A Small List of Good Things

This week feels heavy, and the stormy weather we're having is doing nothing to lift my spirits. A small list of good things is the perfect remedy to my grump.  

  1. The Good Place on Netflix. You guys, if you have not watched this yet, get on it. Shawn and I never agree on shows to watch but we both loved this. The episodes are only 22 minutes long, and there's only 13, so it's an easy series to devour. I literally laughed out loud multiple times while watching this show.
  2. Concrete and Gold by the Foo Fighters. One day these guys are bound to disappoint me but today is not that day. This album has been on repeat in my house for weeks.
  3. The Dirty John podcast. Do you love true crime? The Dirty John podcast is an easy listen (I think it's six episodes long and they're all under an hour). It's engaging and not too gruesome.  

What's on your list of good things this week?

 

Meal Plan 10/16/2017 - 10/20/2017

I'm very excited about this week's meal plan because it's a HelloFresh week! I only plan five meals per week (to leave room for real life) and when HelloFresh takes care of planning three of those five? I'm a happy camper. Or cooker.

mealplan.jpg

Monday: I pulled a bag of homemade ragu out of the freezer to defrost. I'll serve it over roasted broccoli or spaghetti noodles, depending on how Monday my Monday is. Hashtag: eat your feels.

Tuesday: HelloFresh! Pulled Chicken Sliders

Wednesday: HelloFresh! Seared Steak and Crispy Potato Salad

Thursday: HelloFresh! Autumn Sausage Succotash 

Friday: Everyone's favourite, breakfast for dinner. Cheesy scrambled eggs, buttermilk pancakes, fresh fruit, and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice. 

Two things: I am incapable of writing HelloFresh without adding an exclamation mark of pure joy. When I say it out loud, it's totally evident. HelloFresh is making me love the kitchen again, even on busy work nights. 

Also, click the links above for the recipes. We can be dinner twinsies even if you don't subscribe (and if you do want to subscribe, HILLARY40 gives you 40% off your first box).

What's on your meal plan this week?

35

Today I turned 35 years old. I ate cake three times and got stuck in traffic and felt little heart hugs as I heard from friends all over the world and got bogged down by my work inbox and cuddled my babies as they sang me Happy Birthday and blindly reached into a plastic bag in Poppy's backpack and pulled out poop-stained pants. It was the perfect representation of the utter joy and teeth-gritting frustration that I feel lately. My life is beautiful and messy and noisy and chaotic and the best damn thing I could hope for. 

Today someone asked how old I turned and when I replied, they remarked the reason I'm so gleeful about birthdays is because I'm "on the right side of forty." And maybe that's true. Maybe 39-year-old Hillary will look back at 35-year-old Hillary and roll her eyes (I mean, it's inevitable). But I also feel like being diagnosed with cancer at 30 gave me perspective. Today I turned 35 years old. Not too shabby, if you ask me. 

IMG_7913.JPG

Hack Your HelloFresh Meals for Yummy Leftovers

I recently had the opportunity to review HelloFresh Canada's recipe kit delivery service and I fell in love. The only major drawback I found was the lack of leftovers. I love leftovers. I love cooking once and getting two dinners' worth of food. I'm all about minimum effort and maximum reward (hashtag: millennial?). 

HelloFresh Canada generously sent me a four-person box (so three dinners that each have four portions) so I could try to hack my meals to give me yummy leftovers. I'm not talking about reheating the same meal twice in a row. I wanted to supplement with common kitchen ingredients to transform my leftovers into something new without a lot of effort. 

One of the meals I received was Turkey Milanese with Pesto Green Beans and Creamy Potatoes. Sounds good, right? Well it was. Shawn and I thoroughly enjoyed it as our pre-Thanksgiving warmup, and we were left with two servings of turkey, a bowl of mashed potatoes, and a generous serving of pesto green beans for our leftovers.

Hillarywith2Ls_HelloFresh

I decided to transform my leftovers into two additional meals. It was the Thanksgiving long weekend and we had time for a nice, leisurely breakfast. I grabbed my potatoes and green beans, along with a handful of grape tomatoes, five eggs, 1/2 cup milk, and 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles. While my oven preheated to 350F, I lightly greased a pie plate. Then I dotted spoonfuls of the mashed potatoes, layered with the green beans and halved grape tomatoes, and topped with the feta cheese. Lastly, I whisked together the eggs and milk, seasoned with salt and pepper, and poured over the veggie mixture. I checked my frittata at 30 minutes and it was still a bit jiggly in the middle so I cooked for another 5-10 minutes until the middle was set. Shawn and I enjoyed the frittata with fresh fruit and giant mugs of coffee. My assembly time was five minutes and It made enough for both of us to eat for breakfast two days in a row. 

Hillarywith2Ls_HelloFresh.JPG

When Shawn saw the crispy breaded turkey pieces, he requested hot turkey sandwiches. While I cooked up some bacon and sliced tomatoes, he threw the leftover turkey on the barbecue to quickly heat them up without losing the crunch. I had saved the leftover pesto from the green beans; I mixed it with mayo and spread on our buns for a little sauce. A little green leaf lettuce and aged cheddar completed the dish. Shawn I both got home from work late but managed to get dinner on the table in under ten minutes. It felt like a major win because our usual method of dealing with late nights is calling for a pizza.

Hillarywith2Ls_HelloFresh.JPG

We received a four-person box with: Turkey Milanese, Autumn Bacon Salad, and Hungarian Beef Goulash. The Turkey Milanese gave us two 2-portion dinners and two 2-portion breakfasts. The Autumn Bacon Salad gave us one 2-portion dinner and one 2-portion lunch (what can I say, we both love a big salad). The Hungarian Beef Goulash gave us one 2-portion dinner and three 2-portion lunches with very minimal effort (I added all the leftovers to four cups of beef broth, threw in a package of frozen chopped spinach, added an additional onion, thickened it with a flour slurry, and called it beef stewp (stew/soup).) 

Our three-meal four-person box stretched to give us ten 2-portion meals with the addition of common kitchen items (which I estimate cost $15 or so). We had time-saving leftovers to eat on busy weeknights, and nutritious and satisfying leftovers to pack for work lunches. 

HelloFresh has transformed our last-minute meals into nutritious, home-cooked, satisfying meals and I'm shocked at how easy the transition has been. There will always be unavoidable chaos (this is real life after all) but reviewing the calendar at the beginning of the week, and prepping for the days we know are bound to be a bit more hectic than others, is the difference between a little difficult and sobbing-on-the-kitchen-floor-while-inhaling-takeout. 

If you want to try HelloFresh Canada to see how they can make your life easier, use code HILLARY40 for 40% off your first box for new customers.

{Disclosure: I received product in exchange for this review; all opinions stated are my own.}