Basil is indeed A Smart Recipe Book for iPad

Mar 27, 2012
Shine

At first glance, Basil — A Smart Recipe Book for iPad doesn’t seem all that impressive. But that’s only because I didn’t entirely understand the purpose of the app. Good thing for second chances. Once I saw Basil’s real function in action, I was incredibly taken with this read-it-later-style recipe box. The apps launches quickly […]

At first glance, Basil — A Smart Recipe Book for iPad doesn’t seem all that impressive. But that’s only because I didn’t entirely understand the purpose of the app. Good thing for second chances. Once I saw Basil’s real function in action, I was incredibly taken with this read-it-later-style recipe box.

The apps launches quickly onto a sparse interface. A few sample dishes are preloaded into the app, but if you are looking for outside inspiration for dinner, you aren’t going to find it directly in Basil. What you will find in Basil is a beautifully simple interface in which to store your existing recipes. Basil’s large size text makes it easy to read your recipe directions while your hands are busy, and the pop-out ingredients panel keeps the recipe from feeling cluttered while still being close at hand.

Entering in your personal recipes will take some typing time, but the process isn’t arduous. The app is ideal for transferring in all of your paper recipes, but where the app truly shines is in its integrated browser.

When you tap “add recipe from web,” an in-line browser will open. The front page features 10 sites, including Food Network, The Pioneer Woman, Allrecipes and Epicurious, that offer integrated Basil support. This means if you see a recipe you want to save for later, all you have to do is hit the save button at the top of the screen. The entire recipe details, including directions and ingredients, will automatically import into Basil’s format. Optional tags and categories can be added and will increase the ease of finding your recipes when you fill Basil up. I’d love to see support for photos in the future.

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But those sites aren’t the only sites you can use in Basil. If you want to save a dish from an outside site, you simply highlight the dish name and tap the name button at the bottom of the screen. Continue with this action for ingredients, directions, servings and cook time. Once you’ve ticked all of the boxes—or all that you wish to fill in—tap save and the recipe will be imported, correctly, into your recipe box. You can email your recipes from within the app, ideal for making sure you have all the necessary ingredients when you’re at the supermarket.

Basil’s price is on the high side, but the app is an excellent option for food loving home cooks. It’ll help you keep all of those must try dishes in one place.

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