With Thanksgiving just around the corner I thought I’d share some recipe apps that can help with your holiday menu planning.
Several years ago I signed up for Kraft Recipes website. The site allowed for you to save recipes, make grocery lists and even sign up for a free magazine subscription. Over the years the site has evolved, and while the magazine subscription is no longer free there are new features such as video recipes and of course the iPhone app.
When Kraft’s iFood Assistant app first came out it had real issues. Seemed to crash all the time and some of my saved recipes wouldn’t load. Since then however the app has improved tremendously. The app allows you to search recipes or login to your online account where you can save recipes or view saved recipes. Like many brand apps the Kraft’s app also offers a coupon tab where you can receive coupons on selected Kraft items. Though I haven’t seemed to got it to work.
Another good recipe app is Campbell’s Kitchen. Like with Kraft’s app, Campbell’s Kitchen app is tied back to their online site , where you can sign up for an account. Creating an account will tie your app recorded recipes back to the main site, this means you can also access recipes from your computer.
The Campbell’s app while much like Kraft in the way of searching recipes, there are a few nice little features. The first is the Quick Ideas tab which allows you to do a quick search for meals based on the prep time, cook time and who’s eating; say a picky eater for example. My favorite feature though is the UPC scan option. This allows you to scan the UPC of a can of Campbell’s soup for example, and then it will show all the recipes for that product. This is really nice when you’re looking to make something with what you have in the pantry.
The Betty Crocker app is set up a little differently. Instead of having categories for meals, it’s more based on either a keyword search or a surprise me button. If you do want to browse by category you can only do so by ingredient, such as beef for example. I feel this is a little limiting since most recipe apps/sites allow you to search by type of food, for example desserts. The coupon tab on this apps does seem to work, unlike Kraft’s ; but the coupons are separated by grocery store chains. Since none of these chains are anywhere close to where I live, I’ve yet to use the coupons.
What I like most about this app is the nice category setup, which includes the ability to search for “Healthy” items, as well as holiday recipes and even edible gifts.
The novelty of AllRecipes.com app is that it’s called the Dinner Spinner. The spinner works by selecting a category, ingredient and cook time, then the spinner will find a corresponding recipe. The app works pretty good. Like other apps includes a shopping list feature and the ability to login to your online account to save recipes.
The Big Oven app, I would have to say is up there with Epicurious, as far as design goes. It’s a sleek app with beautiful food images. Big Oven also has some cool features that others don’t. First you there’s a category called “Used Up Leftovers” this let you search by ingredient so you can use up what you have lying around. There are many categories under the menu search, including searches for all Holidays, and I do mean all holidays from Christmas, to Hanukkah to Ramadan. Also this is the first app on this list to include a menu planning feature. The menu planer lets you add recipes to a calendar.
Pepper Plate is another favorite recipe app. Unlike other apps, this particular one doesn’t actually have recipes. Instead you sign up for an account and use it as a recipe box. The site offers several ways to import your favorite recipes, such as copy and pasting the URL to a recipe and then it saves it to your Pepper Plate account; this however only works with certain websites. You can of course always manually type in your recipes. Instead of having your recipes spread among so many accounts I liked the idea of having them in one spot, here on Pepper Plate. What I really loved was their menu planning set up as well as the ability to nicely print recipes. I really like Pepper Plate and for a while it was my main app for organizing all my recipes.
While I love Pepper Plate, I had hoped for a way to integrate it into my website. Since I write a lot of recipe blog posts, I thought wouldn’t it be nice if I could easily save my recipes to Pepper Plate. My site is built using WordPress, and so I first did a search for WordPress plugins that were meant for recipes. Unfortunately, there was no plugin feature to for WordPress and Pepper Plate, but there was for Yum Print.
Yum Print is newer than some of the other recipe site. Their online site is set up with a very Pinterest type look and feel. You can easily sign up for Yum Print with Facebook and start searching and saving recipes. The site is like a database for user saved recipes. because of this the category searches are limited to recent and popular recipes. You can always search by ingredient, and there’s a nifty “on sale” category, which displays recipes whose ingredients are on sale locally. Basically it’s taking your zip code information and searching local online ads for what ingredients are on sale, then listing those popular recipes. Nice feature and not one commonly found.
Yum Print allows you to save your recipes into what they call “cook books” which is nice. You can also identify recipes that you cooked and rate them as well. Yum Print like Pepper Plate has a really nice menu planner, while not exactly the same it works well. The Yum Print app , allows you to access recipes in your cookbook, edited and view menus and of course there a grocery list.
While, I did like using Pepper Plate, the WordPress Yum Print plugin is amazing. It lets me create well styled recipes to post on my blog, which I can easily add to my Yum Print account. There’s even a Yum Print Recipe Clipper, that allows you to quickly save recipes from almost any site you come across. There are some issues with the clipper not always saving correctly, but overall it doesn’t do a bad job. Yum Print has defiantly become my go to recipe app.
The last app I wanted to share was Kitchen Helper , while not exactly a recipe app it does have some helpful tools.
It has a nice conversion chart, as well as a conversion calculator. Simply list the type of item, and the units and it covets to cups into ounces, pounds into cups and so forth. What I really like though is the substitution feature. Say for example your recipe calls for buttermilk, and your plum out. Using the substitution feature, I can search buttermilk and it will give me an appropriate substitution such as 1 cup of buttermilk is equal to a cup of milk with a tbsp of lemon juice.
We’ll those are the apps that I have currently installed on my iPhone. I hope you’ll find some of them helpful in planning your holiday dinner. What recipe apps are you using? Let me know !