I love food. In fact, I probably love it too much. Part of the problem is that I was a ovo-lacto vegetarian for 17 years and a pesco-vegetarian for 5 years after that. Now, I want to eat all of those things that were "forbidden fruit" for 22 years, and it has really made me appreciate good food.
Being a foodie isn't just about eating food, however. It's also about having the skill and desire to cook food. Yeah, that means being a wannabe gourmet chef. And there's one more piece to the foodie puzzle - beverages. I mean, what's the use of being able to whip up a killer bison chili without knowing what wine or beer would go best with it?
What I've found is that the iPad is a much better foodie-puter than either a MacBook or an iPhone. I can turn off screen dimming, twist the Apple iPad Case around so that the iPad is standing straight up, and see recipes from across the kitchen. Even with the screen at regular brightness, I don't have to worry about my battery getting chewed up while I'm working on a time-consuming dinner. Want to know what apps I'm using to feed my foodie jones? Read on...
Each recipe has a shopping list icon; a tap on that icon pushes the ingredients to a shopping list. Once you're ready to go to the store, it creates a combined shopping list that can be emailed to my iPhone (no, I'm not going to carry my iPad around the grocery store). The app has one downside in that you can't just share your favorites and recipes between devices by signing into an account. That would make life with Epicurious even easier.
What about some of those recipes that I'd like to use that aren't in the Epicurious app? Well, that's where GoodReader for iPad (US$0.99, screen shot below) comes in handy. Let's say that my wife finds an excellent recipe on the Whole Foods Market Web site. She'll usually email a link to the recipe to me, which I then open on my Mac. Yes, I could download the recipe page directly to my iPad with GoodReader's built-in Web browser, but the page formatting is often off. Instead, I'll open the Web page on the Mac, press the Print Recipe button on the Web page, and then I'll print it to a PDF file. That file is saved in a recipes folder in Dropbox, which I can open in GoodReader.
Want to clean your kitchen of all of those bulky cookbooks? Remember, your iPad is an e-book reader as well. There's a pretty decent selection of cookbooks in the iBooks Store, including some free classics, cookbooks for special diets, and most of the more recent celebrity chef cookbooks. If the iBooks Store selection isn't enough for you, there's always the free Kindle reader for iPad.
Fellow TUAW editor Mike Rose noted that it's a good idea to put your iPad into a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag to keep the device from getting splashed with liquids or covered with greasy fingerprints. The iPad will still respond to taps through the plastic.
One of my favorite iPhone apps for looking up wine ratings has been ported to the iPad. The Wine Ratings Guide for iPad ($3.99) is the source for over 1 million wine ratings, and provides information on name, price, varietal, food pairings, a flavor profile, and more. You can add your own wines and ratings, photographs of labels, and more. The app looks a little odd on the iPad (it's like it really wasn't scaled up to the larger screen), but it's still a good purchase for the foodie and wine enthusiast. If you own both an iPad and an iPhone, I'd suggest getting the iPhone version instead.
That's how I'm using my iPad to assist my hobby as a food aficionado. Have you found any fun or useful apps for your iPad that have been helpful in the kitchen? If you have, let us all know by leaving a comment below.