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Cooking Dinner with Blue Apron

Today’s post is sponsored by Blue Apron

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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 to 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 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.

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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 success with the pre-school set. No matter the response from Emmett and Benny, I still feel like it was a resounding success.

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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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Sponsored Post: Resolve to Ditch Disposables with the MightyFix from MightyNest

Lifefactory water bottle on window sill - Food in Jars

With just hours to go until the new year arrives, the time is ripe to set some resolutions for the new year. I’m still working on the bulk of mine, but there’s one I can announce with confidence. This is the year that I stop buying bottled water.

It’s not an issue when I’m at home, but often enough, I head out into the world to run a few errands and find myself desperately thirsty. Often the most ready and accessible solution is to buy a bottle of water. Sixteen ounces later, my thirst is quenched and I’m in possession of a plastic bottle to add to the refuse flow.

Lifefactory water bottle in bag - Food in Jars

The solution to the problem? A small reusable water bottle that seals tightly and can be kept in my purse, like this 12 ounce one from Lifefactory (it’s dishwasher safe and so sturdy). Right now, you can get this bottle for just $5, by signing up for the MightyFix from MightyNest. They’re offering this discount to all new users who sign up through the widget below.

Lifefactory water bottle measurements - Food in Jars

If you’ve missed my previous 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 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 of items that help you make small but rewarding changes throughout the year. It’s a great way to start the year off right!

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Sponsored Post: Give the Gift of the MightyFix from MightyNest

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During my visit with my parents earlier this week, we spent some time talking about the coming holidays. Mostly, the conversation was strategic. We mapped out transportation, thought through menu ideas, and traded thoughts on what to get my sister’s two young boys. We also talked about gifts for one another, but kept coming back around to the reality that we all have pretty much everything we need.

And so we struck a deal. This year, we’re only giving gifts that serve a purpose. Bars of good soap are great, but useless appliances are not. Edible gifts are a-okay, but no one needs another sweater. And anything that helps keep our kitchens clean and running smoothly are always welcome.

If you find that your family feels the same as mine, may I suggest the MightyFix from my friends at MightyNest? 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 your recipient wants to add to their monthly order from MightyNest will also ship for free.

It’s a gift that continues to give all year long, which means that your favorite cousin or your best friend will get monthly reminders that you’re thinking about them. When the MightyFix was first launched, I bought a subscription for my sister, and she’s really appreciated the various shipments she’s gotten. It’s included things like Bee’s Wrap, a set of reusable Produce Bags, a stack of six Tidy Dish Cloths, and lunchbox-ready leakproof Stainless Steel Containers.

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Because of the popularity of the MightyFix, the folks at MightyNest are only able to offer a limited number of subscriptions. If it’s something you’re interested in getting for a friend, I’d suggest you subscribe sooner rather than later. They are offering 6 month, 9 month and 12 month subscriptions. And, if you’re one of the first 250 people to use the widget below to sign up, you’ll get a holiday bonus in the form of credit that you can use for your own MightyNest purchase.

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Sponsored Post: Adopt a Beehive with Cox’s Honey

Cox honey bear

Honey is magical stuff. Made by bees from nectar, enzymes, and hard work, it is wonderfully sweet, tastes of its time and place, almost never goes bad, and is even said to have healing properties. I always have a few varieties in my kitchen and use them daily to sweet preserves, enhance my tea, or mellow the sharpness of a homemade vinaigrette.

Cox creamed honey

I have always longed to have my own hive, but as an adult, have never lived in a place where it was possible (darned high rise living). As a consolation, I make a point to support the bees by buying honey raised and gathered by conscientious humans and being educated about the honey bee situation in our country.

honey from Cox

Back in the spring, I got an email from someone at Cox’s Honey, asking me if I’d like a beehive of my very own. Intrigued, I wrote back. Sadly, they hasn’t invented a hive I could attach to my 20th story window. Instead, they were inviting me to join their Beehive Adoption program.

Cox clover honey

There are four levels of beehive adoption (bronze, silver, gold, and platinum), with various price points to match. No matter what level you choose, you get a welcome kit that includes a Certificate of Adoption, the GPS location of your hive, glossy pictures of your hive and the bees, a 12 ounce honey bear and 20 ounce container of creamed honey, and 10% off all online purchase at coxshoney.com. Cox’s Honey will also donate 10% of your payment to The American Bee Federation.

bee hive pictures

You also get regular shipments of honey with your adoption. The amount depends on the level you select (bronze level memberships get 9 pounds over the course of the year, silver gets 15, gold gets 20, and platinum gets 30). You can pay in either monthly installments or in a single, monthly payment. So many options!

adoption certificate

Being the honey lover I am, I said yes to Beehive Adoption and soon after, received my first shipment of Cox’s Honey. I love using their clover honey in my preserving projects because it has a mild flavor that complements fruit incredibly well. I recently made a batch of this Pear Vanilla Drizzle sweetened with honey and it is ridiculously good.

buzzing bee pictures

I realize that for some of you, it might be too early to start thinking about this, but if you’re beginning to ponder holiday gifts, a Beehive Adoption might be just the thing for someone on your list. Bee fans and home canners alike will appreciate both the thought as well as the quarterly shipments of honey!

Disclosure: In exchange for writing this post, the folks at Cox’s Honey enrolled me in their Beehive Adoption program at the platinum level, which has a value of $270. However, my thoughts and opinions remain my own.

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