Editor's note: The Blue Apron Brunch Box was provided by Blue Apron for review. Prices and availability are subject to change.
When the option arose to get the Blue Apron Brunch Box, I jumped at it. The box, which is available to order until Mother's Day or whenever Blue Apron runs out, includes the following:
- Avocado Toast With Feta, Radishes, and Chives
- Brown Sugar and Maple Candied Bacon
- Cheesy Asparagus Quiche With Romesco Aioli and Marinated Artichokes
- Overnight French Toast Bake With Blueberries and Lemon Curd
I figured my picky, picky family couldn't help but love at least one of these options. Right? RIGHT?
Overnight French Toast With Blueberries and Lemon Curd
This seemed like a sure-fire hit since my kids will eat frozen blueberries by the fistful, and they like French toast just fine. The recipe was fairly easy to put together, though squeezing a large pan into the refrigerator overnight to "give the challah buns time to soak up flavor" was a challenge. When I could finally pop it in the oven, it emerged looking close to the photo on the recipe card, though I managed to mess that up with a less-than-artistic application of lemon curd (not that I minded, since I love lemon curd).
The verdict? A resounding OK! My husband didn't love the sprinkling of almonds (I didn't think they added much, either), and my youngest kid doused hers with maple syrup, which I didn't consider a vote of confidence. The bake didn't have the moist, eggy quality I associate with French toast (there are only two eggs for six servings), but that was OK with me — French toast is not my favorite breakfast food, to be honest.
What did make an impression, though, was the packaging. There was a lot of packaging. Like, a lot. It's nice that everything (and I do mean everything) is put in nicely sealed containers for my protection, but I half expected Greta Thunberg to drop by to inform me I was killing the turtles or something. If you're wondering what constitutes too much, I grabbed a photo of the empty packages after putting together the French toast — and the pic didn't include the additional packages for the lemon curd, warming spices, and almonds. Let's just say our trash can was mondo full that week.
Cheesy Asparagus Quiche with Romesco Aioli and Marinated Artichokes
Given that my family's reaction to eating quiche was, "Do we have to?", I didn't have high hopes. There was also a little complication in that the four eggs I needed for the recipe weren't in the box (this also comes up again for a different ingredient, but we'll save that for later). Anyway, I had my own eggs, so full steam ahead.
For this, I remembered why I never became a Blue Apron subscriber — there was a lot of chopping. First the shallot, then the asparagus (so much asparagus), then the individually packaged (sorry, turtles) chives. But after that, it was just whisking and plopping into a pre-made pie crust. Even though my husband grumbled about the asparagus ("Who eats an asparagus quiche?"), even he had to admit it was pretty tasty. Which was good, since one kid suddenly had a tummy ache and another was "not hungry right now." I did say this is a picky family, right?
I also appreciated that, even though I was given a healthy quantity of roasted red peppers, there was no law that forced me to include them, and the quiche tasted just fine without them. There was also the Romesco aioli and artichokes, which didn't taste all that wonderful to anyone but were on the side anyway (I ate the artichokes later). The quiche itself was one of the better quiches I've had, thanks to a perfect balance of eggs and cheese and a buttery crust. This part of the Brunch Box got a big thumbs-up from me, even when I had to eat the kid-eschewed leftovers the next day (still tasted fine, so a win-win).
Avocado Toast With Feta, Radishes, and Chives with Brown Sugar and Maple Candied Bacon
Considering my version of avocado toast is usually just avocado, salt, and, uh, toast, this definitely seemed like a step up. I didn't let the radishes force me to include them, either (we saved those for salads, where they belong.) After I gussied up the avocado topping with olive oil, feta, and chives, the results were ... less appetizing than my usual, simpler approach.
As for the maple candied bacon, my box also didn't contain any bacon. I almost never buy bacon, but for whatever reason, I had gotten some at my last Costco trip, so this weird hiccup didn't slow me down.
Once done, the bacon was OK, but it created a burnt sugar situation in my oven that set off the fire alarm. Of the three meals, this was the fastest but also the most disappointing.
Would I Get This Again?
Given that I hate cooking and this involved plenty of that, it would have had to include sprinkles of fairy dust and a full-grown unicorn to make me order this twice. Needless to say, it didn't — it didn't even have all the stuff it was supposed to have, much less anything magical.
If I did love cooking? I'd still probably pass — unless I could just get the quiche, because that was fire. The avocado toast wasn't great (although the brown sugar was a clever addition to the bacon), the French toast bake only shined because of the lemon curd. Regardless of the end result, the endless packaging also made this a hard "nope" for me.
However, as I said, this is coming from a pretty picky family. If you are into radishes on your avocado toast, this is probably for you. And, if you can get your kids or significant other to make this stuff for you for Mother's Day, it is definitely a better choice than waiting in line for a table at a crowded restaurant.
Interested in trying to Blue Apron Brunch Box? You can order one here for $120.