FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Like everyone else who owns a computer, I rely on the Internet to
find information for just about everything these days. A recent
search for “cooking” on Google, my favorite search engine, delivered
a mind-boggling 1,034 possibilities -- from Sri Lankan recipes to
Suzy Smith’s Cooking School. Many of the sites sounded delicious, but
I resisted temptation and just checked out a few new sites and
revisited some old ones. I’ve revised my bookmarks and hope you’ll
find these sites helpful, and fun to visit too.
Www.cyber-kitchen.com, will give you a good idea of how much
information is available to anyone interested in using their kitchen.
This mega Web site supplies links to hundreds of other sites on the
subject. It’s more than overwhelming, and users are warned to explore
in short visits. There are thousands of recipes for dishes to
celebrate every imaginable occasion in countries I’ve never heard of.
But, two particular features are real standouts. Web Links transports
you to 55 different categories of sites. Find your way to health and
nutrition, cooking with kids, growing your own food and even making
dinner for your pet. Of course, there are lots of opportunities to
shop. My other favorite feature is the cookbook reviews, some
supplied by Mimi, mistress of the site, and others by visiting cooks.
Fans of the Food Channel are already familiar with www.foodtv.
com, where they can find recipes from their favorite cooking shows.
When the site first appeared, many of these recipes were a bit short
on detailed instruction, but they have improved a great deal. Search
by program or visit Recipe & Menu Search on the left side of the home
page. Scroll down to “You Asked for It” and find excellent videos and
instructions about boning chicken, prying skin off tomatoes and
Think you know a lot about wine? Click on Wine & Drinks and learn
something new. David Rosengarten talks about ordering wine in
restaurants, how to read wine bottle labels, pairing wine with food
and the latest news about New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. While the
recipes and instructions on this site are quite good, this feature is
outstanding, and lots of fun to read. Epicurious.com is the product
of Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines. Besides a slew of excellent
recipes, the site also offers very clear video demos and slide shows.
One of the nicest features is “Recipes” at the top of the home page.
Browse recipes by main ingredient, type of ethnic cuisine,
preparation method, course or dish.
“Learn,” also at the top of the page, offers expert advice by
topics such as homemade convenience food, how to make a perfect
vinaigrette and what kind of chicken to use for soup. On the left
side of the home page is “Chef Michael Lomonaco’s Expert Advice.” The
former TV Chef explains how to do practically everything.
Recipes for Water Boiling 101 to Australasian banquets are all
over the internet. But there’s no substitute for a reliable cookbook.
Www.books-for-cooks.com is a recent discovery.
A search for a specific title, author or category results in
thousands of titles (some with readers’ reviews). But the main reason
to visit this site is for the book reviews by two very experienced
writers and passionate cooks. Browse the titles on the home page or
click on “Cookbook Reviews” to find very detailed commentary by
people who have actually tried the recipes. Books that have received
the James Beard and Julia Child awards are also here.
I’m not always impressed by any Best Sellers listing, but it’s fun
to take a peek. Most prices are discounted by only 10 to 20%, so you
may want to save the postage and visit a bookstore.
When you need the proper tools to get the job done, visit
www.cooking.com. Many featured items crowd the site’s home page, but
resist the temptation and browse the “departments” first. Under Cooks
Tools, I found 21 graters from five different manufacturers. Click on
the little green icon with the image of a book and discover how the
experts rate each item. The site has every imaginable pot and
skillet, small appliance and loads of handy tools.
Buying Guides, at the top of the page, are a must-visit for
beginning cooks. They’ll find more advice from experienced chefs and
an interactive shopping guide to help everyone choose exactly what
* LILLIAN REITER is a Laguna Beach resident. A self-described
“shameless foodie,” she is currently co-authoring a cookbook. She can
be reached at email@example.com or P.O. Box 248, Laguna Beach,
CA 92652, or via fax at 494-8979