Saturday, May 31, 2014

Meatball Subs and Salad

Tonight we tried our second meal from the Blue Apron box. Meatball Sub and Salad. The recipe is here if you're interested.

Again all the ingredients needed came in the box, except for the olive oil and salt. There was a ton of salad, we didn't finish that. The subs were HUGE. Hard to see with the pic I took, but each one took up an entire plate. I couldn't finish mine, and that was sharing with a toddler who thinks it's his job to eat as much as possible off of my plate.

While salad was pretty good (basic salad but with homemade dressing) the subs were not great. Doug finished his, but we both agreed that there could have been more seasoning. And the meatballs were plenty big enough, even though I made the mixture into 10 meatballs instead of 8.

I think if I were to make meatball subs again I would use my own recipe for meatballs - even though this had Italian seasoning in it, it pretty much just tasted like beef. And the tomato sauce could have used a little more seasoning - garlic and onions were a great start, but it needed a little more. Maybe some basil or something. I suppose I had that in the cupboard, but just as when I was making the salad, I thought it would be good just to try the recipe as it was sent - otherwise the salad would have had feta cheese and tomatoes added to it as well (especially since I already had both in the fridge).

So, this recipe sounded good, and the ingredients looked good, but it seemed to need a little more than it came with.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Orange Shrimp

A few weeks ago Doug came home from school with the name of a company he heard advertised in one of the podcasts he likes. The company is called Blue Apron and they put together meals for you complete with recipes and then ship everything to your door. The podcast advertisement included a promo code to get you to try it out. After looking at the website we decided to give it a try. Our first box was about the equivalent to eating out for a meal, but would include enough for 3 meals. I usually try to prepare meals with leftovers so Doug has lunch for the next day or two, but this might be a good option for the days I don't have a dinner idea or I only care enough to throw a pizza in the oven.

Yesterday that first box arrived so last night I gave it a try.  Nearly all the ingredients came in the box.  The only thing I needed for this meal that wasn't included was olive oil (any cooking oil probably would have worked, I prefer olive oil) and salt (the recipe also called for pepper, but I almost never cook with the stuff - personal preference).

All the ingredients for the meal from the box. One ingredient I had never heard of before - Ponzu sauce. According to the recipe it is a soy sauce with vinegar for a kick. The recipe needed a tablespoon of sauce so the ingredients came with a tablespoon. Kinda wish it had come with more so we could try it again without buying a big bottle. Especially since I've never seen it in the store before and Medford is a little small for finding things unusual.

The ingredients have been prepped and are ready to go. Lots of chopping for this recipe.

The end result. The recipe made just enough for two servings. They weren't skimpy servings - we both felt full at the end - but Doug would have liked a bit more rice. Mostly because if there is rice he will eat a scoop plain after he has finished his main meal.  Pretty good once it all came together.  The orange sauce was good soaked into the rice. The shrimp were alright. Not my favorite protein, but Doug loves them and this was a good way to put them into a meal. They aren't something I would buy normally, so getting them as part of a box meant trying something I wouldn't usually cook. If flipping through a magazine I probably would have passed over a recipe like this altogether, so this was a good way to cook something I usually avoid and to try a recipe I probably would have overlooked. In which case the cost of the meal turned out to be a good deal.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wool Sweater - Delicious

So, I've been drinking (and sharing) Wool Sweater. Pretty good winter warmer.

The first few I tried were drinkable, but not quite ready, even though it had been the 2-3 week bottle conditioning period. It took about 6-8 weeks for the flavor to develop all the way.

I've also been sharing with a group of friends we made here.  We have "Beer Club Friday" which means we all get together at someone's house, bring food and beer, and hang out.  Nearly everyone in the group has kids, most in the toddler/preschool age group.  A couple are still tiny babies, a few are old enough to be in school.  Kids get to play with kids, grown-ups get to socialize with grown-ups.  For the most part the kids get a room or somewhere outside to play and the adults look on as they chat with each other.

Wool Sweater is nearly gone, so time to get brewing again. Especially now that I have a group to share with.  Of course, it's gotten too warm for me to use the back room as a fermenting room.  But lucky me, for Mother's Day Doug got me a used refrigerator to be stored in the garage, just for brewing!  It's the size of our fridge/freezer combo upstairs, but it is all fridge.  Meaning room for at least two fermenters plus beer storage!