Review: Thanksgiving Menu Maker is an extremely useful planning app

Create and map out your menu and schedule your next holiday meal on your calendar.

Thanksgiving Menu Maker from "Fine Cooking" offers a carefully curated list of recipes to choose from alongside an automated shopping list and schedule to help you plot your next big holiday meal. The result is a very effective tool for mapping out your entire schedule as far as a week in advance before Thanksgiving or another holiday meal you might want to use the app for.

When you load the app you will be given a list of recipes to choose from right away. They are separated by starter, main dish, sides, and desserts. Scroll through the list and tap on any of the recipes to add it to your menu, or you can open it and view the ingredients and instructions for cooking. When you add something to your list, it is automatically put on your shopping list and integrated into the cooking schedule. So when you are done planning you can see a full list of every ingredient you will need as well as the timeline needed to cook everything in time for the big meal. The interface looks and feels like a magazine, but runs like a finely crafted Web site and the result is perfect for anyone in the midst of holiday meal planning.

If you were overwhelmed by your last holiday meal and want an app that will make next year a bit easier, consider Thanksgiving Menu Maker. The recipes are decidedly Thanksgiving focused, but the app would be a useful tool for any big holiday or family meal and it's free to download and use with only light ad support.

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