Through college I worked in a casual yet fancy restaurant that opened my taste buds to the world of beautiful and delicious food. Thanks to my experience I now spend about half of my day thinking of food, concocting recipes and perusing the aisles at my local grocery. So I felt it was only fitting to highlight some of my favorite food oriented blogs, because well first off I'm hungry right now and second, these recipes make cooking into an art! (Something I have to occasionally remind myself of while I'm trying to quickly eat and drive to school at the same time).

So for today I say eat, drink and savor every morsel because while food's main purpose is to provide us with nutrients, it also can bring a little beauty into each day.

And so on to the food:

Smitten Kitchen - Who says you need a big space to prepare gourmet meals?
Visually this site is absolutely beautiful. The chef and her husband do all the work, cooking, cleaning and photography. Since it's cooling down in the Bay Area we're making her chicken and dumplings tonight and my mouth is watering as I type.

Lara Ferroni - Beautiful images of food that I believe are posted on this site Cook & Eat.

Chez Pim - Another site with gorgeous images, although I think some of the dishes may be a little out of reach for the average home chef. But who am I to limit your talents? Go, prep, cook!

Finally a few restaurants and groceries in our area that I couldn't live without:

Berkeley Bowl
- The kind of grocery store where shopping is more of an experience than anything else. (That sounds cheesy, but it's true. I spend a good 40min a week trolling through the giant fruits and veggies section looking at exotic/foreign/odd foods and asking myself "what am I going to do with this?")

Cheeseboard Collective - A pizza coop along with a cheese shop. A combo that makes one delicious style of pizza a day (always vegetarian) for a relatively cheap price. Ingredients are always fresh, seasonal and worth the long line.

Tartine Bakery - So good they don't have a sign. Tartine's food is, and not to overuse this word, beautiful. Always rich and full of flavor, their desserts as well as their savory treats are welcomed by my taste buds every time. It's kind of an SF must.

Your friendly neighborhood cover artist!

So we just purchased tickets to see an interview with Sarah Vowell and Daniel Handler this coming Spring. And thinking about this anticipated evening (Sarah Vowell is one of my favorite "historians"), I found myself thinking about the clever illustrations and cover art these authors use for their books. Then I thought about how underappreciated illustrators are these days. I can remember a time when we read books in school and as the teacher began they always made sure to state the author and the illustrator, it felt very important then. It feels very important now. How often do we pick up a book solely based on its cover? I'll admit, I do it more often then not. So in honor of these fabulous illustrators I'm posting some links to their pages. Happy browsing!

Brett Helquist
- best known for his work on the Lemony Snicket series (aka Daniel Handler's little gems).

David Levinthal - cover artist for some of Sarah Vowell's books like The Wordy Shipmates and The Partly Coulded Patriot.

Marcel Dzama - he's also done some illustration work for Sarah Vowell, along with some cd cover art you may recognize (like Beck's Guero).