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Old 09-04-2017, 04:57 AM   #1
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Hello everybody

Hi everyone, I've been cooking for a long time and seem to have trouble using up ingredients in my fridge and cupboard which drives me nuts!

So as part of my MBA, I'm planning to create a website to help reduce food waste - I know, another cooking website - just what the world needs!

I'm registering here in the hope that when the time comes, you'll all be able to help me out by completing a short questionnaire. I've not created it yet but assuming you're all keen cooks , I've hopefully come to the right place!

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Old 09-04-2017, 06:33 AM   #2
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Welcome to DC.

You'll find that just about everyone here already does the "clean out fridge/freezer thing. There are several threads devoted to it such as "I have these ingredients"......
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Old 09-05-2017, 08:46 AM   #3
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Hello, and welcome to DC! Interested to see what the upcoming web site will look like, and how easy it will be to use.
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Old 09-05-2017, 01:03 PM   #4
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Thank you. There's a long way to go and the starting point for me is a lot of research! I'm hoping that I can find a way of differentiating it from every other cooking website with the ability to use a specific quantity of an ingredient - I'll certainly be seeking this community's help along the way :-)

Are most of the users here American?
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Old 09-05-2017, 01:16 PM   #5
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Are most of the users here American?
I would say American and Canadian. A lot of us are into other cultural/ethnic cuisines, including regional variations. The US, like many countries, has regional cuisines, which came to us from the many immigrants coming here throughout our history. Many adapting our available products to their recipes.
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Old 09-05-2017, 01:19 PM   #6
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Welcome to DC.

As Craig said, we're mostly Americans and Canadians but we also have European and African members. In the past we've had active members from Asian locations as well. Not sure how active they are currently.
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Old 09-05-2017, 03:04 PM   #7
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Old 09-05-2017, 03:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by stop-wasting-food View Post
I'm hoping that I can find a way of differentiating it from every other cooking website with the ability to use a specific quantity of an ingredient

How so?
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Old 09-06-2017, 06:59 AM   #9
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How so?
Perhaps you can help me with that

I'm hoping to do something that allows you to sort by an ingredient to help use up leftovers. For example, having 150g chicken - it's straightforward enough to find a recipe that needs this amount. But there might be a recipe you prefer that only needs 140g or 160g which you might miss with a traditional search. You'll probably tell me about a site which already does this now!
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Old 09-06-2017, 07:30 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by stop-wasting-food View Post
Perhaps you can help me with that

I'm hoping to do something that allows you to sort by an ingredient to help use up leftovers. For example, having 150g chicken - it's straightforward enough to find a recipe that needs this amount. But there might be a recipe you prefer that only needs 140g or 160g which you might miss with a traditional search. You'll probably tell me about a site which already does this now!
If I use a recipe, why would I not just adjust it to what I have on hand instead of being limited to a recipe for a specific amount? Say I use what you propose, how do you deal with an ingredient in your recipe that I may not have on hand? Will a substitute be recommended?

I think you will find that most of us, that have experience, don't need a recipe to throw something together with what leftovers we have. It may be just the addition of a side to what leftover meal we have or actually creating something new with it. I think what you are trying to create would benefit new cooks more so than many of our members.
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:01 AM   #11
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That's a really good point - I suspect many of you would look in the cupboard and be able to create something delicious from experience of what works, so I suspect I am probably targeting newer cooks who don't know where to start. The challenge I've found is finding the recipes that are close enough to what I have in order to start that adjustment process.

I tend to find that I go in a cycle of ingredients to use up. If I've got chicken left over, I'll go and buy leeks to go with it. Which means I have leeks left over so I go and buy potatoes (if I don't have them) and the cycle goes on.

I also plan to time how long it takes to wash up and include that
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:03 AM   #12
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At this point, I'm mostly looking for ideas so welcome anything and everything you suggest :-)
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Old 09-06-2017, 12:13 PM   #13
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Old 09-06-2017, 04:40 PM   #14
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quote
For example, having 150g chicken . . . But there might be a recipe you prefer that only needs 140g or 160g which you might miss with a traditional search.
/quote

you might be in trouble without having yet started. how many recipes can you find where + or - ten grams of left over chicken is going to make or break the dish? or make a different dish?

there are a number of websites that suggest 'dishes' / 'recipes' based on user input of ingredient. most are technically neat but abysmal from a 'user friendly' point of view.
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:35 PM   #15
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Google itself has a recipe mode. Once you put in a search like "what to do with leftover chicken," you get a long list of recipes from different websites that match it. Then you can narrow it down by adding more terms, like mushrooms or tomatoes, and by tapping soups or casseroles.

Google is the king of search. They've been doing it for a long time and have hired many of the best software engineers available. I doubt you can compete successfully with them. Sorry.
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Old 09-07-2017, 08:37 AM   #16
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Google itself has a recipe mode. Once you put in a search like "what to do with leftover chicken," you get a long list of recipes from different websites that match it. Then you can narrow it down by adding more terms, like mushrooms or tomatoes, and by tapping soups or casseroles.

Google is the king of search. They've been doing it for a long time and have hired many of the best software engineers available. I doubt you can compete successfully with them. Sorry.
That's interesting - I can't find that functionality on Google - could you share the link please?

The good thing from my point of view is that although I'm putting the website into the public domain, I'm not really trying to compete as such. My Porter's Five Forces analysis has made it very clear that this is an extremely unattractive market! I don't have any plans to monetise what I'm doing and really just want to create a website that I'll use and I'll enjoy using.

With that in mind though, I'd be interested in hearing who you'd consider my key competitors to be? As part of my dissertation I'm investigating what other cooking websites do so that the importance of each attribute can be assessed.

Quote:
there are a number of websites that suggest 'dishes' / 'recipes' based on user input of ingredient. most are technically neat but abysmal from a 'user friendly' point of view.
This is an interesting part of my dissertation - identifying what contributes to the success of a cooking website. This investigation will form the foundation of the questionnaire that I'll be looking for help with.


I hope I'm making some sense I really appreciate your input!
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Old 09-07-2017, 12:46 PM   #17
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That's interesting - I can't find that functionality on Google - could you share the link please?
It's just www.google.com. Look at what appears on the results page after you search for something like what I posted before.
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Old 09-07-2017, 05:33 PM   #18
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Welcome, s-w-f.
For whut it's wurth, when stuck I google "recipe: leftover 1, leftover 2".

That returns about half a billion iterations of probably two dozen recipes and I never have all the ingredients for a single one.
But I just think of simple food in terms of:
  • cooking technique
  • class of ingredient combinations like protein, dairy, grain or starch, legume, vegetable type
  • flavor like fats, acids, sweets, salty, herbs, and spicy or hot
and something always seems to suggest itself.
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Old 09-08-2017, 05:54 AM   #19
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I think I understand what you mean now - that's what I'm trying to avoid... the iterations of putting an ingredient (with a quantity) into Google, sifting through the results adding and removing additional ingredients / other information until I eventually find something close enough to what I have to be able to make something.

I've found the Google recipes (I see it's a custom search). I've not seen that before so it's pretty interesting.
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Old 09-08-2017, 07:30 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by stop-wasting-food View Post
I think I understand what you mean now - that's what I'm trying to avoid... the iterations of putting an ingredient (with a quantity) into Google, sifting through the results adding and removing additional ingredients / other information until I eventually find something close enough to what I have to be able to make something.
Unless your software is a mind-reader, people are going to have to do that one way or another. Software can only work with the inputs it receives. People can learn over time that the more search terms they use, the more relevant their results will be.

Most recipes are written for four servings, so entering a quantity usually isn't needed.

Another question just occurred to me. You're planning to host the recipes on your own website, right? Where are you planning to get the recipes from? It's a copyright violation to post other people's recipes without permission. Google gets around that by linking to the recipes on other sites rather than copying them to its own site.
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