Cook’s Sensibilities and More
Taste Canada

Dave Recommends "MasterCook"

MasterCook Deluxe 8.0

If you are looking for software to organize and maintain recipes on your computer, take a serious look at MasterCook.  Entering recipes is a snap.  You simply enter the amount, units of measure and ingredients, and any preparation instructions if you wish.  The "FastFill" feature will scan ahead on ingredients and suggest choices.  You can either accept one of the suggestions or continue to type what you wish.

Based on the ingredients of the recipe, MasterCook can then calculate the nutritional content of the recipe.  If an ingredient is not recognized, MasterCook will let you know.  You can add the information if you have it, or link the ingredient to a similar one.  You can also get a report of the nutritional analysis compared to a fixed daily calorie plan.

Along with the ingredients, you can enter the directions, either as a sequence of steps or as a narrative.  MasterCook also provides spell checking and recipe scaling for a greater or lesser number of  servings.  There is room to add serving ideas, wine suggestions, and even a copyright notice.  Recipes can be categorized by type of dish and region to make searching easier.

Another of the many useful features of MasterCook is the ability to include one recipe as a single line ingredient entry into another.  This allows you, for instance, to enter a recipe for meat sauce and then incorporate it into the recipe for lasagna.  On printing, you can choose to include the details of the embedded recipe or not.

And speaking of printing, there are built in formats and layouts for common recipe card and page sizes, so you can organize printed copies in the way that suits you best.  If you are really adventurous, you can even customize your own layouts.

As if that wasn't enough, MasterCook can help with menu and meal planning and will create a shopping list for you, based on individual recipes, or menu and meal plans.  The shopping list can be sorted by location in the store or by item and either printed or downloaded to your PDA.  Also, recipes can be imported from other sources, exported, or emailed.  With Version 8.0, MasterCook includes a new feature that allows you to import recipes from virtually any source on the Web provided you are using Internet Explorer 5.0 or later.

For those who are interested, MasterCook comes pre-loaded with over 7,000 recipes.

I have relied on earlier versions of this software for many years and recommend this latest to you for maintaining your recipe collection.  To order MasterCook Deluxe 8.0 from, click here

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