Have you ever heard of Pepperplate? It’s a free program/app for your phone and computer that is used to organize recipes and then to create meal plans. I started using it and it’s great – not that I’m meal planning more but it’s an easy way to organize all of those recipes I find on recipe sites and blogs. And you can drag pictures of the food into the pop-up window so that you can see what you might want to make, too. As a visual person, this is great!
The best part about it is after I import a recipe into it – then I can print it out onto a page without the rest of the blog or website stuff printing too – I just get the recipe all nice and neat. And then it can be added to my binder of recipes cause I like cooking from paper more than my computer. And, with the cell phone app, if I see something on sale at the grocery store I can look through my recipes in the program and know exactly what else I need to make this great English Fruit Cake beyond bananas!
See, the top picture is what the page looks like to normal print, the second is what it looks like in Pepperplate. Nice!
After looking for a pattern for a pretty chevron afghan pattern (I’ve been wanting a pattern for a large chevron, not the little ripples from the 70’s) and reading a comment by another reader asking for a way to print it with just the pattern printing… it occurred to me. Pepperplate!
Yup – you can use the recipe site to organize all of your blog finds of patterns!
(And this is a great large chevron – she says they are about 8 inches wide! So, click on the picture to get to the original blog pattern! And yes, I’m hoping to get one of these made for my living room!)
There are a few tricks… and I’m happy to share as I think this might change how I organize all of the patterns I save for use at some point in the future. And at this point – I have enough patterns saved on my computer to make one every week for like – forever.
The first step is of course to get a Pepperplate account and install the bookmarklet on your toolbar of your web browser. The program is free and easy! Then, put the app on your smart phone. I’ll assume that you can figure this out and if not, their help section is pretty useful.
How to Use Pepperplate for Patterns (or recipes)
- Highlight and drag. You can use your mouse to highlight text and then click and drag it into the Pepperplate window. Do this for the title, ingredients/materials and directions.
- Click and drag the picture. If you click and drag on a picture in a blog, most of the time it will drag into the picture square on the first page of the Pepperplate window. Sometimes this doesn’t work, so I think click on the image and save it to my computer. Then, after I have the pattern/recipe saved I can go into it on the Pepperplate main page and edit it and upload the picture from my computer. Not sure why this happens but it does and is easy to fix.
- Edit on the Pepperplate main page. Go to the main page of the Pepperplate site and edit your recipe/pattern. You can fix stuff up and most importantly – add categories to it. There is a trick in that – type the section you want, like “crochet” but to populate the category, add a coma after the word. It will then go into the field. This will allow you to search by afghan, sweater, potholder, casserole, dinner… whatever. MUCH easier to do this when starting your collection than after you have 100 recipes in it. Trust me.
- Adding dimensions. In the “yield” box put the size of the finished project.
- Add the URL to the original website to the “description” box under the title in the edit mode. This will help in going back to the site to check comments or for updates – plus to find whatever other amazing new patterns/recipes the site might have now!
- Print from the Pepperplate site. After you’ve imported your pattern into the program, edited it to clean things up to what you need, now you can print! It’s a nice clean print and isn’t cluttered with extraneous stuff from the original website that you didn’t want anyways.
- Cell phone access. The best part of this hack? Just like with recipes, if you install the app onto your smart phone, now you’ll have your pattern collection with you at the craft store! Which means you’ll no longer wonder how many skeins of yarn you need, you can review your private notes for a pattern while at the store. It’s easy. It’s free. It’s a great hack.