my grandmother swears by it (and she’s not one for fads!) You merely have to mention the site to get her started on the best and worst dishes she’s tried, those she can’t wait to fix, and the strange, but delectable mainstay dishes she’s adopted from the site. This user-generated recipe site lets you customize your recipes for large parties, allows users to pose recipe alterations, and sports a successful rating system (my grandmother won’t make anything “without at least 4 stars.”). And the site’s seriously steeped in social media: just check out All Recipes TV and their Fresh Bites Blog.

3.) Epicurious: This site is a true food devotional. Whether you’re looking for recipes, cooking articles, menus, or food guides, you’re likely to find a slew of delectable insight via this foodie site. Recipes are culled from first class epicurean spots like Bon Appetit and Gourmet, world-class chefs and cooking hobbyists. Plus, the site has multiple social media features, including smartphone and tablet apps, the ‘Epi-log blog,’ and tons of member forums.

4.) MyRecipes.com: Who doesn’t get a pang of hunger when flipping through an issue of Southern Living, Food&Wine, Coastal Living, or Sunset magazine? Well those gorgeously prepared dishes are now all in one place, thanks to MyRecipes.com. This recipe sharing social site allows food-lovers to stay connected via all the major social networks, boasts easy-to-follow cooking videos, and has one seriously informative blog with endless cooking ideas. MyRecipes also has a ton of health-conscious options to get that New Year’s resolution back on track.

5.) WeAreChefs.com: After all this social media cooking, you might be a virtuoso in the kitchen by now. So it’s time to move up the ranks. We Are Chefs is a social site brought to you by the American Culinary Federation. The site serves as a directory and online network for professional chefs. It features invite-only groups, professional chef blogs, and a way for master cooks to trade insider tips. You’ll also find instructional videos, and photos of edible masterpieces.

Disclosure: I did not receive any products nor was paid for this post. I was provided info from the PR firm to share and given permission to post the above content on my blog. No other compensation was given.

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