Archive for category Advice

Writing modern recipes well

Traditionally, recipes in books tend to be on one page, with an ingredient list specifying quantities at the top, and the instructions following that.

One very important thing has changed: many, many people are no longer getting their recipes from books. Instead, the web is the source, and in some cases, great applications like Paprika* which can take a web page and extract the recipe details into a structured format, basically a scalable quantities ingredients list in one pane, and the instructions in another. Both are editable.

So when I go shopping, I reference the ingredients pane and simply work down the list, making sure I have the right things in the right quantities. Easy, direct, no messing around.

However, when I go to make the recipe, the recipe instructions almost always lack the quantities. Here’s an example:

    Ingredients list contains:
    2 tablespoons butter

    Recipe instructions say:
    Melt butter in pan

Which means that unless I’ve memorized the recipe (not likely, or I wouldn’t be trying to read the instructions), now I have to go look at the ingredients list and hunt down the quantity of butter. Which is annoying: I’m trying to cook over here!

So my suggestion, and what I’ve begun doing with all the recipes I grab off the web as soon as I get them into Paprika, is to edit the recipe thusly:

    Ingredients list contains:
    2 tablespoons butter

    Recipe instructions say:
    Melt 2 tablespoons butter in pan

Problem solved. Shopping, the ingredients list is all I need. Cooking, the recipe is all I need.

* I have no business connection with Paprika; I’m just a very happy paid user of the pro version.

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How to Wear a Garter Belt

Here’s something for ladies new to best lingerie practices. As with many things, when it comes to garter belts and panties, there’s a right way to combine them, and a wrong way. Look carefully at this:

icgarters
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