Put those tattered recipe cards of your mother’s green bean casserole away. In fact, throw them away. If you’re still thinking that marshmallows have any place near yams, and if deviled eggs are still your idea of a Thanksgiving appetizer recipe idea, it’s time to let technology revolutionize the way you cook for the holidays.
Yes, there are great cookbooks out there, but the dynamic environment of a free cooking app can really help you ramp things up. Our list of must-have apps for a festive Thanksgiving will have your friends and family wondering when you’re planning your audition for Top Chef. Okay, maybe not, but they will at least happily stand in line for seconds.
Martha Stewart Everyday
When entertaining, go to the expert. The Martha Stewart Everyday Food App (for iPhone) will only cost you a buck (in reality, $0.99) and what better human on earth to coach you through festive pie ideas and Thanksgiving appetizer recipes than Martha? Also: since it’s Martha, you’ll get a schedule of what to do when, making planning for the big day even easier. This app is especially useful if you’ve ever wanted to learn how to make a festive centerpiece out of bread dough. Tear it up and serve it to your guests as a bizarre Thanksgiving treat.
This is the very definition of a must-have app for Thanksgiving. How home cooks ever survived without this free Epicurious app and website is up for discussion, but the good news is that you can download it for free now. Follow recipes easily in your kitchen right from your tablet. There is maybe no greater place on the planet for inspired Thanksgiving appetizer ideas. You can find entire menu ideas, shopping lists, and organizational features that will help any host or hostess stay both productive and creative. Is that fig prosciutto crostini recipe as good as it sounds? Only one way to find out.
This free Hello Vino app for both Android and IOS is a bit like having a virtual sommelier at the store with you. The best feature of the app is its pairing selection, making it easier to not only answer the age old question (red or white?) but also giving you the ideas for each course. The best part: you don’t have to tell your guests that you used an app for that. Didn’t they know you were always a closet wine snob? Yes, of course, you always knew that Moscato was the best dessert wine to pair with your favorite Thanksgiving treats, duh!
This year, let’s not keep track of guests on paper anymore, okay? The Simple Soiree party planner for IOS is a must have app for a festive Thanksgiving. How else will you sort out shopping lists, create invites, track RSVPs, plan your menu without losing your mind? Available for a meager $1.99 on iTunes, this app can just help you stay sane while you do the sort out your guests on your phone or tablet and cook at the same time.
You’ve just checked off the last of your things to get your yummy Thanksgiving treats ready, and you’ve put the turkey in the oven. Every to-do list on your smartphone is updated, all push notifications set. Do the right thing. Open a bottle of wine (just that cheap bottle of red will do nicely, you’ve got the good stuff for later), and binge watch a few episodes of “Orange is the New Black.” Kick everyone out of the living room and watch it on the big screen. Put up your feet and tell everyone to clean the kitchen. Your work is done here.
Also, just in case that burning smell coming from the kitchen is, in fact, the homemade green bean casserole (you toasted those shallots on top yourself!), maybe it’s time to throw in the towel and call Domino’s.
Any other apps that we missed? We’d love to hear from you in the comments, as would everyone else who is looking for fun recipe and ideas this holiday season. Thanks!