Home Delivery Meal Kits – Yay or Nay?

We’re seeing them everywhere. Meal kits delivered to your door, ready to prepare. There are so many options you can choose from, including: vegetarian, gluten free, paleo, vegan, organic and so on. And since most companies offer your first box at a reduced price, I decided to try one. I settled on Home Chef since their meals seemed more suited to my family’s taste. There are times when I forget to take something out of the freezer to prepare for dinner, or I just want to try something new, so I thought this might be a good way to do it.

The following is my experience with Home Chef’s meals:

Bone-in Pork Chop with Candied Walnut Butter

My result:

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This meal was excellent! We were very pleased with the results. And bonus, I was introduced to acorn squash which was very delicious.

Four Cheese Baked Ziti


My result:


This dish was very good. I liked the addition of spinach in the pasta. It made me feel better that there was a healthy element to it. Granted, I could have easily made this myself, but adding the spinach and different variety of cheeses was new to me so overall I was happy about this recipe and the results.

Mongolian Beef with Ribeye Steak

 My result (minus the peanuts):

This dish was delicious!! I have to admit I was a little skeptical when I was preparing it. It looked like it might be dry, and I had no idea how Chinese broccoli would taste. It looked like green aluminum foil pieces when I took it out of the oven. But when it was incorporated into the dish, it was a perfect fit. One of my favorite meals.


These three meals were my favorites. I prepared three others that were *meh* at best, a bit too bland for my taste and I was like….


This is an example of how you receive your ingredients in the mail:

Four Cheese Baked Ziti contents:


And they give you this cool recipe binder to keep all of your recipes in:

So far I’ve cooked about six meals, and I’d say we loved 50% of them.  The others were just okay.

THE VERDICT….

Pros:

  1. Just about everything you need to prepare a meal in less than an hour at your fingertips. Convenient.
  2. Discovered new recipes that we enjoyed, including food items that I may never have tried otherwise.
  3. Ability to suspend shipments at will. If you don’t like meal choices for a particular week you can skip that week.
  4. Meal options are displayed on the website weeks in advance so you can plan out your deliveries accordingly.
  5. Decent meal variety.
  6. Good customer Service.

Cons:

  1. Thoroughly satisfied with only about half of the meals I prepared.
  2. Expensive—all things considered.
  3. Some meals were too labor intensive; too many steps, pots and pans.
  4. A massive amount of packaging material!!
  5. Limited time period to prepare meals once received.

Overall, my experience with Home Chef was pretty good. I don’t regret trying them out.  I had originally cancelled after my first shipment but they gave me an incentive to give them another shot so I did. I will probably discontinue my membership though. The pros ultimately don’t outweigh the cons. I’ll let you know if I change my mind after I prepare my latest meals.

Regarding all of that packaging material from my first shipment, I repurposed some of it into a cat bed for Kit-Kat (a.k.a. Kitty-baby). He LOVES it!! All you need to add is an old t-shirt, pillowcase, and a few safety pins.


I actually wound up double padding it so it’s really soft inside. It can be washed easily so that’s a plus. Just remove the t-shirt and pillowcase and wash them. To give you an idea of the actual size, Kitty-baby is about 12 pounds.

So tell me, have you tried any of these home meal delivery kits? What was your experience like? If you haven’t tried one, would you?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Killer Jam by Karen MacInerney – **TOP PICK**

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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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I chose this cozy mystery to listen to on a whim, having downloaded it a while back from Amazon Prime Reading (audiobook version). What a pleasant surprise it was! I looked forward to my morning walks so that I could get caught up on what was happening with Lucy Resnick and Dewberry Farm. Here’s my synopsis of what it’s about….

Lucy Resnick, former Austin, Texas reporter turned homesteader, has purchased her grandparents’ farm in Buttercup, Texas. It had been sold 15 years prior after Lucy’s grandfather died. The new owner, Nettie Kocurek, has recently sold it to Lucy. But unbeknownst to Lucy, she was only sold the surface rights (what’s on top of the soil), and not the mineral rights (what’s beneath the soil). Nettie Kocurek wants to perform an oil exploration in the middle of Lucy’s pastureland with future plans to install an oil well if any oil is found there. Nettie is nursing a grudge against Lucy’s family because she was dumped by Lucy’s grandfather over 60 years ago. When Nettie turns up dead at the Founders’ Day festival and Jam-off, Lucy becomes a prime suspect. But with so few sympathetic reactions to the old woman’s plight from the Buttercup community, how will Lucy ever uncover the true killer and clear her name?

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I loved so many things about this book. The perfect country setting, Dewberry Farm in Buttercup, Texas, with residents that have names like Ursula, Opal, Rooster, Bessie Mae and Tobias. Lucy’s cow, Blossom, formerly known as Heifer #82, and her overweight, bald poodle, Chuck. The ongoing rivalry between the citizens of Czech and German descent, and laugh-out-loud moments reading about things like Lick Skillet Day, a bus that runs on fry grease, the real estate agent with the license plate that says BUY BUTT on it, and the mention of lots of kolaches. The murder mysteries were on point, and the colorful, quirky characters were amusing to say the least.

Kolaches

I LOVED Killer Jam. Karen MacInerney is a new favorite cozy author. Extremely highly recommended.

Have you ever read a cozy mystery by Karen MacInerney?  I’d love to hear what you thought about it.

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Throwback Thursday – Betrayed by Donnell Ann Bell

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Throwback Thursday is hosted by Renee of It’s Book Talk.  This meme was created to share old favorites and/or books published over a year ago.  Today I’m going to be sharing Betrayed by Donnell Ann Bell.

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Why I chose this book:

I won this book in a giveaway a few years ago and I started reading it without much prior knowledge of the author.  It drew me right in. The author’s voice and writing style spoke to me.  I just connected with it.

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I liked the short chapters, how she depicted the characters, and although this was not a humorous book, there were funny parts that I just got, if that makes sense.  I read it four years ago and I still remember it fondly. It’s definitely still a favorite.  It was a keeper and I still have it. See my review of it here.


Have you ever heard of or read any of   Donnell Ann Bell’s books?  Please feel free to share.

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See ya next time…

Under an Adirondack Sky by Karen Rock


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Summary:

Rebecca Day’s job is in jeopardy. She works in the public school system as a school psychologist for at-risk teenagers, but it’s unlikely that her tenure will be approved since faculty and parents are not thrilled about her low-key disciplinary methods. Determined to prove her worth and retain her position, Rebecca proposes a retreat to Tupper Lake in the Adirondacks with the school’s troubled adolescents, initiating a pilot program that she feels will help them with their behavioral issues. For one of the troubled students she counsels, Connor Walsh, this program’s success is particularly important because if he doesn’t make significant progress he will be expelled from school. Aiden Walsh, his older brother and guardian, is too busy working long hours at the family business to give Connor the attention he needs. Rebecca observes Aiden’s distracted presence at meetings pertaining to his brother’s future and pegs him an uninterested workaholic. Aiden thinks Rebecca’s methods are overly lax and ridiculous. The two don’t hit it off very well, especially when Rebecca makes Aiden aware that he’s required to accompany Connor on their Adirondack adventure. Things start out rough, but time away from their everyday lives reveals unique circumstances and positive qualities that neither realized the other possessed. But can Aiden make his brother the priority when his heart is being pulled in another direction?

If you can imagine 20 troubled teenagers in the wilderness, and the verbal exchanges that take place amongst today’s youth, then you can get a pretty good picture of what’s taking place here. There’s irritability, competitiveness and quarreling. But in time the kids learn to interact together and they begin to see the value of teamwork and that life can still be worthwhile without their smartphones. I liked how the teens personalities are portrayed through their dialogue. You get a good sense of each character. The descriptions of the setting are great, and Karen Rock is definitely skilled in writing convincing romantic scenes that are suitable for a Heartwarming book.

I enjoyed this book. It had a down-to-earth feel that I think many would appreciate. I did.

Throwback Thursday – The House on Primrose Pond by Yona Zeldis McDonough

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Throwback Thursday is hosted by Renee of It’s Book Talk.  This meme was created to share old favorites and/or books published over a year ago.  Today I’m going to be sharing The House on Primrose Pond by Yona Zeldis McDonough.

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Why I chose this book:

Yona Zeldis McDonough was a new-to-me author.  I won her book, and when I received it I began reading, not knowing what to expect, and was immediately immersed in the story.  It was so interesting that I couldn’t put it down.  There were very emotional parts that brought me to tears.  It was my favorite read of 2016.  See my review here.

I was so elated that I contacted the author to let her know how much I enjoyed reading her book.  She was very kind, and since then I’ve purchased another book she’s written.  Unfortunately, it’s gotten lost in my TBR pile….fullsizeoutput_ae0
… but I have every intention of reading it once my review commitments are over.  If you like contemporary fiction with a little historical fiction included (the protagonist in the book is a novelist), you will probably really enjoy this book.  I highly recommend it.


Have you ever heard of or read any of Yona Zeldis McDonough’s books?  Please share your thoughts if you’re so inclined.

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Happy Reading!!

 

 

WWW Wednesday, October-25-2017

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. The three W’s are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

The idea is for book lovers to share their answers to these questions with other book enthusiasts. Just leave the link to your own WWW Wednesday post in the comments section. No blog? No worries. Just answer the questions in the comments section for others to enjoy. Here’s mine…

Currently Reading:

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Under an Adirondack Sky

Harlequin Heartwarming books are sweet, tender romances that I always find time to read since they are great stories but without the draining effect of some other books.  So when I’ve finished a particularly angst-ridden or psychologically challenging read, a Heartwarming book is just the thing for me. And sometimes I just go on a Heartwarming binge since I enjoy them so much.

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Killer Jam

I love Cozy Mysteries, especially during the colder months for some unknown reason, so I chose Killer Jam to read since it’s been on my TBR pile for some time.

Recently Finished:

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Heart’s Refuge

I loved this book! It was just what I needed. I can’t get enough of that sweet cover!! That dog is so cute!! The protagonist won me over in this book. Cheryl Harper writes great stories.

What I might read next:

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Planted

Planted is a cozy mystery book that I received for an honest review from the author. It sounds interesting and I’m looking forward to reading it.

So there you have it.  What do you think about my selections?  This is my first WWW Wednesday so it might be slow going at first with regard to commenters.  But hopefully it will gain momentum as time goes on.  I’m really interested in what everyone else is reading, has read or plans to read, so please share your WWW Wednesday post, or just comment below.  So…..

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Enjoy!!

Our 2017 RV Show adventure – Greensboro, NC

I have a confession to make. I love RV’s.  I’ve wanted one for decades but the truth is I’ll probably never own one. 


Fortunately, I can live out my fantasy of RV ownership at the annual RV show. This year we went to one of the largest shows, in Greensboro, NC. It was a sea of RV’s, and I got to ooh and aah at the largest RV’s imaginable, down to the cutest little pods that were basically meant just for sleeping. I had the time of my life!  I even saw a cute little RV that we could aspire to owning some day. Possibly. Maybe. If only we had the proper vehicle to tow it. 

Anyway, I wanted to share a few pictures from my RV show experience with you. Do you own, or have you ever rented an RV? Do you like RV’s?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section. I’d love to know what you think about them. 

Me in an RV’s dining area

The RV that was perfect for us

Kitchenette in the perfect-for-us RV

My dream RV

And another one I liked

Bed inside of a nice RV

Nice kitchen

Lunch time!! My husband’s chicken and waffles

My chicken and waffles – comfort food at its best

I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into our RV show adventure. 

Until next time…