Best App for Recipe Organizing and Menu or Meal Planning: Paprika
I'm a planner. I love planning. And I love to cook. And I love technology. Using technology to plan my cooking is the trifecta of joy for me. I've tried several recipe curating apps and have finally settled on the end-all Best of Show app: Paprika.
Before I tell you all the reasons I love it, I'll tell you about the (free) runner-up: Pepperplate.
- Free. Free is good.
- Kept all of my online recipes organized in one place.
- Allowed me to insert recipes into a weekly or monthly calendar for menu planning.
- Ads. Goes with free. If I'm not paying, I'm the product being delivered.
- Said it would sync between iPhone/iPad and website (desktop) version, but the syncing was unreliable and unpredictable. Either it wouldn't sync, or it would only sync part of the week.
- The tagging, or categorizing interface was bulky and annoying to use.
- Could not export or sync weekly menu to my main calendar. I didn't like having to open a separate app to see what's for dinner.
- #1 annoyance: Could not add to my recipe hoard from a mobile device, had to use the desktop version or manually type it it.
- No ads.
- Easy Recipe Import:
- It's easy to add a recipe to my hoard from within or without the app. If I am browsing along and see a recipe I want to keep, I click on a bookmarklet in my desktop browser toolbar, or in my mobile device browser, and the recipe is saved. Occasionally, if I am in an off-the-beaten path website I have to massage it a little, but for all the big ones I frequent (Food 52, Pioneer Woman) it's a simple one-click import. I moved all my recipes over from Pepperplate this way.
- I can also easily add from within the app. The outer shell of the pic below is the Paprika app. From the inside, I can browse the web. When I see a recipe I want -- in this case a Dutch Baby recipe, I use the toolbar on the bottom to import it.
- Menu planning: I can easily add recipes to different days and move them around. Here is what we are eating this week.
- Plus, this weekly plan syncs to iCal. I love love love this. Without even opening Paprika. I can easily see what's on for tonight as well as what I need to thaw for later this week.
- Menus: Things I always serve together can also be arranged in menus and then I can just add that combo to a day's plan.
- Pantry: It includes an easily populated list of what is in the pantry. I don't use it as such, I use it for what's on the produce shelf, what perishables do I need to use this week. Super handy for that.
- There also some nice features when you actually are using the recipe from your mobile device.
- After you put in an ingredient, touch it and it greys out to help you keep your place. Great feature for cooks-in-training and for the highly distracted mom training them.
- Similarly, if you touch a chunk of directions it becomes high-lighted to help you keep your place.
- Where the recipe says cook at 350 for 30 minutes, touch the "30 minutes" and the timer starts.
Use the Shredder Attachment of your wonderful KitchenAid Stand Mixer to shred:
2 large carrots
1 cored apple
1 small onion
6 small potatoes
1 small head red cabbage
1 small head white cabbage
3 cooked beets (save the cooking water)
Simmer for hours along with:
1 can tomato paste
extra water as needed.
Add salt to taste, serve topped with sour cream and dill.
Especially nice with the rye bread.
Character App for Writers: Mac Family Tree
I’ve tried several different methods for character sketching — keeping track of their relative ages and kinships -- and my current favorite is a Synium product, known as MacFamilyTree 7 for my laptop and as MobileFamilyTree 7 for my iPad and iPhone.
It is easy to use and generates several useful views and reports. One of the most useful is an interactive chart that shows relationships but that also lets me click on any of these people to edit or add relatives.
The Timeline View lets me see the relative ages of the cast of characters.
The Person Report lets me keep track of individual characteristics and events as well as kinships to other characters.
Because it can be stored in the cloud, I can be typing away on my laptop and use the iPhone or iPad to keep an eye on characters.
and now Suzanne has something to say about poetry
I like to rewrite poems, to see what I come up with. I'm setting the font on my re-write to white so that you have the option of trying your own rewrite before reading mine. Perhaps you will share your rewrite in the comments. To see mine, select the area below or just hit CTRL-A for PC or Command-A for Macs.
Robert Frost (1874–1963). North of Boston. 1915.
1. The Pasture
I’M going out to clean the pasture spring; I’ll only stop to rake the leaves away (And wait to watch the water clear, I may): I sha’n’t be gone long.—You come too. I’m going out to fetch the little calf 5 That’s standing by the mother. It’s so young, It totters when she licks it with her tongue. I sha’n’t be gone long.—You come too.
I’m going out to do a bit of outside work
It won’t be hard work
And I’ll stop to enjoy the pleasures it presents
It won’t take long. Come with.
I’m going out to gather in new life
Life that belongs here. It’s so fresh
It won’t take long. Come with.
IKEA Modification for Compost and Chicken Scraps
IKEA undersink modification
We have a working kitchen sink. It's so handy! I had forgotten how marvelous it is to have running water in the same room in which one is cooking. And it's pretty!
And just for fun, here is the Before picture:
How to view your Scrivener WIP on your iPhone or iPad
From the Scrivener File menu, choose "Compile".
Put checkmarks next to what you want to send. I send chapters, not character notes etc.
Select "Compile for ePub."
Click on "Compile"
In the Export screen that pops-up, make sure the Folder is set to the Dropbox folder that your phone is linked to.
Click on Export.
On your phone, open your Dropbox app.
Click on the file in the dropbox.
When you get the "Couldn't Load File" message, click on the "Send to" icon in the lower left corner.
In the pop-up, choose "Open In . . ."
In the next screen, choose "Open in iBooks"
Writing Toys and Tools for the iOS environment
When I can't get my story to move forward (usually because I am writing a chapter from the wrong POV -- point of view -- and I haven't yet noticed that or because there are other people in the house making noise), I work on setting up my technology for the most efficient use of the wee writing windows I do have.
I do all the actual writing in Scrivener on my big home computer. My arthritic fingers insist on its ergonomically correct keyboard and there is no way around this. But I can't and really don't want to run to my desk whenever I get a thought.
I just use the voice memo function on my phone to capture stray brilliant inspirations (rare) and/or crippling plot errors I just now realized (more common than I wish). Then when I do get to the computer I listen to the memos and add to my running Manuscript ToDo list.
Another big happy discovery was Scriviner's ability to publish to iBooks. I really dislike printing to paper as it is wasteful and cumbersome, but there are times that I really just want to read the story, or just that delicious chapter that fell from my fingertips last night, and I want to read somewhere other than my desk.
I figured out how to send my work-in-progress to iBooks which lets it look just like a real book that I can read on my phone or my iPad. As I read, if I find places to edit, I can make a note right in the book and then at the end of my session, I can email my notes, sorted in order of chapter, back to myself. This gives me an ordered list of edits to make when I am next at my big computer.
Mac Apps for Writers
Scrivener website will tell you all you need to know. I apologize that the link here takes you straight to check out. Just click on products and start toodling about.
Or check it out on the iTunes store: Scrivener. Or just take my word for it. Scrivener is the bomb.
Aeon Timeline - Scribble Code . This timeline generator helps me keep my storylines straight and keeps me from muddling my generations. Best of all, it syncs with Scrivener! You can get a trial copy at Scribble and here are a few discount codes just for fun: CAMPWRITER or SUMMERFEST
The last on my hit parade tonight (because I really should be writing: 700 words to go) is Snowflake Pro and if you leave a comment, I'll tell you how to get it for half-off.
It's a complete plot and plan application and I really should have started with this one 15 years ago when I started my story. I'll be using it tonight to try to crumple up some of my flatter characters.