With Thanksgiving planning upon us, Hanukkah starting tomorrow, and the rest of the holidays right around the corner, there's a lot of pressure to cook, bake, and show up to events bearing food and drinks. Luckily, all the recipes and drink suggestions you could ever need can fit on your Android phone, thanks to a plethora of cooking apps in the Play Store.
From the many options out there, I've uncovered three of the most useful Android apps that can help you prepare a fabulous meal no matter if you're a pro in the kitchen or barely know your way around a whisk.
Editors' note: For iOS cooking apps, check out Jason Parker's holiday roundup.
Food Network In the Kitchen (Free)
With its extensive database of recipes and general food knowledge, it's hard to go wrong with the Food Network. The Web site and TV channel's mobile app, In the Kitchen, makes it simple to browse and search for recipes by keyword or dish type, such as appetizer or drink. If you're like me and have a favorite Food Network chef (mine's Alton Brown), you can also browse recipes straight from their kitchens and cooking shows.
You can sign up for a Food Network account to save recipes to your Recipe Box or add them to a shopping list. But even without an account the app gives you helpful kitchen tools such as a timer and unit converter.
For Thanksgiving, the In the Kitchen apps has a special page of all the Thanksgiving recipes you could need, including turkey, mashed potatoes, cocktails, appetizers and desserts. Each recipe gives you user ratings, difficulty level, cooking times, and number of servings. Those stats make it easy to browse for, say, an easy stuffing recipe that you can make in 40 minutes or a complicated turkey preparation that will impress the entire family.
You can also download In the Kitchen for iOS
If you're cooking for someone with specific dietary needs, Edamam's got you covered. The app lets you search for recipes and filter the results for calorie counts and dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free, low fat, or vegetarian. Select a recipe and you can view all of its dietary information, including calories, carbs, protein, and even vitamins.
To find its recipes, Edamam uses its large database of recipes from several popular food sites, such as Epicurious, Serious Eats, and CNET sister-site Chow. While the app's design isn't perfect, Edamam does a great job of finding something to make for your vegan, lactose-intolerant, and gluten-free relatives.
You can also download Edamam for iOS
Hello Vino (Free)
When you're tasked with bring wine to Thanksgiving dinner, but can't tell a Pinot Noir from a Chardonnay, wine search app Hello Vino can help. The app recommends wines based on taste preferences, grape type, and food pairing.
One of my favorite things about Hello Vino is that it gives you recommendations for wines that pair well with common holiday dishes. For Thanksgiving, that means you can pick turkey, ham, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, or even pumpkin pie, and get a wine suggestion for each food. If you're eating dark meat turkey, the app suggests you drink a Pinot Noir and shows four specific bottles at difference price points. Hello Vino explains the flavors of each bottle, plus shows the recommended vintage and current price. It even gives you a photo of the label so you can find the wine when you go shopping, and you can save recommendations to look at later while you're in the wine aisle at the supermarket.
You can also download Hello Vino for iOS