A Haiku & Review of Kroger Clicklist

The big day has come,

no more grocery shopping,

happy mommy wins.

Not much inspires me to read, much less write poetry.  But my world is forever changed for the better thanks to Kroger.  Their online ordering & pickup service started locally this past week and I literally couldn't wait to test it out.

Sure it costs $4.95 (starting the 4th time you use the service).  But you know whats worth more than 5 smackers?  My sanity.  I love that my friendly daughter wants to socialize with each and EVERY person we pass, aisle after aisle.  Her socialness and love of everyone is a gift I want to foster.  But after we've stopped three times to say "Hi" and tell our two-year old life story to strangers three aisles in a row, my patience is past gone.

I'm tired of sacrificing evenings with my husband because I have pushed off shopping until after I get the little one to bed.  I need to stop making spontaneous purchases (like Pumpkin Spice Cheerios) and stick to my list to support our family budget.  {PS those cheerios are top notch.}  

So I jumped in feet first today & am sold for life.  I am going to gain hours of my life back, reduce a huge source of stress for me every other week, and save money all at once.

So here's my rundown from today so you'll know what to expect if you decide to try it....

Online Ordering:

  • I used the Kroger app on my phone, where I already had my digital coupons loaded. Be sure to activate any coupons for things you frequently buy before you start.  {Next time I'll probably use my laptop to compose my shopping list} 
  • You can search for items to add to your next shop at the top of the page, or choose from things listed in your account that you've bought in the past.  I'm buying the same stuff 80% of the time, so I'm sure it will easier each time to repeat and adjust my shopping order.
  • You have the option to allow (or not) substitutions if what you want is out of stock.  With produce, you can give other comments too - for example I asked for green bananas.
  • Your Kroger card is already linked to your account, so just go to the checkout page & select a store & day/time for pickup. *FYI - lots of days and times were blocked already because I'm sure all the moms are testing this out, so I had to wait >24 hours to pickup my groceries.  So be aware!*
  • Prices are estimates - if you pickup after the weekly sales change, the prices will change so keep that in mind.

Grocery Pickup:

  • The spots to pull in are right up front & there's a sign with a number to call so they know you've arrived.  I was asked my name & if I had any paper coupons.  
  • In about 2 minutes or so, a super sweet gal wheeled out my groceries in crates and immediately went over some substitutions they made for me.  She was very clear that she was happy to remove any of those items if that was my preference.  She swiped my credit card on her iPad, and put all my groceries in the trunk.  I didn't need to sign &  never even got out of the car!
  • I was out of there in less than 5 minutes. Boom.

The Verdict:

We've started eating clean/Paleo-ish so I had a lot of fresh produce on my list and I am super picky about what I buy. I was honestly surprised by the quality of the items I received.  No bruising or cuts on my veggies. Fresh berries.  The substitutions in my order this time were minor -  they didn't have a large container of oats, so they subbed three small ones for the same price.  They didn't have a large box of Pull-Ups, so I got two smaller bags.  They were out of brand-name pumpkin puree, so they subbed Kroger brand, which I then got for free.  See - I'm saving money already!    

I'm sure I'll have to go in the store for a random thing or two off and on, but I will never again loose my mind over fits for marshmallow cereal with a toddler! Try it - you'll love!

{Trust me, I'm receiving nothing from Kroger for this post, I just know lots of moms who need time for ourselves - and this is an amazing way to gain time back in your day for YOU.  Or laundry.  Your choice!}

Kourabiedes (Greek Butter Cookies)

Christmas Cookies Around The World continues!  Next up is.......

GREECE

Kourabiedes cookies are a staple at Christmas in Greece.  These white crescent shaped cookies get adorned with a single clove on top at the holidays to represent the frankincense & myrrh that the Magi brought to Jesus at his birth.  The shape of the cookie began as a bit of defiance when the Ottoman empire overtook Greece, and it's stuck over the years.  Apparently different areas of Greece differ on what type of butter they use, since that is the foundation of the whole thing.  Goat vs cow vs buffalo.  Yes buffalo.  Never would have guessed that, but there it is! 

This cookie sounded so easy to make I couldn't help but try it.  It pairs perfectly with coffee - the final product is so rich & buttery with just a hint of sweetness from the powdered sugar coating.  A few hints, don't make your cookies too big or they won't cook through.  I read lots of different recipes before settling on this one.  And the time spent creaming the butter sold me.  I felt like I was prepping to make icing, and there's nothing that can go wrong starting a recipe that way.  It becomes white & fluffy - the perfect base for, well, butter cookies.  

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Kourabiedes (Greek Butter Cookies)
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1 pound of butter, room temperature
1 large egg
2 1/2 tsp almond extract
8 TB powdered sugar, plus more to coat cookies
1/8 tsp baking soda
5 to 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt (Note: I left this out - whoops!)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat butter in a stand mixer at medium speed for 20 minutes.
  3. Add egg and almond extract to the butter. 
  4. Sift powdered sugar and baking soda together then add to the butter mixture.
  5. Beat for another 10 minutes on medium speed.
  6. Sift 5 cups of flour and salt together in a large bowl. (Disclaimer: I didn't sift my flour, though this would likely had made even lighter cookies).
  7. With the mixer speed on low, add flour a little bit at a time until it is completely mixed.  If the dough is sticky, add 1/2 cup more flour.   (Mine required about 6 cups)
  8. Roll about a tablespoon of dough into a ball and then shape into crescents.  Place them on a lined baking sheet (my Silpat worked great).  You can place them right next to each other because the cookies don't spread.  ***The original recipe said to use 2 TB of dough to form the crescents and they were HUGE, and wouldn't cook through.  And I certainly wouldn't have gotten 5 dozen!  Smaller is better.**
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes until they turn a pale brown and are cooked through.
  10. Once the cookies cool, coat in powdered sugar.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Adapted from Cooking for Keeps.

Mohn Cookies (Poppy Seed Cookies)

A few weeks ago I saw the first episode of 'Holiday Baking Championships' on The Food Network, fell in love with the show, and immediately wanted to start making Christmas cookies.  They didn't share but one recipe from the episode so I started looking for new recipes to try.  And then it hit me.  I wanted to try making Christmas cookies from around the world.  My family watches (multiple times a year) Rick Steve's European Christmas DVD where he travels to different countries to show their Christmas traditions.  It makes me want to find a thick parka and head to Sweden and Germany to see the decorations and dining room tables for myself.  So what better than to have a taste of each country here at home, and maybe learn a thing or two about their Christmas traditions.  And a new blog series was born.

Around The World With Christmas Cookies

I'll post a recipe or two each week between now and Christmas, and I hope you try out a few for yourself.  If nothing else, you'll get a taste of traditions around the world.  Nothing like a little education on the side!

POLAND

First up are Mohn (Poppy Seed) Cookies.  Mohn actually means poppy in Yiddish.  Ok, so calling them a Christmas cookie isn't exactly accurate.  These are traditional cookies for Purim and other Jewish holidays.  But I figured why not include a Hannuakah cookie in the series?  The taste is worth it!  From what I can tell these originated in Poland (though some argue Germany).  I'll warn you, these cookies aren't very sweet, which makes them perfect for the non-cookie lover (or dieter) in your life.  Just be sure there's not a drug test in your future...there's a lot of poppy seeds in here.  Next time I make these, I'll try a lemon glaze on the top of add a touch more sweetness and play up the lemon flavor of the cookie.  

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Mohn (Poppy Seed Cookies)
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1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup poppy seeds
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup butter
Juice from 1 lemon

  1. Mix flour, baking powder, poppy seeds, and salt in a bowl & set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar until smooth.
  3. Add the slightly beaten eggs into the butter/sugar mixture.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until a thick batter is formed.
  5. Roll a teaspoonful of dough into a ball and place onto cookie sheet lined with a Silpat or oven-release foil. 
  6. Sprinkle  a pinch of sugar on each cookie & use a glass with a flat bottom to press down each cookie (sugar keeps the glass from sticking).
  7. Bake at 400*F for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are brown.
  8. Makes at least 2 dozen cookies.

Adapted from Jewish Food