by Chiara Lucari
Spring rejuvenates not only the earth that bares raw ingredients and rich nutrients, but also our craving for exquisite dishes that are often set aside as we reach for comfort food during the cold months. As the last of the snow melts away, consider refreshing your culinary abilities by downloading the following apps. Make grocery lists, plan meals, share photos, find new recipes and learn more about the culture of cooking, all at the touch of your fingertips.
Not much beats freshly picked food. Whether you’re looking for an ear of corn or a bunch of basil leaves, Farmstand allows you to find local farmers markets near your home within seconds. Scroll through pictures and updates from other local shoppers and post your own. Farmstand helps you support your community and connects you with the food you’re putting in your body.
Cookpad is social media for food lovers. Unfortunately, we still can’t reach through our computer screens and devour someone else’s picture perfect dish; however, you can chat with people from all around the world and publish photos of your delicious creations. Share privately with your network of family and friends or publicly for anyone to take a peak. The app comes with a digital journal that allows you to keep notes on the meals you favor, a photo diary that syncs with all of the food pictures on your phone and a feature that tells you which recipes are trending in your area.
Pair it! is the perfect companion for the wine lover. This app gives you an entire collection of data on each bottle of wine, including pronunciation, pairing tips, the location and history of the grapes and also provides a section for you to write notes in. You can search by dish or by wine, and Pair it! will respond with the perfect match from a library of more than 20,000 pairings to delight in.
Big Oven allows you to browse a variety of recipe collections and plan meals or entire menus ahead of time. The 350,000+ recipes are arranged in sections like “Recent Raves,” “Editors’ Picks” and “Game Day,” giving you the ability to create marvelous spreads for any occasion. The grocery list generator makes for organized and customizable lists that never let you forget to buy all of the ingredients you need for your gastronomical undertakings.
Have you ever wondered what to do with leftover roast chicken? Epicurious will tell you! The app’s advanced search engine has filters for you to add ingredients you have on hand, so there are plenty of recipes to be found for whipping something up on a lazy day. Get expert advice and watch videos on everything from how to make a healthy pesto sauce to how to bake a cookie version of Martha Stewart’s face.
Become a part of the conversation by downloading Side Chef. The Side Chef community includes professionals, bloggers and beginners who are guided through the process of preparing dishes—basic and complex alike— with the app’s step-by-step format. The detailed instructions allow anyone to start cooking with ease and master challenging meals.