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Eat Your Books and home cooking

I just signed up on membership-
I thought it was about time that I start to catalogue my books so it i will be easier to find recipes.
This will keep me busy for sometime-

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    1. Eat Your Books really changed how I use my cookbooks. It is an absolutely terrific resource.

      1. I've been a member for a few months and I haven't gotten into a groove yet to make it a useful resource. Can you share pointers on how you use EYB?

        7 Replies
          1. re: pagesinthesun

            Here is how I use it: I know the 10 or 12 ingredients I am most likely to have around or buy and then think, "what I am going to do with this xxx?" Things like kale, chard, chickpeas, lentils, cod (I have a fish share that gives me random fish every week but most often it is cod or something closely related), pork tenderloin, etc. I spent a bit of time putting each of these ingredients into EYB and pulling up all the many recipes EYB found in cookbooks I own using those ingredients, then looking at the recipes to see if I would ever make them. If I would, then I bookmarked that recipe as kale, cod or whatever in EYB. It sounds like a pain but it was a fun project and I only did it for those ingredients I habitually have around. So now when I get the email telling me it's cod this week (or those exciting weeks when it is monkfish instead!) I can go right to EYB, pull up all my bookmarked cod (or monkfish!) recipes, and see which I want to use and what I might have to pick up on my way home. I found and have loved recipes I would never have known to look for using EYB that way, in cookbooks I would never have thought to look in for that purpose. I am sure that others will chime in and I will learn from them but that has been a very satisfying use for me. Oh and a secondary use: when the DOTM is something I am interested in I use EYB to see what recipes I might have for it, meaning I have bookmarked all the meatball, pot pie and spring roll recipes that appealed to me in my cookbooks, again discovering them in unexpected places.

            1. re: GretchenS

              I use it very similarly to look for ways to use my CSA veggies. I also use it when I have ingredients I need to use before they spoil. I find it mostly useful for these ingredient-based type searches. Over time, I've also played with the bookmarks feature to try to create groups of similar books, usually indicating the time/effort I have found most of a book's recipes to need ("Weeknight" vs. "Weekend projects"). If I'm following along with COTM, I add that book then search for recipes that use the veggies and that appear in COTM. This has really upped my participation in COTM since the CSA steers my food choices most of the year.

              1. re: GretchenS

                Well, thanks Gretchen, I guess I know what I'm doing Monday now!

              2. re: pagesinthesun

                Also been a member for a long time without ever having used it. I'm not sure I understand the basic idea (probably because I haven't spent enough time reading about it).

                I'm wondering how to start: do you go gather up your existing cookbooks (I have hundreds) and start entering them into EYBs? I guess even that sounds like a monumental task, but I don't get nearly enough use out of my cookbooks so I can see it would be worth the initial effort.

                1. re: Transplant_DK

                  Exactly, you start by putting all your cookbooks in. If you have that many, you could start with just a couple dozen and see how it works.

                  1. re: GretchenS

                    You don't have to do a massive amount of typing anything in, either -- you can quickly find the cookbook in the Library (by author or title) and click to add it to your Bookshelf, or you can enter the ISBN #s of a bunch at once.

                    Try entering five cookbooks that you have used a lot, and five that you haven't but would like to, and use those to get familiar with what EYB can do for you. My guess is that soon you'll be eagerly entering many more of your holdings. Have fun with it!

              3. Not a day goes by that I don't go to EYB. I look for recipes containing ingredients I want to use, to catalog the COTMs I own, to plan menus, to review books I might like to buy... It's a definite asset to my culinary experience.

                1. I joined even though I don't have many cookbooks (less than 2 dozen, but I buy a new one every month or two). I cook mostly from online recipes, and one thing I miss about that when I use cookbooks is the "reviews" for the recipes. So, on EYB I really enjoy when people write reviews for recipes. I commented in the May COTM thread that I liked Breadcrumbs reviews of Mexican Everyday on there, because it kept me from making something too spicy. So, I enjoy EYB for that aspect.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: juliejulez

                    Did you know you can use the EYB Bookmarklet tool to add online recipes to your bookshelf?

                    You can get this from the EYB home page. It adds a button to your browser toolbar and when you are viewing an online recipe you want to save, you click it to open an EYB window.

                    Depending on the web site, EYB can read in necessary data about the recipe (title, photo, ingredient list) or just gets the link and you can add the details yourself. Once you save it, it shows up in your recipe searches, just like cookbook recipes.

                    1. re: pamf

                      No, I will have to try that out. I keep my online recipes organized on Pinterest, indexed by "type" ie chicken, pork, sides, etc but it would e nice to be able to have a way to search them by ingredients other than the main one.

                      1. re: pamf

                        I finally joined, and this tip will be invaluable!!!