What's your favorite reason to use EYB? Here's some of mine:
- when you have some miscellanous ingredients in your fridge that you want to use
- when your CSA box was overflowing with a particular ingredient and you're looking for a new twist on that
- when you'd like to try an ingredient that you've never used before
- when you have a taste for something but don't already have a go-to recipe
- when you've had something at a restaurant and want to make something like it
- when you are trying to put together a party
- to keep track of recipes that you've made and REALLY liked
The great thing is that every one of these reasons has a story.
In fact, just this afternoon I was looking for something to do with the enormous quantities of cabbage that my CSA is providing, and I found a recipe in a Spanish cookbook that is the most freaking incredible cole slaw I ever had. That was a hit on several of the reasons above: too much of something, in a book I wouldn't have looked in, with a result that is a "keeeper", and on top of everything else it will be a hit at the next family get-together. BINGO!!
It's also a fabulous excuse to buy new cookbooks! When I'm considering a new book and I discover that it has already been indexed and the recipes look great, I know I'll get more use out of it, so I'm more likely to buy it -- whether I really "need" it or not!
My favorite reason for using EYB is that my cookbooks, which had been gathering dust over the past many years, are now used on a daily basis! In the past, if I were looking for a recipe for a particular ingredient, I would have to pull a dozen or more books from the shelf and painstakingly consult the index to see if that book even had a recipe for that ingredient. It was such a hassle that I gave up cooking from books in favor of online sites such as Epicurious. With EYB, it's so easy to find multiple recipes for any particular dish or ingredient and now I know when I pull the book from the shelf that it will contain a relevant recipe.
Recently I have really been enjoying the new feature on the home page where links to the latest notes that have been written appear. If the recipe looks interesting I click on the link to learn more. I find myself coming to the EYB home page even when I'm not searching for a recipe, just to see what the latest notes are. Lately there have been many notes written for recipes in Melissa Clark's two books (In the Kitchen with Good Appetite and Cook This Now) because those were the books of the month for April over on Chowhound. So many of those recipes sounded intriguing that I broke down and ordered both of the books! These books would not have been on my radar without this new EYB feature.
I rarely have an ingredient and search the database for a useable recipe. My elementary reason for EYB is to *find my books*. I have them (about 400+) secreted all over the house, and now I know where to find one AND, since they are somewhat categorized by my stashing places, there are other similar books to peruse. I cook a lot, but then I also use cookbooks (and magazines) as my bedside reading material...better than a novel because my time commitment for reading can be really short or long, depending on how soon I want to go to sleep.
I also really love the online search feature. No more random pages printed out of some blog entry I found through link after link. If I know that *somewhere* there is a neat recipe for chili dogs that I saw online, I just search through EYB. Still being a hard-core hard-copy girl, I will print out a recipe I tried and liked, organize it in a binder, and mark the online version with a bookmark of "TNT". My problem now is only 365 dinners a year, and more good recipes to try than that!