Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Whatcha Got Cookin?

I don't mind cooking, but I don't know what I'm doing, so I need to follow recipes carefully. I have some written in a cheap spiral notebook and some photocopied (scanned on the computer, actually) and taped into the same notebook. It's all rather haphazard, and some pages are getting stained and beaten down. It's time to re-think my dubious methodology.

You'd think that, by now, I would have typed them up on my trusty word processor, but the task seems to be so monumental that I have demurred. However, there's really no reason why I shouldn't start entering recipes, one at a time, when the mood strikes, for as Cuppa has been known to say, "You can empty the ocean one teaspoon-full at a time." Of course, that's only if it never rains and no new water is permitted to flow in, but the sentiment holds.

You'd think the internet might help. You'd think there'd be nifty recipe sites. Well, I don't know how nifty they are, but I have found two recipe sites. The first I tried was, Recipe Thing, but I entered the Chicken and Corn Chowder recipe (see below) at Allrecipes. They both have their advantages and disadvantages.

In both sites, you enter your ingredients and directions in dialog boxes, and both sites take care of formatting your recipe – you just have to hit Enter to begin a new line. Both sites allow you to email the recipes to yourself and to others, and both allow you to print them.

There are differences, however. Recipe Thing has bigger input boxes, and everybody can access everybody else's recipes – usually by keywords. If you note the address, you can direct others to your recipe as I have done with this Fake'n Bake Chicken recipe. You can also have all of your recipes mailed to you in a text file.

Unlike Recipe Thing, Allrecipes does not allow others to see your recipes unless they have been submitted and deemed worthy. Otherwise your recipes are private. The upside is that the many public recipes that you can find have all passed muster. Allrecipes also allows you to email recipes to yourself and others (that's how I got the one below without re-typing), and they give the user several printing options: full pages, 4x6, or 3x5. It is also a fuller and richer site. They have several email newsletters that you can subscribe to if you so desire.

So, both sites are useful, and neither is perfect. Although I am leaning toward Allrecipes, I haven't completely made up my mind, and I could still just opt to type them into my trusty word processor after all.

All of that being said, I do recommend the very tasty Chicken and Corn Chowder recipe, below. Although I have only tried the version listed below, I don't see why you couldn't use the whole rotisserie chicken and double the rest of the ingredients. I got both Chicken and Corn Chowder and the Fake'n Bake Chicken recipes from that fine cookbook, Eat, Shrink & Be Merry, which is not listed on the American version of Amazon. Pity.

Chicken and Corn Chowder

Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Ready In: 60 min
Yields: 6 servings

4 slices bacon chopped
1 cup diced onions
1/2 cup each diced celery and diced red pepper
2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tbsp minced fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 can (12 oz/385 ml) evaporated milk
1 can (19 oz/540 ml) diced tomatoes (squeezed in sieve to remove as much liquid as possible)
1 can (14 oz/398 ml) cream-style corn
2 cups roasted chicken breast (store rotisserie chicken preferred)
1 tbsp hickory-flavoured barbeque sauce
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)

1. Cook chopped bacon in a large non-stick soup pot over medium-high heat until lightly browned but not crisp. Stir in onions, celery, red pepper and garlic. Cook and stir until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
2. Add thyme and flour. Mix well. Stir in broth and evaporated milk. Bring mixture to a genlte boil and stir continuously until soup thickens slightly.
3. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.


mreddie said...

Hey - that sounds pretty yummy to me, I like chicken fixed most any way - I try to limit the fried though. ec

Turtle Guy said...

"You'd think that, by now, I would have typed them up on my trusty word processor, but the task seems to be so monumental that I have demurred. "

I have a record collection from my Dad that surpasses many I've seen elsewhere, but none of it has been catalogued. One of my "back burner" projects is to do so, but like you I find it to be a "monumental" task - I have yet to start!

Thanks for the soup!

Anonymous said...

You must be feeling better to want to be cooking!

For my recipe collection, every time someone asks me for a recipe, I type it into my word processor and email it to him/her. I then print it up for myself, slip it into one of those plastic sheet protectors and put it into a binder. It is a great system! I only have about 5,763 recipes left to do!

(Oh dear. I sound a little Martha Stewartish don't I?)

Sarah Elaine said...

About 15 years ago I typed up all my recipes on the word processor and printed them off. (The paper at the time was the kind that was all attached and had perforations at either end.)

I put them in a binder. Well, 3 binders, actually... There were a lot of them.

Then I got lazy and started just taping magazine recipes onto sheets of paper and sticking those into the binders.

Then, I got a laser printer, so I typed up new recipes and printed them off on that.

The result? I still have a hodge podge. It's relatively organized... but by no means pretty.

The sad part? Those recipes I typed up oh-so-long ago were in WordPerfect... and they were saved on 5 1/4 inch floppies. (Remember those?)

Yeah, as if I could access THOSE again any time soon!

Maya's Granny said...

If you put a pane of glass on top of your recipe when you cook, you can keep it relatively clean. They even sell neato holders with plastic panes for the same purpose. I love mine.

Anonymous said...

By far the best recipe site I have ever come across is a site called
These are recipes done by people for people! There are ratings and suggestions on each recipe as to what people thought of it and what they have changed.
Have a look at it!

Gina said...

I like Allrecipes because I can see the recommendations from other people.

Have you tried Epicurious.com?

coll said...

I am not much of a cook.. to say the least!! But I do have a few favourite recipes. I am on my way to check out the sites. Thanks.