You’re not really using your smartphone as a cookbook, are you? I came across a post that was a discussion about how to use your iphone in the kitchen for cooking. This reminds me of the old adage, “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”.
Smartphones are great, but you’ve got to use the right tools for the job. I don’t want to try to read a recipe on a tiny screen and deal with scrolling and problems with screens blanking out. This is part 2 of my explanation of how a kitchen PC can make your life easier, especially for busy parents. As I explained in this related post, http://bit.ly/a6NqNI , I’m using a Tablet PC for my home computer (HP Touchsmart tx2) and I absolutely love it.
Here’s a real-life example of how a busy working mom -- that would be me – uses technology to get things done.
I bought some country-style ribs from Schwan’s, based on an easy slow cooker stew recipe I saw in their catalog. We’re always trying to manage clutter in our house, so unfortunately the catalog was thrown away before I had a chance to cut out the recipe. My technology-based solution saved the day:
1. Using my tablet PC, I found the recipe on Schwan’s website, www.schwans.com – the Southwestern BBQ Pork Chili
2. Used HP’s Smart Web Printing software to clip out the recipe from the website. I did the same thing to get Emeril’s Southwest Seasoning recipe from another website.
3. Saved them to Dropbox (download this third-party software from: www.dropbox.com )
4. Went to the grocery store, pulled up the recipes on my smartphone via Dropbox, bought the rest of the ingredients
5. Went home and made the recipes using my Tablet. The screen is easy to read and the touch interface made it really easy to scroll, and the screen doesn’t black out
Of course, I could have stopped at step 1 and started cooking once I had the recipe pulled up on the tablet PC – swivel the PC screen into Tablet form, put it in the notebook stand, and you’ve got your recipe handy just like when you use a cookbook. Or I could have printed the recipe right from the Smart Web Printing software, and taken that to the store rather than using Dropbox and the smartphone.
Either way, you’ve got to check out the Smart Web Printing software. It started on HP’s website as a beta from HP Labs, and I’ve found that it’s the best way to capture just the information you need from a webpage, without having to print out ads, extra pages, or having sections of what you’re trying to print get cut off on the sides. You can save as a pdf file or print just what you need. This is some seriously great software, really easy to download and use, even if you’re not technically inclined.
This is the cool thing about using technology: the next time I went to the store, I needed a dinner idea. Thanks to the Smart Web Printing software and Dropbox, I realized I still had the recipe so I picked up the ingredients to make it again. If I would have just written the ingredients on paper or only printed the recipe the last time, I wouldn’t have had it with me.
How are you using technology in your kitchen and rest of your home? Share your favorite methods in the comments.
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Smart Web Printing: