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Foodie Dice: It's time to take a gamble on dinner

Tuesday - 10/15/2013, 7:23am  ET

Tired of eating the same thing for dinner, night after night? A set of wooden dice, packed into up-cycled wine bottles, offers 186,624 possible meal combinations. (Courtesy Chris Robb, Foodie Dice)
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WASHINGTON - Do you know what you're cooking for dinner tonight? Why not roll the dice on the menu?

That's what Liz and Sarah Downey suggest. The two Santa Rosa, Calif., sisters bring a whole new meaning to the phrase "play with your food" with Foodie Dice, a product designed to shake up your normal cooking routine.

Foodie Dice is exactly as it sounds: a set of nine dice, laser engraved with different foods in the categories of meats, grains/carbohydrates, herbs, seasonal vegetables, bonus ingredients and cooking methods.

"We were cooking a lot, but cooking the same things over and over," says Liz Downey, who explains that she and her sister, Sarah, came up with the idea for Foodie Dice about a year ago.

"Sarah said, ‘Let's make a dinner inspiration box with compartments for each type of ingredient -- protein, grain, veggie, etc.' That naturally developed into a more fun way to play with our food -- dice."

A set of wooden dice, packed into "up-cycled wine bottles," offers 186,624 possible meal combinations. One possible roll combination is "roast," "pork," "quinoa," "rosemary," "garlic" and "chard," for example.

"We were very focused on creating something people would actually use. We spent a lot of time developing the dice, themselves -- the categories for each die and the individual ingredients," Sarah Downey says.

"We made choices such, as selecting ‘potatoes' rather than ‘sweet potatoes,' and ‘nuts,' rather than ‘cashews.' Two people may go completely different directions with the same roll, but that roll provides an inspirational starting point to create something delicious that may not have occurred to those people otherwise," Sarah says.

The sisters launched a Kickstarter campaign for their product on Sept. 30 with the goal of raising $7,500. As of Oct. 14, they have raised more than $97,000.

"We're so flattered, grateful and inspired by the response we've received. We put a lot of time and heart into Foodie Dice to get it where it is today -- from the concept, itself, to the design and materials -- and I think our backers see that, appreciate it and are responding to it," Sarah says.

"Also, it's become apparent … that a lot of people relate to our original reason for creating Foodie Dice: to solve the problem of cooking the same things over and over."

It's time to take a gamble on dinner:

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