The month of September has been a complete whirlwind at our house. Back-to-school brings on a busy season at work with a lot of travel for me, and the Acadian was taking on a brand new project and for the first time in years, found himself in a classroom for a month working on launching his own business. Busy, yes, but even more exciting! And for the first time ever, our little lady found herself in daycare, which for her, seemed to be lots of fun, and for us, was just tad bit nerve wracking (yeah, that’s an understatement if I’ve ever written one) even though she was in wonderful hands. Luckily, we all made it through the month, still smiling, although we are all a bit snotty with colds this weekend. But we are all at home together and it’s a wonderful, mucousy feeling.
So a few weeks back, when a friend asked me if I would review a new food delivery service, I hesitated, knowing what the next few weeks held in store for us. Fresh Canteen promised to deliver all the ingredients required to cook a great meal, but the catch was that I would have to cook it. There were my two problems: would one of us be around to accept a delivery and where on earth was I going to find the time to cook? Luckily, I found solutions to both of these little dilemmas.
The day before I left the office to hit the road for few months, Fresh Canteen delivered a nice little refrigerated box to me at work. It was much smaller than I had anticipated (I was worried it would be a much larger box), and had I taken transit to travel home like I normally do, it wouldn’t have been an issue at all. Ok, we were off to a good start.
When I got home, I plopped it in the fridge and explained to the Acadian that the box contained a paleo-friendly steak dinner that I had picked out from Fresh Canteen’s site. Each week, we designate a day that will be date night. Normally, date night entails both of us eating food at the same time, preferably take-out, and likely catching up on episodes of Dexter (which we are all done with now, and yes, we thought the finale sucked too). I know, we really know how to live on the edge! Well, at least we are more exciting than Dexter is these days… But yes, the idea of having our own steak to eat while we watch Dexter and Deb eat theirs seemed like a good idea, and the Fresh Canteen box was quickly designated as date-night food.
|The Fresh Canteen box and it’s contents|
After spending 5 hours on the road, I came home on date night exhausted. The Acadian however, was quite excited about this steak sitting in our fridge. “Hey – do you want to cook the dinner?” I asked, eyes wide and hopeful. I explained that all the ingredients were supposed to be in the box along with instructions. Being the awesome guy he is, he signed up to cook us dinner while I put the little lady to bed. Yes, I was definitely starting to like this whole Fresh Canteen thing more and more.
When I came back downstairs, I found him absorbed in reading the recipe card, ingredients all spread out on the counter. He was pleasantly surprised at everything that was in the box and explained the night’s menu to me:
|The recipe card – this one is a keeper!|
Seared Flat-Iron Steak with Horseradish Butter, White and Orange Yams and Peach Salad
I had hit the jackpot. There was an awesome meal about to be cooked in my kitchen by someone other than me!
As he was working away, we chatted about whether or not this was be something we would have tried on our own. At $32 for the meal for two, it was significantly more than we would have spent to prepare a regular dinner, but pretty much exactly what a take-out meal (usually sushi) would have cost us. We (ok, the Acadian) did have to prepare it, but he really seemed to get a kick out of it. As I watched him hunt down a grater, wrap up a butter concoction and throw it in the freezer, marvel at the different colours of yams, ask why we never buy arugula and explain to me the importance of putting the steak in the oven for precisely the right amount of time, it occurred to me that this wasn’t just cooking for him – it was a fun experiment. When he was done, he even asked that we keep the recipe card because it was full of cool ideas that he had never tried before and the best part – he wants to try them again.
|Our actual meal – cooked by the Acadian|
I think he could tell I was pretty impressed with what he was doing when he told me, “you know who this stuff is perfect for? Single guys who are having a woman over for dinner. It’s all fancy, like you would have in a restaurant. A woman would be totally impressed with a guy if he cooked something like this for her.” I’m not sure that’s the market that Fresh Canteen had in mind when they launched their business, but we hadn’t even eaten yet, and I sure thought the Acadian was pretty looking pretty cute shaking up his homemade dressing in a mason jar. (A note to the Fresh Canteen folks: including an option to add a couple of candles to the order might not be a bad idea.)
|Me + (food x cute chef) = happy|
Then came the moment of truth – the food was ready. I was expecting a good meal either way since the Acadian has always been a good cook, but this truly was restaurant quality. The choice of ingredients for the meal makes for a nice and colourful presentation whether you are artistic or not, and most importantly, everything tasted wonderful.
So our verdict: we would definitely order Fresh Canteen meals again for date night. It involves more work than simply calling and having something delivered (Ha! who am I to talk, I just gawked, asked questions and stuffed my face!) but the food is so much better than anything we could have ordered. It does take a bit more planning – you have to order a few days ahead, so you can’t just decide a half-hour beforehand that you’d like a meal delivered. But I think knowing that there was something special in the fridge for date night was part of the fun too. And plus, I got to kiss the cook. 😉This post may contain affiliate links.
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