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Recipe organiser / app

tam555 Sep 19, 2013 04:17 AM

I'm sure I'm not alone in this situation: my recipes are scattered all over the place. Some are emailed to me, some I jot down on random pieces of paper, some are saved on sites like chow and epicurious, others are earmarked in magazines, others are photos/screenshots in my ipad, others (few!) are in my head. I would like an easy way to compile them all, at the same time having them accessible from my ipad, iphone, etc.
Are you using any good recipe apps? Any other tips in order to keep them all organised, easily searchable, easily accessible?
Your feedback is welcome!

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  1. h
    harryharry RE: tam555 Sep 19, 2013 04:32 AM

    Parika - I love it - you have to buy it separately for each product, computer, iPad, iphone, etc... but totally worth it!

    7 Replies
    1. re: harryharry
      tam555 RE: harryharry Sep 19, 2013 05:14 AM

      Thanks Harry, will check it out!

      1. re: harryharry
        sherrib RE: harryharry Sep 19, 2013 07:10 PM

        Do you mean paprika? I couldn't find parika.

        1. re: sherrib
          harryharry RE: sherrib Sep 19, 2013 07:27 PM

          yes - my fingers are slower than my brain today

        2. re: harryharry
          sandylc RE: harryharry Sep 24, 2013 03:42 PM

          Only for MACs?

          1. re: sandylc
            harryharry RE: sandylc Sep 25, 2013 06:56 AM


            1. re: harryharry
              sandylc RE: harryharry Sep 25, 2013 02:14 PM

              Poo. Useless. (ha)

              Anyone remember the beta vs. VHS battles?

              1. re: harryharry
                Kontxesi RE: harryharry Mar 25, 2014 09:32 AM

                Looks like as of December 1, 2013, Paprika is available for Android.

          2. Caitlin McGrath RE: tam555 Sep 19, 2013 04:35 PM

            For a free app, check out www.pepperplate.com. You can use it on computer, phone, tablet, etc.

            Here's a previous thread about (which also compares it with Paprika): http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/805559

            5 Replies
            1. re: Caitlin McGrath
              tam555 RE: Caitlin McGrath Sep 23, 2013 04:07 AM

              Caitlin thank you for the app and the link to the discussion, really helpful

              1. re: tam555
                thearborist RE: tam555 Sep 23, 2013 03:10 PM

                thanks for the links

              2. re: Caitlin McGrath
                Kontxesi RE: Caitlin McGrath Sep 25, 2013 07:35 AM

                +1 for Pepperplate.

                1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                  truman RE: Caitlin McGrath Sep 25, 2013 08:47 AM

                  Another vote for Pepperplate. It syncs across devices (PC, iPone, iPad, etc).

                  1. re: truman
                    rainey RE: truman Sep 25, 2013 10:34 AM

                    Wow! Fabulous feature. Wish I weren't already thoroughly invested in the one I have...

                2. r
                  rainey RE: tam555 Sep 23, 2013 03:21 PM

                  I've used MacGourmet for years. It's extremely useful and affordable. A single payment will get you the code to install it to various devices. I had it originally on my laptop. I continue to input stuff to that computer but I also now have everything accessible on my laptop, the iPad that I cook from (with the addition of the excellent Belkin cabinet mount that places it at eye level when I cook) and on the iPhone that I am carrying when I do my shopping from the list constructed from MG. I synch them all via iTunes to keep everything current.

                  I did the leg (finger?) work of inputting all my recipes completely but you can use it to just catalog URLs and cookbook and page references too. For me, I want the recipe because things won't stay online forever but I copy in the URLs as well so I can reference the original when I start making my own additions and changes.

                  They have a free 30-day demo so you can try it out.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: rainey
                    rasputina RE: rainey Sep 23, 2013 03:57 PM

                    It's really easy to import recipes from websites into the app too. I love the separate Notes sections. I keep info there on converting recipes, making adjustments and info on my using my mixer.

                    1. re: rasputina
                      rainey RE: rasputina Sep 23, 2013 04:40 PM


                      I make a new note every time I run across some arcane bit of info that I'd *never* find if I were looking for it. I have equivalent pan sizes, half a dozen variations on tempering chocolate, the temperatures of things that are "done", etc.

                      I also use Notes to keep the URLs of holiday tips for things like decor and templates for tabletop decorations.

                      I couldn't even think of all that I have in that DB if I spent a week on it! It's become an invaluable resource. ...and an instant archive of what I've learned about cooking in 40+ years for all of my kids to have. No more deciding who gets mom's dogeared recipe file!

                      One other feature I really like is the Russian Roulette thing that will suggest 5 random recipes 'cause there are things I just forget to try again. I have suggested that they let you filter that so you get dessert recipes when you want dessert and mail dishes when you're looking for dinner ideas. I wish they'd do that.

                      1. re: rainey
                        rasputina RE: rainey Sep 24, 2013 03:19 PM

                        Oh I haven't even noticed the roulette, I'll have to check that out.

                        Did you get the email about the new version coming out?

                    2. re: rainey
                      DonPablo RE: rainey Sep 25, 2013 01:23 PM

                      I agree on MacGourmet! It has served me well since the very first version was released many years ago, and I'm up to over 3000 recipes stored there.

                      It's convenient to sync my recipes to an iPad, especially with a good kitchen-friendly iPad stand. The current version only syncs one way (Mac to iPad), but a few months ago they were beta testing a two-way sync (where you can make changes or add notes on the iPad and sync this back to your Mac). I imagine that will be part of the next release.

                      One other thing that makes MacGourmet stand out is the cookbook feature (either a plugin for the regular MacGourmet or included with MacGourmet Deluxe). I've used this to organize and print out a cookbook of my best recipes for friends and relatives. A lot of other recipe software seems to match the basic functionality of MacGourmet, but almost none of those allow you to create your own cookbook (including front cover, preface, index, chapter contents, notes, index, etc.).

                      1. re: DonPablo
                        rainey RE: DonPablo Sep 25, 2013 01:30 PM

                        I bought that plug-in and I never figured out how to use it.

                        Oh well, as I remember it wasn't expensive...

                        1. re: DonPablo
                          rasputina RE: DonPablo Sep 25, 2013 02:20 PM

                          According to Mariner, who bought macgourmet from Advenio they are going to cloud syncing so everything automatically updates across apps.

                          I like the ability to scale recipes. Looking at Paprika it's like macgourmet basic.

                          1. re: rasputina
                            sandylc RE: rasputina Sep 25, 2013 06:52 PM

                            Scaling is nice - Pepperplate does it.

                        2. re: rainey
                          kmcarr RE: rainey Sep 26, 2013 08:22 AM

                          I'll add another vote for MacGourmet. A feature I love about it that hasn't been mentioned yet is the nutrition plugin (in the deluxe edition). It will perform a nutrition analysis of any recipe entered based on the USDA ingredient nutrition database.

                          1. re: rainey
                            sarahvw1 RE: rainey Feb 23, 2014 08:22 AM

                            I realize this is an old thread, but it was the most recent I could find.

                            I am considering switching from Yummy Soup to MacGourmet Deluxe. My questions are:

                            1) Will MacGourmet import all of my Yummy Soup recipes? (I would not want to start over).

                            2) Can I install MacGourmet on all of my Macs (we have five), or do I have to purchase a separate installation for each one?

                            3) Are multiple phones and iPads included as well?

                            It is true that our tiny home office looks like Command Central, but it would be nice to know what the limitations MacGourmet places on their license. (Yummy Soup is [or was] an unlimited, "trust me" type of license).

                            1. re: sarahvw1
                              rasputina RE: sarahvw1 Feb 23, 2014 12:23 PM

                              I don't have the answer to all of your questions, as I'm the only person using OSX in my house. But make sure all of your devices are capable of running the OS required. For macgourmet desktop that is OS 10.7 and for the mobile app that is IOS 6 ( the new mobile app will not run on the original iPad)

                              1 does yummy soup use yum xml files? If so then according to Mariner you can import the database.

                              2 I don't know, I'd ask Mariner about that.

                              3 You need to buy the iTunes app but like all other non subscription iTunes apps it can be installed on multiple devices. You will have to sync each one individually though.

                              About a year ago macgourmet got sold by Advenio to Mariner. Since then, Mariner came out with a new version of the desktop app ( macgourmet4) and a new iPad/iPhone app ( now called gourmet). The new iPad/iPhone app requires IOS6 which means it doesn't work on the original iPad. The original Advenio macgourmet mobile app isn't compatible with with Mariner's macgourmet 4, it works with Advenio's previous Macgourmet 3 desktop version.

                          2. r
                            rasputina RE: tam555 Sep 23, 2013 03:53 PM

                            macgourmet, it's the perfect app for your desktop, ipad and iPhone. You just sync your devices with your desktop version. Works great, and it's so nice to have my recipes with me when I'm shopping for on the fly double checking of ingredients.

                            11 Replies
                            1. re: rasputina
                              The Dairy Queen RE: rasputina Mar 13, 2014 03:57 AM

                              rasputina: when you say desktop, do you mean PC windows desktop? I use a mac at home and a PC at work. I need something that works with both. Pepperplate does, as long as you're using up to date browsers (which I am not always able to do in both home and work environments), so I'm starting to lose faith in pepperplate, unfortunately.


                              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                rasputina RE: The Dairy Queen Mar 14, 2014 05:33 AM

                                AFAIK macgourmet isn't compatible with windows. But I only use mac myself so I haven't really checked.

                                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                  DonPablo RE: The Dairy Queen Mar 14, 2014 07:48 AM

                                  No, MacGourmet doesn't have a Windows version (or Android, for that matter), and I don't think they plan to. Do you have an iPad? If so, would their iPad version be good enough for anything you would need to do with your recipes at work?

                                  1. re: DonPablo
                                    The Dairy Queen RE: DonPablo Mar 14, 2014 08:21 AM

                                    The ipad in our household is not mine. :)

                                    But, would it work on an iphone?

                                    I don't have an iphone (I'm sorry to be exposing myself as such a luddite here), but I've been thinking about getting one.


                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                      DonPablo RE: The Dairy Queen Mar 14, 2014 08:30 AM

                                      Yes, their iOS app (Gourmet) is supposed to work on both iPad and iPhone. I haven't used it on the iPhone, though -- just the Mac and iPad. But whenever I find the time, I'm going to see how well it works on the iPhone, which would be very useful in the grocery store.

                                  2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                    Westminstress RE: The Dairy Queen Mar 14, 2014 08:00 AM

                                    TDQ, have you tried Evernote? You can save recipes from anywhere and access them on any platform. It has a great web clipper that allows you to save a recipe from any site with one click. It has excellent tagging, organizing and search capabilities. You can even take pictures of recipes that are not online and store them in evernote, and you can search text in the photos. The only downside is that it doesn't have the pretty, uniform formatting of pepperplate.

                                    1. re: Westminstress
                                      The Dairy Queen RE: Westminstress Mar 14, 2014 08:23 AM

                                      Yes! I don't use it much, but funnily enough, I was just musing in another thread this morning if I should consider switching to evernote or, at least, using evernote as my backup. They seem to have a much smarter business model and I have faith they will be around awhile.

                                      I love some of the features of pepperplate, but maybe I should move away from it as my "primary" recipe database. I obviously need to update my browsers, but I think I need a different kind of solution going forward.


                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                        DonPablo RE: The Dairy Queen Mar 14, 2014 08:38 AM

                                        The main downside of Evernote (and any similar note app) is organization. I already have 40-50 notes stored in Evernote for home or work, and even with those it can sometimes be awkward finding the note I need. I have over 3000 recipes in MacGourmet, and shudder at the thought of having 3000+ notes in Evernote (both in the speed of syncing the database and in the ease of finding the recipe I want). From my perspective, this is a big advantage for the dedicated recipe apps (MG, Pepperplate, Paprika, or the many others out there).

                                        1. re: DonPablo
                                          The Dairy Queen RE: DonPablo Mar 14, 2014 09:18 AM

                                          Interesting! I haven't really played around with evernote much, but if you have a "recipe" folder in evernote and search it for quinoa, or by tags (say, "salad" or "side dishes" or "South American"), how can that take any longer than searching pepperplate (or whatever) on "quinoa" or whatever tag you have?

                                          Maybe I need to play with evernote more so I can understand what you mean.


                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                            DonPablo RE: The Dairy Queen Mar 14, 2014 01:44 PM

                                            I guess I've just never been one of those people who stores everything in one place and then searches to find the right file -- if you do that, and restrict an Evernote search to the Recipes notebook, and search by either keyword or tag, that might work well for you (assuming that their search is reasonably fast when searching through hundreds or thousands of recipes/notes). I guess that's just not the way I work.

                                            I wonder if using Evernote for recipes would risk running up against the monthly usage limits of their free accounts. Every time a new note/recipe is added, or an existing one is edited, it has to be synced to their servers, which counts against the monthly total. For a short text recipe, this wouldn't use many resources each time you edit a recipe -- but a full copy of a recipe with pictures and everything might.

                                            I also wonder about offline usage when there is no network connection. Evernote advertises their premium service ($5/month) as allowing access to your notes even when there is no network connection. Does this mean that you wouldn't be able to view your recipes offline unless you ponied up for premium?

                                          2. re: DonPablo
                                            rasputina RE: DonPablo Mar 14, 2014 01:15 PM

                                            Yes I have over 700 recipes on my macgourmet I wouldn't even want to think about trying to navigate that in evernote.

                                  3. f
                                    Frizzle RE: tam555 Sep 25, 2013 01:55 PM

                                    I use mealboard - it's an iPhone and ipad app. I'm not sure if there is an android version. It's similar to pepper plate.

                                    I would spend some time investigating the features of all the suggestions because once you commit to an app and spend the time importing recipes it's a pain to change your mind at a later stage.

                                    1. twodales RE: tam555 Sep 25, 2013 05:12 PM

                                      I have used Cook's Palate software to make cookbooks. Not bad. They will Publish cook books for you but I did it myself for a girl scout troop project.

                                      1. Tsar_Pushka RE: tam555 Mar 1, 2014 04:19 PM

                                        I use a new iPhone/iPad app called RecipeTin.

                                        I've been looking for years for an app that does exactly what you describe. Like you I have recipes in text files, as Word Docs, photos I took of magazines or books, some PDFs, same as you.

                                        This app covers all these. It also has a browser built in that will convert any web page to a PDF and import it into the app. So you aren't "locked into" certain websites that the app supports, unlike Paprika say (tried that one too). It works brilliantly.

                                        It's not fancy, it's very straightforward and easy to use. I think that's the whole idea behind it and it does it well.

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