Some people hoard animals, others hoard junk. Me? I hoard recipes. Seriously, they’re everywhere — in the obscenely large number of cookery books that adorn my bookcase, quickly jotted down on my phone, hidden in various text files on my computer and scribbled on scrap pieces of paper all over the house.
Of course, as soon as I go to make a recipe, it’s practically guaranteed that I can’t find the exact one I’m looking for, and after a few minutes of searching, my home roughly resembles the aftermath of a tornado.
Enter My Recipe Jar, an app developed by Zapp Factory Pty Ltd that will help organize even the most hardcore of recipe hoarders. Find out more after the jump.
Upon launching My Recipe Jar, our first port of call is to create a free account by completing a short registration form. An account is required to sync the app between your iPad, iPhone and computer through a secure login process, with data being continuously backed up between the three. Alternatively, those wishing to connect via Facebook can do so by tapping on the Facebook icon, which can be found directly above the login box.
Once registered, you will be greeted with a welcome screen containing a brief guide on how to use My Recipe Jar, and then forwarded on to the main menu, where you will find 10 hand-drawn icons, each leading to a different feature within the app.
Adding a Recipe
Now it’s time to add your first recipe. A quick tap of the Add Recipe icon will bring up the relevant screen, with plenty of space to input all of the necessary information, such as preparation time, ingredient list, and even the author’s name and photograph. Family and trademark recipes can be made private by marking them as Secret, ensuring that they are locked up safe and away from prying eyes.
For those unwilling to type out each recipe, there is also the option of taking its photo instead, saving a lot of time laboriously entering recipes that are especially lengthy.
Each recipe can be personalized by uploading a photograph of the dish, which is done by tapping the Upload Photo button, with the choice of uploading a picture from your Camera Roll or Photo Stream, or by simply taking a new one. You can also add recipes via My Recipe Jar’s website, a godsend for those of us who prefer typing large amounts of text on a full sized keyboard, rather than an iPad or iPhone.
My Recipe Jar can store 50 recipes in total, with the option to buy more space through an in-app purchase, costing $0.69 for another 10 slots or $1.49 for an extra 30. In my opinion, the app should offer unlimited space as, let’s face it, 50 recipes isn’t that much, especially when you’ve already shelled out $2.99 for the app itself.
Sharing is Caring
One way in which My Recipe Jar stands out from the crowd is its social network integration, allowing you to connect to friends’ jars and save their recipes — providing your friends actually own the app, that is. Saving a recipe is easy, and can be done by tapping the Add To My Jar icon in the top right-hand corner of the screen. All recipes can be edited once safely deposited in your jar, which is useful for those who like to put their own stamp on each culinary creation.
All users of My Recipe Jar are automatically connected to the elusive Mr J’s jar, containing a handful of recipes by celebrity chefs and food bloggers. While this is a nice touch, it would be handy if we could browse the recipes of other users, too — something which cannot be done unless you specifically know that person, and have added them as a friend.
My Recipe Jar also features a shopping list, allowing you to write your list and cross off each item on the app as you shop. After a list has been created, it’s available to print, or to share via SMS and email. It is also possible to choose a recipe from your collection and transfer the ingredient list to your shopping list, which, again, saves time typing out each individual ingredient.
One problem I encountered with my newly written shopping list is that if, for some reason, I navigated to the main menu, when returning to the list, the app deleted any lines scribbled through checked off items, causing me to lose track of what I had or hadn’t bought. Hopefully the developers will address this issue shortly.
If you are unable to decide on what to make for dinner one night, My Recipe Jar has a built-in Lucky Dip, which will randomly select a recipe out of your collection. Simply shake or tap the screen, and a decision will instantly be made for you.
With every purchase of My Recipe Jar, the developers will donate 10 cents to sustainable programs that break the cycle of hunger in the developing world, such as WFP’s School Meals Programme, which provides daily meals to over 22 million school children in 60 different countries.
My Recipe Jar is an app which elegantly solves the problem of keeping multiple recipes in one convenient place. The app’s philanthropic focus is a nice touch, as is the ability to share recipes between friends and family.
However, some issues still remain, such as the aforementioned Shopping List bug, and also registration and login page illegibility when using a font color other than black. As it stands, My Recipe Jar is a very good kitchen companion, but should the developers add further functionality and iron out the remaining bugs, it could become a truly excellent one.
All of your favorite recipes in one convenient place.7