I'm the first to admit that this is a weird picture for you to open up and find here, but today I'll be talking about cookbooks, recipes, and databases, so it seemed apropos.
I've recently been invited to participate in several efforts that I'm really excited about, and I genuinely believe you'll find them of interest.
1. Rouxbe. Long-time 5SR readers will recall that I wrote about Rouxbe, the video-based online cooking school, back in February 2009. The school presents close-up, technique-driven cooking videos without distractions. Rouxbe has also just begun to offer what they call "curated content," where they take specific recipes and break them out into discrete chunks, so students can just watch the one video for that technique or ingredient most of interest to them.
And they've curated a few of my recipes. For example, here's my Tangerine Couscous with Garbanzos, Olives, and Pine Nuts on Rouxbe, which I created for 5SR a while ago. You'll see separate videos for every part of the process and can choose which short bursts are most of interest. (Membership options include a 7-day free trial, if this site's of interest to you.)
2. Gojee. Gojee, a new start-up launching today, is featuring some of my content, too, along with that of about 80 other food folks. It's an innovative and interactive search engine designed to assist grocery shoppers with meal planning. Right now the service is piloting with D'Agostino's grocery store in New York City, and shoppers who link their loyalty cards to Gojee can receive personalized recommendations for recipes based on their stated preferences, what foods they've just bought, and what they have in their fridges already.
Gojee then brings up recipe photos, and if shoppers like what they see, they click on that photo to pull up the full recipe on the original blog or website. Of course, anyone can use the database, not just D'Agostino shoppers in NY. Just type in what ingredients you have, or what dish you crave, and Gojee offers you pictorial suggestions. Like them? Click on them. Don't like them? Keep clicking until something else catches your eye.
Play around with the search box. I have recipes on the site for salmon, tomatoes, trout, tofu, soba noodles, and a few others. I'm going to see how it works out for me before I authorize them to use more of my content, so I'd really love your candid feedback.
3. Eat Your Books. OK, this is a biggie. I wrote about my fascination with this service just about a year ago, when I wanted to find a recipe for buttermilk ranch dressing in my sizable cookbook collection. The database is ingenious -- you spend some upfront time entering the names of the cookbooks on your shelf, and then the database spits out which of your physical cookbooks has that recipe. It saves you a huge amount of time browsing by pointing you directly to which books have precisely what you need.
Now, for the first time, members (there's a free option -- here's some more detail) can add blogs to their bookshelves. SO, you could actually add 5 Second Rule as though it were one of your "books." Then later, when you're looking for a particular recipe for, say, corn muffins, my blog will come up as one of your results (along with the rest of your physical cookbooks with corn muffin recipes), and you'll pull up the brown butter corn muffins with a direct link to the recipe on my site. (Co-owner Jane Kelly is in the process of indexing all of 5SR, which may take another few days.)
I'm giddy about this because so far, Eat Your Books has only indexed three blogs -- Simply Recipes, Food 52, and 5 Second Rule. More will be added soon, but there's something great about having been tapped so early on.
I know some of these services may leave you wondering which ones, if any, are worth your time and effort. The only way to know is to play around.
If you have any questions or need pointers, ask away, and I'll answer as best as I can. Take some time to explore, perhaps this long weekend?, and spread the word to anyone who might enjoy these ultramodern tools and services.