“I’m Too Hungover For This”: Plated Review #2 Peanut Noodles

I don’t think Peanut Noodles was the real name for this recipe but… Honestly I’m too exhausted from making this meal to go check.

Oh holy shit it is called peanut noodles

For the record, I was hungover making this but the true reason I could barely cook this was because I have literally been some level of hungover this whole week. I didn’t even drink that much last night (relative to, you know, the previous days of the week) but I think my body is just done, overall. Also, before you judgey mcjudgersons judge me know that this week included my 9 year anniversary with Michael, marching in a Mardi gras parade in the pouring rain (alocohol is a natural internal heat packet), AND parent teacher conferences. If I hadn’t gotten drunk every night… Well I’d be in better shape BUT AT WHAT COST?

So anyway.

Peanut butter, miso paste, spring onions that you should ignore because they’re for the wrong recipe i just have shit reading comprehension (shit reading comprehension is the theme of this post), that flat kind of pasta thats lin something, agave, soy sauce, red wine vingear, something called mirin?!?, a super small amount of ginger, seasime seeds, eggplant and bok choy

So at first I was impressed that the eggplant and bok choy weren’t individually plastic wrapped as well as being in a plastic bag BUT once I arranged all the ingredients for this photo I realized that Plated really uses a bonkers amount of packaging. I don’t understand how meal subscription boxes can claim to reduce food waste. I know they mean that less PRODUCE is wasted but is an abundance of organic food waste really the problem in our landfills? I’m no trash expert (joke about how I’m trash, just not an expert) but aren’t we more worried about… Plastic bags never biodegrading?!?! BUT I DIGRESS

I really do think that Plated gives simple directions but I honest to Cho had to reread step 1 like ten times before it made even a little bit of sense. Chopping the produce was no big, but WTF that ginger paste thing is bullshit. Why didn’t they just send ginger paste? Making it by hand was ridiculous, I gave up after a solid 5 minutes of smooshing salt and ginger bits with a knife. I was supposed to smoosh until it was a “paste” like consistency… Which, a) what the fuck does that mean, really and b) didn’t look like it was ever gonna happen by just knife smoosh. The directions said there was a hint on how to do this under recipe tips but the tips were like “make sure you cut up the ginger” UM THANK YOU I had figured that out. (It also creepily said “read through the whole recipe before you began, trust us, you’ll be glad you did!” Which made me feel like at the end of this recipe it was going to be revealed to be some sort of joke, or like maybe it would say in step 6 “HA you thought to had to make ginger paste by hand, what horse shit, check the bok choy, the paste baggie is hidden in the leaves” [that didn’t happen])

Bok choy rose!! 🌹🌹🌹

Despite my complaining, this pasta was delicious. Michael and I agreed that were we rich people who could actually pay for meal boxes, we’d pick Plated. Thanks for this box, Madame V!!

Even though cooking through this hangover almost made me explode, I give it 10 Tippys out of 10, as well as 1 beer which symbolizes how I’ve learned nothing and am gonna crack open a beer as soon as I post this. FUCKING CHEERS, MY LIVER

🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🍺

Greek Horiatiki (Plated Review #1)

Greek Horiatiki (Plated Review #1)

A friend of mine, who I will call Madame V for reasons that will make Madame V groan and regret everything, gave me A BEAUTIFUL GIFT: a free box of Plated, another rival of Blue Apron and the other meal subscription box services.

img_20170227_170946
Please notice our Grim Reaper in the corner, we love him

I’ve tried boxes now from Plated, Blue Apron, and Hello Fresh. So far, Plated has had my favorite recipes cards. Hello Fresh came with a lottt of extra paper fluff, but Plated was more simple.

It was also nice because I could show Michael big pictures and say WHICH ONE DO YOU WAAAAAAAANT

For the first night we picked the Greek Horiatiki because I like chickpeas. Michael, amazingly, said all of the meals looked good?!?! It was a miracle. Just based on this fact, Plated wins the meal subscription box war.

img_20170227_173309

This box was really into being eco-friendly where it could WHICH WAS NICE because dudes these boxes!!! So many separate plastic bags?! I’m sure these people are conforming to certain health standards but when a cucumber is vacuum packed does it also need to be in a quart sized plastic bag? If I was less OCD I’d reuse the bags but… you know. OCD. So anyway this box was lined with recycled… natural… fluff IDK. Good on you, Plated.

At first, I was like “ugh all the ingredients are mixed up, ugh” BUT THEN I remembered how Hello Fresh did separate boxes for each meals and how one box was jacked and how a box was also jacked for Teacher 3 and so clearly, based on two anecdotal evidenceseses the separate box sitch is fucked.

img_20170227_174025
A VERY SMALL amount of chickpeas, grape tomatoes, NASTY OLIVES that would have gone in the trash but I have trash friends who like nasty olives you know who you are come get these monsters from my fridge, a teeny red onion, yellow bell pepper, herbs that I forget what they were, hummus, two pieces of naan, red wine vinegar, feta cheese and super wrapped up cucumber. 

SO MANY INGREDIENTS. It was intimidating.

Honestly, I can’t tell if the Plated directions were easier or if I just am still so mad at Hello Fresh for giving Teacher 3 a free box for HER jacked meal and offering ME a FIVE DOLLAR COUPON for mine. But I did like them. HOWEVER, even more assumptions were made than in other boxes. For example, the oil was specified to be OLIVE oil, not any oil. I don’t normally buy olive oil because are different oils reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally different? And olive oil is SO FUCKING EXPENSIVE. But for some miracle reason I had a really small bottle of Harris Teeter brand olive oil so it got used. The ingredient list just said “olive oil” without an exact amount which was frustrating because I kept putting it BACK and getting it back OUT and thinking I’d run out, honestly EVERY. STEP. of this recipe required MORE AND MORE olive oil. Is this a Greek thing or a Plated thing?! I DON’T know. The last step involved warming the naan in oil and I was so confluffled that I just poured all the rest of the oil in the pan and I ended up with some soggy ass naan, that shit was my bad.

Also, I have a problem with using a lot of plates and shit. This recipe required TWO mixing bowls, AND a large pan. And so many different measurements!  At one point, it said a quarter of a cup of red onion. Does this mean half a small onion? Do I really have to use up a measuring cup for this?

THE ANSWER IS YES I DO because look how far off I was:

img_20170227_175844
This doesn’t look as dramatic as it was in my memories

Anyhoo, this meal ended up being quite tasty despite my hesitation at what seemed like the fanciest of meal subscription boxes. There was even (a very small amount of) leftovers! A true meal box miracle.

img_20170227_182329

I give this recipe 4 Tippys and 4 top hats for fanciness
🐢🐢🐢🐢🎩🎩🎩🎩_ _

Turtle Jello or: The Things I’ll do For my Ungrateful Bee of a Daughter

Turtle Jello or: The Things I’ll do For my Ungrateful Bee of a Daughter

For the record: my daughter is 8 years older than me, and also a red eared slider turtle.

hairspray
it’s true

Turtles, like human children, are supposed to eat their greens to stay healthy. Tippy, also like human children, is a huge brat and hates eating her greens. She goes through phases. When I first adopted her from a family that, while having good intentions, neglected her and her nutritional health, she wouldn’t eat anything but ReptoMin pellets. According to Tippy’s vet, her diet should only be 50% ReptoMin pellets. First, I got her to eat freeze-dried river shrimp with her pellets. THEN I got her to eat zucchini bits with her pellets, but she stopped wanting to eat the dry shrimp. THEN I gave her a cooked cocktail shrimp as a treat and she stopped wanting to eat anything but shrimps!
tippyisaprincess

This is a problem because I had just gotten Tippy’s shell from a dusty sickly stuck-shed brown to a beautiful shiny black! It only took a few months for Tippy’s picky eating to result in some dry patches on her shell so I knew I had to do something. I took Tippy to her annual vet exam and asked for some advice. (NOTE: Tippy was the coolest turtle in school in her dinosaur sweater from her Auntie Vicki! <3)

instasize_1231141313
Tippy’s greatest loves are being dressed up and going to the vet (this is a lie, they are MY greatest loves)

The vet suggested that I chop up Tippy’s veggies and hide it in some shrimpy jello. Which sounds as disgusting as it SO. WAS. I’m a vegetarian and I’ve never made jello before despite the fact that I’m a shitty vegetarian who totally forgets to not eat gelatin so I looked up a recipe to make sure I didn’t fuck it up too much. I got the general idea from this recipe posted on redearslider.com’s Turtle Talk! forum . Mine is a lot simpler though, as I had not thought about adding anything other than greens and shrimp to the gelatin. Next time I do this, I will follow their recipe a bit more and include calcium powder and pellets! So here is my very SIMPLE turtle jello recipe:

Simple Turtle Jello 20161231_090859
Ingredients:
– Knox gelatine (1 packet)
– Red leaf lettuce (approx. 4 leaves)
– Precooked cocktail shrimp (2 large)
– Boiling water (1/2 cup)
Tools needed: 
– Ice cube tray
– Food processor or blender or willingness to finely chop lettuce and shrimp together

Directions:
1) Clean and roughly chop the lettuce and shrimp

20161231_093425
This picture is just to show off my turtle cutting board that Tippy’s Auntie Lisa got me! 

2) Put it all in a food processor and blend!

20161231_093536
This food processor was given to me by Tippy’s Grandma Roberta! Tippy’s family is so generous ;_;

3) Mix the pureed green/shrimp mixture with one packet of the gelatin and add 1/2 cup of boiling water.

20161231_094040
Pre-gelatin/water addage

4) Spoon the liquid into an ice cube tray! (Bacardi Bat ice cube tray not required, but HIGHLY recommended)

20161231_094944
Courtesy of Auntie Ginz! 

5) Refrigerate for 2 – 3 hours!

20161231_125312

NOTES:
1) I cannot EXPRESS to you how nasty this smelled. Again, I am not a meat-eater so I am not really into fishy smells. But I am not one of those vegs who tries to feed their pet veg because I am not a doofus SO I GRINNED AND BARED (BEARED?) IT.
2) I actually think I could have used a higher ratio of gelatin/water to puree because the cubes did not hold their shape very well (see above)
3) I tried shoving some ReptoMin into the cubes because I was afraid that the cubes were too greens heavy and I needed to make sure that Tippy’s nose said FISH and not LETTUCE. This would have been a lot easier had I done it BEFORE refrigerating like the forum suggested but OH WELL
4) Tippy LOVED IT. When I first walked up to her she was like go away mom I’m friggin sun bathing 

20161231_124649

But then I wafted a piece of the jello towards her and she (slowly) jumped into the water and NOMMED the HELL out of it

tippyeating03
SAVAGE

Based on her reaction I give this recipe TEN TIPPYS OUT OF TEN PLUS ONE SHRIMPIE

🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🍤

The $25 Target Challenge

The $25 Target Challenge

I have a Target problem. (Am I a basic white bee because I have a target problem? Or do I have a target problem because I am a basic white bee?)

whitebee
Get a PSL to sip while you shop! via http://www.beesinfrance.com/

My friend and co-worker, Madre de Bueno (formerly known as “Teacher some number I forgot”) also has this problem. So last week when we decided to go on a target trip to knock out our various secret santa situations MdB came up with brilliant idea: we would challenge ourselves to only spend 25 dollars at Target. It seemed impossible, but we believed we were up to the task.

20161208_161810
spoiler alert: we weren’t up to the task 

It was actually a perfect set-up. I had two secret santas to shop for, a work one and a friend one. I had $15 left to spend for the work secret santa and around $10 for the friend one. It would be eeeeasy to spend $25 or below.

We started our adventure at the dollar spot, the section of target that has $1, $2, and $3 items. IT’S GREAT. All my student’s token system prizes come from this section.

20161208_163151
I love you, cheap section of target

MdB and I found the only remaining Halloween item among the xmas stuff because we have Halloweendar.

20161208_163246

Luckily, I was not tempted (because I still have target halloween stickers leftover from two months ago). Unluckily, we didn’t find a lot of good stuff in the dollar spot so we were forced to move on to other sections, a devestating move for the $25 challenge.

20161208_164140

Next stop was target’s very small book section! Here we see MdB being an actual thrifty shopper and using the target cartwheel app to see if that cookbook was on sale (it wasn’t). And HERE we see me fucking around with these little sticky mirror things you can put on your cell phone case:

20161208_164231
I should be ashamed of how many crappy selfies I took in this tiny little mirror, but I’m not because I am Proud Trash. 

Those mirror stickers were TEN FUCKING DOLL HAIRS can you imagine.

Anyway, there was no great finds in the book section either so we moved on to the gift cards/gifts to go aisle. Where I found THE PERFECT THING FOR ONE OF MY SECRET SANTAS which I can’t tell you about because… they might read my blog? Goooood timing on this post, Me. What I can tell you about is this HORRIFYING price check item override nightmare situation:

20161208_164822
An eleven dollar difference WHO DID THIS 

It’s been 5 years since I worked in retail but this still stresses me out. Who put the nice expensive cards in the $3.99 face? Was it an employee who just had one more to put up and didn’t want to bother with the shelving in the back? Or did a customer take it out from on top and put it back wrong?!?! Either way that’s $11 that I’m gonna have to cost this company because I know that target has the same policy that CVS had that if it’s mis-shelved you get the price it was shelved at sob sob sob CASHIER NIGHTMARES

retailrobin

Anyway, the gifts to go aisle was a success! Including the $3 worth of stuff I got at the dollar spot I was sitting pretty at $12 left to go in my $25 budget. EASY.

So here where it all started going downhill. I’m not trying to SPILL ANY SECRETS but one of my secret santas said their favorite scent was one of the three items given to the baby jesus uPON his birth. Very holidayish, yes?! WELL I looked at and smelled at every damn candle in target and I did NOT find the right scent. I DID however find the OTHER smelly thing jesus received on his birthday:

20161208_170003
WTFKJSKFHSFB

but even if this WAS the correct smell it was a ~*~*~$15*~*~ flippin candle so, no.

My frantic candle search led me to download the cartwheel app to see if I could get a good deal on something I personally needed

screenshot_2016-12-08-17-04-36
BULLSHIT

The cartwheel app is USELESS. Once the idea of alcohol was in my brain it was all over. I mean, how can I really expect to go to target without buying a cube of wine? I was setting myself up for failure. MdB and I both realized that we weren’t going to meet the challenge of spending $25 BUT we were determined to buy all our secret santa gifts. And in that way, we were victorious.

Because I’m not a real writer, and I can’t even structure blog posts, the rest of this will be a list of funny things that happened while we were at target:

  1. MdB found a loose kit kat on the floor and offered me $5 to eat it
    20161208_171452
    I couldn’t do it, tho.

    2. We ran into our friend, Algebra (I hope you like your blog nickname, Algebra)! AND a random lady who was ALSO secret santa shopping!

    20161208_172553
    This picture is titled “Things MdB doesn’t need/can’t have” – Also, check out Random Lady in the background!

    3. MdB had an ACTUAL FIT in the cleaning aisle about this special edition xmas scented soap.

    20161208_173914
    this should be an ad for meyer’s

4. “That doesn’t even LOOK like Jennifer Aniston! It looks like Jennifer Aniston photo-shopped onto Mary Kate and Ashley Olson” – MdB

20161208_174114
she’s right tho

5. We stood on the other side of the aisle away from the clothes section for a good five minutes convincing ourselves that we didn’t need to buy or look at any clothes

20161208_174246
Honestly, going to target and avoiding the pull of the entire clothes section is the true miracle of this post. 

6. We found this adorable cookie jar but couldn’t agree on whether it was a squirrel or a chipmunk. IT’S UP TO YOU, INTERNET. SQUIRREL OR CHIPMUNK????

20161208_174658
I’m #teamsquirrel myself

7. This youth shirt design which is weird EVEN by pre-teen girl shirt standards

20161208_180022
tag yourself, I’m the shoe

8. Madre de Bueno took this sneaky snake photo of me at the peak of my mountain madness at the wrong jesus smell candle
img_2216
9. And finally, we took this beautiful family photo

20161208_175940
how do you flip photos is a question i have

so in conclusion, spending $25 or less at target is literally impossible based on this one trip. THE END.

Protein Rice Bowl (Hello Fresh review #3)

Protein Rice Bowl (Hello Fresh review #3)

I was so not interested in making this last recipe from my free hello fresh box. In fact, I started making it last night and I got as far as taking this ingredient photo:

20161210_190550-1
green onions, sesame seeds, cashews, rice, green beans, garlic, soy sauce and A VERY GENEROUS CORN as you will see later in this post. 

And then Michael was watching the new Spider-Man trailer, and I got distracted trying to figure out if Ganke was in it (he wasn’t), and then we watched another trailer and another and another and then Michael was like, “Do you just wanna order Chinese?” and Michael NEVER wants to order Chinese so THAT HAPPENED (not a good budgety decision but oh well). So I was all ready to just throw in the towel and re-purpose the ingredients. HOWEVER when I went to check the fridge I realized that all I had besides this last box was butter, a couple of brown bananas, and a bunch of old food that I really need to throw out. The pantry was, somehow, even worse. We have four boxes of pasta.. but no pasta sauce. And nothing even close to tomato sauce that I could maybe turn INTO pasta sauce. How did that happen?!

tomcollinsmix
“You just gotta improvise, Lisa!” 

So I sucked it up and made the damn recipe, “Protein-Packed Rice Bowl” by Hello Fresh. Protein-packed is REALLY a stretch for a rice bowl with no typical vegetarian proteins in it. It had some cashews, but just as a topping. It should have been called Veggie Fried Rice Bowl (But Without the Fried Egg Part). It was just fried rice with green beans, corn, and carrots.

20161211_174820

The first instruction was to toast the cashews. They wanted me to use up a whole cookie sheet! To toast some nuts! Ridiculous. Can you imagine the wasted cleaning time if I wasn’t the kind of person who just puts down tin foil and never washes her bake ware?! Pfft.

I talk a big game for someone who almost fucked this recipe up entirely. First, it said to cook the rice but did not mention rice to water ratio at all. That’s a hefty thing to assume, that I would know how to cook rice. I have a rice cooker but I decided to go old-fashioned for some dumb reason and it took forEVER

20161211_182306
this is why I bought a rice cooker, sob

Then, the instructions said to chop the green onions into 1 inch bits and it didn’t say anything about the green beans, which I thought was weird. It also said I only needed to use half the can of corn and made some silly comment about “the rest of the can is on us!” hahhaha thanks for that, it really makes this $27 fried rice worth it to know I got extra corn. I didn’t know what the hell I’d do with half a can of corn so I used all of it.

20161211_180826

It was around this time that I realized I done fucked up. Looking back at the directions I realized I was supposed to chop the beeeeans into inch strips and “thinly slice” the green onions. DON’T SKIM RECIPES, CHILDREN.

Once I hastily broke up the green beans with a dull knife it looked a lot better. The directions said “toss” a lot, like I had a wok which I don’t. ALSO it came with an unpeeled carrot. I DO have a peeler but… I don’t feel like that’s a common item. On hello fresh’s FAQs it says all you need to provide from your own kitchen is”salt, pepper, and a good oil” LIES – it’s assuming you have all sort of weird kitchen things and also a working knowledge of strange cooking terms (“lug”, “drizzle”, “just cook the rice, I’m sure you know how”)

20161211_183031
lookit all the seedssss

Anyhoo, despite all this, it was a decent recipe. Michael liked it. And since I used all the corn it was an okay amount too. ALL IN ALL I give it 6 Tippys out of 10.

🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢_ _ _ _

Fancy Pantsy Flatbread Pizza (Hello Fresh review #2)

Fancy Pantsy Flatbread Pizza (Hello Fresh review #2)

I was all ready to break up the ingredients of my remaining two hello fresh meals after I made my last post. I even put the chunk of ginger root from the rice bowl recipe into a beer sampling glass and put it in the windowsill to sprout (we’ll see if this works). HOWEVERR, a loyal reader requested that I do the remaining recipes and review them here. I KNOW, I’m shocked too. First, I have loyal readers? Second, they comment and request things?! It’s a miracle.

Update on the nasty rotten asparagus from last time: Hello fresh gave me a $20 credit that I will never use because that would still make their boxes WAY THE HELL out of my budget. I was okay with this until I told Teacher 3 and she said the same thing happened to her with hello fresh but with a red pepper and SHE got an ENTIRE FREE BOX. WTF HELLO FRESH.

So anyway, here is hello fresh’s “Pesto Flatbread (Posh Pizza)”.

Here is everything that came in the little box:

20161207_175038

I got excited when I saw the brown wrapping because TO ME  pizza = cheese. I know that the mozzarella is there, and that fancy pizza never has a great deal of cheese but I had HIGH HOPES. Which were dashed, because that’s just a nicely wrapped zucchini. ;_; Which is fine. I’m a vegetarian, I like vegetables. Plus I got to shave off a chunk for Tippy who begrudgingly loves zucchini.

My only real comment on the ingredients is that there was a LOT of broccoli related food waste.

20161207_175427

I like broccoli stems. I should have kept them but this was weird long, fancy broccoli and I was worried that I wasn’t supposed to eat the stems. Fancy produce intimidates me. You know how there’s that fancy fish that is mostly poisonous? What if this broccoli was the same way?!?!?!?!

20090212-fugu
me, chopping broccoli, probably

So anyway, someday when I’m rich and I have a yard (never) I’ll have a compost heap and then I’ll never feel bad about food waste! BUT FOR NOW, I threw away more than half of the broccoli that hello fresh gave me.

This time the recipe called for a DRIZZLE of oil which I wish had been the direction for the goddamadsnmfdsnfg pasta because drizzle, to me, means a smallish amount and it worked out fine unlike my pasta sauce which turned out to be literally half oil.

20161207_181202
So pretty!!!!

I don’t have a lot of snarky things to say about this recipe because it was actually quite good. I even didn’t mind that the sauce on the pizza was pesto and not marinara, which I normally don’t like. I think the addition of sun-dried tomatoes fixed the part of my brain that would have rebelled against a pizza with no tomatoey goodness. Also, I was VERY pleased with how much topping ended up on the flatbreads. I hate when you go to a restaurant and order a pizza flatbread and it’s two little circles of mozzarella and like, a mushroom. That’s not pizza! That’s bread. That shouldn’t cost money at a nice restaurant, that should be given to me FOR FREE so I can fill up and only spend 6 bucks on a small salad.

20161207_183922
You know it’s a good amount of toppings when they all spill off and you get to eat the droppings all up at the end of your meal om nom nom nom 

Michael even liked it! A SUCCESS, FOR ONCE IN MY FAILURE OF A LIFE. I GIVE THIS PIZZA 10 TIPPYS OUT OF 10.

🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢

Meal Subscription Box Hell and Other Over-Exaggerations

Meal Subscription Box Hell and Other Over-Exaggerations

This post is dedicated to Ginz, for without whom’s free box coupons I would never be able to make this snarky post about meal subscription boxes

Meal subscription boxes are, I think, the new thing. I’m basing this idea on the fact that there are a lot of different companies doing it and my targeted advertisements are all about Gryffindor sweatshirts and meal subscription boxes (I assume that this is because all hip millennials are into food and harry potter).

First, a disclaimer. I am in no way saying that meal subscription boxes are budget-friendly. Michael and I’s weekly grocery budget is around $80 TOTAL. That is, we aim to spend $40 EACH every week on EVERY food item (except alcohol which is, very sadly, part of the fun money budget). I’ve tried two different subscriptions, the first (Blue Apron) was about $60 a week – and that’s for THREE meals for TWO people. This one I am reviewing for this blog post (Hello Fresh) is $80 dollars a week! So if I were to really do this weekly, I would either have $20 left for 4 nights of dinner, 7 mornings of breakfast, and 7 days of lunches for TWO people – OR completely use up my grocery budget on three meals total. So why am I even making this post? I don’t know?!?!? I need to do something with my broke ass time.

So! Ginz VERY KINDLY gave me a free box of Hello Fresh. It arrived this afternoon.

20161205_170016
Their packaging is actually v cute

Michael gets home before me most days and he NO JOKE, saw that I got a meal subscription box, went to Harris Teeter, and brought home a frozen pepperoni pizza.

20161205_172514
PHOTOGRAPHIC PROOF. 

Is this because he just really, really likes pepperoni pizza but never gets to eat it because his girlfriend is a vegetarian?!?! OR is it because last time I got a meal subscription box I guilted him for not helping me with it, and then took like two hours to make a really little meal???? YOU DECIDE. (NOTE: “If you want to know the truth, I wanted the pepperoni pizza! Normally we just eat cheese pizzas! Only cheese pizza! I just wanted pepperoni! I saw the box, but I didn’t even know what was in the box! LIES!” – Michael)

So inside the big box was three little boxes

20161205_172245
Please notice that the 3rd box looks tilted, that’s important later

So that was nice. If I remember correctly, Blue Apron’s box was a big mix of all the different packages of ingredients.

Inside the box was a booklet with the recipes and a little envelope with coupons for other services. (GINZ, DO YOU WANT A FREE BOX OF GRAZE, HMU) I really did like the booklet better than the big loose papers that Blue Apron gives you.

20161205_171725
fancy pantsy!

I spent a while thinking before I decided which recipe to make tonight. It was a rice bowl, a pizza thing, and a pasta thing. I decided to do the pasta thing because it was described as “easy peasy” and that it would take 20 minutes. NOW I don’t buy into the times they give you on recipes, and by “they” I mean people without obsessive compulsive disorder. People without OCD just cook willy nilly. People with OCD, you know, you got to at LEAST double the predicted time. Probably triple. This particular recipe took me like an hour and some change, but that’s mostly because it was a disaster, as I will explain.

First, I did like the directions they provided. They were simple. HOWEVER, they were a little TOO SIMPLE?? What the fucks a “lug” of oil? That’s not a common term! I assumed it was like, a healthy amount. I googled it and I got this fucking link for the chef dude who designed this for Hello Fresh’s forum or something. These people can’t even agree on what a lug is and they’re the sort of people who participate in online cooking forums!!! So, in short, I ended up with a sauce SO OILY I had to methodically spoon out the oil that settled on the top. It was a bit much.

I bet you think that was the disaster, it wasn’t! The real disaster is that I reached in the box for the can of tomatoes and it was covered in nasty green goo. I was like UM IS THIS PESTO? IS THERE PESTO IN THIS RECIPE (there wasn’t)?? So this particular box was smashed in on the side, which I didn’t think was a big deal BUT it smushed the tops of the asparagus and got really nasty and rotten.

20161205_174441-1
this photo kinda underplays the nastiness, it was all over the can next to it

This lead to a pretty decent sized OCD freakout that would have resulted in me throwing out the entire big box of food and sending a really nasty email to Hello Fresh BUT Michael read the email before I sent it and talked me down. I had already started to figure out what else I was gonna make for dinner because OBVIOUSLY if one item was spoiled then could I trust the rest of the items?!?!?!?! But anyway. I threw out the asparagus and made the pasta without it.

20161205_181859
fancy pasta sans asparagus

It was alright. Just like Blue Apron, it was enough for two small portions. And also like Blue Apron, I will probably just use the rest of the box as I see fit and not fuck with the recipes. I can spread out the ingredients a lot better than the suggestions let me tell you.

So in CONCLUSION was this Easy Peasey Fancyname Pasta worth approximately $26.666666??? Hell no. Was it fun to receive a big box of groceries for free? Hell yes. So if you know someone with a free box code, go the hell for it.

PS – PRO TIP FROM GINZ: The ice packs that come with the boxes are reusable!

20161205_172619
Please note the perfectly fine frozen cheese pizzas that Michael SHUNNED