I’ll admit it. I suffer from a little thing I like to call recipe book hoarding disorder (RBHD). But I don’t think I’m alone.
If you look in your kitchen cabinet, bookshelf or wherever you keep your recipe books, you’ll find one common theme amongst them: you only like a handful of recipes in each book. And yet the hoarder in all of us just keeps adding to our collection and bookmarking the recipes we like the best.
Well, we can happily kiss those days goodbye thanks to the Paprika.
Paprika is an iOS app that allows you to store all of your recipes in one single location (actually, you can sync it to any of your iOS devices and backup the app). All for the low cost of $4.99. But it’s so much more than that. Let’s take a look at what Paprika has to offer.
Your Favorite Recipes
We all have those secret family recipes written on our Mother’s and Grandmother’s stationary lying around our kitchen. With Paprika, you can easily create a digital version of your favorite recipes. When you add a new recipe there are a lot of features you can take advantage of.
First, you can set the difficulty, serving size, prep and cook time, and even your own personal rating of it. This will come in handy on those nights you’re looking for a quick meal. It also allows you to enter the source so you can keep track of which family member is known for this special recipe.
If it’s your Grandmother’s recipe, chances are you’ll want to omit any nutritional information.
Next you’ll add all of the ingredients to your recipe. Now before you finish letting out that teenage “I don’t wanna do that” groan, you should know that there are multiple keyboard shortcuts to make adding them a piece of cake. After you lay out the directions, you can insert all those little comments/tweaks you’ve noted as you’ve come to master this recipe.
You can also upload a picture of your beautiful masterpiece to show it off in pride (you can easily email it to anyone, too). Finally just add your recipe to your own custom category system and you’re on your way to making the recipe book of your dreams!
Save Your Favorite Online Recipes
Most of the recipes my wife and I make these days come from one of our two favorite cooking websites: Ezra Pound Cake and AllRecipes.com. No matter what website you go to for cooking inspiration, you can easily navigate to it using Paprika’s browsing tool. What’s great about this tool is you’re given two options to quickly save your recipe:
- Navigate to your favorite recipe and click the “Save Recipe” button. Paprika will analyze the page content and fill out all of the recipe information it can find (from servings to directions to the picture itself). You can then add in any notes you want and categorize your recipe as you see fit. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
- Let’s say you’re reading a blog and at the end of the post they list a recipe. Paprika may have a hard time finding it through all that content. No problem. Simply highlight each section of the recipe and click the correlating shortcut button (like “ingredients”) and Paprika will save that content to that section of the recipe. You can also easily save a picture of the recipe just by highlighting the image and clicking the “Copy Image” button that pops up. It takes a little more work, but it’s a simple process nonetheless.
I did notice the app was much more likely to crash when saving recipes during option 2.
Plan Your Meals
Two of my favorite features of Paprika are the abilities to easily create a grocery list and map out your meals for the upcoming week(s). Head over to the Meals tab and you’ll be presented with a seven day calendar to plan out your meals. You can either add a custom meal (like “cereal” for breakfast) or choose one of the recipes you have already saved in Paprika. You’ll be able to categorize it by the type of meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks) and then quickly create a shopping list of the ingredients you’ll need. You can also email your meal plan and/or print out your meals for the day/week.
Alternatively, you can skip the meal planing option and just build a shopping list in the Groceries section of the app.
Paprika makes an admirable attempt at keeping track of what ingredients you’ve already purchased. That way when it comes time to build your next grocery list, you can quickly get an idea of whether or not you actually need to buy something again.
The missing feature I see here is the ability to combine ingredients so you don’t have items like “flour” listed multiple times throughout your grocery list. Combining multiple listings of cups, tablespoons and teaspoons is enough to make anyone say “screw it” and overbuy to make sure they have enough of it.
Paprika is a very easy to use, intuitive recipe manager application. With its multitude of shortcuts and clean UI, I’ve found it both easy to get started with and something I’ll continue to add to. It’s a new app, only on version 1.3.3, but there are very few kinks in the app that would prevent me from using it.
If you like to cook, or are even forced to cook, you’ll find the process much more enjoyable when using Paprika. And did I mention they have a feature that disables the screen from turning off? No more stressing out over figuring out how to get your iPad back on while not spreading tonight’s dinner all over the screen. Win.