Cooking with the AI

What can I tell you? The weather has been amazing. Someone mentioned Hemingway’s Moveable Feast to me, and I realized I hadn’t read it in literally decades, so now I’m reading it again, and it’s so good.

I’m trying to steer a course between devouring it all in a couple of hours and then being sad, and reading it so slowly that I forget I’m reading it entirely and never finish.

So just now I went onto the front porch in the air, and read the chapter about the waiters at his favorite café and their moustaches and then I made myself stop and come back inside.

I’ve been playing with GPT3 more! Lots more. So I’ll tell you about just a little of that.

I started giving it (GPT3 via AI Dungeon) recipe titles and watching it generate recipes, and that went really well. This one:



2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Zest of 4 small lemons
2 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. orange extract
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp. fresh orange juice

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and lemon zest. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, white sugar, brown sugar and vanilla and orange extracts. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and orange juice.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Form level tablespoons of cookie dough into balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly browned but still soft. Remove from the oven and immediately roll the warm cookies in powdered sugar mixture. Place on wire racks to cool.

Makes 5 dozen cookies.

The first thing I said about it was that it obviously wouldn’t make as many as five dozen cookies, haha! That turned out to be completely wrong.

I made it, halved, and got just shy of 30 cookies, and that was without the lemon zest (we didn’t have any lemons), and with some of the cookies larger than instructed, so a full recipe would have made just about 60, or five dozen, cookies.

I also said (in a chat at work, where I’ve been amusing people with GPT3 tales also) that surely not all of the confectioner’s sugar would be used up, since it was just for the glaze. But in fact every bit of the glaze was used up, so I was wrong about that also.

And the cookies were very good! So clearly the AI triumphed there.

Feeling rather inferior, I typed the title of a bread recipe in French with the idea that it would certainly mess up amusingly: “NOTRE RECETTE DE PAIN SIMPLE FAVORITE”. The AI (showing off) added “DE STEVE” to the end, as I’d mentioned Steve in an earlier recipe, and produced this quite plausible recipe. The main oddnesses are that it specifies “levure de farine”, or “flour leavening”, which doesn’t seem to be a term whose meaning anyone knows, and that the baking time (15 minutes) is ridiculous. It’s also unusual to cut the butter into the dough in a bread recipe, but YOLO.

I made it assuming that Active Dry Yeast would do for “levure de farine” and that I should cook it until it was actually done (50 minutes rather than 15), and it was quite good!

I posted a lasagna recipe that it made to the Pastafarians group at work (it needed more traffic), and based on a comment on that I had it make a lasagna recipe based on a title in Italian, and it also did a wild job. The main oddity is that it listed an optional garnish of Wakame seaweed, which seems to have been a rather novel invention on its part (although it is sometimes used as a garnish on entirely different things).

So that was all fun!

(And my God, I was not aware until I looked for a good thing to link to above, of the awful treatment of free-thinkers in Russia. Get out there and vote against Trump if you’re in the US, and against your local Putin candidates if you’re somewhere else. Dark friggin’ times!)

11 Comments to “Cooking with the AI”

  1. Maybe French minutes are different from U.S. minutes.

    I am looking for a good brownie recipe. My brownie preference might be a bit peculiar. I don’t want it overly chewy or fudgey. I don’t want it like cake, either. I want something between biscotti and a somewhat dense cookie.


    • I’ll bet you’re right about the minutes thing. They live at a different pace…

      On the brownies, well, I asked it and it answered! :) No idea whether it’s telling the truth here. They might be completely ordinary brownies for all I can tell…


      These brownies are very delicious and easy to make. They travel well, and because of the nuts, they almost have a bit of a “fancy” feel to them. Since they are a bit dry and hard, they are more like biscotti than traditional brownies. The following ingredients will make six large brownies.

      1/2 cup butter
      1 and 1/4 cups sugar
      2 eggs
      1 tsp. vanilla
      3/4 cup flour
      1/4 tsp. salt
      1/4 tsp. baking powder
      2/3 cup cocoa
      1 cup chopped nuts
      Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
      Cream the butter and sugar together until light in color. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla.
      Combine the dry ingredients and add them to the creamed mixture a little at a time. Stir in the nuts.
      Pour the batter into a greased 9″x9″ baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.
      Allow to cool before cutting.
      These keep well in an airtight container.


      • Thanks. I am going to give this a try.


      • I await the result eagerly! And I hope it is at least not disappointing. :)


      • I gave it a try this morning. Success! The brownies are better than I thought they would be–not too fudgy or chewy, with a lighter, biscotti-ish texture. I’m going to try to save some to see if with time the texture becomes even airier.

        The hardest part was mixing in the dry ingredients. I don’t have a powerful mixer, so I did it by hand. Very thick batter. It was also a bit of a chore to spread the batter evenly over the 9 X 9 pan, but not impossible.

        If I make these again (and I probably will) I might try a little less cocoa and a bit more flour.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well, that’s entirely delightful! Thank you for taking on the risk :).


      • I didn’t know how to send you a picture of the brownie, but maybe a wordpress site will work?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Looks very chocolatey indeed! And the mug made me smile :) I will have to find mine in the cabinet. (Does cafepress still exist?)


      • I do not know if Cafepress exists. I’m glad to have my mug. Maybe it’s a collector’s item. I use it only on special occasions because it fades in the dishwasher. Washing by hand required. I like the size of it—perfect for a cold winter cup of hot cocoa. It’s roomy enough for the drink and two full-size marshmallows. Now that I have the Hershey’s cocoa powder, I may make hot cocoa as my next project. Just need to get the marshmallows. With the brownie, though, I had hot tea. In searching for the sack of sugar, I found at the very back of our pantry drawer a number of unopened pouches of special tea given to me by my youngest brother almost twenty years ago. I brewed Lung Ching Dragon’s Well Special, a very mild green.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I have never had lemon orange cookies, but I am definitely going to give them a try. Thanks for the recipe.

    Liked by 1 person


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