Thursday, October 30, 2014

My first and best cooked meal!

Newflash: I cannot cook.

Actually, this is not a newsflash to anyone who knows me. 

My husband cooks. And he is not really a cook. He is a chef. He's the type of guy that could truly go on one of those cooking shows and do well. He knows how to take all kinds of things and make all kinds of things and make them look pretty and the whole thing.

That is not me.

But suddenly, I find myself with a husband who is not home for dinner half the week. He works shift work which means he is working 7am-7pm or 7pm to 7am. So he is either home way after dinner or leaving right before dinner.

My mother-in-law lives with me, and she is a great cook. But eventually, she and my father-in-law will have their own home. If JB is going to be working shift work, and I am going to be home with four children, I need to be able to cook SOMETHING.

A friend of mine gave me a suggestion. Blue Apron.

It is not the only company of its kind, and the idea is fairly simple. They send you EVERYTHING you need to cook a real meal. They actually send you three meals in one box for the week on the day of the week you choose.

It isn't cheap. But it is definitely cheaper than eating out. And for someone like me, with no cooking experience, it is so confidence-building. You know you have the right ingredients, and you know you have the right amount, and you know if you do exactly what the recipe card says, it is going to taste good.

It also isn't easy. The meals take about 1 hour to prepare and are about 500-700 calories per serving. We got the one for 4 people. We are giving a little bit of each portion to each of the children and supplementing their meals with kid-friendly-fare. 

Here is the prep work I did for my first meal. I am very proud!

And here is the finished product on a Greek Braised Chicken dish. It was scrumptious! This is truly the best thing I ever made.

I am so psyched about this idea that I really wanted to share it with others. If you are a good cook, this isn't the plan for you. But if you are clueless (like me!) it's really a cool thing to try. It will stretch our grocery budget a bit, but I feel like getting to try new things, not having to plan and shop, and being able to eat something a bit more "tasty" when my husband is gone, is worth it to me.

Oh, and there is no commitment, and you can cancel any week (with enough notice) that you choose. So if you are going on vacation, no big deal!

Just wanted to pass this good idea onto others. It isn't offered everyone in the USA, and obviously won't work for my friends overseas, but for those in a prime location and a prime need, it might be just what you need to pat yourself on the back a bit!


TAV said...

Thank you for this idea!!! That looks delicious and this seems like a great plan if you hate grocery shopping like I do!

Momma, PhD said...

That looks awesome!

In a couple of weeks I'm going to a Pampered Chef freezer meals party my friend is hosting.

The idea is that you bring with you all the groceries you need (meats, veggies, etc), and purchase the seasonings and such from Pampered Chef. Then get together at a friends house and prep 10 crock pot dinners.

You prep it all, put it in a gallon ziplock bag, and store it in the freezer. Then when you want to eat it, thaw it, throw it in the crock pot and you're done (unless you want to put it over rice/paste, make a salad, etc).

I work full time and never get it together in the mornings to get stuff in the crockpot. I figure this way, I literally just have to dump the contents of the bag into the crock pot, turn it on, and I'm done.

Perhaps someone near you does Pampered Chef you could try it out?

I do recommend the crock pot for non-cookers and/or busy moms. It's pretty simple to dump the stuff in and turn it on. I've done sauces, chills, roasts, even a cake in my crockpot.

Anonymous said...

Even if you sort of cook this is a nice plan. Sometimes I just want something different but when I look thru the ingredients I don't have all the items so I go to something else. These are teaching me to use some different items that I normally don't have around and so tasty! We've made a couple where we could both be in the kitchen doing portions. Plus I don't have to try and think of another meal to make. We like to eat out but this is good for us and probably will save us $$ in the long run. I also like that when I know I'll be gone I can just cancel the shipment for that week. We've just started. It's an adjustment but awesome trying new things!
(still prefer JB's cooking if I have my choice) mom h

June said...

I was a subscriber to "The Six o'Clock Scramble" for a few years - meal plans and grocery lists, emailed weekly. They have a book you can likely get from the public library, if you want to see the kind of meals they suggest. You still have to do the grocery shopping, but it's just an another avenue to consider. The meals usually take <30 min to prepare and feed 4 or more, with emphasis on seasonal produce. It does not require extensive cooking experience and does use some prepackaged goods. My family turned out to be too picky to enjoy the varied offerings, so I stopped the service, but I'd recommend it for a family of good eaters.