books · Easy · I didn't know I could do that · Practical · Solutions

Things to save

  • My mother taught me there are 3 stages of material possession:

    Recipe system accessible on virtually all devices
    Pepperplate app on Windows 8 start screen
  1. You can never have enough
    Acquire everything.  This feeds our desire to demonstrate our success and make our life comfortable.
  2. Enough is enough
    When there really isn’t a need for one more Tupperware® container in the cupboard or one more towel in the closet.
  3. Enough is too much
    The realization that more time is spent dusting and sorting possessions than spent enjoying life.  This period is marked by giving away treasured possessions to those who will appreciate them and donating a good deal of excess.

My mother also taught me to cook, so during the #1 phase, one of my favorite acquisitions were cookbooks.  Some of them I bought, some were given to me by people who were in stage #3, and some found their way onto my shelves as welcomed gifts.

If your cooking from books is anything like mine, you have shelves of books, most of which you utilize for a couple of recipes.  I have one cookbook which I could not get rid of because it has the cake my family traditionally eats on Christmas morning.  The shelves groan with the possibility of endless good eating, but the reality is I do not use them a la Julie & Julia, working my way from one end to the other.

And enter the computer with all its various forms of storing recipes, and the web, which allows you to find all sorts of things.  We live in a veritable cook’s paradise, where everything is but a search away.  And we print out our findings, eschewing the printed pages of our cookbooks.  We put them in binders or copy them into Word documents, and any other iteration of recipe storage we could imagine, or purchase.

And then along comes a game changer.  I was looking through the Windows Store (Windows 8 operating system) for a recipe storage system, and came across Pepperplate.  It had high stars and mixed reviews, so I read through and decided to give it a try.  I am so glad I did, and I encourage you to do the same.  How they can give it away free, I have no idea, but it may not be that way forever, so get, while the getting is good.

  • Pepperplate is supported by all Operating systems including mobile and tablet OS’s, the notable exception being for Windows Phone.  Never mind, I don’t want to squint at my phone anyway.
  • It can be accessed by app, as appropriate, or by any browser; It is more easily learned via the browser interface
  • It comes empty, not loaded down with bloatware of what someone else considers good cooking.  It is totally yours to personalize.
  • From the browser, and this is one of the best parts, you can automatically import recipes from most major food sites.  Even if the format doesn’t allow it, an onscreen input widget allows for cut and paste.
  • It is brilliant
    • The “cook now” feature locks your screen on.  No more swiping or moving a mouse to clear the screen saver and figure out the next ingredient.
    • It comes with the possibility of multiple timers within the “cook now” function.
    • Recipes can be added to your calendar, which if you have Windows with live tiles, will show on your home screen.  “Oh, we’re having Red Velvet Cheesecake for dessert?  I’d better get on that.
    • Recipes can be added to a menu and the “cook now” feature allows all the menu recipes to be displayed and timed at the same time.


  • you can generate shopping lists from the menus, arranging them as your preferred store is laid out.
  • There are also “share” functions from within each menu.  No more typing out the cookie recipe for the umpteenth time for the same person.

But try it for yourself.

  • for the browser version
  • Windows Store for the desktop or tablet app
  • iTunes for the Apple devices
  • Googleplay for your Android tables and phones

You may be delighted to find that when you reach stage #3, you won’t have to call a truck in your area, you can give all your treasured recipes to ALL your loved ones and best of all, you don’t have to get rid of anything anyway.


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