Some meals require hours of planning and prep work while others simply need meat to meet pan and become dinner. No matter how much time, energy or creativity you’ve got to spare, these smart phone apps will help you get from kitchen to table in no time.
Recently optimized for iPhone5, Barista teaches you to prepare restaurant-quality espresso drinks in the comfort of your kitchen. Barista includes easy-to-follow instructions geared towards mastery of your espresso machine and includes HD video demonstrations of latte art creation, an extraction timer and a glossary of espresso terminology. Professional tips on coffee bean selection, storage and usage are also included.
Kitchen Knife Skills: Essentials for the Confidant Cook
Thirty-six HD video tutorials from cookbook author Sarah Copeland walk you through slicing and dicing techniques for everything from onions and tomatoes to fish filleting and turkey carving on this Betterbook iPhone app from Open Air Publishing. Safety techniques are emphasized and a buying guide geared towards all budgets explains the differences between Japanese and European knives.
Calorie Counter: My Fitness Pal
A great tool for the health-conscious cook, this calorie counter for Android supports weight-loss and health management both at home and on the go. With a database of over two million foods, Calorie Counter features a bar code scanning system and a food and exercise diary.
Food with Friends: Foodily Sharing and Recipes
This social recipe network lets you brainstorm with other chefs from around the world in real time as well as get answers to your most pressing food-related questions from experts like Wolfgang Puck and Carlo’s Bakery owner Buddy Valastro. Beautifully photographed, Food with Friends helps you keep track of your favorite recipes and share them with others. Researching recipes by ingredient or food plan is a plus.
A great on-the-go app, Grocery Gadget saves you time and money by organizing your food shopping list into categories. Arrange your list to match your pantry, refrigerator and cupboard. Automatic synchronization lets you share your list with friends and family as well as store weekly lists for all of the stores you frequent. Color pricing helps you compare prices on items found in different stores and also helps to match coupons through an eCoupon feature. Easy to use and kid friendly, Shopping List gets you out of the store and into the kitchen faster.
A great meal-planning tool for families, Food Planner lets you keep track of individualized dietary requirements as well as menus, shopping lists and recipes, plus it syncs between multiple devices. Countless recipes can be imported from numerous websites and your own favorites can be stored for future reference. Food Planner is an easy-to-use tool that lets you search for recipes by keywords and ingredients.
Cookulator: Cooking Unit Converter
One-step, utensil-based cooking unit conversion enables you to convert between measuring units such as volume, weight and temperature. Cookulater also converts measurement variances between the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.
8,500+ Drink and Cocktail Recipes
From everyone’s favorites to holiday classics, plus a few you’ve never heard of, this cocktail database includes an indexed list and search bar, plus a random drink feature suitable for your adventurous side. This creative app is perfect for themed party planning or for intimate evenings at home.
Wine Genius simplifies wine and food pairings both at home and at your favorite restaurants, plus suggests serving temperatures. Wine history includes interesting facts about your favorite vintages, transforming you into an at-home sommelier.
ChefTap Recipe App
An advanced artificial intelligence engine lets you import recipes from virtually any website you choose, including food blogs and Pinterest. Links to the original posts are maintained for future reference. ChefTap lets you sort recipes by category and includes organizing tools to help keep your workload streamlined for holiday meal planning and special occasions.
Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.