Food Review: Amazon Meal Kit Ricotta Meatballs

I feel like in another life I was Italian. No I can not make any homemade pasta or toss a pizza in the air effortlessly or at all, I just love pasta. I tried to avoid it at one point in my life to maintain a certain weight but it keeps calling my name and it is so delicious especially cooked right. So when Amazon has a pasta dish with some sort of protein I automatically buy it and devour it with pleasure.

Basic Info about Amazon Boxes:

  • Feeds two adults.
  • All ingredients are included except the Olive Oil, Vegetable Oil, Salt and Pepper.
  • Prices vary between $17 to $22
  • Directions are included with picture of the final meal
  • Most ingredients are already chopped for you but there are some ingredients that need to be chopped or cut/sliced while something else is cooking.

Now on to my review of the Ricotta Meatballs:

  • Cost $18.99
  • Net Weight of 2 pounds 4 ounces (1.02 kg)
  • Lasts up to 2 to 3 days in the fridge before it expires. Expiration is always on the box.
  • Made the dinner between 30 to 45 minutes.
  • The recipe calls for 8 to 10 meatballs but I suggest you can actually make about 14 meatballs with the lamb meat mixture. I do not like undercooked meat (not like anyone else does), so the smaller the meatballs, the better they will cook and taste in my opinion.
  • As always, the pasta that has been provided is NOT enough. Buy additional rigatoni so you’re feeling satisfied and some left overs for the next day or lunch.
  • Scale of 1 to 10 for a Meal regarding taste: 8; with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest.
  • Scale of 1 to 10 for an Amazon Meal Kit regarding taste: 8
  • Scale of 1 to 10 on level of difficulty: 3; 1 being the easiest and 10 being the most difficult. This was a fairly easy meal to make even for the first time. I feel pasta is generally straight forward. The only part that got me a bit stick is rolling the meatballs. But other than that, it was pretty easy and quick to make.
  • I highly recommend this meal because of the taste of the meatballs and the sauce. The side arugula salad adds an extra kick to the meal. I do advise you to purchase more arugula if you like more greens in your meals.

Love Letter #87

So here you go again

running to your cave

to think about all the things 

that are on your mind

your job

your school

your love

me?

I wonder if I am on your mind

when you’re in your dark cave

are you thinking of me?

am I the one who you’re really

thinking about?

am I the one who made you run?

Just know that when you reemerge

I will be here waiting for you

in the sunlight.

Children’s Game Review: Sum Swamp

As a parent and a former teacher I am always interested in finding games that I could play with my child while teaching them some academic skill. This makes learning fun and instills a life long love for learning, which I find really important.

When my daughter was 4 years and 3 months old, she received “Sum Swamp” for Christmas from my mom from our Amazon wish list. I had placed this game on my list because it was geared towards children 5 years old and older and it focuses on basic math skills of adding and subtracting whole single digit numbers from 1 through 6.

Basic Information on Sun Swamp:

  • 2 to 4 players
  • 3 dice; 2 numbered cubed (1 – 6) and 1 die with addition and subtraction operation.
  • 1 folded board
  • 4 little critter game pieces

Objective of Sum Swamp:

  • First player to get to the finish line wins by adding or subtracting.
  • There are some obstacles such as the “Never-ending Loop” and when you land on a numbered rock (you are only allowed to roll the operation die to either move backwards or forward based on the number).
  • Each player will roll all three dice and use the operation that you roll on to either subtract or add the two numbers. For example, if you roll a 3 on one die and a 5 on another die with the addition sign, you will add 3 and 5. Here I introduce the commutative property of addition.
  • If you roll a 3 on one die and a 5 on another die with the subtraction operation, you will subtract 5 and 3. I would also teach that the commutative property does not apply in subtraction problems but only with addition.
  • If you land a numbered rock, you are only able to roll the operation symbol. If the rock you landed on is a 6 and you roll a subtraction symbol, you must move six spaces back.
  • You may get stuck in the never-ending loop and the only way to get out is to land on the “Exit” rock.
  • Game can last between 15 minutes to 30 minutes.

Overall Opinion of Sum Swamp:

  • My daughter and I have always enjoyed playing this game together unless she gets stuck in the never ending loop (it can be pretty frustrating).
  • The game teaches some basic addition and subtraction skills with one digit numbers less than 7 but greater than 0.
  • You can incorporate mathematical language into the game. For example you can reverse the order of the numbers when adding and teach about commutative property of addition. Other mathematical language to use is less than (5 – 4: 4 less than 5), more than (5 + 6: 6 more than 5 or 5 more than 6), increased by or decreased by (5 + 6: 5 increased by 6; 6 – 5: 6 decreased by 5). Children will also understand the word “operation” and how it can be associated with addition (+) and subtraction (-). You can also inform your child that these numbers are one digit numbers and that they are also known as integers.
  • Overall: A+. This game is a real winner for me due to time length (not too long and not too short) and the many ways you can incorporate mathematical language as you play along.