I’m always in the kitchen whipping up something, and whenever someone asks me what my favourite kitchen tools are, I give them a pretty long list: my stand mixer, my pressure cooker, and my convection range are in my top three, but so is one device that’s not an appliance at all.
Despite the fact that it gets splattered on and dusty from flour, using my iPad in the kitchen is a must when I’m cooking. Why? Because I’ve been able to take my cooking and baking to the next level thanks to all of the apps you can either download for free or pay for.
Want to learn how to properly wield a knife to cut up vegetables? All you need to do is watch a video or two. How do you use a double broiler? Or what’s the proper way to create a rouse for something as simple as homemade mac and cheese? I learned everything I know through cooking apps, and when I prop my up my iPad in the kitchen and get cooking with my favourite apps, I really feel as though I can whip up anything and it will turn out great. It’s like having a cooking teacher right in your kitchen.
Here are a few of my favourite apps when I’m using my iPad in the kitchen.
How to cook everything recipe app
Price: Free to try, $13.99 to buy
This is the app that’s taught me everything. It has over 2,000 recipes, 400 how-to’s, and will even help you plan your grocery list and send it to your iPad. I don’t know about you but I always lose paper lists, so planning out what I’m going to make and having that list show up on my iPad or phone means that nothing essential gets left behind when I’m in the store.
The app even has equipment suggestions, so if you’re wondering if you need special cookware for a certain dish, you’ll know just by opening up How to cook everything on your iPad.
Allrecipes Dinner Spinner
This is an app I’ve used since I had my first iPad. Like a roulette wheel, the dinner spinner lets you tap for what you have on hand and how you want to cook, and it comes up with recipes based on what you’ve selected. I find one of the hardest parts of cooking can be coming up with an idea everyone will like, and the dinner spinner has helped me come up with a few great meals I’ve made on a regular basis ever since.
Whole Foods Market
I was a happy girl when I discovered a Whole Foods had opened up within in an hour of my house. I don’t go there very often, but when I do I load up on all types of organic goodies. The Whole Foods Market app helps me out when I’m in the store with recipe ideas so I’m not just randomly shopping, and when I’m in the kitchen it tells me exactly how to make those recipes right on my iPad. If you’re a Whole Foods fan you’ll love the fact there are coupons and weekly specials right in the app.
Now that I’ve shared a few great iPad apps for cooking, take a look a few of my favourite recipes I’ve found by using iPads in the kitchen.
Zesty Slow Cooker Chicken BBQ recipe
This one is a family favourite, and I never would have found it had I not tried out the Allrecipes Dinner Spinner on my iPad.
6 frozen skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 (12 ounce) bottle barbeque sauce
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Place chicken in a slow cooker. In a bowl, mix the barbecue sauce, Italian salad dressing, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the chicken.
Cover, and cook 3 to 4 hours on High or 6 to 8 hours on Low.
Chunky Vegetable Soup
The reason why this soup is so good is because you can use it as a base for so many different types of soup. I like to make the Mulligatawny variation. Recipe from the How to cook everything app.
60 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, peeled and diced
½ cup chopped prosciutto or other ham (optional)
1½ to 2 cups hard vegetables, like potatoes, winter squash, parsnips, or turnips, peeled if necessary and cut into smaller than 1.3 cm dice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1.4 litres chicken, beef, or vegetable stock (to make your own, see Quickest Chicken Stock, Beef, Veal, Lamb, or Pork Stock, or Vegetable Stock) or water
1 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped tomato (canned is fine; include the juices)
1½ to 2 cups soft vegetables, like green beans, cooked dried beans, zucchini or summer squash, or dark, leafy greens like kale or collards, cut into smaller than 1.3 cm dice
½ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
Put 3 tablespoons of the oil into a large, deep pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook, stirring, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the ham if you’re using it and cook, stirring, for another 3 minutes.
Add the hard vegetables and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for a minute or two, then add the stock and the tomato; bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the mixture bubbles gently. Cook, stirring every now and then, until the vegetables are fairly soft and the tomato is broken up, about 15 minutes. (At this point, you may refrigerate the soup, covered, for up to 2 days; reheat before proceeding.)
Add the soft vegetables and the parsley and adjust the heat once again so the mixture simmers. Cook until all the vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, and serve, passing the cheese at the table if you like.
Pasta E Fagioli (Pasta and Bean Soup)
Use about half as much of the vegetables and add 2 cups cooked beans—kidney, white, borlotti, chickpeas, cannellini, or a mixture—with the soft vegetables. With them, add ½ to 1 cup small uncooked pasta, like tubetti, or larger pasta broken into bits. About 5 minutes before serving, stir in 1 teaspoon (or more, to taste) of minced garlic.
Ribolitta (White Bean and Bread Soup)
Purée 1 cup of cooked cannellini beans (canned are fine) with some of their liquid into a thick paste. For each bowl, toast a thick slice of rustic Tuscan or Italian bread and set in the bottom of the bowls. In Step 3, add the beans to the simmering soup. Thin with a little more water or stock if necessary. To serve, pour the bubbling soup over the bread and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil if you like.
Mulligatawny (Spicy Indian Vegetable Soup)
Leave this chunky and brothy or purée it: Substitute neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn, for the olive oil. Skip the ham. Add 1 teaspoon each ground cumin and turmeric and cook with the onion in Step 1. Add 2 tablespoons curry powder (to make your own, see Hot Curry Powder or Fragrant Curry Powder) along with the soft vegetables. Substitute cilantro for the parsley and omit the Parmesan
Once you realize how handy it is to have your iPad in the kitchen, you’ll never be able to cook without it. Check out the iPad selection on Best Buy, then stock up on all the small appliances and bakeware you’ll need when you build on your cooking skills.