Food Meal kits Reviews

Review :: Gobble Take 2

Here’s another review of another week of Gobble. See link below if you want to try it yourself!

Chicken Katsu Bento Box with Jasmine Rice & Sautéed Sugar Snap Peas and Miso Soup

Ingredients for Chicken Katsu Bento Box with Jasmine Rice & Sautéed Sugar Snap Peas and Miso Soup
Chicken Katsu Bento Box with Jasmine Rice & Sautéed Sugar Snap Peas and Miso Soup

It was super putzy (I don’t think people use that word anymore. But to me, it means busy work…lots of steps…some maybe unnecessary).

Get someone else to do the dishes in this one. It used 5 plates, 4 bowls, two stove top pans and a baking sheet.

The miso soup was just soup concentrate and water. But was still tasty!

I could not get the breading to stick to one of the breasts. The other one was just fine. But the ‘problem one’ wouldn’t come to temperature, it lost the breading, and wouldn’t get golden. Still tasted good though!

The flavors were good. I doubt I’d get this one again though since it was such a pain in the arse to make. But it was very good.


Chicken Katsu Bento Box with Jasmine Rice & Sautéed Sugar Snap Peas and Miso Soup

Shrimp Louie Sandwich with Lemon Pepper Zucchini Spears

Ingredients for Shrimp Louie Sandwich with Lemon Pepper Zucchini Spears
Shrimp Louie Sandwich with Lemon Pepper Zucchini Spears

This one was good…but…the aioli was too runny and I ended up with basically a puddle of milk on my plate. But the shrimp/aioli mix was delicious. Good buns too.

As you can see the green onions had gotten a little yucky (my delivery was a day late, Thanks FedEx). But the tomato was *chef’s kiss*!

I didn’t care for the zucs but I never do. The lemon pepper seasoning helped, but it’s like lipstick on a pig for me. I just don’t like zucchini.

They gave me enough lettuce (whole head) to have two salads afterwards!

I’d get this one again, but I’d not use lemon juice in the shrimp mixture, just maybe lemon zest instead so it’s not so wet.

And I’d feed the zucs to the dogs.

Shrimp Louie Sandwich with Lemon Pepper Zucchini Spears

Blackened Top Sirloin Steaks with Mashed Potatoes & Baby Carrots

Ingredients for Blackened Top Sirloin Steaks with Mashed Potatoes & Baby Carrots
Ingredients for Blackened Top Sirloin Steaks with Mashed Potatoes & Baby Carrots

I was busy the night that this was on the menu, so Greg made it. He said it was easy, but dumb that they wanted him to put it in the oven for one minute. He just left it in the pan until it was cooked.

The potato mash was precooked, he just added the vegetables to it.

The meal was delicious though. If I wasn’t trying to cut down on beef, I would order this every time it was offered.

Blackened Top Sirloin Steaks with Mashed Potatoes & Baby Carrots
Blackened Top Sirloin Steaks with Mashed Potatoes & Baby Carrots

My thoughts after another week of Gobble:

My gripes first…

I don’t understand why they want you to finish these meals in the oven. It’s unnecessary and a waste of energy to turn on my oven, spend 30 minutes preheating it so that it can cook something for 1 minute.

Every recipe so far calls for using a microwave. I don’t have one. So I have to improvise by heating something in a pan or oven instead.

Now the good…

I really like these meals. They’re delicious, fast and easy.

They have so many good choices each week, it’s hard to narrow it down to three. It’s the one meal kit where I struggle with this. Most of the others, I have to end up picking one I’m not jazzed about. But not with Gobble.

Give them a try!!!

We are a participant in the Gobble Associates program an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to However, I do pay (full price) for the meals I get and cook.

Food Recipes Tried

2021 Project :: April Beef Stroganoff

This is part of my 2021 project where each month I choose a recipe from the current issue of Bon Appetit and make one of the dishes, trying as hard as I can to do it exactly the way the recipe says. A real challenge for me.

This month I chose Beef Stroganoff from page 22 of the April 2021 issue of Bon Appetit.

A commenter on BA’s website, who didn’t even make the dish complained “This might be beef stroganoff, but there ain’t nothing russian about it.” (yeah, he didn’t even capitalize Russian). The rest of the comments were talking about how rude this guy was. So of course, I was intrigued and I had to look up real Russian “beef stroganov”.

I guess I’m the idiot, I didn’t even know it was a Russian dish, and I have Russian heritage! I think of it as being similar to Swedish Meatballs, so I assumed it was Scandinavian.

Anyway, the commenter said that there should be no tomatoes and should not be served with rice or pasta because they didn’t have wheat in the peasant fields of Russia. Then he spelled “umami” wrong. So take that with a grain of salt.

The “real” recipes I found did have tomato and were served on a starch.

So, I made this and long story short (too late) it was amazing.

Beef Stroganoff

We could not find a one-pound skirt steak only a two-pounder and it was $25! But we bought it and Greg cut it in two, saving one pound for later.

Here’s the prep for it. I chose to get everything ready in advance (mis en place).

Prep for Beef Stroganoff
Prep for Beef Stroganoff

For this recipe you cook the meat whole, let it rest, and cut it into strips at the end just before you put it back in the sauce to warm it up. Or in our case, cook it through. Haha, mine ended up a little rare, even though I cooked it the time allotted per side (yes, I even timed it…with a timer!)

beef steak in pan
cooking the beef

These mushrooms were amazing.

bowl of mushrooms
these were so so good

I served this with steamed broccoli.

bowl of broccoli
side of steamed broccoli

Look at that beautiful sauce.

Beef Stroganoff in pan

This was a winner!

Beef Stroganoff final plate
Tada! Dig in!!
Food Meal kits Uncategorized

Review :: Hello Fresh Crispy Cajun Sandwiches

This is the last meal I did with my most recent Hello Fresh delivery.  And my least favorite. But I think part of it is my fault. 

Crispy Cajun Chicken Sandwiches with Crispy Potatoes & Secret Sauce

All was going along well until the instructions said to use half of the Cajun seasoning for one step and half for another.

Prep for Crispy Cajun Chicken Sandwiches with Crispy Potatoes & Secret Sauce
Prep for Crispy Cajun Chicken Sandwiches with Crispy Potatoes & Secret Sauce

I used it in the first step, in the flour and cornstarch mix. Then I just happily moved on to the rest of the dish.

stove with pans on it
Prepping for the dip and dredge

I got to almost the end, and realized that I still had the other pouch of Cajun seasoning too. I searched the recipe and couldn’t find where I was supposed to add it, it was already in the chicken dredge. So I improvised and added it to the mayo mixture which was just going to go on the buns.

Secret Seuce
Secret Sauce, or at least my version of it.

Then I realized, far too late, that I was supposed to sprinkle it (just the dry Cajun spice) on the chicken before dipping and dredging.

So I improvised once again and just spread some of the mayo mixture onto the raw chicken. I’ve done other recipes like this where you put a spread on the meat before cooking it, so I thought it would be OK.

I proceeded onto the rest of the recipe and everything seemed to go well.

Finished Crispy Cajun Chicken Sandwiches with Crispy Potatoes & Secret Sauce
Finished Crispy Cajun Chicken Sandwiches with Crispy Potatoes & Secret Sauce

Once I took a bite, I realized the error of my ways. The breading just slid right off the chicken and I ended up with a gluppy NO flavor mess. I can’t really explain the lack of flavor as the Cajun and sauce was on there and everything else was there. I ended up removing the bun, scraping off all the breading and eating the chicken by itself with the peppers.

Finished Crispy Cajun Chicken Sandwiches with Crispy Potatoes & Secret Sauce
Finished Crispy Cajun Chicken Sandwiches with Crispy Potatoes & Secret Sauce

That breading and process was just not good. It tasted like flour and that’s all.

I have done this process before, but used baking powder instead of cornstarch and it turned out great (see yesterday’s post on the Fried Tofu) I just didn’t like the cornstarch and I didn’t care for the way the recipe was written.  The ingredients are not listed in the order used, and My ADHD brain needs it really spelled out. Each piece at a time. In order.

The good:

  • The potatoes were super good (but simple, not really a recipe).
  • The pickle they gave me was excellent! I’ll have to look into that company.
  • The buns were really good, but I couldn’t eat more than a bite of them since they were all messed up with the hideous breading.

So I would personally not order this again. If I wanted to make a Cajun Chicken sandwich again I don’t need a meal kit to do it.

Finished Crispy Cajun Chicken Sandwiches with Crispy Potatoes & Secret Sauce

I will continue to keep Hello Fresh in the meal kit rotation as the other two meals were super good.

Food Recipes Mine Recipes Tried

Recipe :: Crispy Fried Tofu Sandwich

Crispy Tofu Sandwich on bun
Final sando

This is a riff on a recipe that I found on New York Times Cooking. I say “riff” because while I intended to follow the recipe, once I got started, I realized it wasn’t going to happen.

Check out the original recipe here.

For the marinade:

I used the juice from a jar of pickles that I realized too late, I do not like. But it still turned out good. I can’t wait to try it with pickle juice I like!

I did not use hot sauce because the pickles I used the juice from were already spicy pickles. But I did use red pepper flakes.

I let it marinate a day longer than the recipe said because we ended up making alternate dinner plans on the night we were going to have it. It was fine, feel free to do this if you need to.

For the Dip and Dredge prep:

Why should I use ½ cup of Dijon when that much was not needed? Same with the flour. I’m not into wasting food. So, I just used what I felt was necessary and still had too much of both of those.

For assembly:

I didn’t want to buy a whole head of cabbage so I just got a bag of coleslaw mix. I figured that would be better because it’s a mix of cabbages. Variety, the spice of life!

I also didn’t use that much oil just because I didn’t have that much on hand. I had a small container of oil in the fridge that was leftover from frying something previously and then the rest of the vegetable oil I had in the house. It probably was only one inch thick in the pan. I used a small pan so it would be deeper and I worked in batches.

OK with all that out of the way…

These turned out about 100 times better than I had hoped. When I smelled the marinade, after the tofu sat in it for 2 days I was not hopeful. It was not pleasing.

But I persevered, and I’m glad I did.

Fried Tofu trying on rack
after it came out of the oil

I put the  fried tofu pieces on a nice brioche bun (from Imperfect Foods), topped with the coleslaw and since I wasn’t a fan of the pickles we had, I used dill pickle relish.

It was very tasty, but I felt it could be better if the mayo was mixed into the coleslaw mix as well as the relish. I also felt it needed a piece of cheese.

So here are the ones that I made.

Crispy Tofu Sandwich on bun open-faced
before the slaw
Crispy Tofu Sandwich on bun

While I was eating it, I was pretty amazed at how the inside actually looked like chicken!

inside of Crispy Tofu Sandwich on bun
Here’s what the inside looks like, almost looks like chicken!

Then Greg wanted another sandwich (a good sign) but since we were out of brioche buns he used a hoagie roll. He did mix the mayo, coleslaw and relish and also used cheese. I tasted it, it was MUCH better.

tofu dansich on a hoagie roll with cheese
Greg’s version, on a hoagie roll with cheese.

So here’s my updated recipe.


Food Meal kits Reviews

Review :: Hello Fresh Lemon Tortelloni Palermo

Another great dish from Hello Fresh. This is the Lemon Tortelloni Palermo with Roasted Bell Pepper & Parmesan. It’s another vegetarian dish.

finished Lemon Tortelloni Palermo
Lemon Tortelloni Palermo

If you’re curious about the difference between tortelloni and tortellini I’ll tell you!

Tortelloni is a bit larger and “the extremities closed differently”. Extremities! How cute is that? My pasta has arms and legs!

Also, tortellini is usually filled with meat, and tortelloni is filled with cheese and parsley or spinach.

prep for Lemon Tortelloni Palermo
Prep for Lemon Tortelloni Palermo, note how they gave me the upside-down tortelloni. Tasted the same.

Making this dish went off without a hitch. It was easy and quick and delicious.

finished Lemon Tortelloni Palermo
Lemon Tortelloni Palermo, did not need the extra squeezes of lemon. Those went in drinks later.

Of course, since it’s vegetarian Greg had to eat a whole package of salami half an hour later. Even though I’m sure this was very high in calories with the butter, cream cheese and sour cream. If I were to make this on my own, I might lighten it up a bit. But I’d probably just order it from Hello Fresh again.

Food Meal kits Reviews

Review :: Hello Fresh revisit Mushroom Soy Ramen

Some time ago…ok a really long time ago when this meal kit service was new (2015 according to my records), I tried Hello Fresh. I thought the recipes were fine, but nothing great. I was alternating with Plated at the time and honestly, Plated was so good that nothing could hold a candle.But I gave up on Hello Fresh when I unpacked the box and there was raw chicken juice leaking all over my lettuce. I threw it out and canceled my subscription.

Flash forward to 2020 when I keep seeing posts from foodies I follow on Instagram showing their lovely looking dishes from Hello Fresh. I also learned last year, that Every Plate which I used for quite some time with some success is OWNED by Hello Fresh. So I thought, hmm, maybe I need to give it another shot.

Well a few weeks ago I got an email saying that if I comeback I could get a discount so I decided to try it again.

For my first box I got:

Three Hello Fresh bags on a sparkly countertop
Here’s what was in the box
  • Mushroom and Soy Ramen with Fried Onions
  • Crispy Cajun Chicken Sandwiches with Crispy Potatoes & Secret Sauce
  • Lemon Tortelloni Palermo

First up was the Ramen. If you know me, you know that there are not many things in life that I like more than Ramen. Instant or fresh. I love it all.

Mushroom & Soy Ramen with Fried Onions
Prep for Mushroom & Soy Ramen with Fried Onions

So I’m happy to report that this was very good. The noodles are not exactly what I would call “Ramen”. They were too straight, skinny, and white, and not chewy like fresh ramen should be. But they were super good anyway.

The broth is the hard part of ramen in my opinion. But this one does some cheating with pho concentrate, hoisin sauce, and miso concentrate. It’s not noodle-house-level broth, but it’s tasty anyway.

Mushroom & Soy Ramen with Fried Onions
Finished Mushroom & Soy Ramen with Fried Onions

The mushrooms were really good even though I didn’t serve with all the soy sauce, as I was afraid it would be too salty (and I think it would have been).

I did serve this with my homemade chili oil, though it really didn’t need it, it’s just that I love that oil and I put it on everything.

Mushroom & Soy Ramen with Fried Onions
Mushroom & Soy Ramen with Fried Onions

I recommend this one for sure. I’m looking forward to the other two!

Experiments Food Recipes Tried

Experiment :: One-Pan Egg Toast

After seeing this on TikTok for a month or so, I finally called “uncle” and tried this.

Let’s just say the first try was not a success.

toast with egg on it
What a shame, had to throw out 2 slices of yummy Dave’s Killer Bread.

I forgot that I was supposed to flip the bread so that it was eggy on both sides…which isn’t actually suggested in all videos, but should probably be done. My other issue is that the egg stuck to the pan and I couldn’t flip it.

pan with egg stuck to it

Second attempt was much better. I used only one piece of bread (Dave’s Killer Bread…it’s the best) and I flipped the bread so it had egg on both sides.

eggs in a pan with toast
Freshly flipped bread

This time I was able to flip it.

eggs in pan with bread
the whole thing, flipped

I filled it with turkey, cheese and sliced scallions.

eggs with turkey, cheese and scallions
Filled the sandwich

After folding the egg in, and putting it together, I flipped it one more time.

Finished sandwich
I flipped it once it was all closed up

It was delicious!

Finished sandwich
Ta-da! The finished product.


I used Dave’s Killer Bread from Imperfect Foods.

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