Tweets from @cookbook.
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Tweets from @cookbook.
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updated 7/10/2009 7:59:15 PM ET 2009-07-10T23:59:15

R Twttrd recips a gr8 new thing 4 bkg & ckng or r the dirctns 2 confusng for most peeps?

Within the endless streams of bite-size personal updates and random thoughts that populate the Twitter-sphere, now you also can find recipes for dinner, including from pros like Martha Stewart (@marthastewart) and Chicago chef Rick Bayless (@Rick_Bayless).

But there's a catch. Twittered cooking instructions are so compressed they often read like trigonometric expressions. Consider "Heat 3Tdashi, 1/2C miso, 4C H2O" or "Simmer 6 sm leeks w/2T but &1t salt & 1Cwater 10 min".

The recipes, like all tweets, conform to Twitter's ironclad 140-character limit, meaning directions that might fill a page in an old-school cookbook get seriously scrunched.

Critics say the micro-recipes — sometimes called Twecipes — too often are confusing and half-baked. But aficionados call it a modern way to bring cooking to the masses and, besides, puzzling out the instructions is part of the fun.

"Definitely it's a code, it's a hieroglyphic that people have to get over time," says Karen Solomon, a San Francisco-based cookbook author and recipe tweeter. "But so is LOL ... or the emotions like smiley faces that people have been using for years."

Solomon tweets super-short recipes running the gamut from sunchokes to strawberry shortcake as @chef140. Other cooks hitting Twitter with recipes include food columnist Lucy Waverman (@lucywaverman) and Maureen Evans (@cookbook), a prolific amateur cook with more than 15,000 followers.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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