How to cook everything…the app

bittman_appSo, have you ever found a recipe you really liked? Say, in Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything?” And you’re all, “Yeah! Thai coconut soup with chicken! I’m gonna make that!” And so you search around for a pen? And you scribble down a shopping list with the ingredients you need? You write it, like, on the back of, a paper towel? And then, when you’re rushing out the door to pick up kids, you accidentally leave the paper towel on the kitchen counter? And only remember later, when you’re all standing in the grocery store? And your three year old? She knocks over the display of Newman-Os? And your eight year old drops an entire bag of apples on the floor, scattering the fruit everywhere? And you’re all scratching your head, saying “oh, um, well, I’m sure I can remember what’s in the recipe, I’m absolutely sure of it…”

And so you fill your cart? And you get, like, fish sauce? And coconut milk? And mushrooms? And cilantro? And broth? And you’re all, “cool!” This is gonna’ be awesome! And fast!” And you scurry up to the check-out line? But  by now? Your three-year old? She’s somehow stripped down to her Pull-Up in the middle of the store, and her face is smeared with chocolate? So you chase her? And it takes you and six other shoppers to tackle her and get her pants back on? And then your eight-year old starts crying? Because her sister ate the entire box of Newman-Os, and she didn’t get enough? And you’re standing there, fumbling for your wallet in your bag? And you accidentally pull out a maxi-pad instead of your wallet? And there’s a line behind you? And people are really annoyed? And your children keep getting louder? And by now your hands are shaking a little?

So then you go home? And pick up the cookbook? And you realize you forgot the chicken? And the lime? And the lemongrass? And you all wind up eating cereal for dinner?

Has that ever happened to you? Like, about six hundred times?

No? Really? Um…MeneitherIwasjustaskingIswear.

Well, it won’t happen to any of us any more EVER. AGAIN. EVER. EVER. EVER. EVER. EVER.

Because wouldn’t you know that CULINATE and my BOYFRIEND MARK BITTMAN have come out with an iPhone app that is going to SAVE MY FREAKIN’ SANITY.

It is the How to Cook Everything app. And it rocks. Not a little. It rocks a lot. A LOT.

It has all 2,000 recipes from Bittman’s book. YES, I SAID TWO THOUSAND RECIPES. YES, I KNOW I AM SHOUTING. Okay, I’m SORRY.  I’m just A LITTLE EXCITED HERE. And for each recipe you can get the complete ingredient list, NO PAPER TOWELS NECESSARY, and you get the directions, and you can see which recipes are readers’ favorites, and you can get this all ANY TIME, ANY PLACE, WITH JUST THE TOUCH OF A FEW TEENY TINY LITTLE BUTTONS.

There are other things, too. There are tips for cooking. There is a search option that can be filtered by key ingredient (beans are on sale? Why not go for smoky black beans, or baked beans with cracker crumb crust, or beans and mushrooms, or bean-and-spinach burgers or any of the other HUNDRED AND FIFTY BEAN RECIPES?), or by cooking technique (going low-fat? try one of the 36 steamed recipes. Summer time? Consider one of the ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-SIX recipes that use the grill), or by “fast” or flavor type, or vegetarian, or WHAT HAVE YOU.


And you can bring it up on your little iPhone sooner than your children can abscond down the frozen food section with a box of Tofutti Cuties.

Seriously, y’all. This, right here, is the reason a friend once sat me down and said, “Ali, you, of all people, need an iPhone. It will change your life.”

And it will. way more so than the app that farts, or the app that blows out birthday candles, or the app that blows out birthday candles with a fart, or even the Oregon Trail app or the app that burns fat when you place it on your tummy, or the app that lets you press a virtual stapler that doesn’t actually staple, or the one that interprets that dream you had about the time you kissed Rodney Dangerfield while he was doing magic tricks or the one with pictures of cute puppies or the one that shows me what traffic is like in Sheffield, England, or even the one that is just like an Etch A Sketch on steroids, which, by the way, is the one most likely to distract a three year old while you are trying to put her pants back on in the middle of the grocery store).

Seriously, I am very happy about this app.  And that — in the immortal words of a kind-hearted champion ping-pong player Veteran who made a million dollars on a shrimp boat and later became a widower when he lost his beloved Jenny —is all I have to say about that.

This entry was posted in Cleaner Plate Book Club, I Heart This, In the kitchen and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to How to cook everything…the app

  1. kendra says:

    Holy cow, Ali. That was hilarious!

    So glad you are back.


  2. Molly says:

    Thank you, thank you. I am seriously the worst cook/shopper/then preparer person who ever raised a child or two. This is inspiring, I look at my wee icon on my phone and I feel a tingle of hidden pleasure. I have tried to bring How to Cook Everything to the store, but I have only used it to threaten my child. Bless you, bless you. -Molly

  3. Jonquil says:

    Oh, Ali, I’m so glad you’re back on line! :) It’s like getting to sit down and have a cup of coffee with you at Tunnel City any time I want, only I can read it in my p.j.s.

    As instructed, I have purchased the How To Cook app. (Yes, Ma’am!) You’re actually the second person to mention it to me, but the other friend, who raved about it on Facebook, is a techie, so I have to take anything he says about must-have-tech with a grain of salt. But when ALI tells me I need it, well! Then I listen. :)

  4. Jonquil says:

    Wow, emoticons. I wasn’t expecting those. They’re a little startling — how do I edit them?

  5. Ali says:

    Jonquil, if I can figure out how to edit them, I’ll do it. If I can’t, I’ll simply promise not to judge you for them.

  6. karen says:

    My husband SWEARS he has never pulled out a maxipad instead of his wallet in line at the grocery, even when he’s gone with both kids. SWEARS. His vehemence worries me…

  7. I hope you have a nice day! Very good article, well written and very thought out. I am looking forward to reading more of your posts in the future.

  8. Baby Bottles says:

    Thanks for taking the time to write that, I found it very detailed. If you get a chance you should check my site as well. I hope you have a great day!

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