October 15, 2012 at 5:38 pm
by Christina Tynan-Wood
I am about to go on a trip. Usually when I go out of town, my husband orders a lot of pizza, goes out for tacos, and hits the Chinese takeout way more than is healthy for him, our kids, or our budget. He can cook. But he is the kind of cook who picks a recipe, goes to the store, and follows the book. And getting dinner on the table for a few people after a day of work requires an ability to look in the fridge and whip up something quick. So, even though he means to, he never gets around to cooking.
In advance of this trip, I did a little advance coaching. I am the kind of cook who can glance in the fridge and throw together dinner in less than an hour. If I wasn’t, we’d eat out a lot more. But I often use technology to help me do it. He likes technology. So, for the sake of our budget, I sat him down at the computer for a lesson in how to wing it.
I use a variety of websites, cookbooks, and apps to pick a dinner based on the ingredients I have in the fridge, what I feel like, and the diet I try to follow. But I had to make this search super simple for him or he would just give up and speed-dial takeout. I sat him down in front of Yummly.com, which just did a major redesign last week.
Within seconds, he was looking at a huge selection of dishes we had the ingredients to make and that appealed to him. Yummly.com pulls from recipe sites all around the Internet and understands the recipes so you can search for recipes that are spicy, that don’t have ingredients you don’t like or don’t have on hand, filter out foods you are allergic to, and sort for your personal dietary restrictions. It does all the parsing and delivers only recipes that fit your fridge, palate, and diet.
Then I left him to it. And it must have worked because he has cooked dinner twice this week. And I don’t leave till tomorrow.
Christina Tynan-Wood writes the Family Tech column for Family Circle, and is the author of “How to Be a Geek Goddess.” You can find her at GeekGirlfriends.com, as well as here on Momster.com. Follow her on Twitter: @xtinatynanwood.