Online Recipe Tools for Moms

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What's the best online recipe resource? I asked my tech-savvy friend Kaye Nilson to log on and give me the scoop. Here's what our new tech reporter has to say...Free recipes aren'??t hard to find '?? the tricky part for busy moms is to zero in on go-to recipes kids love and are quick and easy to prepare.

To help you Get Cooking this month, we reviewed the top online recipe websites. On our short list below are our favorite three sites offering the best content and tools to help busy moms with everyday cooking. The best sites offer lots of healthy, kid-pleasing recipes along with sophisticated search and recipe management features to help you speed your way through meal planning to shopping and cooking.

Cookstr.com
Cookstr.com offers thousands of recipes from hundreds of the world'??s top chefs and cookbook authors, including kid-friendly chefs Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson. While Cookstr hasn'??t gotten much press it is worth a mention because of its fantastic search function its high quality content. Its search feature goes beyond AllRecipes and MyRecipes with criteria like cost and skill level as well as type of mood and the taste and texture you seek. (Are you feeling stressed and craving something crunchy? Cookstr has some recipe suggestions.) Registering (free) allows you to save and comment on recipes. While Cookstr is ad-supported, it'??s ads are limited and less intrusive than those on other sites. Cookstr is worth checking out!

AllRecipes.com
AllRecipes has thousands of user and advertiser submitted recipes geared toward the everyday cook. The site has a very active community of users and a deeper database of user ratings and comments than other sites. Advanced recipe search offers the ability to filter by ingredient, course, occasion, type of cuisine, cooking method, and dietary considerations. So you can easily find kid-friendly pasta recipes, for example. I love the feature that allows me to scale each recipe to my needs in case I'??m entertaining or making extra for leftovers. Recipes can be printed in full page or recipe card size and all the nutrition info. is provided. Free registration allows you to create a personal recipe box with saved favorites from the site or your own kitchen. '??Supporting Memberships'?, starting at $1.90 a month, allow you to customize and save recipes, start your own cooking blog hosted by AllRecipes and search by nutritional info. Plus, AllRecipes also has a mobile site so you can find recipes on the go. But ugh, those pop-up ads drive us batty.

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What I don'??t like about AllRecipes are that some of its recipes call for processed '??cook'??s helper'? type ingredients like condensed soup, which I avoid. Also, advertiser recipes are featured within search results, sometimes out of context (e.g. Hellman'??s Deviled Egg recipe showed up amidst a list of kid-friendly pasta recipes). While these flaws mean wading through some duds, the excellent search and printing features and deep content offered by AllRecipes make it well worth a trip to this site.

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MyRecipes.com
MyRecipes.com offers advanced search and other nifty features similar to those on AllRecipes.com. What sets MyRecipes apart is that its 46,000+ recipes come from the editorial staff at magazines like Cooking Light, Real Simple and Food & Wine -- so naturally there aren'??t many recipes here involving cans of soup. Using '??Enhanced Recipe Search'?, I was able to zoom right to kid-friendly chicken dinner recipes I could prepare in under 30 minutes. Another option is to browse their collections such as '??Low Calorie Family Friendly Meals'? and '??Easy Recipes for Kids'?. Nutritional info is provided. Free registration allows you to save favorite recipes, upload your own recipes and create shopping lists that you can print or send to your mobile phone.

The site offers a limited collection of pre-planned weekly dinner menus and the ability to print coupons. The main weakness of MyRecipes is its thin ratings database; however because all the recipes in this site have been vetted by professional food editors the reviews aren'??t as important. For that reason, MyRecipes is one of my top picks.

There are thousands of other recipe sites out there focusing on everyday cooking and beyond. What recipe sites do you use find most helpful and easy to navigate?

Momtrends was not paid for this post.

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