Sunday, September 23, 2012

BigOven App Review

If you're like me, making dinner is more of a headache than a pleasure. I hate cooking! I'm not good at it and I could think of a million more useful things to do with my time. (Sean is the chef in this family, and a damn good one at that.) I can't just look in the fridge/pantry like Sean and instantly come up with a million different meals to make. Instead I stand there, letting out all the cold air, and go into a panic attack because I have no clue where to start.
Until now....

Sean came across this AMAZING app in the Android Market for people just like me! There are thousands of recipes ranging from easy and fast to world class chef. All the recipes are posted by average people and chefs. It's free to use unless you want to post a recipe or build a menu weekly and monthly or even create a shopping list. There is a small monthly fee of $1.99

The interface is super easy to maneuver. All your tabs are laid out across the top, including a search bar. You can simply type in several ingredients you have on hand (separated by commas) and select what you want from over 250,000 recipes. If you want something a little more specific, you can click on the Recipe tab and narrow down your search by category.

When searching the recipes, you have the option to search by course, equipment, ingredient or lifestyle. There are several options to choose from in each category. Once you have found a recipe to try, you can add it to you "Try Soon" or "Favorites" box.

Once you've established a nice "Try Soon" list, its easy to search threw it and select a recipe to try. Just select a recipe by clicking on it. The recipe pops up with a picture, (Not everyone uploads them) brief description, reviews and nutrition tabs. If I like the picture, I click on the recipe and read the reviews before even reading the ingredients. The recipe tab has all the information you need to make the meal and even an option to post your own note and review. On the right side of the recipe, there are tabs to "Add to Plan" "Add to Grocery" "Add to Favorites" "Try Soon" and "Customize". If you didn't like the recipe, you can simply remove it from your list by unclicking the "Add to Favorites" tab. You also have the option to email the recipe, review it, print it, pin it on Pinterest, Facebook, create a shopping list or my favorite, create a weekly/monthly menu.

The BigOven Menu Planner is laid out like a monthly calendar with Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner tabs for each day. On the left side of the calendar is all the recipes in your "Favorites" and "Try Soon" boxes. You simply click on the meal of choice for that day, scroll threw your recipes and click and slide the recipe to that meal bar. Click the save button at the top of the screen or click the - button on the meal bar if you didn't want that recipe. You can add your own note under the recipe as well. Once you have finished your menu for the week or month, you can click on the "Add to Grocery" tab in the top right corner to create your shopping list for the entire week or month and email or print it out. Its that easy!

So you've made a meal and have some leftovers. I hate leftovers, but I hate child hunger in the US more, so I never throw away food unless its past its prime. One of my favorite tools with BigOven is the "Use up Leftovers" tab. You can select up to three ingredients and click the "BigOven, what can I Make" bar. This brings up new meals you can make with those annoying leftovers. It literally takes the thinking out of your job. That's a good thing if you're anything like me.

After using this app for a couple weeks, we are super happy with it. This is going to be my lifesaver during this home school year. Again it is available for Android, IPhone, IPad, Windows and is available online at Once you create an account, you can use it on any device, anywhere! Try it out, you'll love it!



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