The Life-Changing Art of Actually Cooking


Sponsored by Blue Apron.

One of my goals in 2016 was to cook at home more. I started off on a great note with this with Whole 30…and haven’t been quite as consistent since.

I know that meal prepping in advance makes all the difference, but there’s also a service that bridges the gap between being on top of your game and meal prepping in advance, and takeout. Enter Blue Apron.

For $60/week for the two-person plan (or, um, the leftovers plan if you’re single), you can have fancy chef-designed meals at home that you make yourself. When I ­do cook, let’s just say they’re not quite chef-designed.

OK, so I live in NYC, which means I live really close to like four great different grocery stores. But, I live in NYC…which also means the lines are really long. And I am not a patient person. So after a long day of work, the last thing I feel like doing is standing on line when I’m already hungry to grocery shop (when I grocery shop, I go at super weird hours to avoid lines.) All of these meals are done in less than 40 minutes.

And for someone who doesn’t cook a ton, I somehow have a super full cabinet of weird spices and random ingredients. I’ve picked then up for recipes along the way and then never had use for them again. (They’re like the first dates of spices, if you will.) Blue Apron pre-portions the ingredients out for you so that you don’t have weird amounts of unusual ingredients left over. (And they listened to past complaints about their service not being green enough and now offer a recycling program.)

The first dish I tackled was the Korean Bao Sliders. They looked tasty, filling and relatively easy.

And guess what? THEY WERE!

I’m just looking at that recipe page now, as I write this, and LOVE the how-to videos. Especially how to effectively mince ginger. I could always use some knife skills.

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And every recipe comes with a cute little bag of “knick knacks,” or, the spices/sauce ingredients necessary for your recipe.

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Here’s what was in my bag of tricks!

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What I really love about Blue Apron (this is the second time I’ve tried it), is that it introduces me to ingredients and cooking techniques I might not otherwise know about, so I feel like it’s a cooking lesson included in the box.

And anything with ginger and sweet potato can’t be all bad.

The recipe called for making tempura sweet potatoes. YES PLEASE! Turns out, all I needed to do was create a paste of flour + water and fry the lil suckers. Crap, let’s forget it’s that easy because it was DE-LISH.

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The sticky buns, thankfully, were pre-made, so all I had to do was steam them into oblivion.

Gochujang? I’d never heard of that Korean hot sauce, but I loved that it was both sweet and spicy.

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The final product? The combination of hot and cold, sweet and spicy was mouth-wateringly good and something I never would have made on my own.

I haven’t used it more often because it’s a lot of food for one person, but it would be really fun with friends visiting or even just to have a friend over to cook. (Anyone wanna come over?) They also do wine pairings now, which is sort of totally up my alley.

Wanna try it?? The first 25 readers to sign up will get two free meals on their first Blue Apron order by clicking here.

Have you/would you try a service like this? What are your cooking/meal prep hacks?