There’s no shortage of cookbook apps for iPad, but how about one that lets you create and share your own recipes?
This is the premise behind Cook, a free iOS app that lets you customize the cover of your book, add family recipes and cooking tips, and then share your culinary collection on Facebook or Twitter, if desired.
Aside from minor inconveniences, such as requiring a constant Internet connection, and a few missing features, this free app is functional, beautiful and unique.
The first step is to register for a Cook account – it’s mandatory, but free – and simply requires a name, email address and password. It takes less than a minute.
Once this is completed, you’ll see a digital book cover with your name and graphic on the front (for me, it was a blue book with a few diced mushrooms).
Now you’ve got one of two choices: tap your book to open it, and you can create a new page for your recipes, or tap the Cook Team book, where you can read through some existing recipes to get you started (including five starter recipes, 14 mains and six desserts).
Swipe up and you can see featured recipes, friends you’ve flagged to share these with and a search window. Swipe down and you can tweak the theme, sign into your Facebook and Twitter accounts and more.
When inside your own cookbook, tap the “+” sign and give your section a name (e.g. Starters).
Unfortunately, you’re limited in the number of characters you can use (14), so I was unable to call this section “Marc’s Killer Soups.”
Once you create a section, you can tap to add a recipe: a title, comment and the recipe itself (or tap the microphone to speak rather than type). From the recipe template, you can easily select number of servings (2 to 10), prep and cook time (rotate the virtual knobs), ingredients and method/walkthrough.
After the recipe page is created for your cookbook, you can tap to make a comment, add a heart to flag it as a favorite, allow it to be shared among friends, or edit the ingredients or directions at any time. Or, delete the entry if you like.
You aren’t able to add a photo to the recipe, unless I couldn’t figure out how, but you can in fact add a cover photo to the front of each section.
Once you’ve created and perhaps shared your cookbook with friends and family, you can add other cookbooks to your app’s home page. Swipe down to search for what others have made. There’s also an icon of Earth you can tap to read the latest notifications from the app maker.
Aside from the few minor aforementioned issues with the app, there isn’t much to complain about here. Oh, and too bad there's not a version for Android tablets.
Cook isn’t just a great idea – creating a sharing your own cookbook – but is deliciously easy to use and is a feast for the eyes, too.