The BigOven Apps are Getting an All-New Design: Take a Sneak Peek!

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BigOven is getting an all-new design, so cooking is even simpler. We’ve been busy polishing our apps to make them better, faster and easier. All year long, we’ve been listening to your feedback and we’ll be unveiling a NEW BigOven app in the coming months.

Want to be the first to give it a try? We’ll have a beta build available soon, so come join the BigOven Early Access Program to get a sneak peek. You’ll be able to check out the new, exciting features and let us know what you think! See instructions to join below for iOS and Android.

iOS users: If you want to participate, please request early access: Request early access to BigOven apps.

Android users: Please go to the Google+ Community link and click the red “Join Community” button.

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After joining, click “Early Access Beta” in the About This Community section and follow the instructions.

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Thanks and Happy Cooking from the BigOven Team!

New: Share Grocery Lists and Menu Plans in your Household!

Use the free Grocery List and Menu Planner and share with other members of your household

See the latest changes your spouse makes to your family list — save time and money! Instantly share with other members of your household, and never forget another item.

Is there more than one grocery shopper in your home? Perhaps you’re at work, and your spouse is headed to the grocery store, and their idea of what to get at the grocery store isn’t the same as your own.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could all share a common grocery list, so that whenever either of you are at the store, everyone would see the list? Wouldn’t it be convenient to simply add recipes onto the household list, have all the items sorted by aisle, and just tell your spouse to simply check the free app for the list when at the store?

Starting today, you can do all that, and it’s free.

Share your list and menu plan easily.

Today, BigOven announces the immediate beta availability of shared grocery lists and menu plans for households for our mobile apps and website. This new feature allows multiple separate BigOven logins (free or Pro) to view and change a shared grocery list, once simple permissions have been set up.  This list is available anywhere, anytime.

It is free to all members and in beta now. It works across the web, iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phone.

Now any home can use a common grocery list and menu plan

If you’re married, or have a significant other, or simply have one or more roommates, it saves time and money to share a common grocery list. This lets each of you add items to the list wherever you like, and then, when the other person is at the grocery store, they’ll see the full list of items. No need to call, text or go home to grab the list off the fridge. It’s right there on your phone on the free BigOven app, or your wherever the closest web browser is.

BigOven grocery lists are flexible. You can add whatever you’d like to a BigOven grocery list. Line-items don’t have to be part of a recipe, but you can also add entire recipes at a time, or generate a grocery list from a date range of recipes on your menu planner. Items are automatically grouped for you by aisle. You can add items to your list from the web and it’ll be updated on all devices that share that list.

Easily share your grocery list and menu planner across accounts

Easily share your grocery list and menu planner across accounts

Easy Setup

Household sharing is easy to set up. Simply choose someone in the household to own the master list and plan, sign into the BigOven website, and do this:

  1. Visit your Account Settings on the web (http://www.bigoven.com/account/me)
  2. Click on the “Account” tab
  3. Scroll down to “Household” and enter the email address of the person you’d like to invite.
  4. The person you’re inviting will receive an email. If they are not yet a BigOven member, they will be asked to get a BigOven account and download the app if they aren’t yet a member. You might want to separately contact them and show them the app.

Once the invitee accepts your invitation, you will all be using the same grocery list and menu plan in the apps and the website. That’s it!  You can invite multiple people to share your list and menu plan.

Add items once, see the changes everywhere

With BigOven, everything syncs and is changeable everywhere. Make a change on your iPhone and it’s available on the web. Add items to the web grocery list at work, and it’ll show up on your wife’s Android device. You get the idea.

Tips

Though you will be sharing the same grocery list and menu planner, you will not be sharing the same recipe library, favorites, folders, etc. This is intentional. You have your favorites, and the other household member may have theirs.

As of this writing, we do not send out notifications when changes are made to the list. But we could. (Would you like us to add a push notification to you when this happens? Let us know in the blog comments below.)

To see your list, simply load (or reload) the grocery list and menu planner to see the current state of the world. If you know there might be changes that have just happened (for instance, your spouse is adding items as you’re driving to the store), you should refresh your list manually before you begin.

Forcing a refresh of the grocery list:

  • On the web, you can see the latest simply by reloading the page.
  • On iPhone and Android, tug down on the grocery list to force a refresh. On Android and Windows Phone, simply navigate away from the grocery list and back to it to force a refresh.)

Unlinking Accounts

Change your mind? Move on from the household? You can easily unlink yourself from other members by clicking the “Revoke” button. This will send them an email and immediately unlink your grocery list and menu planners, reverting you each to your own private lists and plans.

We’re listening.

We want to hear from you! This feature is one of your most common feature requests. What do you think? Our goal is to be the most-used, best-loved app for home cooks. What could make it better?  Add a comment below, or jot us a note.

Troubleshooting Tips

Notice a bug? If your list is out of sync, make sure you’ve forced a refreshed the view on your device (see above). One thing to know is that the website always reflects the latest version of your grocery list, at www.bigoven.com/grocery. So first, try check the list using both logins on a web browser; they should both be the same if the accounts are linked. Check the Account Settings area on both logins (Account Settings > Account area) to ensure they’re linked. If you’re still encountering difficulties, let us know by posting in the comments below, or jotting us a note.

Get the App

The award-winning BigOven apps are free on iTunes, Google Play and the Windows Phone Marketplace.



 

 

Sunsetting Windows Desktop Application: Support Ends March 1st 2016

We are discontinuing support for the desktop EXE version of our software in March 2016.

We will help you migrate your recipes to the web in your own private account

BigOven is Focusing on Mobile, Tablet & Web, Helping Customers Transition

We are announcing the discontinuation of the old installable (.exe) Windows desktop application — marketed as “BigOven for Windows” and also “InspiredCooking for Windows” —  starting March 1st, 2016. This announcement affects customers who are continuing to use the downloadable Windows desktop software.

Moving forward, we are concentrating our development efforts on the bigoven.com website, the BigOven mobile and tablet apps for all major platforms, and our BigOven developer API.

We will assist anyone who’d like to migrate any desktop recipes (that is, the .CRB recipe box files in your “My BigOven Recipes” folder) to your private account on BigOven.com via the Bulk Upload tool at support[at]bigoven.com. From there, your recipes will be accessible anywhere, and you can add them to grocery lists, menu plans, share them with friends, resize them up or down, analyze nutrition and much more. You can add notes to them on the web and they’ll show up on your iPhone. You can change your grocery list on the web and it’ll be on the phone. If you use a Mac or even Linux, your experience is the same; BigOven supports Chrome, Internet Explorer, Edge, Firefox and Safari.

About Our Decision

It’s hard to believe that BigOven for Windows was released more than a dozen years ago.

To put in perspective just how much has changed, it was another full four years after BigOven released until the Apple iPhone hit the market. Android and the iPad then followed three years later. Mobile and tablets have changed how we interact, and where we want our data. The market has moved to mobile and the web. From a developer’s perspective, the mobile platforms and the web became more and more feature-rich. And data connections were getting more prevalent, and faster and faster.

The market clearly told us where the demand is: BigOven for Windows was installed and loved by tens of thousands of cooks, sometimes downloaded hundreds of times per day, yet the BigOven mobile and tablet apps have been installed on more than 12 million devices, and are often downloaded more than 10,000 times every day.

Meanwhile, the BigOven.com website became a full-featured web-based organization and discovery platform used by millions of cooks. It has every feature the old desktop software had, and many more. You can keep your recipes, make grocery lists, private notes, menu plans and private folders and access them from any web browser or mobile phone.

For the past decade, the trend has been clear: more cooks want access to their recipes, grocery list and menu plan anywhere, any time. We certainly saw this trend several years ago, and it was behind our decision nearly five years ago to make BigOven for Windows free. At that time (May 2011), we offered a year of Pro membership to anyone who had purchased it in the past, and most BigOven for Windows users took us up on it, and thousands switched to BigOven.com and the mobile apps.

With the recent release of Windows 10 from Microsoft and recent mandatory updates, we are now faced with several very-difficult-to-fix incompatibilities between Windows 10 — particularly its browser libraries — and the way the old desktop software worked. Many users are noticing a crash on launch, and that fix is not a simple one.

Therefore, to focus our development and support resources on BigOven.com, the BigOven mobile apps for phones and tablets, and the BigOven API for developers, we have made the decision to terminate the desktop (.EXE) application starting March 1st, 2016.  

Support for the website, mobile apps will of course continue throughout.  

What About My Recipes?

Your recipes are easily uploadable to the web, and once there, you’ll have easy, searchable access to them from anywhere, the ability to make grocery lists, menu plans, analyze nutrition and more.Your recipes remain private to you, unless you choose to mark them public.

We have a free Bulk Upload tool that can automatically upload your recipes to BigOven.com. There, they will be private, visible only to you, though you can make individual ones public if you so choose. We can help you upload your recipes (in .CRB files) to BigOven.com so that they’re available to you in the apps whenever you sign in: this can be accomplished via the free Bulk Upload tool.  Private recipes (and any more than 100 recipes) requires BigOven Pro membership.

Your recipes will be private, visible only to you. Here’s a brief demonstration of the Bulk Uploader. It’s free, but you need a BigOven Pro membership to upload up to 1,000 recipes at a time. While our offer of a full year of BigOven Pro membership did expire years ago, if for any reason you missed out on that upgrade, we’ll honor that upgrade for a complimentary year of Pro membership. If you’ve never used the BigOven Pro free offer but are a desktop software purchaser, simply provide us with your registered full name used to purchase along with your BigOven serial number. This offer expires on March 1st 2016.

Finally, if you’d strongly prefer just a Windows desktop software option and not mobile or web recipe software, Living Cookbook ($35) by Radium Software supports BigOven data import.

See this article for more technical how-to on migration options.

Will you ever release a brand new desktop Windows Application?

Perhaps, but at this writing I’d say the chances are slim. The website provides all the functionality needed for a full-fledged recipe organization platform. Nothing is ever “final” in technology, and we will certainly evaluate writing a new Windows application, but writing an installable piece of desktop application software not in our near-term planning horizon at this time. We find that browser applications plus native mobile applications, plus a developer API, provide the best combination of access from anywhere and functionality. This change will allow us to concentrate our development efforts on the web and mobile.

Onward to the Best Mobile and Web Apps that Make Cooking Simpler

Our goal at BigOven is to get home cooks organized and inspired, in the kitchen and on the go. We sincerely apologize if this legacy software discontinuation disappoints and/or inconveniences you. We understand that for a few of you, you find desktop software the right choice for you and it will be a significant change. Those of you who installed the Windows application and relied on it for years were our first customers, and have contributed greatly to our growth. Put simply, the market has clearly spoken, and there is added urgency now that the changes in Windows 10 make a simple fix impossible for us.

BigOven has never refused any valid refund request, and while we haven’t charged for this software in over four years, if you still feel that a refund is appropriate in your case, please contact me directly at ceo[at]bigoven.com with your serial number, full name and year of purchase, and I will make this right.

We are confident this is the right focus for us for home cooks moving forward.

 

BigOven Food Fight – Linner or Dinner: Gorge Early vs. Build Some Anticipation

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There are a plethora of activities to fit into Thanksgiving day. Drinks, appetizers, football, board games, dinner, half-falling asleep on the couch, dessert, attempting to chat with family members while really wanting to crawl into bed, picking at leftovers, actually falling asleep on the couch, then hauling yourself home to FINALLY crawl in bed with a very full tummy.

So much to do, so little time. Linner (Lunch-Dinner) is the sensible option here. Let’s give guests maximum hours to digest and a fighting chance to fend off that inevitable Turkey Day snoozer.

But maybe you’re just not the Linner type. If your tummy isn’t growling at 3 pm, why would you eat? Better stick to a normal schedule. You’ll eat when the sun goes down, thank-you-very-much.

This Thanksgiving, will you be stuffing turkey in your face ASAP or practicing patience?

 

 

See Thanksgiving recipes.

BigOven Supports #GivingTuesday with Feeding America

#GivingTuesday takes place on Tuesday, December 1st, 2015. BigOven will be donating all revenue earned that day to Feeding America, a network of over 200 food banks leading the fight against hunger in the United States. Last year, with your help, we were able to fund over 15,000 meals for the needy.

What is Giving Tuesday?

In 2013, Bill and Melinda Gates created the concept of “Giving Tuesday” as a natural successor to “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” — a day centered on charitable work and giving back to the community.

BigOven is proud to participate in Giving Tuesday 2015 by donating all earned revenue that day to Feeding America, America’s leading hunger-relief charity, which helps serve 12 million children and 7 million senior citizens.

About Feeding America

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In many ways, the United States is the land of plenty, but for 1 in 7 people in America, hunger can be an everyday reality. These are often hardworking adults, children, and seniors—some could be your neighbors—who simply cannot make ends meet and struggle to put food on the table. The Feeding America nationwide network of food banks is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. Together, it provides food to more than 46.5 million people, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors through food pantries and meal programs. Give hope today, give a meal.

My eldest son and I volunteer at our local food bank here in Seattle, and I get to see the tremendous affect Feeding America has on the community. It takes incredible logistical coordination to organize and source food, break bulk, package, and distribute fresh and nutritious foods to those in need.

Charity Navigator rates Feeding America, a BBB-accredited charity, with a 98% efficiency rate — in other words, 98 cents of every dollar Feeding America goes back to into the programs that help advance Feeding America’s mission.

Make a contribution to the leading hunger-relief organization in the United States today.

Giving is an opportunity to help create the better world we all want. We humbly thank you all of our cooks, partners, and employees around the world, and wish you the very best holiday season!

 

 

BigOven Food Fight – Pie Accompaniments: Cool Ice Cream vs. Wonderful Whipped Cream

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After everyone has stuffed themselves with turkey and fixings, hopefully there’s room left for something sweet. We all know Thanksgiving pies are the ultimate dessert! Whether it’s pecan or pumpkin or apple, one slice or two, pie perfectly closes out a delicious Thanksgiving feast. Now for the most important decision—which topping to choose for your favorite pie? Do you crave the simple, pure taste of ice cream? Or do you prefer the frothy goodness of freshly whipped cream?

An unadorned pie is a travesty to most. Some opt for a big rounded scoop of vanilla ice cream, adding just the right touch of cool creaminess to freshly baked pie. It’s a classic combo, that’s for sure. 

Others pick a heaping dollop of fresh whipped cream, providing an excellent airy accompaniment to pie’s down-to-earth goodness. Just don’t forget to lick the beaters! Unless your whipped cream is coming from the can. 

Either way, your taste buds will enjoy reaching their final plane of food nirvana as the Thanksgiving meal comes to a close.

So, will you be scooping on the ice cream or spooning on the whipped cream?

 

 

See Thanksgiving dessert ideas here.

BigOven Food Fight – Gravy: Dump It on Everything vs. For the Bird & Potatoes Only

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Pouring gravy: the ceremonial christening of Thanksgiving dinner, and often times a difficult task to navigate.

Unless you’re a structural engineer, gravy overflow is inevitable. Ladles aren’t the most precise of kitchen instruments, and let’s be honest, at this point, your accuracy has likely been obscured by one or two spiked ciders. Shouldn’t we just save ourselves the struggle and slop the gravy on everything?

But then again, no matter the number of spiked ciders, sensibility has to kick in—few things are more resoundingly godawful than eating sliced fruit that’s coated in gravy. Why not set up a careful perimeter around the turkey ‘n taters? Despite popular belief, not all whirlpools of flavor are appetizing.

With that in mind, how will you handle your gravy?

Will you be letting the sauce flow free or reserving gravy for the bird and potatoes only?

 

 

Get some gravy recipe ideas here.

BigOven Food Fight – Turkey Meat: Dark & Moist vs. Just White

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Turkey is the unquestionable bigwig of Thanksgiving dinner and prized possession that likely receives more attention than your middle child. But what portion of the bird do you prefer?

Restricting yourself is utterly boring. Some of the most uninspired people exclusively gobble up white meat on Turkey Day. Dark meat offers up an exciting alternative… it’s succulent in taste and rich with flavor.

On the flip side, white turkey meat is a Thanksgiving staple. Comparable to re-watching Home Alone, you know what you’re getting yourself into—no surprises, no setbacks. Just simple, delicious carvings that pair nicely with all dishes.

Then again, who’s to say we can’t enjoy both? Don’t they each offer something terrific and tasty? And wouldn’t eating both be the socially-conscious choice? Two races of flavor existing side-by-side, in one delicious bite.

This Thanksgiving, will you be chowing down on dark meat or polishing off the white meat?

 

 

See more turkey recipes here.

BigOven Food Fight – Pie: Nuts for Pecan vs. Pumpkin Pretty Please

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After you’ve pondered the pie crust dilemma and have finally chosen to go with homemade or store-bought, it’s time to make yet another momentous decision.

What will the filling be?

If your sweet tooth controls your life and you crave sugar at all times of the day (and night) pecan pie is probably the most suitable choice for you. It is sweet, plus pleasantly crunchy and nutty. A satisfying dessert for sure. Especially if you smother it in whipped cream or ice cream… we’ll get to that later. Besides, a dessert involving vegetables certainly cannot be considered a real dessert.

But maybe the true meaning of Thanksgiving to you is “pumpkin pie”. If pumpkin pie was not consumed, then Thanksgiving never happened. Plus, anything and everything pumpkin must make its way inside your tummy this time of year. And when desserts include veggies, you can rationalize inhaling 3 servings at least. The choice is obvious.

Devour both?

Are you a fan of pecan or purely pumpkin?

 

 

See more Thanksgiving dessert recipes.

BigOven Food Fight – Stuffing Stuff: All Up in the Bird vs. Leave It Out Out Out

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Let’s talk stuffing.

Stuffing your bird presents a lively union, a fusion of Thanksgiving’s most celebrated dishes: turkey and stuffing. On top of the dynamic taste, stuffing the turkey saves oven space. Why waste precious oven real estate by preparing each dish individually? Go for the gusto, make off with the kitchen and the sink.

On the contrary, baking the stuffing in the bird greatly increases the risk of a kitchen catastrophe. If done incorrectly, stuffing can become your biggest adversary—mushy and undercooked, the bready disaster might just send your guests (and you) to bed earlier than expected. Taint my turkey? I don’t think so.

Will you be stuffing your bird this holiday season or cooking the stuffing separately?

 

Get more stuffing recipes.