Host your best meal ever with these handy apps, which help you shop, prep, and cook.
If you’re juggling the turkey, stuffing, gravy, pumpkin pie, and green bean casserole, keeping track of cooking times can be a royal pain. This sleek app allows you to create different alarms, and you can easily add minutes to a running timer if your brussels sprouts aren’t quite done.
To buy: Free, itunes.com. For iOS devices.
No Time to Cook
Test out Real Simple’s very own cooking app. You can browse recipes by selecting a specific main ingredient, use interactive shopping lists, delegate grocery store runs to your family members, and save recipes and notes.
To buy: $1 for a one-month subscription, itunes.com. For iOS devices.
Turkey isn’t always the main event. For some families, it’s all about the wine—and if you’re hosting, you definitely want to impress. Delectable offers up expert pairing recommendations and community reviews to help you pick just the right vintage for your holiday soiree.
To buy: Free, delectable.com. For iOS and Android devices.
If your family is more interested in expertly crafted cocktails, you can impress them with the help of Lush. The app has hundreds of recipes and curated lists to help you decide what to serve. Browse by ingredients, drink names, and even glass type, and then save your favorites.
To buy: $2, itunes.com. For iOS devices.
Paprika Recipe Manager
Store your favorite meals in Paprika, which is a combined grocery list, meal and pantry planner, and recipe box. The app comes in both mobile and desktop formats, so you can easily swap between meal planning on your computer and shopping for groceries at the store with your phone.
To buy: $5, paprikaapp.com. For iOS and Android devices.
Let this be the year you finally do Thanksgiving right and proper—with invitations, place settings, and all. Invite friends and family to your fancy holiday feast using Paperless Post, which lets you design invitations, track RSVPs, and send private messages to guests (“Aunt Diane, can you bring your amazing homemade biscuits?”).
To buy: Free, paperlesspost.com/mobile. For iOS devices.
Thanksgiving can be overwhelming enough—adding grocery shopping on top of mixing, planning, cooking, and baking? No thanks. Hire a trustworthy stranger to do it for you through Instacart, which delivers directly from local grocery stores. Select what items you’d like and they’ll show up at your door in under an hour. Magic!
To buy: Free, instacart.com/mobile. For iOS and Android devices.
Curate the ultimate Thanksgiving playlist to set the scene for the whole meal. If your guests fall in love with your DJ-ing skills, you can share the track list with them through email, text, or on their own Spotify accounts. The app also has ready-made playlists—choose by mood or genre and prepare to be surprised.
To buy: Free, spotify.com. For iOS and Android devices.