It happens every year. No matter how much thought and planning we put into our Christmas list, there will be those friends or family members that leave us stumped when it comes to holiday gift ideas. Hey Good Cookin’ can help you make this year easier with some last minute gift ideas for the foodies on your list!
If you are one of those highly organized people who completed your shopping in July and have everything wrapped and tagged (you know who you are) add one more person to your list…you! Treat yourself to a holiday gift. You deserve it. It’s not self-indulgence, it’s personalized Christmas cheer.
Because we focus on the solo cook, we have come up with a short list of gift ideas that center around the kitchen—from cooking classes to the convenience of food delivery to simply sending a meal to someone.
Monthly Food Clubs Everyone knows about jelly of the month and fruit of the month clubs such as those made popular by Harry and David. How about spicing things up with a monthly spice box! Hey Good Cookin’ has teamed up with Raw Spice Bar to bring you spices and recipes from other countries. It’s the perfect gift for someone who wants to try food from around the world, but can’t afford an expensive vacation. Hey Good Cookin’ members will receive %50 off your first box of spices. Sign up today!
- Raw Spice Bar. For $6 a month, you can give a family member or friend the gift of a monthly spice box. These are a set of 3 spices, globally sourced, blended and portioned with recipes for 3 meals. You provide the ingredients. It’s as simple as that.
Subscription Food Delivery Services
These services are great for the busy single who wants to cook more, but has no time to shop and/or wants to avoid food waste completely. A number of companies are offering to deliver all you need to fix a meal that serves 2. While these companies are pretty similar in what they offer, there are features that make them each a bit different.
- Plated: Let’s you pick from any recipe they have which is good when buying for the picky eater or one with food sensitivities. Each meal runs about $15 unless you join with a membership, then $12 per serving.
- Hello Fresh: 3 meals are delivered each week with simple and quick recipes for those that are short on time but still crave fresh healthy meals.
- Destination Dinner Kits: You add a few fresh ingredients, and DDK will provide a short cut to making authentic foods from exotic locations around the world. Some of their gift sets come with crockery and utensils designed for the specific country’s cuisine. Dinner kits are around $30 and gifts sets about $50.
3. Cooking Class
There are quite a few cooking classes or cooking vacations that focus on solo cooks. Typically you learn to prepare multiple dishes then sit down and enjoy them with the class. It’s a great way to meet others and have fun cooking. A great gift to give yourself or someone you know.
- Local cooking classes for singles are popping up in many cities. The company, Hipcooks, offers classes in several major cities up and down the west coast. We have personally taken several of these classes and can tell you it’s a savory good time!
- Looking to get away from it all? Give yourself a cooking vacation. Learn to cook abroad in Italy. Tuscookany offers a great singles cooking package of several days in a beautiful location with some dynamic staff and chefs. Mention us and get half off of the singles supplement.
3. Make a Meal
Who says a gift can’t be something as simple as making a meal? Need a bit of guidance? Recipe ideas?
- Take Them a Meal—Although this free online site is designed to help a friend in need by planning and organizing meals, it can be used in other ways. We all have that person on our list who has everything and is difficult to shop for…how about organizing a group of friends to deliver meals for a week? Who wouldn’t appreciate a personal gift made with love. This site offers tested recipes and ideas for ways to send a meal. What a great gift for someone right from your kitchen.
Still looking for more ideas? There are lots of ways to gift yourself or someone you know with the simple act of everyday cooking. Check out some of the quick and simple small dish recipes on Hey Good Cookin’ and if you don’t already have one, sign up for your free recipe box to store your favorites!
Welcome to Crocktober!
Are you someone who loves to ‘fix it and forget it’? If so, you might be one lucky winner with us!
Slow cookers come in all sizes, now making it possible to prepare a meal for 2 or make a pot full of meals that can be divvied up into single-serve portions and frozen for times when it needs to be a no-cook night. We offer a virtual way for you to store those favorite slow cooker recipes with us as well as save recipes from other members.
As part of our contest we are offering (4) Amazon gift cards to four randomly drawn winners.
It is really simple to enter:
1. Become a member of Hey Good Cookin’. Signing up is easy and free!
2. Submit an original, family or adapted slow cooker recipe on heygoodcookin.com and add the tag: crocktober.
Anyone who is at least 18 years or old and a US resident can add unlimited slow cooker recipes throughout the contest period but must add the tag ‘crocktober‘ to have recipe(s) submitted into the drawing.
We will randomly draw 4 winners for a $25 Amazon gift card after noon PST on November 1, 2015. Our winner will be contacted via the email address used to sign up on Hey Good Cookin’ on or about November 1, 2015. See our official contest rules, and we hope you are a lucky winner!
Crockpot Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce
Increase Proper Food Storage and Decrease Food Waste.
If you guessed food waste to be one of the biggest complaints from singles cooks, well, you would guess right. Not surprising, it is often an excuse for not cooking with fresh ingredients or simply not cooking meals at all. Of course, with pre-packaged and portion-controlled convenience foods some people may simply not see a reason to cook for ourselves.
There are two reasons to consider ditching the convenience for fresh whole food:
1. Cost. There is a price for convenience. Even though it is not difficult to find portion controlled, pre-packaged fresh, organic food, it can add up quickly or as we like to say, it can get “spendy.” Smarter buying, smarter storage and checking out some easy ways to use leftover ingredients will reduce waste and stretch the dollar.
2. Boredom. No one wants to eat the same dishes all the time? Pre-packaged meals can get dull after a while or lead to making poor food choice for the sake of variety. It becomes too easy to skip cooking for yourself.
For people lucky enough to have a Farmer’s Market most of the year, they are buying at the peak of freshness and are fortunate to have produce last even longer than those of us buying at the grocery store where produce has, dare I say, sometimes been stored for months!
Start making your produce last longer. Get our convenient guide for storing produce. Become a member of Hey Good Cookin’, then go back to our facebook page and add the comment, “I signed up!” We’ll email the guide right out to you!
Are you someone who loves to follow food photos on Instagram? Maybe you even share a few? If so, you might be one lucky winner with us!
Three years ago we set out to create a recipe site for solo cooks and what we finished with includes a celebration of food and cooking. We never imagined all the planning and sacrifice it would take to fulfill this dream. It has been a long road…but we finally made it!
As part of our re-launch, we are excited to offer a $50 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn winner– just for following us and tagging us on Instagram.
It is really simple to enter:
1. Find us on Instagram @heygoodcookin1 then hit follow.
2. Instagram a food picture and include our hashtag #goodcookinsingles, then add a tag: heygoodcookin1.
Anyone who is at least 18 years or old and a US resident can tag us on their food photos throughout the contest period.
We will randomly draw a winner for the $50 Amazon gift card at noon PST on April 30, 2015. Our winner will be announced and contacted via Instagram on or about April 30, 2015. See our Official Contest Rules and good luck!
***This contest has ended. We will be offering more chances to win…please watch for new contests.
There are so many gadgets for the kitchen. Just stand in front of the big wall of them at a Bed Bath and Beyond store and you’ll see what I mean. Many have made their way into my kitchen to assist me with my cooking endeavors, but only a few make it out of the drawer on a regular basis.
As I started writing this, I began to think about the tools that I use most often and that help so much.
Here is my list of the top 5 “can’t live without” kitchen gadgets
- 1. Mini Food Processor. My food processor from Cuisinart is probably one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. It’s small but mighty, and I use it for everything from chopping onion to creating a puree. I also have The Ninja and find it equally helpful with the stow-away containers and even chopping.
- 2. Garlic Press. I use mine nonstop. What am I trying to say here? Yes, I do keep the vampires away. So many dishes love garlic, and I prefer to send mine through the press rather than try to hand mince.
- 3. Meat Thermometer. I just couldn’t live without it. Never slice into your meat to see if it is ready—all those juices leave your cut of meat, and it dries out. Check for meat readiness by temperature and you will be assured a perfect meat entrée!
- 4. Hand Juicer. This is one of the greatest inventions and probably my favorite gadget. I love it like crazy!! They come in a couple of sizes and allow me to squeeze oranges, limes and lemons with ease. I don’t think a week goes by when I don’t have that juicer pulled out and ready for action!
- 5. Stainless Steel Pastry Blender: Made for cutting butter in pastries but I have found more uses since I don’t make biscuits or pastry dough too often. I use mine for making egg salad, mashed potatoes, and for chopping pretty much anything else relatively soft. It is easy and versatile, which makes it a winning gadget in my kitchen!
If you are like me, with the Christmas season approaching fast, it is time to think about those little office gifts. Why not consider a gadget, a recipe and maybe even some of the fixings all bundled up into one special gift for that Secret Santa or office gift exchange?
Start talking about gadgets! Tell us about your favorite gadget and be placed in the drawing for a FREE Ninja food processor on Jan 1st!