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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cooking date nights

We've tried Blue Apron, the meal subscription service, a few times before and really like it. Lately, some of our friends have been raving about using it for at-home date nights—they cook the recipes with their significant others, while cracking a bottle of wine. You don't have to worry about meal planning or grocery shopping—it's like a date-night-in-a-box! So, we decided to try that out...
We made these crispy sweet corn and pea fritters, which were delicious! It was a refreshing change to cook together—Alex usually listens to music on his headphones while cooking, while I work on my laptop in the bedroom or answer Toby's fiftieth request for a glass of water. :) And we also learned new cooking techniques—the recipes and instructions are more fun and engaging than just boiling (our usual) pasta water.
Overall, here's how Blue Apron works:
* Every week, Blue Apron delivers a box with ingredients for three meals.
* A box with three meals for two adults was $59.94 with free delivery, which averages out to $9.99 per person for each meal.
* When you sign up, you can specify which foods you do and don't eat. For example, you can tell them you're a vegetarian or pescetarian. They'll be happy to accommodate.
* There’s no commitment, so you can skip a week or cancel anytime.
* They deliver to most of the United States. (See a map here.)

Do you cook with your significant other? Would you try Blue Apron? It would also make a sweet wedding present, or a lovely gift for someone who has a new baby, a new job or anything else big going on in their lives.
Bonus for all readers: If you'd like to try it out, Blue Apron is offering two free meals for the first 250 people who click through and get a box.

Thank you so much!

P.S. More date nights: Fire-escape drinks and trapeze classes.

(This post was sponsored by Blue Apron. Photos by Yossy Arefi of Apt 2B. Baking Co. for Cup of Jo. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make Cup of Jo possible.)

40 comments:

Carmen Varner said...

This is incredible. I like that it's customizable. I can get meatless meals. It's fun to have a service like this where it eliminates some effort without getting rid of it completely. :] // itsCarmen.com ☼

Katharina von ktinka said...

That looks fantastic. Argh, I'm hungry now. I'll try this one, that's for sure. Thanks for sharing!
Katharina // ktinka

Hollands Reverie said...

What a lovely idea! it looks delicious too:)
www.hollandsreverie.blogspot.com

Kelley said...

Love this idea for a low key date night. We've done Blue Apron a few times and it's great! Also, we gifted Blue Apron to our sister and brother-in-law when their second baby was born in Feb and they loved it! I would highly recommend it for parents with newborns! xx

The City and Us

lkiddbarry said...

This is fantastic! I've been wanting to try this out and your post just convinced me. Our first week's menu looks delicious - can't wait to see how it all tastes! Great for us sleepy, working parents of a very active 14 month old...no real thought will need to go into dinner and it will be delicious!

MaeMae said...

Got it! Thank you :) These look so yummy!

Erin said...

We love it for small dinner parties or when family are in town visiting as well! It feels very fancy when you can provide a Blue Apron (i.e. restaurant quality) meal at home! And much more affordable and potentially more pleasant and fun than going out.

girlseeksplace said...

Those look delicious. I wish I could afford something like this...it'd be so much better than the crappy food I eat now.

12 weeks said...

We've been using this service for awhile and love that when I get home, everything I need to cook for dinner is ready to go. Love the recipe cards too!

Elizabeth Sweet said...

This looks really helpful! Definitely would make for some easy weekday dinners, not having to run to the grocery store and having your meal planning done fo ryou!

http://www.champagneonmondays.com/

Jenn Wisbeck said...

Great idea- especially if you don't want to end up with lots of extra ingredients. I like that they also have a bunch of the recipes listed on site.

The 2 free meals are per person, btw- so if you are getting the 3 meals/week it is 1/3 off.

Tawnie Bryant said...

I had this meal too! It was so great, but I almost killed myself with flying fireballs of peas and corn!! I guess I had the oil too hot. I made 8 patties and then my husband told me I was done. It was pretty hilarious. But the 8 we had were amazing. I'm still a Blue Apron subscriber. I just got some free meals to send to friends. Now maybe they will know what I've been raving about for weeks!!

Carissa said...

This sounds super fun! Just signed up! :) My husband and I love to cook, though we're kind of like you and Alex. Greg is the one usually doing the cooking. But I love when we do it together-- it makes the meal even more enjoyable! Very excited for my first Blue Apron delivery. I'm going to leave it a surprise for my hubby!

Courtney said...

I absolutely love cooking with my husband. There's something so therapeutic about sipping a glass of wine, cooking a delicious dinner and listening to great music.

I haven't tried Blue Apron, but I keep reading rave reviews. It seems like a great concept!

Erin said...

This is great! Thanks, Joanna. I just signed up. Question, though: do you know anything about where Blue Apron sources their meat? We eat meat sometimes when it's high quality and ethically sourced, but otherwise stick to veggie meals. I've set my profile as vegetarian, but was just wondering as some of those meat dishes look pretty tasty. :) Thanks!

Ellen said...

I'm confused! You say here that you've "decided to try" Blue Apron, but you've already written a bunch of posts that you've used them in 2013 and 2014 (I remember the vegetarian post from a while back). Seems strange to pass off a sponsored post as something new to try when you've been using them for years.

Rebecca Hohlenwerger said...

Thank you so much! I just signed up and can't believe that my husband and I can try this at under $40 for 3 meals! You can't even get that at a grocery store (unless it's always just pasta and jarred sauce)!

Gabriella said...

I've been using Blue Apron for a few weeks, and it's really great! I love that I don't have to shop for the ingredients and the flexibility of the plan is terrific, too. The meals have been excellent and it's fun to make an activity of cooking them (also, it has made me feel like I can undertake more complicated recipes in the future--it's forced me to actually learn cooking things!).

Kathleen Heffner said...

I really want to try this but i'm sure they wouldn't deliver to our area and it seems kind of expensive. but what fun to cook together as a couple!

Lindsay said...

I'm confused. You said you just decided to try it, but I thought you've written about Blue Apron in the past. Had you not cooked the recipes together in the past?

Marissa said...

I was going to say that I'm confused because I thought you had blogged about trying Blue Apron before, but I see a couple people already commented that as well.

I do agree though, it is a great service.

Simone Brett said...

As nice as it would be, the cost of three meals is equal to our entire grocery budget for a week and a half! And I'm guessing there are no leftovers since they send you a specific amount of food. It's a lovely idea, just not feasble for us.

I do agree with some other posters who have commented that you've made multiple posts on them. That's fine, because I know your lovely blog must keep running through sponsored posts (and you do a great job of picking nice ones), but it isn't exactly a new thing as was implied.

Caroline T. said...

Joanna,

You mentioned a few months ago that you and Alex were trying to go vegetarian for a month— how did it end up going?

Also curious what the Blue Apron packaging is made of: I worry about all those little plastic bags, but if they were cellulose bags then that's different. I wonder if more people would justify using the service if the packaging were more sustainable?

Anywho, love this idea! Cheers!

Jesse said...

those fritters look delicious, maybe with a fried egg on top?

http://semiweeklyeats.blogspot.com/2014/07/boys-and-cars.html

Caroline T. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cat McBride said...

I keep hearing about this service! It does sound like a really great deal, and makes cooking at home way easier. $10 a head is still a little bit out of my budget as a 25 year old, but I bet my mom would love this!

Cat
http://oddlylovely.com

lindseyjayne said...

I have a more mixed impression of Blue Apron. The convenience is definitely fantastic and many of the meals have been really tasty. Some of the things I don't like:
- many of the vegetarian options tend to be very low in protein (some have no protein at all)
- the serving size or recipes for some of the vegetarian meals tend to be more like appetizers.
- there's no price difference between meat and vegetarian, which makes no sense.
- at the moment there are no options for gluten-free folks.

I do think its a great idea for a gift for time-strapped people. And yes, there are a ton of little plastic bags and containers. I do try to reuse the containers if I can.

jm said...

This is a great idea! I would love to give or get this as a gift. Also, fun for a date night as you say!

Patricia said...

Your finished-product pictures are so lovely! But more than even the price, I'm really put off by all the packaging. Those little baggies can't be recycled where I live.

preppyandfunny said...

Yum! looks delicious!
Cheers!
P&F
preppyandfunny.wordpress.com

Joanna Goddard said...

thanks for your comments! oh, yes, we have tried blue apron before many times and love it, and i've posted about it before. here, i meant that we were trying it as a date night, which we'd never done before. usually alex cooks it up on his own!

Elyse Slayton said...

I like the blue apron meals for quality and taste but they take SO long to prep and cook... definitely don't think it is good for parents of newborns. My husband and I both work and tried it for the first time this week and it felt like coming home to an extra job.

Nora Henbury said...

Wow, looks deliciously

glittercoatedlenses said...

me and my boyfriend do cooking date nights each Sunday night! I like that we've turned a day that isn't usually thought of as a date night into my favorite night of the week! I'll have to suggest this recipe to him sooN!

glittercoatedlenses.wordpress.com

Mia said...

I share the concern about packaging, it is terribly wasteful to toss all those bags and bottles. And I wonder if anyone from Blue Apron reads the comments here, or if you share the feedback (positive and critical) with them. Because it looks like there are some good suggestions they could try to incorporate to make their product even better/more attractive to new customers.

Theresa Hoffman said...

This has to be the 4 or 5th blog I read that is pushing Blue Apron. They must be giving a ton a free food to bloggers. I know this is how you guys make money but it's really weird to have the same product advertised through a blog post on multiple blogs within like 2 weeks.

alyssarz said...

I do like blue apron in theory, but they're pretty expensive. My partner is a subscriber and I'd say 1/3 to 1/2 of the meals aren't even that great. I'm always surprised by the lack of spices, which is something I would really like to learn more about. They seem to rely heavily on salt, pepper, lemon, garlic, and a few fresh herbs. Nothing wrong with that, but it can leave a bit to be desired.

MFRANZ9 said...

Thank you for this offer. With 2 meals free...this is a great way to try the service for only $21. The best thing is that you cancel with no problems if you don't like it and pre-set your calendar to decline meals. I'm going to try it out. It could be a great monthly service instead of weekly.

Natalie said...

I agree with Theresa Hoffman, It is annoyed that every blog I follow posts the same products each two week period. I might as well only follow one blog. I know that is how you make money, but there must be a better way to mix in unsponsored posts. If I hear about vitamin blenders, snack boxes or blue apron one more time I don't know if I will follow any blogs anymore.

Jamie Herzlinger said...

I just tried BlueApron for the first time this weekend! I loved it! It's a dun easy way to cook with someone else!
Glad you enjoyed it too!

Love,
Jamie Herzlinger

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