Earlier this year I purchased the MacHeist 3 bundle. It was the first bundle I ever purchased. It was just too good to pass up on. One of the included applications that intrigued me the most was the cooking application called "SousChef, by Acacia Tree Software. I wanted to add some more variety to my weekly menu, and more importantly, have some control over it. As it turns out SousChef does just that and much more.
For the most part this application does exactly what you'd expect - stores and catalogs recipes. You can manually type in your own recipes or import ones you find on the Internet. You can even add photos to the recipes. But the most convenient way to get a recipe is from the SousChef cloud. As far as I can tell any registered user of the application can upload recipes to the cloud. You can access the cloud from right within the application itself and use filters and a Google-like search box to quickly find what you need. You might not always find exactly what you're looking for in a cloud but there's a pretty decent selection. And did you find what you want it is of course already formatted for SousChef, so no need to manually type anything in or go through the importing process.
But the most useful thing about this application, and what makes it most worthwhile for me, is the ability to generate grocery lists. It will automatically generate a grocery list from any selected recipes or you can create your own grocery list from scratch. Before generating a grocery list you can adjust the serving size of any recipe and it will automatically adjust the ingredient amounts accordingly. While I use this application to generate grocery lists for recipes on occasion I've made most use of it by generating my own custom grocery list. I basically entered everything I typically buy on a weekly basis. As the week progresses and I start to get low on things I uncheck the checkboxes next to the appropriate items on my grocery list.
Then when it's time to go to the grocery store I hit the e-mail button on the bottom of the window and an e-mail is automatically generated from all the items on my grocery list whose checkboxes are unchecked. The items include amounts as well. I then send the e-mail to my helper's Blackberry and she's good to go! You can also print out a list if that works better for you. When we return from the grocery store I fill all the checkboxes again to indicate that I'm fully stocked up. As time has passed I've added things to my grocery list that I might get on occasion. There's no limit to how long your grocery list can be. You can also re-order your grocery list in any way you desire.
Before I had this application my grocery list consisted of a piece of paper stuck on my refrigerator that other people had to write on (because I am unable to write). Now with SousChef I'm the one that maintains my grocery list, which is as it should be. And all the recipe-related features, and numerous others that I didn't mention, are a bonus!
- Paul Natsch
Note: Acacia Tree Software, makers of SousChef, are also developing an iPhone version.