Episode #14: My Dinner In A Box

August 22, 2016

This Week: We hop on board the Dinner Box Subscription Train, and try out a few options for nights when you just can’t with the thinking...


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Cookin’:

  • Non-Box Cookin’

    • Meredith’s waffle extravaganza

    • Grilled (West Coasters BBQ) with hot dogs & hamburgers with Corn on the Cob - shuck the corn out of the silk etc, cover in butter then wrap 5 at a time in aluminum foil. Sara’s Dad removes the silk and then grills in the husks.

    • Oven Garlic Bread - french bread loaves, smother with butter, add Paula Dean’s House seasoning (1 cup of kosher salt, ¼ cup fresh ground pepper, ¼ cup garlic powder). For the cheesey ones, add provolone cheese and parmesan cheese.

    • Aaron’s Garlic Bread - bread, cut slices in it, butter or olive oil between each slice with garlic salt and italian seasoning

  • Sara’s Sun Basket Box

    • Creole Shrimp & Rice with Charred Peppers -substituted mini peppers for padrona

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  • Meredith’s Blue Apron Box (some were shared with Sara because M couldn’t cook them in time…)

    • Grilled Goat Cheese & Plum Jam Sandwiches with endive & marinated cucumber salad

    • Sweet Corn & Tinkerbell Pepper Pizza w/ fontina cheese & baby kale

    • Fresh Pappardelle Pasta with Summer Tomato-Olive Ragu & Ricotta Salata

  • Meredith’s Hello Fresh Box (HelloFresh.com If you want to get a coupon/discount rate you can use: 3XBZWS. Full Disclosure: This code gets me a discount as well!):

    • Quick Sausage Bolognese - Italian Sausage, Onion, Carrots, Garlic, Button Mushrooms, Crushed Tomatoes, Beef Stock COncentrate, Parmesan Cheese, Spaghetti, Spinach and Basil. Dice Onion, carrot, garlic, and button mushrooms. Cook veggies until softened, add salt and pepper. Remove sausage from the casings and brown with veggies. Add the crushed tomato, stock concentrate in the pan and let thicken. Stir the spinach into the Bolognese to wilt. Cook the spaghetti to al dente. Combine together and top with parmesan and basil leaves.

    • Cheesy Beef Quesadillas - Ground Beef, Whole Wheat Tortillas, Avocado, Grape Tomatoes, Limes, Red Onion, Cilantro, Mozzarella Cheese, Sour Cream, Dried Oregano, Black Beans. Chop all the veggies. Cook the onions over medium heat with olive oil, once they are softened add the ground beef and oregano into the pan. Cook until browned. Assemble the tortillas on a cookie sheet - rub one side of each tortilla with a small drizzle of olive oil and place oil-side down. Sprinkle half of each tortilla with cheese and add the ground beef. Fold the tortillas in half and bake. Make a salsa with the avocado, black beans and cilantro, add a squeeze of lime juice.

Our feelings about the boxes:

  • Good for getting out of a rut and trying new things/ingredients. You aren't having to purchase a lot of spices when you aren't sure if you'd like it.

  • Good for learning new cooking skills for those starting out because instructions are easy to follow, Blue Apron has a good guide for what to have on hand/cooking essentials for the new cook:

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  • Don’t like the fact that you have to prep every time, instead of setting up prep at one time for several meals. Takes a lot more time to set up vs. cooking on my own.

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  • These meals are densely caloric, however portions can be stretched 2 to 3 servings.

  • We don't always like the methods they suggest for cooking.

  • Not enough spices for us, tend towards being bland. Both M & S added significantly more spices to each dish.

  • Good for those who don't like grocery shopping, like to follow directions, you don't have to think about it.

  • Good to be used to introduce kids/new cooks to different flavor combinations, different cooking techniques, etc.

  • Limited options for those with dietary restrictions (ie. Diabetic, gluten free, or even vegetarian...) also restrictions for those who don't eat certain kinds of meat (pork).

  • We don't find that the time suggested, and actual time to set up and cook matched up. Generally took longer than they suggested.

Bookin’:

References:

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