Your Computer Can’t Roast a Chicken

The F12 key holds a special place in our hearts. It’s the default gateway to Mac’s Widgets, the often helpful or distracting miniapplications that allow the user to do anything from sending text messages to receiving daily facts from Chuck Norris. As for food-related widgets, well, we still like the concept.

1. Cocktail widget
This virtual bartender widget has a database of nearly 7,000 drink recipes. After throwing it into the ring against our food editors, Cocktail prevailed with the Bronx Cocktail, though failed on the Hoop La and Bitter Widow. It does include a recipe submission tool to share the wealth, and you can browse cocktails by letter.

2. Blood Alcohol Content widget
This handy widget asks the user for his or her sex, weight, drink count, and duration of drinking. Voilà! Your BAC is determined. A disclaimer explains it to be merely an estimate, but what police officer hasn’t heard the ol’ “But the widget said …” excuse? Now if only the iSight microphone doubled as a breathalyzer.

3. Coffee Order Widget
This widget allows you to order freshly roasted coffee beans right from your desk. Created by Tulsa, Oklahoma, artisan roasters DoubleShot, the widget lists 15 blends from all over the world. All you have to do is flip the widget, fill in the billing info, and order at will. Though you can find the information on DoubleShot’s site, a blurb within the widget about the beans would be helpful.

4. Egg Timer 2 widget
Of the egg timers available as widgets, Egg Timer 2, with its sleek design and fluid functionality, proves to be the alpha. You can now make sure that you don’t burn the pot roast while you’re updating your MySpace page. Added nonfood bonus: Watch the seconds tick by until quitting time.

5. Dotmenu Finder widget
If this were actually a “virtual menu drawer,” as it claims, the drawer would be a lot more full. The closest we could come to our zip code was 15 miles away, and even then, the only things listed were a Domino’s and a Chinese place called King Dong. The design could be friendlier, and we’d prefer a focus on delivery, with the option to order directly from the widget.

6. Sugar widget
A simple widget to help track sugar levels for multiple food items for diabetics. For German diabetics, that is: This widget currently exists only in German.

7. Dine-O-Matic widget
Computers know everything, including where we should eat dinner tonight. At least, that’s what this widget claims to know. Except that it only picks randomly from restaurants that you have programmed in.

8. Useless food widgets (Windows version or Mac OS X version)
The Virtual Fruitcake simply sits on your desktop until you throw it away. Just like in real life! A real apple, however, would get old and brown very quickly—so the Windows virtual apple makes no sense whatsoever. Neither Vista’s Snack nor OS X’s Virtual Fruitcake serves any purpose—yet somehow, we just like Fruitcake more. Even useless Apple stuff is better designed.

9. Restaurant Ratingz
Good idea. Too bad about the horrible design, endless scrolling required, and reviews from 1999.

10. What i ate or drank
This dietary exposé aims to create a community of people who reveal what they have recently eaten. “I was so bad and ate a starbucks pumpkin scone and a Espresso Frappuccino at 4:30am…and I wish I had another…hahahah.” As the intro commentary says, it “lets you see what other surfers are eating and gives you a chance to interact with them.” Intervention, perhaps?