Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Hello Fresh Subscription Box Fifth Delivery & Giveaway



Ingredients for Coconut Shrimp Satay with Shaved Carrot & Cucumber Salad


Recipe Results



Ingredients for Argentine Spiced Steak with Couscous Salad & Cilantro Scallion Chimichurri 


Recipe Results 



Ingredients for Creamy Pea & Asparagus Risotto with Goat Cheese, Walnuts & Mint



Recipe Results


This is a review of the fifth box we have received from a subscription box company called Hello Fresh which costs $69 a week. Out of the three dishes our favorite was the Argentine Spiced Steak followed by the Creamy Pea & Asparagus Risotto and last place goes to the Coconut Shrimp Satay.

Coconut Shrimp Satay with Shaved Carrot & Cucumber Salad

This dish was so so, it certainly didn't live up to my expectations. The carrot & cucumber salad I had to force myself to eat since I didn't care for the texture of the shaved vegetables and the dressing wasn't tasty. The dressing was composed of only mint, sugar, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. I try to avoid sugar so that isn't a recipe I would repeat even if it was tasty. The texture of the shrimp wasn't great, I don't know what happened to them during baking. They would have tasted much better cooked in a pan. The coconut milk, sriracha, peanut butter, soy sauce, sugar & garlic coating on top of the shrimp wasn't that tasty and in fact a bit strange. I was glad to see they sent us a can of coconut milk rather than powdered coconut milk. 

Argentine Spiced Steak with Couscous Salad & Cilantro Scallion Chimichurri 

This was a very enjoyable meal that was very filling. I could have saved some of the salad for a light lunch the next day, but I was hungry and decided not to.  It was time consuming to eat with so much uncooked spinach to chew. Hubby cooked the steak perfectly and he said the couscous was very easy to cook. This was a very summery meal to me with the cool salad and warm steak. I would have prefer the spinach cooked if it's mixed with the hot couscous or the couscous served separately since I prefer to eat it warm. It was a nice light yet filling meal that was easy on my stomach. Sadly, most of the cilantro that arrived had gone bad. I tried to save what I could when it arrived, pulling out the bad parts but most of it couldn't be saved.

Creamy Pea & Asparagus Risotto with Goat Cheese, Walnuts & Mint

Since this is a vegetarian dish, I was going to make it for my lunches and not serve to Hubby who isn't a fan of dishes without meat. I waited over a week to make this dish and everything was still fairly fresh which was great. This is an extremely time consuming dish in which you have to stand at the store for at least thirty minutes stirring it non stop! Wow, that was a lot of work! It was really delicious though, so was it worth it? Maybe if you are in the mood to stand for thirty minutes and fuss over your dish, but certainly in the evening after a long day on your feet! The only change to the dish I would make is to  sprinkle more goat cheese on top and less mixed in with the other ingredients. It was a very generous portion and nice and filling.

Check out what we received in our previous Hello Fresh boxes:


I also reviewed Blue Apron, Home Chef & Plated which are similar food subscription boxes. So check those out before you leave and don't forget to claim your Free Graze Box and enter my Blue Apron Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Blue Apron has provided me with another free subscription box worth $59.94 to give away. Congratulations to Alison, Tina, Amy, Samantha, Candie, Callie & Sharon who won the last seven! Tina you have forgotten to claim yours. Blue Apron will send the winner one shipment that includes all the ingredients for three recipes for two people for a total of six servings. To enter the giveaway, use the Rafflecopter form above. The winner must be over 18 years old, a new Blue Apron customer, provide me with their name and email address to give to Blue Apron, provide Blue Apron their credit card number in case they want to continue with the service past the first box and live in the US. The states they do not ship to are: Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota & Texas. To cancel future shipments is easy since it can be done right on their website under "Delivery Schedule".

What do you think of my recipe results? 

Bargain Alert - Hello Fresh - $40 off your first box, use coupon code "YVWF79". 
                         Plated - $30 off your 1st box from Plated, click here
                        Home Chef - $30 off your 1st box, click here.


Follow Me on Pinterest, Google+ and/or Instagram 

Share this blog post with your friends via Twitter & Facebook:


Have a PEACEful Day!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Orly's Mirrorball Manicure



This is a manicure featuring Orly's nail polish called Mirrorball. It's a silver holographic nail polish that is highly reflective in the sunlight or artificial light. Indoors this polish looks mostly gray with a bit of glitter, so this would be best suited for days that the sun will be out. It would be perfect for an vacation mostly filled with days spent outside. I've worn many other holographic nail polishes that are reflective indoors also, so this one is disappointing in that way. But it's still worth purchasing because of the wow factor outdoors. I was also impressed by it's chip resistance. This manicure lasted twelve days without chipping on nine nails. My right index finger chipped at the right corner's edge a couple days into wearing, but I repaired it and it didn't chip again. I could have gone several more days, but I was ready for some new polish and the growth line at the cuticle was bugging me. I used a base coat of Perfect Formula's Manicure Booster, followed by three coats of Mirrorball and one coat of Seche Vite top coat. The formula is a bit sheer so it will take three coats. I added another coat of Seche Vite a couple days later and then another coat a week later to restore the shine and keep it from chipping. I find Seche Vite dulls after several days and especially after I wash our four dogs! I really enjoyed wearing this polish and I would recommend it especially for those with a cool skin tone like myself rather than warm. They also have a gold version that would be perfect for warm toned skin. This one apparently came out around last December for the holidays, but I was too busy moving to hear about it until months later. While it would make for a lovely holiday polish, I also think it's perfect for summer! What do you think of this polish and what's your favorite holographic nail polish?

I have eighty manicures featured on this blog. Take a quick glance at them all on my Pinterest Manicure Board. Then simply click on the ones you want to read about on my blog, since they are linked to the matching blog post.

Before you leave don't forget to claim your Free Graze Box and enter my latest Blue Apron Subscription Box Giveaway worth $59.94!

Follow Me on Pinterest, Google+ and/or Instagram
Share this blog post with your friends via Twitter & Facebook:

Have a PEACEful Day!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Mary's Gourmet Diner Restaurant Review - Winston Salem, NC


723 Trade Street
Winston Salem, NC


Interior View


Sunshine French Toast Special


Breakfast Nachos


After learning about this restaurant from the national news when the diner had to stop giving a 15% discount to praying customers due to a lawsuit threat, I put this diner on my must try restaurant list. Being new to the area, we are always on the hunt for appetizing restaurants to try. Months later, we finally got around to visiting last Saturday. They are only open from 8 am to 2 pm everyday but Saturday when they are open until 3 pm. They offer breakfast and brunch and are located in downtown Winston Salem on Trade Street. Free parking is available in their parking lot located behind their building or parallel parking is available on the street. 

I learned Mary's post their specials on their Facebook page, so I went there prior to visiting to see what the specials were for the day. I ordered one of the specials which was the Sunshine French Toast. This special is described as "brioche topped with house made lemon curd garnished with blueberries, whipped cream and mint". Now how could I not be tempted by that! Sometimes it's just not time to count calories and enjoy decadent food! It lived up to it's yummy description and I thoroughly enjoyed it from the first to the last bite. I wish I could eat it right now, it's making me hungry just thinking about it. It's certainly crave worthy, but I'm out of luck since it's a special. Unfortunately, when we arrived around 1 pm the special my husband ordered was sold out, so he chose the Breakfast Nachos instead. Their Breakfast Nachos are described as "multi-grain tortilla chips loaded with our white cheese sauce, cheddar cheese, scrambled eggs, black olives, red onion, tomato, avocado, salsa and sour cream". It was a hefty portion and certainly odds were there would be leftovers though Hubby mostly just had chips leftover. He really enjoyed it and that's coming from someone who makes some awesome nachos himself. He ordered Chocolate Milk and I ordered the Mint & Lemon Water. The bill came out to around $30 before tip, so it's certainly not an inexpensive brunch. Service was very friendly and prompt. We hardly waited any time before they brought out our food. The restaurant was full of customers when we arrived yet we didn't have to wait for a table and they started to trickle down by the time we were done with our meal. So if you don't want to wait for a table show up around 1 pm on Saturdays but then you run the risk of the specials being sold out. There is also outdoor, shaded seating. I think next time we will try to get there a bit earlier in hopes of getting more than one of the specials. 

They are celebrating fifteen years of being in business on June 6th, so that would be a great time to pay them a visit. I highly recommend you give them a try soon if you haven't already. Try one of the specials, you won't regret it!

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Be sure to check out my other restaurant reviews for the Raleigh, Triangle area (search engine is over on the right side) and my latest ones for the Winston Salem, Triad area are linked below:

Chef Samir Shaltout - Greensboro, NC
Dairi-O - King, NC
Hakka Chow - Winston Salem, NC

I have eight more restaurant reviews in the works, so be sure to stop by again soon. What are your favorite restaurants in the Piedmont Triad area? 

Follow Me on Pinterest, Google+ and/or Instagram 

Share this blog post with your friends via Twitter & Facebook:


Have a PEACEful Day!


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Blue Apron Subscription Box - 10th Delivery


Ingredients for Dukkah Spiced Salmon with Spring Vegetable & Oyster Mushroom Ragout 



Recipe Results



Ingredients for Laotian Larb Gai with Sticky Rice, Peanuts & Mint



Recipe Results 



Ingredients for Sirloin Tip Steaks with New Potatoes, Asparagus & Radish Hash

No Recipe Results (steak & asparagus went bad)


This is the tenth box we have received from Blue Apron which costs $59.94 per week. This was a disappointing week since the steak went bad three days prior to it's expiration. Also, the asparagus arrived with the tips soggy with green goo coming off of them. Needless to say we are taking a break from this subscription box due to this issue and the constant repetition of vegetables.

Dukkah Spiced Salmon with Spring Vegetable & Oyster Mushroom Ragout 

This dish was ok, but it included fennel yet again. We are so sick of fennel. The oyster mushrooms were really interesting but the instructions had us cook them way too long and they shrunk and lost their texture and flavor as a result. The celeriac was interesting also. It's apparently the root of celery and so it smells just like celery. The lemon we received was too small and we received a chambray onion as a substitute for the green garlic but no instructions on how to prepare it. We have had similar recipes and this was the least enjoyable which was surprising since it was written by an Executive Chef and owner of a restaurant in San Francisco. It reminded me of another Blue Apron dish: Roasted Salmon, Fennel & Castelvetrano Olives with Cara Cara Orange and Farro & Salsa Verde and Hello Fresh's Oven Roasted Salmon with Avocado, Tangelo & Quinoa Salad. Those were far superior!

Laotian Larb Gai with Sticky Rice, Peanuts & Mint

This dish was very enjoyable, our favorite dish of the week and the sushi rice was awesome. The lime was very dry and the cabbage was very dirty on the outside layer. I had to skip the cabbage since it's causes stomach issues for people with IBS. Ever since Plated's Kimchi Slaw caused an IBS attack, I've had to limit what I eat until it stops acting up. It's been a slow recovery even with prescription medication. That's one reason I'm skipping the next four weeks of recipes due to too many IBS trigger foods. Also, I really wish they would stop repeating vegetables, it's so boring!

Sirloin Tip Steaks with New Potatoes, Asparagus & Radish Hash

We did not cook this recipe due to the steak going bad as a result of poor shipping packaging. It was so very disappointing that the steak turned brown and went bad three days prior to the expiration date! One of the reasons I order these subscription boxes is so that there isn't any waste since I can't stand to throw food away. This box had been packaged with ice packs only on top of the meat with the meat laying on the bottom of the box. It only arrives in edible condition if they put the ice packs both under and over the meat since we are already having hot weather here in the south. The asparagus was bad the day it arrived with the tips soggy and they were putting out a green goo, yuck! I could smell them the minute I opened the box even though they were in their own sealed plastic bag. While they gave me a store credit, I'm still discouraged from ordering due to the shipping issues and the repeating of vegetables and pickling. I think a refund would have been more appropriate since it will be awhile before I order again.

It looks like the next time we may order another box is June 12th, but they are still repeating radishes which I hate and the recipe calls for pickling the onion and jalapeño which will cause me stomach pain, so I would have to skip the pickling process. I'm not the only one complaining about them repeating vegetables, while they claim they are listening to their customers, sadly nothing has changed.

Check out my reviews of the previous Blue Apron recipes that we received:


I also reviewed Plated, Home Chef & Hello Fresh which are similar food subscription boxes. So check those out before you leave and don't forget to claim your Free Graze Box and enter my Home Chef Giveaway. What do you think of my recipe results? 

Bargain Alert - Hello Fresh - $40 off your first box, use coupon code "YVWF79". 
                         Plated - $30 off your 1st box from Plated, click here
                        Home Chef - $30 off your 1st box, click here.

Follow Me on Pinterest, Google+ and/or Instagram 

Share this blog post with your friends via Twitter & Facebook:



Have a PEACEful Day!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Home Chef Subscription Box Review & Giveaway




Ingredients for Pan Fried Tilapia Po' Boy with Remoulade & Cajun Potato Chips



Recipe Results


Ingredients for Kung Pao Chicken with Dried Chilies, Peanuts & Green Onions



Recipe Results



Ingredients for Japanese Chicken Yakitori with Baby Bok Choy Slaw



Recipe Results


This is a review of a food subscription box from a company called Home Chef. Most meals cost $9.95 a serving and there are ten recipes to chose from each week including one breakfast and the rest are dinners or lunches. Usually they offer pork, beef, chicken, seafood, turkey & three vegetarian dishes. A typical box of three recipes for two people which makes six meals costs $59.70 including tax and shipping. You are free to chose more dishes or less but there is a charge of $10 for shipping if your order is less than $40. They also offer fresh fruit and trail mix for $4.95 a serving. They are launching today a new smoothie offer which sounds wonderful. New menus go up on Fridays at 12 pm CST. It's easy to skip a week or more on their website under "Delivery Schedule" and you can change which day of the week it arrives and how many servings from 2, 4 or 6. You can also give them feedback and rate the dishes you try under "order history". It's your choice of letting them chose which three dishes you will receive by letting them know your dietary preferences under "my cooking profile" or you can change it under "menu". That's where you can also pause your account. I'm looking at the new menu right now for the week of May 25th and oh boy they all look so yummy. It's going to be a challenge to decide which ones I want. I'm starting with adding the Peanut Butter Nutella smoothies to my order for $4.95 a serving. Here's a list of all the offerings:
  1. Beef & Brandy Steak Diane with a Cremini & Dijon Cream Sauce, Whipped Potatoes and Asparagus, 920 calories
  2. Coconut Crusted Shrimp with Sweet Chilli Slaw & Lime Crema, 679 calories
  3. Neapolitan Pizza Margherita with Fresh Mozzarella, Bail & Balsamic Frisee, 629 calories, 549 calories
  4. Cajun Blackened Chicken with Greek Cucumber & Feta Salad, 549 calories
  5. Classic Beef Stroganoff with Cremini Mushrooms in a Rich Sour Cream Sauce, 722 calories
  6. Stadium Style Bratwurst with Grilled Onions, Sauerkraut & Potato Wedges, 1110 calories, 763 calories
  7. Roasted Pork Tenderloin & Soba Noodle Bowl with Teriyaki Broth, 763 calories
  8. Cornmeal Crusted Fried Green Tomato Sandwich with Maple Caramelized Onions, Dill Pickle Aioli & Steak Fries, 823 calories
  9. Garden Vegetarian Rigatoni Bolognese with Robust Tomato Sauce & Fresh Basil, 712 calories
  10. Southern Fried Chicken & Biscuits with Onions, Pickles & Honey Butter, 892 calories
  11. Fresh Fruit Basket with nectarines, apples & fresh citrus
  12. Peanut Butter Nutella Smoothies with Bananas & Greek Yogurt, 752 calories
So I think I'll order number 2, 3, 5, 11 & 12! But I'm also tempted by 4, 6, 8 & 10! I may add a couple more since I don't like what Blue Apron & Plated have to offer that week, so as soon as Hello Fresh shows their menu I will decide. I'll also be asking Hubby which ones he wants. Which ones look yummy to you? Ok on to my review of our first Home Chef box:

Pan Fried Tilapia Po' Boy with Remoulade & Cajun Potato Chips

This was a good meal and certainly filling. Sadly, the shredded lettuce arrived with brown edges. I appreciate them shredding it for us, but usually you have to use it the same day or it goes brown. Also, our tomato wasn't ripe and I needed to make this dish the day it arrived since seafood won't keep long. The baguettes were a nice quality. I would have preferred just about any seafood other than tilapia since it's not the healthiest and lacks flavor. I was surprised I liked the Louisiana Hot Sauce. It was sweet and spicy, so yummy. I would have preferred the cajun seasoning only on one item rather than both the sandwich and chips. If I was going to make it again I'd only add the spices to the chips. It was quite easy to make and took about thirty five minutes. This was our least favorite dish. Certainly a treat meal at 782 calories.

Kung Pao Chicken with Dried Chilies, Peanuts & Green Onions

Oh my was this delicious! I can't eat Kung Pao Chicken normally because the sauce at most Asian restaurants has too much sugar and corn syrup which causes an immediately stomach ache for me. This is Hubby's most ordered dish at Asian restaurants since nothing bothers his stomach. This sauce was lighter and so I ate an entire dish of Kung Pao for the first time ever! The jasmine rice was easy to cook and such a comforting texture. Hubby left in the chillies by mistake so our dish was very spicy. Next time I would take those out. Since we ate in the dark in front of the tv, one of those chilies went in my mouth and when I chewed it caused quite a reaction on that side of my mouth. Our lips were tingly after eating! It was a nice generous portion and Hubby enjoyed cooking this dish for the first time. Another quick and easy dish and it had 620 calories which I'm sure is so much less than a typical restaurant's version! I'd say this was our favorite of the three dishes.

Japanese Chicken Yakitori with Baby Bok Choy Slaw

This was our second favorite dish and coming in at only 367 calories it's even more enjoyable since it's guilt free! Though this is more of a lunch portion than dinner. It makes for the perfect lunch! If there had been more salad it could have passed for dinner. This dish is a little more time consuming at forty minutes. The salad was very crunchy and the light dressing was simple composed of only cilantro, mirin, brown sugar and lime juice and it was delicious. The bok choy in the salad was surprising good since it wasn't cooked. The marinate for the chicken only took fifteen minutes and was surprising flavorful for such a short marinate time.

So there you have it, a review of our first Home Chef box. Our second box arrived today and we will be making the following recipes this weekend:
  1. Shrimp Maki Sushi Roll with Wasabi, Soy Sauce & Sriracha, 635 calories
  2. Buffalo Turkey Burger with Bleu Cheese, Sweet Potato Wedges & Celery Slaw, 888 calories
  3. Dijon Bone In Pork Chop with Mustard Cream Sauce, Grilled Corn & Applewood Smoked Sea Salt, 561 calories
Yes, that's right we will be making sushi for the first time tonight!  How fun! I have also reviewed their competition: Plated, Blue Apron & Hello Fresh. So check out those reviews before you leave. Before you leave don't forget to claim your Free Graze Box and enter my Home Chef Subscription Box Giveaway:


Giveaway Rules: for new Home Chef customers over 18 in the US, must provide name & email address to me and credit card info to Home Chef in case you want to continue with the subscription. Skipping future shipments is easy and can be done on their website under "delivery schedule" and canceling under "my cooking profile".  Home Chef will email the winner with a link to redeem gift. Choice of Tuesday-Friday delivery of food & recipes shipped via FedEx.

Bargain Alert - Hello Fresh - $40 off your first box, use coupon code "YVWF79". 
                         Plated - $30 off your 1st box from Plated, click here
                        Home Chef - $30 off your 1st box, click here.

Follow Me on Pinterest, Google+ and/or Instagram 

Share this blog post with your friends via Twitter & Facebook:


Have a PEACEful Day!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

QVC's TSVs for June 2015 & Giveaway



Preorder Numbers for Today's Special Values


1st - Isacc Mizrahi Live! Short Sleeve Peplum Knit Top, A268541, $29.86 or two payments of $14.93, comes in six colors

3rd - Aquasana Powered Water Filtration, K42705, $109.96 or five payments of $21.99, comes in four colors 

4th - Honora 14K Gold 12 mm Ming Cultured Pearl Lever Back Earrings, J323673, $134.76 or four payments of $33.69

8th - Easy Does It Day, everything is on easy pay for 24 hours!

10th - Northern Lights 700 Thread Count Wrinkle Defense 100% Cotton Sheets, H206222, $89.96 or five payments of $17.99, comes in nine colors and seven sizes

12th - Lisa Rinna Knit Printed Tunic Regular A269397 or Petite A269713, $38.46 or two payments of $19.23, comes in six colors

13th - Philosophy Ultimate Miracle Worker Face & Eye Duo, A270446 or A270452 A/D, $82.14 or three payments of $27.38

14th - Dynatrap Insect Trap, F11916 1/2 Acre Coverage for $79.80 or five payments of $15.96 or F11917 1 Acre Coverage for $126.80 or five payments of $25.36

15th - Tashon Graphic Statement Set of 7 Readers, A269393 Strength 0-2.5 or  A269395 Strength 3-3.5, $29.84 or two payments of $14.92, comes in three shades

18th - Susan Graver Weekend French Terry Button Front Jacket, A269396, $42.96 or three payments of $14.32, comes in nine sizes and six colors

21st - Bronzo Italia Pava Crystal Bezel Round Panther Link Watch, J323674, $99.76 or four payments of $24.94, comes in four colors

22nd - Attitudes by Renee Open Front Cascade Ombre Cardigan, A269398, $39.98 or two payments of $19.99, comes in six colors

23rd - Denim & Co Active French Terry Pants, Regular A269399 or Petite A269400, $27.24 or two payments of $13.62, comes in six colors

24th - Genius 16 Cup Salad Chopper, K42705, $29.96 or two payments of $14.98, comes in five colors

30th - Go Smile Sonic Blue LED Teeth Whitening Toothbrush, A269392, $89.72 or three payments of $29.90, comes in five colors

On the 31st of May the TSV will be the Canon Rebel T5 18 MP DSLR Camera E227242 but will not be available for advance order. No pricing info given at this time. On May 29th WEN will be offering the gallon size in his six classic scents A27085 or A/D A270384 and seasonal scents of Fall Pumpkin, Winter Mint, Spring Blossom & Spring Coconut A270393 or A/D A270383. They are available for preorder now but they are not a TSV. I highly recommend Fall Pumpkin & Winter Mint, so yummy! Winter Mint is my favorite and smells just like Andes Mint Candy! I just wish it wasn't such a large size and price of $177 for the classic and ten dollars more for the seasonal scents. If you want it, shop early because the gallon size usually sells out fast even at that high price! Also, note that easy payments may not be offered on the day the TSVs air, so shop early if you want easy payments. In addition, note that QVC's return policy has changed and you have to pay shipping both ways when you return an item! I don't know about you, but that will be keeping me from buying anymore fashion since sizing can be an issue. They haven't notified many shoppers, so sadly they will be ordering without knowing that. I'm glad I heard about it because they sent me no notice and I would have been so angry. Shipping charges have been lowered but that doesn't change my decision. I think that was a big mistake on their part because I'll be thinking twice before hitting that "place order" button and I'm sure many of you agree! QVC is now offering digital downloads of music and movies which seems strange to me since since it's such a competitive market and their prices seem high. It does appear that they have some hard to find older movies though. You can check it out at http://qvc.com/music.

Yawn, nothing very exciting this month for me. How about you, which ones are you tempted to buy? I'm tempted by the Ombre Cardigan but it's hand wash only, what a bummer and with the new return policy I won't be ordering fashion.

Before you leave don't forget to claim your Free Graze Box and enter my Home Chef Subscription Box Giveaway. Check out my Home Chef Review.


Giveaway Rules: for new Home Chef customers over 18 in the US, must provide name & email address to me and credit card info to Home Chef in case you want to continue with the subscription. Skipping future shipments is easy and can be done on their website under "delivery schedule" and canceling under "my cooking profile".  Home Chef will email the winner with a link to redeem gift. Choice of Tuesday-Friday delivery of food & recipes shipped via FedEx.

Follow Me on Pinterest, Google+ and/or Instagram 

Share this blog post with your friends via Twitter & Facebook:


Have a PEACEful Day!