Goodbye, Blue Apron. It was great while it lasted.

So, the shine has faded on my Blue Apron love. Or, not Blue Apron specifically, but the cooking part. For the first few months I was always careful to cook every meal before anything could spoil, but eventually, as always happens, I fell behind, and now, in November, there have been entire weeks of meals that I have thrown away uncooked. Not just a waste of money, but a terrible waste of quality food.

I’ve reduced my deliveries to every other week, but that hasn’t helped like I thought it would, and I’m thinking it’s time to put a hold on the account. Maybe after the holidays, I’ll be back in the swing of things and ready to commit to cooking regularly again.

How do I love thee, Blue Apron? Let me count the ways!

I’ve been cooking a lot over the past few months, thanks to Blue Apron. I’ve never really been a “cook”. I’ve sometimes considered myself a baker, at different stages in my life when I was into baking (I’m not right now), but I’ve never been into cooking. I’ve always been more of a, buy a rotisserie chicken for the week, maybe throw some salads together, heat up a can of soup, call for Chinese or pizza, kind of girl.

When I was at my sister’s for Christmas, I partaked (partook?) of her Blue Apron meals. They arrived weekly in a box containing exactly the ingredients needed for each meal, no more, no less. They came with recipes. They were tasty, and totally cost-effective (about $10 per serving). And they were pretty easy to prepare.

In March I finally gave in to the sis’s nudging, and signed up. And I’ve gotta say, it has changed my life. I order delivery far less; I waste far less food (no more buying veggies with all the best intentions, and then not feeling like eating any of them); I spend less on groceries; and I’m eating REAL FOOD. And I’ve actually reached a point where I enjoy the cooking experience.

My very first meal! Seared cod with roasted potatoes and dates. Took just over an hour to prep and cook. Loved the pickled scallions on the salad, and was surprised to learn that I actually like chopped nuts in a salad. Sadly the date sauce wasn’t as good when reheated.

That last part took awhile, until the sis helped me realize it was really the cleanup that I hated. I’d avoid cleanup, ’cause that’s what I do, and then I wouldn’t have anything clean with which to cook the next meal. On the sis’s advice, I threw away my “but the dishwasher must be completely full before I can run it!” mentality, and now I run it every night that I cook (i.e. 3x/week instead of 2x/month). Now I always have clean materials to work with, and I go to bed most nights with an empty sink, which is surprisingly relaxing when I first enter the kitchen in the morning.

Cod Stew. So so yummy!
Pizza Bianca, which was really just pizza dough brushed with olive oil and salted. I ate the whole thing, it was so good!

And possibly the best part is that I’m losing weight. These aren’t low-fat meals. I don’t skimp on the oil or the cheese or the carbs. The meals are just healthier than I’ve ever eaten before–real food cooked from scratch, with all their nutrients still intact, and far fewer preservatives. And each serving is totally satisfying–in nearly three months, I can count on one hand the number of meals where I went back and ate the second serving instead of saving it for the next day’s lunch (and it was usually because I didn’t think it would reheat well, like the quesadillas). Some meals are even so filling I divide them into three servings (the Italian pork pizza, for instance). I almost never snack at night anymore. There’s just no need.

Oh! And how could I almost forget–they’re delicious! I mean, sure, some of them make me go “eh”, and I am so not a fan of slaw of any kind (I always throw the mayo and sour cream away and figure out something else to do), but most of them are yummy, and some of them are OMG SO DELICIOUS I COULD DIE RIGHT NOW!

So yes. Bottom line, I love Blue Apron. It has changed my life in all good ways, and it’s nice to know that even as I approach the big 5-0, this old dog can still learn new tricks.

Bar Hayama

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I’ve lived here for two years now, and this is the first time I’ve been to the sushi place less than a block away from me. I’ve been sick since yesterday, and tea just wasn’t cutting it anymore, I needed me some miso soup. So I put on my outside pants and walked the 300 yards or so to Bar Hayama for a bento box. See that picture? That’s the freakin’ bento box! In case you can’t tell, it’s an INSANE amount of food. And they didn’t charge me for the extra miso I asked for.

I can’t believe I’ve wasted the past two years not going here. I have much catching up to do. In short, two thumbs up for Bar Hayama!

So, we meet again, my archnemesis.

I don’t like to cook. It takes up too much time I’d rather spend doing pretty much anything else. Generally my grocery cart consists of deli meat, frozen dinners and vegetables, and a couple of rotisserie chickens that will feed me for a week. Sometimes salad fixings, too, but I go through stretches when I just can’t imagine having to assemble yet another salad.

Being back on WW means having to set aside at least a little time to actually cook. Today that meant eggs for lunch.

I hate cooking eggs. I want to like it, ’cause it’s just about the easiest, quickest meal to cook, but I really really suck at it. They just never taste good. Sometimes they’ll taste bland, which is usually the best I can hope for, but more often they have this weird overcooked taste that I could do without. I’ve tried adding milk, water, herbs, salt, pepper, ham. I’ve tried scrambled, over hard, and omelet style. I’ve tried high heat, low heat, and in-between heats. I’ve tried oil, butter, Pam cooking spray, and bareback. They always suck.

But, not today!

Today I rocked the eggs like they were the yummiest food on the planet! I suspect it was all the oil I added to try to keep everything from sticking to the pan (didn’t really work), and that’s not necessarily a good thing, WW-wise, but holy moly these were AWESOME eggs. I loved these eggs. (Oddly they tasted vaguely like fried rice eggs, even though I didn’t use sesame oil.) They were the Best!Eggs!Evah!

So, in the hopes I can repeat this amazing culinary feat, here’s what happened:

Heat on one-click hotter than medium.
Added oil.
Waited for water drops to sizzle on oil.
Added fresh baby spinach.
Stirred it around.
Turned up the heat a bit.
Added chopped Canadian bacon (two slices). (Maybe this was the difference?)
Sauteed.
Added more oil ’cause the bacon stuck.
Sauteed.
Added more oil.
Added two (non-beaten) eggs.
Rolled it around a bit.
Turned the heat down a bit.
Waited a bit.
Scraped things around because of course the eggs stuck anyway.
Kept scraping things around until the eggs looked cooked all the way.
Served.

Delish!

Next time I should add more spinach, though.