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Apps Help You Tackle Thanksgiving With Technology


And we wrap up today's All Tech Considered with some Thanksgiving-related recommendations.

CHRISTINE CARROLL: If you find yourself veering towards a kitchen panic attack, while you're making your holiday meal, I'm just going to say stop. Take a breath and grab your phone.

SIEGEL: Or your tablet and download a cooking app.


That voice you just heard was Christine Carroll, co-author of the new cookbook, "Come In, We're Closed: An Invitation to Staff Meals at the World's Best Restaurants." She's one of two people we've asked to recommend their favorite apps for cooking. Carroll is a food writer who's handy with a smartphone.

We'll also hear from a tech writer who likes to cook.

SIEGEL: Christine Carroll recommends a free app with a long name: Chow Thanksgiving Dinner Coach. Basically it lays out your meal for you.

CARROLL: It starts with roasted turkey. It covers gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans. So really, its nine recipes and you're done - that's your menu.

CORNISH: If you're looking for more advanced culinary inspiration, Carroll suggests this app: Holiday Recipes and Party Planning Guide from the online cooking site Food 52.

CARROLL: The dishes are fairly traditional, yet they offer enough of a twist to keep things really interesting. So crispy Brussels sprouts drizzled with honey and spicy Sriracha, for example.

SIEGEL: Sounds like what the spicier Pilgrims would have eaten.


SIEGEL: Well, now on to our tech writer.

JACQUI CHENG: I'm Jacqui Cheng and I'm an editor with Ars Technica.

SIEGEL: Cheng likes cooking apps that let her customize recipes and adjust ingredients. And she suggests an app called Paprika, for its range.

CHENG: If you like to see a lot of different recipes and not just ones from a few Web sites, Paprika lets you search pretty much the entire Web for recipes within the app.

CORNISH: You can't search the Internet on another app Cheng suggests: How to Cook Everything. But Cheng says she loves its cooking techniques feature.

CHENG: Like how to use a knife properly, how to correctly shape your dough when you're making pizza - that kind of thing. And like things that may be a recipe might tell you how to do, but you don't necessarily know how to do until you see it.

SIEGEL: This could be especially important if you have a traditional Thanksgiving pizza.

Some final words of caution here. As food writer Christine Carroll says: Don't be a slave to the app.

CARROLL: There are people in your life who know a lot about food and want to share it. If all else fails, call your mother.

CORNISH: Your mom or, we should say, your dad: The ultimate food app.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.