Slicing and Dicing the Blues

I like cooking.  I might even love cooking, but it’s sometimes a hard thing to wrangle when you’re single.  Yes, I could come home from work every night and whip myself up something yummy, and yes I would probably be happier for it in the long run.  But, a single person doesn’t need to have a fridge that’s over flowing with food all the time.  This is why I’ve rather come to enjoy hosting parties and holidays at my house.  It gives me the ability to go to town in the kitchen without having to deal with all the fruits of my labor.

In an attempt to combat the huge quantities of food I sometimes manage to create, but mostly because Lil Sis had a 50% off coupon….I decided to give Blue Apron a whirl.  If you aren’t familiar, they are a food delivery company where you select the meals you’d like every week and they ship all the ingredients to you in a single box.

 

I HATED IT!

Okay, hate is maybe a strong way to put it….but I didn’t really enjoy the process or understand the point.  Yes, it was nice that they shipped only two portions of each meal, yes it was nice to try some new recipes with spices you wouldn’t normally purchase, yes all the meals are sent with very specific instructions to assist even the worst at home chefs, but overall the meals weren’t all that great and the whole process left quite a bit to be desired.

The way I see it, part of the cooking process is going to the store and picking ingredients.  I know that Blue Apron is shipping out thousands and thousands of boxes each week so they don’t have time or the ability to pick through all the veggies and check everything, but that’s the perk of being able to go pick your own.  I received wilted green beans, zucchini with a big, mushy portion, and herbs that were looking slightly past their peak.

Speaking of herbs, I love using fresh herbs, garlic, and ginger….but all are much more convenient to purchase in pre-minced varieties.  I might love to cook, but I don’t enjoy mincing garlic and peeling ginger.  Although, there is something satisfying about whacking cloves with your knife for easier peeling…….I’m not sure that people who aren’t familiar with cooking often would have an easy or quick time of making up any of these recipes.

Let’s start at the beginning shall we…..Week 1 meals

 

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I’m not sure that my salmon really ended up crispy….although I mean a filet of salmon is always delicious.  The major issue I had with this dish was the orzo salad.  Now….I generally like everything that went into the salad:

  • Orzo
  • Green Beans….which arrived wilted and sad 😦
  • Garlic
  • Cucumber
  • Dill
  • Parsley
  • Lemon
  • Sour Cream

However, as you’ll notice, my salad ended up much…creamier….than the salad they have pictured.  The first few bites of the salad seemed okay, but the longer it sat the worse and worse it got.  I actually didn’t even eat the second portion of the salad.  I’m not sure if something happened to the sour cream during shipping….or if the addition of the lemon juice caused it it curdle….I just know it became essentially inedible.  Needless to say, I wasn’t off to a great start.

 

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These tacos….specifically the spices used on the meat…where quite tasty.  Sour cream was included to top the tacos, and I skipped it to avoid the same disaster as the first meal.  I might make a variation of these in the crock pot sometime using like a pork roast instead of the sausage.  The sausage was a bit greasy…as sausage is, but I think a pulled pork style taco would be delicious!  Also, the quick slaw was easy and had good flavor.  Overall, this wasn’t a bad recipe which could be improved on and added to my standard rotation of cooking.

 

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A perfectly fine dish.  Wasn’t amazing….wasn’t bad….could have probably used more spice and zip, but I used all the ancho chile powder that had been shipped.  Again, I’m not sure that getting corn off of the cob is something that everyone knows how to accomplish….so I’m not sure that “Cut the corn kernels off the cob; discard the cob” is really going to be enough of an instruction for anyone trying to use Blue Apron to learn how to cook at home.  Even for those of us who know how to accomplish the task….it’s messy!  Again, I made the lime crema…..but didn’t use it on the dish.  I might whip this up again, I might not……but it’s good to have recipe options laying around for when you need to spice up the routine.

I didn’t mean to receive an additional week of meals…especially at full price….which is quite a price honestly, $60!!  

But, I didn’t get it cancelled in time, so….on to Week 2 meals!

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I don’t love mushrooms…..I don’t mind the flavor, it’s the texture that really gets to me.  A bit like eating rubber bands if I’m honest.  Luckily, the large slices were easy to pick out and around.  Again, this was a nice little dish that I might try again, maybe using a different style of noodle.  The main perk I got from Blue Apron was the ability to try spices like togarashi without having to commit to buying a huge quantity of it.  We’ve all done that…..found a recipe that sounds good and bought a dozen random ingredients only to discover that we hate it.  Then the spices just sit around, and we know we will probably never use again.  The quick pickles were crunchy and well spiced.  I’m also a huge fan of cooked celery and radishes, so that didn’t hurt this recipe at all either!

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Sorry for the less than fancy picture…I made this late one night and just split it into portions for lunches.  It’s just a fancy version of breaded, fried chicken and a warm potato salad.  This potato salad I might make again.  Actually, these were the first brussels sprouts I think I’d ever had!!  Again, it had celery which I do really enjoy.

Much like the blackened chicken with corn salsa…..it was good, not great.  I will probably keep it around just to add some variety to my life.  I was briefly debating adding this potato salad to my Thanksgiving spread, but I’m not hosting this year due to some family shuffling around.

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My cousin and I made these sandwiches as part of our booze and crafting weekend.  The idea of a turnip sandwich was good, but I’m not sure they worked out all that well.  Again, we skipped the crema, because by now I’ve just realized there’s something always a bit off with the creams they send.  Therefore, there was no goo keeping the sandwiches together, so when we flipped them in the pan everything just sorta exploded out.  The slaw was basically just dressed in oil and lime juice.  It was light and fresh, but there wasn’t much to it.  We both ended up adding some shredded cheese onto the sandwiches which added the creamy, gooey-ness we both thought they were missing.  I’m not sure I’d make these again, but if I saw it on a menu I might order it.  It was sorta a bland ending to what was a disappointing food weekend of crafting, bitching, and booze with my cousin!

The other thing I find particularly annoying about Blue Apron is the inability to select any 3 of the 6 meals that they offer each week.  There are usually 3 meat options and 3 vegetarian options.  However, you can’t mix and match any of the recipes, which as someone who eats both vegetarian and non vegetarian food, I find annoying.

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The two combinations you can’t see are Beef and Potato Latkes and Harissa Chicken Skewers.  I just find it annoying the I couldn’t have latkes and burgers.  I’m not sure why that is.  There is actually an option to select that you eat strictly vegetarian and then I’m sure they adjust the given recipes accordingly.  Frankly, any omnivore, the meal plan I selected, who wants to try a veggie burger isn’t going to care if the veggies get shipped along with the meat to make the latkes.

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Heaven forbid you would want to have spicy shrimp linguine and squash curry in the same week!!!  

It’s just stupid little things like this that annoy me, but when the options are either paying $60 a week to have limited options, or going to the store, probably spending less money, and being able to eat anything in any combination that I want…..the answer seems pretty clear to me.  It’s especially easy because the major grocery store here now offers online shopping.  You can either schedule a time to go collect your preselected food from the store, or they also offer delivery options which can be free if your total bill is large enough.  I don’t use these services as I don’t at all mind grocery shopping and I have plenty of time to be doing it, but they are offered and basically serve as a DIY Blue Apron for those who use them.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!!!

So…….I have an announcement to make……

I’M NO LONGER A SINGLE TWENTY SOMETHING!

I, through the denied schemes of my Chemistry Smarty Pants and her boyfriend, have managed to snag myself a super cute, super nice, Nebraska guy.  For years now, the CSP has been touting the wonders of boys from Nebraska……”Come visit and we’ll find you a nice Catholic boy!”, “We just need to find you a nice guy, come to Omaha!”  Well CSP, hats off to you because you were right all along!!  He was part of my New Year’s adventures with the Bear Cubs, sooooo technically…I didn’t even have to go to Nebraska to find him! 🙂

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I only have the two pictures, and they aren’t great cuz they were at a bar and a concert…..  but seriously…..LOOK AT THE CUTENESS!!!!  Ugh, I die!!  Plus, he makes me a very happy girl. 🙂 (Ignore my extra spiky looking eyelashes in the first pic, they usually don’t look like that I promise….. :/ )

So last Friday night Scout, my new travel french press, and I ventured into Nebraska to spend a long weekend with my Main Squeeze!  I had to haul my own coffee because he doesn’t drink coffee.  He’s one of those moderately disturbing “morning people”.  So, I ordered myself a little travel mug french press thinger to leave there so I don’t die when I visit.  I’m way less fun to hang out with if I don’t get my morning caffeine fix.

It should be noted that I’ve spent most of my life avoiding Nebraska.  This stems from a deep seated, high school hatred of the stupid kids…..who would drive across the river in their stupid dually trucks….to the DQ….to try and order stupid amounts of food…..all on separate tickets…..through the drive through window.  Pro tip kids…..all we ever heard was your trucks!!  Might as well just park that puppy and come inside because you’re gonna have to shut it off to order anyway.  Sorry for the sidetrack……but it needed to be said….if only because it still annoys me and I haven’t worked at the DQ for 10 years!  Going to Nebraska is a hot button issue for me!

Friday

He took me snack shopping Friday night because my Juice Stop for the road was not cutting it.  I……WE….WE…..then proceeded to sorta burn a double pepperoni frozen pizza which we should not have been eating anyway because #FridaysduringLent!  It wasn’t that burnt, and frankly wasn’t even the worst pizza I’ve ever eaten.

Saturday

The dogs and the window replacement dudes woke us up.  So, we mostly hungout in the kitchen corralling the dogs.  I may or may not have eaten half of the burnt pizza, a bag of sour octopus gummies, and struggled trying to make coffee in what I can only assume is a miniature microwave.  He had a bowl of dry cheerios and at some point started eating croutons our of the bag like chips…….I giggled…. a lot.

After the windows were done, we napped.  Basically, we were super anti productive! We did finally shower and motivate because there was a baseball fundraiser event we were meeting the CSP and her man at.  So, I spent the night in a small town gym with some of my fav people, drinking Bud Heavy, discovering that toy tractors are a thing people collect…..like seriously collect….. and generally living life like a big cob.  The hat is maybe only funny because of how I became the owner of said hat.  I think it’s hilarious, given my company that night, you don’t have to understand!

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So this is what I’m gonna be rocking from now on….Big Cob Hybrids…totally a thing!  I mean you wouldn’t wanna be a small cob!?

On the way home from the small town I had that moment where you don’t realize how much you have drunk till you leave the party.  Also, we didn’t really eat anything during the day which could have also contributed to the slightly tipsy munchies.  So….we had to stop at McD’s.  Whilst in the drive through I discovered that he doesn’t eat Ketchup…..cue face palm.  I, who allegedly while drunk, used basically an entire bottle of ketchup on a chicken strip basket, am dating the only person I know who doesn’t eat ketchup.  Sigh…….I mean I guess he’s allowed to have a downfall…..I just never expected that it would be ketchup!!

Sunday

Sleeping in is glorious!  Well as much sleeping in as the fur babies would allow us.  Followed by more sleeping, because that’s what weekends are for.

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These are the fur babies….code named Thunderpaws and Little Foot.  Little Foot is always down for chilling, Thunderpaws is always down for fetch.

We lounged around, whined about being hungry, and then…..shopping!!  My Main Squeeze drove me over to Lush because I was out of bubbles, and a life without bubbles isn’t really a life I want to be living honestly.  So, into Lush we went and started the process of sniffing bath bombs and bubble bars.  Mostly I buy Lush online, so there is a whole world of stuff there that I know nothing about….smell wise.

Everything was alright until we got to a pink bubble bar…..I couldn’t even tell you what it was called, or even what it was supposed to smell like.  Not great….it was pretty not great! I do however really wish I had a camera to capture the subsequent face of horror/confusion/terror that flashed across Main Squeeze’s face when I made him smell it!!  After the initial shock was over, he just looked at me panicked and asked, “Why can I taste it!?!”……followed by several “That was awful!!!”.  All in all I think he’s pretty glad to have survived the experience in one piece.  Lucky, for me though I got stocked up on all my fav things!

  • 2 Brightside Bubble Bars — Orange scented and amazingly refreshing.  These are my favorite.  I break each bar into 4 pieces and it still gives a huge amount of lightly zesty bubbles.
  • Rose Jam Bubbleroon Bubble Bar — Smells like a huge bouquet of fresh roses.  I used half of this the other night and it was lovely.  More calming I think than the Brightsides, but it’s just a difference in scent.
  • Blackberry Bath Bomb — Haven’t tried this yet, but it smells fruity and nice.  I’ve used a different scent and I like them because they are huge.  I generally throw them onto the floor of my garage to crack them in half.  I find that I feel softer after the bath bombs than the bubble bars.
  • Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner — Same Rose Jam smell as the Bubbleroon.  It’s lotion you apply in the shower!  Sorta weird as it makes water bead up and repel off of you, but I’d rather put on my lotion in my nice toasty shower than in my cold bathroom!!  It feels a bit waxy in the shower, but once you dry off it leaves you super soft with a nice light scent.

Next time I need to refill my stash I’m hoping they still have Big Bang Bubble Bars.  They are supposed to be lemon and grapefruit scented and that sounds perfect for summertime relaxing!!

So Nebraska has this thing…..called Nebraska Furniture Mart.  Sounds harmless and normal right!?  Well people kept talking about it like it was some huge deal, and I’m just over here thinking like, “It’s a furniture store people, like calm the fuck down kids!”  So, after Lush and stopping to grab me another Juice Stop for a snack, Main Squeeze took me to the furniture mart.  I HAVE NO WORDS!!!!  I mean obviously, it’s a blog so there will be words…..but seriously!!  Someone should have emotionally prepared me!!  I spent most of the time while we were trying to find a parking spot freaking out cuz he was hungry and hadn’t had any food yet, and here he was taking me shopping instead of getting food.  Unbeknownst to me, he was scheming the entire time……he’s very scheme-y this Main Squeeze of mine, always in the cutest way possible.

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HE KNEW THERE WAS FOOD THERE THE WHOLE TIME!!!!

We spent a while wandering around the various BUILDINGS that comprise the Furniture Mart.  Like you have to walk outside to get to different departments!  It was amazing!!!  So, I found a bedroom set I can’t afford, the mystical mermaid pillows, and taught him all about the struggle that is finding a good, affordable, and not heinous area rug.  Did you know that they now make a refrigerator that has a Keurig machine in it?!?!?  The Squeeze has been informed that that’s the fridge I want for the European castle we are going to buy.  He supports my choice…..he’s the best like that.

Sunday night we watched some History Channel…..which I never get to do.  I‘m glad that he shares my opinions on how stupid some of the sellers on  Pawn Stars are!  After we got some TV ranting outta our systems, Squeeze made me noodles and we watched Crimson Peak.  Bitch Faced Bestie told me it was scary…..it was good, but idk that ‘scary’ is the word I’d use to describe it.

Monday

My Squeeze had to run to the DMV in the morning to register his new car, so the fur babies and I stayed home and packed my stuff back up.  I had basically exploded my bag all over his spare room and taken up the entire bathroom with stuff, so getting it all put back together is a bit of an ordeal.  As soon as he got back home, it was snack time.  If you haven’t discovered, I’m a bit like a puppy.  I like snacks, naps, and occasionally some exercise!!  We had bacon and toast, and then it was time for a movie and a nap.  Luckily, I know what happens during Pirate of the Caribbean, so missing the middle due to a quick nap was no big deal.

After the nap and movie, it was time to head home.  I pretty sadly loaded up my near to exploding bag and the pupster, and we headed home.  After a brief detour through the Burger King drive through, I was confronted with a pretty substantial amount of traffic.  It took me probably 10 minutes to remember that it was Monday around 5pm!!

All in all, it was a good weekend.  I’m glad I got to spend some quality chillaxing time with my Main Squeeze, and I’m pretty excited to tell you all about him!!