Sunday, May 31, 2015

Home Chef Subscription Box Review - 3rd Delivery

Japanese Style Jasmine Rice Turkey Balls

Recipe Results (used beef instead of turkey)

Classic French Ratatouille with Red Pepper Coulis, Herbes de Provence and Toasted Baguette

Recipe Results

Lemon Dill Salmon Kababs with Parmesan Roasted Zucchini Chips 

Recipe Results (used flounder instead of salmon)

This is the 3rd box we have received from Home Chef which is a weekly food subscription box for $59.70. This box arrived a day late, so we had to throw out the seafood and the turkey and purchase substitutes at our local store. It was FedEx's fault that they couldn't get it to us in time and Home Chef gave us a store credit. FedEx declared a weather delay, but the weather seemed fine all along it's route and it sat in the local warehouse for a day which it usually does not. It was 87 degrees the day it sat there so there was no way it wasn't going to go bad. My guess is FedEx forgot to put it on the truck or the truck broke down instead.

Japanese Style Jasmine Rice Turkey Balls

Oh my gosh, this dish was so good! We have to make these meatballs again very soon. They are the perfect comfort food. Since we had to throw out the  turkey that went bad, Hubby picked up some ground beef on the way home from work. We actually have already made the side dish of baby bok choy again. Hubby saw some bok choy at Whole Foods and snatched some up to grill Memorial Day weekend. We love the way they suggested to cook it with the garlic, ginger, green onion and olive oil. It's so tasty, you have to try it yourself! It's so easy too. This was a dish Hubby and I made together. I was sad when my plate was empty and can't wait to have this again. This dish has 532 calories and takes about 35 mins to prepare.

French Ratatouille with Red Pepper Coulis, Herbes de Provence and Toasted Baguette

I made this recipe for my lunch since Hubby isn't a big fan of vegetarian meals and we had put off making it long enough. I made this eight days after it arrived. I like how their produce lasts longer than their competition, so you don't have make the vegetarian dishes within the recommended five days. Frankly, the tomato wouldn't have been ok to use the day it arrived anyway. That's my only complaint that all their tomatoes have arrived quite hard and not ripe. I was surprised that the eggplant came all the way from Holland. It had a bruise on it but was perfect inside. Wow was this dish delicious! The coulis sauce and the herbs liven up what would be a boring vegetable dish otherwise. It's really quite easy to make, it's just time consuming to wash and chop all the vegetables. This is a dish I would make again for myself or as a side dish for Hubby. I topped my baguette with melted Kerrygold Irish Butter, garlic powder and dried parsley instead of olive oil as they suggested. See another picture of this recipe on my Instagram which shows it plated. This dish has 410 calories and took 40 mins to prepare.

Lemon Dill Salmon Kababs with Parmesan Roasted Zucchini Chips 

Since the salmon went bad, we just substituted the wild caught flounder we had in the freezer from Costco. I really didn't care for the idea of making kababs with just salmon and lemon anyway and I prefer to bake my fish. I guess I'll try that part of the recipe when we have salmon on hand again. Usually we have some waiting in the freezer, but since moving our freezer isn't fully stocked. I enjoyed the spices on the flounder but I really didn't care for the parmasan on the zucchini and squash. I really prefer those grilled with olive oil and spices.

So there you have it, a review of our third Home Chef box. Check out the previous recipes we made:

Stay tuned for my next Home Chef blog post which will review the following recipes:
  1. Stadium Style Bratwurst
  2. Classic Beef Stroganoff (delicious comfort food)
  3. Neapolitan Pizza Margherita (making tonight)
I have also reviewed their competition: PlatedBlue Apron & Hello Fresh. So check out those reviews before you leave. In addition, don't forget to claim your Free Graze Box and enter my latest Blue Apron Subscription Box Giveaway.

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.

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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Green Valley Grill Restaurant Review - Greensboro, NC

622 Green Valley Rd
Greensboro, NC

Exterior Entrance

View of Main Dining Area from Reception

Bread Basket

Wood Fired Grilled Lamb Burger with Fries - $13.95

Baked Pecan Crusted Trout with Green Beans & Fries - $14.95

This is a review of a restaurant called Green Valley Grill in Greensboro, NC. Last Saturday Hubby & I were in search of somewhere to eat near the Whole Foods. We decided to give this restaurant a try since the reviews online were so good and hard to find items like lamb burgers and trout were on the menu for lunch. We arrived around 1 pm and were seated right away even though it looked like there would be a wait since the restaurant was very full with customers. The staff dresses in black and white as you can see in one of the photos above. Customers were dressed business casual and it appeared that there were a lot of large parties there for their special occasion.

The waitress was very attentive during our visit but pushing alcohol when we arrived. I noticed a lot of people were ordering alcohol, but we don't drink before 5 pm unless it's a special occasion. I ordered a Diet Coke and Hubby ordered water with lemon. We ordered promptly after we looked at the menu even though I was having difficultly deciding what to order. The bread basket shown above came out shortly after our drinks did. The bread was really good though it would have been nice to have a specialty butter like honey butter. Sadly, this was the best part of the meal. Our dishes arrived only eight minutes later. I was shocked at how quickly the food came to our table which had me concerned. I ordered the trout since that's not something I find on lunch menus very often and I love trout. The crust on the trout was pretty tasteless and it lacked spices. If there were any on it, I didn't taste them. The "lemon beurre blanc" sauce just tasted like melted butter to me. The fancy name didn't live up to expectations at all. It comes with green beans and polenta, but I substitued fries for the green beans yet they arrived on my plate anyway. I didn't complain since the waitress caught it but I didn't appreciate hearing that it wasn't her mistake. I really don't care who's mistake it was, so let's not talk about it to the customer please! Perhaps this was a common issue and she was tired of getting shorted on tips, at least that's the impression that statement gave to me. So she promptly brought out the polenta which I took one bite of and didn't care for it. The fries were so greasy that I left them on my plate after a few bites since greasy food will give me an IBS attack. Later while we were shopping, Hubby had a case of really bad heartburn from those fries. Seriously, Wendy's fast food restaurant makes less greasy fries! Hubby & I both love lamb and eat it on a regular basis so my husband was really looking forward to his lamb burger. The burger was greasy and not cooked to his requested "medium rare", instead it was cooked well done. The "charmoula" sauce was light with very little flavor and there was a small amount of feta cheese on the burger. Later instead of asking if the food was ok, the waitress while looking at a plate of just fries said "that lamb burger must have been delicious" all the while ignoring the fact that both of us had lots of fries left on our plate. Then she placed the dessert menus on the table without asking if we wanted dessert first. I quickly indicated that we would not be eating dessert and yet she asked if I was sure I didn't want dessert and coffee. No means no and that annoyed me. We rarely order dessert and even if we were in the mood that day for dessert ,there was no way I was going to order anything else after our experience.

This restaurant has a really nice atmosphere but does have some maintenance issues. It's showing it's seventeen years of service in several areas. The table had scratches and discoloration due to it being used so many times. I noticed the carpet had seen better days and thought it was time to be replaced. The door to the restroom had wear on it from people pushing on it so many times. The stalls did have nice marble walls. The restaurant is very large, it must be one of the largest I have ever been in. The music is classical though, I love classical music, but I know a lot of young people don't care for it all. The entire experience gave me the impression that it was once a fabulous place to eat, but now it seems to cater mostly to the retired who want to order alcohol, lunch or dinner, dessert and coffee and who's taste buds have been dulled with age.

In conclusion, based on reviews and photos I had thought this would become one of our favorite restaurants which we would frequent, but sadly we will not return. Have you tried out this restaurant? If so, what was your food like?

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) or visit my Pinterest Restaurant Reviews Board and my latest ones for the Winston Salem, Triad area are linked below:

Atelier on Trade Bakery & Café - Winston Salem, NC
Chef Samir Shaltout - Greensboro, NC
Dairi-O - King, NC
Fourth Street Filling Station - Winston Salem, NC
Hakka Chow - Winston Salem, NC
Jolo Winery - Pilot Mountain, NC
Le Kebab - Charlotte, NC
Little Italy - King, NC
Mary's Gourmet Diner - Winston Salem, NC
Mooney's Mediterranean Cafe - Winston Salem, NC
Mizu Japanese Cuisine - Winston Salem, NC
Thai Cafe - King, NC
The Marshall Free House - Greensboro, NC
The Tavern in Old Salem - Winston Salem, NC
Village Tavern - Winston Salem, NC

I have many more restaurant reviews in the works, so be sure to stop by again soon. What are your favorite restaurants in the Piedmont Triad area? I'm in search of non greasy Chicken Katsu & a Turkish restaurant, so I would love some restaurant recommendations! Please comment below.

I invite you to follow my blog via InstagramPinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin' or Networked BlogsDon't forget to claim your free Graze Boxfree Julep nail polish, free air filters and $30 worth of Home Chef meals before you leave! Also, be sure to browse around my blog since I'm sure you'll find something else that interests you. 

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Green Valley Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Home Chef Subscription Box Review 2nd Delivery

Ingredients for Shrimp Maki Sushi Roll with Wasabi, Soy Sauce & Sriracha

Recipe Results

Ingredients for Buffalo Turkey Burger with Blue Cheese, Sweet Potato Wedges & Celery Slaw

Recipe Results

Ingredients for Dijon Bone In Pork Chop with Mustard Cream Sauce, Grilled Corn & Applewood Smoked Sea Salt

Recipe Results

This is a review of a food subscription box from a company called Home Chef for $59.70 per week including shipping and tax. Out of the three recipes this week our favorite was the pork chop recipe, followed by the Buffalo Turkey Burgers and lastly the Sushi.

Shrimp Maki Sushi Roll with Wasabi, Soy Sauce & Sriracha

Since we love sushi but have never tried our hand at it, I decided this was a must order recipe since I thought it would be fun to try. Well it wasn't fun at all and we plan to leave it to the professionals from here on out! Wow, what a pain in the neck it was to make sushi! We also discovered that the shrimp had gone bad during shipping. We took one bite and instantly knew we shouldn't eat it. As you can see in the picture, some of the shrimp had turned pink which I've heard is a sign that it has gone bad. I felt bad throwing it in the trash because I don't like wasting food, but we were absolutely positive it went bad. They gave us a store credit for this dish. I'm going to skip ordering any seafood until the weather cools a bit in late September. In my opinion, seafood really needs to be shipped in dry ice and shipped frozen to ensure safe shipping. Which is disappointing because we love seafood. This recipe has 635 calories and called for 45 mins prep time which took us much longer.

Buffalo Turkey Burger with Blue Cheese, Sweet Potato Wedges & Celery Slaw

I love turkey burgers since they are healthier than beef, but Hubby isn't crazy about them. Since this one has buffalo seasoning, hot sauce and blue cheese which are three of his favorites, I thought I could get him excited about this recipe. Well I was correct, he really enjoyed this recipe while I on the other did not. I just don't like blue cheese, hot sauce nor buffalo seasoning and since I have to skip cole slaw due to IBS, this wasn't a meal for me. The panko & egg added to the turkey made it taste like meatloaf which is another dish I don't care for. Hubby on the other hand loves meatloaf, so this was perfect for him. This recipe had 885 calories and took about 45 mins to make.

Dijon Bone In Pork Chop with Mustard Cream Sauce, Grilled Corn & Applewood Smoked Sea Salt

Hubby loves pork, but I'm not such a fan unless they are cooked in a slow cooker with apples, brown sugar and apple juice until they are very tender. I ordered this recipe for him and he enjoyed it a lot. I also enjoyed it though the pork chops were smaller than we usually buy so it was a light meal. If there had been a second serving of corn or a larger pork chop, it would have been filling enough to satisfy our hunger. The sauce was very easy to make yet impressive. This was a very easy & quick dish to make. Hubby was skeptical about their corn grilling instructions but followed them anyway. They suggested to rub olive oil on the corn and cook it directly on the grill without any foil wrapping which is how we usually cook it. While it looked burnt it didn't taste burnt, instead it had a really delicious smoky flavor. The next time Hubby grilled corn he made it their way. It's really delicious and the chunky smoked sea salt is a lovely addition. This recipe had 561 calories and had a prep time of about 35 mins.

So there you have it, a review of our second Home Chef box. We really appreciate them giving us outdoor grilling recipes since this is the time of the year Hubby grills the most and we would like to limit the use of the oven since it heats up the house. What was included in our third box is listed below. Stayed tuned for my review. We have one more dish to cook since we are behind due to the holiday. You can see my Ratatouille results on Instagram.
  1. Classic French Ratatouille with Red Pepper Coulis, Herbes de Providence & Toasted Baguette, 410 calories
  2. Lemon Dill Salmon Kebabs with Parmesan Roasted Zucchini Chips, 432 calories
  3. Japanese Style Jasmine Rice Turkey Meatballs with Stir Fried Baby Bok Choy, 592 calories
In our first box we had:
  1. Pan Fried Tilapia Po' Boy with Remoulade & Cajun Potato Chips
  2. Kung Pao Chicken with Dried Chilies, Peanuts & Green Onions
  3. Japanese Chicken Yakitori with Baby Bok Choy Slaw
Today the following recipes arrived:
  1. Stadium Style Bratwurst
  2. Classic Beef Stroganoff
  3. Neapolitan Pizza Margherita
I have also reviewed their competition: PlatedBlue 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 latest Blue Apron Subscription Box Giveaway.

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.

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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.

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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!

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