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Food & Drink

Illustration by Jim Ludke
Illustration: Jim Ludtke
Nobody wants to waste precious personal time on Web searches. But big search engines don't work efficiently for some personal needs, such as cooking advice. I learned my lesson last summer when my husband arrived home with a slew of freshly caught fish and I tried plugging the fish's name plus "recipe" into Google. The results list left me underwater and underwhelmed: There were too many recipes from amateur cooks, and I had no way to judge whether one recipe was better than another.

Recipes: For the dish on gastronomic creations from Bon Appetit and Gourmet magazines, how to make a certain cocktail, or where to dine on an impending trip, Epicurious (FIGURE 5

Figure 5: You'll never go hungry again when you search for recipes at Epicurious.
) almost always scores. Its recipes range from restaurant fare to quick meals. The Recipe Power Search at lets you be super-specific. You can search exclusively for recipes that suit a food and meal type, region, occasion, or technique (including "freezes well," "grilled," and "spicy"). For comfort food or directions on how to make a child's birthday cake, visit Betty Crocker online.

Wine: The advanced search page at Wine Spectator lets you do a close-match search--helpful when you aren't sure of a wine's name. The site lets you limit searches to tasting reports, news articles, or other specific categories.

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