If you’ve never used tech tools when you cook, you’re in for a treat. Tech tools such as digital cookbooks and recipe websites can make cooking easier, more efficient and fun. Like taking a cooking class from a professional chef, digital cookbooks with embedded videos show you exactly how to prepare amazing recipes. If you like to compare notes on recipes, you’ll like the social sharing features of these tech tools as well. Also check out a handy stand that will prop up your tablet on your kitchen counter.
Each of these cooking resources are available on both computers and mobile devices so you can access them from anywhere.
My Provence by Laurent Gras
If you can’t spend a Year in Provence, but want to eat like you’re in the South of France, check out My Provence by Chef Laurent Gras. This digital cookbook is available online so you can access it from your computer, iPad or other tablet. Alta Editions provided me with a copy for review.
The cookbook contains 60 recipes, complete with high-resolution images and helpful videos to take you through food preparation step by step. What’s especially helpful about this cookbook is the Basic Recipes section which guides you through making the fundamentals of food preparation. Want to learn how to make a vinaigrette properly? Watch Chef Gras’s video and see how to combine the ingredients in the correct order.
You can share your experiences for each recipe and see others’ comments in the You Cooked It/They Cooked It section for each recipe. You can upload photos and see others’ photos as well.
Sample recipes include:
- My Mother’s Provençal Tart
- Vegetable Fricassée with Poached Egg
- Clams Marinière with Garlic Bread
- Riesling-Poached Pears with Pear Granité
- Pots de Crème
- Chocolate Mousse
- Clafoutis with Vanilla Ice Cream
- Gâteau de Galette
The recipes also include stories from Chef Gras, a top chef from Paris and Monaco who received 3 Michelin stars for his cooking.
This cookbook format is helpful because you can access it from anywhere – from home or office, on your computer, your iPad or another tablet. The files also don’t take up valuable space on your computer or iPad.
My Provence is available online for $9.99 from Alta Editions. Beginning in January, Alta Editions will be offering a monthly subscription to its digital cookbook series with a new book each month for $9.99. Future plans are for bringing these cookbooks to mobile devices as iOS and Android apps, Kindle books, and iBooks.
Food 52 Cookbook by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs
The Food 52 cookbook Kindle Edition contains 140 recipes that were the winners of a contest for the best home cooks from around the world, conducted by the Food52.com website. To get the most from this book, skip using it on your Kindle ereader and load it onto your tablet or computer. The enticing pictures display better on a color screen and navigation between pages when you cook could be difficult on the small screen of a Kindle ereader.
Sample recipes include:
- Arugula, Pear, and Goat Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
- Wishbone Roast Chicken with Herb Butter
- Cider-Brined Pork with Calvados, Mustard, and Thyme
- Seriously Delicious Ribs
- Mediterranean Octopus Salad
- Creamy Mushroom Soup
- Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Chimichurri and Poblano Crème Fraîche
- Rum Apple Cake
- Caramel Rice Pudding with Brown Butter
- Mom’s Blueberry-Coconut Muffins
- Ginger Sangria
- Norma’s Eggnog
The Food 52 Cookbook is on sale in November, as one of Amazon’s monthly 100 Kindle books for $3.99 or less, and is marked down from $35.00 to $3.79.
Note that 179 recipes from Food 52 are available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch as a recently updated app from Inkling for $4.99:Food 52 iOS app. You can also purchase 3 chapters of techniques from the site for an additional $4.99 or buy the entire book as an app for $9.99. Sample a free chapter with this link: Thanksgiving Menu.
Think of Foodily as a Pinterest site for recipes. At the Foodily website, people post their favorite recipes from other websites. You can follow people, including professional chefs, and discover the recipes they post. You can see people’s comments and suggestions for following the posted recipes. On Foodily you can see nutritional information and share recipes with friends via social media sites. By linking your Facebook account, you can post a comment on a recipe directly on your Facebook Timeline.
Search for recipes using the tabs at the top of the page, such as Dinner, Drinks, Baking, and In Season. You can save your favorite recipes and see how many other people chose recipes as their favorites. You can also post questions and get responses from other Foodily members or from the chefs themselves.
According to Foodily, the top five most shared recipes on Facebook this season are:
- Roasted Garlic Mashers by Candice Kumai
- Cheddar chive mashed potatoes by Williams-Sonoma
- Cauliflower mock mashed potatoes by The Skinny
- Green beans with garlic black bean sauce by No Recipes
- Baked brussel sprouts by The Healthy Apple
Foodily’s Chief Tastemaker Hillary Mickell said, “What’s interesting is it’s really all about the potato. Stuffing doesn’t even make the top 10! Our prediction is that people have either a boxed recipe for stuffing or a tradition/family recipe.”
Check out the Foodily website or the newly updated free Foodily app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch at the iTunes App Store.
The Professional Chef by The Culinary Institute of America
For serious cooks, check out The Professional Chef cookbook from The Culinary Institute of America. This digital book, complete with over 100 embedded videos, contains 850 recipes with instructions on how to make each dish. Originally written as a textbook for chefs in training, the book is not only filled with recipes but also contains instructions on how to cook with chapters such as Grilling, Broiling and Roasting. Inkling provided me with a copy of this app for review.
The Professional Chef has a social aspect to the app. People can leave comments on recipes and you can follow people to see their notes and discover new favorite recipes. You can even take a quiz at the end of each chapter if you want to test your cooking knowledge.
You can share notes and comments with others who post in the book. Notes sync between devices so you can write notes in your iPad app and then access them on your iPhone when you’re at the grocery store.
Sample recipes include:
- Pacific Seafood Chowder
- Barbecued Steak with Herb Crust
- Gingered Snow Peas and Yellow Squash
- Grilled Vegetables Provençal-Style
- Irish Soda Bread
- Pumpkin Bread
- Mudslide Cookies
You can purchase the cookbook as an Inkling app for your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch from the iTunes App Store for $49.99 for the entire book, or pay $2.99 for each chapter. You can also purchase the book on the web for the same price at the Inkling website. If you purchase the book on one platform, you can access the book and your notes on all three platforms (web, iPad and iPhone).
Tablet Stand by Belkin
If you’re going to be using your iPad or other tablet in the kitchen, make sure to get a stand to prop it up securely and protect it from spills. I recommend the Tablet Stand with Belkin that works with all tablets in either landscape or portrait positions.
What makes the Belkin stand special is the wand (a/k/a stylus) that you can use to keep your messy fingers from sullying your tablet screen. The stand has a non-slip bottom and a place to store the wand. The wand is thick and has a ridge to keep give you a good grip even when your hands are slippery.
Belkin’s tablet stand is on sale at Amazon.com for $29.78, marked down from $39.99.
Use tech in the kitchen to make the most of your meals!
Do you use digital cookbooks or websites to find recipes and learn cooking techniques? Do you have cooking apps on your mobile devices? Have you discovered a favorite recipe using tech? Let us know in the Comments section below!
My Provence Cookbook
The editors of My Provence cookbook have kindly offered to provide a free My Provence cookbook to three Wonder of Tech readers. If you are interested, please leave a comment below indicating you wish to receive a copy of this digital cookbook for free. Recipients will be chosen by an independent panel of reviewers who will judge the best comments to this article. Recipients will be notified on Tuesday, November 20 via email.
Kindle Fire HD 8.9″
If you like the Kindle Fire HD but are looking for a larger tablet or one with a 3G data connection, you’ll be pleased to learn that the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ launched yesterday. Similar to the Kindle Fire HD, the larger tablet has a 8.9″ screen (which may be quite evident from the name) and comes with and without a 3G data connection.
The Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ is priced:
- $299 for 16 GB with Special Offers
- $314 for 16 GB without Special Offers
- $369 for 32 GB with Special Offers
- $384 for 32 GB without Special Offers
Wi-Fi + 4G/LTE
- $499 for 32 GB with Special Offers
- $514 for 32 GB without Special Offers
- $599 for 64 GB with Special Offers
- $614 for 64 GB without Special Offers
Orders placed now are expected to ship the week of December 3 in the US.
Data plans are priced:
- 250MB month for 12 months for $49.99/year (no monthly payments). 3GB and 5GB monthly plans are also available.
- $49.99 package also includes: 20GB of additional Cloud Drive, plus a $10 Amazon Appstore promotional credit.