Monthly Archives: January 2015
On something of a whim I took advantage of an offer from this site called Plated. Buy 2 plates, get 4 free! My initial order I had to cancel, which resulted in an account credit of $70-80 after paying around $20. Not a bad deal in my book. A little later, I took advantage of that “free” money to try out the service.
I ordered two different meals/4 plates. When you’re ordering, one recipe usually makes 2 “plates” (some might make 4). The actual amount of plates would depend on how much you and/or the other people that enjoy the dish want to eat, of course. I would mostly classify the recipes as gourmet homestyle, occasionally ethnic or fusion. They send you a recipe card–more like a recipe poster–and most of the ingredients to cook it. You will probably have to supplement it with things like olive oil, butter, pepper, or other basic cooking ingredients that most people have available in their kitchen.
Although many things sounded delicious, the price was important to me (not all plates cost the same), so my final decision was tomato-braised chicken with fennel and steak gyros. Once the order shipped, it got to me overnight. Considering that some of the food they send is perishable, that’s a very good thing. I thought everything was very well-packaged and everything from my order was present and accounted for. I actually decided to do an unboxing and first impression video, which you can watch if you’re interested in this part of the process:
But I made it before I’d fully experienced my meals, so I wanted to go a little more in-depth here.
Steak Gyros: This was pretty easy to make and turned out to be delicious! I did overcook the steak just a tiny bit, as they recommend having it rare and mine was closer to medium-well, but that didn’t hurt it. It was good-quality steak and the seasonings they provided gave it a great flavor. The naans that came with the order were so tasty, I wished I had more of them. I did alter some of the side/sauce aspects of the recipe (I explain this a little in the video). Overall I was very happy with this one.
Tomato-braised Chicken with Fennel: First I should say that I HATE black licorice, and so I don’t like strong fennel flavors that much, but I love chicken, and I’ve had recipes with fennel that I did like, so I decided to try it out. This one was slightly more interesting to cook because I’ve never made fennel before. This used the leafy part as a garnish, but also the root as one of the main ingredients. Cooked in oil and tomato with a rather interesting mix of spices, I actually really liked the end result. I would have liked there to be more chicken, and I must admit I was a little disappointed by the cuts I was provided because there was a lot of fat on them. So it wasn’t perfect, but I liked the flavor of the dish. It also came with couscous, which I had never made before. That part turned out to be incredibly easy and although couscous doesn’t have much flavor on its own, I like it. Also, between the fennel bulb, a yellow onion, and the chicken, the yield for this recipe was HUGE. I’d say it could feed four people, maybe adding another side dish.
Thoughts: I really enjoyed my first experience with plated despite one or two things that weren’t perfect. (And expecting perfection is silly, really.) Promotional deal aside, this is not exactly a budget-friendly service. For the amount of food I got for the money, I probably would have been better off just getting a similar recipe and getting the ingredients myself. BUT, you’re not just paying for the food. You’re paying to have it bundled and ready to cook, as well, and for the convenience of having it delivered right to you. They also make efforts to send sustainable and ethical ingredients, which are worth paying a little extra for if you can afford it. Also, if you can’t afford to order frequently, you can always skip a few weeks to save up for your next order, but make sure you keep an eye on your account so you don’t accidentally get one when you didn’t want it. The default is every one or two weeks, depending on what you select. I’m not in a position to afford this very often right now, but I’d be interested in doing this regularly in the future, after my income grows.
Why you should try it: I think the best reason to give Plated a try (other than the great first-time deal they offer!) is to experiment with a recipe you might never have tried otherwise. I doubt I ever would have made gyros if left entirely to my own devices, and now I know I might like to use fennel in cooking other dishes. I might have done that eventually, but without this incentive I doubt it. I made the recipes on my own, but this could also be fun to do with friends and family, if you like to cook together.
If after all that you’re intrigued, and you want some free plates, use my referral link below:
I too often write blog posts about my lack of blog posts.
Life has been busy, crazy, and a blur lately. Between work, holidays, a death in the family, and general life stuff, I’ve barely thought about blogging lately. I think that for just about everyone, there are bound to be times when you can’t keep up with regular blogging. The indication of whether you’re “meant to” blog (whatever that means) is that you keep coming back to it, no matter how many times you slip behind.
I would certainly rather be a regular poster. Maybe I’ll bring back Monday Madness, or come up with a new weekly post like Thursday Thoughts, or Wacky Wednesday, or Sunday Silliness. I don’t know. However, we can’t always do the things we want. I think the fact that I persist even after long hiatuses (hiati? No, that just looks like I spelled Haiti wrong) is something to be proud of. It’s a small thing, sure, but the truth is, my chicken tikka masala post continues to account for most of the views on the site, so new posts don’t make that much of a difference.
Even thought I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, I used the turn of the year as a starting point to make real changes in my life. (Some of them haven’t quite taken yet, like being more active and eating healthier, but they will.) More writing, learning music, getting my finances figured out, cleaning out all the stuff I don’t want anymore, and yet other unmentioned goals. It’s the year of starting to turn my life into the life I actually want.
I won’t call anything a New Year’s resolution because:
1. I think most people give up on it completely if they don’t start it in the first two or three weeks of January.
2. My goals are not meant to be contained to a particular time, but to transform my habits for a longer period.
This is going to be very hard work and sometimes very stressful, so I can’t say for sure I’ll be blogging much more often, but I certainly would like to. I’ve had so many good ideas over the past few months, but not enough time or inclination to write them. In the near future, I will probably be posting on my writing blog devajashewaywriting.com more frequently than here, so check that out if you’ve missed me. Unless everything falls apart again, I should be able to do some real posts here too, instead of just more updates… I know, so many update posts. BORING.
Right now I’m very full of cheese fries and calzone, after going out to eat with a friend. I’m trying to digest, but it’s proving somewhat difficult right now.