Rather than relying on old cookbooks with stuck pages and inaccurate timers, download some apps that will help make Thanksgiving dinner a success. Even if you are making the exact same recipes you do every year, these apps can help you.
When disaster strikes during preparation for a big dinner, turn to the Food52 Hotline app. Food52 Hotline requires users to log in with either their email or Facebook account. Once logged in, users can ask a question like how to save a dry turkey or what the best brand of pumpkin filling is. You can mark the question as “urgent” to get it answered faster. An “urgent” tag will appear in front of the question on the main page. Users click on the magnifying glass in the upper right hand corner to search for particular questions. For example, typing “turkey” into the search reveals several questions about brining turkeys.
In addition to asking questions, you can also answer them or read them. Other comments may also give you some insight or ideas to spruce up particular dishes.
The Food52 Hotline app (App Store link) is run by Food52. The main website, food52.com, features recipes, store, news, contests, hotline page and more. The app is free to download onto the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad.
All Recipes Dinner Spinner
If you’re looking for recipes or want to serve something different, the All Recipes Dinner Spinner (App Store link) can help. The application is run by allrecipes.com. Opening the application takes users to the Dinner Spinner or the last page they viewed. That this app doesn’t force users to go back to the beginning each time saves time.
Run your finger over the three categories: Dish Type, Ingredients and Ready In. Pick an option in each category to fit what you want to make. For example, if you want to make an appetizer, select the appetizer icon (image of chips and dip), the cheese icon and the 45 minutes or less option. Make sure you touch each icon so that they turn blue. Click on “View Matches” at the bottom to see the list of recipes. Touch a recipe to read it. Under each recipe name is a rating out of five stars.
In addition to the ingredients, the app also lists the nutritional information and any user comments. These comments can offer cooking tips. If you like the recipe, press the icon in the top right hand corner of a heart with a plus sign.
If you want to find a particular recipe, press the search icon on the bottom toolbar. Type in what you want to see. Just press the icons at the bottom to return to the spinner or favorites list.
The All Recipes Dinner Spinner has free and paid versions. The paid version, All Recipes Dinner Spinner Pro (App Store link), costs $2.99 and offers a kitchen view, no ads and the ability to change serving numbers on recipes. There are also free apps in English, UK English, French, Australia and New Zealand, Dutch, Chinese and French Quebec. The app runs on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
When making multiple dishes on Thanksgiving, it’s easy to lose track of time or run out of timers. Rather than create a long line of kitchen timers with identifying sticky notes on them on the windowsill, download the Timer+ app (App Store link). Timer+ allows users to make multiple timer entries at one time.
After downloading the app, press the plus icon on the bottom left hand corner to add a new timer. Scroll through the hours and minutes menu to pick a time. Once you set the time, press the “Label” option. Type in what you want to call the timer, like turkey or green bean casserole. Once you type in the name, press “Done” on the keyboard. Next, click on the “When Timer Ends” bar underneath the label. From there pick one of the five different tones. You can buy more tones by clicking on the bar at the bottom of the screen. A sound pack is available for 99 cents. Press the “Back” button once you pick a sound. Press the green “Start” bar at the bottom of the screen to start the timer. The app will take you to a view of a countdown. Press the “Timers” button at the top right hand corner to return to the list of timers.
You can edit timers on the screen by pressing the edit option in the top left hand corner of the main app page. A black button in the upper right hand corner will take you back to the timers that are running. You can also delete timers through the edit menu. The app also runs the timers even if it’s closed.
The application is free to download and works on iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches. For $1.99, you can remove all of the ads. The ads appear along the bottom of the app.
Appetites Easy As Pie
No Thanksgiving dinner is complete with pie. Be it pumpkin, cherry, pecan or something else, the perfect pie requires not only a flaky crust but also a properly made filling. The Appetites’ Easy as Pie app made by Clear-Media provides users with 20 pies, dough and toppings recipes taught via video. The videos show a clear image of the ingredients you need to make the pie.
Host Evan Kleinman demonstrates each step. When making one of the pies off the list, watch the video once to get an idea of what you will need to do. Each recipe shows a list on the side where you can find the ingredients and the steps written out.
Appetites’ Easy as Pie app (App Store link) costs $4.99 and works on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
How to Cook Everything
During any meal preparation-be it a holiday or everyday-it helps to have a good cookbook on hand. The How to Cook Everything app from Mark Bittman contains 2,000 recipes, alterations, ideas, images and more. The application also allows users to make measurement conversions. The main page of the app contains icons allowing the user to pick from recipes, basic techniques, Bittman’s picks and other choices.
You can search for recipes through the search option on the bottom toolbar whenever the app is open. The search options allow users to select various qualifications, including type of preparation and flavor. The bottom toolbar also allows for easy access to your favorites list, shopping and other options.
The app also has a timer built in that is easy to adjust. With the timer open, press the plus or minus five or plus or minus one to add or decrease time. You can use the timer on specific steps, like simmering pasta or boiling potatoes.
The recipes themselves are labeled if it’s something you need to make ahead, if it’s vegetarian, fast or an essential. Knowing if something needs made beforehand or cooks quickly can help you save time when cooking Thanksgiving dinner. You don’t want to be stuck trying to cook a side dish that takes an hour to cook 20 minutes before the guests arrive.
How To Cook Everything (App Store link) costs $9.99 for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch and there is a $4.99 version for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
These five apps can help you make a delicious Thanksgiving dinner for any number of people. All Recipes, How to Cook Everything and Appetites’ Easy as Pie app help you find clear instructions on how to make everything from baked ham to Chai spice pumpkin pie. Food52 and Timer+ provide you with the tools to execute the recipes to a tasty end.