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9.26.2014

Friday Faves: Key Ingredient Digital Recipe Reader

Today I am reviewing a product that I have used and loved for so long, that I was surprised to see that I hadn't featured it on my Friday Faves yet.  It's my digital recipe reader from Key Ingredient.

 
In short, this revolutionized my kitchen.  I no longer have that overflowing folder with print and cut-outs on my counter, collecting splashes of sauce and kitchen grime.  I also have an easy way to organize all the recipes I get via emails and shared links.  I have one efficient place to store ALL my recipes, which I can access on the device itself, on my phone's mobile Key Ingredient app, and on the Key Ingredient app.
 
What makes this different than a multi-use tablet is that it is specifically designed for the kitchen, and can stay in the kitchen.  It is completely kitchen safe (water and heat won't damage it), and includes some features that are specific to cooking (I will explain more on that below).  It can lay flat at a slight angle, or be propped up to see it from afar.  The font-size is even adjustable.
 
One of the things I love is that I can organize my "cookbooks" in whatever categories I like, and can even save short-lists of recipes that I might need to quickly access together (for example, each item on my Thanksgiving menu). 
 
How does it all work?  You store your recipes digitally in an account you have to create on Key Ingredient (there are both free and Prime options), then those recipes and cookbooks wirelessly sync to your device (the device connects to your home Wi-Fi network). 
 
Adding recipes to your Key Ingredient account is incredibly easy, which is one of the things that makes this product worthwhile.  When you first get it, or need to add a lot of new recipes, it wouldn't be very convenient to hand-type in all of your recipes (although you can manually add recipes - which comes in handy for old family recipes).  Much like the Pinterest "Pin It" button, Key Ingredient allows you to download a "Cookmark" button for your favorites bar.  *Note* I find that the Key Ingredient site and "Cookmark" button work better in Chrome than they do in Internet Explorer.
 


When you are on any webpage that contains a recipe and click the "Cookmark" favorite bar button, there is a pop-up from Key Ingredient that automatically formats the recipe for your Key Ingredient site.  You can then upload a photo of the recipe and save it directly into your Key Ingredient cookbooks (again, just like the "Pin It" button).  Couldn't be quicker or easier!  Even when adding your old recipes, you can find almost any of them online somewhere, so adding them to Key Ingredient is a snap thanks to this "Cookmark" feature.

Again, I love that you can also access your Key Ingredient account and recipes through their website and mobile app, allowing you to plan your menus or shopping lists wherever you are.

 
As I mentioned earlier, the device has several really cool cooking features. First, it is searchable by recipe title and ingredient (when you have as many recipes on here as I do, you can't always remember the exact name of a recipe, but you may remember that it includes the word "ranch" or that it contains avocado).


 

One cool tool is the conversion calculator.  Need to know how many tablespoons there are in a quarter cup?  How about how many drops constitute a dash?  Of course, this tool is probably the most helpful when you are trying to modify the quantity of an entire recipe.

 
A helpful tool for multi-part meals (think parties or on a holiday like Thanksgiving) is the timer feature.  It includes three separate timers, which is good if you can only do one or two on your oven or microwave.


 
 
Another really cool is the substitution menu.  This one is super helpful when you are elbow deep in a cooking project and realize that you don't have something like almond extract.  This will tell you some alternatives for that ingredient so that you can substitute for something you do have on hand.  This tool can also help you find healthier alternatives for certain ingredients.
 
Long story short, this is a product that I use daily, and appreciate so much.  It keeps my kitchen organized, keeps everything in one place, and allows me to efficiently and easily collect new recipes that I get through daily emails from AllRecipes.com, etc. from wherever I am, and then send them directly to where it counts (my kitchen).

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