Do you know that you can have a box of fresh ingredients and really cool recipes sent to your doorstep so that you become the chef? Here's my experience with it.

A friend of mine offered me the opportunity to try Blue Apron. I knew basically nothing about it except that it involved food, so of course I said YES. After all, I have two teen boys who are always hungry yet sick of me cooking the same old things week after week.

In fact, one of my sons is always telling me how great a cook his best friend's mom is, LOL! And my other son is a foodie and, on weeks' where I serve the 'same old thing', he demands that I bring him to a grocery store so that he can come home with an armful of new ingredients to create a stellar meal (unlike some of mine, haha.)

SO...in case you are in this kind of predicament and want to look forward to getting some good stuff in the mail, here's how my experience was.

Let me also say, before I begin, that I am not only burned out on cooking, but I am also too exhausted at the thought of researching new recipes, heading to the store for a bunch of ingredients that I am unfamiliar with selecting and using, and with no guarantee that the food will turn out delicious after all of that.

That said, I was completely surprised with how much I fell in love with Blue Apron. You check online each week to see what recipes you have to choose from and then select the day you'd like your delivery. This way you can plan what meals and days you are making them.

Secondly, everything is included, except for the olive oil, salt/pepper, and the pan/utensils. And I do mean everything -- completely measured out and wonderfully fresh (fresher produce than I have found in any grocery store) and packed with ice packs so that if it has to sit at your doorstep for a while until you get home it will still be absolutely fine.

We tried pork and chicken dishes that I would never in a million years have even thought to cook. I felt like a Michelin-star, award winning, Top Chef-competing master by the time I cooked these meals. The instructions were super easy, complete with timing everything so that the meal is completed in an efficient manner.

The flavors were incredible, the portions were enough for us to have some leftovers (which were GONE by the next day because they were sooooooooo good), and I felt great about learning the completely new talent of becoming a chef! It totally spiced up my life!

I will say that because I am not used to working with so many ingredients from 'scratch', it did take a longer time to prep and chop than it might for you, so I had to devote a good hour or more to the art of cooking these meals, but I found it so relaxing and stimulating to my senses.

Having said all that, it is a bit pricey, although if you eat out often or shop organic you may be spending that kind of money anyway, so it could be justified easily if it replaces what you would have spent otherwise in your budget.

I think that this is a fabulous gift idea for a hard working mom who is getting burned out on coming up with recipes to feed the family. I know I would LOVE it if someone gave me a year's worth of Blue Apron as a gift!

If you know someone who is getting Blue Apron, they have the option of sending three of their friends free Blue Apron meals to try, so you should ask them for a try like I got!

(PS...I did not write this piece as an advertisement...I have received nothing from Blue Apron to do this -- I just wanted to share something that I thought was great with you!)

...and thanks, Laurie, for letting me try!!!