the coexistence of projects & dinner

by | Aug 24, 2017 | a slice of life | 38 comments

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Blue Apron.  As always, all words and opinions shared here are honest and my own.

Would you believe that I made a dinner like this…

…when this kind of thing was going on in my house?

Well, I did!

I had an ambitious to-do wish list while my parents and brother were here to help get us settled in our new house and, as a grazer, I would’ve been content to plow through and pick at cherries and cheese and crackers, but I needed to make sure I had at least one proper meal each day for everyone!  I am not new to meal kit services, like Blue Apron, and one of the things I love most about the concept is that I don’t have to think about what to make for dinner.  It’s already decided and I have the exact ingredients gathered together and ready to go.

When I have a day packed with projects and a house packed with people, that is a weight off my mind.

So, the Blue Apron box arrived and it was right at home with all of the other boxes in my house.  So much so that I didn’t realize it was there containing perishables that needed to be unpacked!  Fortunately, there are ice packs in the box, so it kept until I finally noticed it.

And even though the box got a little beat up in transit, everything was safe and snug…even a couple of eggs for the onion and tomato quiche.  Mailing eggs takes some guts.

I liked that all of the recipes started with real ingredients and they were simple and reasonably quick to make (all of their recipes are done in under 40 minutes).  Each recipe came with a card that holds your hand through the entire process.  If you know your way around a kitchen, the card keeps you on track and you might even learn a new technique or trick.  If you’re in the can’t-boil-an-egg-camp, you can follow these instructions and crank out a tasty dinner.

See?  There is even a check list!  You can do that, right?

And, just a fun little fact, did you know that chefs in training all around the world wear blue aprons?  I just learned that when I was looking into Blue Apron and I love that they carried that idea into their name!  Yes, this can be meal planning.  Yes, this can be a simple solution to the daily dinner question.  But it can also be a way sharpen your culinary skills – a way to never stop learning.

One thing that set Blue Apron apart for me was that it included complete nutrition facts for each dish, not just the calories.  Calories are good to know, especially if you’re monitoring your weight, but as the mom of a diabetic son, I need more information than that.  You can see the carbs, the protein, the fat…the full picture, so you don’t have to try to figure it out on your own if you have to work around dietary restrictions.

Each meal in my box was supposed to feed two people (family plans are also available), so I made two of the dinners for the four of us.  We all ate our fill and there were even leftovers.

Because I was meshing two meals together, I did take a few liberties with the recipe.  And it’s okay to take liberties!  I used all of the ingredients in the box, but I put them together in a different way for this pasta/vegetable dish…

…I did, however, follow the tomato and onion quiche recipe faithfully.

Now, I will admit that I’m a bit of a picky eater about certain things and I am not a lover of tomatoes.  I usually dissect them out of sandwiches and pick them off of tacos.  But, I’m pushing 40 and I need to keep an open mind.  Maybe I just haven’t found exactly how I like my tomatoes, yet.

Well, I like them in a tomato and onion quiche, I can tell you that!  Horizons broadened.

We all enjoyed the meal and the chance to gather around the table after a hard day of work.  Even Jeff, who was a little skeptical at the vegetarian menu I put together, cleaned his plate with compliments.

If you’re interested in trying Blue Apron, now is the perfect time.  The first 50 readers will get three free meals on their first Blue Apron order.  And, don’t get scared, there is no commitment.  You can skip meals or cancel your subscription at any time!

Just click HERE to get your three free meals!

Before I sign off, I have to share a little behind the scenes.  My kitchen was a disaster and it was raining, so it was really dark in the house.  I had already started making the dinner, though, and I had to get pictures for this post.  So, this is how I made it happen!  Thank goodness for the light-filled studio and a reflector!

And the food was still hot when I got it to the table!

High fives all around.


  1. Donna

    I have been wanting to jump, and try this, not sure I got three meals free…but I am going to try.

  2. Barb

    Marian aka Miss Mustard Seed, You are the best! I enjoy your blog so much –Just wanted you to know.

  3. Karen

    I love my Blue Apron subscription. I sometimes tinker with the recipes a little but for the most part I follow them to the letter. I have only gotten one meal that I didn’t like in over a year of receiving them. I encourage anyone who is thinking about it to give it a try. Especially since Marian has this awesome deal going on.

  4. G.R.

    I think it is a lovely idea. The thing is, I live on my Social Security and a tiny teachers’ pension, and I routinely eat for a week on what just one of their boxes costs. Very nice — for those who can afford it, which I cannot. I wouldn’t take their three free meals and then bail out — that isn’t honest — but I wish good luck to all who can take advantage of this lovely offer (and service).

    • Jenni

      Like G. R. we are on a limited budget too, so even with the discount it is still way out of our price range. What I’ve wanted to do sometime, though, is just look at their recipes (which are all available for free) and try a few out and buy my own ingredients. The recipes do look delicious!

  5. Sarah

    Really enjoyed this post so much! It is such a slice of real life….

  6. Jeri

    I have been wanting to try Blue Apron. I just completed my order, thank you Marian for the offer:)

  7. Ginger Marshall

    We’ve used Blue Apron several times, & have loved every dish. My 27 year old son, who dabbles in the culinary arts, loves the recipes. I use the boxes for storage, but then, mine have never been damaged. Did you know you can return the boxes to Blue Apron to be reused or recycled at no cost? The only thing I would suggest as an improvement for Blue Apron is to include an actual blue apron with your 10th, or so, order as an incentive, or at least have them available for purchase!!

  8. Gavin from across the pond

    Think I could top that !
    I order my groceries online from Ocado usually delivered next day and I get a text to say who’s delivering in my one hour slot and what picture is on the delivery truck, he or she carries my shopping in to the kitchen and put them on the table for me. At the moment they have a meal deal for two £10 ($12:80) main side a dessert and a bottle of wine. Restaurant quality food !

  9. Celeste at Penultimate Home

    Marian, I can completely endorse Blue Apron. We have been getting Blue Apron since around March or April. We get two meals for four people each week. There are only three of us so we divide the fourth meal and have lunch for the next day. My least favorite part of meal prep is grocery shopping so I love getting it on my doorstep. And since we can prepare it any day during the week, it’s flexible enough that we still eat out a couple times a week if our son isn’t home. I also love that I have tried new foods and new techniques; some that we have done over again on our own. When we had our kitchen torn up for new flooring and summer vacation, we just cancelled a few weeks and when we were back to normal they started up again. I would recommend giving it a try.

  10. sharon

    I was harboring a desire to try Blue Apron. You gave me the info and incentive, as usual.
    thanks, sharon

  11. Patricia

    The thing I am concerned about is how many of the ingredients are non GMO, and if they don’t label them then typically many ingredients are genetically modified. Which means filled with pesticides. But maybe they are non- GMO and I am just not well informed. I hope so.

    • Robyn

      Their website does specify non-GMO.

  12. Elizabeth

    The photo of you cheating the shot of the elegantly styled food is precious. What’s even better is that your shot came out beautifully. I’m impressed that your inventiveness extends to so many areas of your life.

  13. Kristine

    This is such an excellent idea to put healthy and quality meals on the table when your house is just not yet settled! I have heard good things about meal delivery services, and clearly they fill a need!

  14. Pamela

    Love Blue Apron and Home Chef for exactly the same reasons you stated. Glad you are enjoying your new home.

  15. Caroline S.

    Thank you so much for sharing that they include all nutrition facts. I’m a Type 1 diabetic (I’ve been diabetic for more than 30 years, but was about the age of your son when diagnosed), and guessing carb amounts gets old, and while I’m generally great at it, new recipes sometimes throw me for a loop.

  16. Robin Leach

    I am still on the ketogenic diet, so wouldn’t do well with these services. I keep wishing someone would do a keto box like blue apron. Or open a keto restaurant…especially one that delivers!
    Glad things are going so well for you!!

  17. Kim P.

    I’ve been wanting to try blue apron for quite some time, so with 30$ off I jumped on it. Can’t wait, it’s nice to know 3 meals are taken care of for next week. Thanks for the link.

  18. Lin

    I have tired Blue Apron meals before and they were very good and easy to make. We now use Green Chef only because I wanted organic foods. We chose the vegetarian meal plan. It is so nice to have the meals planned out with no shopping and we have learned to like many foods that we would have never tried on our own. I don’t like tomatoes either. I can eat them cooked in something but have tried to like them raw but just can’t do it!

  19. Cathy Davis

    I would be willing to try! Hope I am one of the 50!!

  20. Jill M

    Sorry, but I got out of bed early for some me time to read your next episode of moulding your lovely new home, and in Australia it just looks like a long add. So disappointed. Oh well, maybe tomorrow.

  21. MaryLisa Noyes

    What a great company. I love cooking but it’s the planning what to make that makes it a chore.

  22. DiB

    I have used a few meal prep services – all good. I just recently noticed that they are now selling prepared meal boxes in grocery stores; they are priced between $14-18. I have tried a few of them and they are great as well, i will continue to purchase them from the grocery store as you can buy as needed/wanted. My grocery store is Kroger.

  23. Alice M. Smith

    I’ve heard of Blue Apron, but have never tried any of it; Hope I’m one of the 50.

  24. DeAnne Huizenga

    Another great idea! Blue Apron looks delicious. I have never tried any of the home delivery suppers yet but can see myself becoming quite attached. I truly enjoy all of your blog’s. Thank you.

  25. Amy

    As much as I would love to try this, I will have to wait until a few kids move out. My son is diabetic as well, so the nutrition info is great! My inlaws use this and they love it

  26. Melody

    I ordered Blue Apron for the first time a couple of days ago. Won’t receive my first delivery until next week, but can’t wait to try it. I initially thought it was more than I wanted to spend but when I started adding up what I was spending on multiple trips to the grocery stores I think it will actually be more cost effective for me and I love the idea of the convenience..

  27. Jan Fusco

    I have had an account with Blue Apron and loved the recipes. However, I didn’t see any meals helping with losing weight so I cancelled. I haven’t checked out their meals lately but it would be nice if they could offer low fat meals for weight watcher followers.
    Your house is looking amazing. Enjoying watching the progress.

  28. JenC

    I have tried Blue Apron and enjoyed the meals and how easy they made the entire process of cooking dinner. But the amount of trash that this creates just makes me cringe! Every box has huge ice packs and all the little jars and packets of ingredients. I am not a crazy over-the-top environmentalist, I do order things online and use some disposable products. But does no one else care how horrible this is for the environment and the world we are leaving behind for our children? I probably should look into a meal planning service that just gives me recipes and a grocery list.

    • Marian Parsons

      Blue Apron actually has a recycling program for the boxes and packing materials to address that!

  29. Elena

    Would to to try it!

  30. Lizzie

    We’ve tried some of these mail order menus. Not enough vegetables and too many cheap, filling starches. I’ve always had to include my own veggies. They also have a bit too many calories per portion. Now that I live within walking distance of 2 supermarkets and have the ability to order via Amazon Prime, there is no need to utilize them. Besides I love to cook. 🙂

  31. Betty Young

    Wow!!! This post is the real deal. Thanks for sharing the back story to your hectic life. I would love to try Blue Apron sometime.

  32. Jennifer

    Favorite part about this post: The behind-the-scenes picture! I think that is one of the reasons your readers are so fond of you! Keeping it real!!!

  33. Sarah

    Would Love to try blue apron looks so fresh and good.

  34. Nancy

    Thanks for the endorsement! I came from a big family, and since our own kids are gone, I struggle with cooking and shopping for just we two. My husband and I are going to try Blue Apron for a month to see how we like it. I’m hoping it becomes a welcome addition to my kitchen! Excited!

  35. Sue Pagels

    I would like to give people a heads up that Blue Apron asks for your credit card information RIGHT UP FRONT be you even pick your food. I did not care for the selection offered, didn’t pick a date or food, yet they charged my credit card. I have never heard of ANY company charging your credit card before you even buy anything. I have asked them to cancel and refund my card as I do not think that is a good business practice. We shall see what happens!


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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