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A Chef In Training + A Cool Cutting Board Trick!

August 7, 2014  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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While food posts usually come from Chris (he cooks our meals 99.9% of the time), we are really busy with our new side gig on top of everything else, we started eating later and later. So, I have been trying to cook a little more lately so we can eat as a family at a reasonable time. The thing is, and I know moms and dads do it every day, but I just did could not find time (or will) to find healthy recipes (I don’t know how to cook without a detailed recipe), plan a menu, go to the grocery store with the girls in tow (exhausting!), and then actually cook the meal! I have been using Blue Apron and loving it (!!) and they asked me to write a little about my experience.

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For those of you who haven’t heard of it (anyone??), Blue Apron allows you to create delicious, chef-designed recipes at home. A dream for a mom of 2 little ones who’d rather avoid the restaurant wrestle right before bedtime. Blue Apron delivers all the fresh ingredients in the right proportions, right to your doorstep in a refrigerated box so ingredients will stay fresh even if you’re not at home when your package arrives.

Chefs in training around the world wear blue aprons – it’s a symbol of lifelong learning in cooking–and the recipes are truly geared toward the learning part, which I really appreciate. They spell out exactly how to pit a kalamata olive and how to time the process so everything is done at the same time–that was always the hard part for me!

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When Chris gets home from work and dinner prep is in full swing, he’ll still give me a helping hand, either with the girls or a tip to make this new go at cooking a little easier for me. Did you know a damp paper towel under your cutting board will keep it in place?! Game changer.

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I didn’t realize you didn’t get to choose the meals you receive before I started using the service, and I wasn’t sure how I would feel about that. But now, I can honestly say, I love it! Another thing not to worry about and we are trying new ingredients and flavors. The heirloom tomatoes on this carmelized onion & heirloom tomato crostata I made, were so packed with flavor. And the feta was fresh! There just aren’t ingredients like that in Idaho.

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Blue Apron is available nationwide and sends three meals per week –for two, four, or six people (meals are $9.99 per person per meal with free shipping)–which is the perfect amount of cooking for me. Chris picks up the other nights or we are out doing research on restaurants for Rexburg Eats. And because life changes all the time, it’s nice that there’s no commitment – you can skip or cancel the service at any time! I can’t tell you how empowering it has been to cook a good meal.

Have you tried Blue Apron? You should, even just for a week! If you’d like to, the first 50 readers will get two free meals on their first Blue Apron order! Just click here to redeem.

This post was sponsored by Blue Apron. Thank you so much for supporting the companies that support Chris Loves Julia!

What do you think?

  1. jaclyn says:

    For those of you not in the delivery areas of Blue Apron, they post each week’s recipes on their website so you could just look at those recipes for the ingredients when you do your shopping each week. That way, you also get a feel for the time it takes to prep the meals.

    In my case, there weren’t any ingredients sent to me from Blue Apron that I didn’t already have in my pantry so it felt even more wasteful knowing that I had paid money for things like flour, vinegar, garlic, etc. that I stock regularly.

  2. Lauren says:

    I’ve tried Blue Apron and Plated (which I think actually is available nationwide). I have to say, while I love the concept, I just wish it wasn’t so expensive. $20 for my husband and I to eat dinner while I still have an hour of prep… worth it with a coupon code, but not regularly. I really disliked not being able to pick my meals. Plated must have had at least a dozen to choose from- and I liked the food much better. I love your blog so I’m really glad it works for you and your family, but I definitely think these services could be improved for more people.

  3. Sara says:

    I haven’t tried blue apron, but I LOVE hello fresh. The meals are simpler than blue apron. They only take 20 minutes and don’t require much chopping. You can also choose your meals each week.

  4. Melissa says:

    This is one if only a small handful of blogs I regularly stalk, I mean read, so this is the first I’ve heard of Blue Apron. Seriously what Husband and I have been looking for! We get into such a food rut, most days it’s 4 pm and I realize I haven’t gotten any meat out to thaw. Fail. Even when we want to make something new it’s a trip to the store for the specifics, which includes a whole bottle of ingredient X that might never get used again.

  5. Liz says:

    I’m with you Shannon! I have been wanting to try Blue Apron for awhile and when I read “nationwide”, I was so excited. But it is not true :(

    I live in Kansas and I’m not in the delivery area either… I hope they actually make it “nationwide” to try it! Julia, that crostata looks amazing!!!

  6. jaclyn says:

    I finally got sick of every single blogger promoting Blue Apron so I caved and ordered a week’s subscription.
    It is definitely NOT a time-saver. If anything, the meals actually took me longer to cook than my normal meals since I was having to read through the recipes. You’re still washing/prepping/chopping/etc. and the price is just not justified for me especially since we didn’t have leftovers for any of the meals. So not only do you spend more for the single meal, you also have to pay money for next day’s lunch.

    I just can’t wait for this marketing push to end because each blogger’s write up gets me more and more agitated.

    • Melbournite says:

      I can’t wait for the Blue Apron push to be over.

      Seriously – you guys stake your content on home cooking. This product placement just isn’t believable.

  7. Shannon says:

    I am really excited about the prospect of using Blue Apron and love the concept. I’m a single mom with a full-time job – meal planning always seems to fall by the wayside. Having said all that, I would really appreciate it if the bloggers who are promoting Blue Apron would stop saying it’s available nationwide. It. Is. Not. Texas is the second largest state in the country and yet it’s not available here, nor is it available in a huge swath through the center of the U.S. I understand that their entire concept is the delivery of fresh food and that in order to maintain that they can’t deliver somewhere that doesn’t have a warehouse within the appropriate delivery range. That’s okay! But I feel like every other week another blogger is promoting Blue Apron with the exact same tag line – Available Everywhere! And every time I click on the delivery map, hoping that Texas is finally cool enough to be part of the club. And every time I’m disappointed. (Sorry, I had no idea I had such strong opinions about all this!)

    HOWEVER, Chris and Julia, I really love your blog and this isn’t a reflection on you guys, I just finally felt compelled to say something.

    • Julia says:

      Boo. I honestly thought that if they delivered to little ol’ Rexburg, ID–they delivered everywhere! Here’s hoping they get more hubs soon. I have a feeling it has to do with shipping times since it arrives in a refrigerated box. Sorry, Shannon!

  8. I totally know how you feel about not being able to choose the meals yourself, I think that would bother me at first too. But there’s something nice about having a (relatively) small decision taken out of your hands (head?) when there are small children distracting you with other things. Sometimes you have to just go with the flow!

    • Julia says:

      A thousand times yes! We would have 45 minute conversations about what we should have for dinner that week. Oh, I don’t have to choose? Great!

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