Verdict on the Living Cooking

I’ve been playing around with my Living Cookbook software, and I wanted to share a few of my thoughts.

It is one serious program. I don’t know if I would recommend it for the hobby chef. It’s excellent, but unless you’ve got some major league recipes to keep track of, I don’t know if it’s worth the time. It costs about $30 (there is a discount if you buy multiple copies at once), so it’s not a bad option if you want a professional looking cookbook to sell at church or for a FRG.


  • It does open and transfer into other programs like Word well.
  • Every aspect of the layout is customizable.
  • It is possible to insert pictures and even videos.
  • It has calendar, menu planning, and grocery list features, which make the program useful for more than publishing a cookbook.
  • The help and tutorials were obvious and thorough. More than a basic knowledge of computers was still needed however.


  • It isn’t as easy as it looks into extract information from online recipes. It requires a lot of tweaking post transfer to get everything in the appropriate fields.
  • It has an extensive list of ingredients already inputted in the database, which is necessary if you want to utilize the nutrition panel it creates for you. I find it handy, but I have several Latin recipes, and those ingredients aren’t in the database. It is possible to input them yourself, but it requires going to the manufacturer’s website or food label and getting calorie counts and such.
  • The program works like a mixture of a web browser, Word, and Access database, which takes a bit to learn how to move in the program. I’m pretty computer savvy, and this really slowed me up.
  • The recipes you add automatically go into the provided recipe cookbooks until you create a separate one. Who wants Grammy’s holiday bunt cake mixed in with recipes you’ve never even tried before?

Here’s a screenshot of what the finished product looks like.

The Product Of A Foodie And A Geek

To make a long story short, I was looking into computer software for my mother-in-law, and  I found The Living Cookbook online.  It sounded so great, I bought a license for myself.  I’m so ridiculously excited!!

It just came in the mail today, so I can’t speak to exactly how much I like it yet, but it promises to do everything but cook for me.  It can organize recipes, give nutrition information, plan meals, create shopping lists, and even “capture” recipes that I find online.  It comes with some recipes, although I’m most excited about being able to input my own that I’ve collected from the far corners of the earth and organizing them.  Being able to search is going to be great.  And if you want, you can print out your own cookbook, and it will make a table of contents and organize the recipes by type.

I sit down every weekend and plan out a menu for the week before I go shopping.  It keeps me on a budget and keeps me from stockpiling items that don’t get used before they spoil.  Plus I’m horrible at shopping off the cuff and tend to come home with only half of my ingredients list.  I’m hoping this software will make that job super fast because I want to use it like an index for my regularly used recipes, especially the ones I gather online or from cookbooks at the library.

This is like a dream come true for totally weird, geeked-out foodies.  You know how easy it would be to make a family cookbook with this?!  I’ll try and remember to post an update once I have started using the software.