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« It’s not Just Icing on the Cake | Main | My Favorite Go-To Meal »

Inside Special Fork: Taking a Look at our Free Cookbook

By Sandy Hu

If you follow Special Fork, you know that we blog from Monday through Friday to bring fresh stories and recipe ideas to you every weekday.

I post every Monday, with a general blog directed at the entire Special Fork community. On Tuesdays, Katie focuses on cooking newbies; on Wednesdays, Lori advises singles and couples; on Thursdays, Marilyn and Andrew reach out to busy parents; and on Fridays, we do a video blog, demonstrating a recipe from the Special Fork database.

When you type in your Internet browser, the website will recognize whether you are coming from a smartphone, such as an iPhone, Blackberry or Android phone; or a computer and will serve up the right website (mobile or conventional) to you.

If you’re reading our blogs on a computer instead of a smartphone, you may not have noticed that we have a robust, free Special Fork cookbook where you can get hundreds of recipes, each taking no more than 30 minutes of prep time (cooking time may be extra). All the recipes have been vetted by our Special Fork Food Editors. Their job is to review each recipe before we add it to the cookbook. These editors have many decades of experience in food and cooking, having held senior positions in such magazines as Good Housekeeping, Better Homes & Gardens, Sunset, Southern Living, Ebony and more. You can find their bios on our conventional website.

While the cookbook was designed for the smartphone, enabling you to get recipes on the run, you can get the same information on a computer. Here are some of the things our cookbook can do for you:

  • Search for recipes by ingredient (such as beef, chicken or fish)
  • Search by meal type (such as main dish, salad, dessert), cuisine (ethnic origin), lifestyles (cooking newbie, cooking for 1 or 2, busy mommy/daddy) or by special occasion
  • Share a recipe by email, Twitter or on Facebook
  • Add your recipe ingredients to a shopping list
  • Get valuable selection and storage information for various ingredients linked from your shopping list
  • Email your shopping list so someone else in your family can do the grocery shopping

The recipes on Special Fork display over three screens to accommodate the limited space available on a smartphone:

  • Introduction page: Gives you prep time, cook time and any other time (such as marinating) that the recipe requires. It includes the level of difficulty (1 to 3, with 1 being the easiest), number of servings, ethnic inspiration, the recipe source and the name of the food editor who reviewed the recipe
  • Ingredients page
  • Method page (cooking instructions)
  • You can print the recipe from any of the three screens and the entire recipe will print cohesively

If you register at Special Fork, you will have access to additional functions:

  • Recipe box where you can save recipes you want to try (Ready to Cook) and recipes you’ve tried and liked (Cooked Recipes)
  • You can sort your cookbook recipes by when you saved them (newest to oldest), alphabetically, by cook time or prep time (shortest to longest) or level of difficulty (easiest to hardest)

So if you haven’t checked out our Special Fork cookbook, please do and let me know what you think. In the meantime, here’s a recipe from my recipe box. It’s in my Ready to Cook section, signifying a recipe that I haven’t cooked yet, but have earmarked as one I plan to try. Doesn’t it sound delicious?

To get the recipe and shopping list on your smartphone (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android device) or PC, click here.

Almond-Ginger-Pear Scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, cut into 8 to 10 chunks
¾ cup diced dried pears
½ cup slivered almonds, roasted (see note), divided
1/3 cup chopped candied ginger
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 egg, beaten, for glaze
Additional sugar, for glaze

Heat oven to 425ºF. In large bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powder, ground ginger, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the pears, 1/3 cup of the almonds and the candied ginger; toss. Mix in buttermilk just to blend. Gather into a ball and gently knead 3 or 4 times on lightly floured surface. Pat or roll out 3/4-inch thick. Cut out circles with 2 1/2- to 3-inch round cutter, rerolling scraps as needed. Place on baking sheet, spacing apart. Brush tops with egg, sprinkle with remaining almonds, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in center of oven 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove to rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 12 scones.

Note: To roast almonds, spread in an ungreased baking pan. Place in 350ºF oven and bake 5 to 10 minutes or until almonds are light brown; stir once or twice to assure even browning. Note that almonds will continue to brown slightly after removing from oven.

Recipe from the Almond Board of California

Special Fork is a recipe website for your smartphone and PC that solves the daily dinnertime dilemma: what to cook now! Our bloggers blog Monday through Friday to give you cooking inspiration. Check out our recipe database for quick ideas that take no more than 30 minutes of prep time. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Reader Comments (3)

I really love cooking and I am very fond of reading an articles with regards to that matter.I'm looking forward to read all your cooking tips.Thanks for the post!!

Relationship Consultant

September 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Turton

Fantastic Information !! I appreciate your blog.

September 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertiny toys

I've seen three great chefs gathered in the Cookbook store. I am sure this is very exciting. And perhaps when they meet, they will discuss the latest recipes from them. And I thought, maybe they also share recipes. I'm curious, what if these three chefs together to make a meal; surely they can produce a very tasty meal.

By: Emil

October 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmil

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