l

Laura D.'s Profile

Title Last Reply

Amazon Fresh in Philly?

Hi Bashful, I should clarify. The subscription fee that I was referencing is actually for unlimited delivery pass. I believe you can purchase this in 6-month or 12-month increments. I can't seem to find the information about how much is costs, but I know that it is less that Amazon Fresh. Essentially, for both services, in order to get free delivery you need to have paid this amount up front. So, I just thought this was useful to mention so that one could do more of an apples to apples comparison. I think the big difference is that you cannot order from Amazon Fresh (once this promo period is over) without paying the subscription fee, but you can order from Fresh Direct without paying for the unlimited delivery pass. However, if you don't have the pass you both have to pay a fee for each delivery (I think it is something like $8, though as you mention they do offer free delivery at times) and you cannot reserve your delivery window without first putting together your order.

Overall I think we were happy with what we got from Amazon Fresh, though I felt like the broccoli had a slightly odd taste, and the green beans didn't hold up as long as I would have expected. Neither are local or in season, though, so that might have been part of the problem. Thanks!

Jan 30, 2015
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Amazon Fresh in Philly?

Just thought I'd chime back in to give a review of our first order. I placed an order on Saturday for unattended delivery on Sunday morning. The unattended delivery spots are 3 hour increments, and while I don't know exactly when the delivery arrived I know that it was within the first 1 1/2 hours of the increment. Though you can order for same day delivery, and though you can get items from local (participating) vendors, it seemed as if most of the things that would have come from local purveyors required at least 48 hours notice. So, for example, if I wanted something from Di Bruno's I couldn't get it nearly as quickly as if I wanted something that came from Amazon's "standard" supply of products.

A couple of things that I found mentioned repeatedly in other reviews:

1. Eggs tend to break during delivery. It seems as if some reviewers had ordered eggs multiple times and every time found that at least some of the eggs were broken. I order eggs almost weekly from Fresh Direct, and I have never had even a single egg break when getting delivery from them. I didn't wind up ordering eggs through Amazon Fresh, partly because we didn't really need them and partly because I didn't feel like cleaning them up if they arrived broken. So, I can't comment on whether they've worked this issue out of not but do expect that I'll order eggs in future orders.

2. Bananas never arrive very well. I had this problem with Fresh Direct. We ordered bananas for weeks and weeks and found that they would never ripen correctly. So, we eventually stopped ordering them. I'm not surprised to hear that Amazon Fresh may have the same issue, though again I didn't actually order any bananas.

3. The amount of packaging is excessive and doesn't always make sense. I agree with this to a point. We got a total of 5 bags, most of them with styrofoam coolers inside of them. The packing of some of the bags didn't make a ton of sense. For example, 1 bag had only a pack of rice cakes and 1 pack of ranch dressing mix. I'm guessing these items could have been put elsewhere. That said, I was able to collapse the coolers (the coolers are in pieces so you can take them apart) and put all of the coolers and bags together into one of the bags. I'm planning to leave them out for pick-up next time we get a delivery. I'm hopeful that they are going to reuse everything but I don't know for sure. Inside of all of the bags and coolers was a large plastic bag. So, your stuff never actually touches the coolers/Amazon bags.

Overall, the shopping process took a lot longer than it has in the past with Fresh Direct, but that's not surprising given that I was new to the interface. Prices for the most part seemed competitive, and they had most of what I wanted including items that we need weekly which are not sold through Fresh Direct. I ordered 2 items incorrectly because I didn't read the descriptions fully, but that was my fault not theirs.

I think that we'll definitely order from them again during this trial period. Depending on how future orders go I could see us canceling our Fresh Direct subscription and just going with Amazon Fresh, though I do like the fact that Fresh Direct has coupons available and I do think that the yearly subscription price is really steep. I'd love to hear what others think!

Jan 26, 2015
Laura D. in Philadelphia
1

Juniper Commons

Glad you posted about this! I actually asked about Juniper Commons last week and no one replied to my post but I am glad to see that others have opinions, even if no one has actually dined here yet. I am not a huge fan of loud environments, though I personally think I'd like the music selection here, but like you I am quite excited about the food. Hopefully one of us will get there soon!

Jan 21, 2015
Laura D. in Philadelphia
1

Amazon Fresh in Philly?

I just received an email that Amazon Fresh is now available in my town (Ardmore); previously it had only been available in Philadelphia proper. Since I believe the merchandise varies from city to city I'm curious if anyone in the Philadelphia area has used this service yet? I fairly frequently receive grocery deliveries from Fresh Direct, but a few of our staple items are not available there, so we wind up making a trip to Whole Foods for those things anyway. It appears as if Amazon Fresh has some of these things which Fresh Direct does not.

For those interested in trying it, as part of an introductory deal I believe that Amazon Fresh is free for those with a Prime membership through March. I think after that the subscription fee is several hundred dollars a year, though don't quote me on that. Thanks!

Jan 21, 2015
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Juniper Commons

Has anyone been to Juniper Commons? I love the idea. I'm a child of the 80's who pretty much ate Fettucine Alfredo exclusively when dining out during that era (it only took 100 times hearing the whole "heart attack on a plate thing" for me to order something else). Anyway, I like the concept and appreciate that as a vegetarian there are several things for me to eat which don't just consist of a plate of vegetables. I also appreciate that, assuming it is good, it's somewhat "simple" (maybe traditional is the better word) food, rather than the frou-frou, overdone things that I am tiring of. I suspect I am in the minority here, though. I'd love to hear feedback from those who've already dined there. I'm surprised to see that no one has mentioned it yet, unless of course I'm not doing a savvy enough search on the board. Thanks!

Jan 15, 2015
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Indoor water bath canning on a hot plate (induction or electric) vs. glass stovetop

I was surprised by the diameter of the burner of this unit. I was expecting it to be much smaller than it actually was. The burner was a good inch bigger in diameter than my pot. Granted this was a prohibitively small pot, though I would have taken more height over more width. Given that I think the guidelines suggest that your pot can be upwards of 2 inches bigger in diameter than your burner diameter and will still allow for safe canning, it seems as if this is one of the larger "hot plate" options. I can't speak to whether the heat is distributed evenly across the whole burner; I'm sure there are hot spots. But, it had no trouble keeping a rapid boil. I actually had to keep turning it down!

Nov 06, 2014
Laura D. in Home Cooking

Indoor water bath canning on a hot plate (induction or electric) vs. glass stovetop

Hi all,
I just thought I'd return to let everyone know what I ordered.

I wound up getting an Max Burton induction burner. What sealed the deal was a posting in which a person said he used the burner for making beer after he spoke with someone at Max Burton who said that while the warranty for the burner only allows for 15-20 pounds to be put onto it, he (the Max Burton representative) himself had stood on the burner and didn't break it.

Anyway, I used my All Clad on stove top to actually cook the jam, and then used a cheapo canning pot and the burner for the water bath processing. My only complaint was that the 8 quart pot was short enough that it was difficult to maintain a boil using pint canning jars and not have the pot boil over. I think I'll likely get a larger/higher pot since they are so inexpensive, as dealing with the pot constantly boiling over was annoying.

Other than overcooking the jam a bit, which was no fault of the burner, things worked out great. Thanks!

Nov 05, 2014
Laura D. in Home Cooking
1

Indoor water bath canning on a hot plate (induction or electric) vs. glass stovetop

So, after everyone's great feedback I'm thinking that perhaps the way to go is to try to find a "cheap", i.e. $75-ish induction burner that hopefully has at least a 20lb. weight limit and that hopefully has a decently wide heating diameter. I am then going to buy one of those inexpensive canning vessels that seem to be much lighter in weight than my All Clad, and which I'll be less heartbroken over wrecking. I'll start small and see how that goes. If that's a complete waste then I guess I can revisit the idea of using my stove top. Thanks for all of the feedback!

Oct 22, 2014
Laura D. in Home Cooking

Indoor water bath canning on a hot plate (induction or electric) vs. glass stovetop

The induction ones definitely seem to (at least according to other reviews, and according to recommendations I've seen on canning sites). But, I'm unclear whether the electric coil hot plates, which perhaps can handle more weight, can sustain a boil with this much water for this long. I've never tried so I'm just going off of what I can find online.

Oct 22, 2014
Laura D. in Home Cooking

Indoor water bath canning on a hot plate (induction or electric) vs. glass stovetop

Hi, sorry, yes...I meant to say an 8qt. pot

Oct 22, 2014
Laura D. in Home Cooking

vegan spaghetti and meatballs

Wow, thanks for sharing! I've never used tofu for vegetarian meatballs before so I'm definitely interested in trying this. Thanks!

Oct 22, 2014
Laura D. in Vegetarian & Vegan

Indoor water bath canning on a hot plate (induction or electric) vs. glass stovetop

Thanks! I think I saw these guidelines earlier today and was looking into the measurements for both the pot and the burner to make sure I wouldn't exceed the diameter recommendations. If I used my glass top stove I would be fine, since my large burner is wide.

That said, I wonder if I'll still struggle with the weight issues, since an 8 gallon pot filled with water would have 16lbs. of water alone in it, not including the weight of the pot and the weight of the filled jars. Perhaps I should focus on finding an induction/electric burner with a higher weight limit than 20lbs. if I'm going to go that route.

Oct 21, 2014
Laura D. in Home Cooking

Whipped Bake Shop

Thought we had done that (it was actually a 90+ degree day) but it's possible that my sister's in laws, who were the ones who dropped off the cake, didn't leave it out as long as I had thought. Thanks!

Oct 21, 2014
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Indoor water bath canning on a hot plate (induction or electric) vs. glass stovetop

Thanks for this information! I'll look into the gardenweb.com post. And, perhaps I am just planning to use a pot that is way bigger than I need, meaning I don't need to worry about the weight/pot diameter issues I am worried about on the induction burner.

Oct 21, 2014
Laura D. in Home Cooking

Indoor water bath canning on a hot plate (induction or electric) vs. glass stovetop

Hi Gourmanda,
Yes, those are problems that I have heard. I know that you need to make sure that you have an appropriate flat bottom vessel, which I have covered. And, it seems like as long as you are able to maintain a boil you should be okay regarding the issue of the element cycling on and off, though I know it isn't ideal.

Thanks!

Oct 21, 2014
Laura D. in Home Cooking

Whipped Bake Shop

Do you mind my asking what their other option is? I'm guessing it is "American" buttercream, i.e. buttercream with butter, confectioner's sugar, etc. and no eggs, in which case is sounds like you and I got the same ones. Perhaps we just didn't allow ours to warm up enough.

Oct 21, 2014
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Indoor water bath canning on a hot plate (induction or electric) vs. glass stovetop

Hi,

I'm hoping to start water bath canning and hit a roadblack of sorts last week when I realized that canning on a glass stovetop (what I have) is not recommended. I've been going back and forth between whether to risk cracking or shorting out my stovetop by just proceeding to can on it using appropriate equipment (i.e. a flat bottomed pan, not too big/heavy, rotating burners) or whether to purchase a separate hot plate for canning. I've decided to go with the hot plate and am trying to find one that can keep a decent sized pot at a consistent boil for long enough to can safely. I don't want to spend a lot of money on this--I'd like to keep it under $100-- and while I think that induction will give me a surface with more even heat, I haven't been able to find one that has a heating element nearly large enough for my pots or that can hold much weight. Would I be better off trying to find an electric hot plate if it is larger? I'm not looking to can in huge batches or do large jar canning, but I still plan to use a pot that's going to exceed 20lbs. when filled and that will likely have a base diameter of 10+ inches. Any suggestions? Every time I go to order my supplies I find myself paralyzed by the anxiety of what to do! I don't want to give anyone botulism, I don't want to wreck my stove, I don't to wreck my All Clad pots (though probably won't use them for canning), and I don't want to waste money on something that won't work.

Thanks!

Oct 21, 2014
Laura D. in Home Cooking

Whipped Bake Shop

Hi,
After much deliberation I purchased my sister's baby shower cake from Whipped Bake Shop 3 years ago. I know that we had vanilla buttercream on the inside, and had a vanilla cake, but I honestly cannot remember if we had raspberry between the layers or what. That said, it was very good, but I felt like their buttercream was a bit too buttery and dense (unlike other meringue based buttercreams this one never seemed to soften as much as I would like, which made it taste a little too much like butter) and I'm not sure that I'd go out of my way to purchase from them again. It was also pretty expensive. That said, this was a cake I was hauling up to Long Island, and I had spent several weeks trying to decide which bakery to use, so my expectations may have been unreasonably high.

Oct 21, 2014
Laura D. in Philadelphia

vegan spaghetti and meatballs

I would love the lacto-ovo meatball recipe if you would be willing to share! Thanks!

Oct 21, 2014
Laura D. in Vegetarian & Vegan

new some new soupspiration...

My Dad made this cici (chickpea) soup for us from the back of the Cento chickpea can for the first time at least 15 years ago. My sister and I now make it regularly in our households. The soup is very basic and very good. We don't use the anchovy so it's vegan, and we halve the oil.
http://www.cento.com/recipes/soups/au...

Oct 14, 2014
Laura D. in Vegetarian & Vegan

new some new soupspiration...

Can you share the recipe (or a link to the recipe) for the vegan matzoh ball soup? Thanks!

Oct 13, 2014
Laura D. in Vegetarian & Vegan

Vegan Product You Wish Existed

Thanks!

Sep 28, 2014
Laura D. in Vegetarian & Vegan

Vegan Product You Wish Existed

This was how I interpreted what the website said as well. But Ttrockwood specifically said they made a veggie gummy bear, so I hold out hope this exists somewhere, though I have seen no sign of it anywhere

Sep 26, 2014
Laura D. in Vegetarian & Vegan

Vegan Product You Wish Existed

Ack, sorry to be asking so many questions, but I am still confused about the gummy bears specifically. I don't see any gummy bear in their vegetarian range. Am I missing something?

Sep 26, 2014
Laura D. in Vegetarian & Vegan

Short-term fridge/freezer rental

Thanks Buckethead. We actually lost our fridge/freezer completely twice now (while it was being fixed); it seems to be a yearly ritual for us! We had to resort to coolers and various forms of ice, which was aggravating to see the least. So, we're trying to avoid that if at all possible since we have a quite a bit of stuff that we'd need to store. Thanks!

Sep 26, 2014
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Vegan Product You Wish Existed

I'm confused too!

Sep 26, 2014
Laura D. in Vegetarian & Vegan

Short-term fridge/freezer rental

Does anyone know if there is a company that would rent a fridge/freezer for a short time...like a weekend or so? We have had a lot of problems with our freezer over the past several years. Multiple reputable companies have tried to fix it to no avail. It's a nice fridge/freezer (GE Profile, about 6 years old) and we don't want to get a new one. Right now there's a build up of ice from the freezer going up and down in temperature. We'd like to do a full defrost as we think that the compressor may now have ice build-up, but we need somewhere to put our stuff in the meantime. Coolers likely won't work because of the frozen stuff. If there is a company that might drop off and pick up a freezer for a very short time period for a reasonable amount we'd be very interested. Googling around I haven't found anything, but perhaps I'm not doing a very good job of searching. Taylor Rental doesn't appear to rent these (based on their website) but I may call them.

Sep 26, 2014
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Vegan Product You Wish Existed

Do you have a link for these MplM ary? perhaps a picture or something? On Amazon's UK site I can't seem to find any listings with ingredients. Ironically (since this is a website about American sweets in the UK), here is a listing for what I think are Haribo from the UK, but again no ingredient list:http://www.americansweets.co.uk/briti...

Sep 26, 2014
Laura D. in Vegetarian & Vegan

Vegan Product You Wish Existed

I wasn't able to find them on the websites for Fairway or Dean and DeLuca, though obviously they may carry them in the store without carrying them online. I'm very curious to find them if they exist, though!

Sep 26, 2014
Laura D. in Vegetarian & Vegan

Vegan Product You Wish Existed

Thanks! I was hunting around online yesterday and while I found European Haribo products they all listed gelatin as an ingredient. You don't by chance have a picture of one of the bags that you could post, do you? Googling around I wasn't able to find any evidence of a Haribo gummy bear without gelatin, though people were commenting that the European version (the one that did have gelatin in it) had a different consistency.

Sep 26, 2014
Laura D. in Vegetarian & Vegan