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Cooking for Engineers 432

gbjbaanb writes "It's not often I post about a website, but this one is different. It is Cooking For Engineers. No big deal, you'd think - a web site about recipes and cooking. But go look at how he's presented it. Most recipes are designed for women, and their funny way of looking at the world. These are very different and instantly understandable for tech geeks like us. Oh yes, although he's been affected by firefox, he blames Microsoft. :)"
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Cooking for Engineers

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  • Poor guy... (Score:5, Funny)

    by ack154 ( 591432 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:13PM (#10218343)
    Kind of ironic that todays post was about traffic:
    All I can say now is: WOW!

    On Wednesday, my readership started to increase from 20-40 hits per day to over 150 hits. I was starting to approach 1000 total hits and was pretty excited about that, when on Thursday I received almost 2000 hits. Right now, (a little past 2:30pm Pacific Daylight Savings Time) I have received almost 6000 hits for Friday.

    Yesterday, with less than 2000 hits I exceeded by bandwidth traffic limitations for the MONTH. Thursday's transfers were in excess of 1 GB. I immediately upgraded the service from's free service to the highest tiered pay service, but that only gives me 20 GB per month. So, I'm in a bit of a pickle. I'm guessing the 20 GB will last only through the weekend.

    So, I need suggestions on low cost HIGH traffic (I guess I'll need about 10 GB per day) servers that I can move my website to. I don't need too much space (100 MB will last a long time) because the site is currently only 8 MB.

    As a warning this website might go down, but I'll do everything I can to keep it up and running.

    I'm also thinking about putting up a paypal donation thing, but that isn't going to help unless I can find a host that will be able to allow enough monthly traffic for the website to survive.

    You can post comments here or e-mail me at
    Poor guy... already having bandwidth troubles and then someone slashdots him...
    • Re:Poor guy... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dschl ( 57168 )
      Yeah, now's the time to indulge in complaining about /. "editors" not even bothering to look at the sites they post. Either Michael is stupid, or he is a heartless bast**d. Or both.

      Hope the site is still up in a month, and that I'll still remember to look at it by then.

    • Coral Cache (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:33PM (#10218448)

      perhaps this might help him
      courtesy of the Coral Distribution Network [] []

      save his bandwidth and use that

    • Re:Poor guy... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
    • Re:Poor guy... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ravenspear ( 756059 )
      The worst part about it is after he spends a buttload to upgrade his service, things will go back to where they were and he will be paying for way more than needs.
  • Basic idea (Score:2, Informative)

    by Humba ( 112745 ) *
    Assuming he's about to exceed his bandwidth quota (a story about his quota was the first
    post on the blog), the basic idea here is a the ingredients shown in an html table with the
    directions to whisk/boil/mash/etc in merged columns to the right of the ingredient column.

    Google cache shows the idea for his BBQ sauce recipe. []


    • Re:Basic idea (Score:3, Insightful)

      by spitzak ( 4019 )
      Tables look pretty good in an old Konqueror. I can see where he wants the vertical text, but to be honest I think the horizontal version I got is more readable.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:14PM (#10218348)
    Also read: The Science of Cooking by Peter Barham
  • Charts (Score:5, Informative)

    by keiferb ( 267153 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:15PM (#10218353) Homepage
    Those charts are genious.

    I can't count the number of times I've gotten lost following a recipe in a real cook book, but these things take a lot less time to read, and look like they'd be a lot easier to follow throughout the process.

    Plus, they're a lot more compact than a written-out recipe. That means I can fit more of them in my recipe bo...

    aw, who am I kidding?
    • As a food geek, I'm impresed. If more recepis were written out like that I know more people who would relise that they didn't need to be slaves to processed food.....your right, who am I kidding?
    • Re:Charts (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AchilleTalon ( 540925 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:26PM (#10218411) Homepage
      Well, seems engineers are easy to impress. And these pizza eaters just don't know cooking is an art, not a science. So, even if you have a good structure to support the ingredients, turning it into a real chef d'oeuvre need more than finite element analysis.

      I'd rather than like to see a cooking book from a chemist. These guys knows the difference between concrete and whipped cream.

      • Re:Charts (Score:4, Interesting)

        by dschl ( 57168 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:45PM (#10218516) Homepage
        There are a couple out there. I got one for Christmas a few years back, called CookWise [] by Shrley O. Corriher. I haven't used it much (I tend to use Extending the Table [] more often). Most of CookWise is about the how and why - the science behind cooking.
        • Re:Charts (Score:5, Interesting)

          by AchilleTalon ( 540925 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @10:52PM (#10218826) Homepage
          Seriously, cooking has become really a scientific field studied at some universities. The reason I didn't mentionned it at start is I just don't remember the details. But I think a chemist at La Sorbonne a few others around the world, including one in Montreal (but may be it's a physicist) started studying and teaching cooking from the scientific point of view. Apparently, some well know Chef's are seriously consulting them. Among other astonished accomplishements, they found the exact ideal temperature and humidity to cook an egg. That's not a joke! The egg white is not liquid, nor solid. Something like this strange mix called liquid-solid.

          All this to say this engineering book about cooking is just a cook book about cooking and not real science.

          • Re:Charts (Score:3, Interesting)

            by dargaud ( 518470 )

            [...] a chemist [...]

            I think that would be Hervé This, who publishes a monthly scientific cooking column in the French edition of Scientific American []. Pretty nice guy too.

            they found the exact ideal temperature and humidity to cook an egg

            That's 65C. The white cooks at 64 and the yolk at 66. You want to keep the yolk raw because that's where the taste is (like when you do a zabaione/sabayon and cook the white because it's gelatinous. But you need an advanced oven for that.

            this engineering book about

      • Re:Charts (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Methuseus ( 468642 ) <> on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:16PM (#10218965)
        So, are you saying that the average joe, who can follow a table recipe instead of a standard recipe, won't make anything that tastes as good as a frozen meal?

        I agree that the average person won't make an excellent chef, and that it takes more than a recipe to make excellent food. But to make good food that most people will eat merely takes a recipe and someone who can follow it.
    • Re:Charts (Score:2, Insightful)

      by pepsee ( 6891 )
      It is puzzling why most recipe books don't use a hierarchical format for the ingredients. I often recopy recipes into a structured format so I can maintain mise en place.

      If you want to make Chinese food, try getting some of the recipe books by Weichuan, the Taiwanese food company. I have one of their books from the 1980s or so, which uses a nice format of grouping ingredients.
    • Re:VisalC++, good? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by smithmc ( 451373 ) *

      Those charts are genious.

      They look kinda like Nassi-Schneiderman charts []...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:15PM (#10218354)
    I thought there was already a Patron Saint chef of geeks... Alton Brown!
  • XML (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TedTschopp ( 244839 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:16PM (#10218362) Homepage
    How about creating an XML namespace for this format...

    That could be fun....

    Ted Tschopp
  • Chart Idea Awesome (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MagicDude ( 727944 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:19PM (#10218380)
    That's a great way of presenting all the steps in the process. Whenever I cook, I always assume that the long step is always the last one (Bake for 90 minutes, simmer for 30 minutes, etc). I've had to order out for chineese many times when trying new receipies because step 4 of 12 is something like "Marinate for 29 hours", and you know, I didn't really bother to read past the list of ingredients. I just figure that if I don't have to shop for it, I can cook it that day.
    • by rgmoore ( 133276 ) * <> on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:56PM (#10218560) Homepage

      Perhaps you should learn a lesson from this: read everything before you do anything. It isn't necessarily just a question how long the recipie takes, either. Sometimes a recipie will call for a tool or pan that you don't have and can't improvise easily. Sometimes you'll have to time things so that two subcomponents of a recipie come are finished at the same time. Just remember that you should know the whole recipie before starting and you'll save yourself a world of grief.

  • by Daleks ( 226923 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:19PM (#10218381)
    1. Find a woman who can tolerate you.
    2. Enter the kitchen with her.
    3. Do whatever she says.

    Actually, if you leave out step 2 the other steps nearly always apply.
    • by kfg ( 145172 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:43PM (#10218506)
      3. Do whatever she says.

      Mine always says, "Feed me."

      I'm a much better cook than she is. That's ok, she's a much better welder. These are modern times. I make the Pad Thai, she makes the locomotives. It works for us.

      I read recipies, but I don't "follow" them. I read them to get ideas, just as I use engineering manuals to get ideas, not find solutions. The books never have the questions I'm working on in them. When we ride on trains she'd be happier knowing I had designed it, I'd be happier knowing she'd built it. We don't ride trains much. We know too much.

      The trick is to learn your ingredients and processes, then whatever you happen to have in the house (and/or lawn. Dandelions, purslane, violets, clover, day lilies, chicory, all wonderful foodstuffs) becomes your "recipie."

      Recipies are great for the beginner or casual cook, but the idea really is to go beyond them, to use them as lab practicums to understand what you're doing and why.

      Recipies are rarely presented this way though. Read James Beard's Theory and Practice of Good Cooking. It's full of recipies, but they're all there to illustrate a point, much as a good engineering manual.

    • Steps 2 and 3 look easy enough.
      I've been working on step 1 for 35 years without much success.
      Perhaps it could be factored into a. b. c. ...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:20PM (#10218387)
    "layer and spread twice." I don't know whether to be hungry or horny!


  • by winkydink ( 650484 ) * <> on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:22PM (#10218397) Homepage Journal
    In a standard recipe, ingredients are listed in the order in which you use them. I don't see what's so peculiar about that that makes it "womanly"

    If you look at the whole recipes on his site, there's still your normail, detailed instructions. I guess it's nice having a quick synopsis at-a-glance, but I'm going to carefully read the entire recipe if it's new to me before I even begin mis en place

    This is especially true with baking which is much more akin to chemistry than, say, tomato sauce.
    • To understand the modern recipie you have understand it's history and just what it is it's trying to tell you.

      The recipie as we know it comes to us from the French school of cooking. The French follow the practice of preparing all of the ingredients first and then applying process to them.

      So the list of ingredients isn't simply a list, it's a list of things to do.

      Chop some foo, put it in a bowl. Now take these spices, put them all in another bowl. Dice some bar, put it in a third bowl.

      Now apply proces
  • It's a forgery (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nutshell42 ( 557890 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:23PM (#10218400) Journal
    no self-respecting engineer would use Imperial instead of metric

    • by El ( 94934 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:33PM (#10218454)
      Yeah, but where do I find an oven that's calibrated in degrees Kelvin?
      • by base3 ( 539820 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:42PM (#10218503)
        <nerd>It's just "Kelvin," not "degrees Kelvin," damn it :).</nerd>
      • Re:It's a forgery (Score:5, Informative)

        by GrimReality ( 634168 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @10:57PM (#10218854) Homepage Journal
        Yeah, but where do I find an oven that's calibrated in degrees Kelvin?

        If you are an engineer, you could probably get one, albeit, really expensive and probably not built to easily accommodate standard kitchen stuff. :-)

        By the way, there is no 'degrees Kelvin'. It is an absolute unit, and it is just 'kelvin'. Yeah, there is no 'Kelvin' only 'kelvin', unless you are saying 'Lord Kelvin' :-)

        So much pedantry for the day :-) LoL

    • Re:It's a forgery (Score:3, Interesting)

      by irokitt ( 663593 )
      Alright, I'll bite. I'm American, and I hate the Imperial system, and use metric whenever I can. But I got sick of all of my friends asking me to convert things to Imperial, so when talking to other people I just try to make the leap.

      If this guy had used metric, every US reader would have either left his site right away or e-mailed him to complain about it.

      To make matters worse, you wouldn't believe how hard it can sometimes be to find metric measuring cups in America!
      • But I got sick of all of my friends asking me to convert things to Imperial

        At this point you should have just politely told your friends that google contains a wonderful unit conversion facility that is sure to meet their needs.

        And either they will be quite contented of having to use a unit conversion utility, learn how to convert between imperial and metric in their head, start actually thinking in metric themselves for a change, or stop trying to talk to you altogether. No matter what the result, yo

    • by frantzdb ( 22281 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:59PM (#10218572) Homepage
      Bah! Unlike scientists, engineers are bilingual. Just remember, there are about 0.1554slugs of flour in a five-pound bag.
      • real scientists don't use units. everything is put into dimensionless form.

        most don't bother with constants either. if you're a particle physicist or relativitic quantum mechanic you use the speed of light = 1 and Planck's constant = 1. everything else follows.

        SI units are for... well, we call them "norms" :-)
    • Re:It's a forgery (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Moofie ( 22272 )
      Any self-respecting engineer would be comfortable using either system.
  • by stangbat ( 690193 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:24PM (#10218406)
    At least it is in my home: How to Brew [].
  • THAT is how recipies need to be laid out, with those kinds of charts. SO much frickin' easier to understand.
  • by hattig ( 47930 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:27PM (#10218421) Journal
    Come on ... "cooking for engineers" ... use Metric for chrissakes.

    I once read a recipe : "1 cup banana" ... no kidding.

    Americans ...
    • ... use Metric for chrissakes... I once read a recipe : "1 cup banana" ... no kidding.

      Would you have preferred: 20cm of banana?

    • Re:What is a cup? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by lakeland ( 218447 )
      Er, a cup is 250mL, of course. Using standard sizes is very common in professional recipies where you want results to be exactly reproducable.

      Odds are the person you got your banana recipe from is so used to professional recipes that it was more natural to say say 1C than to 1.5 medium bananas. Another possiblility is the recipe was particularly intolerant to variations; I've read recipes where the amount of emulsifier (egg yolk) is calculated to be just enough to bind and so adding even a tiny bit more o
  • I agree! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jon_c ( 100593 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:30PM (#10218437) Homepage
    As am amateur cook and professional engineer I was very impressed with the layout. I can not tell you how many times I have misread a recipe because I skimmed the English looking for the next step. Last week I skipped 3 hours of a second rise on a bread I already spent 18 hours on, if only I had not missed that step! This layout is simply brilliant, ingredients on the Y, steps/time on the X. It couldn't be more strait forward. Now we just need to get EVERYONE doing this!
  • by GillBates0 ( 664202 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:31PM (#10218439) Homepage Journal
    1. Goto store
    2. Insert 12, eggs, cart
    3. Insert 1lb, butter, cart
    4. Mov $5.00, wallet, store_clerk
    5. Goto home
    6. Mov pan, grill
    7. heating = 05
    8. Mov 1oz, butter, pan
    9. Mov 2, eggs, pan
    10. sleep (1000)
    11. Mov product, oral_cavity
    12. end
    • Isn't it better practice to use subroutines instead of goto statements?
    • Thats some expensive eggs and butter! Wouldn't it be easier to:
      1. Goto Greasy Spoon (cheap cafe selling fried stuff for you Americans)
      2. Push order eggs
      3. Push type fried
      4. Call Waitress
      5. Sleep 1000
      6. Mov fried_eggs, oral_cavity
      7. Push order bill
      8. Call Waitress
      9. Mov $5.00, wallet, waitress
      10. Goto home
      11. Sleep off rest of hangover
      12. Goto pub
      13. ...
      14. Loop
  • Here's the Coral P2P Webcache [] of the Main page [] and a example recipe []

    Note: Cache includes images (vs google link posted above).

    PS: somebody [] wrote a javascript bookmarklet [] that'll take you to the coral cache of the page you are on. There's also a offical Coralize plugin for Mozilla []
  • by lakeland ( 218447 ) <> on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:34PM (#10218462) Homepage
    I found the layout of the recipe very nice, but it just doesn't scale if the steps are particularly complex -- look at how creme brulee was described if you don't believe me. However, something very similar that does scale is the latex style cooking by Axel Reichert (CTAN link: ib/cooking/ [])

    The essential difference is that instead of nesting columns, Axel's style uses only two columns which enables the second column to be very large if necessary. Though I've got to admit that for simple recipies, the cooking for engineer's site looks very good.

    PS: Cooking is a great way to unwind after spending all day coding, especially if you don't mind the meal taking a few hours (and glasses of wine) to prepare...
    • And for those who wonder what that looks like, here's [] a PDF generated from the above style.
    • I agree, I have a cookbook which I am slowly adding to, and it uses this cooking class by Axel Reichert. It is awesome. I'm still debating whether or not to form a copyleft cookbook on sourceforge and open up cvs to the geek-masses and start a cookbook from there. Recipes can be voted on and tested to ensure that only the best are there. Wanna be the first co-developer?
  • Apart from "very nice" I can't think of much to say, so I'll just make a convenient nyud link [] - The guy's used up his month's traffic in one weekend, so he'd probably appreciate some mirroring :)
  • by MsGeek ( 162936 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:36PM (#10218475) Homepage Journal []

    Very good site...very geeky guy...very kewl recipes.

  • Here's Mine (Score:5, Funny)

    by superid ( 46543 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:38PM (#10218485) Homepage

    "Microwave Until Hot"

    yep, and I'm an engineer too
  • Phewww!! (Score:5, Funny)

    by ImTwoSlick ( 723185 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:39PM (#10218488)
    For a second there, I thought the title said:

    Cooking Foreigners

    Needs more salt.

  • I didn't know men were illiterate.
  • "But go look at how he's presented it. Most recipes are designed for women, and their funny way of looking at the world."

    "Designed for women and their funny way of looking at the world." I, honestly, can not even think of something remotely humorous to respond to this post. People wonder why we can't get laid? This statement effectively sets us back to the Stone Ages. Cro-Magna Phi Epsilon, represent!

    It ain't so funny when you consider the thing you want the most, their uterus, falls under the "funny wa

    • "Designed for women and their funny way of looking at the world."

      What a crock of shite.

      OK, first, nearly half of my cookbooks are written by *men*. Highly successful men in their field. I can't find any difference between their books and those written by their female counterparts. I have no trouble at all understanding these instructions, nor do I have any trouble with adjusting them to my own tastes.

      This isn't about male/female, it's about whether you ever learned to cook. It certainly isn't rocket-sci
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 11, 2004 @01:51AM (#10219426)
      "People wonder why we can't get laid?"

      1) Turn the box off.
      2) Open the blinds, curtains, shades, etc. and check to see if it is day or night.
      3) Clean up the old pizza boxes, dirty dishes, and other assorted junk around the box.
      4) Clean and bleach the kitchen and bathroom, and change the sheets on the bed.
      5) Shower, brush your teeth, slath on some deoderant, and dress in clean street clothes. (Put the the old plaid bathrobe you have been wearing for the past 3 months in a strong plastic bag. Or better yet burn it.)
      6) Walk out the door.

      This method isn't foolproof, but with the simple act of getting the hell out of the house you will increase your odds of getting laid by 100%.

      Oh yes......if you do find yourself in the company of an interesting female you may further increase your odds by asking for what you want. We can't read your minds.

      Just a thought from a female...

  • Hmm... (Score:2, Funny)

    by ral315 ( 741081 )
    What's a woman?
  • by bunnyman ( 121652 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:53PM (#10218549)
    1) Point out that IE is not standards compliant.
    2) Submit story.
    3) Allow web server to bake until golden brown.
    4) Enjoy!
  • Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AdamHaun ( 43173 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @09:58PM (#10218569) Journal
    The linked site actually gives a pretty cool way of doing recipes. This comment, however:

    Most recipes are designed for women, and their funny way of looking at the world

    Is completely uncalled for. What part of

    Name of Food



    is in any way some sort of "funny way of looking at the world"? It's not like there aren't plenty of male cooks, either. Way to be sexist, Slashdot.
    • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sahrss ( 565657 )
      Way to overreact. I read that as he was just poking fun :)
    • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GnomeAttic ( 97126 )
      Don't forget female engineers! It really is a very ignorant post. Shame on the mods for including it.
    • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MacDork ( 560499 )
      Most recipes are designed for women, and their funny way of looking at the world

      What, exactly, is so offensive about that statement? Men and women have very different information processing abilities. Don't let yourself get so wrapped up in political correctness. As I've already said in an earlier post, read the part about drawing bicycles. [] Ignoring scientific fact in the name of political correctness is for politicians, not nerds :-)

      • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by 808140 ( 808140 )
        There are lots of people that claim that there is an inherent difference in processing capabilities between women and men; everytime some crackpot does, it's all over Newsweek and other "scientifically rigorous" sources, like Fox News or CNN. More often than not, the research is not published in peer-reviewed journals. When it has been, all of these claims have been completely debunked, everytime. People used to claim that Black people were more like monkeys than white people, too. There's lots of "scie
  • Weighing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Quill_28 ( 553921 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @10:07PM (#10218605) Journal
    Engineers should be weighing their ingredients.

    Not measuring by volume.

    Especialy with dry good(flour, etc)
  • by bigenchilada ( 257160 ) <keith_w_krieger@ ... l - m g m t .com> on Friday September 10, 2004 @10:16PM (#10218653) Homepage
    Harold McGee's "On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of Cooking" is 704 pages of microbiology, chemistry, history and how-tos. 843285/qid=1094868483/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-447084 1-5835037?v=glance&s=books [] Great read, lots of science and if you cook, makes some mysteries of the kitchen less mysterious.
  • CSS mindwarps (Score:4, Interesting)

    by danharan ( 714822 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @10:26PM (#10218723) Journal
    OK, the guy is doing something quite nice with his recipes- a way to quickly see how ingredients are grouped is a very creative and useful way to organize things.

    My frustration is how he expresses the problem with CSS:
    My recipe summaries don't display properly in browsers other than Internet Explorer. This is mainly because Internet Explorer is not fully CSS standard compliant and I had to come up with creative ways to get IE to present the table the way I desired it to.
    Unfortunately, some of the other browsers are standards compliant and render the tables awkwardly.
    I find that interpretation frustrating.

    What is unfortunate is not that a standards compliant browser would properly display IE's mangled HTML/CSS- it's that we have to mangle it for IE in the first place.

    I wish more designers would design for the standards-compliant browsers first. Add a ie-kludge.css import every time you detect IE if necessary.

    Anyhow... I hope the guy does well. You can't be too upset at a guy's CSS if he has a nice recipe explanation for making Tiramisu on his front page.
  • Cooking HOWTO videos (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kaimelar ( 121741 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @10:58PM (#10218861) Homepage
    While we're on the subject of cooking, Epicurious [] has a pretty neat section of HOWTO videos (, covering everything from dicing an onion to carving a turkey to working dough properly. They can be seen at []. Lots of other great content on that site -- I've learned a lot from them.

    The videos are in Real format, just in case you were wondering.

  • by klevin ( 11545 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:12PM (#10218946) Homepage Journal
    Oddly enough, I use a very similar approach to diagramming the steps when I copy a recipe down. Ingedients grouped by when they are combined with each other, with the groupings indicated by brackets that are labeled with how they're combined. I usually write down notes at the bottom expounding any necessary details.

    Started doing it that way when I was working on a recipe for vindaloo. The combination of spices is quite extensive, and not all of them are combined at the same time, so I ended up going with the above approach so I could easily figure things out the next time I made it.
  • I'm a Woman here (Score:3, Interesting)

    by shockingbluerose ( 810180 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:31PM (#10219022) Homepage
    And yes, I see your point where most recipes are designed for the average female and her strange viewpoints.... but I'm definently not your average female.I can totally see the logical set up here and I love it! This website is Awesome. If only all cook books would publish this format, maybe more men would cook :)
  • by Moses Lawn ( 201138 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:37PM (#10219045)
    Well, I don't get this nonsense about recipes being made for women and their "funny way of looking at the world". It sounds a lot like a comment from somebody who doesn't know much about recipes or women. I've been reading, and successfully following, recipes for much of my adult life. As long as you read all the instructions *before* starting to do anything else, most any well-written recipe is perfectly clear, as long as you have a little bit of domain knowledge (understanding of the basic symbols and terminology, mostly) and the requisite equipment. Pretty much like any other geek task.

    I will say that the table layout is a pretty neat idea. I don't personally care for it as much as the traditional format, but that's mainly because I'm used to the "normal" way. The table makes it really clear what steps depend on what other steps. However, there's something to be said for having a linear set of steps - mainly, that you don't get as easily lost in the subtasks and lose track of where you are in the process. I think that might just be me, though.

    So what is it about traditional recipes that confuses people?

    OT: The "IE-specific tables" look fine in Opera, by the way.
  • by DarkMantle ( 784415 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @11:51PM (#10219106) Homepage
    Sorry... but the first recipie I saw has the first ingredient of "about 20 lady's fingers" for those bi-atches that really pi$$ you off. :D
  • by NotQuiteReal ( 608241 ) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @12:06AM (#10219151) Journal
    I start off with something I have, like, oh, say, some frozen scallops from Costco...

    Then I look up a recipe - hmmmm. don't have that. don't have that. don't have that... cook for 3 minutes, per side - or until done.

    Gee - I can do that (cook 3 minutes per side).

    Add my own butter, garlic, and other stuff I would add anyhow, since I have it

    Cook it up. Add some butter, grated cheese de jour, half-n-half... call it alfredo. Pour it over rice or pasta!

    viola! (that's french for "ta da") The wife loves it! Get laid.

    Oh, damn, I'm I rambling again?

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @12:13AM (#10219172) Homepage
    There's such a thing as engineered recipes, but these aren't it. Engineered recipes are for volume production in food plants.

    Serious recipes have tolerances. What temperatures are needed, and how tightly do times and temperature have to be controlled? What's the effect of ambient humidity? Here's a oven for a commercial bakery. []. 6 heat zones, digital temperature control, and a conveyor belt. The bakery with a unit like that has recipes that tell how to set it up for each product they make. There's no market for a few thousand slightly burnt rolls. Some jobs need a fancy oven like that. Others are less critical. Some jobs (especially pastries) [] need even finer control.

    There are safety issues. See this microorganism lethality calculator. [] That's a key part of an industrial recipe.

    Here are some engineered home recipes []. These are intended for use in a programmable home bread-making machine. [] Note the comments:

    • Measure all ingredients exactly -- close is not "good enough".
    • Water temperature must be between 70 and 80 degrees Farenheit.
    • Use flour specifically designed for bread machines; it rises better than all-purpose flour.
    • Load ingredients in the pan in the order listed.
    • Keep yeast away from liquids.
    Now that's what real engineered recipes look like, tolerances, computer control, and all.
  • by I don't want to spen ( 638810 ) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @02:36AM (#10219532) Journal
    ... It must be open sauce ...
  • by shermozle ( 126249 ) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @05:42AM (#10219879) Homepage
    If this was truly for engineers, it would use metric units and wouldn't mix volume and weight units unnecessarily. Using cups for recipes is ridiculous considering the possible variations in texture and grain size.
  • by wobblie ( 191824 ) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @08:30AM (#10220196)
    They really aren't necessary if you can read, right?

    When looking at recipes, I am more concerned with ingredients and talk about technique, not the presentation. Perhaps a bit of history.

    For example, his lasagna is very much the "American way", made with ricotta and tomato sauce - Italians don't use ricotta in lasagna - they use a bechamel sauce. The bolognese meat sauce frequently used in Italian lasagne is very unlike the kind you eat in American kitchens.

    In others words, I don't see the point in a cookbook made by someone who doesn't know what they're talking about :)

  • tech cooking (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mabu ( 178417 ) * on Saturday September 11, 2004 @03:08PM (#10221963)
    I wouldn't consider this site to be more than a cooking-enthusiast's blog with an interesting recipe format. There doesn't seem to be any "engineer"-included aspects or approach to the content IMO.

    As a software designer that goofs off with cooking, I think I take a more tech approach. For example, I've started smoking various meats and making my own beef jerky, but I've also been trying dozens of different kinds of woods, some plain, some soaked in different types of liquids and alcohol and researching the ways in which the smoking process with different wood imparts flavor to the food. I've also been working on designing a way to interface an electric smoker to a dehydrator to automate the process of making beef jerky with a true smoky flavor.

    I have friends who have designed their own cooking grills and monitoring systems. Those things seem more like an engineers approach to cooking. This site, while interesting, isn't anything special.

    Then again, maybe this guy is using an overclocked Pentium as his heating element?

"The Avis WIZARD decides if you get to drive a car. Your head won't touch the pillow of a Sheraton unless their computer says it's okay." -- Arthur Miller