Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Blue Apron : It's What's for Dinner

Some might call (and some have) my husband and I “foodies.” One of our favorite pastimes is going out for a nice meal and, especially, exploring new restaurants. But we also eat at home often because GT loves to cook. (I know, I’m a lucky woman.) And while he is the one typically in the kitchen making dinner, I actually enjoy cooking, too—though, my college roommates might beg to differ.

See, back then, oh, about eight years ago, I didn’t have much to brag about in the cooking department. Even with the luxury of an apartment kitchen, my go-to for lunch or dinner was pasta (boil water, check) or nuking a Lean Cuisine. My reasoning: Why go through the trouble and expense, the time and effort, of making a meal for just one person? Especially when a perfectly portioned (if not very appetizing) one was just a microwave away? Plus, if I’m honest, I was nervous about cooking a chicken breast from scratch. How do I know when it’s done? So, I relied on the supermarket’s frozen aisle… and store-bought pesto.

While I always looked forward to helping my mom in the kitchen on Thanksgiving and Christmas, it wasn’t until a handful of years ago that I started to venture past just playing the part of a holiday sous chef and finally put into practice all those tidbits I picked up watching too many episodes of, well, anything on the Food Network.

Today, I love whipping up new creations in the kitchen and even relish the challenge of throwing something together last-minute with whatever random ingredients we happen to have in the fridge and pantry. But, like I mentioned, my hubby loves to cook, too. It’s his creative outlet. So he usually has reign of the stovetop and almost always politely declines my offers to assist.

So, when I read about Blue Apron a few weeks ago on one of my favorite blogs, I decided it would be a fun surprise for GT and signed up immediately.

Blue Apron is a meal delivery service that sends step-by-step recipes (with photos!) with the exact premium, fresh ingredients to cook each one right to your doorstep. Check out the contents of our first box:

Our plan delivers three meals (based on our dietary preferences) for two people each week at a cost of about $60, or $9.99 per person per meal. Whether that is reasonable or expensive depends on your perspective and normal cooking routine, I think. If you eat out almost every day, you probably would save money! For us, we do a lot of cooking at home but we also enjoy trying new restaurants, and when we do the bill tends to skyrocket. So, for us, Blue Apron isn’t necessarily a cheap choice, but it also isn’t a serious splurge. While there is a definite convenience factor to having groceries delivered to your home, I signed us up for the experience of cooking new things together, not to save time or money. Fortunately, there’s no long-term commitment—you can skip any week without penalty. For us, Blue Apron will likely become a once-in-a-while culinary treat rather than a weekly constant.

Until then, the menus have looked so good that we haven’t skipped yet. Everything we have cooked thus far has been beautiful and delicious, a feast for the eyes and the tastebuds.

The interesting spices, dressings, sauces; the building of textures and complex flavor combinations—sweet and savory, creamy and tangy—are what really make the dishes pop.

We’ve received two weeks of deliveries so far (our third comes tomorrow) and it’s been a blast cooking in the kitchen together, tasting new ingredients and discovering food preparations we hadn’t heard of or tried before.

It’s difficult to choose but I’d say my favorite meals so far were the Pan-Seared Salmon with Fennel & Heirloom Potato Salad (pictured above) and Rice & Beef-Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Lime-Crema Sauce (below).

We had Pan-Seared Cod with Parmesan-Crusted Squash & Roasted Red Potatoes last night (that gave the salmon a run for its money, with its luscious-yet-crisp crust) and we will be making Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs with Roasted Baby Zebra Eggplants & Fennel Salad, a recipe from award-winning New York chef Michael Anthony, tonight.

Have you heard of Blue Apron? (I never had before but I am seeing ads all over social media and the blogosphere now.) Would you sign up for a meal subscription service? My experience with the company has been positive thus far—packages delivered on time, in good condition, and the meals have tasted great—so I would recommend giving Blue Apron a try if you’re considering it.

Or, Blue Apron posts its recipes on its website so even if you don’t want to sign up, you can always find some dinnertime inspiration online. Happy cooking!

Disclaimer: No one paid me to write this. This is simply my honest review of my experience with Blue Apron.


  1. I have several friends that do Blue Apron and absolutely love it. I think it would be fun to try, but they aren't currently delivering in Louisiana. Although we do have a similar cooking situation in our house where my husband enjoys cooking most nights. And like you it's not that I dislike cooking or am an awful cook, but he'd much rather do it himself. Still I think if they're ever available here, I'll have to try it at least once.

    1. Aw, that's a bummer they don't deliver in Louisiana! Maybe they'll expand soon. It's been a lot of fun trying new recipes and ingredients, shake things up a bit. Either way, we're both lucky ladies to have men who cook! :)


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