CrateChef Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest Box Review + Coupon
CrateChef is a bi-monthly food subscription box curated by a different chef or food-related celebrity every two months. Each box includes artisanal foods, recipes, and kitchen supplies, as well as a cookbook or recipe cards from the featured chef to help you put your items to use. I always learn something new from these boxes and enjoy trying the different techniques and flavors that they introduce me to.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: CrateChef
The Cost: $49 per box + $8 shipping. Save with longer subscriptions.
COUPON: Use code ADDICTION10 to save 10% off your first order!
The Products: Artisanal foods, recipes, and kitchen tools curated by a different chef each month.
Ships to: The US
December/January 2020 Box Review: Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest
I am liking this trend of CrateChef featuring new-to-me food bloggers! This month’s featured personality is Tieghan Gerard, the blogger behind Half Baked Harvest. You know I love it when CrateChef includes a cookbook– as soon as I felt how heavy this box was, I knew I was in for a good one!
In recent months, this box has forgone their letter-style introduction in favor of an info card with a brief description of each item, and handy references to included recipes and a bit of info about why each item was picked. For food items, they also typically include coupons.
(CrateChef often includes recipe cards, but since this box comes with a full cookbook, they weren’t included this time.)
Let’s dig in!
Staub Olivewood & Silicone Spatula – Retail Value $19
Always happy to get a new spatula, and this one is surprisingly beautiful! I love the natural curve of the olivewood handle juxtaposed with that bright white surface. To help keep that handle in great shape, you can remove the silicone head to put it in the dishwasher if you like (although I’ll probably just hand wash it, since I feel like silicone always gets a film on it from the dishwasher anyway).
I also love the angle of the spatula head itself as well as the thickness of it; it’s quite comfortable and effective to use, and a bit thicker than my current silicone spatula from IKEA.
Lundberg Wild Rice Blend, 16 oz – Retail Value $3.34
I haven’t had wild rice in years. Is it weird that I’m looking forward to making this? My mom made a fabulous chicken and wild rice casserole growing up that I always enjoyed, so my nostalgic stomach is very much looking forward to a cozy winter wild rice dish on my table soon.
There’s a delicious-looking recipe for Herby Buttered Mushrooms and Wild Rice in the cookbook, but I am thinking I’ll try cooking the rice in my Instant Pot instead… taking 45+ minutes to make rice is just time I do not have these days, ya’ll. (If anyone has pressure cooker wild rice tips let me know, but I’m guessing it’s about the same to brown rice cook times?)
Bob’s Red Mill Unsweetened Coconut Flakes, 10 oz – Retail Value $3.89
So I’m honestly not a big coconut person, but these unsweetened flakes have changed my mind in the past few years. I love to include these in homemade granola and baked goods. I recently bought a bag from Trader Joe’s and they seem very similar or the same to the Bob’s Red Mill from this box (can’t remember now if they were more or less expensive, though).
I can’t wait to try the Vegan “Bacon” Bits recipe on the back of this bag! While I am not vegan or even vegetarian, we don’t eat meat with every meal. I made vegan “bacon” from marinated portobello mushrooms with friends last year and it was seriously delicious; I bet these have similar vibes and would be great on salads and soups.
Bella Cucina Sweet Basil Pesto, 6 oz – Retail Value $12.95
Pesto is definitely a staple for me in the winter months where I crave warm, rich foods. CrateChef suggests this item with the Lemon Basil Pasta with Balsamic Brussel Sprouts recipe from Tieghan’s book. I’d never think of putting those items together, but it sounds amazing! I’m a fan of a quick meal of shrimp, cauliflower rice, and pesto; a pretty healthy meal prepped entirely out of frozen and pantry items, plus it’s ready in about 15 minutes.
This appears to be a bit of a specialty brand; prices ranged from $12.95 to $15 for a single jar! This was a shocker for me as I’m a dedicated Aldi and Trader Joe’s shopper for the most part, and I think pesto in both of those stores is well under $5 per jar (although the jars may also be a little smaller). So I did taste this straight from the jar out of curiosity, and found a very good traditional pesto flavor profile with the right amount of basil to cheese and nuts. Aldi’s basil pesto is one of the few things I’ve found in the store that I will not buy anymore (the texture is wrong to me and seems like it’s full of stems), so I suppose you may get what you pay for here! Looking forward to using this whole jar!
CrateChef Branded Smoked Paprika, 2 oz – Estimated Value $4
I love smoked paprika, and add it to a lot of vegetarian dishes to add a bit of depth. Always happy to have more pantry staples on hand like this! I am intrigued by the info card’s suggestions to add it to a cream-based sauce or soup, so a smoked paprika potato soup just might be on the horizon for me soon.
Prices for smoked paprika range pretty wildly, but I generally buy it for under $5 unless it’s a specialty product.
Finally, the big item in this box! This cookbook was just released in October 2019 and has a 5 star rating on Amazon.
Flipping through, a few things struck me: first of all, every recipe seems to have a big beautiful photo. I love when cookbooks have photos since I do tend to “eat with my eyes” first, and I like being able to visualize how a recipe is going to come together before I even commit to making it.
The next thing I noticed was that even though the recipes are pretty simple and straightforward, that doesn’t mean they are all fast. I’m personally OK with that and of course the book provides approximate prep and cook times so you can plan accordingly. Tieghan did add in variations for slow cookers and pressure cookers where possible, but not every recipe has them (the wild rice and mushrooms dish did not, for example).
Overall, the book has a lot of intriguing recipes and covers everything from breakfast to casual dinners and a few more formal-looking entrees, too. I can definitely see myself flipping through this for inspiration as I’m doing my weekly meal planning, and I’ve already found a few things that are making my stomach growl (like an interesting take on a caesar salad with fried eggs and broccoli! Yes, please!).
Verdict: Another great CrateChef box that is serving up some serious dinner inspiration! I love the boxes with cookbooks the most, and this one in particular looks very tasty and is very much in line with the way I like to cook and eat already. All of the edible items are 100% going to be used in my home kitchen. Plus, the tool included this month is especially nice and has already gotten some use.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Yes, if you choose! When you join CrateChef, you can select which box you receive first. This box is currently available along with some other past favorites. (Check out our past reviews to see what’s inside those boxes, too!)
COUPON: Use code ADDICTION10 to save 10% off your first order!
Value Breakdown: I always say that retail values for food boxes tend to be really close to the price of the boxes and are a lot more about curation than value. This box’s items totaled up to an estimated retail value of $73.17. CrateChef bi-monthly subscriptions cost $57 per box ($49 + $8 US shipping). This is the second box in a row with such a good value! In the past, it’s usually right around the break-even point of $57. (I should also note that you can get CrateChef for as low as $45/box + shipping with a 6 box subscription, so it can be a good value if you really like to experiment in the kitchen and are willing to prepay for a longer subscription!)
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What do you think of the latest CrateChef? How do you feel about wild rice and coconut flakes; any other recipe ideas for me?