The big feast season officially started last weekend with Thanksgiving, that means many hours spent in the kitchen whipping up stuffings, potatoes, turkeys and pies.
For the grandmas among us who have been doing these tasks by memory for decades, there is no need for a book to cook, but those of us who need some tips or are hosting the holidays for the first time - we need some help.
The iPad is a brilliant cooking aid. It props itself up nicely on the counter, you can search for zillions of recipes in seconds, you can do measurement conversions on the fly and video demonstrations can be built right into the recipe page so you can get a pointer on exactly how to debone the chicken for your turducken.
Yes, cookbooks are elegant tomes of inspiration and I have dozens that I love, but even Julia Child would have to agree cooking with an iPad on the counter is simply divine even if it's just to watch YouTube videos of the perfect omelette.
Here are some of my favourite cooking apps each offering great recipes, some offering videos, others grocery lists to take along to the store and some help curate your favourites.
Epicurious is the granddaddy of cooking sites online and this free app digs deep into the pantry based on a suggested theme or ingredient and serves up a shopping list for you to take to the store. You can track favourites and the app has a nice layout that feels like a recipe book where you've clipped and kept your faves.
AllRecipes.com is another website that's been "apped up." The dinner spinner feature lets you sort not only by ingredient, but by how much effort you want to put into the process. Have just 15 minutes and want to do something magical with chicken? This can help.
A few celebrity chefs have official apps culling recipes from their cookbooks and offering tips and videos along the way to ease the process. I love Jamie Oliver's 20 Minute Meals and Nigella's Quick Colllection is very good as well, both are $7.99.
Traditional magazines are making the digital move as well with Cook's Illustrated, Gourmet Live and Food & Wine Magazine entering with free app offerings. Conde Nast has said that 20% of their revenue is already coming from digital, so look for these apps to be supported and grow.
Remember, there's a browser on the iPad too, so you can also bookmark websites like Rouxbe which has just optimized it's roster of cooking technique videos to be iPad compatible. I love this site's crisp videos and method of teaching you techniques while showing you recipes so you can learn to improvise on your own later.
What is your favourite way to use your iPad in the kitchen?
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