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For many cooks, nothing compares to the joy of pulling out their favorite cookbook and turning to the dog-eared, slightly splattered page containing that perfect recipe. For others though, their space-constrained home libraries bulge with cookbooks that feature only a couple of noteworthy recipes or are stuffed with random recipes torn from magazines and gathered from friends. For these cooks, MacGourmet provides the perfect solution.
MacGourmet, the self-proclaimed “iTunes for your recipes,” helps you create and organize a vast digital library of recipes that can be grouped into custom “playlists,” from which myriad functions can add to your joy of cooking. If you just went to the farmer’s market, for example, and have a basketful of fresh squash and carrots, you can generate a SmartList that will show you recipes featuring these items. If you are planning a dinner party, you can search by yield to see which recipes can accommodate the size of your group. MacGourmet helps with weekly menu planning and can even generate and print your shopping list (our favorite feature!) or export the list as an iPod note for reference while you’re shopping. The iPhone doesn’t support iPod notes, but a Mariner representative says that they are working on an iPhone app. You can also sync your weekly meal plan to iCal. If you’re trying to eat more healthfully, MacGourmet includes the USDA Nutrient Database that provides nutritional analysis for many recipes. Oenophiles will appreciate the ability to store wine-tasting notes, and the app also helps you create hard-copy cookbooks to share with friends and family.
MacGourmet offers several options for building your recipe library. Adding dishes from online sources is easiest, requiring a simple drag-and-drop from a number of supported websites or a copy and paste from other sites. (At press time, there were eleven culinary websites in an ever-growing list supported by MacGourmet.)
MacGourmet comes with a nice selection of recipes to get you started building your recipe “playlist.”
Recipes from your beloved cookbooks can be typed directly into the app, or text files can be added via the Recipe Import Assistant, which, in our tests, required a certain mount of fiddling in order to get the various parts of the recipe categorized properly. And importing a Word doc, while time consuming, worked fine. We were also able to import a recipe from a favorite cookbook by creating a PDF and copying, importing, and then editing the text. This method required some effort, but did save a bit of typing.Setting up your recipe database in MacGourmet takes dedication and perseverence, but once done, the app cooks up some nice features, including menus, meal planners, shopping lists, nutrition guidelines, and, of course, your favorite recipes available at the click of a button.