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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?