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New MasterCook 8.0

favorablyimpressed's picture

ValuSoft has just announced MasterCook Deluxe 8.0!  It should hit the shelves in a few weeks.  It looks like a nice upgrade.


http://www.valusoft.com/products/mastercook.html

Biscuits's picture

(post #57176, reply #1 of 37)

I did some research on Mastercook 7 when I was thinking of buying it.  This is just ONE of the many negative things I found said about it:


**********


MasterCook is a pretty good product but since Sierra sold it to ValuSoft a couple years ago, my confidence in it has declined significantly.

ValuSoft is just out to make a buck. The only technical support they offer is via e-mail. They are milking the brand for all it's worth and when they can't get anything else out of it, they will discard it like they have done with all their other old titles.

It's not that they're a bad company, that's just their business model. They buy old products that have some value, they repackage them so they look "new and improved" and sell them at deep discounts until they don't sell anymore. They're not truly committed to the cooking software category.

"As long as the software works well, what does it matter?" is probably what you're thinking right now, right? That's what many people thought before Windows XP came out. But they were very sad to find that their MasterCook software did not work on Windows XP. After spending hours and hours entering their own recipes they suddenly found that they were unable to run the MasterCook program on their new Windows XP computers.

Over a year later, Sierra fixed the compatibility problem in order to sell the product to ValuSoft but what happens when the next Operating System comes out?

Before you spend a lot of time entering in your own recipes into MasterCook, I highly recommend that you take a look at some of the other options out there.

In my opinion, the Cook'n Software by DVO is the best. The interface is a bit dated but the company is totally committed to cooking software. They are constantly enhancing the software and they post updates regularly and let you download them for free.

There are some other good products on the Internet as well like the Living Cookbook but they're not as secure as DVO. They're relatively new and still have yet to prove themselves.


*******************


Like I said - just one of MANY negative comments about it.  I was surprised to see it rated so low since so many people seemed to love it, but I guess being sold to ValuSoft has changed the program considerably.


I'm going to be looking into other electronic cookbooks, I think.


Not all who wander are lost....

Ancora Imparo -

favorablyimpressed's picture

(post #57176, reply #2 of 37)

I've been using MasterCook for three years and loving it, so it would be hard to convince me otherwise, Biscuit.  I started using ver. 6 and recently upgraded to ver. 7.  I did find a few pesky glitches with ver. 7, but, I can perform other tasks effortlessly, so I'm happy.  I can import recipes in a flash, actually in just seconds. 


I looked at Living Cookbook (?).  It looked interesting, but their videos of each task showed me that importing wasn't nearly as seamless as MC.  I had never heard of Cook'n Software until you mentioned it.  Their screenshots are so small, useless, actually, that they provided no real information. 


We were all sorry to see Sierra sell the program, but that's been their MO with other of their programs.  Not to worry about technical support.  Plenty is available at many different sites. 


I'll be sticking with MasterCook.  It's #1 on my list!

Biscuits's picture

(post #57176, reply #3 of 37)

Please understand - I have no personal experience with Mastercook.  I was just passing on some information I had found when I was researching it about a month ago.  Seeing so many negative reviews made me rethink my plans to buy it.  I still haven't decided which program I'm going to buy, but all the bad things I read about ValuSoft make me wary of Mastercook.

Not all who wander are lost....

Ancora Imparo -

favorablyimpressed's picture

(post #57176, reply #5 of 37)

Regardless of the program you choose, I'm sure you'll wonder why you didn't convert to a electronic cookbook sooner. 

Biscuits's picture

(post #57176, reply #7 of 37)

Oh, I know why! (G)  I've been lazy and have felt put-off by the idea of converting my many and sundry notebooks filled with method and recipe into electronic form!  I figure it will take me a year to get them all into it! (lol) 


But - I really need to do something soon.  I have an OLD program I got about 10 years ago, Mastercook II, but I don't really use it anymore.  It's not simple to use.  I just need an upgrade, badly.


Not all who wander are lost....

Ancora Imparo -

leeannr's picture

(post #57176, reply #8 of 37)

I've been using Living Cookbook for about a month now, and I love it. I've had no problems or glitches to speak of. It's very user-friendly.

I have never used MC though, so I can't compare the two, just adding my opinion.

favorablyimpressed's picture

(post #57176, reply #9 of 37)

Well, I have to admit, typing recipes in by hand is a pain, and I'm not close to being done.  I think the electronic cookbooks are wonderful when spotting recipes on the Internet and being able to import them so easily. 


I still haven't invested in scanning software that reads the recipe optically.  I can't remember what it's call.  It might make life easier as far as getting old recipes into the program.

deejeh's picture

(post #57176, reply #10 of 37)

...reads the recipe optically.  I can't remember what it's call. 


Optical Character Recognition is what it's called.


deej

favorablyimpressed's picture

(post #57176, reply #14 of 37)

Optical Character Recognition is what it's called.


Thank you!

ashleyd's picture

(post #57176, reply #12 of 37)

It's quite easy to copy recipes from the internet even if you don't have recipe software, just select it, Ctrl-C to copy and Ctrl-V to paste it into your WP document.


“In victory, you deserve <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Champagne, in defeat, you need it.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

favorablyimpressed's picture

(post #57176, reply #13 of 37)

But, they're all in different formats.

ashleyd's picture

(post #57176, reply #16 of 37)

True they come in different formats but unless they're in Mastercook format you still have to jiggle them around a bit to fit. I think (sometimes) part of the charm is the flexibility of the format in a WP doc.


And for Jean you can search either internally within an open document or externally looking for words in documents within a directory.



“In victory, you deserve <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Champagne, in defeat, you need it.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

favorablyimpressed's picture

(post #57176, reply #17 of 37)

Your recipe layout is very nice, and I used Word before I purchased MC.  Do you set up catagories? 


MC and a few of the others allow you to transfer your recipes to your PDA.  I've been looking for an excuse to buy one.  I think it would be very cool to take it with me to the grocery store and be able to pull up recipes for parsnips, for example! 

ashleyd's picture

(post #57176, reply #19 of 37)

I don't set up categories (although I used to) simply because quite a lot of the stuff I'm doing nowadays doesn't fit easily into categories. Also I have maybe a different method of working to some people, but it suits me. On my PC I have a master recipe folder which has two sub-folders, tried and untried, containing the "raw" recipes as copied from source. As I try it I will add my comments/changes to the original and move it to the tried folder. If it's a keeper I will modify its format and copy it into the latest volume of my cookbook, then delete the original document, so the tried folder contains tried (annotated) recipes and a few cookbook volumes. That way I only ever have T&T 'keepers' in the volumes so I don't mess about with re-formatting any more than necessary.


As I say that's just a personal way of working but if MasterCook works for you then why change?!



“In victory, you deserve <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Champagne, in defeat, you need it.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

PauHana's picture

(post #57176, reply #20 of 37)


<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />I agree with Ashley that MasterCook can be difficult to 'force-fit' some of the existing recipe formats into its database.    There's nothing as discouraging as copying a great recipe & when finally getting around to trying it months later - to find out half the ingredients didn't copy.


I also created a template for Microsoft Word that I use for my personal 'tried & true' collection.


Below is an example of my most recent concoction. 
My son & I have mutual hobbies of photography & cooking & we e-mail our efforts to each other.  I know this doesn't meet the standards of 'professional' recipe writing, but it works well between the two of us.


 

Eggs Florentine ala papa

 



 

INGREDIENTS

AMOUNT

METHOD



fresh spinach, cooked

6 oz.

Cook in small amt. water just til tender,  drain, mix in butter, s&p, nutmeg, set aside, keeping warm.

butter, s&p, fresh-grated nutmeg

To taste

 

 

 

onion

1/3 cup

Sautee the minced onion in the butter, add the flour, whisk til starting to brown, add milk slowly, whisking , stop adding milk once it reaches sauce consistency.  Add next 5 ingred. Whisk to combine, set aside keeping warm.

butter

2 tbls.

flour

2 tbls.

milk

2 cups (aprox)

tarragon, dried

1 tsp.

sour cream

2 tbls.

<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Dijon mustard

2 tsp.

lemon zest/lemon juice

Few drops

cayenne pepper

pinch

 

 

 

English muffins

4 halves

Toast the muffins, spread small amt. sauce atop each, stack bed of spinach, tomato slice, egg, spoon over more sauce, shredded cheese, brown under broiler or propane torch.

tomato slices

4

poached eggs

4

Swiss cheese, shredded

¾ cup





 


YIELD

Prep/Cooking Time:



Enuf 4 2 hungry people

Depends on how many distractions I have.


 


Everything I do is ‘to taste’, experiment with amounts.  Lemon juice/zest is important, but be careful not to overdo.  Zest from an area the size of a 50 cent piece (remember those?).  Plastic hot-house tomatoes won’t hack it – fresh only!
Include steak knives in place settings.


 


If vegetarians eat vegetables,
beware of humanitarians!


 

 

Who is Luke?
and
Why is his warm water
better than any other brand?

 

ashleyd's picture

(post #57176, reply #21 of 37)

Nice piece of work all round, congratulations! Might even try that if only I could find an English muffin, hard to come by in England!


“In victory, you deserve <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Champagne, in defeat, you need it.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

PauHana's picture

(post #57176, reply #22 of 37)

if only I could find an English muffin, hard to come by in England!


Fun-n-n-y!


I'm still trying to decide whether I have the nerve to try English Stilton as you had in your example.  (That is - if I can even find it here in rural Hawaii.)


 


 


 


If vegetarians eat vegetables,
beware of humanitarians!


 

 

Who is Luke?
and
Why is his warm water
better than any other brand?

 

SallyBR's picture

(post #57176, reply #24 of 37)

Ashley....


your cookbook, I mean the final one, tried & true - do you have a printout of the whole thing? If so, do you take it to the kitchen with you? do you have the pages protected with plastic protectors?


I am at a loss with my recipes - I have Mastercook 7.0 - it is ok, but I see yours and left-overs examples and they seem much better.  


 

 

ashleyd's picture

(post #57176, reply #25 of 37)

Yes I do, I have two pages back-to-back in clear plastic sleeves which fit in a ring binder so that it reads like a normal book. To use it I just take the relevant page(s) complete with protective cover and I've got a cookbook stand they rest on to keep them upright and off the work surface. Easy!


“In victory, you deserve <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Champagne, in defeat, you need it.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Debby's picture

(post #57176, reply #33 of 37)

To use it I just take the relevant page(s) complete with protective cover and I've got a cookbook stand they rest on to keep them upright and off the work surface.


This is a great idea Ashley!  I've just been using post-it notes and find it tedious to be flipping back and forth all the time.


Debby

SallyBR's picture

(post #57176, reply #23 of 37)

This is awesome! Plus, having cooking and photography as shared hobbies with your son, what a cool thing!


(can you tell I am sligthly green with envy? my stepsons - and probably their future spouses - seem to have ZERO interest in cooking.... )


 


 

 

PauHana's picture

(post #57176, reply #27 of 37)

This is awesome! Plus, having cooking and photography as shared hobbies with your son, what a cool thing!<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


Thanks - I do admit to feeling a bit proud !


(can you tell I am sligthly green with envy? my stepsons - and probably their future spouses - seem to have ZERO interest in cooking.... )


 



You reminded me of the time my step-son was still in HS & came into the kitchen and asked



"What are you doing?"
"Rolling out flour tortillas"
"Trippy - I thought those things only came from factories."


He is now a cook in a deli.


So, you see, there is always hope!


If vegetarians eat vegetables,
beware of humanitarians!


 

 

Who is Luke?
and
Why is his warm water
better than any other brand?

 

MadMom's picture

(post #57176, reply #28 of 37)

Reminds me of my eldest DD - I took her out into the garden once, because I had planted some iceberg lettuce, and I was so excited that the leaves were starting to form a head.  She looked at it in amazement and said "gee, I thought they did that in factories."  She hasn't changed much, though...we call her The AntiCook.

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.
Lily Tomlin

Geoffchef's picture

(post #57176, reply #34 of 37)

Please say Hi to the evil one for me. Or tell her to drop in and say Hi herself.

 


 


The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.


-Robert W. Service

 

ADAM'S APPLE, n.
A protuberance in the throat of man, thoughtfully provided by Nature to keep the rope in place.
Ambrose Bierce - The Devil's Dictionary

 

MadMom's picture

(post #57176, reply #35 of 37)

She keeps threatening to drop in and post some of her favorite recipes using Velveeta and Cream'o'crap soup, but so far, I've lucked out!

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.
Lily Tomlin

Geoffchef's picture

(post #57176, reply #36 of 37)

Maybe we could lure her with a Kraft cookbook on a string.

 


 


The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.


-Robert W. Service

 

ADAM'S APPLE, n.
A protuberance in the throat of man, thoughtfully provided by Nature to keep the rope in place.
Ambrose Bierce - The Devil's Dictionary

 

MadMom's picture

(post #57176, reply #37 of 37)

Maybe one of those wonderful "semi-homemade" cookbooks by that idiot woman on TV - Sandra Lee.  I think my darling DD prefers recipes that say something like "open box, add 1/2 cup of water, cook." 

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.
Lily Tomlin

Jean's picture

(post #57176, reply #26 of 37)

Looks lovely, and I'm sure it would be very tasty. One problem for me though--that format doesn't import into MC at all.

"Progress may have been all right once,  but it's gone on too long." Ogden Nash


http://www.thebreastcancersite.com

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
PauHana's picture

(post #57176, reply #29 of 37)

 that format doesn't import into MC at all.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


 


Sad, but true, Jean.


I only posted as an example for those asking about Word as an alternative.  If I post other recipes, I plan on using a format that is more universal for forum members.


My own 'rules' for my own T&T format is everything must read left to right & then top to bottom.  In other words, no jumping back & forth between ingredients & directions to start the work flow.  If an ingredient isn't used until the 4th step, it shouldn't show up until then.


If vegetarians eat vegetables,
beware of humanitarians!


 

 

Who is Luke?
and
Why is his warm water
better than any other brand?

 

Jean's picture

(post #57176, reply #30 of 37)

I used to write down all my recipes that way too, until I started missing too many ingredients for my shopping lists. Now I want to scan the ingredients quickly and not have any surprises when I start to cook.

"Progress may have been all right once,  but it's gone on too long." Ogden Nash


http://www.thebreastcancersite.com

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need