Cooking is a creative process that anyone can join in, study the basics, experiment with, and ultimately excel at. We keep this valuable knowledge in the form of recipes: you may remember those old fat notebooks in which your grandmas used to write down recipes of their best meals, or those huge piles of cooking magazines inside a chest of drawers, or huge volumes of cook books resting on bookshelves in each and every home. All these things have already outlived their time; we live in a digital world now, and we can keep all our data on multiple devices: not necessarily computers, but also mobile phones and such. Modern software can meet all our recipe recording needs; the only question is, which program is the best for the purpose?
First, we need to settle on what we're actually expecting from such applications. We want to save our time by downloading recipes from the Web in a handy form, with pictures, and detailed descriptions, and even videos. We want to be able to edit our recipes, add comments to them, and so on. In addition, planning our meals and estimating their costs would also be handy. Finally, a good recipe storing application should give us the ability to create our own recipe cards, publish them on the Web or print them. With all this in mind, let's have a look at some interesting examples of cooking software.
First of all, many such programs (some of the most popular of them being Living Cookbook, Mastercook Deluxe, and AccuChef) come with a recipe book of their own, which can be used as a source for new ideas for your everyday meals and for special occasions. All the recipes are usually divided into categories. You can search recipes by food type: Spanish cuisine, soups, sauces, desserts, and so on.
Just think of it: there are more than 8,000 recipes stored in just one program. Each of those recipes comes with a wonderful picture of the dish, and they all look just so delicious and tasty...
According to user feedback on the Web, one of the handiest recipe managers is included in the Living Cookbook program.
You can enter the details of your dishes, such as their titles, cooking durations, ingredients, nutritional information, images, videos, and other comments. I'd even say there are too many inlays and fields: I certainly wouldn't use all of them to save my recipes.
However, the recipe search is rather well organized, and you can view your recipes as neat cook book pages.
In addition to this, your can search for recipes using complex expressions including words like “and” or “or”, and the names of ingredients. There are more than 8,000 ingredients in this program's database, each with full nutritional information and average cost. Finally, the application offers conversion between imperial and metric units.
Since this ability to manage food ingredients allows us to plan out our meals and estimate our budget by making all calculations beforehand, a good Menu Planner should be an integral component of a cook book application. Let's have a look at how this feature works in the AccuChef program.
It is very simple, actually. You just need to add some recipes from your database to a specific calendar date, choosing your preferred meal type and specifying the meal time. Unfortunately, Accuchef doesn't support drag and drop, which can be found in some other cook book programs, but it doesn't make things much more complicated.
Once you've added your recipes, they are automatically checked. Then you just click on the “Shopping list” button to copy the selected recipes to a special shopping list. Finally, all you have to do is choose those products that you don't have in your refrigerator and print the generated list.
Keep in mind that if you do wish to use the program to calculate the estimated cost of your recipes, you should take some time to add all the prices manually.
To sum that all up, it's up to you which program to choose: as we can see, they all have similar functionality, and the only difference lies in the sets of additional features and the interface design. All in all, cook book software can be useful for any regular user, businessman and housewife alike. It can save your time and make your daily chores easier and more creative. To wrap things up, I'd only like to wish you all a lot of success with your new dishes.