Why Use Cookbook and Recipe Software?
If you cook and use a computer, cookbook and recipe software can expand your repertoire, save you time and help you create a lasting archive of healthy recipes from a variety of sources. This recipe software helps plan elaborate meals, choose recipes based on nutrition and special dietary needs, estimate your food bill, download grocery lists to a smart phone or iPad for interactive access at the supermarket, and even publish a cookbook. Cookbook and recipe software available today is designed for the modern kitchen.
Here at the spanishchef.net and at Bill & Sheila’s cookbook, we use the best recipe software available to design and publish our easy recipe books and cookery books. We recommend the latest 2011 version of “The Living Cookbook” if you need to store your easy recipes on a database, analyse the nutritional value of your recipes, or download thousands of free recipes from the internet. It is easy to use (it must be if Sheila can use it….). The recipe software automatically converts the recipe on the screen to a complete recipe within the database – we couldn’t operate without it. Check it out by clicking on the link and see for yourself just how fantastic this tool is. You can download a free copy to try it for yourself and it comes with a money back guarantee. It also comes with hundreds of free recipes already installed. With this software installed on your computer you need never buy another cookery book. There are thousands of recipes available free to load into the database. Living Cookbook Recipe Management Software
Cookbook and recipe software is for many different kinds of cooks. Some recipe software may meet the needs of some cooks more than others. We considered this factor in our review process. The following is a list of cooking types we have identified; some cooks may fit more than one type.
The Newlyweds: Novices in the kitchen, this team will need a collection of easy recipes and video tutorials. A couple can take advantage of their new start by adding recipes as friends and family entertain them, remembering childhood favourites, and trying new restaurants. The result: a working collection of recipes by their first anniversary.
Can’t Cook: Want to impress a date with your culinary prowess, but can’t cook? Look for a program that has video tutorials and recipes rated by level of difficulty. An online forum would be helpful, too. There you’ll get advice from others in the same predicament.
Family Cook: With hungry mouths to feed night after night, this busy cook should look for a product offering a wide variety of recipes, automatic grocery lists, and customizable keywords to flag recipe favourites and rejects by family member.
Special Diet: Whether this cook or a family member is diabetic, has high blood pressure, or has food allergies such as to nuts, shellfish or gluten, he must meet special dietary needs. He is looking for new recipes that will provide options and make it easier to keep a balanced diet.
Professional Cook: Whether it’s the annual fundraiser or a full-time catering business, cookbook and recipe organizing software can manage the budget and the inventory of a larger food-preparing operation. Look for cost analysis by recipe and by meal, inventory tracking, and drag-and-drop menu scheduling by the month.
Cook Historian: Recipe cards passed down from generation to generation, annotated cookbooks, slips of paper, and magazine clippings: an unwieldy and fragile collection that deserves a home. Look for software with an auto-fill function to speed recipe entry. Once compiled, create an online version or print traditional cookbooks. Look for website and paper templates, the ability to add photos, and the flexibility to change the layout for best results.
If you are looking for cookbook and recipe software that will work with you iPhone check outBigOven and Mastercook, for the best organized recipe database we have seen, see Living Cookbook.
Cookbook and Recipe Software:
What to Look For
The following are the criteria TopTen REVIEWS used to evaluate cookbook and recipe software.
Ease of Use : Practical software is easy to use, so anyone with a computer can feel comfortable performing basic tasks regardless of computer knowledge.
Recipe Manager : The recipe manager should have good search capabilities, have the ability to bookmark or collect favourite recipes in folders for quick access, and provide detailed recipe information.
Menu Planner : The best menu planners plan breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for days, weeks and even months. They are customizable to meet the needs of different diets, track your food inventory, and even suggest recipes based on inventoried ingredients.
Feature Set : In addition to providing a recipe manager and a menu planner, cooking and recipe software should include features such as shopping lists, nutrition information, additional recipes online, the ability to make online or printed cookbooks, and the ability to upload a grocery list to an iPad or smart phone for mobile access.
Ease of Installation and Setup : The program should be easy to set up and install, offer detailed instructions and not cause errors.
Help/Documentation :Recipe Software manufacturers should provide sufficient help and support including tutorials, FAQs, online technical support and an email address and/or a phone number to contact customer service.
In addition to reviews of the top ten cookbook and recipe software, this site provides articles related to cookbooks including Top Ten Cooking Movies: From Sweet to Spicy, The Best Websites to Find Free Recipes, Eat Healthy Recipes to Lose Weight and The Best Websites Offering Gluten-Free Recipes. The software reviews are presented in side-by-side comparison format to help you make an informed decision on which cookbook and recipe software is right for you. At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research of the cookbook and recipe software so You Don’t Have To.™
The top rated cookbook and recipe software is the Living Cookbook. In second place is Master Cook 11
MasterCook version 11 Cookbook and Recipe software includes a number of new features including verbal cooking instructions and timer functions, as well as an iPad/iPhone app which allows for simple download of easy recipes and shopping lists for mobile access. The cookbook and recipe software comes with 8,000 healthy recipes, 400 of which are baking recipes under 20 minutes and earns our TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award.
MasterCook cookbook and recipe software is designed for every kind of cook. With the whole family in mind, the software also offers healthy recipe sorting features for special diets, such as diabetic, low fat, low-sodium, gluten-free, lactose-free, Kosher or picky eaters. If you want to design your own cookbook and don’t want to start from scratch, this is the software for you. MasterCook also includes bonus features such as a wine list which are useful and fun.
Ease of Use: The program is easy to use, although navigation is somewhat of a challenge at first. It was impossible to find a Home button or any other way to return to the homepage. However, the search, email and print functions work flawlessly.
Recipe Manager: In addition to the new filtering features mentioned above, the program allows you to sort by the following methods:
Ingredients to include or exclude in the recipe
Keyword or multiple keywords
Nutritional needs such as low carbohydrates, low sodium, low fat or kosher
In addition, for more productive searches assign your recipes to 12 different categories including:
You can also easily add your own categories.
MasterCook version 11 makes customization easy. Add your own recipes, directions, photos, important notes, preparation time, nutritional value and ratings to any recipe. Add your own recipes into My Cookbook, which can be easily separated into different files. All of the recipes include nutritional values. Click on the heart icon in each recipe and you’ll have all the health facts.
The MasterCook menu planner can help you plan breakfasts, lunches and dinners for an entire week; however, a drag and drop option would make this process easier. Once you have your plan, this program will generate a shopping list and even track the food you currently have in your pantry. The shopping list will group your products by the area in which they are usually found in the grocery store. The only thing this list won’t do is automatically estimate prices. You’ll have to manually enter the correct price the first time you enter a product into the system. After that, MasterCook will use that price to calculate the cost. If you don’t feel like shopping, the software will produce a list of recipes that you can make with the food you have on-hand.
The recipes are organized into 30 attractive cookbooks, which are useful and engaging. In addition, MasterCook offers Weekend Gourmet, Food for 50, and Cooking with Gadgets. The recipes come from manufacturers and national food councils. About 20 percent of the recipes have pictures.
MasterCook Cookbook and Recipe software makes it easy to:
Input recipes with confidence using MasterCook’s spell checker and glossary. The glossary provides cooking term definitions and tips to cook like a pro.
Analyze both the cost and nutrition value of each recipe by serving.
Print a recipe, a meal plan, shopping lists, or an entire cookbook.
Email your favorite recipes to your friends and family.
The cookbook and recipe software also caters to the cook historian with the ability to generate printed cookbooks using a large selection of templates. You can also print on recipe cards. This program gives you by far the best tools for sharing printed recipes.
A one-click substitution button converts healthy recipes with appropriate substitutes such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg for allspice. No baking chocolate on hand? MasterCook cookbook and recipe software gives you four options to make the equivalent of the chocolate bar.
An embedded wine list, where you can keep track of your wine inventory and record information such as where and when you bought different bottles, as well as tasting notes.
Ease of Installation:
Installation was quick and problem-free.
The MasterCook Cookbook and recipe software has an FAQs section, a manual and tips. Customer support answers email within two or three business days. However, general inquiries are a challenge, as ValuSoft only provides a physical address and a fax number to their headquarters in Minnesota.
MasterCook version 11 is a great product for those that want a user-friendly cookbook and recipe software for a great price. It comes with 8,000 recipes, and there is plenty of room to add your own. The hands-free verbal cooking instructions and interactive website make this a competitive software package. However, we should note that although the website claims that they have an app, we were not able to find where to download it.
Cook’n Recipe Organizer is the master program in DVO’s line of cookbook and recipe software. One of the most attractive features of an electronic cookbook is the ability to conduct a quick search over a large collection of healthy recipes without having to pull books off the shelf. With its wide range of sophisticated features, Cook’n meets the needs of many kinds of cooks. It comes with sample recipes from their other titles including Cook’n with Betty Crocker, but additional purchase is required to get access to Betty Crocker’s vast collection.
Ease of Use:
The program’s seamless navigation allows you to move easily from one step to the next, whether you’re planning meals for the week or building a family cookbook. Conveniently drag and drop recipes to different chapters or different cookbooks as you desire.
Tip: For more accurate search results, use the vocabulary in the Foods list found at the top of the toolbar. For example, search for “ground beef” rather than “hamburger.”
A recipe manager is the core of any cookbook and recipe software, and Cook’n Recipe Organizer does an excellent job. Its recipe manager mirrors the structure of a physical cookbook. You may also add your own cookbooks, which means you can create a file to hold your personal recipes. Each recipe is divided into three windows: view, edit and picture. You can edit any of the easy recipes that come with Cook’n, as well recipes you have added. If a recipe has a photograph, check the Picture tab. The photos are attractive, clear and give excellent examples for presentation. The recipe manager also has auto-fill to make entering recipes fast. The software will automatically find the nutritional value for each recipe as long as you use the ingredients that the program recognizes.
Click on the menu planner to access recipes by book, chapter and category. Drag the recipe to the appropriate day. When you’ve finished, you can name your menu and save it. The software will calculate the nutritional value of each meal. When it’s time to do your grocery shopping, the meal planner will compile a grocery list and group the foods according to where you’ll find them in the market.
There are more than 300 healthy recipes in the sampler with about ten in each title. The Cook’n series covers cooking from the dorm room to the annual Bake-Off, from India to Italy, but you’ll have to buy each title separately for the full collection.
Automatically adjust easy recipes according to the number of people you’re going to serve. Don’t forget to edit instructions: if you increase a brownie recipe from nine servings to 20, that 9″ x 9″ pan is not going to work.
Share your recipes in several ways: email them or print them on recipe cards or full-sized paper.
The software also provides a backup function to secure your files.
Bonus Feature: Friendly and helpful videos presented by founder Dan Oaks and his wife Kathy.
Ease of Installation:
No problems during the installation of the program.
The manufacturer of Cook’n is dedicated to answering any questions or concerns you have with the program as quickly as possible. They offer email, phone and live chat so you can reach customer service in a number of different ways.
Buy Cook’n Recipe Organizer cookbook and recipe software if you plan to add additional DVO titles to your collection. Think of it as an expandable cookbook that, like the rolodex it is replacing, can be filled and emptied with healthy recipes according to your tastes and needs.
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