How Amazon Fresh Made Me a Better Cook


I hate cooking. That is what I always told people. Sure, I could do it, but I never enjoyed it. I cooked for my kids and my husband out of obligation. But, if I only had to feed myself, I would be happy with canned soup, a protein shake or a few cashews for dinner. But why did I hate to cook so much? My mom was a great cook! Growing up, she cooked for us every night. I loved her food and I loved the family time we spent around the table sharing laughs about our days. So why did I hate cooking? Did that personality trait skip a generation?

Well, there is one thing I hate more than cooking, and that is grocery shopping. UGH!! Just the thought of it makes me anxious. I am never quite prepared for a proper grocery shop.

I never take the time to inventory my pantry or refrigerator.
I never make a detailed list.
I never know what to make for dinner.
I never remember to bring a recipe with me.
And now, in California, I always forget my reuseable bags!!

I am actually a very organized person and I know that I sound like a total baby right now, but I am just being honest. Every week, I put off going to the grocery store until it was absolutely necessary. I'm talking 3 dried out carrots left in the bag, an old onion rolling around in the drawer and a swallow of milk left in the jug. I mean Mother Hubbard had nothing on me. I felt bad about it, but I still tried to avoid the grocery store at all costs. I even tried the grocery delivery service from our local store. In the past, used the service two or three times, but I was not happy with it. The store’s website was hard to navigate, it was hard to get a delivery time that worked for my schedule, I had to be home to greet the driver and then he brought everything into my house in a million wasted plastic bags. The whole process was just awkward, so that was not an option. To the grocery store I went.

Until the day Deana told me how Amazon Fresh was revolutionizing dinnertime in her house. Being that I am already an avid Amazon Prime customer, I was interested to hear about this new service they were offering. Deana told me that she loved the service and that the food was really fresh and came the very next day! She emphasized how easy the entire process was... an easy to navigate website, food delivered within 24 hours, and insulated bags welcoming you at your door when you wake up in the morning (or any other convenient time of the day). There is a $14.99 monthly fee for delivery, but you can try out the service for 30 days for FREE! She also told me that even with the delivery fee, she ends up saving money every month because prices tend to be cheaper and she is not wandering around the store picking up random items that she doesn’t need or already has.

That same day, I came home and sat down at my computer at 5:00 pm. I pulled up two easy recipes on Pinterest that I had been wanting to try. In another browser tab, I pulled up Amazon Fresh. It was so easy to toggle back and forth between websites as I added each item from the recipe into my cart. Within 2 minutes, I had selected everything I needed to make two delicious dinners for my family. Then, to appease my guilty feelings, I also pulled up the website for our local grocery store to compare prices. With my fingers crossed, I was delighted to find that the Amazon Fresh prices were actually CHEAPER! Hallelujah! I was sold. I was elated. I wanted to do a back flip! My days of wandering-the-grocery-store-aisles-aimlessly-looking-for-one-ingredient-but-putting-6-other-impulse-items-in-my-cart were over. 

But then the big test came. . . . when would these amazing groceries be delivered? How long would my bare refrigerator have to wait? I clicked on the link to select a delivery time. To my surprise, every single delivery slot was available for next day delivery. Even the magical one that said, “Before 7:00 AM." What?! Could this be true? This meant that the “grocery fairy” would visit me during the wee hours of the morning and deliver everything I needed to fill my fridge before I even woke up! This meant I would be able to make my kids exactly what they wanted breakfast, pack them their favorite school lunches, and even be able to knock their socks off with a new dinner recipe tonight. All this with a few clicks on my keyboard? It felt too good to be true.

With a leap of faith, I hit the submit button and the next morning my dream became reality! The grocery fairy DID visit my house in the wee hours. I woke up to sparkly insulated green bags of fresh food waiting for me on my doorstep. Each bag was carefully packed with either reusable ice packs or dry ice. Frozen food stayed frozen and boxed food was packed separated without a dent. The apples were red and the lettuce was fresh and crispy. My kids left for school that morning with full bellies and yummy lunches, and my husband even had a tasty bagel with his coffee. I even enjoyed making my family a new and delicious meal that night that welcomed rave reviews. I felt like a new woman. I felt like a cook. 
The grocery delivery service from Amazon Fresh was just as wonderful as I had been told and it lived up to every one of my expectations. The only thing that I didn’t count on was how much I actually enjoyed cooking for my family. I could relax in the kitchen because I knew I had every ingredient that I needed. I could take my time to lovingly prepare the food because I wasn’t rushing in from the grocery store trying to whip something together in a flash. We got to sit down as a family to savor a meal together and special time sharing about our days. It was amazing and life-changing. I realized that I didn’t hate to cook after all. All this time, I just needed a grocery fairy. So thank you Amazon Fresh for helping me be a better cook!

Signed, Chef Heather (aka, Anchored Press Social Media/Stylist Extraordinaire)



#anchoredinGod : The Heart of Cara Clark

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what God has called you to do? I grew up in Ohio with 6 brothers and sisters. We were brought up in church and held to very high standards in how we lived life. Our parents instilled in us that we are required to live right and use the talents God has given us to serve others. As a child those talents were sports, which instilled a strong work ethic as well as caring about others more than myself, which is the team concept! As an adult, I knew at age 22 that God wanted me to pursue nutrition and lead others to Him through health. 

Where do you live and have you lived anywhere else? I currently live in Mission Viejo, California. I'm from Ohio and most of my family is there! I went to college on a basketball scholarship in Oklahoma at Northeastern State University. Actually, there was a time I desperately wanted to leave college and go somewhere near home. I opened my Purpose Driven Life book by Pastor Rick Warren (in the Cincinnati airport) and there was the verse: "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 That's all I needed to know that's where God wanted me. He actually revealed to me when I would move to CA during midnight mass on NYE and I listened. Met my husband within a few weeks and it was all so obvious to me! 

How do you carve out time with God everyday? I don't honestly, I just try to make Him included in everything…the way I take care of my family and myself, the food we eat, our prayers together. We have some simple traditions of prayers on the way to school with my kids, meal time prayers, bed time prayers, wind down prayers, prayers when we hear a siren, kids devotional and kids Bible. As far as my own devotion and carved out time, I do it every day, but it's never at the same time. Anchored Press is a Godsend because it includes everything, the devotion, the calendar, the ideas and tips!

What is your best organizational tip? LOL, you don't know me very well yet. All I asked for for Christmas was someone to come get me organized and get better systems in play for my house, pictures, videos, etc. Wish I had a better tip, but my life is controlled chaos with 4 littles and it's not my strength!

What is your family’s favorite go-to easy meal? White chili (recipe below) or turkey tacos. Two things my whole family likes 100% of the time. You know how kids day they love it, the next day they don't. These are no fails. 

Tell us your favorite God story (in your own life)? I have so many! I shared the one above about the messages I got to stay at my college, then to move to California. I'm fortunate to have had a life where I've never wavered for one day on my faith, so I don't have a true testimony. It's very black and white for me. But here's a good one and it's about our current home. We looked in our neighborhood for about 16 months. I was totally on top of the market...I knew everything coming up and what it's value was. We just couldn't find the right fit for us. It was Sunday morning and we were on our way to church and I saw an email come through because I had set an alert on one of the real estate websites. I saw the house was the perfect size and right where we wanted it and it had been listed as a foreclosure about 80k under value. I knew the list price wasn't right, but told him we needed to go see it asap. We called our realtor and asked her to meet us there after church...I was giddy and so were the other 30 plus people viewing the house when we walked in. I just felt like I should say, welcome to our home...I just knew. We put in our offer at what the value was and said our prayers. The next day we heard from our realtor saying there were 24 other offers and it came down to two: ours and an investors. They said give your best and final and we found out the next morning the house was ours!!!! So, to end this story with a major God incidence, when we went to move in we discovered only TWO things were left in the entire house. First was a little basketball coat hook(we met through the basketball world), second there was a garden cross in the front. It could not have been more apparent that this was where God wanted us to be! 

What are your 3 favorite books, other than the Bible of course? I LOVE to read! Religiously, I love Rick Warren's wisdom and Matthew Kelly has written many books that I love (Rediscovering Catholicism, A Call to Joy and 7 levels of Intimacy being some of my favorites). Secularly, I loved Girl on a Train and Me Before You. I have a hard time remembering titles because I read one after another. 

What is your favorite Bible Verse? Again, I have a lot. Jeremiah 29:11, like I mentioned above. My all time favorite is Hebrews 13:8: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." This is just the fave for now..I bounce around depending on the phase of my life.

We are dying to know . . . your favorite fast food restaurant! :-) Drive thrus? Hmmm, I just don't eat at any of them. I do allow my kids chick-fil-a every now and then, but I don't eat it. I will eat In-n-Out a couple times a year, but my favorite quick restaurants are Cafe Rio, Panera and Flame Broiler


6 servings

1 teaspoon olive oil

2/3 medium onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 seeded jalapeño pepper, chopped

1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Pinch cayenne pepper

1 cup corn

½ chopped celery

½ cup chopped carrots

3 cans organic white beans (entire can; do not drain)

3 cups chicken broth

3 cups diced cooked chicken

½ cup grated Monterey Jack or white cheddar cheese (optional)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook until tender, 4 to 7 minutes. Mix in the garlic, jalapeño, green chili peppers, cumin, oregano, garlic, and cayenne. Continue to cook and stir the mixture until tender, about 3 minutes. Mix in the chicken broth, chicken and white beans. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Don’t worry if it’s a little soupy.  After 20 minutes, mash chili lightly using a potato masher, until about half of the beans are broken up. This will give the chili a thicker consistency which will be made even thicker by the cheese.  Top with grated cheese. Garnish with cilantro, chopped fresh tomato, salsa, chopped scallions, and guacamole if you like.