This post is sponsored by Blue Apron.
I’ve always loved and advocated for family dinners. From when I was little to present day, most weeknights, the dinner bell was rung and everyone would come running to a set table to sit down, say a prayer, and dish up and eat dinner as a family. It’s fun being on the other side of things now. Being the parent. Asking the questions. Making this all feel like the kind of quality time I cherished and loved growing up. But in the last year, Chris started doing one tiny thing that has made dinner feel even more special (and I’m surprised how much the girls have loved it, too!)–he has started plating our dinners.
We have been using Blue Apron’s family plan (they also have a 2-person plan) twice a week for over two years now. Although Chris is always imaginative in the meals he creates on his own, Blue Apron has given us the opportunity to learn to make new recipes and get out of the rut of making the same dishes, or relying on take out. Can you believe in over 2 years, we’ve never had the exact same dish twice?! Each chef-designed recipe comes with a card, and one night, Chris was inspired to serve dinner as it was shown, already plated to each of us at the table, instead of family style.
The girls felt like they were at a restaurant and ate more of their meals that night, than any night previous. And from then on, it’s been a sweet tradition. Although we’re not experts, it’s fun to try to get creative and we’ve expanded our plate collection since, too!
I took some photos over the last couple weeks of a few of our meals to show you how we might plate a normal meal. This was the Honey-Mustard Chicken with roasted vegetables. While I would normally put vegetables on one side and chicken on the other if we were dishing up at the table. Taking a cue from the card, we stacked them and drizzled the honey mustard and parsley on top. For the girls, we cut their chicken into strips and then placed them all together on top of the vegetables.
Another night, for our vegetarian meal of the week (another thing we try to do), we had Blue Apron’s Chipotle-Spiced Enchiladas with Mushrooms & Lime Sour Cream. Greta is a major sour cream lover, so we smeared in onto the dark plate first (so it really pops!) and then layered the enchiladas and cilantro on top. “You’ll get sour cream with every bite now!” She couldn’t eat it fast enough.
I always get stumped with how to make pasta look special or glamorous, but Sunday night, we made Blue Apron’s Fresh Cavatelli pasta with broccoli with an arugula and roasted carrot salad. First of all, that salad! It was so fresh and unique and amazing. You can look up the recipe here. We got these big coupe bowls not long ago, and they go a long way in making any meal look a little more luxe. Plus, they’re huge, so you can really pile it on and only kind of pile it on and it will still look like you’re eating like a lady. Ha!
Have you ever tried plating at home? It might be fun to start just one night a week and see how your family reacts.
And if you’ve never tried Blue Apron, we’re on a mission to make sure everyone does at least once! We can’t get enough of variety, quality, and the farm-fresh ingredients delivered right to our doorstep, in exactly the right proportions. The first 50 readers will get three free meals on their first Blue Apron order! Just click here.