happy new year everyone!

i'm back with my first post for 2017, unboxing one of my favorite subscription boxes, my monthly degustabox.

my january degustabox came packed with 10 items, five of these items were completely new to me, and the other five were items i am familiar with the brand.

in my box: Welche's Fruit 'n yogurt snacks/ Jolly Time Healthy Pop Popcorn/ ALO  aloe vera beverage/ Cello Whisps/ Mconnells Korma curry sauce/ Prince of Peace Ginger Honey Crystals/ Go Organically Fruit Snacks/ Entemann's Little Bites Party Cakes/ Hungry Jack Mix/ Live Smart Bar

  • Welch's Fruit 'n Yogurt Snacks: real fruit snacks surrounded by a creamy yogurt. these snack packs are also gluten free, low in fat, and 100% of your recommended vitamin C. available in strawberry, blueberry, and cherry. 
  • Entenmann's Little Bites Party Cakes: my box included one pouch containing 4 mini butter yellow cakes with sprinkles. these sell as a 5ct box (4 cakes to a pouch).
  • Live Smart Kids: my box contained one bar in the banana split flavor, not a fan of the flavor but would totally eat this bar as it's nut-free, soy-free, non-GMO, and vegan.
  • Cello Whisps: these were new to me, and boy are they somewhat addicting. Cello Whisps are a baked parmesan cheese snack that are great for snacking, adding to a salad for crunch and made they are made solely from parmesan cheese.
  • Hungry Jack Pancake and Waffle Mix: i've definitely cooked up waffles and pancakes using Hungry Jack mix in the past and know how easy this mix is to use, generally just add water and you're all set. i haven't tried the mix yet but very interested in this pumpkin spice flavor.
  • Go Organically Fruit Snacks: I don't generally purchase fruit snacks but i also don't turn them down when offered so let's just say i enjoyed a few of these USDA-certified organic fruit snacks. Go Organically makes their snacks with real fruit, and they are also GMO-free, gluten-free, and preservative free.
  • McDonnells Korma Curry Sauce: a creamy curry sauce mix, a great way to marinate meat or dress up boring veggies or protein. 
  • Alo Refresh:  i've been fortunate to try ALO refresh juice in a previous degustabox and this month's box came with a cucumber and cantaloupe flavored ALO. made with all-natural non-GMO ingredients using straight-from-the-leaf aloe vera pulp and juice. this is a nice refreshing alternative for when you burn out on coconut water.
  • Prince of Peace Ginger Honey Crystals: packaged in individual sachets are dissolvable honey and ginger. a great way to spice up your water and the addition of ginger is a natural helper for nausea and digestion.
  • Jolly Time Healthy Pop Butter Pop Corn: having purchased Jolly Time popcorn many times, it is fair to say i am very familiar with this brand. endorsed by Weight Watchers, Healthy Pop is gluten-free, and uses non-GMO popcorn kernels, hard to pass this brand up!

check back soon at 6PST today to see what item from this month's box i use in a recipe!

Degustbox subscribers have zero long term commitment; that means you can sign up and receive  a surprise subscription box every month until you say stop! still unsure about what Degustabox is check out my previous reviews below

thank you Degustabox for sending a january box my way in exchange for my honest review.


my october DEGUSTABOX arrived and came packing with some fun finds this month:

above is everything included in my october box, a breakdown of it all below.

october's degustabox came loaded up with the following 11 items: Jones soda/ Numi Tea / Palo Popcorn / Hometown Bagel / Lovely Candy / La Tortilla Factory / Wasa Thins / Energems / Crown Nut / Barilla Marinara Sauce / Barilla ProteinPLUS pasta

  • La Tortilla Factory  are the first non-GMO low carb tortilla. each tortilla is packing 4g net carbs, 3g of protein, 24% of your recommended daily intake of fiber, and only 45 calories. these tortillas sound like a great swap out from the normal cholesterol heavy tortilla found in every supermarket.
  • Barilla Sauce in marinara, the Barilla brand is not new to me, i've used these sauces in the past. one great thing about the Barilla brand is they use high quality ingredients, is kosher and gluten-free. 
  • Barilla ProteinPLUS penne pasta is also packing some added protein, 17g of protein per 3.5oz, made with all-natural ingredients, and available in 7 varieties of pasta
  • Wasa Thins, although i have seen these at the market many times i never tried them, i was happy to see them in my degustabox this month. clearly i had been missing out as i quickly consumed the whole box within a week. the Wasa Thins are a delicate sesame cracker with a light sprinkling of sea salt, the flavor is not overpowering and works great with spreads and cheese!
  • Palo Popcorn in flavors white cheddar cheese, and bacon cheddar, this brand is completely new to me. all of Palo Popcorn's uses a non-GMO popcorn seed, real cheddar cheese, contain no trans fats, preservatives and are naturally gluten-free.
  • Hometown Chicago Style Bagel Chips, in both cinnamon and garlic, both were new to me. i am not the biggest fan of bagel chips, but that doesn't stop me from uncontrollably snacking through an entire snack size bag in one setting. the garlic was my favorite of the two featured in my monthly box, the cinnamon isn't quite my jam, i am not a fan of sweet flavors not being in pastries or desserts, that's just me.
  • Crown Nut Co. in sriracha flavor. these nuts are new to me, i've not seen them on shelves but would easily buy if i had the option to. the Crown Nut Co. is family owned, %100 natural, vegan, contains 9g of protein, and only 100 calories per pack, plus they are non-GMO; basically yes to all of that!
  • Lovely Candy Co. these chewy all-natural, gluten free, non-GMO, and kosher candies include bits of real fruit and are made without the use of high fructose corn syrup. these were new to me and a great alternative to the common fruit chews found in every market.
  • Energems, bite-sized energy supplements packed with caffeine and vitamins B and D and covered in dark chocolate with just 50 calories in each serving.
  • Numi Tea mini sampler. i've been a long time consumer of Numi Tea and was happy to try some new Numi tea flavors like their caffeine-free Rooibos Chai, and Moroccan Mint.
  • Jones Soda in pumpkin pie flavor. i've had a few Jones soda's in my time and am excited to try this flavor in the near future, as a mixer.

follow this link to see what i made using an ingredient from this month's DEGUSTABOX

thank you DEGUSTABOX for sending me an october box in exchange for my honest review


ACME Farms + Kitchen

Food subscription boxes are quite popular these days, if you haven't heard of at least one brand of home-delivery food subscription service, I would have to question if you've ever been online in the past two years, or if you've ever heard of a podcast as radio ads for subscription boxes like blue apron, and plated are threaded throughout every other other ad on the daily. 

-So what's the deal with these food subscription boxes, are they worth their weight?

A few weeks back I was given an amazing opportunity to try Portland's local food subscription service ACME and, in the end of cooking up five meals I would have to say yes, yes ACME is totally worth its weight! I received a Large Locavore box from Acme Farms + Kitchen, and for five days I had the guesswork of weekly meal prep eliminated. Let me tell you how nice it was to come home and have meals pre-planned!!! One of the best parts of this meal subscription service is the in-season produce, locally sourced ingredients and meats to make home cooked meals each night. 

the Large Locavore Box which i received contained almost everything to prepare five full dinners; one meat dish, one fish dish, and three vegetarian dishes which is perfect for my household of two. the Large Locavore Box can also be customized for to be all dairy-free, all gluten-free, and both gluten and dairy free. if five meals seems like a bit much, ACME also has a Locavore Trial Box which comes with ingredients and recipe card to prepare one meal to feed 3-4.

on a  paleo diet? ACME has a box for you, the Paleo Locavore Box which comes loaded with five paleo compliant meals

still unsure if ACME Farms + Kitchen has a box for you, check HERE to see if you live with in the local portland, seattle, and bellingham delivery area, and shop the boxes to see if there is one for you, and if you need more incentive to shop and eat local use my code to receive $15 off your first order: FIRST15BH9

inside of my Large Locavore box was just about everything needed for five full meals neatly cold packed and sitting on my doorstep. the produce items were stored in biodegradable bags, and the dry goods in paper bags. i sorted everything out and looked over my recipe card to see what meal required the longest prep and started to sort out my weeks worth of dinners based on the prep.

the recipe cards is laid out in a easy to follow format; each recipe lists what items are needed from your ACME box, what items to pull from your pantry, as well as what dishes require an overnight start (like those with marinades, and soaking) and which will require longer prep and cook time. 

below are a few dishes i was able to prepare from my ACME box





and not pictured: black bean sliders

in total honesty i was a little skeptical about trying a meal delivery service. the meals i make at home are not pre-made nor do i cut corners with pre-made sauces, i cook wholesome fresh meals for my household, this ACME box removed all skepticism i had, nothing in this box was pre-made except for pizza dough, which arrived ready to prepare and not frozen. one major thing that stood out about ACME is all of the products featured in the recipes are all from local and regional purveyors, and the produce is locally grown. the recipe card lays out which purveyors were used for each box, and which items will be needed to complete your meal, many being spices. let's just say i was super impressed with the five meals i was able to prepare from my ACME box. for five days i was able to pull out items from my refrigerator and have dinner ready within an hour. the guess work of cooking an evening meal was eliminated and the meals were fulfilling, fresh, and delicious. 

thank you ACME Farms + Kitchen for sending a Large Locavore Box my way in exchange for my honest review and opinion.



new month and new DEGUSTABOX, here's a breakdown of what i found in my september box:

above is everything that was included in my september monthly subscription to DEGUSTABOX.

16 items: popCORNers/ Sparkling Bitters/ Toosum oatmeal bar/ BustaNUT!/ Sam Mills pasta/ Entenmann's little bites/ Nando's PERi PERi sauce/ English Provender /Michel et Augustin shortbread cookies/ Hak's one pot cooking sauce/ Zollipops

  • Sam Mills gluten free corn & quinoa pasta. so i've not tried this pasta before but will have to as it's gluten-free pasta, free of wheat, soy, egg, dairy, tree nuts, fish, and shell fish. made with non-GMO ingredients and is kosher. sounds like the pasta to get for every dietary restriction.

  • Entenmann's Little Bites in chocolate chip muffins. now i've had many of these little muffin bites in the past and truly am surprised to learn they contain 0g trans-fat, no high fructose syrup and are made with real chocolate. surprise surprise!

  • Michel et Augustin little shortbread cookies, these are completely new to me and anything shortbread is something i tend to be a fan of, so after trying both flavors found in my monthly box i was pretty happy to finish the entire box of the butter and sea salt ones. hope these will stock the shelves soon as they are commonly found in france.

  • Toosum. a gluten-free oatmeal bar with just 100 calories, low in sugar and has zero refined sugars, and certified gluten-free, non-GMO, and without a trace of artificial anything!
  • BustaNut! wow, quite the name for a bag of nuts. in this months box i received two flavors, burbon and maple bacon. i favored the bourbon flavor with its gentle touch of smoke, not a huge fan of the maple bacon but the husband sure was. 
  • Zolli Drops. these are new to me, they are sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan and kosher, made with natural flavors and colors in the USA. a natural way to prevent tooth decay.
  • Nando's PERi PERi sauce. okay i've heard of Nando's and have heard the raves about their chicken and this PERi PERi sauce. excited to have a bottle and am looking forward to marinating some chicken breast overnight in this sauce! looks like this sauce is a combination of african bird's eye chili, lemon, garlic, onion and spices. this sauce also happens to be kosher, halal, gluten-free and fairly natural!
  • Hak's one pot cooking sauce in rustic ratatouille. i've never heard of this sauce and have yet to test it out, but from the description it's best used for a crock pot recipe all you have to do is add one pound of your preferred meat or veggies. the rustic ratatouille is gluten-free, all natural, no preservatives, non-GMO, and produced in small batches. 
  • popCORNers in carnival kettle flavor.  these are new to me and appear to be popped corn chips. they tasted very close to kettle corn, a slightly sweet and somewhat salty treat. these chips are gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, and crunchy. 
  • Sparkling Bitters in mint. this is also new to me and i just happen to be a big fan of sparkly water,  unfortunately my bottle was leaking when it arrived, with fear of glass being found in the bottle, i tossed it out.
degustabox unboxing september 2016
  • The English Provender in Sweet Tomato & Chili Chutney, Luxury Lemon Curd, and Carmalized Red Onion Chutney. these are a small batch curds and jams using traditional english recipes since 1979 and are all non-GMO, vegaterian, and gluten free. 

check back soon to see what recipe i came up with using an item from this months DEGUSTABOX!

still unsure about a monthly food surprise subscription? check out my previous


Degustabox subscribers have no long term commitment, can do a box each month or just try one for fun, plus shipping is free! Follow the link below and receive %50 off your first box!

thank you DEGUSTABOX for sending a september box my way in exchange for my honest review and opinion