Cooking with The Manno’s

Today we are talking cooking on the blog! I’m really proud of how far along my cooking has come over the last year, because I definitely didn’t cook much at all before then! Let me explain. Back when I was pregnant with Molly I remember having talks with my mother-in-law about cooking. She absolutely loves to cook and has so many great recipes. So I remember confiding in her one day about how I was worried that I wouldn’t be the type of mom that cooked because at that point I didn’t cook at all! (Kevin felt the same way FYI. He wanted to be able to be a good dad and cook for Molly too!) We were worried that Molly would be raised on takeout because that’s all Kevin and I ever had for dinner. But Kevin’s mom assured me that she didn’t cook when she was younger either. She said that she and Kevin’s dad were the exact same way before babies and mostly ordered in. She said that with time and after she had her children, she gradually learned to cook and began to love it! I never ever thought I would get to that point. However, I’m pretty proud to say that not only have I become such a better cook over the last year, but it’s something that I’m really enjoying too!

Now let me talk to you guys about what got me hooked on cooking. If you follow me on Instagram and watch my Instagram stories then you know that I’ve been a fan of HelloFresh for a really long time. And yes, I am an ambassador for HelloFresh. So I’m going to say that right up front. But the reason I’m an ambassador is because I’ve been such a big fan for such a long time! We started getting HelloFresh around the time that Molly started eating solids. I was just finding myself so strapped for time (and so was Kevin) and the thought of getting groceries shipped right to our house without us having to step foot inside a grocery store just seemed like a no-brainer.

But getting the groceries delivered wasn’t really enough because neither of us had any idea how to cook! That’s why HelloFresh was, and is, so perfect for us. Not only do they deliver fresh ingredients right to our doorstep every week but the food comes with super easy to follow instructions. And I’m not just saying this, the food is so freakin’ good! I gave my dad and his wife a meal kit a few weeks ago because I kept raving about it to them so they wanted to give it a try. The night they made it they called me asking how they could sign up because they loved it so much! And I’m not making this up. My family is legitimately huge fans.

Another reason I love it so much is because I know exactly what’s going into the food I’m giving my family. With takeout, you really never know what you’re eating. But with HelloFresh, the recipes rarely ever use butter and mostly require mere drizzles of olive oil. We use avocado oil sometimes too!

I love all the recipes I’ve tried so far, but when there’s one that I’m completely obsessed with I save the recipe card and then make it over and over again! So not only am I learning to make new meals every week with the meal kits they send us, but I’m also just building up a recipe arsenal to use for the rest of my life! Sometimes when Kevin and I are cooking them we like to pretend we’re on Chopped. The food is super quick to make but so yummy that we feel like professional chefs! Ha!

Oh and the last thing, I also really feel like it’s a great way to reduce waste. When I would go shopping for recipes in the past, I would have to buy way more than I actually needed to make the recipe (which also means I spent more money than I needed to). So say I would buy a bushel of parsley, but only use half of it, the second half would undoubtedly go bad because I wouldn’t use it for anything else. I felt so icky about throwing so much food away. So what I love about HelloFresh is they only send you what you need to make the recipe. Once in a while there will be a little bit left over – but rarely.

So anyway, I really just wanted to tell you guys about it because it’s truly something that has changed my life and made me a better mom (and Kevin a better dad!). If you guys are up for trying it, I actually have a promo code you can use! Use promo code ALILUVS to get $30 off your first week! If you already use HelloFresh or if you end up using it because you read this blog post, please tell me about your experience in the comments below! I have no doubt that you guys luv it (or will luv it!) as much as I do




37 Thoughts

37 thoughts on “Cooking with The Manno’s

  1. Molly is the cutest sous-chef.
    I’m planning to order Hellofresh meals.
    Thanks for the promo code.
    Praying for peace.

      1. I just ordered the veggie plan and hope this inspires the inner chef in me. We need to eat better and this will get 2018 off to a better start. So far 2018 has been all about the flu.

  2. My husband and I get Hello Fresh. He loves to cook but we were getting sick of the same meals he would make so this was a great way to try new recipes. We have definitely loved certain ones and now make them ourselves. It’s a fun “date” night in when we get our box and make the meals together.

    1. We totally think of it as “date” nights too! Kevin and I met on a cooking show so it is definitely romantic for us 🙂

  3. My sister got me a cute apron from anthropoligie and whenever I put it on I feel like I can whip up anything, which is totally not true because I’m still working on my culinary skills lol

  4. We did not have such a great experience with Hello fresh. The first week we tried it, the meals were just ok, with maybe only one we really enjoyed. We thought maybe it was just a fluke. So we tried it again the following week. When we received our box the meat was not packed properly and there was meat blood all over the contents of the box. It was essentially unusable. They did nothing to remedy the situation (only were going to give us a small discount on a future box). So unfortunately we stopped. But I doubt that is a usual occurrence or else people wouldn’t be subscribing still.

    With that said we did love not having the what do you want for dinner debate for an entire week 🙂

    1. So sorry that happened. It must have been a one time thing!!! We’ve always loved everything! Let me know if you end up giving them another try. I’m sure you’ll have a better experience!

      1. I’ve had the “meat leak” experience too. However, the fact that I contacted their support and they instantly credited me $20 and then also recently improved their packaging made me want to stick with them. They are continually improving their products and I believe they are good company.

    2. That is not the experience I’ve had I had one box arrived with a small package of meat leaking and when I called them they refunded me the entire box and a couple weeks ago I had a box arrive with some bad cilantro and some greens a bit wilted. With the first call they gave me $20 off which was one meal but when I called about the second one again they credit me the entire box.

  5. I love that you point out that there isn’t a lot of waste. I hate going to the grocery store every Sunday, buying a bunch of ingredients hoping that my dish will turn out. And unfortunately, a lot of my dishes aren’t so great. I’m not a great cook but I’m trying to do better since I want my 2 year old son to enjoy home cooked meals. I may finally give HelloFresh a try.
    How do you cook with Molly wanting attention and running all over the place? That’s my biggest obstacle with my son and cooking.

    1. It’s not easy but because the recipe is laid out so simply, it makes it a lot easier. I try to cook when she’s eating a “before dinner appetizer” in her highchair. Ha!

      1. I do this too with our little man. I always think it’ll ruin his appetite but it doesn’t. He loves food so much. HA!

  6. LOVE hellofresh! My husband and I have been using it for a few months now and I have my arsenal of recipes! I’ll admit, not all of them are winners but it’s usually either I don’t like it or my husband doesn’t like it so it’s more a matter of personal taste preferences than bad meals.

    I also like that I can control the salt content. (Even though every other direction is to “salt and pepper to taste”)

    I also tried blue apron but I liked hello fresh so much more! The fact that they separate the ingredients into meals makes it a lot more simple for myself as a novice chef!

  7. We’ve been using Hello Fresh for months now and really enjoy it too! They have some pretty creative and unique recipes. We have definitely learned some new techniques cooking them! I’ve only had maybe 2 meals that I didn’t like out of 50. So that’s pretty good! I like how there is usually no extra food waste like you said, but I hate that all the box packaging is a lot of waste. I try to recycle as much of it as I can though! My favorite part about Hello Fresh is using the app and being able to “pause” a week if we are going out of town or have other dinner plans. Very convenient!

  8. It’s so funny all the little different backgrounds we have. I remember as a little girl being so intrigued by baking/cooking. As a little girl my parents would give me cook books as gifts, Id help my mom in the kitchen and while she was cooking she’d let me experiment with flour/water and vegetable peelings. Id make some inedible recipe LOL. But as I got older my parents would just let me actually cook/bake in the kitchen and even make them dinner. When I got my first job Id take some of my paycheck and go to the grocery store to buy ingredients to make my parents dinner…usually my own made up recipe. Some were not that great and some were amazing. The kitchen can be such a beating heart in the home. So much love and creativity can come out of it and really Bless your family/bring a lot of joy into your own heart 🙂

  9. I would love to try this! Although, my husband loves to cook and he feels these kinds of subscriptions stunt his creativity. He doesn’t like using recipes. How can I convince him to just try it out? Maybe on the nights that I cook I can use it??? Any ideas on how I can convince him? 🙂

  10. We use HelloFresh four nights a week and we love it! We have a little one close to Molly’s age and we love that we hardly have to go to the grocery store anymore. We have loved almost every single meal! My husband thinks of himself as a pretty good chef, so sometimes he alters the recipes just a little for fun. But we both always think they are great. It’s definitely been a lifesaver for us and we tell everyone we know how much we love them!

  11. I’m with you on loving HelloFresh! I started about 6 months ago, and I love being able to look forward to cooking a few times a week. I NEVER felt this way before about cooking. *I do wish they offered more vegetarian options within their Classic Plan. Some weeks I’ll choose the Vegetarian Plan just to have it be a little lighter, but it’d be nice to just have a larger selection in the Classic Plan, including those 3 veggie options!

  12. My family loves HelloFresh. Our 13 year old leads the cooking and the parents help her. Our three year old washes veggies and stirs things. We play music the whole time we are cooking and then when we sit Down to eat we change the music to something softer. We love the conversation starters on each recipe as well.
    One thing I don’t like is the promotional items they sometimes put in the box. I feel like they are taking advantage of their niche audience to try to sell something to me and it is irritating.
    Other than that one tiny thing we are happy as hello fresh customers.

  13. We love HelloFresh too! I’ve got 4 kids and with all their activities it is so hard to find time to shop and cook. The kids were getting sick of the same things all the time. They help pick out recipes and we get variety and healthy food. I love that it’s so flexible – you can turn it on for weeks you want it and off for weeks you don’t. I just wish you could mix menus – we have 2 vegetarians and 4 meat eaters in the family – it would be nice to mix vegetarian recipes in with the meaty ones. I received a coupon code for Blue Apron, so I’m trying that out next week just to see how it compares.

  14. Oooh I love the idea of hellofresh!! What a time saver and so fun!! Now question, do they ship to Canada too??

  15. I was exactly the same way with cooking! The first meal box I ordered was Blue Apron cause all of my friends raved about it. But I didn’t love it and felt discouraged! I decided to give Hello Fresh a try almost two years ago. I’m so glad I did! I love how you can customize your meal plans and the recipe cards are my favorite part! It makes cooking fun and exciting! I’m also a fairly picky eater, but I would try things I wouldn’t have ever purchased on my own because it was a lot of waste if I didn’t like it. With Hello Fresh, if I don’t like something, I don’t feel as bad because it’s only two portions instead of all of the groceries that I purchased to make the meal. Everyone should try Hello Fresh, you won’t be disappointed!!!!

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