Automate all the things

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Apr 27, 2022 by Aron Korenblit

How I curated 300+ recipes from TikTok

I absolutely love to cook but I'm terrible at memorizing recipes. Tik Tok's algorithm quickly realized my love for cooking. My for you page is ~75% recipes. Like a lot of you I'm sure, I'd watch a recipe and think "of yeah amazing, definitely going to cook this one". I'd  proceed to like the recipe and forget it forever. It vanished from my mind.

Amid the pandemic with lots of time on my hands, I set out to fix this by building a database of recipes. I needed an easy way to save them, get the recipe steps, cook them and then keep the ones I liked.

Today, I save my recipes into Airtable using iOs shortcuts. I have over 300 saved recipes and my cooking game has gone through the roof.

Here's how I did it:

Step 1: Create a recipe table

Airtable felt like the perfect database to house my recipes (bias: I work there!). Every recipe I wanted to save would be a record in a recipes table. Every field would be what I want to track for each recipes. I wanted to keep this as simple as possible. If it was difficult to add recipes, I'd never follow through. For my MVP I tracked the recipe's name, URL, ingredients, recipe, images, tags and a rating.

Your structure may be a little different, you can add or remove fields as needed. I'd highly recommend starting with as few fields as possible since less fields means more chances that you save the recipe! I actually started with just the URL and added from there.

Scribe walkthrough: how to add fields to a table

Step 2: Get recipes into my table automatically

There was no way I'd have the patience to manually add recipes from Tik Tok to my recipes table. I needed to find a way to save at least a recipe's title and URL at the click of a button from Tik Tok. Luckily, I was building this workflow when Matt Cassinelli came on AATT to teach me Apple Shortcuts.

Apple shortcuts allows you to call any API from your phone including Airtable's! Basically I capture the information from the URL (every tik tok video is a URL) and send the page's title (the video's name) and URL to Airtable.

If you're a mac user, you can grab the shortcut for yourself here (note: I believe you have to be on mac/iOs for the share link to work and there may be a few security settings you need to change!)

If calling an API is not your cup of tea, you can use Shortcutify. It's Zapier for iOs shortcuts so no need to write any code!

Scribe walkthrough: add recipes to your base (note: I couldn't capture the mobile version but it's just as simple!)

Step 3: Fill out details once a week

Once saving the recipes became easy, I started curating them. Once a week I'd sift through the different recipes in my table, tagging them, adding ingredients etc. I created views for the different steps in a recipe's lifetime ("liked on tik tok", "ready to try", "tried and should cook again").

Scribe walkthrough: the three different views to track recipes

Step 4: cook!

My cooking knowledge has 10x since I've implemented this workflow. I now have a great way of going from "oh this is a cool recipe" to "I cook this at least once a week". Not only that but the list keeps growing! I have over 300 recipes (most that I haven't yet curated, but that's another story!)

Here is a list of 40+ recipes that I've tried and rated. Feel free to cook those or use it as a starting point for your recipe curation workflow :)

That's it for this week!

Until next week, keep building!


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