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Making Dinner Together…with Blue Apron! (Plus, a FREE MEAL FOR 2, for the first 50 people!)

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This post is sponsored by Blue Apron…but all opinions are mine. And let me tell you, I am one very happy customer of theirs!  You’ll see why below…

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I don’t know what’s been happening lately but I have been losing hours in the day.  I swear once 3:00p.m. hits, my world starts speeding up and the rest of the day becomes a blur.  There’s school pickup and errands and appointments and phone calls and basketball practice and on and on and on….  When it comes to dinnertime, the only way it gets prepared and eaten peacefully (i.e. without the rushing, frustration, etc), is if I know exactly what I’m making and I have every single ingredient purchased and ready!  Because when we’re practicing spelling words, there’s a fussy baby/child, and/or phone calls happening at 5:30, let’s all admit that our mental clarity for choosing something for dinner is somehow warped.

I told you guys all about how much I love Blue Apron a few months ago…..but this scenario is exactly WHY I love them.  I don’t have to think about dinner, everything’s there, and I can turn my brain into auto-pilot while I follow the recipe and then focus my real brain power on figuring out where my pen is to sign the 3,000 papers that come home with my children from school!!!

And now, since it’s almost Christmas and we’re all trying to figure out what to give our very best friend who had another baby a few months ago, or the brother-in-law who loves to cook, or the empty-nesters who hate buying unique ingredients for only 1-2 people — this is it!  (And okay, I’ll admit, sometimes I can’t think of what to get my very own parents for Christmas……..I hope my mom skips reading this post, because THIS IS IT!!!)  But how fun would it be to get someone started on a Blue Apron subscription, to have a picture recipe card and all the farm fresh ingredients necessary to make their own meals?!!

***Oh, and if you’re concerned about the extra packaging…..Blue Apron is now offering a recycling program where you can use their recycling locator OR ship it back to them for free.  Read more about it HERE!


Absolutely EVERYTHING you need to make healthy and incredibly dishes, come right to you in a ice-packed box!


These are the 3 recipes we received a little over a week ago, which all included large step-by-step picture recipes cards. (But you can also access each full recipe online, at no cost, HERE.)

Just a reminder about how this works — recipes and ingredients change every week, so you get to actually choose what you want to cook and what you think your family will enjoy eating.  And I have to say, opening your box of ingredients is like Christmas!  Everything is fresh, perfectly proportioned, and I have yet to try a recipe I didn’t like.  Yes, I have had some serious favorites…..but each recipe is created and compiled by legit chefs, so they have all been absolutely delicious!  And as a bonus, we have been able to use ingredients in our Blue Apron recipes that I would normally skip because either they are a little pricey, or my local grocer doesn’t carry it.

Oh, and another thing….I just have to give a triple high-five to Blue Apron for keeping each of their recipe between 500-700 calories because one of my biggest pitfalls when I’m in a hurry preparing dinner….is throwing together something that isn’t super healthy. PLUS, all meals can be prepared in 40 minutes or less.  In fact, I have prepared some in 10-15 minutes and then placed in the oven to finish up.  My favorite!

So, which one did we try first??  The Spiced Pork, Squash, and White Bean Soup with a Kale/Sage/Walnut Pesto!  And don’t you dare let your inner 7 year-old self stick your nose up to this one….the flavor in this is so hearty and perfectly seasoned and DELICIOUS!!!


My oldest daughter, Elli (who will be 9 next week), has been my biggest helper in the kitchen these days.  However, we’ve been watching Master Chef Jr lately and they’ve all been obsessed with that show… right after watching an episode, they’re all wanting to help more in the kitchen.  But overall, Elli is my girl that will normally choose helping in the kitchen over some of the games the other kiddos are playing.

So, I put Elli to work on chopping up the squash.



Now, when Elli saw the kale, she immediately asked if we could skip it.  (I made a kale smoothie once and let her try it and she vowed she’d never try it again! Ha!)  But I insisted we include it and just see how it tastes.


Elli likes to help with chopping and slicing, but she prefers heating up a pan and actually cooking.  So, she stood here throughout the entire recipe and added ingredients, stirred, told me when she thought it was burning, needed more oil, etc.  I LOVE HAVING A KITCHEN HELPER!!!


Elli even asked me about this particular recipe, if she could practice it a few times and then use it to try out for Master Chef Jr!  Ha!  Sweet thing.  It made me so proud of her for trying to get better and better at this whole cooking thing.  Love this girl. :)


Once the Pork, Squash and White Bean soup done…..we dished it up and mmmmmmm, all I have to say is YUM!!!!  And don’t you even think about skipping out on the pesto.  That stuff was INCREDIBLE drizzled on top!  And the kids ALL ate some, Connor even had seconds, and when we played “food critic” (which is a game we play at dinner so I know how much everyone likes/hates what I made), the lowest score was a 4.5 out of 5 stars.  That’s pretty good because I have been known to serve 1 out of 5 star dishes!! Ha! ;)


I think I’ve mentioned before that you can sign up for the 2 person recipe plan or you can get a family size plan.  We’ve done both but I actually prefer doing the 2-person plans…and that’s because we get more variety for our money, PLUS, the 2 person portions are actually pretty large and we can share with the kids.  And if it’s something that I know they’re going to LOVE, I can add more of my own noodles or stretch the sauce, etc.  But on a normal day, they don’t eat much and there’s generally more than Steve and I need/should have for dinner.  (Otherwise, if you’re just cooking for two, save the leftovers for lunch the next day!)

Oh, and there’s absolutely NO COMMITMENT to any of it.  If you want to give it a try and then pause or cancel….no biggee.  You can come and go as you please.  (Oh, and if you’re not home when you order is delivered, it’s in a refrigerated box so it can wait until you’ve come home at the end of the day.)  And shipping is always FREE!

I actually like that you can try other recipes on the Blue Apron site HERE…..and am excited to test some of these that I never selected!  If you give any a try, let me know which ones your family gives a 5 out of 5 stars because we’ll definitely need to add them to our list! ;)


Okay, I know I mentioned this was a sponsored post and I have said time and time again that I only agree to work with brands/companies that I already use or think would be a good fit for me and my family.  But, guys, I am in absolute alove with Blue Apron. I am in no way required to endorse them long term or even use extra exclamation points when talking about them (ha!)…..but I am 100% a fan!  And can’t wait to continue my services with them (using my own money)!

I know I can’t be the only one who dreads ingredient shopping.  Or trying to figure out what’s for dinner.  Or is tired of making the same boring recipes over and over again.  So if you’re curious about it, give it a try…’s a DREAM!  (Or gift a couple meals to that hard-to-buy-for family member!)


And just to help you decide, Blue Apron is offering the first 50 readers, to receive a FREE MEAL FOR 2 with their first order.

CLICK HERE and then click on the orange button that says, “Redeem Offer”.  If you love it, you’ll be able to customize your meal plans and decide how often and how frequently you’d like your ready-made meal ingredients to be delivered.  If you’re not a huge fan, just pass on any future orders.  No commitment or contract at all.

Oh, how I love Blue Apron (and could kiss the creators!) because now I can actually create healthy and delicious meals regularly, instead of just “wanting” to.



***Compensation for this post was provided by Blue Apron.  However, all opinions are mine and have been presented openly and honestly.  And wow, this was an easy one to love!

Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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