Organize your recipes with Cookbook

Save your recipes -- and get over 900 new ones -- with this simple program.

We badly need a new way to organize our recipes; they're currently on numerous sheets of paper, crammed into a decrepit binder, waiting for one wrong move to send them spilling across the kitchen floor. Creating a digital recipe archive sounds like a great idea, so we were excited to try Cookbook. The program didn't really knock our oven mitts off, but it's not a bad choice if you're looking to start a recipe database. It also comes with over 900 recipes to get you started.

Cookbook runs on Microsoft Access, so if you don't already have Access installed, plan on doing that before using Cookbook. The program's interface isn't the most attractive thing we've ever seen -- far from it -- but it is at least easy to navigate. A pane down the left side displays a tree hierarchy that arranges recipes by ethnicity and course; we took a look at several of the recipes that come with the program and thought they seemed worth trying. It's easy to add new recipes, and users can also specify favorites for easy access and print recipes in an easy-to-read format. For cooks using Cookbook in a commercial environment, there are also features to let you organize your list of suppliers and the ingredients that you typically get from them. A list of links provides multiple online sources for recipes, and you can add your favorites as well. The program comes with a Word document FAQ that answers some basic questions about getting started. Overall, Cookbook seemed a little clunky in its design, but it worked just fine. If you want a recipe organizer that comes preloaded with lots of tasty-sounding recipes, it's worth a try.

Cookbook comes as a ZIP file and installs a desktop icon without asking.

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