Cooking With Gousto

I love cooking, planning my meals weekly and going food shopping but, recently I’ve been feeling a little uninspired.

I partly blame the hot weather, making me want to avoid standing over a hot stove and, also I blame myself for always cooking the same few meals.

We all do it though, right?

We find a few family favorites and cook them to death.

My go to’s until recently have been Carbonara, Stir Fry, Thai curry with salmon and Lasagna. All good meals that I’ve well and truly perfected but, just don’t interest me anymore.

At this point I could have started just researching some new recipes and going food shopping for exciting ingredients but, life is too short and amongst working 12 hour shifts, I don’t always feel like spending my afternoon in my local supermarket. So, I began looking at Hello Fresh but, I didn’t get on with their website because I didn’t like the idea of having to pay for the box before getting to see what was on the menu that week.

But then, I stumbled across a company called Gousto! 

At this point I should add that this isn’t a sponsored post.

The concept is much the same as Hello Fresh I suppose, with food boxes arriving at your door with a selection of recipes you have picked.

Gousto lets you pick up to 4 recipes per week for your family and, each week they have 30 recipes to choose from. You can pay a little extra for some premium dishes too if they take your fancy and you can add extras like a bottle of wine.

I really liked having the benefit of browsing through their recipes before signing up, which really sold me and encouraged me to put an order in.

I should also add that all of their ingredients are locally sourced in the UK. Every ingredient you will need for every recipe is provided in little packets and sachets, which means that the measurements are all done for you, making life even easier.

Here are three of the dishes I’ve tried so far…

Teriyaki Rump Steak, Rice & Sesame Pak Choi 

I paid I think an extra £4.99 for this dish because I’d only tried steak once or twice before and was curious to try an Asian alternative that I knew my boyfriend would love.

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I didn’t have a great time with this recipe or the plating up though sadly. Gousto provide you with simple step by step recipe cards, so I thought cooking this dish would be pretty simple but, I undercooked the steak at first, had to put it back in the pan and then I became flustered and the end result was chewy. Not Gousto’s fault I might add and the rest of the dish tasted delicious. I’m just annoyed at myself because this was supposed to be our premium dish!

I definitely want to cook this dish again, as the Pak Choi steamed with sesame seeds and soy sauce was delicious and making a Teriyaki marinade out of soy sauce and honey was incredibly simple. I’m amazed that I didn’t know how easy it could be.

I’m also a little stubborn and determined to get that steak right.

Sloppy Joe Sliders & Gem Wedge Salad

Not going to lie, I was a little disappointed with just how teeny tiny these sliders were. However, they were actually pretty filling and the wedge salad was the perfect side.

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The dish was super easy to prepare, creating a sauce similar to a Bolognese with the beef, onions and carrots. All I needed to do was grill the buns, pop the mixture into the oven and top with mozzarella.

For the salad dressing, I simply mixed 3 sachets of mayo with a splash of white wine vinegar and some oregano to finish.

I was pretty impressed and my boyfriend loved this dish too.

An all round winner in the Collins Delamare household that’s for sure.

Ten-Min Creamy Tarragon and Mustard chicken

Even though I absolutely love love L O V E cooking, after work it does sometimes feel like a chore. So, this simple and healthy recipe was perfect for those kind of moods.

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The overall dish was so simple and really did take only ten mins, maybe a little less.

Brown rice takes forever to cook and although I think it’s worth the wait, I was pretty grateful to see that Gousto had given me a Tilda microwave wholegrain rice sachet for two.

This delicious meal felt like comfort food and I’ve officially been converted to wholegrain mustard. It’s an ingredient I’d only ever tried in mash before and never thought of pairing with rice.

Moving forward I think this is going to be a staple in my household this Autumn.

These are just a handful of recipes I’ve tried but, they offer such a wide selection for all dietary requirements. The range of cuisines they cover within 30 different recipes per week is commendable too.

I’m so pleased with all of the food I’ve experienced so far with Gousto and can’t wait to receive my next couple of boxes, which will include recipes such as Shredded Chicken Hoisin Wraps, Tofu Chow Mein, King Prawn Korma and, Red Pepper and Sasuage Pasta.

The boxes cost about £34.99 per week and I understand it might not be the most cost effective, it’s definitely convenient for my lifestyle at the moment. I’m absolutely loving the growth Gousto has given me as a home cook and the confidence I’ve been given to step outside of my comfort zone with new recipes.

I’d highly recommend to anyone seeking an easier time in the kitchen. The recipes are easy to follow and really effective. Plus, you won’t need to spend time in the supermarket on your much deserved day off!

What’s not to like?

If you fancy trying Gousto  signing up is really simple.

To receive your 50% discount on your first two boxes simply enter KATE13656695 and enjoy!

 

 

Taking It Slow

Sitting on my sofa, having a relaxed Monday morning I contemplate my lifestyle; whilst it feels like the rest of the world heads off to work.

In March I remember writing a post called Hello Happiness  where I wrote openly about my decision to quit the 9-5, gave some advice for people wanting to do the same and, shared some personal opinions on my ‘career’ so far.

Whilst writing I remember feeling a bit fearful to share my feelings regarding office work and why it wasn’t for me, because I was still thinking maybe, I might go back one day. Sometimes, I still see myself falling back into an office job again, and wonder whether one day it might suit my lifestyle better if/when I have a family. But, after meeting up with a close friend and old work colleague my opinion might have shifted, at least for now.

She was trying to encourage me and in a positive way, suggest that I might want to return to my old job in a different department, as there is a current vacancy I could apply for. At the time, I was pretty interested and had spoken previously with my partner about wanting to go back if they’d have me. However, it wasn’t until a few days after that I began realizing that it would be a mistake and I would be taking a big step backwards.

Self care is the most important thing and my life is so calm, slow, peaceful now.

I work 3 or 4 days a week and have more than enough free time to live my life the way I want to. Before, I was consumed by work. I would constantly shop for work clothes, come home feeling stressed every day, wishing my life away and praying for the weekend.

Now, my life doesn’t exist within the confines of 9-5 and it’s the best. I don’t share the same weekends with everyone else because my routine is changing constantly. I feel that the job I’m doing is important and I’m not ashamed to say that I left working at a Law firm to become a Dementia Care Assistant anymore.

The job isn’t always glamorous but, there’s never a dull moment and I couldn’t think of a better use of my time. It’s in my nature to love and look after, so I’m staying put.

I might see my friends less because of the conflicting work hours but, I see my partner and family more, which means so much to me. I also have a lot of time to myself to write, cook, decorate my new home and enjoy my own company.

The most important thing to mention is that, my mental health has improved so much since saying goodbye to the unnecessary pressure I felt whilst working in a busy office. I’ve always had anxiety and still feel it sometimes but, it’s much more manageable now thanks to discovering a slower way to live.

I’m officially living my best life.

I’m the most confident and comfortable I’ve probably ever felt in my own skin.

I’m untroubled and am able to make the most of everyday.

I don’t go to sleep feeling worried and wanting to phone in sick anymore. I sleep so soooo well and, although I have no idea where my career is going long term, I’m enjoying life right now and that’s the most important thing.

 

 

 

 

Mount Edgecombe & The Little Fox

On a beautiful hot Sunday me, my partner, his dad and best friend traveled to Cornwall to attend the Mount Edgecombe Classic Car show.

The event is held annually on the first weekend in August, and it has become a family thing for us to attend in matching t-shirts with our almost 40 year old Scimitar.

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The event is so so much fun, as lots of classic cars from around the UK travel to be part of the exibition, paying £10 to socialise with other car enthusiasts and eye up each others vehicles.

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But, you don’t have to own a classic car to attend. You can simply visit for the day, parking your car separately or traveling on the little Cremyll ferry from Plymouth direct to Mount Edgecombe and, in addition to the cars, there’s a massive boot sale too.

The event is an all day thing, starting from about 9am with cars usually leaving around 5 or 6 in the evening and, as we were up at 5am getting ready to go we knew we deserved a good evening meal to end the day. So, we made a reservation at the Little Fox Hotel for a delicious dinner with a view.

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The Sunday evening menu was a little small and the by the time we had arrived the waitress had advised that the roast beef and steak options were no longer available, which we were all a little disappointed about to say the least.

However, in the spirit of feeling a little adventurous I decided to order roast duck with black pudding croquettes, something actually quite far outside of my comfort zone.

I’ve only tried duck once before whilst staying in the Cotswolds and had never dreamed of trying black pudding. The thought before that evening made me feel uneasy but as a meat eater anyway, I thought I’d give it a go and, I liked it.

I’m upset to say that and I certainly won’t be raving about it to my vegetarian mother.

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The overall dish and presentation was stunning however, I have to comment on the two little perfectly formed potato rosti.

I’m not sure if they were homemade or not to be honest? I like to think that they were but, they just look too perfect. They weren’t particularly rich and crispy like you usually expect either and, felt a little more like mash potato inside.

For pudding, we were given two menus which were a little confusing. There were lots of items available on both it appeared, until the waitress came back and mentioned that they were out of several options and we had to change our order.

I wanted the advertised lemon tart but, ended up with a classic dark chocolate and raspberry tart with chocolate ice cream and was not disappointed. The thing was beautiful. Very rich and the pastry fell apart on your spoon. There were also whole raspberries inside to add a lovely additional texture.

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What can I say?

The restaurant and food at the Little Fox Hotel is really special. If you’re in the area and fancy some good hearty food I’d recommend stopping by.

The meal for me and my boyfriend came to about £50 in total but it was certainly worth the money and, despite the lack of beef available on the menu, there were lots of other choices including fish and chips, halloumi and chips, roast chicken and duck!

What an incredible day all in all.

The service at the Little Fox could have been better but it certainly wasn’t terrible by any standard, and the car show is always great.

I’m seriously looking forward to next year already and if I haven’t said it before, I’ll say it again, I love coastal living! Having events like this, food, vast countryside and sea views is a total dream and I never want to leave the South West.