Do you have a bookshelf to the ceiling packed with cookbooks, years worth of subscriptions to a half-dozen food magazines, a roster of 25 food blogs you follow obsessively and a binder full of grandma’s recipes?
If you actually want to use all these sources, the search is chaotic. Yes, Pinterest is great for websites, but what about the other sources? Post-it flags in cookbooks and magazines go missing, precious hand-written cards get lost or covered in sauce, and e-magazines don’t have an option to save or download single recipes for later use.
Wouldn’t you love to have all the recipes you want to make this week (or ever) in one, searchable location, accessible from your computer, tablet or phone? I realized I sound like a scary-smile infomercialbot, but guys, I am seriously excited to share this with you. BECAUSE I HACKED A SYSTEM. And it is so awesome.
Ok, here is what you do. Download Wunderlist. It’s a cloud-based task-management app that I have been using obsessively for at least two years (which is a record in app commitment for me). I rave about it so much I think they should be paying me.
I use it to organize my entire life, but the recipe part is the most valuable to me.
Using the app, you can make lists, and folders to organize them. Start by making a list called “recipes”. Now, the fun part.
- From a print magazine/cookbook/index card or any other any physical source: Grab your smartphone or tablet and open Wunderlist. Add the recipe name in the “add a to do” field, save, then go in and tap “attach a file”. Choose “from camera” and snap a pic of the recipe. Ta da! Now you can access your Nonna’s hand-written bolognese secrets from anywhere.
- From the internet: Enter the recipe name as above, then copy/paste the url into the “subtask” field. It’ll be clickable for later. Download the desktop bookmarklet and you can add to Wunderlist from any website, and it automatically pulls in the name, description and url for you.
- From a digital magazine or app: as you’re reading your magazines in an app (I am absolutely obsessed with Texture – I gave up all my print subscriptions years ago), take a screenshot of the page with the recipe you want to save (press and hold the Sleep/Wake button on the top or side of your device, and simultaneously press and release the Home button on an iPad/iPhone). Open Wunderlist. Enter the name as above, then tap “attach a file” and choose the screenshot from your camera roll. Same goes for other recipe apps.
Now when you want to refer back to your recipes, you can use the search bar at the top and have them right at your fingertips for menu planning, grocery shopping, and cooking
Just searching “salmon” brings up all the recipes with salmon in the actual name, but you can use hashtags in the titles if you’d later like to later be able to browse by broader terms, such as “#fish”. Use more hashtags if you’d like to peruse by recipe source, meal, etc. i.e. #BonAppetit #vegetarian or #mom #dinner”
I am constantly snapping pics of recipes, taking screenshots and saving urls as I come across them or browsing my cookbook collection, and now have a great database of recipes I’ve saved to try. Sure beats the heck out of my previous post-it flag system for bookmarking. I also add the recipe ideas or works-in-progress for Foodess, snapping pics of my crude, drip-splattered notebook as I go.
Within my “Recipes” folder, I have a master recipe list, then lists of spring, summer, fall and winter recipes. You can organize by whatever makes your skirt fly up, but I keep it simple because it is really easy to search your collection and browse your hashtags.
After I’ve made the recipe, I’ll often go in and add a note.
You can star recipes and/or add due dates that connect to your google calendar, which copies them into the “starred” or “week” folders respectively, aggregating them for easy access. These are exceptionally useful tools for meal planning, which I’ll explore in-depth with you in my The Ultimate Guide to Painless Meal Planning (that you’ll actually stick to) – coming next week!