Inspiration

My mom was entering all of her recipes into a Google Sheet on her computer and I thought, wouldn't it be great if she could not only use these herself, hands-free, with her Alexa, but she could also share her recipes with other family members that have Alexa, too.

What it does

Slice, Dice, Eat! creates a cookbook for you by connecting to your own personal Google spreadsheet (requires a free Google drive account). Our skill auto-generates a ten recipe sample template for you to use or you can use or replace them with your own recipes, complete with step-by-step instructions and visual content for those with Alexa powered display devices. The free version of this skill allows you to save and share up to ten recipes. By using our in skill purchasing upgrade option you can create and use an unlimited number of recipes. And, once you create your recipe spreadsheet, you can share it with friends and family using the easy to follow instructions provided to you when registering this skill.

How I built it

Using the jovotech.com framework and a lot of custom node.js code plus the ASK developer console.

Challenges I ran into

Getting the invocation phrase to work was a pain. Even though the original name for my skill, "My Family Recipes" was not in use anywhere, Alexa could not interpret the invocation phrase as it was. Several versions and names later, we are hoping it will now work. Testing in developer mode does not ensure it will work once published.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Integration with an email distribution web-based registration system to link a custom google spreadsheet cookbook, update the spreadsheet with the skill template and sample recipes, and be able to share this cookbook with other family members and friends through the skill. I also customized the look and feel of the APL output for multiple Alexa devices.

What I learned

ISP itself is easy. Getting the rest of the skill to work the way I wanted it to work was harder. Mostly due to the aforementioned invocation rules. By the way, if you want to change the invocation phrase you have to remove/delete the previously published skill, create a new skill from the JSON of the previous and change the phrase, and then publish as a completely new skill. Also, you cannot have words like AND, A, and The in the invocation phrase, but you don't know that until after you try to submit for certification.

What's next for Slice, Dice, Eat!

Adding ISP grocery list support option and the ability to import entire cookbooks from other users and vendors.

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