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Recipe management


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Whats the best way to manage recipes? What an ideal notebook would need to have and be capable of?

 

I have tons of marked web sites, playlists on YouTube, printscreens on my phone, bookmarks in paper books, my notebook... I would like to know how you professionals do it.

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Not a professional, but...all of the above. I have bookmarks in books, a bookmarks folder entitled "recipes to try," as well as a ton of saved recipes on the Food 52 and NYT cooking websites. I have a folder of documents entitled "recipes" that I've broke down into categories (entrees, desserts, breakfast, sauces, etc.)  with mostly word docs but some jpgs and screenshots. I have migrated over to using the "copy me that" app/website to manage recipes I collect from online sources.

 

I understand Eat Your Books is handy for finding recipes in your hard-copy cookbooks. I have it, but have yet to index all my cookbooks.....

 

To me, the important thing is to be able to search by ingredient. There's a search engine, recipe puppy, that allows that, but it's a little unwieldy. You can also do it on epicurious.com. I have not been able to figure out how to do it on copy me that.

 

 

 

Edited by kayb (log)
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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Posted (edited)

Here is what I am thinking about and their pros and cons. I believe that I should have everything in one place. To better blend multiple recipes into one dish and not to forget something in generall.

 

Ring binder

  • an emotional connection exists and writing by hand is more pleasant and improves my memory and sparks my creativity. That's a key, isn't it?
  • better for doing math e.g. fractions (I do confectionery, so I am often calculating % etc.)
  • much better for sketches

 

Note taking app (Evernote, Google keep)

  • has search, tags, #s, structure
  • better overwriting and working with online resources
  • can add pictures
  • you can't lose it
Edited by Vojta
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Folders, tags and or labels in Google Drive.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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I don't even want to think about managing my recipes at this point, it needed to happen years ago to be tempting. I think they'd have to issue a prolonged shelter-in-place order for me to stand a chance. I'd need at least a couple weeks to get bored enough to be able to make myself try it and another couple weeks to gather it all together and organize it. I have stuff everywhere. Files on my laptop, bookmarks on my laptop, backup folders on my external hard drive, notes in books, papers piled in boxes, papers tucked in books, etc. The only thing that works somewhat in my favor is, I tend to be very good at remembering which of those formats a particular recipe can be found in. The time it takes to find it is another story...

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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You can search within any specific file in Google Drive. Use keywords in the title  of whatever to make searching and sorting easier.

Specific ingredients can be found via a general search.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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I'm currently using 26.1 GB of Google Drive space for my various interests.

I do quadruple backups, just in case!

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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FWIW-Here's my kitchen PC set-up.
A 2008 HP xw4600 Workstation that I paid $100 for about 8 years ago. Easily running free Xubuntu 18.04 Linux. The monitor is a 27" Acer—portrait orientation.

One of the nice things about portrait orientation is that I can read an entire recipe from anywhere in the kitchen—zooming if necessary.

I keep almost all of my personal recipes organized in Google Drive.
I keep 4 copies of ALL my files on 4 separate drives.

One copy is at my brother's house—just in case...

Shown is a recipe from Escoffier's A Guide to Modern Cookery—1907

IMG_20200103_133439334.jpg

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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I put my heart in peace years ago about this. If you want to do a good job, then you are going to invest tons of hours every week. If you look back, then you'll notice that the amount of recipes / ideas / whatelse you wanted to save and try are WAAAAYYYYYY MOOOORE than the amount you could do in the rest of your life. So I just let them go with a few exceptions. All the rest I try to absorb the useful techniques/ideas and not more.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Teo

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I drop recipes into Google Drive and group them in broad general categories before serious organizing.

Average 60 to 120 recipes per hour.

Videos are downloaded into Google Drive and organized when I get a group of them.

I've organized thousands of recipes and several hundred videos.

When notes are needed I dictate them via voice recognition.

I work on it all when I have extra time.

Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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I also convert some old indexes and recipes via optical character recognition.

If the text isn't clear prior to OCR I can often improve it greatly with a program called SmillaEnlarger.

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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In this post I mention my use of Evernote. I actually started using Evernote because I was moving across the country and didn't want to move boxes and boxes of recipe printouts, so I bought a sheetfed scanner and scanned the paperwork. That was years ago and I invested the time it took to design (figure out) how to classify stuff.

 

I have hundreds of cookbooks which I read like novels, for entertainment. Others have recommended the site Eat Your Books but it can't answer the questions I want to ask. (I know this because I have repeatedly tested it with my five free books). If I wanted to use Eat Your Books like I use Evernote, I would have to compile custom indeces. If I'm going to compile custom indeces, why do I need Eat Your Books?

 

So, you have to decide, like @teonzo, how much organization you want. And then you have to put in the effort to achieve it.

 

The problem is primarily an organizational one.

Edited by TdeV
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2 hours ago, TdeV said:

In this post I mention my use of Evernote. I actually started using Evernote because I was moving across the country and didn't want to move boxes and boxes of recipe printouts, so I bought a sheetfed scanner and scanned the paperwork. That was years ago and I invested the time it took to design (figure out) how to classify stuff.

 

I have hundreds of cookbooks which I read like novels, for entertainment. Others have recommended the site Eat Your Books but it can't answer the questions I want to ask. (I know this because I have repeatedly tested it with my five free books). If I wanted to use Eat Your Books like I use Evernote, I would have to compile custom indeces. If I'm going to compile custom indeces, why do I need Eat Your Books?

 

So, you have to decide, like @teonzo, how much organization you want. And then you have to put in the effort to achieve it.

 

The problem is primarily an organizational one.

 

 

What problem do you find with the indexing of Eat Your Books?

 

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10 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

What problem do you find with the indexing of Eat Your Books?

 

Last time, I wanted to select for either appliance or cooking method, which can't be done. "Support" told me that I could build my own index.

Also, if I remember previous searches correctly, not all ingredients can be searched.

Next time I think of a search that Eat Your Books would be good for, I'll keep track.

 

I recognize that familiarity with software makes its use more successful. But I also recognize that some software familiarity is a question of downgrading one's expectations for what the software can/should deliver.

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24 minutes ago, TdeV said:

Last time, I wanted to select for either appliance or cooking method, which can't be done.

 

Appliance?  Like blender or KitchenAid mixer?  

Cooking method?  Like microwave or induction or boiling?

 

 

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51 minutes ago, TdeV said:

I recognize that familiarity with software makes its use more successful. But I also recognize that some software familiarity is a question of downgrading one's expectations for what the software can/should deliver.

 

As a longtime Linux user who has installed Windows on a couple of computers this past week (for various reasons) it's hard not to insert some snark here. But yes, sadly, that's still often the case as the personal-computer era sits well into its fifth decade (depending which starting point you choose...).

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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I've been using Living Cookbook since I first encountered it some 15 years ago (I think).  When the creator(s) abandoned it around the time of Win10 I had to start looking for something else to use since I didn't know how long it would keep working.  Now I'm using Paprika in tandem with LC.  The advantage of Paprika is that it can be used on my iPad.

My desktop is in my office upstairs and is not convenient to the kitchen.

So, while it's a bit more work to maintain them, I use both.  Paprika is not as sophisticated as LC but is more accessible.

I've heard rumors that LC will be resurrected at some time but I'm not holding my breath. 

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About a month or two ago I got a notice from Pepperplate that they were going to start charging a subsscription fee for the app. Heck no, I said. Unfortunately I had about 150 recipes stored on that app, and didn't want to lose them. Looking for a free alternative, I found this: https://thecookbookapp.com/

 

I was able to export all my Pepperplate recipes to a file on my computer and then, laboriously, re-enter it into Cookbook App. It's fairly intuitive, has an attractive interface. You can also import recipes directly from a website by using their URL import too. It works perfectly about half the time, partly about 1/4  of the time, and not at all about 1/4 of the time. But you can still cut and paste into the app. Easy to search recipes and works across all devices, which was important to me. Because I often need to access a recipe when I am not at home.

 

I think there are better options but nothing I could find that was totally free. So this will do me for now.

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I use Evernote, either using the web clipper browser extension or just copy and paste in to a note. Searchable, taggable, can make sub-notebooks, and accessible through the app or through any browser.

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I hope everyone realizes that when you start using the cloud (or indeed any free web storage) that once you get over a certain size you are stuck with it.

 

My neighbor stores all his photos on the cloud. He now pays for extra space (only about $1 per month). He says "its only $1 month". I answer with "for now and even if it doesn't rise its $1 a month FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE", then we go and drink more wine.

BUT he has so many photos stored he can't download the lot and he can't actually view or find them randomly because there are just too many.

Just on that Google now stores your phone photos in a "new & better" format. All good, saves you space right. Well it turns out you need a google app to open them. You can't download them to your PC and view them. Whats the bet that now advertising revenue is falling, Google will start reducing their  free online storage limits and start charging to store on the cloud.

 

Its fine to have lots of information (even at home) but if it takes a long time to find anything it becomes useless.

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I have...somewhere...a 2-terabyte hard drive that's the size of a small paperback book. I guess I could relocate everything to that (surely I do not have 2 TB worth of stuff!). Mine are scattered amongst several places, as i noted upthread. Also, I'm a NYT subscriber and thus get the Cooking app, and it's supposed to allow you to upload recipes. I have not tried.

 

@TdeV, I'd note that in CopyMeThat, you can categorize recipes. You could possibly categorize to your specifications.

 

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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5 hours ago, Bernie said:

Its fine to have lots of information (even at home) but if it takes a long time to find anything it becomes useless.

@Bernie, tell it. 

 

I wanna go back to albums.  With label-maker labels.  Preferably that my mom made, but . . . .

 

On the recipes.  Sigh. 

 

I'm currently toggling between EatYourBooks plus my Evernote file.  My EatYourBooks is not complete, Im still, slowly-by-slowly, uploaded my personal file.  Honestly, I don't think the family recipes will ever make it there (or anywhere electronic); but I also think that my family recipes are lodged in a place in my memory to where -- when I want them, I'll remember that, and know where to reach.  

 

Thsi just isn't true for anything acquired after about 39.  

 

But -- before I was hipped to EatYourBooks, I used to have a ritual of rounds -- a round through the binders; a round through the card file; a round through the Evernote; and finally a round through the Main Books. 

 

**I will note --  for much of my life, I did have a really very good memory for food.  I couldn't remember a recipe, but I could remember that I had grabbed something interesting re this particular ingredient, and then go hunting; so the rounds were more like trying to find something I already knew was there

 

That, I think, has become a thing of my youth which is now extinct.  At a minimum -- it's reliability is extinct.  Which I noticed first at work.  Now I come across shit I swear I've never seen before . . . .

 

Anyway -- this laborious but regular search-function did actually have the side-effect of severely narrowing my notion of which recipes were worth clipping.  Anything that was even a little similar to something I already knew?  Nah.  

 

So I don't add as much as I used to.  And the metrics are different -- it really has to be *new* to get clipped for trial.  

 

Which may be a kind of doom . . . .

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