Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hatchery Tasting Box Review: February 2015

Hatchery's Tasting Box is a little treat in the mailbox every month. This is a subscription box that sends you five samples of various cooking products or ingredients from small artisans around the country. There's always a good deal of variety, plus it's fun to try new things. Hatchery also has an online store so you can buy full sized versions of anything you end up loving. 

One thing I've noticed about this box is how well packaged it is. Some of the containers are glass (although most are plastic), but my items have come securely packaged and I (knock on wood) haven't had leaks yet. Everything is stored in the box securely, as well as individually wrapped. I also like that, unless you read the booklet first, it's sort of like opening a series of presents each month.

The first item I opened was "Enter Cinnamon" White Chocolate Cinnamon Peanut Butter from Better Off Spread. Although I haven't had a chance to try this yet, it's sitting in the front of my pantry to be used. I love white chocolate, cinnamon, and peanut butter so I have high hopes for this! Better Off Spread makes organic spreads and nut butters like this in a variety of flavors, so I need to check out more of what they have to offer as well.

Next up was a spice pack from The Spanish Tin. They also make a spiced sangria mix that I need to check out this summer! I haven't tried this spice blend yet, but it's pretty versatile. I like that Hatchery has recipe suggestions as well, so I can always adapt that to my own preferences or get creative and try this in my own way.

Arette's Tea Seed Oil is an alternative to vegetable or olive oil. We go through so much oil since we make a lot of stir fry and I love that this is a healthier option. We tend to stick to olive and sesame oil, so this is also nice for us because it gets expensive to buy oil so much (since canola oil is cheap, but I try to use it least). Like most oils, it's versatile and can really be used in anything. It's also full of vitamin E, which is a plus.

This is my second box from Hatchery and the second one to include a hot sauce, which is nice because we do eat a decent amount of spicy foods. I like that it's chipotle, since I enjoy chipotle flavor. Formosa is a small business focused on preparing natural and healthy hot sauces as an alternative to the many sauces loaded with preservatives. This is good, because there are so many health benefits to hot peppers, but they get canceled out when you fill the sauce with junk. This sauce is gluten-free and vegan.

Finally, we received a Champagne vinaigrette from Hummingbird Fine Foods. Vinaigrettes are always a great choice for us, because they're versatile and we both can agree on them. Usually when we have salad, we split the salad and then dress it with our own selections, so this is nice because we can make something and share. Hummingbird is also about easy to use, natural dressings and condiments. It's hard to find the basics anymore from the grocery store if you try to avoid things like HFCS, so this is a pleasant, natural choice.

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