asking for recipes

Joined Aug 13, 2006
I wouldn't question your preferences. I wouldn't want to imply you should do otherwise. We each have our own reasons for posting - mine is I like to write about cooking! (Yeah, i should write a book - maybe some day).

On the whole I think I've only asked for a few specific recipes among all my hundreds of posts. But I have given out dozens of actual recipes. I'm not suggesting you or anyone else should do the same. But the question is not so much whether someone should answer posts with their own recipes. Nobody obliges us to share recipes and i know many people don't like to give out recipes (many aspire to publish eventually - as do I, some just like their specialties to remain theirs -fair enough), but simply that answering "did you look it up on google" is stating the obvious and if people don't like to search on google, they won't just because someone suggests they do. Moreover, as i say, coming up with 7500 recipes is practically as useless as coming up with none.

I have actually looked up recipes on google, with mixed results (fortunately I have enough experience i can see if a recipe has glaring defects- not so for a novice cook - but i can't tell if it has minor defects. And most recipes don't specify how these corn muffins, say, are different from, other corn muffins, and try putting corn muffins on google and tell me how you decide which recipe to try! Now that would be useful information!).

I did a search a couple of years ago because i was doing my daughter's wedding cake (3 tiers, 6 layers, chocolate with chocolate raspberry ganache).

I got hundreds of sites. I chose a few that looked ok, and did many test recipes. Most were duds. Waste of good ingredients, waste of time.

I finally found a forum (i didn't know forums existed) and posted my question and got referred to the Cake Bible, I bought it and got all I needed from that and from Beranbaum's blog for specific answers to specific questions. That is a referral to a specific source. Not generically to google. It turned out to be the perfect answer.

It could also have been a specific recipe, which someone else had actually tried and it had actually worked. This is useful information, what a forum is for, i think. If i had known about that forum before, I would not have wasted time on stupid random websites' recipes. How many cakes would i have had to try out before finding one that was actually good? And one that was good as a small cake may not have held up in the 100 degree heat and under the weight of 6 heavy layers!

I also wanted a recipe for corn muffins with actual corn in them. I got a good recipe from the forum, one that someone had tested, one that met the criteria i had asked for. These are the experiences that make us continue to post and enjoy the forums. But this is not an appeal to everyone to give out their recipes. On the other hand, if we wanted a random internet recipe, we would have already looked.

Ok, sorry folks, i do get wordy - see what i mean by "liking to write" - not like i don't have anything to do! off to work now...
Joined Feb 1, 2007
Finding 7500 entries to a google search is tantamount to not finding any. How can you possibly pick one out of that mass of stuff!

That was merely overstating the case, Siduri, to lend dramatic hyperbole to an otherwise bald tale---or however Gilbert & Sullivan phrased it.

Besides which, nobody would wade through 7500 listings even if they were there. But the first four or five would at least provide a starting point.

The unfortunate part of googling for recipes is that most of the time they send you to recipe dump sites. And the problems with most of those are legion.

You seem to be missing my point, however. Somebody who has not used the search engines and the Cheftalk search function is a long way from having "looked everywhere." Most of the time, a request that starts that way really means, "I haven't bothered to look, cuz I depend on you people to take care of my needs."

I got hundreds of sites. I chose a few that looked ok, and did many test recipes. Most were duds. Waste of good ingredients, waste of time.

I'm not disagreeing about the problems with the internet. But, if you haven't run into this same problem with cookbooks, then, again, you've been lucky. There are many cookbook-published recipes that do not work, or which have glaring errors of commission and ommission.

About the books, well yes, i have seen plenty of crap books out there, but i don't buy those.

And what's your criterium in those cases? Do you actually read an entire book before buying it?

But at least someone has edited the english in most reputable publishing houses!

Don't hold your breath on that one. Most publishing houses, nowadays, if they even do it, farm out copyediting. And the abilities of those freelancers runs the gamut. But even among the good ones, cooking (or whatever the subject) isn't necessarily a specialty, and their editing can be far off the mark.

In my last book, my editor and I actually ignored nearly 80% of the copyeditor's suggested changes.

And not all cookbooks actually get published.

Just in the interests of accuracy, if it hasn't been published it's a manuscript, not a book.
Joined Jan 14, 2007
There was a thread some time back on what makes you crazy on various forums?
The topic here was discussed along with one that really gets to me!

That is, people who post replies without reading the ones already in place--often they are repeating the same thing over and over?

A nice reply would be "I agree with so and so" or "that's the way I do it to".

Joined Feb 4, 2010
You are absolutely right! I avoid Google for recipe search but I have a few reasonably reliable links to recipe site--none of them great.
Joined May 8, 2009
I didn't read any posts in this thread but the first, but
OMG!!! saying "google it" is soooo 2005!

It's a glib thing to say. If you think the person is just being lazy and wanting you to filter search engine responses for them, by all means, call them out on it. I just think the phrase is used too often by people who don't know the answer or are just trying to belittle someone using only two words (not necessarily on this site, mind you. I mean in general). Saying "google it" to a worthless post BUMPS a worthless post. Why bring it to the top?

And I should note that I deal with computer issues a lot and google does help, but countless times I've searched a query and clicked on links leading to forums discussing my problem only to find that the response given to the poster trying to fix the same problem I am having is...
"google it"
Well, I did, and now here I am stuck in this stupid loop of googling a query with top hits that responds with "google it". It's annoying. It's breaking the internet.

Anyhow, the internet is not perfect and full of jerks like me ;). But better to just ignore the post. It sends a message.
/soapbox /rant
sorry, pet peeve. love you!:)

okay, after reading other responses I see where it is going and, sure, it's obnoxious. A quick check at the poster's thread count is a good indicator of how much effort is being used ("this is my first post and I need a really awesome spaghetti recipe"). Also, if the poster is articulate and is obviously looking for legitimate help with a recipe (what better place to come?), then "google it" is rude.
If it's just a one sentence question from a "student" wanting crib notes, then I would think there would be a more floral and literate way to reply to their question.
I once helped someone write a book report for a book that they hadn't read. It was soooo hard to keep a straight face... They didn't know that I hadn't read the book either... catch my drift?
Joined Jun 16, 2007
Come on, get off your high horse.

"Googling it" is the future. Where else can you find 1000 ways to try someone else's version when they maybe didn't even try it themself? If bs recipes can't make the rounds, we must be prejudiced. Give the fictional recipes equal opportunity. (Just somebody else, please, and let me know how it turned out).

I value what people here say a heck of a lot more than some anonymous copy and paster.
Joined May 8, 2009
Actually, that's what I was trying to say.

If I missed the sarcasm in the "high horse" reference, I apologize.
If I sounded like I was on a high horse, I apologize. It wasn't a high horse, it was a soap box. :p
Joined Jun 16, 2007
I ride a low horse. It is more a huge slug, as I'm in western Oregon. I was agreeing with you totally. Sorry that I didn't explain myself well. My last sentence was what I meant for real. :) I think I'm known here as a guy who used to be pretty reasonable but flipped out. I find I have a lot of explaining to do nowadays.
Joined Mar 16, 2008
Searching recipes via google is fun and straightforward, well, at least according to me.... I love to do this especially when I have something in the fridge I would like to cook that day or scheduled a particular meat for the day. Ideas, suggestions, whateverelse it is called, comes in the form of recipes, sometimes, even how to serve them. I copy and paste in my word processor, but make use of ingredients what I have in my fridge or pantry I can substitute, mainly because I am lazy to go out anymore for the week when I have already done my big shopping. Mixed results in searching for recipes or even testing them comes in different flavours too. Success and failure of a recipe depends on the measuring of ingredients.
Does anyone know too that "measures" are only approximations? If a recipe calls for 1/2c of sugar or a pinch of salt, do you really think those are enough or just-just? Taste it. Some recipes may need more (or less) sugar or more than a pinch of salt to your taste, or even more than 2 tomatoes...the list goes on and on...test and learn. And take note.

I do not and cannot criticize any recipes I find via google because I think and do, but that is just me, what do I know??? I am not a chef -- I am an aerial photographer who just happen to love cooking.

Joined Oct 18, 2007
I don't usually respond to recipe requests.
If they post what their recipe is, and ask what can be done to improve it, is it okay, what went wrong, etc., I'm more than happy to help if I feel I can.
Recently someone posted about pizza, saying that they think their problem might be their cheese.
I hinted that if they told us what they were currently doing they would probably get a better response.
Still waiting.......

......and so I haven't replied.
Joined Nov 5, 2007
Interesting thread. I too get annoyed by people asking others to do something that they themselves could probably handle. For a couple of decades I've run various automotive, vintage racing related email lists. Every month the mailing list manager sends out a monthly reminder with basic list instructions and such, including a link one can click on to unsubscribe. And every month without fail at least one person replies to this message asking to be unsubscribed. Sending that reply takes them a lot more time and effort than just clicking on the link. Sheesh.

Anyway, I don't usually respond to folks just outright asking for a recipe. Sometimes I do. More likely I'll comment on my experience with a similar recipe, or if I know of a tested recipe point them in the right direction.

In truth I'll likely be asking for recipes in a month or so myself. She Who Must Be Obeyed has decreed that we will have chocolate volcano cakes for dessert after Valentine's Day dinner. I've made them before, fairly simple. I'll probably use a web search engine to review a handful of recipes, maybe pick up a hint or tip along the way. But I won't just ask you folks to give me a recipe. That's one I can deal with myself.

In early April, though, my wife's folk dancing group will be involved with a Scandinavian dance workshop. There's going to be a potluck involved, chances are I'll prepare a dish. But I know very little of the cuisine from that area. Sure, I could bring smoked salmon and aquavit, or swedish meatballs, but I have a feeling those dishes will be well represented. So when the event get closer, I'll likely turn to ChefTalk for some inspiration, "authentic" recipes, some background information and such.
And hopefully folks will respond with useful replies.

Or that thread will degenerate into a slugfest about whether or not Swedish meatballs are really Swedish. We shall see.

Bring on the lingonberry jam!

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