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A Late Winter Cooking Reset with Blue Apron

Today’s post is sponsored by Blue Apron

In the fall, when the days first begin to turn cold and crisp, I am elated. I cannot wait to pull out my biggest soup pots and braising pans to start making hearty, weather-appropriate food.

However, by the end of the winter season, I am weary of my regular dinners and am hungry for fresh inspiration. Often I turn to cookbooks to help break up the routine. When that doesn’t work, I call on Blue Apron and their chef-designed meal kits.

My first encounter with Blue Apron came last year, when Scott got a 2-person box as part of his podcast’s sponsorship. Thanks to the photo-filled recipe cards, he was able to make a trio of tasty dinners without a lick of help from me.

I wrote about my second go-round with Blue Apron back in September. That time, I had the family-sized box sent to my sister’s house while I would be there visiting. I cooked dinner for them and scored some major houseguest points.

This time, I planned the box for the week before I was leaving town for a four-day conference. Busy and lacking inspiration is almost always the perfect formula for a week of takeout, but not this time. Blue Apron to the rescue!

Another reason why getting Blue Apron just before leaving town was such a good idea is that is prevented food waste. Scott isn’t one to do a lot of cooking for himself, so if I’d left a fridge full of ingredients for him to use, they would have withered and wilted while I was away. The perfectly portioned Blue Apron meals meant that there was nothing to throw out.

We had Chicken Yakinuki (I particularly loved the simple shredded carrot salad), Tangelo & Honey Glazed Salmon (remind me to use cooked apples in savory applications more often), and Smokey Pork Burgers (why aren’t pork burgers more of a thing? They were so delicious!).

One of the things I like most about Blue Apron is the fact that the I always take away some new culinary tidbit when I cook my way through a box. Going forward, I’ll be cooking my farro like pasta and will always roast broccoli at 475F (my typical temperature had been a lazy 400F, but no more!). I also appreciate that you can access all their recipes online.

One of the worries that people often have about Blue Apron is the amount of packaging involved. I was pleased to see that there was less packaging this time than in past orders, and that all users can now return the packing materials through the mail for reuse and recycling.

The fried rosemary garnish in this salmon dish was another tidbit I will take with me. I always thought that frying herbs was a fussy step, best reserved for restaurant meals, but I am converted. Quickly pan-fried in a shallow puddle of olive oil, the rosemary became fragrant and crisp.

The aforementioned farro! When you cook it in ample water, you don’t have to worry about the pot boiling dry. When the farro is tender, you just drain and dress.

If you’re intrigued by my experience with Blue Apron, they’ve got an offer for you, too! The first fifty readers to use this link to sign up for the service will get three meals for free on their first Blue Apron order.

Oh, and if you want to take a peek at more of the possible meals you’ll get from Blue Apron, check out their recipe page.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Blue Apron. They sent me a 2-Person box, containing three meals for two people. They’ve also compensated me for my time and attention. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely mine.

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Glass Spray Bottle with Soap Flakes from the MightyFix by MightyNest

I have always had an affinity for things made from glass. Even in the days before this jar-focused website wasn’t even a glimmer in my eye, I opted for things made out of glass whenever possible. It feels good in the hand, has a pleasing heft, and never, ever absorbs the smell of the thing you’ve kept in it. Plus, it is easily recycled when you decide that an object has reached the end of its useful life.

In recent years, I’ve really enjoyed seeing the increased availability of glass spray bottles. Once just the domain of Martha Stewart home shoots, it’s now quite easy to get one’s hands on a lovely, refillable glass spray bottle. One such delightful bottle is the Meliora K. Glass Spray Bottle with Soap Flakes available from MightyNest.

This spray bottle comes with a tablespoon of unscented soap flakes inside. You fill up the bottle with warm tap water, give it a good shake, and have the perfect all-purpose cleaning spray that is safe and effective for every corner of your home. The FIX bottle comes with extra soap flakes (enough to make two more bottles of cleanser) and you can additional refills from MightyNest.

For the rest of this month, new subscribers to the MightyFix from MightyNest will get their very own glass spray bottle with soap flakes as their first month of the FIX for just a buck. If this deal interests you, just click here to place the bottle (with discount attached!) into your cart! And if the code doesn’t work for you, just use the code FIJGLASSBOTTLE at check-out.

Just to recap, if you use this link or the code, you’ll get your first fix for just $1. New folks only. Canadian and Australians are welcome to join the Fix for a small shipping surcharge.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. MightyNest is a Food in Jars sponsor and helps keep this blog afloat. 

 

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Mason to Go Launching on Kickstarter Tomorrow!

Oh friends! I have such fun news for you. Tomorrow, a Kickstarter is launching for a super fun mason jar accessory that you’re going to love. Called Mason to Go, it’s a double sided lid lets you easily couple a wide mouth and a regular mouth jar, without running any risk of leaks or spills.

The Mason to Go allow you to use your mason jars to easily pack up breakfast, lunch, or a snack and take it with you as you move through your day. Think about handy it would be next time you want to bring a salad with you!

I like using it to couple two half pint jars to pack up some nuts or dried fruit for those moments when I’m running errands and want to prevent lousy snacking.

When the campaign launches tomorrow, they will have 300 singles lids available for just $1.00 a piece (including shipping!). That deal is only available for the first 24 hours, or until all 300 lids have been claimed. There are also multipack options and sets including jars available on the Kickstarter page, depending on your wants and needs.

Other great uses for the Mason to Go lids include toting milk and cereal to work (but without anything getting soggy or leaking), bringing basic ingredients with you when you vacation (we often rent a house for a week in the summer and this would make it so easy to pack good olive oil and vinegar), as well as for potlucks and parties.

Make sure to check out the Mason to Go Kickstarter when it launches tomorrow. If you post about it on social media, make sure to use the hashtag #masonable. You can also find Mason to Go on Twitter! And get ready to meet your new favorite mason jar accessory!

Disclosure: This is sponsored post, brought to you in partnership with the good folks at Mason to Go. However, I mean every word I’ve said. I think this is a brilliant and useful piece of gear! 

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Cooking Dinner with Blue Apron

Today’s post is sponsored by Blue Apron

beef-and-lamb-burger-ingredients

I live in an apartment in the middle of Center City Philadelphia, surrounded by restaurants of all stripes. And despite the fact I live in the midst of this edible bounty, I cook dinner at home most nights.

My reasons for cooking at home are many. It’s far more affordable that getting takeout every night. It’s often vastly more delicious (at least most of the time). And both Scott and I feel better when we eat food cooked at home.

cutting-eggplant

However, I often find myself tumbling into home cooking ruts. No matter what I make, my food ends up tasting like my food. In the past, I’ve used cookbooks to help me out of these ruts. The only trouble there is that during particularly busy weeks, that can take more planning and careful shopping than I have time for.

Happily, I’ve discovered a new way to shake up my home cooking routine. Enter Blue Apron. Their chef-designed meal kits are the perfect way to breathe fresh inspiration into my kitchen routine.

making-eggplant-salad

My first encounter with Blue Apron was back in June, when they sponsored my husband’s podcast. Because he needed to share his experience with the meals, he did the cooking that week. Thanks to the easy-to-follow recipe cards, he was easily able to turn out a series of three seriously delicious dinners.

What’s more, I liked what he cooked so much that I ended up incorporating some of the techniques and flavor combinations into my own culinary skill-set.

plated-burger

More recently, the folks at Blue Apron approached me about a sponsored post. Having had such a positive experience with the food when Scott did it, I said sure. I had the meals sent to my sister’s house in Austin, Texas, to coincide with the week when I would be there visiting.

boys-with-blue-apron-ingredients

My thinking was that it would be an easy way for me to cook for my sister and her family, and I hoped that by choosing the family portions (you can either get three meals that serve two, or two meals that serve four), we’d wind up with things that my picky nephews would eat and enjoy.

crispy-chicken-ingredients

Most of my hopes came true. Having the box sent to my sister’s house was a huge win when it came to being a good houseguest. The pre-portioned ingredients made life incredibly easy, the quality of the food was fantastic, and the adults in the house all really enjoyed the two meals I cooked. My sister and brother-in-law also appreciated having a break from kitchen duty.

set-up-for-breading-chicken

Sadly, as excited as the little boys were when it came to unpacking the well-insulated box of food, they were not at all interested in the Lamb and Beef Feta Burgers when it came time to eat (though the two-year-old did end up absconding with one of the potato buns).

Thankfully, the Crispy Chicken Tenders and Roasted Potatoes were a bigger hit with the pre-school set. No matter the response from Emmett and Benny, I still feel like it was a resounding success.

prepped-side-ingredients-for-crispy-chicken

Blue Apron isn’t something I will use all the time. But it’s such a useful tool during busy weeks, when I need a little fresh inspiration in the kitchen, or when I want to be a helpful and considerate houseguest.

I plan on keeping my account open and occasionally dropping in to check out their new recipes. Perhaps I’ll treat myself to another box around the holidays, when baking for gifts takes over my culinary imagination!

plated-crispy-chicken

If you’re intrigued by my experience with Blue Apron, they’ve got an offer for you, too! The first twenty readers to use this link to sign up for the service will get three meals for free on their first Blue Apron order. Oh, and if you want to take a peek at more of the possible meals you’ll get from Blue Apron, check out their recipe page.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Blue Apron. They sent me a Family Plan box, containing two meals for four people. They’ve also compensated me for my time and attention. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely mine.

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Sponsored Post: Durable Mesh Produce Bags from the MightyFix

Five mesh produce bags and MightyFix info cards

Years ago, I went through a stage where I was seriously gung-ho about going green. I bought an indoor composter, replaced my sparkling water habit with a SodaStream, and got a few sets mesh produce bags to replace the plastic ones I always picked up at the grocery store.

Five mesh produce bags fanned out

Trying to make compost in my living room was a disaster and I use my SodaStream imperfectly (like so many others, I have something of a LaCroix addiction). But the mesh produce bag habit stuck. I keep them by my front door and grab a few any time I know a stop at the grocery store or farmers market is in my future.

MightyFix produce bags in use

Our friends at MightyNest want to help you get your reusable produce bag habit started and so are offering a MightyFix deal for all new subscribers. The first month (which normally costs $10) will cost you just $3 instead. That means that if you sign up for MightyFix today, you’ll pay just $3 for the first month and you’ll receive a set of 5 reusable produce bags as your first FIX. As those same bags normally cost $11 + $5.95 in shipping, it’s a pretty darn good deal.

Mesh produce bags hanging with produce

If you’ve missed my earlier posts about the MightyFix, it’s a monthly subscription service that sends full sized non-toxic products for the kitchen and home. It costs $10 a month and ships for free. What’s more, anything you want to add to your monthly order from MightyNest will also ship for free.

MightyFix Button

So, to recap. If you’re new to the FIX and you’re ready to hop on board, use this link to head over to MightyNest (it’s got the discount code already applied). If that link gives you trouble, use the code FIJPRODUCEFIX at check out instead.

You’ll get these mesh produce bags as your first FIX when they sign up for the subscription service. The cost of the FIX is $10 a month and the products are always valued more than $10. Your first month is $3 and you’ll get a set of five mesh produce bags valued at $11 + $5.95 in shipping. You just can’t beat it.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. MightyNest is a regular Food in Jars partner and occasional sponsor. They sent me the produce bags pictured here. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. 

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Sponsored Post: A Lifefactory Deal from MightyNest’s MightyFix

orange Lifefactory bottle - Food in Jars

Fun fact about me. I have a minor water bottle obsession. I’ve been this way since my high school days, when I kept a tall disposable bottle (refilled for ages before being recycled) in my backpack. In college, I carried a brightly colored Nalgene.

Once on my own, I acquired a small collection of aluminum Sigg bottles. These days, I use stainless steel and glass water bottles exclusively, because they don’t impact the taste of the water, and they seem to be the healthiest choices available.

Lifefactory water bottle in bag - Food in Jars

Of all the glass water bottles I’ve used, the ones made by Lifefactory are my favorite, both for their grippy silicone sheaths and for the lids that are so easy to put on and take off (plus, they’re essentially big jars, which pleases me more than it should).

As we head into summer (prime time for starting a water bottle habit), our friends over at MightyNest thought some of you guys would also like to get in on the glass water bottle action. How do you do it? By joining MightyFix!

Lifefactory URL - Food in Jars

If you’ve missed my earlier posts about the MightyFix, it’s a monthly subscription service that sends full sized non-toxic products for the kitchen and home. It costs $10 a month and ships for free. What’s more, anything you want to add to your monthly order from MightyNest will also ship for free.

Without the FIX, this 12 ounce Lifefactory bottle costs $18 + $5.95 in shipping. When you sign up, you’ll get it for just $5. Then, for just $10 a month going forward, you’ll get regular shipments that will allow you make small but rewarding changes to help both you and the planet.

full Lifefactory bottle - Food in Jars

This deal is only open to new FIX subscribers. Unfortunately, if you’ve joined up in the past, you won’t be eligible for the discount (so sorry!). However, if you’re new to the FIX and ready to hop on board, use this link to head over to MightyNest (it’s got the discount code already applied). If that link gives you trouble, use the code FIJBOTTLEFIX at check out instead.

Just to recap. If you’re new to MightyFix, you’ll get this water bottle as your first FIX when they sign up for the subscription service. The cost of the FIX is $10 a month and the products are always valued more than $10. Your first month is $5 and you’ll get a Lifefactory glass water bottle valued at $18 + $5.95 in shipping. It’s a pretty nifty deal!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. MightyNest is a regular Food in Jars partner and occasional sponsor. They sent me the orange water bottle you see pictured here back in December, for photography purposes. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. 

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