Had me at Hello (Fresh)

Anyone familiar with the term 'grizzle o'clock'? You know, that hour between about 3 and 6pm when children have the tendency to 'turn', whinging hits new decibel levels and tensions get just a little bit fraut.

Well, it was around this hour back in February when we had a knock at the door from someone introducing a new concept for cooking called 'Hello Fresh'. I'm not usually someone who will go for doorstep sales but the idea of a box of fresh food and ingredients arriving at my door, with everything I needed to cook 5 meals for the family, had me at, well, it had me at hello.

We signed up to two boxes there and then and haven't looked back. We've now cooked and eaten our way through 3 boxes, that's 15 recipe cards and 60 plates of food which have resulted in 4 clear plates (almost - there's no accounting for toddler fussiness) every time.

We signed up to a Classic Box which includes 5 recipe cards and everything you need (minus the salt, pepper and oil) to cook those meals. Opening the box and discovering what meals are ahead of us on a Monday morning has become something that the kids and I all enjoy.

One of my favorite parts is opening up the brown paper bag with a label saying 'the little things', containing little pots of spices, sachets of sauces and vinegars to make the dishes sing. The chilled food is kept cool in a cleverly designed wool lined packs which can be recycled for next time too.

Whilst the box is designed for two adults to share, over 5 meals, the portion sizes have meant that we've shared the meals with the children too, sometimes adding an extra side of rice or veg to bulk the dish out for the four of us. The recipes have varied and have had us cooking some meat and veg that we wouldn't normally buy (celeriac, pork chops). As well as giving us twists on some already firm favourites, like the pasta dish above.

Our favourite meals have included:

- Minted lamb and feta Burgers with crunchy salad

- Quickfire beef enchiladas with homemade ranchero beans (the kids loved this one!)

- Sicilian caponata with herbed pork and garlic ciabatta (Sam recreated this dish when catering for 60 hungry students recently - it was a winner with them too!)

One of the best bits I've loved is not having to THINK about what we're having for dinner that night. As much as I'd like to think I'm organised and totally have a handle on domestic life, the truth is far from it! So, to know that the all the food I need to cook the evening meal is already in the fridge or cupboard, is a huge help, all I need to do is follow the recipe card for whatever takes our fancy. The cards are so easy to follow and generally take about 30 minutes, with some (thankfully) a little quicker and tend to jump straight to the top of the cook list when it's one of 'those' days.

Yes, I'm afraid it's true, the introduction of Hello Fresh hasn't banished grizzle o'clock, but it HAS worked wonders for my sanity!

There have been a few weeks where we've known we were going to be out or away so have put our delivery on 'hold' and resumed cooking Harris family favourites. On those weeks though I do miss the convenience and chance to try meals that we wouldn't necessarily think about cooking.

Our box for this week has arrived this morning and I'm already looking forward to cooking the 'Surprisingly Filling Mexican Broth.'

If you fancy trying out a couple of boxes for yourself then the lovely people at Hello Fresh have kindly given me a special discount for you. Simply click through to their website here and use the code HFMALDOD to recieve £20 off your first box and £20 off your second box.

I'd love to know what you think and, if you've already given it a go, do let me know what your favourite recipes are, just drop me a comment below.

Thanks for reading today and happy cooking!

I have not been paid or sponsored for this post, all comments and opinions are my own. 

However, a big thank you to Hello Fresh for kindly offering my readers such a great discount.