updated 10:20 pm EDT, Mon August 18, 2008
If you've ever stored a digital picture in iPhoto or sorted and arranged your favorite songs in iTunes, you know the convenience of storing and organizing data in different ways. Just as you can manage and rearrange pictures or music, so you can now organize recipes using a unique recipe management program called MacGourmet Deluxe.
At the simplest level, you can store recipes into this database so you'll always be able to find them again and print out perfect copies at any time. Of course, this basically turns your Mac into an expensive, glorified index card holder. For greater flexibility, this database also lets you tag recipes with keywords, rate them with one to five stars, identify them by ethnicity (such as Asian or European), rate them by difficulty, categorize them by course (such as appetizer, dessert, or vegetable), and identify them by category (such as fish, low fat, or salads).
With multiple ways to tag each recipe, the program can now rapidly search for all Asian recipes, all recipes suitable for dessert, or all recipes that use chicken and sour cream as an ingredient. For even greater specialization, you can identify the equipment needed to make each recipe. Now if you need a recipe that needs a food processor and a blender, the program can search and display only those recipes that match your criteria.
If you're watching your weight or are concerned about your health, the program can analyze the ingredients in each recipe and calculate a nutritional value. Now you'll learn how much fiber, calories, and saturated fat will be in each serving for a particular dish.
Besides letting you type in step-by-step instructions needed to prepare each meal, the program also lets you import pictures so you can see what the final product should look like. In addition, each recipe also includes a text box for typing in any additional information about each dish, such as noting that it's a favorite of your brother or contains peanuts to alert you not to prepare this dish to anyone with peanut allergies.
Once you've chosen one or more recipes, the program can automatically create a shopping list of the ingredients that you'll need to make everything. Print this list out, check off the items you already have, and you'll never miss a crucial spice or sauce ever again. To plan even further ahead, use the built-in MealPlan feature to track upcoming meals you want to make for entertaining or for yourself.
For cooking enthusiasts, the program even lets you create your own cookbook jammed full of your favorite recipes. Now you can share your cookbook as a PDF file or print it out complete with graphics and a fancy cover.
With so many ways to sort, organize, and search for recipes, MacGourmet Deluxe is invaluable for anyone who loves cooking and collecting recipes. With a $44.95 price tag and a 30-day money-back guarantee, MacGourmet Deluxe represents an interesting twist of database technology for making recipe collecting fun and easy.