I love to cook. I’m decent at it but not great, and while I always want to experiment with new recipes, I get overwhelmed by ingredient lists that require a lot of spices that I don’t have. And with spices costing several dollars a bottle, those experiments can get quite expensive. Then throw my busy schedule into the mix and my Julia Child aspirations are out the window.
So when I first heard about scratchDC, I was intrigued. And when they offered me a free bundle to review, I was sold. They were also kind enough to offer our readers a discount on orders so keep reading to get the promo code!
The premise of scratchDC is this: you pick a dish from their menu and they deliver a box to you that contains the recipe and all of the ingredients, pre-measured and labeled. Then you cook and enjoy! Oh so simple. It might not be as cheap as that frozen pizza you can pick up from the corner store, but it’s certainly more interesting, and likely much more tasty and nutritious.
I wanted a challenge so I picked an Indian dish called Paneer Makhani. Pasta, chicken, meatloaf are all things I’m confident I could manage on my own. But Indian food? I would surely be too overwhelmed by the ingredients to get the initial shopping done if I was doing it on my own.
So after having the box delivered to my office, and piquing the interest of several coworkers, I headed home to tackle my evening experiment. The first half of the menu was a breeze to follow, but the later steps were a little harder to understand. At that point I decided to just trust my gut and while I doubt I did it right, it came out really well
The outcome: Very tasty, and reasonably easy to make, taking less than a half hour. As I mentioned earlier, the menu was a little hard to follow at certain stages but they do offer a phone number to call in the event you get stuck. Once I was in the middle of the cooking I realized I should have used a smaller pan to fry the paneer to get it extra crispy, and maybe sautéed the peppers a bit more. But they curry was enough of a success to make up for it. Even my dad, who is very particular about his curry since he travels to India every few months for work, was trying to wipe the pan clean with the garlic naan.
As a new customer, they also threw in two balls of cookie dough so we could make fresh baked cookies for dessert. Now if only that was a regular extra… (Update: cookie dough is always added so get your sweet tooth ready! What’s a great dinner without a dessert?)
Boxes serve two, which makes this perfect for a date night, or a good choice if you are cooking for yourself and plan to save the rest for lunch the next day. Could you make everything yourself for less money? Yes, if you have all the spices and you have time to do the shopping. I think some dishes are a better value than others depending on your cooking skills and supplies at home, but with no commitment, this is a pretty fun way to try out a new dish with minimal effort.
Now that I’ve hopefully convinced you that this is worth a try, use the promo code thehillishome to get 15% off your first order. Bon appetite!