Cookstr Launches

Cookstr.com beta launched this week. It's a recipe website featuring recipes directly from cookbooks. The site has a clean design and is fairly easy to navigate. Its still in beta so it doesn't have full functionality just yet. There are 4 main sections: Recipes, Chefs & Authors, Menus, Tips & Techniques. There's a search button to conduct random searches. There's also a cute "Surprise Me!" button. Clicking it I got a Baked Figs with Cinnamon and Honey recipe, yum.

Searching recipes is straight forward. Either enter what you are looking for in the search bar or go to the Recipes section. You can search by main ingredients, cuisine, holiday/occasion, meal/course, chef/author, and method. Recipes are presented in an easy-to-read format with an option to print. The recipe photographs could use improvement: Only a handful of recipes contain a photograph of what the recipe will look like once it is made, others have a general photo of one ingredient in the recipes. I'd like to see all the recipes have pictures of the prepared dish. Eye candy.

A random search of cauliflower yields three pages of recipes. Some feature cauliflower as the main ingredient, such as the Cauliflower Gratin. Many recipes contain cauliflower as one of the ingredients, while others suggest that you vary a recipe by substituting cauliflower instead of the main ingredient. Each recipe has a picture of the cookbook the recipe came from and a link to a store where you can purchase it.

The Chefs/Authors section features a chef or author on the top of the page with his/her profile. Scroll down to the Meet Our Contributors section and chefs and authors are listed in alphabetical order on 10 pages. The same information has a more user friendly format in the Recipe section under chef/author.

The Menus and Tips & Techniques sections are "coming soon". It looks like the site has tremendous potential. To sign up go to www.cookstr.com.

(If you are wondering about the photo, it is a paella dish for 100 people, fun!)

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