Trying out Hello Fresh

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I’ve always been curious about meal subscriptions, but I never wanted to pay the high price for them. So when my sister offered to send me a free box from Hello Fresh I jumped at the chance. There are different options you can choose from like classic or vegetarian, how many people you want the meals to serve and how many meals you want per box. The prices start at $69 and go up from there.

I chose the classic box with three meals for two people. It would have been $69 if I paid full price. When it’s all said and done it breaks down to $23 per meal. That’s actually not too bad when you consider a meal out for two people will likely be well over that. However, if you would go to the grocery store and buy the ingredients yourself it would likely be cheaper and you’d get a larger quantity for future use. What’s great about these boxes if they come with all the ingredients you need except for the occasional need for olive oil. It eliminates so much waste because you use up everything. So many times I will buy a whole bag of produce only to throw out ¾ of it because it goes bad before I can use it.

Eric and I made our first meal on Saturday when we received the box and we are so impressed! The three meals we got were herby pan seared chicken, Spanish steak salad and roasted pork tenderloin.

We made the chicken meal first and it was so easy. It had a base of farro with mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. Then it was topped with a balsamic, honey and shallot dressing. The chicken was seasoned and grilled and served on top. Each meal comes with directions from prep to finish. Eric and I divided up the steps and had it done pretty quickly.

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On Sunday we made the steak meal which was also very good. It was a base of spring mix with roasted red peppers, feta cheese and a white wine vinegar and garlic dressing. The sirloin was such a great cut of meat, too. It was very tender even though we cooked it to medium well. It also came with a baguette.

We’re making the pork tenderloin meal tonight which comes with potatoes and zucchini. Based on the other two meals I doubt it will disappoint.

Overall, I would definitely recommend these boxes if you are someone who eats out a lot because it will probably save you money. If you are someone who cooks at home a lot it may be something fun to get once in a while, but I don’t think the price would compare to buying everything at a grocery store, especially if you shop at places like Aldi.

If you are interested in getting a box and don’t want to pay full price then you are in luck! If you use the code “DST2L2” you can get $40 off your first box.

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Tasty banana nut bread

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Happy Monday!

Over the weekend I got the biggest craving for banana nut bread, so I got out my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and made a batch. I love using my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook because it reminds me of helping my mom cook when I was growing up. I love seeing the pages of a worn cookbook, thinking about how many memories have been made while using it. So many holidays and family dinners that leave the pages stained with oil and dusted with flour. I look forward to seeing what mine looks like in 20 years.

I adapted the recipe just a little bit by skipping the nutmeg and adding extra cinnamon, and leaving out the baking soda and adding an extra ½ teaspoon of baking powder. I topped it with a little bit of extra cinnamon and sugar.  I used way more than ¼ cup of walnuts. I probably used closer to ½ a cup. A tip for not spending a fortune on walnuts is to get them from the bulk section of your grocery store if it has one. I paid less than a dollar for a decent small amount of walnuts. Way cheaper than buying a whole prepackaged bag and I only bought what I needed.

A bonus of making banana bread is it makes your whole house (or apartment in our case) smell so delicious. Below is the recipe that I used.

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Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups mashed banana (5 medium)

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup cooking oil or melted butter or margarine (I used vegetable oil)

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of one 9x5x3-inch or two 7-1/2×3-1/2×2-inch loaf pans; set aside. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.

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In a medium bowl combine eggs, banana, sugar, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Fold in nuts. Spoon batter into prepared pan(s).

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(Check out my tiny, tiny kitchen)

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes for 9x5x3-inch pan or 40 to 45 minutes for 7-1/2×3-1/2×2-inch pans or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean (if necessary, cover loosely with foil the last 15 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning). Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing.

Makes 1 loaf (16 slices).