The iPad Around the House: Kitchen Edition

So, if you read last week’s instalment, you know how to get started with the iPad as a living room machine. Moving through the house our next stop is the kitchen, and how we might use Apple’s iconic tablet to help with cooking, planning, and other kitchenly activities.


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Cooking

The kitchen was designed for cooking. It’s where you find the stove, microwave, indoor grill, sink, dishwasher… it’s a room that was designed to be the culinary center of the home. If you’re going to eat a smaller meal you’ll probably do it in the kitchen, and your food will be prepared in there every night – unless you decide to stop slaving over the stove (this is how my mother always described cooking) – so let’s start there.

Appetites

The iPad app that really brought the touchscreen to the kitchen, Appetites is just the right inspiration for those nights that you want to try something different. Besides the gorgeous icon, Appetites has a nice user interface and has a ton of videos from professional chefs that you can learn from.

If you’re looking to make something new and you require that extra bit of interaction that a video provides, there are two things to take away from this: the first is that Appetites is the way to go, and the second is that you can no longer pick on your grandmother for continuously watching the Food Network.

Paprika Recipe Manager/Evernote

It’s all in the name of the app. Paprika is a full-featured recipe management app that allows you to find new recipes, store old ones, scale recipes, and even help prepare your grocery list. A powerful dedicated app, Paprika can really help you keep track of the things you’d like to cook with a bit more speed and without having to watch videos of professional chefs making you look bad.

We reviewed Paprika and loved it, giving it 9/10!

If you don’t require all of the features from Paprika you can also give Evernote a spin. While it doesn’t have the functionality that Paprika has it’s a free service with powerful organization via notebooks and tagging. Create a dedicated recipes notebook and ta-da; all the recipes you’re interested in synchronized across all of your devices.

My recipe notebook in Evernote.

My recipe notebook in Evernote.

Planning

Besides food, one other important thing exists in the kitchen: the weekly calendar. For some people it’s as easy as writing down a doctor’s appointment, for others it’s an affair with multiple marker colors, lines of varying style and thickness, and sticky notes full of information that wouldn’t fit on the calendar itself.

Agenda: My Calendar of Choice

I’ve reviewed Agenda for this site and I’m willing to stick by it. Agenda is a powerful utility that offers custom theming, a gesture-driven interaction scheme, and a clean, digital user interface. There are other options for calendar apps (such as Calvetica) but Agenda takes the cake for me.

 

Reminders: Never Forget Your Chores

While I recommend a more powerful task management tool like OmniFocus for personal tasks, Apple’s Reminders.app is a good tool that synchronizes across devices and allows you to create lists of tasks that need to be done around the house or out-and-about. I recommend setting up lists for each person in the home and a ‘general’ list that anyone can work on; this way everyone knows what they’re supposed to do at any given moment and there’s no arguing about whose turn it was to wash the dishes.

Keep it Safe

While the kitchen is a good place for the iPad, it’s also one of the more dangerous. In a room filled with water, knives, and tons of food, the iPad is a prime target for damage. As durable as the Gorilla Glass over the iPad’s screen is, it’s worth taking the extra step to cover your five-hundred-dollar investment.

Keeping it Out of Harm’s Way (and Off Your Counters)

The first thing that I would look into is a decent stand for the iPad. Even if you decide to throw it in a case or add a screen protector, the resident gunk on your kitchen counters will probably end up driving you nuts no matter what it’s on. Since you’re working with the iPad in the kitchen and you’ll probably end up moving around it’s worth looking into a stand that can move with you. Since most of you are probably sick of hearing me talk about the Compass stand, I’ll go ahead and recommend the Book Arc for iPad from the same company.

 

The BookArc stand from Twelve South.

The BookArc stand from Twelve South.

There are some other options, but Twelve South is known for their quality. The price is reasonable ($29.99) and you’ll get a good product.

Do It Yourself: Stick It on the Fridge and Waterproof It

Now, for those of you that don’t feel like spending any more money on your iPad, it’s worth looking into some do-it-yourself options. Both of these tricks are simple, and may not be the best solution out there, but they’ll be serviceable.

To waterproof your iPad, consider sticking it in a Ziploc (or other brand, sheesh) bag. Make sure you squeeze the air out and draw the bag tight against the iPad’s screen, and then do your best to insure that the bag is tightly sealed. One bag later and you have a clean, non-waterlogged iPad.

Let’s say you want to go the extra mile though. This trick only works if you have a metallic, magnetic refrigerator (the norm) and some powerful magnets, but the latter are easy enough to find. Simply stick the magnets on the back of the iPad and then stick the iPad to the fridge door. Take a few test swings to make sure the iPad will stick to the door through all of the foraging that goes on in your home. Now your iPad is away from all of those kitchen hazards but visible to anyone that happens to walk through the home.

The above actions are taken at your own risk. Securing an expensive electrical device at a height using magnets is something only you can decide whether you’re courageous enough to try…

Conclusion

Again, this isn’t a complete list. Everyone will have different needs or solutions, and we at AppStorm would love to see you all talk amongst yourselves in the comments and swap tips and tricks.

Follow this guide and you’re all set to take the iPad into the most dangerous room in the house. So far as making sure people don’t play with the iPad while you’re eating or trying to cook, well, you’re on your own.


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