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

For the DIY set: Make your own Muppet online

It might not be as technically challenging as modding a PC out of a humidor, but FAO Schwarz's make-your-own-Muppet tool is still a kick for cubicle dwellers with a few minutes to kill.

With the Muppet Whatnot designer, you get to pick from three bodies, choose eyes, a nose, hair, and an outfit, and you've got yourself a custom-made Muppet faster than you can say: Gersh gurndy morn-dee burn-dee.

But for 90 bucks a pop, you'd better be sure you really like that round red nose better than the pointy yellow.

A press representative says it takes four to six weeks to receive your creation--enough time for the holidays if you start now.

But beginning November 13, the Muppets will take Manhattan--again. Customers at the Fifth Avenue store will be able to design their Muppets in-store and walk out with their new toy about 20 minutes later. Also note that, though we don't have one to look at in person (stuffed animals don't quite cut it on the CNET expense account), we suspect these are actual puppets, not full-bodied stuffed animals.

If Muppets aren't your thing, the famed toy store has another do-it-yourself toy-making service. With the Make-My-Own-Monster Custom Design Kit, you can send in your own drawing of the creatures that haunt you in the night, and a few weeks and $250 later, they'll mail you back a stuffed animal fashioned after your design. … Read more

How to get reporters' attention at Web 2.0 Expo

NEW YORK--In the press room at the Web 2.0 Expo at the Jacob Javits Convention Center here, there are a ton of fliers, stickers, and press kits lying around for us reporters and bloggers to peruse.

It's kind of hard for any one of them to stand out. Unless you're like collaboration software start-up Octopz, which we reviewed last year.

The company's strategy: Leave out some bright turquoise-and-green stuffed octopi, free for the taking. No corny company logos, no attached pitch, just a cute stuffed sea creature with a flash drive press kit tied around its … Read more

iTeddy: Advanced teddy bear or digital babysitter?

No, it's not Internet lingerie (how would that work exactly, anyway?), but it might be just as questionable. According to its Web site, iTeddy is the "cuddly way to watch, learn, and play." Is it just me, or does that sound slightly foreboding?

In any event, the U.K.-based company iTeddy appears to focus on just the one product: an otherwise standard-looking stuffed bear with a screen on its belly and memory in its brain...512MB of it, to be exact. The iTeddy also includes an SD card slot for memory expansion, built-in external speakers, a … Read more

Just another turtle planetarium

As fellow Craver Caroline McCarthy is off on other assignments, we've been asked to fill in on some of her regular beats. No, it doesn't involve wine or beer. Or still more wine and beer.

In this case, it's something that combines two other of her favorite topics, stuffed animals and planetriums. (We don't ask questions.) The "Twilight Turtle" looks like a regular plush by day but, by night, its plastic shell turns into a planetarium that projects the night sky onto any ceiling.

It comes in white, green or blue, colors that researchers … Read more

Rock out with your stuffed animals

With all due respect to our fellow Cravers, we weren't exactly huge fans of speakers recently incarnated as penguins and hogs. It's just that they seemed so ... predictable.

But how often do you see stuffed animals with their own working headphones? Now that's original. The 'phones, in this case, are actually speakers that connect to your MP3 player. These iFlops come in a menagerie of bears, elephants, frogs, pigs and monkeys, as seen in this photo from Chip Chick. No penguins, though. (Sorry, Caroline.)

Meet Teddy F**pin

Don't you f***ing love cute stuffed animals?

They're the s***. But Entertainment Earth has taken huggable plush toys to an entirely new level with the Swear Bear.

Here are the f***ing basics: you hug the innocent-looking Swear Bear, and in turn, it swears profusely. We're talking classic phrases such as "Hey d***head, what're you--some kind of pervert, gotta touch teddy bears?" and "Eat s*** and die!" Awww, that's so f***ing adorable.

In addition to making Tickle-Me Elmo look like a complete a******, the Swear Bear costs only … Read more