No Other Dish The Same: Blue Apron's Manhattan Fish Chowder

Imagine a world where your dinner ingredients are delivered in a box.

That box contains three easy to follow recipes:

Recipes that have pictures on them are always the best!!!! It helps for the recipe-challenged like me at least. Oh, and all of the ingredients are pre-proportioned out:

Even right down to the tiny bottle of Tabasco sauce:

It's a magical, magical thing. It was so easy! I just chopped everything up...

....and cooked it right up!


It was sooooo much fun!

Blue Apron is a pretty cool website, and it really helps when your amazing friend gives you a free trial. With that one albeit huge box, I had three meals just waiting to be prepared. I will say that there was way too much packaging included. Yet it seems to solve some main cooking frustrations - grocery shopping, choosing what to buy, having too much of one ingredient, etc. It definitely has kept me from going out as much as I might have this week. I also wouldn't have thought of making the three dishes for this week: Manhattan Fish Chowder, Chicken Shawarma with tzatziki, hummus and beet salad and Braised Carrots, Mushrooms and Brussels Sprouts with Creamy Polenta. Yum!

No Other Dish The Same: Mini Frittatas

Every once in a while, you start cooking for a book club about 40 minutes prior to their guests arriving. Luckily, tonight's menu was breakfast for dinner, so the food didn't take a huge amount of time to prepare. Plus, my friends always pitch in.

So, these mini frittatas - I've been waiting to do this ever since my mother bought me these cute little muffin tins for Christmas. It turns out that mini frittatas are pretty easy. I found this recipe on this blog called Italian Food Forever. It seems like there are tons of amazing recipes there!

So I started out by mixing eggs and milk. I substituted almond milk.

Then, I filled in my cute little mini muffin tins with the egg and almond milk mix.

Next, I put a bit of sauteed spinach and mushrooms into each muffin tin. The next two steps were the sundried tomatoes and goat cheese. My friends helped out with those steps.

And after a short while in the oven...deliciousness!

I will absolutely make this again - it seems almost foolproof even for someone who has trouble following a recipe!

No Other Dish The Same: Guest Blogger: Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

Dear readers, I'm switching it up a bit with my first guest post! Introducing....LP!

I pride myself on being someone who has tried as many types of cookies as possible, but my attempts at cookies is an entirely different story. Besides heating the occasional ready made stick on cookie dough fresh from the grocery store freezer, I have rarely actually attempted to make legitimate cookies on my own. Although there were those M&M cookies I made about 10 years that turned out well.....but I digress. I am moving on to bigger and better things. Namely Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies! So after what always seems to be the exhausting experience of working my way through the trendy neighborhood market, I had all of the ingredients.....even if they were sprawled across the table in no specific order.

To start, the flour, baking soda and salt (yes salt) were placed together in a bowl as I proceeded to melt the butter on the stove top. I must point out that in an effort to make healthier choices these days, I opted to use whole wheat flour instead of the bleached stuff.

Being the manly man that I am I decided I would not need a blender for the next steps. Certainly, I thought it would be a piece of cake (pun intended) to mix the gooey bowl of flour, butter, sugar, yolk, yogurt and vanilla all at once. So you're probably wondering to yourself "how did that work out for you"? My reply would be....that it did not. With the aid of new age technology I was able to finally mix the dough with added chocolate chips to boot. Now it was time to really get down to business.

With the cookie dough now set, I was able to add the Nutella. It took everything in me not to grab a big spoon and go to town on the jar like it was a pint of Ben & Jerry's froyo but my zen like qualities prevent such events from happening. After placing a small spoonful of Nutella into the center of each cookie it was off to the oven they go and the rest is history. I became the proud father of warm delicious Nutella chocolate chip cookies and then I ATE THEM! With some help of course : )

No Other Dish The Same: Butternut Squash Ravioli

Let me just say first - YUM! When your foodie friend who is an amazing chef invites you over to make butternut squash ravioli, you accept. I need to preface this post with a couple of disclaimers.

I didn't make the pasta - it was purchased from the Italian Market.

I also didn't make the butternut squash puree - my fantastic friend did. 

However, the recipe seems fairly straightforward.

I did, however, form the raviolis, which in my mind, is the most fun! Take a square (you have to have someone precise cut them first - not it :), and add a dab of filling, wet the edges with water, press a top later on, crimp the edges with a fork...

And voila!

Pretty fancy!

The next part is super easy - boil water, put the raviolis in and wait until they rise to the top. No timing, no measuring - just wait until they float. Since it was fresh pasta - it took ONE MINUTE. Usually pasta takes 8-9 minutes!

Then my friend made this amazing butter sauce that she just whipped up with all kinds of spices - I'm sure I could never replicate it.

And we served the ravioli with swiss chard. So good!

I'm determined to try this on my own in the near future. Trip to Philly's Italian Market, anyone?

No Other Dish The Same: Shrimp Tacos with Grapefruit Salsa

My friend came for the weekend, so naturally we needed to make guacamole. We always have plenty o' guacamole.

We thought guacamole would pair well with tacos. This salsa recipe looked nice and refreshing for a wintery night.

I've decided I don't have enough grapefruit in my life!

We used shrimp instead of fish...

...and substituted mushrooms and CSA greens for the cabbage.

Ooh - exciting news! My friend got me a rice cooker, and I used it for the first time! This is me wondering if my recipe aversion will prohibit me from using it.

Yet this was all it took....

For my rice to become this! SOOO wonderful!

It was a simple, delicious dinner (well, what we could eat of it after devouring a bowlful of guacamole). The salsa was a bit on the bitter side. Any suggestions?