I wasn’t originally going to write a review of this meal delivery service. To be honest, the decision to order from Hello Fresh came from a)too much advertising on social media, b) watching one of my favorite YouTubers make several of their meals over the last few months, and c) a timely rut in my own meal planning process. But my experience has been so interesting that I thought I would share.
So, here are the pros and cons of using Hello Fresh:
- They do what they say they will do. Hello Fresh is a meal delivery service that sends recipes and measured ingredients for three to four dinners straight to your door. The recipes really do take about 30 minutes to make, and they are pretty easy to follow (My cooking experience is that I know how to use basic kitchen tools and I can follow a recipe fairly well). And everything is pretty much to measure for the recipe (if not, it makes it very clear you may have some left over).
- Ordering online for the first time was very easy. They automatically set up the meals to be sent in the first order, although you can go into your account and change your meal preferences. I’m allergic to pork, so I opted for the no pork options. You can manually also choose the meals you want to make, but be careful because you can override your preferences that way.
- The packaging system is very effective. It all came in a box, but each meal’s ingredients were divided into brown paper bags, except for the meats and frozen goods which were at the bottom of the box between two ice packs. The ice packs stayed completely frozen for a few days (not that the food was still in the box).
- The meals were filling and delicious, for the most part. I came upon a snag with the last dish which I will get to in my next point, but my favorite was the Holsin Shrimp and Rice with Green Beans. Second would be the Southwestern Stuffed Peppers. I didn’t get a picture of the third meal, Spinach Ricotta Ravioli with Chicken Sausage because I couldn’t make it as is, which I explain below.
- Their customer service was most impressive. That last meal was last because, unbeknownst to me, the Chicken Sausage was cased in pork casings. When I ordered the meal, I didn’t see anything that would have indicated this, and even though it’s not a common allergy, I didn’t want others to order this and not realize that it did actually have pork in it. I called Hello Fresh, and they recognized the issue and gave me a full one meal credit ($20) towards my next week of meals.
- The price. While I was very impressed with the customer service and quality and packaging, I can’t justify doing this on a weekly basis. For three meals for Michael and me without discounts, it is normally $60. The reason I was able to try this was the amazing $35 discount I received. And I will probably try it again since I did get credit towards another week of meals, but our family budget for a week of groceries is about $100 (usually less) and that includes breakfasts, snacks, and five meals a week. Spending 60% of our budget on these meals, no matter how good they are, is not feasible in the long run.
- The selection of food allergies. There are gluten, dairy, and nut free meals, but not enough in the Classic Box for three entire meals. I don’t know if the Veggie or Family boxes are different. And, as I experienced, you have to be careful with what you order and make sure it doesn’t have anything you aren’t able to eat.
- Keeping up with the weeks. If you don’t skip the week, the food will automatically come to you and you will be charged. I tried to skip as many weeks into the future as I can, but I have a feeling that if I don’t keep up with it, it will eventually charge me.
While there are more pros than cons above, the price point is a huge factor for me. This would be a great option to add more recipes to my collection maybe once a season when I eventually will get into a rut or want to try new recipes (by the way, you get to keep the recipes you try, so I now have at least two recipes I would definitely use again). It’s definitely a treat and not something practical all the time. Although, I will have to put in reminders to make sure I skip the weeks I don’t want.
If you want to try it for yourself, I have a discount code that can get you $40 off your first order by following this link. I’m not sponsored or anything, they offer this kind of discount to anyone using their site.
Have you ever used a meal delivery service like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron? Let me know your experience!
I have a confession. I am addicted to peanut butter and chocolate. The two combined are absolutely heavenly. Continue reading
Instead of just celebrating this holiday on March 17th, we decided to start celebrating a week in advance. We figured with Michael’s long work hours and me getting a sinus infection mid week (ok, we didn’t plan for that second one to happen), we should celebrate early and often and probably will add up to a total day’s celebration.
So this past Sunday, we had Irish Soda Bread, which was super yummy and something we could eat throughout the week. Since we are doing no sugary sweets for Lent (the countdown has already begun and I’m having daily conversations with God over this now), we would have this as a dessert with yogurt or fruit at night.
So here’s the recipe. Just a short disclaimer, I made this without the usual aid of my husband, so the pictures are not as detailed as before, but the recipe is still there. Also, this is a good meal to make the day before and than warm in the oven for about 30 mins the day of eating. 🙂 Enjoy!
I ate a lot of sugar the week of Valentine’s Day. You could say I was pretty close to being sick of all of it. In fact, it’s partially what inspired me to give it up for Lent. However, I was curious and intrigued by this alternative to sugary chocolate that I found on Pinterest. So, Michael and I decided to try to make it last weekend. It might possibly have been a fail. I’ll explain why in a minute. Here’s our recipe adventure:
We didn’t hate it, but we didn’t love it either. The consistency was that of fudge, but I think if we make it in the future, we will have to go to Whole Foods for the coconut butter. It’s not that we hate Whole Foods, but it’s just not our ordinary shopping place, so we would have to make a special trip.
Have you ever had a recipe flop or flatten before? Would you try it again doing something different, or have the memories blotted out that recipe forever?
I love Girl Scout cookies. I’ve always wanted to try to make them myself, see how close I can get to the real stuff. I found this site that has most of the cookie recipes, called Baking Bites, and I thought I would try my favorite, Samoas, first. However, she gives both the actual cookie version and this “bar” version, which I tried that one first. They are so good! They were a hit with my small group and other friends.
Ingredients for Base
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
Instructions for Base
- Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking pan or line with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly, like wet sand. The dough does not need to come together.
- Pour crumbly dough into prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until base is set and edges are lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack before topping.
Ingredients for Topping
- 3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
- 12 oz good quality chewy caramels
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp milk
- 10 oz dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are okay)
Instructions for Topping
- Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
- Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt.
- When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula. Put dollops of the topping all over the shortbread base. Using a spatula, spread topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled.
- When cooled, cut into 30 bars with a large knife or a pizza cutter (it’s easy to get it through the topping). Once bars are cut, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45-second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Dip the base of each bar into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment or wax paper.
- Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate if necessary) into a piping back or a Ziploc back with the corner snipped off and drizzle bars with chocolate to finish. Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.
Hope you enjoy it! They were really fun to make. 🙂
In the winter, I crave soups. On the weekends, I love using my crockpot while we are out and about. And in general, I love Mexican food. Which leads me to the recipe I recently tried from Allrecipes.com, Slow Cooker Taco Soup
. I did change the ingredients some, but it still came out pretty amazing good.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans with liquid
- 1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn, with liquid
- 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
- 2 cups water
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans of diced tomatoes with green chili peppers
- 1 (1.25 oz) package taco seasoning mix
- In a medium skillet, cook ground beef and onion until meat is browned over medium heat. Drain and set aside
- Place the beef mixture, kidney beans, corn, tomato sauce, water, diced tomatoes with green chile peppers and taco seasoning mix in a slow cooker. Mix to blend.
- Cook on low for 8 hours and wait.
- Serve on or with tortilla chips. Sprinkle with cheese or sour cream. Enjoy!
What is your favorite crockpot recipe?