Unboxing: Meowbox [January 2017]

We are here! 2017 and the first unboxing! I knew that Meowbox was on the way for January but the tracking didn’t arrive until the morning it was already out for delivery. Unless of course, its just lost in my many many unread emails. Point is, it got here.

I haven’t been in a show my face mood so very quick intros and wrap ups from me and a lot more of the unboxing and kitty play/fascination time.

Hope you enjoyed! Thanks for watching!

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***Ultimate 90s Blogathon is currently looking for participants to share their favorite 90s movies. Movie blogger or not, join us! See more info here.

Unboxing: FabFitFun Winter 2016

Time for another unboxing!

FabFitFun Winter Box just came in the mail last week and I sat down to do the unboxing! There’s some pretty cool stuff in there.

Thanks for watching! Hope you enjoyed! 
What did you like in this box?

Unboxing & Recap: Miss Fresh #6

Remember last Unboxing/Recap of Miss Fresh I said I had another box coming soon? Here it is!

Miss Fresh
(Week of November 29th)

Miss FreshNote: There is as usual 4 recipes but they forgot to include one of the recipe cards. Luckily, the recipe is available online.

GNOCCHIS WITH BRUSSEL SPROUTS
pine nuts, red onions and parmesan

Miss Fresh

Gnocchis with Brussel Sprouts (without cheese)

I’m going to admit that I’ve only ever had gnocchi maybe once before this time so I wasn’t exactly sure how to cook it and my version was the cheeseless version. My husband had the actual version with cheese sprinkled on top. I can’t say that I’m particularly happy with this recipe. I think the flavors were a bit complex or maybe I just didn’t make it correctly. However, my husband’s actual version tasted good so I think the cheese adds a nice balance to it. If I were to make this again, it might be without apples and more finely chopped onions. Other than that, the brussel sprouts and gnocchi itself was perfect, plus, pine nuts added a really nice touch to it.

The take away from this recipe other than making gnocchi is that brussel sprouts are fantastic made in the simplest way possible: over-roasted seasoned with salt and pepper.

CHICKEN BREAST WITH APRICOT SAUCE
served with Squash Couscous

Miss Fresh

Chicken Breast with Apricot Sauce

If you all know me well, you know that I love chicken. It is one of those things that determine why I could never be a vegetarian. I have to admit that I chose this box for having this apricot sauce recipe because I just wanted to learn how to make it. I don’t use couscous ever unless its in these boxes. This one uses a Israeli Couscous and actually, much to my surprise, the squash couscous had a bit of heat that matched well with the tarragon and apricot sauce on the chicken. This is really tasty! I love the recipe a lot.

Biggest takeaway from this one: Chicken breast covered in foil baked in oven helps retain a lot of tenderness in the meat. We have always struggled with chicken breast being too dry after its cooked, so this could be a good solution in the future.

SAUSAGE AND POTATO PAN ROAST
with Spinach and Tomatoes

Miss Fresh

Sausage and Potato Pan Roast

Both my husband and I deem this the favorite recipe in this Miss Fresh box. The sausage tasted great. Its a normal everyday meal but super easy to put together as its just putting everything into a pan, seasoning a little, very little preparation as well and pop into the oven. I love efficient recipes and I ended up actually making this one for lunch one day over the weekend and it was super great. Even better because my Saturdays are always busy running around taking care of stuff so making something that tastes good and is quick and easy is extra plus.

SWEDISH MEATBALLS
on Basmati Rice and Napa Salad

Miss Fresh

Swedish Meatballs

The highlight of the main reason of why I got this box was for Swedish Meatballs! Sometimes, it is the reason I head out to IKEA. I was hoping that it’d turn out as it should. To be honest, these ones didn’t taste great but I have a feeling it is my own fault. In these recipes, the biggest issues I have are when it explains the simmering and whatnot. I feel like its hard to judge how much sauce is there and the portions and time frames sometimes don’t work well for me. However, this recipe could be just because I chopped the onions a little too big and there was just too much. I’m not an onion fan to begin with and the only way I enjoy a dish is when the onion is chopped really fine but I’m not good with preparation in the kitchen. It is a work in progress. I honestly blame myself if this didn’t turn out as it should.

Overall…This box turned out okay. I mean, we had two really great recipes and two that were decent but could be better because I pinpointed where my flaws were and I honestly think it is my approach that needs to change than anything else. However, if the lovely team at Miss Fresh do read this. Please remember to triple check that all recipe cards are enclosed. I was cooking the chicken via my phone. Its a bit more hectic because my phone’s screen will shut off after a certain amount of time and I don’t have the best memory so I like to triple check before doing anything. Just a minor detail, you know, but improves the experience when it isn’t overlooked.

Unboxing & Recap: Miss Fresh #5

*Technically, it should be #4 but I did get a box in October but was so busy that I didn’t end up putting up a post or taking pictures of any of the meals.*

 Its been a while since I’ve posted a Miss Fresh recap. I usually do about one of these per month. Mostly when it has a meal that appeals to us. The experience so far is pretty good. I’ve had a few little things but then I’m adjusting myself to the experience and making better choices. Box #5 (aka this one) has to be one of my favorites. One of the best parts about Miss Fresh is learning all the different recipes and a lot of them are pretty multicultural. This box in particular has that perk and its probably why I loved it so much. Meals are shown in the order that I prepared them.

Miss Fresh
(Week of November 14)

Miss Fresh

Recipes

Miss Fresh

RUN DOWN CODFISH
poached in a spicy coconut sauce with orzo salad

Miss Fresh

Run Down Codfish, Spicy Cocnonut Sauce, Orzo Salad

Run Down Codfish is a Jamaican dish. I’ve never made any Jamaican and I’ve only ever eaten Jamaican food once before. I have no idea what this is supposed to taste like but this meal was so good. I personally can’t spicy food but that time that they gave was so good for the codfish that it was perfectly cooked and the spicy coconut sauce had just the right amount of heat and delicious blend with tomatoes and jalapenos and coconut milk that I just loved it. It was burning my  mouth but I just kept eating. I try to avoid gluten and raw foods but I did eat a bit of the orzo salad which they have the recipe to make the dressing as well. The coolness of the salad contrasts well with the heat from the codfish. I liked this one a lot.

CHICKEN KORMA CURRY
with Basmati Rice

Miss Fresh

Chicken Korma Curry, Basmati Rice, Green Beans

Indian food! Personally, I don’t go to eat indian food for the sheer fact that curry usually is made with yogourt and being lactose-intolerant that kind of makes it hard to enjoy an actual meal at an Indian restaurant. With that said, my husband had this entire meal to himself. He isn’t a fan of tomatos but he liked it alright. The curry definitely has a good kick and was a tiny bit spicy. I didn’t eat it but my kitchen was smelling like curry for at least twelve hours later.

MAMA YU’S WONTON NOODLE SOUP
with Broccolinis

Miss Fresh

Mama Yu’s Wonton Noodle Soup

Possibly the quickest Miss Fresh meal I’ve put together. Generally, the meals take about an hour to put together but I guess seeing as this is a Chinese dish, I was already a tad more familiar with it and had a lot more confidence with it so it took less than an hour. I love wonton noodles. Sadly, I never have time to make it anymore and I don’t eat at Montreal restaurants that serve this in fear of MSG since I’m a tad sensitive to it. This one gives you the broth and the veggies and the egg noodles and the recipe for making the wonton from scratch. They give you the wrappers. It makes 12 wontons so six per portion. Yet again, I liked it a lot. Its easy to make something like this more on the salty side but this one worked really well. It gave us the liberty of seasoning the shrimp and minced pork mixture for the wontons with pepper and I might have put just a dash too much, but it tasted really good. On top of that, the portions are really generous. One portion wontons and with the egg noodles and the broccolini was a filling meal.

CAULIFLOWER TACOS
with lime crema

Miss Fresh

Cauliflower Tacos

The last recipe was put together by my husband. He left me the pieces to compile to show. He did add in some tuna to have some protein in his version and had the lima crema. Unfortunately, no photo of that. This is the version with the lima crema but generally the same. The bottom portion is something of a makeshift coleslaw which was pretty good. The cauliflower uses indian spices which I think is what made me not like it so much. It had a weird flavor that I’m not accustomed to and didn’t quite acquire the taste of. However, it does seem to be a relatively quick recipe to put together.

Overall…one of my favorite ones to put together. The meals here are delicious, especially the first three caught our attention. What is really nice is that in the last month, it feels like they have changed the food packing style and I like it better especially placing the ice pack and cardboard at the bottom to separate the meat ingredients to the fresh ingredients. The recipe sheets always were improved and I like the design of it more. Its been rather multicultural which also is something I enjoy to try new flavors and also experiment with new spices and new ingredients that I personally wouldn’t use in my cooking. A great experience!

November is a pretty busy month so we’ll be having another box coming in soon to ease on the dinner cooking duties, plus, it looked like a nice meals for the next one as well. Probably will be up in two weeks or so!

Unboxing: Horror Block (October 2016)

Unexpected unboxing, right?

Thanks to the last unboxing for the Horror Summer Blowout Sale and the coupon. I ended up deciding to get another box. Because, why not take advantage of a discount. Plus, unboxing videos are always fun to put together. Actually, there aren’t really a lot of editing to put into now. I’m pretty concise. Did I mention that it is just pure fun?

This horror block took so much longer to get here. I have no idea why. It seemed to be stuck in one location for tracking forever. After a week of grueling wait, it took almost 2 weeks for what would normally take three days or so. It kind of makes me wonder on why the shipping is the price it is at especially since the box is coming out of my neighboring province and also charged in US dollars which is a huge deciding factor on why I haven’t been ordering as much for these boxes because of the ridiculous exchange rate for Canadian dollars to US dollars. Okay, okay, moving out of the economics of it all. I am really excited to finally get to unbox this one!

Let’s check it out!

Thanks for watching! What did you like the most in this box?

Unboxing: Meowbox (October 2016)

Unboxings are sparse around here. I know. In fact, Meowbox being quarterly subscriptions works quite well. Plus, I’m curious what Halloween twists the team at Meowbox has in store for my darling cat. Also, a huge thanks to my lovely awesome friend who gifted this box to my little kitty for early Christmas and belated birthday gifts combined! Its a great gesture from her.

Meowbox

Lets open it!

Thanks for watching! 🙂

Unboxing: Horror Summer Blowout Sale!

It sure feels like Montreal has waved bye bye to summer but I’m always down for blowout sales and I’m going to be honest that I missed those frequent unboxing. It still won’t be a permanent thing since they are still pretty pricey (especially shipping, in my opinion) but Horror block has never disappointed me before and proved its worth over and over again so let’s check it out!

I’m going to make sure to get back to this new style of unboxing from now on as Youtube video! And I’m sorry that when I recorded myself it was so dark. Still figuring out the lighting!

That’s it for this unboxing! Hope you liked it!
Which item did you like the most?

Unboxing: FabFitFun – Fall 2016

We’re back with some more Unboxing!

FabFitFun

I always love opening up FabFitFun boxes and this time we’re here with a Fall box. Its a little different from how I used to do unboxing but I think this format works pretty well. What do you think?

The items in the box are the following:

  • The BrowGal: Clear, Water-Resistant Eyebrow Gel
  • Toesox: Toeless Fitness Socks
  • Modcloth: Loch and Key Blanket Scarf
  • FabFitFun Coloring Book & Colored Pencils
  • Mullein & Sparrow: Mini French Lavender Body Oil
  • Skin Laundry: Restoring Night Serum
  • The Created Co. : To-Go Coffee Mug
  • Cottonelle: Fresh Care Flushable Cleansing Cloth (Sponsored)
  • Spongellé: Bulgarian Rose Body Wash Infused Buffer
  • Pure Cosmetics: Nude Collection Eyeshadow Palette
  • Secret: Outlast Xtend Clear Gel (Sponsored)
  • FabFitFun Exclusive Offers

Overall, this box’s FabFitFun may be super useful, especially the sponsored products. The scarf is my favorite along with the night serum and the coloring book & colored pencils. The coffee mug will be useful along with the fitness socks. I always find these boxes so fun to open because it always shows off some very interesting brands and products that I can learn about.

Thanks for watching and dropping by!
Hope you enjoyed it!

Would you like to see more short videos like this?

Unboxing & Recap: Miss Fresh #3

This time’s order seems a little closer than normal. However, we have been incredibly busy of late and the last week’s meals also looked pretty interesting. Miss Fresh has some decent meal ideas and honestly, it is helping to learn something new.

Lets check it out!

Miss Fresh #3

miss fresh miss fresh

As usual, the package once opened! This time it looked amazingly simple. The packaging itself was done well also. It could do with less leafy salads. It took a pretty Asianesque cuisine turn.

The meals in this week’s box was:

Mahi Mahi with Thai Coconut Curry Sauce with Snap Peas and Ginger Salad

Miss Fresh

I don’t eat a lot of assortment of fishes usually except salmon. But mahi mahi was what caught my attention. The dish itself was easy to make. It just takes time to heat up the coconut milk. Also, note to self that the sauce itself was really spicy. I ended up having to rinse off the sauce for my own sake and still it still maintained some of the spiciness. However, it was tasty.

Crispy Chicken Wings with Chili-Lime Butter and Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Miss Fresh

This may very well be the highlight attraction of this box. In my mind, chicken and brussel sprouts cannot go wrong. And I wasn’t wrong. It was easy to make. The wings were crispy. Apparently the trick is the 5 minute broil at the end. I also learned how to make chili sauce (well, chili-lime butter), even if I didn’t end up using it . My stomach just doesn’t do well with. Although my husband did give it a shot and I believe he enjoyed it.

Pork Chops Saute with Peaches and Couscous

Miss Fresh

As we slowly trim out beef from our diet, pork chops have been a more frequent meat we eat. We make pork chops in many ways here and we actually have a few good recipes. A peach sauce of sorts is interesting and for the most part, it works well with the entire meal. I skipped out on couscous since I’m trying to live a gluten-free lifestyle. This meal is not bad.  The couscous is a bit bland and I think it makes for the pork chop and peach sauce which is pretty flavorful already.

Garlic Portobello and Kale Pizza

Miss Fresh

The last meal we put together is this pizza. Note that we had to use my lactose-free cheese to replace it and they only had the marble type at the grocery store that was priced relatively good. We are keeping the actually mozzarella cheese that came with it for my husband’s tortellini that he will make soon. I was a little iffy about how this would turn out. I actually didn’t even use all the kale leaves they gave us but it looks perfect. When I pulled it out of the oven, this was the dish that wowed me the most.

Impressions:

This week’s box was really good. Everything was at par with what I’d expect. There was less ingredients as a whole but the balance of having fish, chicken and pork was good along with a vegetarian meal thrown into the mix. It still has some issues with repeating certain vegetables but I feel like it isn’t a huge deal mostly because they are probably going with the seasonal vegetables and I can understand that. The recipes itself were pretty easy to put together. The key is to find what works for you. I cooked every meal in this box except for the pork chops which my husband helped me with and I think I’m getting better at it. Its nice also that some of the skills like making certain sauces or whatnot is skills that can be used even outside of these meals. Its not only a convenient service but an educational one as well.

Which meal do you like the most? Do you have any meal subscription service near you? Have you ever tried one?

Unboxing + Recap: Miss Fresh Subscription #2

I know we’re a little behind on this. I got this box for the last week of July and it was well suitable because it was right before the crazy Fantasia schedule went crazy and I wasn’t home much. I thought it would be a good idea to get one of these boxes and at least make sure that things would be under control the week before. And it definitely was. Surprisingly, unlike last time, I made half of these recipes and it all turned out relatively well…except for one (which was not exactly under my supervision). But we have learned from our mistakes. You will see.

This is kind of an unboxing but its also a recap of the recipes and how they turned out. Maybe along with some impressions. This is a long term thing we’re planning to keep as a once a month little something for ourselves. It keeps things fresh and gives us new ideas. We’re really enjoying the experience as a whole.

Miss Fresh #2

Miss Fresh

Opening the Box

Miss Fresh

Everything unloaded

Miss Fresh

Recipes

This week’s menu had:

Fish (Turbot) with Pancetta and Sage

Miss Fresh

The fish is Turbot which I’ve never cooked before. It was served with fennel and white rice (not in the picture).  The fennel made my house smell like licorice for the next 24 hours but that is nothing to complain about. The best part about this meal and recipe other than it tasting really good was that it was perfectly made so that it was easy dividing into two portions. One filet each and the fennel was already chopped so just half on each plate.

Sausage and Vegetable Stuffed Mushrooms

Miss Fresh

A heaping mess is what I’d call this BUT appearances aside, it tasted great. This recipe is served with radicchio salad and well, we ended up cooking that separately with balsamic vinegar and it turned out decent as well. So this is where I started thinking that we should have videos to teach us how to make these recipes because somewhere along the way, I did something wrong. My guess is the mushrooms. Fact is, some recipes do have video instructions but this one didn’t. However, it probably is my inexperience with stuffing anything that caused the issues.

Rosemary Chicken Skewers

Miss Fresh

Add on more zucchini! Starting at the end of July till now, we’ve been harvesting zucchini like crazy so this was just another meal to add onto the immense amounts of zucchini I’ve been eating. But I love this veggie the most so its all good! This was another great recipe. We had to modify it a little, I believe, because I don’t do well with spicy foods. However, the spices used and just the balance of this dish was really great. I loved it. This meal is served with grilled zucchini and green salad.

Black Bean and Zucchini Cheeseburger

Miss Fresh

And finally…our fail. We never make veggie burgers before so this is a completely new concept. We did learn that we needed to remove the water better before adding in the egg that held together the patty. However, we did end up eating this with veggies and whatnot and it tasted pretty good.

A few thoughts after this box 

I’m not sponsored or anything so I guess as a consumer, I get to have some thoughts about this. This box and the one before gave me some little things that came to my mind as I was cooking.

  • Leafy vegetables: We had Boston lettuce for the veggie burger but salads are almost always green salad consisting of arugula. One thing is freshness. Our Boston lettuce either wasn’t fresh enough or it was frostbitten from the cryo ice packs. That is fine. I can understand it. However, it would be nice to not see arugula as the green salad. On a personal level, I have to cook it and it tastes like bitter leaves. Even my husband is hesitant to eat it. You know, once in a while is fine but we get this once a month and we land right on the arugula salad. Minor criticisms. We still ate it just not exactly sure if there is more variety of veggies presented eventually. We can always modify as we see fit.
  • Recommended cooking order for the meals: When we get the boxes, we get a little instruction card that tells us how long each item should be good for. An example would be meat is good for 1 to 2 days. Deal is we had to use the guidelines to figure out which is the best order to make sure none of it went bad. We used our better judgement but it would be a nice guideline to recommend which should be done in what order. Like this time, the majority was fish and minced meat and chicken and all these things have rather short shelf lives in the fridge before going bad so we had to cook it and put it aside to eat later since cooked food lasts three to four days.

I’d add in instructional videos for all the recipes but I think most of the recipes are rather straight-forward. It doesn’t mean that I am disappointed with any of the meals. I just think these are ways to improve on a pretty great service to improve efficiency for its users. Another thing would be to have allergen-free options. I believe I mentioned this in the previous unboxing so I won’t go further into that. As someone with allergens, I just find that a constant frustration.

Overall, some really decent meals in this Miss Fresh box. We’ll be getting another one soon and it will be much more timely with the overview of it.