We thought it would be fun to have some guest bloggers write about how they use Reader. Ann Verbin is a friend of the Reader team, and a pretty avid user. In this post, she writes about how Reader helps her find and organize recipes.
I started using Google Reader around the same time that I started cooking more – in fact, it was probably Reader that inspired me to really get into cooking. Shortly after Reader launched, one of my friends recommended a cooking blog, Chocolate & Zucchini, and I subscribed to it. I really liked reading about new recipes on the blog on a regular basis, and I would star the ones I particularly liked so that I could find them later. Soon, I was subscribed to many more cooking blogs, and was starring more and more favorite recipes daily. My starred items list became very long, and it was becoming hard to find things that I remembered I liked (this was before Reader had search).
This is when I discovered item-level tagging. Instead of just starring each recipe I liked, I would also add a tag (or several tags) to it. My tags were generally divided into meal ideas (e.g. "dessert", "breakfast", "main-course") and ingredient specifics (e.g. "eggs", "vegetables", "meat", "pasta"). This way, if we were having people over and one of the guests was vegetarian, I would browse through my pasta and vegetables tags for ideas on what to make. Even after Reader added search, I continued to star and tag my favorite items. Search is very useful when you know what you are looking for, but less appropriate when you are just considering what to make for dinner and don't have anything too specific in mind.
The last tags that I have created for my item-level tagging are "cooked" and "cooked-good". This way I can keep track of all the recipes that I have actually tried out, and not just read about. And any time I am feeling in the mood for something (somewhat) familiar, I can browse through my "cooked-good" tag.