Not everyone has a flair for creating amazing meals in the kitchen. I'm pretty sure every one of us, at some point in our lives, has incorporated Macaroni and Cheese into your weekly (or even daily) meal plan. Though I consider it the Yellow Death, I too have whipped up this quick dish to satisfy my hunger. I'm sure my wife will agree I have become much more experienced in the kitchen and can come up with some fairly tasty meals. Not bad for someone who probably could have even stumbled upon a way to burn a pot of water.
Now take this and add a dash of a busy professional and family schedule, making sit down meals a bit of a challenge. Stir over low heat and slowly pour in a lifestyle change; trying to keep meals healthy, in order to lose weight. The one ingredient that is crucial to ensure this recipe turns out is organization. This doesn't mean keeping the numbers to fast food and pizza joints in your address book. I mean using your BlackBerry to help you wake up from your "Kitchen Nightmare". I have compiled a list of applications that should help you become the Duke or Duchess of dinners. Grab an apron!
These applications should only be used as guidelines; you are still responsible to make sure you don't poison your family or guests. With practice, and a few foolish/brave volunteers to participate in a taste test, your creations will eventually become a hit. As always, if you have been using an application, other than the ones listed below, please share! If you're ready to go, make sure you have your spatula. If you don't know what this is, give up now and throw in the over mitts; even I won't be able to help you.
5 in 1 Kitchen Timer
Rookie chefs may find multi-tasking a heart attack inducing feat. When you're trying to concentrate on getting a step correct, you suddenly realize that something's burning. Meanwhile, a pot is boiling over and you become frustrated. The 5 in 1 Kitchen Timer is here to help you keep track of multiple items. The application is based on the DoneRight Timer from The Food Network. With the interface designed to look like four burners and the oven, you can visually see each clock ticking away. This give you a better handle on critical timing and see when each item is done. You can pick up the 5 in 1 Kitchen Timer for $2.99.
Bill's Barbeque Assistant
Mmmm. There's nothing like cooking with fire. That's one area where I excel; charring animal flesh and helpless seafood or vegetables. It makes you feel good when your friend's kids insist that you barbeque when they come over. If you're looking for new ideas, or even afraid of getting burned, why not have a look at Bill's Barbeque Assistant? The application provides over 50 different items to choose from. You can easily browse for ideas by category (beef, poultry, etc). You'll be able to see grilling time, steps and timely alerts or reminders. This will reduce the chances of second guessing and hacked up pieces of meat from cutting and checking so many times. The only thing it won't do is help you perfect your flipping skills. Ah, who cares, the grass blades only add to the flavour. Bill's Barbeque Assistant is available for $2.99.
Fast Food My Way
Sometimes, your life can accidently veer into the fast lane. Between work, the kids and their after school sports or recitals, you may be chowing down on drive thru delights. This isn't really the most healthy, or economical solution. It may even result in a bowel related emergency, just before the championship game! In the Fast Food My Way application, you'll find helpful advice from Chef Jacques Pepin. Within minutes, you will be able to whip up fantastic and nutritional meals without losing precious time. You can look up great menus very easily. If you only have a few minutes to cook and eat, why do you need sacrifice taste? The Fast Food My Way Guide can be picked up for $6.99
Nat Decants Wine and Food Matcher
If the kids are over at their friends houses, you may be able to sneak in a romantic dinner before they barge in the door. To make the evening perfect, you want to make sure you pick out the right wine for your meal. It's a special night and you worked hard at cooking a beautiful meal, who wants to ruin it with a glass of milk or pop? Nat Decants Wine and Food Matcher will aid in your wide-eyed wine wonderment. The application provides over 380,000 pairings based on type of wine, type of dish and even type of dessert. If you play your cards right and pair the perfect wine, you may be able to sneak something else in before the kids get home. Nat Decants Wine and Food Matcher is available for $2.99.
Cellfire Grocery Coupons
You can frugal with everything, even food. If you're going to be spending time on creating new meal ideas, you should also have a handle on your grocery budget. If you spend too much on your meals at the beginning of the week, you may end up resorting to the previously mentioned Yellow Death, by the end of the week. With Cellfire Grocery Coupons, you'll have access to promotions and coupons from thousand of stores, including; Safeway, Frys and Kroger. The savings are also continued on to shopping and restaurants. Just remember that, even though the expired beef is on sale, it's still expired beef. The Cellfire Grocery Coupons application is free.
The biggest problem you encounter, when planning a meal, is that you don't know what the heck to make. You can stare at the fridge and cupboard all you like, they aren't going to cough up ingredients and ideas. If you point your browser to bigoven.com/m, you'll see a whole bunch of ideas open up to you. You can search through thousands upon thousands of recipes, view a list of your favourite recipes and participate in their social network. Best thing about BigOven.com? It's free!
iFood Assistant LITE
I mentioned Mac and cheese a couple of times already, in good humour of course. Most know this meal as Kraft Dinner. Speaking of Kraft, they power the impressive meal master called iFood Assistant LITE. Through this app, you can check out numerous recipes, healthy tips, and snack ideas. You can even create and manage a shopping list based on needed ingredients for each meal. Like Kraft Dinner, you can probably have the app with ketchup, but don't take my word for it. iFood Assistant LITE is free.
Hopefully these applications will get the creative juices flowing. I don't know about you, but I'm ready to start cooking. Anybody want to spice up the recipe by adding other applications that you use?