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Let’s Cook Challenge

Each year I set out to cook several Hungarian food items just because I want to try out a new recipe or a new dish. This year I made several things I had not made before in addition to our family favorites. For some who have lived in a Hungarian community for most of their lives, Hungarian food may not feel like much of a treat.  Maybe you have had the privilege of cooking at your nagymama’s knee since you were a tiny one. But for those of us who do not live near family or a Hungarian community, club, or restaurant, Hungarian foods might bring back a lot of memories and, let’s face it, it all tastes great!

Settling in on a recipe is daunting because there is never just ONE recipe and often not even just one name a recipe goes by. Not to mention, not all ingredients are available in every area outside of Hungary so sometimes you need to adapt and make do depending on the growing season and what is available to purchase. Another difficulty involves the language barrier (you might have recipes in Hungarian from your grandmother but maybe you don’t speak Hungarian) and then there is always the fun of metric conversions, unless you have decided to buy a scale. There are a lot of reasons to be intimidated by Hungarian cooking but there is such incredible food waiting to be discovered that I hope you join in on the fun!

If you don’t regularly cook Hungarian food, I invite you to participate in our Let’s Cook Challenge! Even if you do regularly cook Hungarian food, there may be some things we will make that are things you haven’t ever tried. Or you might have some great tips and techniques to offer to the group. I am not an expert but I know that sometimes being a part of a group commitment helps certain personalities (like mine) follow through on fun ideas. Knowing there are others out there cooking motivates me!

There are so many fantastic Hungarian dishes it will be hard to narrow it down to 12. However, if you are new to Hungarian cooking or just would like to be more intentional about making some great food, it will be a great start.

How the Let’s Cook Challenge Works!

If your goal is to qualify for one of the fun aprons pictured here, then you want to complete each recipe during the month it is due. Send an email to with your full name and mailing address and tell me you want to participate in the Let’s Cook Challenge. Each month I will email a recipe to you. Make the dish before the start of the next month and submit a photo of the finished product or of you cooking or a few sentences about the process and what you learned and we will count that as a completed challenge. There will be 12 recipes, one for each month! This free apron (and no shipping charge) part of this offer is only available in the United States. If you are outside of the U.S. and would like to participate and qualify for the free apron, you will need to agree to pay the shipping charges. But anyone can join in on the challenge just for fun!

I will supply a recipe but you are not bound to that recipe. The goal is to cook the dish and see what you think. If you have access to a family recipe that you love or have never even tried, fantastic! Use that one! Or use the recipe from a family friend or your favorite cookbook. You do not have to follow the recipe I give you.  If you need to adapt the recipe a bit due to allergies or strong food preferences, that is fine. The hope is that you will find some recipes that can work in your life. You might not love everything you make and that is ok, too.

If you can involve older or younger generations in this process, that is great. If you are a grandmother or grandfather who lives near their grandchildren and can have a Hungarian cooking day, how fun is that? Or you and a cousin may decide to cook something together once a month – it’s a great family bonding opportunity! Maybe you have a non-Hungarian friend who loves to experiment with recipes – that sounds like one of the ingredients for a perfect afternoon!

The most important thing is to not take this process so seriously that you don’t have fun. I am here to learn and stretch and grow and I hope you are too! If you have any questions, please let me know! I am definitely not an expert but I don’t mind trying to find the answer.

If you know someone who might have fun with this challenge, please invite them to participate!

Magyar Marketing is a second-generation family business that began in 1988. Our mission is to provide you with resources and encouragement to discover, celebrate, and share your Hungarian heritage with friends and family! To receive our free product catalog or learn about our tours to Hungary and Transylvania, please email or call 1-800-786-7851 or visit our website!