Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Internet column (Cooking By Numbers)

You probably have all kinds of food sitting in your cupboard and refrigerator. Ever wonder what you can cook with what you have on hand?
Cooking By Numbers ( has a simple menu that lets visitors check off which common ingredients they happen to have in stock. Click "search," and the site then provides a list of recipes for dishes you can make.
You may have noticed that Allrecipes ( has a similar service. You can enter four ingredients you happen to have on hand (and optionally, four ingredients you don't want to include), run a search, and get a list of recipes. I entered lentils, onions, rice and tomatoes, and 10 recipes popped up. When I omitted the tomatoes and included the other three ingredients, I got 25 recipes. I was really just testing the feature for this column, but I found a recipe I wanted to keep and e-mailed a copy to myself, using the site's handy e-mailing tool.
Tipnut has put together a list of "25 Vintage Food Prep Tips" at that are drawn from old cookbooks. (Sample tip: "Fried potatoes will be deliciously golden brown if sprinkled lightly with flour before frying.") TipNut has various household tips and is available at
Thought4Food ( tries to collect the "best cooking and food posts from around the Web." The site includes a large collection of links to food and cooking Web sites and blogs.
If you are interested in cooking, or just looking for a site that fits your particular needs, here are a couple of places to check. is just what it sounds like -- a straightforward list of 100 recipe sites. seems more comprehensive, covering kitchenware, baking and many other topics.
A fast browser. I've never been particularly interested in Apple's Safari Web browser. (A Web browser is the program you use to look at Web sites, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.)
The Macintosh computer I used at work came with Safari, but I noticed that not all Web sites worked well with it. And I can't afford to run out and buy an iPhone.
I was startled, however, when the Wall Street Journal's ace technology columnist, Walt Mossberg, reviewed the new Safari and reported that it is much faster in loading Web sites than any other browser he had tested. Mossberg also pointed out that Safari is available for Windows as well as Macintosh computers, which I hadn't realized. He also allowed he didn't like some of Safari's features. (You can read the review at his Web site,
I decided to try the browser, so I downloaded it to my Macintosh work computer. I discovered that my computer's operating system isn't up to date enough to use it. Windows users, though, can try it if they have Windows Vista or Windows XP with Service Page 2.
If you want to give the browser a try, you can find it at
Baggage fees. Planning a trip soon? One of the most unpleasant recent developments for air travel is that the airlines have been tacking on hidden fees. tracks baggage and other fees for the various airlines. I looked at it last week and saw that my wife and I would have to pay $30 for two checked bags if we each checked one each for a spring trip.
(Tom Jackson wants to hear about interesting Southwest Oklahoma Web sites and blogs. Write to him at

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