Starting in December

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There are thousands of cooking blogs -- each week, we bring you highlights from the best.

Oranges poised for sectioning


It's all well and good to take a beautiful food photograph -- let's face it, we see them all the time -- but good photos of cooking itself, from ingredient to dish, are truly rare. Thanks to our wonderful photographer Sarah Shatz, these sorts of images are at the heart of food52, so some might say it was by force of attraction -- like mint to lamb or honey to yogurt -- that we were drawn to Starting in December.

Marguerite Noteware  Savoy Cabbage

This sleek blog is the brainchild of Sacramento-based Marguerite Noteware, a humble ("talking about myself in the third person drives me crazy") young cook with a sweet and funny tone that you can't help but love. "My latest fascinations," Noteware notes, "include homemade sausage, finding sour cherries at the farmers' market, perfecting my pizza crust recipe, butternut squash, salted caramel, champagne and cheese. Glorious cheese." Talk about a girl after our own hearts.


Spices  Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Starting in December (a name which seems to refer to the calendar Noteware uses to organize her posts and recipes) is staggeringly smooth. Scrolling through her blog and recipes (smartly organized by both ingredient and season) makes you feels like spending a long winter weekend with Noteware, the perfect hostess.

The first menu we've planned chez Noteware? A Saturday begins with Peanut Butter and Jelly Bread (toasted and lathered with more of either, perhaps?) and ends with beans 'n greens in White Beans and Wilted Greens Soup, and is followed, of course, by a ramekin of Apple Tart Tatin. But really, there's nothing on Starting in December that we wouldn't love to try -- and with a search function this, well, functional, we know we'll have no problem finding the perfect recipe.

Mosaic Biscotti  Lemon Poppyseed Cake