Food Inspires Design | 5 WordPress Food Blogs We Follow + Love

Food Inspires Design | 5 WordPress Food Blogs We Follow + Love

The best kitchen designs are inspired by the food created within them.

Food is a muse for master chefs, avid home cooks and hobbyists alike – but it’s also an inspiration for kitchen design experts the world over. Peter Salerno (owner of Peter Salerno Inc., our parent company) is not only an award-winning international custom kitchen designer, but an avid cook and food connoisseur. (Peter’s first cookbook, complete with expert wine pairings, is due out later in 2019.)

Peter Salerno's pumpkin fettucine with creamy sausage sauce.
Peter Salerno’s pumpkin fettucine with creamy sausage sauce.

“It’s important for a kitchen to be as functional as it is luxurious,” Peter explained to us in a recent meeting. “If its owners don’t get a fantastic cooking experience out of their kitchen, then who cares how beautiful it is?”

In order to stay inspired by food, we keep a close eye on some of WordPress’ finest food, recipe and cooking sites. Some are well-traveled, while some are wonderful hidden gems in the deep and varied ocean of food blogs and online recipe collections.

5 WordPress Food Blogs We Follow + Love

Polenta & Baccala

Oh, how we love this gem of a website. Polenta & Baccala (stylized polenta e baccala) is an invitation to cook with Graziano, who creates authentic Italian recipes coupled with marvelous photography and detailed preparation instruction. Besides the rich content and beautiful photography, the blog is presented on a visually stimulating layout.

There’s no guesswork needed with the recipes at Polenta & Baccala. From preview to preparation, creation to consumption, Graziano provides the perfect “map” to all his dishes to cooks of any experience level. Couple this with Graziano’s photography expertise and his very real credentials (a native northern Italian now living in Hungary), and we promise you’ll be spending plenty of time perusing polenta e baccala for recipes and food inspiration.

Homemade mozzarella from Peter Salerno's kitchen.
Homemade mozzarella from Peter Salerno’s kitchen.

Cooking With a Wallflower

It’s important to remember that self-expression comes in all forms. While the statement one can make with food is loud, often the person preparing these artistically resounding meals is quite introverted. Such is the case with Cooking With a Wallflower, a charming (and delicious) blog run by Andrea, a dental hygienist with a passion for food.

We enjoy Andrea’s perspective on food, and creating a fulfilling work-life balance between her occupation and her passion for cuisine. Cooking With a Wallflower offers a highly pleasing blend of recipes and life experiences, which reminds us that the heart and soul of every kitchen is the person who uses it.

In Diane’s Kitchen

In Diane’s Kitchen is so appealing because it’s so real. Recipes are constructed with real life in mind. “What to do with those holiday leftovers?” “How can I make that recipe I saw on TV with the modest kitchen accessories I own?” Diane brings these answers to the table, crafting simple recipes that often provide amazing “bang for the buck” in terms of great rewards with minimal effort and/or skill required.

Websites like In Diane’s Kitchen help keep kitchen inspiration rooted in reality, which is an important aspect of any designer’s process. Like Diane’s recipes, a good kitchen designer knows that ease of use and simple application are of incredible importance in our daily lives.

Peter Salerno's homemade black pepper pappardelle.
Peter Salerno’s homemade black pepper pappardelle.

Foods That Blog

Sometimes, you just want to stare at some pictures of delicious food. For food photography that looks good enough to eat, we turn to Foods That Blog – a place we consider to be source material not only for food trends and food photography, but also design inspiration!

The richness and variety of color and texture in Foods That Blog’s photography can serve as a muse for holistic kitchen design. It’s also helpful to observe what styles and preparations of food are on the rise, as these dishes help signal trends in kitchen appliances and overall kitchen setup.

Cooking Without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes. A simple tagline for a simple, effective blog. Cooking Without Limits pairs a minimalist layout with simple, clean photography and to-the-point recipes to create a user-friendly experience. We love how conversational Cooking Without Limits is; each recipe is an invitation into this cook’s personal kitchen, experiences and tastes.  Every recipe comes with a story, and we love that – after all, your kitchen is where so many of your life’s stories are created!

What is YOUR favorite recipe, cuisine, or food photography blog or website? Leave a link in the comments and tell us why!

Peter Salerno Cookbook Preview: Eight Pasta Dishes That Will Wow You

Peter Salerno Cookbook Preview: Eight Pasta Dishes That Will Wow You

We recently reported about a highly anticipated series of cookbooks forthcoming from Peter Salerno, CMKBD. (Peter is the owner and founder of Peter Salerno Inc., the most award-winning custom kitchen and bath design firm of the 21st century – and an exceptional chef!)

“The response was so overwhelming I had no choice but to start putting together recipes immediately, so here we are!” Peter recently explained to us in a phone interview.

Lobster ravioli with Grand Marnier sauce, all made from scratch - to appear in Peter Salerno's pasta cookbook.
Lobster ravioli with Grand Marnier sauce, all made from scratch – to appear in Peter Salerno’s pasta cookbook.

Earlier this week, Peter Salerno put out a survey on his Facebook account, asking friends and followers to vote on 8 different homemade pasta dishes for his cookbook. The top 4 dishes in the vote were guaranteed to make the cookbook. There was only one problem…

“The trouble was, everybody kept saying, ‘Put all of them in!'” Peter continued. “So we’re going to publish all eight recipes.”

As a result, Peter is now hard at work refining and perfecting all 8 pasta recipes, based on Sicilian tradition, family secrets, and his travels to fine dining establishments, conversations with world-class chefs, and attending CIA culinary classes.

As if THAT wasn’t enough to get you drooling, Peter also announced a partnership with David Hamburger of Acker, Merrall & Condit, wine merchants of New York City since 1820. David is a top wine educator, and will be working closely with Peter Salerno to create exceptional wine pairings for each of these pasta dishes!

Fettuccine with a wild mushroom and cream sauce, topped with black truffles, from Peter Salerno's upcoming cookbook
Fettuccine with a wild mushroom and cream sauce, topped with black truffles, from Peter Salerno’s upcoming cookbook

In no particular order, here are 8 pasta dishes that will appear in Peter Salerno’s debut pasta cookbook:

  • Lobster ravioli with a Grand Marnier cream sauce (the winner of the vote)
  • Fettuccine with a wild mushroom and cream sauce, topped with black truffles (2nd place in the vote)
  • Rigatoni with a puttanesca sauce 
  • Cavatelli with broccoli rabe and sausage 
  • Penne alla Norma (eggplant, tomato,basil)
  • Pappardelle al Cinghiale (wild boar sauce) 
  • Fettuccine with bolognese and sweet peas 
  • Lobster, macaroni and 3 Italian cheeses

The pasta cookbook will only be the first in a series of installments from Peter Salerno, who states that pasta felt like the most organic place to start the series.

“I wanted to make sure each of the pasta dishes we presented was unique,” Peter explained. “There will be classics like Cavatelli with broccoli rabe and sausage, and then a bit more exotic offerings like Pappardelle with Cinghiale, with is a wild boar sauce.”

Peter Salerno creates homemade pasta with his granddaughter, Jesse.
Peter Salerno creates homemade pasta with his granddaughter, Jesse.

For Peter Salerno, one of the real joys of creating pasta dishes is the ability to do so with his family. In the beautiful moment captured above, Peter Salerno rolls out homemade fettuccine with his granddaughter Jesse. It’s part of the Salerno family tradition, passing down old-world Sicilian traditions and recipes through generations.

Part of Peter’s appeal as a custom kitchen designer is his expertise in actually using kitchen design to its fullest. For over two decades, professional chefs and avid home cooks have trusted Peter Salerno Inc. to create state-of-the-art kitchen designs that not only look beautiful, but function as a world-class, operational kitchen.

So, we’re curious – which of the eight pasta dishes listed above sounds most appetizing to you? Which one are you most excited to see appear in Peter Salerno’s forthcoming cookbook? Let us know in the comments below!

Peter Salerno's NKBA Best Kitchen of 2012, with a custom hood from RangeCraft.
Peter Salerno’s NKBA Best Kitchen of 2012, designed for two professional chefs. (Credit Peter Rymwid)

Award-Winning Kitchen Designer Announces Cookbook Series in 2019

Award-Winning Kitchen Designer Announces Cookbook Series in 2019

Peter Salerno of Peter Salerno Inc. To Debut Cookbook Series

Our mouths are watering already.

Peter Salerno, CMKBD (the founder of Peter Salerno Inc., the most award-winning North American kitchen and bath design firm of the 21st century) has announced a series of cookbooks inspired by his designs, his Sicilian heritage, and his world travels as an ensign in the United States Navy.

Peter Salerno (of Peter Salerno Inc.) has announced a new line of cookbooks. Here's Peter Salerno in his design showroom!
Peter Salerno (of Peter Salerno Inc.) has announced a new line of cookbooks. Here’s Peter Salerno in his design showroom!

The first Peter Salerno cookbook is set to debut later in 2019.

The announcement was made via Peter Salerno Inc.’s official Instagram and Facebook accounts and was received with anticipation and excitement.

Instagram user Stephanie Lee (@stephanie_lee_): “I’d like to preorder ASAP!!!”

Instagram user J. Patryce Design (@jpatrycedesign): “Congrats!… lmk where to purchase!”

Peter Salerno’s mastery of custom kitchen design, both transitional and traditional, stems from two places – his family tradition of cabinetry and woodworking, and his love of cooking. Peter’s friends and family often find him in his home kitchen, as well as the centerpiece kitchen of his award-winning Wyckoff, New Jersey showroom. Peter blends old-world Sicilian family recipes with other Mediterranean fare, and is eager to bring that knowledge from his kitchen to yours.

We hope Peter salerno shares his secret family homemade cavatelli recipe!
We hope Peter salerno shares his secret family homemade cavatelli recipe!

Peter also is an avid wine enthusiast, and promises to bring wine pairing expertise to his cookbooks with every recipe.

“Developing an understanding of wine pairings doesn’t depend on your budget,” Peter notes. “I’ll be pairing recipes with both high-end and affordable bottles of wine so everyone can enjoy.”

We’ve been present in the Peter Salerno Inc. showroom for some of Peter’s culinary creations, and trust us – we made sure to get a sample (or two, or three…). Whenever Peter dons his La Cornue or Miele chef’s apron, you know something special is about to happen.

Now, those special moments are about to be shared with the world!

Keep an eye out for future articles here on Design Your Lifestyle, as we keep track of Peter Salerno’s new line of cookbooks!

Peter Salerno with his father, Rosolino Salerno.
Peter Salerno with his father, Rosolino Salerno.

Our Favorite Nutella Hot Chocolate Recipe

From Peter Salerno’s Kitchen: Nutella Hot Chocolate Recipe

It’s been bitterly cold in the Northeast lately, which means that the team at Peter Salerno Inc. needs as many ways to keep warm as possible – both at home and at their award-winning design showroom!

(Read about Peter Salerno Inc.’s Innovative Showroom Award here…)

We don’t have to tell you how sweet and comforting a mug of hot chocolate is. And we could go on for days about how delicious Nutella is. But when we found out that A Beautiful Mess put the two together… well, our winter got a lot warmer.

A delicious recipe for Nutella hot chocolate. (Photo and recipe courtesy of A Beautiful Mess)
A delicious recipe for Nutella hot chocolate. (Photo and recipe courtesy of A Beautiful Mess)

A Beautiful Mess is run by sisters Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman. According to the website, their blog is “focused on creating happiness every day through a homemade lifestyle”. That’s a mission statement we can get behind!

Their recipe for Nutella Hot Chocolate is absolutely spectacular. It’s a great blend of sweet and a little salty, rich and smooth. And it’s the perfect, decadent way to treat yourself on a cold winter day – try it!

From Peter Salerno’s Kitchen: Nutella Hot Chocolate Recipe (courtesy of A Beautiful Mess):

Ingredients (2 servings)

1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup Nutella
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
dash of sea salt
fresh whipped cream (optional)


  1. Add your milk to a small pot and heat the milk over low-medium heat until warm (don’t let the milk boil; just warm it slowly).
  2. Once the milk has warmed, add your Nutella and stir regularly with a whisk until all the spread has dissolved.
  3. Add the cinnamon and salt, and stir until combined.
  4. Pour into mug and garnish with a dollop of whipped cream.

Halloween Dessert Recipe: Hazelnut Pumpkin Pie

Halloween Special Dessert Recipe: Hazelnut Pumpkin Pie

Peter Salerno’s Favorite Hazelnut Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Try this delicious Hazelnut Pumpkin Pie recipe, courtesy of and Marie Rizzio.
Try this delicious Hazelnut Pumpkin Pie recipe, courtesy of and Marie Rizzio.

Thanks to a wonderful website called Taste of Home, people from all over North America (and the world!) can share their favorite recipes. Sometimes, the staff at Peter Salerno Inc. finds a real gem of a recipe on this website that comes straight out of a private home kitchen.

This recipe is no different. Marie Rizzio of Interlochen, Michigan, submitted a recipe for Hazelnut Pumpkin Pie, and it looked delicious on paper. When we tried her Hazelnut Pumpkin Pie recipe in real life, it was love from the very first bite.

At Peter Salerno Inc., the passion for creating award-winning custom kitchen designs stems from an understanding that the kitchen is a personal haven where family and friends can meet, eat, and enjoy each other’s company. Based on this Hazelnut Pumpkin Pie, we’re sure that Marie Rizzio’s kitchen is full of love and warmth.

(The recipe states that the hazelnut liqueur is optional – we’ve tried it both ways, and love the flavor that the liqueur brings.)

Try it for yourself – and happy Halloween!

Hazelnut Pumpkin Pie Recipe (courtesy of Taste of Home & Marie Rizzio)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
5 to 6 tablespoons ice water
1 teaspoon white vinegar

3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur, optional
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
1 tablespoon hazelnut liqueur, optional

For the full directions on how to make this delicious Halloween dish, head over to Taste of Home!

We Love This Oatmeal Pumpkin Muffin Recipe!

We Love This Oatmeal Pumpkin Muffin Recipe!

October Oatmeal Pumpkin Muffin Recipe from

It’s autumn once again, which means anything (and everything) you can eat or drink is made with pumpkin once again! Pumpkin is a delicious, savory addition to your cooking repertoire, and chances are you’ve had your fair share of pumpkin recipes already this year.

Peter Salerno Inc.‘s award-winning custom kitchen designs are often filled with the warm, inviting scent of pumpkin recipes during the fall, and we wanted to share one of our favorite pumpkin recipes with you – enjoyable at breakfast, as a snack, or as a delectable dessert or a treat with your coffee.

October Oatmeal Pumpkin Muffins recipe (credit AllRecipes)

This recipe for October Oatmeal Pumpkin Muffins comes from user EW2012 at It’s a sweet treat (perfect with a macchiato or espresso, or as your morning breakfast!) that is sure to satisfy. We encourage you to warm them up before you enjoy!

For this and more outstanding recipes, check out

October Oatmeal Pumpkin Muffins Recipe (courtesy of AllRecipes)



  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Spray 6 muffin cups with cooking spray.

Please refer to AllRecipes for the full version of this article with complete preparation, instructions and serving portions!

The Epicurious #EpiRecipeClub August 2018 Recipe: Oregano-Marinated Tomato Salad

The Epicurious #EpiRecipeClub August 2018 Recipe: We Love It!

If you follow Design Your Lifestyle, you know how much we love Epicurious. We’ve basically had a running love affair with Epicurious for five years, and they’re our go-to destination for recipes, meal ideas, seasonal menus and food inspirations.

We’re dedicated followers of the #EpiRecipeClub – the official interactive hashtag of the Epicurious Recipe Club. The idea is simple – make the same recipe as the fine folks at Epicurious, post it to Instagram and use the hashtag #EpiRecipeClub, and compare how your creation looks with Epicurious followers the world over!

Post your Oregano-Marinated Tomato Salad to Instagram, #EpiRecipeClub!
Post your Oregano-Marinated Tomato Salad to Instagram, #EpiRecipeClub!

The August 2018 #EpiRecipeClub recipe is for Oregano-Marinated Tomato Salad. It’s simple, refreshing, and full of fresh flavors – in other words, it checks all our boxes for a summer recipe! As Epicurious decribes the recipe:

“Marinating sliced tomatoes in salt, pepper, olive oil, and fresh oregano intensifies their flavor and brings out their rich juices. Serve with crusty bread for mopping it up.”

With a perfect 4/4 rating from Epicurious users (and a 100% “Make It Again” status), we feel pretty confident that we’re not alone in our love for this Oregano-Marinated Tomato Salad. Try it out for yourself – but before you eat it, make sure you post a picture of your creation to Instagram with the August #EpiRecipeClub hashtag!