(WEB)Sites that Excite

Lots of web surfing going on over these last few months! When I began this blog, I never expected that this type of post would be one I would create …who knew???  I imagine this could be considered a “sequel” to Streaming in the Pandemic post as today I’m offering up a very few of my favorite, and most frequent, stops on the web.  I told you in my “About” section that my mind tends to wander and these two posts are proof positive of that. I do have a lot of interests and must confess, I’ve mastered none! But they all keep me engaged and the internet helps satisfy my never ending curiosity about all things.  Because there are many sites that I visit, as I begin this list, I’ll list only my most frequent stops, and will try to offer up sites that are less well known.  So, here are some of my favorite “go-to” websites.

FOR FOODIES:

My first, and overall favorite “go-to” site has to be Food52 (pronounced Food Five Two). This is a foodies’ mecca! It calls itself a food “community” and that says it all, I guess; not just great recipes, but kitchen gadgets and home goods/decor, food bits from around the world (thus interesting travel notes), cooking advice from the pros,  recipe contests – everything FOOD-inspired.  If you love food & home and have not yet visited this site, please make it your next stop. Inspiring!!!

Manger       Thanks to my friend, Lynn, for introducing me to all things Mimi  Thorisson.  This beautiful website  is chock full of gorgeous photography, scrumptious recipes, along with snipets of Mimi’s busy yet seemingly idyllic life in southern France and Italy. Take a peak into her enticing photo-filled cookbooks, too.  Go and rest awhile. It’s definitely worth your time!

Pinch of Yum.   This blogger says her goal is “to inspire you with food that is both approachable AND exciting, whether you’re cooking for yourself, your family, your roommates, or your friends.”  And I think this blog does just that. Lots of interesting and easy takes on everything from appetizers to desserts to cocktails. Master chef of fledgling cooks will find this site appealing.

Gluten-free Goddess.    Ignore the name! This is so much more than a GF site. So many of us have dietary restrictions nowadays that hosting even a small dinner party requires major research into guests’ needs and recipe ingredients. I, and a few of my family members are gluten intolerant so this site helps me alot.  But the “goddess” doesn’t limit her recipes to gluten-free – she posts vegan and dairy-free, too which helps with said entertaining.  Main dishes (try her Irish Cottage Pie!), Appetizers (love her zucchini chips), loads of baked goodies – all broken down into GF, DF, Vegan for easy access. Recipes are so tasty, it’s hard to believe they are “restrictive”.

Another fav, but well-known to all, is Ina Garten,

FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION:

I very recently subscribed to The Great Courses Plus.  This site is quickly claiming a significant segment of my daily life.  Again, as I seek to satisfy my curiosity, this site is the perfect place for me to spend time. I’ve always had an interest in Art History, yet never explored it other than visiting museums (a favorite pastime). Here I can listen to lectures, explore specific artists and works – at my whim and  convenience. There are all sorts of courses just waiting for me – I’m like a kid at Christmas when I access this site. As I said, it’s not free – it’s a subscription but, most reasonable, and in my mind, very well worth it – especially now with so much time on our hands.

I also love to tune into Podcasts. Here’s a few of my favorites:

NPR has a huge variety of listening opportunities on many different topics. Always educational and enjoyable.

Oprah offers exciting and educating conversations with our world’s finest thinkers on her SuperSoul Conversation podcasts which I stream though Stitcher.

I get my Zen fix and so much inspiration Krista Tippet’s On Being podcasts. Always informative, always soothing, ever uplifting.

Ted Talks      I think I like this website because it feeds my propensity for “randomness”. There’s no topic on which I can’t find an opinion here.  My favorites are talks by authors (check out Isabel Allende and Elizabeth Gilbert), talks about psychology and relationships (Brene Brown), little known research studies  (Amy Cuddy)– oops…I could go on but you get the picture, I’m sure. And I’m sure you’ve already discovered that there’s an interesting talk to satisfy everyone’s curiosity.

YouTube  offers the same variety, and many of the same presenters, as Ted Talks. Change it up!

TRAVEL – virtual or not:

Check out, or re-visit, my previous blog from early July entitled Fun Ways to Travel…Virtually. Here I list all my favorite ways to dream about being anywhere else but where I am at the time.

Even as overseas travel is off the table, Viator, a comprehensive travel website, is offering some potentially “accessible” travel options right here in the US.  USA’s 10 Best Travel Experiences offers some suggestions for those of us suffering from wanderlust.  I can say that, pre-pandemic, I did take the Ellis Island Tour, the Charleston Carriage Tour and the helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon- all of which instilled in me a deeper love, appreciation and understanding of our great country.

READING:

There’s just one site that I consistently access when looking for what to read next.  I highly recommend Modern Mrs. Darcy for all things “book-y”.  I’ve been following MMD for a long time and she never disappoints.

“A BIT OF EVERYTHING” SITES:

A Soft Murmur.    This is a truly creative and, for me, useful site.  Its simplicity is what makes it so remarkable. When I work, I can’t have complete silence and yet, most noises are distracting. But this site allows me to choose the sound that works for me at that time. Birds, thunder, city sounds, a stream….just a few. It’s interesting and addictive.

The Onion.    If you like satire, and who doesn’t in today’s world, you should try this out every once in a while.  I do feel it is newsworthy and I like the way the writers use their genius to parody traditional news organizations. If I haven’t yet mentioned it, I’m also a news “junkie” and this web stop gives me lots of news in a nutshell and even sprinkles humor among the chaos.

Lifehacker.    Creators of this site say it teaches us how to “do everything better”. The blog is loaded, (and I mean to the margins!) with every hints about everything. Even for me, it’s a little too busy, but I do find it amusing and sometimes, most helpful.  Take, for instance, the piece on how to properly clean your dishwasher, or what to do if you missed a tax deadline, or what’s new on Netflix.  Get the picture? Anything and everything.

So, dear readers, I think I’m off to another topic now.  Don’t know yet what that will be.  Stay tuned…and by all means, please send us your favorite websites or your thoughts about whatever is on your mind today.