January Monthly Archives

The Battle of Meal Delivery Services!

Those who know me well tend to describe me as the person who is “typically late” on the newest trends and happenings. So this year I’ve decided it’s time to catch up on everything that I’m supposedly “missing out” on. Case and point: Hello Fresh and Blue Apron. In short, these two companies offer weekly meal delivery service complete with step by step cooking instructions. For me, it was more about trying new recipes and being too lazy to go to the grocery store that prompted me to try it. Now originally I meant to try these two delivery services one at a time, but I had a blonde moment and accidentally had them both delivered on the same day! (Learn from my mistakes people). However, the good thing about having both boxes delivered at the same time was that I could test both of them and see which one, if either I would re-order again.

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Hello Fresh Boxes on top and Blue Apron Box on the bottom.

HELLO FRESH

The good: One of the best things about Hello Fresh that I found was the packaging! Since there are 3 recipes, they pack 3 individual boxes inside the bigger box so you know exactly what goes with what. Easy= a huge plus for me when I’m cooking. On top of that, when you are done cooking, clean up is super simple because you throw all of your trash back  in the little box that you had all of your ingredients in. Genius!! All the meals were super easy and tasted delicious, so I was a happy camper.

 

Here’s an idea of what the Hello Fresh Box looks like with instructions.

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My favorite part- the easy clean up!

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One of the Hello Fresh dinners I made. Salmon with couscous and vegetables.

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The bad: As much as I wanted to brag on Hello Fresh, I do have to be honest and say that they left out a key ingredient in one of my boxes. I was disappointed to have to go (read: send my husband) to the grocery store in order for me to complete the meal that I was already in the process of making. Another downside for me is price. The first box comes at an inexpensive $29 for 3 meals…so basically $10 a meal. However, after that it jumps to $70 for 3 meals. Oh, and be careful to “turn off” delivery after the first week if you don’t want it anymore or it will keep charging you.

 

BLUE APRON

The good: My first order from Blue Apron was FREE. Yes, as in ZERO dollars spent for 3 meals and all of the ingredients. Another plus about it was that it came with little things like butter that were already portioned out. I don’t typically keep butter in my fridge so it was nice to have that included. The biggest pro that I see for Blue Apron is the price. At only $59 for 3 meals, it is one of the most inexpensive delivery services I have seen.

One of the few times we’ve actually eaten at the dinner table instead of the couch!

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The bad: Blue Apron’s packaging was an OCD person’s NIGHTMARE compared to Hello Fresh. Luckily, my husband did the opening of the Blue Apron box while I was at work, but to make a long story short, the box just has all of the ingredients for all 3 meals thrown in together in no orderly fashion. This for me is enough to induce a semi-panic attack. So if you do decide to go with Blue Apron, prepare to spend some extra time sorting through the ingredients before you start cooking.

Blue Apron ingredients and recipe…much less organized than Hello Fresh.

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THE WINNER

All in all, my experiences with Hello Fresh and Blue Apron were positive. Both came with recipes that I wouldn’t normally try on my own, and the steps were easy to follow. My husband liked Blue Apron more because it was cheaper and he doesn’t care about the unorganized packaging, while I think that Hello Fresh is the best because of the convenient packaging and easy clean up. So I guess it’s a tie? I have a promo code for Hello Fresh but unfortunately I can’t find any for Blue Apron. I got my free Blue Apron meal from a friend who was a regular subscriber. Thanks Mal! 🙂

Hello Fresh Code for $40 off your first box: 73UFYB

Blue Apron Code: Find a friend who uses Blue Apron and ask them to give you free meals! 🙂

Coffee, chocolate, and pizza, oh my!

As my first official entry for my blog it seems only right that I talk about a place that houses pretty much all of my favorite things in the same building. Plant Street Market is a hidden gem that serves as home to over 12 small businesses inside, offering everything from coffee to pressed juice, farm to table meals and even a brewery. It’s about 25 minutes north of downtown Orlando. It’s been on my “to do list” for over a year now, but since I’m spoiled with so many fun things that are less than 5 miles away from my neighborhood, I always found a reason to talk myself out of the drive. But I can honestly tell you that the 25 minutes each way was well worth it when I discovered all that the market had to offer.
IMG_0275[1]                                                                  How cute is the outside, right?

IMG_0257[1]          What a fun concept for an indoor market! Everything you need under one roof.

Upon entering, I decided to start with coffee, because well, coffee. I pretty much start every day with coffee and I’ve alwasy been open to try everything from light roast to dark and bold. The place inside Plant Street Market is called Axum Coffee and they give away 100% off their profits to worthy causes. How could you not feel great about supporting a local business like that? I’m pretty boring when it comes to coffee because I usually just drink it black (All the caffeine plus 0 calories). I settled on the cold brew and it was delicious. Truth be told, when coffee is done right…as in fresh and full of flavor, there is no need for sugar or cream. If you’re thinking to yourself that what I just said is impossible, then you haven’t had the right coffee. 🙂

These 2 coffees were sitting on the counter when I was ordering so I had to take a picture.

IMG_0260[1]                Happy as can be with my cold brew ice coffee!

Next I moved on to to sample another one of my favorite things, chocolate. (Sidenote: washing a piece of dark bacon chocolate down with a cold brew is amazing.) The place is called David Ramirez Chocolates and they have everything from macaroons to salted caramel and every kind of chocolate you could imagine. Because I’m terrible at making decisions related to food, I settled on 3 pieces and split then with my husband. Is there anything better than chocolate for breakfast? Not in my world.

IMG_0266[1]     From left to right: chocolate with beer and bacon, salted caramel, and chocolate with bacon and peanut butter. Thankfully these were really small bites.

After wandering from one end of the building to the other, we arrived at Crooked Can Brewery. I love trying new, local breweries and this one was a pleasant surprise. I liked every beer that I tasted and would definitely go back again. Refer back a paragraph regarding my indecisiveness for food and know that it applies to adult beverages as well. Which is what makes getting a flight so perfect, you can try a little bit of everything. I stuck with a flight of their lighter beers, while my husband got the darker. After trying them all I have to say that my favorite was the Highstepper IPA, but the most surprising one was the Pineapple Cider. I’m not a huge cider fan, but their pineapple cider had just enough sweetness balanced with a crisp finish that made it a nice refreshing drink.

IMG_0267[1]       I’m pretty sure there’s not a bad choice on this beer list.

IMG_0274[1] By far the coolest flight holders I have seen at a brewery! Bonus points for the creativity.

Whoever came up with the concept of the Plant Street Market must have known the inner desires of my heart when they put a wood fire pizza place right next to Crooked Can. Naturally we finished the afternoon with some oven roasted wings and a cheese, basil and olive oil pizza. The place was called Michaels Ali  and they know their stuff. We enjoyed our lunch of pizza and wings while watching the Panthers run up a 14 point lead within just a few minutes of the game starting. I’ll leave you with a few pictures of our delicious food. Typing this just made me realize there are leftover slices in the fridge so I’m off to heat those up for dinner. Happy Sunday and thanks for reading! Check back soon for more posts.

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