Did you know that when it comes to grocery shopping or finding the perfect recipe, there's an app for that? If you have a tablet or smartphone, choosing weeknight meals, sharing your edible creations, or planning a dinner party have never been easier. Here are a few of my favorite apps that can help bring out the inner chef in all of us.
This app is the mobile extension of the deliciously wonderful, award-winning website of the same name. Epicurious, in partnership with Gourmet, Bon Appetit, and SELF Magazine, offers over 30,000 recipes from the best and most popular foodies in the world – celebrity chefs, cookbook authors, and food journalists. The app home screen
allows you to browse by 18 categories, which are broken down by type of cuisine (Weeknight Dinners; Low-Carb Mains; Decadent Desserts) and level of cooking ability (I Cook Like A Pro; I Can Barely Cook). You can also search specific food or drink recipes according to main ingredient, season, dietary considerations, and more. Each recipe offers photos, reviews, and ratings, as well as the option to import ingredients into a shopping list. The shopping list itself is then organized into areas of the grocery store for easy selection. The app is free and available for iPhone, iPad, Android Mobile, Windows Phone, Kindle Fire, B&N Nook Color.
Read CNET's review of the Epicurious app here.
If you love to read food blogs, this app is for you. Foodily is "the world's largest social recipe network," turning the experience of cooking into a shared online community of posts about recipes, professional advice, and cooking discussions. Once you register with an email address, you can begin adding people, magazines, and blogs to your feed. Follow top chefs like Wolfgang Puck, Cat Cora, and The Cake Boss's Buddy Valastro. Connect with those who have similar food interests to you. The convenient "favorites" tag allows you to save recipes to a personalized list for future referral. And the photography you'll find on Foodily is simply gorgeous.
As an added feature, in case you can't check your app regularly, Foodily will also send you a weekly email summary of new recipes posted by those you are following. (Free; Available for iPhone, iPad)
Read TechCrunch's review of the Foodily app here.
Food52 Holiday Recipe & Party Planning Guide
The creators of the wildly popular Food52 blog have created an app for anyone who finds themselves planning a party or celebration. Deemed "a secret weapon for every major holiday all year," this is so much more than a cookbook. New York Times food writers, Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, offer expert advice for everything from menu planning and grocery shopping to cooking, food styling, table decorating, and serving. The app also includes step-by-step, photographed slideshows of recipes as well as over 100 instructional videos. Creating the perfect cocktail or learning to carve a turkey is made convenient, easy, and most importantly for the host, worry-free! ($3.99; Available for iPhone, iPad)
Read Gizmodo's review of the Food52 app here.
Dessert photo courtesy of Flickr user s.yume