Make no mistake -- the holidays are here. Forget the shopping, the wrapping and the decorating. The hard part is the cooking. Between the holiday parties (you’re either throwing one or you promised to bring an appetizer) and the Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus family gatherings, there is no end to the cooking. And though no one has yet written an iPhone app that will make your iPhone go to the grocery store and then stand over the stove for several hours while you relax with your feet up, there is a world of apps available to make the task easier.
There is a slew of holiday-specific recipe apps available in the iTunes App Store. Among them are Brighthouse’s Holiday Recipes (99 cents), which allows you to choose a recipe from a list or, with a tap, receive a random recipe; Festive Holiday Baking (99 cents), a nice collection of cookies and bars that features lovely photos of the finished product; and Christmas Recipes ($1.99), which includes more recipes for turkey and its leftovers than one could use in a lifetime, but is comparatively short on other holiday recipes.
Most importantly, as far as I’m concerned, Festive Holiday Cocktails (99 cents) offers up everything from a Candy Cane Martini to a Christmas Cosmopolitan to Rudolph’s Tipsy Spritzer.
There’s no need to rely strictly on the holiday-themed recipe iPhone apps, however. Kraft’s relatively new iFood Assistant (99 cents) is a great app that offers up recipes of the day and shopping lists (getting close to that shop-and-cook-for-me iPhone app I so desire), and includes a Holidays & Entertaining category. McCormick Recipe Finder (free) has a huge library of well-tested recipes. The Betty Crocker Mobile Cookbook (free) allows you to search by ingredient or recipe, save favorites, or hit “Surprise Me” when you want your iPhone to make your dinner decisions for you.
Brighthouse’s Appetizer Recipes (99 cents) has a huge selection of recipes that can be searched or browsed—so many that I don’t think I could make them all if I made one every day for the rest of my life. Fortunately, there’s a “Random” button.
Epicurious Recipes (free) is a well-presented app that contains no end of fancy-pants recipes from magazines like Bon Appetit and Gourmet, and features a large selection of holiday recipes—everything from Christmas cookies to Holiday Sides.
BigOven’s 170,000 Recipes (free) is a nicely executed app that allows one to search a huge library of recipes, save favorites, save "Try Soon" recipes, and even features a Leftover Wizard ™ that lets you add ingredients as you dig them out from the back of the refrigerator to create a meal. My Polish grandmother would be thrilled. There’s also an immense glossary of food-related terms.
The holidays are always going to be typically hectic. But with your trusty iPhone, you can at least make some of your holiday tasks a little easier.