Great Depression Cooking, This is Why You're Fat, and more are some of our favorite culinary-minded websites

By Beth Johnson
May 08, 2009 at 04:00 AM EDT

Even in these mattress-stuffing times, we all gotta eat. Which might explain why food — whether served up by a penny-pinching grandma or by the Naked Chef himself, Jamie Oliver — has become so big in the blogosphere. Here are seven culinary-minded sites worth a seat at your table.

Ninety-three-year-old Clara Cannucciari became a YouTube sensation with this charming (if slightly dour) series featuring low-cost 1930s-era recipes handed down by her mother. At once reassuring, educational, and — for those without Sicilian grandmothers who can cook — an exercise in wish fulfillment. B+

Nothing illustrates our nation’s bipolar attitude toward eating more hilariously than this visual coronary. The site collects disgusting photos of unhealthy, high-fat foods like the Twinkie Wiener Sandwich, a hot dog that’s smooshed between the indestructible Hostess cakes, then topped off by Cheez Whiz. A stomach-turning delight. A

Sure, this site is all about marketing: The Naked Chef’s ”small” Squash Tea Pot is available now for 35 pounds. But he’s adorable, he’s posted many helpful cook-along-with-Jamie videos (watch him make chicken chow mein or pigs in a blanket!), he blogs regularly, and he has more energy than a double-propane grill. B

The tenor of this popular food blog run by Manhattanite Deb Perelman is warm and encouraging, the photos are pure food porn, and the something-for-everyone recipes sound sublime. If Perelman can make cherry cornmeal upside-down cake and chicken empanadas with chorizo and olives in her tiny East Village walk-up, then, well, what’s your excuse? A

If all the bad news just makes you want to drink more — and really, we won’t judge — head to this colorful, encyclopedic portal, which links you up with thousands of enticing retro and newfangled cocktail recipes (Missionary’s Downfall, anyone?) that could keep those lushes over on Mad Men busy for decades. A-

How to Cook Everything author Mark Bittman won a fervid fan base with his simple, delicious recipes. On Bitten, his New York Times blog, Bittman and foodie guests rhapsodize about nearly burnt onions and write haikus about planting peas. More sumptuous photos, though, would help us work up an appetite. B

If Jane Austen kept a blog, it might look like Molly Wizenberg’s Orangette. Her prose about cooking and life is so compelling, you forget that you actually went to the site for a recipe. (She also has a new book, A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes From My Kitchen Table.) Extra credit: Wizenberg found her Darcy online, when her now husband fell in love with her writing. A