Show Me a Recipe Using What I’ve Got

Tonight, I made a chicken casserole that was actually quite good. I didn’t plan ahead, so I went online to and used their “Ingredients Search” feature. I entered: chicken breast, cream of chicken soup, and carrots, and then I hit “Go”.  The website came up with several recipes including one that required a few other things that I had in my kitchen such as egg noodles, milk, frozen vegetables, and chili powder, and so that is the one I chose.

Chicken Noodle Casserole II
Chicken Noodle Casserole II from

This is a process I use quite often because I rarely plan my meals in advance. I usually wait until I’m hungry and then wonder what I can make for dinner.  Often, that entails grazing on hummus and crackers or making cheese on toast, but on a fairly regular basis I go to and ask for their help. It works out quite well.

As I was enjoying my dinner tonight, it occurred to me that many of us could use a program like this to decide what to do with our lives. You could be eighteen years old and completely bewildered about a choice of career.  My imaginary could have an ingredients search feature so that your young self could enter “good health, athletic, math skills, likes socializing” and ask the program what program to register in at college.

Equally, you could be fifty-five and ready for a change. You could enter “single, artistic, degree in chemistry, and gardener,” and the algorithm would suggest two, or five, or ten possible new avenues for you to walk down. This would save so much time and frustration, I wonder that no-one has thought of this before. Maybe they have and I don’t know about it.

Pantry from Bob via Flickr

More likely, though, some career guidance person has created a website that is much too serious, complicated, and pedantic.  It needs to be easy to use and easy to apply. Like the food recipe site, the life recipe site should come up with a few suggestions, each with an enticing illustration.  The suggestions may require a few ingredients you hadn’t thought of, but that’s ok too.  You may actually have those items in your life cupboard, or you might be able to come up with reasonable substitutions.

The initial suggestions should have a name, a picture, and a one-sentence description. After that, you have to click on it to get more detailed information. Obviously, there’s no point in knowing how to make chicken wild rice soup if you don’t have any wild rice. No, it’s best to stick with what you’ve got. Similarly, there’s no point in finding out about being a big rig operator if you don’t have a driver’s license.

I really think I’m on to something here.  If I were a coder I’d get on this right away and create a life recipe site that would make me a million dollars.  However, since I don’t have coding ability in my skillset pantry, I’ll just have to pass this idea on to the universe and hope someone takes the idea and runs with it.  It might just be the spark they need to embark on a new career. You never know.




  1. Try using Yummly . It’s a great site for cooking and stuff.
    Also your program idea – Doesn’t it make everything even more boring, mundane and normal, than it already is. I mean we already get everything ready to us, with technology, like there isn’t a process anymore for most things. We have less experiences, and therefore less satisfaction. I mean social media and technology, however great they are, are basically instant gratification. And that’s why we have less formulated thoughts.
    I’m not hating on this but it’s like they probably soon will make a program for this, and then what a person does with his/her life will be decided by…a program?

    1. I will try Yummity. Thanks for the suggestion. I don’t disagree with you about the ability of technology to be reductive. At the same time, life has become considerably more complex than it was a generation or two ago. My hope was that a computer program might make very difficult decisions a little easier. For some of us, it might make any kind of decision possible.

      1. I agree. It’s just depressing sometimes to look around and see everyone so, i dunno, just everything so moment to moment

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