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Features

The Next Generation of Recipe Books

tastebu

Photos and Words by Hope Blalock

As an avid reader, I believe some things just need to be in print. Why use a Nook or a Kindle when you can hold a book in your hands? Why have an electronic library when you can have a whole shelf full of your favorite books? I prefer my books the old fashioned way--in hard copy. But there is one exception: recipe books. I recently discovered the concept of online recipe organizers, and for me, there’s no turning back. While almost everyone who has ever picked up a spatula knows the general directions to one of their favorite recipes, I bet they also know what it’s like to have no recollection of which cookbook the recipe is in or where they recorded it. Once they start sifting through that looming pile of cookbooks and magazines or going through all of their crumpled notes, that perfect chicken korma they were craving just doesn’t seem worth the effort.

Online recipe organizers allow you to enter your own recipes and bring all your favorites together into one big collection, which you can then divide into categories and search through. You can even upload pictures of the end product. Using the Internet to organize your recipes is especially convenient for those who use websites like StumbleUpon or Pinterest to find new meal ideas--it’s just a matter of copying and pasting.

Another great thing about these websites is that you can choose to make your entries public so you can share recipes with others using the site, creating a whole network of enthusiastic cooks. Pictures of new recipes pop up on the home page every day. You can even choose to follow posters who seem to have consistently good recipes.

Recipe Organizers

Personally, I’ve been using Foodfolio.net. It has the basic capabilities of storing recipes, searching through others’ collections of meals, and sharing your own ideas. If you’re looking for a similar website to ease you into the concept of online recipe organizers, onetsp.com is another good option.

Both of these websites stick to the basics with easy-to-use features that won’t overwhelm a new user. This simplicity is initially what drew me to Foodfolio. However, I’ve also heard good things about a few other popular websites, some of which offer more complex capabilities, such as Kitchendaily.com and Kitchenmonki.com. With Kitchen Daily, in addition to storing recipes, you can also make grocery lists and print coupons. It also has a large database of recipes and tips, including tutorials from professionals.

Kitchenmonki.com takes it a step further in making grocery shopping easier; when you download the Kitchen Monki Mobile App, your grocery lists are sent straight to your cell phone. Additionally, Kitchen Monki allows you to make a weeklong meal planner.

If you go out to eat a lot, another interesting idea is to incorporate restaurant ratings and reviews into the website, which is precisely what Saymmm.com does. Like Kitchen Monki, it also includes the meal-planning and mobile grocery list features. All the options mentioned above have a free membership available, but some also have an “upgraded membership” that comes with a monthly fee.

I have nothing but good things to say about online recipe organizers. I love the idea that you can access all your recipes in one place no matter where you are and that you can search through them easily. Lots of people use the Internet to find and share recipes these days, but I think it’s less common to use as a resource for organizing recipes. With all the benefits and virtually no repercussions, the only reason I can think that people don’t take advantage of this great resource is that they don’t know about it.

So, whether you’re a five-star chef or you just like to dabble in the kitchen, go ahead, jump on the bandwagon, and help make online recipe organizers the latest craze among foodies!