I’m just going to go ahead and analyze my behaviors on the internet for a minute:
Let’s rewind to a few years ago when I lived in California—> I absolutely loved to cook dinner every night. I loved coming up with meal plans, spending time in the kitchen and preparing a beautiful meal for my little family. I also LOVED to have dinner parties and invite all of our friends over for dinner and spend hours making something everyone would love. I think that humans naturally enjoy/feel accomplished to ‘create’ things and cooking/baking was what fulfilled that need for me… food is also one of my love languages so I love to share food with others to show them that I care.
Okay, now let us fast forward from that time a bit to when I was living in my parents’ basement for a year after getting divorced. While living there I did not want to take over my mom’s kitchen all of the time so we ate out pretty much every meal. During this time I also kind of stopped doing most of the things (besides running) I loved doing because I was really struggling. After living at my parents’ house for a year I moved into an apartment and continued in my non-cooking very much ways. Eating out or eating something microwaveable was the norm for us because I didn’t feel the push to cook when I didn’t necessarily have a ‘family’ to cook for. I always thought, “what’s the use to cook a delicious/fancy meal at home when there is just 1.5 of us eating (Brooke usually eats about half of what an adult would eat hence the .5).”
This is where Blue Apron comes in! I started trying them out (they deliver all of the farm-fresh ingredients ((in all the right amounts/proportions)) right to our doorstep in a refrigerated box so that everything stays fresh) because I thought it would be really good for the two of us mentally/physically to eat dinner together at our own kitchen table. And with each meal that I make from Blue Apron I am reminded again how much I love to cook, even if it is just for a 29 year old (I’m just going to keep throwing my age out there as much as possible before I turn 30 soon) and a 3 year old.
A lot of times I will invite my mom and dad over or some of my friends and I get that same excited feeling that I used to get when putting together a meal for people I love. Blue Apron makes it so that I get to do the parts of cooking that I love without having to do the part that I don’t love—> grocery shopping:) They continually add new dishes to their menu each week so we are always trying new things out and cooking with ’new to us’ ingredients!
For example when making the Roast Chicken & Potato Latkes w/Savoy Cabbage & Apple-Mustard Chutney I got the chance to use a CELERIAC (I had never even heard of these before making this meal).
Gotta love cooking a meal in your pjs while listening to Adele when it is snowing outside.
My mom came over for this meal and we were both obsessed with the entire meal and especially the potato latkes. Brooke was in a really good mood;)
The second dish that we made at home from Blue Apron was the Tamarind-Glazed Cod!
This was Brooke’s first time eating fish (that I know of)! She mainly stuck with the lime rice but I was super stoked to see her try something new. I hope she has a strong love for fish like I do!
Our third meal was Harissa Lamb & Beef Burgers with Roasted Carrot Fries (those fries were beyond delicious and healthy!). My favorite part about creating this dish was when I made the pickles. I have always loved pickles so I was stoked to try these out on my burger.
These turned out amazing and I could eat this meal ALL of the time.
Don’t we all dance with our food at least once a day?
Blue Apron ships (for free!) to most of the country and there is no commitment if you want to try it out! If you are into delicious food I am pretty positive you will love it just like we do! Oh, and also I wanted to share their recycling program for their packaging—> you can learn all about it here!
2016 is for doing more things that I love to do and for me that means a lot more cooking/baking! The Blue Apron Recipes that I am most excited to try out——> Seared Salmon & Apple Mashed Potatoes, Seared Chicken & Roasted Acorn Squash, Chicken Tortilla Soup w/ Rainbow Chard, Avocado & Cilantro and Poached Pear & Crispy Goat Cheese Salad!
Time for you to get the chance to eat these awesome meals—> the first 100 readers will get TWO FREE meals on their first Blue Apron order! Go here to get this hookup!
PS I love their new Mission Page—> their mission is to make incredible home cooking accessible to everyone along with high standards for their ingredients and developing a more sustainable food system!
Sponsored by Blue Apron! Thank you so very much for supporting me, the Brookerhead and our sponsors!
Baking or cooking—> which do you enjoy doing the most?
Do you eat at home a lot? Do you have a meal plan each week or decide each day what you want to eat?
Is there a hobby or passion that you have put on the back burner for a while that you are wanting to start doing again?
Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious
Yes! I’ve been wanting to become a certified personal trainer and health coach for a long time and now I am finally doing it! I also love to cook but that’s not lacking around here for sure!
Michele @ paleorunningmomma
I definitely enjoy cooking more than baking – my happy place! I’m so impressed Brooke tried fish because my kids have not gone there yet. We eat at home almost always and I cook probably 6 days per week, sometimes 7.
Sarah @ SarahRuns26
While we’ve been living with my parents while building a new house I haven’t done much cooking. I always loved it when we lived on our own, but now I feel bad taking over the kitchen! When I can cook, I am at a complete loss as to what to make!
We eat out more than I’d like (this is also tied to building a house and not being home much!) I love the idea of Blue Apron, might have to try it once we are living on our own again!
Margaret @ youngandrungry
I’ve heard the best things about Blue Apron and my sister and I have talked about setting my mom up with them for a period of time for her birthday! She loves to cook, but hates the organizing part.
For me, I love cooking and half of the fun is coming up with my own crazy recipes and meal prepping. and I also love the grocery store, but I feel like I would learn a lot from these too! I cook all 3 meals a day and it’s really time consuming, but I get to eat exactly what I want and I make them super delicious.
I used to love to sew and knit, but I would do it while I watch TV and I don’t do that as much anymore and when I do I’m usually working on a blog post on the side!
Gretchen | GretchRuns
Growing up, I always wanted to be a chef. I cook all the time now, and love to host dinner parties. I’m hoping to buy a house this year, and plan to start hosting a lot more! It’s hard to do that in a tiny apartment! I love Blue Apron :)
Charlene @ The Sum Of Small Steps
I love to cook, but am not a huge fan of baking unless I’m in the mood…it requires too much measuring and recipe following!
We eat 98% of our meals at home. I don’t do very much detailed meal planning, but I do have an idea for 5-6 dinners every time I grocery shop, and then give myself flexibility to make those whenever I want.
Those meals look amazing!!!
I know a lot of people and bloggers love Blue Apron but to be honest I tried it and it was overly complicated for me personally, plus it took a lot of time. Sometimes I found the dinner portions were also not enough for two runners! I will say the quality of food was there though! I’m glad you’re back to enjoying cooking Janae! I don’t enjoy cooking or baking myself but I get it done LOL.
I’m really bad at baking and cooking (plus I don’t like to do it). Those meals look delicious, though! I usually have to eat out or get something that I can microwave.
I used to write more than I do now. I still write fairly often, but I need to do more of it like I used to.
It used to be baking, but now cooking.
Guitar, reading, trying new restaurants are all things I wish I did more of.
Laura @ This Runner's Recipes
I love cooking! I try to make sure my husband and I eat at home for most meals and always meal plan. I even enjoy the grocery shopping part of cooking.
I find stirfrys, noodle and/or rice bowls to be pretty quick to prepare so I eat a lot of those.
And SOUP! So easy to make and you can’t really screw it up or need to follow a recipe. Twice a week I make a two batches and I have a quick and portable meal. I just stick jars of it in the fridge or you can portion out and freeze. And it helps use up veggies in the fridge (esp the stems of veg like broccoli that you might otherwise throw out; broccoli stems add so much flavour to soups). Plus soup is low cal but nutritionally dense and satiating. I grew up eating it everyday after school (we kids would reheat it and wait for mom to come home from work to start dinner). It would hold us over til then.
I love to cook but I find it hard to fit in a very busy working mom schedule. I train early in the morning then shower and go to work. So breakfast is the most important meal in my day and I want it to be very nutritious. After my long run on Sunday, I prepare a huge egg-veggies-meat casserole and split it in individual portions for the week. It is delicious, quick and an nutritious. Perfect for busy runners! Rotisserie chicken/salmon steaks and prepackaged salads are also life savers for lunch. Left over crock pot recipies are also perfect for lunch during the week. Only meals I really have to think about and work on are my son’s school lunches and week night diners!
Blue Apron meals certainly look convenient and delicious!
sally @ sweat out the small stuff
Baking over cooking anyday. I guess because baking is done’ once in a while vs daily.
I miss painting and drawing. I used to have time to take out my sketchpad and draw but never seem to get around to it anymore.
I tend to eat a lot of leftovers for dinner. Leftovers that my sister in law cooked! She sends me home with food all the time. For instance I just ate a piece of french toast casserole this morning that she made for New Year’s Day. She gave me some pieces frozen and I just had to re-heat. I have soups and meatloaf in the freezer too. So mostly I make a big salad to go with the leftovers. Maybe once a week I’ll actually cook.
We use Blue Apron about twice a month, and we LOVE it! Everything we’ve made has been so good, and yes, it has totally introduced us to meals/foods we’ve never had before. They also have amazing customer service btw.
This year I made a goal to read 12 new books. I used to read for pleasure a lot more before I had kids, and I really want to make it a part of my day again :)
Angie @ Pace With Grace
Looks like some delicious eats! I like cooking over baking and enjoy it quite a bit! I’m a bit fan of cooking bigger meals for leftovers later with my busy schedule, this works well for me. I like how Blue Apron really encourages you to try different things. I tend to stick to what I know me and my husband like but its always great to branch out!
Hi Janae, I remember a few months ago that you posted about having more meat-free meals. Are you still trying to do that? Does Blue Apron have vegetarian options?
The Hungry Runner Girl
Hey Pam! YES… we have been doing more meat-free meals around here. I try to do one or two dinners a week meat free! Blue Apron does have vegetarian options! Three per week:) They are delicious too!
Yay! I have heard so much talk of Blue Apron and yet no one has ever mentioned that they have veg offerings. That makes me super happy!
I’ve recently started to enjoy cooking more! Im trying to get more creative in the kitchen and not cook the same things everyday. It looks like Blue Apron has a lot of meals that I would love but probably wouldn’t think to cook for myself which is cool!
Ultra Run Couple @UltraRunCouple
Todd rocks at baking. I can hand people the ingredients and that is about the extent of my kitchen capabilities!
We eat at home almost 100% of the time, including packing out lunches. We pretty much know exactly what we need during each grocery trip (down to the exact banana count) and we HATE to waste food.
We had put blogging on the back-burner, but we started back for 2016. Check us out if you get bored!
oh i like you attitude! We try to waste nothing as well..even that old bruised apple finds a use in our home.
I am doing Plated tonight! It’s basically the same thing. V. excited.
I enjoy baking more. It’s always fun to have a new treat. I used to love cooking too, but after living with my parents for a while and not having to cook a lot, I got used to not having to do the work. Then we moved out and the picky eater stage began. It’s exhausting to have to deal with that every time I cook something even when I know it’s something she likes. That being said we still eat dinner every night at home.
I really enjoy baking because I like that you have some time to clean up while it’s cooking in the oven. My guy really likes cooking, so it works out perfectly for us.
I try and eat at home a lot just so that I can eat healthier. Having a meal plan each week is really helpful with this and it makes it so that I don’t waste any food.
I really like working on puzzles. It has been pretty busy/exhausting here with wedding planning and training though.
The Hungry Runner Girl
Talk about a win-win situation… you bake and he cooks:) Congrats on the upcoming wedding! That is so so exciting Karrie!
Margaret @ Simple Fit Foodie
I cook a lot more than I bake. Not because I dont like baking necessarily (although it does tend to be more complicated than cooking for me at least) but if I bake sweets then I have to eat them all! And I do horrible portion control so it is very dangerous when I bake!! haha
Daisy @ Fit Wanderlust Runner
I do a little of both. Some weeks more baking, others more cooking. Right now I am focused on becoming a certified running coach. I am super excited to take the course in a few months.
Jessie @ The Acquired Sass
I’m a fantastic baker (I’ll just be over here tooting my own horn…) but I like cooking more since it let’s me be creative. Baking is a very exact science, whereas cooking is throwing whatever feels right into the pan & crossing your fingers…
I eat 98% of my meals at home/work, but I meal plan for all of them, I usually even plan eating out into my meal plan, so I have enough food at home.
I’m not certain anything I love is on the back burner. I will say I love hosting people at my house, small dinner parties & the like, but my apartment is NOT conducive to that right now, which is a bummer.
Jill @ RunEatSnap
I tried Blue Apron because of you! I enjoyed it for the most part but the recipes were more time intensive than I like (especially when it’s for “just me”). I currently live alone and have a tiny kitchen so it makes cooking less fun. I do love to bake though! But since I live alone I try not to bake much since there’s no one to help me eat it!
This is actually something I feel like I’m in control of! We have a meal plan each week, grocery shopping is a family event, and we cook at home most nights. A lot of it has to do with our house being so far from any good restaurants. ;-) I love the creativity of cooking, of combing recipes and using fresh ingredients. It’s my way of winding down after a long day. I just posted my favorite Mac n cheese recipe!
This seems like a good place to ask…i love to bake but I cannot find a good (healthier) peanut butter cookie recipe! They come out TERRIBLE. Every. Time. Any suggestions?!
Hi Mollie – I found a recipe years ago that calls for 1 egg, 1 C sugar and 1C peanut butter, form into balls, flatten, 350 for 12 min. That’s it. I cut the sugar to 1/2 cup and add some dark choc chips. I like to think they’re somewhat healthy since they’re mostly PB and you only need a small one to be satisfied. And they freeze well.
This sounds amazing! All the recipes I’ve found that are ‘healthy’ have flour…maybe that was the issue! I might try coconut sugar. Thanks!!!!!
Rachael @ Catch Me if You Can
i love to bake much more than i love to cook but sometimes there is just something so relaxing in cutting up veggies for a recipe. i do love cooking for people which is why i love hosting parties, i get to try new recipes out on people and experiment. sometimes we get in a funk and eat quick food because after a long day at work its hard to get the energy to cook a meal. we started doing a little better but your right its hard to cook for 2 people!
Jennifer @ Peacefully Fit Fellowship
I love cooking dinner for my family! Baking…not so much. I don’t have the patience! As my husband says, I have the attention span of a gnat so I like meals that are quick and delicious and don’t need too much work. :)
I like to bake the best — but I cook at home most of the time. I so want to try Blue Apron, but I’m waiting for a gluten free plan option since I have to eat GF for medical reasons…it seems like such a fun service!!
I had put writing on the back burner — but picked it up again last fall — very glad I did!
Baking or cooking—> I don’t enjoy either. But I cook because I ENJOY eating:)
We eat at home the majority of the time. I meal prep on Sundays and create 10 lunches for the hubs and I to take to work all week. I also make enough food to heat up for dinners all week as well. Due to work, kids sports, etc there is no time to cook during the week.
Blue Apron note: We get a box about once a month. We recently rec’d those same three recipes from Blue Apron. My family LOVED all three. We justify the expense (’cause there is a slight sticker shock) by having the box delivered on a Thursday and committing to NOT going to eat that weekend and cooking the recipes Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. And eating good food in sweats beats curling my hair and putting on real clothes any day of the week :)
The Hungry Runner Girl
I LOVE your idea about doing it once a week and using it for your weekend treats! I agree… there is something extra nice about eating a delicious meal cooked in your own kitchen while wearing sweats = heaven! Keep enjoying and I love that you meal prep on Sundays! I need to copy you:)
I use Blue Apron too!!
Ryan and I are obsessed!! (I might be more than him…)
I’m not a very confident cook and Blue Apron has really helped me! Also – the recipes we’re sent are meals we would never make by ourselves. I really can’t say enough good things about the company! haha I did a whole blog post about my love for Blue Apron a couple of weeks ago!
LOVE Blue Apron!! My favorite part was getting to try new foods I’d never heard of, like you said. So fun!
We eat at home a LOT… at most we will eat out once a week. I love to cook. I don’t do a whole meal plan , but I do make my grocery list with a few go-to meals in mind and try to pick a new recipe or two to make!
Both! I am an excellent baker (was my profession as well so…) I don’t bake often though as I tend to eat it all = weight gain = harder runs. So I am sticking to cooking really great health bowls and high protein meals.
Eat at home 99% of the time. We don’t budget for eating out so much and I like to meal plan.
Not a passion but I am back to school (while working full time!) taking courses I have wanted to take…so there is that.
Amanda B @ Cupcakes & Miles
Everything Blue Apron sends you looks so good! I wonder if the recipes are dummy-proof for people like me…
I’m much more of a baker … Love the way it makes my house smell :) I’ve never loved cooking at home but love cooking with my mom at her place. She has all the spices and everything you’d possible need and it’s so much more fun to cook with someone! I should def try Blue Apron out!
Mary Jo @ Run and Smile
I love cooking an baking. Especially cupcakes! I have go to try Blue Apron. It looks delicious. I love that you can still get the recipes even if you don’t purchase the meals. What a great company! Going to have to try it. I plan a weekly menu for the Hubs and I. That way I’m not spending a trillion dollars at the grocery store. :)
I love cooking for my family, but when I’m teaching school I always feel like I’m stuck in a cooking rut where I make the same five meals over and over. It’s like spaghetti…again! Coming up with the idea of what to make for dinner is what’s hardest for me. I really want to try Blue Apron, my husband would die for those lamb burgers and I would love to take the think work and shopping out of the equation. So glad you shared this! Happy running and eating. :)
We eat home almost always to save time and money. Also, eating out can be more stress than it’s worth with a 4 and 5 year old – it’s easier just to let them have the run of the house in the evenings. I don’t like the physical act of cooking (and prepping and shopping and all that it entails) – i always feel like I’d rather be reading or running or catching up on my shows. But I am in love with a good, healthy meal, so there’s just no way around cooking. And I do have that instinct that makes me happy when I spend the time to make something my family enjoys.
I’m totally in the same spot as you! I’ve always loved baking and cooking (mostly baking), but last semester I was pretty busy and almost never cooked an a real dinner for myself. This semester I want to try cooking a whole meal at least once a week. Last week I made carrot soup with cauliflower-and-goat-cheese fritters, and I’m currently thinking about what I want to make tonight.
Rachel @ Simply Rachel Nicole
Blue Apron always looks so good! I love spending time in the kitchen making dinner for my family too! :)
Baking is my #1 favorite. I’m very good at following directions and am not incredibly creative, so I find baking more enjoyable. Plus, who doesn’t love eating cookies fresh from the oven?!
Half Marathon James
I live on my own now, but I still love cooking, even though it’s usually just for me. I’ll normally cook enough for a family meal and then put half of it in the fridge to reheat the next night. It’s handy to microwave meals, but I love cooking and eating real food too much :)
Melissa @ See Dav Run
I prefer cooking; I can control the amount I make (and freestyle!) a little easier. But I will never turn down something sweet homemade.
I’m inbetween on meal planning; I buy my groceries on Sunday, but go day-by-day as to when to fix what. And sometimes, I just need pizza.
I really want to read more. I get so interested in books, and check a billion out at the library each week, but my attention span is short…2016 is off to a good start, as I just finished my first read!
LOVE to bake the most, however, I do enjoy cooking as well! This Blue Apron thing looks pretty awesome!!!!! Training for my first ever marathon and trying to eat “clean”…. Blue Apron would help keep me on track!!!!! Food looks delicious! YUM!
Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More
I really, really despise cooking, but I love baking. It’s the best!
We try to only eat out/get take out once a week. I try to meal plan two dinners a week, dinner at my parents once a week, and then every woman for herself the other nights.
I like to cook at home (especially since there aren’t a lot of healthy options for eating out near us) but only have time to do it about 3 nights a week. Usually make double and luckily we like leftovers :)
If I have the luxury of time I love to bake; it’s therapeutic. Your chocolate chip recipe is on heavy rotation around here!
And I know birthdays with zeros are tough, but I must say you’re rockin it for your age. You’ve accomplished so many great things already and are learning, growing, only getting better.
I love cooking so my husband and I eat home cooked meals most of the week but we still enjoy going out to eat with friends on weekends. We like to try different things that we wouldn’t have at home (we’re trying African in a few weeks).
I used to do meal plans when we first moved out together to help me get organised but now I just plan loosely in my head and sort of know what well be eating that week. We eat lots of easy meals packed with vegies and salad, like stir fries, casseroles, lean meats and fish.
Cooking is fabulous when you get creative and cook meals that you really enjoy! Doesn’t have to be fancy to be tasty.
If you really enjoy cooking buy an America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s Illustrated cookbook. I was really disappointed to find another blue apron post on your blog, it seems like every few weeks one is on. I know as a blogger you need sponsored posts because you don’t have a real job but, I think I am done reading you for now.. As a mom of three they are completely unreasonably priced and while it is fun to try new things I would way rather dig into a good cookbook or food blog.
“During this time I also kind of stopped doing most of the things (besides running) I loved doing because I was really struggling.” I related a lot to this sentence in your post. I’ve never commented before, but I started reading your blog when you had just moved back to Utah. I was going through a very difficult situation in my life and your openness in your blog helped me immensely. I just told my mom this weekend that it’s been a difficult process, but it has been really empowering to re-find the true me and go back to the things that I used to love before I personally fell apart. Thank you for always sharing. You undoubtedly have helped more people than you will probably ever know!
I ALSO stopped really cooking (for myself and my little) during and after my divorce, and I used to love it. But, I did get back into it, although my current husband is an amazing cook and does the majority of the cooking at our house. But I will cook every now and then usually on a weekend when I have more time. He can’t bake at all though. SO that is my domain and I love it. More reason to run!
We LOVE blue apron over here! Going to start my pre-req’s for nursing! Something I’ve been wanting to do for years :-)
Gina, a book dragon
I love to bake! Of course my health shows this so I’ve cut back some
We use to eat at home more. I’ve never been good with meal planning but now that there’s usually just the two of us, we go out more. Lots of times we’re eating with my parents or his parents. We also have Disneyland Passes so we eat there about once a week.
Counted cross stitch, scrapbooking, sewing, quilting, . . . If I can get my books and yarn contained I’ll start with one of these for a while before adding more. It may not be until next year, this year I’m running 2,016 miles (http://www.runtheyear2016.com/). Not bad for a non-runner.
While reading this post I couldn’t help but notice your plates! I LOVE them!! May I ask where you got them? :)
I love to cook and bake, but baking is definitely more fun haha!