When I started writing this in February, I thought it was quite niche. But when restaurants and pubs closed because of Covid-19, home cooking became the new eating out and it’s now surprisingly relevant.
I’ve always been a keen cook and have a shelf of recipe books, a box full of recipes ripped from magazines and a random collection of bookmarks for recipes all over the web. Over the years, I’ve tried to organise all these. I wanted something that was visual but also had great tagging and searching to help me manage my collection.
Most of the food-specific apps were very expensive. The free Yummly is an amazing treasure-trove of recipes but it didn’t have the flexibility I wanted. I tried Pinterest, Trello and Airtable, which are great solutions for some projects but none of them worked for my recipes.
Then I found the answer: CopyMeThat. I discovered it while hunting for a recipe that was on a website that had closed. That’s the beauty of CMT; it doesn’t just bookmark the recipe, it saves a copy so that you still have it even when the original has disappeared. Web pages are ephemeral things!
Things I love about CMT:
- Free, unlimited recipe saving. There is a one-off, reasonable charge for the pro version if you want to support the developers.
- One-click recipe saving. CMT analyses the webpage and extracts the recipe – even on foreign language sites – which is then ‘automatically formatted for simplicity’ (Slant Review). On the rare occasion it doesn’t get it right, or if there are more details you want to add, you can then manually edit it.
- Tagging and searching capabilities that make finding a specific recipe or getting inspiration for your next meal a doddle.
- The app version means you have the recipe on your phone or tablet in the kitchen as you cook.
- Recipes can be public or private. Browsing other people’s collections is a great inspiration.
- Shopping lists and a meal plan help you get organised.
- Type in your own recipes and add photos to include of your own family favourites or new creations in your collection.
Downsides? It doesn’t have the user base of sites like Yummly so I can’t guarantee it’ll be around for ever. If it doesn’t, you can export your recipes to an HTML file – complete with pictures and the links to the original recipe sites – which you can use as a Word document. I must also say, it’s functional rather than beautiful.
Check out my recipe collection; I hope it inspires you.