Author Topic: Blue Apron  (Read 16184 times)

frugalnacho

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #50 on: October 28, 2016, 08:54:37 AM »
So that's one aspect I never hear about in these conversations- the teaching part.  People comment on meal quality but not how they give you instructions.  Is it like a simple recipe card?  A book with pictures?

Hello Fresh was a simple recipe card or booklet. It has the step-by-step recipe and each step has a photo. Usually they include explanations and cooking tips for anything difficult or unfamiliar.

I think the big thing for people who don't know how to cook is the ingredients - they are unfamiliar with ingredients, aren't sure how to find them, and are afraid they'll pick up the wrong thing, don't know how to prepare it, etc. These meal kits take the guesswork out of that aspect.

Don't get me wrong... I do not think meal kits are a mustachian way to learn to cook! On the other hand... The other day, a guy asked me for help at the grocery store because his wife told him to get cilantro and he didn't know the difference between cilantro and parsley. This is the sort of thing that stops people from wanting to plan their own meals.

What the fuck kind of grocery store doesn't label the shelves and the items themselves with the name and PLU code?  You don't need to know the difference between cilantro and parsley, you just have to be literate. 

MgoSam

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #51 on: October 28, 2016, 09:22:19 AM »
So that's one aspect I never hear about in these conversations- the teaching part.  People comment on meal quality but not how they give you instructions.  Is it like a simple recipe card?  A book with pictures?

Hello Fresh was a simple recipe card or booklet. It has the step-by-step recipe and each step has a photo. Usually they include explanations and cooking tips for anything difficult or unfamiliar.

I think the big thing for people who don't know how to cook is the ingredients - they are unfamiliar with ingredients, aren't sure how to find them, and are afraid they'll pick up the wrong thing, don't know how to prepare it, etc. These meal kits take the guesswork out of that aspect.

Don't get me wrong... I do not think meal kits are a mustachian way to learn to cook! On the other hand... The other day, a guy asked me for help at the grocery store because his wife told him to get cilantro and he didn't know the difference between cilantro and parsley. This is the sort of thing that stops people from wanting to plan their own meals.

What the fuck kind of grocery store doesn't label the shelves and the items themselves with the name and PLU code?  You don't need to know the difference between cilantro and parsley, you just have to be literate.

I still snicker when remembering someone who when buying groceries for a taco night, purchased cabbage thinking it was romaine lettuce.

JHoward

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #52 on: October 28, 2016, 09:41:21 AM »
I still snicker when remembering someone who when buying groceries for a taco night, purchased cabbage thinking it was romaine lettuce.

So they accidentally made you superior tacos?

MgoSam

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #53 on: October 28, 2016, 10:01:46 AM »
I still snicker when remembering someone who when buying groceries for a taco night, purchased cabbage thinking it was romaine lettuce.

So they accidentally made you superior tacos?

Superior is a stretch. It's more amusing because the lady honestly though she had picked up romaine lettuce. We didn't make fun of her, but it was hard not to giggle.

frugalnacho

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #54 on: October 28, 2016, 10:05:50 AM »
I still snicker when remembering someone who when buying groceries for a taco night, purchased cabbage thinking it was romaine lettuce.

So they accidentally made you superior tacos?

THIS is the first post you made on this forum? Espousing the superiority of the objectively inferior cabbage?  Obviously a troll from the cabbage industry.  Let's get this guy out of here mods.

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #55 on: October 28, 2016, 10:23:44 AM »
I still snicker when remembering someone who when buying groceries for a taco night, purchased cabbage thinking it was romaine lettuce.

So they accidentally made you superior tacos?

THIS is the first post you made on this forum? Espousing the superiority of the objectively inferior cabbage?  Obviously a troll from the cabbage industry.  Let's get this guy out of here mods.

Those cabbage shills have infected all corners of the internet.

JHoward

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #56 on: October 28, 2016, 11:30:55 AM »
I still snicker when remembering someone who when buying groceries for a taco night, purchased cabbage thinking it was romaine lettuce.

So they accidentally made you superior tacos?

THIS is the first post you made on this forum? Espousing the superiority of the objectively inferior cabbage?  Obviously a troll from the cabbage industry.  Let's get this guy out of here mods.

Those cabbage shills have infected all corners of the internet.

Cabbage doesn't get all wilty and sad when it touches greasy meat or wet salsa and guacamole. Lettuce on tacos is pointless whereas cabbage adds both texture and flavor.

And as a feeble attempt to be a good forum noob and not derail the first thread I participated in, I'll point out that Blue Apron et. al probably would include lettuce instead of cabbage for taco night and it would be disappointing.

ooeei

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #57 on: October 28, 2016, 11:46:01 AM »
I still snicker when remembering someone who when buying groceries for a taco night, purchased cabbage thinking it was romaine lettuce.

So they accidentally made you superior tacos?

THIS is the first post you made on this forum? Espousing the superiority of the objectively inferior cabbage?  Obviously a troll from the cabbage industry.  Let's get this guy out of here mods.

Those cabbage shills have infected all corners of the internet.

Cabbage doesn't get all wilty and sad when it touches greasy meat or wet salsa and guacamole. Lettuce on tacos is pointless whereas cabbage adds both texture and flavor.

And as a feeble attempt to be a good forum noob and not derail the first thread I participated in, I'll point out that Blue Apron et. al probably would include lettuce instead of cabbage for taco night and it would be disappointing.

The ONLY, and I mean ONLY time cabbage is superior to lettuce on tacos is when it's fish or slow cooked chicken tacos, and the cabbage is marinated in citrus and vinegar first.   Plain raw cabbage on beef tacos?  Might as well go back to living in caves.

druth

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #58 on: October 28, 2016, 01:26:38 PM »
I have tried Hello Fresh and Home Chef through intro offers (actually got paid to try Home Chef through Swagbucks).  I was really not impressed with Home Chef, their options for vegetarian were very limited.  We ended up getting one fish and one veggie meal.  It was lemon pepper fish and veggie thai curry, which are both things I know how to make and make pretty regularly already.

I did like Hello Fresh, we agreed it might be nice to get a box for a date night or something.  The recipes were a little more difficult, so they were fun to work on together. 

We ended up getting a subscription to platejoy.com though, which we use for pretty much every meal and which I think is a much better solution to the issue of being indecisive, but it doesn't cost an arm and a leg. I think it's 5$ a month?

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #59 on: October 28, 2016, 02:09:53 PM »
What the fuck kind of grocery store doesn't label the shelves and the items themselves with the name and PLU code?  You don't need to know the difference between cilantro and parsley, you just have to be literate.

Haha - in this store, all of the labels are above the shelves for some reason - so the labels are in the general vicinity, but not necessarily lined up. And I actually think the cilantro has a little twist tie with the name and PLU, but it gets buried in greenery, so you need to know where to look. The parsley only has an elastic band. They are always stocked side by side.

Then there's the additional problem - if the shelf stocker is a 16 year old kid who doesn't know the difference between cilantro and parsley, they can be mixed up and not match the shelf label.

Not that this is my problem - I know the difference. They look very unique, to me. I can tell flat leaf parsley from curly parsley from cilantro. I told the guy he could always tell the difference by smelling them, if he wasn't sure from looking. But he responded that they smelled the same to him. I just stared at him for awhile and then said, "Oh, that's too bad."

I kinda felt bad for him. He had clearly lingered by the shelf until someone came along to buy some cilantro so he could say, "That's cilantro, right?!"

scottish

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #60 on: October 28, 2016, 03:08:40 PM »
Hum, blueapron let's you download their recipes for free....

Sounds like a good way to try some new recipe ideas.

dragoncar

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #61 on: October 28, 2016, 05:18:12 PM »
So that's one aspect I never hear about in these conversations- the teaching part.  People comment on meal quality but not how they give you instructions.  Is it like a simple recipe card?  A book with pictures?

Hello Fresh was a simple recipe card or booklet. It has the step-by-step recipe and each step has a photo. Usually they include explanations and cooking tips for anything difficult or unfamiliar.

I think the big thing for people who don't know how to cook is the ingredients - they are unfamiliar with ingredients, aren't sure how to find them, and are afraid they'll pick up the wrong thing, don't know how to prepare it, etc. These meal kits take the guesswork out of that aspect.

Don't get me wrong... I do not think meal kits are a mustachian way to learn to cook! On the other hand... The other day, a guy asked me for help at the grocery store because his wife told him to get cilantro and he didn't know the difference between cilantro and parsley. This is the sort of thing that stops people from wanting to plan their own meals.

Oh that's easy, cilantro is the one that makes me vomit on the supermarket floor and asked not to return

frugalnacho

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #62 on: October 28, 2016, 08:08:37 PM »
So that's one aspect I never hear about in these conversations- the teaching part.  People comment on meal quality but not how they give you instructions.  Is it like a simple recipe card?  A book with pictures?

Hello Fresh was a simple recipe card or booklet. It has the step-by-step recipe and each step has a photo. Usually they include explanations and cooking tips for anything difficult or unfamiliar.

I think the big thing for people who don't know how to cook is the ingredients - they are unfamiliar with ingredients, aren't sure how to find them, and are afraid they'll pick up the wrong thing, don't know how to prepare it, etc. These meal kits take the guesswork out of that aspect.

Don't get me wrong... I do not think meal kits are a mustachian way to learn to cook! On the other hand... The other day, a guy asked me for help at the grocery store because his wife told him to get cilantro and he didn't know the difference between cilantro and parsley. This is the sort of thing that stops people from wanting to plan their own meals.

Oh that's easy, cilantro is the one that makes me vomit on the supermarket floor and asked not to return

Cilantro is great.  It was actually blue apron that got me into it.  One of our near free meals from the trial was spicy pork fajitas with guacamole and it called for cilantro.  I enjoyed the guac and fajitas with cilantro so much I planted some in my garden this year and incorporated it into the guac every time we made it.  I make a lot of nacho and taco dishes, so we eat guac pretty regularly.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #63 on: October 28, 2016, 10:56:19 PM »
Hum, blueapron let's you download their recipes for free....

Sounds like a good way to try some new recipe ideas.

That's probably the best way to use this service. Thanks for the tip; I would have never found that out.

t5inside

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #64 on: October 30, 2016, 09:11:52 AM »
I currently get a Hello Fresh veggie box every 1.5-2 weeks. Yes, it's more expensive than planning my own meals and going to the store, but at the moment I'm juggling a corporate 9-5 job as well as grad school (2 classes). The health benefits of eating nutritious foods as well as the fact that my employer is paying for grad school help me justify it. I'm single and make my work lunches too, so my overall grocery budget is still very reasonable.

I did notice that Hello Fresh posts their weekly recipes online (https://www.hellofresh.com/recipe/week/current/veggie-box/?year=2016) - I may switch the box to every two weeks then just go to the store and grab ingredients for an odd meal in between.

I'll also just say that while yes, the meal price ends up being about what you'd pay for takeout, the quality of the meal is generally much better.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2016, 11:00:54 AM by t5inside »

englishteacheralex

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #65 on: October 30, 2016, 10:12:37 AM »
I currently get a Hello Fresh veggie box every 1.5-2 weeks. Yes, it's more expensive than planning my own meals and going to the store, but at the moment I'm juggling a corporate 9-5 job as well as grad school (2 classes). The health benefits of eating nutritious foods as well as the fact that my employer is paying for grad school help me justify it. I'm single and make my work lunches too, so my overall grocery budget is still very manageable.

I did notice that Hello Fresh posts their weekly recipes online (https://www.hellofresh.com/recipe/week/current/veggie-box/?year=2016) - I may switch the box to every two weeks then just go to the store and grab ingredients for an odd meal in between.

I'll also just say that while yes, the meal price ends up being about what you'd pay for takeout, the quality of the meal is generally much better.

Yeah, there are circumstances in which I think these services are actually pretty great. Sounds like a win for you. I think if they shipped to Hawaii I'd probably have ordered at least a few. It's expensive but seems like one of those "luxuries" that wouldn't be too hard to justify.

Hey everybody: has anybody ever started a thread about Stitch Fix? Because that's one that I mock a little harder than Blue Apron etc. Those clothes are so darn expensive!

scottish

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #66 on: October 30, 2016, 04:15:31 PM »
We made their crispy chicken recipe tonight.   I thought it turned out pretty well.   Never had 'collard greens' before, they have a strong flavour.

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #67 on: October 30, 2016, 09:45:08 PM »
Collards in Canada?!?  Who let 'em across the border?

dougules

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #68 on: October 31, 2016, 10:48:51 AM »
We made their crispy chicken recipe tonight.   I thought it turned out pretty well.   Never had 'collard greens' before, they have a strong flavour.

Did you put ham hocks in it and make a pone of cornbread to eat, too?  I guess collard greens technically are a foreign food in Canada since the US is another country. 

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #69 on: October 31, 2016, 01:00:56 PM »
We did Blue Apron for several months but ended up canceling due to 1) the cost and 2) the packaging. It isn't cheap and it isn't for everyone, but we learned some valuable things from it.

  • The wide variety of recipes that got us to try a lot of things we wouldn't try to make at home
  • The importance of adding salt and pepper at every step (we do this now!)
  • The amazing impact it has cooking with really high quality ingredients. We found we could get very flavorful dishes with relatively few ingredients and very little in the way of "sauce", just by relying on the raw ingredients themselves to be full of flavor once cooked. I am now much more willing to buy higher-priced produce and meats when I shop.
  • How powerful citrus/acid is to achieving a balanced flavor profile. Almost every BA recipe uses the juice of a lemon or a lime. I have learned how the citrus brightens the flavor and makes a lot of otherwise boring dishes "pop".
  • Importance of proportions: we have re-made several recipes ourselves since canceling. I struggle to follow the amounts in the recipes exactly and the end product suffers as a result.

ariapluscat

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #70 on: October 31, 2016, 02:17:06 PM »
I have tried Hello Fresh and Home Chef through intro offers (actually got paid to try Home Chef through Swagbucks).  I was really not impressed with Home Chef, their options for vegetarian were very limited.  We ended up getting one fish and one veggie meal.  It was lemon pepper fish and veggie thai curry, which are both things I know how to make and make pretty regularly already.

I did like Hello Fresh, we agreed it might be nice to get a box for a date night or something.  The recipes were a little more difficult, so they were fun to work on together. 

We ended up getting a subscription to platejoy.com though, which we use for pretty much every meal and which I think is a much better solution to the issue of being indecisive, but it doesn't cost an arm and a leg. I think it's 5$ a month?

I too love the 'extra hard cooking experiment' as a date idea. if you can get a promo code for blue apron then this is a great idea! and no risk of wasting money if the date/trial goes badly.

ariapluscat

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #71 on: October 31, 2016, 02:18:37 PM »
I currently get a Hello Fresh veggie box every 1.5-2 weeks. Yes, it's more expensive than planning my own meals and going to the store, but at the moment I'm juggling a corporate 9-5 job as well as grad school (2 classes). The health benefits of eating nutritious foods as well as the fact that my employer is paying for grad school help me justify it. I'm single and make my work lunches too, so my overall grocery budget is still very reasonable.

I did notice that Hello Fresh posts their weekly recipes online (https://www.hellofresh.com/recipe/week/current/veggie-box/?year=2016) - I may switch the box to every two weeks then just go to the store and grab ingredients for an odd meal in between.

I'll also just say that while yes, the meal price ends up being about what you'd pay for takeout, the quality of the meal is generally much better.

Congrats on your hard work :D

StarBright

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #72 on: October 31, 2016, 02:33:57 PM »

  • How powerful citrus/acid is to achieving a balanced flavor profile. Almost every BA recipe uses the juice of a lemon or a lime. I have learned how the citrus brightens the flavor and makes a lot of otherwise boring dishes "pop".

Off topic- but YES to the above point. I once read that you should always add just a touch of vinegar or lemon juice to any sort of creamy soup and gosh darn it if it doesn't make a major difference in the taste.

With This Herring

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #73 on: October 31, 2016, 05:12:23 PM »

  • How powerful citrus/acid is to achieving a balanced flavor profile. Almost every BA recipe uses the juice of a lemon or a lime. I have learned how the citrus brightens the flavor and makes a lot of otherwise boring dishes "pop".

Off topic- but YES to the above point. I once read that you should always add just a touch of vinegar or lemon juice to any sort of creamy soup and gosh darn it if it doesn't make a major difference in the taste.

I add rice vinegar to miso soup (SO GOOD), but how do you add acid to a creamy soup without curdling the dairy?

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #74 on: November 15, 2016, 02:07:57 PM »
I haven't tried these, but I always buy newly married couples and new moms a subscription to a meal plan service.  My current favorite one is The Fresh 20.  It includes a shopping list with price estimate, a prep-ahead guide, and 5 recipes for the week.  It's ~$6/month if you get their annual plan. 

Between that and online grocery ordering where you drive to the store and they just bring the groceries out to you, I think you get 90% of what Blue Apron offers, for much cheaper.

I agree though the worst part of cooking is the planning/deciding/shopping, and it can create a significant barrier.  I love the actual kitchen work.

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #75 on: November 16, 2016, 05:47:58 AM »
I find the meal delivery programs to be overly expensive. I do appreciate the challenges for many people in learning to cook, shop,meal plan, etc. Growing up no one around me really cooked. We had a lot of really badly prepared frozen vegetables and dry park chops. When I got out on my own I definitely had no idea of very basic fundamentals - like how to bake a potato, how to tell if an hamburger was cooked enough, what to buy to have a reasonable pantry, etc. I managed to learn through trial and error, calling my grandma, and cookbooks. I was interested in cooking and motivated to learn.

Anyhow, now there are great resources online that show every step of a recipie, provide shopping lists, and photographs and videos. For someone who wants to learn to cook I think it is reasonably easy to accomplish. I have seen that some cooking blogs are definitely better than others. I know how to cook and can read through instructions and ingredients and recognize pretty well what won't work. For someone inexperienced it would be really frustrating to get a "bad" recipie and not know it. So, I guesss one advantage of meal delivery is a reliable set of instructions.

I think budgetbytes is an example of a really well done, very reliable, cooking blog.

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #76 on: November 17, 2016, 07:50:41 AM »

  • How powerful citrus/acid is to achieving a balanced flavor profile. Almost every BA recipe uses the juice of a lemon or a lime. I have learned how the citrus brightens the flavor and makes a lot of otherwise boring dishes "pop".

Off topic- but YES to the above point. I once read that you should always add just a touch of vinegar or lemon juice to any sort of creamy soup and gosh darn it if it doesn't make a major difference in the taste.

I add rice vinegar to miso soup (SO GOOD), but how do you add acid to a creamy soup without curdling the dairy?

When I say creamy soup I realized I didn't mean soups that had actual cream in them - sorry!

But things like butternut squash or carrot soups, or beans or lentils. I usually use potatoes or blended cashews to make soups creamy (daughter has a dairy sensitivity) so vinegar works with most soups I make.

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #77 on: November 17, 2016, 08:57:15 AM »

  • How powerful citrus/acid is to achieving a balanced flavor profile. Almost every BA recipe uses the juice of a lemon or a lime. I have learned how the citrus brightens the flavor and makes a lot of otherwise boring dishes "pop".

Off topic- but YES to the above point. I once read that you should always add just a touch of vinegar or lemon juice to any sort of creamy soup and gosh darn it if it doesn't make a major difference in the taste.

I add rice vinegar to miso soup (SO GOOD), but how do you add acid to a creamy soup without curdling the dairy?

When I say creamy soup I realized I didn't mean soups that had actual cream in them - sorry!

But things like butternut squash or carrot soups, or beans or lentils. I usually use potatoes or blended cashews to make soups creamy (daughter has a dairy sensitivity) so vinegar works with most soups I make.
You can also try using tahini. I find it in supermarkets, labeled as 'Tahini Paste'.

With This Herring

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #78 on: November 17, 2016, 05:16:24 PM »

  • How powerful citrus/acid is to achieving a balanced flavor profile. Almost every BA recipe uses the juice of a lemon or a lime. I have learned how the citrus brightens the flavor and makes a lot of otherwise boring dishes "pop".

Off topic- but YES to the above point. I once read that you should always add just a touch of vinegar or lemon juice to any sort of creamy soup and gosh darn it if it doesn't make a major difference in the taste.

I add rice vinegar to miso soup (SO GOOD), but how do you add acid to a creamy soup without curdling the dairy?

When I say creamy soup I realized I didn't mean soups that had actual cream in them - sorry!

But things like butternut squash or carrot soups, or beans or lentils. I usually use potatoes or blended cashews to make soups creamy (daughter has a dairy sensitivity) so vinegar works with most soups I make.

Oh, that makes sense.  I was sitting and looking at my broccoli cheddar soup thinking "But HOW?"

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #79 on: November 17, 2016, 09:10:40 PM »
When I say creamy soup I realized I didn't mean soups that had actual cream in them - sorry!

But things like butternut squash or carrot soups, or beans or lentils. I usually use potatoes or blended cashews to make soups creamy (daughter has a dairy sensitivity) so vinegar works with most soups I make.

Oh, that makes sense.  I was sitting and looking at my broccoli cheddar soup thinking "But HOW?"

Sour cream is also an option especially if you're going to add dill.

With This Herring

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Re: Blue Apron
« Reply #80 on: November 21, 2016, 02:05:56 PM »
When I say creamy soup I realized I didn't mean soups that had actual cream in them - sorry!

But things like butternut squash or carrot soups, or beans or lentils. I usually use potatoes or blended cashews to make soups creamy (daughter has a dairy sensitivity) so vinegar works with most soups I make.

Oh, that makes sense.  I was sitting and looking at my broccoli cheddar soup thinking "But HOW?"

Sour cream is also an option especially if you're going to add dill.

Ooo, yes, thank you!  I had forgotten sour cream.