Others have star envy for Kim, Angelina or Scarlett. Lately for me, it’s more like Giada, Cat and Ina. Though I’m not about to audition for Cutthroat Kitchen anytime soon, I know my way around a roasting pan, and I’ve got a few knife skills up my sleeve. (Plus you should see me turn out chocolate-dipped strawberries like a boss.) Living in a household with two kids, two adults and four different taste preferences means I’m always looking for new recipes for my own “test kitchen.” And I’ve found some great ones, but it can be hard to lay my hands on them when I want them. After all, when a miracle happens and my kids ask for “the asparagus we liked,” I need that recipe pronto. Thankfully, there are apps for that. Here’s a sampling of my favorite ways to organize recipes.
Cook. Ever dream of being a cookbook author? Make it happen with Cook‘s gorgeous, shareable cookbooks. You can manually add your favorite family recipes, or photograph and upload originals (perfect for that disintegrating scrap from Bon Appétit, circa 1982). Then swap recipes with other Cook book creators around the world.
BigOven. Say you’re at the market and Japanese eggplant is on sale, but you’re not sure how to use it. Type that and two other ingredients of your choice into BigOven, and recipes will instantly appear. The app contains a stunning 250,000 of them—plus you can add your own, so if you have a Japanese eggplant recipe, the app will call it up for you.
Paprika and Pepperplate. Take your pick: both Paprika and Pepperplate are super-smart apps let you sync your recipes, grocery lists and meal plans across all your devices. When you’re out shopping, your phone can tell you which ingredients you’ll need for tonight’s dinner…even if the recipe was saved on your tablet at home.
Basil. Just for iPad, this app is a chef’s favorite, thanks to how easy it is to use. Just highlight the text in any recipe you find online, and it’ll be saved and formatted for you. Basil can also convert measurements (say, liters to cups), and turns phrases like “bake for 15 minutes” into timers you can tap to run. Bonus: you can add photos. And who doesn’t love food porn?
Evernote Food. This one is especially for foodies who eat out as often as they eat in. If you’re the type who snaps shots of everything you order, you’ll love how the Evernote Food app creates a single home for both your favorite recipes and your photos from your favorite restaurant experiences. So before you plan dinner, you can peek at that excellent pizza you ordered last week, and decide if you’re really in the mood to cook.
Pinterest. You might be used to using it for design inspiration, but it’s just as strong in the recipe department. Keeping with its style roots, Pinterest recipes tend to specialize in the “clever twist” — like birthday cake in a jar, and frozen yogurt-covered blueberries. But dieters, beware: the beautiful photo format makes everything look delicious.
Eat Your Books. Got a shelf crammed with cookbooks, but can’t remember which one had that amazing frittata recipe in it? This app lets you tap its library of 125,000 cookbooks and cooking magazines to build a digital bookshelf of the books and magazine subscriptions you already own. You won’t find full recipes (that would break copyright laws), but Eat Your Books gives you a searchable index of the recipes in all your books, so you can immediately find out which ones contain exactly what you want.
Hey, I think that’s my oven timer going off! Time to cook up something great.
Once your recipes are well organized, it just might be time for some kitchen organization. See the gallery below for tips.