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Top Windows 8.1 Apps: Food and Dining

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This chapter runs down the best Windows 8.1 apps for recipes, restaurant reservations, restaurant reviews, and wine and cocktail creation.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Everybody has to eat. Whether you’re cooking at home or eating out, you can use your Windows computer to help you find healthy and delicious choices for your next meal. There’s even a food and drink app included free with Windows 8.1!

Best Recipe App

Whether you’re into simple home cooking or you’re a budding gourmet chef, you need the right recipes to be successful. Fortunately, there are a number of recipe apps in the Windows Store, and they’re all worth checking out.


App: Allrecipes

Publisher: Allrecipes.com Inc.

Price: Free


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Best Recipe App: Allrecipes.

The quality of a recipe app rests on how good its recipes are, and the Allrecipes app features some very good recipes, indeed. This one comes from the folks at the Allrecipes website and features tens of thousands of different recipes, which you search for via ingredient. That is, you choose one or more primary ingredient, and Allrecipes lists recipes that use that ingredient.

You can also search the Allrecipes database, using Windows’ built-in search function. Just press Windows+Q, enter your query, and see matching recipes. It’s a faster way to look for Shrimp Etoufee or Orange Chicken.

Each recipe is rated by other users, so you have some idea whether it’s any good or not. At the top of every recipe you see a summary that lists prep time, cook time, total time, calories, total fat, and cholesterol numbers. You can also adjust the recipe for different serving sizes, and save your favorite recipes for easy access in the future.

Honorable Mentions

App: Everyday Food

Publisher: Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

Price: Free

App: Allthecooks Recipes

Publisher: Allthecooks LLC

Price: Free

App: Bing Food & Dining

Publisher: Microsoft

Price: Free

As good—and as popular—as Allrecipes is, there are lots of other recipe apps in the Windows Store worth checking out. Let’s start with Everyday Food, from the Martha Stewart conglomerate, which takes the same ingredient-based approach as the Allrecipes app. What I like about this one are the videos that demonstrate various cooking techniques. Hey, some of us need all the help we can get in the kitchen!

Allthecooks Recipes boasts more than 150,000 different recipes in its massive database, which is built on user submissions. (You can even submit your own recipes, directly from the app.) What’s nice about this one is the vibrant Allthecooks community, which you access via the discussion forums built into the app. It’s kind of a one-stop-shop for socially involved cooks,


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Honorable mention: Allthecooks Recipes.

Finally, don’t dismiss the Bing Food & Dining app included free with Windows 8.1, which features lots of good recipes from a variety of sources. You can browse recipes by cooking method, course, cuisine, dietary requirements, difficulty, family, major ingredients, special occasion, or total time. The app also includes lots of videos demonstrating cooking tips and techniques, as well as information about and recipes from a number of celebrity chefs, including Wolfgang Puck, Tom Colicchio, and Marcus Samuelsson. Because you already have this one installed on your Windows 8 PC, you might as well check it out—you’ll probably like it.

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