Product Review – Blue Apron

A few weeks ago, I asked if anyone experienced The Blue Apron. One friend’s son is a fan. After reading up on it, I decided to give it a try.
What is Blue Apron? 

Blue Apron, is one of the newer food service companies. Times have changed and so has home food service. Blue Apron is a no-commitment service that provides customers with a preview of full dishes they can prepare themselves, full color recipe cards (letter size) with photos, decide when the shipment is to be delivered to your home, specify food preferences, when not to deliver and the per-person shipment based on your budget.  There are no commitment fees.

Why?

I drive an average of 152 miles a day, three times a week. By the tine I return home, I don’t want to think about a menu and I don’t want to see a grocery store. I’m tired.  Also, I hate leftovers!!   I have a tendency to cook as if my children are still living at home (and bake as if I have a tribe) therefore, on trash day, I am calculating in my head the cost of leftovers that we discard, and am disgusted.

Fee

Well it’s just the King and I.   He OWNS my kitchen so I started small: 3 meals a week for 2 people. How much?  $59.95. Someone yelled “that’s not cost effective” when I told her but do the math. This is $10 a meal per person. So what if she feels this is too much. It’s the price I’m open to paying for convenience and a HEALTHY meal.

Shipment & Delivery

I work from home 2 days a week. Blue Apron allows you to select your desired delivery day. My first shipment arrived last week. I laughed as I saw the FedEx guy struggle as he carried my box across the lawn.  Shipping cost via FedEx?  Free. It’s part of the meal plan.   So when I saw the FedEX guy, struggling, I felt like Puffy. My lawn became the Brooklyn Bridge except I didn’t get any cheesecake LOL (for those that do not get the connotation this refers to MTV’s “Making the Band”)

What’s in the box?

Everything except pots and pans.  Initially my eyes said “that’s all?” but that thought quickly dissolved.  Blue Apron shipped precisely  what I asked. Enough to meat for 2 people for 3 meals, all of the staples, veggies and seasoning.  They even shipped heavy cream necessary for one recipe.  The box is big enough for a bowling ball enclosed in styrofoam (just to give you a visual).

A 2″ thick Nordic-ice foodsafe block is on the floor of the box. The meat lays over it and a second block lays on top.  Then the staples, veggies, dairy (if any) and seasoning are on top.  This is all contained in an insulated bag.  

  

  
The veggies and staples are individually wrapped in Blue Apron labeled bags and the seasoning and misc items are in a brown paper bag marked “knick knacks”. I put everything on the table looking for a reason to complain, but no complaints here!


I was momentarily confused and mumbled “Where are the recipe cards?”  Something told me to check the box.  On the side of the insulated bag, I found a welcome letter and three recipe cards.

  Ok. That’s perfect except, the King already told me that he was cooking so, I put everything away.  The following evening I got home from work and asked “what’s for dinner?  Without looking up from his iPad, he mumbled “I dunno Miss Blue Apron,  what’cha cooking?”   I excitedly washed my hands and got to work relieved that he relinquished his spatula and sauté pan and let me have some space.

How was it?

The first dish selected was the red meat recipe above.  Steak and mashed potatoes. When the King skimed the picture on card he mumbled “who serves potatoes with mashed potatoes?”  I looked down and saw the picture and realize, it is radishes. I personally never ate a cooked radish and was rely tank to follow the recipe excluding them.  One of the reasons I wanted to try Blue Apron was to try cooking different, healthy  and proper portion meals.

Who knew how flavorful radishes sautéed in a little EVOO salt and pepper with snap peas would be so tasty!?!?

The meal was excellent and not time consuming. @blueapron has a new fan


Overall, I give this service a thumbs up!  Tasty, good portions, easy to follow and healthy.   Try @blueapron today!

http://www.blueapron.com

(I am not an employee nor paid to advertise this product. This is simply a consumer opinion)

SewingKit HD by Vesta Software LLC: A Sewers Review of a Mobile Inventory App

As my inventory grew, I realized that I accidentally purchased the same fabric twice.  Yep, same length too.  Most times, I order duplicate notions but buttons and zippers don’t bother me as much as laying out money for fabric that I forgot that I have at home.  I longed for a mobile application that would allow me to store  EVERYTHING on my device but could not find one that suit my taste.  Low and behold, one evening during the Christmas Holidays, I read about SewingKit HD by Vesta Software (@VestaSoftLLC).  Vesta is a maker of several mobile applications and this is a Partnership with McCalls.

SewingKit HD is a $9 paid offering (Sewing Kit is free) that is their only utility.  I know what you are thinking… NINE DOLLARS???  Yeah a whopping nine dollars but after reading my review, you’ll know why I didn’t mind.  Keep in mind, that I used the free utility for weeks and realized, the paid version was the way to go.

SewingKit HD allows me to inventory the following:

  • Patterns
  • Fabric
  • People (their measurements)
  • Projects (each piece you make)
  • Threads
  • Books
  • Notions
  • Equipment (such as walking foot, specialty serger feet, etc.)
  • Inspirations (I use this to save photos of prints or garments that inspire me)
  • Trim

SewingKit Home

I won’t go into every feature, but I will provide a good overview of the product and my honest opinion.  For instance, the Patterns table allows you to scan the barcode and will match your entry against Vesta Software’s database of various pattern makers and add the stock photos, yardage details, etc. to your iPhone or Android device.    If the barcode does not match, you can manually enter it.  The disadvantage: manual entry of everything.  For me this occurred on 5 out of 66 patters.  (I can live with that)

So let’s assume that you entered patterns.  This is how it would appear in the Patterns list:

SewingKit Patterns View

To view details such as yardage needed per width and size you simply touch the picture to expand details and select “view yardage details”:

SewingKit Yardage

That’s not all.   You can associate pictures of fabric swatches (Fabrics)  and include details regarding the fabric (width, length purchased, fabric color, type, etc) or an entire outfit and store the photo under “Projects” .  You can store notes and more.

SewingKit Fabric

Here’s the extra mile Vesta Software went:  They thought as far as “what if I upgrade or lose my device?  Do I need to re-enter the information  on the new device?”  Actually, you don’t have to.  SewingKit HD  allows you to backup your database to Dropbox over WiFi.  The great things is for those of us who have multiple devices, you can use the larger device such as your iPad to work from (data entry, photos, backup) and your smaller device such as your Phone to refer to when you are shopping or showing off the items that you made  to your co-workers at work or friends over mimosas on a Friday night.

Sewing Kit Options 2

Disadvantages:

  1. The more data that you enter, the longer it takes back up to Dropbox.    At the time of this writing, backup to iCloud is not possible.
  2. You cannot create additional Store Names when entering data.  There are a number of “common” stores such as Target (why???), Walmart, JoAnn Fabrics, Amazon, AC Moore.  Wawak and Hancock Fabrics were recently added.  I guess they grew tired of my email messages but that’s a sign that they are paying attention to customer needs.

Overall, I didn’t mind paying $9 versus, keeping a notepad pad of everything I have.

Feel free to comment, I would love to hear if you experienced competitor applets