Our Family Review of HelloFresh – Fresh Food Delivery Service

Hello Fresh review

I have been hearing about healthy meal delivery services and was curious to try Hello Fresh.

I had gone back to work full time last year and the concept of cooking dinner for my daughters when we get home from school and work is always a challenge.

I liked Hello Fresh’s appeal and the fact that they offered different types of recipes. They have a classic plan, veggie plan and family plan. We tried the family plan that provides food for 2 adults and 2 children.

I went online and picked our recipes for the trial and scheduled a delivery date and time. You don’t need to be home to accept a delivery – their boxes are layered with an isolating wool and ice packs to keep ingredients farm fresh and cool until you get home.

When we received the box, we opened it to find three boxes with ingredients for each of our three meals. The meats were below the boxes and were kept cool with the ice packs. The veggies were fresh and the meats were high quality.

I put the boxes and the packs of meat in the fridge. We decided which recipe to try first and we started cooking the following night.

We received recipe books with easy to follow instructions and tips and what other ingredients and utensils you will need for the recipe.

The prep time to prepare the vegetables and sides took around 20 minutes and the cooking time varied depending on the recipe but usually took 15 – 30 minutes. You could prep ahead of time and that would help on busy evenings.

A few recipes we tried include: honey and orange chicken jambalaya, seared pork tenderloin with roast potatoes, green beans and applesauce, mini pork meatloaves with red cabbage and sweet potato wedges, little ears pasta with chicken sausage and baby broccoli, and our favorite, chicken paillard with chimichurri, sweet potato wedges and salad.

 

My daughter and I enjoyed preparing the meals and we felt like gourmet cooks after trying a few recipes.

I learned to butterfly chicken – it marinades better because more surface area is covered – and cooks faster!

I also learned that making potato wedges are fun and convenient and a good way to eat sweet potatoes. I still need to get better at chopping and dicing vegetables, but that comes with time.

I learned not to stress too much. Sometimes if there was an ingredient that my daughters didn’t like, I just didn’t add it.

At first I put pressure on myself about trying to do it perfectly, but the real joy was cooking with my daughter and seeing them eat healthy meals and enjoy them.

The plans they offer run about $8.74-$9.99 a meal so for 3 people, 3 or more times a week, it can seem pricey. I find it is easier to make it fit my budget if I don’t go to the store a few times a week, where you can drop $40 each time.

The good news is that you can try the service and cancel anytime. They also offer a newsletter and share recipes and healthy tips.

We used it for a few deliveries and have taken a break for now as our spring activities leave little room for cooking during the week.

Another thing I have learned in this process is to try to plan my meals for the week over the weekend. By shopping and having an idea of what we will be eating makes it easier to prepare. I am trying to cook ahead when I can and cook enough for leftovers with a different recipe to change things up.

I do plan on ordering again. It’s an interesting concept and I really think the farm to table movement is great for families of all sizes. Being a busy working mom, it’s nice to have healthy groceries delivered to the door with recipes planned and in hand.

I may try the Classic plan for 2 people for three meals a week next. We fall in between the 2 and 4 person meal plan, so it is good to try a few different plans out and see what works best.

Hello Fresh offers coupons and tips if you sign up for their email newsletter. I like receiving them and will use a code the next time I order.

They also have an app, which I have yet to use so you can select your meals right from your phone.

If you decide to try the healthy meal delivery service route, good luck! And remember, anyone can cook! (from one of my favorite Disney movies)

Disclosure: Hello Fresh sent me one free family delivery box of three meals. I ordered and paid for the other two boxes. This is an honest review of my opinion. The link in this blog post is an affiliate link – you can get one of your own to share with family and friends to save on your budget! Use my link and get $40 off your first box!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giveaway Alert! Win a $50 Gift Card to Pollo Tropical!

Pollo Tropical giveaway in Cumming, GA*UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Our winner, Ginny, was selected on Random.org (lucky #4!) and notified by email. Congratulations!

Pollo Tropical is a fresh Caribbean-style restaurant located on Marketplace Boulevard in Cumming, GA.

Pollo Tropical currently has seven locations in the Atlanta area and is adding three more locations this year!

They are offering one lucky Forsyth for Families reader a $50 gift card and they have a coupon offer for all families if you sign up for the Pollo Rewards Loyalty Program.

We are giving away one (1) Pollo Tropical $50 gift card for one of our lucky readers!

Forsyth for Families Pollo Tropical Giveaway

To enter to win our Pollo Tropical $50 gift card giveaway, simply comment on this post with a menu item that you are looking forward to having at Pollo Tropical. See their menu here.

They also have a catering menu and an allergen menu for those with special diets and food allergies.

To enter, comment by midnight on Sunday, April 26, 2015. The winner will be selected by random.org. I will announce the lucky winner on Monday, April 27, 2015! (Entrants must be residents of Georgia.)

Get A Coupon and Enter Pollo Rewards Loyalty Program

Guests can also get a Pollo Tropical coupon by signing up for the Pollo Reward$® loyalty program.

Like their Facebook Page for promotions and new menu items.

About Pollo Tropical

Pollo Tropical, a subsidiary of Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc., is a Caribbean-inspired fast-casual concept known for its fresh, flame-grilled chicken marinated in a proprietary blend of tropical fruit juices and spices. Other craveable island favorites include Mojo Roast Pork and made-from-scratch sides including rice, beans, yuca with garlic sauce, sweet plantains and more. Menu items like the Tropical Citrus Chicken Salad, Guava BBQ Pork Sandwich and Create Your Own TropiChops® can be customized with 10 zesty tropical signature sauces on Pollo Tropical’s famous Saucing Island®. Founded in 1988, the Miami-based company currently owns and operates more than 125 locations in FloridaGeorgiaTennessee and Texas, plus five licensed restaurants on college campuses and more than 30 franchised locations throughout the CaribbeanCentral AmericaSouth America and Puerto Rico. For more information, visit Pollo Tropical’s website at www.pollotropical.com.

Our family recently dined at Pollo Tropical and enjoyed delicious Caribbean style chicken. My daughters had kids meals and they loved the chicken, macaroni and cheese and guava bars! I love their chicken and sauces as well as their tasty plantains.

 

Nothing Bundt Cakes Grand Opening in Cumming, GA on January 16 and 17, 2015

nothing bundt cakes grand opening in cumming, gaForsyth County’s newest bakery Nothing Bundt Cakes recently opened at The Collection Forsyth.

They are having their grand opening on January 16 and 17th, 2015.

Sample their delicious bundt cakes (I can’t wait to try their bundtinis!) and enter to win free bundt cakes for a year!

Friday, January 16
11 a.m.
Ribbon Cutting with the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce
Children’s Healthcare at Forsyth Benefit Day
20% of sales on this day will be donated to Children’s Healthcare at Forsyth, providing high-quality care for children in Forsyth County through their urgent care center, sports medicine and rehabilitation programs, orthotics and prosthetics programs and specialty pediatric services
Saturday, January 17
10 a.m.
Free Bundtlets for a Year
for first 50 Guests with purchase (one bundtlet per month for 12 months)
12-2 p.m.
Cake-A-Palooza
Bring the kids and enjoy a sampling of our most popular cake flavors, plus enter to win Free Bundt Cakes for a Year

nothing bundt cakes at the collection forsythNothing Bundt Cakes

410 Peachtree Pkwy,Suite 104

CummingGA 30041

Hours: Monday – Saturdays 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

Phone: 470-839-2985

Email: cumming (at) nothingbundtcakes.com

Facebook – Nothing Bundt Cakes

2014 National BBQ Cup in Cumming, GA on November 21 and November 22, 2014

national barbecue cup cumming gaThe National Barbecue Cup comes to the Cumming Fairgrounds in Cumming, GA on November 21 and 22, 2014! Located in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains, the city of Cumming and their wonderful fairground facility is the host of this 2-day BBQ event benefiting three local charities.

With a variety of different food vendors, arts and crafts vendors, product demonstrations, live entertainment, and a kids zone that will contain a huge variety of fun for the kids and at the heart, of course, the KCBS sanctioned bbq cook-off that will include an opportunity for you to taste championship Que and decide for yourself just which is the best. There’s sure to be something for everyone!

Come one! Come all! There’s sure to be something for everyone! Check out the event that 12,000 people visited last year and sample some great BBQ.

  • Over $20,000 in cash prizes to winning Pro & Backyard Teams!
  • Food vendors
  • Arts and crafts vendors
  • Product demonstrations
  • Live entertainment
  • Kids zone – huge variety of fun for the kids and the kids at heart

This KCBS sanctioned BBQ Cook-Off will include an opportunity for you to taste championship Que and decide for yourself which is the best!

Cumming Fairgrounds, 235 Castleberry Road, Cumming, GA 30040

Friday 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

$7.00 entry, Kids under 12 free. Tasting tickets are available 5 for $5.00 and includes one vote ticket and can be purchased at the Red Exhibit Hall building once inside the fairgrounds.

Admission

Tickets are available for purchase at entry gates.

Gate Fee
 
$7.00 Per Person Friday/Saturday
Free Children under 12
Parking
FREE!

The proceeds of the National BBQ Cup over the past two year have benefited the following local Cumming charities. For 2014 We have not designated any specific benefiting organizations in hopes the impact of The national BBQ Cup will be more wide spread to help more organizations in 2014 and for many years to come. We ask that you take a moment to visit their websites and learn more about them.

Bald Ridge Lodge, Inc., is a non-profit Stabilization and Assessment Center for boys located in Forsyth County, Georgia which serves boys ages 12-17. We serve those who are in the custody of the Department of Family and Children Services or referred by the local Juvenile Court. more Info

Each day adolescent women from across the greater Atlanta-area are brought together at Jesse’s House to find something they are missing – understanding and support through a loving environment. More Info

The Forsyth County Community Connection is a private, non-profit Family Connection Partnership. More Info

Giveaway Alert! Win Free Costa Vida Once a Week for a Year!

costavida*UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Our winner, Leslie P, was selected on Random.org and notified by email. Congratulations!

Costa Vida is a brand new fresh Mexican grill opening in Cumming, GA on Monday, October 13, 2014. Our family is excited to visit this tasty Baja-inspired restaurant in Forsyth County!

We are giving away one (1) Costa Vida platinum card that is good for 52 free entrees (1 a week!)

Forsyth for Families Costa Vida Giveaway

Enter to win Costa Vida once a week for a year! To enter our Costa Vida platinum card giveaway, simply comment on this post with a menu item that you are looking forward to having at Costa Vida. See their menu here.

To enter, comment by midnight on Sunday, October 12, 2014. The winner will be selected by random.org. I will announce the lucky winner on Monday, October 13, 2014! (Entrants must be residents of Georgia.)

Costa Vida Grand Opening Monday, October 13, 2014 from 10:30 am – 

The first Costa Vida Georgia location opens on Monday, October 13 at 10:30 am! To celebrate, the first 50 guests on Monday will win FREE Costa Vida each week for one year and the next 50 guests will win FREE Costa Vida each month for one year!

First 50 will get 52 free entrees (1 a week) and the next 50 will get 12 free entrees (1 a month)!

SPIN TO WIN! They will also have a PRIZE WHEEL all week long that every guest gets 1 chance to spin and win more FREE prizes! You can also enter to win right now on Costa Vida’s Facebook page!

Costa Vida offers catering and has a rewards card program. I love that their food is made the hard way – fresh, from scratch. We are also glad they are aware of food allergens as our family has food allergies.

About Costa Vida

We serve fresh, Mexican-inspired food that offers a quick escape to the coast. At Costa Vida we live by the mantra of “excellence with every customer, every meal, every day.” We are confident that this can only be achieved by staying true to our roots and serving the most delicious food to wow every customer that comes through our doors. In an industry that continues to take shortcuts, we believe a meal made the hard way is the right way and will win the day. The Company’s first restaurant opened in 2003. Today Costa Vida has restaurants in eleven states nationwide, plus Calgary Canada, and has been recognized as one of the fastest growing restaurant franchises in the nation. USA Locations in AZ, CA, CO, GA ID, MO, NM, NV, TX, NV, UT, & WA. Canada Locations in Alberta (Airdrie, Royal Oak & Southland). www.costavida.net

New Restaurant & Market Roundup in Forsyth County, GA Spring 2014

carrabbas in cumming gaForsyth County is one of the fastest growing counties in Georgia and the nation. As more residents move into the county, restaurants and retailers are sure to follow.

Here is a list of the latest new restaurants planning on opening in Forsyth County, according to various news sources.

What are your favorite places? What new restaurants and markets would you like to see open in Cumming, GA?

Restaurants
Sip, A Wine & Tapas Bar – The Collection Forsyth
Chipotle – Market Place Blvd.
Firehouse Subs – Market Place Blvd.
Fry Me to the Moon – Highway 9
Uncle Maddio’s – opening mid-2014
Dunkin Donuts – Peachtree Parkway
Mary’s Bread Basket – Vickery Village next to the Gallery in Spring 2014.
Cuoco Italian Restaurant – GA 141 & Sharon Road. Family style Italian food – seconds are free! Opening for brunch soon.
Zoes Kitchen – The Collection Forsyth

Markets/Wholesale
Costco – Bald Ridge Road at Market Place Blvd.
Sprouts – Lakeland Plaza in Cumming, GA and Town Center in Johns Creek, GA.
Earth Fare – a fresh market at The Collection Forsyth.
ALDI – European discount grocery store on Highway 20 and Trammel & Samples Road. Opening Summer 2014.

Fresh Seafood
Atlantic Express Seafood – located on the Forsyth County border in Alpharetta, this new seafood market brings the ocean to us so you canprepare coastal delicacies! 6320 Atlanta Highway, Alpharetta, Georgia 30004. (207) 385-0856. Fresh live lobster and seafood – visit www.atlanticexpressseafood.com for details and more information. Atlantic Express Seafood is a family enterprise harvesting & delivering the highest quality live lobsters and other fresh seafood directly from the coast of Maine.

Sources:

Forsyth County News
Roots in Alpharetta
Tomorrow’s News Today – Atlanta
NorthFulton.com
Forsyth Herald

Veterans Day Celebrations and Deals

ocharleysVeterans Day is Monday, November 11, 2013. Let’s take a moment to thank our local veterans for their service and sacrifice.  According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Forsyth County has over 11,000 veterans.
Veterans Eat Free at Local Restaurants!
Note: Be sure to have your military ID with you and call ahead to be sure that the location you are visiting is participating in the promotion.

Applebee’s – Free meal on Monday, November 11, 2013. You’ll be able to choose a meal from a limited Veteran’s Day menu that includes steak, cheeseburgers, chicken tenders, salad, pasta, chicken, and shrimp. You can see the complete menu by using the link above. This deal is dine-in only and beverages and gratuity are not included. You’ll need to bring in one proof of military service or ID.

Visit Chili’s on Monday, November 11, 2013, to get your Veterans Day free meal if you are a veteran or on active military duty. Chili’s is offering all military veterans past and present their choice of one of 7 meals. This offer is available from 11am – 5pm on November 11, 2013 at participating Chili’s in the U.S. only. Dine-in from limited menu only; beverages and gratuity not included. Bring military ID and call to make sure the location is participating.

Golden Corral is offering a free meal on Monday, November 11 from 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm.

Little Caesars® Pizza – Monday, Nov. 11, 2013. Little Caesars is honoring the men and women of the United States armed forces this Veterans Day by providing veterans and active military members with a free Crazy Bread® with proof of military status or proof of service at participating stores nationwide. Call ahead to verify participation.

Red Robin on Monday, November 11 to get a free Red’s Tavern Double burger and Bottomless Steak Fries. Bring your military ID to take advantage of this Veterans Day freebie.

O’Charleys – Free meal from the $9.99 menu on Monday, November 11, 2013.

Outback Steakhouse is offering a free bloomin onion and beverage on November 11, 2013.
Subway is offering a free six-inch sub on Monday, November 11 (call your local franchise ahead of time to see if they are participating). Many Subway restaurants are offering FREE 6″ subs to military veterans on Veterans Day 2013. Enjoy a free Subway sub or flatbread of your choice for lunch or dinner. Subway restaurants are franchises, so not all locations are participating. Please call ahead to confirm before heading over to Subway on November 11.

Starbucks offers a free tall brewed coffee for veterans, active duty military and their spouses in participating U.S. company-owned stores.

Get a free hair cut at Great Clips! This year, Great Clips is holding a “Thank a Veteran Free Haircut Card” promotion that gives our customers a way to show appreciation for the veterans in their lives.  While not all of us have served in the military ourselves, most of us know at least one veteran we would like to thank on that day.

How it works:
• On Nov. 11 only, customers who stop in for a service at any Great Clips salon in the United States get a free haircut card to give to a veteran
• The free haircut cards are redeemable by members of the military from Nov. 11 to Dec. 31, 2013
• Military members who visit Great Clips on Nov. 11 receive either a free haircut that day or the free haircut card to redeem by Dec. 31, 2013.
• Limit one card per customer or military member. While supplies last.  US Salons only.

Lowe’s and Home Depot are offering discounts on Veterans Day.
Dollar General is offering a 11% discount on November 11, 2013.

For a complete list of Veterans Day Deals, visit Veteran Owned Businesses and Military Benefits.

Local Veterans Day Events 

The City of Cumming’s Veterans Day Ceremony is Monday, November 11 at 11:00 am at the Veterans War Memorial located at 301 Veterans Memorial Blvd in Cumming, GA. The event is free to the public.

2013 National BBQ Cup in Cumming, GA on November 15 and November 16, 2013

bbqcupQue’n in Cumming, GA – November 15th & 16th

The National Barbecue Cup comes to the Cumming Fairgrounds in Cumming, GA! Located in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains, the city of Cumming and their wonderful fairground facility is the host of this 2-day BBQ event benefiting two of our local charities.

Come one! Come all! There’s sure to be something for everyone! Check out the event that 12,000 people visited last year and sample some great BBQ.

  • Over $20,000 in cash prizes to winning Pro & Backyard Teams!
  • Food vendors
  • Arts and crafts vendors
  • Product demonstrations
  • Live entertainment
  • Kids zone – huge variety of fun for the kids and the kids at heart

This KCBS sanctioned BBQ Cook-Off will include an opportunity for you to taste championship Que and decide for yourself which is the best!

Cumming Fairgrounds, 235 Castleberry Road, Cumming, GA 30040

Friday 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

$5.00 entry, Kids under 12 free

Admission

Tickets are available for purchase at entry gates.

Gate Fee
 
$5.00 Per Person Friday/Saturday
Free Children under 12
Parking
$3.00 Per Vehicle

Best Family Friendly Restaurants in Forsyth County, GA

carrabbas in cumming gaAs a family on a budget, we are always searching for restaurants with tasty food, great service and amenities for families in Cumming, Georgia. Here are a few of our favorite restaurants in Forsyth County. Also see our Kids Eat Free page for extra deals.

Do you agree with the selections listed below? What are your favorites?

Best Italian Restaurant – Carrabba’s Italian Grill at The Avenues Forsyth. Read my review about Carrabba’s Italian Grill and learn how their food is made fresh from scratch and how they accommodate families with their kids menu and activities.

Best Sports Bar – Summit’s Wayside Tavern. We have bought a few Groupons here and love the atmosphere for families. The menu is plentiful for adults and kids, sports events are shown and the game room is a bonus where the kids can play after we eat.

Best Mexican Restaurant – Moe’s Southwest Grill. Fresh, real food with a great kids menu, patio and a fun atmosphere.

Best Asian Cuisine – Rice Restaurant and Sushi Bar – This is an excellent restaurant with wonderful food that people drive north from Atlanta for! They have a kids menu and it is also a nice place for date night.

Best Seafood Restaurant – Norman’s Landing. One of my all-time favorite restaurants. Tasty food, exceptional service, a great kids menu and a ping pong room! Where else can you get a quality family dinner and then have a round of ping pong for charity?

Best Doughnuts – Dutch Monkey Doughnuts. Simply the best place for doughnuts in all of Atlanta and Forsyth County. It is a great place for kids. Peek through the window and watch them make pastries.

Best All-Around – Our family also enjoys Red Robin (allergy-friendly), Cici’s Pizza (great for families and groups), Mellow Mushroom, Pizzeria Azzurri and Mia’s Pizza & Eats.

The Best Places for Sunday Brunch in Forsyth County, GA

sunday brunch in forsyth county, gaSundays are special days for family, faith and food!

There are a few restaurants offering tasty brunches in Forsyth County, GA. Please always check and call ahead with each restaurant as some require advance reservations.

Where is your favorite place to have Sunday Brunch in Cumming, GA?

Cracker Barrel 675 Buford Hwy  Cumming, GA 30040, (770) 205-1916, open Sundays 6:00 am – 10:00 pm

Foster House 305 W Main St  Cumming, GA 30040, (770) 887-9905, Sunday brunch 11:00 am – 2:30 pm.

Norman’s Landing 365 Peachtree Pkwy  Cumming, GA 30041, (770) 886-0100, Open at 11:30 am – 2:00 pm for Mother’s Day brunch. Call for reservations.


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