Monday, October 26, 2009
Review and giveaway: Relish! (meal planning service)-CLOSED
Congrats to my winner-thesehappydays
People- I have an announcement to make. Are you ready? I, Carrie, have cooked 5 meals FROM SCRATCH in the last week. If you're not surprised, then you're probably new here. Because I do not cook. I assemble food or heat up frozen food or order takeout. I almost never cook an entire meal from scratch. Much less 5 meals in the space of a week.
This all started a couple of weeks ago when I was contacted by Relish!, asking me if I would be interested in doing a review of their meal-planning website. Since my parents are currently visiting, and they do not eat sushi (our major food group in this household), I happily accepted the offer of a free month membership and logged on to the site.
The site is great- it's a site designed to help families make healthy, creative dinners, while also cutting down on all those trips to the grocery store. For a monthly fee of only $7, you will get 5 dinner recipes per week, plus a dessert recipe. But you don't just get recipes, you get an itemized shopping list.
The first time I logged in and chose my 5 recipes and printed out my shopping list for the 5 meals, I was a little overwhelmed, since I don't cook and recipes scare me. But when I started looking at the list, I realized that all the items were things that I knew I could buy at my local grocery store- no unusual ingredients that I couldn't pronounce or identify. The shopping list is nicely organized into a section of things that you might have in your cupboards already, things like spices and oils, then broken down by category into things you need to buy- dairy, produce, meats. Each ingredient on the shopping list is labeled with a letter corresponding to the recipe it goes to- so if you decide at the last minute that you don't need 5 meals for the week and only want to make 4 of the things you chose, then you can easily mark the things off your shopping list that you don't need.
My family has really enjoyed the things that I've been making. My parents walked into our condo on the day they arrived and were met by the smell of Autumn Harvest Stew cooking in the crock pot. And it turned out as delicious as it smelled. I've made 4 other recipes since then, and they've all been hits with my entire family. There are a number of recipes that are going to be added to our rotation, and I'm excited to see what next week has in store!
Each week you will get to choose 5 recipes for dinner and 1 for dessert from a list of 15 possible recipes. The recipes are helpfully labeled as kid friendly, quick, crockpot, lower calorie, simple gourmet, vegetarian, morning prep, one pot, dessert or custom meal, so you can quickly narrow down the choices to what works best for your family. The recipes include both the main dish and a side dish, so you'll be all set for your meal. Nutrition infomartion is also included on the recipe. The other great feature is that you can easily scale the recipes- this week I've been cooking for 4, but next week it'll just be 2 of us, and that's a simple thing to select.
In addition to the weekly recipes, you also get monthly freezer recipes- things to make ahead when you have free time and to have on hand for the busy evenings when even the simplest meal just isn't going to get cooked. Your subscription also covers things like simple lunch ideas, and a HUGE list of special menus for every event you can imagine including movie nights, holidays and parties of various themes.
I'm a convert to this- it's totally designed for people like me who are just not able to come up with ideas for what to cook. And having the custom shopping list has way cut down on our miscellaneous trips to the store. I can shop once on the weekend and have all the things I need for dinners all week. The site is designed so that dinners and sides for 5 days will cost less than $85 per week.
One of you is going to get the chance to win a year's subscription to Relish! This is a $58.80 value- and will be worth even more to you in terms of sanity savings!
Mandatory entry (please leave your email address in the comment or make sure it's visible on your blogger profile)
Go here and let me know what meal from the sample menu looks best to you.
Extra entries (please leave a separate comment for each):
1) Follow my blog
2) Add my button to your blog-let me know where to find it.
3) Blog about this giveaway (three extra entries, please leave 3 separate comments).
4) Enter my other giveaways (leave a separate comment for each one that you enter).
Giveaway will end at 9 PM Pacific Time on Saturday, November 28, 2009. I'll choose a winner with random.org and will email the winner. That person will have 48 hours to respond to my email. Good luck!
Disclaimer: I was given a 1-year membership to this site so that I could review it. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions presented here are mine and mine alone.