Although I am pretty nifty finding my way around a cookbook, my partner, Proculus—not so much. This is what makes the Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner app so handy. Dinner
Spinner allows you to assemble recipes—either online, via your Web browser, or through the app—organize the ingredients list, and send it to your iPhone: the perfect eGrocery List. Heading down the aisles at the Five Points Cruise Course (i.e., Publix), I check (or “tap”) off the items as I pick them up. You will never forget an ingredient again. In the kitchen, the app very handily spells out cooking directions, turning the most bone-headed Jamie Oliver-wannabe into Molto Mario in a pan-flash. Search by ingredient, or—and this is where the “spinner” part comes in—shake the iPhone and watch it “spin” out a random recipe.
The Dinner Spinner also lets you scan ingredients and add them permanently to the app, giving you access to loads of tasty new recipes. You can also find recipes by dish, cooking time, or ingredient, so that can of diced chilis in your kitchen cabinet can become the central element of a delicious and untried—by you—dinner. You can also find recipes that match a gluten-free, vegetarian, or other specialized diet, and share them on Facebook, Twitter, or via email. EAT THIS: FREE—or for multiple shopping lists, more search options, and other helpful tools used by home chefs, there’s the $2.99 Dinner Spinner Pro version. Bon appétit!
Holy Comic Book Apps! Stanza
I probably should have covered this during last week’s gay superheroes issue, but what am I—Brainiac? The updated version of e-book reader Stanza—which works on the iPad—supports comic books. These are organized next to the books in your library, with the option of creating a special category for them, and can be read in the same interface as books. Viewing is accomplished through page-turn animation, or by sliding between pages. UP, UP, AND AWAY: FREE on iTunes.
LOW TECH EXTRA: Smartphone/Stupid Man
At the risk of sounding like your mother (when we both know I have a daddy complex): Learn to rely LESS on your tech. We live in an amazing modern world, where you never again
need to remember another phone number (including your own), and your GPS app gives you up-to-the-turn instructions on how to locate the trick you’re meeting from Grindr. The downside on relying too much on your gadgetry is that it makes you rely too much on your gadgetry. (How do you think the whole Terminator mess got started in the first place?)
Having phone numbers stored in your Android may be efficient, but what happens when your phone dies during an emergency? Finding the shortest route to the Five Points Cruise Park (also known as the produce aisle at Publix) may be easier with your iPhone’s MapQuest app, but wouldn’t it be better to learn the way to get there yourself—and save the time of having to look up the same directions next time? Don’t just store phone numbers in your smartphone—write them down on a piece of paper: The act of writing improves your ability to learn. Utilize your smartphone as a smart person would: Let it supplement rather than replace the big boy tasks of everyday life. Mom would be proud.