Tag Archives: eat local

Today: Just Add Cooking.

I recently had the opportunity to try a complimentary two-person, three-meal box from Boston-based meal service Just Add Cooking.  In theory, I love to cook… but in reality, I love to cook the same three things over and over.  I often end up eating whatever I whip up for Grace for dinner (fortunately, she has good taste).  

Just Add Cooking provided the perfect opportunity to shake things up a bit… and eat like an adult.

With seven recipes to choose from each week, three of which are vegetarian (so the choice was an easy one for me).  The remaining options usually feature poultry, seafood, pork and beef.  Meals that are designated as gluten-free have been evaluated by a dietitian and are clearly labeled as such, so there’s no second guessing.
My box included everything I needed to make the following meals:
  • Indian Vegetable Curry
  • Vegetable Hash
  • Halloumi Skewers and Couscous
My box was delivered on a Sunday morning, so I carved out some time with my favorite little pajama-clad sous chef and got to work.  Grace loves helping mix and pour ingredients, and asking, “What this is?” about… everything.  
It takes a bit longer for meals to come together, but it’s worth it to hear Grace yell, “More cauliflower!” at Clark later in the day.  
I’ve checked out other meal services before, but never followed through after reading mixed reviews.  Being a local company, Just Add Cooking is able to pack and deliver meals throughout Eastern Massachusetts the same day.  They use couriers instead of shipping services, so packing materials are minimal.  Like… surprisingly minimal.  Everything except the freezer bag is biodegradable.
I loved knowing that the ingredients I received were locally sourced, locally produced, and organic whenever possible.  In addition to detailed recipes (which include a really helpful preparation timeline for people like me who are inclined to wing it… only to burn half of what I make after forgetting to chop the onion or grate the carrots or, like… stop sampling the cheese), Just Add Cooking includes source information about each perfectly portioned ingredient included in each box.
My box included:
  • Spinach from The Kitchen Garden in Sunderland, MA
  • Tomatoes from Long Wind Farm in Thetford, VT
  • Apples from Barden Family Orchard in North Scituate, RI
  • Red potatoes from Maplewood Farm in Portsmouth, RI
  • Cheddar from Grafton Village Cheese Company in Brattleboro, VT
  • Bell peppers from Confreda Greenhouses and Farms in Hope, RI
Because Just Add Cooking took the guesswork out of both meal planning and shopping, I really enjoyed preparing each meal — almost as much as I enjoyed, you know… enjoying them.  Each recipe yielded exactly two portions.  I found cooking on Sunday and reheating during the week to work quite well (life as a lazy pregnant lady at its finest).  
Boxes start at $39 for a two-person, three-meal box (normally $69) and $69 for a four-person, three-meal box (normally $109) for the first box for new customers.  This promotional price will be automatically applied to your first purchase (Just Add Cooking and register by clicking “Get Cooking”).  Subscriptions are flexible, so you can skip weeks whenever you please.  This means I can keep an eye out for weeks when all three vegetarian meals capture my attention (and appetite), without being wasteful on weeks when I’m just not feeling it.
I’m already looking forward to our next delivery.  And I think Grace is, too.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary meal box.  All opinions are my own.  Obvi (I hope).
Also On Tap for Today:

Do you meal plan/prep each week?  Or do you wing it?

Today: Saturday at the farmers market.

This morning, we took a little drive down 95 to check out the farmers market at Crescent Ridge in Sharon.  I was on a tomato mission (our deck tomatoes are still a week or so away from ripening), but our first stop was to see the cows.

Hi, ladies.

It’s been raining off and on all day, so we didn’t last too long, but we did manage to pick up lunch (and dessert x2) and a few things from several vendors.  Oh, and we unexpectedly ran into two local celebrities… my parents.  Grace was quite pleased!

  • Raspberries and heirloom tomatoes from Ward’s Berry Farm
  • Corn from E.L. Silvia Farms
  • Whoopie pies from… Making Whoopie 
  • Pretzel roll sandwiches from Swissbakers
  • Fresh eggs (Nick eats them… I attempt to grow succulents in their shells, it’s how we roll)
  • Beef (Nick eats it… I make no attempts to grow anything anywhere near it)
  • And… ice cream from Crescent Ridge (obvi)

Not bad for a rainy Saturday at the farmers market, eh?  The market is open 11-2 on Saturdays through the end of October.  No guarantees about my parents being there… but you never know.  

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s On Tap for your Saturday?

 

Today: Austin to Boston, and Boston to Austin.

I’ve only been to Texas once.  I flew in on a Tuesday, stayed in a creepy Marriott (I used to think a Marriott was a Marriott… and then I landed in one that shared a driveway with the Diamond Ladies “gentlemen’s club”), worked at a local middle school for a day, and flew out that Thursday.  The one time I ate out, there were shrimp hidden in my salad.  Having never eaten seafood before, I wondered if I might be allergic.  I didn’t want to die in a hotel overlooking Diamond Ladies.  That would just be too sad.  Needless to say, I didn’t get much in the way of local flavor while I was there.  So you’ll understand my delight when I opened a package from Kasee, my Austin to Boston match, to find some truly Texan treats.

From Austin to Boston

Strangely the chewy pecans Kasee sent did not survive long enough to be photographed (ahem, Nick).  He vouched for their deliciousness, though.  I am sure he’ll help me sample all the other goods, too.  We go through quite a bit of hot sauce and bbq sauce in this condohold.

Friday fun fact:  25 Massachusettses would fit inside Texas.

  • How cute is this Texas cookie cutter?  The Alamo air freshener cracked me up.  I wonder if it smells historic.  I’ll report back.
  • Edible Austin and black eyed peas – I’ll have to break these out on New Year’s Day.
  • I haven’t been very adventurous lately, given all the food allergy testing and whatnot, but I cannot wait to crack open this jar of okra pickles.  I like it hot.  (Which is why I have perma-heartburn.  Don’t tell my RD.)  I know the bbq sauce will be put to good use as well.
  • Peach jam and local honey, two breakfast favorites of mine
  • And even more spicy sauces: roasted raspberry chipotle sauce, hatch chili salsa, and “that green sauce”  …my curiosity is peaked! You can count on seeing a whole lot of heat in upcoming posts thanks to Kasee’s generous package of treats.
Clearly, I need to make a return trip to Texas.

…And Boston to Austin

I had just as much fun shopping for Kasee as I did enjoying the surprises she sent my way.  I searched high and low for Necco wafers, as we live just a few blocks from the old factory, but I couldn’t find a single roll.  I used to love those things.  Except for the brownish greyish ones.  I think we can agree that candy shouldn’t be brownish greyish.

Here is what I did find and send her way.  Besides that gourd-geous thing.

  • A few of my favorite local baked goods (which I no longer indulge in since forgoing gluten… it’s nice to have a reason to share!): Dancing Deer Baking Company maple leaf and gingerbread acorn cookies and Lark salted rosemary shortbread -both of these treats are made locally and taste divine.  They make great hostess gifts.  And regular gifts.  You know what I mean.
  • Clover honey from McClure’s of New England – I love this in tea, over oats, or just plain ol’ on a spoon.
  • Spicy apple ginger chews from the Ginger People – A favorite sweet snack, perfect for travel
  • Stonewall Kitchen maple pumpkin butter – made in Maine, not Massachusetts, but New England flavors nevertheless.  I felt it was okay to bend the rules a bit, seeing as Maine is my true north.  Literally and figuratively.
I’ve loved getting to know Kasee through her blog, The Apron Gal.  She posts the most delicious sounding recipes, and has inspired me to break out my aprons more often.  Thanks for all the Texas treats, Kasee!

Also On Tap for Today:

What is your favorite local food find?