Sponsored Post: Cooking with Blue Apron

Thursday, January 29, 2015


I’m not much of a whiz in the kitchen. I can cook the basics and I can even make a few things very well. But I lack inspiration and follow through for new recipes. Even when I find particularly interesting recipe, I lose motivation when I find I’m missing ingredients or that I need to buy big quantities of something I won’t fully use. Enter Blue Apron – a recipe + ingredient service that will deliver everything you need AND inspiration right to your doorstep. I just love the idea and had to give it a try.
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I came home from work on Friday to find my Blue Apron box waiting for me stuffed with fresh ingredients to make Pan Roasted Pork with Bacon, Brussel Sprouts & Sweet Potato Hash. Yum!
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Because everything you need was right in the box, I got to skip the grocery store and the general searching through my cupboards for ingredients. Score one for Blue Apron. The perfect quantity of each item is already included in the pack so there was no wasted food. Score two for Blue Apron. The included recipe is printed on a large, glossy sheet that clearly walked me through each step with photos. Score Three! 
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The prep is essentially just chopping those fresh vegetables. The hash called for cute, evenly sized cubes of sweet potato and apple which I was completely incapable of creating but thankfully had absolutely no ill effect in the taste of the dish. While my daughter is too young to be left to her own devices with sharp knives, I think this would be the perfect activity for older children to help in the cooking.
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Time for the heat. Mmmm…bacon. Then sauté the vegetables and add the spices. Here is where I let Aggie “help” by throwing in the chopped vegetables. Naturally she loved it.

While that cooked, pork chops got under way. The proteins were perfectly portioned (why don’t supermarkets package their proteins this way??) . The last stop is to complete the sauce and put the chops in to simmer for a few moments before serving. The only things I needed to pull from my own cupboard was a few dashes of salt + pepper and a tablespoon of olive oil.

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But you know what they say about the proof of the pudding being in the eating? It was tasting time. Success! Really quite delicious. I was worried it might be too spicy for my tastes but it really was a very good flavored dish. The portions were generous without being wasteful and the meal was balanced and healthy. Something I would have never dreamed up myself but was wholesome and tasty while also being a bit special. 

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I should also mention that this particular meal was very child friendly in that it was easy to separate into toddler friendly portions and had a lot of familiar flavors for picky eaters. Added bonus was learning a new recipe and a few new techniques that I could incorporate into my repertoire more easily now that I had tried it. Score four, five and six Blue Apron.

As you can tell, I really enjoyed the product and I can’t wait to try it again with a new recipe. The Brown Butter Gnocchi and the Roasted Cauliflower look especially appealing.

Thanks to the lovely people at Blue Apron, they are giving the first 50 readers 2 free meals off their first off.  A great discount if you want to give it a try.






Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Blue Apron but all opinions expressed are my own.

Oh SNOW!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ok so it wasn't quite the snow apocolypse predicted but I'll use any excuse to take a day off. In honor of playing in snow drifts and steaming cups of hot cocoa everywhere, I bring you this moment of zen.

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Sadly its back to the grind today (and I do mean grind - one of my biggest fears is falling on the ice!). Spring, where are you??

Shore Kitchen Complete Before + After

Monday, January 26, 2015

We are about to get a huge snowstorm here so what better time to start dreaming of the beach? Perfect timing to share the shore kitchen before and afters! I know, I know - this is the slowest quick renovation in the history of time but I think it was worth it.  So much brighter, beachy (without being too over the top thematic) and functional.

Beach Kitchen Renovation Before After | Brooklyn Limestone

You have already seen most of the work in prior posts but it was time to do a complete post with sources.

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Beach Kitchen Renovation Before After | Brooklyn Limestone
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As you might remember, we wanted to keep the renovation tab down so we decided to keep all the plumbing exactly as is. The only real structural change to the room was tearing down half the closet and opening up the space on the left. Essentially we made a galley kitchen into a L shape – giving us more counter space, a more open feel to the room and allowing the light from the kitchen window to spill into the rest of the apartment. After that it was just finishing work. We went with stock cabinetry and affordable tile flooring to offset the splurge of the marble countertop. The room is so much more open and clean looking now – I really love how it all turned out.

It does need a few more accessories (perhaps a bigger shell or wood bowl under the jellyfish print?) and some artwork in the seating area (maybe a new whale chalkboard or some old window art?).  I haven't found just the right thing but I'll stumble upon something eventually.

Beach Kitchen Renovation Before After | Brooklyn Limestone

All the details are below (or at least as much as I could remember) but if I missed anything or you just have random question, do not hesitate to ask.

source list:
Cabinetry: Ice White Shaker via Forevermark. We ordered through a local dealer but they are widely available and can be purchased online. Base cabinets and wall can even be purchased on Amazon.
Flooring: Roca Orion Unpolished in 12x24 purchased at Classic Tile. We wanted slate look without the slate price. At $3/sq foot it was a steal.
Countertops: Carrara Marble
Cabinet hardware: Window Sash Lifts in Satin Nickel
Backsplash: Mother of Pearl Hex Tiles
Kitchen Faucet: Delta Faucet Trinsic Touch2O in Arctic Stainless
Open Shelving: Corbels and Wood Boards
Wall Color: Glidden Jade Frost
Table: Ikea Docksta
Light Fixture: Custom designed and built by Pickett Furniture (read about it here)
Chairs: Tolix Knockoffs Tolix knockoffs by Zuo Furniture purchased on sale at Joss & Main
Fridge: Summit Counterdepth Bottom Freezer
Drapes: JC Penney Turning Point in Lead
Runner: Target Striped Runner
Artwork: Jellyfish photo print by moi