Sure you might be a geek, but there’s a good chance that you don’t conform to the geek-code of ordering a pizza for dinner every night. If that’s the case then it might be time to trade-in your recipe box for a digital alternative. To help you make the switch we scoured around looking for a few recipe management applications for both Windows and Macs. We managed to find two free solutions that can both simplify your recipe management.
You might be wondering what kind of benefits there are for having an application store your recipes. The most notable feature in each of the applications is probably the fast search capabilities. With them you can actually pull up recipes that deal with, for example, chicken, within seconds. No more flipping through a recipe box looking for a specific index card… these apps will do the digging for you!
–Recipe Center (Homepage)–
This is one of the most powerful recipe managers out there, and the best part is that it will get your recipe collection rolling by giving you 200 different recipes to start off with. One of the really nice features is being able to copy and paste ingredients from a recipe on a website into the application. With some quick reformatting you can have it automatically parse the text, and insert the ingredients accordingly into the application.
Here’s a list of Recipe Center’s best features:
- Advanced Recipe Encoder: You can copy and paste ingredients into the special recipe encoder so that it doesn’t take so long to enter in your favorite recipes
- Create New Recipes: Quickly add new recipes thanks to the IntelliSense that suggests ingredients as you type
- Recipe Download: Recipe Center can import thousands of recipes from various compatible recipe websites
- Recipe Resizing: Type in how many people you need to serve, and it will adjust the amount needed of each ingredient accordingly
- Advanced Search Filters: Search by recipe name, ingredients, or keywords
- Recipe Card Printing: Print out recipes, with the option to attach pictures
- Recipe Exchange: Send recipes to your friends by email (PDF format, Text format and Recipe Center format)
- Shopping List: Print your shopping lists based on ingredients of selected recipes
- Unit Conversion Tool: Convert between an extensive list of units for cooking
- Spell Checker: Spell check your recipe ingredients, procedures, and shopping list
Note: This app does display an advertisement in the bottom-right corner.
Yum isn’t quite as extensive as Recipe Center for Windows, but I’ve found that entering in recipes is a faster process with Yum. The reason for that is it includes a “paste ingredients” option that doesn’t even compare to how Recipe Center makes you enter in ingredients. All you have to do is copy the ingredients to your clipboard, and click the Paste Ingredients button. Yum will automatically parse what you have on the clipboard, and pull out all of the ingredients along with their corresponding measurements. In the few tests I ran this worked flawlessly.
Some of the other features are:
- Instantly search through all of your recipes
- Create as many categories as you would like, and you can even place recipes in multiple categories
- Print a single recipe, all recipes, selected recipes, recipes in a certain category, or recipes from your search results
- Customize the appearance of recipe directions including fonts, styles, paragraph settings, graphics (copy and paste, or drag and drop) — a few different themes are included by default
- Ingredients are recommended as you type
Note: This program will display a popup window every 10 times you run it, but you can get a registration code to eliminate the “nag” screen by donating to the developer. There’s no mention as to a recommended donation amount, so that is up to you.
I can definitely see how any recipe manager would be tedious if you’re trying to convert your handwritten collection into a digital format. What I recommend doing is performing some quick searches online to see if someone has digital copies of your recipes, because it will be much faster in both applications if you can just copy and paste.
How do you store your recipes? Whether it be an application like one of these, or a simple text file, we want to hear what you use to manage your recipes.