Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Blue Apron Again

The brown box with the blue apron arrived this morning. I haven't opened it yet. I know what's inside: today's shrimp dinner. And that's all I'm going to say about that. Why? Because I never mentioned what was in my previous box.

I had three delicious meals from the previous box and had them two or three times each. The portion size of each meal usually allows me at least three servings. Since I'm on the smallest plan (service for two) and I am the only one eating the meals, I cook three times and have enough to eat for at least six meals. More often it's seven or eight meals. I divide and freeze the leftovers for the next week or just refrigerate them for the next day or two. It's wonderful!

The previous box, two weeks ago, brought me Za'atar-Spiced Steaks, Italian Wedding Soup and Miso Zuzu-Glazed Cod and they were all enjoyable.

In recent weeks I've been trying to eat more fish and shellfish (or less meat, depending on how you think of it). I've designated Monday, Wednesday and Friday my "no meat" days. When I receive a Blue Apron box on Wednesday morning it works very well for cooking my Wednesday seafood dinner because there is always one seafood option in the box of my plan--Omnivore as opposed to Vegetarian.

I was thrown off last time because of winter's last hurrah, a final snowstorm, the worst. My box wasn't delivered until Thursday. I had to fend for myself for Wednesday's seafood. I ended up eating a  swai fillet from my freezer with stewed tomatoes (from a can) and a salad. 

I try really hard to make my meals as flavorful as the Blue Apron offerings. This one was close. I seasoned the fish and the panko bread crumbs with a little Kosher salt and some freshly ground pepper. I've found that layering seasoning makes a big difference. Not only do I eat well from Blue Apron, I also learn a thing or two for when I cook on my own.

Fried swai, stewed tomatoes and green salad
And now, on to the Blue Apron offerings.

Za'atar-Spiced Steaks
with Rutabaga-Barberry Tabbouleh & Labneh Cheese

I've done my job as my own sous chef.

The plated dish
with a glassof Sutter Home White Merlot

Miso Yuzu-Glazed Cod
with Black Rice & Water Spinach

Let the "sous cheffing" begin!

The plated dish
with a glass of Principato Pinot Grigio-Chardonnay

Italian Wedding Soup
with Fregola Sarda & Spinach

All the ingredients

After the preparation

The chicken meatballs

After reading reviews from others,
I decided to brown the meatballs for extra flavor.

Sautéing the aromatics
with the chicken meatballs

Finishing the soup

The plated dish
Although I liked it, I'm afraid this was one of my least favorite Blue Apron dishes. I love Italian Wedding Soup, but this one lacked flavor. Maybe the answer is using ground beef instead of ground poultry. However, I think more seasoning in the ground chicken would have made the difference. More onion, more garlic, more Parmesan cheese, and then sautéing the meatballs before adding them to the aromatics will be my solution when I make this dish again, on my own. Yes, I will make it again.

And now off to make Tum Yum-Style Shrimp & Noodles.

Kitchen to Kitchener

Monday, March 2, 2015

Catching Up/Eating Up

It's almost time for another Blue Apron delivery and I realize I failed to post about the last one. Not only that, some other kitchen events were photographed and never made it any farther than Facebook.  Maybe a collection of pictures with a few words will suffice.

In January I revisited my obsession with Mason Jars:

Ball Brand Mason Jars

I got these little short, squat ones for making and storing individual desserts. They worked well:

Strawberry Shortcake and Tiramisu

I had some more wonderful meals thanks to Blue Apron:

There was Crispy Chicken Thighs with kumquat relish & freekeh salad,

Crispy Chicken Thigh

Center-Cut Pork Chops with beet, heirloom carrot & hazelnut salad and

Center-Cut Pork Chop

Pan-Roasted Salmon Ramen with spicy miso broth & wakame.

Pan Seared Salmon Ramen

All three were a snap to prepare and I can't decide which was my favorite. Each brought something new to the table. I enjoyed every bit.

I took some time to bake for my baby:

Peanut Butter Dog Bones! Maybe I'd better explain who "my baby" is. He is my little Bichon mix I rescued last March when he was "2- 4 years old." He acts like a two-year-old puppy; however, I will go with the birthdate the rescue organization gave him, 03/07/2010. I named him Snowman.


One day at the super market, while searching through the frozen foods for peas and carrots, I discovered this Asian Style Rice with carrots, peas, edamame and onions. Along with some frozen shrimp from my freezer, and using sesame oil, it made a very good Asian style shrimp fried rice.

I was intrigued by a recipe for "spaghetti and sand" that I stumbled across on the Internet. I'm on a low(er) carb kick for a while so I brought out one of my favorite gadgets, the Paderno brand spiralizer, and made "zu-ghetti" to use zucchini to replace the pasta. I roasted some root veggies to go with it. "Spaghetti and Sand" is made with spaghetti, breadcrumbs, olive oil, minced garlic and red pepper flakes, then sprinkled with plenty of parmesan cheese. A little parsley sprinkled on top doesn't hurt.

Another snow/ice storm overnight leaves me housebound. I wonder what trouble I will get into in the kitchen today. I have some fresh strawberries marinating in sugar. Shortcake? Ice cream? Both? Maybe it would be better if I just knit and watch cooking shows on TV.

Kitchener to Kitchen