The Future
February 13, 2012

To our users:

Thank you for your incredible support. At times we’ve mixed up orders, run into delays, and had issues with our website, yet you’ve been positive and understanding. 

Today we’re making the tough decision to suspend pickup service to focus on the next iteration of Yupeat (a push towards a more full featured service that includes delivery). Yupeat monthly subscribers will have their money refunded for February and any ongoing charges canceled.

The daily meal ideas will continue and we’ll add a section to the Yupeat site for viewing all of our past meal suggestions. We really appreciate your patience during this transition and hope to be offering a much improved service that’s considerably more convenient in the very near future.

Order Groceries on the Go: Introducing the Yupeat iPhone App
December 18, 2011

We’re excited to announce today the release of the Yupeat iPhone app. With the iPhone app you receive the Yupeat daily meal on your phone and place orders from anywhere. Deselect grocery ingredients, choose your pickup time and location, and confirm your order. Perfect for anyone living and working in San Francisco. It’s the simplicity of the web app redesigned for your iPhone. 

 


Use the app in your kitchen when cooking as well.  You get all the details you need on the app, including the list of ingredients and directions on how to make that night’s meal.

New to Yupeat?

If you’re new to Yupeat, here’s how it works:

Each night of the week we’ll send you a meal idea. Place your order and we’ll buy all of the groceries for that night’s meal. Pick-up at the end of your workday. Never overbuy and never wait in line again.

 




The Yupeat app is available from the App Store on the iPhone or in the App Store here.

If you don’t have an iPhone, know that we’re hard at work on a mobile version of the website. In the mean time sign up here and start receiving your daily meals by email and ordering via the web.

4 Month Yupeat Gift Subscriptions
December 12, 2011

We started Yupeat 4 months ago because we wanted to make it easier for our friends and family to cook great food at home. Driven by this idea, we’ve been focused on giving you the inspiration and ingredients to make cooking at home a joy. Of course, we’ve been incredibly fortunate to have you be a part of the Yupeat community. Your ongoing feedback and use of the service is validation that we’re on the right track.

We wanted to take time this holiday season to express our sincerest thanks. We’ve had a chance to get to know some truly incredible people and look forward to meeting more of you.

Spread the joy this season and get your friends onto the Yupeat bandwagon with a 4 month unlimited gift subscription - available through December. Click here to get started.


Be Heard! Recipe Voting
November 14, 2011

Pedro. Ed. Yupeat. 

It turns out that voting and mustaches yield good results. With that in mind, today we’re introducing recipe voting. Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to yupeat.com/vote;
  2. Vote on recipes you want yupeat to feature OR nominate additional recipes;
  3. Sit back and wait for the top voted yupeat meals to roll in.

It gets better. Nominate a recipe from the web and have your friends vote it up.  If your meal is voted into the top spot by the end of the week (selected Sunday) you get 50% off ingredients for your next meal. How’s that for a reward?

Click here to start voting and enjoy.

Interview with Karen Miner: Author of Tasty Trials
November 11, 2011

What do you do after spending ten years of your life at a job that’s no fun. Rediscover your creative outlets and put all your energy into it to make up for lost time. That’s today’s lesson from Karen Miner, author of Tasty Trials. In pursuing her love of cooking and writing, Karen’s seems to have found her calling, giving visitors of her blog an honest glimpse into her everyday life. Read our interview with Karen below:

Can you tell us a little about yourself? When did you first get into cooking and how did you decide to start a food blog?

These interview questions made me think of some old memories! I remember cooking my first real “fancy” meal for my parents around 10 or 12; a breaded scallops dish. But I wasn’t really a regular in the kitchen until about ten years ago when I started cooking big holiday dinners with my dad. That quickly grew into something that I really loved doing and was pretty good at. I started cooking more often and haven’t stopped yet. It has only been since I started my blog, just over a year ago, that I’ve been creating original recipes and not using cookbooks. My blog was a product of not really knowing what else to do…I had quit my job of ten years to try to figure out what I really wanted to do. I thought it would be a fun way to document my trials and errors in the kitchen. It quickly turned into more than a hobby and currently occupies much of my time. There is always so much to learn when it comes to food, cooking, and especially food photography. The photography has been a real learning experience. (Don’t go looking back at any of my old photos!) Thankfully, my husband has a knack for it and frequently helps me get the right shot.

Do you have a guilty pleasure when it comes to cooking? (By the way… the Bacon Apple Pie!!! Seriously, I’m sold!)

My guilty pleasures are probably not too much different from most. I have quite a love affair with heavy cream and butter. What can I say? They just make things taste great! I also salt with a heavy hand and may or may not have a tub of bacon grease in my refrigerator. (I guess that means bacon goes on the list, too.)

If you’re going to a potluck dinner, what are you most likely to bring?

I’m a big believer in bringing wine to dinners. Unless I’m asked to bring a specific dish, I’m most likely going to bring a nice bottle of red. I don’t want to be the third person to show up with a green salad or guacamole, and you can never have too much wine at a dinner party.

If you had an infinite budget (or maybe you already do :) what would you cook for yourself?

There would definitely be a heftier amount of beef tenderloin consumed. I know the big chefs criticize it for not having as much flavor, but I love it. Nothing beats the tenderness of a medium-rare filet of beef that practically melts in your mouth. (I buy the full loin and trim it myself…it’s a good way to ensure better quality steaks.) Other than that, I would frequent the fish markets more instead of going cheap and buying from Costco or the grocery store. There really is a huge difference in quality but who can resist when there’s a $20 per pound price difference?

What was the first ‘impressive’ meal you learned to make? Would you recommend it to someone who’s just learning to cook?

This is the question I’ve been wracking my brain over. I’m not counting the aforementioned scallops dish because I have my doubts that it was actually any good. I’m not sure if it was my first, but there was a pork tenderloin dish that I called upon many times in my early cooking years when I wanted to serve an impressive meal. It was crusted in Dijon mustard and horseradish, coated with garlic and breadcrumbs, then roasted. Using a meat thermometer, it comes out perfect every time. Serve it with a side of roasted potatoes and sautéed green beans and you’re getting oohs and aahs. I would definitely recommend a dish like this to someone who’s just learning to cook. It’s safe because you’re relying on a thermometer to let you know when it’s done, so there’s no guesswork. And the whole process is simple with no crazy techniques to struggle with…that’s big plus.

Karen, thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. We’re looking forward to seeing more of your delicious meals. Be sure to check out her featured recipe recommendation here

Interview with Veronica Culver: Author of The Enchanted Cook
November 10, 2011

You know you’ve reached a level of culinary mastery when you start looking for ways to create every element of the dish from scratch. While the rest of us look for the closest thing to pre-made there is (peanut butter and jelly in the same jar? why, yes I’ll have one of those) Veronica Culver is doing the opposite. Anything from making homemade butter to grinding her own spices, she’s done it.

But don’t be fooled, her food blog The Enchanted Cook is full of quick meals perfect for the busy professional. Check out our interview with Veronica then head on over to her blog and drool over the photos that accompany her recipes. That’s what we plan on doing.

Tell us a little about The Enchanted Cook. How did it get started? Did you already have a regular routine of cooking before you started the blog?

I was spamming my friends all over Facebook with food photos so starting my blog seemed like a natural progression. I truly love everything about food and I’m a very visual person. I’ve always wanted to capture the moment with a photograph so I can share my experiences with others. I want you to see, feel, taste and experience what I’m seeing, feeling, tasting, and experiencing. The Enchanted Cook is a collection of some of my favorite foods that I’ve made, and of course, eaten.

  

Cooking comes naturally to me because I’ve been doing it since I was a little girl. Both my parents worked outside the home so one of my family contributions was to have dinner on the table each evening. Now that I’m in my mid-forties, I’ve been through all the stages of home cooking – as a novice working my way through various cookbooks, on a budget, for picky eaters, as a working mom with limited time and energy, and as an empty nester with renewed passion and an experimental spirit. Along the way, I’ve also happily eaten at some of the finest establishments {and local dives} around the country sampling and enjoying multiple cuisines.  My blog lets me share myself and fulfills a creative and passionate part of me. Every aspect of it gives me pure enjoyment

Can you tell us a little bit about your first experiences cooking. Do you remember the first meal you made where you thought, ‘Wow, I’m pretty good at this cooking thing’?

When I was around 9 years old, my brothers and I wanted to do something for our parents’ anniversary so we decided to make them a romantic dinner complete with dessert. I took out our Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book to look for something special that I knew I already had all the ingredients for. I settled on a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting (we did make a full menu, but I don’t remember what else was included…in fact, the entrée might easily have been Hamburger Helper’s finest!). In any case, I proceeded to make the entire cake and frosting from scratch following the directions in the cookbook, never having made a cake from scratch before. I was so motivated that it never occurred to me that this might be something difficult to tackle. When it was done, I was really thrilled with it - it was SO moist, rich, chocolatey, and delicious. I remember thinking – “Boy, I’m a darn good cook…even if I do say so myself”! J Btw, this was a saying I picked up from my dad. He usually made our Thanksgiving dinners and would invariably end the meal by saying exactly that!

What do you think about microwaves? Are there any kitchen gadgets that you use regularly?

I try and avoid using the microwave as much possible these days. I’ve used my fair share of microwaves in my time and even remember when they first came out. They were called “electronic ovens” and my family was so excited to get one. In fact, most of my adult life I’ve continued to refer to them as “electronic ovens” – tee hee. Anyway, these days microwaving doesn’t fit so well with my food philosophies. I like to try and do things fresh whenever possible. 

Hmmm…on kitchen gadgets, I’d have to say I certainly like them but since I find cooking to be therapeutic and relaxing, I very much enjoy taking the journey as much as reaching the destination. Hence, you’ll often find me in my kitchen with my favorite tool – a super sharp {and rather large} chef’s knife – hand-mincing garlic or the like. If I had to choose a “gadget” though, I’d probably say my collection of Microplanes. 

Do you have any great influence in your cooking?  Sources you regularly reference for inspiration?

I have so many great influences! As a child I used to watch The Frugal Gourmet – Jeff Smith – on PBS. I was mesmerized. He was so entertaining and interesting to watch. A more recent favorite is Ina Garten. Pick any one of her recipes and you can count on it working as stated, every time, without fail. I watch a lot of cooking shows and read a lot of cooking magazines, so I often find inspiration there. Chopped is one of my favorite shows - I love to imagine what I’d do with the basket of crazy ingredients! And when I’m bored at an airport or waiting on line somewhere, I’ll pull out my iPhone and peruse the Foodgawker app. It’s so visually appealing, pleasing, and inspiring. The only downside is that I invariably end up hungry.


 

So many people are working longer hours today. As a result, they cook less. What can they make when they get home that doesn’t take a lot of time? 

So true! I frequently make meals that take around 30 minutes from kitchen to table, my blog is full of them. Pasta dishes are great if you’re short on time. Fish, too, because it cooks so quickly. Another favorite of mine are chicken cutlets – which also cook uber fast. For something fast and easy you don’t have to think about, just throw a protein, some fresh veggies, and some seasoning (can be as simple as sea salt and fresh cracked pepper), on a sheet of non-stick foil, wrap it up in a packet leaving a little room for steam to circulate, throw it in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes or so and Voila! an easy, healthy, individual, one packet meal. Add a side salad and/or seasonal fresh fruit for dessert and what more could you ask for?

Thanks for taking the time to talk Veronica. We really appreciate it.

Be sure to check out more of Veronica’s great recipes on The Enchanted Cook and her awesome Yupeat recipe recommendation here.


Interview with Nikki Gladd: Author of Pennies on a Platter
November 9, 2011

Travel. Great family. Successful blog. What more can you ask for?

Nikki Gladd started Pennies on a Platter in February of 2007, to focus on cheaper recipes and share money saving tips. Over time the blog evolved into trying recipes that extended her culinary skills, leaving readers with a wide range of recipes to try. 

But don’t just take our word for it, be sure to visit the recipe index section on Nikki’s blog. There’s no shortage of delicious meal ideas. We wish we could buy ingredients for every meal, but we’ll stick with one for now.

Learn more about Nikki and her thoughts on cooking in our interview below: 

Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got into cooking? Is it something you’ve been doing your whole life? When did you start blogging? 

I only started cooking while I was dating my now-husband in 2004 at the age of 23.  Growing up, the main things I made were chocolate chip cookies (in the microwave..what?) and pizza bagels (also in the microwave).  I could also throw together a mean Kraft macaroni and cheese.  :)  Once I got out of college, I realized that cooking and baking was something I actually really wanted to do, and quickly found out that I loved it.  Almost 2 years after I got married, I decided to start blogging about my new-found love in the kitchen.

Are you one of those cooks who follow recipes perfectly when cooking or do you usually make changes to the meal as you go? Is there an approach that you’d recommend to someone who is just getting into cooking? 

When baking, I typically follow the recipe pretty closely since it’s fairly scientific and science has never been my forte.  When cooking, it just depends.  If it’s the first time I’ve made recipe, then I’ll usually follow right along.  But, once I’m comfortable with it, I’ll occasionally mix it up, especially if I find I’m missing an ingredient at the last minute and need to substitute with something else.  For those just starting out, I recommend first figuring out who you are.  Like, are you the chemist I never was and can you actually create your own cake formula?  Don’t just start following recipes right away, because maybe you’ll never know that you can actually just do it on your own.  You know, it’s like toddlers learning to draw.  If their moms just do it for them, how will they ever know they’re artistic? :)

What are your sources of inspiration when cooking? Any ideal sources for fast and delicious meals that could work well for the young busy professional?

My inspiration usually comes from other food blogs or cook books.  I’m a very visual person, so if I see a photo of a dish that makes me drool, then I will more than likely bookmark it and make it.  As far as ideas for helping with fast and delicious meals? I love taking one or two non-busy days each month to make things that are freezer-friendly.  I usually try to keep a batch of Baked Chicken Taquitos, hamburger/pretzel buns, chicken nuggets, pizza dough, etc. supplied in my freezer so they are there when needing a quick weeknight meal.
 

My recipe recommendation is Baked Chicken Taquitos.  They can be made using a rotisserie chicken (cooked ahead) so that all you need to do is throw it together with the cream cheese (or Greek yogurt is a great substitute), spices and other quick ingredients.  Roll it up into a flour tortilla and pop into the preheated oven for only 15 minutes.  They are more filling than you think and perfect when dipped into a dollop of sour cream!  The plus?  Flash freeze the rolled, unbaked taquitos then store in a zipper bag in the freezer for later use.  They transfer right from freezer to oven!  No thawing necessary.  And, they can be enjoyed on the “go”.  Young professionals are busy busy people.  This is something that can be grabbed when running out the door, then gobbled up in the car or on the train to the next destination.

Thanks for taking the time to talk Nikki. We really enjoyed having you.

Be sure to check out Nikki’s recipe recommendation here.


Interview with Tina Hu: Founder of Just Putzing
November 8, 2011



A cabal of food blogger attorneys set on world domination?

OK, so it’s late and while there may be no sinister conspiracy there’s definitely a steady supply of attorneys channeling Julia Child. Perhaps it’s time to seriously consider an attorney-only 40/40 series. Until then enjoy our interview with the talented attorney food blogger Tina Hu, founder of Just Putzing Around the Kitchen.


We just featured an attorney food blogger last week. Can you tell us a little about yourself? How did you get into cooking? Is there some underground law school cooking club/blogging community thing that I don’t know about? 

There are a lot of lawyers-turned-food-bloggers, aren’t there? And a lot of food trucks and cupcake shops are owned by former lawyers too. No one has invited me to any underground events yet, but I think the whole thing can be explained by the fact that law school and lawyering can be incredibly stressful, and cooking is a great way to relax. As a law student, you never can be sure if all that studying will get you a good grade, but you’re pretty much guaranteed something awesome to eat if you buy the right ingredients and follow the right recipe. I got into cooking as a way to distract myself from law school readings, and I liked the results so much (my friends were fans too!) that I just kept doing it.

If there was going to be a dish named after you, what would it be and why (i.e., Tina Hu [fill in the blank])?

Hmm, I’m not sure. Anything delicious would be nice. Maybe a cake with mousse cream filling, and chocolate ganache? I have a wicked sweet tooth, and chocolate is my favorite food. I recently discovered the wonders of browned butter, though, so that would definitely have to involved somehow…Actually, lets be honest, I would much rather have a bunch of tasty things made for me to eat than named after me.


Do you have any guilty pleasures when it comes to food? Food you’ll only eat when nobody’s looking?

Don’t tell anybody, but…I like to eat Nutella straight out of the jar with a spoon. In college, I packed on 10 pounds because of my Nutella habit, so now I can’t let myself buy it. If I do cave and buy a jar, I either have to keep it in the freezer (frozen Nutella is harder to eat with a spoon), or bake all of it into desserts for other people to eat.

I’m sure you’re really busy with the blog and attorney schedule. Where do you find the time to go grocery shopping? Is it a planned weekend thing or when you can spare the time? 

Mainly, it’s a weekend thing. I generally like to keep fruit and basic sandwich/salad stuff around the house all the time, but if I’m cooking something specific I like to plan ahead.  The only time I really do a lot of grocery shopping is if I’ve got a dinner party coming up, and that takes a lot of advanced planning anyway.

How do you stay inspired to cook? I’m sure it’s really easy for you to eat out every night.

Definitely! And a lot of times I do fall into a rut and end up eating out or ordering in more than I should. But, I read so many food blogs, and surf FoodGawker/TasteSpotting so often that it’s hard not to be inspired to make stuff. I’ve got about a billion recipes bookmarked right now that I want to try. There’s nothing like looking at gorgeous pictures of super delicious food to make a person want to cook.

Thanks for letting us get to know you better Tina! Do you have any parting words for the aspiring cook?

The only advice I can give is…don’t be scared! Cooking is really a lot easier than it looks, and the more you do it, the easier it gets. So, just march yourself into your kitchen and get going! 

Interview with Liren Baker: Founder of Kitchen Confidante
November 7, 2011

Exceptional.

It’s the one word that best summarizes Liren Baker of Kitchen Confidante. The Bay Area based blogger clearly holds her own among the incredibly talented community of SF bloggers that we’ve already featured. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a food blogger anywhere (let alone SF) as skilled in both photography and writing.  Her photos will leave you drooling and her prose will get you excited about the prospect of cooking. We recently caught up with Liren to talk food and more. Read our interview below: 

Can you tell us a little about yourself? What motivated you to start blogging? Is it a lot of extra work to both cook and blog? 

I am the consummate archivist - for me, preserving my heritage and family history is so important, whether it is through photography or the written word. I realized that recipes are perhaps some of the most important family heirlooms that can be passed from generation to generation. To me, losing a precious family recipe is tragic, and there are many dishes that I long to recreate from my childhood that no one bothered to write down. So, in some ways, my blog began as a way to share these recipes with my siblings and extended family who live scattered throughout the country (and world!). Several hundred posts later, my blog has also evolved into a way to preserve memories so that my children can have a culinary treasure trove in the future.

Blogging does add extra work to cooking, but I have developed a system along the way. My personal rule is that no one should wait to eat while I photograph the food, so that can be challenging. Also, I have changed how I blog; in the beginning, I used to photograph each and every step of the cooking process. Now I try to tell my story in other ways.

Do you have any places either in the US or abroad where you’d want to go to learn the local cuisine?

Absolutely! I have always loved to travel and it was a big part of my upbringing. I would love to really immerse myself and learn, hands on, how to cook from grandmothers all over the world. Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia are tops on my list, as well as Spain and Morocco. And I would love to return to Italy and France - my perspective on cooking has definitely changed since I visited in my teens.

As for places stateside, I have to say that I feel very blessed that I now live in the San Francisco Bay area, where the culinary culture is very rich. I will never tire of learning about the food and wine that is created in my own backyard!

It’s three in the morning. You’ve been out partying and you’re hungry when you get home. What are you most likely to make?

Wow. This makes me realize that it’s been quite a long while since I’ve partied. I can’t even tell you the last time I got home at three in the morning! But, that doesn’t mean that I don’t ever have those same late night cravings. For me, I look for something salty, preferably something cheesy, and maybe even breakfast-y in the wee hours. Bonus points if there is an element of sweet. Things like spicy ramen with an egg (good ramen, mind you, not the cup o noodles kind, though, there are moments when that craving exists), globs of goat cheese with figs and honey, Nutella slathered brioche with bananas - those are the foods I crave late at night. Okay, now I’m getting hungry.

Is there a dish that you make better than anyone on earth?:) If not the entire planet, what about within your group of friends?

Well, that is always up to debate. But if I were to ask my own family, they seem to think I make the best noodles, especially a dish called Pancit Bihon. But I am realizing that I’m pretty darned good at soup. One of my personal favorites is my Beef, Shiitake Mushroom & Barley Soup.

What is the most important thing to know about cooking?

That anyone can do it. I used to be intimidated in the kitchen, simply because I had relatives who were amazing in the kitchen, and I didn’t think I could live up to their standards. But as I dabbled, I realized that it was so much fun. The key is to taste as you go, to be flexible, and to have a really good quality sharp knife. You’ll be amazed at how much more fun you will have when you are equipped with the right tools. If you’re going to start investing in your kitchen tools, start with a great knife.

Liren, thanks for taking the time to talk and for your recipe recommendation!  

Be sure to check out Liren’s recipe recommendation here.


Interview with Emily Dixon: Author of One Lovely Life
November 4, 2011

Spend any time on Emily Dixon’s food blog, One Lovely Life, and you’ll quickly see that her life is the embodiment of every story that ends “and they lived happily ever after.” The cheery recipe site showcases everything from brightly colored beverages to deserts, in addition to great everyday dinners. Read our interview with Emily below:

Can you tell us a little about yourself? When did you first become interested in cooking and blogging?

I like to sum things up by saying I love my husband, baby, and cooking. In that order. While I enjoyed helping out at home growing up, I didn’t really get into cooking until I was in college. I got my degree in public health, and one day while studying in the library for an exam, I realized I was in the cookbook section and started procrastinating with cookbooks. Over the next year, I read every cookbook in the library and taught myself how to cook. After getting married, I started blogging and now it’s my favorite hobby. 

Are there any foods that you really enjoy, but you just refuse to spend on because it’s so much money? 

My husband Michael and I have a sort of “everything in moderation” approach for grocery shopping, so there’s not really anything completely off the table. Still, I’ll admit that I could spend a fortune on fancy cheese, Sharffen Berger or Valhrona chocolate, and some of the more expensive seafood.

Are there tips you can give for cooking a quick meal? What would you throw together if you only had 10 minutes? 

My biggest tip is to break things into steps. Having my first baby a few months ago really changed the way I cook. I don’t have an hour or two to cook long, drawn-out meals anymore. Instead, if I do 10 minutes of prep here and 10 minutes there, I can still pull together a great dinner in about 30 minutes most nights. 

Chop veggies the night before or freeze meats or fish in a marinade. If you put the meat in the refrigerator to thaw in the morning, your after-work meal prep will just be to toss it in the pan or on the grill. Easy-peasy.

As for 10 minute meals, that marinating trick is definitely one of my go-tos. Beyond that, panini make one of the coziest, simplest meals around. Almost any sandwich tastes better (and fancier) grilled. Pesto, ham, and mozzarella between two thick slices of good-quality bread is one of my favorite combinations.

Is there a cookbook or blog that you’re always referencing?  Sources that you continue to return to for inspiration?

I still love reading cookbooks from the library, but most of my inspiration these days comes from blogs. I love finding ideas on FoodGawker, and I also may or may not have a Pinterest addiction.

Have you ever taken any of those intro cooking classes? Do you think classes like that are really important when you’re just starting out?

You know, I haven’t taken one. I think whether you choose to take a class, cook with a friend, or try things by yourself, the biggest key is lots of practice. You just have to get in the kitchen and experiment. There are lots of books and great step-by-step blogs that can walk you through the basics if you’re feeling unsure. But the more you cook, the more confident you feel. It’s the perfect venue to try new things.

Emily, thanks for your time. We really appreciate it!


Be sure to check out Emily’s recipe recommendation here