TheKitchn.com posted a review of the Paprika Recipe Organizer app a few days ago. On a whim, I decided to download it. I’ve been stuck with the question of how to organize the recipes I love (I want digital, but recipe cards are also really cute, etc.), and when I saw the review I thought, “Alright. It’s $4.99, but I’ve got some iTunes money from Christmas loaded into my account, so why not?
PEOPLE. By the time I had entered my first recipe, I was 100% sold. And that was before I realized I was doing things wrong. So here, in no particular order, are the reasons for my obsession:
It’s an app…to organize my recipes. As I mentioned above, I needed a way to organize my recipes. Jarrod gets upset when I cook him an awesome meal and don’t write down where I got the recipe from. My counter is that I can always remember where the recipe is from, and his counter is, “Yeah, but what if they take it off the internet?” Good point, husband, good point. With Paprika, everything entered is independent of the internet. It really is like little recipe cards, only stored in a format accessible via iPad.
I can highlight directions to see where I’m at in a recipe. Ever get lost while following a recipe? Skip over a step? No more, my friends! At first I was confused when I discovered this feature. I was like, “Why is this paragraph annoyingly highlig–oh…wow…” Sorry, RecipeCarders (that will be your official name from now on, ye Luddites). Your precious cards don’t come with this feature, do they?
I can cross out ingredients, for whatever purpose I choose! Okay, honestly I haven’t found a use for this feature yet, but it’s still cool. Maybe it will come in handy when I’m assembling all my ingredients, so I’ll never have to say to myself, “Darn! I forgot the garlic!” Or maybe if I don’t want to use the grocery list function (oh, yes–there is a grocery list function) and instead want to write my list by hand, I will just cross the ingredients that I know I have off the list and write the remaining ingredients down. Or maybe when I’m cooking and I want to know which ingredients I’ve already used…
I can sort my recipes by category, or by favorites, or by newly-added, or by top rated, or by…Heck I can even search for recipes by name if I don’t feel like sorting. This is great, because I often forget about recipes I’ve tried and loved. Now, if there comes a day when I’m planning my meals for the following week and can’t think of anything tasty, I can choose “Legumes” and have my memory jogged.
Honestly, I’m having a bit of trouble deciding how to use the category feature. Should I allow each recipe only one category, like it would have if it were sorted in a recipe box? Or should I “tag” the recipes with categories, such as vegetarian, legumes, dinner, Indian? I’m leaning toward the second, but I haven’t implemented it yet.
It comes with its own browser! Which might not seem like that huge of a deal, but wait–do you see that blue button that says “save recipe”? You can import recipes from the webnet into Paprika!!! I’m sorry about my enthusiasm, but this was a literal jaw-drop moment for me when I discovered it. Don’t go thinking I mean figurative jaw-drop, either. No. My jaw literally dropped when I realized that Paprika can take recipes from the internet and put them into their own recipe format. I had already entered about ten recipes in by copying and pasting from the internet, and when I discovered this, things got a whole lot easier.
And the import function actually works pretty well! There are a few flaws, of course. But the fact that it gets this far just by looking at a webpage and deciding where the ingredients and recipe start is pretty impressive. You can see that some stuff still needs to be entered (like the rating, category, cook time, etc.) but going in and changing that stuff takes a lot less time than copy-pasting everything from the internet. Oh, by the way–do you see the blue “Epicurious.com” up there? It’s linked to the recipe, and if you click on it the browser will open it for you. Handy if you need to check something from the source. Yet another reason I love this app.
Handy little shortcut buttons for when I’m typing in a recipe by hand. It’s the little stuff that matters.
I can make a grocery list from the recipes I want to cook. And, if I know I’ve got something like 1 tbsp lemon juice, I can uncheck it and it won’t be added to my list. Pretty sick, right?
The grocery list has tons of options for sorting, too. For example, I can choose to have it combine all the lists, or I can check by recipe to see what I’ve got. Now, it doesn’t combine things–you can see in the picture above that cayenne pepper is on there twice. NBD, really. Another thing is that the combined feature is a bit unreliable. It put my olive oil in two separate categories, and for one of them just said the ingredient needed was “olive”. I think it’s because it was freaked out that the ingredient in the recipe was “olive or canola oil”. But again, NBD. Last night I went through each recipe one by one and crossed out everything I had.
Because, oh yeah–this will help me not ever run out of an ingredient again. I tend to be bad about that; for example, I would have run out of lemon juice this week because the lemon bars call for a full cup, and many of the other recipes call for a tablespoon here or there. The Old, Paprika-less Emily would have thought I was good with lemon juice, but the New and Improved Emily realized last night that she probably didn’t have much more than a cup of lemon juice. Onto the list it goes.
And one last thing: it sorts the groceries by aisle for you. And you can add your own groceries if you really are taking your iWhatever to the store.(Honestly, I prefer paper lists, so I’ll just copy it down.)
Finally, it’s got a pretty sick meal-planning function. You can see in the picture above that I’m about to add the recipe to February 4′s dinner slot. After adding a few more things, I can go over to the “meals” tab and see what I’ve got planned for the week. All the recipes are under each meal for the day, so I don’t even have to worry about finding the recipes. It’s pretty darn amazing.
Another question I’m having is how to use this feature. Usually I cook one day and plan to eat the leftovers the next day. So do I add recipes to both days, as a reminder that that’s what I’m having for dinner, even if I don’t have to cook it? I’m leaning toward no. I have a Google Doc of my weekly meal plan, anyway, so there’s no need to also keep it in Paprika.
Anywho, I hope I’ve convinced you. Oh, and this isn’t a paid endorsement (it never is). I just love Paprika that much.