This post is sponsored by Blue Apron.
Recently, I made two new dinner goals for our family: Listen to music and eat together. I know they might seem like small things, but they have really helped us slow down instead of rushing through dinner. I would always fly around the kitchen, trying to cook dinner as quickly as possible, so I never really enjoyed the experience. Now when I cook, I turn on some tunes, pour myself a glass of wine or flavored-seltzer, and, well, just slow the heck down. It really helps me relax and sets the tone for the rest of the evening. Plus, the boys pop in and out of the kitchen to keep me company (they are such clowns), so it’s a nice time for all.
When it comes to eating together as a family, I really want to make it a daily habit. Before Quinn was born, Mal and I rarely ate dinner at the dining room table””we almost always plopped ourselves in the living room in front of the TV””so we want to make this change moving forward. It also encourages Quinn to try new foods since he sees us eating them right next to him. And, as Quinn gets older, I want to make this quality time together part of our regular routine, so we can chat and connect each and every day.
That said, here is a recap of some of the meals we’ve eaten in our house recently. (There are some really good ones!) Once again, I partnered with Blue Apron to share some chef-designed recipes that you can make at home, so you’ll see some of those delicious meals mixed in below. (** Be sure to keep reading for a sweet discount code!) Ok, here goes… recent dinners in our house!
Chicken & Basil Fettuccine Pasta with Mascarpone & Plum Tomatoes
If you like basil, you will love this recipe! This dish took the herb one step further than garnish and made it the base of the dish, using fresh basil fettuccine pasta, coated in a hearty sauce that was thickened with creamy mascarpone cheese. Mmm! Blue Apron really knows how to create some incredible recipes!
If you’re unfamiliar with Blue Apron, let me tell you about it. Blue Apron delivers all the farm-fresh ingredients you need, right to your doorstep, in exactly the right proportions. There are no trips to the grocery store needed and no waste from unused ingredients. Basically, you order your meals online (they have a large selection and are always adding new dishes) and then they come right to your front door. (They are delivered in a refrigerated box so ingredients will stay fresh even if you’re not at home when your package arrives.) You just need to cook them up, which, of course, is the best part!
Blue Apron offer two types of plans: The 2-Person Plan and Family Plan:
- The 2-Person Plan will set you up with one delivery a week, each with three inventive meals for two. Each week, the culinary team creates six new recipes for this plan, and you will be sent a curated menu of three recipes based on your dietary preferences. The price for this plan is $9.99 per person per meal. Shipping is always free.
- The Family Plan is perfect for feeding a family of four. With this plan you can opt to receive one or two deliveries per week, each delivery consisting of two meals to be served family-style. The price for this plan is $8.74 per person per meal. Shipping is always free.
There’s no commitment – you can skip or cancel the service at any time. And… Blue Apron just launched in Texas and now ships to most of the country!
This meal came together in about 25 minutes (including clean up) and it made quite a few leftovers. Mal ended up eating them for lunch the next day.
Dinner is served!
A couple of other summery pasta recipes I’ve been eyeing on the Blue Apron website: Summer Squash Cavatappi Pasta with Fresh Mozzarella & Chopped Salad and Fresh Beet Pasta with Swiss Chard, Goat Cheese & Walnuts. (FYI: You don’t need to be a Blue Apron customer to access them.)
Salmon Caesar Salad with Homemade Sourdough Croutons
There’s nothing better that a fresh, crisp Caesar salad, right? This variation added flaky, pan-seared salmon fillets and homemade oven-toasted sourdough croutons, coated in a creamy, lemony dressing.
This meal also came together quickly. I actually whipped it up during one of Quinn’s naps, and Mal and I still had time to sit down to a nice meal together.
Mal isn’t usually a salmon-lover (he’ll eat it, but it needs to be cooked just right), but he loved this meal. The combo of salmon + dressing + croutons was perfection. He actually raved about this salad!
A couple of other salad recipes I’ve been eyeing on the Blue Apron website: Kale Caesar Salad with Soft Boiled Egg, Toasted Hazelnuts & Homemade Croutons and Chopped Salad with Apples, Sweet Potato, Blue Cheese & Cider Vinaigrette.
Chicken Ole with Rice and Arugula Salad
It’s no secret that we love making Chicken Ole in our house! It’s so incredibly easy and we almost always have the ingredients in the kitchen, so we’re always making it. Related: I especially love Blue Apron because it lets you learn how to make new recipes and cuisines so you can get out of your dinner rut of making the same old dishes over and over again.
Sirloin Steaks with Mashed Purple Potatoes & Summer Vegetables
Steak and potatoes never tasted so good! This fancy-schmancy variation was pan-seared sirloin steaks with beautiful purple potatoes mashed together with butter and scallions and, on the side, summery green beans, sautÃ©ed with cherry tomatoes in a tarragon-butter sauce. It was a phenomenal meal!
Quinn enjoyed dinner too, especially the purple mashed potatoes!
“Cold Dinner” (aka use up random leftovers in the fridge)
“Cold Dinner,” as my father-in-law calls it, is a great way to use up leftovers at the end of the week. (My mom actually made a similar cold dish for my sister and me growing up.) Basically, you just serve whatever you have in the fridge on a big plate/platter and mix and match tastes and flavors as you eat. Our recent cold dinner was tuna salad made with mayo and relish, roasted broccoli, Sriracha almonds, cucumber slices, sauteed zucchini, summer squash, and kale, cheddar cheese cubes, and cornichons. Delish!
As you can see, we’ve done pretty well with our new dinner goals. Now that we’re in the habit, it’s getting easier and easier to stick with it. Even when I literally throw together dinner, we still make it a point to turn on some music and sit down together to eat the meal. This change has definitely helped us slow down and enjoy our mealtime together in the evenings.
And… here is an AWESOME discount offer from Blue Apron: The first 100 readers will get two FREE meals on their first Blue Apron order! Just click here for details!
Questions of the Day
What meal is your family loving right now?
What meal do you make for dinner most often in your house?
Have you tried Blue Apron? If so, what’d you think? If not, what’s holding you back?