Anyone knows that the key to anyone’s heart is their stomach, gender stereotypes be damned. If you can make that special someone the perfect meal, you’re way closer to being a better lover than someone who has to continually order out. Making a meal for another human being is a delight for both the cook and the recipient, feeding both mind and soul, if done well. What better way to show you care than with a meal you make yourself?
The problem is, how? First off is confidence. As Julia Child said, “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” Equally important for us cooking newbs, however, is a good cooking app or three.
Check these out for your Valentine’s Day dinner, or any time you want to make your significant other feel just a bit more significant.
The grandaddy of cooking apps, Epicurious is a free universal app which pulls data from the award-winning website of the same name. You can browse tons of featured recipes in all sorts of categories, from Weeknight Dinners to Cool Cocktails, as well as search the huge database for recipes by keyword, filter by ingredient, what’s healthy, in season, holiday, and more. Once you find the perfect meal to create for your sweetie, you can save recipes to a favorites list, and then use the personalized shopping list created from the ingredients needed in each of the saved recipes.
Getting help in cooking the meal is just as simple, with intelligible step-by-step directions and gorgeous photos of the process of cooking, not just the prettified final product.
Kitchen Knife Skills: Essentials for the Confident Cook
Obviously, if you haven’t made anything more taxing than a bowl of cereal yet in your life, there’s gonna be a learning curve. One of the best things you can do is learn a few essential skills, like how to properly handle a knife. I spent some time as a prep cook in the food service kitchens of UCLA learning how to properly cut vegetables, but if you don’t have that kind of time — or job aspirations — Kitchen Knife Skills might be the best bet.
This app will help you build skills with your knives, helping you become better with a slice and a dice. There are 36 video tutorials starring Food Network chef, Sarah Copeland, to help you gain knife mastery, with beginning and more advanced techniques covered. Even if you already have a grasp of the basics, this app may teach you a few things. There are dozens of guided interactive photos and step-by-step instructions to complement the videos, and a pretty extensive knife buying guide to boot. If you’re looking to get your chop on this Valentine’s Day, this $1.99 app (on sale) should help quite a bit.
50 best-ever baking recipes from olive Magazine
As Lilo said, “Desserts!” You can’t have a successful romantic dinner without them. It’s scientifically proven (not really). That said, there are a ton of baking apps out there, but this collection from olive Magazine is just delicious looking. And useful!
There are over 50 different dessert recipes here, with a list of baked goods that include celebration cakes, giant cakes, smaller cakes, cookies, biscuits, tarts, pies, pastries, sweet bread, and muffins. Say it with me now: muffins! Each delectable recipe has a full sized photo, an ingredients list and simple step-by-step directions to get you whipping up a lemon drizzle loaf in no time. There are even shopping recommendations to get just the right ingredients for your love desserts. Seriously, give it a look. It may be $4.99, but it’s certainly delicious-looking.