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I am going to write recipe tracking software. Suggestions please.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Inspired by this thread:

http://www.cheftalk.com/forums/recip...e-recipes.html

I am going to write some recipe saving software. Does anyone have helpful suggestions of things you would like to see?


Edit: when finished, it will be free
post #2 of 8
Yeah buy Mastercook :lol: that would be a start but the menu system could use some changes to make it easier to move around.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
yeah, i'm kind of tempted to just make something from scratch. Lends to more creativity.

I think I'll just write something and post it up here, get some feedback.
post #4 of 8
I would like to see in such software some basic guidelines for writing recipes for beginners like me. I know how to cook different types of meals and so on but I think the software can include some basic templates on how to organize/properly write your recipe.
post #5 of 8
First you have to ask yourself if these are recipies for non professionals or for professionals.

The only difference is Chef's need to know the cost of the item--both for sales purposes, and for inventory purposes. Chefs are very reluctant to "double book" a recipie first in a recipie tracking program, and then a recipie costing program.

In order to cost out recipies, you need to have a price list of all ingredients. Here's were things get interesting:

Everything has a specific weight, any good commercial kitchen weighs out expensive ingredients, and when you think about it, everything you buy at the supermarket--excluding liquids- is sold by weight. Then again, most professional bakers weight out liquid ingredients as well---much more precise and faster.

The Ingredient price list, which would break down the cost of each ingredient by say pounds or kilos is invaluable to the Chef for inventory purposes and when comparng price quotes from different suppliers.


In order to find the cost of say, chocoalte chip cookies, you need to know the cost of the purchased chips, flour, sugar, etc. mulitplied by the amount of each ingredient required in the recipie. This is virtually impossible to do when you measure by volume (ie. cups and teaspoons).

Just food for thought
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #6 of 8
Besides ease of "costing", nutritional content is becoming more and more important as well as the ability to print out nutritional analyses.

Currently, that is the biggest problem with Mastercook as there is no easy way to update the nutritional database.

Mastercook's costing database is also a little cumbersome with no ability to link inventory costs to purchases. Prices have to be put in manually, item by item.

But, what the hey, for $9.95....
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
It would be easy enough for each ingredient to have both cost and nutritional information. And then the program could easily calculate nutritional and cost totals for meals. However, I'm not sure if this information should be by weight or by volume (probably by both).

What do you mean "link inventory costs to purchases". Would you like some way of entering a specific purchase, with ingredients and prices, and having that update the cost information for the relevant ingredients?
post #8 of 8
First, nutritional information needs to be referenced to a recognized authority, say the U.S.D.A. Nutritional Database, this is what Mastercook does, with one small caveat, the originators "hard coded" the version 12, I think, and now the USDA has released at least five or six updates that I'm aware of.

Second, for nutritional and/or cost linking, you will need a specific ingredient list with the necessary synonyms, AKAs, and alternate names. Best move, IMHO, is to adopt someone elses, say USDA, list of ingredient names.

With regards to linking purchases and inventory, look up cheftec and similar programs.

IMHO, costs and nutrition should be "weight related" though a conversion to volume would be very helpful. Unfortunately, there are numerous ingredients that have highly variable specific weights, good example is all-purpose flour: depending on how it is handled a cup may weight as little as 115 grams or as much as 172 grams.

Before you spend a lot of time and effort, do a quick search, you'll find Mastercook, Cookin', LIving Cookbook, Big Oven, and the pro types ChefTec, etc. You might start here: recipe software - Google Search
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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