OMG!!! This has me so excited! Cookery book addicts line up here.

(79 Posts)
FellatioNels0n Mon 11-Feb-13 06:26:44

I was browsing the net this morning looking for a recipe I knew I had, but I could not for the life of me remember which book it was in. That is such a familiar tale for me - I just end up reading them off Google which sort of defeats the object of all the rows of (150+) cookery books I own.

Anyway, guess what I found? grin

I am always trying and failing to catalogue my books by recipe type/ingredient but it's just so laborious, and I have often said to my DH that I should invent an app or website that does it for me. Well I don't need to now because someone already has.

You pay a small subscription (will be well worth the money imho, I opted for the $25 per year unlimited access) and you click on their vast library of listed books, choose the books that you own, and the indexing is automatically done for you. Providing it has already been indexed by someone, which most of the well known books have been.

If you own a book that has not yet been indexed by someone else you can do it by scanning/importing the info, then others who own the book can benefit from having had you do that for them. So it's like file sharing in a way. The only difference is that you must already own the book - it doesn't give you the recipes, it just allows to you search all of your own book collection by ingredient or recipe type, and will give you an immediate list of key ingredients. What a time saver! (I know, I'm sounding like cheesy infomercial now but I can't help it) I don't know about you but I end up going to the same five or six books over and over because I am overwhelmed by choice and the task of searching through them all, when I need to have something on the table in under an hour.

So, if you have a green pepper and a lump of cod and some tomatoes in the fridge and you don't have time to go through all of your books you just go into your personalised database and type green peppers, cod, tomatoes and you get an instant list of all your recipes that use those things, and which books they are in. And you can sort them into various sub categories/themes, link to facebok, link to pinterest, include favourite blogs or magazine clippings, and add your own family recipes that live in your head.

I am so happy I could cry a little bit. grin

Am confused? They want to charge me for using my own books?

FellatioNels0n Mon 11-Feb-13 06:36:32

No, but they charge for the service of creating and sorting the database for you. If you own 150+ books, like me, then that is invaluable. Well, maybe not invaluable but certainly worth a few quid a year. the cost of one or two more books, really.

FellatioNels0n Mon 11-Feb-13 06:41:16

So instead of thinking 'I need a chocolate cake recipe' and I have probably 60 books that contain such a thing - which is the one I need today?' you just open up your database and type in chocolate cake' and it will return all the recipes for chocolate cake that you own, on your bookshelf, or in your kindle. It will tell you which books you need, and the returned list will include, eg, flourless chocolate cake, chocolate chip cake, chocolate brownies, coffee and chocolate, etc, etc, so you don't have to sit there sifting through tons of books and looking in the indexes at the back of each one, only to find that it doesn't contain a chocolate cake recipe after all.

Bearandcub Mon 11-Feb-13 06:46:10

But doesn't Google do that plus new recipes?

Think I might be missing the point.

That sounds wonderful. Like you, I have loads of recipe books and I can never remember what's in them. Thanks.

FellatioNels0n Mon 11-Feb-13 07:01:01

Not really Bear. Of course you can google random recipes, and you will probably find some of the most well known published ones on there, yes, especially from currently popular books linked to TV series. Plus you'll get some returns of recipes you don't already have, which is a bonus.

But this is different. It's about people wanting to use their own books to best effect but not having the time to sift through them each time. Sometimes I know I have seen a particular thing, but I cannot remember which book it was in and I spend ages going through them all trying to find it. Google may give me a crayfish risotto, but it might not give me that crayfish risotto.

You have to be an avid cookery book collector to understand. grin

tigerlilygrr Mon 11-Feb-13 15:41:28

I think it sounds awesome! And a brilliant maternity leave task (timewaster)!

I'm trying to find the site, but it keeps going to a hardcore porn site!

AndMiffyWentToSleep Mon 11-Feb-13 19:15:23

Oh my. I LOVE this idea!

Am now extra sad all my cookbooks are in storage sad

AndMiffyWentToSleep Mon 11-Feb-13 19:21:36

Think the address is actually:

Crucial difference - 'your' not 'my' - the latter seems to be a porn site!

PinkyCheesy Mon 11-Feb-13 19:23:10

This sounds great! does it know you own the books you choose? Couldnt you say you own loads that you don't really, in order to get the recipes?

tigerlilygrr Mon 11-Feb-13 22:13:44

I've loaded up all my books now. First impressions: it recognised almost all of my books but about 25 out of 70 weren't indexed. I cam live with that. I've started searching by ingredient and was really impressed with the results (although I really wish it linked to at least a recipe synopsis not just the list of ingredients). I may have to delist Larousse Gastronomique though - it does tend to dominate the results as it includes so many recipes!

Would love to hear how others get on with it. Thanks again OP.

Oooh, i like!

FellatioNels0n Tue 12-Feb-13 05:06:28

Oh my goodness I am sorry about that AndMiffy how unfortunate. blushshock thank you for putting me straight. grin

FellatioNels0n Tue 12-Feb-13 05:15:35

PinkCheesy it doesn't give you the recipes step by step, it just lists them by name and author/book, and gives you a synopsis of the key ingredients.

It is merely a database/cataloguing system, not a recipe site.

I have explored it a bit more now and I have realised I got it a bit wrong the first time. If you own a book that is not yet indexed you can request it to be, nad your request is logged. The book has to have a minimum number of requests before the site will index it for you. Alternatively you can offer to index a book yourself and then it is on the database for others too. (very time consuming, but frankly I was always attempting to index all of my own anyway, so it's nothing in comparison!)

I have only added about a third of my books so far, and several of the older or more niche books are coming up as not indexed. I still think it's worth persevering with though. Also, looking at their library of indexed books will help me with buying books in future - I will be more likely to choose an already indexed one.

I haven't listed my Larousse Gastronomique yet, and I must admit I did wonder if it might break the internet. grin

miggy Tue 12-Feb-13 08:29:20

This is amazing, thank you so much for sharing.
Am in exactly the same position of having so many books that just gather dust.
Thank you thank you grin

I love it, but not sure if I'd pay $25 a year. Would prefer a one-off fee.

FellatioNels0n Wed 13-Feb-13 15:26:20

Right. There's more. I have also realised that even if you do not own the book you can read its index, and the key ingredients for each recipe. This will help enormously if you are thinking of buying the book online and would really like to know what's in it first.

I'm a subscriber for over a year now. It has revolutionise the way I use my cookbooks! It's helping me to find new and exciting ways to cook with ingredients I have. Like I found a recipe for maple and mustard glazed parsnips when I had a bag in the fridge. I would never have looked into my Delia otherwise.

You won't regret spending the money!

It links to online recipes btw. Really helps when trying to meal plan at work!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 13-Feb-13 16:45:14

That's a fantastic idea! Off to have a look...

tigerlilygrr Wed 13-Feb-13 22:06:44

It's a dangerous site, I have realised ... I've already bought two more books by authors I already own, as thrown up in the indexing process, to 'complete the collection'! And yet my intention was to use the books I have more!

MoreBeta Wed 13-Feb-13 22:18:17

Now this does sound good and 150 cookery books is bordering on erm.... obsessive but I have found a slightly different solution.

I have started reading cookery books like you would read a proper novel or biography. I find old cookery books the best, things like Elizabeth David, Larousse, EScoffier and also really technical professional Cordon Bleu books best for this. Then I take that inspiration and I find using Google allows me to find the recipes that fit the inspiration from someone more popular like Gordon Ramsey, Raymond Blanc, etc.

It sort of marries the old chefs and new celeb chefs in my head. That said, I have loads of loose leaf torn out recipes from Sunday newspaper magazines and those really do need cataloguing.

150 isn't much compared to some of the big collectors on eat your books. When you look at a book, you can see who has it on their bookshelves, how many books they have. I regularly see 500-800 books on some names! Another feature I love is browse others bookshelves.

By the way I have way less than you morebeta. I think about 70 last time I look. Don't think I really want to know hmm

miggy Wed 13-Feb-13 23:42:01

I had a serious cookbook problem, kitchen designer thought I was slightly unhinged requesting two floor to ceiling height shelf racks fitted in, BUT then we took over house next door. Guy was a book addict who had taken up cooking, he asked if I would like the bulk of his collection! Think ikea billy style ceiling height bookcases, four stacked together.
Have serious serious problem now grin

XBenedict Thu 14-Feb-13 00:26:46

OMG I have just put my downstairs cookery book collection onto the site and searched for artichoke recipes as I had loads of them in my veg box this week and flippen heck who bloody knew I had so many amazing recipes!!!!! shock I LOVE this site!

FellatioNels0n Thu 14-Feb-13 03:47:17

X did you actually subscribe? What did you pay?

It's US$25 a year. If you don't subscribe you can add 5 books to test drive the site.

Chinagirlcaramanian Thu 14-Feb-13 08:57:54

I love this site too. I've rediscovered Dela as a result. The best thing is being able to quickly compare recipes on one page and choosing one based on what other ingredients the recipe needs. Much better than random googling recipes.the course filter is useful if you're looking for say, mushroom starters.

lisianthus Thu 14-Feb-13 09:58:33

WOW! Thank you!

tigerlilygrr Thu 14-Feb-13 10:27:53

We have some way to go, fellow addicts... Check out Nigella's collection ...

BIWI Thu 14-Feb-13 10:30:45

<must not get sucked in>

FellatioNels0n Thu 14-Feb-13 12:49:39

I would be so happy if that was my own personal library. I might never actually leave my house again. As it is, if I go into a decent bookshop I can be gone for two hours....

FellatioNels0n Thu 14-Feb-13 12:50:17

No BIWI, do. I imagine the low carb dinners potential!

Ninetyninepercent Thu 14-Feb-13 13:10:00

WOW.....that is an amazing site. Such a great idea. I was only thinking this morning that I have so many recipe books and tend to either cook the same thing, or cobble together something I'm sure I have the recipe for but can't for the life of me find. Brilliant! Only thing is I also have a vast collection of magazine articles - mostly Good Food, Olive or Delicious - a few complete editions but mostly just pages ripped out. I guess you can catalogue your own, which I have been meaning to do at some point (not managed in the last decade or so though!)

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 14-Feb-13 13:12:38

They do magazines too...

BIWI Thu 14-Feb-13 14:49:26

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo grin

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 14-Feb-13 15:00:07

And you can choose to only search for recipes that are eg vegan or even low carb

BIWI Thu 14-Feb-13 15:03:39

<sticks fingers in ears>

bran Thu 14-Feb-13 15:13:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MoreBeta Thu 14-Feb-13 15:39:04

BIWI - but, but, BUT..... grin

Home, cooked Valentine lunch today was Savoy Cabbage, Pancetta and mushroom pasta. That was from Sunday Times magazine. Nice and healthy, I won't eat dinner and will do a good long walk later so no harm done. Putting your finger on a nice tasty recipe rather than just same old same old convenience stodge can be better for you.

<OK there was a glass of champagne, half bottle of Reisling and large slice of Bakewell plus cream involved but that was optional>

FellatioNels0n Thu 14-Feb-13 15:51:41

BIWI does not need convincing about ditching the stodge MoreBeta - she is our low carb guru and leader! She is just sticking her fingers in her ears as a way of resisting subscribing to the site!

FellatioNels0n Thu 14-Feb-13 15:53:02

Oh I see, sorry MB I got the wrong end of the stick!

BIWI Thu 14-Feb-13 15:56:52


Sorry, MoreBeta! I'm resisting the siren call of the site because it will involve me spending more time online and more money!

MoreBeta Thu 14-Feb-13 16:02:34

BIWI - No need to go online at all.

<refuses to give up on this one>

Really good recipe books are widely available very cheaply at a wide range of charity shops.

<glances at several hundred pounds worth of unopened bargains gathering dust on shelf> grin

BIWI Thu 14-Feb-13 16:06:44

I know. I have millions of the buggers!

MoreBeta Thu 14-Feb-13 16:16:31

So now all you need is a way of cataloguing them all.

Did you know Apple have a really handy free app that allows you to save and catalogue all your online recipes as well. Just in case.

<helpful and encouraging>

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 14-Feb-13 16:18:19

I think you are missing the point? This site does not sell cookery books or recipes. It sells indexing of the books you already have.

So let's say I had some artichokes J wanted to use up. I could go to my cookery book shelf, pick out a few likely candidates have a look in the index (which is quite often not as detailed as by ingredients), leaf through a few books, try and remember whatever other ingredients I require.

Or, I go onto this site and type in "artichokes", it brings up every single recipe I have in my recipe books that contains artichokes, with a list of other ingredients required. I can also filter on various things, low carb, country of origin, without a certain ingredient....

FellatioNels0n Thu 14-Feb-13 16:25:48

Beta why are you spoiling my fun? Stop trying to make people resist my cult. grin

You are like one of those religious types who lure drunken fighty teenagers coming out of clubs at 2am into their God Bus by offering to put a plaster on their cut hand and telling them about Jesus at the same time. grin

BIWI Thu 14-Feb-13 16:26:40

I know ...

But it will take me an age.

FellatioNels0n Thu 14-Feb-13 16:30:40

Come on BIWI. Come over to the dark side. Ignore the sensible one. wink

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 14-Feb-13 16:33:25

No it won't - just start with the one you use the most - search the title and click add - job done <wheedles> If you have a big library I think there may be a way you can do it by bar code too...

BIWI Thu 14-Feb-13 16:35:54


Don't resist. It's brilliant. There are books I didn't even look at before I subscribed to eat your books. It found so many gems for me. I found searching for veg most useful. I seem to get in a rut with them so often.

By the way, I also have two of my favourite blogs added to my bookshelf - smitten kitchen and 101 cookbooks. They index some of the most popular blogs and magazines too! (Not sure about the UK ones, since I'm not a magazine collector, yet)!

BluelightsAndSirens Thu 14-Feb-13 17:34:30

Oh thank you, I now know what I will be doing this evening!

MoreBeta Thu 14-Feb-13 18:31:01

I have to admit this eatmybooks website does sound fab if you are actually cooking. Cookery books always get messy in my kitchen so I use my laptop now. Cookery books are for bedside reading only and are still enjoyably tactile and did you see that Nigell library in the link!

If God was a chef, that would be what heaven would look like and Nigella would be an angel.

FellatioNels0n Thu 14-Feb-13 18:35:49

Nono nonono! MoreBeta the recipes are not on the website!

<gives up> head>wall

XBenedict Thu 14-Feb-13 18:48:30

Yes I've subscribed and I'm paying £1.66 a month.

morebeta I cook with both my books and my ipad. I have a serious addiction and can't cook many things from memory. I try out about 2-3 new dishes a week. So I guess that's why I find eat your books so useful!

miggy Thu 14-Feb-13 19:34:37

do you recipe addicts use paprika as well, I love it, you can so easily add recipes from internet, blogs etc
then print shopping list too

Haven't tried paprika. But I've signed up for pepperplate but haven't got around to really test it yet. You can import recipes from some famous sites, but you can do it from books. I cook mainly from books, and a few blogs, so it's a lot of hassle to transfer to the site sad.

That may be worth looking into - have <ahem> about 200 books.....not in the Nigella league and DW is not that keen on having them. I tend to prefer to read them and can recall many of the recipes and exactly which book and even sometimes the page numbers which DW finds a bit spooky.

SilverSixpence Fri 15-Feb-13 09:31:50

I just signed up to this! Started a thread on it which was Ignored smile

I think it's a great site, not all my books are indexed but most of them are and it will definitely help me to make the most of them. I also like being able to search my favourite food blogs. Worth $2 a month IMO

bigbadbarry Fri 15-Feb-13 09:34:27

Amazing! Will investigate later smile

WowOoo Fri 15-Feb-13 09:57:04

Hang on, Fellatio do you own 150 cookery books?

NigellaPlease do you own 200 odd cookery books?

Is that what I just read? shock

I've done a hideous thing and cut out recipes I like and use and binned the rest of the book. As a result I now own 7 other cookery books. I do have two nice box files in cupboard. I thought this was too much. Am astounded and impressedgrin

WowOoo how can you throw all of them out? I just checked on EYB and I have 62 books. I did a cull last year and gave away ones I'll never use. But if I have to cut out recipes from them, I'll end up with a box as large as the original collection! And EYB is helping me finding hidden gems all the time from my collection. I've marked so many things to try from my collection, but never find enough time to cook them. Like another poster, I'm rediscovering Delia. I haven't looked at her books for years. But EYB found so many good ways to serve veg from her winter collection in the last few months. I didn't even know they were there.

FellatioNels0n Fri 15-Feb-13 12:42:48

Yes I do. I recently culled them when I moved abroad which was very hard. I have about 30 in the UK for when I go home, and well over a hundred here in Qatar. I am always on the lookout for a new one to buy. I find them incredibly comforting to own, read, and stroke. blush

And occasionally I even cook from them. grin

WowOoo Fri 15-Feb-13 13:40:43

62 after a cull.

If it makes you all happy. Continue to stroke and not use them all constantly. This has been one of my shockers of the day.

Some books I really, really liked only 1 recipe.
I sliced these out v carefully, then gave the books to a charity shop.

Feel awful because one day someone will be looking at the index trying to work out where the fuck the best Moussaka recipe is.grin

bran Fri 15-Feb-13 16:36:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BIWI Fri 15-Feb-13 18:06:10

I finally threw some out recently, when we had the kitchen decorated, and I've never stopped regretting it sad

But I have no more room for more cookery books. Actually, we don't have room for more books of any kind in this house!

frenchfancy Sat 16-Feb-13 08:31:51

Thanks for the code bran. I'm at over 200 so this may be usedful grin but it is going to take a while to get them all in.

mrsmellow Sun 17-Feb-13 13:16:26

Damn you anyway - I am supposed to writing my thesis and have just spent more than an hour doing this now grin
Thank you!

I listed my books on Friday night, and I'm loving it. I've

(1) Looked for the recipe for gooseberry suet pudding that I've been meaning to try and find - it's not at all where I'd have looked. I'd have been in Rowley Leigh / Simon Hopkinson and other male cheffy books. It was in Tamsin Day Lewis' pie book.

(2) Found that the simplest recipe I own for Sea Bass Fillet purchased this afternoon is by Michelin starred Shaun Hill. I've never bought it before, but I knew I'd be able to find a recipe when I got home.

(3) Found something to do with the other half of a packet of lamb mince I put in my online shop this evening. Meatballs in Tahini from Ottelenghi.


HorizonFocus Sun 17-Feb-13 21:58:07

My mother needs this app. She spends hours surrounded by piles of cookbooks recipe hunting. Will try to persuade her!

artifarti Tue 19-Feb-13 14:16:30

Ooooh, this exciting! Thanks.

artifarti Tue 19-Feb-13 14:17:14

This is exciting that should have been (baby on knee...)

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