Friday, June 29, 2018

FEELING BLUE... APRON (and oh, so Plated)

(and oh, so Plated)

 OK - you know me.  I'm a foodie...  from Bonnie Lu's Cafe, a terrific diner here in Ojai, to the French Laundry in Napa - I love it all.  I'm still searching for the perfect cheeseburger and dream of dining at Per Se in Manhattan.

Because of Richard's gig as a food writer/producer for the Food Network, right after 9/11 we got to escape the horror for a few weeks and travel around Europe being wined and dined by some of the best chefs in the world... check out the towns, cities, wines and food in my blog series, "Five Guys & Me" as we journeyed from an idyllic small town in Germany to cities in France and Italy, ending in Florence.

"My" 5th Guy Took This Pic on Our lst Night In Europe and a Sleepover in Frankfurt

We were spoiled. Or so I thought.  

Recently, Richard and I were gifted with a package of three free Blue Apron dinners for two (meals for more than two are also available) and liked them so much, we gifted ourselves a few more times. 

Why, my friends ask?  You've been fed by some of  the greatest cooks in the world, why would you want packaged dinners?  You love to cook, they argued.  (Oops, no - not me guys -I don't actually "love" to cook, though Richard does).  I tried explaining... life gets busy, even the thought of planning a menu or going marketing can become overwhelming day after day after day after day (ask anyone who cooks at home most nights like we do), especially now that Richard has become the Artistic Director of the Ojai Art Center Theater and the last thing on his mind is cooking, so most marketing and meals are left up to me.  I tend to make the same things over and over again and these Blue Apron dinners were inventive and good.  No, they didn't compare to a Paul Bocuse or Thomas Keller meal (but they don't cost an arm and a leg, either).  And, no, they didn't even  compare to one of Richard's gourmet forays, but everything was fresh and we loved the recipes - the combinations of textures and tastes.

The first time the three dinner combination of seasonings, produce and either meat, chicken or fish (there are vegetarian option) package arrived at our front door, it felt like Christmas morning.  Excitedly, we unpacked the box to see what surprises awaited us.  Everything looked so fresh.  And, none of the dinners had a long prep time since everything was chopped and/or measure out beforehand.  For the first time in a while, Richard actually wanted to get back in the kitchen, so he made the dinners and, when we sat down to eat them, it felt like we had ventured out to a new restaurant.

Here are some of our favorite Blue Apron meals (Plated below).

Crispy buttermilk catfish - so delish and neither of us particularly like catfish:

recipe card

Cornmeal Crusted Shrimp Po' Boy (I never had a "po' boy" before) - this was one of my favorite Blue Apron suppers - full disclosure:  I love sandwiches:


Be still my heart
Beef Medallions with Mashed Potatoes & Balsamic Pan Sauce w/ Spinach:


recipe card
Tho we loved the recipe (and other beef/steak recipes) our only complaint w/ any of Blue Aprons meals is that the beef can be a little chewy.  

Shrimp & Spaghetti Marinara w/Spinach:

recipe card
ready to eat

Tex-Mex Chicken & Cheesy Rice:


recipe card
Soooo good - love the cheesy rice

Discovering my new found addiction to Blue Apron, Alexandra, my wonderful cousin, gifted us w/ Plated - another version of Blue Apron which was equally fresh and delicious.  Take a look...

Salmon & Creamy Dill Sauce:


recipe card

Plated plated (this was an exceptionally delicious dinner)
Chicken Marsala:


recipe card
Another oh, soooo delicious entree
We've stopped ordering the meals for now, and are back making some of our own tried and true dinners - but we miss those "Christmas mornings" when we got to open up a Blue Apron or Plated delivery and discovered new recipes to make without leaving the house.

Sooooooooooooo, if you're tired of the same ol', same 'ol -  give Blue Apron or Plated a try. We loved them and plan to order them again.


Unknown said...

Amazing!!!!! Made me hungry! Did you save the recipe cards? Yummy!

Anonymous said...

They all look wonderful and your write-up almost brings the taste to my lips...

We've seen these before but never quite got charged enough to spring for some to try. Your article may turn the tide...

Thanks so much for giving us an excellent first-hand experience!!!

Robert and Jennifer

ilona saari said...

Yes - we saved many of the recipe cards. ilona

Andrea R said...

Great article, Lonie, love the fact that you displayed the ingredients, card, and finished plates. Blue Apron should send you some deliveries in appreciation!

Anonymous said...

Loved the Blue Apron description. We’ve done it on and off for over three years and do enjoy it for the reasons you stated. I would like to point out that the cook does have to do quite a bit of prep in the chopping department and the prep time is always more than what they say. The reason we take extended breaks ( we are on a pause now) is I miss using my own recipes, since I really do like to cook! Also, I get tired of almost always being directed to fry the protein. I did finally realize that just because they say to sauté something doesn’t mean I can’t do it in the oven instead if I want to! I think the flavorings are fantastic and I love the cuisine variety. I too saved some of the recipe cards, when a technique or combination was new for me. But I don’t know what is in the seasoning packets so I can’t repeat a recipe exactly.


ilona saari said...

Thanx, Andrea... That would be grand if they did!!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, looks great but... they don’t deliver to Mexico!


Unknown said...

I do lobe to cok and haven't yet tired of my own ( or Peter's) festive cooking --- but this is " Food for thought"
Thank You. this gives me a deeper understandingof this trending option. Xox Donnis

kdmask said...

Thank you! I have said the same things--we love to cook..the grocery store is 2 minutes away, why would I do this?? Now I know!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Ilona! Definitely in need of some inspiration in the meal prep dept. I will check it out💕💕💕 Julia