When it comes to baking, I try to stay pretty low-tech. My favorite recipes come from stained, well-read cookbooks, and my most-used kitchen utensil is my trusty wooden spoon (no offense, Kitchenaid). But cooking blogs just keep getting better and better, and it’s nice to be able to read reviews of recipes before trying them out. There are a handful of online resources that I use to make life in the kitchen easier: Springpad, IFTTT, and ChefTap.
Springpad, which I’ve mentioned before, is my favorite site for storing recipes. I’ve tried tons of different online recipe organizers, but Springpad is definitely my favorite and the only one I’ve stuck with. Unlike Evernote, there are no membership fees, so you get unlimited notebooks and content storage. And it’s not just for saving notes – their categories include check lists, events, contacts, products, recipes, and even wines. Each category has its own template, so if you’re adding a recipe, it will automatically include fields for the type of cuisine or serving size or prep time.
It’s also evolved into a social network where you can follow users and explore other people’s content. Of course, you can also keep everything private if that’s how you roll. It’s like a mashup between Evernote and Pinterest, but better than both of them.
There’s no desktop client, but there are apps for iOS and Android. You can “spring” things by using the web clipper, browser extension, or email. The issue I’ve run into with this is that sometimes the web clipper or browser extension doesn’t recognize that something is a recipe and will try to save it as a bookmark instead. Not a deal-breaker, but it can be a little annoying sometimes, having to manually change it from a note to a recipe and input the recipe.
Springpad gets really awesome when you pair it with IFTTT, If This Then That, which does exactly what it sounds like. You create rules for managing your online life and then sit back and relax while IFTTT does all the work. I use it in conjunction with Google Reader to automatically save recipes into Springpad. I follow way too many cooking blogs and bookmark way too many recipes from those blogs, so IFTTT is a great way to automatically save items from Google Reader to Springpad without having to do it manually and tediously. Using this recipe, anything that you star in Google Reader is automatically saved as a note (not a recipe, unfortunately) into Springpad. You’ll have to move it to the right notebook and add any tags manually, but that’s a small price to pay.
When it’s time to actually bake or cook, ChefTap is my best friend. It’s a recipe app for Android (and Android only for now, so iPhone users can get a taste of how we feel whenever a cool app is iOS only) that extracts recipes from webpages and turns them into a sparse, easy to read recipe card. This is so much easier to work with in the kitchen than my laptop and scrolling through a page that has 500 pictures just to try to find the recipe. It sounds kind of the same as Springpad, but Springpad’s mobile app isn’t tailored specifically for recipes, so I like to use ChefTap as a supplement.