Off the iPad and In the Kitchen

Spoiler alert! Food Network In the Kitchen is a good buy for a couple of dollars. There are plenty of free web sites and iPad recipe apps, but the interface makes this just a little bit handier. Four stars.

I realized as I approached the Christmas break that all my blogs are beginning to interfere with other writing projects. I will be sending a book for We Rule fans to ePress this month (assuming Apple’s new iBooks guidelines don’t force me to redo a lot), and am finishing preparations to publish my novel Raising Hell.

I took a few weeks off to prepare a video presentation for the International Journal for Religion and Spirituality in Society, and just getting it to upload correctly took more than a week (in spite of the fact that I have been posting videos for years).

So I decided to revamp iPad Envy to allow me to branch out. In the future I will feature one review each Monday. That review will focus on Apple’s recommended app or game of the week. Just because Apple recommends an iPad app, doesn’t mean I would recommend it. When the price can reach $10, a review might definitely help your decision.

Apple makes it’s picks on Thursday night, so I will spend time with it over the weekend and have my review ready on Monday. Occasionally, I might pass Apple’s recommendation up to review an app or game I think you would like even more.

I will post additional reviews as I run across apps that are either so good or so bad (or mediocre but overly hyped) that I feel compelled to mention them.

Dinner for Valentines

Apple may have picked  In the Kitchen for their Valentine week app because of its Valentine’s Day meal section. When you scroll past the chef’s page, you will find quite a few sections offering Valentine’s treats, brunch, dinner, snacks, cocktails and party dishes. I browsed through them all and found only a couple that weren’t tempting.

Ironically, most of those were in the red velvet section and I love red velvet cake. The thought of red velvet cheesecake leaves me totally untempted even though I’m usually game for anything.

Look at all these red velvet recipes, just in time for Valentine’s Day. In the Kitchen’s ‘Valentine featured section gives tips for desserts, parties, brunch and cocktails. Best of all you can compare several side-by-side.

In the Kitchen features famous Food Network chefs, including household names familiar to the cooking illiterate—Rachel Ray, Bobby Flay and the artery hardening pre-diabetic recipes of Paula Dean.

Browsing In the Kitchen is a dream. The app allows you to browse by chef or by food categories such as comfort food, healthy food and quick recipes. They also provide a featured category tailored to the season with a number of approaches to serving families and friends. Or you can type a flash of inspiration into the search field, say “whipped” and see all of the ideas for whipped dishes that inspired other chefs.

Should you find two different recipes that interest you, you can compare them side-by-side (or you can browse the main and side dish recipes in the same window). Once you’ve settled on your recipes you can move the ingredients to a shopping list to take with you to the grocery store (or, if you’re really into Apple hip, Whole Foods).

The convenient shopping lists allow you to merge all of the items from the recipes to make sure you don’t have to run back to the store later to collect something you forgot to add to your hand written list.

(Or, if you insist on supporting an employer who suppresses wages and benefits and skips right past US manufacturers for the Chinese, take it with you to Wal-Mart). 

The app seems to keep your shopping list in memory until you erase it, so you should be able to refer to it even if your store doesn’t support wireless. You can also email the list to view on your iPhone if you want to leave the iPad at home.

You can also create a free account with Food Network’s online site to store your favorite recipes. The online recipe box is especially useful since you can access it on your iPhone as well. The one problem I had with the app, however, was the inability to add more than three recipes to the list without relaunching on my first generation device. But these are minor and should easily be fixed.

The recipe box allows you to quickly locate your favorite recipes. You can also organize and supplement your recipes online.

A bigger concern is the lack of AirPrint support for the shopping list. As it stands you have to email a copy to print from another device. I can live without it, but I know some people who still can’t function without having access to the hard copy.

Overall, In the Kitchen is a slick and relatively inexpensive recipe app. I’ve looked at a lot for reviews, but this is the first I felt I could really use on a daily basis. 

Jenny Manytoes rates Food Network In the Kitchen

Jenny Manytoes would purr next to In the Kitchen. If you’re really into recipes it’s an excellent way to supplement your recipes online and it’s perfect for referring to your recipe shopping lists from the store.

The Jenny Manytoes Rating System

Jenny Manytoes, our polydactyl cat
  • When Jenny makes biscuits on a product she thinks she’s in heaven.
  • When Jenny purrs over a product she’s very happy.
  • When Jenny naps next to a product it’s okay with her.
  • When Jenny bunches her tail she can live with a product, but she has higher expectations.
  • When Jenny leaves it in the litter box….I don’t think I need to explain this one.

About Phillip T Stephens

Phillip T. Stephens disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle twenty years before he was born, creating a time travel paradox so confusing it remains unspoken between physicists and sci-fi writers to this day. Follow @stephens_pt
This entry was posted in 4 Stars - Purr, Recipes, Utilities and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s