Coming Back To Books

Ever since The Julie/Julia Project, the blogosphere seems filled with people who have committed themselves to cooking every single recipe in a particular cookbook and writing about it. What Julie Powell did with Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, is now being done with Fergus Henderson's The Whole Beast, Grant Achatz's Alinea and Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc At Home, to name a few.

The majority of us are not getting nearly as much use out of our cookbooks, however, and, if you're anything like me, you probably have cookbooks in every room of the house with dog eared pages marking recipes you'll never get around to making. Or maybe you do this: You decide that you are going to make chicken for dinner, and, for once, instead of just Googling "chicken" and having hundreds of thousands of recipes at your fingertips, you decide to actually use a cookbook from your shelf. You then spend hours poring through indexes in book after book, searching for a suitable chicken recipe, until ultimately, you realize that you've lost the momentum and end up just ordering take-out chicken instead.

I've been hoping for years to find something in between these two extremes, as I have as little interest in cooking from one book cover to cover, as I have patience for spending hours browsing indexes seeking out the perfect recipe. Then, a few months ago I read about a new website that seems to provide exactly what I’ve been looking for. Eat Your Books, a really cool site that has a database of about 16,000 cookbook titles (and counting,) has put together a format that allows you to search through all of your cookbooks for recipes without ever having to scour an index again. The way it works is that you build your own virtual bookshelf on the site based on the cookbooks that you actually own. Yes, the initial input process is tedious as you do have to search through the listing of titles in order to add them to your bookshelf, but once the process is done, so is the work. Then, the next time you want to search through your cookbooks for a recipe for, say, chicken, all you do is type "chicken" in the search box, and up pops a listing of every recipe, from every book you own, that contains chicken. You can refine your search based on ethnicity, cut of chicken, course, type of dish, author, holiday and even categories that you create yourself. There is a place for you to rate cookbooks and recipes on the site, a shopping list feature, a menu feature, and even a location feature that allows you to organize your books on the site based on which shelf in your house they sit on. What Eat Your Books does not do, is to show actual recipes. After all, the point is to get you using your own books, right? It does, however, show listings of ingredients from each recipe and organizes recipes into various categories, so that you have a strong idea of what the recipe is like before you ever crack the book.

I can honestly say that since becoming a member of Eat Your Books, I use my cookbooks way more often than I used to. I also feel a lot less guilty when I buy a new cookbook, because I know that it is not going to just sit on my shelf collecting book markers and dust.

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            4 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            3 Program(s) Found
            Platt College Oklahoma , Oklahoma City
            • Each campus features a public restaurant where culinary students work under the direction of professional chefs for real-world experience.
            • Hosts Platt College’s Food Fight, a friendly dessert competition for students held once a month.
            • Offers programs in culinary arts, nursing, and healthcare.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (AFC) and Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • 5 campuses in Lawton, North and Central Oklahoma City, Moore, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
            4 Program(s) Found
            • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months or bachelor’s degree in the food service management field in 2.5 years through their year-round schedule.
            • Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
            • Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
            • Hosts regular career fairs for employer recruitment.
            • Has student housing available.
            • Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
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            2 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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            1 Program(s) Found

            Baker College is the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. Our mission is to prepare you for meaningful employment.