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If you’ve been keeping up with recent blog posts, you know that life lately has taken me for a wild ride.
With the second Alchemy location in full swing, I’ve been working a lot. It’s been especially tough to balance the restaurants and the business that is this blog. I try to capture content for this space when I’m feeling energized and creative, but since those feelings oftentimes come in the morning or on weekends when I’m at the restaurant, it’s been a challenge. To say that I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants would be an understatement!
I mentioned before that I have a totally new appreciation for having time away from work. For having time to exercise. For my feet not hurting at the end of the night. For being able to cook and photograph and write on Sunday so I don’t have to do it in the evenings. For having the freedom to fully disconnect. For having the energy to cook yummy food at the end of the day!
I also have a new appreciation for meeting myself where I’m at. For not letting my mind wander into an overly anxious, unnecessarily analytical place. For not jumping to my comfort zone, which tends to not favor the bright side. Life isn’t exactly balanced right now, and that’s to be expected. It isn’t forever. It’s just for now.
So when I don’t have the energy to do the things I normally do, I choose to embrace it. I recognize this time in my life for what it is–the busy season. The exciting season! The “I’ll look back and be glad I did this” season The season to go with the flow, to be grateful, to not give up, and to stay focused on this purpose and the passion that drive my life.
Now let’s chat food! In lieu of spending less and energy planning meals and going to the store, I hopped back on the Blue Apron train and it’s been magical. As a refresher, Blue Apron helps you make chef-designed meals at home by delivering all the pre-portioned, thoughtfully-sourced ingredients to your door. There’s a huge selection of recipes to choose from that change every week and all can be prepared in under 40 minutes. Each meal comes with a recipe card that includes step by step photos that are super helpful. The meals arrive in a refrigerated box so you don’t have to be around when it arrives.
Similar to our last experience, the best part by far is making meals that are so different from what I usually make. I love being challenged and taken out of my comfort zone. I would’ve never made quesadillas with pickled jalapeños or ramen bowls if those recipes weren’t in our box, but I’m so glad I did. Jeff and I both have been savoring the variety and change of pace. It makes us actually look more forward to cooking because we know it’ll be something we’ve never tried before. No more food ruts!
We do the 2-person plan, which has 8 recipe choices total. I filter the option to be pescatarian and then go from there with my selections. I love that the fish is always sustainably sourced and that the recipes always include fun ingredients to keep it exciting. Case in point: the ras el hanout (a totally new-to-me spice) featured in the Baked Wild Alaskan Pollack with Roasted Red Pepper Relish and Saffron Yogurt below. And how often do you get to cook with saffron?!
Next up was the Roasted Sweet Potato Quesadillas with Avocado Crema and Green Leaf Lettuce Salad. I haven’t made quesadillas in forever so rest assured that this was the most satisfying meal we’d had in a lonnnnng time. The gooey Wisconsin cheese curds, the Mexican spiced sweet potatoes, the tangy pickled jalapeños…I could eat these babies every night.
The romaine salad with pickled red onions and avocado was the perfect refreshing side. I’d also never pickled red onions before so that was pretty cool!
Lastly was the Spring Pea and Mushroom Ramen with Soft-Boiled Eggs. I really appreciated that the ramen was actually fresh versus the standard dried stuff. We love Asian fusion flavors so this one really hit the spot, especially with the fresh snow peas and mushrooms paired with that drippy yolk. YUM!
If you too are in a busy season of life or if you’re seeking a change of pace and more fun surrounding meal time, I really encourage you to try Blue Apron. Meals start art $8.99 and you can cancel or skip a week at any time. As an added bonus, Blue Apron has an exclusive new partnership with New York Times best-selling author Chrissy Teigen running June 4th to July 9th featuring six of her favorite home-cooked meals! If you order Chrissy’s recipe the week of 6/4, and you could be one of 500 customers to receive her first cookbook, Cravings, in a coming delivery. These special Blue Apron x Chrissy recipes will be available only to Blue Apron customers and can be ordered for the week of June 4 starting now. Enjoy!