Feb 18

Blue Apron Potatos and More!

We’ve decided to give Blue Apron a rest and try something new.  This was one of our last meals with Blue Apron….  It included a meat also…. but the potato’s and green salsa type stuff came out well.  The steak that was with had a little bit too much fat on it…. we did eat it, but it wasn’t the best cut of meat.  All in all with Blue Apron we found that most of the meals used a lot of things like Vinegar.  Many used Kale or some green like it as the vegetable.  We never seemed to have an option for an Italian meal or a regular casserole, the most popular choices were Mexican or Asian. The meals were about $17 per meal with no other option and arrived in a box with ice on the chosen day.   Each meal’s ingredients showed up with whole ingredients that then need sliced, diced, minced or whatever.

This meal included potatoes to be diced up with a little oil and baked in the oven.  I’ve been using a mister to put the oil on the potatoes.  They come out a lot better pouring the oil over them.

We’ve decided though to move on and try another service next though.  We tried Blue Apron for about 8 months – that included the summer and stretching the meals over three people while my middle son was here.  After trying for so long though we have seen a pattern in the meals.

We are moving on to Terra’s Kitchen.  It will be arriving on Saturday.  The container in the picture looks completely different and the description says that the ingredients come pre-prepped, cutting down on a large part of the time needed to cook the meal. I’m also excited about the container that it shows is recycled by being picked back up for reuse.  I can’t wait to give it a try!



Feb 09

Mint Swirl Shake: What was in that?

I was childless driving home the other day and decided instead of McDonald’s I could stop and get something I really enjoy.  I would have loved to get stop and get Chinese or some of rare treat – but I decided Arby’s would be a great choice.  I decided to get one of the new Mint Shakes!  It was great, but I couldn’t finish the whole thing and left the rest in my car.  We’ve had 50 to 60 degree weather every day since, definitely above freezing!  and I found it looking like it still has ice cream and whipped topping in the cup?  Finding this I had to question what I drank?  I’m thinking I won’t be drinking a mint shake from Arby’s anymore.

Looking at the ingredients listed for the whipped topping: Whipped Topping: Grade A Cream, Sucrose, Corn Syrup, Nonfat Milk Solids, Monoglycerides, Natural & Artificial Flavors, Salt, Nitrous Oxide Gas.  CONTAINS: MILK.  I’m not completely sure which things are still solid, but there is definitely a lot it could be and a lot I didn’t expect. 

The ingredients for the Mint Chocolate Swirl Shake: Vanilla Shake Mix (whole milk, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, nonfat milk, grade A sweet whey, cream, natural & artificial vanilla flavor, mono and diglycerides, cellulose gum, guar gum, carrageenan, dipotassium phosphate, sodium citrate, sodium chloride, sodium carbonate, annatto, caramel color), Mint Chocolate Syrup (high fructose corn syrup, water, corn syrup, natural and artificial flavors, citric acid, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate [preservatives], polysorbate 80, vanilla extract, yellow 5, blue 1), Andes® Mints (sugar, partially hydrogentated vegetable oils [palm kernel & palm], cocoa [processed with alkali], nonfat milk, lactose, milk protein concentrate, soy lecithin [emulsifier], natural and artificial flavors, peppermint oil, yellow 5, blue 1), Chocolate Swirl (sugar, water, sweetened condensed skim milk [skim milk, sugar], palm oil, high fructose corn syrup, nonfat dry milk, cocoa [processed with alkali], corn syrup, natural and artificial flavor, salt, disodium phosphate, artificial flavor [vanillin], potassium sorbate [preservative]), Whipped Topping (grade A cream, sucrose, corn syrup, nonfat milk solids, monoglycerides, natural & artificial flavors, salt, nitrous oxide gas). CONTAINS: MILK, SOY.

What a lot of things that I don’t recognize and a lot of things I would never think to put in a shake!  I’m also amazed that they all have high fructose corn syrup…. I’m guessing they are using that in place of sugar?  But seriously I don’t recognize most of the rest of that…. So I guess this was my last mint swirl shake! 

Note: ingredients taken from Arby’s website http://cds.arbys.com/pdfs/nutrition/USMenuItems_Ingrdnts.pdf  –  shake purchased from Arby’s at Henderson KY and photo taken one week after purchase and shake was left in car in 50 to 60 weather.

Jan 28

Always sold out!

Around our house there are only a few foods my son will eat!  Smiley fries is one.thing that my son will eat besides pizza for dinner.. and apparently very popular with someone else. It’s sold out almost every time I try to get some at Kroger.

The solution isn’t to just swap foods in this situation.  We try not to clear the shelves when we go, but it’s hard when your child only eats one type of food – and it seems someone else does too.

I’ll keep an eye out for more and we will try to swap to other chicken nuggets, but running out at our house is not an option.

What do you do when someone’s cleared the shelf of something you need?

Jan 15

Another Broken Crock Pot?

Did it again! Broke another crock pot…. I’m not even sure how it broke.  This one was stored under the sink in our utility room.  It went into storage just fine, in one piece! My middle son took it out for me to cook in and this is what he found.  The last crock pot was melted when my middle son pushed it to the back of the stove and cooked on the front burner – allowing the pan to touch the little plastic front during the entire time he was fixing macaroni and cheese. You could actually see the wires though the melted plastic!

This time the inside crock portion is shattered.  It’s broken in multiple spots.  So what are the suggestions for a replacement crock pot?  I’ve drooled over the ones that have wifi built in. You would too if you had ever come home and had to throw away dinner because you forgot to turn on the crock pot and dinner has sat un-refrigerated for 10 hours….

I do have an instapot which has a slow cooker setting on it, but does it really work as a crock pot?  We’ve used the Instapot to cook dinner quickly, it works great as a pressure cooker, but I haven’t ventured into trying it as a slow cooker.  Any advice?


Jan 07

My Tribe?

As we get older it gets harder and harder to find a tribe that we all fit into.  In high school and grade school most of us have clichés that we fit with…. or at least hang on the outer fringes of.  In all honesty I’m not completely sure if I felt a complete part of any of those clichés while there (being an odd duck), but I did have friends and I still keep in touch with groups from each of those places, and I know that I can contact them at anytime and they will have a smile for me.

I moved on to college and made friends there, I had friends there…. all of whom are now scattered around the country.  I don’t get the chance to speak to them much, but with the invention of facebook I do know what most are up to and can give an encouraging word once in a while.  One just moved to Florida, one is up by Chicago, one over by Peoria….  and more….

I moved on to marry and have kids.  As the kids are younger, we make friends that are our kids parents.  With my older kids, I made some great friends at first… then we moved…  – Yep still keep in touch with the first group some…. also the great invention of facebook!  Moving into a small school where the parents already clichéd. My older son’s class was already gelled, so that was another lets be a satellite around the edge…..  I have some good friends from my middle son’s class.  But kids by that age are busy, and just get busier!

As the kids get older there life moved on to friends through online…. they aren’t local….  That doesn’t allow for a hey, let’s run to the mall?  Want to grab lunch?  Road trip anyone?

I do have good friends, both in person and online, but my question becomes how do moms make friends that are really their tribe?  How do you go about developing a circle of friends of that are your mirrors – close enough that you want to do things together?  And do mom’s need friends like this?

I started debating it because I came across my registration to a get together where I belonged to an online group that has a get together each year…  I misunderstood – as it was for older moms and I thought open to anyone.  So for the get together I saw nothing wrong with taking my mom….. To me it made total sense…. older mom get together, mom, didn’t seem a problem.  Through emails where I mentioned bringing her I heard nothing…. I later found they had been discussing not wanting me to bring her and hadn’t told me…  One person then called me and said that I wasn’t welcome to bring her…  Of course I had been hearing from the other side (my mother) that she was worried about me driving up by myself, it was too close to fly…  and I had been looking forward to the activities.  Several were things though that I thought my mother would have enjoyed more than me…. Things like a beer tour, I hate beer, but my mother likes it!  Even a tea house (I’m a coffee drinking but my mother likes tea)…  To me, I was going to be the odd duck, so it was a pretty horrid thing for them to do without discussing it with me first about why I thought she would fit in….

So I left the group… It was a group that I had felt was my tribe.  I had actually suggested an article to them about finding your tribe, and the group had starting calling itself a tribe after to top it off… I’m still friends with some, but ughhh, it was a tough time.

The trip fell during my husband’s birthday and my son’s fall break, so my mother ended up coming down.  Because of my son’s uniqueness and my husband still working, we ended up doing a staycation, just my 8 year old, my mother and I.  We had to skip the tours we would have done, but we still did a few things.

I do still belong to an online tribe that I love, I’m probably old enough to be the mother of several, but they are wonderful!  I have an 8 year old besides younger kids and was lucky enough to find a group of mom’s of younger kids.  I love the group… I may feel old enough to be the parent of the group, but so many of the problems they face are things that I have been there.  And it’s pretty much a judgement free zone!  I’ve met a lot of moms that I’m friends with and can’t imagine parting with.  If at any point we relocate somewhere else, they will be the first ones I get in touch with to find out about where to live, what schools to choose, and more….

So how do you find a tribe? Is it a life long tribe?  Is it just one BFF?


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