Most of you know that I don’t cook and topping my excuse list has always been that I’ve hated my kitchens and as a ‘visual person’ its just always bummed me out to be in there. They’ve always been rentals, and either tiny (in New York), run down (two houses ago), or both (our last house).
To prove my ‘ugly kitchen’ situation I give you exhibit A and B:
See?? You might be wondering what we ate then, right? Well it was a combo of take-out, going-out (pre-charlie) or most likely ‘making food’ which is normally a salad or a microwaveable meal. I’m not really a foodie (clearly), but Brian is very emotionally invested in EACH AND EVERY MEAL and literally every night from 7 – 7:30 is the ‘what are we going to do for dinner’ debate. I say, ‘I don’t really care, I’ll eat anything’ and then he spends the next 30 minutes torturing himself trying to figure out what he wants and debating the not so endless possibilities. It’s literally groundhog day every night. Our biggest issue is that we never have food in the fridge and if we do, it doesn’t really create an easy meal – or one good enough to actually put effort into.
Anyway … Our new kitchen (that is not a rental) was pretty ugly but fairly doable (see the before photos and what the plan was here). We started cooking a bit more (mainly because I can watch TV while I make my one weekly chicken soup), but I mostly still ‘made food’. Then we updated it and it looked like this for a while (which is what is in Domino) and all of a sudden I liked being in it:
Wildly better, obviously. I love the white, the hardware, the brass “grout” (which I’ll tell you about once I get some detail shots), the pendants, the faucet, the appliances and that baby. I love that adorable baby. I love all of it EXCEPT for the refinished lower cabinetry that looked even more retro than before, and besides those beautiful schoolhouse electric handles just didn’t pop off of them.
Ok, this is not ‘The Kitchen makeover post’. Nay. I’m working on that post (trying to get more photos of what was in Domino, fishing through my library for the ones I’ve taken and then probably taking more photos of details for ya) but I figured I’d may as well show you a sneak peek of the kitchen because we changed it even after the Domino shoot. Because i’m crazy.
Yes, you heard me. We have painted that kitchen since that shoot.
Around that same time, Blue Apron emailed and asked me if I wanted to try out their product – delivered meal plans, with all ingredients, ready for you to cook, always different, and delicious meals. I figured I’d celebrate my new kitchen with a photo shoot (who doesn’t?) of me proving to the world (you) that I now cook. And yes, this is a sponsored post but since i’m not a food blogger I figured clearly a reveal of my new kitchen would make it even more fun, no?
Here’s the deal: Blue Apron allows you to create delicious, chef-designed recipes at home and takes all the guess-work out of it as they send all the farm-fresh ingredients you need, right to your doorstep, in exactly the right proportions. No trips to the grocery store and no waste from unused ingredients. Its wonderful, and completely dummy proof.
Blue Apron will send you three meals per week – for two, four, or six people. The meals are $9.99 per person with free shipping and in case you are worried about all those fresh ingredients spoiling they are one step ahead of you and everything arrives in a refrigerated box so ingredients will stay fresh even if you’re not at home when your package arrives.
When I first started getting Blue Apron I put it in the fridge. Five days later we hadn’t made any of them. I was like, ‘whoops, guess I’m going to have to cancel that sponsored post’. But then that night I was like, just make one and see. I turned on the tv, poured a glass of wine and started cooking. After about 10 minutes I texted Ginny and Brady with a ‘I’m blue apron-ing it and I kinda love it‘. And then I ate the meal and I was even more psyched (I think that one was beef stuffed poblano chili).
Here’s what I liken it to – it’s like a personal trainer for cooking. Sure, i can cook on my own, but I don’t. Technically I know how to do the basics but I don’t know how to do anything interesting so I never try the new stuff and therefore I’m never super excited about what I’ve spent my time on. Like a personal trainer you are kinda taught how to do the more innovative things, and are in a way forced to do it (because it’s staring at you in the fridge) and then afterwards you are just so proud of yourself because you are good at it. Click through to see more photos (even a few pulled back ones) of the new painted kitchen.
We’ve been doing it for a month now and we both love it. We probably do it two nights a week and then I do one by myself and eat it for two lunches (Brian doesn’t like fish, but I do). Oh and we LOVE cooking in our new kitchen. Like a lot. We just finished installing the last of our pretty white appliances (the oven, stove, microwave and fridge all from Maytag) and now we are DONE. It feels so good to not have one more thing to call a plumber about … now to start the bathrooms.
Back to Blue Apron – one of the things I love most about it is that the meals often contain exotic foods. Like last night I made the Seared salmon with tomato chutney and cranberry bean stew. It was Indian which I’ve never made with ‘cranberry beans’ and ‘ghee’, and it was delicious. And I was very proud of myself, indeed. I’m pretty much ready for the blind cooking challenge of Top Chef Masters. Let me show you my skills of opening cupboards and chopping pretty purple potatoes on what is most likely just a really pretty cheese board that I’ve now ruined by cutting my pretty vegetables on it.
The below shot is of me, auditioning for my upcoming food network show, because I’m now a master chef – well, a master chef as long as you send me every single ingredient so that I don’t have to shop myself and give me the recipe, oh and read to me out loud the step-by-step.
Dear cooking show producers, you can call my agents for future bookings on your networks. Move over Mario Batali. There is a new pale chef in town (that literally had to look up what ‘ghee’ is last night).
And the below pic demonstrates how much fun Brian and I have while cooking – we just laugh and laugh the whole time!!!! Either that or Brian was laughing at me not knowing how to cook and then I was laughing because I know that it looks better to laugh on camera than frown.
See? Even Charlie Henderson loves it. That is his new move – well that and clapping, waving and high five-ing. He’s very talented at moving his upper limbs, apparently.
Alright its about done and it was time to plate it and then put it in our mouths. Followed most likely by chewing and swallowing. We are traditionalists like that.
This was the Chicken with snow pea and radish saute with candied pistachios. That’s right, pistachios that I candied myself. Because I’m a master chef now. Don’t worry about it.
And it was delicious. Very, very good indeed. But I won’t go on about the meal that you all didn’t get to taste, instead …. Blue Apron has been nice enough to give the first 100 readers two free meals on their first Blue Apron order. Click HERE to check out the offer. The Details:
- Blue Apron offers a large selection of recipes and is always adding new dishes to their menu every week.
- Blue Apron is available to most of the country, shipping to over 80% of the country – click HERE to view a full map of delivery zones
- There’s no commitment – you can skip or cancel the service at any time!
- Always free shipping
- Sends Three Meals per week for either 2, 4 or 6 people.
- Each menu is between 500-700 calories per person.
- Ingredients are incredibly fresh and sourced from quality local suppliers and artisans.
- All meals can be prepared in 40 minutes or less.
Ok, so here is a pretty pulled back photo of the finished kitchen. I have a shoot set up to properly shoot it with all the details, more angles, really pulled back, etc, but when I got this post I figured that I didn’t want to just do tight shots of hands and food (have you seen my little white sausage fingers?) so it was a good excuse to tease it out.
So to wrap it up …. we now love our kitchen and love to cook. Not every night, please, but I’d say least 3 nights a week. And Brady asked me yesterday if we would actually pay for Blue Apron after this post our answer was and is ‘YES’. There are times when I wish it didn’t have carbs in it, but the thing is that Brian loves carbs, so I just avoid the rice when I want to. And there are weeks when I think that 2 meals is enough, but then it just forces me to make it for lunch. I would say those are the only drawbacks to it. I like that I don’t know what I’m going to get; I like that it’s often something I’ve never made. I like that its always delicious.
I like having a personal trainer – for my kitchen. My new, pretty, finally finished kitchen. And don’t worry, all kitchen resources are going to be in a separate post but if you are dying to know something now just leave questions in the comments and i’ll try to get to them!
All Pictures by the lovely Tessa Neustadt This post is in partnership with Blue Apron, but all words and designs are mine. Plus I’m a master chef now, so that food is mine, too.