Review: 50 Easy Recipes
Please note, this application whent from $1.99 to free on November 15, but it is listed as "a limited time". If interested, you may want to download it now before it may go up in price.
Okay, I will be the first to admit, I am no budding Emeril. I know my way around a kitched, and I have experimented with a few recipes here and there (My cinnamon-soy chicken was a big hit!) but one of my most frequently used cookbooks is the Campbells Easy Cookbook, using a lot of their prepared foods.
So when I saw this program, I thought "easy recipes...hmmm,I will have to give it a look!". For a recipe program, I am primarilly looking for easy of instructions and ease of use.
When you start this program, you are brought to a splash screen showing the different food categories - starters, sides, potpourri, beef and pork, chicken, seafood, desserts, and mocktails. Hmm...50 recipes, 8 categories - that is probably about 6 recipes per category. And that is what it is, for the most part. A couple have fewer than 8, and a couple have more than 8, but if you want to flip through 30 different chicken recipes to find the one you want, this cook book program is not for you.
Selecting a category will take you to the recipes in that field. I chose seafood (yummy!) and they had some interesting recipes listed - some old standbys like pan fried tilapia and shrimp scampi, as well as some interesting ones like thai coconut fish and glazed salmon. When you select a recipe, you are taken to a screen that shows what the recipe "should" look like (perfectly prepared, under the correct lighting...I even hear they use elmers glue to make something look like it has a "glaze" on it.
You can select to look at the recipe instructions, or look at the ingredients list. I like the fact they separated these - it is easy to pull up what you need for ingredients. Unfortunately, there isn't any sort of "add to cart" feature so you can compile ALL the ingredients you needs to prepare a meal. Also, there is no multiplier so you can adjust for the number of people you are cooking for.
The recipe instructions are printed clearly, easy to read, and seem pretty straight forward. I didn't check every recipe, but I didn't find any terms of instructions that were vague. Nothing like trying to figure out what a recipe means while you are trying to cook the meal! It would have been nice to be able to mark a recipe as a favorite for easy reference, but with only 50 recipes it wouldn't be hard to find it again. IT would have been nice to be able to email a recipe (I am imagining someone asking me for my scrumptious glazed salmon recipe, and I could email it to them).
There are no options to add your own recipes, but since this isn't a full features cookbook, I was not surprised.
At the bottom of the screen, you have the option of going to the entire list of recipes, choosing a "random" recipe by shaking the iPhone, or searching the recipes. I don't really know what benefit the search function has, since it is only 50 recipes. I supposed you may have an obscure laying around and want to search the ingredients to see what you can make with it.
Pros: Simple layout, easy to find recipe
Cons: No additional features to make it stand out
All in all, the design of this program is very straightfoward. It is easy to find a recipe that you want, and to follow the instructions. If you are looking for a complete cookbook with various extra features (adding your own receipes, adjusting for the number of people you are cooking for, a cooking timer built in, etc) this program will be a disappointment. But if you want a quick program to find some easy recipes, this program is worth the investment, especially since it is free right now. If it goes back to the $1.99 price, you may want to look into investing in a different cookbook program. My rating is based not on any real failing the program has directly, but just that it doesn't offer anything that comparably price programs also offer (at $1.99). Three out of five stars