Sharing recipes among a small group online
August 6, 2013 5:41 AM   Subscribe

Our Benevolent Employer has recently ended the company canteen service, and everyone now brings in their own lunches. My team would like to share ideas for lunch recipes - both things found online and our own - as a small, private group. Can you suggest any services or strategies to do this?

I feel like there should been an obvious solution, but I'm really struggling (Pinterest - hard to enter original recipes, Google Drive - overkill?). All and any suggestions are welcome!
posted by ominous_paws to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A blog can be free if you don't buy custom domains, it's searchable, categories can be set up, pictures posted (or not), and if you can operate FB you can learn to format a post.

It's also easy to link to other sites, and there is a large 'social network' of other blog sites you'll quickly find. It's very easy to repost, especially from another wp site.

You can also password protect posts, but I don't know why you would...
posted by randomkeystrike at 5:57 AM on August 6, 2013

This might be a good use for a group tumblr, as described here.
posted by jquinby at 6:03 AM on August 6, 2013

Seconding it's an easy set up, very easy to sort by author/keywords, easy to use. I would recommend setting up some common keywords (kind of the way Smitten Kitchen organizes her recipes) like "vegetarian," "easy to prep [15 minutes]," "contains pork/peanuts/other allergens" (and conversely, "egg free" etc. if those are applicable things to your teammates.) Having a naming convention that's a little more robust than "Nanny's surprise pie" might also be useful, if less charming. Not that every post has to have ALL THE TAGS but enough so that it's easy to find a recipe again or a batch of promising ones.
posted by jetlagaddict at 6:05 AM on August 6, 2013

posted by empath at 6:08 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

A shared Evernote notebook could work. Each recipe is a note with appropriate tags and people can add on to recipes over time, like "Bob made this for the sales meeting abd it was awesome, next time try adding pickle relish!"
posted by lakeroon at 6:30 AM on August 6, 2013

Get everybody a pinterest account, and create a board everyone can pin to.
posted by lemniskate at 6:52 AM on August 6, 2013

sub-question: obviously a site like Pinterest is well suited for collating other people's recipes, as you're linking to them rather than reproducing content. If we use wordpress, and most of the entries are recipes from elsewhere dumped into our own posts, is this liable to cause copyright problems?
posted by ominous_paws at 7:24 AM on August 6, 2013

Well, I guess that would be one reason to password protect it. Generally speaking, I think as long as you're linking and crediting the original book or post + your own adaptations, most people would consider that okay. has a more stringent policy (see "What are the guidelines for posting recipes on Chowhound?") in which you can't post introductions/verbatim instructions but you can link to recipes and include ingredient lists. I don't think I've had a problem with my own personalized re-writes of recipes there but I do adapt things. To be honest Pinterest fudges so many copyright issues that I doubt the recipes are actually exempt, but if you would be more comfortable with that system, then go for it!
posted by jetlagaddict at 7:40 AM on August 6, 2013

Make your WP site invite/login only, and no one will know about your copyright infringement.

In any case, per the US Gov:
Copyright law does not protect recipes that are mere listings of ingredients. Nor does it protect other mere listings of ingredients such as those found in formulas, compounds, or prescriptions. Copyright protection may, however, extend to substantial literary expression—a description, explanation, or illustration, for example—that accompanies a recipe or formula or to a combination of recipes, as in a cookbook.
Realistically, unless you're passing the work of as your own and/or making money off the site (and lots of it), anybody with copyright interest in the recipes you borrow will be happy if you give credit and link back.
posted by notyou at 7:40 AM on August 6, 2013

A shared evernote will be difficult. In my experience, the free version doesn't allow more than one person to update a shared notebook.

I recommend Springpad. I have used it for exactly this purpose in the past. It's a little bit like evernote, syncs across multiple platforms, and is awesome for sharing! It doesn't have to be public either, and you can update as you like or use their recipe template.
posted by 9000condiments at 9:17 AM on August 6, 2013

Could you all share a account? You can all upload Private recipes that won't get shared with the larger community, and you can organize them into Cookbooks however you want.
posted by juliplease at 12:51 PM on August 6, 2013

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