Friday, January 30, 2015

January Taste Guru Box

Do you live a gluten free lifestyle? Or maybe you know someone who is gluten free? Taste Guru is a whole box of food that is gluten free. Each month Taste Guru sends out a box of gluten free foods that have been tested and reviewed by those who live a gluten free life. The box is shipped monthly and the prices ranges from $20 to $24 a month depending on which plan you sign up for. All plans include shipping.

I am happy to report that my shipping issues have been resolved and I received this box on time. The downside is this is my last box...for now anyway. I have been enjoying the products. 

Price: $24 a month with discounts for 3, 6 and 12 month plans. 

This box ships to the USA only from Denver, Colorado. 

The good:

Gluten free made easy: This is a great way to try a whole bunch of gluten free foods.

Need a gift: I think this would make a great gift for the gluten free person in your life.

The not so good:

I'm was having issues with my subscription but I'm hoping that's not typical with everyone else.

January Taste Guru Box.

Magazine included in the box. 

Contents of Taste Guru Box with approximate retail value:

.8 oz. Simply 7 Lentil Chips. Value = $0.73

.8 oz. Simply 7 Quinoa Chips. Value = $0.73 - These are light, crispy and slightly addicting. 

(2) NoGii D'Lites Chocolate Bar in Chocolate Caramel. Value = $1.25/ea.

2 oz. bag Boulder Granola in Original. Value = $2.70

2 oz. bag of Boulder Granola in CranberryValue = $2.70

Oven Baked Organics Pancake Mix. Value = $5.00

1/8 oz. Tabasco Original. Value = $0.55

6 oz. bag Old School Mill Grits. Value = $1.69

1 tub Wowbutter peanut butter replacement. Value = $0.24 - yep it tasted like peanut butter. what a great thing for those with peanut allergies!

Wyoming Authentic Jerky in jalepeño flavor. Value = $1.25 - I was pleasantly surprised that this wasn't mouth burning hot. I really enjoyed it. 

Living Without's Gluten Free & More September-October 2014 issue. Value = $5.95 - Kind of strange that this is a few months old but I'll still read it. 

Bonus Item:

.75 oz. Funny Face's Choo Choo Cherry Cranberries. Value = $2.67 - These are always delicious but a little pricey. 

The total value of this box is $26.71. I like the Simply 7 chips, they are light and airy and delicious. I thought the wowbutter peanut butter replacement tasted great. It tasted just like peanut butter. I would buy again and bonus, they make it in crunchy variety. I grew up eating grits with butter and a fried egg on top. I know it's not the healthiest thing for you but as an adult I've axed the butter and I fry the egg with a little pan spray so it's not so bad now. I've never tried this brand but I'm excited about it. 

Verdict: I'm looking forward to trying the stuff in this box. I was super happy the beef stick wasn't super!

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

January Blue Apron Box

Blue Apron is a weekly delivery service of fresh ingredients to make meals. I've tried it a couple of times and done price breakdowns to see if it's worth the money or should I just go to the store and buy the stuff myself. What I figured out is you're not getting an incredible deal as far as getting more value than you paid but you are getting convenience and it doesn't cost much more than if you went and bought all the stuff yourself.

Blue Apron (named after the blue aprons apprentice chefs in France used to wear) sends fresh ingredients to make 3 meals that will serve 2-6 people each week. This is how is works. Once you sign up you can choose to receive meat and fish or vegetarian dishes and you choose how many servings (2,4 or 6) you want for each dish. You will receive 3 meals per week with enough ingredients for the servings you request. The prices vary depending on what you order. For 2 people it's $59.94, 4 people is $119.88 and 6 people is $179.82 per week with shipping included. This works out to $9.99 per meal per person. It's less than going to a restaurant but may more than going to the grocery store and getting the ingredients yourself. They send out the menus weekly and you can also log on to your account and skip deliveries 6-8 weeks in advance. I went into my account and skipped all the weeks because I would rather skip and miss something than forget to skip and get something I don't want. I can't justify getting this every week so I look at our calendar to see what kind of week is coming up and if the menu looks good and it's a busy week I will unskip the week. If it's not a busy week, the menu isn't my thing or we are going to be out of town I leave it as skipped.

Price: $60.00-$180 a week depending on size of box. Option to skip weeks. 

The good:

Busy: This is great for busy people. The ingredients are fresh, on hand and the meals take on average 35 min to prepare.

Don't cook?: The included recipe cards are not only beautiful they have very easy to follow instructions complete with pictures.

Counting Calories: The calorie info is included and each meal is 500-700 per serving.

Ingredients: fresh ingredients from artisan purveyors with an emphasis on sustainable practices

Need a specific delivery day: You can choose between Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and even Saturday delivery. Also the food is well packed on ice packs in an insulated box.

The not so good:

Price: It's a bit pricey but you're paying for convenience.

Organic, free range, grass fed: I couldn't find anywhere where these types of items were used. I also went to the Tradesman Premium Cuts website and it looks like it's specific for Blue Apron but doesn't have a whole lot of info about it. I usually buy grass fed, free range meats because I think it taste better and I feel better about eating it.

Banana Leaf Steamed Cod with Spiced Rice, Yu Choy & Coconut ingredients.

Banana Leaf Steamed Cod with Spiced Rice, Yu Choy & Coconut.

Korean-Style Tteok with Spicy Pork "Ragu" & Gai Lam

Banana Leaf Steamed Cod - This was just ok. The spice was a little too spicy for me. Yu Choy was new to me though and I enjoyed it. 

Korean-Style Ttoek - This dish is the reason I ordered the box this week and it did not disappoint! I loved this dish, the boyfriend loved it and we will totally be making this again. It was savory, delicious and so easy to make. 

Chicken Charlemagne - I was going to make this last night but long story short I didn't. The nice part about it is that I can freeze the chicken and the other ingredients should keep a few more days. Below is what the dish looks like. 

I'm not going to do a complete price breakdown like I did on my first review. If you want to read it click here. For me, I feel like there is value in these meals and they are working out great for those busy weeks. I logged into my account and skipped all weeks. When Blue Apron sends out the email with the menu information I can simply go back into my account and unskip. This works for me and I'm less likely to get a shipment I didn't want.

***Blue Apron has sent me invitations to share with 3 people. If you're interested in trying it Blue Apron will send you 1 weeks worth of meals which consists of 3 meals with 2 servings each. When you accept the invitation you will have to provide a credit card and will be signed up for their service. You can keep the service as is or go into your account like I do and skip the meals ahead of time, or cancel completely. If you are interested in trying it send me an email at I will update this post when the meals are claimed.***

**2 invites left**

Verdict: I'm enjoying the food and flexibility of this subscription.

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I thought this was interesting. It was a sticker on the side of the box listing the ingredients and where they came from.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

January Taste Trunk - Gourmet Trunk

Taste Trunk is a food based subscription box. I love food, especially gourmet food so I didn't hesitate to sign up for this box. Taste Trunk actually has four different themed trunks you can purchase. They are Gourmet, Health, Sweet and BBQ trunk. I love that they have something for everyone. I was torn between the BBQ one and the Gourmet one but ended up choosing the Gourmet one. The nice thing about Taste Trunk allows you to switch your boxes at anytime. I keep thinking I'm going to try the BBQ one at some point but I'm really liking this trunk.

Price: $35.00 a month with no option to skip. 

The good:

Products: The items in my box are gourmet and full size.

Info: They send info cards with products information and recipes.

Variety: I love that they have four different themed boxes.

Want more: They have an online store where you can purchase more of the things you love.

Change it up: Want a different trunk next month. You can change your trunks by emailing them

The Not So Good:

Skip: Doesn't look like there is a way to skip, only cancel.

Referral program: They have one but you have to enter the persons full name when you check out and they get 10% off their next box. I like referral programs that use links and have discounts or bonus items for both people.

Contents of The Fancy Food Box with approximate retail price listed: 

A & A Organic Farms Wet Rubz Santa Maria Style Marinade. Value = $6.99

La Tourangelle Thai Wok Oil. Value = $7.99

Brianna's Champagne Caper Vinaigrette. Value = $3.99

Un Mondi Spanish Style Chorizo. Value = $6.50

Volpi Pinot Grigio Salami. Value = $7.50

The total value of this months box is $32.97. When I saw the wok oil I remembered I have some of this in my pantry but it must be tucked in the back somewhere because I haven't seen it in awhile. The Wet Rubz marinade is new to me and I love a good marinade. I was super excited to see the chorizo because I found a recipe I wanted to make last weekend but I needed chorizo and this kind is hard to find at my local store.

Verdict: This box is on the pricier side but if you like cooking it's a great box. 

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