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Thanksgiving recipes online

With the holiday rapidly approaching, the Net can help alleviate stress with its fountain of resources for holiday hosts.

Thanksgiving is upon us, and with the rush to squeeze a week's work into three days, there isn't always time to plow through a dozen cookbooks to find just the right recipes. The Net can relieve some of that holiday angst.

Yahoo's Thanksgiving Coverage is a good place to start. It offers about a dozen links to recipe sites, as well as others to U.S. colonial history and holiday activities such as football, crafts, and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Another good launching pad is The Kitchen Link, which is an index to more than 7,000 food and recipe resources on the Net.

The mother of all recipe sites is Epicurious, which features a section with more than 350 Thanksgiving recipes from its collection culled from Bon Appétit, Gourmet, and House & Garden magazines. Users can browse through the recipes by category or set up a personal menu that can then be emailed to guests for approval or printed in a decorative format to use as place-settings. If the hundreds of recipes in that section aren't enough, the Epicurious Recipe File holds more than 6,500 choices for general dishes.

Another useful spot for Thanksgiving chefs is on Disney's Family.com site. From the home page, visitors can click to recipes and tips from Family Fun Magazine, or head over to the Thanksgiving Made Easy feature. This section offers ideas for every step of the Thanksgiving ritual including a Countdown to Thanksgiving section with do-ahead tips, low-fat dessert recipes from Cooking Light magazine, and a half-dozen recipes for leftover turkey.

My Menus offers whole Thanksgiving menus with nutrition information along with preparation and cooking times. The site offers a database searchable by ingredient and resources for particular dietary guidelines such as vegetarian, diabetic, and kosher.

Many popular magazines and popular food companies use the Web to market their products, and Netizens reap the benefits as these companies fight to offer the best and widest variety of recipes as well as the most comprehensive packages for major holidays. Butterball and Pillsbury are among the food companies offering such services, while Better Homes and Gardens, HomeArts (which is the Web presence for Good Housekeeping and Redbook, among others), and Reader's Digest are just a few of the magazine sites.

Usenet newsgroups such as "rec.food.cooking," "alt.food," and "alt.cooking-chat" are also a wellspring of creative ideas, opinions, and stories both good and bad about feeding Thanksgiving feasters--however, recipes by fellow Netizens do not come from reputable companies with test kitchens, and may require a "practice run."