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Old 07-19-2010, 11:52 PM   #1
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Cook'n Recipe Organizer ver 8.2

I just got this for myself and am wondering if anyone else has had experience with it. I'm most interested in "containing" my recipes that I have collected from here & there and all the odd scraps of paper. I also want to use it to get my creations in some sort of order.

The program looks pretty basic and easy to use.
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Old 07-20-2010, 12:33 PM   #2
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Hi PF60!

I used to use MasterCook and liked it. When I upgraded my computer to Vista, MasterCook no longer worked. There were work-arounds, but I decided to upgrade to something else (it was time)...MasterCook was no longer supported. I ended up getting Cook'n for free (due to an advertising error on eBay). I am not thrilled with it. It's buggy (I write software for a living so I know buggy software when I see it) and it was not simple to convert my MasterCook recipes over to Cook'n (even though they assured me that it would be "a piece of cake"). I had about 30 MasterCook cookbooks and I gave up trying to convert them. I just abandoned them. (It DID convert them quickly, but cut off so much text that more than half of the recipes are unreadable.) I only took the time to carefully convert the cookbook that had my own recipes in it. It wasn't worth the time and effort to convert the others.

I contacted customer service several times and explained the situation, the problems I was having, etc. and I received "cookie cutter" responses from them (someone just cut-n-pasted an answer). They didn't bother to read my e-mails (as was obvious by the replies).

If I had paid full retail price for it, I would have been furious, because my main reason for choosing it was "ease of converting my MasterCook cookbooks" over.

I have been wanting to create a recipe card file for recipes I use frequently, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to get Cook'n to print on an index card without going out of the margins. (And those Inkjet cards aren't cheap either! Lot's of wasted cards trying!)

I just discovered that MasterCook is back with a new version. I am planning to buy it soon. Going to read some more reviews first.

Sorry to be Miss Gloom-n-Doom, but you asked. I truly hope it works out better for you.
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Old 07-20-2010, 05:25 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by BeachChick View Post
Hi PF60! Sorry to be Miss Gloom-n-Doom, but you asked. I truly hope it works out better for you.
Don't be sorry for answering a question about your experience I truly appreciate your response.

Luckily I don't have anything to import. Just adding my own recipes. I actually went through the catalog of recipes included with the program and deleted over half. I've been playing with it and it seems to be what I am looking for in an easy format without having to handwrite everything. I have carpal tunnel syndrome, so writing is especially painful.

Thank you for your experience and response.
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Old 07-20-2010, 05:45 PM   #4
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I wrestled with cookbook/recipe software for some time. They all do the basics but none of them can print a recipe the way I want it to look. That wouldn't be true of many users but for me it was so and a deal breaker.

I now use Microsoft WORD for all my recipes and cookbook contents. Any word processing software will do. This way, I never have to convert recipes to new software.

I created a recipe format with two columns of ingredients followed by instructions. I type all recipes in this format and file them in folders.

In My Documents folder on the computer, I have a master folder labeled RECIPES. In the recipes folder, I have folders that roughly correspond to the categories in a cookbook such as MEATS, POULTRY, SALADS, SOUPS, STEWS, etc.

In each of these folders, I have a COOKBOOK folder. This holds all my TnT recipes that are printed and in my three-ring binder on the kitchen counter.

Recipes I have copied but haven't tried yet are saved in their specific folders (MEAT, SOUP, SALAD, etc). For example, in the MEAT folder there is the COOKBOOK folder that holds my cookbook recipes and listed under the COOKBOOK folder are all the individual recipes I hope to try some day.

I have a 3-inch thick 3-ring binder with tabs that are the same as the recipe folders. I print recipes on 8.5x11 plain white paper that is heavier than normal. (24 pound paper vs. 20 pound paper).

I do not use plastic covers for recipes. They cost way too much and make the cookbook much thicker. You'd need 4-5 cookbooks to hold the recipes that would fit in one book.

If a recipe page gets dirty or I make changes to it, I simply print it again. Much cheaper and easier to manage.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:16 PM   #5
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[QUOTE=Andy M.;909539]I now use Microsoft WORD for all my recipes and cookbook contents. Any word processing software will do. This way, I never have to convert recipes to new software.

I created a recipe format with two columns of ingredients followed by instructions. I type all recipes in this format and file them in folders. /QUOTE]

Thanks Andy! Some of my recipes are in MS WORD, but they lack any formatting, only the formatting they had when I copied and pasted them into WORD.

I like your ideas and will see about implementing them with the recipes already on the computer. As long as I still have to type, I'm willing to try anything!

Thanks again for the ideas!
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:37 PM   #6
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Here is a sample of what my recipes look like. I use standard formats for abbreviations, fractions, typeface and size.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Chinese Pepper Steak.pdf (53.6 KB, 183 views)
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:03 PM   #7
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Here is a sample of what my recipes look like. I use standard formats for abbreviations, fractions, typeface and size.
That looks great. Thanks! I'm leaning more and more towards just using the WORD program...not so much to play with and I like your chapter (folder) idea. I may swipe it
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:08 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
That looks great. Thanks! I'm leaning more and more towards just using the WORD program...not so much to play with and I like your chapter (folder) idea. I may swipe it
No need to "swipe". It's my gift to you.
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:21 AM   #9
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No need to "swipe". It's my gift to you.

THANK YOU!!!
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:35 AM   #10
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Thanks for the ideas, Andy. Sounds like it's working out great for you. As I said, I had MasterCook and liked it. It was (back then) put out by Sierra. But then they stopped making upgrades. Still, I kept using it. I had TONS of Cooking Light cookbooks and others...must have had 35 cookbooks, maybe? Although I didn't NEED them, I liked the idea of being able to covert them over to Cook'n and still have them. Didn't work out so well.

I wanted to make a nice recipe card box to keep in the kitchen which would contain my frequently used recipes. I've shared with you all before that I am incapable of cooking from memory....I need a recipe. I don't have any creative brain cells. Well, I can cook, but I can't cook creatively. I think anyone can follow a recipe.

Cook'n has these settings to print to cards, etc. It works just fine, if you don't mind that the text goes out of the margins. So if if you see, "Melt the __________ in a saucepan", if you are smart, you might figure out that the word "butter" ran off the page!! I can't even tell you how angry I have gotten trying to get it to work. My husband finds this humorous. (I am a software engineer, too, so I know what I am doing...for the most part. )

I refuse to dedicate any more time to Cook'n. MasterCook has been revived and a new version is out. It's only $20 and supposedly had iPhone support, etc. It didn't get stellar reviews, but I'm thinking that it's worth gambling $20 to try it out. But, again, I run the risk of having it drop off the planet, leaving me stuck with an unsupported recipe format. (However, all of these programs allow you to convert your recipes to text, so I guess I could just import them all into Word if I needed to.)

I've also considered just becoming a "supporting member" on Allrecipes.com and storing all of my recipes there, however, I am somewhat of a control freak and am not sure I can give someone else the control of housing all of my recipes.

PF60 - good luck. Let us know how it works out for you.
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