Martha and Marley Spoon-A Break Up

Well, it finally happened. We had to break up with Martha and Marley Spoon.

I know did a pro/con list when I did my review in September, but the food was really good, so we were willing to give them a fair shot. Now, here we are, 5 months later, and we are cancelling Marta and Marley Spoon.

I thought I would tell you why.

Problem #1: We kept getting bad meat. They would always credit our account, but it just kept happening. At least once every two weeks.

Problem #2: The customer service is so slow. We would wait a week or two sometimes for a reply from them. We would get a generic “due to high email volume” form email after two or three days, but still. The waiting.

Problem #3: We kept having to get the steak and potatoes to accommodate my food allergy. Also their Asian inspired cuisine wasn’t very good, so that also eliminated some food for us.

And there it is. The three reasons we are breaking up with Martha and Marley Spoon. We thought we would give Hello Fresh a shot this time. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Home Chef-A Review

So the hubs and I have been getting Home Chef meal delivery service for about seven months now.  Suffice it to say, this is going to be a positive review.

Home Chef is a DIY meal delivery service.  Meaning they send you the ingredients and you make the food.  I love cooking, so naturally, I enjoy this.  The meals range from easy to expert level.  Most meals can be cooked in 30 minutes.  Some recipes are done in an hour.  They even have some recipes that can be cooked in 15 minutes!


We picked Tuesday delivery for our meals and, with one exception due to a holiday falling at an inopportune time, all of our meals arrived on time.  The box that didn’t, well, that arrived too hot to eat the meat.  Home Chef gave us credit towards our next box of meals equal to what we paid for the original box.  Since it wasn’t Home Chef’s fault the food was late, we gave them another chance and everything has been great since!


The food arrives in an insulated box with the freezer packs on the bottom, over the meat.  I’ve noticed that the warmer the weather forecast, the more freezer packs there seem to be.  Huzzah!


The meal ingredients come separated in their own bags and are labeled.  I use each bag as my garbage bag when I am cooking, so that’s helpful too.  The meat also comes individually wrapped and sealed, which is nice.


Each meal comes with easy to read (and follow) instructions.  As long as you read over the instructions carefully before you start making each meal, you won’t have any problems.  There have been times where I missed a step because I didn’t read the recipe over once before I started cooking, and well, I should know better because I cooked with recipes all the time!   User error is always fun.


It’s good for people who have allergies. like me, because they tell you before you select your recipes for the week what allergens are in what items!  Since I am allergic to eggs (is anyone getting tired of me bringing that up yet?), having the allergens laid out like that is invaluable.


Obviously, if we’ve been eating it for seven months, we love the food.

I can tell you, that out of seven months of doing this, we have had only one or two times where we really didn’t like the meal to the point of not wanting to finish it.  Okay, maybe three times.  That’s not a bad track record when you think about it.  And since it’s cheaper than a restaurant meal at (usually) $10 a serving, that’s not bad at all.


All in all, and with a smile on my face, I recommend Home Chef.



A Nice Cup of Cocoa

I’ve waxed poetically about the humble cup of tea in the past.   I figured why not write about its holiday counterpart, the cup of cocoa.


Especially because it’s now cocoa season.

Cocoa season and Christmas always seem to coincide with each other, but the two are not mutually exclusive.  Although, me putting a candy cane in my hot coca will cease after the holidays are over.  That’s mostly because they stop selling candy canes!

That’s a travesty.  Easy to make peppermint hot cocoa?  Why wouldn’t you want to put a candy cane in your chocolatey beverage?

Or a cinnamon stick?!?!?

Okay, so I might have a cocoa problem.

Can you really blame me?

A Cathartic Cooking Experience

Last week I made a pre-Thanksgiving treat for my husband’s co-workers.

My family’s Chicken and Dumplings!


This recipe is a family rite of passage.  To learn is to have the knowledge of one of the most delicious foods to ever pass your lips.  It’s a fun tradition to have to pass down.


But its also bittersweet.  See, my dad taught me how to make this recipe.  And while I was making it I thought about all the good times we had making this together.

A lot of the time it was me rolling out the dough and him going “it’s not thin enough”  or “you need more flour!”.  These are things I already could tell, except for that first time.  That first time I was still eager for my father’s guidance.


But mostly it was about just being together in the kitchen.  Like giving mom a hard time, or talking to guests who had come over for the feast.  Let’s be real, for something like this, which is made from scratch and takes all day to cook, you only make it on holidays.


I miss my dad, but I’m glad I have this meal with these memories.


I’m Now A Flexitarian

I went to the doctor yesterday for a follow-up visit to find out how my medications were working.

Turns out they are working fine.  But me, well I could be working better.

See, the last time I went my doctor told me I had to lose some weight.  Not a lot.  Just about 30 pounds or so.  Nothing major.

I cut out Cokes and most processed foods.  The egg allergy has kinda helped with that and with cutting out most fast foods and fried foods from my life.  It also helped with cutting out things like cookies and cakes and other sweet treats as well.

I also started to do some light yoga a couple of times a week.

Needless to say, I have lost zero pounds.

Why?  Well, for all the cutting out I did, I can still eat at Taco Bell.

Not anymore.  No more tacos for me.

The doctor has told me that while she does want me to lose weight, but not on any on the fancy diets, like keto.  No, she wants me to become something called a flexitarian.

According to, a flexitarian is someone whose diet is mostly vegetarian but does eat some meat, poultry, or fish.

I also have to cut out added sugars, most dairy, some carbs (not all carbs though), and red meat.

Bye bye hamburgers.  Hello Impossible Burgers.


Breakfast for Dinner

The other day I made breakfast for dinner.  A skirt steak (which we split in two), duck eggs (my allergy-safe alternative) and some breakfast potatoes found their way onto our plates.

Terrible meal.  Absolutely awful.

Just kidding, it was a great meal.

The leftovers were good too.  Since the huge steak was huge and we split it in twain originally, and for dinner the following night we split half of a half.

And then I made pancakes.

Breakfast for dinner two nights in a row may seem extreme to you, but to me it’s heaven.

I may or may not love breakfast for dinner.  But who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner?  I mean, it’s the best of all worlds without the regret of eating too many carbs and having to go about your day feeling overly full!

What’s so wrong about loving that?  The answer is nothing.  Nothing is wrong.

Allergies Suck

How many people out there know the pain and anguish of a food allergy?

First, you get the “why does this keep happening to me?” feeling.  Then a vampire (nurse) takes your blood for an allergy test and you find out you are allergic to a food of some kind.

At first, you feel great, cause answers!  Then you feel dread, cause you can no longer eat that food or foods with that food in it.

I found out right before Christmas this past year that I was allergic to eggs.

It sucks all the levels of suck.

I count myself lucky that I have a mild reaction to eggs.  I did, however, find out that one way food allergies work is they can leave you with a mildly compromised immune system, I.E. my colds last a month instead of a week.

This is a thing that happened to me every time I got sick.  I would get a mild illness and stay sick twice or three times as long as the average person.  All because I would eat things that contain eggs.

I was told not to do that anymore.

So I waved goodbye to certain foods and invited new things into my life, like vegan mayo.  I also discovered an egg replacer by Bob’s Red Mill that works in all the baked goods!  This is a product that you need to follow the directions for.  It is for baking, not for making omelets.  Its just, no, don’t do that to yourself.  I didn’t even try cause that would just be, eww.


It has worked great in cookies, cupcakes, pancakes so far.  The hubs agrees that you can’t tell a difference between this and real eggs in any of those things.

I do miss being able to go to a restaurant and order whatever I want, but boy have I had a craving for that eggiest of egg dishes, eggs benedict.

I will get used to this in time, which is all one can ask for. So I guess I say goodbye to that grand old food staple, the chicken egg.

The Humble Cup of Tea

A crucial part of my daily life is a cup of hot tea. I know for most people its a cup of coffee, but for me, tea.

It doesn’t have to be fancy to be good.

Of course, there are things like the chai latte (a spiced tea latte) and the Arnold Palmer (a sweetened black tea lemonade mix).

Did you know that chai is just another word for tea? Granted, it’s a spiced tea that features cardamom, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon and originates in India. So when you go up to the counter and order chai tea you are ordering tea tea. Thank you for coming to my ted talk.

But it’s the humble, plain, black tea that’s, well, my cup of tea. It’s a simple cup that warms you up. Good plain or with a variety of sweeteners or milk, though I prefer it with honey.