Entertaining with Blue Apron

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Blue Apron.  All opinions are 100% my own. 

A couple times a week, we eat with our friends from the basement.  This week, they had guests over and we decided to make dinner together and it was so much fun!  We all talked about making dinner together and we used our Blue Apron box to serve all of us!

Ignore the sink full of dishes…this is real life happening :)

Us girls all prepped dinner and honestly, I was a little nervous about making two different meals simultaneously!  I had never made cod before or turkey sliders and making those plus three sides was a little intimidating but in the end, everything tasted so so good.

I wanted to share my tips for entertaining with Blue Apron because I learned some really good lessons along the way and honestly, this is a great way to bond and impress your guests!

Tip #1….set your table before hand.  You will want to serve your food hot and having your table set and ready to go is a way to prepare way in advance.

Tip #2 – Set up your kids somewhere else.  We put our big kids (we use the term ‘big’ loosely since they are all under six) at the kitchen island….within helping distance but not at the adult table.  Also…use melamine for their dish ware…you aren’t right next to them to rescue a soon-to-be-shattered plate.  Also, this food is not your typical nuggets and fries and might intimidate your littlest ones, so draw similarities to foods they already know and love.  Try explaining that a creamy farrow salad is kinda like rice and a turkey slider is just a yummy meatball on bread!  They are more likely to try those new foods!

Tip #3 – Set up the food as a buffet.  Blue Apron is a meal delivery service so they send all the fresh ingredients in a refrigerated box to your doorstop….all you need to do is prep and cook and then boom, your buffet looks like a chef made it!  We order a box that contains the ingredients for two different meals and each meal serves four (that’s eight servings!)….honestly, it was more than enough for six adults and our five little ones.  We even had leftovers for Kent to take to lunch the next day!

Tip #4 – Keep the dressing separate.  I know that everyone has different tastes and some may be really picky eaters in your party so one way to accommodate the most picky eaters is to allow them to put their own dressing on the salad.  It gives them some control over their meal even when you KNOW that they will end up loving it :)

Tip #5 – Don’t forget the garnish!  Once everyone has their plate of food, offer garnish!  It makes a special night in even more like a special night out….except you aren’t paying an arm and a leg for it!  I love that Blue Apron meals often have a garnish….whether it be fresh herbs chopped or a slice of lime.

Tip #6 – Time everything for the meats to be hot.  Blue Apron meals do require you to cook together….which I love because it means we all get to participate in the ‘providing’ and getting our hands dirty.  Most of my friends love to cook and so this is super easy to engage in good conversation and still have our hands busy!  Since the boxes come with very specific instructions, you can just hand over the sheet for one meal and then you can plan for the meals to be simultaneously hot!

Tip #7 – Lunchtime entertaining is perfect for a single family meal.  You don’t have to serve your whole box for a dinner party….maybe you want to hoard it for yourself :)  Try doing just one meal at lunchtime for a special smaller group.  I did it earlier this month for Cinco De Mayo and it was a great to have a couple friends over and enjoy empanadas!

Tip #8 – Have a low-maintenance dessert ready.  If you are spending time with prepping and cooking a chef-created meal together, make the sweets super easy.  Your guests will appreciate just sitting and relaxing after making their meal with you and a low-maintenance dessert can either be chilling in the fridge or on the counter with no prep required.  I like to have crowd favorites…like chocolate cake with strawberries or an assortment of cookies on hand so that it can be set out in a snap and I don’t have to think about serving anymore!

The great part about entertaining with Blue Apron is that you and your guests will probably get to experience something new together.  It’s like a mini meal adventure!  It’s a bonding experience!  I had never had farro or cod and most of our friends hadn’t either!  Jeremy was totally new to red leaf lettuce!  It’s a good topic of conversation too since the Blue Apron food is nothing like your typical frozen lasagna.  Since a chef has created these recipes, the meals really do feel very fancy….like from a restaurant…and since your guests know everything that went into the food, they know it’s fresh!  I can’t wait to try out some more stuff because dude…I didn’t think I would like cod but right now, it’s like my favorite fish (says the non-fish eater!).  I think I am gonna try one of their recipes this weekend….I might wanna try the Shrimp and pineapple soft tacos….I mean….that says hello to me in the flirtiest way possible.

The good news is….Blue Apron is launching soon in Texas so you longhorns can get your meals!  That means 99% of the country will be in the shipping zone!  Click here to see the full map of current delivery zones.

Also if you are interested in Blue Apron, they offer two different plans….a 2-person plan or a family plan.  We do the family plan personally.  It’s free shipping.  All meals are prepared in 40 minutes or less.  And you can skip or cancel at any time.  The price for the family plan is $69.92 which comes out to $8.74 per person per meal…which we usually get more out of the meals….but I know everyone is different.

If you want to try it out, Blue Apron is giving the first 100 readers two meals off their first Blue Apron order for free!  Just click here.