cooking with blue apron!

10:38 PM

We have been toying with the idea of giving Blue Apron a try for a while now and when we found out that Top Chef winner Mei Lin, was going to be whipping up some recipes for them we decided the time was right! We picked the two person plan, put in our order and impatiently waited for our box to arrive. It came on a Friday, each of the three meals beautifully packaged and labeled and neatly packed in a medium sized box. We planned on cooking one meal over the weekend and saving the other two for the week. 
On Sunday we decided to make Mei's Crispy Chicken Thighs mainly because we didn't want the mushrooms to lose their freshness and also because it looked so darn delicious. We got lucky with both kids napping at the same time so it was extra nice to have the house quiet and to ourselves while we worked alongside each other. 
I did a lot of a prep work while papa bear worked on the chicken and other odds and ends. The directions were so perfectly clear and it was a joy to work with such beautiful and fresh ingredients. Also, for me, one of the most loathsome parts of cooking or baking is all the MEASURING so it was incredibly nice to not have to worry about that at all. 
Guys we got to make kimchi!! How cool is that?! It was so much easier than I could have ever imagined and definitely something I want to try again some time. 
Here it is - the finished dish!! Folks I can't even begin to tell you how good it tasted. First, I never thought I had it in me to cook something this delicious. Second, I couldn't believe I was eating at home because it definitely tasted like something you would have at a fancy restaurant and that in and of itself was pretty cool. I'm pretty sure I could eat this dish every day for the rest of my life!
So, my final thoughts? I figured I would break it down and make it easy for you. So here are the pros:

- Easy. It is so easy - the no grocery shopping, no measuring and very little mess part of this gives me major heart eyes. Also, I didn't find any of the three recipes "difficult" by any means. 
- So good. The ingredients are the freshest and the best that I've ever seen. Our fish was beautiful, the vegetables looked as if they had just been hand picked from a garden and all the spices were fragrant and rich. Each dish made us weak in the knees with just how mouthwateringly delicious it was. 
- It made us cook dishes we would never, ever normally attempt and expanded our palates. It was really nice to experiment with new flavors, ingredients and methods. It elevated the experience to something really exciting and fun. By taking out all the things that we don't like about cooking (grocery shopping, measuring, etc) and pushing us to try something new it made it a wonderful experience. 

Here are the cons in our opinion:

- Not enough food. The portions were quite inconsistent. One of the dishes we couldn't finish and two of the dishes I made sides or altered the recipe because I could tell from the beginning that it would not be enough food. Not pictured here is the side of farro I made to go with Mei's dish. It actually really complimented everything else and insured that we were full. We also had a lamb and beef shawarma dish that included a very small salad that I decided to turn into an entree type salad and I made a side of couscous to go with it as well. On it's own it would have definitely left us hungry. 
- Too expensive. Considering what I just shared about the lack of sides I feel that at $60 a week we would have still been spending a significant amount of money on grocery shopping and altogether it would become a luxury we could not afford. Also, I don't like that the two person option doesn't remotely leave you with any leftovers and it's a little much in my opinion to have to spend over $100 a week on this service for two people if you want leftovers (that would be the four person option). 
But those are really the only negatives. So I suppose you could say that if we could afford it, there really would be no negatives. I would say that in order to have a perfect experience we would need to go with the four person route because it's a little frustrating to put that much time and work into a meal and to have nothing to show for it the next day. 
All in all we really enjoyed giving it a try and it was nice to mix things up in the kitchen. Perhaps we would venture to try it again some time! 

*this was not a sponsored post :)

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