Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Show HN: I had issues organizing my favorite recipes, so I built this (feastgenius.com)
422 points by x86mitch on Oct 6, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 168 comments

My take was a little different; I wanted a CLI app that lets me search my recipes, put menus together, and then see views for shopping and cooking: https://github.com/cproctor/cookbook/

One thing I'm looking forward to adding is tagging recipe steps as do-ahead, mis en place, early, late, and last minute. This will make it a bit easier to think through the mental gantt chart I use when cooking a dinner composed of a bunch of dishes. Also a simple scraping utility for importing.

The thing all these have in common is that they're reactions against the festering cesspool of hostile-UI, low-information-density, pages full of affiliate links that are today's cooking sites. (NYT cooking very much excepted.)

I wish we had a better mechanism for including more people in the project of iteratively refining the way we think about life tasks and improving the tools we use to think with. I think this is a great conversation and wish more people who like to cook could participate.

(NYT cooking very much excepted.)

This is a consistently excellent resource, and I love the many small, essential bits of polish they've applied to their iOS app, like preventing your iPhone's screen from turning off when you're reading a recipe.

Everything I've seen from the NYT web team(s) has been stellar work.

I'm wondering if NYT has a tech blog. They seem like an excellent resource to model oneself.

Times Open — Sharing our stories of making digital products at The New York Times.


You may enjoy:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19221446 | Remembering a Programming Language that Helped Shape the Digital New York Times

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20877047 | 25 Years of New York Times Website Design History

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20940209 | New York Times Developer Portal

Cook's illustrated/ATK as well, if you have a subscription. The quality is superb.

Cook's Illustrated is great, their equipment reviews are top notch, and their sweet potato pie recipe is my goto every year. Although like NYT they made unsubscribing obnoxious.

Something I'm surprised I haven't seen mentioned is Serious Eats. J Kenji Lopez-Alt does some absolutely excellent recipes (hello Halal Cart Chicken & Rice).

The main thing that bugs me about CI is that I subscribe to their website and they still want me to buy an upgrade to access all the content. I get that there are subscription tiers but it just somehow feels a bit obnoxious to me.

Serious Eats is good too.

I used to use Epicurious quite a bit back when they were a pretty early-on serious website for recipes. But with the demise of Gourmet and other sites like the NYT upping their game, I don't consider them top-tier any longer.

I think really the most annoying thing is they try to brand themselves as having 3 distinct shows, websites, and books, but they're all the same people and company. Yet they make you buy a subscription for each separately.

As a business, the whole enterprise are really masters at repackaging and reusing to the point where it becomes more than a bit annoying. Though I like them overall and mostly more so since Kimball departed.

(Though, speaking of reuse, Kimball basically went and made an almost clone of CI that IMO was obnoxiously clode to a direct copy.)

While Kimball was kind of pompous, I like him much better as the host. Bridget and Julia just don't seem as fluid, and everything about the show feels more scripted. Although, I've watched milk Street as well, and bought the cookbook. I have to say, the quality of milk Street recipes is nowhere near that of America's test kitchen. I found the recipes to be bland and flavorless.

J kenji's origins are from America's test kitchen, so you see a lot of the same techniques be applied to his new stuff.

I'm amazed nobody's mentioned BBC Good Food yet, literally the only recipe site I use.

It is really that good.

I've been toying around with the design of a kitchen management program with a lot of overlap in functionality with your program, so that's very cool to see! One feature I had been really interested in having is a nice interface for a version controlled recipe. I want to be able experiment with a recipe and document results and personal preferences.

I ended up building my own solution to this problem too (though mine is not open to public)

The main thing I wanted to optimize was menu planning. So I wrote a genetic algorithm which will generate a menu, add the score, mutate the menu in some way, and iterate. In my database I have a rough price per ingredient, and my families enjoyment of the recipe (though I have kind of a lagging gradient which reduces the score per recipe to prevent duplication). I also have included in my algorithm what I call slots. So something like a lasagna will take 4 slots where as a stir fry will be 1 slot. I sync my schedule and break it down to slots. This allows the algorithm to fit the recipe to the time available. I dont score slots though otherwise short recipes always win.

Since the algorithm optimizes based on the week, but keeps a running inventory it's pretty good at maximizing my grocery bill and family enjoyment. My average grocery bill is between $40-$60 a week. And I cook 5 times a week.

I've done this as well using scraped recipes from a website that conveniently labeled all ingredients with data tags for their referral program.

Although my goal was to find recipes that shared ingredients to cut back on wastage. I used a constraint solver (https://developers.google.com/optimization) and asked it to produce 5 recipes requiring the minimum number of ingredients, and was rather amused that the first run included such classics as "boiled egg", "butter potato" and "toast".

That sounds like a fun project, where did you get the data from?

Don't really want to say because of legality of scraping, but it was a big one with convenient data attributes on the ingredient elements. Shouldn't be too hard to figure out.

C'mon now... talking about data attributes on a html element is not illegal.

allrecipes.com has data attributes on their ingredient list. seriouseats.com has css classes on their ingredients. those are two that i just checked on the spot.

I ended up building my own solution to this problem too (though mine is not open to public)

Me too, although I'm solving a different problem: organization. I'm not so concerned with cost or nutritional value. In the end I went with a somewhat simpler route: LaTeX (well xelatex). I built a couple document classes, one creates a letter sized document and one creates a 4x6 index card sized document. I used the former to concatenate all the recipes into a master PDF as well. This "master" PDF contains the recipes as well as indexes (by author, by ingredient).

I've tried tablets in the kitchen, but ultimately for me the most convenient thing was to just tape a printout onto a cabinet door and go from there.


You mind sharing? My home grown solution also focuses on generating physical documents, but I'm not so happy with my Markdown + custom formatting engine solution.

This sounds like something I would use if it were public. It would be awesome If I could swap recipes from the plan. For example, if I didn't feel like having stir fry I could swap it out for a meal with similar points.

I've thought about making it public, but it's highly optimized for me... also therea no gui. It's just a command line app in python. I could make it open source though. It would be neat to see how other people modify it.

Agree with the others, please consider making this open source. Would love to use and contribute to it!

Maybe find some people from this list that you can try to present with a private alpha version - no polish no bells and whistles - less than an mvp. See what happens from there.


kudos! i got similar problems with optimizing recipes & groceries, but i never got past google keep and apple reminder.

anyway, a word of caution about open sourcing. people are quick to scream that you make the source available. but what about this? an article/blog describing in more details how you solved the problem instead? few people ever ask that.

what i saw with open source is, once you put the code out there, people will start requesting features, making you carry the burden of maintenance, etc. but ofc there are good things too. i just haven't seen it with small niche projects.

my 2 cents.

I would love to see it even if only to see how that algorithm works.

I would also love to see it ! Please make it opensource if you can, thanks

Please make it open source if possible. I would love to be able to use it.

Would love to see it. Please reach out to me if you do open source it.

Add me to the list of interested parties. :-)

I'm interested as well!

I've a different take. I use a voice diary app that I built (originally for hiking trips) - I take a picture of the ingredients, then record the cooking instructions, and replay this when cooking (the picture shows as background when you play the recording). I add notes about the ingredients, or tags to the recording.

It's easier for me to "listen" to a recipe and pause as needed, vs. to look it up. It's a more casual approach though - no constraint optimisation, or anything like this, but I find it works great for me. Also I can share a recipe this way with someone else by just sharing the recording p2p.

Sounds like https://www.eatthismuch.com/ but with a different algorithm

Would also love to check out an open source version.

I have been thinking about building something like this also. I work from home and so I open the fridge throughout the day for 3 meals, snack, lunch for kids etc.

And I noticed how much is thrown out despite attempts to not do so, because different items have different shelf life.

Wow this looks like an app i could pay for. How do you score the candidates ? Manually ? How do you not end up with the same reciepies recommended all over again, i.e, do you always use a new mutation to try ?

How many people can you feed on $60 a week? Is this in the USA?

I live in MA. This is for 2 adults, 1 4-year-old, 1 almost 2-year-old. I should mention, this price does not include the cost of lunches (The school provides lunch, my wife buys lunch at work, and I usually snack throughout the day instead of eating lunch). Next, I don't buy processed or pre-made foods. So I'll snack on nuts instead of chips. It started as a health thing (they're always filled with sugar, and stuff) but i've found it's also saves a bunch of money. I make my own stocks, and sauces. I cook a lot of chicken, and usually I'll buy bone-in thighs. It started as a flavor thing (I find breast meat flavorless) but it's super cost effective. A family pack costs $.99 a pound, so for less than $5 I can get 2 meals worth of chicken, some bones for stock, and some fat for schmaltz. The rest of the savings come from efficiency. My program groups like ingredients, so I have less waste. A cart full of fresh vegetables, some dairy products, a couple family sized proteins, the occasional staple, and a few bonus treats for the kids is super cheap.

My bill also doesn't include alcohol. I've given up drinking mostly to boost my night-time productivity, but I'll buy wine in bulk which I mostly use for cooking, though I might have a glass with dinner.

You can feed a family of 4 on $60/week in the USA. Especially if you buy staples and raw ingredients and cook everything from scratch.

Rice, flour, beans, lentils, etc should be the bulk of your staples. They are also dirt cheap. Remainder of the money can be used on fresh vegetables.

I would love to use something like this, sounds incredible.

Some Background:

Within the last year, I started down the route of eating out less and being more conscientious of what I was cooking. Google searches are a pretty good resource for finding recipes with one caveat, you can't store the recipes. I would save my favorites to a folder in my browser, but eventually, that folder became 120+ recipes links and ver time consuming to filter through when I wanted to make something.

I built FeastGenius to solve the problem of finding and organizing all those recipes. With the site, you can do the following.

- Add your own recipes.

- "Clip" recipes from anywhere on the web.

- Find a recipe on the site you like? You can save it to your profile so you can easily find it later.

- Organize recipes into collections and share them with anyone.

- Search from 20,000+ recipes.

    - plus filter by calories or macros (if your an iifym nerd like me).
- Find the top trending recipes added to the site.

    - Since I'm on reddit way too much I thought it would be fun to use the same algorithm they do for 
      organizing trending posts.
I would love to hear the feedback from the hackernews community. I'll take the suggestions into consideration as I continue to build.

Some feedback - Clicked on a random soup recipe, it gave a photo, the ingredient list, but for the instructions it wanted me to go to some other site. This is inconvenient and it also carries a real rick of losing the recipe if the external link 404-s (see the LuckyPeach fiasco, for example).

I realize there might be some copyright issues, but for me, as a user, they don't exist when I copy recipes to my own private collection, so I would expect any online version of it to behave the same way. It needs to keep full versions of every recipe and an optional "source" link.

I'm not interested in calorie counting as a central feature, so the way the site functions right now is not dramatically better than just keeping a plain bookmark list.

EDIT - I can formalize my main gripe now.

Above, you describe the site as a way to _organize my recipes_, where in reality it's more of community _index_ of recipe _links_ with some diet-oriented extras. That's the main issue. It doesn't actually do well what you describe at the top, but it does well some other thing that's mentioned at the bottom.

This is a clever website! I like it. One thing that would be nice is letting members directly download some sort of collection / list- preferably with formatting- so that if your site ever goes poof everyone doesn't lose all their data.

That being said, I do like this idea, and will see if I can introduce my mom to the site in a bit.

How do you intend to keep this site alive long-term?

I appreciate the feedback. I'll add it to my list of things to do in the next version of updates. How would you like to get that information, in csv format or something else?

> How do you intend to keep this site alive long-term? Currently, the site is being hosted on Heroku so I can scale it as needed. I'll likely move it to AWS in the nearish future, but for now, Heroku is doing the trick. As far as longevity goes I do daily DB backups so in the case of an issue I can do a restore. If the site picks up in popularity I could also move to doing hourly backups.

Depending on how you're sourcing the recipes, a simple HTML-to-markdown conversion might work.

Here's one that I found but there are quite a few out there:


A quick look makes it seem like the website is mostly just a stripped down version of Yummly, what sets it apart?

Cool! Will check it out and see if it defeats my own system. Also great you started cooking yourself. It is a great way to relax and be creative. Hard work pays off afterwards:) Ill write down my way of working, hopefully it inspires you.

My current system is: when i have found and tested a good recipe, i copy/paste it into an email and email to myself, with a headline prefixed with “recipe”, for example “recipe: soto ayam”. Copy pasting recipes is important, as websites blog posts disappear quite often.

Email is always with me, gmail has a very good search engine. Content is free form.

Usually i can just copy/paste (missing) ingredients into the google keep list i share, for groceries, with my better half.

Additionally i can share recipes with her by mailing them, although sharing links would be more convenient.

Will try it out later this week when i probably come up with a never before tried recipe.

The website looks great, love the design and categories.

> "Clip" recipes from anywhere on the web.

I always wondered if recipes would be, like most content, copyrighted. Have you looked into this?

Also, did you try using pen and paper? This sounds silly but when I am fasting, I am get cranky. Writing it down helped me stay focused and not give my self yet another excuse to break the fast.

Edit: Formatting.

you are absolutely correct, the instructions for a recipe can be copyrighted. If you use the app you'll notice that when a recipe is clipped, in order to see the instructions you will get directed to the original recipe. I want to do right by creators and make sure they get the full credit deserved. What the app is concerned with is the ingredients(which is not copyrighted). I can use that for calculating the nutritional content.

Is there a library you use for the clipping, or do you have to write a custom piece of code for each site you can clip from?

Thanks for building this. Funny enough I had a very similar idea last night :) Currently just store recipes in my notes app but its less than ideal

Adding recipes into my notebook was the origin of this site. I would write out the ingredients and then look up the nutrition content for each one. So the purpose of feastgenius is to automate that :)

I tried a few similar sites recently and settled on Paprika[1]. Not a big fan of their pricing plan (pay per client) but they work OK otherwise and I think they're probably the most popular in the space.

How would you compare your service to theirs?

[1] https://www.paprikaapp.com/

I use Paprika as well. The most useful feature is that I can add a bunch of recipes to the calendar for a week, and then auto generate a grocery list synced to my phone. You can also easily scale the ingredients. I have a couple of friends who use it and say it clips recipes in foreign languages pretty well (but no ingredient scaling).

There have been a lot of apps in this space which were better but also subsequently abandoned by the developers. Almost all of my friends switched over to Paprika because they got tired of switching again and again.

Paprika has a really nice web clipping feature. Enter a URL, and it extracts the recipe, separating out the ingredients list from the instructions. It will even extract recipe from the comments in Reddit threads. I'll be walking through the OP's site for interesting recipes, and clipping them with Paprika.

Cheftap has this as well, and it works great. Rarely you have to edit it to fix something, since most of the time it pulls it from any website properly.

I have not used paprika myself so unfortunately I cannot comment. But if there are any features that you would like me to focus on for the next updates of feastgenius let me know and I will work them in.

I think the biggest feature for most people is that they don't want it to dissapear after 10 years. Many people put a lot of work into their recipe collection and wants it to be available for the kids when they grow up.

Cool project, I love that you can search by macros. A few points:

1. Clipping recipes from different websites can be quite challenging because of the varying html structures. I recently tackled this problem and I'm curious what method you used to find recipe content within an html page? I ended up checking to see if the website followed a Recipe schema [1] and if not use a mix of heuristics to try identifying if a line of text was an ingredient. I also was considering using machine learning in there, but couldn't figure out a good way to incorporate it.

2. Is there a reason you don't include the instructions of the recipe on your website?

Awesome to see some fresh sites in this space. I built Saffron [2] which is focused on organizing your recipes into digital cookbooks.

[1] https://schema.org/Recipe

[2] https://www.mysaffronapp.com/

For this project, I used Spoonaculars API for clipping recipes. I would be very interested in creating my own, similar to what you did. That would give me more control over the process. Did you come across any open source repos when you worked on your crawler?

> Is there a reason you don't include the instructions of the recipe on your website?

Yes, when users clip recipes from another source I want to make sure that users need to navigate back to the original page to see the instructions. This is to ensure the original author gets credit for it. If a user adds a recipe themselves to the site then it will show the instructions. Here is an example of a recipe with instructions for demo purposes, https://www.feastgenius.com/recipes/everything-nice-jerk-chi....

I didn't find any good open source options

I couldn't find any info on how much saffron costs to use?

It's currently free and will stay free for those who signup now.

I'm working on adding a $5/month subscription.

I quite like this - I have one suggestion though. Please convert between US measurements and metric. I much prefer metric and for this reason tend to stick to UK/European websites - but occasionally there will be something on a US website I want to try - having to go through and convert is a chore.

It would also be great to be able to save known substitutions - like sometimes I have to use plain flour and baking powder rather than self-raising because it's what I have in the cupboard.

Speaking as an American, US measurements drive me crazy, especially in baking where packing density can throw things off. I have a coffee scale that is accurate to 0.1 grams and it makes it _so_ much easier to measure everything out.

Having a sliding scale for the number of people you intend to serve would also boost the usability of the site.

Chiming in as another American who prefers metric measurements in the kitchen.

I do a lot of baking (mostly things made of sourdough) and always appreciated that King Arthur offers the conversion on their recipes; So much so that I'll generally check there first. When I'm working out a new recipe from multiple different ones, I convert them all to metric in my own version.

I think the only thing I don't use metric for is <= half a teaspoon, because the measuring spoon is far more efficient than trying to measure out 2g on a kitchen scale that has a minimum of ~2g. And it seems silly to me to break out the scientific scale for a 1/2 tsp of whatever.

Volume conversion to grams would be great for automation. I love how much less dishes there is when you can use the scale for everything. Just zero the scale and pour in flour. Zero again for the butter and so on.

Definitely - I currently do this by having a notebook where I write down conversions, having worked them out on a calculator. Being able to do this automatically would rock.

Is it possible to promote some kind of consistency in measuring? My wife disregards a lot of American cooking sites (am based in Australia) because the conversion of cups/teaspoons etc is sometimes open to interpretation and can lead to a disaster.

I cannot understand how anyone puts up with measuring stuff by volume (other than liquids). 1 cup of flour is a hugely variable amount depending on how compressed it is. Don't even get me started on heaped cups. For baking in particular where everything needs to be very precise, it's bonkers to see recipes without weight measurements.

In the US a kitchen scale is a relatively uncommon piece of equipment. I own one, but that's primarily to service what some might call an unhealthy obsession with coffee. Thinking through the kitchens of friends and family, I can only think of one other that is similarly equipped. And that friend shares my coffee hobby.

Some of these friends without scales bake quite a lot, and do a very good job of it. I guess they're doing it on "hard mode" but they acquit themselves very well.

There are "official" ways to fill cups that reduce the variance a bit but you are right. Humidity, pressure and temperature also affect volume more than weight and can throw off a recipe. Plus, scales are O(1) while cups are closer to O(n) (maybe O(log n) if you have many different sizes of cups... and are willing to clean them all...)

Cue all the Americans(who have much bigger kitchens on average) explaining why scales are unnecessary and cups are the one true way.

It's really just a non-issue. Flour could be compressed, but its not really in reality. The minor differences really don't matter much. Of course you can also sift it, which will not only help if it was somehow really heavily compressed but also breaks up clumps.

It's open to interpretation? Not that it's an ideal measuring system, but all those units should have unambiguous metric equivalents.

I believe the suggestion is that many recipes with metric measurements will use grams (measuring mass), while most American recipes use cups/tablespoons/etc. (measuring volume). I've noticed this and have no idea why it's the case.

Tangential rant:

The publishing industry pushes more and more cookbooks every year, and between traditional cookbooks and more recent YouTube channels, most recipes are much more fantasy entertainment than serious attempts at trying to get people to take more control over how their food is made.

The problem is that cookbook recipes distort the flow of food preparation:

Find an appealing recipe -> look up the necessary ingredients -> buy the ingredients -> take the ingredients home and make the recipe

This motivates people to purchase ingredients which are not in season, i.e. purchasing tomatoes to make tomato salad when tomatoes are not in season. This generates demand for produce which is lacking in flavor and nutrition, with an outsize environmental impact due to being shipped thousands of miles[1].

The proper flow is to go to a local farmer's market -> buy what is local and in-season (with a side benefit that it will be cheap, since the farmer has little control over the date of harvest and everything has to be sold before it rots) and in great quantities -> figure out how to make it once you get home, taking advantage of other produce which is in season, fresh ingredients which are available all year round (i.e. meat, dairy, eggs), and shelf-stable pantry staples.

This flow yields food which is simultaneously tastier and more affordable - but you have to learn how to cook as an independent life skill, and not constantly rely upon recipes.

[1] See e.g. https://www.amazon.com/Tomatoland-Industrial-Agriculture-Des...

Depends where you live , there is no local farmer's market here, if we drive there the affordable part of the equation disappears. Some local grown things are available , like mushrooms and they seem to be in season all year. The best and freshest tomatoes have flown a minimum of 10 hours from where they happen to be in season. So , while I agree with your proper flow , the reality is you eat whatever is available near you nevermind where it comes from.

What kind of solutions do you think are possible for this issue? I can totally see your point, but I am unsure how to fix it for a person who really isn't interested in learning tons of recipes for each season.

I think the first flow is still fine, but maybe should just include going local and buying in-season items.

Knowing what you eat is important but I can understand why people are drawn to the easiness of a cookbook filled with recipes from any season.

It's not about learning recipes, it's about learning cooking as a matter of technique - everything from knife skills to the correct temperature for burners (high for boiling water, medium for bringing oil up to temperature, low for simmering sauces) to how to salt and season food for taste. These are simple skills which are generally not covered in recipes (due to their generic applicability) and, honestly, should be taught in high school as part of a home economics course.

A reverse cookbook app, I have these ingredients, what can I make?

Dieticians of Canada released a website and mobile app that does this. I use it from time-to-time: https://www.cookspiration.com/

Edit: the site seems to work differently than the app. You can search by ingredient in the app.

IMO a better choice would be a cookbook app where you input a rough location & it takes that and the date to determine what's in season, then lists recipes using the probably-available ingredients. The "normal" flow (figure out what you're making, get the parts, make the thing) is preserved, you just do it with in-season ingredients.

> but you have to learn how to cook as an independent life skill, and not constantly rely upon recipes

But don't you have to start by looking at recipes before you have fully acquired this skill? It's not like anyone is born with the ability to know what temperature to cook things at.

Recipes alone are not good for that, you need a systematic course. That, and the fact that most recipe sources try to be interesting, not just "basic pancakes".

Nah, you could totally rely upon recipes and shop only for in season stuff. It'd be trivially easy to if somebody made a seasonally organized cookbook. Getting local only is a little harder, but still not terrible, especially in the digital age.

Apparently the motivation behind creating Elasticsearch was also organizing recipes.


TIL. It's funny because one of my motivations for building this site was to have a project that allowed me to work with ElasticSearch.

Pretty happy user of anylist[1] here: contains all my recipes, when I go to the shop I just select a few recipes and have a shopping list.

[1]: https://www.anylist.com/

I haven't used the recipe feature yet, but AnyList is my go-to grocery list app. Big fan of rearrangeable aisles, preferred stores for items, and the ability to check off items in real-time on two devices in-store.

Same here, it's met my needs pretty perfectly: Fast, good search, plenty of categorization options, absolutely excellent grocery store list integration with recipes, and bookmarklet to save recipes I find online.

I never quite liked the traditional way of how recipes are written. Ingredient list followed by instructions. I hate it when I get to a point in the instructions like "add the eggs" and now I have to check the entire list of ingredients to see how many eggs the instruction refers to. It's a pointless indirection.

What I do is what I call inline recipes. It's just the instructions, but whenever an ingredients is mentioned, it also has the amount. E. g. "add two eggs". Every amount+ingredient is underlined in red. That way I can skim over the recipe easily when I'm preparing my shopping list.

Great work. I love coming across projects like these. Inspires me to "hack" and generally maintains my enthusiasm when the job doesn't.

A suggestion: - remove the delayed image zoom when hovering over a recipe. It's a bit jarring and it makes the webapp feel slow when it isn't. I'd explore another way to display the information or just remove the delay entirely.

Thanks for the kind words. This indeed was a hack project that I would work on in front of the TV when I had time after work. It feels good to have it in a somewhat "showoff-able" state. I think what made me stick to this project as opposed to the number of other ones I've given up on is that this was something I was using throughout the entire development. So I've been building something that I want to use. To your comment on the animation delay, I agree with you. I'll remove it in the next few days in favor of a better way to display the information.

The main problem I’ve had with recipe sites is that phones and tablets do not mix well with kitchens. I end up printing everything out anyway and then no matter how organised it is online, I end up with a pile of paper. The paper gets wet and the ink runs in critical places.

Anyone got a solution to that one?

(Edited for long sentence)

I tried mightily to go all digital with recipes, but ultimately I went back to 3” x 5” lined note cards with optimally abbreviated instructions and measurements. I use small magnets to attach them to the vent-hood over the stove to keep them from becoming sullied. Using the refrigerator any other magnetic surface obviously works equally well. All the recipes are stored in an easily accessible wooden box that was handed down to me by my grandmother. I find this to be the best solution.

I have a tablet in my kitchen but I tend to end up with paper because I can easily scrawl notes on it.

Basically, I keep one binder with my go to recipes and then have a mostly disorganized pile of paper. Also keep recipe bookmarks on pinboard and post-its in various cookbooks. Aside from that master binder, it's all pretty disorganized but that tends to be how I work in general :-)

fix a small monitor in your kitchen and add leap motion controller (https://www.leapmotion.com/where-to-buy/us/)

I have not tried it but it should solve your problem

Get a laminator?


You might want to add/move up reporting to the feature list -- this recipe is currently on the front page.

Nice work.

Since you've got this far I'll tell you about an idea I've had in the back of my mind for years:

1) Slurp in as many recipes as possible from the internet.

2) Create a way to build a Food Framework by having a whitelist, and/or black list of ingredients.

So, for example, a great way to eat if you have diabetes is plant based low fat.

In this case you could create that Food Framework by whitelisting all vegetables and grains.

Or let's say you wanted a paleo diet, then you could blacklist grains.

Or vegan, blacklist meat, dairy, eggs, etc.

Or no peanuts (for allergies etc)

3) Save your Food Framework and then the site only shows recipes based on that framework.

I like the idea because

1) It can appeal to lots of niche groups who don't have great options for something like that.

2) If you stick to the right food framework for you it could help you get healthy, loose weight, etc.

Anyway, great work. Features you have there are great already.

@swsieber @matthuggins @x86mitch (and any one else)

If you sign up to https://nugget.one/ideas (free account) you'll be able to get instant access to this nugget:

Nugget #72: Tool to design custom nutrition plans


That has quite a lot of research and information about all of this.

Sounds like the app I'm building now. :)

Some brand ideas I had.

Either if you (x86mitch / matthuggins) are welcome to them if of interest:

Nutrition Works


Nutrition Engine


Awesome! If you want to chat feel free to reach out to me. There are some really good api's out there to help speed up the process.

I'm also working on something like that for myself (because of a colicky baby and hearing that low FODMAP diets help). Right now I have basic schema.org recipe ingestion working.

I'd be interested in chatting about it, but you dont have any contact info listed in your profile.

Also working on some NLP and ML for parsing recipes at bite.ai so would love to chat as well.

if you're using schema.org there's a nice filtered data dump from the common crawl available here:


Oh man. This is such a great resource. I wish I could give you multiple upvotes. Thanks for sharing!

This is neat!

When I was eating keto, I got frustrated with how bad the search functionality was on all the keto blogs, so I made a similar tool It's a keto recipe searcher/aggregator:


During this, I ended up going down a long rabbit hole trying to figure out how to parse recipe ingredients properly, and eventually spun off a separate ingredient parsing service:

https://zestfuldata.com (the service)

https://mtlynch.io/resurrecting-1/ (a 3-part blog series on how I built it)

OP - if you're interested in adding ingredient parsing to the site, I'd be happy to work with you.

Zestful looks awesome! I'll take the chance to look into it more over the next few days. But looks like something that I would benefit from using :)

For those who are price sensitive like me but want all our macros; my personal app also scrapes the flyer for local grocery stores for ingredient prices and runs a knapsack algo to reach my cost threshold and tells me what things I can make

If anyone is interested in building a similar site themselves, there is a static site theme for hugo[0] and jekyll[1] called chowdown. They both use the Recipe schema[2] so importing and exporting recipes is easier.




This looks pretty cool. I have been using a more pen and paper type method. If I find a recipe I want to make, I will print it out. As I am making it, I will note an adjustments I make.

If the family likes it, I will do a reflection on any further adjustments. Finally I copy it into a hard bound book with lined pages.

I don’t add too often to this book as the initial filtering keeps average recipes off.

I usually save the recipe from the site directly instead of bookmarking it. I've been burned a few times by a few of the big, spammy recipe sites (Allrecipes, etc.) when they've taken a recipe down. No idea why, but all it did was reduce my visits to their site from a few times per month to zero.

I like that you decided to not force users to connect to a social login, but I would have liked the option. Not a problem for me as I use a password manager, but having that convenience would be nice.

Also, I registered an account with my email address but it never asked to validate my email address, it just created it.

This is really awesome! I'm building something similar, but more focused on weekly meal planning and weight loss. It's kind of amazing to me how many people in this thread have all created their own systems for managing food/recipes/meal plans.

This looks pretty nice. Is it only available as-a-service? I'm not satisfied with the recipe server I'm currently using, and would love to entertain an alternative (writing my own is about 30th on my to-do list).

This site on a 24" 2560x1440 display feels like I'm using binoculars to browse it: https://i.imgur.com/bCDCDah.png

Another wish would be able to export (email) to my kindle. Using a normal device is kind of a pain but I can let my kindle keep the screen on for a long time and it's readable even at a bad angle.

FINALLY, a recipe site, which is not drowning in ads! How refreshing.

This is interesting but I just use my bookmark manager Bookmark OS for organizing recipes https://bookmarkos.com

Ha. I started working on something similar recently. Many of the current sites are hard to use, so it seems the space could use some fresh contenders.

So kudos, it looks nice - I hope you find success.

Thank you! I think theres a lot of improvement that can be done in the space. Reach out to me if you want any advice on helpful api's I came across when building feastgenius. I'll be more than happy to chat :)

How is this different then the app/website CopyMeThat? I use that app all the time on my ipad to save recipes from random sites to my own "recipe book"

I've never used CopyMeThat but I just looked through it quickly. It looks like a good app for solving a similar problem that feastgenius is solving. I think the difference with what I built is that it also calculates the nutrition content per serving. This was important for me personally because I use the app to search for recipes in certain macros ranges. For example, Finding chicken recipes in a macro range of (carbs:30-50, protein:20-40, fat:10-20). The search for feastgenius was built on top of elasticseach and in the near future I'll be building out more features based around really robust searching. I'll also be focusing time on building features for discovering new recipes. I hope that answers the question :)

Thanks for the great reply! Question: Answered!

Looks great! Personally I just use a markdown file and a bash script to find and log recipes. Helps keep it offline when I need it and make quick edits to recipes.

Very nice app. I built something much cruder in HyperCard when I was 7 and it is nice to see something with modern UX (and color photos). Well done.

Why are you not using Google's Rich Snippets for individual recipes? It will not only help to get more traffic but also to rank better.

Thank you for pointing this out. I was not even aware of rich snippets. I'll update the site to use this formatting as soon as I can.

Is there any app/website that allows you to put what ingridients you have, and shows you what recipes can you make with that?

There's several sites like that. I've used Supercook

Very cool, a similar site I use is: https://onetsp.com.

How do you obtain the macros? Via API to MyFitnessPal or a similar service? How do you make sure macros are accurate?

I'm frequently frustrated at how unoptimized meal planning and preparation is. Glad to see work in this space.

Looks pretty neat. One thing that could be useful would be to able swap between metric/freedom units.

Nice tool, I'd love to try it. Is your sign-up broken? It just comes back with an empty red alert.

People hijacking the thread with their own program without even commenting on the submission. Nice.

I would use this if you had a category/filter for plant based recipes.

I use eatyourbooks.com

Nice, What did you use to make it? backend/frontend?

Did you use any UI or CSS framework for this look?

️exactly. I don't have a lot of talent when it comes to front end design. Having Material kit as a starting point was a huge help for me.

Thanks for this! I could really use it.

I don't know how anyone can follow a recipe which use "cup" as a unit of measurement.

Did you try using google keep? Works really well for this kind of stuff ;)

This looks like a copyright nightmare.

I don't know exactly what you mean, but recipes cannot be copyrighted in many jurisdictions. Images are of course a different matter.

A while ago, I tried using various recipe apps. Then decided to build my own. While sketching what I wanted I realized everything I tried to come up with was overkill. There's a reason grandma uses a card file for storing her recipes. But, I still wanted something on the computer. So, I just use a wiki hosted on my server. I have a page that keeps bulleted wiki links to recipes for each day of the week, for months and months. I also store the shopping list. I can recycle a weekly meal plan just by copying and pasting it under the new date. So easy and I can plan meals for the week in just a few moments. The recipes are super easy to read on phone, tablet, computer or even printed out.

For meal planning:

---- ===== October 05, 2019 =====

* [[recipe:recipes|recipe]]

* [[recipe:recipes|recipe]]

* [[recipe:recipes|recipe]]

* [[recipe:recipes|recipe]]

* [[recipe:recipes|recipe]]

== Shopping List ==

  * [[ShoppingList10052019:shopping_lists|Shopping List]]

===== September 28, 2019 =====

* [[recipe:recipes|recipe]]

* [[recipe:recipes|recipe]]

* [[recipe:recipes|recipe]]

* [[recipe:recipes|recipe]]

* [[recipe:recipes|recipe]]

== Shopping List ==

  * [[ShoppingList09282019:shopping_list|Shopping List]]

For Recipes:

====== Broccoli and Cheese soup ======

====== Ingredients ======

  *     1 tablespoon butter

  *     1/2 onion, chopped

  *     1/4 cup melted butter

  *     1/4 cup flour

  *     2 cups milk

  *     2 cups chicken stock

  *     1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped broccoli florets

  *     1 cup matchstick-cut carrots

  *     1 stalk celery, thinly sliced

  *     2 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

  *     salt and ground black pepper to taste
====== Directions ======

  -     Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion in hot butter until translucent, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

  -     Whisk 1/4 cup melted butter and flour together in a large saucepan over medium-low heat; cook until flour loses it's granular texture, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk if necessary to keep the flour from burning, 3 to 4 minutes.

  -     Gradually pour milk into flour mixture while whisking constantly. Stir chicken stock into milk mixture. Bring to a simmer; cook until flour taste is gone and mixture is thickened, about 20 minutes. Add broccoli, carrots, sauteed onion, and celery; simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

  -     Stir Cheddar cheese into vegetable mixture until cheese melts. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Super simple and it works really well for me.


This comment breaks both the Show HN guidelines and the site guidelines. Would you please read them and follow the rules when posting here? It's important not to poison the threads like this.



Hey cryptica. The intention of this post was not to "raise money from investors" (the service is free and I have no plans to monetize it so it would be a terrible investment). The intention was to show off something I've been working on in my free time. The project did indeed start because I had issues filtering through all the saved recipes in my browser's bookmarks.

Has it been going a while, possibly under another name?

I tried to log in and was told my email address had already used the service, and sure enough, a password reset had me logged in. I have no recollection of using it, so it may have been some time ago.

I like it. It doesn't quite scratch my itch, but it looks a useful tool.

thats funny, ya I renamed it from recipepoodle.

Looks useful! Here's the previous launch post, if anyone is interested:


Yet another asshole comment on HN. How about being supportive of new endeavors? Nobody got anywhere without a little self promotion.

The "Show HN" post is allowed and encouraged [1], it's shame that we always see comments like that here.

[1]: https://news.ycombinator.com/showhn.html

Not always, or even close to most of the time—but the poisonous comments unfortunately stand out so much that they loom large in one's impression of these threads.

As I recall, Apache Lucene, which powers elastic search, was written so its author could organize recipes as well. I guess some people just like to cook :)

This is not the kind of comment I expect to see on HN

Normally I'd say you're being too cynical, but in this case it really does look like little more than a recipes-only (social?) bookmarking service.

At its core that mostly what it is. The project forced me to get out of my comfort zone as a programmer. I picked up 2 new language/frameoworks (rails and angular), had to learn about building infrastructure on top of aws, deep dived into elasticsearch and then pollish everything enough to get it to a "showoff-able"(word?) state.

Cool! Good for you.

I think the reactions you're getting are likely focusing on this project as a useful product or a business, not a coding exercise.

Because it's well-trod territory, with existing products that have been around for years, you're probably seeing more negativity than you would have if we all knew this was a learning project.

That said, not every step of every coder's learning process is broadly interesting to a community of people who have been programming for decades in some cases.

Usually these kinds of posts are better received when they come as a blog post about what the person's background is, what they were trying to learn, and how they felt about using those tools for the first time.

Everyone should learn to code, but not everyone should bother showing it off, apparently. /s

I mean, even if it is like you are saying "He wants to raise money" what of it ? if it is a cool idea and it helps people then by all means good luck! Don't be jealous !

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact