Stuff! How to Use Evernote Food to Automate a Recipe Collection

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When Google Reader was still in its prime, I had figured out a combination of IFTTT recipes to send articles tagged as “recipes” directly to my Kindle in a PDF form. I was pretty proud of this accomplishment. The Internet is such a great haven for food lovers, but it’s taxing to bookmark every single recipe individually.

As time went on, Google Reader kicked the bucket and I started using Feedly. I was excited for the IFTTT integration with Feedly, but couldn’t find any recipes that would replicate what I had going with Reader and my Kindle. Then I discovered Evernote Food…and gears started to turn.

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My goals for amassing a recipe collection with Evernote Food:

  • It had to be done the same way I used to do with Reader – in other words, any recipe that popped up in Feedly could be sent directly to Evernote Food
  • The formatting had to be as plain-text as possible to avoid long load times

After a few months of practice, I finally have a system down. Instead of my Kindle I now keep everything on my iPad, since that’s what I reference while cooking.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Evernote account
  • Evernote Food (they are two separate apps)
  • Feedly
  • Optional: Clearly and Evernote Clipper for your web browser (I use Chrome)

When you create an Evernote account, you will be given a unique Evernote email address which you can use to send files directly to Evernote.

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Save this email address in your contacts and label it “Evernote Upload” for easy reference. This is the key to automating anything in Evernote. If you append “@NotebookName” to the subject line, it will automatically sort the note into the corresponding notebook. See where we’re going with this?

When you set up Evernote Food, you are asked to sign in with your regular Evernote account. Evernote Food will then create a Recipes notebook that hangs out with the rest of your other notebooks:

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I share my Recipes notebook with Roy so that he can add any recipes he finds on his own (he doesn’t).

When you open up Evernote Food, you will be greeted by a really simple interface.

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I only ever use the “My Cookbook” feature, because “Explore Recipes” just leads to overly complex Martha Stewart “bring me back a stray hair from a felled unicorn” recipes. Not only that, but for some reason saving recipes within Evernote Food’s own interface is terrible (it just links you to the recipe, which you have to open a browser to view). “Restaurants” helps you find and save favorite places to eat, and I don’t even know what the last tab is. And I’m too lazy to check. It doesn’t matter: get comfortable tappin’ on that Headless Laughing Pie Woman.

Let’s go browse Feedly and see what recipe we’d like to add to our collection. There’s a recipe from Budget Bytes for some tomato herb soup that looks easy to make.

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Use the drop-down in the upper right corner and select the email function. Address it to Evernote Upload, which is the new contact you created with your unique Evernote email address. In the subject line, delete where Feedly inserted “[feedly]” and add “@Recipes” instead. Hit send.

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That’s it! Your recipe was automatically sent to Evernote and organized into the Recipes notebook, which also appears in Evernote Food. Here’s what it looks like if you navigate back to “My Cookbook” in Evernote Food.

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As you can see, I saved the tomato soup recipe twice. I don’t have an explanation for this. You can also see that I’ve sent other recipes from a couple of different sources such as reddit and Tumblr. All it takes is a second to email the recipe right into Evernote Food. Most apps have an email function for articles, which makes it super easy to amass a customized recipe collection.

Bonus: Use Clearly and Evernote Clipper to clean up and send recipes found through other sites.

Let’s say you don’t use Feedly or any other RSS reader to browse recipes. Let’s say you painstakingly visit every food site on the regular. (Bless.) Here’s how you can do the same thing using a couple of Evernote browser plugins: Clearly and Evernote Clipper. They work together, so install them and connect your Evernote account.

Head over to your favorite guilty pleasure food site. I like Pioneer Woman a lot.

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The site has a lovely design, but it’s no use to us if we’re trying to reference it on the fly (remember my requirement from earlier? Plain text as much as possible!). We need to clean this up before we send it to Evernote Food, so click on Clearly to get rid of all of the excess stuff.

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Once the recipe is cleaned up, click on the Evernote Clipper icon to send it to Evernote. The plugin learns as you use it, so most of the time it will recognize what’s being saved and file it appropriately.

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I didn’t have to ask it to send it to the Recipes notebook – it just knew to do it on its own. Magic.

So there you have it. A quick and easy way to build a recipe collection in Evernote Food. If you are looking for some food blogs to follow in Feedly, here are some I recommend:
Budget Bytes
Pioneer Woman
Chelsea Bakes
Grilled Cheese Social

Enjoy!

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I often like to use the same things that you have been talking about in this article and it was good to see that I am on the right track. I am pretty sure that you are having good experience about such things.

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