A few months ago I partnered with Blue Apron to test our their service for the first time. I cooked for the kids while Mike was away for work and had a really positive experience. I made a family meal for four. It tasted really good. The kids ate it. Mazzy even called me a good cook. Which was pretty groundbreaking.
At the time, we didn’t sign up for the service because it was right before the summer and we were heading out east for the next two months. Now we are back in the city, school has started and we are back in our normal routine.
One of my goals this year is to start having dinners as a family. Up until this point, Mazzy and Harlow have been eating by themselves around 5:30pm when we get home from work. Then Mike cooks while I do bedtime routine and the two of us eat after they are in bed. But now that both kids are older and in school, I think it’s time for us all to eat together, at least a few times a week.
To make this happen, I will have to take on cooking those nights because Mike doesn’t get home in time to cook for the kids. I don’t have time to recipe plan, grocery shop and cook, so besides take-out, Blue Apron is really one of the only ways to make this happen.
I opted for the family plan, getting one box delivered a week which contains all the ingredients to make two different family-style dinners for four. Which is perfect because it will ensure I don’t get lazy and back out on my nights to cook. The price for this plan is $8.74 per meal, or $69.92 per eight serving delivery. Shipping is always free.
There are instructions for each chef-designed meal and all the ingredients come farm-fresh in the perfect proportions.
(That was not staged. Apparently, this is how I look at instructions. Like I’m blind.)
Make no mistake— this is not cold dinners you stick in a microwave. This is REAL cooking. Just pre-planned, shopped for and delivered to your door.
All the chopping is still left up to you.
You can specify which proteins you want but the recipes are determined by Blue Apron. A bit of a risk with picky kids but one of my goals (in addition to family dinners) is getting my kids to experiment more with food. I did opt out of pork dishes though because besides bacon and hot dogs, I’ve never been a big fan.
The first meal I cooked was Sweet Chili and Basil Chicken with Peppers, Eggplant and Coconut Jasmine Rice.
Mike ended up being home when I started cooking, but keep in mind, the only times I usually cook is when he is away so he hasn’t seen me make a meal (beyond breakfast) in several years.
He had great fun with this, inspecting my techniques (“GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN, MIKE!”)…
…and making a big show of relaxing on the couch with the kids.
Mazzy was actually really interested in helping me which was great to see and made me feel bad that we don’t involve her in cooking on a more regular basis.
I even let her cut a pepper with a knife, which was the very first time I have ever trusted her to do such a thing. She takes wood shop at school where there are hammers and saws, so I guess she’s ready.
The pepper was cut with all fingers still in tact.
We have a really tiny kitchen which I think you can see in full effect in these pictures.
That counter space in front of me?
That’s the only surface area in the whole place.
I think I used almost every pot, pan, and utensil we have.
“What’s all that banging in there?”
That’s Mike from the couch.
“I’m fine! Don’t pay attention to me!”
Prep and cooking took about 35 minutes which might have been shorter if Harlow didn’t have a meltdown on the floor in the middle.
She wanted waffles.
Plating has always been a specialty of mine. I used to work at a restaurant. Not cooking, of course!
Then we all sat down for dinner as a family.
Once again, I am proud to say, Mazzy absolutely loved her meal. And she loved telling me how delicious everything was with great enthusiasm.
It’s almost like she feels pride that her mom put a good meal on the table. Pretty awesome.
Mike, I am even prouder to say, thought everything was delicious too. This is evidenced in the fact he practically licked his plate clean.
Harlow on the other hand, is a work in progress. She like the rice but wouldn’t touch anything else. Hopefully, in time (and with a few more Blue Apron meals) this will change. Otherwise, she will be eating yogurt and hot dogs for the rest of her life.
At one point, Mike said, “See, Mazzy? Your mom can cook!”
And Mazzy said, “I know, Dad. She’s cooked before!”
(That would be the other Blue Apron meal.)
The next night, I came home to Mike cooking in the kitchen. “What are you making?”
“Crispy Cod Sandwiches.”
“Really? You’re making the second Blue Apron dinner?”
Mike was excited. I guess, even for people who cook regularly, it’s nice to get out of a rut and try something new.
Which meant I got to sit on the couch and play with the kids while he cooked. This plan is turning out even better than I expected.
Blue Apron just launched in Texas and now ships to most of the country! If you’d like to try it out, they are offering the first 100 Mommy Shorts readers who click this link two meals off their first Blue Apron order free! That’s about $20 savings.
This post was sponsored by Blue Apron, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.