MasterCook Deluxe (Sierra On-line) declares that it is the “ultimate multimedia cookbook.” In its present incarnation, it has a way to go to make good on that claim. A small number of the recipes are complemented with high quality photographs, but the “Video Tips” section is empty (although the manual says video tips will be available in the future) and the Gallery of Utensils are photographs with labels – no descriptions or instructions. What this CD-ROM does have are a number of different cookbooks rolled into one package. You can choose among Family Favorites, Famous American Chefs, Kitchen Classics, and a Bartender’s Guide as well as MasterCook Deluxe. There are a number of different ways to access and use all these recipes. Scroll down a list, choose a section such as “International Recipes,” and scroll through those. You get a variety of useful tools to help you manage meals, plan menus, and store your favorite recipes electronically. If you’re planning a dinner party, create the menu from appetizer to dessert, using your own collection of recipes or ones from the MasterCook. Drag the recipes onto the menu template that lists each course and adjust the portions for the number of people you’re serving. You can get a nutritional breakdown for each dish and the total preparation time. Once you decide on the menu, print out the complete shopping list and get busy. If you need to monitor or manage food intake, the calendar-based meal plan makes that easy to do. Keep the manual handy until you master all the ways to navigate the different parts of the disc – it can seem overwhelming. If you’re looking for an instructional program, this is not it; if you want a lot of recipes a click away, MasterCook Deluxe can provide them.
MasterCook Cooking Light, also fromSierra, is the same format but with “lighter” recipes.
– June 1996