Paprika – my favourite app not too spicy just sweet!

Thanks to Helen Crozier for this product review. You can read more reviews and posts by Helen, Business Productivity Genius, at her blog www.helencrozier.com/blog

Paprika  is an easy to use, time saving and fun app available for both the iPhone and iPad.

I’ve been using it for over 12 months and am slowly adding my collection of recipes to it. This app is ideal for those who’ve seen the light and like to plan their menus at week or even month in advance.

Here’s how I use Paprika during my week.  On Monday morning I evaluate my pantry and freezer to see what’s in store. I also find out who’s around for meals. I am generally able to take one-two home cooked meals out of the freezer if I have a busy day. For the other meals I select 1-2 favourites from within Paprika and I also add in 1-2 recipes so that my database slowly gets larger! There is a browser inside the app so when you’ve located your desired recipe on the web you simply click ‘add recipe’ and it does all the formatting for you. A photo of the meal is added, ingredients and method all appear in the right columns.

Each recipe has the option to add to meal plan or add to shopping list so I do this as I go and then tick off any items that I already have. The next part is brilliant –  my Paprika account actually syncs my recipes to all devices. Why this is great is that I don’t generally shop with my iPad but often take my iPhone. When I’m out at the shops I can quickly call up my shopping list or if I decide to spontaneously add something to the week’s menu I can call up the recipe to see what I need for it.  I often put the iPad on a stand on the kitchen bench and keep checking the recipe regularly. It has an inbuilt timer and stays on until you turn it off avoiding sticky smears across the screen.

My long term plan is to have all my favourite recipes from the books I have plus any out there on the web inside Paprika and nicely categorised. As it is possible to export the recipes or share them one day I hope to be able to pass the collection on to my son and daughter in particular. You can of course manually add your own recipes with photos but if you do find the recipe on the web it is quicker to use Paprika’s add function. Browsing for what to cook is easy as you can add multiple categories to your recipes. Mine are the standard main, dessert, chicken, beef, pork, seafood etc but I also have my categories for my celebrity chefs – Nigella, Bill, Jamie.

Paprika for iPad and iPhone is $5.49AUD, with free cloud sync subscription. A MAC version of the desktop software is available for $20.99AUD which also includes free cloud sync. Unfortunately there is not a desktop version for Windows. So far I’m happy enough with just syncing between the iPad and iPhone but for those who don’t have an iPad but do own a MAC, the Desktop version is an attractive alternative.

I give this app, along with all the other reviews in the iTunes store, five stars!

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