After exploring this topic I found out how incredibly helpful all the available websites are for making recipes useful. Given that technology plays such a major role in our lives, what better way to employ its attributes than organizing recipes? Many even offer meal planning and grocery shopping venues. On the other hand, for some of us nostalgics, there’s still nothing better than curling up on the couch with familiar cookbooks and locating well-loved yellowed, stained pages describing how to prepare the very best comfort food in the world. But maybe the next generation would appreciate it if I actually took time to put them in one of those amazing helpful organizational tools.
- Grocery Shopping on the Fly
I picture a mom with one night for grocery shopping. That’s the evening without ballet, gymnastics, sports, horseback riding, or piano lessons. Since her time is so scarce, and valuable, organization is a must. An additional look at her favorite websites and she not only has favorite recipes, and meal plans, but a grocery list whose items appear as they do categorically from one side of the store to the other. Now if only all that efficiency would just translate into someone shopping for her without charging for the service.
- Online Recipe Shower
In recent history, brides have actually asked if there was a way for them to have a “Recipe Shower” online. Not a formal party, but a way to send tried and true “food friends” to the betrothed. This might be a good way for truly busy or out of town guests to “get together” before the wedding. I wonder how it would work; could someone let me know.
- Helpful Websites
After researching several websites, it appears the best places to go for organizing those wayward recipes includes places where recipes are readily available to your computer, have menu suggestions, nutrition notes, and make grocery lists from needed items. Mentioned below are various helpful sites. The first ones, to my knowledge are free: Springpad; Evernote (free in most frequently used platforms) and its add-on, Say Mmm; Dropbox; Food on the Table; Our Groceries (free Android app); Pepper Plate Recipe, Menu, and Cooking Planner; and Google Docs. As you know, Google Docs is not exclusively for recipe organization, but does provide useful tools. Other less cost effective websites include: Paprika; Meal Board Meal and Grocery Planner app; Plan to Eat (not free after first month); AllRecipes; Spark People (meal plans and nutrition) and last but not least is Pinterest. Therefore, besides organizing recipes, this myriad of websites, and many more I’m sure, can do everything except actually cook the meals. Sometimes you might even find a chef preparing a meal, or entrée, you find interesting…those are especially enjoyable and helpful for those cooks-in-training.
- Vintage Cooks
With online networking and helpful recipe exchange sites equipped with comments on the palatability of various dishes, cooks can drool while they plan. As much as it pains this seasoned chef to admit it, more cookbooks may slowly be finding their way into the antique shops. But I do find it quite gratifying to be able to use both cookbooks and websites; makes for such a well-rounded cook.
Gareth Shaw is a professional chef and writer who loves to blog about everything from the best ways to keep your recipes to tips on serving quick, healthy meals.