Cooking, could there be an app for that?
Could the app be the future of the recipe? OK, that's a loaded question. Of course not, nothing on your Android or iPad will ever replace a Paula Wolfert. Still, though I haven't yet found an app that will do everything I ask, the potential sure seems to be there.
I'm more convinced than ever after reading a couple of blog posts by old friends who are experimenting in the form. Michael Ruhlman has an app based on his cookbook "Ratio" that scales up and down the basic formulas for many kitchen essentials, such as bread and cookie dough and certain sauces. In fact, he's just come out with a second app specifically devoted to bread baking.
Andy Schloss and his company are taking that a step further. Their Cookulus app actually lets you plug in parameters, changing the ratio to fit your taste, not just the number of servings. So far, they've only done it with a couple of cookies, but that's a good example: You can choose how chewy, crisp, thick or thin you want a cookie and the app will calculate the appropriate ingredient mix and baking temperature and time.
If the idea sounds intriguing, read the posts on Ruhlman's blog.
-- Russ Parsons
Photo: A screen from the Ratio bread-baking app. Credit: Ruhlman.com