recipe organization. Maybe, like me, you’re new to it.
Even though I work with recipes professionally, I’ve
been hesitant to go completely digital. I’m used to
working from books. Paper is comforting to me.
the other day, when I found I couldn’t reach my desk
at home — I’ve collected a lot of cookbooks over the
years, along with files of family recipes and clippings,
storing everything in the office — I had my "come
to Jesus" moment. It was time to evolve.
basic search of recipe apps and programs will turn up a
ton of options. I spent the last week or so checking
with colleagues and friends, and researching a number of
the more popular and highly rated apps and programs on
the market now.
results were amazing. While most options will allow you
to "clip" and save recipes found online, there
are a number that allow you to add your own notes and
photos, generate grocery lists and even compile
meal-planning calendars. At least one will help you
re-create your physical cookbook library online, and
still others offer scanning and transcribing services to
help you save all those handwritten recipes in the
recipe box you inherited.
you’ll find several favorite apps and programs,
including highlights and special features. Remember that
these apps are constantly evolving and may offer
different features and prices.
What it does: Intuitive and easy-to-follow app for meal
planning, recipe browsing, collection, creation and
management. Download recipes from anywhere on the Web,
and store them on Paprika. In the kitchen, the app helps
you track your progress, allowing you to cross off
ingredients and highlight current steps; it also helps
to automatically scale ingredients and insert timers in
steps. Paprika also includes a smart grocery list
function to pull ingredients from a chosen recipe into a
simple shopping list, along with meal plans and calendar
functions. For holiday cooking, use the toolbar at the
bottom to check among multiple recipes at once. Cloud
Sync seamlessly synchronizes recipes, lists and meal
plans between devices.
In a nutshell: A great all-around app, whether you’re
new to this or not.
Platforms and price: iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android, Kindle
Fire, Nook Color; $4.99.
What it does: Another great beginner website when
transitioning to online. The library contains more than
250,000 recipes, and you can also import your own. Pro
membership allows for scanning, in which you photograph
your recipes and they are transcribed through OCR
(optical character recognition) scanning and human
deciphering; you can also enter recipes manually. Pro
membership also includes Web clipping, note adding and
In a nutshell: Don’t have the time (or desire) to
manually input your mother’s handwritten recipes? Use
the transcription service.
Platforms and prices: Website, iPhone, iPad, Android,
Kindle Fire, Nook, Windows Phone, Windows; free for
basic, $2.49 a month or $19.99 a year for Pro
What it does: It’s your personal online cookbook
library. Use the website’s indexing tools to locate
the cookbooks and magazines you already own, along with
blogs you follow to create an online bookshelf, then use
the website to quickly search for recipes — by name,
ingredients, occasion, food type, ethnicity, book title
or author — when you need them. Use the Bookmarklet to
add any online recipe to your collection, and tag books
and recipes to organize them. The website also includes
a shopping list function and a forum where you can chat
with other members and see their ratings on books and
In a nutshell: All my cookbooks on my phone? I’ll take
Platforms and prices: Website; free for up to five books
(and/or magazines and blogs), $2.50 a month unlimited,
$25 a year unlimited.
What it does: Intuitive and easy-to-use visual tool for
collecting and storing various interests, not limited to
food. The idea is to "pin" — or bookmark —
these ideas (recipes, foods, ingredients, etc.) to
various "boards." Boards can be organized in
any way, such as generic "recipes,"
holiday-specific courses and seasonal dishes and dietary
needs. Pin recipes from anywhere on the Web to your
boards, which can either be private or publicly shared
with other pinners.
In a nutshell: Pretty pictures galore. I’ve spent
hours at a time on Pinterest. I can share with anyone,
and it’s so easy to "pin" new recipes and
Platforms and price: Website, iPhone, iPad, Windows,
Android, Kindle, Nook; free.
What it does: A great app for Evernote users that lets
you organize and document both recipe and restaurant
information and experiences. The app links to a number
of recipe sites, and it is easy to "clip" and
save recipes, then record your meals start to finish
through photographs and notes. You can also save
restaurants — whether places you’ve been to or ones
you’d like to try — and use your location to find
restaurants nearby. For the "foodie" who likes
to document everything, it’s a great way to record all
your food-related adventures.
In a nutshell: Recipe organization and restaurant guide
all rolled into one.
Platforms and prices: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android;
free for the basic app, premium is $5 a month or $45 a
What it does: Use it to create, organize, edit and share
recipes. MacGourmet also includes shopping lists and
note functions. Create your own categories, and add
images and notes to customize recipes. Use the Potluck
feature to find recipes based on ingredients you have on
hand. You can import or clip recipes from other sites,
and you can scale servings as you like. MacGourmet
Deluxe includes a nutrition database. The Mealplan
feature generates shopping lists, menus and related
plans for any meal. The Cookbook Builder allows you to
create your own look, including text, image and divider
pages; a table of contents template; and PDF options.
In a nutshell: I love the idea of the cookbook option,
so I can create my own collections as gifts or for
Platforms and prices: Apple only; $24.99 (MacGourmet
software), $49.95 (MacGourmet Deluxe software), $3.99
for Gourmet (for iOS) app for iPhone or iPad.