My Experience With GoodFood

I recently shared my experience with HelloFresh, and for anyone wondering – yes, I do still get a HelloFresh box every once in a while! I love the break from having to think about what’s for supper and its a great opportunity to try something new. I recently had a friend send me a free box from GoodFood, which is another Canadian meal delivery service, so I wanted to share my experience with that one as well.

First off, I found the site wasn’t as user friendly, at least not on mobile. It was a lot of stuff to scroll through. But the main thing I noticed was there wasn’t actually a lot of vegetarian options. With HelloFresh, you choose that you want the vegetarian meal plan and those are the main options they show you. On GoodFood, it asked me about meal preferences and I chose vegetarian, however a majority of the meal options it showed me each week were not vegetarian.

The three meals I got were Roasted Squash Burrito Bowls, Buffalo Cauliflower Flatbread, and Plant Power Insanity Burgers.

The first meal we tried was the burgers. It came with corn on the cob, stuff to make coleslaw to top your burger and a “summer salad”. We skipped the coleslaw (cause neither of us like it) and just ate the burgers how we normally eat them. The buns were good, the corn on the cob was good, but we skipped the summer salad. For one, it was just lettuce with a vinaigrette dressing…the lettuce was also in AWFUL shape. Soggy, wet, mushy, long past it’s prime.

Our second meal was the Roasted Squash Burrito Bowl. This was a poor excuse for a meal. It was just refried beans topped with cabbage, vegetables, sour cream and guacamole. Or I guess it was coleslaw topped with refried beans, vegetables, sour cream and guacamole. I decided to use the ingredients they sent and recreated a version of a Mexican Rice Bowl that I had previously gotten from HelloFresh.

I fried the beans, butternut squash, garlic and onions that they sent, topped it with the Mexican seasoning that was included and added jalapeno peppers. Then I made some rice, and topped it with the vegetables, sour cream, guacamole and these tortilla chips that were included in the box…that I totally burned a little. The end result was decent.

The last meal is the Buffalo Cauliflower Flatbread. When I opened this package it smelled so bad, I don’t know if that is a cauliflower thing because I don’t usually eat cauliflower. But funny enough, this was actually my favourite meal in the box. Along with the ingredients to make the flatbread, it came with ingredients for a salad and a homemade ranch/vinaigrette dressing.

When all was said and done, I decided I would not be continuing a subscription with GoodFood.

My Experience With HelloFresh

Weekly food delivery services are all the rage right now and there is about a half a dozen options out there for Canadians to choose from. For quite a while I had felt like I was in a Food Funk. I was cooking the same dishes over and over again and I felt like I needed to be forced out of my comfort zone, which is why I decided to try one of these delivery services. I read a few articles and decided I would try HelloFresh. So here are my thoughts:

First off, you can get your first box for 50% off so you might as well try it and then cancel your subscription. In fact, use this link to sign up and save $40. I choose the vegetarian plan and in my first box I got butternut squash ravioli with a creamy garlic sauce, Beyond Meat and black bean tacos and Matar paneer curry. These were dishes that were all new to me for different reasons. Butternut Squash ravioli is not something I ever would have thought to make, because I don’t like squash. But this dish was great! It was super creamy and I loved the added texture of the pepitas. Tacos are something I am very familiar with; I love Mexican food. But these tacos were very different from how I normally eat my tacos and I wouldn’t say I enjoyed this dish as much. However, I did learn that I hate cilantro. So far HelloFresh had been serving it’s purpose; I had been forced out of my comfort zone, and learning new dishes I actually like. The final dish, Matar Paneer Curry, was something I was super excited for. Curry is something I had always wanted to experiment with, but had never really known where to start. This curry was really good and really filling, but I wish I had left out the cilantro. Now I know how to make curry!

I know that for some people it’s easy to just go online, find a recipe and then make it. But for me, I knew if I didn’t have these ingredients set out in front of me and I was in a position where I was kind of forced to make it, I would probably just keep buying all my usual groceries. And because the whole point of this was to try something new, I really tried not to stray too much from the recipe. Besides forcing me out of my comfort zone, the big thing I liked about HelloFresh was the fact that it was completely portion controlled. There was enough food in there for two people and there was no risk of overeating. These meals were also surprisingly filling. Overall, I’m really glad that I tried HelloFresh. Is it something I would buy every week? Absolutely not. But we don’t eat out a lot so if there’s a week where a dish option catches my eye, I will absolutely splurge! Also, I fucking hate cilantro.

Again, click here to save $40 on your first box.

Eatable | Alcohol Infused Popcorn

Alcohol Infused Popcorn. What a genius idea. A genius idea that Charlene and Vince had and brought to life! Eatable produces all natural, whole grain, air popped popcorn with a variety of delicious alcoholic infused coatings. Even the flavours that sound bonkers are so, so good.

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Pop The Champagne is my personal favourite flavour. This is creamy Belgian white chocolate infused with champagne. It also has little crystal candies that pop in your mouth.  I don’t normally like white chocolate because I find it too sweet, but this is delicious! It is so smooth with just a little crunch.

Whisky on the Pops is a whisky infused caramel coated popcorn. It is a really creamy tasting caramel but it isn’t overly sweet, it’s almost smoky. There’s a lot more crunch to this flavour.

Merlot PB&J is peanut butter and merlot infused jelly. I found the flavour on this one to be a little more subtle, and all I tasted was peanut butter. I do love peanut butter though. This flavour was crunchy as well.

Poppin Peach Bellini is made with peace wine from Konzelmann Estate Winery in Ontario. It’s like throwing a bag of fuzzy peaches in your popcorn. The peach coating is like a sweet, juicy peach bursting in your mouth.

Pop The Salt and Tequila was one I was scared to try, but I was pleasantly surprised! This is popcorn covered in a crunchy coating of tequila infused caramel with lemon salt. Sounds crazy right? It’s actually really good! It’s a smooth, sweet caramel with just a touch of sour lemon.

Save $5 on your order of Eatable alcohol infused popcorn with the code KelseyProblemz. Free Shipping on Canadian Orders over $39.

Brand Feature | Shady Orchard and Winery

Shady Orchard and Winery is a winery in High Prairie, Alberta. They produce a vast variety of fruit wines and are available at liquor stores all over the province. I’ve been lucky enough to work very closely with William and Kristy Gordon and I wanted to share a bit about each flavour!

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Wild Blueberry

This wine lingers perfectly between sweet and dry. Super flavourful and aromatic; I think blueberries have quickly become one of my favourite flavour notes in wine! It is perfectly smooth. Now this is an incredibly sophisticated wine review; you know when you take too big of a sip and it makes you kind of shake your head because it’s a little strong? Not a problem with this wine! It is really enjoyable on it’s own but it would also make a fantastic sangria.

Cranberry and Raspberry

This flavour was a seasonal release over Christmas. While I wouldn’t call this a dry wine, it’s definitely not nearly as sweet as many of the other flavours. The tart flavour of the cranberries will be what you initially taste. The raspberries make for a delicious, berry after taste. This wine is the perfect blend for your holiday meals, or just for easy sipping all year round! This would make an amazing Christmas Sangria or a festive spritzer!

Cherry

The cherry wine from Shady Orchard and Winery is aromatic, it’s sweet as it hits your lips but has a drier after taste when compared to some of the other flavors. I find that the Saskatoon and Raspberry flavor is like that as well; initially sweet but dry after taste/feel. I could even understand if some people might describe this one as having a slight tartness; but in a totally amazing, delicious way.

Mixed Berry

The Mixed Berry wine from Shady Orchard and Winery is a blend of blueberries, saskatoons, raspberries and strawberries – all grown right in High Prairie. Upon uncorking I didn’t notice it as overly aromatic, but that’s not to say it doesn’t have a beautiful scent, it just wasn’t as pungent; and there is no doubt that it is very flavorful. I’m not even sure which berry flavour came through the most – they all blend together so beautifully. It is a very smooth and very sweet wine. There is zero dryness and zero bitterness. This sweet berry wine would be a perfect spritzer or summer sangria.

Summer Berry

This is one of my personal favourites that Shady Orchard and Winery has offered. Summer Berry contains raspberries, strawberries and saskatoon berries so it’s very similar to Mixed Berry but without the blueberries. I really, really enjoyed this one. It has a really great burst of true berry flavour. It starts off sweet but it definitely has a drier after taste which is something I also found with the Cherry flavour.

Plum

I was instructed to taste test the plum wine two different ways, at room temperature and chilled. I tried the Saskatoon and Raspberry at both temperatures as well and there was actually a pretty drastic difference in flavor so I was excited to see how it affected the flavor of the plum as well. As soon as I opened the bottle I noticed it was a very aromatic wine. At room temp, this wine was pretty dry compared to the other flavours but I still didn’t consider this to be an overly dry wine; and I say this as someone who doesn’t really like dry wine and still really enjoyed this one. If you are a drinker of red wine and you are accustom to the dryer wines than you will like this one. If you do not like a dry wine you may not like this. I would maybe say that it’s a little on the bitter side but I am not sure that bitter is the world that I would use to explain it. I left it to chill for a little while and I had another glass; I didn’t notice as drastic of a difference in the dryness as I was expecting but I would say the fruitiness was a little more prominent when cold. Again, if you are very sensitive to the dryness in red wines you may want to tread lightly with this one. It would be an excellent one to enjoy with a meal though if you do like red wines. They made a second batch of plum with a different type of plums and I really, really enjoyed that one. It danced perfectly between sweet and dry and was very flavourful.

Pear

The pear is another one of my favourites. This wine is best served chilled, it is super crisp and and smooth. There is a really nice balance between dry and sweet. This would be very similar to any Riesling that you drink but the pear flavor is much more noticeable rather than blending in. This is delicious on it’s own but it would also make a really amazing sangria.

Strawberry

The strawberry wine from Shady Orchard and Winery is the epitome of summer. Best served chilled, this wine is an explosion of strawberry flavor with a smooth, buttery finish. This wine is also very, very sweet. I drink a lot of sweeter wines, I’m a big fan of moscato, and even I will say this is very sweet. Makes an amazing summer sangria or a spritzer!

Saskatoon and Raspberry

This is a best seller at the winery.  If you are a fan of saskatoons you will love this wine. I even have friends who don’t like saskatoons who love this wine! The flavour is definitely heavier on the saskatoon side with a slight raspberry tartness. It isn’t a dry wine or a sweet one but if I had to choose, it definitely tilts the scale ever so slightly on the dry side but just ever so slightly; I would compare the level of dryness to a cranberry/raspberry juice. Best served chilled, this wine is super smooth and buttery. If you are not a wine drinker, this is the wine that will get you to become a wine drinker.

Check out Shady Orchard and Winery on Facebook or visit their website to see if you can find them in a liquor store near you.

Coffeeology | Bones Coffee Co Taste Testing

I found a coffee company recently via Instagram that really caught my eye. The Bones Coffee Company caught my eye for two reasons; 1. It’s called Bones Coffee Co. and 2. It features skeletons on every beautiful, black bag. The beans are specialty roasted upon ordering. My boyfriend and I are avid coffee drinkers, so I HAD to grab a couple bags.

Now this is an American company so while priced at $19.99 on the site, I did pay more. And it’s $9 flat rate shipping to Canada. They do often offer discounts if you sign up to receive they’re emails and often will send 2oz sample bags when you place an order. They also offer sample kits where you get to choose five 4oz bags, in either whole beans or ground beans, of the coffee you want to try because there is such a huge variety of flavors and some are a little “out there”.

I ordered full sized bags of the French Toast and Dark Roast while getting sample bags in Jamaican Me Crazy, Medium Roast, Espresso, French Vanilla and High Voltage. Included in my order was a free 2oz sample of the Jacked O’ Lantern coffee which is pumpkin spiced. I won’t bother reviewing the Dark Roast or the Medium Roast because these are very normal coffees. They are both very good quality beans, excellent flavors and very smooth finish but there isn’t much more to say about them aside from that.

All of the beans smelled absolutely amazing so I was super excited to start taste testing.

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High Voltage

High Voltage is a signature blend with twice the caffeine content of a regular coffee. Very bold but also so smooth.

Jacked O’ Lantern

I am not HUGE on pumpkin spice but if it’s subtle, I do like it. There are pumpkin spiced teas that I like. This coffee was a little TOO flavorful for my liking, but if you’re a fan of pumpkin spice you may absolutely love it. It smelled great, but I didn’t enjoy the flavor. I was not surprised that the flavor would be stronger in a coffee than it is in a tea, and I’ll probably pass the bag onto a friend who enjoys pumpkin spiced products. My boyfriend doesn’t like pumpkin spiced at all so he didn’t even try this one.

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Jamaican Me Crazy

This was a flavor that I was really excited to try. The beans smelled absolutely amazing. It is a medium roast coffee with vanilla, caramel and coffee liqueur flavor. Because of the Jacked O’ Lantern I definitely expected the flavors to be a little stronger but these didn’t overpower the actual coffee at all. It smelled stronger than it tasted which is good I guess because it smelled super strong. It had a really smooth finish, zero bitterness and all the flavors blend so well together. Makes a really awesome iced coffee with a little cream. This is definitely one that we’ll be picking up again.

Espresso

Bones Coffee Co Espresso is a blend of beans from South-Central America and has hints of citrus and cocoa. This bean is offered whole or in an espresso grind, which is a finer grind than a normal coffee. If you use a regular coffee maker they do recommend that you buy the bean whole and grind them yourself. We always grind our own beans but we also have a grinder that gives you the option to do a finer espresso grind. At the point when I tried this coffee, I had been drinking Starbucks Blonde Espresso for a while so I really got the full affect of this espresso. I did a caramel macchiato with this espresso and I was really pleased with the final flavor. It was strong and less sweet compared to the Blonde roast I had gotten used to but it was very smooth and I wouldn’t say it was at all bitter. I didn’t at all notice a citrus or cocoa flavors but I’m guessing these are what gave this strong coffee less edge.

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French Toast

This was another one that I was excited to try, especially after receiving the order and smelling the beans. This is a medium roast bean with hints of buttery toast, vanilla, maple and cinnamon. Which sounds INCREDIBLE. The flavors are aren’t too over powering; they blend well together and with the coffee. This coffee makes for an excellent latte. It’s very smooth, there is zero bitterness and I hardly found I had to add any sugar at all.

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French Vanilla

A medium roast coffee with creamy vanilla flavor. This bag was more for me than it was for Ty. Vanilla and Caramel are my two ‘go-to’ flavors when it comes to coffee. I found that this had the perfect amount of flavour. I just needed to add a little cream and a little sugar. It was so smooth and the vanilla was just a nice light and warm flavor. This also makes a great latte.

Overall I was really happy with this brand and I am definitely going to be ordering more. With the exception of the pumpkin spice, I found all the flavors to be pretty subtle; the perfect touch, blending well with the actual coffee taste and there was zero bitterness with a smooth finish. I’m not one to drink my coffee black but I probably could with a lot of these flavoured coffees; I added less sugar than I normally do.

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Influenster Review: Spring Vibes Vox Box

I recently received the Spring Vibes VoxBox from Influenster, it was full of a variety of products and I was sent it totally free to test and review. 19401297_10156207301068128_198144041_o

The first product I’ll touch on is the Nivea Q10 Firming Body Oil. I don’t know if I would say I noticed my skin to be firmer but it was definitely very soft and smooth. The oil wasn’t too fragrant, it just smelled like regular body lotion. It also didn’t feel greasy and absorbed really quickly which I really liked.

I’m pretty apathetic about the granola bars from Quaker. I mean they were good, but nothing exceptional. They were definitely a crunchy granola bar which I really like.

The box contained a coupon for free Arm and Hammer laundry detergent. I picked up a bag of the 3 in 1 Power Paks. I haven’t really had the chance to appreciate the stain removing power but I really like the fresh smell and it does get my clothes very clean. I find the laundry pods so much more convenient and it’s what I always buy. These pods only come in one scent but I liked the way it smelled. The Arm and Hammer laundry pods are also pretty reasonably priced so I definitely think it’s something I would buy again in the future.

The Nescafe Coffee came with two packets of the original flavour and one french vanilla. It’s an instant coffee that contains skim milk powder so you just add your boiling water and it’s done. It was super convenient for making at work so I don’t have to keep milk or cream in the fridge. I definitely preferred the vanilla flavour. I wouldn’t say this coffee was overly creamy or sweet considering it’s called Sweet and Creamy but it is really good. This is something I’ll be buying to keep in my desk at work.

I really liked the Impress press on gel nails. They were easy to apply and they looked pretty natural. They only lasted about 3 days before they started to lose their stickiness but they only cost like $8 so I would definitely buy these to wear to a special occasion. I really liked that they came with little accent nails too.

The last product is the Annie’s organic mac and cheese. This is a much healthier alternative to Kraft Dinner for quick meals which I really like.  I usually make mac and cheese from scratch but this is great for just making it quickly. I did find the cheese flavour in this was a little sharp for me but it comes in regular cheddar and white cheddar as well.

Overall, this was a really great box and I was introduced to a few products I would definitely buy! You can follow me on Instagram to see more photos of the products.

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DavidsTea | Iced Tea Press + Summer Teas

For the past couple summers Davids Tea has offered a “Summer Tea” Program where you receive 20% off your loose leaf teas for the summer if you buy one of their iced tea products during a certain time frame. Last year it was their pitchers and this year it’s their iced tea presses. I picked up the electric grape iced tea press and a few summer tea flavors.

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The iced tea press is really cool and I love it. It has an outside sleeve and an inside sleeve. You put your tea in the outside sleeve and then fill up to the line with hot water, let it steep. Fill the inside sleeve with ice. When your tea is done steeping you slide the inside sleeve into the outside sleeve and the tea comes up through mesh at the bottom, pressing the tea leaves to the bottle of the travel mug and icing the brewed tea. It’s super easy to use and really cute. The little design on it starts white, turns purple when you put the ice in, turns white again when it comes into the outside sleeve with the hot water but then turns purple again once everything is cooled. This is awesome for making an iced tea before I head to work in the morning. If you drink 4 full bottles using your iced tea press it is equivalent to your daily recommended 2 litres of water.

As for the summer teas; Caribbean Crush is one I’ve tried before, it’s really good. Tropical fruit based, not too sweet. I can’t rave enough about how delicious Blackberry Blizzard is. It has that sweet blackberry flavour with a creamy, vanilla finish. Sour Watermelon is surprisingly good; I expected it to taste like an artificial watermelon candy but it’s not really “sour” at all. I did only receive it as a sample so it could be brewed stronger and taste totally different but at the flavour level I was able to make it, I really liked it. Magic Dragon is a tangy fruit flavour with dragon fruit, blackberry, apple, rosehip and hibiscus. Hibiscus is really good for lowering cholesterol and dragon fruit is said to be the next big super fruit. It kind of tastes like a kiwi, melon, blackberry cross; I really like it! Caribbean Crush, Blackberry Blizzard, Sour Watermelon, and Magic Dragon are all caffeine free herbal teas. The other sample bags I have up there are goji pop which is obviously goji berries, another amazing super fruit that is both sweet and tangy, as well as grapefruit granita which is a green tea.

I loved my iced tea press so much that I ordered one for my mom and sister for Mother’s Day!

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INFLUENSTER REVIEW: ORVILLE REDENBACHER’S CARAMEL & WHITE CHEDDAR

I recently received the new Orville Redenbacher’s Caramel & White Cheddar flavored popcorn to test and review complimentary from Influenster. I don’t really have a lot to say about this snack. The white cheddar flavour is pretty subtle, but the caramel is thick on the popcorn and is a very creamy caramel flavour. I’ve had caramel and cheddar mix popcorn that I enjoyed just as much or more as this one but I definitely enjoyed this one better than the Smartfood brand Cheddar and Caramel. There was quite a bit of air in the bag. We had the bag finished pretty quick! Look for it at your grocery store.

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RECIPE: WHIPPED SKOR SHORTBREAD

Ingredients

3 cups softened butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
4 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups cornstarch
Skor pieces (found with the chocolate chips in the baking section)
Mini Hershey’s Kisses (optional)

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Directions

Heat oven to 300 degrees C.
In a large bowl, cream butter/margarine and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Add flour and cornstarch, mix well.
Pour in Skor pieces, go wild.
Roll dough into balls and place on baking sheet, pressing lightly with a fork and top with mini kisses.
Bake for 21 minutes or until bottoms are just lightly browned.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

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HOW TO GET THE PERFECT BAKED POTATO

In this post I’m going to give you a quick and easy step by step for getting the perfect baked potato.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any photo aids to show you but ain’t nobody got time for that.

I like to use nice big russet potatoes for this but you could also use yams, sweet potatoes or whatever.

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Poke a bunch of holes into your potatoes with a fork to avoid potato bombs.
  3. Place your potatoes on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
  4. After 20 minutes, take your potatoes out of the oven and use a basting brush to brush your potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
  5. Take your potatoes back out of the oven, turn over and repeat step 4.

At this point, the potato skin should be crispy.

6. Now, slice the potatoes down the middle (not all the way).
7. While wearing oven mitts, push the ends of the potato inward.
8. Use a fork to fluff inside of the potato, and add toppings of your choice!

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