In an ever-evolving tech-savvy world, foodies and food bloggers can make great use out of a few staple apps, to really help them in and out of the kitchen. I’ve put together a little collection of my favourite free apps, to help you get more out of the online food community, and encourage you to cook, blog and browse efficiently. Here’s my list of top 5 free apps for foodies and food bloggers:

Top 5 apps for foodies and food bloggers

 Feedly

Follow an insane number of food blogs? Then Feedly is your best friend. Or if you want to get technical, it’s your smart-ass RSS reader. A smartRSS reader if you will. This means you can follow all of your favourite food bloggers all in one place. It’s a smarter and faster way to track, read and share posts from the foodie blogs you love. This app helps you to create a beautifully laid out, custom newsfeed, to insure that you never miss another post or recipe from your favourite food bloggers. The garlic crusher of the tech world, Feedly makes browsing fast, simple and easy.

top 5 free apps for foodies and food bloggers

Pocket

Do you ever stumble across a delicious recipe at a time when you are too busy to save it? Thinking to yourself, I’ll have to remember that for later. But then, life happens. It’s forgotten in an instant. Never fear, because Pocket is well and truly here for you. This beautifully clever app will allow you to save and pocket a recipe for later, with just the touch of a button. It’s available on your phone, tablet, internet browser or computer and works offline, so you will never lose track of interesting posts ever again. Pocket also partners up perfectly with Feedly, allowing you to pocket things straight from your Feedly newsfeed. Its Feedly’s witty sidekick, without the embarrassing pants and cape. Together – they are invincible.

top 5 free apps for foodies and  food bloggers

Zest

Ever dream that you could create your own custom cookbook? Well stop sleeping, and quit your dreaming, because Zest Recipe Manager is the real deal. This app allows you to collect and automatically import all of your favourite recipes from the web, and store them as a digital cookbook. A tailor-made digital cookbook for your iPhone and/or iPad. Do you need a quick pinch? Browse, organise, tag and search all of your recipes and photos via a slick, glossy interface. You can even add your own recipes. When it’s time to get cookin’, Zest will guide you step-by-step through your selected recipe. Foody heaven.

Top 5 free apps for foodies and food bloggers

Pinterest

We all love reading a good recipe, but let’s face it, sometimes all we really want to do is stare at photos of food for hours. And I mean hours. I wouldn’t be surprised if Pinterest was born from our generation’s love for posting food snaps. Look at my healthy breakfast. Here’s my hipster coffee. Feast your eyes on my gastropub dinner. You get the picture. So if you want to feed your hungry habit, get yourself on Pinterest. Tonnes of foodies, food bloggers and enthusiasts are constantly pinning their mouthwatering, belly-grumbling recipe photos to the site, and the app makes following and browsing them completely effortless. Make inspirational boards to organise your favourite foody images. Pin pictures from your own food blog. Pin some porridge, pin some pasta, pin some pastries. Get pinning, the possibilities are endless.

top 5 free apps for foodies and food bloggers

OpenTable

If you’re a food lover, then you probably like going out for a meal from time to time. Become a savvy restaurant-goer with OpenTable. This app allows you to easily book a table at over 4,000 restaurants in the UK. For my US readers, there’s a US version available here. Choose a date, time and party size to find and book available tables in real time. You can find restaurants near you or wherever you’re headed, read restaurant reviews and rate them yourself. You can also narrow your search by cuisine, price, distance or special offers. Choosing where to eat has never been so easy. Choosing what to eat, might be another matter.

 

So there we have it, my top 5 free apps for foodies and food bloggers! Please let me know of your favourite foody apps, I would love to discover some new gems.

 

 

I’ve always wanted to infuse my own oils, in a silly food-geeky kind of way, and this week I finally got round to doing it. I couldn’t pick one particular flavour, so I decided to do what any (in)sane girl would, and make 3 different infusions. So this week I’m completely spoiling you with 3 amazingly simple recipes.

 

Infused Oil 3

 

Amongst the olive oil whirlwind, I’ve also been dedicating my time to other new and exciting activities this week. Me and a friend took a spooky Ghost Walk around our historic home city of Norwich, I made Naturally Ella’s delicious Raw Chocolate Brownies, and funded The Yellow Table Cookbook, an inspirational foodie project on Kickstarter. I’m so pleased Anna has reached her funding goal. There’s still 6 days to go, so get clicking if you fancy backing someone’s dream!

 

Infused Oils

 

My biggest tip when making any of these oils, would be to make sure your bottles are sterilised, and as dry as possible. That goes for the fresh herbs used too, try to dry them out as much as you can before use. Even If you find yourself drying them in an airing cupboard, or gently with a hairdryer. Ahem. Totally didn’t do either of those. Ahhhh, the glamorous life of food blogging! Joking aside, this is an important step. Locking out the moisture will insure you won’t end up with mouldy bottles, and will allow you to keep the oils for as long as possible.

 

All 3 Infused Oil Recipes can be found here:

Chilli Olive Oil

Lemon and Basil Oil

Rosemary and Garlic Oil

 

 

Butternut Squash and Pancetta Risotto

 

Heart + Bowl has been a long time coming, but I am please to say that I have finally launched, and hopefully that I am here to stay! Yikes. Please excuse me while I do a little dance of excitement. This week’s been a bit of a whirlwind week for me. With a trip to Ireland, a friend’s birthday meal, a wedding reception and trying to launch my blog, it’s been a fair amount of crazy in the world of Anna. But alas! I have managed to churn out my first post, a Butternut Squash and Pancetta Risotto, and I’m happy to report that it was quite a success. It better have been really, I’ve been perfecting this recipe for years.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

 

I thought the best way to kick off Heart + Bowl was with one of my tried and tested recipes, and really one of the first meals I ever truly refined and adapted myself.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

 

While the pancetta in the risotto really sings, FEAR NOT vegetarians, because this dish still works when omitting the meat. I’ve made a veggie version of this dish for a friend, and sprinkled over a few toasted pine nuts, which was just as wholesome and tasty.

 

Butternut Squash and Pancetta Risotto

 

The fresh sage in this recipe really brings the whole dish together, so don’t skimp on it. Thinking about using dry herbs instead? Don’t evvvvvven think about it. I can guarantee it won’t be as good.

 

Butternut Squash and Pancetta Risotto

 

The best advice I can give you when tackling this recipe is to treat the rice like you would a young born baby, by giving it all of your attention. You don’t have to worry about changing dirty nappies though. You’ll need to keep stirring the rice (almost constantly), and adding stock little by little to get the best texture and consistency.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

 

So that’s my first post! Phew! That wasn’t as terrifying as I thought it would be. I was all kinds of nervous that something would go horribly wrong. But look, there are words, photos, an ingredients list, and a recipe *points proudly*. If you’re reading this or just taking a browse, sorry for my weird attempts at so-called humour, and well… Thanks for popping by! I hope I haven’t scared you off by my terrible jokes, and please come back again soon.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash and Pancetta Risotto

Serves: 2

Butternut Squash and Pancetta Risotto

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut in 2cm cubes
  • 100g cubetti di pancetta, cubed
  • 4 pancetta strips, grilled and crisped to decorate
  • 250g arborio risotto rice
  • 1 large onion, sliced finely
  • 2 garlic gloves, finely minced
  • 900ml hot, good quality vegetable or chicken stock
  • bunch of fresh sage, roughly chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp garlic oil

Instructions

  1. While chopping all the ingredients, preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Place the chopped butternut squashed into a roasting tray and drizzle with 2 tbsp of garlic oil. Place in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until soft.
  2. Meanwhile, fry off the pancetta cubes until brown and crispy, and place to one side for later. In a separate pan fry off the onion and garlic slowly on a medium heat with the remaining 1 tbsp of garlic oil.
  3. Once soft, add the risotto rice to the pan for a few minutes until it begins to turn clear. Then begin to add the stock a ladleful at a time, stirring frequently, waiting for the stock to be soaked up by the rice each time before adding another ladle. Nearing the end of the stock, season to taste and add a handful of freshly chopped sage, leaving a small amount leftover to decorate.
  4. Once all the stock has been used, taste to check that the rice is soft, but still slightly aldente. If the rice is still too firm, keep adding some more stock a ladle at a time until it is just right. Now that the rice is cooked, stir through the crispy pancetta cubes and roasted butternut squash.
  5. Season again if needed and serve. You can decorate your risotto by placing over a few of the crispy pancetta strips and topping with a little fresh sage.

Notes

For a non dairy-free version, melt a handful of cheese into the risotto near to the end of cooking, for a more creamy texture.