Singing with Sylvia for Christmas

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 Singing with Sylvia for Christmas Good Dog!

My husband called from work yesterday to share some good news and bad news (my words, not his). Some old friends were passing through town and wanted to get together. Terrific! My dear hubby proceeded to say he had invited them for supper at our house. Panic!

I was working on a deadline, the babysitter was taking off early, and I had a virtually empty refrigerator. Luckily, a sweet puppy came to my rescue!

Recipe Puppy is an ingredient-based search engine for finding recipes. You can use Recipe Puppy to find recipes that don't require a trip to the store.

For example, I had picked up an eggplant at the farmer's market over the weekend. Even though I've never cooked with eggplant and had no plan for the thing, I simply couldn't resist this fresh, purple orb. I also had some fresh tarragon wilting in my crisper, a remnant of a fabulous salmon and spinach entree I had made earlier in the week.

I thought I would try my luck typing "eggplant, tarragon" in the Recipe Puppy search engine. More than 12,000 recipes materialized! You can hover over the other ingredients listed in the three-line recipe description and tell Recipe Puppy that "I have this," "I must use this," or "exclude this." I quickly started paring the recipes down one ingredient at a time. "Yay! I have tomatoes! Are you kidding? Who just happens to have gruyere cheese hanging around?"

And there it was, Armenian Eggplant Casserole. It would become more like "Lauramenian Eggplant Casserole" when I finished with it, because I didn't have sour cream. However, I do have parmesan cheese and a husband who thinks meat must grace every meal. So, I defrosted a couple chicken breasts to throw in and asked my husband to pick up garlic bread on his way home from work.

Now for dessert. I don't have time to bake anything, but I do have a half of a cantaloupe. Recipe Puppy surely couldn't help me here!

I typed in "cantaloupe" and held my breath. In half-a-second, I had all the inspiration I needed for dessert. There on the first of 11 pages was Cantaloupe with Wine Blueberry Sauce. I had frozen blueberries and an open bottle of rum -- a ghost from Christmas past.

Both recipes were tasty and creative. Our guests raved about them and begged for the recipes which, as you now know, were freshly printed out and sitting on the counter.

Recipe Puppy can find recipes that fit your dietary requirements or combine two seemingly unrelated ingredients. It is also a great way to clean out your refrigerator before foods expire.

What's in your pantry? Give Recipe Puppy a whirl:
Recipe Search by Ingredients:
Powered by Recipe Puppy

Share your experiences with this new search engine in the comments section below.

-- Laura Monchuk for

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