Tag Archives: Applications

Random App Round Up

16 Nov

Here are some random apps that I love. No company has ever given me money for… well, anything at this point really, but especially not to promote their iphone apps. I just like these. “I’m Carrie Anne, and I approve this message!”

Digitally Imported – In the late nineties Anthony and I used to stay up all night dancing to techno music in warehouses. Now if we’re staying up all night it’s because we’re grooving to the repetitive sounds of Isobel whining. Anthony and I still love techno and electronica. Anthony stumbled upon a free app called Digitally Imported with several channels of really, really awesome techno. Several different flavors of techno, too. I love librarianing to music so I listen to this at work a lot.

Chess Free by Optime – A crazy old lady taught me how to play chess in the seventh grade. I hated it! I still do. It’s a character flaw. My husband, however, learned chess from men that were recently released from prison. They were pretty good, seeing as how they had lots of time for practice. At the time, my husband was working at a community center and it was basically his job to 1. play chess 2. play ping pong 3. engage in activities with the children 4. supervise the chess and ping ponging.  Anthony loves chess and he’s quite good at it. He amuses himself sometimes by playing against the computer on this, his favorite chess app. He’s tried a couple but this one is his favorite.

(Note: If you were wondering why you haven’t seen me around Words with Friends for awhile it was because the app died along with my phone. I haven’t reinstated it again, but I’ll let everyone know when I do to get some games going again.)

Offline Map Guide – Oh boy, we could have used this while we were lost in the redwoods. Next time I have to go anywhere with spotty to nonexistent cell reception I’m plotting the way using this app first. We’d be lying in a ravine somewhere gnawed on by possums and mountain lions if it weren’t for the paper map we just happened to have with us (courtesy of my mother).

Tap Forms – Are you obsessively organized? Do you, like me, wish you were obsessively organized? Tap Forms keeps all your forms and information organized. Yessss. The Precioussssss.

Recommendations:

I’d love to hear your recommendations about your favorite apps for:

Pregnancy Timelines
Pedometers
To do lists and calendars

Bonus points if they are free!

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More Meal Planning Apps and Resources

8 Nov

Here are some random apps that I love. No company has ever given me money for… well, anything at this point really, but especially not to promote their iphone apps. I just like these. “I’m Carrie Anne, and I approve this message!”

Now that Thanksgiving approaches and I’ve been back at work for a few months now, my struggle to get something healthy, delicious, and easy on the table is making me long for summer vacation when I had energy to cook and plan. Now that autumn rolls around I feel like I need help. Enter, technology.

You can find a whole lot of posts about my struggles with meal planning here. You can find the first post about which meal planning apps I use here.

Getting dinner on the table every night is a work in progress, but I’m happy to say I’m doing better at it now than I ever have before, ever. I think some of that has to do with how hard I used to make the process for myself—how complicated, how many steps, how unnecessarily detailed it was. Using my apps at the grocery store, or during the last five minutes of work to plan dinner, or browsing recipes stoveside has changed my life. Technology flawlessly fits in with my philosophy for meal planning: make it easy, make it convenient, and make it simple.

1. Simply Recipes / 101 Cookbooks: these aren’t apps per se, but the writers of these websites have created mobile-friendly versions of their sites for recipe-browsing via smart phone. Going here will show you how to add their icon to your home screen, just like a real app. I cook from Simply Recipes all the freaking time, so I was elated to find this.

2. Go Meals: every once in a while I like to log my meals to look at my nutrition objectively. I always think to myself that I will chart my food particularly when I have a Crohn’s flare up so I can see if something is setting it off, but invariably when I have a Crohn’s flare up I nearly stop eating altogether. The point is, you can track your meals with this app, and if you counting calories is your thing (I could never be bothered) it has the ability to do that, too.

3. English Muffin: I nearly swooned when I found out Nigella has an app! I normally don’t like to pay more than 99 cents for my apps and this one cost a pretty penny at $8. But it’s worth it because it streams all sorts of videos of her cooking and demonstrating recipes and such. Plus she is my girl crush and in a perfect world I’d be married to Anthony, Picard, and Nigella. What?

4. Rules, man: Have you read Michael Ruhlman’s book Ratio? For me it was groundbreaking. From the app: “Ratios are the starting point from which a thousand variations begin. A culinary ratio is simply a proportion of one ingredient relative to another. [This app] puts 28 key ratios in your pocket… The app does all the calculating and converting for you. Just enter the amount of the ingredient, and all the ingredients will appear in their exact proportions.” Squee, I say. Squee.

5. Chow Thanksgiving: Just in time for the holidays, Chow has released a free app that does only one thing–it helps you plan and track what needs to be done the week before Thanksgiving to get your meal on the table while minimizing stress and loss of limbs. I’m honestly not sure if this will be very helpful or not so much, but it’s free so I thought I’d give it a go.

WEB RESOURCES

I have relied heavily on certain websites for recipes and inspiration for continuing the nightly family meal. The sites I’ve used the most are:

1. Dinner: a Love Story – one family’s committment to instilling a tradition of family mealtimes. This is my goal for my family.

2. Angerburger – some of the best writing out there. Period. Oh, and also food. And a Viking.

3. Outpost 505 – a couple post their delicious dinners on the web.

4. Lunch in a box – Biggie doesn’t update this site so much anymore, but it’s a treasure trove of information for people who want delicious, homemade food for work. This site is designed for bento enthusiasts, but the information is invaluable even if you use a humble brown bag. I live near enough to SF that I stock up on imported bento items from Japan when I can, but I also invested in a Mr. Bento. I bought one for my husband, too, who was initially exasperated with me but ultimately delighted. He loves his Mr. Bento and the last time he brought his to work a coworker asked him all about it and ordered one for himself on his phone before lunch was over.

5. Simply Recipes – This is my go-to site when I’m looking for a recipe for something. Well, this, Everyday Food, and Epicurious.

ALSO OF NOTE

November is the month where some people commit to posting every day on their blog. Some people commit to growing facial hair. And some people commit to writing a novel. All honorable, noble pursuits, but my friend Sarcasmically didn’t feel particularly called to do any of these things. And yet she felt left out. So she’s taking on a challenge of another kind: National Deep-fry a New Food Month. I look to her with a mixture admiration and fear as I am personally very intimidated by deep-frying. I check her blog with great anticipation as she’s made some wonderful, heart-stopping (literally) discoveries. My favorite so far? Probably her deep-fried pickle-wrapped-in-bacon experiment. I have a feeling that pregnant ladies everywhere have developed a strange new craving.

Meal Planning Apps

3 Jun

This post is the second in a series about iPhone apps I use and enjoy. This is less about being on the cutting edge of technology and more the equivalent of peeking in someone else’s medicine cabinet. Electronic voyeuristic curiosity! I’d love to hear what food-related apps you enjoy in the comments.


Shroomies Produce Guide – I have no idea why this is called ‘shroomies’ but it does make me giggle. This app really isn’t as necessary as it claims but I love it none the less. It is supposed to help you choose produce that’s in season but really, you probably don’t need help with that. If you can use your valuable looking skills to see what the store is offering a lot of cheaply then you know what’s in season.

Shroomies does offer the valuable service in the form of providing nutritional information, seasonality (when will asparagus be cheap again?!), how to store and how long to keep it, preparation advice and almost 200 photos and descriptions of all sorts of produce. Have you ever read a recipe and thought, what the heck is kohlrabi? Look it up! I love browsing the photos for inspiration, but I’m weird like that.

RelishI’ve sung Relish’s praises before and I’ll do it again: the iPhone app lets me peruse my weekly shopping list and view the recipe right from my phone, no printouts necessary. You have to have a subscription to Relish’s menu service for this to be useful, however.

Everyday Food – I sort of hate to give Martha even more of my money when she has so much already, but there’s something to be said for not having to leaf through stacks of magazines to find a recipe.

Mise En PlaceI’ve mentioned this app before also and while it over complicates the week night dinner I can’t wait to use this for a big party or holiday such as Thanksgiving. It lets you schedule all the tasks that need to be accomplished for a big meal and can help you figure out what you need to do well in advance. My organization-loving heart swelled when I found this.

Epicurious – The same benefits of the recipe website in handheld form.

Grocery Gadget – I’ve mentioned this app before, too, but when I find something awesome I like to share. Angela originally found this app and I’m so glad she told me about it. It handles far more than just your grocery list and has all sorts of handy features, such as online editing, list sharing so other members of your household have access to them, and full control over list organization. It’s the priciest app I’ve ever purchased but, for me at least, it’s been so worth it.