Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Just in time for L.U.N.C.H.

A suprising number of you use the pantry! For the uninitiated: basically you list out what you've got on hand and store it on Snacksby and everything is nice and neat and saved and perfect.

But not always as perfect as it could be.

Enter completion badges! Now whenever you are logged in and visit a recipe page, you get a nice little badge, like so

that lets you know how close you are to making the recipe! Sure, it only works all that well if you keep your pantry up to date, but I've only been using it for 20 minutes and I already like how it gives me a quick overview of my options!

Future plans along this route would probably be: automatically showing this when you're browsing recipes a la search-by-ingredient-list and highlighting what you have/don't have on the recipe page (Get out your fancy pants!). It also doesn't work with synonyms or substitutions just yet, but c'mon, cut us a break. We're workaholics enough for you kids already.

So yeah. Hopefully you dig that!

Friday, February 16, 2007

feeds and callouts


Yeah, that probably isn't very important to you. But hey, I like people adding recipes, so it comes first.

Age-old technologies, like visiting webpages. What do we want? RSS! When do we want it? In the next paragraph! is the location of our very first and most excellent RSS feed for freshly minted recipes. I haven't linked it on the main site yet, (a) because it's after 5 on a friday, and (b) because maybe it might end up being kind of broken and I'll need you to tell me if it is!

If you'd like to do other neat things, you can always kick it like this: for a feed of marchdoe's recipes! for a feed of any recipes involving coconut milk! for a feed of any recipes tagged with vegetarian!

THIS IS MONUMENTAL AND WILL ONLY GET BIGGER, MY FRIENDS. ALSO: BETTER. ALSO: let me know if they break. they update every half-hour, although we all know that's way more frequent than it needs to be.

Friday, February 09, 2007

power to zee people

You people out there - I've looked in through your narrowed eyes, into your dark souls, I know what you hunger for.

Social networking stuff.

And a journal of a thousand miles starts with a single feature release: shared recipe lists! Now you can see what recipes a person has saved! Not enough privacy, you say? If you'd like to keep all of your lamb curries hidden from your thinking feeling friends, no worries, you can always go into your recipe box and uncheck the share this list box. Easy as imaginary pie!

Go forth! Make swoon-worthy recipe lists! (mine are pretty lame right now.)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

buddha's delight

Rumor has it I'm a vegetarian, and once upon a time I lived with a vegan. Cooking was a character-building experience! Another rumor has it that when I'm scrolling through a list of ten thousand different recipes I don't want to have to read through eighty tags what I can make for who.

And so we fixed that.

Now when you're rolling around Snacksby you'll get a little icon next to the name of anything that's tagged as vegan or vegetarian ! Sure, this relies on you characters out there to accurately add the 'vegetarian' or 'vegan' tag to recipes*, but in the eternal wisdom of not only George Michael but also Limp Bizkit, we've gotta have faith.


*do this! please!

Monday, February 05, 2007

bring out your pens

Courges and courgettes, today I am pleased to announce: SHOPPING LISTS ARE BETTER. Now you can have them subtract out what you've got in your pantry so you don't have to spend forever doing editing work!

Now, we all might know about the normal shopping list, where you click and say "add to shopping list" and stuff like that. What you might not know about is that your recipe box holds special shopping lists just for a set of recipes. How does it work? Let's have a little review!

  1. Add some recipes to your recipe box - Visit a recipe page, like Beef, Orange and Gorgonzola Sandwiches (which is notable for lacking gorgonzola). Click Save to Recipe Box up by the top. Repeat this for a few other recipes you're thinking of making this week!

  2. Visit your recipe box - It's right over here. When you put your mouse over the area by a recipe, you'll notice two things. First, the text next to it turns yellow and highlighted. Click it and then you can add a note to the recipe - I have 'make this vegetarian!!!' by those beef sandwiches. Next, if you go outside of that a little your mouse turns into a four-pointed arrow. Click the mouse and hold it down, and drag the recipe down under 'new list.' Voila! You're starting a new list! After you've dragged your recipes where you want them, click the 'new list' title and rename the area.

  3. Get the shopping list! - Under each list there is a button that says "Get a shopping list for...". CLICK IT! You'll see a list of all of the ingredients in the recipe. Snacksby tried hard to add them up correctly, but sometimes it's a little off (like if we don't know how many cups of watermelon is a pound).

  4. Get the BETTER shopping list - Have you filled out your pantry yet? It's an easy way to let the site know what you've got on hand so that you don't always have to type it in! Once you've done that, you can click "remove items in your pantry from this list" and Snacksby will draw a line through all of the ingredients you've already got, and if you have 4 carrots in your pantry and you need 6, it will update the list to say you only need 2! INCREDIBLE!!!

Whew! And, of course, if you don't want to go through all of those steps you can always just hit "Add to shopping list" up at the top of any recipe page and it will add the recipe to your main shopping list. But now, basically, you can pick the recipes you'd like to make for a week, and easily go to the grocery store and buy exactly what you need, easily!

So that's the story about what's new. And how did this happen? Because people filled out the survey! If you've got any ideas, just bounce on over there and let us know, and we'll stick them in the on-the-way list!

(Oh, and if you don't like the fact that the ingredients that got removed are just crossed out instead of totally deleted, complain a tiny bit and I'll add in a button to take them off of thet list for you.)

We got mentioned on Lifehacker today by a kind kind user, in response to a story about a service called The Six O'Clock Scramble, where you pay $60/year or so to get shipped a set of menus for the week as well as a shopping list. Sounds keen to me! But can you pick the recipes? Can you plan for vegetarians? Does it know what you've already got lying around? Not so much! I know a lot of you would like to use Snacksby in this way, and that's why I used today to fix up shopping lists. If you have any other ideas that would help us help you, let us know!

(PS: Snacksby's free!)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Communication is the foundation to any good relationship.

You might not believe it, but Snacksby doesn't sit around so we can climb to the top of a mountain and make exclamations about how wonderful it is. Snacksby sits around so you can sit around at the computer and use it to create culinary masterpieces and/or rock candy. But why do you use it, and how do you want to use it?

I'm not exactly sure!

That's where this survey comes in. We're collecting a bit of information from you cats and kittens so that we can figure out what to do next! There's about 60 trillion options open to us, we just need to know which ones actual Snacksby users want - so fill it out!!!!

UPDATES: Beyond the survey, I've made a couple changes to the adding-a-recipe thing, so now it has less steps than the Empire State Building. I've also fixed a couple bugs, but I'm sure there's more out there, so let me know when you come across them!

COMING SOON: Would you like to be able to look at the recipes you've put in your recipe box and see how close to making all of them you are? I sure would! (...and I mean how many of the ingredients you have. We are not installing cameras in your house to track your progress. Yet.)

OH: if you'd like to drop us an email, is our address!

LAST NIGHT: I made a couple Snacksby recipes. Cold Peanut Noodles is probably one of my favorites, for being incrrrredibly easy and for the noodles being the only cooking-ish part of it. I was searching for something to use peanut butter, sesame oil and noodles, but forgot to put water in. That totally needs to be something you 'have' automatically. Maybe salt, too!

I also made about 10 cups of miso soup, but added silken tofu and wakame (seaweed!) and chinese black mushrooms. I made the dashi last night, too, which was a miserable experience since I followed some site's directions to soak the kombu (also: konbu. Another seaweed!) in cold water, then bring it to a simmer. Do you know how long it takes to boil cold water?! Forever! This is why I don't make italian food.

I need to start taking pictures.

Friday, January 26, 2007

stop! snacksbytime.

Okay, now for a real post, with much less rah rah gobbleygook. There's actual snacksby news!

First off, maybe you didn't notice, but it doesn't quite look the same. That's a pretty boring topic to me (except for the "3 or 4" kind of deals on the recipe search results page, i think that's super keen), but let me know what you think!

Secondly, i'm going to start talking in the third plural singular ALL OF THE TIME. It's what happens when you get bought, I think.


Actual improvements! Searching is now killer compared to what it used to be. When you search for a recipe from the boring [not "what's in your pantry?"] searchbox it searches through: ingredients! the user that made it! the description! the name! other things! Whereas before it just checked the title or something else completely useless. SO: you can now find recipes about ninety times more effectively.

Entering recipes! It's now something like 4 steps. Should it all be on one page? Should it be less steps? Do you like it? Lemme know!

Ingredient input box! It's a crazy crazy thing that you'll see on the new recipe page as well as the pantry editing page, and probably other places. I won't explain it because I'd like to know whether you guys* like it or not. It's supposed to make entering your ingredients less painful and more all-in-one-screen. Opinions?

Related snacksonomies! I had to learn mathematics for that one, friends. Set theory and MORE! It's a little bit buggy but hey, I have a liberal arts degree.

Tagged substitutions! That's kinda fine, I guess, right?

Anyway, there's probably some broken stuff on the site, try to toss me an email at if you run across any. I'd appreciate it! I'd also appreciate any thoughts on the new site, or suggestions as what you'd like out of it now. I wouldn't have asked a question in just about every paragraph of this entry if i didn't care about what you thought!

* that's gender-neutral 'guys,' ladies!


Snacksby minded its manners and studied hard in school, and as a result: SNACKSBY GOT BOUGHT. By Revolution Health Group, specifically. If you thought Snacksby was good before, get out your fancy napkin holders because this is going to be great! Revolution Health launched a pretty neat health site which will "empower you and your family with world-class products and services to better manage your health and wellness needs." But don't worry, we didn't get gobbled up by the corporate machine, Snacksby will still be as charming as ever - and since it won't just be a hobby anymore, it should end up being about sixty times more useful!

Thanks a million for helping this happen!