Saturday, April 18, 2015

Plated Subscription Box Review - Part 20, 21 & 22


Ingredients for Cheesy Beef Enchiladas with Avocado, Spinach & Black Beans


Recipe Results



Ingredients for Pork & Chive Burgers with Sriracha Aioli & Kimchi Slaw




Recipe Results



Ingredients for Chicken Tikka Masala



Recipe Results


This is a review of the seventh box we have received from Plated, a food subscription box for $72 a week. They send you three recipes and all the ingredients needed to make them for two people. This week our favorite dish was the Beef Enchiladas, followed by Pork & Chive Burgers and lastly the Chicken Tikka Masala.

Cheesy Beef Enchiladas with Avocado, Spinach & Black Beans

This is the dish I was most excited to try out of the three. I love Mexican food and enchiladas. This recipe is in the top five that we have tried so far, it was so delicious. It was also was a generous portion. Hubby cooked this one and added more Mexican cheese on top. We always have shredded Mexican cheese from Costco around for our weekend omelets. I'm afraid the edges of the tortillas would have been dried out without cheese covering it during the baking process. It was nice having the spinach in there for the nutrients and it didn't change the taste which I was concerned about. We loved the salsa and having the avocado and cilantro on the side was a nice change. Hubby used all of the hot sauce and wanted more, but I thought it had the perfect amount of spice. We hope they bring this one back soon since we can't wait to eat this again!

Pork & Chive Burgers with Sriracha Aioli & Kimchi Slaw

Hubby heard Kimchi is very stinky and didn't want to try this dish, but I convinced him to order it anyway. My mistake since it caused me to have an IBS attack which lasted days. I know better than to eat anything pickled but I really wanted to try it. Wont be making that mistake again. When it arrived it was in a box and then a bag and I could still smell it, so yes it's scent is very strong. It tasted pretty good but not something I would eat again even if my stomach could handle it. I like how the carrots were already shredded for us, but the lettuce was looking a bit rough on one side it had lots of brown bits. We really loved the burgers and the sauce though we would have liked a second helping!

Chicken Tikka Masala

I love naan bread so I was happy to see that it was included in this week's box. I've been getting tired of so many of the recipes having tomatoes in the sauce so I was least excited about this recipe but was willing to give it a try since it has Indian spices and I love Indian food. This one just had too much sauce and while the flavor was ok, it's not something I would make again. I'm getting tired of having spinach in so many of these dishes and they could have been more generous with the bread.

Check out the other Plated dishes we cooked:

Shakshuka with Green Garlic Pesto

The box we received this week has the following recipes:

Chicken Souvlaki with Spinach Feta Rice
Roast Beef Spiced Steak & Salad with Horseradish Dressing
Mustard Roasted Pork with Spring Pea Salad & Crispy Shallots

I also reviewed Blue Apron & 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. What do you think of my recipe results?  I am thinking about trying out Home Chef. Anyone try that subscription box before? 

Bargain Alert - $30 off your 1st box from Plated, click here.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Pixie Pink Manicure - Hard Candy





This is a manicure using a nail polish from a brand called Hard Candy available at Walmart. It's a polish I bought two years ago in a large haul which you can see by clicking here.  It's described as a light lavender jelly base with pink, turquoise & white round glitter. I find it's more of a light lilac color so it's "pink" name is quite strange. The "pink" glitter looks like copper in person. It's a very pretty polish which is perfect for spring! Unfortunately, just like it's twins Pink Taffy & Gummy Green, it chips in only a couple of days. This one only lasted three days which is extremely disappointing. It's such a pretty polish, it's a shame it won't stay on the nails very long. I used two base coats of Orly Bonder, then one light coat of Pixie Pink, then two heavy coats of Pixie Pink and finally one Seche Vite top coat.  The next day I added another coat of Seche Vite since the glitter was sticking out a bit on a couple of nails. The polish also shrinked a bit on tips and sides of three nails on my right hand.

I have over seventy 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 go, check out my Blue Apron Giveaway and enter. What's your favorite brand of nail polish?

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Monday, April 13, 2015

QVC's TSVs for May 2015


Preorder Numbers for Today's Special Values



1st - Clarisonic Mia 2 Sonic Cleansing System, A268175, $125.90 or five payments of $24.98, comes in 10 colors

2nd - Earth Origins Leather Slide Sandals, A268547, $45.48 or two payments of $22.74, comes in seven colors

4th - Kate Somerville Super Size ExfoliKate & DermalQuench, A/D A268926 or A268551, $179.95 or five payments of $35.99

5th - Bethlehem Lights Floral Aqua Flame Fountain & Flameless Candle, H205827, $37.36 or two payments of $18.68, comes in five colors

10th - Dooney & Bourke Daffodil Drawstring Bag & Wristlet, A268548, $245.24 or six payments of $40.87, comes in five colors

11th - Tarte Beauty in the Basics Six Piece Color Collection, A268550 or A/D A268889, $47.64 or three payments of $15.88, comes in six shades

14th - Skechers Woven Mary Janes with Memory Foam, A268553, $42.84 or two payments $21.42, comes in seven colors

15th - Liz Claiborne New York Essentials V-Neck Dress, Regular A268542 or Petite A268544$32.90 or two payments of $16.45, comes in six colors

18th - LOGO by Lori Goldstein Regular Knit Top, A268540, $41.92 or two payments of $20.96, comes in six colors

20th - Mad Hungry 4-Piece Airblade Knife Set, K42561, $19.98 or two payments of $9.99, comes in six colors

21st - Susan Graver Liquid Knit 8 Gore Pull On Skort, A268545, $35.86 or two payments of $17.93, comes in four colors and two prints

22nd - G.I.L.I Leather Stirrup Hobo with Shoulder Strap, A268546, $199.76 or six payments of $33.29, comes in four colors & two prints

27th - Carolyn Pollack Sterling Signature Link Bracelet, Small 7" J322959 $184.00 or five payments of $36.80, Average 7 1/2" J322960 $199.00 or five payments of $39.80, Large 7 3/4" J322961 $209.00 or five payments of $41.80


June 

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

Don't forget to enter my Blue Apron Subscription Box Giveaway before you leave!  Which items are you tempted by? I loved the sample sizes of the Kate Somerville products I tried from Sephora, but I'm not going to pay the big bucks for the full sizes. I would also love the Dooney & Bourke bag but that's way more than I would pay for a bag. I'm tempted by the Bethlehem Lights flameless candle but I'm not sure about the water function. Sometimes that can be a pain to clean if it in fact uses water and not just the sound of water. I'm also tempted by the Liz Claiborne dress but I'm not sure about sizing. Happy Shopping!

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review - Part 16, 17 & 18 and Giveaway



Ingredients for Chile-Blackened Cod with Epazote, Avocado & Red Rice Salad


Recipe Results



Ingredients for Navarin Style Lamb Meatball Stew with Pea Tips & Carrots



Recipe Results



Ingredients for Pan Seared Chicken Verjus with Pearled Barley & Mushrooms à la Grecque



Recipe Results


This is a review of the sixth box we have received from Blue Apron. First place goes to the Chile-Blackened Cod dish, second goes to the Lamb Meatball Stew and third goes to the Chicken Verjus. 

Chili Blackened Cod with Epazote, Avocado & Red Rice Salad

We were most excited to try this dish out of the three provided this week. It did not disappoint, such an amazing flavor! I was sad when my plate was empty. This is a recipe we want to try again.

Navarian Style Lamb Meatball Stew with Pea Tips & Carrots

We love lamb and eat it on a fairly regular basis but I just couldn't get excited about this recipe and put it off a week. Plated gave us three recipes with fingerling potatoes lately, so having Blue Apron include them also was too much for us. We would love some red potatoes for a change! The pea tips weren't in great shape after a week, so I threw out the rotted pieces which was about half. The meatballs were really yummy but I wish there had been more of them. I also wish they would put cooking options on the recipe cards so if you have more time you can simmer it for an hour or more so that the vegetables would be not so hard. I'm used to vegetables in stew being very soft which requires more cooking time. This reminded me of a stew my mother made when I was young.

Pan Seared Chicken Verjus with Pearled Barley & Mushrooms à la Grecque

Since Hubby had a dinner meeting, I made this one for myself. Usually I won't cook a dish when I'm only cooking for myself, but I didn't want the food to go to waste and I couldn't wait any longer to cook it before the ingredients went bad. This recipe was very time consuming and used three pans and lots of bowls. So there was a lot of prep & clean up time involved. Thankfully, I remembered the trick to get the thyme leaves off the stem by pulling down the stem in the opposite direction of growth from the root to the tip. I was a bit nervous about the barley since I had never tried it before but it was actually pretty good and wasn't difficult to make tender. This was a very tasty dish and very filling. It could easily be split into three servings. I shared part of it with my dogs since I couldn't finish my serving. I put the second serving in the refrigerator for a future lunch.

Check out the previous Blue Apron recipes that I reviewed:

Today we received the following recipes:

Pan Seared Steaks with Green Peppercorn Sauce & Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Spicy Turkey Meatball Pitas with Sugar Snag Pea & Bibb Lettuce Salad
Lemon & Black Pepper Shrimp with Fresh Linguini di Cavolo & Fava Leaves

Next week we will be purchasing the following recipes:

Beef Dukbokki with Quick Kimchi & Sugar Snap Peas
Matzoh Crusted Chicken with Orange, Fennel & Golden Beet Salad
Lentil Crusted Salmon with Spinach Yogurt Dal & Apricot Chutney

I also reviewed Plated & 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. What do you think of my recipe results? 


Blue Apron Giveaway:


Blue Apron has provided me with another free subscription box worth $59.94 to give away. Congratulations to Alison, Tina & Amy who won the last three! 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 below. 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". You can chose for your delivery to arrive on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Also, you can select your dietary preferences including vegetarian. 



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

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Orly Frozen Manicure





I found this Orly polish called Frozen during a rare shopping trip to Walgreens. I was in the mood for some new nail polish and heard about this line based on Disney's Frozen movie. I liked two of the colors but only bought one. The light blue color was really pretty also but I have a lot of similar colors in my collection already. This was $6.99 on sale and it's smaller than their normal bottle so that seems pricey to me. It's a really pretty color that has a duo chrome effect. It appears to be a greenish blue color and then when you move your nail it turns into a purply blue color. You can see the greenish tone above, that's caused by the nails reflecting off each other. This polish is really thin so it took three coats to be opaque though it's not so thin that it falls off the brush. Make sure you use long, non stop strokes from the cuticle to the tip or it will streak a bit. I used two coats of Orly's Bonder as a base and one Seche Vite top coat. I highly recommend this polish since it's so pretty and unique!

I have over seventy 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. What new nail polish have you bought lately or is on your wish list?

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Hello Fresh Subscription Box Review - Part 4, 5 & 6


Ingredients for Shrimp Fra Diavolo



Recipe Results



Ingredients for Rosemary Beef Flatbread



Recipe Results



Ingredients for Chicken & Artichoke Cassoulet




Recipe Results


This is a review of the second box we have received from Hello Fresh, a food subscription box for $69 a week. They send you three recipes and all the ingredients needed to make those three dishes for two people. This week our favorite dish was the Rosemary Beef Flatbread, followed by the Chicken Artichoke Cassoulet dish and third place goes to the Shrimp Fra Diavolo recipe.

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

We weren't quite sure if we would like this dish since we had eaten two recipes that week from a different subscription box, Plated, that also used a can of tomatoes and we were quite tired of that flavor. This recipe actually turned out to be very good. I didn't eat all of the sauce though and I would have liked some grated cheese on top and a second helping of bread. We both became hungry shortly after eating it. It needed some more bread or something to keep us from getting hungry so fast. I image they were trying to keep the calorie count down by not serving more bread but it just came off as cheap to me since bread is so inexpensive. I drizzled red pepper olive oil from Vom Fass on Hubby's piece of bread and truffle olive oil on mine. It really tasted good. The rubbing of the garlic on the bread was quite useless and we would have preferred garlic salt on top to obtain some garlic flavor. I didn't appreciate that they didn't place the bread in a separate bag. It was sitting right next to the dirty onion when it arrived.

Rosemary Beef Flatbread

We were a bit nervous to make this dish since we are fans of traditional pizza and this recipe looks a bit strange. Broccoli on pizza with no sauce just seems like it wouldn't be very tasty. I even contemplated ordering a pizza from Papa John's instead! Hubby was willing to tackle this recipe and he did an awesome job. He decided to add some black olives on top and after tasting it we found the pizza needed some sauce of some kind so we added truffle olive oil on mine and red pepper olive oil on his. It was a tasty pizza and I was impressed with the crust which I was unsure of prior to tasting it. This pizza would be better with some kind of sauce perhaps pesto and it needs more cheese!

Chicken & Artichoke Cassoulet

Hubby loves artichokes so we guessed he would enjoy this dish. We've never eaten or cooked with cannelloni beans before. I love to find good casserole dish recipes. This one was very tasty but we would have liked to have more cheese and less lemon zest. We only used one third of the lemon zest the recipe called for and yet it was still a bit too much. The beans had a good texture and were a nice addition to the recipe.

Check out what we received in our first box:


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

Bargain Alert - $40 off your first box, use coupon code "YVWF79"

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Monday, April 6, 2015

Hard Candy Nail Polish - Pink Taffy




This is a manicure using a nail polish from a brand called Hard Candy available at Walmart. It's a polish I bought two years ago in a large haul which you can see by clicking here. It's a really pretty pink jelly base with small pink, navy and white round glitter. It's pretty easy to apply but requires three coats to be opaque. You could get away with two coats if you don't mind a more sheer look. It needs two coats of Seche Vite top coat due to some of the glitter sticking out a bit and snagging on clothing. Unfortunately, so far all of the Hard Candy nail polishes that I have tried that have this small glitter don't last very long before chipping. They last from three to six days depending on your activity and sometimes they start peeling on the sides and shrink on the tips. This one only lasted five days. I love cheap nail polish, this one being only $3.97, but when it doesn't even last seven days then to me it's not worth the savings. I don't like to paint my nails more than once a week and most polishes I'm able to keep from chipping at least seven days up to twenty!  

I have over seventy 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. What's your favorite brand of nail polish?

Follow Me on Pinterest, Google+ and/or Instagram 

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