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Old 01-06-2020, 02:36 PM   #1
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Searching on line for a recipe

While going through my recipes, I found 2 for Coca-Cola Cake. I started wondering if there were any other versions out there on line. So I put in a search and .................12,500,000 items came up. Now I know that not all of them are for the cake, but it looked like hundreds of them were. Now, my question is this, how do you choose which recipe to use from such a large selection?

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Old 01-06-2020, 02:57 PM   #2
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I don't generally do random searches because most people who write blogs aren't trained as cooks or recipe writers and I don't believe they have the resources to test recipes thoroughly, so I don't trust them.

Instead, I search specific trusted sites for recipes, generally starting with Serious Eats; they have a recipe for practically anything I want to make. I have a few other favorites, usually by specific writers or chefs, like Chef John, Alison Roman, Cooks Illustrated (I have a subscription to the CI site) and Rick Bayless.

FYI, when you do a search, the results include every page that contains one or more of each word of your search. You can narrow it down by using quote marks, and/or the minus symbol, and/or more search terms. For example, to find pages that mention Coca Cola Cake, enclose the words in quote marks, like this:

"Coca Cola Cake"

To exclude pages, use the minus symbol, like this:

"Coca Cola Cake" -buttermilk
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Old 01-06-2020, 03:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by cookieee View Post
how do you choose which recipe to use from such a large selection?
Usually I cross sample a half dozen or so to get a feeling for what most have in common, then choose one that sounds best but doesn't deter too severely from the pack.

I usually make the first run verbatim as I am not an experienced baker. However, if the recipe contains ingredients you're unfamiliar with, taste them before throwing it all together. I once ruined a cake done verbatim recipe because it called for cardamom (yeech!).
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Old 01-06-2020, 04:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
I don't generally do random searches because most people who write blogs aren't trained as cooks or recipe writers and I don't believe they have the resources to test recipes thoroughly, so I don't trust them.

Instead, I search specific trusted sites for recipes, generally starting with Serious Eats; they have a recipe for practically anything I want to make. I have a few other favorites, usually by specific writers or chefs, like Chef John, Alison Roman, Cooks Illustrated (I have a subscription to the CI site) and Rick Bayless.

FYI, when you do a search, the results include every page that contains one or more of each word of your search. You can narrow it down by using quote marks, and/or the minus symbol, and/or more search terms. For example, to find pages that mention Coca Cola Cake, enclose the words in quote marks, like this:

"Coca Cola Cake"

To exclude pages, use the minus symbol, like this:

"Coca Cola Cake" -buttermilk
Hi GG, thanks for your suggestions. I used the quotation marks and only got 192,000 recipes this time. Who would think you could do so much with Coke and that is just the cake. lol
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Old 01-06-2020, 05:08 PM   #5
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Usually I cross sample a half dozen or so to get a feeling for what most have in common, then choose one that sounds best but doesn't deter too severely from the pack.

I usually make the first run verbatim as I am not an experienced baker. However, if the recipe contains ingredients you're unfamiliar with, taste them before throwing it all together. I once ruined a cake done verbatim recipe because it called for cardamom (yeech!).
Hi ScottinPollock, thanks for the heads up. I do have a couple of cake recipes calling for cardamom, but I have never made them.
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Old 01-06-2020, 05:11 PM   #6
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Hi GG, thanks for your suggestions. I used the quotation marks and only got 192,000 recipes this time. Who would think you could do so much with Coke and that is just the cake. lol
I'd bet most of them are duplicates
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Old 01-06-2020, 05:20 PM   #7
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Hi ScottinPollock, thanks for the heads up. I do have a couple of cake recipes calling for cardamom, but I have never made them.
Cardamon is one of those spices I always have. As a child, there were always white cardamom pods in the cupboard. I have since learned those are bleached and the flavor isn't quite as intense as green. Black cardamom is not cardamom at all. To learn more about cardamom, which is up there as one of the spices I must always have on hand, check this out:

https://www.thekitchn.com/inside-the...ardamom-108992

I like to make a rub for venison that consists of toasted cardamom seeds, dried juniper berries, dried rosemary, dried cedar, toasted pink, black, green, and white pepper corns and salt. I sometimes add dill seeds, but usually stick with the above. Cardamon in sweets must be an acquired taste. I like to add a bit of orange zest when using cardamon.
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Old 01-06-2020, 05:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by cookieee View Post
While going through my recipes, I found 2 for Coca-Cola Cake. I started wondering if there were any other versions out there on line. So I put in a search and .................12,500,000 items came up. Now I know that not all of them are for the cake, but it looked like hundreds of them were. Now, my question is this, how do you choose which recipe to use from such a large selection?
So I checked each one of those 12˝ million results and determined 4 million were completely irrelevant, 7 million were at least in part, copy and pasted from a few dozen actual recipe variations, and the rest are best considered in light of Hanlon's razor, which as you know states, "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

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Old 01-06-2020, 06:19 PM   #9
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I'd bet most of them are duplicates
Probably lol
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Old 01-06-2020, 06:21 PM   #10
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So I checked each one of those 12˝ million results and determined 4 million were completely irrelevant, 7 million were at least in part, copy and pasted from a few dozen actual recipe variations, and the rest are best considered in light of Hanlon's razor, which as you know states, "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

Boy, you work fast. lol
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Old 01-06-2020, 08:58 PM   #11
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Cardamon is one of those spices I always have. As a child, there were always white cardamom pods in the cupboard. I have since learned those are bleached and the flavor isn't quite as intense as green. Black cardamom is not cardamom at all. To learn more about cardamom, which is up there as one of the spices I must always have on hand, check this out:

https://www.thekitchn.com/inside-the...ardamom-108992

I like to make a rub for venison that consists of toasted cardamom seeds, dried juniper berries, dried rosemary, dried cedar, toasted pink, black, green, and white pepper corns and salt. I sometimes add dill seeds, but usually stick with the above. Cardamon in sweets must be an acquired taste. I like to add a bit of orange zest when using cardamon.
You made me go look. lol

I knew I had Cardamom in the spice cabinet, but I didn't know it was so old. Guess what is going on our shopping list? I like to add it into our Basmati Rice now and then. It does come in handy for a lot of the spice blends we make. One of the ones I like is a seafood seasoning. Thanks!
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:08 PM   #12
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You made me go look. lol

I knew I had Cardamom in the spice cabinet, but I didn't know it was so old. Guess what is going on our shopping list? I like to add it into our Basmati Rice now and then. It does come in handy for a lot of the spice blends we make. One of the ones I like is a seafood seasoning. Thanks!
Swedish Grandma, grew up with cardamom in the cookies (and in the Swedish meatballs). I loved crushing the seeds using the mortar and pestle that my Grandpa brought home from his drug store.
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Old 01-07-2020, 02:51 AM   #13
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I'm not even sure if I have cardamom in my herb/spice collection, cookieee. Now I'm going to have to check to find out, and buy a small packet if I don't have any. Not sure I even know what it smells/tastes like.

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...I loved crushing the seeds using the mortar and pestle that my Grandpa brought home from his drug store.
I love playing in the kitchen, but my happiest times are when I get to use kitchen tools that were my Mom's. Cooking with those make me feel like she's right with me.
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Old 01-07-2020, 08:06 AM   #14
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I'm not even sure if I have cardamom in my herb/spice collection, cookieee. Now I'm going to have to check to find out, and buy a small packet if I don't have any. Not sure I even know what it smells/tastes like.


I love playing in the kitchen, but my happiest times are when I get to use kitchen tools that were my Mom's. Cooking with those make me feel like she's right with me.
Best place to pick up just a few pods would be a bulk store that sells spices (e.g., Bulk Barn in Canada).
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Old 01-07-2020, 08:44 AM   #15
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We are fortunate to have a selection of Indian grocery stores near us. They will have cardamom. Also, they sell spices for MUCH LESS than supermarkets and Penzeys.
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Old 01-07-2020, 10:59 AM   #16
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I'm not even sure if I have cardamom in my herb/spice collection, cookieee. Now I'm going to have to check to find out, and buy a small packet if I don't have any. Not sure I even know what it smells/tastes like.


I love playing in the kitchen, but my happiest times are when I get to use kitchen tools that were my Mom's. Cooking with those make me feel like she's right with me.

CG, now you have made me cry.
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Old 01-07-2020, 11:36 AM   #17
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Aw, but those are happy tears, right cookieee?
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Old 01-07-2020, 12:30 PM   #18
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Aw, but those are happy tears, right cookieee?
Yes, the happiest, thank you!!
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:15 PM   #19
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I sometimes get cookbooks from the library, too.
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Old 01-08-2020, 04:24 PM   #20
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I sometimes get cookbooks from the library, too.
Hi, I haven't done that yet, but I have been wondering if a library will take used cookbooks. Thanks for the reminder, I need to call our local library.
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