Archive for January, 2019


Cooking, sharing, story telling

A great use of technology , I use Google translate for the postings , youtube needs no translation.

Watch “Узбекская шурпа. Казан. Очаг. Живой огонь.” on YouTube


North African Chicken Couscous

From 177milk Street

I modified some of the ingredients and scaled it back to a large single serving or for 2 serving dish.

  • Curry powder mix in place of ground tumeric
  • White onion instead of red onion
  • Dried Japanese chili pods instead of Jalapenos
  • Sambal instead of Harissa

This technic allows you to steam the couscous  while the meal is cooking.

Didn’t get any pictures of the process here’s the result


Very tasty meal.



Cinnamon Toast

Cinnamon Toast

A few ingredients that had been on the shelve plus bread and butter.

You need not have to use the same ingredients, usually  caster/brown sugar and ground cinnamon will suffice.




Stuffed Chicken Breast

A basic stuffing, onions, celery with bread cubes. Make as usual with a bit of the Bell’s seasonings and wet with stock. Of course you could use a prepared stuffing mix.

A family member brought home some surplus bread, too much to consume before it would go stale, so I processed it into bread crumbs by broiling the slices, and processing in the food processor to different textures.

A sliced chicken breast, just some salt and pepper with addition course bread crumbs.

spread the crumbs on a tray with baking paper

place half of the chicken breast on the tray and cover with stuffing
Place the other half of the breast atop the stuffing, top with additional crumbs
bake and broil as necessary
serve it up…
served with some steamed carrots

shrimp stir fry

A few ingredients for a meal, frozen shrimp available and some veggies with noodles from a soup kit, less the seasoning package. You can get an idea of cooking times from the time date stamps on the pictures.


Start with onions and oil


Add grated tumeric


…. grated ginger


mushroom, brocolli, and celery


stir and fry , add a bit of water or stock if necessary, adjust seasonings


add the frozen shrimp, stir and fry till shrimp are cooked


Add the noodle, I had the noodle packet frozen in the fridge, gave it a couple of seconds in the microwave than added to the mix


finished the cooking process with some dark soy sauce


Shrimp with sausage/onion roll ups

There happened to be a few small sausage patties from a previous use in the freezer. A quick frying pan meal followed when combined with frozen shrimp.

Brown the sausage patties, remove from skillet, dice, add chopped onion, saute several minutes add oil if necessary, add frozen shrimp, cook, re introduce the sausage then de glaze with wine. Microwave the flour tortillas several minutes till soft and pliable.

I’m not shy about shrimp, I eat tails, shells and all……



Beef Shank with potato and carrot

Close to a beef stew recipe, in the colder months, a meal slow oven roasted for warmth and aroma. This time a simple seasoned recipe of salt and pepper. The pictures tell the story.



Since most non refrigerated groceries can be shipped (ie Amazon,Wal-Mart or Target etc.) most  retailers offer grocery pick up service, and all of this is done  either through an online website or app or both.

As once though of as a luxury, a personal shopper and delivery is now in the reach of many consumers.  The savvy consumer has done their homework and figured their own labor cost and time, vehicle and travel cost. The price of convenience should be factored in, traveling in inclement weather, safety of travel, parking and carrying groceries.

Not to mention that most restaurants who cater to the stay at home or office employee sign on with one of the many gig tech services , Uber eats, Postmates or Door Dash for delivery service.

Online shopping and delivery, now many years old, is adapted to about any type of retail operation and the next logical step is to apply this to the grocery shopping experience. Persons with no access to personal transportation or unable to operate a vehicle, could compare grocery delivery service option to using public transportation. (Note: some low-cost transportation may be available through your city’s own local bus senior services that provide door to store and return service for person meeting certain requirements and the participant would be subject to the providers schedule).

Persons relying on other than an owned vehicle for mobility, such as walking/biking to the nearest market,  grocers may offer delivery services provided you are within their service radius. One factor that may limit the use of grocery delivery is that some consumers may like to select their groceries in person. As more items are packaged, choices can be graphically represented on-line for ordering. Produce and fruit though,  can be fickle as consumers like to select their own fruit and vegetables relying on their senses as for instance one might select a fruit less ripe depending on the time line of their menu or use.

One popular grocer delivery service is Peapod, in this location, tied to the Stop and Shop retailer/grocer. Trying this service is a no brainer, an email and password register the user to the site or app. You can also browse the site without registration. If you already shop at Stop and Shop, and use the loyalty card, the option to add that card is available to track all your purchases.

It should be noted that the Peapod service (to my knowledge and online research) does not rely on gig tech employees but full-time employees of the retailer . Most groceries delivery services have split the process into 2 operations, the personal shopper and delivery driver. Wether or not one person does both or two separate persons split the transaction is unclear. In locations offering grocery pickup a picker is already in place.

As the competition increases the retail delivery services are doing their best to sign up users to their platform. With Peapod, an up front discount is offered which resulted in 1/2 off of the delivery cost. Most of the prices for items I shopped for are inline or slightly above what is at the store itself. Stop and Shop may be considered higher priced by some standards but from what I assume is that it may have a higher percentage of union full-time employees that provide many employee benefits, but that discussion is beyond the scope of this article.

For now, I wanted to purchase  mostly refrigerated items like meat and fish etc.

After submitting the Peapod order, I received the usual expected email confirmation. Navigating the online site is no different that other online shopping sites. The discount can be gained by utilizing discounted delivery time windows available shown when the order is placed.  No problem if one of your family members is home during that time slot. They do promise notification before 30 minutes either by text or email but no a big factor if someone is already at the residence. There is an option for unattended delivery, but I believe a storage container is required and with the safety of food temperatures involved, person to person delivery is preferred . An email lets you know the order is on the way with confirmed items and final total as this will vary from the original order as stated by the website. I suppose there is some thought as with the delivery of the items some consumers would reject some items  on inspection and have the order modified but I didn’t have the cause to reject anything as all was in order. This is paramount to the online shopping and delivery process. GETTING THE ORDER CORRECT! No problemo

I did research tipping for this service from other online sources, as I don’t think is was plainly stated on the Peapod website wondering if the drivers are able to accept a cash or electronic payment transaction for a tip.

One thing I noticed is that a written signature (pen on paper) is required at the time of delivery as for one, the final price of the order may be different from original order as stated on the paper printed receipt that delivery person brings with the order , and two, it allows one to add a gratuity  by writing, a smart device is not required at delivery, as I have gotten accustomed to receiving an email or notification that the delivery (or in the case of a ride hailing service) that I have completed the transaction and the option of adding the tip electronically is available after  the service/delivery is complete. It also should be noted that a smart mobile device or app IS NOT required to place an order. I don’t know if an order can be initiated by voice phone call.

The Peapod delivery person is more than happy to enter your residence to carry the groceries, that may or may  not be an advantage to the consumer. I was happy to assist the person and carry in several bags. The delivery person is attentive to the quality of the delivered items verifying that, for instance, a carton of eggs was complete and not damaged. (the grocery items were delivered in the plastic type bags that you would bring home from the store.)

So what’s the bottom line ?

As with other services there are many options to consider whether a service will fit your budget and lifestyle. Budget conscience persons will factor in all the variables. More retailers have bridged technology with the brick and motar shopping experience  to customers who expect different levels of services.


Here’s the order figures:

Broccoli Organic
1 HEAD Qty: 1 @ $3.49 $3.49
Peapod Chicken Thighs Boneless Skinless Value Pack Fresh
APX 2.5 LB Qty: 1 @ $4.98 $4.98
Peapod Premium Cut Bacon Maple Sliced
16 OZ PKG Qty: 1 @ $5.99 $5.99
Peapod Premium Italian Sausage Hot Fresh
APX 2.75 LB Qty: 1 @ $9.87 $9.87
Peapod Turkey Thighs Fresh
APX 1.8 LB Qty: 1 @ $5.38 $5.38
Perdue Oven Ready Chicken Whole Seasoned Roaster in Cooking Bag Fresh
6 LB PKG Qty: 1 @ $2.57 $2.57
Pork Rib End Roast Bone-In Fresh
APX 2 LBS Qty: 1 @ $4.98 $4.98
USDA Choice Beef Shank Center Cut Bone-In Fresh
APX 1 LB Qty: 1 @ $3.49 $3.49
USDA Choice Bottom Round Beef Roast Boneless Fresh
APX 3 LB Qty: 1 @ $14.97 $14.97
Peapod Raw Shrimp Simple Peel Extra Large – 26-30 ct per lb Frozen
2 LB BAG Qty: 1 @ $13.98 $13.98
Land O Lakes Deli American Cheese Product White (Thin Sliced)
APX 1/2 LB Qty: 1 @ $3.00 $3.00
Peapod Greek Yogurt Plain Nonfat
5.3 OZ CUP Qty: 1 @ $.79 $.79
Peapod Sweet Cream Butter Salted Sticks – 4 qrtrs
1 LB BOX Qty: 1 @ $2.99 $2.99
Peapod White Eggs Grade A Large
1 DOZ Qty: 1 @ $1.69 $1.69
Peapod by Stop & Shop Welcome Brochure
1 EA Qty: 1 @ $.00 $.00

 Here is the final delivery:

Amount charged:

Customer Care: 1-800-5-PEAPOD Get unlimited FREE deliveries with PodPass! Search “PodPass” on to learn more Order Information Delivery Date 01/11/2019 Standard Substitution Peapod Savings Weekly Specials 1925 You Saved $19.25

Grocery Total Grocery Sale 85.94

Delivery Fee 9.95

Delivery Discount (5.00)

Fuel Surcharge 0.22

Grocery Total Due $91.11

In Stock Size Delivered Item Price Total Price

Product Information/Offers Peapod by Stop & Shop Welcome Brochure 1 EA 1 0.00 0.00 Dairy

Peapod Greek Yogurt Plain Nonfat 5.3 OZ CUP 1 0.79 0.79

Peapod Sweet Cream Butter Salted Sticks – 4 qrtrs 1 LB BOX 1 2.99 2.99

Peapod White Eggs Grade A Large 1 DOZ 1 1.69 1.69


Land O Lakes Deli American Cheese Product White (Thin Sliced) APX 1/2 LB 0.52 LB 5.99/LB SALE 3.11


Peapod Chicken Thighs Boneless Skinless Value Pack Fresh APX 2.5 LB 3.17 LB 1.99/LB SALE 6.31

Peapod Premium Cut Bacon Maple Sliced 16 OZ PKG 1 5.99 5.99

Peapod Premium Italian Sausage Hot Fresh APX 2.75 LB 2.75 LB 3.59/LB 9.87

Peapod Turkey Thighs Fresh APX 1.8 LB 3.04 LB 2.99/LB 9.09

Perdue Oven Ready Chicken Whole Seasoned Roaster in Cooking Bag Fresh 6 LB PKG 1 2.57 SALE 2.57

Pork Rib End Roast Bone-In Fresh APX 2 LBS 2.69 LB 2.49/LB 6.70

USDA Choice Beef Shank Center Cut Bone-In Fresh APX 1 LB 1.13 LB 3.49/LB 3.94

USDA Choice Bottom Round Beef Roast Boneless Fresh APX 3 LB 3.09 LB 4.99/LB 15.42

Produce Broccoli Organic 1 HEAD 1 3.49 3.49


Peapod Raw Shrimp Simple Peel Extra Large – 26-30 ct per lb Frozen 2 LB BAG 1 13.98 SALE 13.98

Amount charged may be lower after any valid coupons and credits are applied.





Sourdough crackers

Making crackers again, a simple dough recipe from zero waste chef. Sourdough crackers

The skill I am accomplishing here is the uniformity of the thickness of the dough. As it makes a big difference in the finished product, all the crackers bake the same and finish at the same time. Too thin and they brown to very thin crispy wafers. Too thick, a chewy not crispy texture. This will also test the resolve of the evenness heat in your oven. Rotating the racks and baking at various levels can accomplish an even baking. I also would like to convert the recipe to weight measurements for a more precise repeatability. The result though of this recipe is a very favorable cracker either alone or with a pate or fruit spread or dip. So easy once the dough is rolled out, you’ll find yourself wondering why to buy a box of crackers.

I’ve made a couple of substitutions to the basic recipe:

2/3 cup sourdough starter

3 heaping teaspoons of coconut oil (or olive oil)

3/4 cup whole wheat flour (I used all-purpose which may effect the quickness of baking and color)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

extra coarse salt for topping (omitted so far, although I would try sesame seeds)


Combine the wet ingredients in a bowl (starter and oil) add to the dry ingredients.


I let the dough hook do all the work and made slight adjustments adding flour for a smooth dough.


Let it rest for about 6 hours, mine rose slightly


With a serrated wheel cutter used for ravoli, I made rectangular crackers.


The dough with the oil content is extremely durable and stretchable, easy to roll and cut.

Second batch : double recipe, this one the dough was slightly wetter, ended rolling the dough on the cookie sheets and added docking the dough with a fork. Tasty ! I ate most of the overbaked uneven crackers. These were larger rectangles than the first batch with 2 circular samples.


2018 wrap up to 2019


January 2019

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