Our Blue Apron Experience

Meal kit delivery services are all the rage lately and are so ubiquitous, you’ve probably heard a lot about them. There are many delivery service options – PeachDish, HelloFresh, Plated, Blue Apron, Terra’s Kitchen, Chef’D, Purple Carrot, Home Chef, Green Chef, Sunbasket, Marley Spoon, Freshly, Veestro, Sakara, Pete’s Paleo. There are even local meal delivery options hitting the market in some areas too (in Boston we have Cuisine En Locale & Foodery).

For a while I didn’t pay much attention to these services. I love to cook, I know how to put recipes together, I have culinary skills, I didn’t think someone like me would benefit from a service like this. But then summer came and, for some reason, we usually hit a food rut in the summer. Whether it’s because turning on the stove seems onerous or we’d rather be out doing stuff than in the kitchen cooking or because we tend to eat lighter, uncooked meals in the summer – the thought began to occur to me that maybe a meal delivery service could be fun and get us out of the food rut.

Like us, you’ve probably heard a lot about Blue Apron since they were the first delivery service to hit the market. I polled friends and family and Blue Apron was well regarded and highly recommended. We got a code for a free week (if you want one, let me know – I have a bunch!) and signed up. I decided to write this post now because we’ve been doing Blue Apron for a few months now and have 6 weeks of meals under our belt.

Before I go any further in this post I just wanted to say that this review of Blue Apron is not sponsored; I am in no way paid, given freebies, or told to say anything in this post. I’m writing about Blue Apron because I purchased the subscription myself and want to share my findings in a candid and informative way.

I’ve broken down my review of our Blue Apron experience into seven areas: structure & cost, selection & usability, what you get, recipes, food quality, diversity, & value, eco-friendliness, and major takeaways.

1) Structure & Cost

Blue Apron is meal delivery service that comes to your home. It’s a box full of fresh ingredients that you cook yourself; it is not pre-assembled and not pre-cooked. Each meal comes with a recipe card full of instructions and all the ingredients needed to make the dish. Blue Apron only assumes you have olive oil, salt, pepper, and all the hardware needed (oven, stovetop, pans, pots, cooking utensils, etc).

Blue Apron has two meal plan options: the Two Person Plan and the Family Plan. The Two Person Plan (what we have) is one box per week that includes three recipes, each recipe makes 2 servings. It’s $60/week, or $10/meal per person. The Family Plan is one box per week that includes either two or four recipes (you choose), each recipe makes 4 servings. The two-recipe plan is $70/week and the four-recipe plan is $140/week, both totaling $8.75/meal per person. Shipping is free, you can skip weeks whenever you want, and you can cancel your subscription at any time.

2) Selection & Usability

Blue Apron has an app and website that are both extremely user friendly. Both offer a two month summary of your delivery schedule, giving you the option to skip weeks and pick your meal offerings. The app and website also keep track of your delivery history so you can refer back to what you’ve tried, rate recipes, and have an electronic copy of the recipe.

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There is a full description of each week on both the app and website, including the recipes, ingredients, and wine pairings.

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Blue Apron offers six meal options per week and, with the Two Person Plan, you can choose three. Menus are customized to dietary preferences too (eg. I like fish but not shrimp so we don’t see shrimp-based menus). There are some restrictions on the combinations – for example, the vegetarian options usually can’t be combined with meat options – but we’ve always found a balance that works for us.

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One final note about the app – it’s full of video tutorials so you can learn new cooking techniques or just watch how a method or preparation is supposed to go before you do it yourself.

2) What You Get

Each week you’ll receive one box with the amount of food specified in your meal subscription plan. Inside the box is a thermal bag and cold packs, along with all of the ingredients in pre-portioned containers and bags.

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Here are three examples of what one box of the Two Person Plan looks like (one box = 3 meals, 6 portions):

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3) Recipes

First things first, each box comes with a recipe card for each dish. The recipe cards are fully illustrated and written with very thorough instructions. In other words, if you can follow directions, you can totally make all of the recipes exactly how they should be made.

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The recipes we’ve tried have been awesome so far. There have only been one or two that we didn’t love – that is to say, the majority have been delicious and only a few have been just ok. None of the recipes have been outright bad or disappointing.

Each recipe takes, on average, 40 minutes. The recipe cards give you precise times for each recipe (broken down into prep and cooking times) but they seem ambitious to me, and I know my way around the kitchen. The recipe cards also include serving size and calorie count information.

Here are some examples of recipes we’ve gotten and enjoyed:

BBQ Pork Burgers with Onion Rings and Corn on the Cob

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Brown Butter Cod with Shishito Peppers, Corn, and Purple Potatoes

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Fried Chicken, Kale Slaw, and Sweet Potato Wedges with Chili Honey

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Ginger Pork Burgers with Furikake Green Beans and Black Bean Mayo

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Crispy Cod, Summer Squash, and Quinoa & Arugula Salad

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Grilled Goat Cheese and Plum Jam Sandwiches with Cucumber & Endive Salad

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Fresh Papperdelle Pasta with Tomato Ragu

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Sweet Corn & Tinkerbell Pepper Pizza with Baby Kale Salad

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Porchetta Sandwiches with Baby Kale Pesto and Marinated Cucumber Salad

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Roasted Pork with Summer Salsa and Zucchini-Scallion Rice

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Seared Cod and Potato, Celery, and Radish Salad

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Spicy Peperonata Pasta with Tinkerbell Peppers, Cherry Tomatoes, and Pine Nuts

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Summer Vegetable and Queso Tostadas with a Spicy Crema

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Za’atr Chicken Burgers with Feta-Labneh Spread and Oven Fries

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4) Food Quality, Diversity, and Value

The food quality has been excellent so far. Not only has everything arrived fresh and for the most part unscathed, the quality of ingredients is very high. Produce has been full flavor, meat has been savory and moist, and the fish has been extremely fresh. The fish is the best aspect of Blue Apron recipes I think – I never know what to do with fish on my own and these recipes have given me more confidence when it comes to fish.

The recipes have introduced a whole bunch of new ingredients into my life that I never would have tried before and didn’t even know I liked! (eg. furikake, labneh, za’atr, endive, cotija cheese, black bean paste, korean rice cakes, sambal, ricotta salata, lemongrass)

As you can see from the pictures above, the diversity of the recipes is terrific. Above shows 14 different meals of the 18 we’ve received and none of them are exact duplicates. We’ve had pasta, pizza, burgers, sandwiches, stir fry, pork, chicken, fish, vegetarian, asian, Italian, traditional American, Mexican, Greek, comfort food, one pan wonders, etc.

For the quality and value I would compare these meals to restaurant-quality dishes and find them to be above that standard. $10/per person per meal may seem high but I consider some of that cost being the investment in new recipes and new techniques. I also see it as covering some of the labor costs of going to the supermarket, buying ingredients, and portioning them out. And finally, a restaurant dish of this quality in Boston costs anywhere from $10-$40 so I consider these meals, at a per night cost level, to be well under what you’d spend eating out (though, likely over if you got the ingredients at the market yourself but again, I consider that drudgery part of the investment).

5) Eco-Friendliness

When Blue Apron first started one major criticism was of the excessive packing and the amount of trash associated with the boxes. They have taken steps to reduce this waste by making much of their packing recyclable and/or compostable. There are two recycling options: recycle at home with regular curbside recycling or, if that’s not available where you live, you can send the packing back to Blue Apron for free and they will recycle it for you. You can also always upcycle your Blue Apron packaging too!

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Another part of Blue Apron’s eco-friendly mission is to develop a more sustainable food system including direct relationships with farmers, sustainable fishing, not using any products with added hormones or antibiotics, reducing food waste with thoughtful planning and portioning of meals, and the use of seasonal produce.

And finally, because all of the produce is whole and unprocessed, I feel good about composting our scraps as we normally would. Some meal services process all the food scraps for you, which is definitely convenient but I prefer to do it myself and compost the scraps.

6) Major Takeaways

I have three main overall takeaways from using Blue Apron:

  1. Blue Apron reignited my love for the basics. Many of the recipes build flavor with simple, every day ingredients like spices, fresh herbs, vinegar, shallots, and garlic. I realized I was skipping that foundation building in my cooking in the interest of time but it adds such rich depth to any recipe and is truly is a game changer, so should not be skipped.
  2. I learned some cool new cooking tricks! From making my own spicy crema for tacos to making my own quick-jams and quick-pickles to building a delicious pasta sauce from fresh tomatoes, it’s been fun to learn new techniques and new skills.
  3. Most importantly though, trying Blue Apron encouraged me to rethink the time I invest into meal planning. For so long we’ve meal prepped and planned on Sundays so that we don’t have to spend tons of time after work making dinner. I told myself that I didn’t have the time after work and couldn’t fit it in, and have ended up with marathon 4-5 hour long cooking sessions on Sundays. But the Blue Apron recipes never took more than an hour and finding that time between 5-6pm after work actually wasn’t hard. In fact, it actually helped me unwind from my day while spending time with John doing something fun together. I am really grateful to have learned that.

Overall, I am so happy with our Blue Apron experience and plan to continue using it. I may try other services to get a sense of how they compare but that would be purely out of curiosity. I hope this post has been helpful and do let me know if you want a free meal code from me, I’m happy to share!

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Getaway to Bar Harbor, Maine

In addition to the must-do activities of visiting Acadia National Park and going on an Acadia Sightseeing Nature Cruise, there is so much to do in Bar Harbor, Maine. This post is my recap of all of the highlights of, and my favorite things about, Bar Harbor.

First things first, it could not be easier to get around in Bar Harbor. If you have a car, awesome, but it’s really not needed! Bar Harbor is extremely walkable – this map is a great resource. There’s also the Island Explorer to help you get around too! The Island Explorer features 8 bus routes all over Bar Harbor and the surrounding areas that link to downtown, Acadia National Park, campgrounds, hotels, the waterfront, etc. It’s free (thanks to a $3M grant from LL Bean) and environmentally friendly (the buses run on clean propane).

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During our time in Bar Harbor we stayed at an adorable B&B – the Primrose Inn.

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Our room was very cozy, the breakfasts every morning were delicious, the grounds were beautiful, and the staff was warm and welcoming. Sitting on the porch and enjoying the summer air was a major highlight.

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Oh, and the DVD library was exceptional.

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To me, Maine is all about rustic charm, maritime culture, wildflowers and lots of green, brick sidewalks, and awesome seafood restaurants (like Seafood Ketch in Bass Harbor).

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Also, picture perfect sunsets. There’s something really magical about a sunset in the summer in Maine.

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Speaking of sunsets! One thing I highly recommend doing is watching the sunset from the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse. The lighthouse is about a 30 minute drive from downtown Bar Harbor, at the southernmost tip of Mount Desert Island.

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There are two viewing areas: one at the base of the lighthouse and another that can be found down a short trail off the main parking lot, at the bottom of a bunch of stairs, and out onto a rock jetty (instructions here too).

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I randomly read about Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse online and we went on a whim. I’m so glad we did; the views at sunset did not disappoint!

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Bar Harbor was named for the sandbar visible at low tide. This area is now called Bar Island Path and is really cool to walk out on. Check low tide times before going though, you do not want to get stuck out on Bar Island!

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Here is a good map of Bar Island Path and a description of how to get there.

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There’s lots to see when the tide goes out: tide pools full of barnacles, pretty rocks, and sometimes starfish.

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Twenty minutes from downtown Bar Harbor you can drive west across the island to Atlantic Brewing Company.

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Atlantic Brewing Company features an operational brewery (which you can take a tour of), a tasting/tap room, restaurant/outside dining, and a huge gift shop.

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The tour was short and sweet, and was followed by a tasting of all of Atlantic’s beers on tap.

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In addition to the beers, we also got to try Atlantic’s Blueberry Soda and Root Beer! So tasty!

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Just down the block from our B&B was St. Saviour’s Episcopal Church, built in 1877. This English Gothic parish church features 12 beautiful Tiffany stained glass windows, dating from 1886 to 1992. Next door, Bar Harbor’s cemetery includes a memorial to the town’s Civil War soldiers.

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At the center of downtown Bar Harbor is the Village Green.

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Village Green is the heart of Bar Harbor and is a beautiful public park with live music, gorgeous gardens, and a historic clock.

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From Village Green you can walk around downtown Bar Harbor to eat at any of the wonderful restaurants, visit the cute shops, people watch, and stroll along the waterfront.

I definitely recommend Cafe This Way for dinner followed by ice cream at Mt. Desert Island Ice Cream. Don’t worry if you can’t pick just one ice cream to try – they offer flights of four flavors! (my favorite was the Spicy Chai)

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There are many shops downtown, all worth a visit. My favorite was the Bar Harbor Tea Company though. Their Maine Blueberry loose black tea is incredible.

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Not in Bar Harbor but worth mentioning – on the way home we stopped at Mac’s Downeast Seafood in Auburn, Maine (about 3 hours south of Bar Harbor en route to Boston). The seafood was some of the best we’ve ever had. I highly recommend the fried clams; John spoke very highly of his massive lobster roll.

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Last but not least, another quick plug for both Acadia National Park (and the official tour) and the Acadia Nature Sightseeing Cruise (full details in my last post).

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I don’t know why it took us so long to get up to Bar Harbor, but I can’t wait to come back. We’re thinking October for my birthday. Fall is supposed to be just as beautiful as summer up in Bar Harbor. I think we’re definitely going to have to come back then to make sure!

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Acadia National Park, Maine

In mid-July John and I headed up to Bar Harbor, Maine – a place that we’ve wanted to visit for years. We’d planned a long weekend to celebrate John’s birthday and have a relaxing getaway. Acadia National Park has been on the Bar Harbor bucket list for a long time; we were really excited to finally visit! And, to make the trip even better, we just so happened to visit right on Acadia’s 100th birthday!

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We decided the best way to see Acadia National Park was to take a tour so we booked through Acadia National Park Tours. The tour is a narrated 3 hour bus ride with stops all along Park Loop Road (Cadillac Mountain, Thunder Hole, Jordan Pond House, etc). I took a ton of pictures and learned a lot about the park.

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Highseas is a historic summer estate in Bar Harbor built in 1912. It is one of only a few summer estates to survive the island’s devastating 1947 fire. It is now owned by the Jackson Laboratory and used as housing for its workers.

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Our first stop in the park was at Thunder Hole – a small inlet where, when the waves crash inside, it makes a booming noise that sounds like thunder. We caught it at low tide which was still pretty cool. I definitely want to see it at high tide someday!

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Our second stop was at the Jordan Pond House – a restaurant serving tea and popovers in the park since the 1890s. You can enjoy afternoon tea inside in the lovely cafe or outside overlooking The Bubbles (two mountains next to each other).

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And speaking of Bubbles, we also caught a glimpse of Bubble Rock from the Park Loop Road. Bubble Rock, or Balance Rock, is a piece of rock that was deposited by glacial activity and precariously balanced here atop South Bubble Mountain.

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From there we made our third stop atop Cadillac Mountain. The views of Frenchman Bay and the Porcupine Islands from here was breathtaking.

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Cadillac Mountain is located on Mount Desert Island within Acadia National Park and stands at an elevation of 1,528 feet.

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A panoramic view from the top:

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Also worth a stop in the park is the Acadia National Park Hull’s Cove Visitor’s Center.

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It’s about 50 steps up to the Visitor’s Center but worth the trek (even in the rain, for us anyway).

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A note here about the Island Explorer – the Island Explorer features 8 bus routes all over Bar Harbor and the surrounding areas that link to downtown, Acadia, campgrounds, hotels, the waterfront, etc. It’s free (thanks to a $3M grant from LL Bean) and environmentally friendly (the buses run on clean propane).

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Last but not least, I highly recommend seeing Acadia National Park and the Bar Harbor coast from the water. We booked a boat tour through Acadia Sightseeing Nature Cruises and it was fantastic! Highlight of the trip for me.

We boarded the boat just as the morning rain was clearing out. The rain stopped and we had blue skies for exactly 2 hours while we were on the tour. On the way back to shore it was almost as if we were being chased by the returning the clouds. The timing couldn’t have worked out more perfectly.

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Maine has a long and inspiring history. Speeding across the bay, admiring the rockbound coast – it’s hard not to get lost in the majesty and the tradition of this place. Acadia National Park is a perfect example of all of the national parks we’ve been to and loved; a place of solitude, reverence for nature, and enormous beauty that cannot be contained in a photograph, or even in my mind.

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At Egg Rock Lighthouse we slowed down to check out the seals and four bald eagles hanging out there!

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Just before the end of the tour we were treated to one more up close and personal bald eagle sighting.

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In the Acadia Visitor’s Center there is a movie that plays called Acadia Always: The Story of Acadia National Park (click to watch the full movie). In it they speak of wanderers and wonderers who travel in search of the beauty the world holds. Like any place I’ve ever traveled to and fell in love with, Acadia National Park reminded me what it means to be curious and in awe of the world outside my door. It reminded me that there have always been wanderers and wonderers like myself who have kept these beautiful places thriving, and to them I am indebted. But mainly, it reminded me that nature is for all of us and it’s our duty to respect it, preserve it, and share it. I can’t recommend going to Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor enough. I hope these photos provide just a small glimpse of this incredible place and encourage you to go see it with your own eyes.

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Recipe: Caprese Salad Pizza

It’s summer so naturally I’m eating a lot of caprese salads. I love having a little basil plant in my kitchen in the summer, they are pretty to look at and the smell is insanely good. That said, my craving for pizza never let’s up no matter the season, so I decided to combine the two to create this awesome summer pizza.

Domestocrat’s Caprese Salad Pizza

For the pizza dough: (makes 2-3 pizza crusts)
2.75 cups bread flour (I use King Arthur’s Sir Lancelot high gluten flour)
2.5 tsp. (or 1 packet) active dry yeast (I use SAF Red Instant Yeast)
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup warm water
For rolling out the dough: 2-3 tbsp. coarse cornmeal

For the toppings:
1/2 pint rainbow cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella balls
7-10 basil leaves
1 tsp. pizza seasoning (I use King Arthur’s Pizza Seasoning)
Marinara sauce or olive oil, whatever you prefer

In a stand mixer outfitted with the dough hook, combine all of the dough ingredients and mix together for 3-5 minutes. If you don’t have a stand mixer doing this the old fashioned way with lots of kneading works too. Knead by hand for 1-2 minutes and then store the dough in a big bowl covered in plastic wrap in a warm spot for at least an hour. You’re looking for the dough to double in size.

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While the dough is proofing, prep the pizza toppings: slice the tomatoes, cut up the mozzarella, grate the parm, and chiffonade the basil.

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When the dough is ready, sprinkle the cornmeal on your work surface and roll out to your desired shape. Top with marinara sauce or olive oil for the base (whichever you prefer) and then load on the toppings! You can add the basil before or after baking – I add it before because I find it mellows in the oven and I prefer that on pizza.

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I top the whole thing with King Arthur’s Pizza Seasoning but italian seasoning paired with crushed red pepper flake and salt and pepper do the job too. One additional note: this dough recipe will yield enough dough for 2-3 pies – this pizza uses 1/3 of the dough and I put the remaining 2/3 in a ziptop storage bag in the freezer for a later time (just thaw in the fridge that day before you want to use it).

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Bake the pizza at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

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Cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing. Then dig in to this perfect pizza: cheesy, rich with delicious summer tomatoes, and studded with sweet basil. So good, I guarantee you’ll make this over and over.

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Recipe: Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Ganache

My husband is a peanut butter fiend! Lord help me. All we need is an Oreo pie crust in the house to get him in a psychotic frenzy about peanut butter pie. That said, I’ll make any excuse to top something with homemade chocolate ganache so here we go!

Domestocrat’s Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Ganache (makes 1 pie)
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 container of whipped topping (I use Truwhip but CoolWhip is good too)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (optional)
1 batch of my hot fudge/chocolate ganache recipe (or a jar of store-bought is fine too)
1 Oreo pie crust

Start by making a batch of my hot fudge/chocolate ganache recipe. Cool to room temperature and then cover until you’re ready to top the pie (I’ve found a mason jar works best). You can totally use a jar of store-bought hot fudge or the kind in a squeeze bottle if you want. I recommend homemade because it’s fudgier and richer, but you do you!

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The pie filling couldn’t be simpler. In a big bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and peanut butter together with a hand mixer until thoroughly combined. If you opt to use the heavy whipping cream in this recipe, whip that in a separate bowl now too until you have soft peaks.

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Add the whipped topping (and whipped cream if you’re using it) to the peanut butter mixture and whip on high until it’s soft and fluffy.

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Spoon into the Oreo pie crust and smooth the top to ensure you have a nice level pie.

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Chill for at least 4 hours before putting on the ganache. You can swirl it on in any pattern you like. I went with this spiderweb design. Once that is done put the pie back into the fridge to chill for at least an hour before serving.

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Cut into slices and enjoy! (feel free to add more ganache on top too, just saying)

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Recipe: Baked Corn & Leek Risotto

Pay·off (noun, informal):

  • the advantage or benefit that is gained from doing something
  • the return on an investment

To me, risotto is the one recipe I make with the biggest payoff. You spend hours stirring, adding chicken stock, adjusting the temperature, testing the rice, etc. And, if you practice the dish a million times and get it just right, the end result is worth all of the time and energy you’ve put into it.

And then I tried Shutterbean’s Baked Corn & Tomato Risotto and all of that went out the window.

You see, this recipe is genius. It takes all of the heavy lifting of making risotto right into the oven. You can literally set it and forget it; throw the whole thing in the oven and walk away. And it will be just as perfect as it would be if you stirred until your arm fell off. My definition of payoff just shifted from hard labor to oven delegation.

Baked Corn Risotto (makes 8 servings, adapted from Shutterbean’s Baked Corn & Tomato Risotto)
2 cups fresh corn (about 2 cobs)
1 small yellow onion
1 leek
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flake
2 tbsp. butter
2 cups Arborio rice
32 oz. low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1.25 cups water
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
A few tsp. of olive oil for sauteing
Salt & pepper to taste

Start by sauteing the onions with a bit of olive oil over medium heat. When they are translucent and the edges have browned, add the corn and the garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

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While the onion and corn are cooking, slice the leek into half moons, let sit in a big bowl of cool water for 1-2 minutes so all the grit falls away, drain, and saute in olive oil over medium heat until browned. This can be done in the same pan as the onion/corn, I just have small pans so divided them up.

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While the veggies are cooking, measure the rice and then pour into a large baking dish. A big casserole sized dish (9×13) should do nicely.

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When the veggies are done (soft and browned), scoop into the baking dish on top of the rice.

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Pour in the stock and water.

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Add 1 tbsp. butter, parm cheese, and all of the seasonings. Stir to combine as best you can.

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Bake on 350 degrees for 45 minutes. At the halfway point give the risotto a stir and add the second tablespoon of butter. The risotto is done when all the liquids have been absorbed and the rice is cooked through. If after 45 minutes the texture of the rice still hard, add in a bit of water and return to the oven for a few minutes.

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This risotto will come out of the oven perfectly al dente, creamy, and full of flavor.

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Top with an extra sprinkle of parmesan cheese and serve. This risotto is perfect right out of the oven or stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

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Recipe: Six Ingredient Strawberry Shortcake

When I think of homemade strawberry shortcake I don’t usually think easy or simple; I think pastry dough, lots of lamination, kneading, cutting in butter, etc. After some research I found a few reputable recipes that were way simplified vis-à-vis the invention of all purpose baking mixes in the 1930’s (King Arthur, Serious Eats, Betty Crocker). Though skeptical, I gave it a try. I can confidently say this six ingredient strawberry shortcake is completely legit and will definitely be my go-to recipe from now on!

Domestocrat’s Six Ingredient Strawberry Shortcake (makes 6 shortcakes)

  1. 2 cups all purpose baking mix (not to be confused with all purpose flour; I used Jiffy’s version but King Arthur has one, Bisquick would work, etc)
  2. 1 cup heavy cream (you can use a second cup to make homemade whipped cream to top the shortcake, or just buy the kind in a can like I did)
  3. 2 tbsp. sugar
  4. 1 tsp. vanilla
  5. Pinch of salt
  6. 1 lb. strawberries

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Getting the dough together couldn’t be easier…

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Combine the baking mix, cream, sugar, salt, and vanilla in a big bowl or stand mixer and mix until the dough is thoroughly combined and smooth.

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You can roll out the dough and use a biscuit cutter to get a more clean look. I like my shortcakes rustic so I just formed even-sized flattened discs with my hands (about 1/2 inch width). Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

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Brush each shortcake with a little cream and sprinkle the top with sugar. Bake on 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until the bottoms are brown and the center is cooked.

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While the shortcakes are baking, rinse and slice the strawberries. The shape and size is up to you!

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These biscuits won’t be too brown on the top so don’t let that be the indicator of doneness here. A golden brown bottom is the best way to tell when these shortcakes are done.

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Cool the shortcakes for 5 or so minutes. Slice the shortcakes and top with the strawberries and whipped cream in whatever combination you like (I like a layer of whipped cream, strawberries, and then more whipped cream).

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Put on the top and add more whipped cream and thinly sliced strawberries for garnish. There you have it: a perfect, simple, 6-ingredient summer strawberry shortcake!

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