Bake, Baby, Bake!

Of all my various food fears, there’s one that I thought I’d never conquer: baking.

Erica's Baking Triumph

Erica's Baking Triumph

In my entire life, I have baked one cake — and it was from a mix. All I’ve ever heard from baking friends is that it’s easy. Easy, that is, unless you mess up one tiny measurement. Then a cupcake explodes in your oven and you cry.

Another reason I stayed away was that I’m not a sweets person. Give me a handful of potato chips over a piece of cake any day.

But when I do find a dessert I like, I tend to love it passionately. Tiramisu. The custard at Shake Shack. And recently, it was the banana chocolate chip muffins at a cafe near my apartment. …

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Further Adventures in 4-Minute Meals

In an earlier post, I tried Chef Terrance Brennan’s Fettucine with Shrimp, Tomato Confit & Creamy Pesto — and it changed my life. I’m not even exaggerating.

Rosa Mexicano Chicken Enchiladas

Rosa Mexicano Chicken Enchiladas

That one dish was so delicious that it forever altered my perception of what a microwave meal can be.

So the next time I sat down to do a FreshDirect order, I was super excited to try some of the other 4-Minute Meals. They had to be just as good, right?…

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Ichthyophobia! Facing the Fear of Fish

No longer a FreshDirect Newbie, our blogger Erica continues sharing her FreshDirect food adventures as “The Cautious Cook.”

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Now that I’ve gotten used to using FreshDirect, I’ve decided it’s time to try to conquer some of my biggest cooking fears. First up: fish.

Seared Tuna and Couscous Salad

Seared Tuna and Couscous Salad

I’ve been around fish my entire life. I grew up in a Brooklyn neighborhood called Sheepshead Bay where boats dock day and night. I remember that my dad went out on the bay and on Long Island Sound nearly every weekend, and I have hazy memories of my shoes squishing against the wet floors of our local fish store, Jordan’s.

But aside from an occasional tuna salad sandwich, I never ate any of it! …

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Master of the Microwave!

Back when I was a picky eater, I spent a lot of time feeling guilty about not eating enough vegetables.

Terrance Brennan Fettuccini w/ Shrimp, Tomato Confit & Creamy Pesto

Terrance Brennan Fettuccini w/ Shrimp

I knew they were good for me, and I even knew I’d feel better when I ate them, but I just couldn’t do much more than eat a salad once or twice a week.

Now that I’ve welcomed the wonders of vegetables into my life (Brussels sprouts! Cucumbers!), my guilt has shifted.

Now it’s not bringing my lunch to work that makes me feel a tiny bit like a failure. …

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A Lot Can Happen in One Click (Part 2)

In my last post, I began my journey into the world of FreshDirect One-Click Recipes — a journey that for me was far more nerve-wracking than it probably is for most people.

Erica's One-Click Recipes

Erica's One-Click Recipes

But when my ingredients for Pasta with Ricotta, Herbs, and Lemon and White Bean, Red Onion, and Tomato Salad arrived this past Saturday (along with my grocery staples like orange juice, garlic, and arugula), all clearly labeled and smelling wonderful, I began to look forward to my recipe adventure….

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A Lot Can Happen in One Click… (Part 1)

It’s time for another confession: I don’t make shopping lists.

There are lots of reasons for this. There’s a large supermarket around the corner from my apartment, so forgetting something is never a tragedy.

Stack of Cookbooks

One-Click Recipes at FreshDirect

I also enjoy going up and down every aisle, seeing what’s in stock and getting ideas. But there are two main factors in my lack of list-making: I don’t use recipes, and I’m lazy.

Recipes scare me. They’re supposed to make cooking easier, but they just make me panic. …

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On 2-hour delivery windows and killer green beans!

On the day of my first FreshDirect delivery, I was a bit wary of the two-hour window.

Erica's Impromptu Dinner Party!

Impromptu Dinner Party!

Nothing has a two-hour window. I’ve waited up to six hours for my couch, my cable and the gas man.

If coming to my house within a two-hour window is so easy, why doesn’t everyone do it?

Those were the thoughts running through my mind as I sat drinking coffee with my good friend Adrienne at Cocoa Bar, a cafe a few blocks away. And I think it must have been this bit of disbelief that kept me from checking my watch as frequently as I normally would if I had an appointment.

You can probably tell where this is going …

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My 1st Order, or, They Have *How Many* Different Kinds of Cheese?

If you read my first post, you know I’m not much of a chef — at least not yet.

Though I’m just beginning to appreciate the joys of cooking, one thing I’ve always loved is shopping. I love supermarkets. I love cruising up and down each aisle, from fruits and vegetables to frozen foods, seeing what’s new and what looks good (and what’s on sale).

Checking the Produce

My First Order

I have many friends who are devoted fans of FreshDirect, and I’ve always responded to their enthusiastic recommendations by reminding them of my affection for the grocery store. But now that I’ve completed my first order, I know the things they should have said to convince me:…

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Meet the FreshDirect Newbie!

My name is Erica, and I have a confession to make: I am not a foodie.

Welcome to FreshDirect!

Welcome to FreshDirect, Erica!

I love food, but for many, many years, the foods that I loved could have been counted on two hands. Chicken and rice (though only if made by mom or grandma). Pizza (just cheese, please). McDonald’s. Vanilla soft-serve ice cream. Bagels.

I was picky, but I was happy. I loved my handful of foods, and I could have eaten them — and nothing else — for the rest of my life.

I never understood why other people would gasp in horror, their mouths hanging open, when I told them I didn’t like chocolate or that I had never eaten bacon. …

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