Fourth of July is not just about patriotism - it's also about celebrating the summer with fireworks, parades, and, of course, cooking outdoors. But even though Fourth of July meals are usually laid-back, planning a holiday get together can still be stressful! Here are the Five Best Apps for planning your July 4th celebration this year. 1. Green Grocer ($4.99) Your first stop for any food-centric party is the grocery store. Green Grocer allows you to create location-based grocery lists that actually tell you when you're near the item you need at the store. You can also email lists to others, so you can enlist party-planning help from friends and family and send them to pick up last-minute items. One more great feature is shake-to-sort, which moves already checked-off items to the bottom of the list and brings the items you have left to buy to the top - this is particularly suited to holiday shopping when grocery lists can get extensive.
2. Grill-It! ($.99) From pork ribs to steak to lobster tails, the Grill-It! app provides easy-to-follow recipes and pictures for grilling. Recipes are organized by protein, but there are also categories for vegetables and sides. If this is your first time hosting a Fourth of July gathering, this is an especially good grilling app; it's very beginner-friendly. The app also automatically adds a new recipe each week - no need to manually update.
3. SparkRecipes (free) Sometimes it can be really tough to stick to a healthy eating plan or a vegetarian diet when Fourth of July is often associated with hot dogs and burgers slathered in condiments. SparkRecipes provides almost 200,000 recipes that include calorie counts and key nutrients. They also list extensive recipe options in the vegetarian category, so non-carnivores don't have to feel left out - delicious chili and kebabs await you! The app even includes video content for recipes and cooking basics.
4. Rhino Gauge (free) The fastest way to derail a cookout is to run out of propane for the grill. Rhino Gauge allows you to track your propane usage based on your grill time and burner settings for specific grill projects. It also includes an "average use" setting for your everyday summer grilling. There's also a locator function for finding shops to refill your propane tank, but be warned, this feature only works for BlueRhino brand propane.
5. Texas Monthly BBQ (free) Don't feel like cooking? Or maybe rain is ruining your outdoor holiday plans. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy amazing barbecue on Fourth of July! Use Texas Monthly's new app to find the best barbecue joint near you (it's location-based). Entries for each restaurant provide address and contact info and also feature a "buzz" section with comments and tips from Foursquare members and fellow Texas Monthly users. This way, you can stock up on delicious grill-fresh food and sides in the case of a rainout.