The best part of big family dinners is, of course, the food. Admit it or not, we like to see what everyone is bringing, and what to avoid like the plague. I can’t say much for myself; I’m hovering around below average for my cooking skills (my wife can attest to that). Despite the lack of knowledge in the kitchen, I do fully support her adventurous palate. When you are trying to focus on eating healthier, you may initially think that your choices are quite limited. It’s this mindset that may cause you to revert back to your poor eating habits; would you like fries with that? My wife and I started looking for ideas online, in a magazine, or even from peeking in Momma Blundell’s super secret recipe cards/book. That last one runs the risk of the perpetrator getting hit by a wooden spoon. A great source of fun, facts, frustration (still fun for us) and food, is the Food Network and Food Network Canada. Your brain will salivate as much as your mouth will, when you watch the various reality and cooking shows.
Canadians can take all of this information with them in a doggy bag with the Food Network Canada Mobile application. More after the chomp, I mean, jump.
Food Network Canada is operated by Canwest Broadcasting, a division of Canwest Media Inc. Canwest Media Inc is a subsidiary of Canwest Global Communications Corp; an international media company. The Food Network Canada Mobile app (which I will call the Food App for short) is powered by Polar Mobile Group Inc. You may recognize their name, as they have created mobile apps for companies that include: TIME, Sports Illustrated, ELLE Canada and BlackBerryCool. BlackBerry App World states that only Canadian carriers are supported. The current version of the application is 3.0.3 and requires 494.9KB of space.
The UI of the Food App decently reflects the design and feel of foodnetwork.ca, the red and white motif made me feel very patriotic, if not hungry for a new recipe. Near the top of the main menu are three tabs to choose from. The content/options for each tab will be displayed below. Here are the three options that are available:
Browse Recipes – this tabs content, though laid out like a website, is simply a large database of recipes with various ways to browse through it.
The first method is to click on the ‘Recipe of the Day’ link. The link entices you with an image of the recipe, so be careful you don’t drool on your BlackBerry. The second method is a typical keyword search; simply enter in the keywords(s) and a list of results will generate. Please make note that not all results will display images. If I were to search BlackBerry, the first recipe I find is Blackberry Millefeuille. The third method is to select from a group of 6 icons, with each having access to a set of search filters. The six icons are: All Recipes, On TV, Quick & Easy, Healthy Living, Kid Friendly and Occasions & Events. For example, if I were to choose Healthy Living, I would be able to filter by the type of meal (ie breakfast), the course and the main ingredient. If I went with On TV, I can choose a show or Host, then by type of meal, course, etc.
The fourth method is to view recipes through a selection of videos, which are streamed. Each video entry will include a screenshot and intro, with a Play Video button located at the bottom of the screen. Once you find recipes you are interested in, you can add them to...
...My Recipes – This tab will display all of my saved recipes. Think of it as a place to store your recipe cards after filling them out. Recipes cannot be shuffled around and can only be removed from this tab by opening the recipe and selecting ‘Remove’.
Video – Another video feature. This tab grants you access to a few different video categories to browse through. The Tips and Advice section helps you find information on a variety of topics, from growing your own herb garden (don’t get any ideas people), to prolonging your knife’s lifespan. The Recipes section is a duplicate of the video search option found under the Browse Recipes tab. The Ingredients section promises to fill you in on topics that include: types of onions and how to cut them or what you should look for when picking up whole grain bread.
When looking at recipes in detail, you will see that the information is broken up in to three different areas. The first area is the Overview, where you will see a large image of the dish you are about to cook and devour (nom nom nom), the name of the program, where it originated from and the programs host. Some entries may also display the number of servings. The second area will list the ingredients needed, as well as the required measurement/amount. The third section is where Directions are found. Follow the steps carefully, as you might want to avoid burning down the house. Directions are broken down to paragraph form and numbered. For easier reading, I felt that they could have been broken down even further.
If I ever show up at your place with an empty food container, it’s probably because I got hungry on the way. We all know that it wasn’t one of my recipes, but one I found while using the Food Network Canada Mobile application. Take your time while browsing through meal ideas; you have over 10000 to look at. As I stated before, I found the directions a little difficult to read. Cooking instructions shouldn’t be so involved that you forget what you are making. You can pick up Food Network Canada Mobile for free from the BlackBerry App World.