Breaking in the New Kitchen

Can I admit something semi-embarrassing to you? Totally free of judgement? And maybe this is a sign that I watch too much Food Network.

I pretend I’m on the TV show “Chopped” when I’m making dinner.

I set my 30 minute timer and make a mad dash to the pantry and wow the pants off those imaginary chef judges in my kitchen.

Except I wouldn’t last a second on that show. Because there’s a big reason I’m a home/DIY blogger and not a food blogger. I’m not even the slightest bit creative when it comes to cooking.

Breaking in the New Kitchen With Blue Apron | blesserhouse.com - A first-timer's experience using chef-designed meals with fresh ingredients and doorstep delivery.

Robert, bless his soul, never complains about my cooking. But when all of my duties get demanding, I slack off in the kitchen. Life gets busy and getting my butt to the grocery store is a challenge with Olivia in tow and while we do cook a lot to save money instead of eating out all the time, I get stuck in a recipe rut.

I start recycling the same 10ish meals because they’re easy and I know how to do them. It’s gotten boring though. So after completing our kitchen makeover this summer (hallelujah!), I sort of made a resolution to myself to make this new space really work for us by challenging myself in the recipe department.

Then, Blue Apron came along and asked if I’d like to try out their order-online-healthy-and-fun-recipes-with-doorstep-delivery meals. And I gave them a big ol’ YES! After that, I sort of panicked. I’m so not a pro.

Breaking in the New Kitchen With Blue Apron | blesserhouse.com - A first-timer's experience using chef-designed meals with fresh ingredients and doorstep delivery.

I’d heard amazing things from several friends about it though like “it prevents us from wasting produce” and “it’s a lot of fun trying healthy foods we’ve never eaten before”.

I’ve always been an adventurous eater (don’t knock escargot until you try it), so I was all “bring it on, sister.”

A couple of days later, I had a refrigerated cardboard box on my doorstep with everything I needed for two meals with four servings each. (We’re big fans of leftovers at our house.)

Breaking in the New Kitchen With Blue Apron | blesserhouse.com - A first-timer's experience using chef-designed meals with fresh ingredients and doorstep delivery.

All of the produce in the box was beautiful, and they’re from sustainable sources, which I love.

The first recipe I tried was Summer Vegetable Pizza with Garlic-Lemon Broccolini.

And the “Chopped” contestant in me went all happy dancy because broccolini is most definitely one of those fancy ingredients they’d pull out of those mystery baskets before an intense entree round.

Real life me is a rule follower though, so I followed the recipe instructions word for word. See? Ted Allen would kick me out of that Food Network kitchen in two seconds.

Breaking in the New Kitchen With Blue Apron | blesserhouse.com - A first-timer's experience using chef-designed meals with fresh ingredients and doorstep delivery.

And then I actually did do some bonafide chopping. See those orange rings there? Those are called Tinkerbell Peppers, and if that’s not the cutest name for a vegetable, I don’t know what is.

I’m not at all a pepper person, so I had my doubts about those at first.

Breaking in the New Kitchen With Blue Apron | blesserhouse.com - A first-timer's experience using chef-designed meals with fresh ingredients and doorstep delivery.

When I got to the dough rolling step, Olivia climbed right on up to her helper stool to be my sous chef. I think she was sad to see it go in the oven because this girl would have played in that gooey fun stuff all day long, if I’d let her.

Breaking in the New Kitchen With Blue Apron | blesserhouse.com - A first-timer's experience using chef-designed meals with fresh ingredients and doorstep delivery.

In less than 40 minutes, our fancy schmancy pizza party was ready and with way more veggies than I ever knew I’d like on a pizza.

Breaking in the New Kitchen With Blue Apron | blesserhouse.com - A first-timer's experience using chef-designed meals with fresh ingredients and doorstep delivery.

Those peppers I wasn’t so sure about were da bomb dot com! They were sweet, which was really surprising to me. And the pizza was absolutely one of the best I’d ever had, no exaggeration.

The broccolini lived up to the fancy hype too. It had a “brightness”, as those chef judges like to say, with the lemon flavors in it.

Breaking in the New Kitchen With Blue Apron | blesserhouse.com - A first-timer's experience using chef-designed meals with fresh ingredients and doorstep delivery.

You probably don’t know this, but this is Robert’s food approval face. You can’t typically mess with his meat lover’s pizza, but he was loving on this all veggie one.

Breaking in the New Kitchen With Blue Apron | blesserhouse.com - A first-timer's experience using chef-designed meals with fresh ingredients and doorstep delivery.

Olivia took a few bites too, which is a huge win with Little Miss Picky Pants. So it looks like this Blue Apron recipe card is getting tucked away in our favorites stash.

Breaking in the New Kitchen With Blue Apron | blesserhouse.com - A first-timer's experience using chef-designed meals with fresh ingredients and doorstep delivery.

The next day for lunch, I whipped up our second meal, Saffron Shrimp and Gnocchi with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil. It was every bit as amazing as the pizza.

Breaking in the New Kitchen With Blue Apron | blesserhouse.com - A first-timer's experience using chef-designed meals with fresh ingredients and doorstep delivery.

If you’ve been wanting to try out Blue Apron too, they’re giving away two free meals to the first 20 readers who sign up with their first order, and the service can be skipped or cancelled at any time (just click here to snag the freebies). You can opt to order on their family plan or 2-person plan, depending on how many mouths you have to feed.

You can find the full details about Blue Apron on their site along with all of their chef-designed recipes here.

Have you tried it before? If you have, what are some of your favorite recipes you’ve tried so far? It’s looking like we’ll definitely be paying for Blue Apron meals after this post. And really… please tell me… I’m not the only pretend “Chopped” contestant out there, am I?

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10 Comments

  1. I’m totally trying this out!! Thank you!! As cute as tinkerbell peppers sound, your little sous chef is totally super cute – as in super hero super cute. 🙂
    Hopefully I can wow my hubs into eating some healthy food (because according to him, pizza eaten everyday, washed down with a heaping bowl of ice-cream, is not unhealthy)

    1. Aw thanks, Heather! I have to agree on the super cute part… I might be biased. 😉 It’s definitely worth a shot! My hubs is all about meat-lovers only pizza, but he really loved this one.

  2. Hi Lauren, I think the only way to get through making dinner sometimes is to pretend your on a cooking show. I love to bake and especially love anything that is individual serve size like a chocolate tartlet. I found the easiest way to make dinner and save money was to make a menu. I have a three week one. So each week I only buy what I need for the week. I assign the meals to a day but will change, it if the mood strikes. The best part is you end up eating your favourite dinners rather than whatever is in the cupboard. I hate feeling like something only to find some ingredients are missing. Thought you might like the idea, especially since your like me and don’t love making dinner, and would rather be making or painting something. 🙂

    1. That’s a good tip, Relle! I usually plan my meals around what’s on sale that week, but I like that idea too! I’ll definitely be throwing the BlueApron stuff into the mix too for days I can’t get to the grocery store and we get caught up in projects around the house.

  3. Hi there!
    My daughter and husband have enjoyed Blue Apron for several months! They sent me a free trial but it isn’t available in my area. I guess Wyoming is still ‘the Wild West’ to some people! I really enjoy your posts!
    Thanks, Jenifer

    1. Oh no! I wonder why? Hopefully, they’ll branch out soon. I guess they’re still a fairly new company. Thanks for the blog love, Jenifer!

  4. Isn’t it weird the way you talk about or hear about something and there it is again the next day? Just last night at supper, my visiting mother-in-law told me that her daughter, my sister-in-law, is subscribing to BLUE APRON! It’s been a hit with her. Will you compare the weekly cost to your usual grocery bill and let us know how it stacked up, in a future blog? My mom-in-law thinks it might be expensive. She lives alone, can’t dirve, and I’m thinking the dinner for two (with leftovers!) plan might be good for her as she doesn’t like cooking for one, but had always enjoyed cooking and trying new dishes! I’m going to check it out.

    1. That happens to me all the time! That’s a good idea for a post. The Blue Apron meals run at $10 per person, and my dinners I make using store ingredients are typically around that price range. I usually buy all fresh ingredients- produce, fresh meat/seafood, and shop the perimeter of the store to avoid processed foods, so that’s a big factor in the cost of what I usually cook. If you buy mostly canned/frozen/boxed food, then I’m sure Blue Apron would cost more. I’m all for bargain shopping but I like the fresh stuff and just buy meat/produce that’s on sale to help the cost. I do like that Blue Apron is easy for small families though. We waste food way too often when I cook my recipes.

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