Review | Hello Fresh 2017

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hello fresh promoWhen the generous people at Hello Fresh Canada offered to send me a Family Box to enjoy, I jumped at the chance. I have been interested in meal services, such as this one, for awhile but because I live in a somewhat remote area, I didn't think we would have the chance. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Hello Fresh ships out to the Maritime provinces. My first impression of the actual delivery was a good one; our box arrived promptly at noon and was extremely well package. 

For a full look at the unboxing, please see the video below:

If you watched through the entire video review, you know that we are definitely new fans to the Hello Fresh service and plan to order occasional boxes. As mentioned in the video, there were only a couple slight cons. The price is more than what you would likely pay buying each item at your local grocery store. For some, the convenience and novelty may far outweigh the added cost, but for us, given that we work within a moderate grocery budget, this service is one we likely won't be enjoying on a regular basis. The only other con is that it took us longer to prepare some of the meals (steak and chicken) than the provided estimate of 35 minutes.

Despite the cost and longer preparation time, we loved our experience. The food itself was extremely fresh, healthy and each meal was different enough to allow us to discover new recipes, but not too experimental that our children didn't enjoy it. The three meals we prepared took the guess work out of deciding what to serve and provided some fun suppers we otherwise would never have tried. I would say our family favourite was the Ground Pork Cantina Tacos (so yummy!). What I loved most about the service is now we have three new recipes to add to our repertoire of meals that we know how to prepare and are a guaranteed hit with our children.

We agree that for us, this service is similar to dining out - it's not something we do weekly, but is definitely a treat we enjoy. I am already looking forward to the next box arriving!

If you are interested in trying out Hello Fresh yourself, the promo code YOUNG50 will give you 50% off your first box (how awesome is that?!).

Big thank you to Hello Fresh for allowing us to try their awesome service!

Easy Snow Ice Cream

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This was such a fun way to make the most of all the snow that we have outside! The kids loved this activity and truthfully, the snow ice cream surprised me with how delicious it is. As far as recipes go, this is the easiest thing I've ever made - it's pretty foolproof (my kind of cooking)!


Recipe: -8 cups fresh snow -1 cup milk (any variety) -1/3 sugar -1 Tsp vanilla -(Optional: toppings)

Directions: (Differs from what was shown in video - this will reduce melting time) -Combine milk, sugar & vanilla in a bowl and put in freezer -Collect your snow in a separate bowl -Add the ingredients from the freezer to the snow by mixing with a spoon or spatula *Note - the ice cream does melt rather quickly, so be sure to enjoy right away!

Week at a Glance | Jan 29 - Feb 4

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week at a glance

Look at me go... two weeks in a row posting my week at a glance and this week I'm adding a video! I won't make any commitment that I'll be doing a video every Sunday, but at the least I'll be sharing our weekly meal plans.

I chatted a lot in the video I posted, so I'll keep things short & sweet on the blog for this week. Check out the video below for details on what's going on this week and a look at my two Happy Planners.

Weekly Meal Plan – Jan 29-Feb 4 Sunday – Fish, steamed veggies, potatoes Monday – Marinara (Kirkland brand) sauce & pasta, salad, rolls Tuesday – Tuna melts & veggie sticks Wednesday – Frozen Pulled Chicken over rice Thursday – Mexican Bake Friday - Homemade pizza Saturday - Oven stew (Rob's own recipe which he knows by memory, but will take notes of so I can share)

I wish you a wonderful start to February!

The BEST Nuts & Bolts Mix Recipe

nuts and bolts mix recipe I was SO looking forward to including this recipe with you all as part of my Christmas series, but things played out a bit differently this month (you can read about it here), and it just wasn't possible to get this up... until now. Though I prepared this as Christmas gifts, the mix would still work wonderfully for New Years (or let's be serious, any time of year)!Before I jump into the goods, I have to give a big shoutout to a friend who kindly shared this recipe with me. After receiving this mix for a couple Christmases (and secretly hiding it in the back of the fridge from the rest of my family... totally serious), I just had to ask her if she wouldn't mind sharing and she didn't at all (woo hoo)!

Here it is: CHRISTMAS NUTS & BOLTS

DRY INGREDIENTS: -1 Box Chex cereal (equivalent to 4 cups or as desired) -1 Box Cheerios (... 4 cups or as desired) -1 Pkg Cheddar Cheese Bits n Bites mix -1 Pkg Cheddar Goldfish crackers -1 pkg Bugles -Nuts as desired

SEASONING: -3/4 cup oil -3/4 cup melted butter -1/2 tsp chives -2 tsp Worcestershire sauce -1 tsp garlic -1.5 tsp onion powder -1/2 tsp Greek seasoning -1/2 tsp celery salt -1 tsp lemon pepper -2 tbsp dill weed

DIRECTIONS: -Preheat oven to 350 degrees -Combine dry ingredients in large roast pan -Mix seasoning ingredients together -Add seasoning mix to dry ingredients, combining until dry ingredients are covered -Bake for 1.5 hours, stirring mixture every 15 minutes

ENJOY! If you try this recipe, I'd love your feedback!

Christmas Cranberry Steamed Pudding

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Christmas Baking Cranberry Pudding Steamed Cake  

WEEK TWO - CHRISTMAS BAKE WITH ME SERIES

This recipe was a Christmas tradition in my home growing up. My Mum preparing these delicious puddings was the unofficial kick-off to the holiday season. The pudding, complete with homemade caramel sauce (no less), is easy to prepare and warm, hearty, rich, and beyond delicious to serve! It is a recipe that my Mum is often asked to share and so it's with great excitement (and a tad bit of nostalgia) that I share this favourite holiday treat with you!

RECIPE (yields two puddings, and enough caramel sauce for both cakes):

Cranberry Pudding Ingredients: -2 2/3 cups white flour -2 cups cranberries -2 tsp baking powder -4 tsp baking soda -1 cup (fancy) molasses -1 cup boiled hot water

Caramel Sauce Ingredients: -1 cup white sugar -1 cup cold water -1 cup butter (the real deal) -1 cup heavy (35%) whipping cream -Splash of vanilla

 

Directions:

Steamed Cranberry Pudding:

  1. Prepared tobacco cans or similar (the tobacco cans used in this recipe measure 4" across the top and 4" in height, larger tin cans will work so long as the measurements are comparable) by greasing and flouring the inside of the lid and interior of the can.
  2. Fill a large pot that will accommodate both cans (or one pot per can) with water that goes half way up the can. Cover and bring to a boil.
  3. Chop the cranberries in half and set aside.
  4. Mix all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda) in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl, add to the cranberries the molasses and boiling hot water, mix well.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing well using a sturdy spoon or preferably large spatula.
  7. Once the batter has been formed, divide in half between the two cans.
  8. Cover the cans with the lids. If you're not using tobacco cans, make a homemade lid by combining double or triple layers of tinfoil and tie with string around the top of the can (this is to ensure the steam, needed to cook the pudding, does not escape).
  9. (Now the cans are ready for the hot tub -- woo hoo!). Add the two cans to the already boiling pot(s), cover with the pot lid, and continue to let boil for one hour.
  10. At this time, prepare the caramel sauce!

Caramel Sauce (the best you'll ever have... just sayin')

  1. Over medium-high heat place sugar in the center of the pot.
  2. Pour the water all around the sugar *Important: do NOT stir this mixture at any point*
  3. Boil this mixture until no steam remains and the water has evaporated
  4. Watch carefully for the first sign of a change in colour
  5. When a change in colour has been noted, swirl pot around so the colour spreads evenly
  6. When the mixture is a light golden colour, remove from heat and place on a heat-resistant surface.
  7. First, add the butter, then splash of vanilla, and lastly whipping cream. Whisk the mixture between each ingredient being added.
  8. Once all the ingredients have been incorporated, pour the caramel into a glass jar to cool and thicken. When it's cool, refrigerate.

The puddings do well preserved in both the fridge (one week) and freezer (several months). To prepare, heat enough caramel sauce for the number of slices being served. Slightly warm the slices of cake; either pour caramel sauce on the bottom of plate for the cake to sit in or drizzle on top. If you want to get really fancy, add a dollop of real whipping cream! Whichever way you serve this delicious treat, you're sure to be in cranberry pudding heaven!

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Enjoy!

3 Ingredient Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

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IMG_5301   We're friends, so I'll call a spade a spade with you; when it comes to baking, I have high expectations, with minimal ability. Great combination, right? I plan on recruiting the talents (and patience) of my Mum, in learning to bake (and share with you), but for now... let's keep things simple. I wanted something that was easy, quick, and yummy. I had been noting this three ingredient muffin recipe all over the internet, which appeared to offer full-on fall flavour; combining pure pumpkin, spice cake mix, and chocolate chips... what more could I ask for?! I couldn't wait to try it, so I took a dreary Saturday morning and whipped up these bad boys.    They were definitely easy and super quick! The kids loved them (huge bonus, because pumpkin is the new "super food" full of antioxidants) and they definitely gave me the pumpkin-spice fix I was needing. I'll be candid, they're not "from scratch" tasting, but pretty close. Oh, and they don't come out overly cute - more of the lumpy look (so perhaps, not what you'll be bringing to the next bake sale). However, I would definitely make them again. Next time, I might get a little adventurous (ha)!) and opt for walnuts instead of the chocolate chips. The recipe does say you can switch the spice cake mix for chocolate, but I think I'd keep that the same as I really enjoy the combination of pumpkin and spice. Here is the recipe should you wish to try it for yourself (and you should): IMG_5283   Ingredients: -1 Box of Cake Mix (Chocolate or Spice) -1 15oz Can (or 1 3/4 cups) of Pure Pumpkin (I couldn't buy a smaller can, so I used half of a larger one) -1/2 Cup of Chocolate Chips Directions: -Preheat oven to 350 F -Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl -Grease or paper line muffin tins -Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick poked into the middle comes out clean Yields: 12 muffins What are some of your favourite fall baked goods? Do share!

 

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