One Week of Green Chef


A week’s worth of dinner, Green Chef style.

We tried Green Chef for the first time a few weeks ago.  I’ve heard about various online meal services but this was the first time trying one.  My sister and brother in law, recent empty-nesters, have been using this service all fall and rave about it.  They love the quality of the food and feel like they are eating in a restaurant multiple nights a week.  I will say it makes meal planning a breeze.

We were flying back from Chicago late in the day on Monday and I wasn’t sure if I was going to have time to go to the grocery store during the week so I thought that it would be a perfect time to try it.  Live and learn, but I didn’t know the delivery days for our area and that you needed to order at least a week ahead, so when I placed my order on Wednesday, the earliest I could get it was Thursday of the following week.

The Basics:

Green Chef is certified organic by CCOF and provides fresh and sustainably sourced food.  The food has no synthetic pesticides, genetically modified organisms, artificial ingredients, and growth hormones or antibiotics.  There’s no commitment and you can skip a delivery at any point.  The food is sent in insulated, refrigerated boxes.

They have two person and family-style meal plans and you can choose a menu that fits your diet including omnivore, carnivore, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, and paleo options.  What’s great is that you can further refine omnivore after placing your order to select which meats you want.  I’m a pescatarian and do not like most shellfish, so I only selected fish for the meat for our order.

The selection of meals for each week are posted the week before.  It gives you an idea of what could be sent but since there are more options than the three, you don’t know which specific dishes you’ll get.  You can’t individually select which meals you want.

The three meals we received were (photographs courtesy of Green Chef)-


Chinese BBQ Salmon with black rice, bok choy, bell pepper, and carrots.


Cauliflower Mac & Cheese with kale, breadcrumbs, and sun-dried tomato tapenade.


Picadillo-Stuffed Peppers with cotija and rice, olives, capers, beans, and almonds.

What You Get:

One box with all the ingredients for the three meals, minus some basic items like olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Everything else that you need is included.  The packaging is biodegradable, and the ice packs are reusable.  Everything stayed very cold and I wasn’t worried that anything had spoiled.


The recipe card tells you the ingredients, items you’ll need from your own kitchen, a description of the dish, nutritional information, length of time for cooking, and how to make the meal.


Each recipe has a color and the ingredients have a sticker that corresponds to the recipe color.  This was really helpful and kept everything organized.



The recipes take anywhere from 30-40 minutes to make.  I found some of the dishes took longer than the recipe states and used some new to me multi-step cooking methods so I had to reference the instructions multiple times while cooking.  CET loved the two-part method for cooking the salmon.  First, I fried it on the stove top skin side up then I flipped it over, topped it with some sauce, and put it in the oven to finish cooking.  The recipes seemed to call for more olive oil than I typically cook with so I used less when I could.


The servings were very generous!  Each recipe says it serves two, but we never finished it all in one night.  We typically had enough left over for at least one lunch the following day.  For instance, this serving was about a quarter of what we made.


It’s fun being surprised by what you’re sent.  It got us out of our cooking rut and encouraged us to try new dishes that I probably wouldn’t have selected otherwise.  For instance, CET doesn’t like peppers so I tend to stay away from stuffed pepper recipes.  In this case, I’m glad I didn’t because it was one of my favorite dishes they sent.  The rice and filling was plenty as a standalone meal and the roasted pepper was really just an addition.  CET enjoyed it as well and Baby Flyer liked the rice and loved the green olives.

Tips I Learned Along the Way:

  • At least in our area, they only deliver on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Check to see if you are on the same delivery schedule.
  • You need to place your order a week before the day you want your meal delivered. Likewise, when you want to cancel it, they need a week’s notice.
  • You can easily select your own dietary preferences by signing up for the omnivore plan and opting-out of the meat options you don’t want. To do this, you log, go to your Account Info ( and click “Edit” next to “My Plan”.
  • If you want to select which meat you want, choose omnivore and after you have completed your order you have the chance to refine your selection further.  I knew this was an option but it took me a while to figure out how to do it.  I thought I needed to do it before placing my order.
  • To cancel your order for an extended period of time, you can do it by logging into your account then clicking this link- before the weekly cutoff time (7 days prior to your delivery at noon EST). You can reactivate your account anytime by logging into your account and selecting the reactivation button.

Overall, we really enjoyed our experience and were impressed with the quality of the food.  The produce was fresh, directions clear, and dishes tasty.  To us, it seemed like a treat.  We probably won’t be doing it weekly but think it would be fun to do once a month, or a perfect idea for after a trip when you’re still settling back in.  Or, perhaps, for those post-holiday burn out weeks when coming up with a meal plan is just about the last thing you want to be doing.

If you want to try Green Chef for yourself, you can get 4 free meals by using BabyFlyerBlog’s link.  Let us know in the comments if you’ve tried this, or other meal services.  We’d love to hear your experience!


Family Destinations: New England


There’s no denying it, Fall in New England is perfect- the air is crisp, the leaves are brilliant, and the flavors are delicious.  It’s truly beautiful, and probably the season I miss the most since moving to Southern California.  ‘Fall weather’ in Southern California may surprise you a day or two during any time of the year, but it doesn’t go much farther than an overcast day, or maybe a few rain showers.  There aren’t any big piles of crunchy leaves to play in, it’s hard to find fresh apple cider in the grocery store, and you can’t count on being able to wear a sweater and boots.

It was time to get some real authentic fall in our lives, so this year Baby Flyer and I were lucky enough to spend almost three weeks in Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley during the peak of the season, and boy did we soak it up!


Our favorite baby hiking gear!  Baby Flyer hangs out in the Ergo 360 carrier wearing her moccasins by Freshly Picked in “birch.”

We hit the highlights- apple picking at Cold Spring Orchard, made apple crisp and crazy crust apple pie, drank pumpkin beer (just me on this one, not Baby Flyer) and apple cider, visited a pumpkin patch, went on multiple hikes through the woods, drove to the top of Skinner Mountain to view the foliage, enjoyed the cooler temperatures; perfect running weather, went on a farm tour, stepped on as many crunchy leaves as we could, and wore sweaters and boots as often as possible.  We planned to go on a hayride, but we ran out of time.  Next year!

Next up- what to do with all those apples from our apple picking?  If you love apple pie but don’t have the time to make the crust, this Crazy Crust Apple Pie is a perfect option.  You essentially put the crust on top of the apples.  Very easy and equally as delicious.  We got this recipe from the apple farm and I thought it was too good not to share.


Crazy Crust Apple Pie


Approximately 3lbs or 5-6 medium sized apples; peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (*See note below)

Cinnamon/sugar mixture

¾ cup butter (melted)

1 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1 egg (beaten)

Nuts (if desired)


Fill pie plate 2/3 of the way full with apples then sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar.  Add nuts, if desired.

Melt butter then add sugar, flour, and beaten egg.

Pour over apples

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, until browned.

 * Using a variety of apples and even adding one pear make for a nice flavor.  Empire, Macoun, and Cortland are all good if they are available where you are.  Otherwise, a combination of Honey Crisp, Pink Lady, Gala, and Fuji is an option.  I don’t recommend using Granny Smith apples as they are too tart.  Adding one pear can be a nice addition.

On top of the fun activities the weather was amazing, with only two rainy days during our whole visit.  I probably commented on the beauty daily, and it was perfect to be able to get outside with BabyFlyer as much as possible.


The Pioneer Valley is also a great place to eat any time of year.  For a special night out, we get a table at Chez Albert, one of our current favorites.  I’m probably late to the party, but I had my first pumpkin beer with a brown sugar rim at Judie’s in Amherst.  Holy yum (and decadent).  I’ve tried to replicate it at home out here but it hasn’t been quite as good.  I’m still looking for the perfect pumpkin beer.  The one I had in New England-Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale- was local and isn’t carried ‘out west.’

Baby Flyer seemed to really enjoy our walks in the woods.  She was so peaceful, both in the Ergo 360 and the BOB Revolution Stroller.  She barely made a peep, and spent the time looking around.  You could tell she was taking it all in.  We tried to get outside in the woods daily to enjoy the trees.


Living in the city, there’s little things you don’t realize you get unaccustomed to.  It’s odd but since living in Southern California I’m not as used to hearing (or seeing) squirrels.  Whenever we would be out on a walk, I would get startled when I’d hear ‘something,’ which was always a squirrel, rustling in the leaves.  This might have something to do with the prevalence of lizards and rattlesnakes in SoCal.  We certainly have squirrels here too, but I don’t come across them in the same frequency as I do in the woods in New England.

There are a few iconic fall things that it just seems like you ‘need’ to do with family.  When we booked our tickets for this trip, I imagined visiting a pumpkin patch and taking some fall themed pictures of Baby Flyer among the pumpkins.  We did in fact, visit a pumpkin patch, but it was later in the day and Baby Flyer wasn’t in one of her moods where she smiles all the time but was still very interested and curious about the pumpkins.  So, while they may not be perfectly posed, they are real life and this is what we captured-




Baby Flyer’s Fall outfit- Jacket from Patagonia, leggings from Tea

Overall, we feel so lucky were able to enjoy so much of the fall season this year on this trip.  It is by far the longest I’ve been back during that time of year since moving to Southern California.


No better way to end than a shot of the woods on our last walk in the woods before flying back home!

Thanks for reading!


This post is linked-up!  We’re joining Budget Traveler’s Sandbox for Travel Photo Thursday this week.  Be sure to head over there and check out some great end of the year travel posts!

2016 Gift Guide for the Frequent Flyer

Believe it or not, the holidays are quickly approaching.  I’ve already seen a few holiday lights and Christmas trees in our neighborhood, which means it’s time to get moving on the holiday planning- flights, and otherwise.  With the off and on warm temps we typically have in SoCal, it always feels like the holidays sneak up.

We’ve already posted our ‘Gift Guide for Baby Traveler,’ so here’s the follow up holiday gift guide for the frequent traveler in your life, with or without a baby along for the ride.  If you’re in the market for luggage, in addition to travel accessories, you can check out CET’s full rundown on her luggage picks over at Cruising Altitude.

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones


These headphones don’t need much of an explanation or recommendation.  They’ve been the gold standard in the noise-canceling industry for years, through several incarnations.  They block a lot of the ambient cabin noise, making it easy to listen to music or hear your television.  One downside is they can be bulky when trying to sleep, so luckily, they now also offer an earbud style.

Sockwell Compression Socks


Whether you ascribe to the idea that compression helps prevent DVT or not, these socks are great for flying!  They aren’t as tight as some athletic compression socks which makes them comfortable to wear all day, and they provide support, as well as keep your feet comfortably warm.  CET loves them for long flights and will typically pack a couple pairs if she is traveling for multiple days.

Barefoot Running Shoe


What’s great about these shoes is that they are undeniably pack-able.  They’re light, and flatten so they don’t take up much space in your suitcase. While they aren’t making the exact pair CET has anymore, these are the ‘new model.’

Cocoon Grid It Cord Organizer


CET has used this for years, and finds it’s great for keeping all her cords organized.  Her SmartCharger fits in it, as well as phone chargers, extra usb cords, power strips, converters, and anything else.  If you don’t have enough electronics in your carry-on to need all the space, you can also pack just about anything you can think of in the elastic straps, and they’ll keep it organized and accessible for you.   Fits easily in the seatback pocket.



This little brick comes in handy all the time while traveling when you don’t have easy access to an outlet.  It will charge any device with a USB cord, and has about enough in it to charge up your phone.  We’ve used it to charge our phones and CET’s wireless headphones, among other things.  It also works as a back up charger in the stroller at home when you forget to plug in your phone before a long walk.

Power Strip/Surge Protector


Once again, we use this on just about every trip.  It’s great for when we want to charge both our phones at the same time and there is only one free outlet, both in the airport, and hotels.  It charges plenty of things at once, since it has 3 regular plugs, and two USBs in addition.

Packing Cubes


We love them!  At first I was skeptical when CET started using them, but after seeing how organized her suitcase stayed and how easy it was for her to unpack at our destination, I asked for a set for myself.  We’re planning on giving a few sets of these as presents this year.

Ginger candy


Last and maybe least in price, but not popularity, Ginger candy is a sweet treat when flying.  They can help sooth an upset stomach and even warm you up if you get a tad chilly on the plane.  We usually have a bag of it in our carry-on.

Happy Shopping & Safe Travels!