Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Epicurious App for iPhones & iPads

Everyone knows... or should know that is an awesome website. Great recipes & articles, the opportunity to save your favorite finds to your personal recipe box... you get the idea. So it should be no surprise that their apps are equally spectacular and they are!

The first cool thing about it is that it's FREE. Not to say there are no other free apps out there. But often you have to pay to upgrade to increase the number of recipes you have access to or, at least to remove ads (a personal dislike of mine). Most magazine apps are a per pay per issue experience - not to knock them... I have a few myself.

The second really excellent feature is that it magically syncs my iPad & iPhone apps... meaning if I'm browsing on my iPhone while out somewhere and find a favorite recipe for that bunch of ... whatever... I just found at the market. I can find any other ingredients I might need, add it to my recipe box and the recipe is on my iPad when I get home and am ready to cook. I realize that I could use my phone for the cooking, but the screen on the iPad is so much easier to read in the kitchen.

Third, and absolutely brilliant element (that I only just discovered because the image at the top of the page was taken when I first got my iPhone back in the late Fall or early Winter. Check out the categories... weeknight dinners, decadent desserts... Today, it's all about Grilled mains, Spring Desserts, Graduation Parties...) is that all the recipes are seasonal! How fantastic is that!

Recipes are categorized in a number of ways.... seasonally... brunch, picnic, dinner, lunches, grilled mains, Bridal showers... etc. this time. Since there are so many recipes in each category (there were 24 just for flank steak) you can choose by ratings...
For example the Rosemary & Garlic Grilled Flank steak that I adapted for skirt steak, had a rating of 96% based on 30 user reviews. You can actually read them. Plus there's nutritional info.

The Search feature is another excellent tool. You can hunt by main ingredient, meal/course, cuisine, dietary considerations, dish type or, season. Once you've chosen a recipe you can check the "shopping list" to see what you need to buy. If you want to keep up with the "cool kids", you could just click on the "newest" tab to see what's recommended.

The recipes themselves are well presented, clear and easy to follow directions - as you'd expect from Epicurious and a simple touch has the ingredients on your shopping list. Even if you've just found everything on the iPad... your shopping list is automatically updated on your iPhone.

Bottom line: I have lots of food apps, but this one is by far my favorite.

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