For the first 27 years of my life I knew nothing whatsoever about business – I never took Econ 101, didn’t know the difference between revenue and profit, and on the subway platform each morning, I would toss the business section of my daily New York Times into the trash with aplomb Then I went to business school, picked up some new vocabulary (among other things), and just like there’s no great word for “voila!” in English – some of those business terms are just the best way to communicate an idea, even in non-business circumstances.
“ROI” is just one of those terms.
In business, it means “Return on Investment” which is essentially a measure of what are you getting back (the “return”, usually $) on an endeavor in comparison to what you put into that same endeavor (the “investment” – again, usually $). You just sold one share of Apple that you bought for $22 when they IPO’d in 1980? That’s an ROI of over 15,000%! You get the picture.
At gatheredtable, we believe there is no such thing as a bad cook, only a bad recipe. So, we judge every recipe we test in terms of “Recipe ROI”:
So, if a recipe take a long time, or is complicated, or costs some money – then it better be AMAZING or it won’t pass our ROI test to make it into our gatheredtable curated recipe library. Here’s a few of my personal favorite highest ROI recipes:
Homemade Granola – People, this takes 2 minutes hands-on (time you spend actually creating the recipe!) plus 10 to bake, requires only 5 ingredients, and everyone will think you are the next Martha Stewart. This recipe is adapted from Sabra Krock, a wonderful NYC-based photographer who’s done some beautiful photography work that you see in our library. Copy it to your library.
Braised Short Ribs with Star Anise – Ok, short ribs cost some $$, and this slow cooks for 3 hours in the oven – but trust me, it’s falling-off-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth divine. Perfect for a Fall or Winter Sunday afternoon cooking session. This recipe is adapted from the cookbook Sylvia’s Table, written by the wonderful Liz Neumark, who is on our gatheredtable advisory board and runs the Sylvia Center. Copy it to your your library.
Shrimp Fried Rice – You know those things you think you can only get in a restaurant and could never re-create at home? This was one of mine, until I tried this recipe – so good we made it every week for the first 3 months after we discovered it. It’s quick enough for a weekday, and you might already have every ingredient in your pantry or freezer (an onion, frozen peas, frozen shrimp, soy sauce, rice, etc). This recipe is adapted from the cookbook Staff Meals at Chanterelle – a fabulous collection of recipes from the staff meals of the wonderful (and now closed) Chanterelle restaurant in Tribeca, NYC [N.B.: every restaurant shares with their team a “staff meal” before the dinner hour, a great source of delicious homemade goodness] Copy it to your library.
Busy Day Chocolate Cake – This one makes the cut for a few reasons – (1) it takes five minutes hands-on before you pop it into the oven (you don’t even use a bowl, you just stir ingredients in the pan!) (2) it’s vegan – and I’m not – but I find it delicious anyway (no offense to my beloved vegan friends, but that just doesn’t happen every time…) and (3) the ingredients are ones you’ve probably already got on-hand. This recipe is adapted from the cookbook Mad Hungry: Feeding Men & Boys by Lucinda Quinn. Copy it to your library.
Green Beans with Brown Butter – Green beans are great by themselves, but an extra few minutes to brown the butter takes these to a whole new level. We had to make more when we tested them in the office because they disappeared so quickly! This recipe is adapted from Real Simple. Copy it to your library.
Do you have some high ROI recipes you think we should know about? Send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.