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But these services don’t have to be passive; some of them provide you with the tools and materials you need to work on a particular skill.
Home Chef, a new meal subscription service, sent me one of their ingredient boxes to try. As an amateur cook, I was pretty impressed.
The premise is straightforward: Each week, Home Chef sends a box of ingredients to your door that fits your pre-specified dietary preferences. I was happy to see that in addition to selecting types of food you’d like to avoid (ie. meat, fish, vegetables), you can also customize your box to focus on low-calorie or low-carb meals.
I’ve tried a similar meal service before, and I found Home Chef’s box to be better organized. All of the ingredients for each recipe were all stored together in a single Ziploc bag, making them easy to keep in my fridge. The only exception was the meat, which was surrounded by small ice packs on the bottom of the box.
The meat was insulated well, but I would have felt better if it was surrounded by a couple of more ice packs, since there’s always the chance you could run late and have the box sitting on your stoop for a few hours.
Because this was my first box, Home Chef’s recipe cards were accompanied by a three-ring binder, which you could use to catalog the ones you’d like to cook later. The cards themselves were full of information about your meal, including its difficulty, cooking tips, and detailed instructions. They’re also available digitally, in case you’d prefer following instructions on your phone or tablet instead.
In my experience, the recipes were easy to follow, and the results were very tasty. Home Chef’s aim is to help people cook more complicated dishes without a lot of stress, and it succeeded. I had eaten chicken coq au vin and blue cheese-crusted steak before, but I’d never cooked them. Now that I’ve learned how, the idea of making them again seems more doable.
A subscription varies in price, but each meal costs $9.95 per person. The subscription I tried comes with three two-portion meals and costs $59.75, which is in line with what similar services are charging. You can also choose to skip certain weeks, if you know you’re going to be out of town or won’t have much time to cook.
If you’d like to cook more, but don’t have the time to plan out recipes and get fresh ingredients, Home Chef is worth trying out.
It makes cooking straightforward and fun, even if you haven’t used a particular ingredient or cooking technique before. I’d never used my oven’s broiler, and now I’m thinking of ways I can start integrating it into recipes I’ve been meaning to try.
New subscribers can get $30 off their first box by clicking the link below. Bon appétit.
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