Newest Review: ... like to cook (curry; chilli etc...) and the do a search for that subject. The search engine has been laid out wonderfully, which is a goo... more
Anyone can shine in the kitchen thanks to this site!
Member Name: carl_lazarevic
Advantages: Goof food, easy to cook
Disadvantages: site is a little cluttered.
The day I got married was the day that I decided not to try and live on frozen food and takeout, but I faced something of a dilemma. I hadn't cooked since high school, and wasn't entirely sure I would remember how. Eventually deciding that I'd really like to try my hands at cooking things like curry and chilli from scratch I decided to search for some recipes. I found a few recipes on the BBC Good food website, and I have been using this site ever since.
Initially opening the website from its homepage however can be a bit of an overwhelming experience. The homepage is just so busy, with pictures appearing everywhere you care to look. There is a toolbar at the top of the page with links to various sections where you can find Seasonal recipes; healthy recipes, favourite recipes, and so much more. However with the abundance of pictures flying at you, and a wealth of supplementary articles on healthy eating and stuff, it is often hard to pick out one specific recipe that you'd like to try.
It is an easier site to manage if you decide in advance what you'd like to cook (curry; chilli etc...) and the do a search for that subject. The search engine has been laid out wonderfully, which is a good thing as this site has a lot of recipes. Search for curry for instance and you get over 200 recipes, but you can choose to order the search result according to how highly the recipes are rated by the other users. The site also informs you of how easy the recipe is to cook; how long it takes to cook, and includes pictures of the finished product so that you can choose something nice that you will be able to manage.
Selecting a recipe then brings you to a page that I find is laid out quite well. A fairly large picture of the dish shows you what it should end up looking like, and to the right of this picture is a list of ingredients that you will need to prepare. Scrolling down the picture is a step by step guide on how to cook the dish that is laid out in easily definable sections. The instructions for each dish are detailed enough (even telling you the exact number of minutes to do something) that cooking a fantastic meal becomes an attainable goal for even the least talented kitchen expert. Finally at the bottom of the instructions is the nutritional information that will be invaluable for both parents and dieters alike.
I would recommend reading the instructions through before you start though, as not every dish features preparation instructions and you will want to make sure each item is prepared before you start cooking!
If; after cooking something, you decide you like the dish then the site allows you to add it to a personalised binder for ease of use later. You can even set up set menus if you need, and share the recipes through Facebook by clicking on the buttons in this section. After that you can rate the recipe so that other users can get an accurate gauge of its quality.
A downside to this is that; while you can leave them, comments tend to be listed oldest to newest. So any comments you leave will end up on the back end of hundreds of comments, and will be unlikely to be read by anyone. I also disliked the fact that you had to scroll past all of the ads to get to the comments as this is a very ad heavy site. I was grateful that the ads were placed so as not to detract from the recipes, but they still tended to make the comment section look cluttered.
So with all of that out of the way you're no doubt wondering how good the food turned out to be? It is wonderful. I have cooked about 3 different curries; a chilli con carne; a paprika beef stew, and a wealth of other dishes. Some have been simpler than others, but all have been easy to cook and I've yet to try anything that I haven't liked. My favourite recipe is a chilli con carne that I do whenever we have guests, and even Vicky has discovered a paprika pork dish that she loves to cook. Ordinarily she hates to cook, so that gives you an idea about how simple these dishes can get.
I would highly recommend BBC Good Food despite the overly busy layout to the site. The dishes are healthy, easy, and tasty. Plus the ability to save recipes for future use has saved me needing to make a physical cook book. Most of the recipes are even quite cheap if you know where to by the ingredients in bulk, so it's overall worth doing even if you live a busy life. Some of the easier dishes take around 20 minutes and require minimal effort so there really is no reason to cook any other way again!
Summary: The dishes are healthy, easy, and tasty.