Tag Archives: grilling

The Best Food Apps for Summer Entertaining

By Tracey Dowdy

I love to entertain. I’d rather have a group of friends over for dinner and drinks than almost anything else in the world. We’ve hosted book clubs, wedding and baby showers, graduation parties, Cinco de Mayo parties, “Joel Got His Green Card!,” “Sofia is Getting Baptized,” and “Final Adoption Papers Signed!” parties. We’ve even hosted two weddings in our backyard and a baptism in our pool. Sometimes there’s no better reason than “I Got a Deal On Chicken and Want to Try a New Fajita Recipe!”

Whether you’re entertaining a crowd or organizing a dinner for two, finding the right recipe or menu can be tricky, especially in the summer when you don’t want your oven heating up the house. These sites and apps can help you plan a menu, convert food quantities to fit the number of guests, and create a grocery list, all while walking you through the recipe each step of the way.

How to Cook Everything

howtocookThe How to Cook Everything app is based on the book How to Cook Everything® from New York Times columnist Mark Bittman. With 2,000 recipes and 400 how-to illustrations, Bittman walks you through meal planning and execution step by step. Use the app on or offline, bookmark your favorite recipes, add your own, watch or read tutorials, plus the app’s integration with Facebook and Twitter makes it easy to share recipes with others. One unique feature is the constant-on button so your screen won’t dim while you’re busy with prep.

Platform: iOS
Cost: $7.99


Yummly

yumYummly is arguably one of the most comprehensive foodie apps available. Instead of drawing from their own database, Yummly aggregates recipes from all your favorite sites and blogs – Food Network, Allrecipes, Chow, Steamy Kitchen – filtered by search criteria as diverse as cook time, allergies, cuisine or holiday. You can customize your search to foods you like or eliminate recipes that include foods you don’t like, create a grocery list, and in select cities, have those groceries to your door in an hour. A recent update allows users to sync the nutrition and serving information with your iOS Health App.

Platform: iOS; Android, Windows Phone
Cost: Free


Food Network

foodnetworkThe Food Network app allows you to make recipes from all your favorite Food Network stars with thousands of recipes, how-to videos, grocery lists, and menus, all at your fingertips. Search for recipes by chef or by ingredients, add notes, recipe tweaks or substitutions and link with your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest accounts, or share recipes via email.

Platform: iOS; Android
Cost: Free


Weber Grills

webergrills1Perfect for summer patio season, the Weber® Grills app offers over 250 recipes from main courses to dessert. Each recipe has full color photos, comes with a shopping list, step by step directions and includes a timer so your burger or S’more’s are perfect every time. You can even set multiple timers so the steaks don’t overcook while you wait for the vegetables.

Platform: iOS
Cost: Free


Epicurious

epiThe Epicurious app is described with words like “polished” and “robust,” so you know where this is going. Maybe not the best app for the beginner cook but definitely a great option for anyone with a little experience and a willingness to expand your skill set and palate. There are over 35,000 recipes for appetizers through desserts, menus for everything from “Passover Mains” to Spring brunches, shopping lists, beautiful photos, and a built-in timer. Simply choose from one of the 40+ ingredients and the custom timer will tell you how long to cook it by factoring in weight and cooking method. You’ll even get a reminder if it’s time to flip that burger!

Platform: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Kindle Fire
Price: Free

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

 

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.