Christmas Is Coming … Wait, I’m Not Ready

Usually by the Solstice I am fully prepared for Christmas. I have the cards written and mailed, presents bought, wrapped and mailed and holiday baking well on its way. This year? Not so much. I haven’t looked at the boxes of cards, no presents have been wrapped or mailed yet and I have zero baking done. I’m pretty fortunate that I made it to the last day of school (in a week with a full moon) before break intact. Hopefully I will manage to get a few things done Monday, but I’m thinking New Year’s cards and presents maybe.

20131221-112612.jpg In our on going discussion about what has to get done around the house with two people who work full time, Bob came up with a possible partial solution to getting dinner on the table. He listens to podcasts and one had a new sponsor he thought I might want to check out. Hello Fresh takes some of the meal planning and shopping out of cooking, but still let’s you cook at home. Interesting concept, so I checked out the website and decided to give it a try. Three meals for two people, portioned out and ready to cook; quite literally everything you need to make the meal except salt, pepper, oil and the hardware. Now, I love to cook. I love to experiment with recipes, but I hate the rush of the weeknight dinner and do I have …. Did I forget … Darn it, I needed … that often goes along with it. And honestly, some days after work, I can’t think coherently enough to plan and execute dinner. So how did this go? Well, I signed up and picked three meals for the week. I got a “welcome” email and then a “your food has shipped” email and then a “was there any issue with your delivery” email. The last one included a little survey to determine if everything was ok, which I thought was a nice touch. Wednesday afternoon the box arrived.

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Everything was well insulated and cold and packaged to make knowing which ingredients were for which meals very, very clear.

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Everything is portioned so there is no waste (except for the box and ice packs, but no food waste.) Every meal has a recipe card with it with step by step instructions.

20131221-113622.jpg The cards are really nice but I do think you need a little kitchen knowledge with these. If you don’t know the difference between dice and chop and slice you may have an issue. But that wasn’t an issue for me, so I got to work last night on recipe #1 – Ginger chicken with parsnips and carrots.

20131221-113902.jpg I chopped everything up toasted the almonds and browned the chicken.

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20131221-113948.jpg I sautéed the onions, ginger and garlic then added the veggies while the chicken went into the oven. Final meal took about 40 minutes, start to finish and came out …

20131221-114116.jpg I’m going to say, beautifully. The flavors were good, the quality of ingredients were great, the meal was easy to cook and it was as good as I could make on my own. Bonus for having everything I needed right there. Plenty of food for both of us and no leftovers to store. I have to say, I am pretty happy with this little experiment.

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Gracie also got a box to play in which makes her super happy.

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