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Wouldn’t it be great if the father of modern cuisine, Auguste Escoffier, were at your side offering his knowledge as you cook in the kitchen? The Escoffier Online International Culinary Academy, with the help of the Futura app developers, want to provide you with all the tools you need to be a confident cook with Escoffier Cook’s Companion. This app aims to be a handy kitchen reference guide, timer, measurement converter and more, plus it’s free. Sound too good to be true? Keep reading to find out.

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Munchies: Create a Homemade Meal On the Fly

You’ve been working or studying all day and suddenly realize you’re starving but there’s no food in the house. Actually, that’s not true, there is food in the house, but it’s just a random collection of ingredients: a knob of cheddar, a can of chickpeas, a bottle of hot sauce and an avocado. What to do? New to the app store, Munchies, is here to help you make do with what’s on hand using a recipe search based on ingredients. Stock your Munchies pantry and then ask, “What can I make?” for recipes using strictly what you’ve got. Can Munchies really do what it claims? Creating a tool with such lofty goals is a tough job, right up there with world peace.

Does this app deliver on its promise? Keep reading to find out.

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“Healthy desserts” seems like an oxymoron, right? What if desserts could be healthy and rich, gooey, sweet, comforting, chocolaty, creamy and decadent? The folks from Green Kitchen are back with another recipe app that proves you can have your cake and eat it too — Healthy Desserts. The 58 recipes rely heavily on fresh fruits, natural sweeteners, healthy fats and whole grains. Many of the desserts are vegan and/or gluten free.

Think it sounds too good to be true? These guys have street cred, recognized by Saveur magazine this year as a “Best Food Blog” in the special diets category and having just released their first cookbook this past April, Vegetarian Everyday. If you’re looking for dessert recipes worthy of entertaining or something special for the weekend breakfast table, Healthy Desserts offers a wide array of cakes, cookies, muffins, bars, buns, smoothies and frozen treats.

Keep reading to learn more about making more wholesome desserts at home.

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When was the last time you opened your fridge and contemplated its emptiness, not knowing what to cook for dinner? Did you know the few vegetables you have at home taste great with some rice and sauce? Thanks to Epicurious and its thousands of recipes, you won’t have to worry about what to cook for your next meal again! Find the right dish based on the app’s suggestions or what you like — or have at home — and cook delightful dishes you didn’t even know about! Epicurious makes it all easy and enjoyable, so go get your apron on and let’s get cooking!

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iGrill : Remotely Monitor Food Temperature

Are there any areas of your life which are not being changed due to technology? For me, the most mundane areas of my life have suddenly become easier to manage. For example, getting up to turn on a lamp used to be annoying, but now I can just use the Wemo app and turn the lamp on.

With technology moving away from the office and into all parts of our homes, areas previously unaltered with technology are becoming increasingly exciting as technology can aid in mundane task. Checking the temperature of meat can become mundane when cooking for an extended period of time. A good grill or smoker can and should be able to maintain its temperature without much fuss from the cooker, but I am not comfortable yet to leave my grill temperature unchecked for hours. In recent years there has been an improvement and innovation with wireless thermometers but these require the griller to carry around an extra item to check the temperature.

To aid in improving grilling enjoyment the iGrill wants to make grilling or smoking meat easier. By using the iGrill device you can connect your iOS device through Bluetooth and remotely monitor the temperature of your meat or grill. While time is a helpful gauge on whether a piece of meat is ready, I am never as confident with that first cut unless I have stuck a temperature probe into the meat. The iGrill is a unique idea but what about the execution? Is it reliable enough to forgo all visual temperature checks during those long cooks? Let’s dive in and see if this device really makes grilling an easier experience.

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Cooking Basics: The Foundation Every Cook Needs

Do you want to learn to cook but don’t know where to start? Mark Bittman’s Cooking Basics app takes the practical cooking style of his How To Cook Everything recipe app and applies it to the basic building blocks of understanding ingredients and mastering techniques. The most visual of all Bittman’s apps, Cooking Basics is rich in step-by-step photos and mouth-watering food photography. Preparing a meal is broken down into the smallest tasks, like how to toast spices or sear meat, so there can be no barriers to those who want to learn how to cook. If you’ve ever wanted to get in the kitchen but have been too intimidated to try, now is the time and this is the app you need.

Keep reading to learn more about this engaging cooking tool.

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Stories from the Farm to Table Movement: Recipes from Harvest to Heat

Farm to table is all the rage in the United States (and across the world), but what does it really mean? You see the name of the local farmer credited on the menu and ponder the fresh fish special scrawled on the chalkboard, but you don’t stop to think about the journey that brings farmer (or fisherman or cheese maker) and chef together. Recipes from Harvest to Heat is an eye-catching, mouth-watering app that will open your mind and inspire your home cooking. Once you read the heartfelt stories of those who dedicate their lives to producing the highest quality ingredients, it may even change the way you value food.

Brought to you by the publishers of the cookbook, Harvest to Heat: Cooking with America’s Best Chefs, Farmers, and Artisans, this free little app is a unique collection of recipes that will challenge novice home cooks and invigorate serious food lovers.

Keep reading to learn more about Harvest to Heat.

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Pocket Wine: A Unique Wine Reference Guide

Are you interested in learning about wine, but bored with droll instructional books or turned off by elite wine-tasting groups? Maybe you’re looking to better understand the foreign words on wine labels or grasp the intricacies of pairing food and wine? The learning curve to becoming a wine aficionado may seem steep, but the creators of Pocket Wine want to change that perception. The sellers, Wine Paradigm, offer their wine knowledge and experience as a model to give you an enhanced understanding of the wine world. The result is a very useful wine reference tool for iPad, loaded with in-depth information on grape varieties, wine regions and tasting notes along with an extensive glossary of wine terminology.

This app is unlike any wine app in that it claims to give you the knowledge and guidance to make your own informed decisions about wine, rather than relying on the reviews of experts or social media. Both novices and more experienced wine hobbyists will appreciate Pocket Wine, where information is presented in terms a layman can understand, without dumbing down the content.

Wine geeks, read on to begin the journey of discovering your palate and understanding grape growing regions around the globe.

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In truth, the iPad was really made with one thing in mind, wasn’t it? That’s right – recipes.

I suspect that wasn’t the first thing that sprang into your mind, but it would be fair to say that, as a device, the iPad is perfect for culinary education. You can access as many recipes as you like, get information on ingredients, and browse suggestions for recipes to try.

Or, at least, that should be the case. Unfortunately, many food apps feel like cash-ins, simply providing a vaguely more interactive version of the over-priced hardback books already available.

It would seem that legendary restaurateur Alain Ducasse and his team have set out to do something different with their app, My Culinary Encyclopedia. But does this particular entrant to the food App Store charts cut the mustard?

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Mastering the Art of French Cooking Brings Julia Child to Life

When I set out to review Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I took it for granted that this would be just another foodie app review. Several hours later I was still wading through the story of Julia’s life, immersed in her world and fascinated by the stories told by her long-time editor, Judith Jones. This is the second app I’ve reviewed from Random House, Inc. (the first was Giada) and they seem to have a knack for using the mobile environment to truly capture the essence of their chosen author. Mastering the Art of French Cooking tells the story of Julia’s life through a multi-media experience including audio anecdotes, rare photographs of Julia Child, original typed and handwritten letters plus vintage instructional videos by the cook herself.

This app is for Francophiles, die-hard fans of the legendary Julia Child, serious foodies and even (especially) freshman cooks. Random House, Inc. has masterfully packaged Julia’s wisdom in an app that’s everything to everyone – fresh and modern food photography paired with timeless techniques and the most popular of Julia’s recipes.

Keep reading to lose yourself in the mouth-watering world of Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
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