I don’t cook dinner. I used to cook dinner when I lived alone, but then Mike took over that task when we got together. The short story is that he saw me cutting a tomato wrong, got in my business about it and I was like, “You want ‘making dinner’ to be your thing? YOU GOT IT.”
That was ten years ago.
Since then, Mike makes dinner most nights or we get take-out. When he goes away for work, which is pretty often, I usually reheat leftovers for the girls and then eat some combination of cereal and mozzarella sticks after they go to bed.
Oh my god, I just read that back and it sounds pathetic. I also order take-out while he’s away— usually Indian food because Mike doesn’t like it and I seize the opportunity. My mom always did the same thing when I was younger because my dad didn’t like Indian food either. Over the years, it has become our go-to ethnic food to eat together when the men aren’t involved. One day, I hope to bring Mazzy and Harlow into the Women Only Indian Food Club, but so far, they are too picky.
Recently, Mike has been showing a little angst in the cooking department. He never gets to come home to a fully cooked meal and I can see why that might be a nice experience. I’m certainly not going to cook it, so I decided to test out a new service called Munchery.
Munchery is an eco-conscious food delivery service available Monday thru Friday (currently only in New York City, San Francisco and Seattle). Each meal is made up of locally sourced fresh ingredients cooked by a variety of professional chefs (you’ll find the chef’s name listed with the dish). The meals arrive fully cooked in biodegradable or recyclable packaging that can be thrown directly into the oven or microwave to heat up. To order, you go on their site, chose from that day’s meal options along with options for sides, drinks, desserts and kids meals. Meals sell out, so the earlier you plan ahead, the better. Munchery lets you order about a week in advance. For every order on Munchery, they provide a meal for someone in need by donating a portion of the proceeds to the San Francisco & Marin Food Bank. They also offset the carbon footprint of every delivery by planting trees through The Conservation Fund.
I let Mike know we would be doing a family dinner on Wednesday and Friday and he should be home by 6pm to eat. He looked at me like I had five heads.
I scheduled the meals to arrive between 5pm and 6pm and they were there around 5:30pm. All cooking instructions are on the back of each box and easy to follow. Basically, you need to know how long to put it in the oven (or microwave) and whether the sauce should be tossed on before or afterwards. That’s it.
Mike got home as I was trying to figure out why cooking times weren’t working for the meals in the oven and he noticed I had pressed the button for the convection oven instead of the regular oven.
“Maybe you should use the microwave instead.”
“CAN YOU GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN, PLEASE?!”
Then I took everything out and switched to the microwave, because Mike is always right. I guess I require the foolproof option.
When it was ready, I plated the food to make everything look homemade. Dinner was served!
In addition to a bunch of really fabulous packaging, first time orders come with a couple of conversation starter cards, which worked brilliantly with the kids.
“If you could have dinner with any three people who would they be?”
“Living or dead?” Mike asked.
“You can’t have dinner with dead people, DAD!!!” Mazzy thought Dad was an idiot.
“Frank Sinatra, Babe Ruth and Tony Danza.” (Mike and I have ongoing joke about his obsession with Tony Danza. At least I think it’s a joke. He might be serious.)
“I’d pick President Obama, Hilary Clinton— no, make that… Tina Fey… and… Beyoncé. No, Jimmy Fallon! He would make a great dinner guest. Okay, Obama, Jimmy Fallon and Beyoncé.”
“WHAAAAAT?!” That’s Harlow’s new favorite thing to say. She says it like she’s really surprised to hear something even when she has no idea what we are talking about.
“Who would you pick Mazzy?”
“Mommy, Daddy and Harlow.”
“Well that’s nice because that’s who you are eating with right now! Who do you want to eat dinner with Harlow?”
“Ruth.” (That’s our nanny.)
“Who else with Ruth? You get to pick two more people.”
I ordered different meals for everybody so we could experiment with as many dishes as possible— which is also nice if you have kids who are picky like mine.
We liked the beet and gorgonzola salad (the dressing was to die for), the roasted chicken breast with farro, the kids Pappardelle with Meat Sugo (I ate that myself) and the sauteed Lacinto Kale, but were not thrilled with the Korean BBQ chicken appetizer or the seared hangar steak. But that’s the cool thing about the chefs being listed with each meal— you can make future decisions based on who you have ordered from in the past. Sorry, Korean chicken chef!
Harlow and Mazzy liked the seared spring salmon, the rice that came with the beef teriyaki skewers (of course) and picking apart the Kobe beef mini corn dogs. They are not experimental eaters, my kids. They even refused to touch the Fat Elvis cupcakes I got for dessert, which were the best cupcakes I have ever eaten in my life.
You don’t want your bacon cupcake??? That’s fine. I’LL TAKE IT!!!
I also really liked the artisan cheese plate which I saved for a fancy snack the next day.
Prices are less than you would pay for most take-out in NYC and the meals are portion controlled and most likely healthier.
I think Munchery is a really good option for busy moms. Anything that can help people have a more consistent family dinner time (especially while helping the environment and the hungry) has got to be a good thing.
Also, someone on my Facebook page just commented that she received a Munchery gift card as a gift right after she gave birth and “It was one of the greatest gifts we ever received!”
I agree!!!! Munchery would be an EXCELLENT gift for new parents.
If you are in San Francisco, New York City or Seattle, you can test out Munchery with the code MOMMYSHORTS for a $15 credit.
If you use it, I’d love to know what you think!
This post was sponsored by Munchery, but the thoughts, opinions and picky eaters are my own.