Saturday, 17 August 2013

A is for App

In today's busy world, I love a good app, but get cheesed off when an app is just a mobile version of the website.  It needs to do more than that to command space on my screen.

Here are my top ten apps for entertaining guests which do more than their websites (with one exception).

1. Time to Roast
All you need to do is select your meat (every roast I've had) and enter the weight.  It beeps at you when you need to change the temp (after searing a roast) and when it's time to check whether your joint is cooked.  And if it's not, you can simply let the app know and it'll beep again after some more time has elapsed.

2. Escoffier Cook's Companion
This handy app includes a measurement converter, a kitchen timer, an ingredients list (so you'll never again have to ask what adzuki beans are), an equipment list and a glossary of cooking terms.

Import all your favourite web based recipes into one (h)appy location, photo and all.  You can also manually add your own recipes too.  But the best thing about this app is that if you want to half or multiply the recipe, it'll re-proportion all the ingredients at the touch of a button.

This app helps you grow your own fruit or veggies whatever space you have.  But the best thing is the location-specific alerts for drought or frost to help you ensure that your plants stay healthy.  All the more homegrown food to serve to guests...

This free app features 180 recipes (and appropriate advice) from 12 of the country's best chefs.  Luscious!

6. Canadian Living (Magazine)
Yes it's a Canadian app but we have quite a lot in common with our Canadian cousins (after all we share a queen), and this magazine provides some of the most comprehensive advice without making you pay for every sentence.

This app delivers new recipes to your phone weekly, as well as a host of tricks and tips to get your barbecued food cooked to perfection.  And you can combine your recipe shopping lists into one for your trawl around the supermarket.

8. Houzz
So you've planned your feast but realise that your dining room decor will let the side down.  Use this app and choose from over two million ideas by room, location or style.

Now not many of us need to plan guests lists by excel sheet every week, but for the odd occasion you do, this is a great app.  It also helps you plot out seating plans, keeps track of budgets and timelines, and even lets you delegate tasks.   

This is my exception to the real estate rule, but since it's now much easier to link my phone snaps to my boards, it's made the cut.

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