The season for parties is here, it’s time to put the extra leaf in the kitchen table and warm up your entertaining skills. As the holidays approach you’ll be hosting dinner parties and open houses, brunches and cocktail soirees. Don’t distress over the thought of planning a party from A to Z, there are plenty of great apps to help you along the way. I’ve selected my favorite, most inspiring and most useful iPad apps for party planning, decor and menus.

From practical utilities for managing guests lists and scheduling kitchen tasks to fanciful apps for coming up with party themes and decor, you’ll find everything you need to make your next bash memorable. As they say, the devil is in the details: fun party invitations build anticipation, thoughtful place settings make guests feel welcome, even your hostess outfit is an opportunity to make a statement.

To learn more about how your iPad can help you be the hostess with the mostess, keeping reading.

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Autumn is my favorite time of year, especially in the kitchen. I’m happiest standing over a pot of soup, stirring gently with my favorite wooden spoon. Arriving home to the inviting aroma of a meaty stew simmering in the slow cooker makes the seasonal change to colder, darker days more bearable. Cooking a big pot of chili is reason enough to have friends over for an impromptu party. I’m always looking for new recipes to try and so I was delighted to find Relish Soups, Stews & Chilis Recipe Collection.

Relish Magazine is known for practical, flavorful recipes created with ingredients that are seasonal and accessible to the masses. The magazine’s colorful, mouth-watering food photos are eye-catching and inspiring. How does America’s largest food magazine taste on the iPad? Keep reading to find out.

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The month-long series challenging you to cook dinner at home five nights a week is coming to an end. At this point you’re probably feeling pretty confident about getting supper on the table. You’ve learned how to turn inspiration into organization, narrowing down recipes and using favorites lists to plan a week’s worth of meals. Now you know how to scan an app for recipes conducive to weeknight cooking — quick and easy or slow and hands-off. You’ve built a repertoire of dishes and mastered basic cooking techniques. After conquering the recipes from The Photo Cookbook – Simple and Delicious, BBC Good Food Quick Recipes and Jamie Oliver’s Recipes, I think you’re ready for the epic Must-Have Recipes from Better Homes and Gardens.

The challenge with this app is that it’s got a ton of recipes to choose from. Now that you know how to set yourself up for success in the planning stage, you’re ready to manage an app with 1,000 recipes without being overwhelmed. Must-Have Recipes from Better Homes and Gardens is an endless source of inspiration for your weeknight suppers.

Keep reading to find out how this app can help you maintain your routine of cooking dinner at home all year long.

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You’re halfway through the September challenge of cooking supper at home 5 nights a week. You began the routine of preparing meals at home with The Photo Cookbook-Simple and Delicious, a collection of basic recipes with step-by-step photos to guide you. After building a bit of confidence you branched out with more global flavors in BBC Good Food Quick Recipes. Now you’re ready to unleash your creativity and master a few more cooking skills with Jamie Oliver’s Recipes.

This app is for people who love to cook and eat, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned cook. Jamie’s recipes are bold, flavorful and generous. It’s not just about feeding your family; it’s about providing nourishment. Cooking with Jamie is bold, brash and fun. You’ll enjoy mounding a pile of salad leaves in that big wooden serving bowl you never use. Serving grilled meat and veg on that platter collecting dust in the china cabinet will bring your intention and focus to the table. This app helps to cement the new practice of cooking supper at home as something bigger than a routine — a ritual.

Are you ready to take home-cooked suppers to the next level? Keep reading to learn more.

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This month of Foodie Fridays is all about apps that make it easier to gather round the table as a family. I’ve issued a challenge: make a goal to cook supper at home five nights a week. Autumn is the perfect time to start fresh, creating a new routine. The key to success: keep it simple. This isn’t about fancy recipes with long lists of ingredients and complex steps. It’s about getting dinner on the table fast, everyone in the family pitching in and maybe even having fun.

Last Friday, I encouraged you to make a fresh start with The Photo Cookbook – Simple & Delicious. We’re taking baby steps in the right direction, beginning with a collection of basic recipes for busy people who don’t necessarily love to cook but want to avoid ordering takeout. This week I’ve selected BBC Good Food Quick Recipes, which offers more creative dishes featuring global cuisines. Keep reading to find out how this app can help you continue your new routine with quick, easy, flavorful meals.

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Autumn brings about a return to routines. The leisurely days of summer are over. Kids go back to school and life becomes busier as extracurricular activities resume: after school sports and choir practice, school plays and orchestra performances. Kids aren’t the only ones caught up in the go-go-go; parents have PTA meetings to attend, gym sessions to sweat through, book clubs to host and date nights to prioritize. As the calendar fills up and we feel stretched ever thinner, gathering over a home-cooked meal becomes more difficult. We’re too busy to plan and shop, too tired to cook, too rushed to sit down for thirty minutes as a family.

Here on Foodie Friday, the month of September is dedicated to gathering around the table for a home cooked family meal. Each week I’ll be sharing an app that makes cooking at home 5 nights a week simple, easy and fun. Look for tips on sharing the workload (it’s not all on Mom’s shoulders) and getting kids involved. Find clever ideas for prepping ahead so you can get dinner on the table in minutes. Whether you’re a busy professional couple with one child or a stay-at-home parent to four, making time to gather around the table as a family is a challenge. Make a goal this month to start a new routine, with a little help from your iPad.

Keep reading to find out more about my first pick of the series.

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Can you guess what room of the home you spend most of our waking time in? It’s the kitchen. For many, it’s not just for cooking and dining — it’s also where you study, pay bills and hang out. Whether you’re renting a tiny apartment with a galley kitchen or you’ve just bought your first home (a real fixer upper), you’re going to need some inspiration, ideas and a little DIY.

Maybe it’s just a matter of adding some life to a drab dining area with lighting or a fresh coat of paint. Design solutions might be needed to keep dishes, silverware and cookware organized yet attractively displayed. Great décor apps don’t just provide inspiration, they also allow you to gather ideas, customize with notes and visualizations, purchase accessories and materials, communicate with design pro’s and find decorators/contractors in your area.

As a recipe developer, food writer and photographer I’m always striving to make my kitchen space more beautiful, functional and organized. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite free apps for kitchen design and decorating ideas.

Don’t spend another day in a drab kitchen. Keep reading for tips on redecorating with a little help from your iPad.

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If you’re a college student then it’s time to start packing your things and buying this year’s textbooks. As you prepare to return to school you may be moving into a new apartment, dorm room or sorority/fraternity house. If you’re lucky enough to have a kitchen to cook in, you’ll be looking for simple, easy recipes. Fridge and cupboard storage space is probably limited and a student’s budget means the kitchen is only outfitted with basic utensils and appliances. You would be doing good just to avoid ordering pizza every night, so trendy, cheffy recipes are out and affordable, satisfying recipes are in.

As a busy student, your iPad is the key to avoiding takeout and enjoying healthy, home cooked meals. Choosing the right apps will ensure you’ve got great resources for finding quick, easy, affordable recipes and executing them successfully. I’ve carefully searched the Appstore to create a collection of must-have cooking apps for college students. Keep reading to get my top five picks for scholarly foodies.

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Passionate cooks are always looking to learn something new — a clever tip for chopping onions without tears, a silkier mashed potato or how to really know when that steak is cooked perfectly. Cookbook apps are evolving on iPad to really help home cooks learn new techniques and be more efficient in the kitchen. The competition is getting stiff, and innovators are quickly leaving mediocre apps in their dust.

The Cooks Encyclopedia is a lofty title for an app, creating high expectations of the ultimate cookery book. This collection of 350 recipes by Michelin starred Chef Patrik Jaros and renowned photographer Günter Beer declares it “takes the reader by the hand and teaches the many techniques that the world’s great chefs have mastered.” Using more than 3,400 step-by-step photos and preparations outlined “in depth” the app hopes to provide a “complete, professional guide to shopping for and creating meals, from simple omelets to three star dishes.”

How many Michelin stars do I award The Cooks Encyclopedia? Keep reading to find out.

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Gordon Ramsay: either you love him or you hate him. I’m a fan, and so downloading the app Gordon Ramsay Cook With Me was a no brainer. The description offers a collection of recipes and video demos and Gordon’s promise to “show you how to cook yourself into a better cook.” At a cost of $7.99 for the app with additional costs for recipe bundles, my first thought was, “This guy’s pretty proud of his app, we’ll see if it’s that good.”

If you’re like me, you’re interested to find out what this Michelin worthy chef’s favorite recipes are and excited to learn a new trick or two from the master. Maybe you’re looking to up your game in the kitchen this fall? Cooking with Gordon Ramsay is sure to make you a better, more disciplined cook.

Are you ready to get schooled by the chef from Hell’s Kitchen? Keep reading.

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