In our fast-moving times, cooking has become the go-to lifestyle activity. A satisfying labour of love that adds a soupcon of spice to our own existence, it also shows our friends and family just how much we care by paving that time-honoured shortcut to their heart – through their taste buds and bellies. Unfortunately, many well-laid home-cooked dinner plans fall victim to a busy timetable, lack of inspiration or undue perfectionism. Well, there’s always that Italian place around the corn. But a roundup of the latest blogosphere finds reveals that simple, yet sophisticated culinary fare is only few clicks away.

An increasing number of kitchen fiends and creative characters have started to spread their expertise to the world in a range of enriching, accessible, fun and, most of all, communicative food blogs focused on healthy and innovative choices. Often written from a very personal perspective, these blogs share both daring one-off experiments and tried-and-tested extravaganzas, portrayed in mouth-wateringly excellent step-by-step images. Open and experimental in their approach to both preparation and nutrition, many of these blogs mix up food-related posts with diary entries, short stories or even fashion spreads, thus making the cooking-as-a-lifestyle project an integral part of their own life and existence – after all, you are what you eat! Nevertheless, those of you hungry for the best in new recipes might feel a bit daunted by the sheer cornucopia of food blogs on offer. So, join us for a roundup of five inspired and inspiring bloggers – and some of their delectable highlights:

Sprouted Kitchen extols the virtues of a balanced vegetarian diet, couched in a string of personal and contemplative anecdotes by gifted amateur chef Sara. Seasoned with plenty of humour and private insights, the Californian invites us into her world and leaves us with plenty of helpful tips on how to pick the right occasion, ingredients or time of harvest for any particular dish. ”I appreciate food for the memories and community that comes along with it, so for me, personal writing and the food go hand in hand”, Sara told us. And where grounded philosophy meets kitchen lore, the edible results are more than enticing: Take your pick from roasted tomato soup, strawberry leek quesadillas and date pecan scones, among other sweet and savoury delights.

Korean cuisine with a modern twist is on the menu at Bap Story, a blog run by two American women with Korean roots. After their day jobs in fashion and photography, Bo and Jeana love nothing more than to rekindle their passion for traditional dishes from their home country. Dotted with plenty of Jeana‘s mouth-watering pictures of the step-by-step process, the duo take the mystery out of intriguingly named dishes from kim-chi to japchae and demonstrate that cooking should be considered a (visual and gustatory) art in itself.

Rachel’s minimalist blog outing Elephantine juxtaposes thoughtful short stories and handmade jewellery with her favourite recipes – recorded as video tutorials. According to Rachel, cooking and jewellery-making are very similar – “you start out with a bunch of individual pieces or ingredients and then use your expertise and care to combine them into a well-rounded whole, into something wonderful.” So, lean back and enjoy the soundtrack and moving images while Rachel prepares timeless classics ranging from asparagus risotto to meringue cookies and baked mac and cheese.

For another source of taste bud tickling visual treats, visit Katie Quinn Davis’ food photo blog What Katie Ate. The Sydney resident and winner of best food photography of this year’s Saveur Food Blog Awards, the award for best food blog on the internet, not only prepares dishes you will want to try and cook straight away, but also presents her tasty treasures in the best possible light with pictures reminiscent of the striking, luminescent still lives of the Old Masters. Trust us – beef tortellini and romaine lettuce with butternut squash dressing have never looked as real or good!

For our last course of this appetising blog crawl, let’s take a detour to Café Fernando. The multi-award-winning blog – created by Cenk from Istanbul – is the perfect destination for extravagant desserts to impress your friends. His chocolate creations are truly to die for! And thanks to the undisputed success of his long-running blog, Cenk has finally taken the plunge and turned his passion for food and blogging into a full-time job while he also writes his first cook book. After all, many of the presented sweets are Cenk’s own creations and his new take on a veritable classic, the humble brownie, has already won pride of place in Dolce & Gabbana’s Swide Magazine. And for those on the move, his latest luscious treats are also available as an iPhone or iPad app.

So, tuck right in and – bon app!