Entries in The Recipe Box (1)

Wednesday
Mar092011

The Recipe Box for iPad

Toss out your printouts, magazine clippings, and even cookbooks. The iPad finally has an app that gets recipe collection and presentation right. The Recipe Box turns your iPad into a great kitchen appliance, so you can find just the right recipe whenever you need it. And it's great while you're cooking, too.

Readable Text
Unlike a regular cookbook, The Recipe Box won't accidentally turn a page on you while you're in the middle of a complicated step. In fact, you can keep track of what step you're on just by tapping on it. What's more, you can keep track of steps in several recipes by tapping through your history. You can also use the app while gathering ingredients… tap them off after you've gathered them so you can focus on what's left. When you're done, rotate your iPad from landscape to portrait, and the ingredients tuck themselves away. Tap on the directions tab, and now all you see on your iPad are directions in large text that you can read across the kitchen. What a respite from cluttered screens of ads, ratings, reviews that bury directions an unreadable layout.

Cross-Referencing
Even if you're the most meticulous recipe collector, you can't put recipes in more than one physical file folder. Where do you put a risotto recipe? Under rice? Dinner? Italian? Comfort food? It really belongs in all categories, and The Recipe Box lets you do that. Don't like the ones that come with the app, or want to add more? You can do that. Say you have some green onions and mushrooms in your fridge and want to find something to make for dinner. Simply search for "green onion mushroom" and you'll get all your recipes with those in it. You can bookmark recipes to try later. And email yourself a list of ingredients from items in your shopping cart, or a nicely formatted recipe to share or print.

Enjoyable Data Entry
Of course, to get the full use, you have to enter recipes, which can be annoying in apps that force you to tap buttons for every ingredient. The Recipe Box makes it easy to cut and paste from an email or web site. If you save the web site in the source field, it's a clickable link in the About tab. Have a bunch of clippings or printouts? The special keyboard types common cooking terms for you, with shortcuts for hard to find keys like °, common measuring terms, as well as fractions. 

Gravy
Many cooking apps hit some of these features, but not all. And none of them have as gorgeous a presentation, as delightful to look at as the things you'll cook.

The Recipe Box for iPad is available for $6.99 from the App Store.