Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Our third Hello Fresh meal

Last night, we finally got around to trying our third Hello Fresh meal.  All of the fresh ingredients that were sent to us were still in good condition, with the exception of the fresh basil, which was a bit dried out.  It was supposed to be used as a garnish for last night's meal of pasta with mascarpone cheese, tomatoes, and mozzarella.  It's not Hello Fresh's fault that the basil was dried.  We just didn't prepare the meal promptly enough after our tasting box was delivered.  

I am happy to report that last night's dish was my favorite of the three and we ended up deciding to subscribe.  Unfortunately, we had a problem with the Web site's payment system.  I tried to pay three or four times before the payment finally went through... and then when I checked USAA, I saw that we have pending charges for those seemingly failed payments.  I sent Hello Fresh an email last night and will report when they respond.

Since I had a 20 euro coupon, we also ordered a small fruit box (regularly 14.99 euros for 12 pieces of fruit).  I doubt we'll be doing that regularly, but I am curious to see what the fruit boxes are like.  The total charge with the 20 euro coupon for our next delivery (provided we're only charged once) was about 35 euros.  Without the coupon, we would have paid about 55 euros for the classic box (3 meals for 2 people) and the fruit box.  Regular price for the small classic box subscription is 39.99 euros per box.  I only have to purchase two boxes for the subscription; then I can cancel whenever I want.

I also got a phone call from a Hello Fresh representative yesterday.  She wanted to know how we liked the product and tried to get me to subscribe.  I told her we wanted to try the third meal before committing.  She asked if she could call back and I said she could.  When she does call back, I will talk to her about our issues with payment and make sure we only get and pay for one classic box and fruit box next week.   I also told her that there are a lot of Americans in the Stuttgart area who, if they subscribed to Hello Fresh, would likely appreciate it if they could get the recipes in English.  Maybe she'll pass that info along to someone who can help with that.  I did tell her I was working hard on my German and trying to decipher recipes is a good way to do that.  But one of Hello Fresh's major selling points is being able to save time.  If I have to translate recipes, I am not saving time.



Anyway, on with last night's meal...


Bill lays out the ingredients: spiral pasta, three tomatoes, an onion, mascarpone cheese, fresh mozzarella, garlic, and fresh basil (which was a little dry last night, but got to us fresh).


Bill starts chopping tomatoes.


Bill consults the recipe.  This one was simple enough that he didn't need to translate it.


Onions being chopped, along with some garlic...


Sautéing the onions and garlic in a little olive oil...  We supplied the oil.


Fresh tomatoes are added to the onions and garlic.  Bill also added some ground oregano, which was also supplied.


Bill slices the fresh mozzarella into small pieces.


Cooked pasta is added to the tomatoes.  We only used half of a 500 gram bag, so there's pasta leftover for another dish.  In the pot next to the skillet, Bill stirs mascarpone cheese.  He only used 50 grams of a 250 gram container.


Cheese is added to pasta and tomatoes.


Next, the mixture is placed in a baking dish and a layer of mozzarella is added.


Second layer of mozzarella cheese and pasta.


Our dried out fresh basil.  Will have to use it quicker next time.


Bill cleans while the pasta bakes.  By this point, our house was smelling awesome.


Table is set...


The finished product, fresh out of the oven!


It turned out great!


Guten Appetit!

We were really happy with this simple dish.  Naturally, it was the most fattening of the three, coming in at about 750 calories.  We still had enough leftover for my lunch today.  Believe me, I'm looking forward to it!  And, while I'm at it, I want to praise my sweet husband Bill for being such an awesome cook and cleaning up after himself!

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