Having a dessert at the end of a meal is often the reward for a hard day at work (or school). For many of us, just thinking about our favorite dessert can send us to a relaxing land of enchantment. I’m sure that a lot of people use recipes that have been handed down over generations, but some of you may not be that lucky. What can you do? iCooking Desserts, by Apps of All Nations, is the answer to your dessert-making prayers. You can cook traditional American treats or impress your friends with Hazelnut Samosas or Berries in Beaujolais. With 58 recipes to choose from the search can be a lot of fun!
It doesn’t take to long to learn to maneuver around this app. You can sort through all the recipes or narrow your search by looking through recipes by Continent (Europe, America, Africa, Asia and Other) or select one from the Favorite list. You can also search through recipes you’ve added to the app. Once you make your choice, you’ll see a list with thumbnail size photos. Selecting one of those will bring up a full-screen size photo, a list of ingredients, preparation instructions and a More tab. Through the More tab you can add or remove favorites or send the recipe to your own email – or someone else’s. Any time you are looking at a recipe you can click the heart symbol at the top right hand side of the screen and it will add it to favorites. On the My Recipes tab you can click the plus sign at the top right hand side of the screen and then add your recipe name, category, ingredients, preparation instructions and photo. It is a great way to store the recipes you prepare frequently.
You might wonder if you would want to have a recipe app. After all, cookbooks aren’t very expensive, but they’re rarely just $0.99 either. However, what an app offers that a book can’t provide is the mobility and easy of use. If you are at the grocery store and you suddenly remember you need to make a treat to send to your children’s school, you can pull up the app, shop for the ingredients (checking prep time) and be good to go. Another benefit is the ability to send the recipe via email. I use this to print out a copy before I cook. I know, that flies in the face of my living green philosophy, but it does allow me to check off steps and ingredients as I cook. In addition, I have a lot of people asking for my recipes after I make a dish from one of the recipes offered in any one of the 15+ Apps of All Nations apps. So, the email feature makes sharing recipes a breeze.
I try to make at least one recipe as part of my review – today’s choice was brownies. Brownies are a family favorite – and who am I kidding – one of my favorites. One of the ingredients is a dark chocolate bar, allowing me to tell myself I am having them for their anti-oxidant benefits. The rest of the ingredients are pretty much household staples (flour, butter, sugar, eggs, etc.) I put it all together, followed the easy steps, filled my house with the smell of chocolate and then sliced into a pan full of heaven. I may have to go back for another one when I finish this review.
When I tried to think about how to improve this app, I realized that it already had a lot of benefits that a cookbook just doesn’t offer. Availability is a key factor. One improvement that I would like to see is a grocery list option. I would like to select an ingredient and have it transfer over to a shopping list. That would be a kind of marriage between this app and a grocery list app. You can still use the ingredient list as a grocery list, but that doesn’t allow for what you might already have in your pantry. It’s not a deal-breaker – but it would be a nice option to have.
With the current economic times, I find myself cooking more and eating out less. This app is priced right (99 cents) and it offers a lot of convenience for the money. Try it for yourself and see what you think. I’d like to hear how you enjoyed the recipes, if you found this app convenient or if you would rather just have a book.
iCooking Desserts is compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch and requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later.