Everdine Review

So in my usual style of trying to eat better (than takeaways!) when i come home from work really tired I found an advert in Woman’s Health magazine for a company called Everdine.

Their concept is clean eating; delivered efficiently that you can prepare quickly. As a new member you can grab a code from an existing member (my is MELANIE2) if you want to try it cheaply. I paid under £25 for 8 meals. Compared to other companies there’s a really big range to choose from so myself and my other half chose different ones so we could get a really good sample.

I picked the duck; mushroom pasta and the other half got the beef and some lovely looking burritos.

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Note the little stars we put on to remember who had chosen what. I’d recommend an enhancement Everdine could do is let you mark you choices online so they do that for you but it’s a nice to have addition.

When they arrive the box was well designed and items such as your menu are beautifully designed using high quality ingredients. Small point which may just be to do with the courier but our box was damaged so they had taped it up which is normally fine but with food parcels it always makes me feel uneasy.

The box and packaging are like other companies recyclable in every way so that’s not only great from an environmental standpoint but also for people like me who have a tint standard bin now!

The boxes the food comes in is well done and professional looking. I neatly stacked our boxes in the fridge ready for the busy week ahead at work.

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Monday night came and I pulled out our first two favorite dishes. They are predominantly microwaveable although the odd one required/had elements of preferring oven cooking. When I started to read the cooking instructions i realised there were sometimes options to cook from chilled and sometimes frozen. Arghh I didn’t realise (and should have from the excellent expiry dates on the packing which were way in the future) I should have stored them all in the freezer. I figured I’d be ok if I cooked them all this week but sometimes there were only from frozen instructions.

My favourite dish is the mushroom pasta . Overall the portions were generous and all meals were full of vegetables and clearly lots of vitamins and healthy ingredients.

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Will I order more.. the answer I’m afraid is no for two main reasons. The first is that I think my palette is too used to poor food so I prefer more fatty; salty dishes so eating this clean every day of the week would drive me crazy but some people will absolutely love this. Also, the price after the promotion goes up significantly to around £40-50 a week. my issue is that the nights I want a takeaway or just a piece of toast I’ll feel really guilty, however saying that if you freeze these they definitely seem to last a long time so maybe that’s the best way forward. Also, I really do enjoy cooking and the complete lack of preparation which some people would love really didn’t work for me every day.

Enjoy!

https://www.everdine.co.uk

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Making a Picnic Basket

Making a Picnic Basket
For Christmas we received a lovely hamper of sweets and chocolates. It came in a picnic basket which is really sturdy and I’ve always wanted one of those traditional picnic hampers.
Basket
By way of priority in making sure this was a good and usable idea I grabbed a bottle of nice wine from the wine rack to make sure it would fit and therefore I wouldn’t end up with a picnic basket I wouldn’t use. It fitted! So the next thing on the list was to ‘Google’ baskets I liked the look of and I really like ‘Cath Kidston’ or inspired by floral prints. I didn’t think it was a practical idea to use some of the pretty fabric scraps I had in the house because just one spill of food or wine would run the basket so I found an old oil cloth tablecloth that had torn so was perfect for cutting up. I think I got the table cloth from ‘eBay’ where you can buy them by the meter for a few pounds.
Fabric
Next I ran around the house collecting up plastic plates; cutlery; salt n pepper shakers, bottle stoppers and glasses I would like in the basket. I made sure they would fit and looked on ‘Pinterest’ at house those baskets normally look. I then grabbed a piece of A4 card and stuck the oil cloth around it (use Superglue or really strong glue) so I’d have a sturdy lid insert cover. I then glued the oil cloth to inside of the basket and made some little cup holders to keep my cups in place.
Making
On the insert cover lid I placed my plates and cutlery where I’d like to sit and used a craft knife to make slits down each side. I inserted elastic (the basic stuff you buy to put in clothes) and tied and glued it around the back. Finally I used my trusty staple gun to attach the insert cover lid to the lid of the basket.
I’m really pleased with result and it cost me nothing than recycling old materials. Happy Summer Picnics for me!
Picnic

Decoupage or the more trendy Decopatch absolutely anything

I think I’ve been decoupaging since I can remember. Originally a Victorian past time it is beautifully described in Wikipedia as the following,
 
“Decoupage or Découpage is the art of decorating an object by gluing colored paper cutouts onto it in combination with special paint effects, gold leaf and other decorative elements. Commonly, an object like a small box or an item of furniture is covered by cutouts from magazines or from purpose-manufactured papers.​”
My definition is to cover anything and everything the white glue you had at school that used to stick your fingers together with (and was stored in little cinema film black containers with a grey lid if you are as old as me). When you are little that means grabbing a box of cornflakes and after scoffing the residual packet because you were too impatient to wait for it to be emptied then grabbing whatever you had in your craft box including tissue paper; glitter and sequins to make a jewelry box.
As an adult I’ve only refined my technique a little. I now buy the very pretty; if a little expensive Decopatch papers which is a really lovely brand that sells these papers and nicer jars of the glue. I still use traditional white PVA glue as it’s the best and cheapest but I do use paintbrushes as the little plastic glue sticks you had as a kid really cut it anymore.
So grab any object you want to cover. Every Christmas one of my work suppliers sends us boxes of chocolates and cups in these really cute wooden boxes so they are perfect for covering. Fill a separate put with PVA glue. Add a tiny bit of water if it’s particularly thick. I use disposable plastic bowls that meant for bulk birthday parties. I think they cost me a few pounds for 100. This means you only pour out what you need and you don’t have to wash the pot when you are done. I do wash my paintbrushes but make sure you do it straight away and will super hot soapy water and they come out fine.
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Next grab your paper. You can use the posh printed ones or standard tissue paper but be careful with the really cheap stuff meant for kids as the dyes can leak it once mixed with the glue. Do a trial if in doubt. Your initial temptation is to rip the paper into tiny pieces but actually I’ve found you can keep the integrity of the pretty pattern by doing in my larger sheets. Brush a thin layer of glue on your item then press the paper on top. If the glue hasn’t seeped through yet use your brush or hands to really smooth it down. They get some more glue and brush over the top. Repeat until you item is covered.
I’d also recommend doing a final glue layer to give it protection.
I stuck down some felt on the inside of the box to make a nice lining but you can decoupage that too if you like.
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66. KITCHEN RANGES (THE BOOK OF HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT BY MRS. ISABELLA BEETON. VOLUME 1. )

Even in today’s supposedly modern age with equality between sexes and men who stay at home full time looking after the household, Mrs Beeton’s views are surprisingly still current. Most families today don’t have a full time cook but the adoration of the range and as a slightly maternal object is present.  Many times I’ve visited friends and family who have excitedly taken me to their kitchen to show off their traditional Aga or range cookers. Granted, today most people don’t actually understand how to use one or have a large stone kitchen without central heating requiring it to be on all the time but the nostalgic love the item is still very present.

“66. FROM KITCHEN RANGES to the implements used in cookery is but a step. With these, every kitchen should be well supplied, otherwise the cook must not be expected to “perform her office” in a satisfactory manner. Of the culinary utensils of the ancients, our knowledge is very limited; but as the art of living, in every civilized country, is pretty much the same, the instruments for cooking must, in a great degree, bear a striking resemblance to each other.

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On referring to classical antiquities, we find mentioned, among household utensils, leather bags, baskets constructed of twigs, reeds, and rushes; boxes, basins, and bellows; bread-moulds, brooms, and brushes; caldrons, colanders, cisterns, and chafing-dishes; cheese-rasps, knives, and ovens of the Dutch kind; funnels and frying-pans; handmills, soup-ladles, milk-pails, and oiljars; presses, scales, and sieves; spits of different sizes, but some of them large enough to roast an ox; spoons, fire-tongs, trays, trenchers, and drinking-vessels; with others for carrying food, preserving milk, and holding cheese. This enumeration, if it does nothing else, will, to some extent, indicate the state of the simpler kinds of mechanical arts among the ancients.”