Hi Everyone! I realize that i've been bad about posting this week - work is increasingly crazy and i'm playing with how often these posts should go out, to ensure quality over quantity. In any case, my Christmas present from the boyfriend was two weeks of Blue Apron (thank you boyfriend!) and i've been having a blast playing with the large boxes of ingredients that show up on my doorstep every Tuesday night.
The idea is that you get a chilled box of ingredients for 3, 2 person meals per week. The delivery is once a week and the box is surprisingly small for holding a substantial amount of food.
You get a chance to select your dietary preferences and delivery day/time before the order is placed and each week, a lovely letter and three recipes, with step-by-step instructions come along with the food.
This recipe was for spiced, banana leaf wrapped cod. The directions were precise, simple, and corresponded cleanly with a list of ingredients on the other side of the sheet. *Blue Apron also provides a helpful picture of the ingredients to be used in each dish, so don't worry that you might not know what Kohlrabi looks like or that you'll get everything they sent mixed up and use the wrong ingredient. Along with the fresh produce and packaged meat (in a separate compartment, surrounded by ice packs), there are sealed, brown paper bags of "nick-naks"for each meal. These contain everything from dried spices to coconut flakes and ghee.
Going back to my spiced, banana leaf wrapped cod, the cooking time and preparation directions were accurate and I enjoyed some quiet time in the kitchen doing the small amount of prep work required, before sitting down to a lovely meal.
Thoughts on Blue Apron:
Pros: This is a great service for someone who has very little time on their hands and would like to cook if the ingredients could magically appear when needed. You do get three meals at once, so even if you're not going to eat it within three days, it should all be cooked and frozen before the produce turns (something I found myself doing with all three meals, the night before a long weekend out of town). The ingredients are fresh and of good quality and the recipes are great for the most part.
Cons: That said, the drawbacks for me are: my life is pretty hectic, so having to cook on a set schedule is not something I can always do; part of the gimmick is that they provide you with absolutely everything you will need to cook a certain dish - this is not entirely true however as they do leave out things like olive oil, salt, and pepper (that's fine for me but if you have absolutely nothing to cook with in your apartment, then their assumption that you have these basic tools is going to be a problem); the brown paper nick-nak bags are a great way to compartmentalize the small stuff but if one of them needs to be refrigerated, I wish they would say so on the label for those of us who are inclined to leave it on the counter for a day or two; lastly, while I LOVE the chicken, pork, and beef recipes, the two fish ones i've tried thus far were bland and not something I would make again.
Barring the fish, it was a great experience and I would recommend it if you're looking for a way to spice up your cooking.