Three Apps For Home Cooks Out There

Three Apps For Home Cooks Out There

Thankfully we don’t have to memorize the recipes we see on TV. All we need to do is open our smartphones, download an app, and save thousands of recipes to our devices.

The mobile industry is a huge success today thanks to the shift of consumers from PC to smartgadgets. Gaming Realms, a software company that hosts several bingo games for online play, says that the reason for this shift is partly because of the dependency of consumers on the Internet. But, what apps should we be relying on for a host of useful recipes?

How to Cook Everything Essentials

The How to Cook Everything Essentials app has over 2,000 recipes for cooking almost every ingredient on Earth. It teaches home cooks essential skills from properly blanching a tomato to cooking the perfect steak. The author of the app is the world-renowned Mark Bittman, who is a James Beard recipient and a former food columnist for New York Times.

The Perfect Egg Timer

One of the most difficult things to master in the kitchen is cooking the perfect egg. Sunny side ups are easy to do but cooking the perfect poached eggs can be very difficult. If you’re one of the home cooks who want to perfect in everything you create, this app is for you. The Perfect Egg Timer allows users to check the surrounding temperature, altitude, heat, and diameter to guarantee a perfect egg every time.

Food Substitutes

It’s very difficult to prepare food for a huge number of guests. Assuming that several of your friends and family are allergic to some food, you may sometimes find yourself at an impasse on what dishes to prepare. Some may be allergic to nuts, some can be vegan, and some may be lactose intolerant. Thankfully, the Food Substitutes app is there to save the day . Substitutions allows users to find alternatives to food that they need to omit when preparing dishes to guests with a special diet.

This is a guest post from Donna James. 

Yummly, What is it?

You may have noticed a button labeled as Yum in orange on the right hand side bar or in the footer if on tablet or mobile or recipe pages on this site. This is integrated with this brilliant App. called Yummly.  If your not familiar with Yummly, using their description:

Search for recipes by ingredient, diet, allergy, nutrition, taste, calories, fat, price, cuisine, time, course and source.

I’d describe it a little differently, it’s a single location to store, manage and find new recipes.  They aggregate hundreds of sources on the web into one beautiful interface that offers a seamless experience going from mobile, tablet to their website!   You can organize recipes by category, either use their defaults or create your own custom categories.  I should also mention, it’s completely free, the app and service.  There are other more advanced functions such as an integrated Grocery List and ability to share recipes easily with other’s.

This app has become a great source of finding new and amazing recipes for me, as well as one of my most used apps on my phone!  Have 5 minutes and blueberries are on sale, look into blueberry recipes.  They show how many people have yummed that recipe so you can get an idea of the recipes credibility before taking a closer look.  That said I’ve found several recipes that have very few Yum’s that are really great.  Like Blueberry Cream Cheese Pastries a bit rustic, but easy to make and talk about a crowd pleaser!  I’ve found other recipes because of the Yum’s of others that I never would have found, like Crispy Roasted Chickpeas, simple, delicious and a nice new snack for my family and I.

So as the widget on the side or bottom of your screen says, Yum Away!

#Chocolategives by Seattle Chocolates

Every now and again we have the opportunity to participate in a real sweet deal, this is one that we’re really excited to share with everyone. Seattle Chocolates, out of, yup you guessed it Seattle, Washington has a brilliant campaign called #Chocolategives. The brilliance is in the simplicity, and the genuine good nature of the promotion, one post of #Chocolategives or purchase between now and the end of December 2014 and it equals one serving to one in need. Read more about it from Seattle Chocolates page #Chocolategives about this incredible offer.


We have a tasty looking box of goodies that we can’t wait to dive into – look for a review on these chocolates in the coming weeks.  In the mean time, be sure to tweet #chocolategives or make a purchase from Seattle Chocolate and help spread the word – it doesn’t get much sweeter than that!

A little more on Seattle Chocolates, they have Truffle Bars in wide range of flavors from traditional chocolate(s), to toffee, peanut butter to more contemporary offerings like Cake Batter and a Here’s to You bar, which is Dark chocolate with popping candies on it!  They also have more traditional, bite sized truffles in all of the conventional offerings and more curious flavors like Champagne, Cosmopolitan, Margarita, Mimosa and Egg Nog.  If you can’t make up your mind, after all who could, they have a great selection of gift baskets and bundles that will make the process of finding your favorite delicious and fun!

Seattle Chocolates

I’m really excited to dive into the back breaking part of this review, the tasting!  Remember #chocolategives or buy a little something sweet this holiday season from Seattle Chocolates.


Tribute to John Hickernell

I knew so little about John, but what I knew I truly relish.  I only knew him for 2 years, in fact we never met in real life but I think about him and remember specific things about him often.  We’ve only spoke a few times, most of our communications were via instant message or email.  Nearly 2 years after passing I find myself thinking about him and our friendship often.  What’s funny is our friendship was very situational, meaning we always discussed what was going on, very rarely did we discuss how we arrived where we were at this moment in time.

What little I knew was what impressed me, he wanted to do or at least try nearly everything before ruling it out as a possibility.  I think a small taste of this is evident from this blog, some of his posts were not the sort of glamorous things that most food blogs write about, a great example of this is his Baking Powder Experiment.  Sure I may have been curious about if there really was a difference but there’s no way I would have gone through the testing he did!

I look back to how we met and I have to chuckle, we met through a Craigslist ad that I had run for a business that was a total flop.  John and I kept in touch and kept working on little projects here and there and we happened to create this blog.  I always enjoyed John’s comments and his ambition, he was always looking for the next project or task.  Not the sort of guy who liked to sit still, though I think he made time for that as well.

Thank you for your friendship, contributions to this site and for being a man I’ll cherish knowing for the rest of my life – here’s to you John!

Cream of Potato Soup – reduced fat

Today’s recipe is for a hearty soup whose warmth is just right for the cold weather outside. Plus it just might cure what ails you, as a friend who had been feeling ill said eating this soup made her feel all better.

Cream of Potato Soup

My first thought was to use some extra potatoes that were left in the pantry to make a baked potato soup with cheese, but after some discussion I decided to make a low fat version with a creamy base not created from using fatty ingredients, but by pureeing some of the potato with my brand new stick blender. I had already used this method recently to make a thick soup base from cooked cauliflower in an excellent corn and seafood chowder.

Here is my recipe for Low Fat Cream of Potato Soup for you to try and enjoy.

Cream of Potato Soup

4 Russet Potatoes, medium sized, peeled and cubed
3 Yukon Gold Potatoes, sliced thinly (with skin, omitting end pieces)
4 c Chicken Broth
1 Yellow Onion, medium
1 T Butter
4 cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
¼ t Red Pepper Flakes
½ t Black Pepper
½ t Salt, Kosher
3 Scallions

Melt butter in pot and sauté ½ of the yellow onion, diced, until translucent. Add 2 cups chicken broth and 3 of the russet potatoes that have been peeled and cubed. Bring to a boil and then simmer covered until potatoes are fork tender.

With your stick blender puree the cooked onions and potatoes in the pot until smooth.

Add the remaining 2 cups chicken broth along with the single cubed russet potato, the sliced Yukon Gold Potatoes, and the other ½ yellow onion which has been roughly chopped. Bring to a boil then simmer covered for 5 minutes.

Add the red pepper flakes, black pepper, kosher salt, and thinly sliced garlic. Simmer covered another 5 minutes, then add the chopped scallions, turn off the heat and let sit covered an additional 5 minutes.

Serve and enjoy.