Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

My Week(339) in iPhone Photos

Monday, May 8th, 2017

I should he packing but I also figured I should get my blog up to date because I’m going to a blogger conference. So I’ll probably forget my underwear but at least anyone who looks will know what we did two weeks ago.

Sunday:

“Mommy take my picture on this rock like a magestic unicorn”

New England baby doesn’t care the water is freezing

Hikers

Monday:

Muffin helper

Chopping down a tree

INSISTS on walking on walls, even when blocked by bushes

Tuesday:

Peek a boo

Naps

More naps

Wednesday:

He loves feet

Puddle jumper

ALL THE NOPES FROM ME

Thursday:

Naps

More naps

SO EXCITED FOR THIS ROLL OF FILM

Friday:

Messsssssssss

Running in the daffodils

I love this view

Saturday:

Fresh eggs are the best eggs

Photographed a wedding at a castle!

Making mud pie on the back steps. In his pajamas.

I am watching Animaniacs with my children and trying to decide how many jokes to explain to them. Is “Boo-ryshikov” the chicken still funny if you don’t know there’s a person named Baryshnikov?

Considering how hard they are laughing, I think the answer is yes.

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Meal Delivery Showdown: HelloFresh vs Blue Apron

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, my love for meal delivery services is well documented. Although there are a lot to choose from and several I’m tempted to try, HelloFresh vs Blue Apron seems to be the most common comparison and most popular choices. I’m currently subscribed to both services, and have been using them for several months so I feel like I’ve gotten a pretty good sample size to make recommendations.

hellofresh vs blue apron

First, I’ll do a quick overview of how it works and what it costs. Both services ship food to your house in big cardboard boxes lined with insulation with fresh ingredients on top and meats in the bottom under ice packs. The system works well. My meat has always arrived sufficiently cold with the ice packs still fully frozen. If something leaks, it’s contained in the insulated bag/liner and doesn’t get on the cardboard box. None of my boxes have ever been damaged. HelloFresh boxes each meal’s non-meat ingredients in their own smaller box, while Blue Apron has all the ingredients together. At first I really preferred the separate boxes system, but it means you need to either refrigerate the whole box or take out things like sour cream that need to go in the fridge. There is quite a bit of packaging involved in sending food this way, but both companies encourage recycling and send things like sauces and oils in plastic or glass bottles or jars that make it easy.

Cost Breakdown

I’m currently subscribed to the following:

HelloFresh: Classic meal plan for 4, 3 meals a week, $119.88 (breakdown: $9,99/meal)
If you do the same number of meals in the family plan vs the classic plan, it’s $8.74/meal

The ACTUAL charge that shows on my credit card is $129/week, because of taxes I guess (it’s in their small print, but not easy to find).

Blue Apron: Family plan for 4 people, 2 meals a week, $69.92 (breakdown: $8.74/meal)
Family plan is also available with 3 meals a week, but the cost breakdown is the same

The ACTUAL charge that shows on my credit card is $69.92, so Blue Apron wins for transparency.

I know that breakdown makes it sound like I’m paying $200/week for meals, but because of our schedule and their menus, I skip more weeks than I receive. They both make that VERY easy to do, since you can read the menus and make changes from their phone apps as well as the computer. This was one of my big concerns before I signed up; there are weeks where E is gone and it doesn’t make sense to cook nice meals for just me and the kids when they prefer cereal and also because E can be pretty picky. Skipping is why I am still signed up for both. My HelloFresh comes on Mondays and my BlueApron comes Fridays (but those are flexible, you can choose most days).

A few more things: HelloFresh’s recipes seem to have less prep in general (less chopping and peeling and cutting) even though they have about the same average number of ingredients. Blue Apron seems to be slightly fancier, even though I have the “family” plan.

I haven’t had any problems with my Blue Apron boxes or deliveries, which means I haven’t had to deal with their customer service yet. I have had to both call and email HelloFresh (a box got lost, a box was late, ingredients were missing, once a cucumber was squishy) and their customer service is GREAT. They offered me either partial credit or a whole free box immediately to resolve issues. After my late box showed up I emailed them to tell them I got it and they told me I could keep the full credit as an apology.

HelloFresh assumes you already have more things (like butter) in your kitchen, which Blue Apron sends almost everything. Both offer vegetarian plans. Blue Apron has an option to exclude specific proteins from your plan (lamb, fish, beef, etc) but you can avoid specific ingredients easily by customizing your menus each week, either from the app or online. My plans show 5-6 different options, and HelloFresh just started including one breakfast option, which is cool either for breakfast or as breakfast-for-dinner. Both have “farm-fresh” ingredients but Blue Apron seems to make a bigger deal about sustainability, local-ness, and working with small family farmers.

HelloFresh assumes you already have more things (like butter) in your kitchen, which Blue Apron sends almost everything. Both offer vegetarian plans. Blue Apron has an option to exclude specific proteins from your plan (lamb, fish, beef, etc) but you can avoid specific ingredients easily by customizing your menus each week, either from the app or online. My plans show 5-6 different options, and HelloFresh just started including one breakfast option, which is cool either for breakfast or as breakfast-for-dinner. Both have “farm-fresh” ingredients but Blue Apron seems to make a bigger deal about sustainability, local-ness, and working with small family farmers.

Recipe Comparison

HelloFresh: Sizzling Beef Stir-fry with Bok Choy over Jasmine Rice

hellofresh vs blue apron

Prepped:

hellofresh vs blue apron

What the kids got on their plates:

We are technically a family of 6, but Finn doesn’t really eat human food yet and my children don’t eat a grown-up sized portion of anything yet, so the 4 person boxes have always been plenty of food. The only time it becomes a problem is if we get something like burgers or sandwiches which only have 4 rolls/buns to feed 5 people.

hellofresh vs blue apron

This was really good, although the rice was a little boring because there wasn’t much of a sauce. It was very gingery, which we like.

Blue Apron: Crispy Catfish & Creamy Lemon-Caper Sauce with Broccoli & Farro Salad

hellofresh vs blue apron

Prepped:

hellofresh vs blue apron

hellofresh vs blue apron

What the kids got on their plates:

hellofresh vs blue apron

Caroline ate it. Evan and Linc tried it.

hellofresh vs blue apron

I really love capers and lemon, so I thought it was delicious.  I did get one bone in my fish, but that’s not super unusual in catfish.

My Recommendation

I like them both. If I had to pick just one forever, I would go with HelloFresh just because the recipes seem to be slightly less work and I end up with fewer pots/pans/dishes. They offer pasta more often (in my experience) than Blue Apron and my family really loves pasta.  I also think their portions are slightly bigger. But those are small, picky things, not make-or-break problems. If you don’t have any picky eaters in your family and enjoy time spent cooking as a joint activity with your partner, you might like the Blue Apron experience a little more.  I plan to continue paying real dollars for both services until our living situation changes and the Navy steals my husband for an extended period of time. I’m looking forward to more summer seasonal ingredients in the next few months and will report back with an update about who offers me a balsamic salad with strawberries first.

If you sign up for Hello Fresh using my link, you get $40 off your first box and I earn a credit. Blue Apron does their affiliate marketing through a program I’m too lazy to sign up for, but you can get cashback if you use Ebates when you sign up and they’re always offering $30-$40 off your first box or even first box free if you Google for a code.

Non-disclosure disclosure: I don’t have a relationship with either brand, although I think when my brother-in-law finishes school he’s going to go work for the wine division at Blue Apron. I definitely would accept some free wine for review.

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My Week(334) in iPhone Photos

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

No, but seriously, can it just stop being cold now? I’m tired of being cold. I don’t even care if it rains, I just want to wear flip-flips.

Sunday:

Have I mentioned we’re going to Disneyworld this summer? Don’t tell the kids, they don’t know.

At the fancy theater to see Beauty & The Beast

Lincoln attack

Monday:

Peek a boo

My tree is infested with monkeys

The face he makes when I tell him not to climb on the back of the couch

Tuesday:

Giving Everest a check-up at Toddler Tuesday

Matchy stripes

Coffee stealer

Wednesday:

SQUISH

No, you can’t come in, goodbye

Chicken pineapple party tacos were SO good

Thursday:

CHEERS

Showing off his chompers

New glasses

Friday:

Passed out

These were gross but delicious

Chatty baby

Saturday:

He’s asleep like this. Standing up.

Making her cooking video show

Finnegan did not care for being trapped in the dark

My weather app says it’s supposed to be 58 degrees and sunny tomorrow. If that’s the case I plan to spend the whole day somewhere that is NOT my couch. I’m so tired of my couch. No one likes their couch enough to spend this much time with it. It’s time to break up with my couch and start dating the stroller, the playground and the seaport.

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My Week(333) in iPhone Photos

Friday, March 24th, 2017

Not that 333 actually represents anything especially meaningful, but it does seem like a ridiculously high number of weeks to have been doing this. When I started I only had ONE KID.

Sunday:

LAND SHARK

Just a few more sink baths before he’s big enough for the real tub

Adjusting my camera, my Sigma Art is still on point

Monday:

And THIS is the grocery store I just finished terrorizing!

Make-up storage

I am officially just an armrest

Tuesday:

Snow Day waffle assistants

Doing some journaling

My husband thinks he’s funny or something

Wednesday:

Not quite spring yet

Library visit

She would have just stayed until they threw her out

Thursday:

Adorable

Linc pretending he’s a big kid

Ignoring the mess because sometimes you just have to

Friday:

Find the hidden toddler

Babies love babies

Linc took 800 photos just like this one

Saturday:

My spring banner is missing it’s flowers. Because children.

Sittin’ baby sits now

Cards and taco dip

Since today is only Friday, I’m now caught up on my weeks. I’ve started putting together stuff about our Disney trip already (the one we aren’t even going on for several more months) because I don’t want to forget all the sites I’ve found super helpful while we’re planning. But reading other people’s vacation recaps is my new favorite thing, so if you have any – or follow someone who has been to Disney and written about it – drop me a link. I could seriously read about standing in line to meet Anna and Elsa all day.

 

 

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My Week(325) in iPhone Photos

Monday, January 30th, 2017

My wrist hurts a little less so hopefully I can get through this before any children need to be fed. Based on a very scientific method called “I told my friends my wrist hurt and they suggested it might be the same thing they once had” I have diagnosed myself with De Quervain’s tenosynovitis. Basically, yes, your wrist hurts, you’re a woman, you’ve recently been pregnant and you do a lot of baby care. That seems like a pretty definite diagnosis, even though the treatment is “take some ibuprofen and stop lifting so many babies”.

Sunday:

The plan is to turn this into a playroom that is sometimes a guest room

Lashes

My children are as good at ignoring me as I am at ignoring them

Monday:

Today’s task: clean the toys that were on the front porch

Shopping helper

The other baby needs cuddly naps too

Tuesday:

Everyone wants to help

Salt is important

More lashes

Wednesday:

This is not Linc’s bed, but don’t tell him that

The waiting room at my OB’s office has an actual working fireplace

No more pile of shoes by the back door!!!!

Thursday:

Help, I can’t find my body!

 

Remember: not being on Jeopardy makes you a failure

 

Belleh

Friday:

Good humans stand on tables, I guess

I give this a B+, will drink again

Saturday:

Caroline’s first protest

Good job, Hartford

Finn is still skeptical that anyone would be against equal rights

If my baby would agree to take a nap I could officially get caught up on blogging for the rest of the week, but as of right now he thinks biting me and laughing is more fun that sleep. It’s not my favorite. I’d much prefer crossing stuff off my to-do list, because I am on a roll and the chances that I might actually get ALL THE LAUNDRY IN THE HOUSE put away are pretty good. Miracles do happen.

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