hello fresh

hello fresh

So here’s the thing. My life just got a lot busier. I’ve just started a new job. In an office. In a field I haven’t worked in before. I just started work in a faculty student office at a university, during freshers’ week, so you can imagine just how deep the deep end was in which I was thrust. Let’s just say, my learning curve was almost vertical. 

The week before I started I was nervous. A tightly wound ball of nerves. Very excited, but with a lick of anxiety. I had a feeling it would all be fine, but when you’ve been a stay at home mum for eight years, the prospect of leaving your children to head back to work full time is a daunting one.

Getting this job has meant after school childcare, and being far more organised with my grocery shopping. It means supermarket deliveries, and the week before I started, it meant trying out HelloFresh, a food box delivered to your door, with recipe cards and everything included to whip up delicious meals the whole family will enjoy. 

So how have we found our trial of HelloFresh?

First things first, let’s talk about delivery. You get the option of Tuesdays or Thursdays and you aren’t given a time slot. Fine if you are at home, but trickier if no one is in to take delivery. I specified a safe place to leave the box if I wasn’t at home – which I wasn’t, so I don’t know what time my box arrived, but what I do know is that everything was still nicely cold when I arrived home. Delivery is free and the box was in good nick when I unpacked it. Nothing had been biffed around. Nothing was bruised. So far, so good. 

Next thing I need to talk about is the cost. A family box from HelloFresh is £64 for four meals, serving two adults and two children. I was sent my box for free for the purpose of this review, but would I spend that money every week? Probably not, to be honest. My usual weekly Tesco or Sainsbury’s delivery is around the £50 mark, and that’s all in. Inclusive of wine and cleaning products. One thing I’m good at is preparing nice meals on the cheap. I’m a shameless lover of a jacket potato, and I batch cook a lot, which drives down the price. Plus, with a supermarket shop you get the added benefits of Nectar or Clubcard points (which I turn into Air Miles). Four dinners still requires me to buy food for my daughter’s packed lunches, breakfasts for everyone, gin for me. You get the idea. As delicious as the food from HelloFresh is, and it really, really is, I’m not convinced it’s not just that little bit too pricey for me. Having said that, I realise there are families who wouldn’t bat an eyelid at spending that on a weekly basis.

But what about the food?

The quality of the produce in my HelloFresh box was by all accounts incredible. We received honey and mustard sausages, chicken thighs, tilapia, gnocchi. Packets of pancetta and chorizo. All the spices and sauces required in the recipes. Vegetables that, frankly, looked like they could be used in a photoshoot. Everything was fresh, everything was from really good suppliers and I liked that. The recipes are easy to follow, the results tasted amazing, and the portion sizes were perfect. The South Asian chicken curry was delicious, the gnocchi was quick and easy to whip up, and the sausage skewers gave what is essentially sausages and chips a whole new lease of life. By all accounts, we all ate well that week. HelloFresh is perfect for expanding your repertoire in the kitchen, and for building confidence in your cooking as well. I’ve never cooked tilapia before, but now that I have, it’s something I won’t necessarily overlook in the future. And I’m salivating just thinking about the gnocchi. 

Who would HelloFresh suit?

HelloFresh is perfect for busy people who want cooking dinner to be easy and delicious. If you can afford to eat out, but enjoy staying in and cooking, then this could be the perfect subscription for you costwise, as I think the price comes in somewhere between the two. If cost isn’t an issue and you want to broaden your culinary horizons then, again, HelloFresh could definitely be the answer. 

So would I use HelloFresh again?

All in all we very much enjoyed our HelloFresh week, so yes, if I had more money to throw at my food budget. I’m a sucker for a delivery and I really like the concept behind the boxes. You have the option to pause your deliveries, so it might well be something I dip in and out of when I’m feeling affluent or have a special occasion coming up, although this does mean keeping organised and on top of your account. Or maybe it’ll be something I consider for if the day ever comes that I am bored by the thought of a jacket potato when I get home from work.



Cheese and Wine


So… This happened this evening.

cheese and wine

Ross and I had our own retro cheese and wine evening for two (since we couldn’t go to the pub).  Baked Camembert, my favourite nutty Manchego, Ross’ favourite Saint Agur, and some Parlick Fell sheeps’ cheese.

cheese and wine

 Manchego. Best cheese ever. Like, ever.  If you ever want to buy me a present, I’ll never ever sniff at a nice wedge of Manchego. 

cheese and wine

We ate our cheeses with sliced apple, grapes and cubes of bread to dip in the melty melty gooey oozy camembert.  

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a pinot grigio blush in Aldi.  Honestly, I am not a massive rosé drinker so I wasn’t sure if I’d like it, and really just chose it because I like to mix things up a little from time to time.  Happily, it was lovely and I’ve bought it a few times since, so thats what we drunk tonight.   

cheese and wine

Dinner of Champions.

To bake a Camembert, preheat the oven to 180°c/gas mark 4.  Remove any plastic packaging but keep the wooden box.  Score a circle, about a centimetre in from the edge of the cheese all the way around the top, and then return the cheese to the the box, leaving off the lid.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the middle is oozy, like in the photo above. 

cheese and wine

Our dinky mouse cheeseboard was a wedding gift from Ross’ Granny.  It was handmade by his grandfather.  We use it a lot and it’s very very loved. 

So there endeth our brilliant dinner! I might make it a monthly thing – wouldn’t that be a good way to try out different cheeses?