Recipe formatting and layout

Morning Glory

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Having recently read 50 plus recipes in succession for the CookingBits challenge, it was important that I could follow them easily. Some entries were much easier to read than others. We don't have a standard recipe template for CookingBites but it is helpful if recipes are laid out as you would see in a recipe book, with ingredients listed first (with quantities) followed by the method. It is normal to list the ingredients in a 'column' rather than a paragraph. A recipe method is normally listed as numbered succinct points. Writing the method as a paragraph is only acceptable if its a very short simple method such as 'place all the ingredients in a pan and simmer for 20 minutes'. Long paragraphs can be difficult to digest, particularly if they contain a number of separate instructions.

Also, a word about using capital letters. Capital letters should be used according to normal grammatical rules: at the beginning of sentences and for 'proper nouns'. Please don't use capital letters at the start of words in the middle of sentences, unless they are proper nouns (names of countries or people etc.). Ingredients contained in sentences should not begin with capital letters. A paragraph littered with unnecessary capital letters is uncomfortable to read and can be particularly upsetting for those with dyslexia.

I'll try to write this up at some point as a formal user guide in the Site support section.
 

Wyshiepoo

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Thanks for that.

What about capital letters and titles?

Many recipe books tend to capitalise most of the words in their titles.

'Sweet and Sour Sheep's Eyes with Strawberry Jam'.

But at least one website I use sometimes (Eat Your Books) specifies that only the first word of a title should be capitalised.
 

Morning Glory

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Re titles of threads - Each word shouldn't be capitalised. So if a thread is called 'How do you chop vegetables?' it shouldn't read 'How Do You Chop Vegetables?'

Practice for recipe titles varies. Often they are simply written without capitals - see how Great British Chefs: Recipes from the UK's Best Chefs does it. If caps are used it really should only be for the main elements not words like 'and' and 'with'.
 

CookieMonster

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there was once a cooking forum in a galaxy far far away that insisted users post recipes in 'the approved format' and would chide those who didn't.

it's closed, gone, not issuing writing certificates anymore.
fwiw.
 

flyinglentris

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Also, a word about using capital letters. Capital letters should be used according to normal grammatical rules: at the beginning of sentences and for 'proper nouns'. Please don't use capital letters at the start of words in the middle of sentences, unless they are proper nouns (names of countries or people etc.). Ingredients contained in sentences should not begin with capital letters. A paragraph littered with unnecessary capital letters is uncomfortable to read and can be particularly upsetting for those with dyslexia.

That's my bad. I tend to believe in perceptive weighting and capitalize food items. But to allow for the fact that it might cause some people bother and that there may be conventions to adhere to, I will concede and not capitalize in the future.
 

Hemulen

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Having recently read 50 plus recipes in succession for the CookingBits challenge, it was important that I could follow them easily. Some entries were much easier to read than others. We don't have a standard recipe template for CookingBites but it is helpful if recipes are laid out as you would see in a recipe book, with ingredients listed first (with quantities) followed by the method. It is normal to list the ingredients in a 'column' rather than a paragraph. A recipe method is normally listed as numbered succinct points. Writing the method as a paragraph is only acceptable if its a very short simple method such as 'place all the ingredients in a pan and simmer for 20 minutes'. Long paragraphs can be difficult to digest, particularly if they contain a number of separate instructions.

Also, a word about using capital letters. Capital letters should be used according to normal grammatical rules: at the beginning of sentences and for 'proper nouns'. Please don't use capital letters at the start of words in the middle of sentences, unless they are proper nouns (names of countries or people etc.). Ingredients contained in sentences should not begin with capital letters. A paragraph littered with unnecessary capital letters is uncomfortable to read and can be particularly upsetting for those with dyslexia.

I'll try to write this up at some point as a formal user guide in the Site support section.
Re titles of threads - Each word shouldn't be capitalised. So if a thread is called 'How do you chop vegetables?' it shouldn't read 'How Do You Chop Vegetables?'

Practice for recipe titles varies. Often they are simply written without capitals - see how Great British Chefs: Recipes from the UK's Best Chefs does it. If caps are used it really should only be for the main elements not words like 'and' and 'with'.

spe.PNG

:whistling:
Members With Problems With Recipe Titles, Formats and Headlines

CookingBites is free of charge for members (unless they attain additional, chargeable upgrades). CookingBites members contribute content like recipes, images and comments free of charge for uncommitted viewers, forum members and the owner/administrator(s). Producing content often requires a lot of time and effort and it – in addition to sporadic voluntary subsidies - covers at least some of the maintenance costs. It may also provide visitor count -based income for the owner/administrator(s). IMHO, the members should be informed clearly and in a consistent and logical manner of what is expected of them. It would be nice for the administrators to follow the same guidelines. The University of Oxford gives the following advice:

title_2.PNG


What about capitalisation in these thread titles on CookingBites?

The CookingBites Recipe Challenge: Alliums
Sweets and Desserts

The whole formatting issue is small potatoes and could be ignored but as for my spelling in terms of recipes, headlines and the preposition "with"... - I'm sorry if I've capitalised it or not used numbered succinct points in the 'Method' or Instructions/Directions section to the chagrin of the moderator(s)/administrator(s). I've been here for nearly six months and posted dozens of recipes without anyone pointing out, giving any advice (regarding recipe formatting) or making corrections up till now. I haven't known which guidelines or distinguished cooking site practices to follow. For me, Associated Press (AP) has been a distinguished enough source of directions so far.

Source
title_3.PNG


lun.jpg

Somehow, I've lost that loving feeling.
 
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rascal

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Ok my I pad has a mind of its own, one word gets put down with something else, like yesterday I typed shared but it came up with Sharon, with a capital. I deleted back to Sh and typed Shared. Maybe I should have deleted it all, but I guess I'm lazy and get p$&&@& off with my I pad.
At least you can work out what meant, unlike some sites you need to speak a few languages.
I don't see a problem?

Russ
 

flyinglentris

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Ok my I pad has a mind of its own, one word gets put down with something else, like yesterday I typed shared but it came up with Sharon, with a capital. I deleted back to Sh and typed Shared. Maybe I should have deleted it all, but I guess I'm lazy and get p$&&@& off with my I pad.
At least you can work out what meant, unlike some sites you need to speak a few languages.
I don't see a problem?

Russ

If the type-ahead feature causes you problems, see if you can find out how to turn it off.
 

Yorky

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Re titles of threads - Each word shouldn't be capitalised. So if a thread is called 'How do you chop vegetables?' it shouldn't read 'How Do You Chop Vegetables?'

Practice for recipe titles varies. Often they are simply written without capitals - see how Great British Chefs: Recipes from the UK's Best Chefs does it. If caps are used it really should only be for the main elements not words like 'and' and 'with'.

With reference to the list of ingredients, my practice is normally to begin the word of the actual item in upper case, e.g.

1 tsp Garlic, chopped.
1 tblsp Paprika, ground.
2 Eggs.
400 ml Milk.

Whether that is grammatically correct I haven't a clue.
 

Morning Glory

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With reference to the list of ingredients, my practice is normally to begin the word of the actual item in upper case, e.g.

1 tsp Garlic, chopped.
1 tblsp Paprika, ground.
2 Eggs.
400 ml Milk.

Whether that is grammatically correct I haven't a clue.

That isn't standard practice (at least most recipe books don't do that) but I don't think its a big issue. Its more the use of caps within sentences which becomes difficult to read.

The whole formatting issue is small potatoes and could be ignored but as for my spelling in terms of recipes, headlines and the preposition "with"... - I'm sorry if I've capitalised it or not used numbered succinct points in the 'Method' or Instructions/Directions section to the chagrin of the moderator(s)/administrator(s). I've been here for nearly six months and posted dozens of recipes without anyone pointing out, giving any advice (regarding recipe formatting) or making corrections up till now. I haven't known which guidelines or distinguished cooking site practices to follow. For me, Associated Press (AP) has been a distinguished enough source of directions so far.

I'm simply trying to offer broad guidelines based on English grammar and standard accepted recipe lay out to make recipes easier to read and more accessible for everyone. Nothing is meant personally and nobody will get reprimanded for not following the guidelines!

Regarding numbering of method steps, its not compulsory by any means. It can be useful if someone wants to refer to and ask questions about a particular step. What is quite useful is to list the method as separate points (steps). It simply makes it easier to follow. Its not my invention - its standard practice in most recipe books. You don't have to do it but its easy enough to insert a few line spaces if you think it will help with readability. Its up to you to decide!

Regarding thread titles, headings of sub-forums, recipe titles, practice varies. I'm fully aware that challenge threads and sub-form titles use caps in the titles. I think that's fine. They are short headings/titles. Its when thread titles are a question or longer sentence that it becomes a bit strange to use caps. Example:' When Did You Last Use Your Oven To Bake A Cake?'. But frankly, no-one is going to get warnings or be banned for doing it!
 

TastyReuben

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I'm on another forum where we had a traditional print journalist, and my god, could that guy ruin a discussion! He seemed to see his whole purpose as proofing and correcting everyone's posts to match the AP grammar style guide or whatever it was he used in his professional life.

He didn't last long. :laugh:
 

Morning Glory

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I honestly don't think we need any rigid template for recipe lay out. Its just 'best practice' guidelines. Simple as anything.

'Ingredients' listed first with measurements, followed by 'Method' preferably laid out as steps unless its a brief set of instructions. That's about it!
 

Mountain Cat

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Hmm. Everywhere I've seen until today has indicated that a thread title such as "How You Should Chop Vegetables " should be typed just as printed in this sentence. Words like "the", "and", "with" don't get capitalized. But the major words do.

Personally, I will continue on with what I've learned in the past. I can't be bothered to remember a convention that doesn't exist elsewhere.
 
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