The ultimate Thanksgiving recipe finder

About this time each year I come across several posts for a food site’s new and/or improved holiday recipe finder. Each is organized a little differently, but the premise is the same: use your preferences, whether ingredient or nutrition or type of dish, and the magic of the “finder” will return the perfect recipe to you. This year is no exception Epicurious has a Thanksgiving recipe finder that is operates in an attractive graphical manner. You can select from a grouping of ingredients and types of dishes to winnow down to a select few dishes from the Epicurious library.

It’s cute because when you select one ingredient, any of the ingredients that are not linked to the first one fade away and you are told how many recipes include your selected ingredient. I did encounter a strange screen blinking issue when I attempted to select a dish type that may have just been a browser settings issue, but it did narrow the list of recipes down to a small (very, very small) number after I made my selections.

Of course I couldn’t help but judge it in comparison to the beast of a search engine we have here at Eat Your Books. And when placed in a head-to-head competition against the much broader filtering options and vastly wider array of ingredients, the Epicurious recipe finder looks like a child’s toy (sorry, Epi, we still love you!).

For example, when I selected Squash, the finder informed me that there were 32 recipes for squash. In the EYB Library (online recipes only) I selected ‘Thanksgiving’ under Occasions (8,742 recipes), and ‘Pumpkin and Squash’ under Ingredients, and was rewarded with 758 recipes. Even if I were to only include ‘winter squash’ I would have 429 options. What’s even better than having tons of options is the ability to exclude ingredients I do not want (there’s a picky eater in our house). I can remove all of the recipes that have Brussels sprouts (sigh).

This is only scratching the surface for ways I can further narrow my choices: by recipe type, ethnicity, meal course, or by typing in a selection that does not appear in the filters. I often use a favorite author’s name, magazine title, or website name to make the pool of recipes even more tailored.

I will still play around with other sites’ recipe finders because sometimes they have fun interfaces or other attributes that make them worth investigating. If I find something that interests me, I will check to see if it’s already in EYB and if not, I’ll add it so that I can find the recipe when I come back to the real ‘ultimate recipe finder’.

Photo of Holiday kuri squash and apple soup from Everyday Dorie at The Washington Post by Dorie Greenspan

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  • angrygreycat  on  November 15, 2019

    I sometimes peruse sites for ideas for different dishes and then search my books for something like that. I am committed to using my cookbook collection (even though it is certainly not as massive as many on here). For Thanksgiving sweet potato/yam recipes every year I use my Spoonbread and Strawberry Wine cookbook by the Darden sisters. Their sweet potato recipes are always a hit.

  • hillsboroks  on  November 15, 2019

    I was a dedicated Epicurious recipe searcher for nearly 20 years before I discovered EYB. Although I love EYB and the search options the one option that I used frequently on Epicurious that isn’t available here is cooking method. If I just wanted to search for recipes to grill salmon, it was great. But since so many recipes are already indexed and sorted on EYB I have always assumed that it would not be possible to add this feature.

  • Vanessa  on  November 15, 2019

    I tried the Epi finder. Cute, but sad. There’s only 509 total recipes for it to search!!

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