Winter Blues and The Blue Apron

My last post may have mentioned that we’ve been getting hammered this winter with blizzard after blizzard after blizzard – each dropping at least a foot of snow on us, followed by freeze your eyeballs solid cold.  Although I was born and raised in New England and I don’t think that I could ever live where there aren’t 4 seasons, I think we’ve had enough of the particular ‘season’.  With storms hitting us every other day it’s been hard to get out because the back roads are narrowed down to one lane.  I guess the best way to tell you about our winter is with pictures:

The day before this stop sign was completely buried – apparently the town went around clearing stop signs.stop sign

Who needs curtains?photo-9

You should have heard the noise when my husband got up on the ladder to knock these icicles down!photo-10

At least the front of the house gets sun & a little bit of melt
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My husband’s daily exercise…
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I’m guessing when this bird gets back from Florida, she’ll be putting in an insurance claim for damages for her roof leaking…IMG_1763

There is one who loves the snow – the Bernese Mountain Dog bobsled …
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You would think that being housebound, my house would be sparkling clean – but frankly all I have is cabin fever and brain freeze.  I’ve taken advantage of an awesome Christmas gift from my daughter for a delivery from The Blue Apron.  The Blue Apron is a great service that delivers all of the ingredients – everything that you need to make a great meal.  They plan the meal, package all of the ingredients which are pre-measured, and deliver to your front door.  When I say they include all of the ingredients, it includes everything except the pans and a little olive oil or butter for cooking.

My three meal choices for this delivery were Orange Beef Lo Mein, Shrimp Po’ Boys, and Chicken & Sage Biscuit Pot Pie.  I started with the Lo Mein which is something that I never would have tried on my own since I would have no idea what half the ingredients were.  However, they include very detailed instructions – some would say foolproof but I proved them wrong. 

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The result was really good although I made the mistake of forgetting to add the spice blend while cooking the meat so it didn’t really absorb and made for a very strong flavor.  I think I did a pretty good job of recreating this dish to look like their example.
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Now, for the next meal we decided to try the Shrimp Po’ Boys which is where I really blew the instructions.  They gave us butter lettuce – some to put in the sandwich rolls and the rest for a salad with vinaigrette dressing.  There was a package for the remoulade sauce to top the shrimp in the Po’ Boys and a package for the vinaigrette dressing for the salad.  The instructions CLEARLY showed two bowls – one for the remoulade and another for the vinaigrette.  Back to that brain freeze I’ve had this winter…I dumped all of the ingredients together so we had a very um, tangy remoulade sauce.  Surprisingly it was still very good but I may have growled at my husband when he started laughing and said “huh, wonder what this was supposed to taste like”.

So tonight I’ll be making the Chicken and Sage Biscuit Pot Pie and I’m going to concentrate and really pay attention to the instructions – this one I’m going to get right.  But, if The Blue Apron is looking for anyone to test out their instructions they can give me a call to check for fool-proof-ness.

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40 thoughts on “Winter Blues and The Blue Apron

  1. Hiya Diane ! You need to come to Hong Kong to unthaw a bit… The blue apron sound like such a cool service. As long as they can get to you in the deep snow… Maybe they have a snowmobile delivery service… Take care

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    • It’s going to take me a long time to unthaw – I’m beginning to wonder if we’ll still have snow on the ground for my daughter’s wedding in August! This would have been a great year for someone with a snowmobile to offer delivery services. Can you imagine how helpful it would have been for people who couldn’t plow out to have someone pull up to the door & just hand them your grocery list?
      When The Blue Apron let me know the day my delivery was coming, I made sure that my husband had the driveway & front walk all cleared off for them.

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      • You know you do really know with this weather you could have a late June, July or even August snow fall…she better have a long sleeve dress… lol. I bet you are getting so excited about this! My dad, 90 years old, told me that in his life time he has never had such a cold February as this year. Maybe it is cyclical and it will be warmer for the next 90 years…

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  2. Wish I was your next door neighbor to taste test your recipes before dining. Brain freeze is a problem I am having too! There is no fun cleaning but oh so much fun baking!

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    • Well you know Kathy, we’re not all that far away. We should just do a cooking session – I’ll make the main course and you do desert. We can have the girls do appetizers because they always manage to come up with the best apps. So you think we’ll still have snow on the ground for the wedding?

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  3. Hi Diane, You cannot believe how fascinating I find your snow photos. I have only ever seen snow two or three times in my life and certainly not here in WA. Have you considered Lumosity? It might help with following the recipes 🙂 🙂 😀

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    • Sometimes, for a very short while, the snow does look pretty. But then as soon as you have to go out in it (mostly the cold) and need extra time to put the long underwear, heavy socks, snow pants, jacket, scarf, hat, gloves, etc. you sometimes think twice about whether or not it’s worth going out. Most of the time I think about it and say…nah, I can live without..
      I had to look up Luminosity although I’ve heard of it before I wasn’t that familiar with it. It looks pretty cool – do you really think it might help? Glenda, if you could see these instructions, with pictures you’d be shaking your head saying “there is no way you can mess that up”. I think my brain has too many things going on at the same time.

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      • Diane. Lumosity is so much fun. I signed up for a family package. All my sisters play, even my eldest sister who is 73. Give the free trial a go and see what you think. I am not so sure it improves anything but I enjoy it.

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  4. Diane, I absolutely love your beautiful home. I am sitting here in the perfect summer weather with a beach and ocean waters splashing up at my toes and coconut palms gently swaying in the breeze and looking at your snow pictures baffles my brain. I still battle to comprehend how different our weather can be although going back home in a few days will be a reality check that beaches and palm trees aren’t daily life.
    I love the idea of having everything measured out and delivered. I could get used to cooking like that.
    Have a beautiful day and stay warm and snuggle up near the fire.
    Mandy xo

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    • Thanks Mandy – I’m ready for the house swapping any day now. I feel so sorry for you having to deal with those horrible conditions – summer weather, gritty old beach sand, palm trees that might drop things on your head. Why it’s terrible & I wish I could fly over there and rescue you!

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  5. My sister uses a similar service and says one of the best things is that it’s made her boys try lots of new flavours. I can’t imagine having that much snow – we get a little sprinkling and the whole country grinds to a halt. Fabulous icicles though. Peering out through the windows must have been very eerie.

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    • You know I told my daughter the exact same thing about the meals – I never would have tried some of these things because I either thought they were hard to make or had ingredients that I wouldn’t even know where to buy. It’s fun though having everything all measured out and ready to go. I don’t think any meal took longer than 30 minutes or so.
      I think we brought this winter on ourselves by crowing about how mild the winter was in November & December. Then January came and we caught up but then February came and we MORE than caught up. I’m pretty sure that historically, February is the snowiest month in New England. Usually though, we get snow with a few warm days to melt things down but not this year.

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  6. I’ve got the winter blues too, Diane. Our houses both are surrounded by snow and covered in icicles. I’m so worried about the ice dams and the melting snow if it ever warms up…where will it all go? Your husband’s comment gave me a laugh. I bet the dinners were good, you just did them “your way”. 😀

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    • We’ve got some icicles dropping off the front of the house today & every time one lets go, I jump because it sounds like the side of the house is coming off. I’ve also got the addition ‘fun’ of a woodpecker banging on the side of the house beside the bedroom window. He starts at 7:00 am & when I bang on the wall to scare him away, all it does is terrify the cat & get the dog barking!
      I seem to do a lot of things ‘my way’… sometimes it works, other times not so much.

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  7. It’s not your fault, honey!! It’s surely the cold getting to you, as if you wear contact lens they by now have certainly frozen to your eyeballs, and you just can NOT read things correctly. Lola is hilarious in that photo!! Know that you can move to Georgia and still get 2.5 or so seasons, and simply travel to snow packed slopes (meaning mountains, not your front yard!!!) for enjoyment. That way, someone else is in charge of the snow blower! I’m just saying…!

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    • Well I stopped wearing contacts years ago but when I’ve been out lately, I’ve put on my ski goggles (knew I kept them around for a reason). Lola is having a blast this winter & I’ll bet you that she’ll be lounging on the last bit of snow once it all starts to melt.
      I have 2 nieces who live in Georgia & they love it. They were very young when my sister moved there from New Hampshire so I don’t think they really remember New England winters very well. They do visit – but only in the summer 🙂

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    • Bongo you would have a blast racing through the tunnels. Lola does get a little confused though at the ones that dead end & she’s had to pull up short quite a few times but usually ends up half buried in a drift. Right now the tunnels work just as well as a fence which is good since the underground fence is broken & I don’t think we’ll be getting anyone out here to repair it in the near future.

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    • My niece sent pictures of her house there. She was asking … “what is this stuff?” to which I replied – “darling that’s what we can NOTHING!”. Hasn’t it been crazy this year though? The entire east coast is completely out of kilter. I remember after upstate NY got hit with that horrendous blizzard right at the beginning of the winter & we had nothing all through December. Silly me, I thought we’d sneak by. You must be itching for a little bit of spring too.

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  8. Pingback: In my kitchen – March 2015 | Passion Fruit Garden

  9. You know, Diane, I’ve been working on a ‘Confession’ with a working title of ‘I’ll trade my weather for yours.’ My intent is to reminisce about the very few snow days but overabundance of heat in northeast Texas, while poking fun at people who live in the northeast, Down East or along the Great Lakes. — I remember getting cabin fever in 1996 (nothing compared to what y’all are going through right now), so… I’m going to have to do some rewriting. Just know that you’ll be swatting mosquitos before long. 🙂

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    • I guess there’s probably a perfect climate & place out there for me but I don’t think I could convince all of my friends and family to join me there so I might be lonely. My problem is I’ve got medical conditions – 1 that’s affected by the cold and 1 that’s affected by the heat. I think what I need is a summer home and a winter home – and of course the budget to support both.
      Mosquitoes…I think I remember them.

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  10. Hi there, I followed a link and here I am 🙂 I’m kind of intereste din the roof of your house (hear me out!) as I’ve spent time in the Alps and the roofs are made for snow and looking at that pile on your roof I can’t help wonder how its coping! I do hope you get some warmth soon.

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    • I’m glad you stopped by & you ask a good question about the roof. Everyone is having trouble with leaks & even roofs collapsing because of the weight of the snow. My husband has gone out with a roof rake (and boy, the stores are all sold out of them this year!) to get as much as he can off there. I know of one person who had a company come to remove the snow from his roof & he was charged $1,700! A barn in the area just had it’s roof collapse and they had 10 horses inside – thankfully, none were seriously hurt. But we’ll see what happens after tonight. This next storm coming could cause a lot of serious problems because it’s starting as snow, then rain, then sleet, and warming up which is going to add too much weight to what’s on the roofs already and it will cause street flooding because drains are clogged. Most people here do have pitched roofs but a number of commercial buildings have flat roofs & have already shut down.

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      • Oh my goodness, it sounds both scary and expensive! I guess one of my thoughts was around the time it starts to warm up and you’ll find the snow sliding down…..
        I hope the weather holds off for you, it sounds like you need a break from it!

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      • Yes, some of it will but some of the ice damns will hold back the wet snow & that’s when we run into problems. I was just having a cup of coffee reading your blog on the coffee and walnut loaf. It’s sounds wonderful.

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  11. As a spoiled SF bay area Californian, I can’t even imagine your weather — but is does make for some ADORABLE dog photos! Also, I’ve been curious about Blue Apron for quite a while, and it was really nice to see a real person review their experience of it… I’m even more intrigued now!

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    • Well I can tell you that everywhere here is pretty much done with this winter! We’ve had a couple of warm days in the 40’s so getting a lot of melting going on. There is something about dogs & snow though that’s fun to watch.
      As for Blue Apron, I liked them & it was fun to do. The only thing is that you have a limited selection week by week although if you don’t like it, you just skip that week. They do a lot of unusual meals that I would never have tried & as I say the ingredients are things that I don’t think you can find in a lot of supermarkets. But it’s a fun thing to try & you can cancel at any time.

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  12. Hi Diane! I am soo overdue with catching with my favorite bloggers, such as yourself. I got ‘sickie’ when I got back from Florida, as often happens to me after a plane trip.. And now, as you know, I banged myself up a bit doing my Faceplant into my friend’s front door. Wow – talk about ICICLES – I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen ANY that huge. The sunlight’s beginning to feel like spring, even if the weather doesn’t but we’re getting there, aren’t we? It’s been one long and nasty winter but, hey, your gorgeous Burmese Mountain Dog sure seems to have enjoyed it! Final note – I’m glad I’m not the only one who screws up recipes occasionally – but everything you made with that wonderful Christmas Gift must’ve been delicious anyway !! ; o )

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    • Well at least with the warm days we’ve had & the rain, the snow is finally melting. Still plenty out there but I’m hoping it will soon be gone.
      Hope you’re feeling better and recovering from your face plant.

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      • You made me laugh with your reference to my ‘face plant’. My wrist is still hurting… so what do I do…. I take two Advil and drink some Scotch, which I usually HATE !! ; O ) But I was able to get some cooking done!!!

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    • I can’t tell you how happy everyone is to finally get rid of this past winter but now we’ve jumped into a major heat wave – it was in the 90’s yesterday and the humidity’s climbing. Crazy New England weather.

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