Archive for June, 2022



Wow ! it’s been some time gone by till posting a recipe, not that I have stopped cooking, just nothing new lately, have to change that and expand my recipe repertoire.

One breast just about 300 grams. Didn’t adjust the marination. 1 cup macaroni. Cut back about 1/2 with the sauce ingredients. Serves 2

Adapted from Sooper Chef YouTube Channel

makes a pleasant dish, by ingredient amounts somewhat spicy, adjust to taste .

Once prepped, it’s a fast cook.

Ingredients for Chicken Marination:
Chicken boneless (cube cut) 500 g
Egg 1
Corn flour 2 tbsp ( cornstarch)
Soy sauce 2 tbsp
Black pepper powder 1/2 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Oil 1 tbsp
Oil (for frying) as required

Ingredients for boiling Macaroni:
Macaroni 2 cups (1 cup)
Oil 1 tbsp
Salt 1 tsp
Water as required

Ingredients for Manchurian Sauce:
Oil 2 tbsp
Garlic (chopped) 1 tbsp (substituted garlic powder)
Ketchup 1 cup
Red chili flakes 2 tbsp (you may want to adjust this less)
Soy sauce 2 tbsp
Worcestershire sauce 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Water 1 cup
Chili sauce 2 tbsp (I used hot sauce, again you may want to adjust this to taste)
White pepper powder 1 tsp
Sugar 1 tbsp
Capsicum (small cubes) 1 cup
Carrot (small cubes) 1 cup
Onion (small cubes) 1 cup

Ingredients for Assembling:
Cooked chicken as required
Boiled macaroni
Manchurian sauce
Green onion (Chopped) as required

Directions for Chicken Marination:
1. In a bowl add chicken, egg, corn flour, black pepper, soy sauce, salt, oil and mix well. Let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
2. In a wok ( or fry pan) heat oil and add marinated chicken, fry it fully cooked and golden brown in color. Set aside.
Directions for Macaroni Boiling:
3. In a pot heat water and bring it to boil, add oil, salt and macaroni. Boil until macaroni is 80% cooked. Strain and set aside.
Directions for Manchurian Sauce Preparation:
4. In a pan heat oil and add garlic, saute for 1 minute. Now add ketchup, red chili flakes, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, white pepper powder, chili sauce, sugar and cook for 2-3 minutes. Now add water ( here you can thin the sauce with the macaroni water ) and cook until sauce thickens.
5. Now add capsicum, carrot, onion and cook for 1-2 minutes.
6. Now add cooked chicken, boiled macaroni and mix well. Cook until chicken is well coated in sauce. Adjust if necessary with the addition of more of the macaroni water.
7. Sprinkle green onion on top and serve.
Preparation time: 10-15 mins
Cooking time: 25-30 mins
Serving: 3-4

Prepared ingredients, I use shredded carrots ( usually shred a pound or 2 of carrots and store them in the fridge so carrot can easily be incorporated into many recipes)
macaroni heat sinks are boiled and ready
Heating up the skillet
Starting the frying process of the chicken, I use quad blend pepper freshly ground.
getting the crisp on !
remove from the pan
boil up the sauce
Add the prepared veggies, mix in and heat, don’t over cook , leave some crunch

Add the chicken and the macaroni to the pan, heat through
mix and heat thoroughly

MMMMMMMM………… plate up and garnish with some chopped green scallions


While the current economic conditions have changed and we have inflated prices to deal with of certain commodities, shopping defensibly for bargains that can be found is possible. Smart shoppers always have this in mind no matter what the economic conditions. Shop store brands, skip highly priced items till sales and consider delivery for time and energy savings now that transportation can be expensive. Delivery services will typically add a delivery fee and a service fee but some stores will vary the delivery cost to less expensive time slots later in the day. Shopping early and scheduling a delivery later in the evening can save a few dollars. Some have a loyalty program accumulating points etc. Some delivery shopping services will give promotions like free delivery or dollar amounts off your next order.

Here are some recent prices including the local store which now has it”s own delivery service. In the past I have used Instacart for this market but Instacart will add a markup usually about 10% to each item . The store also honors the sale prices in it’s flyer for delivery. We still use instacart and online order delivery services for non perishable items delivered within 2 days. Even deals are found on eBay etc for bulk items like toilet paper from institutional supplies.

Using a ride service, incorporate a drop off from an appointment for instance, to the local market within the return route on the way home. It may only add a few more dollars (most people are now valuing cost to the price of a gallon of gasoline) to the total return trip.

Prices are generally more expensive across the board for groceries but bargains can be found.

these were value pacs each about 4 lbs , T bones not a usual but Fathers day is here soon !
Green Giant Fresh Celery (1 ct)
1 x $1.99Replaced item price:$1.99Replacement Icon Wellsley Farms Wellsley Farms Celery Sticks 2.5 Lb (2.5 lb bag)
1 x $5.49$5.49
Items found (BJ’s Wholesale Club)6
Berkley Jensen Facial Tissue (8 x 8 ct)
1 x $16.19$16.19
Wellsley Farms
Wellsley Farms Ground Italian Sausage (32 oz)
1 x $7.49$7.49
Dairy & Eggs
Wellsley Farms Whole Milk, 1 Gallon (1 gal)
1 x $3.29$3.29
Dole Iceberg Lettuce (1 count bag)
1 x $1.89$1.89
Yellow Onion Bag (3 lb bag)
1 x $2.39$2.39
Canned Goods
Hunt’s Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes (14.5 oz)
1 x $8.69$8.69
on replacements you approved and what was available.
Happy Farms Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (16 oz)
1 x $4.39Replaced item price:$4.39Replacement Icon Happy Farms Shredded Italian Blend Cheese (12 oz)
1 x $3.75$3.75
Items found (ALDI)9
Dairy & Eggs
Happy Farms Mild Cheddar Shredded Cheese (32 oz)
1 x $8.35$8.35
Iceberg Lettuce (each)
1 x $1.65$1.65
Broccoli Crowns (~ 1.33 lb)
1.52 lb x $1.55$2.36
Little Salad Bar Spinach Flat Leaf (8 oz bag)
1 x $2.19$2.19
Clancy’s Corn Chips (9.25 oz)
1 x $1.29$1.29
Dry Goods & Pasta
Specially Selected White Basmati Rice (32 oz)
1 x $3.29$3.29
Dairy & Eggs
Goldhen Grade A Large Eggs (12 ct)
2 x $1.45$2.90
Crimini (Brown) Mushroom Package (8 oz container)
1 x $1.75$1.75
Celery Package (1 lb container)
1 x $1.49$1.49

on the bench: the robots have arrived: Roomba 690

irobot 690 (alpha)

goodwill $9.99

total with shipping and handling 29.17

As of this writing a fleet of irobot products keep my floors clean

This is the first one. Was lucky to attain this one working, but needing a good clean.

Disassembly is easy, many of the parts are modular and meant to be replaced. The 690 is a WiFi model compatible with the iRobot app. Also the irobot product is popular, parts are plentiful as also the on line resources to repair and service these.

One feature here is that I assumed that the robot simply swept dirt, dust, excetera, into the dust bin. But these are a true vacuum as the dust bin has a small fan motor providing suction and a filter, the motor gets power from contacts to the main chassis, allowing easy removal for emptying.

The brushes are easily removable without tools for cleaning
The bottom cover removes with 4 screws and the removal of the side brush , one screw for that. The battery is exposed and removable. The battery was also able to hold a full charge.

The battery, contacts and swivel wheel.
as with the wheel and motors, the brush holder is removable with a few screws. All powered modules are plug in, no soldering needed. The circular metal disc is the “dirt detector”
rectangular connector for the wheel/motor assembly
The removable wheel/motor assembly
same with the side brush motor
IR emitters and receptors are for edge detection, so the robot doesn’t jump off a cliff (or stairs)
Front bumper retainer removed
detail of the front bumper spring steel and IR beacon that attaches with 2 small screws
front bumper removed, and front swivel caster, note more ir emitter and detectors along the front edge
front swivel caster socket again easily removable
top trim panels simply unclip
making our way to the motherboard
all plug in connectors to the motherboard
Top cover fully removed
WIFI module and antenna connector
bottom view
Parts after tear down and cleaning
ready for assembly
ready to roll !
new side brush installed
charging base cleaned up also
close up of the cleaned unit
At home base awaiting commands

According to my time stamps, The robot has been on duty for slightly over 10 months at time of this writing. preforming flawless as far as operational. The only bugs are robot proofing your home. Such items are thick shaggy carpets and throw rugs , some are small rugs , not wall to wall, that the robot may faulter on , that is drive on the rug , and then off becoming stuck in a small area because it will not climb back on the carpet. Cords are the worst enemy that will cause a jam or worse, snagging some knitting yarn and entangling itself hopelessly in the processing causing the knitter to shout expletives after the robot digests the latest knitting project. (though the robots can be linked to voice controlled devices like Alexa, shouting at them will be fruitless.) Sneakers and shoes may be dragged across the room also. Small tables like on hardwood floors may be moved or jostled so those knick nacks may be damaged by the relentless contact of the robot maneuvering about. Lower kitchen cabinet kickpanel areas may be just the right height to jam the device, 690 can be a brute negotiating some thresholds, closing doors that are easily moved, shutting itself in the bathroom as an example and can move small light weigh furniture on hardwood and tile floors from it’s impact. Though the IR “eyes” work on some barriers and slow the robot, some don’t.

Since all of our floors are either hardwood or tile the robot tirelessly bounces around the areas relentlessly in some cases till it returns home to replenish it battery , all automatically. Currently I have 2 Roomba 960’s, scheduled to sweep and vac daily running alternating days of the week. It’s surprising to see the accumulation in the dust bins, hair, dirt and dust with occasion onions skins etc. These are not made to pickup large debris but once used on a daily basis here the floors are kept very clean. ( Ive also employed Scoobas and Braavas for wet mopping.) rarely you will need the broom and the dustpan again just once in a great while to touch up some spots unreachable by the robots side brush. Overall cleaning is excellent with a obsession sometimes with the edge cleaning pattern. Not all ares are covered daily, sometimes a room will be missed but cleaned the next day. The run cycle is about 2 hours, way more than you would do it manually, the noise level is acceptable to most and of course can be scheduled to clean while you out. Suddenly need a mess swept up? Instead of grabbing the broom, place the roomba where needed and hit the spot clean button. The robot will do a circular spiral dance in the area and stop.

The app will give you feedback on progress and errors requiring human intervention. The robots firmware can also be upgraded if necessary and keeps statics with the mothership like number of cleaning jobs (479), total job time (503 hrs and 58 minutes) and a dirt event count (19795 events) A “dirt detector” is located in the brush compartment and will cause the roomba to spiral an area before proceeding ahead.

While these are used and discontinued models, they are inexpensive compared to the newer ones. On a daily basis or so simply empty the dustbin and periodically clean the roller/brushes. Several more iRobots have crossed the bench with the Scoobas and Braavas and should be posted later in the blog. it’s one of those chores you never want to do again, sweeping and cleaning the floors. Now reduced to periodically servicing these machines.


June 2022

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