Just Add Cooking: Fall Celebrity Chef Series

Another week, another Just Add Cooking review to share with you. If you are new to B2B, l’ll fill you in quickly: last spring, I was graciously given 4 months of service through Just Add Cooking, which meant that once a week I was given 3 meals to make and try. This came at the most perfect time because it was during the months leading up to our wedding so knowing that I wouldn’t have to plan out our meals every week was a huge relief. Not only that, but the meals were all SO GOOD and really easy to make so it was a win-win all around.

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Recently, Just Add Cooking reached out to me again to see if I wanted to try out meals again as they kicked off their Fall Celebrity Chef series. What this means, is that Just Add Cooking will be partnering with some local celebrity chefs to bring restaurant-quality dishes to JAC, while also making sure everything is still locally sourced and easy enough to handle in your own kitchen. The chefs in the partnership are: James Beard award-winner Jody Adams of TRADESaloniki, and Porto; James Beard finalist and celebrated chef Andy Husbands of Tremont 647, Sister Sorel and The Smoke Shop BBQ; television personality Diane Kochilas, one of the world’s foremost authorities on Greek cuisine and Consulting Chef at Committee ; and James Beard award-winner Frank McClelland of L’Espalier and Riversbend.

For the week we chose, the signature dish was Chicken with Muhammara from Jody Adams, which also happened to be my favorite meal of the week! The flavor in the “topping” was incredible- both RM and I couldn’t stop raving about it while we ate it. Such an interesting combination of ingredients that made such a delicious end result!

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The next meal I made was the Scandinavian Cod, which was the first fish meal we received…. weird, considering we love fish! This meal was SUPER simple to make, and based on how simple the ingredients were, I wasn’t expecting it to be as full of flavor as it was! I really loved the topping of eggs, horseradish & brown butter for the fish. I ended up sauteing the snow peas, which didn’t go along with the recipe but I wasn’t sure I felt like eating them raw. Lastly, I was totally blown away with how easy it was to cook the fish. The directions told me to boil water and once the water was boiling, remove it from the heat, drop the fish in, cover it and let it cook for 5 minutes. It came out perfect!!  Mind. Blown.

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The last meal of the week was the Hungarian Goulash, which RM and I had a blast saying (you try saying it by accentuating the GOU in the Goulash… it’s funny!). As with the other recipes, this was easy to throw together AND it reheated very well. The flavor combination from the spices and veggies and the meat were wonderful- it felt like a hearty fall meal! We talked about how there are so many variations you could make from the base recipe, too, like subbing out sweet potatoes for white potatoes, adding in other veggies, etc. I see this on repeat for sure.

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The celebrity chef meals will be on rotation until the end of the year so if you like the sounds of everything in this post, Just Add Cooking is offering a great deal for those of you who haven’t yet had a chance to try them. With the code BUBBLY, you can get your first Just Add Cooking box for just $39. Which, btw, is 3 meals- one hell of a deal if you ask me! Click here to sign up for a free account and to pick your recipes.

Previous reviews can be found here:

Just Add Cooking {First Review}
Just Add Cooking {2nd Review}
Just Add Cooking {3rd Review}
Just Add Cooking {4th Review}

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post but I was provided with a free week of meals in response for my review. As always, all thoughts and opinions in this post are my own- I really, truly think this is a wonderful company and I’m so excited that I get to work with them! As an affiliate, I do receive a credit when you sign up for the service using my code. Thanks for your support!

 

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Five on Friday {9.2.16}

Hello! TGIF, right?! I’ll tell you what- I am looking forward to a long weekend! We get a half day today and then we have Monday off and I have to say that I am reallllly looking forward to it, even though I have so much work to do I really could use the day in the office, haha OH WELL! It’ll get done eventually 😉

Did you guys have a good week? Mine was good- tiring for the brain, but a good week! Last night, after a great yoga class, RM and I hit up Buff’s Pub for wings, which we hadn’t done for SO long so they tasted extra delicious .

  • Just Add Cooking I was lucky enough to receive another box of meals from Just Add Cooking this past week and, yet again, everything we had was amazing! I’ll share more on it later, but here are a few teaser pics 😉

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  • Healthified Beach Lunches- One of my favorite parts of going to the beach is packing up the cooler with various food and drinks. There’s something about the beach that just makes me want fun snacks and tasty beers (or wine!), amiright?! Last summer, when I went to make us lunches I realized we were out of pitas/wraps, so I got creative and made a “wrapless wrap”, meaning I used the thickly cut deli meat as the “wrap” and stuffed it as I would if I was actually using a wrap. Now, we don’t even bother with the wraps because we like this variation so much. We prefer snacking on crackers/healthy chips dipped in hummus for our carbs rather than bread or wraps and while this may not be for everyone, it works for us. If you’re looking for a way to change up your beach lunches, I highly suggest this! I usually buy a nice Boars Head turkey meat and provolone cheese and then layer the turkey, cheese, hummus, spinach and veggies- last weekend I used cucumbers, red pepper and avocado. SO tasty!

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  • Morning Workouts- Since I teach after work and have to be to work by 7:30 (which is 30+ minutes away), I tend to workout during my lunch break instead of the morning. I find I have more energy and more fun, but this past week I got up to workout before work on Wednesday since I knew I wouldn’t have the ability to do so during the day and didn’t want it on my “to-do” list for after work. While it’s never really FUN to get up and workout before work, this sunrise AND knowing my workout was DONE by 6:30am made it totally worth it.

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  • Book Club- I’ll admit that I while I always finish each book club book before the next meeting, most of the time I’m scrambling in the last few days to actually finish it. A few months ago, I had to sit in my parked car outside of Jessi’s house to finish the last 10 pages haha oops! This time around, though, I’m ahead of the game. We are reading What She Left Behind and it is SO good. It’s told by two different women: one from the 1920’s and one more recently so it’s super interesting to read how different the times are between the two versions of the story. I highly recommend this if you’re looking for a good book to read.

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  • National Yoga Month- Did you know September is National Yoga Month?! I’m excited to be included in the activities hosted by Corepower Yoga, including a yoga class last night at Fenway for the media crew. I needed the yoga more than you know, so it came at the perfect time. I can’t wait to practice MORE this month- it’s one of those things I know I need, but for some reason it always gets pushed aside. And ps- Corepower’s #whyiyoga campaign is amazing- totally in love with this shirt and this message!!

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And with that, I’m out! We have a half day today and I’m teaching tomorrow morning, otherwise the weekend plans are totally up in the air. We may go to the Cape, but I’m hoping we stick around here for the weekend. Whatever you have on your agenda, I hope it includes everything that makes you happy 🙂

Questions for you: How was your week? Did you have any good workouts? What’s a “must read” book you’ve read? Do you like yoga? Have you been grilling a lot? What do you pack for beach lunches?

Just Add Cooking: Focus on Local Sourcing

Good morning! I’m back from the most amazingly perfect bachelorette weekend and while I plan on doing a full recap soon, I’ll just say now that it was literally the best weekend! And we are one step closer to the big day, which is the most exciting thing of all!

Today, though, let’s talk about the recent Just Add Cooking RM and I received. As I’ve mentioned before, as part of their blog ambassadorship I am able to receive one week of meals a month to try out. So far, each delivery seems to be better than the last and considering we were totally wowed after the first delivery, it’s safe to say JAC has a pretty great thing going on.

I’ve talked before about how one of the things I love the most about the company, besides having simple and delicious recipes, is that they try to source locally whenever they can. In the delivery notes overview, they list out where the products came from, which I think is a really nice touch. RM and I try to buy locally and organic, so working with a company who also values that is pretty awesome. In our box this week, we received:

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Pretty cool, right? And, when you’re using ingredients closer to the source, it means they’re getting to you fresher and it’s good for the environment since they don’t have to drive loads of extra miles to get the food items. You can find out more about JAC’shere. It’s really great to see a company support locally!

Let’s talk about the meals, though. We decided to go with the Breaded Pork Chops with a White Bean & Radish Salad, Lamb Skewers and a Quinoa Salad and Shaksuka, which is a Middle-Eastern dish. We cooked the meals last week in the recommended cooking order that JAC provides.

Breaded Pork Chops w/ White Bean & Radish Salad

This meal might have been my favorite meal from the delivery. We don’t get pork very often, which is strange since we both enjoy it, so it was a special treat getting to cook it last week. I’ve never coated meat with mayonnaise before breading it, but I swear it must’ve been what made the meat so -dare I say it- moist (sorry). The flavor was so good! And the white bean and radish salad was also incredible- I told RM that it’s likely going to be a staple salad that I bring to summer parties. It was light and refreshing and just a really interesting combination of flavors.

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Lamb Skewers and Quinoa Salad

Lamb is another meat that we don’t buy or cook- ever, really. We have lamb at RM’s mother’s house on holidays and I always enjoy it, which is why I thought it would be a good choice for the meal delivery. RM fired up the grill to cook the lamb which made it even tastier! The quinoa salad had avocado, cucumber and tomato and reminded me so much of this loaded quinoa salad that I’ve made a few times. Unfortunately the watercress went bad so we were unable to use that ingredient for the sauce, but I use some of the extra chives and it worked out well. I ended up reaching out to my contact to let her know about how the watercress went bad so quickly and she said that when you source local, fresh ingredients there is always a chance that things can go bad quicker than anticipated. She wanted me to share with all of you that if this were to happen to you, just can email them at customersupport@justaddcooking.com or call JAC and the team will provide them with a credit to their account for any inconvenience. These issues happen very rarely and they try to take care of customers quickly when they do.

With that said, we still really enjoyed the meal!

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Shaksuka

This meal was another big hit with us. There’s something about breakfast for dinner that always makes me happy. I don’t tend to eat a lot of eggs for breakfast, but I love them for lunch or dinner so this was a great meal to throw together one night last week. With very minimal ingredients, it took no time at all to make. Unfortunately, I walked away while the eggs were cooking and stayed away a little too long and the yolks ended up cooking all the way through. I was bummed, but it ended up still tasting really good. I never knew that combining diced tomatoes and pearled farro could make such a great base for eggs! And, I’m a big fan of “one pot dishes”, so this was right up my alley. The feta cheese on top was like icing on the cake, too 😉

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All in all, we were so pleased with the meals last week. I was able to make all of them in less than 40 minutes, which is ideal for a weeknight meal. On top of that, I love getting a chance to make new-to-us recipes/dishes and learn how to combine herbs and seasonings since that isn’t something I know a lot about. If you’re looking for a way to spice up your meals, I can’t recommend JAC enough.

If you like the sounds of everything in this post, Just Add Cooking is offering a great deal for those of you who haven’t yet had a chance to try them. With the code BUBBLY, you can get your first Just Add Cooking box for just $39. Which, btw, is 3 meals- one hell of a deal if you ask me! Click here to sign up for a free account and to pick your recipes.

Previous reviews can be found here:

Just Add Cooking {First Review}
Just Add Cooking {2nd Review}

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post but I was provided with a free week of meals in response for my review. As always, all thoughts and opinions in this post are my own- I really, truly think this is a wonderful company and I’m so excited that I get to work with them! As an affiliate, I do receive a credit when you sign up for the service using my code. Thanks for your support!

Just Add Cooking: Round 2 {& exciting news!}

Good morning! I’m back with another drool-worthy (ok, they’d be more drool-worthy if the lighting and picture quality was better, but you get the idea) Just Add Cooking post. As I mentioned before, as a brand ambassador I have the chance to receive a free week of meals to try and then I get to share my experience with all of you. Week 1 was pretty awesome, but week 2 surely gave it a run for its money! With an Asian-inspired theme, we were introduced to new flavors and meals we would never think to cook on our own.

Our box arrived again on Sunday, which was perfect since it allowed for us to unpack and check it out right away. While there was more packaging than the week before, it was understandable due to the types of recipes we chose for the week. And, most was able to be recycled which is great.

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On Monday night, I figured it was the perfect night to make the Hot Pot; it was cold and snowy and the thought of a warm soup sounded like a great idea. What made it even better was how easy this was to make. While it had a number of steps, none where time consuming or confusing, which made it a quick meal to throw together. The meatballs were my favorite part- they had the perfect amount of spice and flavor combinations and I didn’t even mind the hints of ginger, isn’t a flavor I tend to enjoy. My only complaint was that the dish was a bit too salty for me due to the soy sauce. I don’t tend to salt my food much and we tend to use lower-sodium soy sauce or even tamari so it was not something we/I were used to. Next time I would maybe decrease the amount of soy sauce and replace with water or use a lower-sodium version. Besides that, this was another big hit!

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Tuesday night’s meal of Shrimp Pad Thai was probably my favorite. This meal was so simple, yet so flavorful and totally different from anything else we usually make. I foresee us making this a lot going forward, especially since it re-heated really well! I followed this recipe to a T besides omitting the fish sauce. This was RM’s favorite meal of the week, too.

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Lastly, I made the Beef Teriyaki on Thursday night when I got home from teaching. It was awesome that in 30 minutes we had a whole meal ready for us. We don’t tend to buy or cook a lot of red meat, so it was a nice change to bring a dish like this into our weekly eats. Again, this meal was not fancy, but the flavors were on point! My only complaint here, similar to the Hot Pot, is that it was a bit too salty, again I’m assuming this is because of the soy sauce. This was rectified the next day by adding some broccoli to the mix- beef & broccoli- such a delicious combo!

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I don’t normally like to cook full meals during the week due to my busy schedule that generally doesn’t have me getting home until 7:30-8pm, but these meals were so quick and easy to assemble and serve so it was a very doable activity.

I can’t wait until our next delivery, particularly because we were notified that Chef Jeremy Seawall of Island Creek Oyster Bar, Lineage & Row 34 is partnering with Just Add Cooking to showcase recipes from his new cookbook, The New England Kitchen.

Chef Jeremy Seawall has spent his career working with the farm-to-table movement, focusing on fresh, local foods. This pairs so well with Just Add Cooking because, as you know, they have an entirely local approach to their meal kit programs so working with someone who understands and values that, too, is perfect. And, don’t be intimidated- Just Add Cooking has assured us that Chef Seawall’s recipes will still be fun and relatively easy for weeknight cooking.

We love all of those restaurants so getting to try our hand at cooking some of his recipes is pretty cool! His recipes will be available to subscribers for the 4/24 deliveries (which means you have to order by 4/20). While we didn’t get a chance to check them out this month, you can guarantee we will be picking some of his recipes for next month- I can’t wait!

Don’t forget, if you like the sounds of Just Add Cooking, just use the code BUBBLY when you sign up and you can get your first Just Add Cooking box for just $39. Which, btw, is 3 meals- one hell of a deal if you ask me! Click here to sign up for a free account and to pick your recipes.

Questions for you: What cuisine is your favorite? Do you like your food salty or not? Have you eaten at any of the restaurants that Chef Seawall is affiliated with?

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post but I was provided with a free week of meals in response for my review. As always, all thoughts and opinions in this post are my own- I really, truly think this is a wonderful company and I’m so excited that I get to work with them! As an affiliate, I do receive a credit when you sign up for the service using my code. Thanks for your support!

Five on Friday {4.8.16}

Good morning! TGIF, right?! This week has really dragged on for me- no idea why, but it makes me especially happy that it’s Friday (FriYAY, right?!)! Here are some of the topics going on in my head these days:

  • Personalized Cornhole Bags- Etsy is my new best friend these days, which is exactly where I found these adorable cornhole bags. I opted to go with cream and navy with gold lettering since those are roughly the colors we are kind of going with. I also ordered the boards from someone else off of Etsy so once RM paints those I’ll show them. So excited to bring these up to NH for our wedding!

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  • Wedding Invitation Frustrations- Speaking of our wedding- which, btw, is less than 3 months away!!- invitations have been a bit of a frustration so far. I designed them on the PaperSource website and then went into the store in Lynnfield to have them help me with a few things. They timed everything out and said I would see the proofs in 3-5 business days, however, I did not see a proof until 8 business days!!! Seeing how the 23 business days they quoted me to get the final product already put us at the end of April (need to get these babies out by early May), I was stressing big time! I called the store probably 5 times and emailed with them, but I will say that I love the final proof and can’t wait to get them in. Anyone else have any wedding-related issues out of your control that caused you stress?
  • Shrimp Pad Tai- We had another week of Just Add Cooking meals and it was another week of winning meals! The Shrimp Pad Tai was so easy to make and SO delicious that I have a feeling it will become a regular meal we rotate in.

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  • House of Cards- We started watching House of Cards the other night. So far, even though it’s a little slow I’m enjoying it- no violence, which is a nice change of pace from Breaking Bad 😉 Anyone else watch this? Will we love it?
  • BoxFIIT Certification Update- Ahh! I’m getting there! I have only a handful of videos left to film before I’m done and I’m SO excited. I’ve been focusing on taking more classes to get comfortable with the format and bags and things like that. Eliza’s Tuesday night Bags and Body/Beats is such a fun class- something I could totally see myself teaching. If you’re interested in learning more about this certification, let me know- happy to provide more information!

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And that does it for me! As for weekend plans, RM suggested checking out Pepe’s pizza in Chestnut Hill… and I’m not one to turn down a pizza offer so I think we are doing that tonight. Tomorrow I am going to Nicole’s Bags & Body class at The Club in the morning and then doing some mitt practice before meeting up with a few friends to celebrate my bestie’s recent engagement! Whatever you have on the agenda for the weekend, I hope you take time for YOU!

Questions for you: Wedding planning tips for how to stay sane and not stressed? PLEASE SHARE! Did you cook any good meals this week? What are you up to this weekend? Any good workouts?