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Do a search here on copyright law and you'll find a ton of stuff.
There is no specified amount that is OK to quote in Fair Use law. There are multiple considerations in addition to length in determining what is appropriate. Two paragraphs might be OK in a 5-page article, but not in a four paragraph source. In one court case a short quote from a Gerald Ford book was deemed inappropriate, because it disclosed sensational information and affected the marketability of the book.
>>>So a quote needs to be just long enough to give the reader the gist of the article?
Exactly. What's appropriate depends on context, length of the story, etc. A 25 word quote of a 50 word article might infringe. A 50 word quote of a 5000 word article doesn't. Think SHORT. Short plus a link is a good rule. We do a lot of such quotes in my forum. Many if not most are a few sentences (or less). Very few are longer.
I believe there is some case law on recipes. If it is a simple list of ingredients and instructions with no original comments, it is probably OK under copyright law to copy it. The link back to the original is a courtesy. But if there is originality in the comments, I would err on the side of caution and get permission before copying.