We’re just hours away from Thanksgiving and all the family, turkey, football, and drama that comes with it, whether you’re prepared or not.
To help you get ready for the big day and dominate the feast, Cult of Mac has come up with 7 pro tips that will help you become a better cook, entertain the family, and most importantly, maintain your sanity.
Planning to pack on the pounds during tomorrow’s feast? PrepPad will help you cook and eat more responsibly by weighing your food and then connecting to a database of 350,000 items to tell you how much you should eat based on your nutritional profile. Combined with its companion iPad app, the Prep Pad becomes a full scale cooking platform, giving you precise info on how many carbs and calories you’re cramming down your throat. $149.95
Take cooking lessons
Take your Thanksgiving feast to an all-new level with the App Store’s cornucopia of apps that will turn you into a Master Chef in no time. Epicurious has all the recipes you’ll need, while Substitutions will help you avert disaster if someone forgets an important ingredient. Bon Apetit has a special Turkey Day app out. Butterball will help you roast your bird to perfection. And if you’re dreading making a last dash to the grocery store, you can just use Instacart and get all the fixings delivered to your front door.
Tap into the power of the cloud
Belkin brings the power of the cloud to your kitchen with its internet-connected crockpot that can be turned on or off remotely, so you can keep your flag football game going without worrying about when you need to get home. The slow cooker crockpot comes with an iOS and Android app that lets you adjust the timer or temperature from anywhere. And it sports manual controls on the front for those that like to keep it old school. $129.99
Don't burn the bird
You can take some of the stress out of cooking a 30 pound turkey by using iDevice’s kitchen thermometer. It comes with a two-probe digital meat thermometer and accompanying app. Just thrust one probe into your bird and the app will alert you when the meat reaches optimal temperature. - $81.49
Get your game on
Spending the entire day with your entire family can be a torture sentence, but some good games can make the time pass so much quicker. We’ve been absolutely addicted to Vainglory the past week, and with it’s Team mode, you can recruit your cousins or in-laws to band together and crush the Kraken.
If MOBAs aren’t your thing, Space Age is one of the best games of the month. Kingdom Rush Origins will also keep you busy for a few hours, and if you just need a great one minute game, download CrossyRoad.
Entertain the guests
Once the turkey’s been devoured and half the family has dropped into a tryptophan coma, it’s prime time to fire up the Apple TV and watch some movies (unless you’d rather watch crapass football). Pretty much everyone is going to love rewatching Guardians of the Galaxy now that it’s on iTunes. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes also dropped this week, but if you’d like to learn how your food went from the fields to your feast, check out Food Chains - a powerful new documentary about the farmworkers who pick your food.
Capture the magic moments
You're going to snap a ton of pictures tomorrow. The iPhone’s camera app is great, but to unleash your camera's full potential try out Manual to capture your Thanksgiving festivities. Manual gives users full control of image exposure with DSLR-like controls that let you tweak the shutter speed, ISO, white balance, focus and exposure compensation, to help you bring out better pictures than the iPhone’s automatic camera.
For editing pictures, we swear by VSCO as the best all-around photography app. It’s got advanced camera controls and its editing features and filters are hard to top. For video, switch it up by using Hyperlapse to create buttery smooth video of all the action.
Believe it or not, Black Friday has already come and gone. Pretty soon the Christmas season will begin, and we’ll mark this midwinter festival by getting together with friends and family and continuing to drink and eat far too much.
Meanwhile, we also buy gifts for those same friends and family members, whether they want them or not. Luckily, we’re here to help, and if you follow our festive advice, your gifts just might make it into the “wanted” category.
From now until Christmas, Cult of Mac will be putting together holiday gift guys full of ideas for the special ones in your life, no matter what their interests or your budget. Today, we’re looking at gifts for Mac lovers (not Mac fighters).
There’s something about good food that inspires people to whip out their iPhones, snap a pic, apply a retro filter, and share it with the world on Instagram. Turkey Day was a massive successful for the Facebook-owned social network. Today Instagram revealed that a record-setting 10 million photos were shared yesterday, with an upwards of 200+ uploads per second. That’s insane for an app that’s only a couple of years old.
Happy Thanksgiving! This year to observe the holiday we asked each of our writers to tell us a bit about the things they are most thankful for in 2012: specifically, the Apple product, app, service, third-party accessory and person they most relied upon and were grateful for this year. All through the rest of the day, we’ll be posting these thanksgiving observances. Here’s Cult of Mac News Writer Alex Heath’s list of the things he’s most thankful for this year. You can find the rest of our Thanksgiving Smorgasbord entries here.