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Cook that turkey, drink that wine! Five cooking apps for Thanksgiving


Are you ready for the Thanksgiving Day feast tomorrow? If you're a typical American, the day will go something like this -- wake up, watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV, watch some football, eat some snacks, cook and eat a huge feast, watch some more football while dozing, eat some dessert, take some Maalox, and go to bed with visions of Black Friday in your mind.

To help with the cooking chores, we offer the following five apps to make your turkey day a bit less hectic and a lot more fun.

#1 -- iCooking American Celebrations

While this app features only 56 recipes, many of which are for other American holidays, the recipes that are included are the classic ones you always wanted to steal from Grandma. iCooking American Celebrations [US$0.99, iTunes Link] is a handy app for iPhone or iPod touch to help you make a memorable feast.

#2 -- Thanksgiving Dinner

Do you just need an app that will give you recipes for the classic Thanksgiving dinner? The aptly-named Thanksgiving Dinner [US$0.99, iTunes Link] has basic recipes for turkey, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, cranberry sauce, an orange dessert, and apple crumb pie. If it's your first time cooking the feast for an extended family, you'll love these features: an overall schedule telling you when to start prepping the food and a shopping list.

#3 -- Pair It! Food and Wine Guide

A Thanksgiving Day feast without wine is like a dentist visit without Novocaine. At the best, wine adds flavor and enjoyment to a meal; at the worst, it can at least help you survive the onslaught of obnoxious relatives.

The Pair It! Food and Wine Guide [US$2.99 sale price, iTunes Link] provides over 20,000 food and wine pairings, so you'll be able to pick the best wine varietals to complement both your deliciously cooked Cajun Fried Turkey and your Mom's Green Bean Casserole. Best of all, you can use this guide throughout the year to assist you in choosing wines to go with almost any food.

#4 -- TurkeyTimer

There's nothing worse for the first-time Thanksgiving chef than to over (or under) cook that big bird. TurkeyTimer [US$1.99, iTunes Link] uses algorithms developed from top cookbook instructions to track the approximate brownness, internal temperature, and remaining cooking time for the gobbler. You can choose between a juicier or dryer turkey, and the app lets you know exactly when you need to baste the bird. The app will run even if you decide to send a text to your BFF or make a phone call with your iPhone.

#5 -- iFeast Thanksgiving

The last course in our feast of delectable iPhone apps is iFeast Thanksgiving [US$2.99, iTunes Link]. Of all the cooking apps, I think I saved the best for last. This app gives you preparation and cooking instructions, but also adds subtle reminders of other important tasks -- like setting the table and chilling the wine. Using push notification, you're also reminded of when each task begins and ends.

There are four pre-defined menus to choose from: Novice (for the beginning cook), Pressed For Time (you just found out that you have sixteen relatives coming over tomorrow), Early Bird (if you're getting up early to start cooking), and Night Owl (for those who want to prep a bit the night before). You can also edit these or add your own menu and timing.

The default time and day for the app this year is 6 PM local time on November 26th. If you decide to nosh a bit earlier, say 3 PM, you can reset the time of your meal and iFeast Thanksgiving will automatically recalculate all the task times for you.

Well, there you have it! All of us at TUAW hope that wherever you are, you're thankful for someone or something in your life. We also hope that our little list of apps can make your day a bit more enjoyable and less hectic. If you have any other app hints you'd like to offer to other TUAW readers, please leave them in the comments below.

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