Learn to Cook. Really, Really Fast.

Amelia Diamond | July 28, 2015

If I can do this you can do this, and pouring milk into cereal gives me anxiety.

In partnership with Blue ApronClick here to get your first two meals free.  

I wouldn’t say that I grew up in the kitchen so much as I grew up being fed the proper amount of meals per day. My mother is “one of those” who made her own baby food. When she grew up and had me, she made mine. Boom! Here all night, folks.

My father, on the other hand, sent me off to school with plastic baggies of sliced pepperoni, dill pickles and Oreos.

As a fake adult it seems I’ve fallen somewhere in the middle: not a total frat boy (at the very least I don’t “forget” when I have a midnight pizza in the oven), but Gordon Ramsay won’t be calling me anytime soon and I’m not trying to work the word “reduction” into my vocabulary. Or “grocery shopping,” for that matter.

Which is where Blue Apron came in.

Blue Apron is, for the unfamiliar, a DIY meal service delivery. It’s a true godsend if you’re so busy that sometimes you forget to shower, find cooking intimidating and cry in supermarkets because you have no clue how to decipher a good chicken breast.

You sign up for the amount of meals you want, and they deliver the goods — fresh and neatly packaged, along with instructions that are very, very hard to F up.

Like, you have to try to mess up — which, on day 1, I succeeded in!

…I didn’t know that fresh fish didn’t have to be frozen. I also didn’t know that you have to then defrost the fish all day once you’ve more or less turned it into an iceberg. But you live and you learn and you call your mom and add a lot of butter. Let’s move on to day 2.

Steak. Steak is advanced, man, or at least I thought, so I called my friend Sage because his name sounded the most like it would appear before an ampersand in a co-authored cooking blog.

My original plan was to sit on a stool and drink wine while reading directions aloud. Curiosity got the best of me, however, and I soon found myself flipping and whisking and saying things like, “Let’s brown this a bit more,” “mashing potatoes is a great arm workout!” and, through mouthfuls of steak: “This is good/that was easy.”

Day 3 was my final test. Chicken meatballs with a Hoisin glaze. As I swiftly navigated my way around the kitchen, I noticed a few things: 1) my anxiety regarding the process of cooking was gone. I was…relaxed? 2) My phone was playing music as opposed to FaceTiming my dad to ask whether or not he thought “this color meat could kill me,” and 3) I was kind of into it. I was cooking! I considered Snapchatting it to brag but was distracted by the mild fire I’d set — although no worries! Just another day in the life of a chef.

A week later Leandra and I cooked three separate Blue Apron meals for The MR team. We served a hodgepodge of gnocchi, tofu with ginger rice, and Brie grilled cheese with a slick of homemade strawberry jam. At the end, the plates were empty, the bellies were full, and I was politely declining a call from Le Cordon Bleu.

They heard a rumor through the grapevine that my fish skills had since greatly improved.

***

Sorry you didn’t have a chance to try my now world famous trout, but the good news is you can make your own. 100 readers will get two free meals on their first Blue Apron order — just click here — and then post your results in the comments. I want to see your plating skills.

 

coffee

  • Allie Fasanella

    I’M STARVING NOW AND AMELIA FEEDING LEANDRA IS TOO MUCH FOR ME ATM

    probably gonna start fanfiction about you guyz on tumblr soon.

  • Catalina

    Get it, ladies! Amelia – did you ever end up attempting to cook the spinach/garlic/cannellini beans recipe?

    I feel like this would’ve been an A++++ chatroom ‘sode

    • Amelia Diamond

      Beans I can handle!! Do you do blue apron?

      • Catalina

        I do not utilize the BP. I’ve been on the verge of purchasing a couple of times, but me and the roommate have scored a Restaurant Depot card. We currently have 500 pieces of salmon sitting in our fridge. And that is not a exaggeration. MR salmon party FOR EVERYONE?!

        I wrote in the comments section a couple months ago about a simple a$$ recipe that you said you’d try (YOU SAID SO!). I wanted to see if it came to fruition.

        Love to see the table scapin’ and food makin’. U glow girlz

        • Amelia Diamond

          hahaha I didn’t try because it gave me anxiety at the time, but I feel like I could handle it now!! will you repost here and I promise I’ll not only try, but comment back with my picture?

          • Catalina

            Spinach & Cannellini Bean ‘Cipe:

            IngrediezzZz:

            – Frying pan + Stove Top
            – 1 can of Cannellini Beans (strained)
            – 1 bag o’ Spinach (strained)
            – 2 garlic cloves chopped finely (get you some Dorot frozen garlic cubes if you’re intimidated by the bulbous plant)
            – Olive Oil
            – S + P
            – Red pepper flakes (like the ones you steal from the pizza parlor! I mean… use and return…)

            How to make:

            1.) Place olive oil into pan on medium heat.
            2.) Once OO is heated, place finely chopped garlic or Dorot frozen garlic cubes into the pan… and get those bastards heated up and a little golden
            3.) Place strained cannellini beans into the mix… I’d say keep stirring them around ’til they looked a little “smashed” or “cracked”
            4.) Add spinach. This will be wild because you’re like holy shit, Catalina this is a WILD ASS amount of spinach. Fear not, it will reduce. Use tongs to flip and toss and try out fancy chef skills (or not). You may need to add add’l OO for this bit.
            5.) Add pepps/salts and a couple of pinches of red pepper flakes.
            6.) Take a picture. Send to me. Let me know if you liked. Hated. Thought it was easy.

            God speed, Amelia.

          • Amelia Diamond

            OK I SWEAR THIS TIME I AM DOING IT!!!!

    • BK

      Wait just WAIT I make garlicky bean greens all the time and couldn’t remember where on the Internet I found the recipe. I think it might have been from your earlier comment to Amelia. In which case, I conclude that the Man Repeller website now plays such a pivotal role in my life that it actually feeds as well as clothes me.

  • Debra
  • http://offyougonow.com/ Niha

    I’ve tried Blue Apron before and made the most amazing Torta of my life. Sure, it took me 2 hours to make a sandwich but onions don’t pickle themselves! Your cooking adventures sound like the beginning of happy and chaotic new domestic hobby for you!

    http://www.offyougonow.com

    • Amelia Diamond

      “onions don’t pickle themselves! ” made me LOL and what is a TORTA?!

      • http://offyougonow.com/ Niha

        Girl. Run and go get you a Torta now! It’s a Mexican sandwich pressed in a cast iron skillet. It’s also amazing. But I’m sure restaurants can produce one for you faster than 2 hours 😉

        • Amelia Diamond

          omg i want one right now because my lunch was sad and weird.

  • leonorjr

    you’re the best Baby Sparkles.

    • Amelia Diamond

      ~*~**~*~*

  • Lua Jane

    Could you guys be and cuter!

    I love to cook and have always been quite fortunate about the results of my culinary experimentation. I love fusing recipes and making things my own, and people rarely complain about result. Since switching to veganism cooking and prepairing interesting nourishing stuff that tastes awesome has become more of a challenge. I’m an expert in red lentil soup and sambusak tipe pastries filled with veggies.

    • Amelia Diamond

      what are sambusak tipe pastries??

      • Lua Jane

        Middle eastern pastries normally filled with cheeses, meat, spinach. Dough is a bit greasy but tasty. I got my recipe on Tory Avey’s page but switched butter with olive oil and it worked just fine. I fill mine with fried veggies, but for meat and dairy consuming folk options are endless. Perfect finger food.

        • Amelia Diamond

          This sounds advanced but delicious

  • Nicole Pinhas

    hi guys!! long time reader, first time commenter 😉
    the baby’s breath with the sliced lemon looks so beautiful!

    • Amelia Diamond

      Nicole! Welcome! You know who did that? Ella Viscardi and Emma Hager who intern here!

      • Nicole Pinhas

        no way! MR interns are the BEST! and not so surprisingly, very good at volleyball. since I have never actually commented and usually just pass around MR articles on gchat, i’m finding that it’s kind of difficult for me not to sound like such a mom “publicly” lol. such an amazing creative idea. go girls~

        • Amelia Diamond

          🙂 love having you on here Nicole!!! all mom comments welcome, always!

  • KT41

    I’ve seen Blue Apron featured on a few blogs and have to say … your write up is by far the best and most convincing (also funny). I am not really afraid of cooking, but cooking for one does not appeal to me at all so I eat out 100% of my meals and it’s obviously $$ and fattening. Blue Apron is perfect for a city dwelling, often lazy person like me.

    • Amelia Diamond

      That is so nice of you to say! I swear to you: cooking is SO unappealing to me, but this makes it insanely easy. I’m going to do it again for sure. The food is good. My roommate gets it (usually he makes it with his BF) but two nights ago I got lucky and he made me this shrimp roll…it was SO GOOD. And watching him make it, again, I was like, I could handle that for sure.

  • http://www.roarintwenties.com/ Aleda Johnson

    You mean I don’t have to resort to combing through Pinterest for “things to make with what’s in your fridge” anymore?! SCORE!

    That’s always the hardest part for me. “You mean I need to run out and find chives?” “Crap, what aisle is the balsamic vinegar in?”

    http://www.roarintwenties.com

    • Amelia Diamond

      hahahahah same

  • http://adeliberateimagination.wordpress.com/ CJKEYS2

    This is the first blue apron post I’ve seen without little kiddies helping in the kitchen. You guys are just as adorable, though. I’ve had to learn two hard truths in life: at age 10, no friends want to sit and listen to you pretend to be on food network and make a coffee cake. at age 15, while hanging at the mall on a friday night, no friends enjoy being forced into william sonoma to check out the stainless steel pans. fuggin LOVE to cook, and at age 27, no friends complain when you make them baked brie on request.

    • Amelia Diamond

      YOU MAKE BAKED BRIE

      • http://adeliberateimagination.wordpress.com/ CJKEYS2

        yeah, like way too much. here is one i made for a derby party with a horse on it. well, it’s supposed to be a horse…

        • Amelia Diamond

          DO YOU GUYS SEE THIS?!?!?

        • http://www.onsecondavenue.com/ On Second Avenue

          Put this on a friend card. Like a business card, but a card you can give to somebody you want to be friends with

    • http://www.onsecondavenue.com/ On Second Avenue

      Nobody believes me that I started cooking at age 10.

      People always express complete shock that I don’t know how to drive (I’ve lived in NYC since 18 – why?) whereas I’m bewildered that the majority of my age group hasn’t developed an important life skill

  • Amelia Diamond

    whatt!!! don’t you get scared and disoriented in the aisles and then leave with like, 5 boxes of triscuits and a pound of tears?

  • Catherine

    BlueApron is my life source. Literally. I have been using BlueApron for about a year and a half, possibly more. I am 15 and can cook for my friends, family, and myself whenever I want. I have not had a bad one to date. However, it’s spoiled me, so now I can’t grocery shop because food just shows up at my doorstep every week. Added bonus: it helps you lose weight without even realizing it. The portions are appropriate – not typical American portions- but they’re still filling because like a good education, they are well-rounded. Every food group is there and you feel good about yourself after – think the opposite of when you order in so much Chinese food that they give you more forks than the number of people eating. It’s only 3 meals per week, so try KptnCook (it’s an app with super easy recipes that come with a grocery list) for the other three days a week (because it’s unrealistic to cook 7 nights a week). The meals are super quick too!

    • Amelia Diamond

      That is so cool that you use it this often! I noticed that too — the portions are super filling BUT WAY LESS than what i’d consume mindlessly in a restaurant.

  • Megan Shockney

    Definitely the funniest Blue Ribbon post… I’ve actually used it a bunch and really love it. I’m a vegetarian and was a little worried there wouldn’t be a ton of variety in the veggie dishes // but it’s been great with some really different + interesting main courses. Of course I was hoping my insanely stubborn 3-year-old would give them a try, but as it’s akin to negotiating a peace treaty getting him to eat something green, so no luck…

    • Amelia Diamond

      the vegetarian ones are SO GOOD. that’s what we made at leandra’s!! way less intimidating to me, too.

  • sifsgoldwig

    FYI: If you hold frozen fish under a faucet of lukewarm water, it’ll defrost in about 20 minutes, but there’s a good chance you will get hypothermia of the hand. Don’t know how legit of a technique it is, but I’ve done it before and not died. The adventures of apartment cooking!

    • Amelia Diamond

      I …did something similar and accidentally poached the fish.

      • sifsgoldwig

        Whoa. I’m curious and want details, but at the same time, I’m terrified.

        • Amelia Diamond

          My mom saidddd if I put the fish (because it’s wrapped really tightly, like vacuum sealed, in plastic) in warm water, it would defrost faster. But I put it in BOILING water, forgot about it, cooked the fish through, and then cooked in the pan per the instructions again. Lesson: just do not freeze fish. NO joke: Blue Apron sent such fresh fish that my roommate got MAD at me for “ruining” it.

  • Mila

    On a totally different note, I’m loving Leandra’s shirt. Any tips? xx

  • Adardame

    I just had to turn off their emails so I don’t look at things I can’t afford. It’s a great idea, though. I’m glad it’s going well for them.

  • Connie
  • Natalie

    “As a fake adult…I’m not trying to work the word ….“grocery shopping,” into my vocabulary”…hahaha! This is perfectly me 🙂

  • Susan
  • http://thefervour.com Yvonne Lw

    I just started to cook too. It’s chaotic I can relate!
    http://thefervour.com

  • Fezzers

    I get blue apron every week!! I also got the Brie sandwich and it was delicious. I’m vegetarian, so I don’t get to choose the meals, but if I really don’t like two of the dishes (like if they are super mushroom based – I don’t like mushrooms) you just skip the week with no penalty. It’s great!

  • Amelia Diamond

    SOFIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • lunnarisxd

    This post is really really good! Follow me on instagram: lunnarisxd ?

  • http://valentinafrancesca.com Valentina Francesca

    YUMMMYYY – also Leandra I love your idea in the youtube tech crunch interview that you want to make healthier hospital food! Go for it!
    http://www.valentinafrancesca.com