(Author’s note: This app is currently only available for Mac. Sorry, PC users.)
One of my most prized possessions is a binder my mom made for me about ten years ago called “Mom’s Recipes.” She spent months typing up every recipe she had in her card box to make, what amounts to, our official family cookbook in time for Christmas. It has favorites from every member of the family, and everyone got one of their very own. It is my favorite, and most used cookbook on the shelf.
Unfortunately, ten years is a long time in the life of a binder. Mine is a mess. The cover is stained multiple shades of brown, there are new, un-filed recipes in the front and back pockets, and at least one of my favorite recipes is gone from the book because I accidentally melted the page protector and singed the paper inside. Since I know that my mom’s copy is in similar condition, I decided it was time for me to return the favor and put together The Revised Mom’s Recipes, 2012 Edition.
This is not a small task. I don’t know if you have ever typed up a recipe, but it is kind of a pain in the ass and I have about a hundred and fifty to get through. I started typing them all out in Pages, and adding images to make them pretty and I quickly decided that I wanted help. Enter YummySoup!
YummySoup* costs about $19.99 (U.S.), which is more than some of the other recipe programs out there, but it is as close to a full service recipe app as I have come across. Inputting a new recipe is fairly simple; if you have ever used your Mac to type something, you will be able to figure it out with minimal cursing. You use a form that looks like this:
Everything has its own field, you just type and tab. My one complaint about the inputting process was that, in the “Ingredients” section, you can not tab at the end of one line to add the next. You have to click the little “+” button every time. It is irritating, but better than formatting the whole recipe on my own. I take it back, I had two complaints. You also have to specifically insert special characters like “°F” and “½.” In a perfect world, the computer would know that was what I wanted and do it for me, but oh well. I guess a lazy girl can’t have everything. What is easy is adding pictures of the cooking steps, so your recipe pages can be as fancy as you’d like. You just drag and drop and put the photo number in brackets where you want it to show up.
You can leave all your recipes on the computer, and use YummySoup as a digital cookbook, or you can print them out and make your own binder. The reason we went with YummySoup over some of the other available programs is that it gives you the option of using a full-page layout. There are lots of options if you want to make recipe cards, but I want big ole’ full page printouts for my big ole’ full size binder. Sadly, YummySoup tempts you with lots of pretty notecard layouts, while the full pages are more stripped down, but I like the fact that there are enough options that you can find a layout that suits your needs. There are eleven different options, and each one has an alternate layout, so if you experiment, you can find the ones that make the recipes the easiest for you to read.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
Not only is YummySoup an easy way to type up all your recipes, you can also use it to make your cooking easier every day. It has a weekly meal planner feature, where you can drop in which recipes you plan to use during the week, it comes stocked with a selection of recipes and you can import more from almost anywhere on the Internet, and it has a grocery list maker. The list maker is pretty amazing. You have three options; you can go straight recipe, which reproduces the Ingredients section of whatever recipe you choose, the consolidated list, which (as you might guess) consolidates the ingredients for multiple recipes and gives you a check box for each one so you can make a note about whether or not you need it, or you can select “My Entries” which just lets you put in whatever you want with a note about which aisle it is in at the store. That last part excites me to no end. Whenever Mr.B makes me a shopping list, he writes things down willy-nilly and I end up zigzagging across the store to pick up things I missed when I was near them because they were written on a stupid part of the list. I also have a teenager with a brand-spanky-new driver’s license, and the aisle notations will help immensely when I send him to the store for me in the future
All in all, I am very happy with YummySoup. There are a few things that are a little confusing, since I don’t have the patience to use the tutorial videos or download the help PDF, but for the most part it is very intuitive and easy to figure out. If you ever feel like putting in the time to make your own family cookbook, it will make your life significantly easier.
*The official name is YummySoup!, but the extra punctuation plays hell with my formatting and I get tired of trying to convince the computer that I really don’t want the next word capitalized.