going out of business. Huge liquidation sale!

If you’re looking to stock up on cookware, utensils, or really whatever you can think of for the kitchen, check out  Great discounts on a ton of stuff, though a lot has been picked over already.  My go to cheap chef’s knife is the Victorinox Fibrox 8″ and it’s on sale for about half of what you can get it for on Amazon.  Be careful to note some items are only sold in cases meant for restaurant needs, so it may not be the most convenient for home use, but the prices are hard to beat.

Blue Apron Review

I’ve seen Blue Apron advertised as well as some similar competing services and have always been curious about them but never looked into them very much.  Members that have been subscribed for a while ,and I assume have received several orders, are able to send a free trial to friends.  It’s not made very clear from the pages I read what the threshold is for receiving invites or what, if any, limits there are. A friend of mine offered me a trial and my first order arrived today!

When you sign up you’re prompted to select your dietary preference.  Blue Apron currently (as of January 2016) offers 5 menus. From the site:

We currently create 5 menus to best suit a variety of tastes, such as vegetarian, pescetarian, and people who love meat and fish.

We can also accomodate some dietary restrictions such as no shellfish, no red meat, no pork, and no fish.

It doesn’t look like they offer any customization for this either.  If only 1 person is vegetarian and gets the family plan it doesn’t look like there’s an option to have only 1 vegetarian meal in there.  This makes sense logistically, but more customization would be nice.

You get 3 separate meals per week.  The 2-person plan is $59.94/week, and the family plan (4 servings per meal) is $139.84/week.  They send you everything you need to make exactly enough for the recipe.  The ingredients came pre-portioned, were of good quality, and everything was fresher than I expected. Ingredients came sandwiched between 2 large ice packs so everything was refrigerator cold, if not colder, when I unpacked it. There were full page color infographic inserts for each recipe (including an estimated calorie count per serving which is nice since I track everything with Myfitnesspal) as well as information about some of the ingredients.

Miyoko’s Creamery: Artisanal Vegan Cheeses

I’ve been a bit behind on watching the Vegan Zombie’s videos, but just saw this one about a line of artisan vegan cheeses made by a woman in the San Francisco area.  All of her cheeses are cashew based, but just from this video I was intrigued by the texture.  It looks legit.

I’m not vegan but I love duplicating tastes and textures with other ingredients if I can, as well as knowing quality alternatives exist if I’m cooking vegan. I’ve tasted quite a few different commercially available vegan cheeses and so far none of them have compared to the real thing.  Hopefully this one delivers. It’s certainly pricey, but if the texture and taste is there I can see it being worth it to vegans desperate for some “real” cheese.

Just made my first order including Double Cream Garlic Herb, Aged English Smoked Farmhouse, and Double Cream Sundried Tomato Garlic. I’ll of course be doing a review, but unlike the Vegan Zombie review it will be coming from someone who loves and regularly eats cheeses of all varieties.

Check out the site here.  When I first went to the site I was offered a 15% off coupon code, so that helped with the price a bit.  Note that there is a minimum of 3 items per order and a maximum of 10.

Lesson Learned with Old Spaghetti Squash

We love spaghetti squash and got one a while back but had just let it sit on the counter for a while.  I finally decided to try cooking it after checking for a list of signs online of how you could tell if a spaghetti squash is still good or not and by their checklist everything seemed fine.  It still felt hard, wasn’t mushy, looked normal, and smelled ok near the stalk.

Imagine my surprise after baking and cutting it open to find sprouted seeds inside!  It still smelled fine, so I decided to give the flesh a taste and it was horribly bitter.  Not really worth going farther on with the cooking.

So!  Let this be a lesson to you, if you encounter a spaghetti squash with sprouted seeds you’re probably going to have a bad time.

One of my goals with this blog was to post both successess and failure.  Sure the awesome pictures of a well executed meal are most desirable, but I had no idea about this aspect of spaghetti squash over ripeness even with all other signs pointing to a good squash.   Hopefully it can be used as a learning experience for everyone. Review

For the most part, the hottest peppers I can find in the grocery stores around here are habaneros.  I’ve seen super hot pepper plants for sale at the farmer’s market, but so far no actual peppers, so I went looking online to see what my options were.

What I found on Reddit was  A very small homestead farm in Kentucky headed by A.J. Drew.  I went with a sampler box for my first order since I haven’t tried much of anything he has to offer, with the hopes that I’d get at least one Carolina Reaper and some other super hots I’ve seen reviewed on youtube.  Well, he delivered.  I got a box of 26 peppers for $16 including shipping.  A great deal for what you get.  Included were three Red Savinas, four 7 Pot Bubblegums, three 7 Pot Brain Strains, one Carolina Reaper, four Red Ghost Peppers, one Chocolate Bhutlah, four Moruga Reds, two 7 Pot Originals, 1 Butch T Scorpion, and 3 of AJ’s Standing Vipers (AJ’s attempt at stabilizing the Naga Viper stock he had).

If you’re not feeling adventurous enough to get a box of random peppers, he updates his inventory daily according to what’s fresh.  You can get small boxes (about 5 peppers usually), a medium box (about 10), and a large box (25-30 peppers).  Carolina Reapers are starting to get ripe enough to fill large boxes on their own.

My favorite tasting pepper was the Moruga Red for sure.  They had a sweet, sort of citrus taste to them that I loved.  For the most part I ate the peppers diced in ramen or other foods, though I did eat a few whole to my stomach’s despair.

One of the Brain Strains was put to good use in a pot of crockpot chili.  Very tasty and hot, though I wish I’d added a second one.  After the 6 hour cook time, the heat diminished a bit, though it was still very good and spicy.

All of the peppers delivered on the heat and taste I’ve heard in countless reviews online from the likes of tedbarrus, The Crude Brothers, cutlerylover, and Loafy Molasses.  All YouTubers I’m a big fan of in the world of pepper/hot sauce reviews.

If you’re in the same boat as me looking for some super hots, give these guys a try and you won’t be disappointed with what you get.

Now, if you’ve stuck around long enough to read to the end, you deserve a reward.  Two videos of me eating ridiculously hot peppers about a week apart. The Trinidad Scorpion Butch T, and the Carolina Reaper.  Enjoy my pain!  I throw some choice words in for the peppers, so keep that in mind ;).