Meet the SAVEUR Blog Awards Finalists: 6 Easy-to-Follow How-To Blogs

For when you need more than just a recipe

By SAVEUR Editors

Published on August 18, 2016

Saveur Blog Awards 2016

The SAVEUR Blog Awards are here, and from a pool of tens of thousands of reader nominations we've selected 78 finalists in 13 categories. Now it's your turn to vote for a winner. Cast your ballot here early and often; you can vote as many times as you like by August 31st. Today: meet the finalists for our Best How-To Blog category.

Have you ever found a recipe for something you really want to try, but find the instructions just aren't clear enough? That's not a problem for these six bloggers, who have all mastered the art of creating clear, detailed, step-by-step recipes that even the newest home cook can follow.

Budget Bytes, Beth Moncel

The Blog: Budget Bytes is a unique budget-focused blog that provides step by step photographs to help new cooks learn basic skills and build confidence in the kitchen. The recipes found on Budget Bytes use common, easy to find ingredients to keep them affordable, accessible, and easy to customize for special dietary needs. With over 900 recipes, there's a little something for everyone from kitchen newbies to seasoned cooks. Budget Bytes aims to helps its readers gain independence from the prepared food industry, rediscover the lost art of home cooking, and regain control of their budget.

The Blogger: Beth Moncel is a microbiologist turned food blogger living in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her unapologetic love for good food and desire to live a simple, low-waste life show in her recipes that are both simple and satisfying. A number cruncher by nature, Beth enjoys breaking down recipes to the penny and cutting out the fluff to make them affordable and accessible to new cooks. Beth is always up for a good challenge and believes gratitude is the key to both happiness and success.

Breadtopia, Eric Rusch

The Blog: Breadtopians are what you might call pragmatic bread freaks. They live to push the envelope on baking the best possible bread that you can make in a standard home kitchen. For them, it's all about reviving an artful alternative to the bland, nutrition-less, mass-produced food on grocery store shelves. They launched in 2006 with a mission of ensuring that baking perfect bread at home is available to everyone. If they can aid in the development of a baking community—composed of new, veteran and constantly developing enthusiasts—all passionate about creating great, homemade baked goods, then they will count themselves successful.

The Blogger: Blogger Eric Rusch virtually cut his teeth on sourdough French bread in San Francisco, California, where he was born. And for many years he has loved baking. In 2006, as they were preparing to launch Breadtopia, the NY Times published a story featuring NY baker Jim Lahey's no-knead bread method. They ran with it, and quickly introduced their own sourdough no-knead adaptation. Over years of experimentation in their own kitchen and via a collaborative effort of sharing the results with their generous Breadtopia readers, they have refined an artisanal approach to baking bread at home that anyone can enjoy.

Food Nouveau, Marie Asselin

The Blog: Food Nouveau is for those curious about the whys and hows of cooking and baking success. Dishes from around the world, such as macarons, éclairs, arancini, and Bolognese sauce, are taken apart and their creation is explained in detail, and blogger Marie Asselin adds helpful pictures and videos. The goal is to empower food lovers to make these dishes at home. So what if you can't hop on a plane to enjoy gelato in Rome? You can churn some in your own kitchen instead. No dish is too intimidating if you have the right recipe, tips, and guidance to understand the process.

The Blogger: Marie Asselin is a food writer, translator, stylist, and recipe developer living in Québec City, Canada. She's a meticulous cook and baker, and her passion is to recreate at home the dishes inspired by her travels around the world: She feels most accomplished when she sees loved ones mmm-ing and ahh-ing while eating her food. To her, happiness is a glass of wine after a long day, or any dessert that involves lemon or salt. When she's not in the kitchen, you'll see her playing silly with her little boy, or enjoying a meal at one of her hometown's fabulous bistros.

Husbands That Cook, Ryan & Adam

The Blog: On Husbands That Cook, you will find a variety of delicious, quick and easy vegetarian home-cooked entrees, sides, breakfasts, drinks, and snacks: plus everything from rich, chocolatey decadent desserts to tasty and healthy vegan options, as well as some of the bloggers' favorite dishes from around the world. They make their directions as clear and simple as possible so everyone will understand, and include detailed photos of all the ingredients and techniques so even beginning cooks can confidently follow along and have fun while doing it.

The Bloggers: Adam Merrin and Ryan Alvarez are two husbands that cook together in a small kitchen in a house on a hill in Eagle Rock, California. They met in 2001 in a recording studio where Ryan was singing with a jazz choir and Adam was the engineer. They fell in love, and five years later were married. When they're not cooking, they love being in nature, hiking, and spending time in our garden. Adam is also a musician, and one of the founding members of indie rock band The 88. Ryan sings classical music and acts in TV shows and commercials.

Lady & Pups, Mandy Lee

The Blog: The blog is dedicated to all the poor and unfortunate souls out there to whom, cooking is not a chore to be tackled, but a necessary and fantastical escape, a salvation, a fix from the daily unpleasantness that is reality. It's not about over-complications, nor is it about simplicity, but to chase the adrenaline highs in this solitary sport that is cooking. Blogger Mandy Lee's recipes focus on inspirations from traveling and ideas that pique her curiosity, sometimes with a little Asian flares, or sometimes utterly nonsensical. Who cares, life is too short to cook bad food.

The Blogger: Mandy Lee is a Taiwan-born, Vancouver-raised, and slow-aged in New York for the better part of her life until she moved to Beijing where, out of sheer desperation and misery, she started Lady and Pups, an angry food blog, in 2012. She excels at giving uninvited opinions. She loves movies. She loves traveling. She is a dog person, only because she's never met a people cat. She is also conflicted about whether pigs should be pets or SPAM. In 2016, she finally eluded her geographic adversary and is currently residing in Hong Kong with her husband and, hopefully, a growing number of dog-children.

Manjula's Kitchen, Manjula Jain

The Blog: Manjula's Kitchen is for those who want to learn simple and practical recipes that carry out the authenticity of Indian vegetarian cooking. Manjula uses a combination of video tutorials and written recipes to help home cooks of every level understand the fundamentals of cooking Indian dishes.

The Blogger: Manjula Jain was born in North India into a vegetarian family. Her mother was an excellent cook who paid attention to every detail. One of the most important details for her was cooking with fresh ingredients. As a child and young adult, Manjula helped her mother in the kitchen. Manjula learned to cook with just a few spices and herbs in order not to compromise the taste of the vegetables, grains and lentils. After Manjula Jain got married and moved to the United States from India in the late 1960s, her family remained vegetarian because of their adherence to the Jain religion. One of the main principles of the Jain religion is the belief in non-violence to all living beings and the belief to "live and let live." Manjula Jain is passionate about this way of life today.

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