What are some options for my database of recipes?
January 10, 2014 11:11 AM   Subscribe

I have about 200 recipes I want to try. Often I copy them down and email them to myself, but I want to keep an organized database of them. What ways can I do this? I'm open to apps and old school things like recipe boxes, but wanted to get particular recommendations.

When I'm over at friends' houses, I often peruse their cookbooks and copy down recipes that look neat. I also have a lot of cookbooks myself, but find that even if the recipes look really great, I'll forget to crack open the book when planning a dinner. It would be nice to have all my recipes in one format that I can peruse.

I don't have an iPad, but I do have an iPhone, Kindle and laptop, of course.

Obviously, there are a zillion different ways to organize this information, but I'm looking for specific organization tools that other people use.
posted by Viola to Food & Drink (23 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
I use Evernote for this and organize the recipes into different notebooks by category. I can access them via the Evernote app on my phone or view them on the web. Pretty easy.
posted by bedhead at 11:14 AM on January 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

I use Evernote for my recipes. I can't imagine using anything else at this point. I've got the Web Clipper for my primary acquisition method, web pages, but in an absolute pinch I can (and have) taken cameraphone shots of recipe cards for later transcription, and just made placeholder notes to look something up online when I see it in someone else's cookbook.

Searchable (even photos will text search, within OCR reason), taggable, synched, formattable, and can't get lost in a fire.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:14 AM on January 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

What operating system is the laptop?

I find Paprika to be fabulous. It's for iOS, Android and Mac. My husband and I sync our Paprika accounts together and can plan menus, grocery shopping and all that in addition to a really good, intuitive recipe management database. It's also pretty good at detecting parts of a recipe, so those hand typed recipes might import easily.

My only wish is that they had a web-based interface.
posted by fontophilic at 11:16 AM on January 10, 2014 [3 favorites]

I tried so many digital solutions to this problem and hated them all. Then I asked for a recipe box for Christmas, and am delighted with it. People tease me about using a physical notebook instead of a notekeeping app, and I'm sure they'll tease me for this as well, but my brain just works this way...
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:22 AM on January 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seconding Paprika.
posted by bluecore at 11:22 AM on January 10, 2014

When my daughter moved into her own apartment & started asking for favorite recipes, I set up a blog (using Wordpress) & posted the recipes to her. Turns out I now post recipes there for myself as well. It's reasonably easy to find things, it's easy to format the recipes well enough to read, and it's really easy to edit the recipes when I decide they can be improved.
posted by mr vino at 11:29 AM on January 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

My fiancee and I have a shared Dropbox folder. Each recipe is stored as a .txt file.

Pros: Future-proof, easily searchable, cheap, easy to set up.
Cons: You do need to write out or copy-and-paste each new recipe that you add.
posted by HoraceH at 11:29 AM on January 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

I also really like the Paprika app. It costs money but I think it's worth it.
posted by librarina at 11:48 AM on January 10, 2014

I personally like & use Allrecipes.com. It allows me to enter my own recipes, and I can access it anywhere.
posted by Falwless at 12:14 PM on January 10, 2014

I use Pocket to save any recipes I find online that I may like and then have IFTTT save that to my blog (on Wordpress). That way if Pocket goes down at some point I will have a copy on my blog. For my own recipes I can enter them into my blog whenever I want (although it has been quite some time since I have done that). If I took pictures of recipes then something with OCR (like Evernote) would be great, and then use IFTTT to post it on my blog.

I like having it on the blog because it is web accessible and can be reached by any device with a web browser. Also, it means I don't need to log in to an account if I am on someone else's computer.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 12:23 PM on January 10, 2014

I use Pinterest
posted by melissam at 1:00 PM on January 10, 2014

Thirding Evernote. It's awesome.
posted by kdern at 1:04 PM on January 10, 2014

I use Eat Your Books for organizing my cookbooks -- you just put in your cookbook titles, and then you can search by ingredient, etc. You can also enter in your own recipes so that you can search them by ingredient in a similar way, although I don't tend to bother with that. For hand-copied or recipes from magazines, I'll put them in a 3 ring binder (in plastic paper protectors) for easy viewing/browsing. It would be easy enough to also enter them into Eat Your Books if you wanted to be able to reference everything together.
posted by rainbowbrite at 1:11 PM on January 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

It's mac-only, but I use Devonthink.

It's a bit pricey, but it's comparable in cost to about a year of evernote.
posted by inertia at 1:17 PM on January 10, 2014

Nthing Paprika! It's worth it.
posted by ancient star at 2:08 PM on January 10, 2014

Tagging on here: is there a way to run Paprika on a non-mac device? All I have is a windows desktop and a semifunctional windows laptop.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:25 PM on January 10, 2014

Another vote for Evernote. Their web clipper is invaluable to me. I added about 30 recipes from Saveur just this morning.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:36 PM on January 10, 2014

I use Ziplist. If you're in the United States, it cross-references grocery stores near you for deals. It also has a fairly robust clipping function. The killer feature for me is that it generates a shopping list, sorted by section, when you pick out recipes. And it's free.
posted by calistasm at 3:49 PM on January 10, 2014

Nthing a blog. I use one on wordpress.com. You can set it to private. There is an app for idevices or you can access it through a web browser. I use the main blog post for the recipe and I put any changes or comments or notes, well, in a comment. Mine is in my profile if you want to see it in action.
posted by kathrynm at 4:44 PM on January 10, 2014

I don't have quite the extensive recipe collection you do, but I typically use OneNote (part of MS Office) for storing my recipes (along with a lot of other loosely organized bits of information). If you put your OneNote notebook on SkyDrive it's acessible via web, iOS, Android and (of course) Windows Phone apps.
posted by Aleyn at 9:07 PM on January 10, 2014

It's a bit pricey, but it's comparable in cost to about a year of evernote.

I use a free Evernote account, and after like 6 years I'm still using 4.6mb of my 60mb allocation. I have 500 recipes and hundreds of work-related articles with screenshots.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:37 AM on January 11, 2014

I tried Evernote, but it wasn't for me. I now use Pepperplate and am quite happy with it.
posted by sarajane at 10:25 AM on January 11, 2014

I use One Note, but use the "Save as Text" from scans I've made from books and magazines.
I have a hand scanner, and download the pictures to my computer, then turn them into Word documents. I also cut and paste off the net.
I like printing them out. If it's a keeper, it goes into a binder. If I feel I can't make it work, it gets deleted.
I don't have a smart phone, but the cameras on most of them would do as good, if not better job than a scanner. Just a thought.
I have over 5K recipes in 417 folders. I've yet to count my cookbooks.
Obsessive? Not me.
posted by JABof72 at 10:59 AM on January 11, 2014

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