Aug 01

Blue Apron: Keepin’ It Fresh in the Kitchen

Some friends of ours recently got into this new concept grocery delivery based out of Brooklyn called Blue Apron.  Blue Apron offers a once-a-week subscription service where they deliver all the fresh ingredients you need to make 3 meals crafted by top chefs, in exactly the right proportions.  They designed the service to teach their customers fun new recipes, save prep time, and also reduce unnecessary waste.  They claim to bring you fresher and higher-quality food than you could get on your own in the supermarket, and for better prices.  This sounded pretty perfect to us, so we decided to give it a shot!

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Here’s the Q+DD about Blue Apron’s subscription service:  Blue Apron delivery comes with all the raw ingredients you need to produce 3 meals for the week, in exactly the right portions.  Each plate is designed to be a well-balanced, healthy meal (a serving is approximately 500-700 calories).  In addition, each delivery comes with printed recipe cards and step-by-step instructions.  The cost is $9.99 per person per meal.  You select the type of plan you want and the number of people.  Blue Apron currently offers two plans: one that includes poultry, meat, or fish with each meal and one that is vegetarian.  Delivery is free, and they deliver the same day each week.  There’s no commitment: you can cancel anytime before the weekly cutoff.  Blue Apron meals are designed to stay fresh for the week in which you order them.  For ingredients, all you need is salt, pepper, and olive oil.  For cooking equipment, all you need are standard pots, pans, and knives.  Blue Apron provides you with everything else.

This is what the box looks like when it arrives:

blue-apron

And this is what the instruction cards look like:

 Steak_Salad_with_Chickory_back_original_browse

Since THIS is what we’ve been dealing with in the Young kitchen, it really couldn’t have come at a better time…

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Our first meal was Beef Bibimbap.  It’s a popular Korean dish whose name comes from the Korean word for “mixed rice.”  It consists of white rice topped with sauteed veggies, marinated meat, hot chili, sesame oil, and other condiments.  The ingredients are all mixed thoroughly along with gochujang, a sweet-spicy soybean-based chili paste.  It was, by far, the most adventurous meal we’ve ever made in our kitchen.

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Our second meal was Salmon Burgers & Corn on the Cob with Basil Butter.  The recipe didn’t require breadcrumbs or binders for the mix.  We used freshly chopped salmon and cooked the burgers slowly over low heat so they stayed juicy.  We used a ring mold to get the round burger shape.  It was my favorite of the three recipes!

pghoto

Our third meal was Chicken Paillards topped with Endive, Radishes, Haricot Verts, and Fingerling Potatoes.  It was a pretty simple meal, but it had a kick!  I didn’t think I was going to be too excited with the final product, but I ended up really enjoying it.

phottto

Blue Apron is a brilliant idea.  (I only wish I’d invented it.)  And it made the past week exciting to come home from work and experiment in the kitchen without having to stop at the grocery to pick up all the ingredients ahead of time.  Most of all, I love that it gave us a little more culinary confidence.  Who knows, maybe Kevin will be on THIS cover one day!  (Not really, but it was still a funny picture.)

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Check out Blue Apron HERE You deserve a fresh meal!  :)

xx, L

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Categories: Health,Vendors,What we're Cooking

Mar 22

Prepare for Major Cuteness Overload…

Who us?

And us??  :)

Yeah, YOU!!  So, my good buddies + blog regulars, The Caseys, got a mini-goldendoodle (Charlie – pictured below) almost two years ago, and I’ve been more than a little obsessed with him since.  He looks like a teddy-bear-muppet-love-puppy, and he has the cutest disposition.  I wanted one of my own.  I needed one of my own.  (I want a golden goose NOW!!!!!)

I talked about it incessantly to Kevin.  And, around my birthday in January, we made one of our first major married decisions: we were ready to adopt a mini-goldendoodle.  We called Charlie’s breeder, Ayers Pampered Pets, to get on a wait list for our puppy and then we waited…and waited…and researched…and dreamt about what it would be like to have a puppy of our own!  Sometimes Kevin did both at the same time…

Finally, our puppy, who we named Henry, was born on February 12!  We get to take him home on April 12 + we are counting down the seconds until we get to move him in with us!  We got to meet Henry this past weekend over his 4 week birthday to make sure that he is just as awesome in real life as he is in pictures.  We are totally in love, and we’re pretty sure that he thinks we are swell, too!

HENRY

Doesn’t he look like a teddy bear?!  As it turns out, he will be brothers (same dad) and cousins (Charlie’s mom’s sister) with Charlie.  It’s kinda Jerry Springer-ish, but we’re down with it!

Pictured below is Henry’s first time on grass.  Too funny.

Anyway, we can’t wait to bring him home in a few weeks!  If any of y’all are thinking about adopting, I recommend checking out Ayers.  I’m sure that Charlie and Henry will have brothers, sisters, or cousins ready for adoption soon!

xx, L

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Categories: Pampered Pooches,Vendors

Jan 27

Ahead of the Game: Let’s Talk Taxes…

Guess what I’ve already filed?? 

Yep, you guessed it…  My 2011 taxes.  Look who’s on the ball!  (It’s me, it’s me!)

For the past few years, I’ve taken my tax info down the street to HR Block, simply out of convenience, to have one of their employees quickly chew me up and spit me out.  “See ya’ next year!” they’d say with a smile as I wrote a large check for their data entry, and moseyed out confused as to why my fairly simple tax return was so expensive.  Not this year, readers.

THIS year, I changed it up.  I’m using a firm to prep my taxes who was highly recommended to me by blog regular + close friend, Loren S.  They don’t advertise – they rely on word of mouth.  (And, we like that!)  They’ve done such an excellent job with my taxes this year, and really handled me with care.  So, I want to help ‘em out a little.

siegel & siegel, p.c.

Siegel & Siegel, P.C. is a small, family-owned firm that was started in the 1950’s by Abe Siegel.  All three of Abe’s sons became CPAs and all worked there (and still do).  Josh Halpern, my new CPA (um, do I sound fancy pants or WHAT?!), is the newest addition to the group.  He started working there in 2007, and has been a CPA since 2009.  Josh is a Georgia Bulldog (which I didn’t hold against him), and an all-around really awesome guy.

Siegel & Siegel provides accounting and tax services for individuals and small businesses.  This includes compilations (another way of saying financial statements), as well as tax services.  Many of their business clients are service-oriented (doctor, lawyer, dentist, real estate), but they can also work on any small “closely-held” businesses.  Josh had no problem at all helping a little guy (girl) like me with my super-simple tax return, either.

Clients like Siegel & Siegel because of the personal attention they receive from the firm.  They don’t have young staff for partners to hand over their clients to “to be worked-up” and then passed back for a quick check-over and a signature.  They do the work themselves, and they each know their clients issues/ business versus having to find the staff person who worked on that client (larger firms are like this) to inquire about what is going on.  They do not bill solely based on time, so they are happy to take calls and respond to e-mails.  (Even I know that this is very old school – and I appreciate it.)  Siegel & Siegel considers itself to be a “vintage firm.”  The kind where you receive the personal attention you deserve.

Siegel & Siegel’s office is located in Sandy Springs near Roswell Road and Hammond, close to Breadwinner Cafe.  Give Josh a call.  He’s a great guy (I absolutely vouch for him), and he will very thoughtfully walk you through your taxes.  I sincerely appreciated the care with which he explained everything to me, and the speed at which he prepared my return.  If you’re looking for some tax help this year, I highly recommend Siegel & Siegel. 

P.S. Tell Josh that the Q+DD sent you!  We don’t get a kickback or anything (I can’t even imagine what it would be if we did…), but it would be nice to know that we were able to help out a really great, small business that we believe in!  :)

xx, L

Siegel & Siegel, P.C. – Josh Halpern
140 Hammond Drive
Atlanta, Georgia 30328
404.252.6667 ext. 106
joshua@siegelcpa.com
www.siegelcpa.com

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Categories: Organizing,Reminders,Vendors,What we're Doing

Dec 16

Print Your Instagram Photos w/ Printstagram.

So, there I was.  In a dilemma.

(lindsay. obviously.)

I’d just returned from this super-incredible vacation and I had all of these fantastic-amazing photos of it that I took on my trusty iPhone 2.  Naturally, I’d run almost all of them through the Instagram App that I love so dearly because every photo looks better with a vintage filter.  Am I right?  AM I RIGHT?  I’m right. 

instagram? we're pals.

Anyway, I thought I might order some prints of my doctored-up photographic achievements.  I logged onto Snapfish, uploaded my photos, and BAMMM – they look terrible.  I could order them if I wanted, but Instagram had resized them to the cute square shape I adore, and they would be blurry if I printed them out myself. DRATS!  I shook my fists in the air.

No way, I didn’t want to order 200+ blurry photos!  But, I liked my Instagram-ed photos better than my actual ones.  Dilemma…

I did some light googling along the lines of “how the heck am I going to get my Instagram prints now??” and I eventually found my answer: Printstagram.

Good news!  Lucky day!  By way of Printstagram, I had ENDLESS (okay, five) options of what I could do with my Instagram-ed photos.

I could order a large, high-quality poster made with my Instagram photos.  It’s 20″ x 40″ in size, and can accommodate anywhere between 50-400 photos.  Printstagram sizes them to fit the full poster size and arranges them in a clean grid.  All for only $25. 

STICKERS were another option.  Heck yes!  You get 252 stickers per order, so you’ll be able to use them liberally without breaking a sweat…or the bank.  A slick $10 will seal the deal.

The Tinybook.  Is there any cuter way to show off your pictures than THIS?  The photo quality is great, and tinybooks even magnet to your fridge.  Order 3 tinybooks with 24 photos in each for $10.

Tinybook too small?  No problemo.  Prinstagram offers the Minibook, as well.  The photos are printed back to back on card stock with a glossy photo-finish.  Photos are printed at just about the same size as they appear on your iPhone.  Order 2 minibooks with 50 photos in each for $12.

Or, you can opt for what I purchased: Miniprints.  Instagram miniprints are printed on card stock with a matte finish and just the right amount of weight to them.  It’s a simple and classy way to showcase your artistry.  Give them away to your friends, stick them in a scrapbook or on your walls, or carry a few in your wallet.  Order a set of 48 prints for $12.

my miniprints

Mine just arrived today!  So excited.  (Take note, future Printstagrammers: They ship from Taiwan, so expect for them to take their sweet time getting to you.) 

Check out Printstagram HERE.
Watch Printstagram’s product video HERE.
See what else Printstagram is doing with the Instagram platform HERE.

I’m a Printstagram FAN:)

xx, L

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Categories: Random Musings,Technology,Tricks of the Trade,Vacation,Vendors,What we're Doing

Dec 02

Holidays on Peachtree

Something exciting was going down outside my office last night when I was walking out to my car to head home.  CLEARLY, I did not get the memo…

The holidays are here!  For the entire month of December, you can find the perfect gifts and enjoy all the holiday experiences that Midtown has to offer

The kick-off reception was last night (and it looked like fun!), but there’s more! 

12/2 + 12/3: Local Gifts + Treats Pop Up Shop at MidCity Lofts (West Peachtree at 6th St. between Tech Square + Renaissance Hotel).  Vendors include: Olive, Pieces of Me, Lisa Jill Jewelry, Kristi Hyde, and JuneBug.  To compliment your shopping experience, enjoy treats from Sinless Cocktails + Rockin’ Cupcakes!

All Month Long: Midtown’s holiday festivities continue! 
Ice skate in Piedmont Park at Park Tavern
- Visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s “Garden Lights – Holiday Nights” installation
- Visit the “Picasso to Warhol” exhibition at the High Museum of Art
- See “A Christmas Carol” at the Alliance Theatre
- Get tickets for “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” at the Fox Theatre
- Revisit the story of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” at the Center for Puppetry Arts
- Hear “Handel’s Messiah” at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

More info below…

December may be 31 days long, but you’ve got A LOT to do.  It’s going to fly by! 

Happy Holidays from the Q+DD!

xx, L

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Categories: Events,Gifts,Holidays,Midtown,Museums,PSAs,Theatre,Vendors,What we're Doing,Where we're Shopping