Far be it from me to read the help screen so I dive right in. I take a quick browse of the menus. I thought I’d find “new recipe” under file but discovered it on the Actions menu. Click, click, and I have a window open all ready to add Alton’s recipe. The software has every field labeled nicely so it’s pretty obvious what I type where. One of the main features I want is nutritional analysis. I don’t spend a lot of time reading the screen so I try clicking and right clicking things but can’t find how to select my ingredients for my recipe. (I know that the ingredients and their nutritional values have to be tucked away in a database somewhere). That being said, I went ahead and quickly typed in my quantities, the units of measure (cups, tablespoons etc) and the ingredients. What I love about this so far is I can describe my ingredients "my way". For example, if I want to say “1 cup raisins, chopped or 1 cup golden chopped raisins” I can. Most software that that does nutritional analysis makes you pick from an ingredient list and won't let you change the wording. Ok, recipe is entered. I click a tab called “Procedure”, type in my instructions and ZAP, recipe entered.
However, that fateful moment has arrived when I must read the HELP screen to learn how to get my nutritional analysis. Within a couple of minutes I’ve located the proper help screen, familiarized myself with the writer’s terminology for things and within a few more seconds I was “linking” actual ingredients (with all those wonderful predetermined nutritional values) to my very own recipe items.
After my immediate needs were taken care of (breakfast and entering my first recipe) I ventured forth to see what else this baby could do. My next task was to add a photograph of my granola. A few snaps with my trusty digital camera, upload to my computer, then, just a few mouse clicks and my recipe is now complete with photograph!
Later, I emailed myself a recipe, scaled Alton’s granola from six servings down to 3, cloned my recipe so I could enter another with just a few edits, exported one to an HTML file so I can post it on our web site, and created the folders for a new personal cookbook complete with 6 chapters. Wow, I should be tired but all that only took 5 minutes!
I’ve downloaded and evaluated many recipe software programs and this is the first one I’d actually plunk down cold-hard cash for. This program performs all the basic functions you need for recipe storage and retrieval in a way that makes it really easy for real people (that’s you and me) to use. Even the more advanced tasks take only a few minutes to learn with the aid of the well documented “help” system. So, whether you’re looking for recipe management software for yourself, your upcoming charity cookbook project, or the perfect birthday gift for your favorite recipe junkie, this is the product to buy.
Oh, and by the way, Alton Brown's granola is fantastic! Give the recipe a try too.
Price: $34.95 (at the time of writing)
Buy: The Living Cookbook