Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Review of Blue Apron

Readers!  We have a treat for you today!  Since the JUGs are a bit rusty in the cooking arena, we wanted to bring you fresh content on that lifestyle subject from someone who knows far more about it, and a service that makes the process easy enough for us to follow.  So... we have a guest blogger for you today!  Take it away, Alie!

What’s better than a home cooked meal on a chilly fall night?  Not much, but if you’re like me, prepping and planning for your night of domesticity might have you throwing in the towel and reaching for the take out menu.  Sure, browsing for recipes is a great way to kill those slow afternoons at work, but the trip to the grocery store and the schlep home can take the fun out of actually cooking.  Plus, what’s worse than finding a recipe that sounds great but requires a ton of ingredients you don’t already have?

Enter Blue Apron.  Once a week they will deliver pre-measured ingredients for three meals right to your door.  Opt for 2, 4 or 6 servings (depending on whether you’re just feeding yourself or a whole family…or having a dinner party!) and it will arrive on the day of your choosing.  The food is packaged in a way that keeps it fresh and cold even if you’re not home to accept the delivery.  Every ingredient is labeled and all the extras – like spices, sauces, condiments, etc. – are measured out in little containers and put in one of three “knick-knack bags” (one for each meal).  The only thing you have to provide is olive oil (and a kitchen.) From there, you follow the recipe which is very straight forward and comes on a piece of thick, glossy paper, complete with step-by-step pictures and tips. Most meals I have cooked are complete within 30 – 45 minutes.

I love the service, and use it about once a month.  You can opt in or out each week and there is no subscription fee.  It is $9.99 per person, per meal, so one week for two people (shipping included) is $59.94.  Obviously, whether or not this works out to be cheaper than a trip to the grocery store for ingredients for three meals will depend on your current cooking habits. For me, living by myself with a relatively sparse pantry, this is cheaper, and I end up with enough food for 3 dinners and 3 lunches for the week. 

I do wish that the menu options were more flexible.  There are vegetarian and omnivore options, and you can opt out of any types of meat or fish you don’t like.  However, each week they make two menus available, one vegetarian and one for omnivores.  Despite being a meat eater, I’m still a big veggie lover, and oftentimes I’d like to have two vegetarian meals and one meat one, or vice versa.  Unfortunately, you can’t pick and choose between the two menus.  Another small grievance is that I hate chopping vegetables! I would love if they came pre-chopped, but I do understand the freshness factor involved there.

Despite those two little gripes, I highly recommend the service.  The ingredients are fresh, high quality and in many cases, local.  They clearly list their suppliers right on their website.   (As an upstate New Yorker, I already buy a lot of my produce directly from Samascott Orchards at my farmers market, so it’s great to know I can get the same high quality produce in my Blue Apron box!) Even if you’re not up for the full Blue Apron experience, check out their recipes! All of them are available for free, and I have yet to make one that wasn’t absolutely delicious.  Bon Appetit!


The content of this post is the opinion of the author and such that JUGs editors support.  If you are interested in guest-posting, be sure to reach out to us for requirements and guidelines!

- Meredith

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Week of September 29th

A R O U N D   T H E   H U B
It's almost October and the Oktoberfest celebrations have already started. Want to get in on the action? Bostinno has the 8 can't-miss Oktoberfest celebrations in Boston ready for your enjoyment.

Shark Tank's Kevin O'Leary lives in Boston (Marlborough street to be exact). Now is the time to get your pitches straight incase you run into him on the street. Oh, and maybe read this Q&A interview with him first so you craft a decent conversation starter.

A R T S   &   E N T E R T A I N M E N T
Lena Dunham's new book, Not That Kind of Crazy, comes out this week and to help promote it she is starring in a mini video series, #AskLena, where she tries to help solve your crazy. Crazies helping crazies. We like that.

Mildly obsessed with the two new rumored True Detective cast additions.

Still a few more weekends for Fall weddings. If you're a bridesmaid or maid of honor, pack some necessary items from this wedding day emergency kit.

Just another reason to love Flash Tattoos.

It's jacket time. But how do you stay chic? Glamour rounded up 5 chic ways to wear a fall jacket from some of the most stylish bloggers around.

Linda Rodin might be older than most of your style icons, but boy can she rock it (insert lady crush here).

Have a great week everyone!

- Suzanne

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