( photo taken at The Good Light Studio by Ana Schechter)
How does she do it?
You have to admit it; Rachael Ray does make cooking an entire meal look “easy-peasy” and fun. All of her ingredients are right there at her fingertips in her cute colorful bowls, a “handful” of this a “palmful” of that. She’s got a nice big pan to sauté in, a pot for boiling, her “EVOO” always within reach.
She whips up a tasty looking meal in under an hour, all the while, chatting with the audience, cracking jokes and just having a good time.
I can do it too!
Well guess what? I can do it now too! I have found a home delivery service you may have heard of called Blue Apron. Let me tell you – it is awesome! It has taken me from my “stuck in a rut” nightly preparations of Shake n’ Bake – jazzed up with a little Cow Bell Hell – to preparing all out goodness with farm fresh produce including kale, beets, bok choy and more. We are eating catfish, cod & salmon along with fresh meats and grains that I can’t even pronounce the names of, like freekeh. Actually the cracked freekeh was one of my favorites. It had a nutty flavor that you added medjool dates to with lemon juice & sautéed kale with garlic and almonds. Trust me – it was “delish.”
Fast & Tasty
Here’s the thing. We all know that preparing a meal in under an hour, where everything comes out piping hot and tastes delicious, is an art.
I mean take for instance the very first meal I prepared with Blue Apron: Steak au Poivre with crispy fingerling potatoes & sautéed kale. Sounds intimidating, right?
The recipe card is on thick glossy paper, so you can lean it up against anything (like your paper towel holder) and it won’t fall down. There’s a nice description of the dish you’re about to make including its origin and a close-up mouthwatering picture of the already prepared Steak au Poivre- which I think is key. I’m a very visual learner and I look at the picture a million times to make sure I’m doing it right.
The meat & produce are individually packaged ready to be chopped, sautéed or boiled.
The spices, butter & sauces come in these perfectly portioned small containers, inside a paper bag, and they call them “knick-knacks” – how adorable is that? I mean every time I open the box and see the paper bags with the label knick-knacks it makes me smile and reminds me of the little figurines my nana used to have above her kitchen sink.
The knick knacks that come with the Steak au poivre include 2 Tablespoons of crème fraiche, 1 Tablespoon of butter, 1 Tablespoon of Beef Demi-Glace, ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper and ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese, all portioned out in their little containers.
I’d never used Beef Demi-Glace or Crème fraiche in my life, but it’s not intimidating because:
#1- you’re not hunting for it at the grocery store and
#2- it’s perfectly portioned out for you- so there’s no waste.
I mean how many times have you come across a recipe that looks good in Better Homes and Garden and you decide not to attempt it because it has too many ingredients that you’re not sure of? You’d have to hunt for them at the grocery store, it could get pricey, and then, you’re not even sure they are ingredients that you’ll like or that you’ll ever use again?
Happens to me all the time, that’s how I became a “Shake n’ Bake momma”
Instructions with pictures
The instructions are the key to my success with Blue Apron. They are simply written, there is a picture to go along with each step, and remember, everything you need is already perfectly measured and at your fingertips- just like Rachael Ray.
All you really need is your own large frying pan and a pot to boil in.
You’ll also need to have “EVOO”(extra virgin olive oil) and salt & pepper.
I seriously feel like I’m Rachael Ray- boiling this, chopping that, sautéing with” EVOO”- “two turns of the pan.”
Every meal I’ve prepared so far has come out exactly the way it’s supposed to.
The dish looks like the one pictured on the recipe sheet. It is piping hot. They are tasty with just the right amount of savory and sweetness and it is something new that I would have never prepared on my own.
How cool is that?
Think it’s expensive? You decide…
We are on the 2 Person Plan
We receive 3 Recipes (meals) per week-that serve 2 people
The price per serving is $9.99
So our weekly total for Blue Apron is $59.94
Our total cost for the week is less than the lunch we had last week at Walter’s
We’ve enjoyed every dish so far, but our favorite has been the Hoisin & Shiitake Burgers with miso mayonnaise & roasted sweet potato wedges.
It was “Yum-O!”
A close friend of mine had started using Blue Apron and passed the word along to me. We are now doing it at the same time with another close friend and we all compare notes on what are favorite dishes are.
It’s fun and has totally stretched my cooking capabilities way beyond where they were before.
So I’m passing the word along to you. Check out the Blue Aprons site and see what’s on the menu.
Fresh, simple & delicious-“How good is that?”
Let me know what you think in the Comment section at the bottom of this post.
I look forward to hearing from you.