In which I accidentally ordered Blue Apron (and I liked it)

A kind friend recently sent me a free trial offer for Blue Apron. I am a big fan of food and an even bigger fan of food arriving on my doorstep, so I gave it a try.

The free trial box came with two meals — Barramundi & Tzatziki Sauce with Summer Vegetable & Freekeh Salad and Soy-Glazed Pork & Rice Cakes with Bok Choy & Marinated Green Beans — each of which was meant to feed a family of four.

I don’t normally cook fish, because I don’t like the way it makes the house smell and also I’m not very good at it but that’s probably because I never make it. I put the barramundi on the menu anyway, though, because it was a free meal that was coming to my house and I thought, “Hey you can do this.” But then I chickened out and gave the whole barramundi kit to my sister-in-law, who took it to her parents’ house and presumably made and ate it there.

I did not, however, give away the Soy-Glazed Pork meal, even though I was a little wary about it, too. I don’t eat a lot of pork. But I’m very glad I made it because it was delicious. The sauce had a lovely, rich color and flavor, and the rice cakes were nice and chewy. I’m holding on to the recipe card so I can make it again, even though I have no idea where to find Korean rice cakes.

I loved having my groceries delivered to my door, and I love all the little pre-portioned spices and the tiny bottle of soy glaze (but I also sort of hate that because it was a ton of packaging). That delivery needed to be the end of our Blue Apron adventure, though, because (1) I can’t afford to spend $80 on two meals every week and (2) there’s no way to say “Hey I Can’t Eat Dairy Please Don’t Offer Me Dairy Meals.”

But that wasn’t the end. Oh no it was not.

I tried to log on to Blue Apron’s website to cancel my trial membership, and I couldn’t remember my password. So I hit the appropriate button and waited. And continued waiting. And waited some more, and hit the button again, and never got a reset email. Eventually I contacted their support team, and they helped me cancel my membership even though they couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t getting the password email.

But the next box was already on its way, and there wasn’t anything they could do about that. I wasn’t extremely pleased but it wasn’t their fault that I’d waited too long to contact them, and of course this meant there would be more food showing up on my doorstep which is pretty OK even if it was an accident.

So the accidental box arrived, and do you know what was in that box? More fish! As we have previously noted, I don’t normally cook fish, because I don’t like the way it makes the house smell and also I’m not very good at it but that’s probably because I never make it. I put the salmon on the menu anyway, though, because it was an expensive meal that was being delivered to my house and I thought, “Hey. Hey! You can do this.”

And I did.

Seared Salmon & Tomato Fondue with Fennel Rice & Carrots

Blue Apron’s Seared Salmon & Tomato Fondue with Fennel Rice & Carrots was by far the fanciest meal I’ve ever made in Rockford’s absence. The kids and I usually eat very, very simple meals (i.e., cereal, sandwiches, etc.) when he’s out of town, because it’s very discouraging to expend a lot of effort on a meal that no one will eat. But I was feeling courageous about cooking fish so I knew I needed to go ahead and make it before I lost my nerve.

I made a rather impressive mess, but it was also a rather impressive meal. I left the fennel, garlic and almonds out of the kids’ portions of rice because I wanted Poppy to eat something without complaining. I didn’t love the fennel, but it didn’t ruin the dish. The carrots were really simple — just tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and then roasted — but they were my favorite part of the meal. It was a good reminder that I don’t have to serve steam-in-the-bag veggies with every meal. I managed to cook the salmon well, although it could have used a bit more seasoning, and the tomato fondue — tomatoes and garlic in a butter sauce — was delicious. (Please note that I’m aware that butter is a dairy product, but I haven’t had any trouble with it so it’s still in the picture.) Pete enjoyed the whole meal, and Poppy suffered through it.

The second meal in my accidental box was Chicken Tinga Tacos with Lime Sour Cream & Cotija Cheese. I made it last night for my dad, his girlfriend, the kids and myself. They were very simple to make and really delicious, so much so that I forgot to take a picture of them to share with you.

In conclusion, I am a fan of the Blue Apron box and I wish I could continue to subscribe to it because it is simple and delicious but I just can’t afford it.

The best-laid menu plans

I’m having my gallbladder removed on Wednesday, so dinners this week are a bit up in the air. Here’s my plan, but I’m going to be out of commission and sipping broth for most of the week so it may actually be Taco Bell every night.

Monday: Chicken Tinga Tacos
This is from a Blue Apron meal kit, which I will tell you all here.

Tuesday: Barbecue
My dad is in town for a few days, and there’s a very strong chance we’ll be going out for barbecue because that’s his favorite thing to do.

Wednesday: Jello and broth
Well, I’ll be having clear liquids. My sister-in-law is delivering dinner for the rest of the crew.

Thursday: Frozen pizza
It’s Poppy’s favorite meal!

Friday: Breakfast for dinner
The kids always enjoy a Rockford breakfast night because he makes all the foods.

Hungry for more? Check out the Menu Plan Monday linkup at OrgJunkie.

Five quick things

1. We’re still here.

2. My gallbladder has turned against me. I’m having it removed next week.

3. Pete is enjoying school.

4. Both cats have been sick over the last two weeks, so I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time and funds at the vet lately.

5. I have plenty of time to write, but I think I’ve forgotten how.