Category: Hobbies & Interests Life

Review – Ever Plate

In the past year or so, meal delivery services have been on the rise. From HelloFresh to Dinnerly to Blue Apron, there’s a plan out there for everyone. I had looked into these services before but none seemed to fit our budget. (My weekly budget for groceries is $50.00 and I stock up on meats at least once a month.

Last week, a co-worker of mine was telling me about Ever Plate and that her sister just switched to them and sent her a free week. I looked into it and at $4.99/serving per meal. I’m a horrible cook and I figured it was worth a try.

Since it was the first time ordering, I was able to get my first week at $2.99/serving per meal (3 meals) so my total including shipping ($8.99) was $26.93. My delivery date was set for Wednesday (today).

Plan

I choose the plan for 2 people with 3 meals per week. They offer the option of adding additional meals and also offer premium meals that are an additional $2.99/serving per meal.

Each week, Every Plate offers 9 different meals options. Depending on your plan, you choose what meals you want for the week. This week, for our meals, I choose the Crispy Caesar Chicken, Smothered & Stuffed Meatloaves and Umami-Glazed Pork Meatballs.

I can’t speak for other meal delivery services, but Every Plate offers two different type of add-on options: additional meals or additional servings. For example, if I know I’m going to have a crazy week and need to order 4 meals instead of my set plan of 3, I can just add the additional meal on without having to switch my plan around. The other option allows you to add additional servings to meals you already have in your box.

Changing your plan, skipping a week or even cancelling your plan is extremely easy to navigate on their page. Just a click of a button and you are done. No need to go searching on sub-pages or having it impossible to figure out how to cancel.

Delivery

My delivery days were set for Wednesday and today was our first delivery. I received an e-mail yesterday that our box was shipped and we would receive any time between 8:00am and 8:00pm.

As I was getting in the shower this morning at 7:45 Ember began barking as if someone was at the door. I was waiting for an Amazon package as well so I didn’t think anything of it. Sure enough, when I took Ember outside before I left for work, there was the box.

I brought the box in and unpacked it. It was nicely packaged with ice and thermal wrapping to keep it cold all day long, especially since winter has been a tad warmer here in South Jersey. I wish I had taken a picture of it but it didn’t even cross my mind.

Meal Preparation & Cooking

I told Edward that if the box was here by the time I got home, I would make one tonight. I asked which one he would want to try first and (SHOCKER!) he wanted the meatloaf…

On top of all the ingredients being sent to you, you also receive a recipe card. It tells you which ingredients need to be refrigerated as well as any additional ingredients needed. (These are things you should already have in your fridge or pantry. Example: vegetable oil, ketchup, sugar, salt, pepper, etc.).

On the recipe card, they also give you the prep time and cook time. The meatloaf said the prep time is 5 minutes. It definitely was closer to a 15 to 20 minute prep time but I didn’t mind. I had time before Ed got home from work.

The instructions were easy to follow and they included pictures along the way. I was taking everything out of the oven as Ed was walking in the door from work. Most of the meals take about 30 minutes to cook.

Most Importantly… Taste!

Of course, we can’t forget the most important part… the taste!

I roasted potatoes were good, but had a little kick to me that I had to put ketchup on them. Ed, on the other hand, absolutely loved them and said they didn’t need anything else on them. For someone who usually gives me a response of “ah, it’s okay”, I was floored that he enjoyed it that much!

The mini meatloaves melted in your mouth and the taste was out of this world. I was a little nervous that they would be a little spicy with the pepper jack cheese, but it was perfect with the “glaze” they have your make for the top that was made of ketchup, Dijon mustard, and brown sugar.

Overview

Not going to lie… I have high expectations for the remaining two meals I plan on cooking tomorrow and Friday.

The weekly cost eats up majority of my budget, but I think it is well worth the price. I’m not wasting left over ingredients. The portion controls are perfect for just the two of us that I’m not making too much and having so much left overs that they go bad before we can finish eating them.

For me being a not so good of a cook, I think I did a pretty darn good job tonight. Especially with Ed’s reaction. I should have gotten that on video.

The only downside I found with Every Plate is that the recipe cards don’t have the exact measurements for the ingredients provided. For example, I should have written down the amount of meat that was written on the package when I opened it. That way, if I go to make it again, I’ll have the right measurements.

My plan is get 3 meals a week for a month and re-evaluate my in store grocery shopping budget.

If you are interested in Every Plate, check it out here!

Well folks, that’s the Icing on the Cake!

Until next time!

Pina Colada Chicken

52 Week Recipe Challenge – Week 2

I made this recipe back on January 8th, but didn’t get to post until now.

Pina Colada Chicken

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Author: Jennifer Smith – Instant Pot Cookbook

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chicken thighs cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ cup coconut cream full fat
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks frozen, fresh, or canned
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • tsp salt
  • ½ cup green onions chopped
  • 1 tsp arrowroot starch
  • 1 tbsp water

Instructions

  • Combine all of the ingredients, except green onion, in the Instant Pot and stir to combine.
  • Close and lock the lid. Select the POULTRY setting and set the cooking time for 15 minutes.
  • Once timer goes off, allow to Natural Release1 for 10 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure manually. Carefully open the lid.
  • Transfer the chicken to a serving bowl.
  • In a cup, combine the arrowroot starch and water. Mix well.
  • Add the mixture to the instant pot, press the SAUTE button and continue to cook, stir occasionally until the sauce begins to thicken.
  • Service the chicken with green onion and sauce.
    1Natural Release – after the cooking time is over and your Instant Pot switches to Keep Warm, the pressure will begin to drop without doing anything.

Notes

For Christmas, I gave my mom an Instant Pot Recipe book which I stole a couple recipes out of to try. This being one of them.
I served with brown rice and steamed broccoli. Ed & I both enjoyed it except I felt as though the cinnamon flavor overpowered the meal. I hope the coconut flavor will come on more once I decrease the amount of cinnamon in the recipe. If not, I will have to figure out what I can do or add to make the coconut flavor come out more.

Bourbon Mushrooms

52 Week Recipe Challenge – Week 1

Bourbon Mushrooms

Stephanie got this recipe from a Southern Living Magazine in 2012
Prep Time1 min
Cook Time21 mins
Total Time22 mins
Course: Side Dish
Keyword: bourbon, mushrooms, side dishes, steak
Author: Stephanie – Plain Chicken

Equipment

  • frying pan

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 lbs assorted fresh mushrooms chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp parsley dried
  • 2 tsp French thyme dried

Instructions

  • In a large skillet, melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped mushrooms, salt and pepper. Cook 12-15 minutes, until tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.
  • Add bourbon and cook 2-3 more minutes. Reduce heat to low and add garlic, parsley and thyme. Cook 2-3 more minutes.

Notes

HOLY BOURBON OVERLOAD!
I made this side on New Years Day with a nice steak that I made with a coffee and brown sugar rub for and then marinated in bourbon and Worcestershire sauce. As much as I love bourbon, it was way to much!
I would love to try this recipe again and possibly cut the bourbon in half.
Lesson learned… Looks good in the picture, but never marinate your steak in bourbon!

2020 52 Week Recipe Challenge

I think I’m a pretty phenomenal baker, but it comes to cooking, I’m wretched beyond belief! I try new recipes all the time, but most of the time I get a “It’s okay, I guess” from the hubs.

For 2020, I wanted to try to challenge myself to make 52 new recipes and blog about it. I can’t guarantee I will make one a week (since there are 52 weeks in the year), but I can guarantee that I will make 52 new recipes by the end of the year.

I’m not like your typical blogger who will give you a entire 10 page back story of the recipe. I will get right to the point! Post the recipe, where I found it and then give notes at the end of what we thought about it and if making again, what I would want to do differently since cooking isn’t an exact science like baking is.

With that being said, onto the first!

Happy New Year

I have been trying to get this blog up and running for 2 years now. My downfall… Creating and devoting the time needed for each blog entry. I consider myself an organized person, but that’s only at work. I feel like Work Heather and Home Heather are two completely different people.

It’s a new decade and I have so many things I would like to accomplish this year. My blog and my collar business (Two Dogs and Company) being in my top 5.

20 things for me to accomplish in 2020…

  1. Buy our 1st Home
  2. Payoff Debt
  3. Stick to the Budget
  4. Spend Less
  5. Launch Blog
  6. Launch eShop for Two Dogs and Company
  7. Read 50 Books
  8. Try 52 New Recipes
  9. Finish Started Craft Projects
  10. Declutter
  11. Snowboard for the 1st time
  12. Manage Time Better
  13. Get Home Heather more Organized
  14. More Gym Time (isn’t that everyone’s goal?)
  15. Buy New Furniture
  16. Use reusable shopping bags more
  17. Learn 10 New Skills
  18. Create a Nightly Routine
  19. Meal Plan/Meal Prep
  20. More Family Time

Follow me along this year to see what I accomplish and what I struggle with. I will be blogging about my adventures along the way!