Is there a worse recipe site than Cooks.com?

Nearly every day, I start my dinner planning with a google search for recipes in the general neighbourhood of what I have at hand and/or what I vaguely feel like whipping up.

Experience has instilled a massive disdain for cooks.com recipes - to the point that I regularly employ a DNS-poisoning technique on all the computers that I regularly use to block cooks.com, which saves me a huge amount of time clicking through to recipes that are offensive at a glance, or (more frustratingly) look plausible enough at a glance but turn out to be incomplete, self-contradicting, or merely incredibly misguided, once you set about actually attempting them.

I’m sorry, if your chili recipe lists “1 bottle of Heinz 57 sauce” as an ingredient, you should probably kill yourself. If your recipe calls for ingredients which are not referenced in the method, you’re practically begging for assisted suicide.

From time to time, my meal planning begins on a computer from which access to cooks.com has not been blocked, and invariably I find recipes in the top listings that make me pause to say “WTF is up with that? Oh… right… cooks.com.”

How the hell does this site manage to stay up? Beyond that, how comes it that it seems to enjoy a fairly high degree of popularity? It’s exactly like Lileks’ Gallery of Regrettable Food, except without any irony. Every time I am reminded of its existence, I despair for humanity.

Can someone explain this? Black ops engineered by communist China, intended to cripple Western society through creeping gastronomic catastrophe? Subgenius prank?

Is there any other single website operating within the limits of the law which encourages anything more abominable?

Pages of recipes with Ritz Crackers as a primary ingredient. Ritz effing Crackers.

There is no hope.

Ritz crackers, peanut butter, and chocolate? Kill yourself immediately.

My favorite things to do with Ritz crackers:

[ol]
[li]Eat with peanut butter.[/li][li]Eat with ham and cheese squares.[/li][li]Eat with Nutella chocolate.[/li][/ol]

Never eaten Ritz crackers with peanut butter and chocolate, though…

The only place I would ever expect to find “recipes” with Ritz crackers as the primary ingredient is on a package of Ritz crackers, or at the Nabisco web site. I mean, seriously, how complicated is it? Find something to put on a cracker, put it on. Done.

Corn Chowder (serves 4):

Ingredients

1 can Campbell’s soup
1 can creamed corn
Ritz crackers

Microwave the soup and corn. Season with the ketchup. Garnish with crackers.

I guess it doesn’t matter what kind of soup it is?

Campbell’s. Duh!

I was going to find another hilariously bad recipe to post here, but I saw the listing for “Ritz cracker Pie” and could go no further.

:rolleyes:

If you’re out of canned soup, can I recommend using evaporated milk?

Evaporated milk, creamed corn, ketchup and Ritz crackers. Someone should try this.

Try to find a onion dip recipe. I never found one that didn’t say add a package of Lipton onion soup mix to a container of sour cream. I wish they would remove posts like that, and allow people to flag recipes as wrong.

I do like the site to find pickling and canning recipes that I ate as a kid but no family member has. I then have to analyze all the recipes to remove the completely wrong ones. After up to 50% are thrown out I can pick one that seems to be the most averaged recipe of the remaining. I hate in particular people that post stuff like fill with standard pickling brine. I’m looking for a recipe to tell me how to make these things idiot. Please don’t post a recipe if you think leaving out how to make an important part of the recipe is alright.

I am pretty sure that will end up looking like vomit.

“Come on, man, they’re crackers, that’s why I got them. I like crackers! I didn’t buy them because they’re little edible plates!”. I miss Mitch.

I agree, Cooks.com is rarely helpful. I have better luck with Recipezaar, or just googing whatever I want to make with the word recipe at the end of it. The Foodnetwork site is OK if you stick to the basic looking recipes and avoid all those with the tv chef’s special little interpretation.

I assume that’s mock apple pie, right? It’s kind of a classic, but I’ve never had or made one, although one of these days I do want to get around to it out of curiosity.

I actually enjoy cooks.com. It’s not my first stop when I want to get a definitive recipe without having to poke around too much (I start with epicurious.com, saveur.com, and the like for those.) I use it as a research tool. It takes some effort to separate the wheat from the chaff, but it’s got lots of great ideas in there: you just have to dig.

What I liken it is to scouring through local community (like parish or mother’s clubs, etc.) recipe books. It’s kind of interesting from an anthropological standpoint, to see how people are using all their various resources, from raw ingredients to prepared foods, in creating their daily meals. And sometimes, I want something made with Campbell’s soup as an ingredient, just to bring me back to a certain time and place.

I disagree a bit. FoodNetwork has some great recipes, complete with “special little interpretations.” You just have to be a bit selective is all. Just about everything Tyler Florence does is marvelous. Ditto Bobby Flay. Guy Fieri runs about 50/50.

If Cooks Illustrated has a recipe, I’ll usually use that as a starting point, as (whether I agree with them always), you know all the recipes have been run through the same test kitchen. But they want $40 a year for access to most of their content. Joy Of Cooking website also has some freebie content (but most people probably have a copy of the hardback, which is pretty comprehensive).

The big problem with cooks.com is, in addition to the lack of filtering, the fact that open source isn’t a great model for being led through a meal prep. We go to restaurants that we like because, in part, we reach a trust level in a particular chef or menu builder – if I like his chicken, I’ll probably like his duck breast, I see where he’s coming from with the appetizers, let’s try the organ meats. Cooks.com there’s no single voice or style that you can test and then run with (I guess you could try a dozen recipes and then search by the OP of the two or three that were good).

Get some nasty stuff.

Get some unhealthy stuff.

Get some cheap stuff.

Get some incompatible stuff.

Do some unspeakable stuff to all of it.

Enjoy.

Is this dinner or a date?

No, you’re right. It’s a complete free-for-all on cooks.com. But that’s what I like about the site. I get to pass judgment and figure out who to trust and what recipes I like.

Now, it would sure as hell not be the first site I’d go to to check on any unfamiliar recipe. But when I’ve got a recipe inside and out and want to see some random outside interpretations of it, it’s great for that. Sometimes, you’ll find a gem.