Developer: All Recipes
Price: free Download on the App Store
My wife uses the Allrecipes Web site as her go-to source when she's looking for something new to cook. Me, I just keep everything in my head and prepare meals using whatever is available in the kitchen.
That's why we both found Allrecipes Dinner Spinner so appealing. She likes to follow a clear path and I like to let fortune decide where to take me. Allrecipes Dinner Spinner does both those things.
Picture three rotating wheels, like those of a slot machine, but with one on top of the other. The top wheel is for the type of dish (breakfast, lunch dinner and others), the middle wheel is for ingredients (shellfish, beef, pasta and others) and prep and cook time (about 20 minutes and up) is at the bottom.
If you're planning to go grocery shopping you would select options for each category, and assuming you can actually cook the dish, with the ingredients you've selected and within the time you allotted, all three options will light up blue and you can view recipes that meet those matches. Logically, you can't cook cookies with beef in one hour, and you'll be instructed to refine your categories, if that's what you try to do.
From there, you can choose from among several recipes, get instructions on how to prepare each one, read nutritional information and reviews from people who've made the meal.
What I like about Allrecipes Dinner Spinner is that I can shake the phone and see what comes up. It's like playing a slot machine, one of those things I'm unfortunately attracted to when I go to the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut.
Yesterday, my night to prepare dinner, I gave the iPhone a shake and lined up bread, cheese and 20 minutes for prep and cook time. Not much of a dinner. My wife sighed and said she would take over.
My wife liked Allrecipes Dinner Spinner much more than I did, so we split the difference and gave it an 8/10 rating. This app is useful for someone who is an organized meal planner but I found it to be more of a toy than anything.