7 Apps for Great Summertime Menus

By Tracey Dowdy

Ah, summer. Cookouts and campfires, marshmallows and mosquitos. I love summer at an irrational level for an adult that spends the majority of those glorious summer days trapped in an office. I’ve just never lost my “school’s out – let vacation begin” mentality, probably because summer foods are among my favorites.

Whether you’re looking for classic recipes like potato salad or want to step up your game and wow your guests with Lamb cutlets with spinach skordalia, there are plenty of apps for your smartphone or tablet that will make summer meals a breeze. How great is that? Because really, who doesn’t love a breeze on a hot summer day?

Big Oven

bigovenHands down one of my favorites, Big Oven is a one-stop shop for recipes, meal planning, and grocery shopping. With a database of over 250,000 recipes, plus the ability to add your own or favorites from another site, the possibilities are virtually endless. Plan your menus and have them sync to your calendar so they’re easily accessible and can be re-used.

Platform: iOS, Android
Cost: Free but in-app purchases


The Photo Cookbook

photocookbookThe Photo Cookbook is a paid app but it’s great if you’ve ever come to an instruction in a recipe and thought, “Wait, what? What does ‘butterfly the pork chops’ mean?” Beautifully shot, these photos walk you through step by step and are a great resource if you’re stepping outside your comfort zone to try new recipes and techniques.

Platform: iOS
Cost: $3.99


Weber’s On the Grill

webersWeber’s means grilling. Weber’s On the Grill app not only offers over 300 grilling recipes but step by step instructions and live demos to help everyone from beginners to more advanced grill masters learn new techniques.


Platform:
iOS, Android
Cost: $4.99


Allthecooks Recipes!

allthecooksThe Allthecooks Recipes! app allows you to exchange recipes with family or friends. Once you’ve tried a recipe, you can post photos and other users can comment. You can ask users to submit ideas for substitutions, food or wine pairings, and post photos of their versions of favorite recipes as well. Recipes are sorted into categories and you can customize and create your own profile.

Platform: iOS, Android
Cost: Free


Perfect Produce

perfectproduceThe Perfect Produce app from SparkPeople isn’t so much a cooking app as it is a great way to make the most of the abundance of beautiful produce available this time of year. Information on selecting, washing, storing and preparing fruits and vegetables makes it easier to make healthier eating choices for you and your family.


Platform:
iOS, Android
Cost: $1.99


Paprika Recipe Manager

paprikaThe beauty of Paprika Recipe Manager is that it doesn’t even have recipes. Instead, launch the app and it opens a Google search with Paprika’s recipe-related options. From there, search for a recipe or a favorite chef or food blogger’s site, select a recipe, hit Save, and Paprika scans the relevant information and creates a virtual “recipe card” in the app. Once saved, recipes can be edited, annotated and added to your calendar so you’ll know the last time you dazzled the family with a particular dish.

Platform: iOS, Android
Cost: $4.99


Green Kitchen

greenkitchenGreen Kitchen is a vegetarian’s dream come true. Beautifully illustrated, Green Kitchen is a collection of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free recipes. Even if you aren’t strictly vegetarian, it’s another great option for making the most of your produce and making the vegetables the star of the show instead of just a side dish.


Platform:
iOS, Android
Cost: $4.99


Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Toronto, ON. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances and researches on subjects from family and education to pop culture and trends in technology.

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