This freeware application offers a wealth of recipe-management features, but the program's stability is a big issue. The Recipe Center's intuitive interface displays each recipe with ingredients, instructions, servings, and a picture, if one is available. We especially like the online function, which lets you browse Recipecenter.com and seamlessly import new recipes for free. Powerful searching makes it easy to find, for example, every recipe that calls for cheese, and you can quickly create a shopping list from any recipe or instantly resize recipe quantities based on number of servings. You'll also be able to preview and print recipes in various styles, including 3x5 and 4x6 card formats. Recipe Center offers a nice set of recipes that any cooking enthusiast would appreciate and it's offered free of charge, which makes the crashes we encountered all the more disappointing. Despite its nice set of features, the stability issues should lead most cooking enthusiasts to look elsewhere.
From EGS Enggist & Grandjean Software:
Recipe Center is a free tool to organize, email, and print your recipes. You may download recipes directly from the recipecenter.com Web site or import recipes from Meal Master. It can easily convert cut and pasted recipes from any recipe sites. It includes encoding of ingredient with IntelliSense, smart quantity conversions, shopping list, recipe resizing based on ingredients, spell checker, printing of recipe card.
Lots of recipes and features, including yield conversion
Buggy, crashes, options don't work
At first, this program worked fine. I was okay with the minor annoyances regarding the lack of layout support (it doesn't work) and the fact the you couldn't turn off line numbering within the procedure, but then it started giving a comon language error after the addition of every other recipe or so and completely failing to respond. I haven't tried to export my recipes out of this program yet, but will be doing so and looking for a more stable alternative. Oh, and don't bother with their email support. On the one time I did get it to work, no one ever responded. I have no motivation to purchase their "pro" version if their free version is this unusable.
I can put my cabinet/freezer/fridge inventory into the software, and it tells me what I can make. If I choose 7 meals at the beginning of the week, it tells me what my shopping list is for the items I might be missing. This is phenominal!!!
Because it's an older program, Vista/7 has minor problems. You have to install Net Framework 1.1 manually (since it's not included on Vista/7), and you have to find the blank database, because of the changeover from 2k/XP (Doc's & Settings) to Users
I see that others are having installation confusion for the program, and if you're "quick surfing" for a recipe program I can see why people would skip over and move on. The installation documentation, and the developer's website, show the easy steps to accomplish installing, but again--if you're 'quick surfing', you're not going to take the time. But the program's capability far exceeds the "well working" others, and the ability to backup/transfer/migrate to other machines, share them in a network environment, etc...are all features that I wouldn't expect from a recipe program.
But beyond the program's software capabilities, the expectation that someone would need an inventory control system, and the ability to predict that planning ahead for shopping trips, etc, is a wonderful feature that I never quite found in other programs. The program's item list ranges from vague to anal--one CAN insert that they have a 32 oz bottle of garlic salt, and the program then has the ability to estimate when--after several teaspoons or tablespoons of use in recipes, inform the user of what they're "almost out of", and need to restock on a shopping trip.
The base install includes about 200 recipes, and while some are good, some are bad, and some are just showing how this could be used to make highly expensive tasteless dishes, they exist only to show off what the true features of the software are capable of doing. The exotic chef might painstakingly gruel over all of the minute capabilities of the software--as perhaps a small restaurant owner would as well. In certain ways--if there was more of a "menu" structure--I could easily see this adapted to a POS system, or at least a very decent backend to one.
But for my small rural household of 4, and my desire to plan a weeks worth of meals with only one shopping trip, it's been a very very fast lifesaver. After loading in some 20 to 30 standard meals--some often, some rare treats--I can decide a week in advance what I'm making, what I'm in the mood for, and what changes I might make in my plans, and make sure--before the trip--how much of what I'd need to make sure I was stocked for any such contingency. There are no more emergency trips to the Dollar General for a surprise can of Cream of Anything, or Sugar, or Onion Powder, while in the middle of preparing a meal. It "knows" that I can only make Sweet & Sour pork steaks three times before I'm out of soy sauce or teriyaki sauce for the marinade, so I'm not stranded on the fly.
The only real "con" of this feature is--if you lived on a farm, grew your own food, etc...I'm not clear how the inventory system could prepare for those numbers. It can't count potatoes in the ground, or in the bag, but someone with more experience might know what to "expect" out of the garden, and compensate for it.
But it is very nice...setting up meals, experimenting with recipes, researching and entering things I want to do, downstairs in the den on the main tower...and being able to--in the morning or afternoon, to quickly use my laptop in the kitchen--off of the wireless, and pull up short notes or lists for shopping without having to run downstairs to find everything. The networking really saves time, and is the biggest surprise--I never imagined someone would really think things through like this.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this review. I was just about to pass this program by and shell out $30 for one, and then I found your comments. Just this morning we bought a bottle of peppercorns only to find a brand new, unopened bottle had been pushed to the back of the cupboard. Had we known it was in there - somewhere - we could have saved $15 (serves us right for splurging on the gourmet brand!) Anyway, thank you so much for your awesomely complete review. I love the idea of a an "inventory control system" for our kitchen, especially because we will soon be taking over the care of my grandparents who have medical dietary restriction.
This was a great program for Windows XP. It was very easy to add recipes (shelving all my paper clips and snips) & create a database on my external hard drive.
Now I have a new laptop running Windows 7 with .NET Framework 4. I cannot install the new version (same-old needs .NET F 1.1).
Having the program running great in my old desktop in my office (a lot of help that is). Also, I cannot find any way to open the recipes I have through another application since they are created (as Recipe Center does) by RCS file extension format. No matter my searches through Microsoft's site I cannot seem to bypass the issues. There is no go-around since the program takes you to the win update site to install the 1.1, which it will not do in OS 7; only checks the NET 4. Don't waste your precious time & it's not worth messing up a good thing! If anyone else has any ideas I'll gladly listen---I want my recipes back in my kitchen where they belong!
I got it to work. You must begin with a windows XP OS. Load the software into XP, leaving all default file placements; restart. Format a CD-RW or DVD on that same computer; leave in drive. Go to start-my computer; rt click on hard drive (usually C) & click on explore. Rt click on program files & click on explore; you should see the EGS file. Left click hold & drag that file over to the left pane, dropping it on the drive location for your CD or DVD-let it copy over. Remove disc from drive & close all down. Place disc in your Win 7 computer; click to explore files on disc. Left click hold & drag EGS file to desktop. After files copy & create desktop file remove disc from drive. Click to open EGS; click to open recipe center-a bunch of file icons will appear. Find the green square called recipe center that is the full description (there will be a second one just like it that is for the icon); rt click on it to create a shortcut on the desktop. Close all; shortcut opens it!