Why You Should Be Using Your Phone's Contacts to Save Recipes

Techa Tungateja/iStock via Getty Images
Techa Tungateja/iStock via Getty Images

Smartphones do a lot to make cooking easier. Instead of scouring your cookbooks for a specific dinner recipe, or guesstimating the oil-to-vinegar ratio of a perfect vinaigrette, you can look up the information in seconds without leaving your kitchen. But things become a lot less convenient if you have to wash your hands every time you want to use your touchscreen. As The Kitchn reports, there is a way to use Siri to pull up recipes hands-free—and it involves an app you already have on your iPhone.

Food writer Adam Erace recently revealed his trick for organizing recipes in a tweet. Instead of using a dedicated app like Pinterest, Erace creates new contacts in his phone for his most-used recipes. The title of the recipe is saved as the contact name, and details like ingredients, measurements, and ratios go under the contact notes.

It may seem disorganized to save your favorite oatmeal cookie recipe next to your best friend's phone number, but the method makes sense. Every recipe you file in your contacts is sorted alphabetically and easily searchable. But the biggest benefit is that they're accessible through Siri. If your iPhone's hands-free voice activation is enabled, you can activate the virtual assistant without touching the home button. Just say "Hey Siri, show contact meatball" and it will pull up the recipe on your phone while you're handling the ingredients. Erace uses it for basic cooking information like grain-to-liquid ratios, but any recipe that's in your rotation can work.

Hacking your contacts list to make your next meal is one simple way to use technology in the kitchen. Here are some more examples of the ways tech can make cooking easier.

[h/t The Kitchn]

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Centre of Excellence

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Take your time perfecting your craft with lifetime access to the 10 courses included in The Ultimate Creative Writing Course Bundle. At the discounted price of $29.99, you’ll have spent more money on the coffee you’re sipping while you write your next novel than the courses themselves.

 

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The Clever Reason Oranges Are Sold in Red Mesh Bags

Gingagi/iStock via Getty Images
Gingagi/iStock via Getty Images

If a detail in a food's packaging doesn't seem to serve a practical purpose, it's likely a marketing tactic. One example is the classic mesh bag of oranges seen in supermarket produce sections. When oranges aren't sold loose on the shelf, they almost always come in these red, mesh bags. The packaging may seem plain, but according to Reader's Digest, it's specially designed to make shoppers want to buy the product.

The color orange "pops" when paired with the color red more so than it does with yellow, green, or blue. That means when you see a bunch of oranges behind a red net pattern, your brain assumes they're more "orange" (and therefore fresher and higher quality) than it would if you saw them on their own. That's the same reason red is chosen when making bags for fruits like grapefruits or tangerines, which are also orange in color.

For lemon packaging, green is more commonly chosen to make the yellow rind stand out. If lemons were sold in the same red bags as other citrus, the red and yellow hues together would actually make the fruits appear orange. Lemons can also come in yellow mesh bags, and the bags for limes are usually green to match their color.

Next time you visit the supermarket, see if you can spot the many ways the store is set up to influence your buying decisions. The items at eye-level will likely be more expensive than those on the shelves above and below them, and the products near the register will likely be cheaper and more appealing as impulse buys. Check out more sneaky tricks used by grocery stores here.

[h/t Reader's Digest]