Monday, May 30, 2016

Blue Apron: Why I love it...and why it's not for me

     Recently, a sweet friend of mine, who has used Blue Apron meal services for awhile, asked if I would like to try it out for free. Apparently, after using their meal services for awhile, you can receive "free meals" to give to a friend.   Never being one to turn down good food, or the opportunity to cook something new, I was game! It was very easy to set up an account and schedule my first delivery. I did choose to do a 2 person menu, for the sake of keeping my trial run completely free.  (If I had chosen a 4 person family menu, then I would have had to pay extra.)
     In just over a week, this super fun box was delivered! When I opened it up, there were my three recipes for the week, along with some extra information on one of the ingredients, and prepackaged, well-labeled ingredients for each meal.  I have to admit, I was impressed with the packing, and for their system on keeping the food, which included uncooked meat, appropriately cold and fresh. 

     The first meal I cooked was this Roasted Chicken & Verjus Pan Sauce with Mashed Potatoes, Mushrooms, and Kale. I absolutely loved the full color recipes with a 'fun fact' about a component of the meal, plus step by step instructions on how to prepare the meal.  Even someone with a very limited knowledge on food prep could prepare a gourmet meal following these recipes!

     The finished product turned out much like the pictures on the recipe card, which is always fun! I do need to work on my food photography skills, though! The meal was tasty, with the exception that the potatoes were a bit dry and could have used some more butter or milk.  

     The second meal that I cooked was this Green Shakshuka with Eight Ball Squash and Spiced Pita Chips! I had been wanting to try a traditional shakshuka, which is usually based on a red sauce and served for breakfast. This recipe used tomatillos instead of regular tomatoes, which gave it the green color, and also a little extra zip. To say that I was excited to try this recipe out would be an understatement! Once again, the recipe was very easy to follow.  And though this one was a bit more involved, the end result was worth the effort! OH MY GOODNESS!! It was delicious!! 

     My picture isn't quite a pretty as the one on the recipe card, but don't let looks fool you.  This was amazing! We dipped the Spiced Pita Chips into the Shakshuka and ate it that way.  Yum! A side note about the Za'atar spice.  I've cooked with Za'atar before, but the mix that came with this recipe was so much better than what I had previously used.  I might just have to find something similar to it!! 

     I was out of town when my husband cooked the third meal, so I have no pictures and I did not personally try it.  He said that it was good, so I'll trust him on that one.  :)

     I love Blue Apron's mission, which is to make incredible home cooking available to everyone.  So many people have never really learned to cook.  This meal service makes it completely possible to learn how to cook, to experience new tastes, and to bring back something that I am passionate about, which is to sit down together as a family, or with friends, to share a meal at home.
      I personally love to cook and to try new recipes and cooking techniques.  And, as a family, we eat most of our meals at home.  So, I'm always looking for ways to incorporate different tastes and experiences into our eating habits.  I'm also up for trying new ways to plan our meals out for the week.  From this standpoint, Blue Apron did not disappoint.  Why, then, is it not for me? For no other reason than my food budget.  For the cost of three weekly meals through Blue Apron for my family of four, I can get a good portion of my groceries for the entire week.  
     That said, I can think of so many reasons why you should try out Blue ApronIf you are wanting to learn more about the basics of cooking, then this is definitely something that you need to try out. If you enjoy trying new foods, but don't want to pay to go out to eat, this could definitely be an option for you. I would even say that this would make a great gift for someone who loves to cook, or for newlyweds just starting out. If you are curious, it's worth a shot! Try something new today!!

Note: Blue Apron offers wine pairings with it's meals, which would be nice for learning more about wines and how to pair them well with meals.  They also have a marketplace, where you can buy the essentials for your kitchen.  

*I received no compensation of any kind for this review. It is my personal opinion. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Tuesday Review: Go For NO!

 A good friend of mine recently lent me the book, Go For No! And I am SO grateful! I don't know about you, but "NO" has always been a hard word for me to hear.  And fear of failure has been crippling to me at times. Now that I'm in a business where I get the response of "NO" often, and the sense of failure looms at times, I've had to overcome some major fears and expectations when it comes to this word.  

If you are wanting to overcome your fears of failure, or better yet, COMPLETELY SHIFT YOUR PERSPECTIVE on failure, then this is the book for you! The principles in this short, easy to read book, apply to all aspects of life --not just business-- and I HIGHLY recommend it to you! 

If I'm going to fail, I want to fail in BIG ways, while pursuing BIG DREAMS! 

Blessings~ Kendra