The Best Apps for Thanksgiving 2011

Thanksgiving 2.0

Whether you’re hosting your own Thanksgiving dinner (and doing all of the cooking) or traveling to visit friends and family, this holiday weekend can get hectic. But the smartphone in your pocket can be a huge help to make it all go smoothly. It can save you money, which we’re all thankful for (no pun intended) since the average Thanksgiving dinner is expected to cost 13% more than it did in 2010 (according to the American Farm Bureau Federation). From apps full of dish recipes to apps with delicious desserts to an app that turns your smartphone or iPad into a fireplace, MainStreet put together some of the most helpful smartphone apps for Thanksgiving. Photo Credit: bonnie-brown


How to Cook Everything

Not sure how to cook the turkey or make homemade cranberry sauce? The How to Cook Everything app on the iPhone and iPad is a complete recipe book conveniently located in one app. Aside from the 2,000 recipes, the app includes hundreds of meal demonstrations. Who said you have to be an experienced cook to host a great Thanksgiving dinner? Price: Free Photo Credit: Apple.com


iFeast: Thanksgiving

When you’re cooking for dozens of people during Thanksgiving, how embarrassing would it be if you burned the turkey in the oven or cooked the vegetables too long? Thanks to the iFeast: Thanksgiving iPhone app, you can keep track of the length of time each item should be cooking for. And depending on your cooking skill or experience, the app has pre-made menus for the following types of cooks: “Novice, Pressed for Time and Night Owl.” Price: $2.99 Photo Credit: Apple.com


Kayak

You’re probably wondering how kayaks relate to Thanksgiving – and they don’t. But the Kayak smartphone app does. Available on the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry phones, the app allows you to not only compare prices of airlines and hotels, but also track the status of various flights. Whether you’re traveling or waiting for guests to arrive for the Thanksgiving weekend, the app will help you stay current with flight information while preparing the stuffing and cranberry sauce at the same time. Price: Free Photo Credit: Apple.com


Whole Foods Market Recipes

At your Thanksgiving table, you may have guests who eat gluten-free foods or relatives who are vegans. You can search for recipes that cater to vegetarians or people with other dietary needs by using the Whole Foods Market Recipes app on the iPhone. The app also features plenty of organic recipes for Thanksgiving. And if you’re an avid shopper at Whole Foods, using the app will help you save time by planning your shopping list ahead of time and avoid the long lines that always happen at Thanksgiving. Price: Free Photo Credit: Apple.com


Grocery iQ

The average Thanksgiving dinner is expected to cost $49.20, based on statistics from the American Farm Bureau Federation. Shave a few dollars off your grocery store bill by using the coupons on the Grocery iQ app (on the iPhone and Android phones). The app also enables you to create a shopping list to help you stay organized and save money. You can even scan the bar code of any item in the store to add it to your list automatically. Price: Free Photo Credit: Apple.com


Chow Thanksgiving Dinner Coach

For those putting on their first Thanksgiving dinner, don’t you wish you had an expert in your kitchen to help you cook? The Chow Thanksgiving Dinner Coach app on the iPhone can be your cooking companion. The app gives you specific directions on how to make the most delicious Thanksgiving dishes – from the turkey to the mashed potatoes to the stuffing. Price: Free Photo Credit: Apple.com


Pair It! – Food and Wine Guide

It you’re not a beverage aficionado, the Pair It! app can help find which wine goes best with certain foods. On Thanksgiving, type in “entrée” and the app will provide wine suggestions that typically accompany eating turkey or whatever your main entrée happens to be. With almost 200 types of wine in the app, you don’t need to be a wine expert to find the proper beverage to go along with your meal – the app (which is available on the iPhone and Android phones) does the work for you. Price: $4.99 Photo Credit: Apple.com


Pastry Chef

After turkey, side dishes and wine, your guests may not have any more appetite left for desserts, but how can you have a Thanksgiving dinner without some tasty sweets at the end? The Pastry Chef app (on the iPhone) has tons of scrumptious recipes for desserts. Everything from cakes, cupcakes, pies, scones and cookies to more exotic desserts like mousse and red velvet cake. Impress your guests with some of the most cutting-edge desserts known to the Internet. Price: $2.99 Photo Credit: Apple.com


FirePlace

Do you wish you had a fireplace at home? The FirePlace app will turn your iPhone or iPad into a makeshift fireplace. You’ll see the fire on the screen, and hear all of the crackling. This app is perfect to set up near the Thanksgiving dinner table – as it adds to the ambience of the room – especially if you don’t have a real fireplace. Price: 99 cents Photo Credit: Apple.com


Instagram

Aside from the food and desserts, what about those priceless family photos? The cameras in most smartphones are just as good as regular digital cameras these days and like everything else, there's an app for that. With the Instagram app (on the iPhone), you can add unique effects to your pictures. And it takes just seconds to email the photos or post them on Twitter and Facebook for the rest of your family to see. Happy Thanksgiving from MainStreet! Price: Free -Scott Gamm is the founder of the personal finance website HelpSaveMyDollars.com. He has appeared on NBC’s TODAY, MSNBC, Fox Business Network, Fox News, ABC News and CBS. Follow Scott on Facebook and Twitter. Photo Credit: Apple.com


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