RecipeMatcher: What's For Dinner?

San Diego based RecipeMatcher is a user generated recipe site with a cool search concept: tell it what you have in your kitchen and it will suggest recipes. It will also suggest close matches and tell you what else you need for a complete meal. With a click you can add it to a printable grocery list.

The site is well designed and includes some Flash components, although there were some issues as well. There are obvious areas that would benefit from Ajax (like the rating feature for recipes) and I could not find a way to make a recipe a favorite even though there is a favorites section. I also get the feeling this thing is hosted on a server in someone’s garage. Nonetheless, like Extratasty for drinks, this can be a very useful site for people who like to cook.

If you’re into this, compare it to AllRecipes, FoodNetwork and Google Recipes (part of Google Base), all of which allow searching by ingredients. Only RecipeMaker, so far, seems to allow you to store the ingredients you have in your pantry, though, which many people will find useful.

I spoke to the founder, Mike Sasaki, for a few minutes this afternoon. Mike created the site with hired help for just a couple of thousand dollars, and kept his day job at a law firm.

Update: Snacksby (Arlington, VA) is a very similar site that just emailed me. It has a better interface and is more stable. Check it out as well if you are looking for this kind of service.