Starting with Thanksgiving, the holiday season is set to arrive, often with big helpings of stress — especially if you're still scrambling to get ready for Thursday. But there's no reason to face those Thanksgiving tasks alone: you've got technology on your side.
From apps to gadgets, tech can make the holidays easier. These six essential tools will help you get through the season, from planning before the meal to burning off calories afterwards.
Thanksgiving Menu Maker (iOS)
First things first: What to cook? This free app helps you pick out a menu, including starters, main dishes, sides and desserts. It offers recipes to go with the choices, generates a shopping list and helps you lay out a step-by-step schedule so you know when to start cooking.
Vegetarian How to Cook Everything (iOS)
But wait — you forgot that some of your guests are vegetarian. How can you make that gravy? When in doubt, ask Mark Bittman. The New York Times columnist gives advice on how to cook, well, everything — focusing on the non-carnivore here. This $10 app features 2,000 vegetarian recipes, so you'll find the perfect meat-free substitutes for your menu.
IGrill Cooking Thermometer (iOS, Android)
First rule of hosting Thanksgiving: Don't poison your guests. To make sure you cook your meats enough, but not too much, you could use a standard meat thermometer. But that's boring. Instead, try the iGrill, $80, so you can connect your mobile device through Bluetooth and monitor your bird's temperature without ever opening the oven door. As a bonus, the app alerts you when your food is properly cooked.
Now it's time to get your hands dirty. But how are you supposed to touch your tablet with grease-covered fingers? Belkin's $40 Chef Stand + Stylus solves that problem. The non-slip base keeps the tablet from moving around (and crashing to the floor), while the stylus maintains a clean screen as you navigate your way through this year's sweet potato recipe.
MyFitnessPal Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker (iOS, Android)
And then it's all over. The turkey's devoured, the stuffing demolished. You probably ate too much. Download this free app to help get back on track and maybe even lose a few pounds, because Christmas, and all the treats that go with it, is just around the corner. [See also: 5 Top Health Apps ]