- What is this thing for?
The Recipe Database is a system that I wrote for my friends and I to be able to exchange recipes with each other. Since all of us profess to cook at least a bit, but we all do our own different types of foods, I created this site to let my friends post their recipes for all of us to share. Also, I got sick of keeping a bunch of recipes in my email when these could be in a better format to be shared with my friends.
- How do I find a recipe?
The easiest way is to simply browse by categories, which is the screen that you are presented with when you open this site up. This allows you to find recipes by grouping, say for example, a main course or a soup. This is generally how people think when they are looking for recipes.
However, you can also browse alphabetically through the list. This just allows you to puruse the recipes by the first letter of the name of the recipe.
Finally, you can search by ingredients. Say you have a bottle Shiner Bock beer that's about to go bad and you want to find out what you could do with the chicken before it goes bad. Well, simply enter Shiner into the the Ingredients box on the top of every page and click Search. This will show you a list of all recipes, in any category, that contain the word chicken. Now, this could possibly include chicken broth, so keep that in mind.
- How do I add a recipe?
Very simply, you click on the Add a Recipe link that is at the top of every page. You will then be presented with a form that requires your name and email address, the name of the recipe, a category for that recipe, a quick description, a list of ingredients, and directions for how to prepare the item. Optionally, you can also add how many people the recipe servers, an approximate cooking time, and even a picture of the dish if you have one on your computer.
- What is the rating I see at the bottom of a recipe?
Many people like to see what other people think about a recipe before they try it themselves. Well, this site allows users to add a rating and comments about a recipe and then posts the average rating that a recipe has. The ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being horrible and 5 being heavenly. If you make a recipe and love it or hate it, then rate the recipe and let other people know what you thought.
When you add rate a recipe, the rating and comments that you add will be emailed to the person who entered the recipe. This should not cause you to worry about your anonymoty, but instead is used to provide feedback to the person who made the recipe and to provide that person with a means to contact you for further questions. It could be that you tried something different with the recipe and found that that worked great.
- What if I screw up when I enter a recipe?
Because there is no authentication system to allow people to enter recipes, I felt that it would be best if I did not allow users to be able to edit recipes. This is to avoid anyone malicious would want to damage any of the data in the database. That being said, if you have a typo, simply email email@example.com with whatever you need changed and one of the Chef Admin's will make the change and email you back.
- What if my recipe won't fit into one of your existing categories?
Like the above, I felt that the categories themselves should only be able to be changed by a few people. If you would like to have a category added or changed, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of the Chef Admins will get back with you.
- Questions about the recipe engine code.
All of the data for this engine is stored in a MySQL database. This is done to increase speed and make the coding quite a bit easier. I could have done this using text files, but parsing large sized text files gets really slow, while finding recipes in a database is very easy to do.
If you are interested in this code for your website, then please email email@example.com for information. Currently, this code is only partway in a state that can be easily exported to another web server, but the code can be cleaned up to facilitate that process if there is demand for this site.