Get Cooking with Blue Apron

>>This post is in partnership with Blue Apron.

Cooking is not something that comes naturally to me. At all. I like food. I love eating food. But I do not love the process.

Just thinking about is paralyzing.  First I have to plan a menu, make a list, and go to the store, all of which is like a complex mathematical equation. Factor in food that we have on hand, plus food that we need, divided by food that everyone actually likes, cross multiplied by what’s on sale, subtracted by how long the baby will allow himself to be in public before a having a nuclear meltdown.

Then I get the the store and inevitably discover I have forgotten my list (EVERY TIME!). Then I get home and realize I’m out of some necessary staple like butter. Buttermilk is close enough, right? Wait, I’m out of buttermilk. Chocolate milk? Close enough.

Then my kids eat two bites of food. Then we clean it all up. Then I do it all again. I’d rather just order a pizza and spend my time spray painting something. Do you feel me?

So when Blue Apron came along and told me they could help make the cooking process enjoyable, haha! I seriously doubted it. But I told them I’d give it a shot.  Here’s what I learned.

 

 

Blue Apron is a meal delivery service that sends everything you need to create a chef-designed meal to your doorstep. Everything. Even the two tablespoons of butter. The ingredients come in a refrigerated box and are incredibly fresh.

blue apron raw

 

This was what I received to make Seared Flank Steaks with Roasted Potatoes and ‘Creamed’ Kale. Have I ever made seared flank steaks or creamed kale before in my life? No. So it was actually kind of fun to be pushed in a new direction.

kale and potatoes

blue apron me

Here’s me begrudgingly having fun cooking. And concentrating, and being pale. Look at that mountain of kale! It seems like you could never eat that much kale, but it shrinks down a lot, so now you know.

blue apron detail

Not only is everything fresh and often even sourced from local suppliers, it comes in the perfect proportions. No measuring, and no waste! You can feel like one of those chefs on TV flinging around their little pre-measured bowls of ingredients, cooking a meal in five minutes without even trying.

 

ingredients

Actually, Blue Apron meals are designed to take 40 minutes or less from start to finish. It’s all mapped out. That was my very favorite part. Your meal comes with a recipe card that tells you what to do step-by-step so that everything finishes at the same time, and poof! Dinner is served.

blue apron dinner 2

Here is another thing I learned.  WOW, it is SO HARD to take pretty pictures of food. Especially while you’re in the midst of cooking it. And the sun is going down. Picture me crouched on a stool over a pan of cooking kale while shooting a picture with one hand and stirring it with the other so it won’t burn, and then not even being able to use any of those pictures because while creamed kale is surprisingly delicious, it is not at all photogenic. This is why I’m not a food blogger. Besides for today.

potatoes

The potatoes were pretty darn good-looking though. (Tell me about it, spud).

So, what’s the verdict?  blue apron dinner3

Yay! We loved it! It was fun! It was easy! It was new!

Our portion was for the Family Plan, perfect for feeding a family of four. My husband eats like he’s a one-man family of four, but we actually had leftovers, so that was unexpected and nice. There’s also a two person plan, and shipping is always free!

The price for the Family Plan is $69.92 for a delivery of two four-serving meals, so $8.74 per meal.  Not cheap – I couldn’t make this an every-single-night kind of thing – but it’s less than eating out at a restaurant, and they use such high quality ingredients that it’s definitely worth it.

So, whether you want to get out of your rut of always cooking the same old thing, or would enjoy the luxury of having everything you need to create chef-worthy meals delivered straight to your home, give Blue Apron a try!

The first 50 readers will get two meals off their first Blue Apron order free! No commitment, cancel or skip anytime.

Check out their entire collection of recipes here.  I could definitely go for that Chili Blackened Cod or Spicy Thai Chicken Noodle Soup. Yumz.

 

 

blue apron dinner

Enjoy your weekend!

 


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Restaining furniture and thoughts about things.

You guys, spring break is seriously kicking my butt.  What’s that?  It’s not even spring break anymore? That was last week? Well then, I’ve spent this entire week just trying to recover from last week, and it’s kicking my butt in the face.

I blame the baby, a stage-five clinger who has recently upped his clinging game so hard, I think he might legitimately be trying to nuzzle his way back into the womb.  It’s cute. For the first ten hours of the day. Basically my baby is what’s kicking my butt. He’s 14 months old now, so not technically a ‘baby,’ but he’s not walking yet so he’s not really a toddler either. He weighs nearly 30 pounds, so my back and I are really ready for toddling to happen.  Maybe I’ll get a chance to relax on spring break!  What’s that?

Anyway, he’s loosened his grip long enough to take a nap, so maybe I can get something done around here, like straighten up the mountain of clutter currently overtaking my office. (Hilariously, there is a book on top of Mt. Clutter called “The Practical Encyclopedia of Feng Shui“).

Oh yes, and share a makeover or two. Or three.

 

Today we’re talking stain, the quickest and easiest way to refinish furniture. Ha! Of course it’s not. Staining furniture requires much work and preparation and sandpaper.  But it’s all worth it.  (Hmm, that’s pretty much the same thing everyone tells you when you’re in the checkout line at Target and your baby is clinging your face off so hard that he pulls out half your eyelashes, which actually happened to me yesterday, but it’s all worth it!)

Anyway. This desk was all worth it, and it’s from Faye at MacGIRLver.

Stained Desk Makeover Before

Stained Desk Makeover | betterafter.net

 

Beck used a little elbow grease to prepare this walnut table for stain, plus an acetone and lacquer thinner mixture, steel wool, a toothbrush, mineral spirits, and sandpaper. It’s all in the prep.  But you know what? It’s worth it.

See more at Beckwith’s Treasures.

Walnut Stained End Table Before

Walnut Stained End Table Makeover | betterafter.net

This highboy also needed a lot of work, but, you guessed it.  It was worth it! The gorgeous grain of the wood really shines through now, and is almost out-shined by the polished brass handles. Mmm.  I love me some polished brass, yes I do. Beautiful.

From Jan at Chairished Furnishing.

stained highboy makeover

stained highboy makeover after

 

 

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Stone Faced

Remember that old movie Flight of the Navigator? I totally remember it! I probably watched it hundreds of times as a kid.  Well, this funky kitchen island is giving me major flashbacks from Flight of the Navigator.  It’s very spaceship-esque. (I just googled it, and this island actually looks nothing like the spaceship in the movie, so maybe I don’t totally remember it after all).

In any case, it was awkward and didn’t flow with the rest of the kitchen. Until … it escaped the house by hiding inside a Robotic Assisted Living Facilitator!  No, sorry … still thinking of the movie.

Until …

Stone Island Makeover

Stone Island Makeover | betterafter.net

… a little DIY magic! Is that good looking or what?  Katie and her husband brought it up to speed by chopping off the odd angled area and updating everything else using a product called AirStone, and you can read all about the process on her blog Addicted 2 DIY.


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Queen of WWWYG

If Working With What Ya Got was a country, Tanya would be it’s queen. Her kitchen makeover showed us that just because you don’t have the big bucks for a dream makeover right now, you can still have a beautiful home. And you should!

Same goes for her bathroom.  Nothing more was done besides cosmetic touch ups here.  New paint on the cabinets and walls.  A coat of spray paint on anything brassy. Some fresh art work. A farewell to that valance that looked like it was made from the pages of a seed catalog.

Now the mint vanity looks quirky and cute as opposed to a humble relic of the ’80s. And speaking of quirky, head on over to her blog to see the shower! I’ve never seen one quite like it. It’s like a portal through time! See more at Dans le Lakehouse.

Gray Mint Bathroom Before

Gray Mint Bathroom Before | betterafter.net

I really love the artwork.  I have visions of creating something similar on a large scale, like, sofa-sized.  PS: Any ideas where I could buy a sofa-sized canvas?


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