WE'VE GOT MAIL!: A Different Kind of Apron

We're so thrilled to welcome our second guest contributor, our dear friend Katie McBreen. Our friendship with Katie goes back more than a decade (gasp!), and while neither of us gets to see her as often as we'd like, we love the fact that every time we DO get together, it's as though not a day has passed since our college years. When she's not traversing the country for her work as a high-powered PR exec in D.C., or trying out the latest fitness craze, Katie and her twin sister Regan can be found doling out fashion advice on their blog, Cardigans & Couture.  

As we've said before, our guest post series aspires to shine the spotlight on different ways that people incorporate cooking and the enjoyment of food into their everyday lives. We love that Katie's found a solution that keeps her weeknight meals both inspired and efficient. Now, if she could just tell us about fall's must-have boots....  - Sarah and Libby

Mi queridas....(you know my Spanish is much better than my French),

May I start with, I love this blog you've got going. It's like a modern-day version of Love Letters...but about food...and between friends. And did I mention it also forced Sarah to join some form of social media (Halle-freaking-lujah!). With distance between us, I love the regular updates on what's going on in your lives, and a recipe or two never killed me. So don't go deciding to have third children, thereby eliminating the already non-existent time you have to write...I'm starting to rely on you two and and your witty repartee. 

Now to the point. I was pretty excited to be invited to guest post...I love a good command performance. But here's the thing. You know those people who sit down at a piano and can just play? Yeah, I'm not one of them. I took lessons for seven years as a kid and Heart and Soul is the extent of my play sheet today. Cooking and piano playing skills must come from the same part of the brain, because if I don't have a sheet of music (recipe) in front of me, all you're going to get is Chopsticks. 

So when you asked for my favorite summer recipe, I thought about all the amazing things I could write about...that maybe I've made once...ever. And then I remembered that with good friends (and all their blog readers) it's all about honesty. And the truth is, without my dirty little cooking secret we'd be having smoothies for dinner every night. 

Ladies, let me introduce you to Blue Apron. Every Tuesday a box arrives at our house with ingredients for three meals. I've got to do all the prep work and cooking, but along with the contents comes recipe cards with step-by-step instructions and photographs. Basically my version of a player piano. And, it answers the proverbial question of "What are we doing for dinner," as a I drive home from work...i.e., it has probably saved my marriage. 

And did I mention the food is awesome. We've eaten things I'd never think to cook and haven't had a bad meal yet. Best thing is, you can save the recipe cards and make the food again - and it's the perfect portion for two people. So anyway, we recently made oven-fried chicken with sauteed green beans and corn. And while green beans and corn sound really easy, these were awesome. The serving size is for two people - but there would probably be enough for you, your +1s, and your solid-eating little humans. 

Sauteed Green Beans & Corn

5 oz green beans
2 ears corn (cut corn off cob)
1 bunch basil
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 lemon
1 clove garlic

In a medium pan, melt the butter with 1 tsp of olive oil on medium. Add the garlic and green beans and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the beans are bright green and slightly tender. 

Add the corn to the pan of green beans and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the juice of 1/2 lemon, 1/4 cup water, and chopped basil. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly reduced and thoroughly combined. 

Adios amigas! Un beso y un abrazo muy fuerte.