Take the stress out of holiday gatherings with awesome apps and useful gadgets.
When it comes to getting together for the holidays, it’s nice to picture the Norman Rockwell fantasy: smiling groups of friends and family gathered around a perfectly set table abundantly filled with delectable food. The reality can be far from idyllic, with modern life’s rushed schedule often precluding the kind of epic prep needed to pull off a traditional-style gathering. The solution? Upgrade your traditions with gadgets designed to free up time and get you back to enjoying your entertaining.
The Gang’s All Here
You can’t entertain without guests, so the first step to to invite your loved ones to the soirée. Evite is the longtime leader in online invites; the company recently celebrated its 2 billionth invitation in June with a surprise “party upgrade” for the user who sent it. With the free EVITE APP for iOS and Android, you can swipe your way to a beautifully designed invitation right from your phone and receive alerts you as guests RSVP. evite.com
Once you know how many guests you’ll be entertaining, it’s time to plan the main course. To plate the perfect roast, you could go the traditional route of constantly hovering over the oven — or you could use the RANGE SMART THERMOMETER to connect your food to your phone. The stylish temperature taker, made of food-safe materials, is designed to be inserted into food and left in the oven (or on the grill) while it cooks. The device sends periodic temperature readings to your connected iOS device, so you can check the doneness of your mealtime masterpiece without losing heat by opening the oven. You can even set an alert and forget the checking: Range will let you know when your dish has reached the desired temperature. supermechanical.com/range
An ideal accompaniment to almost any meal is an excellently paired wine. However, oenophiles know that finding the best match for a recipe is more difficult than simply choosing red or white. That’s when you can turn to HELLO VINO, a free app that turns your smartphone into your personal sommelier. Provide it with your taste preferences and what you’re planning to serve, and the app will recommend ideal pairings. It can also offer tasting notes when you snap a picture of a wine’s label, keep track of past wine purchases and more. hellovino.com
Once you’ve made your wine selection, it’s important to present it to your guests at its best. With the RAVI WINE REFRESHER, you won’t have to worry about over-chilled whites or over-warm reds. (Room temperature is usually too warm for a red; it should ideally be consumed at between 52 and 65 degrees). Store the refresher in the freezer before use; then twist it on to an opened bottle of wine to chill as you pour. There are two models: one for reds (gentle chilling) and one for whites (designed to lower the temperature to a crisp 45 degrees).
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Last modified: September 18, 2019