Saturday, November 17, 2018

Subscription Box Review: Gousto

We're trying another recipe box subscription service, this time it's Gousto's turn to try to impress us.

JD and I will be making and sampling 4 recipes for 2 which usually costs £34.99. I used an offer from another app which got me this first box for £12.

They deliver every day of the week from 8am - 7pm. Our box arrived on a Sunday and we were given a 1 hour delivery slot via tracking info on the day.

The box was well packed with all the veg/ ambient stuff on one side and the stuff to be chilled in a cold bag filled with wool and disposable ice packs on the other side. Everything is measured out and ready to use in the recipes. There were four recipe cards each with a day range (mostly 3-4 days) the meal had to be made by.

We  even got a wooden spoon included as a free gift.

On Monday JD made us Thai Basil Pork with Green Beans

This was served with Tilda microwaveable rice which was included in the box. It was really tasty! The recipe used pork mince and we've never used minced meat in a stir fry but it worked really well. One of the nicest things about this recipe was the garlic and ginger were in paste form in a plastic sachet. That makes things really quick on weeknight. Also really easy for a novice cook.

On Tuesday JD made us Minted Lamb and Feta Bulgur

Another minced meat dish but also really tasty. The bulgur wheat had chopped cucumber and feta mixed into it, so good. Then the minced lamb was mixed with tomato paste and spices to make a lovely sauce to top the bulgur. This recipe was another quick one to make. Very nice!

On Wednesday I made us Chicken, Kale and Butter Bean Broth

This dish was different to food we normally eat. Shredded chicken, kale and butter beans in a cream cheese thickened broth. It was lovely. So simple to put together with really fresh flavours from the lemon and black pepper. We really enjoyed it.

On Thursday I made us American Cheeseburgers and Potato Wedges

There was a bit more to this recipe. I made pickled mustard cucumbers and potato wedges as sides following the recipes. Then I actually had to peel and crush garlic (so not fair!) to make the burgers. Which were topped with burger sauce (which I made), cheese and fried onions (which I had to sprinkle on). It was really good. All the extra touches made for a decent burger meal.

All the meals were really well thought out. It's really luxurious to be cooking without any of the cleaning up you have to do when you're constantly weighing out ingredients. It just makes everything easier. And to think I once made fun of my Dad for buying pre-cut onions. (Sorry Dad).

It's nice to have so much choice in recipes on the Gousto site. You could have something different every day for a month. I enjoyed picking out 4 recipes to try, there were lots of interesting looking meals.

Again, some of the meals were on the small side portion wise. I'm starting to think it's some worldwide conspiracy to make me and JD feel bad. Well, we don't. :(

Just from using this service as a one-off I've picked up some nice recipe ideas to try myself. I think I might be getting addicted to trying out these subscription boxes. It's so nice to get a parcel of food. Send help (or food). :D

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Emma's Exercise Experiments - Kettlebell Class

When JD and I went to Boot Camp I really enjoyed using the Kettlebell weights occasionally during the exercises. So when I found out that our local pool's gym had Kettlebell Classes I was keen to give them a go. £6.80 a class on a pay as you go system. Which is great as the gym does lots of classes so it's great to be able to try as many as you want.

The Hydro Pool, home to Brimhams Gym.
We went along to our first class on a Monday night and joined a class of about 12 people. We each had a mat and two kettlebells. A smaller one for overhead exercises and larger for other exercises. The instructor had organised an hour long class with lots of different exercises using the kettlebells. Squats with kettlebells, sit ups with kettlebells, lunges with get the idea! 60 sweaty minutes later we were done and I staggered out of the gym into the blessed cool night air.

Squats with kettlebells.

Each week there was a different instructor doing different exercises which meant the class difficulty was very varied but it stopped the class from being boring too. It was impressive the range of different exercises we did. The classes were all well organised and timed to make the most of an hour. We enjoyed the class in that thank god it's done way but we always left feeling pleased we'd done it too. The few days after each class we ached a lot, arms, legs and back. This is both terrible and great but it passes.

Windmill with kettlebell.
We'd definitely go back to Brimhams Gym to try other classes as everyone we met there was friendly and welcoming. The instructors were very inclusive and happy to suggest alternative exercises to anything I couldn't manage due to my dicky knees.

Only two months to go now, almost there!

Previously on Emma's Exercise Experiments






Tai Chi 

Pokemon Go 


Outside Gym 

Salsa Lessons

Other Activities 


Saturday, November 3, 2018

Book Review - One Pound Meals Fast & Fresh

I borrowed this book from the library and picked three recipes to try from it. First up was the Goan Cauliflower Curry.

The recipe makes a really creamy curry sauce that coats the cauliflower thoroughly. We really enjoyed this meal. It was a simple recipe to follow but made a lovely meal.

Next we tried the Spanish Chorizo Stew. Another simple one pot recipe that was easy to make but tasted delicious.

We had ours with some homemade bread and it was great. The last recipe we tried was the Hasselback Squash.

I totally misunderstood the recipe so I messed ours up a bit but it still tasted lovely. It was a real revelation to us that you can just roast a squash like this and eat it skin and all. The parma ham and feta cheese went beautifully with the squash. We'll definitely be having this one again.

The best thing about Miguel Barclay's recipes is that in the book they're all set up for 1 person making the book really accessible to everyone. Then you can just multiply based on how many people you're serving. I haven't seen a recipe book do this before.

A thing that usually bothers me about these cheap recipe books is that each recipe is costed only on what the recipe uses. Meaning if you buy a cauliflower but only use half of it then you're left with half a cauliflower to use up somehow or you have to have the same recipe again quick before your cauliflower goes bad. Not so with One Pound Meals, looking through the book you see a lot of ingredients commonly used. If you buy some chorizo and use some for one recipe there are easily 3-4 more recipes that use chorizo too. It makes it much easier to see someone struggling to afford ingredients get good value from their shopping.

A not good thing about this book (and many other recipe books) is that some of the meals are simply not enough food. We had the cauliflower curry and squash as sides and added some bread to go with the stew.

But overall this is a well thought out book that could actually save you money on your food shopping if you can carefully plan out a weeks meals using these recipes. Well done, Miguel!
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