How to Cook a Delicious Meal with Evernote

Tips & Stories

How to Cook a Delicious Meal with Evernote

Posted by Kasey Fleisher Hickey on 20 Sep 2011

Posted by Kasey Fleisher Hickey on 20 Sep 2011

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Planning and cooking a meal lies in figuring out who your audience is (yourself, your wife/husband, Mom, a roomful of friends, or Bobby Flay). The level of detail and attention that preparing a home-cooked meal entails will vary depending on who you are trying to impress but one element remains the same: it’s a process. In this post, I’m going to tell you about how I plan meals, create grocery lists, and cook — using Evernote.

I tend to attack at least a few recipes a week that require step-by-step instructions and a few ingredients I probably don’t have at home. For a weeknight dinner, I might do something as simple as pan searing a piece of fish and roasting a few vegetables on the side. Weeknights, particularly when I’m having friends over for dinner, I’ll put together an actual menu: an appetizer, main, side dish, and dessert. This requires some additional research and planning. I have Evernote installed on my work computer (a Mac), my second home computer (also a Mac), my Android phone and my iPad, so no matter where I am — at work, on the couch, in the kitchen, at the grocery store, or on the train — I have access to my recipes, grocery lists and notes.

Here is how I go about planning out and cooking a delicious meal:

See a collection of my favorite breakfast recipes from my food and music site, Turntable Kitchen, in my Shared Notebook. >>> Turntable Kitchen Breakfast Recipes

  • Saving photos of handwritten and printed recipes.
    The web is a wealth of information when it comes to recipes, but I love a good old fashioned cookbook or magazine. I’ll often snap a photo of a recipe from a cookbook and save it in Evernote to remind myself to make it later. My mom is a fabulous cook, but she rarely writes down her recipes, so when I get her to write something down — on a piece of scrap paper — I now take a photo of it to search for it later. Evernote can search for text inside of an image so Mom’s Beet Salad doesn’t get lost in my kitchen drawers.

  • Narrowing down the recipe search.
    Search is one of Evernote’s most powerful features. Within seconds, I can narrow down hundreds of recipes into a handful. I can compare them visually to figure out which one I want to go with. A search for ‘drinks’ and/or ‘party’ brings up all of the recipes tagged as such. A search for ‘chicken’ finds every recipe with chicken as an ingredient. If I search for ‘Mom,’ I’ll find the recipes my mom has shared with me. From there, I might look in my pantry and decide I really want to use some dried beans I recently purchased. I can search for beans and see all of the recipes containing the word ‘beans.’ Sometimes I’m drawn to a recipe by name, sometimes, by image.
  • Choosing the recipe, preparing the grocery list.
    Once I’ve decided on what I’m making, I’ll create a new note titled, “Grocery list.’ I often delete my grocery lists after I’m done with them. If I’m at my desk, I’ll create a checklist, but if I’m on the train, I’ll just jot down the items I remember into my phone. When I’m at the store — even if it’s a last minute pit stop — I always have the grocery list and the full recipe with me.
  • The real fun: cooking.
    Back home, I bring my iPad into the kitchen, pull up the recipe in Evernote and start cooking!
  • Documenting the experience.
    When I’ve made something, I like to note whether it was tasty, and if I’d make it again. If a recipe is a complete fail, I delete it from my Evernote. But if it could be made better, I make a note of it for the future.

There you have it: planning and cooking a meal with Evernote.

Do you have any tips for organizing recipes, planning and cooking a meal with Evernote? We’d love to hear them in the comments.

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20 Comments RSS

  • Alex

    One step further… I title all my “like” subject matter with the same heading. For example… I have a ton of notes dealing with recipes, pairings, healthy alternatives and label each note: Food- -(insert specifics here.)

    That way all recipes are grouped together.

  • Sally

    After trying a new recipe, I add a tag to any dishes that are “keepers” and any that are “never again”.

    When I prepare a recipe for church pot luck or other events I add a note with the date and occasion. That way I don’t take the same bean salad to church every time we have a get together.

    For my shopping list I copy and paste the indredients list from the recipe to my grocery list so I know how much to get of each item.

    Now if Evernote would just read the recipe to me while I cook……

  • Megan C. Hunt

    This is pretty much exactly what I do. The only difference is that I don’t usually make my grocery list in Evernote. I hate juggling my iPhone in the grocery store so my list is usually on a full size yellow legal pad. But I save recipes exactly the same way — I also tag each of them with the ingredients, and save them to a “Recipes” notebook.

    Then, when I’m cooking, I’ll put my computer on the counter, with the recipe open and music playing! Evernote makes cooking a lot easier.

  • Mayco

    We use evernote especialy for the grossery list.
    When one of us is early…. Can get them.
    Works great.

    THE only wish in have is that the format stays the Same on the mobile divices.

  • ethicalcannibal

    I do this. All my recipe’s are now in Evernote. The only glitch was in the last iPad update, you can’t search tags alphabetically now. Unless there is an option I missed. Even that’s not a deal breaker because the search is good on the iPad.

    It’s made my recipes better because I keep notes on them, and can email them to others easily.

  • Darcy

    Evernote is really helpful for me finding recipes for specific produce or meat I find on sale or appealing, right there in the grocery store. “Let’s see… Napa Cabbage… ” I can make the most of what I find fresh and available. It’s wonderful!

  • Sharon

    I use evernote predominantly for recipes. I do many of the steps above, but after we eat something new I give a rating up to 5 stars in a tag. Then when I go back to try it again I have an idea how everyone liked it. It also is helpful for when you need a winner of a recipe and can’t remember which one of the 12 chocolate cakes was the one everyone raved about. :)

  • The_BORG

    I do a lot of the same thing. Usually use tags to find recipes & use several tags to narrow notes down (ethnicity of recipe, main ingredient/protein, etc…).

  • David

    I’ve just started to integrate what was once a flat document folder of .doc recipes into something colorful and tag-happy. It’s my sincere hope that I can get excited about some of these older recipes that haven’t seen the light of a kitchen in years!

  • Jodie

    I love using Evernotes for my recipes and meal planning. I have a folder that I call weekly meals. I go through my meals folders and move what ever it is I pick for the meals for the week. I also drop a shopping list into that folder as well. It makes it easier to not only shop but find the recipe to cook with. I kept forgetting what I was planning on making that week and now I don’t. When I am finished for the week I just drop the files back into their original folder and pick the next ones. Just one of the things I love about Evernotes.

  • Richard

    I follow very similar tactics to track down recipes and especially ingredients if I want to recover a recipe. I rate them as well so create, rate and save on Evernote!

  • Drew Vogel

    I am a professional chef and culinary educator, and in 2008 wrote about how I used EverNote 2.2.x in my work & personal pursuits. That article is here: http://tinyurl.com/3lveajp

    I’ll try to take a look at how that workflow might have changed in Evernote 4.x and will update the article.

  • Steve

    The pic of the book here is an example of an opportunity – there are various scanning utilities for the iPhone that increase the contract of a note before sending it to EN. This is good for snapping text etc on the go when lighting might not be great. What would be amazing would be if this could be done within EN, a utility to improve image quality, maybe multiple images at a time. Even something simple that would just brighten or increase contract would be so useful, for many people they might apply it to 20% of all of their notes (I would).

  • Steve

    ‘contrast’ rather than ‘contract’ btw

  • threecharms

    This is exactly why I use Evernote. Despite the many blogs who have insisted that “you need to use this program!” I avoided it because I didn’t see a need… until I needed a recipe management and menu planning system. Apple’s Mac Gourmet falls short. There are tons of recipe storage and search systems, but none that I could find to help me actually build a menu. Evernote is it. I’m super excited as the holidays are around the corner and I’m hosting the largest group for dinner I’ve ever attempted!

  • Sam

    I put in check boxes next to my ingredients in my recipes – that way I can check off what I already have at home and know exactly what I need at the store.

  • Kristen

    Excellent informative post for us new to Pinterest. Thank you.

  • xitrum

    I am very like this sentences: If a recipe is a complete fail, I delete it.But if it could be made better, I make a note of it for the future. Because of note anything did, we accumulate a lot of experience.Thanks a lot this share^^.

  • vietnam travel

    This article is very helpful. I get much information from article. Thanks so much ^^.

  • Heather Lewis

    With school around the corner again I’d been looking for an easier way to plan meals and keep organized. Thank you for your most helpful article; I will be trying this today.