04 June 2016

Weekend Cooking: 3 Mobile Apps for Recipes and Wine

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

3 mobile apps for recipes and wineWelcome to another addition in the story of my never-ending efforts to maintain some sanity when it comes to finding recipes.

Most of us follow a few food blogs and keep a recipe board (or two or three) on Pinterest. Many of us still love cookbooks, and others read magazines and newspapers for new ideas. I do all of these. But I also rely on three apps: two for recipes and one for wine.

I've tried all kinds of foodie apps over the years, but I've stuck with only two of them because they provide generally reliable recipes and do exactly what I want them to, which is simply to help me find something to cook or bake.

I'm not that interested in shopping lists and ratings and maintaining yet another social media site. Just let me look up, say, "rhubarb desserts" and give me some options. Both of the following recipe apps do that for me. I'm sure there are all kinds of other features, but I don't use them.

Note that all three are available on Android and iOS and all are free (or at least the versions I use are free).

3 mobile apps for recipes and wineThe New York Times Cooking app gives you pretty good access to all of the newspaper's recipes. It's easy to search for recipes by various keywords, such as ingredient, meal, course, or diet (vegetarian, low carb, etc.). You can also combine filters to run a more complex search: cinnamon + gluten free + dessert, for example gave me 8 recipes, including doughnuts! I've never used the other features, but you can save recipes to a personal recipe box, rate recipes, and sign up to learn to cook.

3 mobile apps for recipes and wineSince I got my very first apartment when I was undergraduate, I've been a big fan of both Gourmet (RIP) and Bon Appetit. Thus it was pretty much a given that I'd download the Epicurious app, which gives me access to decades worth of recipes from both magazines. The app works almost exactly like the Times app but my search for cinnamon + gluten free + dessert came up with over 100 recipes. Again, there are a handful of useful features, which I haven't used.

3 mobile apps for recipes and wineI've only just discovered the Vivino app, but it might be the answer to my wine app dreams. All I want is to have a searchable record of the wines we buy plus our ratings. I know, I could use Evernote or a journal, but after just two weeks, I like Vivino better.

Here's how it works: you take a photograph of the label, and the app searches its database for the wine. Once it finds a match, you can (among other things) rate the wine, add tasting notes, and record the cost. You can also see how other people have rated the wine, find food pairings, read information from the producer, and get an idea of the average price. The app isn't perfect, however; sometimes it misreads the label, but so far I've been able to manually edit the important information.

Although this is a social media app (I'm BethFishReads), I'm not using it that way. I'm just scanning in our dinner wine and adding a rating. It's fun to see where our tastes fit with other app users, and I've also checked the Vivino wine ratings while at the store so I can avoid bringing home a loser. It's too early to tell if I'll stick with the app, but so far, so good.

Do you use any mobile apps to keep track of your recipes, wine, or beer?


Heather C 6/4/16, 6:39 AM  

I haven't used any of these apps, but I might have to try the wine one! That sounds pretty cool.

Tina 6/4/16, 7:04 AM  

I am so glad you posted about these apps. I am most certainly trying the NY Times app and will also download the wine app.

Quite a while ago I started my wine reviews and made a tab on my blog. I have the wines separated by reds, whites and Roses. Sometimes we want to grab a bottle for the evenings dinner and I have pulled up my blog (love a smartphone for this!) and checked to see if I wrote favorably about it. It's helped us avoid buying one we didn't like before....you know, sometimes you forget. This wine app sounds just the ticket for me!

jama 6/4/16, 8:11 AM  

Thanks for featuring these apps. Will be checking them out!

grammajudyb 6/4/16, 9:00 AM  

Thanks for the intro to these apps. I am going to check out the wine app first. Heaven knows, I need some help there. The others, maybe later. After 52 years of marriage, I am buried in recipes, both written, clipped and online. We will see! Thanks again.

Jackie Mc Guinness 6/4/16, 9:41 AM  

I never thought to load a recipe app, will load these two today. I made a kinda loose list of stuff I might need.
I do pin things to Pinterest but then hardly ever go to look at them, go figure.
Wine we tend to stick with our favourite Australian wines. But when we eat out we take a photo of the bottle if we think we'd like it again. Will tell John about this app.
I tend to go to my blog for recipes that we like. But always want to try new things.

rhapsodyinbooks 6/4/16, 9:45 AM  

The wine app sounds great! Very handy for while at the store.

My Cozy Book Nook 6/4/16, 9:49 AM  

I downloaded Vivino about two weeks ago, but have not used it yet. I'm excited to get started!

Katherine P 6/4/16, 10:48 AM  

These sound great! I love epicurious' search engine and the New York Times app sounds fantastic.

Claudia 6/4/16, 11:50 AM  

Thanks for your suggestions, I do use the NY Times one, but not the others. We have a little wine shop in town with a very knowledgeable owner, who actually talked me out of an expensive one yesterday.

Deb in Hawaii 6/4/16, 11:55 AM  

I have a few foodrecipe apps but I don't use them often. These three look great--especially the wine one. I usually take a photo of labels of wine I like at parties or eating out so I remember them but this is so much better. Thanks for sharing! ;-)

BTW--I linked up two posts this week--both book reviews and recipes and the second has a giveaway attached.

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) 6/4/16, 2:41 PM  

Vivino sounds like a really helpful app! We're not huge wind drinkers, but I would like a good way to keep track of what we do drink a like. Gonna look into this one!

(Diane) bookchickdi 6/4/16, 6:49 PM  

My husband loves Vivino, he uses it all the time. I going to have to get the other two stat.

Esme 6/5/16, 12:43 AM  

Do you still enjoy Bon Appetite? I cancelled my subscription after 30 years-the last number of issues were just ridiculous. It was rather disappointing.

Tasha B. 6/6/16, 12:07 AM  

Epicurious is one of my go-to apps. I love it! I've tried a few wine apps, like Hello Vino, but don't really use them. I haven't tried Vivino though, so I'll have to check it out.

Mae Travels 6/6/16, 10:17 AM  

I've always used the Epicurious website rather than the app, in fact I used it before apps started to be a thing. It does offer lots and lots of good recipes for almost anything you can think of, and they are trustworthy. I also love NYT recipes and it's probably time for me to get the app instead of just searching for them. The Joy of Cooking app has some things in its favor as well, though of course the book is very similar.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Vicki 6/6/16, 12:30 PM  

Thanks for the info about the apps. I downloaded the New York Times and Epicurious apps. I don't drink so I skipped Vivino.

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