Friday, June 11, 2010

Recipe Collector

This one's actually Christina's idea, but I'm embellishing on it.

We are getting into doing more cooking from recipes found online (thanks in part to the kitchen-friendly portability of the iPad), and while it's great to have resources like Epicurious and Big Oven (which, interestingly enough, has an API), it's also fun to find recipes and cooking suggestions on our favorite blogs. The thing is, once you've found them, there's no good way to collect them. You can star them in Google Reader and give them a "cooking" tag, or you can bookmark them on Delicious, but these are general-purpose tools; they don't know anything about recipes. It would be fun to have a service that was focused on recipes, but that allowed you to pull them from all over the web, kind of an Instapaper for cooking.

I'm imagining you'd have a bookmarklet that you can use to collect a page. It might also be nice to have an e-mail service to integrate with Google Reader and Mobile Safari. Just hit their "e-mail this" buttons and send it to a special address on the service and it'll add it to your collection. This would save a couple steps, and in the case of Reader, would allow you to collect just the portion that showed up in RSS (the actual content) rather than the whole page with all of its superfluous junk.

Once you've collected the recipes, you should be able to do the usual recipe things, like flipping through them, displaying them in a cooking-friendly fashion, and writing notes about how it turned out, changes you made, suggestions for next time, etc. For that matter, the service can dig through the various posts and to detect ingredients and other key elements, for easy categorization and searching.

I could imagine a whole series of specialized web collection services, one for recipes, one for travel, one for craft projects, etc. Sure, all you really need is Delicious or whatever, but by specializing on a particular topic, you can craft the experience around the specific needs of that interest.



It's like crowd sourcing the Tagging of pages or individual elements on a page.

A lot of the bookmarking services allow you to tag (keyword) a page when you bookmark something, but their input is just too time consuming (asking for titles, description, category, etc. ...) to do it on an ongoing basis.

Isn't Tim Berners-Lee working on a project to create relational databases for structured data?

In the meantime, here is one of Dawna's recipes…


Thanks for the recipe! We recently had it, with farmers market asparagus… it was indeed tasty! Now if only we had a good place to bookmark it… ;-)
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