Edit 10/26/2010 Fridge to Food entered beta 2 last night. I completely rewrote the back end using CakePHP in about two weeks. It has received pretty serious design updates. I don't know if we're still considering it as a possible sister site, but either way I would appreciate any thoughts you have on it :)

Check it out: http://www.fridgetofood.com

Begin original post

So I mentioned this in the Create a "recipes" meta site thread, but at the time we weren't in beta yet, so it was a sort of "maybe, in the future" suggestion. Well, as of a couple of days ago, Fridge to Food is now in public beta. I would like to offer it as an alternative recipe repository and sister site to a Recipes StackExchange.

I started writing it eight months ago partly based on ideas borrowed from StackExchange - such as a voting and reputation system, and active wiki tagging - but adapted specifically to recipes. I believe it could fill the job of recipe repository for this site and do it better than a vanilla StackExchange.

It is specifically adapted to recipes. It indexes recipes by ingredient and currently sports an ingredient based search. I plan to add a title based search, improve the ingredient based search and add an advanced search. It has tagging and filtering by tags. It has voting and reputation. And it has something more that a StackExchange lacks - its very image based. Anyone can post an image to any recipe - the image with the highest votes is the one displayed when searching and browsing.

Things it doesn't have that a StackExchange do would be easy migration and the ability to ask for certain recipes in a question and answer format. I plan to work very hard on the searching and filtering to make it very easy to find any recipe you are looking for. And recipes will already have been voted on so you can sort them by votes. As to the migration I would be willing to look into the StackExchange API to see if it's possible to create some sort of migration routine. I plan to attempt to write a recipe parser for blog posts in order to pull recipes from RSS feeds, which would be similar I imagine. But that's rather distant future.

I'm open to suggestions from the community for features or changes. Though this is a one man band free-time project right now, so I only have so much bandwidth to actually make changes.

Edit 08/16/2010 Updated tonight to add a title search, the ability to browse user profiles (by join date and reputation), deleting recipes and images you posted, recropping images, and some minor bug fixes and style improvements. Let me know if you find any bugs.

Also, do people think this is a viable sister-site recipe repository? Is there anything else I need to do to it to make it more viable?

  • 2
    Damn! Those pictures have made me ravenous.
    – hobodave
    Aug 8, 2010 at 19:06
  • Ack! Radio buttons should come BEFORE their labels! Took me a while to figure out how to search ingredients instead of titles.
    – Marti
    Oct 21, 2010 at 0:37
  • @Martha Sorry, I'll fix that :) Working on beta version two with lots of new features. It'll be in with that. Oct 21, 2010 at 4:22
  • 2
    One suggestion: I obviously have no idea if we could get the team's support on making it an official sister site (as you know, I do support the idea), but one thing that would almost certainly be a prerequisite would be for you to support OpenID, since that's what members here will already be using. Even the simplest registration process would be disruptive to the flow.
    – Aaronut
    Oct 26, 2010 at 14:15
  • @aaronut Yeah, I've thought about that. In my experience, a native registration system is more natural for non-techy users than open ID often. Which is why I went for that first. But, there's no reason I couldn't add an open-id option in addition to it. I'm not sure how much work it would take, but it probably wouldn't take too much. I'm certainly open to trying it. Oct 26, 2010 at 15:00
  • @Daniel: I agree in a sense - many people have complained about the OpenID system on SO/SE (although for me it was one click to use my Google identity). The rub here is that since users would be coming from Seasoned Advice in the first place, they'd already be using OpenID, which is why I think it's important for a (relatively) seamless user experience. Of course, I can't make any guarantees of what will happen if you do implement OpenID - just saying it'll probably be a harder sell without it.
    – Aaronut
    Oct 26, 2010 at 20:57
  • @Aaronut Been working on OpenID but don't have it implemented yet, and honestly, I'm a little nervous about doing it. I've read some pretty hellish stories about OpenID folks not providing the e-mail and making it very easy to lose your account. Going to keep looking into it though. Dec 15, 2010 at 17:12
  • It's too bad you're not using .NET; then you could use DotNetOpenAuth, which I'm pretty sure is what Stack Exchange itself uses. Ah well - no pressure, take it at your own pace!
    – Aaronut
    Dec 15, 2010 at 19:02

1 Answer 1


I really like the site. It's a great idea. It looks good.

I have no idea how it could function as a recipe-exchange to complement cooking.stackexchange. Title search would probably make that a bit clearer, since a recipe-exchange is going to be title-centric rather than ingredient centric; although, both features are really neat.

What are some of the particulars involved with being a stackexchange adjunct? Have other sites officially partnered with SE, or would this just be an unofficial third-site which would have an extra layer to integrate them but nothing internal to stackexchange.

  • How does it work with DocType? I know its different people and different software. Can they migrate? Aug 9, 2010 at 14:52
  • @Daniel: No, they can't actually migrate to doctype, it's just shown as a link in the footer.
    – Aaronut
    Aug 9, 2010 at 21:06
  • @Daniel Bingham If it was ok on meta, we could try a post where a question looking for recipes was asked and the answerers were directed to fridgetofood. Think about how that would work and whether or not your site is ready for a large group of users trying to simultaneously add, search for, and compare eachother's answers on a specific subject, with some way to link back and forth between sites.
    – Ocaasi
    Aug 9, 2010 at 21:22
  • @Ocaasi Should probably make sure title search is ship shape before we try. As that probably is rather essential. I have a four day weekend this weekend, I'll see what I can do. Aug 10, 2010 at 1:03
  • @Daniel Bingham 1) Curious, did you have any thoughts calling something good cookies, in an online environment. I immediately read over it and thought, 'oh cookies, good. wait, cookies like web trackers?' 2) I didn't submit a recipe, but I looked at the form and didn't see the picture feature; is that on a subsequent page? 3) I was a bit confused by your tag icon: = says tags, but house says home page. Otherwise looks very clean and straightforward.
    – Ocaasi
    Aug 10, 2010 at 1:46
  • @Ocassi 1) I hadn't at first, cause I was just thinking in the context of food. Someone else pointed the pun out to me afterwards and how it could be confusing. I'm still trying to come up with a better name for it. Food/Cooking based, other than reputation. I liked the cookies one though... :/ 2) Picture posting comes after recipe posting. It sends you to the image gallery from which you can post an image right after you post the recipe. 3) Yeah, I'm no artist. Was the best I could do in gimp. All of the icons will probably get an update at some point. Thanks! Aug 10, 2010 at 4:09
  • @Ocaasi I have no idea what you did. I can't reproduce it so far. Do you think you can e-mail me a step by step through of what you did and what you entered in the fields? The button shouldn't disable until you submit to prevent multiple submitting. My e-mail: [email protected] Aug 10, 2010 at 13:12
  • @Daniel Bingham. I filled out the fields and then tried to hit submit. I don't know what I pressed or if I did something out of sequence, so I can't give you more specific feedback. I was using IE8 on Windows 7.
    – Ocaasi
    Aug 13, 2010 at 11:01
  • @Ocaasi Okay, I've updated tonight and redone some of the recipe submitting javascript. The button was disabled on click before - but I can't image how you could click it with out submitting. Now it disables on submit, and re-enables if the submit fails. Let me know if you run into the issue again. Aug 16, 2010 at 13:38
  • @Daniel I tried it again and it worked fine. I like the new tags. One suggestion, put the new recipe tag on the left, since it's the most important one, and UI priority is left to right. Probably just switch it with the users, since tags would be my next priority suggestion. Otherwise looks good! Oh, had a problem cropping the image. Couldn't move the dashed lines, and it the top of the image was cut off by the browser.
    – Ocaasi
    Aug 16, 2010 at 15:24
  • @Ocaasi If your image was less than 300x300 pixels, then that is why. I haven't decided what to do with images like that, scale them up or disallow them. It's sort of indicative of an image taken from a google search and not by the user, which isn't what we want generally. So I'm tempted to disallow them. I'll probably handle it one way or the other next update. Aug 16, 2010 at 15:47
  • @Ocaasi Also, I agree on the button ordering. Aug 16, 2010 at 15:47
  • @Daniel Oh, you could tell about the google search? What if I just had a tiny camera? Seriously, pictures are a huge feature of the interface. If people are going to use the source en masse, and on the fly, I doubt that it's worth having the majority of photos being the stock fridge shot if easily available ripped images from google would faithfully describe the dish. Also, chocolate covered strawberries actually look like that when I make them, so it was less of a fudge.
    – Ocaasi
    Aug 17, 2010 at 0:29
  • @Ocaasi It's less about fudging and more about a) copyright issues and b) the site is supposed to be part food photo contest. You get rep from image votes. When you take an image from the web, you're claiming credit and gaining rep for someone else's photography. We don't really want that. As for small cameras, even the crappiest cell phone camera's these days can usually handle a shot at 640x480. I know of very few cameras that do less than 300x300... I appreciate what you're saying though, and the sentiment in wanting an image :) Aug 17, 2010 at 12:36
  • Aha. It's an odd thing, that a photo which is 'really good' is somewhat indistinguishable from a stock photo off Google. Is there a consistent way to verify which is which? Would that be a site guideline...-1 for google image? I guess you'd just have to make it clear that no photo is better than google photo. Also, I was just joking about the small camera, since I had a small image.
    – Ocaasi
    Aug 17, 2010 at 14:19

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