Tech Watch

Category:  Tech Watch
Wednesday, November 13th, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Thanksgiving is just a couple of weeks away and the thought of cooking for a parade of family members and friends can be a daunting task. Throw in-laws and Black Friday into the mix you are in for a stressful few days – especially if this is your first time taking charge in the kitchen.

Luckily, your iPhone makes it easy for you to stay organized this holiday season. Fret not, Droid users; there are options here for you as well.

But this being my first year cooking for Thanksgiving festivities, I recently started feeling overwhelmed with the idea of trying new recipes with friends that have never experienced my cooking. That’s why I’m turned to Chow – a website dedicated to all things food, which features videos, recipes, discussions, and ‘Chowhound’ forums to chat with other users – which recently published an app for Thanksgiving recipes.

Aptly named, the “Thanksgiving” app offers the full meal-prep experience, from recipe selection, to creating a shopping list organized by grocery aisle to step-by-step preparation and execution of the meal. Typically when I find a recipe app, there are just way too many crazy pictures of different dishes filling my screen; thankfully, “Thanksgiving” is clean and simple with an organized function.

Now, I’m aware that most people use recipes handed down for generations on Thanksgiving. For example, great-great grandma Ida’s homemade stuffing is loaded with so many secret ingredients that you dread going to the grocery store every year. But for those of us looking for the basics, this app will fill our every recipe need, as it includes nine different dishes, a shopping list, prepping guide, and the full recipes.

On the start screen, the “Thanksgiving Dinner Coach” explains how the app works. It allows users to choose the recipes they’d like their turkey day to comprise of and combines the ingredients and instructions into one master step-by-step guide.

Let’s say, being the ambitious host you are, you decide to cook all nine recipes. The smorgasbord includes the roasted turkey, apple and sage stuffing, mashed potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, sautéed green beans, turkey gravy, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and brandy-apple punch.

A specialized shopping list is created just for you and separates the list by category (produce, baking, canned goods, etc.) for the grocery store. If you’re anything like me, I wander down every aisle looking for the products I need and by the end of it, I have forgotten 50 percent of what I I’ve been shopping for. Having the products pre-organized simplifies grocery shopping and ideally prevents forgetting any crucial ingredients.

Moving onto the cooking portion – the part I struggle with the most; the app gives you step-by-step directions days in advance for preparation such as when to start thawing the turkey and more. The app simplifies the chaos that can be Thanksgiving Dinner.

I did download multiple apps to see if any went into the level of detail the one from Chow did, but none could usurp the  level of expertise of the “Thanksgiving” app. “Thanksgiving” is only available in the app store, but do not lament Droid fans! Certain apps, such as “Thanksgiving Dinner Maker” and “AllTheCooks,” can also provide some of that last minute culinary inspiration for the holidays. “Thanksgiving Dinner Makers” was actually a fun app to play around with because it allowed you to “arrange” the table however you choose.

Oh, and did I mention there is also an app to track the Macy’s Day Parade line up? Check it out in the app store: “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2013.” But don’t miss out on the fun activities because of the hustle and bustle in the kitchen!

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