Since we got married last fall, a lot has shifted in our lives and relationship. My wife, Karyne, and I both started new jobs, which came with new commute schedules; our weekly commitments have increased; and the flexibility we once had during the week to spend time together has definitely declined. When we are home together, we try to squeeze in a workout, take the dogs for a walk, and get dinner together, and before we know it, it’s basically time to head to bed—well after getting at least an episode of Chopped or Survivor in there.
It helps that I love to cook—okay, fine, maybe I just love buying cookbooks and pinning recipes—but I find myself to be rather terrible at meal planning (seriously, give me your tips!). So what’s a girl to do? Up until recently, our go-to has been ordering in sushi or poke bowls, thanks to on-demand delivery apps making this WAY too easy. So I decided to check out our friends at Blue Apron, an APW fave and Maddie’s ride or die, and ever since, we’ve been able to turn those ordering-in nights into cooking together nights. Plus, we’re well aware that life will only continue to get busier as our family grows. So how do we build in solid relationship habits now, so we’re a little more prepared down the line?
If you’re new here, Blue Apron sends a box of pre-portioned, farm fresh recipe ingredients to your house each week (enough for three meals including everything except salt, pepper, and oil), and then you just do the prepping and cooking part. They give you options for couples or families, so you can get exactly how much you need. The portions are fairly generous, too, so if you’re like me and leftovers for lunch is something you’re into, you definitely can make it work with a little supplementing here and there.
Since we get home at different times, I’m able to start the prep work, which is actually my fave. Then by the time Karyne is home, we’re ready to get cooking together. Blue Apron’s recipes are easy and clear to follow, so folks who aren’t as confident in the kitchen can get through them with ease. Pro tip: Like any recipe, always read it all the way through before you start. And since most meals can be completed in under forty minutes, you’ll be sitting down to eat in no time. Better yet, you can start and stop your shipments whenever you want for no fees. Going out of town one week? No problem. Feel like cooking on your own? You got it! Just let them know which weeks you want to skip and you’re all set!
I love the fact that Blue Apron recipes, while simple, involve some pretty sophisticated cooking techniques, like the quick pickling we did. This builds confidence in the kitchen and also helps to expand your palate. Most of their recipes use common kitchen tools, but it helps to get yourself equipped with a few extras, such as a microplane and handheld press. Otherwise, a good chef’s knife, cutting boards, and standard pots and pans will get you through. If you don’t have what you need, Blue Apron also has a great marketplace that carries everything from a basic prep tool bundle to cast iron skillets, and they even have knives and wine glasses.
One of the things we were most excited about was Blue Apron’s incredible wine delivery. Because yes, wine delivered to our doorstep is amazing. You get six bottles a month of delicious wine. Blue Apron works with vineyards to produce wines that pair with their recipes. They’re also sized to serve exactly two people.
Blue Apron also puts all of their recipes online once the week is done. So when we find one that we really love, we’re able to get it online instead of saving all the recipe cards. We incorporate these recipes into our rotation for nights we don’t have meals. And it’s a great way to try out recipes when we’re feeling more adventurous!
I love not having to play the “what’s for dinner” game every night, and with all the extra time we save, we’re able to sit down and actually enjoy our meal. We now look forward to getting our box every week and picking which night we’ll be cooking together. It’s given us healthy, fast options, as well as a great way to reconnect during busy weeks.
Now, instead of using our precious free time chatting about what’s on the menu—or worse, running to the store because we forgot we’re out of EVERYTHING—we use that time to explore our neighborhood or just relax on the patio. How do you guys spend your free time during the week and reconnect as a couple?
Blue Apron wants to you to have more time with your partner and family so they’re giving away 3 free meals to the first 50 APW readers on their first order. Click here to get your free meals!
This post was sponsored by Blue Apron. Blue Apron simplifies mealtimes by delivering fresh ingredients straight to your door. Blue Apron’s recipes help support local farmers and utilize fresh, seasonal ingredients whenever possible. If you’ve been thinking of trying out Blue Apron, the first 50 to sign up with a new account will get three free meals with their first delivery. Click here to sign up!