There are often times in our lives when we need to bring a dish to a family dinner or a night in with friends. If the meal is traditional, you’ll be joining generations of cooks that have prepared good old fashioned American staples for hundreds of years. iCooking American Traditions, developed by Apps of All Nations, LLC, provides you with easy to follow recipes that will do the heritage behind the dish proud.
So what is a traditional American recipe? Some jump to your mind immediately like fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits, chicken noodle soup, chocolate chip cookies and ginger bread. Added to these recipes are ones that have become part of American cooking over time like Jambalaya. In iCooking American Traditions, you can choose from any one of 52 recipes. You can look at all the recipes or a smaller selection based on what you need to bring to a family get-together or add to a meal. There are recipes for soup, sides, meat, fish and desserts. You can select any of these to be your favorites or add your personal recipes – complete with photo – into the app.
iCooking American Traditions is easy to maneuver through. Once you select your recipe, you can tab through selections at the bottom of the screen. You can see a photo of a finished dish, view the ingredients list, prep instructions, or save a recipe as a favorite and email it to yourself – or a friend. I like to email the recipe to myself so that I can print it out and check off steps and ingredients while I cook. (I have a tendency to miss something if I don’t.)
Having an ingredient list handy is very convenient. When you are at the grocery store, pull out your phone, shop for what you need and when you get home you are ready to cook. I have enjoyed the option of adding my own recipes as well. There are 14+ iCooking apps, but I can see this one as being my most used. My mother did not pass on her family recipes so I have been somewhat at a loss to recreate them. With this app, friends and family will think I am delving into the mother load of family cooking history.
Apps for All Nations has a similarly named app, iCooking American Celebrations and I thought there might be similarities between the two. They are actually quite different. The Celebrations app focuses on dishes that are usually served at holidays. This app focuses on the dishes that you would like to make every day. Both are valuable, but this one is likely to get more use.
It was not easy to choose a recipe to test. Apple Pie was tempting. Baked potato soup called my name, but macaroni and cheese won the day. Mac and Cheese is an American food staple. And, as it turns out, something that has always intimidated me. I loved my Aunt Nellie’s version and just did not have the nerve to try my own hand. However, somewhat daunted by tradition I decided to take the plunge. It was so easy that I cannot believe I haven’t done this before. Moms, throw away those blue boxes and use this recipe. Get your child involved. Just a few simple ingredients and you have a dish your family will claim as a new tradition!
As for improvements, I really don’t have much to suggest. Some of that is the result of using a fair number of iCooking apps. Once you get comfortable with the format of an app, it is harder to see ways to improve it. In the nice to have category I would include a search feature and a grocery list. The grocery list would come in particularly handy if you are planning to cook more than one dish.
The volume of recipes included with other cooking apps overwhelms me. I do not want over 100,000 recipes. I suppose there is merit in having an encyclopedia of recipes. Personally, I want an app that provides me with ones that I am likely to be cooking. When I go through and master the 52 recipes in iCooking American Traditions I can consider moving on to other apps. However, that is going to take a while and I am happy with this reasonable slice of inspiration.
iCooking American Traditions is compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch and requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later.