recipes

Google makes you a better chef

Links from Friday's episode of Loaded:

Google launches Recipe View to help you whittle your ingredient lists

Disney purchases Togetherville, a social network for children

Google makes a small change to its algorithm to push "content farm" links farther down in search results

Intel unveils its ThunderBolt data transfer technology, formerly code-named Light Peak

Angry Birds will fly on Windows Phone 7 in April

Bing extends Facebook's Like feature across its search results

Facebook breaks up with the Breakup Notifier app

Google recipe search makes dinner easier

My bookshelves hold tons of cookbooks, but I've always used Google to search for recipes. It's been helpful to compare multiple recipes and see how they line up with the ingredients I already have in my pantry. I could take a bit of one recipe and add it to another and create a meal.

But now Google has introduced Recipe View, which allows you to filter out the non-recipe content from your results. In the past I've always just typed in "recipe" in the search box, and it filtered out most of the unwanted content. … Read more

Kick start your healthy lifestyle

Looking to lose weight? Lower your cholesterol? Control your diabetes? Prevent cancer? These are among the proven benefits of a vegan diet--meaning one free of all animal products (meat, dairy, etc.). However, starting such a restrictive plan can be a bit of a challenge.

Enter 21-Day Vegan Kickstart, a free app that provides three weeks' worth of meals, complete with recipes. According to experts, that's enough time to drop a few pounds, lower your blood sugar, and just generally start feeling better. And, hey, anybody can manage 21 days, right? At the end, it's up to you to … Read more

iPhone app kickstarts your healthy lifestyle

Looking to lose weight? Lower your cholesterol? Control your diabetes? Prevent cancer? These are among the proven benefits of a vegan diet--meaning one free of all animal products (meat, dairy, etc.).

OK, but how do you get started? Without your morning cereal, lunchtime Quarter Pounder, and the like, what are you supposed to eat?

Enter 21-Day Vegan Kickstart, a free app that provides three weeks' worth of meals, complete with recipes. Why three weeks? According to experts, that's enough time to drop a few pounds, lower your blood sugar, and just generally start feeling better. And, hey, anybody can … Read more

5 killer iPhone apps for foodies

Believe it or not, my stomach is looking forward to the arrival of my iPad (hurry up, UPS!) just as much as my brain. That's because I can envision the tablet on my kitchen counter (sitting upright in a dirt-cheap stand, of course), serving up page after page of delicious recipes, each with tantalizing photos and large, easy-to-read text.

In the meantime, I'm making due with my iPhone (or my wife's iPod Touch--whatever's closer). The print may be a little small, but the cooking/recipe apps are first-rate. Here's a list of my five favorites:… Read more

Diet? Try it!

Anyone who has tried to lose weight knows that two things work: diet and exercise. Hiring a personal trainer might help motivate you to exercise, but studies show that keeping a journal actually helps dieters stick to the plan. That's where Calorie Balance Diet comes in. It's a free utility that makes it entirely too easy to figure out just how many calories you need to achieve your dietary goal, and what foods you should and shouldn't eat to help you stay on track. It also helps you keep useful schedules and records.

A simple wizard lets … Read more

Find great holiday recipes online

Now that the holidays are upon us, many of us are considering what kind of food we'll be making. Sure, we might start out with the turkey on Thanksgiving, but what about desserts or appetizers? Finding help from online resources is certainly welcome.

That's why I've decided to take a look at several recipe sites. If you're getting together with family over the next month to celebrate a holiday and you plan to cook, this roundup is for you.

Get your cooking on

AllRecipes All Recipes is one of the best places to check out holiday recipes for your family. You can either click on a specific holiday you're planning to cook for or you can sift through its many recipes for regular days. It's a nice site.

The first thing that struck me about AllRecipes was its design. Finding recipes is quick and easy. Plus, thanks to a handy navigation pane both in the left sidebar and in the header, I was able to drill-down into what I was looking for without much trouble. Since I was searching for holiday recipes, I started there.

I was pleasantly surprised by the selection. And thanks to the option of choosing recipes based on ratings (the top-20 tab was my favorite) or when they were added to the site, I was able to find recipes that matched what I was looking for. I really liked AllRecipes. It's well-designed and its recipes are great.

Chow Chow might be best known for providing information on good eating around town, but the site also has a nice selection of recipes.

Chow's selection of recipes won't be as big as other services in this roundup. (It's not dedicated only to recipes, after all.) But what it lacks in quantity, it makes up for in an outstanding selection of really good recipes. What's best about Chow is the way in which you choose recipes. You don't have to just search the site to find what you're looking for. You can find options based on ingredients, the type of cuisine you're in the mood for, or based on tags that are placed on all recipes. You can also pick which course you want to make a meal for.

When I used the site, I found that many of the options were right up my alley. Since I eat Italian food often, I was quite happy with the site's selection. Try out Chow. I think you'll like it. (Disclosure: Chow is owned by CBS Interactive, the parent company of CNET.)… Read more

25,000 recipes on your iPhone

Epicurious Recipes and Shopping List is a free app that gives you quick and easy access to more than 25,000 tested recipes from Epicurious.com--originally from sources such as Bon Appetit, Cookie, and Gourmet magazines--along with the ability to save your favorites and create shopping lists for specific recipes.

The app's primary interface divides recipes into broad categories like "Weeknight Dinner" and "Party Snacks," but far more useful and easy to navigate is the app's search function, which lets you search for keywords and select a particular ingredient, course, cuisine, "dietary consideration&… Read more

A spinner for dinner

Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner is a free, ad-supported app that gives you fun and easy access to the user-generated recipes on this popular cooking Web site. The Dinner Spinner gives you a slot-machine-style interface that helps you search for--or just stumble upon--new meal possibilities: you can rotate horizontal spinners to choose a recipe by meal type, ingredient, and cook time, or you can shake your iPhone or iPod Touch (or press a touch-screen button) to randomize any or all of the criteria.

This interface gimmick works surprisingly well, especially with some fixed criteria (like, say, you know you have lamb … Read more

Basic nutrition tracker

Mealformation is a multifunction food tracker that allows users to create meal plans, track their food intake, and analyze their nutrition. Overall it is a solid program, although some aspects of it could be more intuitive or better explained.

The interface is fairly straightforward, with various functions--personal profile, a food database, a recipe database, and so on--organized in tabs. The thing that threw us about the program is that it's never made clear what content is included and what content has to be user-generated. It turns out that the program does contain a fairly large database of foods, meaning … Read more