My Turkey Recipes ($1.99)
Around the holidays a lot of folks have questions about turkey. Most of us don’t cook a whole turkey at any other time of the year, so it can be a real challenge. Fortunately the My Turkey Recipes app will tell you exactly what you need to know. The layout is simple, just tap on topics of interest and you will drill down through the available choices. Most of the app is text, though there are several relevant illustrations included in the “Boning a Whole Turkey” entry.
This app may suffer from a few typos here and there, including the head-scratcher misspelling of the word “recipes” on the splash page of the app, but there’s a lot of good information here. I found several recipes that I want to try myself, and will be using one from this app on Thanksgiving Day. Don’t be fooled by the slightly unprofessional presentation, this app will give you all the information you need from start to finish, from thawing and deboning a turkey to delicious recipes that help you use up the leftovers in creative ways.
Paprika Recipe Manager ($9.99)
If you’re already a great cook and need a way to organize your recipes, Paprika Recipe Manager is the way to go. Data entry is very fast, thanks to good design and clever ideas, like the shortcut buttons just above the keyboard. Instead of filling out a complicated table of ingredients, you just put one on each line; the app is smart enough to separate everything out when you add the recipe to your shopping list. That also means that you can copy and paste from your favorite recipe sites, saving even more time.
You can set up your own categories (and assign multiple categories to each recipe, if necessary) and add photos to each recipe if you like. A favorites feature helps you find the best ones quickly, and you can also enter a rating for each recipe. Sharing is as simple as tapping the email button and entering an address. Paprika is an absolute must for home cooks who want to organize their recipes. Why search through a shelf full of cookbooks, or even worse, a pile of magazine clippings and printouts, when you’re looking for a particular recipe? Put it in Paprika, get rid of the clutter, and create your own personal cookbook on your iPad.
Photo Cookbook ($4.99, universal)
Are you a beginning cook who is a little unsure about basic cooking skills? Do you have a hard time following regular recipes? If so, you need the Photo Cookbook. This innovative app presents a spinner of twenty recipes in each of four different spinners. Tap on a recipe and you are presented with an ingredient list, photos of each ingredient (with a wealth of information on each one available with a single tap), plus step-by-step illustrated directions that show you exactly what you need to do in order to create the dish. The ingredient info is particularly enlightening, with detailed preparation info and even translations in several different languages.
It’s pure genius — I love this app. I hope that future updates will add even more recipes, because it is fairly expensive for what is included at this point. It would also be nice to include the shopping list and timer features that many of the other recipe apps include, but the Photo Cookbook is unique enough to get a high recommendation without those improvements.
Serving Sizer Pro ($4.99, also available for iPhone)
Serving Sizer Pro is another recipe organizer iPad app that you can use to keep track of all of your recipes. Like Paprika, you enter your own recipes, including ingredients and preparation steps, and the main view is a series of index cards. This app goes a step further in that it can instantly double, triple, halve, or serve a custom number of people with just a couple of taps. You don’t have to do any of that conversion on your own anymore; Serving Sizer Pro will do it for you instantly.
It’s a great help if you often feed different numbers of people (such as when your kids invite their friends for dinner) or if you like to try out a wide variety of recipes from magazines and cookbooks but you live in a one or two person household and don’t want to make enough for eight people.
Recipes take a bit longer to enter here than with Paprika, but the extra time is worth it if you need the quick conversion. It also switches between standard and metric measurements at the tap of a button. A full screen view is great for use when cooking, and you can increase the font to a super-huge size if necessary. Recommended if you need the instant conversions, but if you don’t Paprika is easier to use and more flexible.
Smart Chef Suite ($2.99)
This cook’s helper has three main features: substitutions, conversions, and definitions. The Smart Chef Suite app does exactly what it says on all three counts, though it isn’t without its issues. Substitutions are divided into ten different categories, from baking and dairy to spices and desserts. Use the spinner to choose the ingredient you need to substitute, and suggestions appear at the top of the screen.
Conversions work in a similar fashion, with spinner dials for the conversion factors and a few handy shortcut boxes at the top for fractional amounts. The glossary is rather comprehensive, offering a good amount of information on an exhaustive array of ingredients and cooking techniques. There are no illustrations, but if you’ve ever tried to make a recipe when you’re not familiar with all of the ingredients, this should be a big help.
Everything is well organized and comprehensive, but there’s a lot of wasted space on the screen. The “menu” at the bottom of the screen that describes the three sections of the app isn’t truly necessary, and takes up a lot of room. Just about everyone who cooks will find this app useful, though it could be even better with a few tweaks to the layout.
VegEZ HD ($4.99)
If you’re a vegetarian, you might be feeling a bit left out, but VegEZ HD has you covered. This app is full of great vegetarian recipes for main dishes, side dishes, sandwiches, light bights, breakfast, and desserts. Each recipe has a photo as well as a professionally produced video that takes you step-by-step through the preparation of each dish. The ingredients and the instructions are on the lower art of the screen.
You can mark individual recipes as favorites, but there is no shopping list or timer option. Even without those features, there is a lot to like here. All of the recipes are from Toni Fiore’s video podcasts, and I hope that more recipes will be added in future updates. PS The “Marvelous ‘Meaty’ Wontons are absolutely delicious!
Weber’s On the Grill ($4.99, iPhone version also available)
If you have any interest at all in grilling, you need the Weber’s On the Grill app. It is a virtual treasure trove of information on every aspect of grilling, from how to prepare a charcoal or gas grill to choosing the right meat to a great variety of recipes. There are several instructional videos, and the recipes are very nicely displayed. If there is a specific time associated with a particular step, one tap on the time starts a timer. If you need a shopping list, tap on the grocery cart icon. Some recipes can also be shared via email.
Categories range from appetizers to dessert, with special sections for rubs, marinades, and sauces. While you may not be able to use this app until next Spring (unless you’re in Florida or Hawaii this Thanksgiving season), I still consider it to be an essential app for every aspiring grillmaster.
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