I love a good kitchen hack--anything to make my busy life easier. And luckily, my ever-present iPhone is bountiful in kitchen/cooking/food and drink hacks. Whether it's placing tons of new and creative recipes at my fingertips, improving my mixiology skills, or connecting with over food and drink lovers, the App Store on your phone has TONS to offer. Here are a few of my personal faves.
1. Kitchen Stories
If you love those video recipes that are all over Facebook these days, then you're going to love Kitchen Stories. With the user-friendly approachability of Tasty by Buzzfeed and the aesthetic of ChefSteps, this self-described "interactive cooking app" has everything you need. This app is jam-packed not only with great recipes, but also includes beautiful photography of the finished product, step-by-step photo instructions, recipe videos, and even how-to videos (like knife skills and cooking basics and tricks)!
You can search recipes around a theme (like "20 minute dishes") and create a grocery list, with one click, so you can easily grab everything you need. It also includes measurement converter (how many tablespoons in a cup again?) and the ability to save your recipes for another time.
Cookpad is the social media space for those that love to create in the kitchen. Here, you can document your favorite recipes and share them with people you know, or...those you don't. Upload your own recipes and pictures of the finished product. People can comment and you can live-chat within the app as well. And don't worry--comments tend to be less of a critique and more along the lines of ingredient substitutions, or what side dishes or wine would pair best with your dish. Once you've put your culinary-self out there, you can browse other users and their recipes for even more inspiration!
Untappd is another social twist on the food and drink experience--this time focusing on beer. With craft brews blowing up everywhere, there are just too many beers to keep track of these days. Untappd allows you to keep track of what beers you've tried, where you've tried them (like a particular brewery, restaurant, or bottle shop) and what you thought of it. Follow your drinking buddies to see what they're drinking, and if they think it's any good.
If you're the type of person that likes to collect things, there is a badge system for trying new and different beers. But the real plus to Untappd is keeping updated tabs on what's going on around you in the beer world. The app keeps updated beer menus at your local pubs and can alert you to new beers on tap. It'll even alert you to new locations opening up near you or events going on at your favorite breweries. New to beer? Keep track of what you're trying, your likes and dislikes, and Untappd will make a recommendation of what to try next. CHEERS!
Are you more of a wine drinker? Check out this Women.com article on finding new wines instead.
BigOven is the Big Kahuna of the recipe app world. It boasts more than 350,000 recipes and offers the ability to make a grocery list or upload a snap of your own cooking skills. One of the best things about this app, though, is the ability to meal plan for an entire week with it's organizer option--it's so helpful to only think about cooking/shopping one day a week! Another pro? It let's you shift through recipes for diet restrictions (so you can find something easily for that friend that has a gluten allergy, or if you're looking for a low-sodium option). Like Cookpad, it also has a social feature so you can swap recipes with friends, family, and fellow home chefs.
This app is for fledgling and master mixologists alike. There are hundreds of cocktail recipes you can search through a variety of ways. Have tequila, grapefruit, and lime on hand? Search those ingredients to find a beautiful cocktail concoction. Looking for a drink that's spicy? Or minty? You can search for a drink by flavor profiles to satisfy that craving. It's also a stunningly beautiful app--each ingredient is represented visually in a glass (it sloshes if you move the screen side-to-side) so you can see the exact ratios of everything.
Check out the Lush Cocktail app for iOS here.
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