Blue Apron: a 6-month review

Brown Butter Gnocchi with Summer Squash, Almonds & Soft-Boiled Eggs #blueapron

In the past we were pretty active in posting recipes of dishes I concocted, however over the past several years we haven’t been as active making new dishes of frankly cooking much for that matter. The past holiday season I received a free week of Blue Apron meals from my sister-in law and brother-in law. After enjoying the free week of meals we decided to give it a try for a few months to see what we thought about it. So, instead of posting any new recipes, since we don’t really have many, I figured I’d give Blue Apron a six-month review.

Things I dislike:

  • Options, specifically the lack of. Each week there are 6 meals to chose from. Val and I do not each much meat which limits the options what is typically 3 or 4. Given that you only get 3 meals each week that doesn’t leave much choice. Additionally, if you tend to pick mostly vegetarian options some of meat options become unavailable, so on the off chance that I may have thought a certain chicken dish looked good it may not be available because of other selections. I mainly find the lack of options only bothersome from the standpoint that meals cannot be customized for food allergies. So if you are allergic to mushrooms, like I am, and mostly choose the vegetarian options, like we do, be prepared to throw out some ingredients or do as I did and give your friends and colleagues items that you cannot use of consume.
  • Packaging. We put majority if not all of the packaging into the recycle bin as it says it is recyclable, but I still feel a guilty with the increase little baggies that are being put into our recycle bin. I also question whether or not our single stream recycling, which accepts most recycling numbers, really accepts theses items.
  • Being locked into to a menu for a week. This is really more of a complaint about me than anything else. I like having the flexibility to decide what I want to eat on a whim, do we go out to eat, order in, make something simple, etc. While I know 3 meals is not significant if you have a fairly hectic and busy week, which I have had few this past year, we found ourselves opting for convenience (ie. takeout) over cooking. When this occurred we found that we quickly fell behind and would sometimes still have meals from the previous week when the next week came about. It also meant that some of the ingredients would no longer be fresh and/or required us to buy fresh replacements from the grocery store. Again this is a complaint about me more than anything.

Things I like:

  • The food. Most meals I find rather satisfying and quite delicious. It is easy to make substitutions if you do have food allergies and having the menu ahead of time you can come up with ideas to substitute. I also find that occasionally the user comments have suggestions for substitutions. Only once or twice have I had to season something a bit more to my liking.
  • The portion size. For me the portions are great, I tend to overeat so having the portions of food that give you are perfect for me. With the exception of the pizzas most dishes are perfect for two people (the plan we are on).
  • The ease of most dishes. As long as you can chop and prep food fairly quickly most dishes take anywhere from 30-45 minutes to cook. That is about my patience threshold for cooking on a weeknight so it works out well.
  • Buying less groceries, and wasting less food. We tended to not plan a menu or if we did often our whims took us elsewhere and we chose to go a different route. So often produce we intended to use would go unused and would end up in compost. Ultimately that behavior led me to really just buy some staples like onions, potatoes, lettuce, etc. that could be easily transformed into a number of dishes before going bad which led to a food rut. I also think that when cooking for two having everything proportioned out for you is great, I don’t need to buy a whole head of cabbage for a dish that I am making that only feeds two.
  • Breaking out of a food rut. This is perhaps the biggest reason we gave it a try after the first week. We were in a food rut, ordering out and if I cooked I was cooking only a few staples. Sure, Val and I could have easily found delicious recipes online or in our many cookbooks, but often we would just go to tried and true recipes that we knew we enjoyed rather than forcing us to try new things. Blue Apron’s lack of choices is a blessing from the standpoint that we cannot fall into the rut of making only what we know we like, it forces us to try new things.
  • Cooking more. Ultimately we cook more often which gives us time to be together listen to music and enjoy each others company.

Here are some meals that we’ve really enjoyed so far (and yes two of them are grilled cheese sandwiches):

Overall we’ve been pretty satisfied with it. It is definitely not perfect, and certainly I do not think it is for everyone. We’re not cancelling the Blue Apron subscription yet, but I think we will be a bit more discriminatory about skipping a week here and there if we just don’t like any options. I’m certain Val will post with her favorites as she continues to blog.

by Ryan | 07.17.16 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment »


Talbott Family Christmas 2011

I am heartbroken as this world lost an amazing man yesterday – my Granddaddy, Clifford Talbott; he served through the entire WWII and made it home safely, he would have been 95 next month, and he still lived in the house he raised both his children in and celebrated almost 64 years of marriage with my beloved and dearly departed Mema. He was kind and brave and gave so much to so many. He will be missed by many as he loved so many and was loved by so many.

When my Mom asked my Granddaddy (about 4 years ago) to share his thoughts on marriage and his wife/my Mema (who had passed away), he had this to say:

“I can say that she was probably one of the most beautiful women you could ever want. Whatever I wanted to do, she was always ready to do it. We never did sit there and one of us want one thing, one want the other… When you get married, it works both ways and if you’re gonna keep married you better have it both ways too.

We had two wonderful children (Connie Watkins & Charles Talbott), you couldn’t ask for any better, more perfect kids than what we had.

Like I say, we had almost 64 years…and people would always be asking me, they’d say, ‘Now your wife’s not here, you gonna get married?’ And I’d say, ‘Nope. There’ll never be another one. I’ll never marry another lady.’ Cause you just don’t have a marriage like that. If you ever had to pick another one, if I had to do it over, I’d do the same thing. That’s the way I would do it.”

What a beautiful love story!

cliff army

by Valerie | 04.26.15 | Uncategorized | No Comments »

Ko for a cause

This is our friend’s (lovely Lisa of Pot & Box) dog Ko and, in case you can’t tell from the photo, he is awesome. Sadly, our handsome fella has cancer…the good news is that there is a treatment that can help save Ko. If you can give any amount to help save Ko and/or you’d like to hear more about Ko and Lisa, please visit this page here. Thank you.

Update: Happy New Year’s Eve eve news – the campaign for Ko is now fully funded!

by Valerie | 12.17.13 | Uncategorized | No Comments »

In rememberance

Molloy Family Photos

One year ago today, we lost an amazing presence in our lives. He was one of the kindest, most patient, loving, & easygoing people I ever met & he had a wonderful sense of humor. He is gone, but will always be loved & will never be forgotten.

by Valerie | 05.28.11 | Uncategorized | 2 Comments »


Elizabeth Taylor

Actress Elizabeth Taylor passed away today; she was an amazing actress & a beautiful woman, with her violet eyes & old Hollywood glamour. I love her in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, among others. What a talent she had!

by Valerie | 03.23.11 | Uncategorized | No Comments »


Sick: A Still Life

I don’t mind the cold & snow outside – I actually think that it’s lovely out when there’s a fresh fallen snow – but what I do mind is that I’ve come down with a cold & it’s awful. I’m miserable & have been this way since New Year’s Day. I think I’m improving finally, slowly but surely, & am hopeful that after this weekend & lots of rest I’ll be feeling much better.

I’m keeping my hopes up & I think that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak; speaking of light, I snapped this lovely photo of the sun setting outside my window yesterday afternoon. Have a great weekend!

Orchids & sunset

by Valerie | 01.07.11 | Uncategorized | No Comments »

Family Ties


Family & friends are so very important to me; without them, I would live a very sad & lonely life. I count myself lucky that I treasure the memories I have of growing up & spending time with my grandparents & relatives as a child.

I had a special bond with one of my grandparents in particular – my grandmother on my Dad’s side; her name was Mozelle & we called her “Mema” & it always seemed to suit her! She & my granddaddy were married almost 64 years, when she passed away three years ago this month. I think of her often & can’t say enough good things about her.

To list just a few things about her, she was a beautician in Abilene, TX for 30 years, she loved word search puzzles, she made a mean homemade pie, & she was full of spunk her whole life – which I could never get enough of! One word that I love to use to describe my Mema is sassy & I just loved that about her; she was always so much fun & never made me feel anything short of infinitely loved.

Mema would drive us (my cousin Trina, my little brother Clint, & I) through town & when she went under the overpasses she would honk the horn as loud as she could, we’d roll down the windows & scream as loud as we could, & then we’d all giggle. She bought me my first Cabbage Patch Kid doll, & you probably remember what a big deal those were! Our school art projects would hang on her bedroom wall or be proudly displayed on her dresser for years; she was always so proud of us. She had no qualms telling me, in the sincerest way possible, that if someone were really mean to me or hurt my feelings then they were being “a horse’s rear”. When I went off to college, she knit me a throw blanket & would send me on my way with care packages full of goodies & sweets every time I stopped by their house.

When she passed away, I found a pile of letters she’d saved in a sewing basket & one of them was from me when I was 5 years old. She was my cheerleader, my friend, my family – she was the best grandmother a girl could have & not a day goes by that I don’t miss her & count myself lucky to have had her in my life!

by Valerie | 12.09.09 | Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

The Most Difficult Thing

Val and spent last weekend working with a group of friends to make a short film for the 48hr Film Project. We were given the genre of comedy, the character Leeanne or Liam Butler, a painter, the prop of a book, and the line “why don’t you explain it to me.” After a long day Saturday and some time spent Sunday morning, this was the final result. Val sings on the track and is in the movie, I was one of the camera and lighting techs, and I make a brief appearance as a barista in the coffee shop. Enjoy the film!

by Ryan | 08.01.09 | Uncategorized | No Comments »

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