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.

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Comments

  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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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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