HalfHourMeals.com Becomes Online Community Cookbook

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HalfHourMeals.com goes well beyond the concept of a living cookbook in that it allows members to ask questions, offer substitutions, and provide feedback -- it's a community cookbook and a "Julie & Julia" movie experience on a grand scale.

Sharing recipes along with the experience of cooking those recipes has been popular among bloggers since blogging became popular

HalfHourMeals.com, which was originally launched as an easy-to-make meal site in 2008, has been redesigned into an online community cookbook where anyone from amateur cooks to professional chefs can connect. The new network now allows members to share, rate, discuss, and discover a broad range of recipes, cooking topics, and food enthusiast conversations.

"We placed much more emphasis on the aspect of community that comes from cooking," said Antony Berkman, president of BlogCatalog, which acquired HalfHourMeals.com in February. "It goes well beyond the concept of a living cookbook in that it allows members to ask questions, offer substitutions, and provide feedback -- it's a community cookbook and the world is our community."

Since the launch of the redesign, over 300 food and cooking blogs have been added to the site, some of which contain hundreds of original and compiled recipes. Berkman describes the social network as a "Julie & Julia" movie experience on a grand scale.

"Sharing recipes along with the experience of cooking those recipes has been popular among bloggers since blogging became popular," said Berkman. "HalfHourMeals.com takes it a step further by allowing people to ask questions and get answers about specific ingredients or recipes, often in real time."

Berkman comes from a family with deep ties to the culinary industry. His brother, Clive Berkman, is a notable award-winning chef who has cooked for presidents and celebrities at Charley's 517 and later Clive's in Houston, Texas; and his mother owned and operated a famous catering business in Johannesburg, South Africa.

"We added a few of my mother's recipes to kick things off, including our family's favorite scone recipe, which takes a mere 20 minutes to make," says Berkman. "Since the launch, there have been dozens of new recipes added every day, with many of them being submitted by a combination of popular food and cooking bloggers and good people who love good food."

Most recipes featured at the online community average 30 minutes or less to make. The 30-minute rule seems to fit most families' busy schedules. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most families average only about 31 minutes on each meal in the United States.

HalfHourMeals.com is a niche social network that connects food enthusiasts, amateur cooks, and professional chefs. It features member-submitted recipes, discussion area, and directory of food and cooking blogs from around the world. Members can provide fresh ideas, enocuragement, experience, and feedback.

For more information, visit HalfHourMeals.com

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Tony Berkman
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