Favorite Food Subscription Boxes

Food is super important. And, I love to cook! So, I’ve tried everything from subscription freezer meals (yuck!) to straight up vegetable subscription boxes.

First things first. There are no freezer meal / prepackaged meals on my list. I’ve tried several and didn’t like any of them.

I do have my favorite meal kits and some fruit, vegy, and meat boxes that I love.

1. Dinnerly

Dinnerly is the first meal kit that I tried. I got a free box from a friend and gave it a shot. Their advantage is that they are the cheapest I’ve been able to find. At around $40 a box for 6 meals (3 meals X 2 people) that’s about $6.50 per person per meal. It’s a tad less per meal if you’re ordering for 4 but with these meal kids I have found that a 4 person meal is way too much for us since the kids are still young. I feel like this gives me a couple of meals that I don’t have to plan myself and that’s always a relief.

The downside is that they don’t generally prep their ingredients. So, if you need grated carrots, they just send you a carrot and you grate it yourself. I’ve found this box to require more prep time than the other boxes I’ve tried. But, you get what you pay for, so if you’re wanting inexpensive without having to do the meal planning and shopping, this is the box for you.

Interested in trying this box? I do have some free codes to give out. Just DM me on my social media and I can generate a code for you.

2. Home Chef

This is my favorite meal subscription box. At $50 to $60 per box this one isn’t super cheap but it’s also not the most expensive out there. Once again, this is the cost for 6 meals (3 meals X 2 people) so you’re looking at $8.25 to $10 per person per meal.

Their meals come with many ingredients pre measured and pre prepped (carrots are already grated) and each meal is in it’s own bag so you know all the ingredients are there and you can’t mix them up. These meals are usually pretty quick to prep, they have a large selection to choose from each week, and they’re delicious. They use fresh ingredients so I feel like I’m cooking good, healthy food, but with a lot less effort.

Want to check it out for yourself? Use my referral code jennyf53 for $35 off.

3. Misfits Market

This is a weekly box of fruits and veggies. $22 plus shipping for 10 to 13 pounds of fruits and veggies for their small box. It’s plenty of food for my family. They do have a larger box if you want more, but honestly, everyone I know gets the small one. This is really a very inexpensive way to have fresh fruits and veggies arrive at your door every week.

There is an option to select your preferred foods (it’s not guaranteed, but I usually get what I request), you can add discounted organic products (like chocolate bars and hot sauce), and even though the products are seasonal, they have a large selection with lots of variety.

I love getting this box every week. It’s an easy way for me to make sure I’m serving lots of fruits and veggies to the kids!

Get 25% off your first box with code: COOKWME-PJ0UPY

4. Butcher Box

This is the newest food box that I’ve tried and after 2 shipments, I’m hooked! This is a meat box. It comes well packaged and frozen, so you can drop everything in the freezer or stick some in the fridge for eating soon.

They have 2 box options $129 for 8-11 lbs of meat or $238 for 16-22 lbs of meat. You can set your shipping frequency to every 2, 4, 6, or 8 weeks. And you can pause or extend out your delivery date by 2 weeks at a time. They also have additional items (like extra ground beef) that you can auto add every month, and special sales that you can add as they’re available. You can choose to have your box all beef, beef & pork, beef & chicken, or beef, chicken, & pork. I do the beef & pork because that’s the meats I prefer to cook with. And I get the 8 – 11 lb box every 8 weeks with an extra ground beef added on.

The meat I’ve gotten has been great quality and it’s so nice to have meat arriving on a schedule so I can plan my meals around what I’ll have and when. With this box and Misfits Market, I pretty much have all my essentials. If I could just find a box that ships milk products, I would be set!

I know you’re dying to know more about Butcher Box, so Check them out here. And see what tasty meats they have available!

Favorite Beverage Subscription Boxes

The beginning of this year, I had a couple of subscription boxes that I used. I really didn’t see the need for more. Then, with ordering everything from home, I find the convenience and predictability of subscription boxes for food items to be very handy. As I was preparing this list, I realized that I’ve added a LOT of subscription boxes this year. So, rather than list them all in one long list, I’m going to do a couple of posts and list out my favorite by category.

1. Sipsby

This was my very first subscription box. I used to go into Teavana whenever I visited the mall and try out a new tea every time I was there. So, when they closed I started looking around for an inexpensive way to try some new teas. I came across Sipsby and I’ve been super pleased.

It’s $15 for a monthly box of tea. They send 4 flavors every month. When you sign up, you fill out a flavor profile so you don’t get things that you don’t like. I kept my profile pretty broad so I can share with everyone in the family. The kids love herbal teas, especially if the have chamomile in them. We’ve discovered some new bedtime favorites this way. My husband loves chai. After Teavana closed – taking our favorite chai with them – I was struggling to figure out how to find a chai that we like without spending a fortune. We’ve found several through Sipsby. And I of course, love a good black or oolang, and this subscription has sent me some really tasty varieties of these.

After you try your teas, make sure you review them online. I make sure to tell them what I think so my teas get better every month. Every now and then they send one that’s truly awful (like cinnamon & licorice) but I’m usually very happy with all 4 of my teas. Best of all, if you really like something – remember, I’ve found some favorites this way – they have info on their website telling you where you can buy it and a coupon code to get a discount when you purchase. For a family who loves tea like mine, this box is awesome!

Want to check it out for yourself? Use my link to get $5 off your first box.

2. Atlas Coffee Club

Coffee is another love of mine. I started drinking it in college and then when kids came along, coffee is just a necessity. Seriously, when people were going crazy over TP in May, I checked my coffee stash, because if there was a run on coffee, I was in trouble!

Thankfully, I had already signed up for Atlas Coffee Club, so I wasn’t too worried. I actually tried out several coffee subscriptions and this is the only one I liked – so take it from me, this one is the best. You can choose ground or whole, between 1 and 6 bags of coffee per shipment, and a shipment frequency between 1 and 10 weeks. I set mine at 2 bags every 4 weeks and that seems about right for me. I’ve been known to pause, slow down, or speed up my subscription depending on the time of year and how much coffee I’m drinking or not drinking.

You fill out a flavor profile and they use that as a guideline when selecting coffees to send you. I’ve enjoyed the full flavors of all the coffees they’ve sent me so far, so I feel like they got my profile right. You can also review your coffees each month to help them send you more of what you like.

The price per bag goes down a bit depending on how many you’re getting per shipment. 2 bags is $28 + s/h but 3 bags is only $39 + s/h.

Use my link for $10 off your first box.

Colton’s Time Machine – Review

*I received these books free for purposes of my review. All opinions are my own.

Colton’s Time Machine by Rebecca Massey

I was sent book 3 and book 4. Colton’s Time Machine book 3 is about Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin. Colton’s Time Machine book 4 is about Betsy Ross, Mount Rushmore, and the Statue of Liberty.

Colton is a little boy with little baby dragons and a time machine in his tree house. They all travel together through time and visit a variety of historical places and historical people. Colton’s Time Machine series is a spin off from Colton’s Pocket Dragon series. That series starts with him finding dragon eggs, helping them hatch, and discovering his dragon friends.

Colton’s Time Machine books each cover 3 historical people or places in American history. The story spends a lot of time on Colton and his Dragons in funny situations back in history and is interspersed with dates and important facts about the historical figure or place. A great way to share historical information with kids without overwhelming them with too many details.

You can purchase all these fun Colton books on Amazon!

Just the Cheese – Review

*I received these cheese products free to review.

Just the Cheese is a Wisconsin company that makes and ships these delicious cheese snacks. Basically, they take cheese, bake it until it’s crunchy, and then package it up, and send it to you. Pretty amazing!

They sent me a box packed with all their flavors! And it was so much fun trying out different cheese snacks.

Flavors – They have 5 flavors available. Wisconsin Cheddar, White Cheddar, Grilled Cheese, Garlic and Chive Cheese, and Jalapeno Cheese.

Real Cheese – The first thing I noticed about these is that they taste like real cheese. Usually with cheese snacks, they all have this artificial cheese taste. With Just the Cheese it’s obvious that you’re eating real cheese. Yum!

Favorite Flavor – White Cheddar is my favorite flavor. Probably because I like white cheddar in general. While all of the cheese snacks are flavorful, the Jalapeno Cheese was not as spicy as I expected. It’s packed with flavor, but won’t burn your mouth.

Filling – They’re very filling. Because they’re basically dehydrated cheese, I feel like I’m getting a lot of cheese in each bite. I enjoy these as a snack, but have to share some with my kids if we want to eat an entire snack bag at once. It’s hard to find filling snacks!

Crunchy – These snacks are really crunchy. I definitely prefer the mini-packs over the bars. They taste the same, but the mini packs are these tiny round crunchy bits of cheese and super easy to eat! The Bars are big and crunchy and more difficult to eat without making a mess.

Just the Cheese products are available for purchase on their website and on Amazon.com.

Truffle Shuffle Review

Truffle Shuffle sent me a box of supplies for their ice cream sandwich class, AND I got to attend their ice cream sandwich making online class, in exchange for a review.

With trying to reduce trips to the store these days, I’ve been getting lots of deliveries. So, I’m not stranger to receiving a box of food in the mail. A couple days before my scheduled class I received a box stuffed full of ingredients and yummy Truffle Shuffle items – I desperately wanted to eat some of these items before my class, but I managed to wait.

Everything arrived in an insulated box with ice packets. These packets still had some ice left in them so Truffle Shuffle definitely did a great job packing! Especially when you consider that the heat indexes were up into the 100’s the week my box arrived.

Everything arrived well packaged, well labeled, and pre-measured. Well, except for the truffle salt and truffle honey, they sent extra! I should add here, that truffle salt is amazing!!!

I put the perishables in the fridge and the non perishables in a neat stack on the table and waited for the class I had signed up for. And warned the kids that they were not allowed to eat the sprinkles!

Class is conducted via zoom and generally the screen looks like this. Sometimes they fullscreen on the chefs if they’re showing you something. If your camera is on, they’ll cycle through participants and you get to see what everyone else is doing. Don’t want to be seen? Leave your camera off. They did a terrific job of walking through the steps with you. At times, they would ask everyone to signal thumbs up that they had completed the step and were ready to move on. So, just like a real in person cooking class, they made sure everyone was keeping up and ready to go.

Several times people typed in questions and they were very quick to answer those. I feel like this class was amazingly interactive and fun!

I learned some fun cooking tips that I hadn’t known previously – like why we were browning butter for the cookies. And they did a terrific job of time management! For example, I know you’re all wondering what the lemons are for. They’re for 2 things. We made lemon ice cream with the lemon zest, and we made lemonade with the lemon juice.

We did the ice cream first. I had never made ice cream without an ice cream maker, so I was kinda skeptical, but it worked perfectly!

After mixing, and a lot of shaking! we put the ice cream in the freezer to sit while we did everything else. After mixing the cookies, while they were baking and cooling, we made lemonade.

When the lemonade was finished, the ice cream was ready, and the cookies were cooled, so we assembled our ice cream sandwiches. The class was scheduled for 1.5 hours and they were right on that time. Which is pretty incredible when you consider that they’re virtually walking a dozen households through making ice cream, cookies, lemonade, and assembling ice cream sandwiches.

I’m pretty proud of how my ice cream sandwich turned out! Several of the participants (actually about half of them) had their kids doing the class and the parent was just supervising. The kids kept up without a problem and they made the class so much more fun! Next time I sign up for a class, I’m going to have my kids make me dinner.

I highly recommend this class. I learned some new cooking techniques. Got to cook with truffle salt and truffle honey, a new thing for me. And, everyone enjoyed assembling and eating their own ice cream sandwiches!

Want to join a class of your own? Use my link for 10% off!

 

Summer Reading for Kids

I’ve purchased so many books for my kids this summer! It’s a good thing. But, that means I’m on the lookout for new books because, for the girls especially, I can’t seem to buy books fast enough!

I received these 2 adorable books for free to review. One for my girls and one for my little guy. They’re both so cute!

Where Are You Puffling? by Erika McGann and Gerry Daly

This is about a cute little puffling who has headed out on an adventure – and her parents search for her. Seriously, the puffling is adorable! I enjoy reading this book to my little guy just because I like the pictures.

The parents talk to the seal and the gannet and the rabbit; they walk to the huts and the cliffs and the cove. They hear lots of stories of the puffling helping others, but they just cannot find their fluffy, black chick. My little guy loves spotting the puffling in each picture, as the parents are always one step behind their puffling’s adventure. – also, kind of reminds me of me trying to keep up with a certain little 2yr old!

Finally, the parents spot her – on a boat out at sea! The puffling is too small to fly home, so the animals of Skellig work together and come up with something very clever…

This is such a fun and adorable book of friendship, helping, and adventure. A terrific addition to my child’s home library!

The Friendship Fairies – by Lucy Kennedy illustrated by Phillip Cullen

This book is written for Elementary students. The reading level is perfect for my 3rd grade daughter! However, because it’s about fairies, her older sister had to read it as well. I never object to the girls reading a fun book about being kind and having good manners!

Emme, Holly and Jess are just like regular girls, always messing and having fun. But they’re also fairies, and instead of regular schooling they go to friendship classes, where they learn all about being kind and having good manners. Then they’re sent out into the human world to teach children what they’ve learned. Of course, it’s not always easy being good! Will they ever be able to graduate from fairy school?

This book is quite funny and entertaining – I enjoyed reading it! And it’s a lighthearted way to remind my kids about the importance of being kind to others and the importance of being considerate towards others in the things that they do.

This book is a fun and charming addition to the girl’s book list.

Chocolate Stuffed Marshmallows

I received these free to review

We love s’mores! Especially this time of year. And considering how many marshmallows and chocolate we go through every week, I was super excited to try these stuffed puffs!

First things first, I had to rescue them from my little guy. They arrived in the mail and he was pretty sure that he had received a package for him alone. Once I got them from him, and hid them, we planned our s’mores night.

We had to re-schedule a couple of times because of weather. But, eventually, we had a dry evening and were ready for s’mores.

My first concern was, “how are these going to stay on the stick?”. You know, will they melt too fast? This turned out to not be a problem. Yay! I had visions of chocolate dripping out of the marshmallow and everything ending up in the fire.

These roasted up quite nicely. They did get soft pretty quickly, so I didn’t get mine as brown as I usually prefer, but I was worried about losing the marshmallow. The kids don’t roast theirs as long as I do. So this wasn’t a problem for them.

The marshmallow is a little stickier than my usual marshmallow, so I think something is a little different, just to make sure that the chocolate stays in the marshmallow while roasting. But taste was great.

All in all, I was pretty please with these. The chocolate tastes good, and especially with kids, having the chocolate inside the marshmallow was one less step to s’mores making.

This is definitely a product that’s going on my s’mores making list for the rest of the summer!

Tummy Drops Review

This is a sponsored post.

Tummy Drops are an all-natural, healthy, medication-free way to relieve tummy troubles. They’re made with just four simple plant-based ingredients including ginger and peppermint. What sets this tasty remedy apart from other “natural” tummy aids is its creator, a Board-Certified Gastrointestinal Physician, making Tummy Drops a trusted source of relief.

Check out this ingredient list!

I love that I know what’s in my tummy drops! I really wish these were available when I was pregnant and hunting everywhere for ginger chews or ginger drops that would help with my morning sickness.

That said, I’m always on the lookout for a more natural product for helping with the occasional stomach upset or when something just isn’t sitting right.

I was quite excited to be able to try these out. And, I LOVE that they sent me basically 1 of everything!

When I first received these I thought that the tins were going to be hard candies and the bags were chewables. But, nope, they’re all hard candies. Not a problem for me, but I don’t really see any difference in the products other than how they’re packaged.

So far I’ve tried a couple of the ginger and one of the peppermint. They’re all quite tasty. The ginger is strong – like all ginger is, but it’s not overpowering. And these tummy drops are just sweet enough that they’re actually quite tasty.

Compared to other ginger products that I’ve tried in the past, they’re actually delicious!

Definitely something that’s nice to keep on hand! They’re tasty, easy to keep in my purse, and do a great job of settling my stomach when something isn’t quite right.

Check out the Tummy Drops website for more information! You can order from there, Walmart, and Amazon.

Carrot Ginger Soup

I was given a pdf copy of My Pinewood Kitchen in exchange for my review. I love cooking and I’ve been doing a LOT of it with being home so much. So, needless to say, I’m getting bored with my recipes and dying for something new.

This cook book looked healthy, hearty, and delicious. And I’ve not been disappointed!

I’ve been attempting to make a carrot soup that I like – and my last one was a major bust (as in, sorry kids, you don’t have to eat it) – so I decided to give this one a try. I definitely haven’t tried one with an apple in it before, so I was quite curious as to how the added sweetness would taste.

Short On Inspiration While Dining In? My Pinewood Kitchen Dishes Out Some Quarantine Cuisine Tips

With COVID-19 keeping us at home more and shopping less, home chefs need to get creative while cooking tasty, healthy meals for their entire family. Chef and author Mee McCormick is an expert: she healed herself of Crohn’s disease, gut issues, and other immune system challenges with whole food recipes when doctors couldn’t help her.

The mom/rancher/restaurateur can share tips for “quarantine cuisine” when you’re hankering for variety in your meals but you’re short on ingredients and inspiration. Perfect for social distancing, many of her recipes are made with items you probably already have in your pantry (for example, her Black Bean Chicken Chili and Immune-Boosting Chicken & Quinoa Soup); she can teach home cooks how to repurpose items to reduce food waste (cilantro pickles, anyone?), and reveal the healthiest foods you need in your pandemic pantry.

My Pinewood Kitchen: A Southern Culinary Cure offers more than 100 gluten-free, whole foods recipes that can be customized for Keto, Paleo, or vegans, making it a truly “all-inclusive” eating plan for the entire family. From smoothies, soups and salads, to dinners and desserts, every recipe is gluten-free and gut-friendly.

•    Curb Your COVID Anxiety with healthy chocolate with Mee’s Chocolate Avocado Mousse & Five-Ingredient Fudge Cups
•    Soups for Social Distancing – Black Bean Chicken Chili and Immune-Boosting Chicken & Quinoa Soup (nutritious, delicious, and they use what you likely have in your home already!)
•    Plenty of plant-based offerings
•    Reduce Waste: Learn how to make cilantro pickles from cucumbers, sweet potato chips from sweet potatoes, a falafel burger from canned chickpeas, and how to make your own healthier ketchup and mayonnaise if you run out
•    10 Gut-Friendly Foods for your Pandemic Pantry

Mee McCormick is a rising Southern culinary and wellness innovator, restaurateur, author, TV cooking personality, farmer, rancher, wife and mother. She splits her time between Nashville and nearby Nunnelly, Tennessee; a tiny, unincorporated community in Hickman County, which is also home to her biodynamic farm and restaurant Pinewood Kitchen & Mercantile.

Mee authored her first cookbook My Kitchen Cure, which led to wild success and a book deal with HCI for her second cookbook My Pinewood Kitchen, published on April 14, 2020. She frequently appears on Today in Nashville, and she participates in nationally-recognized food festivals and events, spreading the same level of care and hospitality to audiences everywhere that she has become known for throughout the state of Tennessee. Visit: www.meemccormick.com or www.pinewoodkitchenandmercantile.com.

My Pinewood Kitchen: A Southern Culinary Cure/130+ Crazy Delicious, Gluten-Free Recipes to Reduce Inflammation and Make Your Gut Happy
By Mee McCormick
HCI BOOKS
Released: April 2020/ $26.95
ISBN: 9780757323522
Available wherever books are sold

There are some absolutely amazing recipes in this book! Think terrific and tasty family meals, and the Carrot Ginger Soup did not disappoint!

Carrot Ginger Soup

Ingredients: 

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or ghee

1 large white onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

1. pounds carrots

1 apple, chopped and skin on

4 cups Chicken Bone Broth (page 120) or Vegetable Broth (page 121) – directions in the cookbook

2 cups water

1/4 cup raw cashews

3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk

1 tablespoon miso

Sea salt (to taste)

Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Directions:

1) In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil or ghee. Add the onion and sweat until soft. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for about 3 minutes.

2) Add the carrots, apple, broth, water, and cashews. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Allow to cool.

3) Transfer to a blender or food processor. Add the coconut milk and miso paste. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve warm.

Incredibly easy and delicious! I paired this with some leftover ribs and steamed broccoli for an absolutely amazing dinner with the family!

Books to Entertain the Kids

I received 3 amazing kid’s books to review. I’ll be honest, they’re all great! I just can’t pick a favorite … actually, I kinda can, there’s one I really just want to steal for myself.


1. Dino DanaDino Field Guide by J.J. Johnson, Colleen Russo Johnson, PhD, & Christin Simms

Fun facts about dinosaurs for kids. Did you know that the brachiosaurus was the tallest dinosaur that we know of today? That the kosmoceratops had fifteen horns and hooks on its head? That the spinosaurus is the only known dinosaur to spend most of its time swimming? Discover this and much more in Dino DanaDino Field Guide.

Dino Dana‘s field guide for your child. Fans of the Amazon Prime TV show Dino Dana will be so excited to have a Dino Field Guide of their own, put together by the incredible show’s creator and executive producer, J. J. Johnson. Full of colorful illustrations and fascinating science facts, this dinosaur book is sure to amaze any young dino enthusiast. View this book on the Dino Dana Store for more information and interactive content!

Review. My son loves this book! He claimed it the minute I opened the box and hasn’t let anyone else near it. It has so many different dinosaurs and lots and lots of pictures! It even has these cute little stuffed animal graphics that he’s convinced me to use as a guide to make him some dinosaur stuffed animals – I’ll post a tutorial if they actually turn out! This book is colorful, fun, and so re-readable. It’ll be a favorite for a while!

2. Coyote Peterson’s Brave Adventures: Wild Animals in a Wild World by Coyote Peterson

Animal Stories for Kids: Coyote Peterson’s Brave Adventures: Wild Animals in a Wild World chronicles some of the wildest encounters Coyote Peterson has had over the course of his travels. The stories begin with his first snapping turtle catch as a kid and lead down a trail of incredible moments he and his camera crew have had while filming their Brave Wilderness shows. From a giant alligator that nearly caught Coyote in its bone crushing jaws, to an 800 pound Grizzly Bear that helped him teach the audience what to do and NOT do if you ever encounter one of these enormous predators in the wild, every tale is laced with fast paced action and daring adventure. With the presence of danger often looming for Coyote, each story reminds the reader that animals rule the wild places of this planet, and if we respect them from a safe distance, even the most frightening creatures are more likely to be afraid of us than we should ever be of them. View this book on Amazon!

Review. I kinda want to claim this book for myself. The stories are interesting and exciting and teach about all sorts of different animals. This is above my 6yr old son’s reading level so I’ve been reading it to him and I’m not sure who’s enjoying it more. Me or him! This book is perfect for those slow days at home when we’ve got nothing to do.

3. I Do Not Like Living with Brothers: The Ups and Downs of Growing Up with Siblings by Daniel Baxter

Learn about the importance of family. I Do Not Like Living With Brothers aims to teach young siblings to see the value and goodness in each other. We never like everything about our brothers or sisters, but if we focus on the positive and recognize that our family cares about us, then we can live in community with greater joy.

Turn sibling rivalry into love and kindness. Exploring the family dynamic of a sister living with two brothers, in this children’s book, our young narrator discovers that while her brothers are dirty, smelly, and sometimes selfish, they are also kind, funny, and helpful. Author and father Daniel Baxter, cohost of the popular YouTube channel How It Should Have Ended, shows kids that perhaps living with your siblings is not all bad. View this book on Amazon!

Review. My 11yr old daughter snapped this one up right away. Which I’m assuming is the whole goal of the title. She read the book through very quickly and found it somewhat amusing. I realize that it’s geared towards slightly younger kids, but she’s not always happy to have brothers, and I’m glad she liked the book. Because with little brothers it’s important for everyone to show kindness even when the boys are doing super annoying little brother stuff. And it’s so nice to be able to encourage that kindness in a fun way.