This weekend I drove our son back to Denver, Colorado, and helped him get situated in a shared duplex as he prepares for his second year of studies at Colorado School of Mines. Since last year he was in a dorm and not cooking on his own, one of the things I’ve needed to do this summer is figure out how to efficiently get him copies of favorite recipes he might want to cook away from our home. In this post, I’ll describe how I used the free iPhone app “Paprika Recipe Manager”to do this.

Several years ago, my mom (who is a genuine gourmet cook and foodie) shared the Paprika Recipe Manager app for iPhone with me. The Mac laptop/desktop version of the app is $20, but the iPhone version is free. I’ve been using it for several years to collect recipes as well as shop (at times) since the app lets you create shopping lists directly from recipes. More often I shop with the Clear app for iPhone, but I have shopped a few times with Paprika.

One of the best features of Paprika’s iPhone app is that when you find an online recipe and copy the link, you can “load” that recipe into Paprika very easily. Most recipes are auto-formatted by the app, so ingredients are itemized and can therefore be “scaled” if you want to double a recipe, for instance. I haven’t added all my favorite recipes from the hand-written recipe book my mom gave me when I graduated from collage (USAFA) and started living on my own in Mexico City, but I do have a pretty good collection (65 strong) and it’s certainly a decent start for my son’s recipe book from dad.

Here are the steps I followed to share my 65 recipes from Paprika with Alex this weekend:

  1. Downloaded Paprika for iPhone on his phone, and created a new account for him using his email.
  2. Saved his Paprika login in the “shared vault” of our 1 Password for Families account.
  3. On my iPhone in the Paprika app, I bulk exported all my recipes per the user guide instructions. This saved the file in the Paprika Documents folder on my iPhone, which currently can only be accessed via iTunes File Sharing. (Hopefully this will become directly accessible in iOS 11.)
  4. I plugged my iPhone into my Mac laptop, opened iTunes, and navigated to the Paprika files saved on my phone. I chose to save the exported Paprika file on my desktop.
  5. I verified both WiFi and Bluetooth were on on Alex’s iPhone, and then I AirDropped the file from my Mac to his iPhone. On his phone I clicked to accept the AirDrop file transfer, and then chose Paprika as the app to open the file.
  6. In Paprika on Alex’s iPhone, I chose to import all 65 recipes into his own Paprika database.

I wish this process didn’t involve iTunes File Sharing on a laptop computer and could be accomplished entirely using iPhones, but I am pleased it’s possible and FREE to do all of this. It’s possible to add new recipes to Alex’s Paprika account by AirDropping individual recipes, but since we have to be physically together to do that it won’t be a workable method during the school year. I’m thinking I may login to his Paprika account on my iPad when I want to send him some new recipes, and then AirDrop them from my iPhone to my iPad. Then when the iPad Paprika app syncs to the cloud, logged into his account, he can update his own iPhone Paprika app by syncing.

Have you figured out an efficient way to share family recipes which is iPhone friendly? My mom continues to share lots of amazing recipes on, but to use any of those recipes I just copy the direct link and open it in Paprika. If the ideas and strategies I’ve shared in this post are helpful to you, please let me know via a comment below or a Twitter reply to @wfryer.

If you’re interested in other cooking and recipe related posts, check out those I’ve shared with our kids on our family learning blog, “Learning Signs.”

My all-time favorite continues to be “Cooking Holiday Sausage Balls (Int’l Cooking Show)” from December 2009. My how quickly those girls have grown up! And now our son is in his second year of college. Time marches on!

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