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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            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
            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
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
            • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
            • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
            • Has campuses in Melbourne, Sarasota, and Tallahassee, Florida
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            5 Program(s) Found

            Sullivan University is a private institution of higher learning dedicated to providing educational enrichment opportunities for the intellectual, social and professional development of its students. The institution offers career-focused curricula with increasing rigor from the certificate through diploma, associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree levels. Throughout those curricula, the university seeks to promote the development of critical thinking, effective verbal and written communication, computer literacy, and teamwork as well as an appreciation for life-long learning, cultural diversity and the expression of professionalism in all activities. At the graduate level, the university also seeks to promote a culture of research.

            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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            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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            1 Program(s) Found
            Salter College , West Boylston
            • Offers training programs in preparation for professional careers in business, health care, and computers.
            • Provides associate and certificate programs in medical assisting, massage therapy, culinary arts, and more.
            • Places students in externships to gain real world experience before completing their respective program.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
            • 2 campuses in Chicopee and West Boylston, Massachusetts.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits