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21 Things To Help You Get Out Of A Food Rut

Because "What's for dinner?" shouldn't be such a hard question.

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1. A subscription to Hello Fresh that'll basically be like a cooking class you can do at home. Sign up for a plan that fits your diet (including vegetarian and family plans), and you'll get allllllll the ingredients you need to prep each meal! WHILE learning how to cook!

Perfect for people who love activities like cooking classes, but don't love human interaction with strangers.Meals start at $6.99 each. You can even subscribe and get six bottles of wine delivered per month (all red, all white, or a mix!) for $14.83 per bottle. They have a ~sommelier on staff~ to pair wines with recipes so you have the best dining experience — right at home and even in your PJs.
Hello Fresh

Perfect for people who love activities like cooking classes, but don't love human interaction with strangers.

Meals start at $6.99 each. You can even subscribe and get six bottles of wine delivered per month (all red, all white, or a mix!) for $14.83 per bottle. They have a ~sommelier on staff~ to pair wines with recipes so you have the best dining experience — right at home and even in your PJs.

2. A dumpling maker for living out your Crazy Rich Asians fantasies with far less effort. Although if Nick Young wants to come over and teach me how to do it by hand, that's fine too.

Cut out the dumpling wrapper with the mold, load the top with your wrapper, plop in your filling, close the mold, and the edges will create the perfect crimped seal. Get it from Amazon for $10.99+ (available in two sizes).Promising review: "I'm a gadget nut & will try anything new........that said, this is one great little tool. Easy peasy. Makes quick work of making Chinese dumplings or Mexican empanadas." —PJMiller
Amazon

Cut out the dumpling wrapper with the mold, load the top with your wrapper, plop in your filling, close the mold, and the edges will create the perfect crimped seal.

Get it from Amazon for $10.99+ (available in two sizes).

Promising review: "I'm a gadget nut & will try anything new........that said, this is one great little tool. Easy peasy. Makes quick work of making Chinese dumplings or Mexican empanadas." —PJMiller

3. A cast iron grill pan so you can enjoy perfectly charred flavor year-round, from veggie sides to barbecued meat to grilled fruit on top of salads and desserts.

Get it from BuzzFeed's Goodful line, exclusively at Macy's for $29.99 (originally $42.99).
Macy's

Get it from BuzzFeed's Goodful line, exclusively at Macy's for $29.99 (originally $42.99).

4. A handy non-stick prep mat to help you (and any kiddos) measure out and whip up a pizza perfetta. And you can stick it in the dishwasher to make clean-up a breeze — no one wants to scrub down the whole countertop after a pie or two.

It's printed with a delicious dough recipe, PLUS ingredient ideas on the sides for genius combos. ANDDDDDDD it's dishwasher safe and heat resistant up to 600°.Get it from Uncommon Goods for $20.
Uncommon Goods

It's printed with a delicious dough recipe, PLUS ingredient ideas on the sides for genius combos. ANDDDDDDD it's dishwasher safe and heat resistant up to 600°.

Get it from Uncommon Goods for $20.

5. The Flavor Bible, a cookbook and guide to creating mouth-watering combinations of ingredients, textures, and temperatures for all skill levels as you develop confidence in the kitchen. It has over 1,000 five-star reviews alone, btw!

There are suggested combinations (over 70 things go well with chickpeas, apparently), plus pages dedicated to specific main ingredients (like chicken or lamb) to inspire you to create *your own* recipes!Get it from Amazon for $25.91, Barnes & Noble for $32, a local bookseller through IndieBound, or find a copy at your local library.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-old-same-old, wondering what to do for something different? This book has hundreds of suggestions. You have to be willing to try new combinations,but you wont 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
amazon.com

There are suggested combinations (over 70 things go well with chickpeas, apparently), plus pages dedicated to specific main ingredients (like chicken or lamb) to inspire you to create *your own* recipes!

Get it from Amazon for $25.91, Barnes & Noble for $32, a local bookseller through IndieBound, or find a copy at your local library.

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-old-same-old, wondering what to do for something different? This book has hundreds of suggestions. You have to be willing to try new combinations,but you wont 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

6. A spice *drawer* organizer to turn your messiest part of the kitchen into a clear, easy-to-read assortment of jars and labels. Now you'll actually use everything from cumin to coriander to curry powder — no more stumbling upon them years later thinking "are these expired?"

Amazon

Spice racks only *wish* they could. These drawer liners are made of a soft foam to keep your jars in the right position (label up!) so you can quickly grab what you need. And you can trim 'em to fit your drawers!

Get a six-pack from Amazon for $12.99.

Promising review: "This is one of my favorite things I've ever purchased from Amazon! I think this will be my go-to gift for all of my friends who love cooking as much as I do! Freeing up cabinet space and having something that can so easily be rinsed off in the sink makes this a for-sure buy!" —momonono

7. A sushi-making kit that'll start you on a ~roll~ when it comes to trying new recipes.

The whopping 11-piece set includes: non-stick rice spreader, sushi knife, several slotted molds (including a heart-shaped one!) and a spatula.Get it from Amazon for $25.95.Promising review: "Been trying to make sushi at home for a while and this kit really does the job. After reading some of the reviews, it seemed like it came with good instructional videos...and it does! Definitely helps a lot, because this kit is fun but it's NOT a toy. It's amazing once you get the hang of it though. Really enjoy making sushi with my kids (watch for the knife though...it's a professional sushi knife and it's very sharp!!). If you are trying to save a little money, like DIY stuff and love sushi, this is for you!" —Amazon Customer
amazon.com

The whopping 11-piece set includes: non-stick rice spreader, sushi knife, several slotted molds (including a heart-shaped one!) and a spatula.

Get it from Amazon for $25.95.

Promising review: "Been trying to make sushi at home for a while and this kit really does the job. After reading some of the reviews, it seemed like it came with good instructional videos...and it does! Definitely helps a lot, because this kit is fun but it's NOT a toy. It's amazing once you get the hang of it though. Really enjoy making sushi with my kids (watch for the knife though...it's a professional sushi knife and it's very sharp!!). If you are trying to save a little money, like DIY stuff and love sushi, this is for you!" —Amazon Customer

8. Hot to Cook Everything, which has over 2,000 delicious and sworn-by recipes so you can flip to a random page and decide what's for dinner *that* way, instead of making your go-to for the thousandth time.

Get it from Amazon for $19.70, Barnes & Noble for $31.50, a local bookseller through IndieBound, or find it at your local library.Promising review: "THIS IS THE BOOK YOU ARE LOOKING FOR!! This will be the best cook book you'll buy, ever, and you'll save by discovering so many things you can cook from what you already have, or common ingredients and spices. I am a stay at home mom of three, and would just cringe whenever I'd serve dinner, I didn't know what the heck to cook and so it was basically a rotating menu of baked/breaded meat, mashed potatoes or plain rice, and a canned/frozen vegetable. Maybe some pasta and sauce, mac and cheese, box sides, etc. Sometimes I'd get fancy and cook a tuna or broccoli casserole. I am telling you this to say that within an hour or two of getting this book I was able to put together a weeks worth of much tastier, more wonderful meals that everyone loved using my crappy pantry ingredients/common spices I happened to have. When I went grocery shopping, I knew exactly what to get and my cart was mostly pantry ingredients and fresh veggies, which was always my goal but didn't know where to start. The leftovers (especially if you freeze and rotate) make great (cheap/tasty) lunches....and there's lots of recipes that use leftovers too. I also purchased the vegetarian version, which is just as amazing!" —Ally
amazon.com

Get it from Amazon for $19.70, Barnes & Noble for $31.50, a local bookseller through IndieBound, or find it at your local library.

Promising review: "THIS IS THE BOOK YOU ARE LOOKING FOR!! This will be the best cook book you'll buy, ever, and you'll save by discovering so many things you can cook from what you already have, or common ingredients and spices. I am a stay at home mom of three, and would just cringe whenever I'd serve dinner, I didn't know what the heck to cook and so it was basically a rotating menu of baked/breaded meat, mashed potatoes or plain rice, and a canned/frozen vegetable. Maybe some pasta and sauce, mac and cheese, box sides, etc. Sometimes I'd get fancy and cook a tuna or broccoli casserole. I am telling you this to say that within an hour or two of getting this book I was able to put together a weeks worth of much tastier, more wonderful meals that everyone loved using my crappy pantry ingredients/common spices I happened to have. When I went grocery shopping, I knew exactly what to get and my cart was mostly pantry ingredients and fresh veggies, which was always my goal but didn't know where to start. The leftovers (especially if you freeze and rotate) make great (cheap/tasty) lunches....and there's lots of recipes that use leftovers too. I also purchased the vegetarian version, which is just as amazing!" —Ally

9. A countertop Aerogarden so you can grow all the herbs you want (no backyard required). And thanks to the LED grow lights, plus a watering-reminding system, no green thumb required either.

The grow lights are energy efficient (aka they turn on and off automatically), and it tells you when to water (and feed with the included Miracle Grow plant food!) your baby greens, so these herbs'll basically grow themselves. The system comes with seed pods to grow Genovese basil, curly parsley, dill, mint, thyme, and Thai basil. Y U M!Get it from BuzzFeed's Goodful line, exclusively at Macy's for $189.99.Promising review: "I love to cook, so the thought of having fresh herbs and veggies right on my kitchen counter was exciting. However, I had never had much success gardening. This new Goodful AeroGarden changed that for me. I made the best caprese salad I have ever eaten last week with some fresh basil from my garden. My kids actually enjoy helping me harvest and eat something green. It is freezing outside right now, but we still have fresh produce growing in our home! I can't believe it works this well. If you enjoy cooking or gardening, I would highly recommend." —FreshMom
Macy's

The grow lights are energy efficient (aka they turn on and off automatically), and it tells you when to water (and feed with the included Miracle Grow plant food!) your baby greens, so these herbs'll basically grow themselves. The system comes with seed pods to grow Genovese basil, curly parsley, dill, mint, thyme, and Thai basil. Y U M!

Get it from BuzzFeed's Goodful line, exclusively at Macy's for $189.99.

Promising review: "I love to cook, so the thought of having fresh herbs and veggies right on my kitchen counter was exciting. However, I had never had much success gardening. This new Goodful AeroGarden changed that for me. I made the best caprese salad I have ever eaten last week with some fresh basil from my garden. My kids actually enjoy helping me harvest and eat something green. It is freezing outside right now, but we still have fresh produce growing in our home! I can't believe it works this well. If you enjoy cooking or gardening, I would highly recommend." —FreshMom

10. An immersion blender for rich and velvety soups, purees, homemade peanut butter and more — *without* dirtying a whole nother machine — just plop this baby right into your pot and blend, blend, blend.

To clean, just detach the blade and pop it in the dishwasher. Easy peasy!Get it from Amazon for $24.95 (available in three colors).Promising review: "A great product and a wonderful company that stands behind their products. I make the most wonderful homemade mushroom soup with this little blender, easy to use, easy to clean, easy to store. Wonderful!" —The Cat Writer
amazon.com

To clean, just detach the blade and pop it in the dishwasher. Easy peasy!

Get it from Amazon for $24.95 (available in three colors).

Promising review: "A great product and a wonderful company that stands behind their products. I make the most wonderful homemade mushroom soup with this little blender, easy to use, easy to clean, easy to store. Wonderful!" —The Cat Writer

11. A handy-dandy aluminum baking tray (or two), so you can try all 18,000 of those sheet pan dinner recipes you've seen with minimal effort. All you need is a protein + veggies + salt + oil + any seasonings you want. That is IT.

BuzzFeed has tons and tons and tons and tons of sheet pan meal ideas to get you started, but just get experimenting with your favorite flavors! We're talking sheet pan fajitas, clam bakes, quiches, jambalaya, nachos and S O much more.Get it from Amazon for $24.11 (for a set of two half sheets).Promising review: "Heavy for its side, it did not warp in a hot oven. I love sheet pan dinners. One pan, held four chicken breasts, potatoes, onions, assorted bell peppers — all roasted to perfection in one pan. Use a good quality oil and just brush it on the inside surface of the pan. The stainless steel pan cleans easily! Also, makes great cookie bars." —Mamalus
Amazon

BuzzFeed has tons and tons and tons and tons of sheet pan meal ideas to get you started, but just get experimenting with your favorite flavors! We're talking sheet pan fajitas, clam bakes, quiches, jambalaya, nachos and S O much more.

Get it from Amazon for $24.11 (for a set of two half sheets).

Promising review: "Heavy for its side, it did not warp in a hot oven. I love sheet pan dinners. One pan, held four chicken breasts, potatoes, onions, assorted bell peppers — all roasted to perfection in one pan. Use a good quality oil and just brush it on the inside surface of the pan. The stainless steel pan cleans easily! Also, makes great cookie bars." —Mamalus

12. Four-blade herb scissors so you can snip fresh herbs *right over* the pot or pan (or even right over your plate as a final garnish) — no pulling out a cutting board, giant chef's knife, and wasting 25 minutes on the perfect tiny mince.

Get it from Amazon for $13.97.Promising review: "I like to grow herbs and use them in salads, soups, and many other recipes. I received these as a birthday gift, and can't believe how fast and easy it is to cut up cilantro, basil, parsley, lovage, etc. My husband tried them today too for the first time while making guacamole, and found that slicing the cilantro went very quickly. The storage case-cleaner is very efficiently designed too. I ordered four of these sets to give as gifts." —Lucille P. Nawara
amazon.com

Get it from Amazon for $13.97.

Promising review: "I like to grow herbs and use them in salads, soups, and many other recipes. I received these as a birthday gift, and can't believe how fast and easy it is to cut up cilantro, basil, parsley, lovage, etc. My husband tried them today too for the first time while making guacamole, and found that slicing the cilantro went very quickly. The storage case-cleaner is very efficiently designed too. I ordered four of these sets to give as gifts." —Lucille P. Nawara

13. A two-in-one juicer and citrus grater to kick your ~zest for life~ (and your for cooking delicious recipes) up a notch.

Pastas, homemade salad dressings, desserts — everything tastes better with a little citrus brightness! The container has markings on the side too, so you can get the exact amount you need without dirtying a whole nother measuring cup.Get it from BuzzFeed's Goodful line, exclusively at Macy's for $12.99 (originally $18.99).
Macy's

Pastas, homemade salad dressings, desserts — everything tastes better with a little citrus brightness! The container has markings on the side too, so you can get the exact amount you need without dirtying a whole nother measuring cup.

Get it from BuzzFeed's Goodful line, exclusively at Macy's for $12.99 (originally $18.99).

14. A meal-planning notepad and shopping list so you 1. have reason and help organizing your new creative dinner plans so you 2) never forget anything at the grocery store.

Get it from Amazon for $13.95.
amazon.com

Get it from Amazon for $13.95.

15. A set of shredding claws with handles so you can transform a store-bought rotisserie chicken into a HUGE variety of meals with ease — and without burning your fingers or getting them greasy.

Quesadillas, chicken salad, and fried rice OH MY! Seriously, the number of gourmet meals you can make with a grocery store chicken is ridiculous!! Plus, you don't have to worry about dealing with raw meat. 🙌Get them from Amazon for $14.95.Promising review: "The handles make the difference! These are my first meat shredding claws; I can't say how they would compare to the competition. I bought them because of the handles which seem more ergonomic for gripping than the other types meat shredding claws. I made a pork roast last week and these claws took it apart easily." —Noreladim
amazon.com

Quesadillas, chicken salad, and fried rice OH MY! Seriously, the number of gourmet meals you can make with a grocery store chicken is ridiculous!! Plus, you don't have to worry about dealing with raw meat. 🙌

Get them from Amazon for $14.95.

Promising review: "The handles make the difference! These are my first meat shredding claws; I can't say how they would compare to the competition. I bought them because of the handles which seem more ergonomic for gripping than the other types meat shredding claws. I made a pork roast last week and these claws took it apart easily." —Noreladim

16. An emulsifying bottle with a build-in blender ball for flavorful homemade salad dressings, marinades, and sauces you'll want to drizzle on everything.

amazon.com

Just add your ingredients (there are measurements helpfully printed on the side) and give 'er a shake to easily combine. The easy-open, auto-close spout means you can open + pour with one hand, too (without spilling everywhere)!

Get it from Amazon for $9.76.

Promising review: "This shaker is fantastic. I bought it because the one I purchased at Target turned out to be worthless (the top didn't stay closed and the dressing got everywhere when I shook it). The Whiskware shaker worked perfectly. It stayed sealed, it kept the dressing fresh, and the whisk ball did a great job of mixing up the dressing — even the honey. I am going to buy one for my daughter because there really is nothing like homemade salad dressing. Worth the price for sure!" —Blanche Devereaux

17. A beautifully informative print, which'll identify and describe herbs and spices so you can kick your food up a notch when it comes to flavor.

BAM!Get it from Amazon for $19.99.Promising review: "This poster is stunning. We of course hung it in our kitchen. I framed it in a Craig Frames 24x36 frame and it looks perfect. There is SO MUCH DETAIL to the many pictures and all the text (and all the TEXT IS READABLE!). Plus, it has multiple versions of the spices, like in ground or granulated form in addition to its natural form. Love that it has some of the most famous spice blends like curry, garam masala, Chinese Five spice, herbs de provence, and pickling spices. This is such a great centerpiece of art for a kitchen. People will love to comment on it and ask questions about it as well as just look at it for a long time." —Roderick Rinehart
amazon.com

BAM!

Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

Promising review: "This poster is stunning. We of course hung it in our kitchen. I framed it in a Craig Frames 24x36 frame and it looks perfect. There is SO MUCH DETAIL to the many pictures and all the text (and all the TEXT IS READABLE!). Plus, it has multiple versions of the spices, like in ground or granulated form in addition to its natural form. Love that it has some of the most famous spice blends like curry, garam masala, Chinese Five spice, herbs de provence, and pickling spices. This is such a great centerpiece of art for a kitchen. People will love to comment on it and ask questions about it as well as just look at it for a long time." —Roderick Rinehart

18. A customizable set of lunch containers, because your everyday PB&J plus yogurt is taking the phrase "sad desk lunch" to the extreme. Now you can customize crunchy snacks, leftover dinners, veggies & dips, and skip that 3 p.m. hangry email.

amazon.com

It comes with three containers (and lids), and four organizational accessories: a divider, a side tray (pictured with the sandwich on the right top), and two half-trays (pictured on the right bottom). And everything is dishwasher-, freezer-, and microwave-safe (vent the lids while microwaving to prevent splatter!

Get the 10-piece set from Amazon for $12.89.

19. A stuffed patty mold that'll help you whip up a Jucy Lucy in the comfort of your own home — (you won't even have to wear pants).

If you don't know what a Jucy Lucy is, you need to educate yourself. And btw, that's not its only use: this baby can make little sliders too! And of course, regular burgers, too.Get it from Amazon for $10.86.Promising review: "This actually works, and you can fill with a lot of stuffing (which surprised me). The device is very well designed, and easy to use once you figure out which part is which. I was very surprised at the size of the indentation for filling. I put in: a slice and a half of cooked bacon, some sliced peppers, and small chunks of cheddar cheese. DELICIOUS! No leakage on my George Foreman grill. Worked great. They are big burgers, so you might end up sharing. Enjoy! It's a great tool, at a great price. You can make pizza burgers, Mexican burgers, whatever you can imagine." —BarbZ
amazon.com

If you don't know what a Jucy Lucy is, you need to educate yourself. And btw, that's not its only use: this baby can make little sliders too! And of course, regular burgers, too.

Get it from Amazon for $10.86.

Promising review: "This actually works, and you can fill with a lot of stuffing (which surprised me). The device is very well designed, and easy to use once you figure out which part is which. I was very surprised at the size of the indentation for filling. I put in: a slice and a half of cooked bacon, some sliced peppers, and small chunks of cheddar cheese. DELICIOUS! No leakage on my George Foreman grill. Worked great. They are big burgers, so you might end up sharing. Enjoy! It's a great tool, at a great price. You can make pizza burgers, Mexican burgers, whatever you can imagine." —BarbZ

20. A handheld spiralizer to make eating your veggies a bit more fun. Curly carrot salads (no tired lettuce here), cold sesame noodles with cucumber ribbons, pesto zoodle work lunches... getting your five a day in has never been so easy.

This one comes with two blades: one for 1/8-inch "spaghetti" and one for 1/4-inch "fettuccini."Get the two-blade version from Amazon for $19.95 (also available in a three-blade version).Promising review: "I love this thing. We have made zucchini noodles and spiraled lots of root vegetables. Roasted spiraled potatoes with eggs and veggies makes one of the most perfect breakfasts. It's easy to clean — rinse and pop in the dishwasher." —Katie
amazon.com

This one comes with two blades: one for 1/8-inch "spaghetti" and one for 1/4-inch "fettuccini."

Get the two-blade version from Amazon for $19.95 (also available in a three-blade version).

Promising review: "I love this thing. We have made zucchini noodles and spiraled lots of root vegetables. Roasted spiraled potatoes with eggs and veggies makes one of the most perfect breakfasts. It's easy to clean — rinse and pop in the dishwasher." —Katie

21. A set of silicone egg-poaching cups so you can upgrade all your previously-boring dishes (like pasta, leftover fried rice, avo toast, and even salads!) with a deliciuosly runny yolk... with almost zero effort.

Just make sure you simmer with the lid on to cook the tops of the eggs too. 5-7 minutes is all you need for set whites and runny yolks!Get a set of four from Amazon for $9.95.Promising review: "I love these egg poacher cups! I have had poached eggs almost every day since these arrived. So easy to use and pretty too. I'm not sure what some others are talking about the eggs sticking and hard to clean!! (Follow the directions people!) I spray it with canola spray, crack in the egg, cover and simmer five minutes, lift it out with a slotted spoon and the egg just slips right out onto my toast! Washes up with some soapy water and dries super fast. So easy and satisfying!! Yay, yummy poached eggs. Worth every penny!" —Ree
amazon.com

Just make sure you simmer with the lid on to cook the tops of the eggs too. 5-7 minutes is all you need for set whites and runny yolks!

Get a set of four from Amazon for $9.95.

Promising review: "I love these egg poacher cups! I have had poached eggs almost every day since these arrived. So easy to use and pretty too. I'm not sure what some others are talking about the eggs sticking and hard to clean!! (Follow the directions people!) I spray it with canola spray, crack in the egg, cover and simmer five minutes, lift it out with a slotted spoon and the egg just slips right out onto my toast! Washes up with some soapy water and dries super fast. So easy and satisfying!! Yay, yummy poached eggs. Worth every penny!" —Ree

Time to switch things up in the kitchen!

The Jim Henson Company

Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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