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MacGourmet improves upon a winner

Let me tell you about the fly paper storage method.

I spent my youth in a shoebox-shaped house in Scranton, Pennsylvania. It had vinyl siding, cracked slate sidewalks and an under-performing rose bush in the front yard. Inside you'd find my family: happy enough, God-fearing and terribly disorganized.

The kitchen was a narrow galley with pink laminate counter tops and linoleum floors. A row of cabinets ran along the wall opposite the appliances, and inside the door on the far right was my mother's recipes. Unlike your mom's collection, Carol's never saw the inside of a cookbook. Instead, they clung to the back of the door from yellowing strips of tape.

A Hellman's mayonnaise label dangled next to pages ripped from Family Circle magazine, supermarket hand-outs, index cards, torn envelopes with their stamps intact ... anything flat enough to write on and light enough to stick to the door was used.

While the fly paper storage method keeps recipes accessible, it's a poor filing system. Anchovy paste mingles with blueberry cheesecake, which should never happen, not even in print. What all this means is that I've got chaos in my blood. I'm not a fly stripper, but a stacker. Piles of this and that are everywhere.

I'm also a geek who wants a flying car, a lightsaber and a robotic sous chef. Instead, I've got a Saturn Vue, an iPhone App and MacGourmet. While the latter isn't Rosie, it's pretty darn close.

We've written about MacGourmet before, so I'll give you a brief recap. It's extremely useful for storing and sharing recipies and creating shopping lists. You can create smart lists, add a wine library and more. In fact, it's a part of my Dream Kitchen Mac setup (I'll have to write about that someday).

Earlier this week, Mariner Software introduced MacGourmet Deluxe 1.2, which adds unique features of its own. It includes a USDA nutritional database, letting you calculate the nutritional value of nearly anything you want to eat. You can also view the nutritional values of your own recipe collection and the individual servings.

The coolest feature for me is the meal planner. Plan what you'll make on any given day of any given week and sync the results with iCal. As a father of two toddlers, I love this feature. It's a real treat to eliminate the whole "What are we doing about dinner?" question. You can even order a hard-bound cookbook of your favorites. For Mac-toting foodies, MacGourmet is a must-have (not as cool as Scotch Tape, but what can you do?).

New customers can purchase MacGourmet Deluxe for $44.95US, while registered MacGourmet customers can upgrade for only $24.95.

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