Hello! Thanks for stopping to read my blog!!
About two years ago I found an incredibly valuable resource here at AllRecipes and I wanted to share it with some of you who may not know about it, or maybe you don’t know what it’s for.
You may have noticed those words before.
They’re right up there ↑ on one of those tabs.
But, if you’re anything like me, you probably have the wrong idea about what the Recipe Exchange is.
know I did for a long time.
That’s why I’m writing this blog…so others don’t have to miss out on the awesome Exchange like I did for so long.
I became addicted to cooking at a very young age. I have my mother to thank for that. She was a stay-at-home-mom for most of my childhood, only going back to work out of financial
necessity when my youngest sibling started all-day school (I think I was 14 or 15 by that time). My mom wasn’t the most gourmet of cooks, but that was mostly because we didn’t have enough money for much more than ground beef, pasta, processed
cheese, a few canned items, and basic spices like salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. The thing is, my mother was able to do some pretty incredible things with the few ingredients she had available to her! The great food
that came out of her kitchen made me want to learn everything I could about cooking.
As part of my kitchen education, I eventually learned to use the internet to search for recipes. One day, when I used Google to search for a dish I wanted to make, the first suggestion that
came up was a recipe here at AllRecipes. After looking at the recipe page, I started exploring and realized that it was possible to search for recipes right here on the site and that I could search for random ingredients rather than exact recipe
names! This site quickly became my favorite place to look for yummy things to cook. But…I didn’t register to become a member. I didn’t feel like I needed to. I was able to find the recipes I wanted, so what
was the purpose of registering? Eventually I noticed that tab up there ↑ that said “Recipe Exchange”. I ignored it for awhile, figuring it was just a place where people could exchange recipes of their own. I really didn’t
have any recipes that I had created and figured I didn’t need to worry about that little tab, so I went on my merry way.
One day about two years ago, though, curiosity got the better of me and I decided to see what that tab was all about. WOW! The Recipe Exchange was a message board! I
started lurking, reading through some of the posts, and saw that there was a really awesome bunch of people who hung out there. They answered questions, gave advice, and sometimes just offered each other virtual “high fives” when something turned
out great or words of reassurance when something didn’t go quite the way the cook/baker wanted it to. I decided I HAD to be a part of such a wonderful community, so I registered as a member of AllRecipes in early July 2008.
Then the shyness hit! How should I introduce myself to people who were obviously familiar with one another? Was it okay for me to respond to questions if I knew the answer? What
if I asked a stupid question?? I lurked some more, reading posts, almost responding to a few but changing my mind at the last second. Then my aunt reminded me of a dessert she had made when I was a kid and asked if I knew where to
find the recipe. On July 11, 2008, I finally shoved my shyness into the closet and posted my first request on the Recipe Exchange. Everyone was amazing, welcoming me to the forum, and giving their suggestions on what they thought
the dessert I was describing sounded like. And you know what? They got it right! I passed the recipe on to my aunt, who was thrilled that I found it so quickly, and I have made it several times myself since then.
My shyness quickly evaporated in the warmth and kindness I received from all of the “regulars” on the Recipe Exchange and I quickly became a regular myself. I learned that the only stupid questions
are the ones we never ask, because then we never get to know the answer. I started posting more and more frequently and answered questions whenever I felt like I knew a little bit about what they were asking for. To date, I have posted
1,194 of my own requests and/or comments there!
I love the Recipe Exchange and want to share it with everyone I can! So, here’s my invitation to you: Come check out the Recipe Exchange!
You’ll find a really great bunch of people who are willing to help out in almost any situation. We have conversations about food, life, gardens, family, and sometimes death. I have found some of my most favorite recipes
through suggestions I got at the Exchange. Better yet, the people there have helped me through some tough situations with my kids…situations that have had absolutely nothing to do with food, and they celebrated with me when I finally got a job
on the Air Force Base near my home…after trying for over 10 years to get hired there! That’s what I love best about the Exchange. A person can ask for help with their zucchini bread or finding a recipe for BLSL (boneless, skinless)
chicken breasts, they can ask advice on what to do when their teenager is being defiant, or they can ask for prayers/good thoughts for a sick or seriously injured loved one. Oh sure, occasionally someone pops in who would rather that the conversations
stay on the subject of food, but for the most part everyone is very kind and compassionate and willing to help. So…if you’ve always wondered what the heck fennel is or what leeks taste like (like I did!), or if you can’t for the life of you figure
out what that mystery ingredient in a recipe is, come on over to the Recipe Exchange. Chances are pretty good that SOMEONE there will have the answer for you. And if nobody knows the answer, usually someone is able to help you find
it somewhere out there in cyberspace. I have found my internet “home” at the Recipe Exchange. I hope you will, too.