Cookin’ It Up

My Blue Apron meals have been entertaining and delicious!  For $59 a week I get three different meals for two people. The first one arrived to much excitement and anticipation.Cookin it up  I couldn’t wait to get into it to see what was cookin’ for the next week.Cookin it up

Once I got it opened, I was greeted with a letter from Blue Apron and all the recipes on these beautiful, big, easy-to-read cards.  Nice people.  Underneath the welcome letter was all the produce and knickknacks (spices, butter, vinegar, cream, etc.) for the meals.  Everything is measured, with just the right amounts being sent:  certain amount in ounces of greens, the required amount of veggies whether it’s one onion or several fingerling potatoes, enough meat for two, fresh herbs all packaged and labeled.Cookin it upcookin it up

cookin it up

The packaging is eco friendly, with an insulated storage bag that could be reused to go to the grocery store (which comes in very handy in rural areas where the grocery store is at least 20 miles away).  In the bottom of the box are two frozen ice bags keeping the meats cold.  The whole kit and caboodle can be recycled.


cookin it up

cookin it upIngredients so far have included shrimp, cod, ground lamb and beef, ground turkey, chicken, and flank steak.  Along with the vegetables I normally use such as garlic, onions, potatoes, and carrots, I’ve also been introduced to adding kale and spinach and Swiss chard and fava leaves and epazote and pea tips to the skillet to cook in with the recipe.  Then there’s the red rice and barley that I have found are delicious as well as filling, making a meal satisfy all evening.

Time to start cookin’ it up!!!

the recipe cards

the recipe cards





Tonight’s meal was turkey meatballs in pita bread.  I lined the pita with a vanilla yogurt, lemon juice, and diced cucumber dressing; added some of the lettuce from the salad, then placed the spiced meatballs in the middle.  Not bad but it wasn’t one of our favorites.  We aren’t big fans of ground turkey — too bland.


Cookin it up

Spiced Turkey Meatball Pitas with Sugar Snap Pea & Bibb Lettuce Salad

The Navarin-style lamb meatball stew was one of our favorites.

Navarin-style lamb stew

Navarin-Style Lamb Meatball Stew with Pea Tips & Carrots

The chili blackened cod just needs a little tweaking for our tastes.  Just a little less grapefruit cut up in it and little more finely chopped.

chili blackened cod

Chile-Blackened Cod with Epazote, Avocado & Red Rice Salad

The flank steak with peppercorn sauce, creamed spinach, and fingerling potatoes was super.  Definitely will be making that one again.

cookin it up

Pan-Seared Steaks with Green Peppercorn Sauce & Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Since the shrimp and fresh pasta meal, I may have to invest in a pasta machine.  I had no idea the difference fresh pasta makes in a dish!

Lemon & Black Pepper Shrimp with Fresh Linguine di Cavolo & Fava Leaves

Lemon & Black Pepper Shrimp
with Fresh Linguine di Cavolo & Fava Leaves

The chicken was very good as well.  The barley added flavor as well as kept us satisfied.

Pan-Seared Chicken Verjus with Pearled Barley & Mushrooms à la Grecque

Pan-Seared Chicken Verjus
with Pearled Barley & Mushrooms à la Grecque

Blue Apron has raised my awareness of how I cook and how I eat.  Only one dish has had much fat in it, and then not excessive.  Learning to cook for two with no leftovers or very little leftover is a plus as well.  The mingling of flavors of the herbs and vegetables and meats combinations has been a learning experience, things I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing together.

The next shipment is Wednesday, and I’m looking forward to it.  None of the meals have taken much time to prepare nor more than two pans.  We have enjoyed critiquing each dish together.  A “foodie” date night.

Sometimes I freeze the meat if I am not going to get to it within a couple of days, but the dishes are much better the quicker the use of the ingredients is.  The meals turn out like the pictures on the cards (my nephew thought I was posting the web site pictures instead of my own when he saw them on Facebook) after you “plate” them.

I just need a chef hat… a really cool chef hat.



Little Red Hen’s Babies

butternut squash

butternut squash

It’s almost time.  Time for my little babies to find a home.  Time for someone to adopt them and care for them and reap the rewards of good parenting.

They are used to lots of attention and babying.  As they should be.  After all, they are my babies.

Last year, before enjoying a delicious oven-roasted butternut squash, I took out the seeds, washed them, and dried them.  Then I put them in a brown envelope and labeled them.

This spring, after researching a bit, I made up some potting mix.  Lucky for me I have a friend who has horses.  Which means I have plenty of manure to mix in with my peat moss, perlite, and Epsom salt.  I shall forever hereafter feel completely different about a horse’s ass.  They aren’t all bad.

Next I got the seeds out and planted them.  My name should be Little Red Hen.

Since my sweet husband got me the coveted greenhouse for Christmas a year ago, at the first of March I planted my darling seeds from last year’s meals and desserts.  It was still cool at night, so my husband put a heater with a thermostat connected to it.  Everything was ready.

The first babies to pop their little heads up through the dirt, some wearing their seed as a hat or in folded leaves as though praying, were the butternut squash. Little Red Hen's Babies Next came watermelon and cantaloupe. Little Red Hen's Babies

praying cantaloupe

praying cantaloupe

Little Red Hen's Babies


Lemon cucumber was next.  Along came my cute little okra wearing the hard, round seed on their heads.

But where were the tomatoes?  I had to buy seed for those because I couldn’t find the seed I had saved from last year — or maybe I didn’t save them — but the dirt was just sitting there, empty.  No little baby heads poking up through the dirt.

Finally, on a day that I forgot to open the greenhouse and it got about 120 degrees in there, they popped out.  Tomatoes do love the heat!  So now, I have baby tomatoes growing into beautiful tomato plants almost ready for adoption.

Such a bittersweet time here at My Babies Nursery.