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Making Dinner Together…with Blue Apron! (And 2 free meals for the first 100 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 new customer of theirs!  You’ll see why below…

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If we were sitting here together on the couch in my living room (with a bowl of treats on the table, of course!), and you asked me if money weren’t an issue, what house responsibility of mine I would hire out……I’d have to say a personal chef.  Not a nanny, or a chauffeur, or even a house cleaner.  A chef.  But this chef would have to purchase all menu items, create a balanced meal, make enough to have leftovers the next day (for Steve to take to work for lunch the next day), and you know, it would have to be ridiculously delicious!

It’s not even that I mind cooking.  I actually really enjoy it.  But I LOATHE coming up with items to fix.  Especially if we’re all hungry and I’ve waited until the last minute to decide what to prepare.  Also, 5 o’clock seems to be the “witching hour” for my children and so it seems to be a high stress and very “needy” time for my children.  So, if I don’t have everything out and ready to go, forget it.  However, the part I really hate, is planning ahead of time and shopping for all the supplies.  AGGHHH!!  It’s so frustrating when I don’t have the ingredients I need and my least favorite activity in this world is to haul all my children to the store during said “witching hour” to grab a last minute ingredient.  (Or even taking them all to the store at all….ha!)  Oh my.  So scrubbing toilets and vacuuming carpets??……..I’ve got that!!  Hiring dinner help?  That would be heaven for me! :)

Back to reality—I can’t afford a personal chef.  However, when Blue Apron contacted me to try out their prepped meal services, I kid you not, I JUMPED ALL OVER IT!  Because just imagine this — everything you need for your chef-designed dinner recipe, is sent straight to you, in exactly the right portions you need (depending on your family size).  Every single farm fresh ingredient comes right to your door in a refrigerated box (shipped for FREE)…with a recipe card and step-by-step picture instructions.  Uhhh, hello?!!!  That takes my least favorite parts of dinner making, right out of the equation — deciding on what to make and buying all of the ingredients.  Done.

 

Every week, new menus and recipes are created and I was able to select 3 meals from the 6 options from that week…..and let me tell ya, I wasn’t picking between Hamburger Helper and Macaroni & Cheese!  I was given 6 choices, all of which were recipes I would have never even dreamed up whipping up last minute.  And sometimes that’s because it may call for an ingredient that I don’t carry on hand.  And from what I described above, I’m not running to the store at 5:00 p.m. to grab a stalk of lemongrass.  No way.

But not only are there delicious choices, they are all very well balanced, all within 500-700 calories, and they can all be prepared in 40 minutes or less.  (And I know that sounds like a commercial but we’ve been trying really hard lately to create meals that aren’t overloaded with calories.  And the whole fast thing?  Yeah…that’s a no-brainer!)  Also, there’s NO COMMITMENT to any of it.  If I want to give it a try and then pause or cancel….no biggee.  I can come and go as I 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!

Truly, a dream for me! :)

I decided to try 3 different meals for the 2-person family, just so that we could sample them a bit and see what we liked.

***Oh, and ALL THEIR RECIPES are available HERE. Yep, pictures, instructions, and all.  For FREE.  And their chefs are adding more and more, weekly.  I absolutely love that! :)

 

Here’s everything they sent us for those 3 recipes.  So fresh, still nice and cold, and ready to be turned into our mini gourmet meals!

 

We decided to try the Fresh Lemon Linguine first.  And I was still so excited that I didn’t have to scrounge up one single ingredient.  Everything was right there for me.  Ahhhh…..my blood pressure is calmer just thinking about it.

 

Meal time at our house is an everyone-pitches-in kind of thing.  Especially with clean up.  But I have been trying to be more deliberate about picking at least one helper each night, to help with prepping.  Elli (8), Connor (7), and Chloe (4) have different abilities, but I remember being in the kitchen with my mom and/or siblings at a young age, helping out in the kitchen and learning how to chop, slice, stir, and blend.  So, I like having our kiddos by my side, learning some of those same things! :)

Elli and Connor have been watching Master Chef Jr online (have you seen that show??) and think it’s amazing what those young kids can do….so I think that has helped increased their excitement to help in the kitchen.  And I love it!

 

Even Chloe likes to wiggle her little body in between us and offer her “services”…..but I give her a plastic knife and let her go to town on things that she can’t really ruin.  Like chopping this heirloom tomato that’s just going into a sauce anyway.  (Side note….my kids were certain this yellow heirloom tomato wasn’t ripe.  So I had them taste it….and even I was shocked at its delicious flavor!  They wanted to eat the whole thing on its own.  Sorry, we need it for the recipe guys!)

 

The best thing about Blue Apron and letting the kids help, is that the recipe card is full color and has step-by-step pictures.  So, I can ask them to read the directions and figure out what to do next.  It’s perfect for them!

 

Elli and Connor recently started cooking eggs on the stove by themselves…..so they think it’s pretty cool to handle cooking over the FIRE (aka: the gas cooktop), whenever I need their help!

 

Man, these kids are growing up!  But I love that they still like spending time with me……and are still at a great age for “wanting” to help!  Even if that means separating the fresh pasta noodles.  Atta girl, Chloe!

 

After the fresh tomato and summer veggie sauce was done, we poured it over the boiled linguine, and topped with some seasoned ricotta and fresh basil.  And let me tell you…….such simple ingredients but the flavors blended perfectly, and the taste was AMAZING!!! And everyone gobbled it up.  Yes, ALL 4 kiddos.  (I ate mine with some rice noodles, because, yet, gluten free for me.  But it was still incredible!)

 

I didn’t take any pictures but I also used the ingredients to make the Thai Chicken Burgers and even though the picture didn’t necessarily win me over, it was absolutely DELICIOUS!!!! (<— I can’t even add enough exclamation points to that one!)  As in, I am adding this recipe to our “favorites”, I loved it that much……and had to mention it!

Remember, you can find all their RECIPES HERE, and you really should give that one a try.  I couldn’t even believe how simple it was to make……but SO pleasing to the palate! :)  (We haven’t made the seared steaks yet…but I’ll let you know!)

 

I’ve also been eyeing the Basil Meatball & Fresh Corn Polenta recipe while corn is still in season and that Parmesan Crusted Chicken recipe….Yum!

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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 awe 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 new customer!  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…..it’s a DREAM!  (In fact, I think a month subscription would be a fabulous Christmas gift for my parents, who are hard-to-buy-gifts-for-because-they-have-everything-they-need kind of people!)

 

And just to help you decide, Blue Apron is offering the first 100 readers, to receive 2 FREE MEALS 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.

 

Such a time saver.  And sanity saver.  And the perfect way to add some really delicious new favorite recipes to our family meals!  Thanks again Blue Apron…I am an absolute fan! :)
-Ashley

 

***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
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Ashley Johnston

Owner 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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Comments

  1. Ashley Saunders says:

    We LOVE Blue Apron! We’ve been customers for about three months now… It’s seriously like Christmas each week when the box comes. Their customer service is also amazing- we had an ingredient missing one week and smashed buns the next and they credited our account $$ back! We are huge fans and can’t praise Blue Apron enough! (Ps- we got the pesto meatball and polenta dish. It was just ok- not our favorite meal. I think I put too much oil in the pesto though.)

  2. Kiersten says:

    Oh, I jumped on this one. I feel the same way about meal planning. I absolutely hate it. A personal chef would be ideal.

  3. Annette says:

    I love deciding what to fix for dinner. I always tell my husband that I wouldn’t like to be him, because dinner is always a surprise. I guess I like looking forward to what I’m going to eat, and also cooking what I’m in the mood for. But, I love the Blue Apron concept. I can still pick out what to fix — and having everything ready — no trips to the grocery store — is great (since I don’t live that close to the store.) I’m going to check out some of their recipes. Thanks!

  4. Lisa says:

    The offer is two meals for free. But really they’re just giving you $20 off. With each meal costing $20 for two people, that’s only one meal for free. I could go out and buy a meal already made for less than $20 for two people.

    1. Kathryn says:

      Yes you’re right however these are quality ingredients and healthy to boot. I already use blue apron and I think it’s worth it. Both my husband and I work full time and have little time to shop and spend time together so it takes a lot of grocery shopping out of our busy lives. Plus, like Ashley said their are usually leftovers that we take for lunch the next day so really your getting 4 meals. Not trying to be rude, just another perspective. Hope that helps!

      Kat

  5. Adele says:

    Sounds great, but my concern is the packaging… lots of packaging for each ingredient, in my opinion.

  6. HokieKate says:

    How was the quantity? I have a four year old and a barely two year old. Do I need to order for the family of four or can we stretch the two-person?

    1. Trina says:

      I was wondering the same thing. I have a three year old, and a husband who will probably eat a larger serving..

    2. Ashley says:

      The 2 person was plenty for me and my husband Steve, but could be stretched to feed a small child or two (depending on how much they eat). But if you got the family portion, it would give you plenty for leftovers the next day. But, that’s kinda why I wanted to just try the 2 person meals and see how it would stretch. The pasta fed all 4 kids, plus Steve and I had a small portion as a side (and then he and I ate the Thai burgers and skipped the potato side that the burgers came with). I also wanted to see how the kids liked the flavors, before ordering family portions too. But I am ordering family portions from now on….because there are plenty of us to eat it up, plus Steve takes his lunch to work the next over and loves leftovers. :)

      Anyway, those are my thoughts…..clear as mud?? ;)

      Best of luck!
      Ashley

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Hi, I'm Ashley

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

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