Do you like the idea of an online community devoted to cooking? You must -- you're reading Slashfood. There's a new site you may want to add to your bookmarks: Mixing Bowl.
Mixing Bowl has just been launched by Meredith, the same corporation that owns Better Homes and Gardens. Mixing Bowl is a community hub devoted to cooking. All skill levels, interests and needs are welcomed and seem to be encouraged. Cruising the site, I noted heavy populations of "dinner in a hurry" working folk, healthy eaters and those who are trying to be, and baking enthusiasts bent on destroying the efforts of the healthy eaters (the most active group when I was on the site was "I Only Eat Sweets," which won my heart instantly). Cooks are organized into groups, which once you log in (free, and your Better Homes and Gardens log-in doesn't work, or at least mine didn't) you can join. Two categories I liked were cooking for beginners and cooking for two; both areas that can be underserved for individuals looking for that content.
But you don't have to join a group to benefit from joining the site. The primary activity is the posting of recipes, all of which are offered in the save/share/print format that pleases recipe hoarders such as myself. When I visited, the most popular were a Mediterranean "salsa" and a ratatouille-inspired roasted vegetable dish. Both recipes reflect how Americans cook and eat, and this is Mixing Bowl's strength. A tour through the other areas of the site reinforces this -- the first contest, which is going on now in case you want to register -- is a Comfort Food Cook Off. Stranded as I am in the northeast during a cold snap, the only idea that sounds better to me than eating lasagna is reading about it.
As I've often stated, cooks are generous people, and Mixing Bowl offers a forum for all kinds of cooks to benefit from this generosity. Until we are able to e-deliver actual pans of brownies to each other to determine whose are the best (mine are, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise :) ), online communities such as Mixing Bowl are a great way for cooks to meet each other outside of a checkout line.