The Photo Cookbook – Quick and Easy

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More and more people are turning to the iPad as a replacement for a cookbook.  It’s perfectly suited to the job, since it’s small, and easy to place into a kitchen. The display has proven to be fantastic to watch videos recipes or watch tutorials. “The Photo Cookbook – Quick and Easy” takes a different route, using pictures, along with information, instead. The app is universal, with a variety of different recipes provided by an experienced chef.

The main part of a cooking app has to be the amount of recipes that are offered.  Many apps only provide a few, before you have to buy another pack.  Fortunately, this is different, providing 84 to start with.  These are mainly based in the “Quick and Easy” category. The included recipes are well varied, which means that there is something for everyone.  Each recipe also seems to be high quality, and there is a nice mix of classics, such as “speedy tuna pizza” as well as more adventurous dishes such as “honeyed apricot lamb with lemon couscous.”  There is also a few sample recipes selected from the Asian, Italian and Baking categories.  More from these extra packs can be purchased via in-app purchase. I love that pictures of the additional recipes are included, so it’s easy to see if you will like them before purchasing.

As a test, I’ve tried the “Quick and Creamy Fish Pie”. It’s lovely, with a fantastic texture, and something I certainly recommend.  I substituted the prawns for some haddock, and it was really nice.  I’ll certainly be trying it again. It alone makes it worth buying the app.

If there is one thing that this app has spot on, it’s the presentation. It uses the iPad’s display to great effect, with the pictures of each step making the recipes easy to follow when you’re trying to glance across the kitchen. The balance of text and pictures is spot on, so it’s easy to understand what to do, while not being too little. I especially like the first picture, showcasing the ingredients, so you can easily see if you have everything ready before starting out. Once you’ve used this app, with all of the pictures, you won’t want to go back to a traditional cookbook.

In addition, if you click on each ingredient, you get a little explanation about it. This includes a picture, how to prepare it, a description as well the name in other countries.  With this, it also includes something called “culinary significance”, which is rather strange. Most things I found were either 4 or 5 stars, and while everything might be significant, it defeats the point of star ratings if they are all similar.

Although it might be a more expensive app, don’t let the price put you off.  It’s worth every part of the purchase price, with a huge selection of good quality recipes. It’s much better value than other cooking apps, as it offers a lot more recipes for a similar price.

Overall, this does everything right.  The price is good, the presentation is great and the recipes provide something for everyone.  However, I think the main thing a cooking app needs to do is to inspire you to cook. Without a doubt, this certainly meets that criteria, with the amazing pictures of the delicious food making you want to rush into the kitchen! It’s easy to see why this has been picked by Apple to feature in the commercials, as it makes the iPad stand out.

Rating: 5/5

Link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id374473999

The Photo Cookbook – Baking

To go with our recent review of “The Photo Cookbook – Quick and Easy” we also tried out “The Photo Cookbook – Baking”, which is available as an in-app purchase, or as a standalone app.  People who buy the standalone app get access to the in-app purchase for free. The review of this recipe pack can be found here: http://www.applebitesize.com/?p=314

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