January 16, 2005

Dear Chef, Send me a recipe!

I get a LOT of requests for recipes. People who come across my photo pages, mostly, who tell me that they promised so-and-so they'd make them a cake, and oh, Chef, your cake looks so beautiful, can you please send me the recipe and instructions?

Most people ask for recipes for pineapple upside-down cake. Coming in second are requests for carrot cake recipes. I can understand the queries for pineapple upside-down cake (you can't just pour that out of a box) but what's the deal with carrot cake? They sell that in a box!

I must ask, my dear darling readers, why don't you simply look up the recipe? You found ME on the Internet, and I promise you, there are recipes for exactly what you want out there, too. Here are a few tricks that I use:
  • recipe name plus and ingredient just google the name of the recipe and an ingredient (or two, or three) not included in that name: carrot cake flour egg or another one is pineapple cake upside down flour egg
  • search for several of the ingredients Some stuff is named weird. You may not realize that the perfect recipe you are searching for will be listed under the obscure name of "Miss Rebecca's New England Summertime Delight". What in the hell could that be? Dessert? Salad? Hell, that sounds like it could be the name of a porno... Anyway, I digress. Just last night I did a search for black beans corn pepper vinegar and found a decent recipe for a bean & corn salad. Sure, I could make it up as I go, but I like having something to look at...and I'll riff off of that.
  • use one of the MANY free recipe sites out there There are thousands of recipes that people have already typed up and are listed online, just waiting for you to use them. Here are a few I use:
    Food Network
    Festival Foods
    and if you're TOTALLY LOST, I just did a google search for free recipes and the reply it gave me back was "Results 1 - 50 of about 14,700,000 English pages for free recipes" That's fourteen MILLION pages of recipes. I can personally guarantee you that there will be a recipe for something that I've made somewhere in there. Even things I thought I made up. Well, ok, that's not how I make it... but it is a recipe!
and if you don't like google, just use your favorite search engine.

If you want to know specific techniques, then, uh, go to culinary school, or fly me out to where you live, and pay me to give you lessons. I'll do it...if the price is right.

Last thing I ate or drank: oatmeal with assorted dried-fruit and a latte.

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