Leon's Weblog

May 10, 2012

Organizing Cooking Recipes

Filed under: Cooking — Leon @ 12:00 pm

I have been looking for some time for a way to organize cooking recipes. Sure there are plenty of websites offering hundreds of thousands of recipes for any occasion but what I really wanted was just a simple way to keep track of the few dozen dishes that I actually cook. There’s always the simple old-school method of keeping an actual book but I’m too much of a nerd for that. I’m also too lazy to write out or type up a full recipe from scratch (with pictures, ingredient amounts, and directions). To get by, I have been using sites like FoodNetwork.com to save some recipes as favorites but was not able to save my own notes and modifications. Finally there was the inconvenience of going to a computer to find the recipe, print it out, and then go back to it to after cooking to save notes.

The solution for me is an Android App called My Cookbook. The key feature is that it allows you to import recipes from many popular sites and store them locally on your smart phone (the apps scrapes everything including the image when it is available). You can also create your own recipe in the rare case that you cannot find anything close online. So what I do now is gather a few recipes for a given dish, import the one that is closest to my liking into the app, and then tailor it to taste [note 1]. Then, when I go grocery shopping, all the ingredients that I need are already listed on my phone. This may not be the nicest looking app on the Android Market but, given its functionality, I think it’s a keeper.

May 9, 2012

Multi-Room Audio from an HTPC

Filed under: Gadgets,Personal — Leon @ 1:22 pm

One of the design goals for my media center was to include multi-room audio so that I can play the same music in both my living room and the terrace when guests come over. I had already setup an HTPC which contained all of my media and configured XBMC to play it nicely. The next stage in the project was to have a way to stream the music outdoors without adopting an entirely new system.