Online Recipes

When Amy Cotter wants a new recipe to spice things up in her kitchen, instead of a cookbook she turns to the web.

Cotter says "It's a lot quicker, it's a lot more efficient, and you get one hundred times the information that you can from a cookbook."

Consumer Reports Shopsmart just reviewed some of the biggest recipe sites.

Amanda Walker, Consumer Reports, says "There is enormous diversity in terms of the skill level you'll need, the kinds of cuisines you'll find and the way to search the sites so you won't end up with hundreds of choices."

To quickly whittle down your choices, use the "advanced search feature" available on most sites.

Another good way to narrow your search, specify the type of recipe you're looking for, like vegetarian.

All-recipes has a nice feature like this one that lets you enter the ingredients you have on hand, say chicken, broccoli, and rice and up comes a choice of recipes.

Shopsmart found that recipes ran the gamut. For instance, at, all the recipes come from people who've joined the site, which can be good or bad.

"You can post your grandmother's cookie recipe, which is great. But you have to remember that the recipes aren't posted by professional chefs, so the quality will vary," says Walker.

Bloggers are spicing things up online, too. Check out, where several knowledgeable and opinionated bloggers bring you the latest dish on food-related news and products.

You'll find cooking demos at; step-by-step videos well suited for the beginner.

Epicurious has chef videos for the more seasoned cook.

And it's Epicurious, the largest site, with more than 60,000 recipes that inspires Amy Cotter to kick it up a notch when dinnertime rolls around. She only wishes it could also do the dishes.

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