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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Well, hello there!

I use my crock pot all the time.  And usually with decent success.  I can throw the meat in the crock pot and it cooks all day and then when Dan informs me that he's on the way home (which can be anywhere from leaving the office at 6:00 to leaving the office after 7:00), I then start working on the side dishes.

But lately, everything I've made seems bleh.  So I decided to start looking into the meal delivery plans to spice things up a little bit.

I checked out Blue Apron because several friends have used it and like it.  But to me, the meals seemed a little, upper crust maybe?  Not sure if that's the right word to describe it or not.  For instance,  the meals contained bulgar wheat, bok choy, or freekah.  Even the pictures of the food did not look very appetizing to me. Perhaps we would like these things if we tried them but I didn't really want to take a chance.

So I checked out Hello Fresh.  Their meals had more recognizable ingredients and seemed like something that we would normally eat only maybe a little more elevated.

I found a coupon online and ordered for two weeks.  I chose the classic plan and picked 3 meals.  Under this plan, there are 6 meals offered each week and you can order 3,4,or 5 meals.  You also get to select which meals they are going to send you and which day of the week your shipment arrives.  You can also place your subscription on hold or cancel at anytime without any penalties.

***Please note - this is NOT a sponsored post.  I did NOT receive anything free from Hello Fresh.  This is just my experience using the service.***

On Monday afternoon the UPS man rang my doorbell and I was delighted to find this at my door:

I opened it up and it looked like this inside:

Each meal was in it's own separate box and was clearly labeled.

And there were detailed recipe cards for each meal.

I put everything into the fridge and when Dan got home Monday evening I told him what I had done and showed him this in the fridge:

His response?  "What are we?  Made of money?" (Typical Dan.)

To which I laughed and said something along the lines of, "Well, it's more expensive than our normal dinners but hopefully will be better than our normal dinners"

Dan and Peter had Boy Scouts on Monday and I normally don't cook because Dan gets home just in time to go to scouts and they don't get back until 8:15 or so.  But Dan has another trip this week and with meatless Friday and other plans, I wanted to make sure we used our meals. Sarah and I got to cooking while they were gone and we had a late dinner  when they got home.

We chose to make Sweet As Honey chicken with snow peas and jasmine rice.

Here's the back of the recipe card.  I like the card because it told me exactly what to do and in what order for the entire meal.  It took all the guess work out of having to figure out when to start what so that all the parts of the meal would be ready at the same time

And here are the ingredients:

The soy sauce was in the cutest little fish and the vinegar was in the cutest little bottle.

I will say, that while I did appreciate the cuteness of the little packages, it all felt a bit wasteful in terms of packaging.  But I tossed it all into the recycle bin and I felt a little better.

Here we are cooking up a storm:

Selfie time! Aren't we cute?! I had a lot of fun cooking with my girl.

The meal card said that prep for this meal was 5 minutes and cook time was 30.  I would say that for us the prep time was on the mark but the cook time was more like 40 minutes.

And here was our plated dinner:

And here was my plate afterwards:

Y'all!  It was really, really good.  Everyone ate almost everything.  The kids did leave a few snow peas on their plates but no worries, I scarfed them up.  Peter said I should make it again which is very rare.

Since I have the recipe card, I will definitely be adding this to our normal rotation. And in case you are interested, Hello Fresh has all their recipes online so you can download the recipe card yourself even if you don't use their service.

Last night, I made Mustard Pork Chops with potato rosti and roasted green beans.  Again, something similar to what we would normally eat but elevated.

I'm not going to lie.  This recipe was much more involved.  The card said the prep time was 15 minutes and the cook time was 45.

It took me at least 30 minutes to prep because the prep included peeling potatoes and grating them on a block grater as well as striping fresh thyme leaves from the stem (those leaves are tiny!) and trimming the green beans.  However, I had read the recipe card before hand and knew it was going to take me a while so I allowed for the extra time.

The cook time would have been 45 minutes if I had not turned off the preheated oven by mistake and then had to wait for it to reheat!  UGH!  I was so mad at myself.

This meal was definitely more labor intensive than the first meal but it was just really yummy!

Here's the finished product:

What really made both of this dishes excellent were the pan sauces that we made for each one.  They had so much flavor!

The 3rd and final meal in this week's shipment will have to wait until Sunday evening but I expect it will also be very delicious.

I am already looking forward to next week's delivery.  However, last night Dan mentioned another potential extended trip the last part of March so I will most likely have to suspend the subscription after next week.  Boo.

If anyone has made it to the end of my post and you are interested -  Hello Fresh sent me the following link.  If you use it, you will get 6 free meals.

Just copy and paste into your browser and then enjoy!


Busy Bee Suz said...

I've heard about these meal programs so it's nice to get your take on it. I too was looking at it all and thought "there's gonna be a lot of waste here", that's how my brain works!!!
For some reason whatever recipe I look at, I can assure you that I'm going to double the prep time. I need a kitchen assistant! (Is Sarah for hire?)

Mari said...

Your meals look so good! I'm going to check it out. Thanks!

Madeline said...

Those look great! And I'm with you, I have checked out Blue Apron before but didn't see anything I wanted to eat!