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SJMitch

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  1. I put a Gaggenau built-in steam oven in a previous house in a kitchen remodel (back in 2011 or so). Used that thing every day; in fact, we could have used two sometimes! Now we have a CSO on the counter and one new in box in the garage just in case. I got them for $150ish so bought two at the time. And the one on the counter was replaced free under warranty to the newer version by Cuisinart (great service!). Didn't read the Financial Times article, but I honestly can't see how this is a viable business at current prices. It works really well for us right now though. Cheaper than and takes about as long as a restaurant outing and much less food wastage than cooking at home With the mealkits, we mostly buy long-lasting grocery items leaving the perishables to the mealkits. We now mostly buy frozen foods, nuts, dried fruits, cheeses, fermented, aged and cured foods, etc (great for augmenting the kits). We do still buy fresh fruit and milk/milk substitutes.
  2. Aw, thanks! I just love those sauce dishes; I got them at Bed Bath and Beyond (a year ago?). They caught my eye but were several bucks each so I just admired but didn't buy. Then one day they were on sale for a dollar so I got a few. But when I got to the register they were 50 cents each! I quickly went back and bought all the rest! 5 different leaf styles. We use them a lot. Sometimes just to hold cut limes and as seed/skin discard dishes, which is why the red dishes are out for the chaat meal: for the lemon skin discards. BTW, you only see them in that photo since I mistakenly uploaded the un-cropped versions with background clutter. Eh, more realistic anyway. The wraps are Mi Rancho corn tortillas. I softened them in the microwave in a damp muslin towel (they suggested warming in a pan but I can never quite get them pliable enough that way, even then one cracked -- oops nuke another minute). Stuffed with the sautéed mixture and then baked until crispy.
  3. It's been a month since Blue Apron, but we enjoyed this baked panko crusted eggplant dish from them: I really liked how the eggplant turned out, I plan to use that technique for doing eggplant again in the future (just a standard flour, egg, panko coating and then baked 24 min at 475F). But, I don't see anything compelling in the next 4-5 weeks from them. One or two dishes here and there, but never three in a week that make me want to order.
  4. A couple dishes from Purple Carrot from 2/3 weeks ago (we'll get them again next week, but then they are out of the rotation again for 3 weeks): The above dish was fun: sweet potato chaat with mung beans and puffed rice. I've had puffed rice chaat in restaurants but never made one at home. The vegan 'raita' had a texture that was off, but the flavor was great. I like unusual and this dish delighted me. This is an italian-style white bean stew with vegan sausage and vegan parmesan. Both my husband and I are fans of mock meats (we'll even cook up stir fry and curry with a mix of fake meat and real meat, we love the texture variations). The sausage was great but the parm was 'eh'. Ended up adding real parmesan to it later.
  5. Here's a recent vegan dish from Sun Basket: We added the tomato-salsa dipping sauce, but the filling was pinto beans, red onions, and riced cauliflower (came already riced). And a fish dish from Gobble: This is miso baked cod with bok choy, shiitake, and baby corn. Brown rice came pre-cooked. It had a dashi as a broth, but I wanted something less soupy so reduced it with a bit of added white miso for a thicker sauce.
  6. It depends on whether you mean it's a good option for vegetarian/vegans because of complexity or that the meals from services tend to be vegan/vegetarian. If it's the former, I agree with you. In general (except for Purple Carrot), mealkit services are very meat focused (I just tend to order the few not-so-meat-heavy dishes). We're still regular users of Sun Basket, Gobble, Purple Carrot, and Blue Apron. I do have photos up on instagram (quick and easy to post). I rarely order from Blue Apron (more meat heavy, less interesting dishes). Purple Carrot has also been less interesting just of late (so this may just be random variation), with more pasta and burger type dishes. Sun Basket has been making more changes. You can now "upgrade' the meat and fish in some dishes for an extra charge. E.g. change from top sirloin to new york strip or filet mignon. Or, say, change from salmon to halibut. They have the most selections of any service (usually 11 or 12 to choose from). Although you can't order unlimited number of dishes, you can choose 2, 3, or 4 dishes (with multiples allowed). They also have their selections and scheduling the furthest in the future of any service, about 7 weeks out, which is important so you don't forget to skip! Blue Apron is almost as long at 6 weeks, but Gobble and Purple Carrot only allow skips out 4 weeks on average. Sun Basket's website also has your ordering history and you can go back and get any recipe. I like their website the best from a usability perspective. Purple Carrot is the worst. We haven't had any major missing/bad ingredients in the past month or two, but two services had a week where they gave us double dishes mistakenly (we were not charged for them). Sun Basket accidentally doubled up on two different dishes and Gobble on one.
  7. A Gobble dish from the last few weeks: When the girl's were here we ordered "General Tso's Chicken" for them from Gobble (they like orange chicken from Panda Express so I thought they might go for this). They did like the chicken part, but again, only the more adventurous eater liked the veggies. No photo, but ... we got also ordered the vegetarian version they offered: "General Tso's Cauliflower" and we made and ate that after they left: It was tasty. About 12 years ago I got hooked on Dhesi-Chinese dishes, especially Mandarin cauliflower and would order it every chance I got (first mostly from restaurants with Chettinad dishes). Fried cauliflower in place of fried chicken has exploded lately with both Mediterranean and American restaurants offering it as an alternative to things like buffalo wings. Interesting to see Gobble jumping on the trendy substitution. Thank you Indians! Fried cauliflower sauced up like chicken usually is (any flavoring or style) is still a big favorite and I still order it every chance I get.
  8. The Spice Bible? Is there an ebook version of that? I do see Spice Companion by Lior Lev Sercarz for $1.99
  9. The two girls helped with last night's meal (above) but didn't want to cook tonight. So my husband and I made two mealkits. For the girls, I cooked up Gobble's Parmesan crusted chicken with orzo salad: Both girls loved the chicken and the more adventurous eater liked the pasta salad. The other did not (her preferences are more limited). My husband made Vietnamese shaking beef with roasted ginger sweet potatoes from Sun Basket for us: Surprisingly, the both girls loved the beef in this dish and loved the simple lime juice + salt + pepper dipping sauce and dipped both the beef and their chicken in it. Neither of them wanted any sweet potatoes.
  10. We have two teenaged guests this week. They cooked two dishes from Blue Apron. Chicken tenders with potato salad, marinated cucumber and spicy honey dip And Salmon with freekeh salad and herb salsa They loved both the salmon meat and chicken tenders. One is a more adventurous eater than the other and she liked the freekeh pilaf after picking out the dates (the other kid didn't like it). Both liked the potato salad and neither seemed fond of the cucumbers. My husband and I thought it was all just fine. At the same meal, my husband and I prepared a dish from Sunbasket: Brazilian shrimp stew with yuca-coconut mash Proportions were off for the yuca mash had to boil it down a long time, but it was tasty and the two girls even tried a bite of the mash. They passed on tasting the stew. I thought it was very good. It should also have had some cilantro mixed in fresh at the end but the cook for the salmon accidentally grabbed the cilantro and added it to the herb mix for that dish. We had 4 people making 3 meal kits at the same time. With an Echo Show coordinating named timers for everyone. A bit of a zoo, but all the food worked out in the end!
  11. Quick Gobble meal: Thai red curry with shrimp and brown rice. Quick and easy. We extended it with additional mixed seafood and cherry tomatoes (they provided one roma).
  12. Very cool! Sun Basket now lets you pick 4 recipes in a week, and if you do drops the price to $10.99/serving. And, as always, allows ordering multiple(s) of any dish. So now you can choose any 2 ($12.49/serving), any 3 (11.49/serving), any 4 (10.99/serving) or just skip. Several of the services have been sending out surveys lately asking for opinions on various options for flexibility and different categories of purchases (deserts/sides/wines/etc). I also noticed that Gobble now offers higher priced entrees sometimes ($35/serving) in addition to the lower-priced soups/sides as add-ons.
  13. I was sorting some photos from our visit to family in Shanghai last March and wanted to share these photos from the vegetarian restaurant Wujie (they have 3 locations, these are from the one in The Bund). I'm always on the lookout for food I haven't tried yet and these were all firsts for me! Sea grapes: Cattail "noodles" in a cauliflower-yam-onion broth: Lilium bulb and winged beans: Tempura aralia sprout: OK, this last one didn't have anything in it that was a first for me, but it's a neat presentation of a classic marinated rice-stuffed lotus root:
  14. I had fun with this one, although it needed a little help in the end: Chopped salad with charred vegetables and orange-ginger-miso dressing Some veggies were to be prepped raw and some charred in a skillet. It reminded me of making a coffee blend where you blend the same bean at different roasts, so I ran with it a bit and charred some of the scallions and left some raw. I also 'massaged' the chopped kale to break down some of the cells in advance. I also roasted the provided thai chili to tame it a bit but then added chipotle powder to the garbanzo beans when I crisped them up. Ingredients prepped: There are: orange segments, massage chopped kale, whole mint and cilantro leaves, chopped raw scallion, crisped chipotle garbanzo beans, charred chopped savoy cabbage, a ginger-orange-miso-sesame oil dressing, chopped mint and cilantro, sautéed chopped zucchini, nori-sesame seed mix, and charred scallion and thai chili pepper. Served it up so: The orange juice didn't provide enough acid to make a good balance, so I added fresh lime juice to the dressing at the end to make the recipe work. I enjoyed this one.
  15. And the dish from Purple Carrot I was so interested in from their regular menu that I skipped the TB12 offerings for: Okonomiyaki with vermicelli noodle salad Here is 1/3 of it: Not bad -- not amazing. Decent. Pancake is a mix of flours with shredded Japanese yam and savoy cabbage. Noodle salad is savoy cabbage and vermicelli with scallions and flavoring They provided nori for garnish. We also added sesame oil and sesame seeds.
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