Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Dining made easy! Introducing Blue Apron!

Do you like cooking?  Are you a foodie who likes trying new and interesting cuisines?  Are you dieting, or trying to eat more healthy whole foods?  Do you like supporting local Farmers and their fresh products?  Are you too busy to find time to grocery shop for dinner every night?  Then this might be for you!

My husband sometimes cooks for me.  Some are better than others- and usually there is no rhyme or reason (or memory of what ingredients he added) to come up with some magical concoction.  Spinach chili was a huge success, KD (if you're or Canadian) or Mac and Cheese (in the States) is a staple of his expertise.  He makes a mean Belgian Waffle (via mix of course) and occasionally just opens a can of crushed tomatos and pours it directly on top of frozen pizza.  There was of course the time he blended tuna, but I choose to omit that experience from my memory.  They are not all winners- but he tries, and I appreciate that.

I of course grew up with a Sicilian and Polish Mother and Egg Plant Parm, Stuffed Mushrooms, and Lasagna were second nature to me.  I have not yet perfected my grandmother's Stuffed Cabbage (the BEST) but I am working on it.  However, I have learned about baking from my mother in law- she is amazing in the kitchen and can make miracles happen with a left over Turkey! (Soup, Pizza, a Pot Pie! who knew?).

I love to take cooking classes, and I am all about whole foods and presentation- but lack of time (a career at Cisco, and part time teaching Zumba, being a mom and step mom, wife, and fur mom to 3 - not to mention cleaning and cooking,  my recent photography class, being Vice Chair for CompTIA's Advanicng Women in IT, volunteer work for my community church, and the occasional insomniacs sleep means there is simply not enough hours in the day.

So a few weeks ago my husband (and our) friend and fellow co-founder of ChannelEyes, Dave gifted upon us some meal time delicacies.  Well, that was sweet I thought- as a full time working mom, who loves to cook but never finds time to grocery shop, let alone open her recipe books- this could serve to be an interesting experiment in dining made easy.

The company is called "Blue Apron"- site motto proudly stating:

 "Fresh ingredients, great recipes 

delivered weekly to your home"  Cook Incredible Recipes

Learn exciting new recipes each week, created with care by our test kitchen team

Eat Fresher Food
Our experts source the best seasonal ingredients directly from farms, importers and family-run purveyors

Well, that sounds promising Jay and I thought- Flexible, Fresh, Convenient and Original- who doesn't love that?

Then the day came which changed our lives (only half kidding!).  Our fresh food ingredients arrived at last!

Each meal comes with a menu card, all of your pre-portioned fresh ingredients and all the "knick knacks" in portions of 2 or 4 (2 seems to serve my husband, step daughter and I  quite nicely- as Brooklyn fine dines on fancy baby food ala butter nut squash and quinoa, and the Oreo's my husband sneaks in- but that is for a different blog).

2 Person Meal

4 Person Meal

The pricing is fairly reasonable as well:

We take turns preparing, on average each meal takes about an hour from prep to plate.

Thus far we have had over 20 amazing and interesting meals (some with products I have never had like a sun chokes, or international cuisine made easy such as Mousaka!)

We have really enjoyed our fancy home made meals, and look forward each week to the new wholesome entrees and taste sensations.  I will be updating this blog with some of our complete list of meals thus far as well as our finished deliacies for your viewing pleasure... it will really make you wish you had smell-a-vision.

My tiniest Chef Helper

Our meals thus far have included the following  (in no particular order):

  1. Gnocchi with Sausage & Savoy Cabbage
  2.  Chicken & Chestnut Pasta w/ Cabbage and Granulated Honey
  3. Macadamia-Crusted Cod with Black Rice, Golden Beet and Avocado Salad
  4. Braised Moroccan-Style Salmon & Greens w/ lemon Pine Nuts & Red Quinoa
  5. Basted Flanlk Steaks with Beet-Freekeh Salad & Gorgonzola (a personal fav!)
  6. Orecchiette Pasta w/ Roasted Cauliflower, Capers & Garlic Bread Crumbs
  7. Maple Glazed Turkey Breast w/ Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, & Maitake Mushrooms
  8. Chicken Schnitzel with Watercress, Apple, Beet & Red Walnut Salad (Yum!)
  9. Beef on Weck Salad with Heirloom Potato Salad
  10. Seared Hake with Melted Leeks and Fingerling Potatoes
  11. Croque Monsier-Style Sandwiches with Bacon, Radish & Little Gem Lettuce Salad (mmmmm)
  12. Yuzu Kosho Glazed Drumsticsk with Shitake Mushrooms, Turnip & Rice Salad (AMAZING!)
  13. Thai Chicken Meatballs with Red Coconut Curry, Bok Choy & Rice Noodles
  14. Flank Steaks & Creamed Kale with Sunchokes 2 ways
  15. Crispy Salmon & Barley- Fennel Risotto w/ Fresh Herb and Walnut Salad
  16. Moussaka-Style Lasagna with Eggplant and Spinach
  17. Pan Roasted Chicken with Saba-Grape Sauce, Roasted Fennel & Sunchokes
  18. Crispy Fish Sandwhiches withe Coleslaw and Homemade Tarter Sauce
  19. Pan Seared Salmon with Candied Orange Peel & Cranberry Walnut Stuffing
  20. Lamb & Butternut Squash Soup with Spinach and Barley 

A far cry from blended tuna, eh?  I like to consider myself a tad of a foodie- but going out to eat can be expensive (unless you are Grouponing- blog to follow) and/or dieting whereby you have to question what goes into your food.  Here you are getting farm fresh ingredients, interesting variety, a taste sensation, a health meals, and culinary lessons and recipes you can move in future meals! A win win all around.  

A Sample of the Recipe Card and Instructions
Check out http://www.blueapron.com/ to get started being the chef you always dreamed you can be.  I for one think it's brilliant, easy and delicious.

Bon Appetit!