This post is sponsored by Blue Apron.
If I may brag a little, just for a moment (lolololol), I am pretty proud that in spite of all the bonkers-level craziness of the past month, I've managed to keep life fairly stable and predictable for the kids. True, we weren't able to spring for a ton of camps or trips to the beach this summer, but we had lots of playtime and fun in the backyard, bubbles and running through the sprinkler and making the most out of a $10 inflatable kiddie pool. And family dinners out on the back deck every single night, without fail.
Of course you know I had some help with that last part:
What's always been a convenience turned into a godsend for us this summer. If I'd been left to menu plan (while my brain short-circuited over all the moving crap) and grocery shop (with all three kids in tow) on my own, I am pretty sure this summer would have been all about lousy delivery pizza and nugget-based food forms and stress-eating on the couch.
Instead it's been more like:
I will cop to making everybody eat off paper plates for a few days there to keep the kitchen mess under control, but since Blue Apron meals usually only require one or two pots/pans total (and no measuring cups/spoons/spillage) and take less than 40 minutes to make, I never felt like cooking dinner was a big hassle or threat to our temporary illusion of a spotless, show-ready house.
Our food arrives every week on Monday. (We typically go for two boxes on the two-person plan, though we now have the ability to switch back and forth between that and the 4-person family plan, so we have even more recipes to choose from!) I tend to customize our menus on the website or phone app a few weeks in advance, so it's always like opening something fun I forgot I even ordered. You know, because you got a little tipsy and decided to shop for shoes or go on Etsy for awhile. No judgment.
Ezra always goes right for the recipe cards so he can pick which meal we'll make first.
(He's also a big fan of pairing plaid with plaid. Also no judgment.)
This week Vietnamese Chicken Wings (with lemongrass brown rice and romaine hearts) was our winner. (I was personally rooting for the shrimp with squid ink linguine and cherry tomatoes, but we'll get to that one soon enough.)
And so the mini-scavenger hunt for the ingredients commenced.
(That sobering moment when you realize your kids have no idea what uncooked rice looks like.)
(But at least now they can recognize a stalk of lemongrass!)
We have an extra fridge in our basement, so we unload the rest of the food there.
Confession time: While Blue Apron has our food waste situation immeasurably, we end up with TON of extra garlic and onions. Garlic because you get a whole head every week even if you just need a couple cloves, and onions because surprise! After spending my whole life thinking I was just overly sensitive (or being a big baby), turns I'm actually mildly allergic. But that's a fun throat-closing story for another post, so someone remind me to tell it sometime.
In the meantime, we drastically cut back on onions in most recipes (I can tolerate some cooked, zero raw), so we end up with leftovers. Jason pickles them because he loves pickled onions on things which gag gag gag gag. I either roast the extra garlic whole or confit it to spread on toasted bread or eat with funky cheeses which is totally not gross at all except for probably my breath.
I'm hungry now. Let's get cooking.
I think I was technically supposed to walk you through a recipe this time, but this one was so simple this post would be like: Chop some stuff. Roast the wings. Sauce the wings (soy glaze + sambal oelek + Worcestershire). Cook the rice. Drink some wine. Make your spouse mix up a salad dressing so the shallots don't murder you and/or mess up your eye makeup.
Bask in preschooler approval because "it's chicken with rice" is all the information he requires.
Drink more wine and reminisce about the days when your kids would freak out at the sight of green things or swear a single grain of black pepper was "too spicy," and now they just ate romaine hearts and chili-glazed chicken and didn't pick the cilantro out of the rice.
Then make them unload/load the dishwasher for you. Hooray for another successful family dinner!
Thanks Blue Apron, for sponsoring yet another post and just being awesome in general. Still haven't given Blue Apron a try? Here's two free meals off your first order. (First 100 readers only.) They now deliver to most of the country, since launching a new distribution center in Texas.
(You know I triple-checked delivery zones before we decided to move.)