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    25 Things To Help Solve The Eternal "What To Eat For Dinner" Problem

    No more wandering listlessly around the kitchen complaining that you just don't know what to eeeeeeeeeeat.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. A Souper Cube, so you can be sure you’ll always have something tasty waiting for you in the freezer. These silicone trays each come with four 1-cup compartments perfect for dishing out individual servings of soups, stews, and even oatmeal; they also close securely with a snap-on lid. Go ahead: Meal prep to your heart’s content; freeze the left-overs; and bam – dinner is sorted for whenever you need it. Future You will definitely thank Past You.

    amazon.com

    Promising review:Where have these been all my life? Wow, I absolutely love these things. My best advice: Don't be put off by the price. Just buy them.

    These Souper Cubes are the most convenient way of freezing ‘portions’ I've ever found. For example, I love making soup, but my husband isn't all that thrilled about eating it. I usually just eat what I've made – for three days or until I'm sick of it – and then throw out whatever is left. Dumb, but freezing small portions isn't all that handy. Until I found these. I also love making soup stock. Now all I have to do is pop as many of these cubes of stock as I need into the pot. I also do a lot of freezing vs. canning in the summer. Now I can make my tomato sauce and freeze it into one-cup portions. If you've ever processed a whole batch of liquid something into small ziplock bags for the freezer, you'll appreciate the convenience of just ladling the sauce or whatever into these cubes. When the sauce is frozen, I pop the cubes out of the trays and freeze them in 1 gallon freezer bags – eight to a bag. Nice.

    I'm a practical gift-giver, so these Souper Cubes are going on my list of ‘must-give’ items.” —labwriter

    Get it from Amazon for $36.99.

    2. A 5.48-liter air fryer that’ll make frying, baking, grilling, and roasting all your dinnertime faves a breeze — and speedy, to boot. Whether you’re in the mood for fried chicken or crispy Brussels sprouts (or both!) this easy-to-operate countertop must-have gets it all done with the push of a button.

    The air fryer in the color Black
    Tonishiah / Wayfair

    Promising review:This air fryer is such a game-changer. I love everything I've made in it so far. Cuts cooking time in half. Everything is crispy and delicious. Debated on getting one for over a year and finally gave in and I'm glad I did! This air fryer is so easy to use and cleans up great. Nothing has stuck to the surface yet. Washes up with warm soapy water. Highly recommended!” —Susan

    Get it from Wayfair for $81.54+ (available in four colors).

    3. A microwave pasta cooker, because even if you’ve always got pasta in the pantry, you don’t always want to wait for an entire pot of water to boil before you can even start cooking the stuff, am I right? Just stick this sucker in the microwave for 10 to 12 minutes and you're good to go. As an added bonus, this simple-yet-effective kitchen pick is also super easy to clean.

    The pasta cooker
    Amazon

    Promising review:I don't want to get all gushy over a pasta maker, but man... I really love this gizmo! I try to limit my monthly food expenditures and the Fasta Pasta helps me work in at least one inexpensive pasta meal every week. If not more. First of all, I like spaghetti – either with normal Prego-type sauce or sometimes just with butter and Romano cheese sprinkled on. But I'm lazy and impatient and don't like things that take a long time to make, with a bunch of steps, and a big cleanup afterwards. The Fasta Pasta is perfect for me. I get the exact amount of correctly-measured spaghetti; it's faster than boiling water in a big pot then having to watch and stir the pasta; the pasta comes out perfectly cooked every time; and the cleanup is a snap. No big pot; no colander; no spaghetti fork to lift out the pasta. Just the easy to clean Fasta Pasta, and a pot to heat up the sauce. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!” —Smilin Sam 

    Get it from Amazon for $16.99.

    4. And a duo of truffle-infused pasta sauces to elevate the pasta you just made in your convenient, microwavable pasta cooker. From the truffle experts at TRUFF, this decadent sauce set comes in two varieties — an elegant Pomodoro and a fiery arrabbiata — that’ll make any bowl of spaghetti into a delicious dinnertime indulgence.

    The TRUFF pasta sauces
    Amazon

    Promising review: “My wife and I tried the Black Truffle bundle, made up of two well-packed bottles of sauce – one each of Pomodoro and Arrabbiata – and each was delicious! Totally scrumptious, authentic and just-right spicy when it should be, we would be very glad to use either or both of these sauces just about all the time, if we didn't think they were just a bit too expensive for every-day. The truffle flavor is there, if fairly low-key, but that's to be expected given the price (truffle oil is used instead of mushroom slices or bits, as we discovered after delivery when we examined the labels). … Each was VERY good, and it absolutely made our dinner for two (with leftovers) a more enjoyable and special occasion, so it was well worth it for us (as a test drive, if nothing else). Yep, they were right darned good! Of course, your mileage may vary, but what the heck, why not give 'em a try!” —Bubba Pearson 

    Get them from Amazon for $29.99 (available in three flavor combinations).

    5. An ever-popular Always Pan that’ll do…basically anything you need it to do. With the ability to function as a fry pan, sauté pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, and saucepan, this ceramic non-stick pick can take anything you throw at it — even if you don’t know what you’re going to cook until about 30 seconds before you start making it. Also, it is infinitely Instagrammable, and, I mean, who doesn’t like cooking with pretty kitchen gear?

    The Always Pan in the color Sage
    Our Place

    Promising review: “First of all, wow! It looks great, but that does not even compare to how well it cooks. You get an even cooking surface & everything comes out so nicely. Then you clean up & that’s a breeze! I’ve never had a pan clean up that easily. If they make a small sauce pan, I’ll buy it. That’s the only thing I’m missing. I love how the pan holds the spoon. Very convenient. I can say, you’ll probably never find a better pan. The place on the lid that has a gap for the spoon holder helps cook eggs perfectly. No more propping the lid over the pan to let a small out of air in. I highly recommend.” —Sherry B.

    Get it from Our Place for $145 (available in six colors).

    You can also check out our full review of the Always Pan.

    6. Or, a seven-piece cookware set from Food52’s Five Two line that’ll cover all your stovetop bases. Constructed of fully-clad, tri-ply stainless steel with an aluminum core and including lids made of tempered glass, each of the pieces in this core set are built to last — and perform spectacularly, of course.

    The cookware set
    Food52

    The set includes a 10-inch ceramic skillet (complete with pan protector), a four-quart sauté pan with a lid, a 2.7-quart saucepan with a lid, and a six-quart stock pot with a lid. The lids, by the way, pack some bonus features, too: The sauté pan’s lid also fits the skillet, and the saucepan and stock pot lids include built-in strainers – no need to faff about with colanders or additional strainers.

    Promising review: “I looked at a lot of cookware before I decided to purchase this set and nothing beats this. It’s so pretty I almost want to put it in display, but besides that, its many features were well thought out to make cooking a dream. It’s beautiful and sturdy (not too heavy) and each piece is just the right size. Love the glass lids, the built-in straining feature, the measurements listed, and it’s so great to have a non-stick skillet in the set. Great value, too – it is perfection!” —lindsaybphoto

    Get it from Food52 for $299 (pieces are also available individually for $69+ and as an 11-piece set for $429).

    7. A three-pack of Birch Benders pancake and waffle mix, because breakfast-for-dinner is always, always a valid option. Although I prefer to make my pancakes from scratch when I can, I also pretty much always have a couple of pouches of Birch Benders in my pantry for those times when I want the convenience of a just-add-water mix. Because you know what? This stuff legit tastes homemade. Yum.

    The pancake and waffle mix
    instagram.com

    Promising review:Truly a great quick pancake mix. I use milk instead of water (though they also taste good with water), plus I add a splash of lemon juice. The results are fluffy delicious pancakes. My fav pancake mix – I always make sure to have some in stoc,k as my entire household really enjoys these pancakes.” —LoveShoes 

    Get it from Amazon for $11.82.

    8. Or, a breakfast sandwich maker, if you’re in the mood for a breakfast-dinner with a little more protein. All you have to do to get yourself on the road to egg sandwich goodness is stack bread, cheese, and maybe a slice of cooked ham if you feel like it on the bottom plate, crack an egg in the top plate and add a second piece of bread, close the machine, and let it sit for about five minutes. When the time is up, just slide out the egg plate, and voilà — a whole sandwich is waiting for you inside.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: “Listen, folks, if you're thinking about buying this thing and obsessively reading the reviews, let me just save you the trouble. Buy it. Do it now. I love this thing. It's little, it's cute, it's easy to clean. I put in an English muffin, a pre-cooked sausage patty and an egg, sometimes cheese if I'm feeling a little fancy, and five minutes later... breakfast sandwich heaven. It's better than a McMuffin, y’all. I keep thinking that I'll add some vegetables somehow to make it healthier, but why mess with a winning recipe? It's delightful. Seriously delightful. If I had to make one complaint, it would be that there is no timer to tell you when your sandwich is done. But in the scheme of things, I can stand and watch my perfect little breakfast until it's ready. Also, it's easy to clean and kids can use it. Everybody wins.” —Jessica Stoops

    Get it from Amazon for $24.99+ (available in four colors).

    9. A Blue Apron subscription that’ll send the makings for incredible meals directly to your door — meaning you do not have to plan a dang thing to get a delicious meal on the table. Each Blue Apron kit comes with easy-to-follow directions and all the ingredients you need for a tasty and complete dinner; you just have to do the actual cooking.

    Blue Apron

    Blue Apron’s plans are flexible and customizable: You can choose to have anywhere between two and four kits sent to you per week; kits can serve either two or four people; you can make sure your meals are diabetes-friendly, A-OK for vegetarian needs, and more; heck, you can even skip weeks or adjust your delivery schedule if your needs change.

    Get it from Blue Apron starting at $8.99 per serving.

    10. An Instant Pot, because why on earth would you own eight million different devices that all do different things when you could have just one device that does basically everything? The beauty of the seven-in-one Instant Pot is that it can handle everything from slow cooking to sautéing and everything in between — and it makes cleanup a cinch, too.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: “Just got my 3-quart Instant Pot and have used it twice. I absolutely LOVE it. I wasn’t sure about ordering the 3-quart but was pleasantly surprised by the size. I’m just one person and this is the perfect size. Small footprint in counter and easy to use and clean. It came with a steamer trivet so I can steam lots of veggies. I highly recommend.” —BMW1951

    Get it from Amazon for $69+ (available in three sizes).

    Check out our in-depth Instant Pot review for more info.

    11. A bottle of sesame teriyaki sauce from Target’s Good & Gather line, because if you’ve got some of this on hand, you’ve got dinner sorted — promise. Just toss some of it in a pan with any veggies and/or protein you’ve got on hand, stir-fry it all up, plate it over some rice, and voila: Dinner.

    The teriyaki sauce
    Target

    Promising review: “Bought this on a whim. Read some of the reviews and thought, why not. It lived up to the hype! The ingredients in this come through. I've made teriyaki sauce from scratch before, but this stuff is great! Everyone finished their meals and even complimented that it tasted just like take-out. Steamed some rice, sautéed some chicken with a bit of salt, pepper, garlic powder and ginger, added some veggies and boom: A delicious dinner. Bought an extra bottle to keep in the pantry for a quick delicious meal.” —yoshi12

    Get it from Target for $3.99.

    12. A copy of Cook As You Are by Ruby Tandoh, because cooking a delicious dinner doesn’t need to involve buying a whole bunch of specialty ingredients you'll never use again or relying on fancy gadgets or equipment you might not have around. Written with an eye for accessibility, Tando’s recipes are endlessly adaptable based on your own needs – and she offers plenty of gentle guidance and suggestions on how to do so.

    The cover of Cook As You Are by Ruby Tandoh
    Amazon

    I have one of Tandoh’s other books, Eat Up!, and I love it; largely focused on learning how to enjoy food on your own terms – not by someone else’s – it includes simple, easily made, easily adaptable recipes throughout that are both delicious and fuss-free. Cook As You Are comes from that same ethos, and it’s a breath of fresh air in the kitchen.

    Promising review: “This book is great! So far, I've made three main meal-type recipes and everything has turned out great. What I like best about this is that integral to the recipes is the thought that you can alter and adjust them to what you have/need and there is commentary on how you would approach doing it. So the recipes are inherently flexible, but with enough guidance to timings and quantities so you understand what you're aiming for. They are foundations to set you up to succeed with your improvisation! This is an excellent, reflexive, way to learn and then practice cooking. And I think builds a great cooking culture. I'm a fairly confident cook and will use this to help me try new things, for inspiration when I need it, but also to support days when cooking is hard because tiredness/sadness/executive function has vanished off somewhere! So far, until I'm more familiar with all the recipes in there I'm using ingredients I'm wanting to use as the starting point, so looking up carrots recipes when I had them to use up. But I think once you've had more flicks though you'd remember ‘oooh I spotted something good for pudding’ and try other things because they sound tasty.” —L. Officer 

    Get it from Amazon for $24.59

    13. A set of five wooden spoons, so you’ll always have the right tool on hand for whatever you feel like whipping up. Made of beautiful, durable teak, this set from Food52’s Five Two line includes a classic wooden spoon, a double-ended spoon, a slotted spoon, a combination turner and scraper, and a flat-edged “corner getter” spoon that’ll, well, help you get into every corner of your favorite pots and pans. Bonus: The set is available in both right- and left-handed versions.

    The wooden spoon set
    Food52

    Promising review:Love everything about these: the balanced weight, the stain color, and the smooth, sanded finish. Kinda wish the spatula had been solid instead of perforated, but at least it's easily cleaned with a toothpick. These look great in a crock on the counter. At first, I thought they were a little pricy, but now that we have them, I know they're worth it. My boyfriend does the majority of the cooking and they've already replaced his old favorite bamboo spoons that just didn't hold up as well as I'd hoped.” —fsmf15362

    Get it from Food52 for $99 (also available individually for $25+).

    14. A self-watering indoor garden, so you can take some meal planning inspiration from your very own collection of fresh herbs or vegetables. This pick from Click and Grow takes the guesswork out of plant care, thanks to its built-in water reservoir, LED lamp arm, and NASA-inspired soil mix. It comes with three basil pods to get you started, but there’s a whole host of other available options for once you get the hang of it!

    The indoor garden in the color White
    Nordstrom

    Promising review: “Fresh herbs all year round! This self-watering garden is so much fun! I enjoy watching the basil plants sprout and mature. Compact and attractive, this garden fits nicely on the kitchen counter, where fresh herbs are immediately available for food preparation. You can expand your garden to include cherry tomatoes, wild strawberries, even flowers.” —Serena

    Get it from Nordstrom for $79.96 (originally $139.95, available in three colors).

    15. A pack of reusable toaster bags that makes whipping up a toasted sandwich as easy as just, y’know, making some regular ol’ toast. Just slide your assembled sammie into the bag; then pop the whole shebang into your toaster. When the bell dings, you’ll have a delightfully warm sandwich, minus the extra mess.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    Promising review: “I love grilled cheese sandwiches, but I’m too lazy/impatient to use the stovetop. This is super easy to use and reduces prep and cleanup time. I love that you can make your sandwich, drop it in the bag, shove it in your toaster and toast. I have mine on the 3-minute setting, but plan to increase for a darker toast. When done, the sandwich just slides out of the bag.

    I’ve also used to reheat pizza and Pizza Hut breadsticks. Don’t get me wrong, cold pizza is good, but a quick heat without the soggy that comes from microwaves is great. And while those breadsticks are yummy the day you get them, they don’t do well coming out of the fridge after a couple of days. The toaster bags provide bring back that crisp without leaving all of those toppings in the crumb tray of the toaster.

    … I highly recommend – make sure you have a wide slot toaster to make the most of it. Once you make your first sandwich, you’ll start to think of other things that can go in the bag.” —KVA

    Get a four-pack from Amazon for $8.59 (also available in six- and 10-packs for $9.99+).

    16. A bunch of ready-to-use simmer sauces, so you can get everything from Korean BBQ to tikka masala on the table in a jiffy. With so many varieties and flavor profiles to choose from, you’ll never suffer from bored tastebuds.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: “Delicious! The best part of these sauces is the taste, but almost as great as the taste is how easy they are to use. All you do is cook your chicken breast and then dump the sauce on, let things heat through, and boom! It's done! Serve it over rice & you would think you'd ordered from a favorite restaurant. Highly recommend!” —A D Lago

    Get a three-pack from Amazon for $15 (available in 11 flavor combinations).

    17. A Home Chef subscription with so. many. options, y’all. Like most meal kits, Home Chef sends you recipes and all the ingredients you need, so you’re ready to get cooking immediately – but there’s something for basically everyone here, depending on everything from your cooking method of choice to how much (or how little) time you have.

    Home Chef

    Standard Home Chef meal kits only take about 30 minutes to make; if you’re super short on time, though, there are also lighting-fast, 15-minute options, as well as picks that involve little or no prep time and are ready to go right into the oven. Got griller in the house? Grab a kit made for the grill instead. Up for something a little fancier? That’s what the Culinary Collection kits are for. Like I said: Options.

    Get it from Home Chef starting at $8.99 per serving (minimum weekly order $49.95).

    18. A hand-operated vegetable chopper that slices! Dices! And does it all in one fell swoop! It comes with four blades — a small dicing blade, a larger chopping blade, and two spiralizers — so all you need to do is fit the device with the blade that best suits your needs, sandwich your onion or potato in the middle of it, and bring the top down firmly. It cuts your prep time down to mere seconds, according to reviewers.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: “This thing is amazing. … I just filled up four plates with veggies in less than 10 minutes. Seriously. I chopped an onion earlier to sauté in 15 seconds. Yes, really.

    If chopping veggies keeps you buying the same frozen ones over and over like me, this is for you. It's a kitchen miracle.

    You can chop onions, potatoes (not sweet potatoes, though, that's in the instructions), peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, cucumber, etc. Probably a whole lot more too. Tomatoes don't do well according to the instructions (too soft, maybe?). You can also do eggs.

    Best. Invention. Ever. … Seriously, get this. Definitely worth the money.” –Angela W.

    Get it from Amazon for $29.98.

    19. A few packs of seasoned, ready-to-eat beans from A Dozen Cousins, because the deliciousness of rice and beans should never be underestimated. Available in six varieties ranging from Cuban black beans to Trini chickpea curry, these handy packs just require a couple of minutes on the stove or in the microwave before they’re ready to go. Toss ‘em over rice; eat ‘em with some pita or roti; make nachos out of ‘em; the possibilities for a quick and tasty meal are endless.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    Promising review: “The beans are super flavorful and very easy to make. Delicious addition to a meal to amp up the health impact (e.g. I threw some on top of a salad) or amazing base to build a meal around (e.g. tortillas, cheese, beans & veggies last night). The flavors are a really nice blend of spices, and I love that it is made with avocado oil, too. Just great!!!” —Jill Brant

    Get a six-pack from Amazon for $24.99.

    20. A rapid egg cooker that’ll have you enjoying hard or soft-boiled eggs in record time. This cute, retro-looking device from Dash can cook up to six eggs at a time — oh, and hey, guess what? You can make omelets and even poach eggs in it, too. Egg-cellent! (...Sorry. I’ll show myself out.)

    The rapid egg cooker in the color Cream
    Amazon

    Promising review: “After being the main cook for 50 years in the house, I tend to shy away from ‘specialty gadgets’ that do only one thing. You have to store it with the rest of the gadgets that cook ‘1 thing.’ I have used this every day since I bought it and also gave it as a gift. Gone are the hard-boiled eggs that take half the egg away when you peel them. Soft and medium hard boiled eggs, I always found difficult, but can now make to perfection. Poached eggs, omelets, scrambled – all perfect. The only downside, and it is only a small issue resolved with having more than one unit, the time it takes to cook and the fact that unless you are making the six boiled eggs, it is difficult if you are making breakfast for many people who plan to eat together. Unlike making a big pan of scrambled or fried eggs, it tends to cook for one, maybe two people at a time and the cooking time is 14–16 minutes. If I still had a family at home and it was not just my husband and I, you could use two to three of these to cook for many people at the same time. Super easy to use and would also be good in a dorm setting because all you need is an outlet to cook eggs. It is a small unit that does not take up too much room at all.” —Sue 

    Get it from Amazon for $16.99+ (available in eight colors).

    You can also check out our full review of this little baby for more.

    21. A jar of Fly by Jing’s signature Chili Crisp sauce, because your flavor world will never be the same again once you try this stuff. It is 100% telling the truth when it says it’s good with everything; heck, you could make an entire three-course meal out of this Sichuan chili sauce, from appetizers to desert.

    The Chili Crisp sauce
    instagram.com

    Fly by Jing was founded by the titular Jing in 2018. Inspired by the flavors she grew up with in Chengdu, China, she’s created a satisfying and unique collection of Sichuan spices and sauces that live up to their tagline: “Not traditional, but personal.”

    Promising review:This sauce is VERY good. It's a little smoky, a little spicy, a little tedious to constantly have to mix it up because it's ALWAYS settling, and definitely not like any other sauce in your pantry. I hesitate to actually even CALL it a sauce – it's not like most sauces, which have a specific consistency and a simple flavor profile that's applicable in specific situations.

    This is a jar of oil that is absolutely PACKED with spices and peppercorns. It's not a ‘sauce’ so much as an oil that's full of stuff. Oil is thin and this doesn't have a thickener in it, so to get the correct flavor and consistency you have to stir the ever-loving crap out of it. Stir stir stir for minutes on end, scoop a spoonful, stir some more, scoop, stir, scoop, stir ad infinitum.

    And it's DELICIOUS.

    I am going to put it on vanilla ice cream, I'm going to do that ASAP. But for now, I've had it on beef, steamed broccoli, french fries, and pepperoni pizza, and it's contributed to all of those things in a meaningful way. Based on the flavor and the versatility thus far, I absolutely believe it would go good on ice cream, even as weird as that MUST be.

    Highly recommend, especially if you can get it on sale.”—Dizzy! 

    Get it from Amazon for $38

    22. A DIY fermentation kit, because nothing perks up an everyday meal like a tangy pickle or two. With this kit, which includes three specially-designed lids equipped with airlock valves, date setters, and easy release tabs that’ll fit most wide-mouthed jars, along with an oxygen extractor, you’ll always have your favorite pickled picks on hand.

    Reviewer's photo of the fermenting kit in action
    amazon.com

    Promising review: “I began fermenting about a year ago. I started with mason jars, burping them every day, sometimes twice a day. I considered using the standard air locks (the ones that use water), but I noticed they can be messy. One day, I came across these lids. At first, they seemed too good to be true. I never have to burp my jars, and there would be no mess from water bubbling out. I decided to give them a try. I was surprised how easy they are to use, and how well they work. Just as advertised. No mess, no burping, no worries. Here's how it works:

    1. Pack your jars

    2. Put the lids on and hand tighten

    3. Wait

    That simple. Of course, the kit does come with an air pump, which may be confusing for some people. I'll explain the pump:

    Using the pump when you first pack your jars is NOT necessary. During the first stages, the gas (CO2) created by the bacteria will push the oxygen out of the jar pretty quickly. When you DO want to use the pump is toward the end of your ferment, (when bacteria have slowed their growth and metabolizing), and you open your jars to do taste tests. If you decide to let your ferment go longer, then you'll use the air pump to pull the oxygen out, since it won’t be pushed out as fast as it will in the beginning. Only ONE pump is all that's needed.

    Overall, theses lids are perfect for all levels of fermenters. I will be buying lots more of these, and would definitely recommend them to everyone.” —Erik

    Get it from Amazon for $25.99.

    23. A panini press grill, because any sandwich can become a glorious grilled masterpiece if you ~believe~ in it enough. This grill operates pretty much the same way that old Foreman you had in school did — turn it on, stick your food in, close the lid, and wait — but it can make up to two or three sandwiches at a time. Also, reviewers say it’s good for more than just paninis, too — so if you lack the space for an actual grill, this little doohickey might be that kitchen gadget you didn’t know you needed.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    Promising review: “Surprise: You need a panini press. Whether you are a college student, single urbanite, panini lover, or just want a questionable gift, you needn't look any further than this. You may think now that you could have no conceivable need for a panini press, but with some culinary creativity it can become a hugely versatile tool. Other presses do more and maybe do it better, but those can exceed $150 for the same overall effect. I love mine and I recommend that you get one as well.” —andrewn2468

    Get it from Amazon for $39.99+ (available in three colors).

    24. The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, so you can hone your intuition when it comes to pairing flavors and sharpen your skills at improvising in the kitchen. You know those nights when you just sort of stand there staring at your fridge or pantry with no idea what might come together to make a decent meal? The lessons of The Flavor Bible will help teach you what to reach for — and to trust your instincts when they tell you exactly what to grab.

    The cover of The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg
    Amazon

    Promising review: “This book does not have recipes. It offers wonderful suggestions for what goes with what. Have you ever been staring at a chicken, tired of the same-ol-same-ol, wondering what to do for something different? This book has hundreds of suggestions. You have to be willing to try new combinations, but you won’t regret it. Over the years we both have learned so much about flavors, what goes with what. My confidence in preparing meals for my family has grown steadily. If I could only keep five books, this would be one of them.

    My husband and I have given this as housewarming gift three times. It has always been well received.” —notinKSanymore 

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99+ (available in three formats)

    25. And a bottle of Mike’s Hot Honey, so you can pep up literally any meal with a li’l sweetness and a li’l spice. Seriously – this stuff is good on everything. Personally, I am a fan of drizzling it on pizza, but I mean, you do you, boo.

    The hot honey
    Amazon

    Promising review: “It’s honey. It’s hot. What’s not to love? It's just the right amount of heat to make it interesting, but not so hot that it'll interfere with other flavors. One of my peeves about spicy versions of normally non-spicy items is that it's often all about the heat but the flavors imparted by the chiles aren't particularly noticeable or interesting. This honey has a great chili FLAVOR to it, in addition to the heat, but it doesn't overwhelm the flavor of the honey at all. I like it on buttered toast and on fried chicken equally well, and this has definitely become a staple ‘sauce’ for me!” —S. Ferguson 

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99 (also available in packs of two, four, and six bottles).

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

    BuzzFeed

    The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.