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What's for dinner tonight Mum?

05.04.2004 Diamond review

Thousands of recipes, great for a bit of inspiration

Americanisms can take a bit of getting used to

Recommendable Yes:

48 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
exceptional by (10%):
  1. Suziwann
  2. Angel-19
  3. gardenguru1
and 7 other members
very helpful by (89%):
  1. jo145
  2. Evelyne
  3. chickens_chickens_chickens
and 90 other members
helpful by (1%):
  1. cekirby

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Those of you have read previous reviews of mine will know that I am a cookaholic and love trying new recipes. Iím forever surfing the net for inspiration as well as devouring cookery books as if they were going out of fashion.

All recipes is an informative site with numerous links and recipes and has proved over the years to be the place where I stop by at least once a week to check out whatís new. As the site is American you will find that there are references to Hershey bars and manufacturers which we may have not heard of, but I can always compromise and use something else for the ingredients listed on the site.

At the moment there is a section on the site for recipe ideas for Easter and throughout the year, there are recipes added for the different celebrations and holidays. There is a handy planner within this section giving ideas on how to prepare for the perfect Christmas period, beginning a month before the event and I have found some fabulous recipes with which to impress visitors over the festive period. Kelloggs have a large section within this category, listing ideas for fun items to cook over the holiday period, all of which are very simple to prepare, and list both sweet and savoury ideas. My daughter will often head for these sections when she is browsing, as she is becoming very interested in cookery and normally prints off reams of recipes for us to try out.

As well as recipes for different festivals and holidays, there is a section on the site for craft ideas and fun things to make and do for children so youíll never be stuck for inspiration, especially if youíre not a whiz with glue and paint, like me! Another nice idea on the site is an E-card can be sent to a recipient of a recipe you think they may like. I would send these to my ex mother in law who was a truly atrocious cook but unfortunately she hasnít got e-mail!

There are three newsletters that are sent out from the site. I have joined the mailing list for all of them and receive only one mail per day from each category, which is a big change from the vast majority of recipe sites. The Whatís Cooking is sent out once a week and consists of new recipes uploaded onto the site. The Daily Dish is a daily newsletter and as well as recipes, has a lot of tips and tricks and The Healthy Bites newsletter is a list of tips and recipes for healthier eating.

The Best Brands Section of the site is a listing of recipes made with brand name ingredients. Obviously, as this is an American site, UK residents will not be able to buy the brands, but there is always an alternative; Eagle Brand condensed milk of course can be substituted with another brand, and so forth.

There is a handy calendar on the site, which lists all the important Holidays. Obviously as this is American, some do not apply to us, but the majority do.

A new addition to the site is the nutritional planner but as you have to subscribe and pay either $36.00 for an annual subscription or $3.00 a month old tight wad here hasnít investigated this further.

The Healthy Solutions section gives tips and advice on preparing meals for people suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes etc, another section which has been invaluable for me, as my father is a diabetes sufferer and it is sometimes difficult to provide a good variety of dishes when he comes for a meal. Of course, in this section, there is also advice on how to eat healthily and also advice on dieting sensibly.

There are a number of cookery books, which can be bought mainly from Amazon, and these are also reviewed on the site. For American residents there is always a list of money saving coupons, which can be printed off and used in grocery stores, unfortunately for us Brits, these are next to useless.

There are always recipes of the day listed on the site. These are listed under different sections:- cookies, chicken, bread, beverages etc. I have found numerous great recipes for my bread machine on this site, and itís nice have a go at them.

One of the sections on the site is for meals that are fast to prepare. I have used this section quite a lot, especially if work has been manic and Iím running short of time but donít just want to bung a plate of beans on toast on the table.

The Community section of the site is a place to go in order to swap recipes with other members. A user name and a password is needed to enter this part of the site, and also your email address and postcode. Members can request recipes, if they have an idea of something they would like to make and this is a simple process of filling in an online form. The request will then be displayed on the message boards and other members can fulfil the request if they have the relevant recipe.

Also in the Community section there is the chance to submit your own tried and tested recipes, for other users to enjoy. Again, this is achieved by completing an online form, and I have obtained several new and exciting recipe ideas from this section.

Recipes can be fond either by searching for specific words, or going to the course you want the recipe for. To give you an idea of how extensive the listing are within each section, at present the site contains an amazing 1,200 bread recipes, over 2,000 cake recipes and 3,000 biscuit or cookie recipes, so the chances are you will find something that you like whilst browsing through the sections.

When you have found the recipe you require, you can either save it to a recipe box on the site, or print it out. There is a print friendly link on each recipe, and a number of ways of printing, either on a card, a full A4 page, or in other varying sizes. As I said earlier, recipes can be e-mailed, either in recipe card format, or just as a page. All recipes on the site can be converted into either US or metric measurements.

Most of the recipes have reviews written, which is a good way to check out if they are going to be edible once you have made them. A lot of the reviews have ideas for substitutions in the recipes too, which is always handy. Users can then rate the recipe after they have made it, and by clicking on the favourites tab, it is possible to display a list of the weeks recipes with the most amount of stars. Recipes all have nutritional facts so at the click of the mouse, calories, carbohydrates etc are readily accessible, although it isnít advisable to look at these if youíre dieting and you have chosen a good old American sugar laden dish!

A recent addition to the site is the online cookery book section, the title of which is a little misleading. The section lists new or popular cookery books, but only offers a handful of recipes from each to try, instead of providing the whole book, but of course it is a great idea to encourage users to purchase the book in question after sampling some of its wares.

If advice is needed, there is a section on the site that will hopefully answer any question you may have. For those people who find baking hard work, there is a step by step guide, that will help you to make that perfect sponge, and there also tips to bring out the best in your cooking, for example how to make the creamiest mashed potatoes. This section has proved invaluable to me on many occasions. I think most of us cooks will agree that there is always one area that is not our speciality, but thanks to this handy section, I have perfected meringues after about thirty years of trying. Some of the tutorials in the section are accompanied by photographs, which I think always makes things easier to follow.

I would thoroughly recommend to anyone who likes to cook, or needs a bit of inspiration for any course, or indeed for any time of the year. It is a valuable source of information, and I use the site on a regular basis to obtain ideas for new meals or ideas for cooking with the children at home.
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Comments about this review »

jo145 21.06.2004 23:11

Congratulations on the Diamond. I love cooking too- sometimes it's annoying with American recipes that you can't get or even don't know what the ingredients are! I'll still check it though. Jo

Evelyne 20.06.2004 16:06

I am going to try this site out now! It sounds very well organised. thanks

disneyeyes 17.06.2004 17:36

This sounds great - I'll definitely be checking it out.

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Domain Extension .com

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This review of has been rated:

"exceptional" by (10%):

  1. Suziwann
  2. Angel-19
  3. gardenguru1

and 7 other members

"helpful" by (1%):

  1. cekirby

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