Monday, August 8, 2011

Gojee Knows What You're Doing for Dinner

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2011 at 5:43 AM

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You could say it about a lot of new media applications: It's either a great idea, or slightly creepy.

Gojee.com uses tech to help you find tested recipes matching ingredients you have on hand.

I told Gojee I had squash, cabbage, tofu, chick peas, feta cheese, sausage, eggplant and quinoa, and it offered recipes for a grain-stuffed bell pepper recipe, a harissa chickpea salad and a baked zucchini fritter with feta. Gojee even told me which ingredients I lacked.

To perform these neat tricks, Gojee mines the blogs of several dozen trusted bloggers like Taste and Tell, Tartelette, 5 and Spice, Food52, WhatWouldCathyEat, Fresh365 and many more.

But wait, there's more. Gojee also lets you refine your preference to eliminate recipes containing anything you dislike (cilantro, meat, beets, jalapenos) and zeroing in on specifics you prefer. Gojee has added a feature that will let you register loyalty cards, and it will offer suggestions based on your recent purchases. That's where it crosses the line to creepy, for me, anyway.

It's early yet, and there will surely be kinks to work out. For starters, someone needs to tell Gojee there's a difference between winter squash and summer squash. Also, the "I Crave" and "I Dislike" tabs would be more helpful if it let you tell Gojee what styles of food (soup, sandwich, casserole) you prefer or don't. And even after I added flounder, whole wheat penne, tortillas and carrots to my "on hand" list, Gojee cheerily yielded the same five recipes as it offered before I added the ingredients.

While it's still novel, Gojee would make a fun dinner party: Ask guests to register for Gojee and sign up, then bring a dish made from a Gojee-suggested recipe. The tutorial is just five steps, and the tour guides itself.

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