The Recipe Blog

A few weeks ago, my best friend was watching a TV show in which cinnamon pie was mentioned. She texted me to see if I’d heard of it… I had not, but it’s cinnamon and pie, so I can definitely see myself enjoying it. I went looking for a recipe… Seven recipes later I’d learned there were two versions of cinnamon pie and I’d remembered how much I despise recipe blogs.

The initial recipe I picked, I loaded up and hit print and my printer informed me the recipe was 17 pages long, because apparently that particular blogger had not made it possible to remove the extremely long story about how they were introduced to cinnamon pie via their ex-husband’s great aunt on his mother’s side twice removed who got it from her mother’s nanny, who got it from a Hessian soldier during the Revolutionary War or something absurd like that.

Since I refused to print that story along with the recipe, I went looking for another one. Cinnamon Pie as I mentioned, seems to have two versions; one is a meringue style and the other is more like cheesecake. I’m not a huge meringue fan, so I went looking for the more cheesecake-like cinnamon pie. I found a second recipe and at the very top, above the long story about their life experience with cinnamon pie and dog walkers who swap recipes or whatever was a button that allowed me to “jump to the recipe.” And because I couldn’t care less about her insights on cinnamon pie or the story of her introduction to the delectable pie, I hit the button.

There it was, the recipe, gleaming at me from the screen as if it were the Holy Grail! Print! Recipe printed on actual paper, I hit print a second time, because if I enjoy cinnamon pie, I’m going to make it again and I don’t want to skim through three dozen recipe blogs looking for it, so the second time I saved it as a PDF. Yay!

I don’t know why all recipe blogs do not create that handy little button of skip to recipe, but it should be mandatory. I’m sure some people want all that backstory about the blogger and the recipe, but I’m not one of them. And since I’m an avid cooker, I reference a large number of recipe blogs. However, I only bookmark or save recipes from Bloggers who do not force their life story on me before I can get to the recipe.

There is another type of blogger in this forcing their life story on me that is even more annoying. I found a crockpot recipe last fall and thought “Yes, I need to try that!” I began the scrolling to find the actual recipe within the story and found it… or thought I had. I had an ingredients list at any rate… No print button though next to the ingredient list, so I scrolled down a little more and started reading… a story about potato varieties…. four paragraphs of information about potato varieties… four paragraphs I didn’t need. After the lecture on potatoes, I found the directions. But no print button. Uh, without a print button, I have to print the entire post, including the lecture on potatoes that I don’t want. After several minutes, I passed on the recipe and went to find something else.

It worked out because the other potato recipe I found I loved. It printed without the story, but wasn’t formatted very well, so it turned out to be three pages because part of page two was a three inch block of white space…. but at least I didn’t have to wade through the story to get to the recipe.

I know plenty of people love the story behind the recipe. I’m just not one of them, so giving me the option to skip it, increases the chances I’m going to use the recipe. One recipe blogger I found also has an Etsy store associated with it where they sell bundles of digital recipes formatted to fit on recipe cards that can be printed using Avery Recipe Cards. I dislike recipe cards almost as much as the stories behind the recipes, so that doesn’t help me… if they ever decide to format them for full page printing and sell those as bundles, I would be okay paying a dollar for 25 potato recipes. And part of this is because as I type this, I can’t think of even fifteen ways I fix potatoes, this bundle has the potential to increase my potato recipe knowledge as a result (also I don’t like potatoes much, which is why I can’t think of more than fifteen ways to fix potatoes at this moment: fries, chips, tator tots, mashed, au gratin, scalloped, baked, and I’m out… so not even ten recipes come to me…). I have looked through all their bundles of recipes though, because you never know… maybe they have 25 ways to cook brussels sprouts for a dollar… I love brussels sprouts, but they are easy to screw up, so I only have a few recipes I use and I don’t look for recipes outside my comfort zone with them. But for well formatted recipes, it would be worth a dollar. They did not offer any brussels sprout recipes though that I could find.

And that “well formatted” label is another issue with recipe blogs. Even the blogs that allow you to jump to the recipe or print it without the story, doesn’t always have a well formatted printable recipe. I needed a green bean casserole recipe for Thanksgiving this year, I don’t like cream of anything soup, especially not cream of mushroom, but the niece wanted green bean casserole instead of my standard garlic, onion green beans. I found one and hit print… Thank goodness for print preview. The ingredients printed on one page (there were a lot, plus a picture). Yay! The directions, well, that was another story, each step printed on it’s own page. Even the line “preheat oven to 350 degrees” printed alone on a page. What?! No. that can’t be correct. There are ten steps to this recipe. I’m not printing eleven pages to get a green bean casserole recipe. I went looking for one that was similar and found it… two pages, that I will print. I printed. It looked fine on print preview and it was just 2 pages, so one sheet of paper (front and back)… woohoo! Print!! Uh… what!? It printed in landscape. What? No. I must have done something wrong. I pulled print preview back up. Nope, it is written so that the default printing style is landscape? That’s just weird. My niece liked the casserole, I thought it was nasty. She wanted the recipe, I sent her the link and warned her if she was going to print it, she might want to change it to portrait for aesthetic reasons. She did. It cut off lines. Why? If I decide to keep this recipe in a binder, I’m going to have to rewrite it, so that it will print portrait like most standard freaking cookbooks. I did not want to keep the recipe, so I have not rewritten to put it into a recipe binder in the correct direction.

I know the concept of “well formatted” seems trivial, but it matters. There is a standard way to read a recipe and when it’s not in the standard format, it makes it more difficult. I once printed off a recipe to find that the printed version had the ingredients list last… and it was a “table” that didn’t fit in the space provided so the measurements were on their own page. WTH? “Whisk flour, milk, and softened butter in a large bowl.” Absolutely, I can do that… wait, how much of each? Oh, it’s on the last page? Fine. This is box six on this page, so it lines up with box six on the next page, correct? Wait, it wants me to add 4 cups of eggs? How many eggs is in a cup, let alone 4 cups? Or are they estimating each egg is one cup? And that brings me to my final pet peeve about recipe blogs.

I’m fine with European measurements. Add six grams of bacon or 275 milliliters of white wine. But sometimes, it seems people just randomly make up measurements for their recipes. I had a recipe once that called for 2 cups of eggs. Uh, so I’m measuring out the eggs to get two cups, since that’s abnormal phrasing for measuring eggs, is it the entire egg or just two cups of egg whites or two cups of egg yolks. Or hell, maybe I’m supposed to use the pourable eggs? It doesn’t say that on the ingredient list, it says 2 cups of eggs, not pourable eggs, not egg whites, not egg yolks. Is there a difference between eggs in the shells and pourable eggs that is going to affect the finished recipe? Now, I’m confused. Yep, I’m not making this recipe.


5 thoughts on “The Recipe Blog

  1. Don’t keep us in suspense! How was the pie? My future son-in-law absolutely adores anything cinnamon, so if you thought it was a good recipe, I’d love the link!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was fan-fucking-tabulous! I will definitely make it again. I will add two caveats. I hate nutmeg, so I left it out. Also, I set out my cream cheese for four hours, which wasn’t long enough. It was mostly smooth, but I had a few small chunks of cream cheese after I mixed it. However, since it was similar to a cheesecake recipe I figured they would melt and mix in…. they did not. Even with a handful of plain cream cheese chunks though, it was delicious. The link:


      1. Fantastic! I can’t wait to make this for Davis! Thank you so much for the link. I’ll think of you every time I make it! ________________________________

        Liked by 1 person

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