The New Tool That Makes Me Feel All Chef-fy

(DISCLOSURE: this post is part of a compensated project I’m doing with Cook Smarts. I was provided a subscription to the website and compensated for this review, but the opinions shared here are 100% honest and absolutely my own. PLEASE SEE MY DISCLOSURE POLICY FOR MORE.)

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I am not a food blogger. I am not a food maker, even in secret. I have about three go-to recipes that I know I can’t screw up and other than that, I either:

a) hope that my husband gets to the kitchen before I do (he’s a very good cook)

b) make egg-salad sandwiches

Seriously, you guys. Try as I might, I’m just kind of a kitchen nightmare. I recently ruined a really beautiful pot because I steamed vegetables without enough water and scorched the bottom AND also screwed up a batch of cornbread when I used baking soda instead of powder and dumped in a tablespoon of cayenne instead of the recommended teaspoon.

So when Jess and Carly from CookSmarts.com asked if I’d be interested in working with them on a review, I originally tried to talk them out of it because I didn’t know if even their website could save me from myself. But the more we chatted and the more I explored the site, the more I wanted to give it a shot.

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After all:

  • the plans can all be customized to fit vegetarian, paleo and gluten-free diets
  • all of the recipes are simple and take less than 30 minutes to make
  • the website sends you a customized shopping list, all broken down by grocery store category
  • most of the techniques (chopping vegetables; sauteeing) come with video tutorials
  • if you like to do prep all at once, the system can give you a list of all of the steps ahead of time

***SPOILER ALERT: I loved the website so much that after just a couple of days, I bought gift subscriptions for most of my friends. (Guess they won’t be surprised now when they get them…oops!)***

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There was so much I loved about the CookSmarts.com experience that it’s hard to list them all. I appreciated that some of the leftovers from one meal were used in another. I thought it was so cool that the website made everything vegetarian for me, even updating the steps and ingredient list, so I wasn’t trying to remember to substitute them myself. The customized shopping list was a game-changer AND perhaps most importantly? The meals were delicious.

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Not totally screwup-free, I’m afraid. I made a dressing for a salad that probably would have been delicious…had I not forgotten that it was for four servings and used ALL of it on just two plates-full. Overpowering much? But overall, Lucas and I were really surprised at how good everything was, and how quick to prepare.

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Even Audrey loved the meals — she’s my little quinoa freak.

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Now to the fun stuff:

  • If you buy a subscription between now and December 31st, you can get 20% off by using the promo code KATYW2013 (go here for subscriptions and here to buy a gift for someone else)
  • ONE of you lucky readers will get a $50 Whole Foods gift card from Cook Smarts — no purchase necessary! To enter, just leave me a comment letting me know whether you’re a good cook or not and what your favorite go-to recipe is. I’ll pick a random winner after December 18th at 5pm ET.

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    Sounds kinda cool. Personally, I think I’m a pretty good cook but it’s not often I cook for other people so who knows? ;) I’m big on making salads because they’re so easy and you can just throw anything on top and call it dinner.

  2. 3

    says

    Sounds very interesting! My go to website is budgetbytes.com where each recipe is calculated at a cost per serving as well as there is such a variety in the recipes, along with tips and tutorials on how to do most kitchen basics. I literally make my own pizza dough, bread, you name it. I will definitely check this out for the video tutorials. Great post!!

  3. 5

    says

    i think i’m a pretty decent cook, especially when i have martha stewart to help me. my favorite go-to recipe (that i have stolen from martha) is the vegetarian tacos i’ve made for you guys before, with the different kinds of beans in the filling and the radishes and goat cheese w/ arugula for toppings. also because the leftovers are great for d’s school lunches.

  4. 6

    says

    I am an OK cook. I try but I end up failing a lot when I try new things! I wish I was one of those people who could just go into the kitchen and be able to whip something up, unfortunately I am not that way and always need a recipe to follow. If we are having a low key night I typically make some grilled chicken, broccoli, sweet potatoes, or green beans. Or I will have a salad – simple and easy.

  5. 10

    Jenn says

    I love cooking, but don’t really have the time during the week. I love picking up a rotisserie chicken and using that for a few meals :)

  6. 11

    Kristi says

    I love to cook! I never cooked until I met my husband, and he taught me everything I know! I like to think I have become quite a good cook! My go to is roasted veggies and potatoes with whatever meat/protein I have on hand :)

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