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January 31, 2015

Subscription Box Review: Hatchery

So I haven't been around lately mostly due to work and traveling but I have a series of posts I need to make over the next few days.  I was going to start with a hair post but then I got a surprise a few days ago. Ok not a surprise I knew it was coming but didn't realize it would be here so soon after hearing it would be shipped. It's from a subscription service which isn't hugely monumental but in my case it's a big deal because I've for the most part entirely shunned those services.  I mean I like healthy snacks but my version of healthy and their version not quite the same.  And while I enjoy fashion and beauty I very rarely use makeup so those services won't work.  I ditched Fabletics because the cute outfits never seemed to be in my size and I am one of those women that legitimately hates yoga/thing workout pants.  This box could be called a fit of food snobbery but you'd be somewhat wrong.  It's a gourmet food service that gives you samples of small shops across the country.  Living Social had a three month special which amounted to a third off so I figured it wouldn't hurt to try it out.

Hatchery.Co produces the Hatchery Box.  Once a month you get a sampling of products to cook with.  Some of it is tailored to your tastes along with what seems to be part of the selection for the month.  And they alert you before the shipment moves out so you know when you to look for it.  I had a few of the same items as featured on the website this month but have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the assortment and taste for those things in the box.  The only miss for me was the jelly and that's just cause I don't like jelly.  I will review each item below the picture.  First up though just some photos of what the box looked like as I was unpacking it.  Call me a sucker for the somewhat kitchy and vintage look but I loved the look of this box.  Each item is very securely packaged and there's a description of each item on the cards I snapped.  There's also a recipe included using at least one of the items in the box.  This month it was for barbecue peel and eat shrimp.  Sounds good but I'm lazy when eating so the shrimp would have to be peeled ahead of time lol. 

Now on to the reviews.  This box came the night I wasn't sure what to do with my salmon so it worked out fantastic really.  I used a bit of the mustard and paella spice mix on my salmon.  The paella didn't pack much heat for the amount I used but it could have been muted by the mustard which was AMAZING.

This is a sample of a very nice olive oil.  I've only used it to coat my baked potatoes but it was light and tasted okay.  I need to try it on a larger scale either in meal prep or marinade to give it a better marinade.

I'll admit to being confused by this one.  Pasta gravy is a new one for me and I was nearly ready to chuck it to the mom donation pile until I started reading.  It sounds like a really good and rich pasta sauce.  As soon as I try it I will let you know.

This was the miss for me.  I won't be trying it but I'll give it to mom to try like normal.

I haven't tried this one yet but I'm semi desperate to.  I love a good barbecue sauce so flipping much.  I might try it with my steak tonight.

This mustard is delicious.  I may actually have to order this full size and love it more.  It's got a nice tang to it on top of being a rich full flavor.  

I was a little disappointed in this on the salmon.  It just kind of lost it's totally imagined fire.  As I mentioned that could have been because I added the mustard to it but I will give it another try on another dish.

Ok I got a three month subscription for 51 bucks through LivingSocial.  Regular monthly price is 25 a month with cancellation anytime you would like or yearly 240 bucks (a whole savings of 5 bucks a month).  If you really like to cook and try new things without paying full price for things this isn't a bad deal.  It isn't anymore expensive than some of the other subscription services and if you're like me it will expose you to things you can't get locally.  

Six items would work out to be about 4 dollars an item each month including shipping.  Now you can see about what sized items you are getting so it may not be worth it to pay that monthly especially since you don't know what is coming.  If you were willing to commit for the year then it would be about 3 bucks an item plus shipping.  I like the idea of things being sourced from all over especially since I keep finding myself in smaller towns with seemingly limited palettes.  Having said that though I really do like knowing that my boxes will end in March unless I'm just so overwhelmed that I must continue.  I like having the finite ending point.  The same could be said of the yearly package so if you want to give it a whack for a longer time that's an option as well. 

Have a good Saturday and enjoy good eats every day.

January 2, 2015

First Friday: Fitness on Tap

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I actually forgot that the gym was open yesterday but it wouldn't have mattered because Thursday is my off day. I was semi-dreading going today because I was convinced the Resolutioners would be there en masse and causing confusing. Turns out I was wrong on both counts. It may pick up soon but for right now my anticipated gym times seem to be quite clear.  As I was winding down for my last bit of cardio, I spoke with a cute older woman named Holly.  She was in the gym for the first time and the machine was confusing her.  Four minutes later she was up and running and tinkering with the machine to better account for her pacemaker.  I'm sure the Resolutioners will take over eventually but today was a good work out.

Fitness Friday