Everyone knows at least one person who seems preternaturally gifted at “just whipping up” a spontaneously savory meal with whatever happens to be lying around. No recipes needed, just a sixth sense for how to magpie together some lamb, millet, in-season corn, and almonds.
For everyone else who would more likely either agonize over every page of a recipe book, or just order through Seamless, now there’s Foodie Dice. Designed by a sister-sister duo in California, Foodie Dice is a two-second solution for figuring out what you’ll cook, with what, and how. Nine little wooden dice represent different ingredient categories–meat, grains, herbs, “bonus ingredient,” the cooking method, and then vegetables for spring, summer, fall, and winter. There’s a possible 186,000 combinations.
Not knowing what to cook for dinner is a ubiquitous problem. But Foodie Dice was actually born out of something slightly more grandiose. When Sarah Downey moved to California, she and sister Liz had grand plans for adventures they would have and trips to take. “We made an adventure box for ourselves,” Liz says. “In it, we put small sheets of paper with adventures–trips to the ocean, the river, San Francisco. Any time we had a free day, we would pick an adventure out of the box and off we went.” That exercise soon turned into a more quotidian kind of adventure box, with ingredients written on scraps of paper.
Foodie Dice come in up-cycled wine bottle tumblers. They’re a little twee, and a little farmhouse-y, but for all the cooking neophytes out there, they offer a welcome–and healthy–escape from overwhelming cookbooks and tired old habits. So roll the dice, yell Yahtzee, and fire up the stove.