By now most people have heard the rags to riches stories of the iPhone app developers who learned a valuable secret: Make a "lite" version. It seems reasonable that while there are a lot of people willing to pay for apps, many want to know what they're getting before spending their hard-earned cash. One of our iPhone apps this week has benefited immensely from creating a lite version and I have to admit, I probably wouldn't have tried it myself if they hadn't. The lite version has now made it to the top of iTunes' most popular list, which must bode well for the paid version once people try it out. Let's hope more developers release Lite versions so everyone gets a chance to try more iPhone apps before they buy.

This week's apps include a free recipe app for cooking ideas and a lite version of a racing game that might be the best in its genre.

AllRecipes.com Dinner Spinner
Choose your dish type, ingredients, and cooking time before searching for recipes. (Credit: CNET Networks)

Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner (free) is a fun way to decide what you will make for dinner using a unique spinner to find recipes. Simply start up the Dinner Spinner and you're greeted with three spinnable wheels categorized as dish type, ingredients, and cooking time. To find a recipe, you swipe your finger to choose a dish type (appetizer, main dish, dessert), an ingredient you have in the house (chicken, pasta, chocolate), and a cooking time. The cooking times are set up for how much time you have, such as more than an hour, 20 minutes or less, or Slow Cooker. Once you make your selections you'll quickly find several recipes fitting your criteria.

Allrecipies.com Dinner Spinner lets you save your favorite recipes for easy access. You can also throw caution to the wind and hit the Dinner Spinner button, which randomly shuffles the three wheels. Just make sure you're at the grocery store so you can get all the ingredients.

Fastlane Street Racing Lite
With graphics and controls this good, the Lite version might make it the best racing game in its genre. (Credit: CNET Networks)

Fastlane Street Racing Lite (free) is a one track, one car taste of the full Fastlane Street Racing game. Tilt your iPhone or iPod Touch to steer and use onscreen controls for gas and braking. You race against three other computer-controlled cars on a lengthy course, dodging regular drivers and obstacles as you go. Having tried several games that use the accelerometer for movement, I was pleasantly surprised with how well the controls work for this game. Pair the smooth controls with excellent graphics, several tracks, and unlockable cars, and you'll find it hard not to buy the full game ($4.99).

What's your current favorite iPhone App? Do you have a better recipe app for me? What's your favorite iPhone racing game? Let me know in the comments!

Jason Parker has been at CNET for more than 13 years. He is the Senior Editor in charge iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.