Favorites: Dinner Kits from Good Eggs

I'm so excited to partner with Good Eggs to bring you a preview of their new Weeknight Dinner Kit launching on April 16th. I've tried other meal kits before and there were always two things I didn't like about them--too much wasteful packaging and it took at least an hour to prep and cook. When I received the Good Eggs Weeknight Dinner Kit, I was so happy to see that the box was small, the ingredients were minimally packaged, and any packaging material that was required was compostable.

The kit came with 3 dinners and each one literally took only 10-15 minutes of prep time. Each recipe is clearly marked A, B and C with corresponding labels on the ingredients. It was easy to distinguish and separate for storing in the fridge.

I decided to make the Mint Pesto Pasta with Spring Peas and Green Garlic first. Initially I thought it wasn't enough food but turns out I had some pesto leftover so I could make a lunch the next day. Score! Lucas and Theo LOVED it! They never had mint and arugula pesto before and they kept asking for more. Score again! The meal came with a giant salad and a yummy red vinaigrette.

Love this on the box!

    I also got a Buh-Bye Box to encourage being fully present at the dinner table.

    Thanks Good Eggs for the amazing Finishing Salt from Omnivore.

    And thank you again for the Fresh 2016 Harvest Olio Nuovo from Other Brother. It was perfect for drizzling at the end of the

    I highly recommend this dinner kit for busy families. It's absurdly fresh, easy, and delicious.

    Here are more details of the Good Eggs Weeknight Dinner Kit:

    • Customers who sign up for the dinner kit receive 3 meals, which can be ordered and delivered at the same time as their weekly groceries (subscription not required).
    • Kit options change weekly
    • Cost is $69.99
    • Promotional pricing in April and May: $49.99 (use code DINNERKIT20 for $20 off your first kit)
    • 1 meal = 3 servings
    • Each weekly menu comes with a Good Eggs seasonal green salad mix and dressing that can be paired with any meal. (pairings suggested on recipes)
    • This spring, there will be 2 omnivore meals and 1 vegetarian
    • Coming later this year: vegetarian, paleo and other options

    + Ceramic bowls by Colleen Hennessy
    + Napkins by Sweetgum Textles
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    Pinterest (@goodonpaperdes) and Tumblr (hellogoodonpaper)
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    Favorites: School Lunches With Fluf Lunch Bags

    For many parents, including myself, school lunches can be a little daunting--what to pack each day, deciding between a warm lunch or cold, not wanting to spend too much money if it's going to come back uneaten, etc. Today, I've partnered with modern kids online shop Ziraffe who sent over some of the cutest lunch and snack packs from Fluf. They are washable, have a water-resistant BPA-free lining, durable, super cute, and made of organic cotton. I've paired them with our favorite lunch box to show you some lunch ideas that work for both Lucas and Theo.

    Theo's nut-free preschool lunch in the Cactus Zipper Lunch Bag (left):

    • pomegranate seeds
    • cucumber slices
    • apple slices
    • brown rice cake
    • mandarin orange slices
    • kiwi
    • yogurt covered pretzel (dessert)
      note: I usually include a protein such as string cheese or a sun butter sandwich but his class was having rice and beans that day so I omitted it.

    Lucas' first grade lunch in the Grey Zipper Lunch Bag (right):

    • blackberries
    • kiwi
    • olives
    • string cheese
    • peanut butter and jelly sandwich
    • sliced apples
    • organic dark chocolate coconut chips (WF bulk bin!)

    A few other school lunch tips:

    • Either make the lunch with your kid or ask them what they'd like in their lunch
    • Give them a choice (i.e. do you want pears or apples? a sandwich or a quesadilla?)
    • Pack the night before--for apple slices, cut them in the morning and have one of the kids rub lemon on them to prevent from turning brown
    • For kids who hate bread crust, I do one of two things: I either leave it on because sometimes my kids are so hungry they eat the whole thing, or I cut off the crust and put it in the actual sandwich (they can't see it or taste it, but they're eating it!)

    I bought most of these from Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. The cost for each lunch comes out to under $4 and all of it minus the olives and pretzel is organic.

    I supplemented their lunch with some snacks. These Fluf snack packs are so convenient for school or just everyday use. I love the velcro closure for little hands and how roomy they are. I put cut-up carrots and gluten-free pretzels in the Fluf Mama Love Snack Pack for Theo. Lucas has raw almonds and cut-up carrots in his Hi Snack Pack.

    The lunch bags hold a lot (probably even artwork and jacket!).

    I love that there's a sturdy interior pocket for a water bottle or an ice pack.

    + This post is in partnership with Ziraffe. All words and opinions are my own.

    + Find me on Instagram (@good_on_paper), Twitter (@good_on_paper),
    Pinterest (@goodonpaperdes) and Tumblr (hellogoodonpaper)
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    Lucas' 6th Birthday Party

    A couple of weekends ago we celebrated Lucas' 6th birthday party. Time sure flies--I just can't believe he is now 6! Remember his 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th birthday parties? As usual, I ask Lucas what kind of party he wants each year and then I put my own modern spin on theme. This year Lucas initially asked for a Pokemon party but later decided on a magic theme after having seen a magician called Magical Nathaniel at Playland-Not-At-The-Beach.

    I designed the invitations with a clean but slightly vintage feel, complete with custom photo envelope liners and a custom rubber stamp that would be used on favor bags and food packaging. The double thick invitations were mailed in kraft envelopes and sealed with wraparound address labels.

    The party took place at the Padre Picnic Area in Tilden Park in Berkeley and the we couldn't have lucked out with better weather--you never know in April! Guests set out blankets and flew kites, played soccer, baseball and tag. We hired Magical Nathaniel to perform a magic show for 45 minutes. He was amazing and kids and adults alike were in awe by his tricks. Funny how every 6-year old seems to think they know how he does his tricks.

    The amazing food for the party was generously provided by Whole Foods Market. In case you didn't know, Whole Foods Market cater kids parties too and can customize a menu for you. To go along with our magic theme, the catering team made Popcorn Chicken, Grilled Corn on the Cob, Mini Chicken Corn Dogs (a kid favorite), "Magic Wand" Fruit Skewers, Classic Mac 'N' Cheese, their signature Cabbage Crunch Salad (my fave!), and Potato Salad (several people told me this was the best they have had). They also provided Organic Juice Boxes, Mochi Ice Cream by Bubbies, and Annie's Homegrown Fruit Snacks for the pinata. Thank you Whole Foods Market (specifically the Berkeley and Gilman locations)!

    Per Lucas' request, I made him a chocolate cake with vanilla frosting and edible gold stars and a gazillion cupcakes for his friends.

    A Jackson birthday party tradition, we had donut holes with custom designed cones--always a huge hit with everyone!

    Nick and I made this awesome playing card pinata and giant magic wand for busting it open. It was actually really easy and full DIY instructions can be found on Oh Happy Day blog.

    I used the custom rubber stamp for the cotton favor bags that each held Pocky Sticks (they look like magic wands!), a coin trick, fortune teller fish, and mini word game books.

    Lucas had the brilliant idea of having a Make-Your-Own-Wand station. Using a wooden dowel with eye hooks, kids could use Japanese washi tape and choose colorful ribbons to make a fun magic ribbon wand.

    My baby is 6!! Whaaaaat?!?

    Theo ate fruit skewers for lunch.

    Classic Mac 'N' Cheese and awesome Popcorn Chicken with two kinds of housemade dipping sauces--BBQ and ranch.

    Grilled Corn on the Cob was a crowd favorite.

    Okay, how cute is my friend Jeanne's daughter Hayden sipping her organic lemonade? And my niece Tallia waving her wand and my friends Aaron and Corrine's daughter Josephine who LOVED the corn on the cob.

    Mini Chicken Corn Dogs were a kid favorite.

    Whole Foods Market Gilman provided delicious Mochi Ice Cream from Bubbies. I packaged and labeled them individually in glassine bags and stamped them with Lucas' birthday logo. I chose four flavors--Mango, Green Tea, Strawberry and Vanilla.

    If you don't know about this Cabbage Crunch Salad at Whole Foods, you're missing out. Not sure if every location has it, but damn, it's good.

    I usually prefer the vinegar-based kind of potato salad, but this was the Best Classic Potato Salad ever!

    Magical Nathaniel was awesome! He's a Cal student and does magic on the side but plans to make it his full time gig. If you need a magician for your party, you need to hire him. Nearly every kid sat still for the 45-minute performance. He was entertaining and engaging with the kids, often asking for volunteers to help him with his tricks. The kids loved it!

    OMG, Magical Nathaniel solved this Rubik's Cube in a minute and 30 seconds--blindfolded!

    This is the look of a 3.5-year old who missed his nap and ate nothing but fruit and donut holes for lunch. Poor Theo.

    This pinata was awesome because no one could bust it open which meant every kid got a chance to hit it. Ha!

    Eventually, Nick had to discreetly stab a few holes into it.

    *This post is in partnership with Whole Foods Market. All words and ideas are my own.

    + Find me on Instagram (@good_on_paper), Twitter (@good_on_paper), Pinterest (@goodonpaperdes) and Tumblr (hellogoodonpaper)
    + Subscribe to receive the latest posts and Good on Paper updates delivered to your inbox.  You could also use Blog Lovin' or Feedly to follow along.

     

    Coffee and Donuts -- The Perfect Pair

    Coffee and Donuts -- The Perfect Pair  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog/2016/2/1/coffee-and-donuts-the-perfect-pair  /  @good_on_paper

    According to Wikipedia, "Coffee and doughnuts" is a common food and drink pairing in the United States. I would go a bit further to say it's one of the most perfect food and drink pairings--the sweet and tender crumb of a fresh donut paired with a smooth and mellow cup of coffee can't be beat.

    Today I've partnered with Williams-Sonoma to show you how the OXO On Barista Brain 9-Cup Coffee Maker makes delicious barista-quality coffee at home. And I've paired that cup of coffee (or two) with a delicious baked donut recipe with two kinds of glazes.

    Coffee and Donuts -- The Perfect Pair  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog/2016/2/1/coffee-and-donuts-the-perfect-pair  /  @good_on_paper

    I can't tell you how many Oxo kitchen tools I have and use and love. So when they came out with a new line of coffee makers, I was really excited to try it out. I have loved coffee since my college days, switched to decaf when I was pregnant with both boys, and have been back on ever since. While Nick prefers his coffee black, I personally love an almond milk latte. But I will drink a regular coffee as long as it's not too bitter. And has milk in it. A lot of milk.

    The OXO On Barista Brain 9-Cup Coffee Maker makes one of the best coffees at home that I've had. I had no idea how much science was involved in making coffee, but I really can tell the difference between our last coffee maker and this new one. It has a microprocessor that monitors time, temperature and volume from start to finish, resulting in barista-quality handcrafted coffee at home with one touch of a button.

    Coffee and Donuts -- The Perfect Pair  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog/2016/2/1/coffee-and-donuts-the-perfect-pair  /  @good_on_paper
    Coffee and Donuts -- The Perfect Pair  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog/2016/2/1/coffee-and-donuts-the-perfect-pair  /  @good_on_paper

    I tested several kinds of coffee including Counter Culture Hologram, Counter Culture Idido, and Stumptown Guatamala Santa Clara (all from Modern Coffee, my favorite coffee shop in Oakland), as well as Philz Tantalizing Turkish.  The Oxo made each one taste like it says on the package.

    Aside from making really good coffee, here are a few other things I love about the OXO On Barista Brain 9-Cup Coffee Maker:

    • Super quiet
    • Sleek and modern design
    • You could see the water percolating which I think is pretty cool
    • It shows you how long the coffee has been sitting
    • The vacuum-insulated lightweight stainless steel carafe keeps coffee at the perfect temp
    • Could easily make just one cup of coffee
    • Easy to clean

    The only con I would give is that I can't see how much coffee is in the carafe. But then again, if the carafe were made of glass, the coffee wouldn't stay at an optimal temperature.

    Coffee and Donuts -- The Perfect Pair  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog/2016/2/1/coffee-and-donuts-the-perfect-pair  /  @good_on_paper

    Now on to the donuts! I made baked donuts with a blueberry glaze and also a chocolate one with some crushed pistachios on top. I love any kind of donut except for maple bars. This is the first time I've made them at home--sadly, the first batch tasted like play dough, but the second batch using the nonstick donut pan from Williams-Sonoma was a big hit.

    Coffee and Donuts -- The Perfect Pair  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog/2016/2/1/coffee-and-donuts-the-perfect-pair  /  @good_on_paper
    Coffee and Donuts -- The Perfect Pair  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog/2016/2/1/coffee-and-donuts-the-perfect-pair  /  @good_on_paper
    Coffee and Donuts -- The Perfect Pair  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog/2016/2/1/coffee-and-donuts-the-perfect-pair  /  @good_on_paper
    Coffee and Donuts -- The Perfect Pair  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog/2016/2/1/coffee-and-donuts-the-perfect-pair  /  @good_on_paper
    Coffee and Donuts -- The Perfect Pair  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog/2016/2/1/coffee-and-donuts-the-perfect-pair  /  @good_on_paper
    Coffee and Donuts -- The Perfect Pair  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog/2016/2/1/coffee-and-donuts-the-perfect-pair  /  @good_on_paper
    Coffee and Donuts -- The Perfect Pair  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog/2016/2/1/coffee-and-donuts-the-perfect-pair  /  @good_on_paper
    Coffee and Donuts -- The Perfect Pair  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog/2016/2/1/coffee-and-donuts-the-perfect-pair  /  @good_on_paper
    Coffee and Donuts -- The Perfect Pair  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog/2016/2/1/coffee-and-donuts-the-perfect-pair  /  @good_on_paper
    Coffee and Donuts -- The Perfect Pair  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog/2016/2/1/coffee-and-donuts-the-perfect-pair  /  @good_on_paper
    Coffee and Donuts -- The Perfect Pair  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog/2016/2/1/coffee-and-donuts-the-perfect-pair  /  @good_on_paper

    + Full Recipe for Baked Donuts
    + Donut pan and cooling rack from Williams-Sonoma
    + Find me on Instagram (@good_on_paper), Twitter (@good_on_paper), Pinterest (@goodonpaperdes) and Tumblr (hellogoodonpaper)
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    + Williams-Sonoma generously sent me the Oxo On Barista Coffee Maker to test out. I have received no other compensation for this post. The opinions expressed here are solely my own.