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Cooking with the Internet? 478

VonGuard asks: "Not all of you live on ramen and coffee. At some point, you have to cook, and the Internet should be a great place to find recipes. Is there a Google for recipes. And why isn't there a larger open cookbook on the net? So, is anyone working on this, or is there something the rest of us don't know about yet?"
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Cooking with the Internet?

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  • One suggestion... (Score:5, Informative)

    by tabacco ( 145317 ) * on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:04PM (#8486445)
    I'd try []. I've gotten some good recipes from there.
  • by grennis ( 344262 ) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:05PM (#8486446)
    You mentioned Google, so why not use it?

    Here is the first result, just to get you started : Allrecipes index of 23,000 recipes [].
  • Why? (Score:4, Funny)

    by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:05PM (#8486448)
    Is there a Google for recipes

    I like to use Food Network. I have found quite a few useful recipes there (one of my favorite was when I cooked for my gf's brother-in-law who is a vegetarian... Portabellas with spinach salad in an eggplant dressing.)

    And why isn't there a larger open cookbook on the net?

    I once heard a story of a woman that was eating a dessert at a restaurant and thought it was so
    incredible that she just HAD to have the recipe. She asked the Chef and he at first declined but
    after her continued insistance a typed sheet was delivered to the woman's table that included the
    recipe and the bill. She read through the recipe and was delighted. She looked at the bill and
    it was well over $500. She became infuriated and asked to see the Chef. He explained that her
    bill was $100 and the cost of the receipe was $400.

    Perhaps that's why,
  • Seriously? (Score:5, Informative)

    by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:05PM (#8486451) Homepage Journal
    Oh, come on now. Recipes were one of the first things I ever saw posted on the Internet even back when it was Arpanet. In fact, one of the reasons Xerox PARC gave for developing the GUI was to allow everyone to interact with a computer, even "kitchen wives" could be able to easily store and retrieve recipes on a computer without having to use "arcane" symbology.

    To answer your question though, I think this [] link should be more than Slashdot worthy. The show is great, sufficiently geeky, and life is simply too short not to eat.....Good Eats.

    There are many, many other links to recipes on the Internet. Food Network [] is one and Epicurious [] are the other principle resources I use.

    • Re:Seriously? (Score:2, Informative)

      by jdrogers ( 93806 )
      I second this recomendation. Good Eats (Alton Brown) is a great show that teaches more than just how to follow a recipe, but also delves into the "why" certain ingredients are used and what they do chemically. High quality geek programming for food related stuff!
    • Re:Seriously? (Score:3, Informative)

      by GeorgeH ( 5469 )
      FYI, Alton Brown did a Slashdot Interview [] in September of 2002.
    • Re:Seriously? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by forkazoo ( 138186 ) <> on Saturday March 06, 2004 @10:17PM (#8488642) Homepage
      Another show that deserves mention is America's Test Kitchen on PBS. They try a few combinations to see what works best. It's like nutritive hacking.

      On one show, they made brownies, and showed the results of several variations. (Extra egg makes it taste bad -- add this much flour to give a nice shiny top -- and more of this to make it cakey instead of dense...)

      On another, they did pasta dishes, and explained the etymology of the Italian word Putresca in Pasta Putresca. They also explained the chemistry behind cooking good pasta (At least two quarts water, so that the starch molecules are sufficiently diluted that they don't stick together while in solution)

      Also, the chicks are hot.
  • Is there a Google for recipes?
    In fact there is []

    Seriously though, try all recipes [] if you want something a little less generic.

  • icbdb (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Bai jie ( 653604 )
    What would really be great is an Internet Cook Book Database. Set up to model after IMDB of course.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:06PM (#8486457)
    This cookbook [] has been a tecchie staple for years!
  • by MurrayTodd ( 92102 ) * on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:06PM (#8486460) Homepage

    I'm not sure a central repository is all that necessary. It's relatively easy to find five variations on whatever I want to cook, from which I can place a pretty educated guess as to which recipe I would rather use. (Based on ingredients, obvious "convenience substitutions", etc.) It's really a fascinating practice: looking at five different recipes, seeing their similarities and differences, learning the central core theme to the composition, and seeing where different cooks have developed their own riffs.

    (I guess I'm saying that if you want a large collection of standard recipes, go buy your requisite copy of the Joy of Cooking. Otherwise, embrace heterogeneity.)

    I really haven't explained why a central Google/Open/Wiki cookbook would work against this. I just think that once people saw a recipe had been submitted, they would be less inclined to upload their slightly different version. Maybe such a global project would benefit by somehow encouraging the submission of many varieties, including a "moderation system" by which culinary enthusiasts might edit the variations-on-a-theme and even write editorials on how and why the variations exist, which provide useful time-saving substitutions, when a certain ingredient of method is really necessary to make the "Real McCoy", etc.

    Another thing worth mentioning: there are already dozens of "cooking sites" that provide this service, most of them are very "open" allowing easy submission and access. I think a big Open Initiative is successful when there AREN'T pre-existing sites providing a service, or when the sites try to restrict access by forcing a paid subscription model. (Like Wikipedia to online Encyclopedias.) The addition of some generic Open cooking site would become "just another cooking site".

    A funny side-note. I've benefitted by the LACK of such a central source. I have a website that I've been cultivating for under a year, where I've put creative (written, artistic, photographic, computing, etc.) works. I've done everything possible to cultivate this site so that visitors would come to it. The thing that brings the most visitors to my site? My "Basic Crepe Recipe". For some funny reason nobody else in the world has a higher Google-ranked Basic Crepe Recipe. (Okay, recently I got knocked down to #2.) So this little "afterthought" has become a leading constant influx of visitors.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:06PM (#8486461)
    I only ever get as far as the Nigella Lawson pictures...

  • by Saven Marek ( 739395 ) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:07PM (#8486470)
    No such thing as too many cooks spoil the broth, I think. A wiki would be the perfect solution for this, as long as the interest is there.

    I'm thankful I learned how to cook and cook well when I was younger, but there is ALWAYS something to learn from someone else. It's not some exact science or mysterious voodoo, just something anyone with a little creativity and some basic knowledge can build on.

    PS. Experiment most when you're single :-). it's easier that way when you screw up, and is a whole lot easier than when you're partnered later!.

    Classic Celebrity Desktops & Movie Posters []
  • Whenever I'm in the mood for, say, lamb, I just hit Google and punch in "lamb" and "recipe". Poof, lots of hits. Some of them are online recipe books and some are little webpages by folks who got a few megs web space with their Internet account and couldn't think of anything else to put up.

    Point being, I don't see a reason to have The Whole Internet Cookbook.


    • That's great unless you have more specific requirements. Say for example you're allergic to onions. You want all chili recipes without onions. There are a large number of ways a fully interactive cookbook would be beneficial. Hell categories better than "BEEF RECIPE" would be nice.
  • The only cooking I can do is to wait the 3 minutes for the boiling water to do its work. Even then, I sometimes forget all about it and end up with soggy noodles. :(
  • Decent Curry (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Basehart ( 633304 ) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:08PM (#8486476)
    As you all know there are millions of recipes out there, but try finding one single recipe for a decent curry, the kind you can get at your favorite indian restaurant, and I bet you can't.

    Sure, most come close, but even playing indian new age music while sitting down to eat your creation just doesn't cut it!

    So what's the secret?
    • So what's the secret?

      More oil than you could possibly imagine.
    • Re:Decent Curry (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:29PM (#8486664)
      The secret is : Shan Foods spice mixes. I found a Pakistani convenience store in my neighborhood in Montreal, and there were these little boxes piled high, with pictures of food on them. Each one is a mix of the spices needed for the dish in question. You just add the meat, yogurt, onions, etc... I've noticed that a lot of the things I end up making like this have the same odor and taste as what I get in restaurants, for a lot less and it's fresher.
      There is also the Gits brand, which offers many type of dessert mixes you can prepare easily. I've always liked the fried milk balls, and with a 2$ pouch I can make enough to last for a week.
      Then there's the Haldiram's Soan. Oh my God, I can't even describe it. A mix between Halvah and cotton candy, with an exotic flowery aroma? Anyways, at 5$ for a pound of them, you can't go wrong.
      • Re:Decent Curry (Score:4, Informative)

        by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @06:05PM (#8487248) Homepage
        " The secret is : Shan Foods spice mixes."

        I'm sorry, but the secret should NEVER be a specific brand of spice blends. Seriously. The secret is probably a spice or spices that are hard to find in american supermarkets, but that doesn't mean you should stick to one name brand of spices.

        Sorry, I guess I should explain my paranoia. You see, I have this thought that were I to move, and be uprooted from my network of grocery stores, I may not be able to find the same brands later on. Thus, I feel that I cannot get too attached to brands, and instead need to learn the core essence of cooking and how to make things from scratch.

        However, it is true you might be able to find certain ethnic ingredients only at those stores. For example, sichuan peppercorns are now banned for sale in the US (there was a NY Times article on it, technically they're considered a fruit). I cook a LOT of chinese food, sichuan in particular, so I managed to get them from behind the counter thanks to flirting with the girl who works at the local chinese supermarket (where they speak next to no english).

        You'd be surprised what you can find at these 'hole in the wall' ethnic places.

  • Search Google for "recipe + whatever you fancy cooking"; skip the first couple of results (unless you like SPAM ;) and you'll find hundreds of recipes.

    All somebody needs do to contribute is post their favourite recipes to their personal web and let the search engines do the rest.
  • by mikeophile ( 647318 ) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:08PM (#8486481)
    You just don't see enough recipes along these lines. []
  • the Internet should be a great place to find recipes

    Anyone tried this "cream of somyungai" that I keep hearing so much about?

  • by ( 562495 ) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:08PM (#8486484) Homepage
    I usually to reverse engineer (or hack) my food. And Just like any opensource software sometimes the hacked food is compatible with my stomach and sometimes it is not :(
  • One of my neat-ideas-I-never-got-around to was going to be a web site for cheap and easy instructions for good food. Cooking for college students. User submitted ideas.

    Anything like this? I have cookbooks, but damn, that is some complicated shit. I want easy stuff. Like how to make ramen GOOD. What goes well with ramen besides the salt packet they give you? What about easy to make wraps or sandwiches?
  • by appleLaserWriter ( 91994 ) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:09PM (#8486488)
    Vodka (chilled)
    Dry Vermouth (chilled)
    Olive Juice
    Martini Glass

    1. Add as much Vodka as you'd like to drink
    2. Splash in some vermouth to taste
    3. Splash in some olive juice, until you can't taste the vermouth anymore
    4. Add an olive or two
    5. Drink!

    Optional Extras

    1. If the ingredients are not already cold, you may pre-mix in a shaker full of ice, and then strain the liquid into your martini glass. Ice may be used directly if you don't mind diluting the vodka.
    2. Vodka mixes well with everything. Try additional ingredients to make new and unique martinis.
  • by mopslik ( 688435 ) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:09PM (#8486491)

    ...there's always Epicurious [].

    I've found many a tasty recipe on there, but then, I love cooking and don't mind buying some wacky ingredients or spending extra time whipping something up.

  • Wikibooks-cookbook (Score:5, Informative)

    by jbradleymd ( 633884 ) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:09PM (#8486493)
    I'm surprised that I haven't seen the Wikibooks-Cookbook at
  • STFW (Score:2, Insightful)

    by scrytch ( 9198 )
    (Search The, ah, Freakin Web)

    I mean, really ... google for "recipes". My personal favorite is epicurious, tho I often have to tone down the expensive and/or hard to get ingredients.

    Lots of these places let you submit your own recipes, many let you rate and comment on them. There isn't much interest in an internet-wide p2p schema of recipes because, well, it's not really something that's needed such a trading scheme before. Use a blog, paste the recipe in, google will pick it up in a couple days.

    I'm no
    • Drive to Whataburger
    • Say "#2, double cheese, for here".
    • Dip the fries in ketchup.
    • Dial up Pizza Hut.
    • Say "Large stuffed-crust super supreme".
    • Try not to eat a candy bar while awaiting delivery.

  • Recipes make money (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bitmanhome ( 254112 ) < minus punct> on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:11PM (#8486508)
    And why isn't there a larger open cookbook on the net?
    Because you don't sumbit your recipes to one. And because they're copyrighted. And because books get a wider audience and make money.
  • BBC Food (Score:5, Informative)

    by gibbsjoh ( 186795 ) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:11PM (#8486509)
    The BBC [] has a very good food section [] that, in addition to having info on cooking shows and celebrity chefs, allows you to search its extensive collection of recipes [] - both from shows and submitted by readers. Also, they publish a magazine called Good Food from which (no doubt) many of these recipes are taken.

  • (Score:3, Informative)

    by M. Silver ( 141590 ) <.silver. .at.> on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:11PM (#8486511) Homepage Journal
    Or, The Archive Formerly Known As SOAR.

    I recommend the apple roast hadrosaur.
  • Here's a classic. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Maskirovka ( 255712 ) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:12PM (#8486514)
    The Ars Technica batchelor chow cookbook [].
  • At some point, you have to cook, and the Internet should be a great place to find recipes

    Forget cooking.

    I personally find the internet (small-I by the way) a much greater help to find restaurants of all kinds, big or small, dear or cheap.

    One of my favorite past-time is to roam the countryside trying to find unknown small restaurants that serve good home-made or mom-and-pop food, or perhaps unusual food of some kind, trying to stay clear away from well-known dining places, chains, fast food joints and ot
  • Is there a Google for recipes?

    Well, there's a Google hack [] for recipes that seems to work okay. You put in the ingredients that you have on hand and it tries to find recipes using those ingredients.

    Oddly enough, I just saw this on someone's weblog earlier today. Synchronicity is a peculiar thing.

  • I use google to find recipes. Usually I generally know what to make, and use google to "guide" the details. The thing I've learned is to look at many recipes and perform a bit of informatics. Some ingredients tend to vary between recipes and others are always the same. Then you can tell which parts to change to alter the recipe in your own personal way. For example, look for waffle recipes online. Some have mostly egg whites or some have a very pancake like recipe. Also you can find out how to alter
  • Google for Recipes -- speak of the devil... @ google []
  • Epicurious (Score:3, Informative)

    by mark0 ( 750639 ) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:13PM (#8486535)
    Epicurious [] is, by far, the best site for recipes on the web. The best feature is its archive of recipes from a variety of publications going back many years.
    • Re:Epicurious (Score:5, Informative)

      by nhaze ( 684461 ) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:50PM (#8486809)
      Epicurious does have a huge repository, but I have had a handful of the recipes turn out nasty or just blah. Fortunately, they have a recipe review section where people can comment and add helpful comments like, "Don't use the 4 cups of salt in the chocolate cake that the recipes says to."
  • The best recipe there is is your spice shelf and your tongue. Great cooking (as opposed to baking) comes from trying out new things, not being afraid to experiment, and knowing what effect your tools (ingredients) will have -- and this only comes with experience. Much like coding, actually.
  • I'd like to see an online cookbook that gives me recipies based on what I have in the kitchen. Half the time I get home, look through cupboards and fridge and say "Crap! What the heck can I make out of this?".

    I need RFID readers in the kitchen which tie directly into my fridge-mounted, internet-connected, touch-screen, Xterminal, cookbook! ;-)

    As much as RFID's make me nervous, I can see this as an inevitable commonplace in the future.

  • Hmmm... (Score:3, Funny)

    by dotwaffle ( 610149 ) <> on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:20PM (#8486587) Homepage
    No-one has said it yet so...

    1) Make an open-source cookbook
    2) ???
    3) Profit!
  • by braddock ( 78796 ) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:20PM (#8486590)
    Recipes can't be patented, and the data of a list of ingredients and a procedure can't be copyrighted.

    That means that if someone wrote a proper web-crawling recipe snarfer that stored the recipes in a database (without stealing the formatting or stealing a particular collection), it should be intellectual property free and fully public domain!

    Definitely a good weekend hacker challenge....

    Braddock Gaskill
  • by joeszilagyi ( 635484 ) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:22PM (#8486597)
  • by bpm140 ( 92250 ) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:22PM (#8486601)
    I've used UCBerkeley's Searchable Online Archive of Recipes [] for years. Its biggest shortcoming is a lack of ingredient searches, but they've integrated Google into the search for full text search, which is good enough, if a bit clumsy.

    Here's the skinny from their About Us page:

    While RecipeSource may be one of the newest recipe sites on the Internet, we're also one of the oldest. Our collection was started in 1993 by Jennifer Snider when she discovered the wonders of Usenet newsgroups & Internet mailing lists as a student at the University of California at Berkeley. She started saving recipes posted to those sources and soon amassed thousands of recipes. When her friends found out about the collection, we encouraged her to put them on the web, and she agreed, provided we helped her. After several months of hard work, the recipes first appeared on the web in 1995 as SOAR: The Searchable Online Archive of Recipes. From our start with around 10,000 recipes we've grown the collection to 7 times that size, and had our pages accessed millions of times from around the world. Thanks to our popularity, we've outgrown our original home, so we've moved the collection here to, where we hope it will continue to grow, while providing better response time and a better search engine than our old site.

  • Recipe Index (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mahtar ( 324436 ) <> on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:25PM (#8486630)
    I find Carnegie Mellon's Online Recipe Archive [] to be a wonderful resource.
  • this is funny (Score:5, Informative)

    by Daytona955i ( 448665 ) <flynnguy24@yahoo.COWcom minus herbivore> on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:25PM (#8486631)
    I just started working on my own recipe database program. I started with a perl/mysql/cgi interface and now I'm working on a qt program to interface said database.

    Granted all my recipes are family recipes and it's nowhere near ready for mass consumption but there are recipes everywhere. has already been mentioned but there are some other good sites:
    http:/ /

    Of course if you are looking for something google can be your best resource.

    Hopefully I will eventually have something that I feel is good enough to release. While I am using mysql, since I am using dbi (for the perl end) and qt for the c++ end it should be able to use any database that these support with just a recompile. Let me know if there is really an interest in this and I could try and release something soon. I'd give my web site but it's on my cablemodem which I'm not supposed to run a server off of.
  • SOAR (Score:3, Informative)

    by AnonymousCowheart ( 646429 ) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:38PM (#8486724) Homepage
    I always liked S.O.A.R. (searchable online archive of recipes) but they've seen changed to recipe source [] im pretty sure they use to be the largest, and part of []
    anyway, they still have a large collection of pretty good recipes
  • Food Network...Food TV [] Something like 25,000 recipes. I've tried a few of them, really nice.

  • Life's too short (Score:3, Informative)

    by iminplaya ( 723125 ) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @04:57PM (#8486869) Journal
    to read all the comments. Did anybody suggest this []?
  • by jonathan_ingram ( 30440 ) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @05:05PM (#8486924) Homepage
    Victorian classics:
    Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management []
    Moxon's English Housewifery Exemplified []

    Two interesting early vegetarian cook-books:
    The Healthy Life Cook-Book []
    The Reform Cookery Book []

    Of historical interest:
    The Form Of Cury [] -- in Middle English.

    This is just a sample -- there are many more (search [] for 'cook' or 'cookery').
  • by Gogl ( 125883 ) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @05:11PM (#8486959) Journal
    "What's for dinner?" []: you tell it what ingredients you have, what ingredients to exclude, and it'll tell you what you can make. Handy if you're trying to cook something with what you have and don't have time to go to the store or somesuch.
  • by suso ( 153703 ) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @05:35PM (#8487063) Homepage Journal
    1. Place pan directly on CPU.
    2. Place article about SCO on hard drive.
    3. Post URL of article to Slashdot
    4. Let cook for 15-20 minutes
    5. Serve and eat!

    *Use article about Gnome vs. KDE for higher altitudes
  • In French... (Score:3, Informative)

    by dargaud ( 518470 ) <> on Saturday March 06, 2004 @05:39PM (#8487090) Homepage
    Alexandre PUKALL [] published a free list of more than 10 thousand recipes about a decade ago. It's available in various forms on the Net. My take on it is an easy to search windows help file (.chm) [] (use xchm [] in Linux), but take it easy with my server as it's 7Mb (and it's all in French).
  • Google Recipe Search (Score:3, Interesting)

    by J. Matthew ( 94972 ) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @06:00PM (#8487220)
    Try Google Recipe Search [], it has Amazingly Powerful Parameters!
  • by EchoMirage ( 29419 ) * on Saturday March 06, 2004 @06:01PM (#8487226)
    I just use Google Groups to [] when I'm looking for something different. It's turned up many good recipes, and my wife rates it A+!
  • by ChefJune ( 759796 ) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @06:03PM (#8487231)
    The best spot on the web is The forums there are populated by both food lovers and professional chefs. Everybody interacts and has a great time, plus exchanges an immense amount of information. You should go!
  • XML for cooks (Score:3, Interesting)

    by aprentic ( 1832 ) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @07:02PM (#8487628) Homepage
    I once formated an ingredient list in pseudo XML as a joke. That got me thinking. Is there an XML cooking spec? Or some cooking programming language?

    It should be fairly easy to design, and it would probably be nice to have cooking instructions standardized.

  • by Alan Shutko ( 5101 ) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @07:15PM (#8487708) Homepage
    Well, it's not free, but it's worth the money.

    Cook's Illustrated [] selects recipes and exhaustively tests variations to come up with the easiest or best tasting recipe. They investigate why certain varieties of potatoes are good in different recipes, for instance. They'll explain why you should soak fries in ice water before frying them. They'll explain the tricks in getting the meringue right.

    If you want recipes with the best results for the effort or you want to learn the underlying theory, Cook's is great. (They also have a PBS show called America's Test Kitchen.)
  • by enrico_suave ( 179651 ) on Saturday March 06, 2004 @07:34PM (#8487799) Homepage
    it's called Cookin' With Google [] you enter in what items you have laying around your fridge and perhaps which type of cuisine you are interested in and it pulls up recipes on the web based upone the ingrediants you have (using a nifty google API "hack")...


  • by innerweb ( 721995 ) on Sunday March 07, 2004 @03:27AM (#8489682)
    In our family, we play a cooking game. Someong (normally a child) tells us what they are looking for in a culinary experience. We then go to the spice cabinets and try to find the spices we think we will need.

    If we think we have all the spices, we then see if we have the other ingredients. If we think we have everything, we try to decide how it should be prepared.

    We then run the plan. We taste it along the way to ensure what we expect to happen is actually happening. If we need to (and we are able to), we make changes along the way.

    When the cooking is done, we put it in front of the other family members for a quality taste test. If it passes (and it normally does), dinner is served. If not, we head out for a shrink wrapped meal.


  • What's an oz.? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ReinoutS ( 1919 ) <> on Sunday March 07, 2004 @08:26AM (#8490228) Homepage
    The problem with recipes on the internet is that they don't scale well internationally. Apart from the fact that many ingredient names aren't part of my english vocabulary, the biggest problem is that I've got not the faintest idea how much an oz, lb, c or tsp is.

    Now if everyone just started to comply with internationally agreed upon standards (metric units) I wouldn't get the same uneasy feeling I have when receiving a Word-attachment whenever I read an American/English recipe on the net. It's time for a W3C validator for recipes!

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.