The Photo Cookbook – PadGadget iPad Cooking Series

Part of PadGadget’s continuing series Get Cooking With iPad

The Photo Cookbook: Quick & Easy received a large update recently. The app’s offerings have expanded to include in-app purchases for sections that cover Italian and Asian cuisine, as well as Baking. The Photo Cookbook: Baking app is still available for purchase as a stand-alone app as well, so if you already own it, do not buy the the baking section of Quick and Easy — both apps include the same recipes.

The Photo Cookbook uses the iPad’s stunning display to great effect.  Users can e-mail recipes, although there is no shopping list, ability to favorite recipes, or social media sharing, many of which are common features in other cooking apps.

Quick and Easy is divided further into four sections: meat, fish, vegetarian, and desserts. Each of the app’s 84 recipes is broken down into a series of photographed steps, with simple accompanying text. The amount of each ingredient is listed in both standard and metric measurements. Occasionally the recipes call for an odd ingredient, such as jaggery, not readily found in the supermarket, and unfortunately no substitutions were offered.

As a group the recipes in The Photo Cookbook: Quick & Easy perform as advertised. The app includes a sampling of simple, relatively healthy recipes that most cooks could whip up with a minimum of fuss. It is available for download in the App Store for $4.99.

What I liked: The pictures are gorgeous. I liked that the meat section included duck and lamb as well as more common proteins such as beef, chicken, and pork. It was helpful that images of all of the recipes available for in-app purchase were visible, so I could tell if the additional purchases were something I would be interested in or not.

What I didn’t like: The developer includes a star rating to indicate the “culinary significance” for all of its ingredients. Although this feature seems like a good idea in theory, it loses most of its meaning in a practical setting. I’m not sure how to interpret prosciutto’s five star rating, while gnocchi earned four stars, and lemon zest earned only three stars.

To buy or not to buy: The Photo Cookbook is a visual app, so it is likely to appeal to visual learners who prefer to avoid dealing with an excess of text. It would also make an excellent introduction for beginning cooks. While a lower price point for in-app purchases would make the app more attractive, the update does include 24 of the in-app recipes for free. Ultimately, Quick & Easy provides enough heft to make it worth $4.99

  • App Name: The Photo Cookbook: Quick & Easy
  • Version Reviewed: 5.0
  • Category: Lifestyle
  • Developer: ditter.projektagentur GmbH
  • Price: $4.99, with additional cookbooks available for in-app purchase
  • Score:

About Emily: Emily is a freelance writer who loves discovering new apps whenever she can pry the iPad away from her children or husband. You can contact her via Twitter: @whatwentwrite

  • Aileen Hankin

    I don’t even know what he means by the culinary significance ratings. I searched google for help and came here. Can you help?