Dinner Dash Animal Letters World for Toddlers 5.0 Review

The iPad is a natural learning device for toddlers and preschoolers. It is practically made for little fingers to swipe and pinch across games and learning apps as they absorb letters, numbers, and stories. But there is a very wide range of quality among toddler-oriented apps. Some are sublime and well- thought out. Others are obvious cash-in attempts directed at unaware parents. Dinner Dash Animal Letters World for Toddlers falls into the second category.

In fact, Dinner Dash Animal Letters is such a feature-barren app that it's hard to know exactly what its purpose is. The game essentially shows … Read more

Top holiday cooking apps for Android

Let's be honest: family and friends are swell, but food is really the star of the show whenever the November holiday rolls around, right? That means that whether you're celebrating at home or heading out to a potluck, the heat is on to make something oh-so-delicious for the festivities.

To help you in your endeavor, we've got a list of our favorite cooking apps for the Android platform. They'll not only help you find the best Thanksgiving recipes to get you started, but they'll also provide you with some extra tools to get the cooking … Read more

Top holiday cooking apps on iOS

Are you hosting Thanksgiving or bringing a dish to a potluck? If so, plans are probably already in place for the turkey, side dishes, and desserts, but there might be a chance to take your recipes to the next level -- if you have the right apps.

There are several cooking apps for both iPhone and Android that are great year-round, but they also often have special featured recipe collections around the holidays. If you want to kick your green-bean casserole (or any other holiday dish) up a notch, I suggest you take a look at what these apps have to offer.… Read more

Set the dinner table for Skype

The tablecloth was fresh, the juice was chilled. Francina Richardson and her family were ready for company. But instead of waiting for the doorbell to ring, this Sonoma, Calif., grandmother was listening for the distinctive trill of a Skype phone call. And her guests were joining her as part of a pioneering new initiative called the Virtual Dinner Guest Project.

Right on time, a group of youth in Cairo took a "seat" at the breakfast table. Introductions were made on both sides of the computer screen, and then, a natural conversation began. The young Egyptians, most of them … Read more

Scan, spin, and shop with the DinnerSpinner app

The Allrecipes.com DinnerSpinner app (free) lets you quickly find recipes and easily build grocery lists. If you like games of chance or dislike the first step in preparing any meal -- finding a recipe -- you'll enjoy the DinnerSpinner. And for more targeted searches, you can use the app's new bar code scanner, which arrived with an update earlier this week.

The main screen of the app is the DinnerSpinner, which features three spinnable rows of meal attributes: Dish Type, Ingredients, Ready In. You can manually swipe through each row and make your selection, or you can … Read more

Thanksgiving cooking apps for iOS

Thanksgiving is next Thursday and some of you out there are inevitably faced with the challenge of producing the most celebrated meal of the (U.S.) year.

Fortunately, there are a number of cooking apps in the iTunes App Store to choose from that can help you pull the meal together if you have an iOS device. While your pristine touch screen might get a little smudged in the process--or not--I think you'll appreciate the easy navigation and added tools in each of this week's cooking apps.… Read more

Pretty portion control

In my head, I plan elaborate, healthy meals. And then I sit down to dinner, and I get distracted by the potatoes and overlook the string beans. I'm not alone; many people have great intentions that somehow fizzle away when it's time to actually, you know, bring it to the table.

The Design for Health plate, made by designer Jeffrey Harris, puts your meals back in proportion, with a visual cue reminding you that you want your meal to be a quarter protein, a quarter starch, and half vegetables. At 9.5 inches, this plate is smaller than … Read more

A spinner for dinner

Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner is a free, ad-supported app that gives you fun and easy access to the user-generated recipes on this popular cooking Web site. The Dinner Spinner gives you a slot-machine-style interface that helps you search for--or just stumble upon--new meal possibilities: you can rotate horizontal spinners to choose a recipe by meal type, ingredient, and cook time, or you can shake your iPhone or iPod Touch (or press a touch-screen button) to randomize any or all of the criteria.

This interface gimmick works surprisingly well, especially with some fixed criteria (like, say, you know you have lamb … Read more

iPhone apps of the week

By now most people have heard the rags to riches stories of the iPhone app developers who learned a valuable secret: Make a "lite" version. It seems reasonable that while there are a lot of people willing to pay for apps, many want to know what they're getting before spending their hard-earned cash. One of our iPhone apps this week has benefited immensely from creating a lite version and I have to admit, I probably wouldn't have tried it myself if they hadn't. The lite version has now made it to the top of iTunes' … Read more

Don't play with your food--play with your table

What a sweet looking dinner table. Grooves cut into the table serve as channels for marbles to roll around in. A marble can roll from the tabletop, down the spiral legs, through the supports, and all the way into a reservoir at the base. Cool.

Netherlands-based designer Tineke Beunders created the Marbelous table, perhaps in an effort to bridge the gap between adults and children. The designer has this to say about it:

"The world of adults' furniture and the world [of] children's toys don't seem to belong together.

From my childhood, I remember it was always [… Read more