I like to eat.
Let me qualify that: I like to eat good food.
Exactly what “good” is may be open to interpretation, but for me good is a thick, juicy, well-seasoned and cooked hamburger, a savory fresh salad, pasta covered in a zesty, chunky sauce, and…well, you get the idea.
Fast food is fine on occasion (the rarer the better), even restaurant dining can be over done in my estimation. A good home-cooked meal should trump dining out most of the time.
“But Vern,” you may lament, “I can’t boil water. And my mom lives three states away. If I don’t dine out my only other choice is Spam and cheese sandwiches (which are actually quite tasty on rye with sharp cheddar, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, a spicy mustard or flavored mayo) and cold beer. And I get so tired of Spam.”
Now you know how your dog feels after feeding him the same kibble every day for the passed three years. Be that as it may, you don’t have to suffer this fate any longer. You have an iPad. You have reading skillz. You have or can borrow a few pots and pans and cooking utensils. Most of all, you can download any or all of the apps I’m going to tell you about, because you can afford them. They are free!
Buying food from online stores was never a good idea in my opinion. It seems you rely too heavily on some unknown entity picking your food for you, which may not be exactly what you want and your recourse to correct mistakes is too time consuming. If you’re dealing with fresh foods then fahgitaboutit.
On the other hand, finding less common fare, such as rabbit or squab, may be tough if you don’t live in a major metropolitan area, and even then you have to know where to go.
And exactly how do you cook antelope?
Gilt: Taste can help you with this and more. Chock full of recipes, photos, stories about food and those who cook and eat it, Gilt: Taste could be the app you go to when you need your foodie craving sated.
I’m a huge fan of the layout. The front page of the app is a huge picture board that you can move around in. If you see something that looks interesting just tap it and you’ll be taken right to the story, store, or recipe.
In fact, those are the three major areas contained in Gilt:Taste and each is a beauty in its own right. The stories are from award winning chefs and editors of food centric publications. The ones I’ve read so far are excellent.
The store is loaded with food, both exotic and common, as well as utensils, seasonings and so on. I found many items to be a bit pricey, but what price do you put on top shelf dining?
My favorite section is Recipes. You’ll find scads of how-tos covering everything from making home-made soft serve to roasted oysters. What’s cool is the recipe interface. When you open a recipe the app “watches” you. Wave your olive oil drenched hand from right to left and the recipe advances to the next page. A wave from left to right steps it backwards. No sauce covered iPad screen! How nice it that?
Recipe interface lets you change pages with the wave of a greasy hand
Gilt:Taste really is a stellar app and worth far more than to asking price.
Jamie Oliver’s Recipes
Variety, I’ve heard, is the spice of life, and it is true. At least, that’s one of the excuses I use for having so many apps. Nonetheless, having several cookbooks at your disposal is a good thing because no two chefs cooks the same thing the same way, even if they are following the same recipe. One source of recipes on your iPad should be Jamie Oliver’s Recipes. It’s not so much of a traditional cookbook as it is a redefinition of a cookbook, updated to take advantage of the features of modern technology.
Of course you get recipes, that’s what the app is all about, but how you get those recipes that makes this app different.
First of the all, the recipes are provided in a series of highly detailed photos with the instruction for that given step below it, some are linked to other related videos that cover some basics, like how to handle and chop with a knife. Along with each recipe comes a host of supporting bits. You can review the ingredients and create a shopping list, which can be emailed to someone. You can list the utensils needed to do the job, and add the ones you don’t have to your shopping list. You can also automatically adjust the amount of the ingredients need by selecting how many you intend to serve. Pretty smart.
But what’s really smart is how you interact with the video. You can, of course, swipe through the slide deck, but your goo covered digits would gum up your iPad’s screen. So, press the little mic icon in the lower left corner and tell the app “next” or “previous” to move forward or backwards through the recipe. Pretty clever.
Tell this app where to go to through the recipe
There’s a lot more to Jamie Oliver’s: Recipes, and you can buy more recipes as well via in-app purchase. You’ll like this app. This one’s a keeper.
Exactly how many apples must one slice to get that 1 pound of sliced apples a recipe calls for? A recipe calls for a half pound of mizuna (yeah, I had to look it up too) and you don’t have any handy, what can you use instead? What does it mean to parboil something?
Burning cooking questions, all, but where to find answers to those and more in one convenient place? In the Knowledge Book: Cooking app, of course. It’s a simple app containing a substitution table for a staggering variety of foodstuffs, an actually useful yield guide that is bound to save you time and effort, a list of cooking terms and associated meanings, a measurement equivalent guide, even a guide cooking times at different altitudes.
Cooking is ad supported and there’s no way to remove them, but they are not obnoxious. This is the cooking reference you’ll need to make you the expert in the kitchen you’ve always wanted to be.
OK, that a wrap for this week. Hope you all here in The States had a wonderful and safe 4th of July.
More free recipe apps below with direct links.