Update: Giveaway is now closed, but we loved using Peapod!
Peapod’s recent expansion in NYC means that every zip code in all 5 boroughs is now able to experience the time and money savings Peapod has to offer! To celebrate that, Peapod, an online grocery retailer (by Stop and Shop, my local supermarket) recently challenged me to use their service and throw a dinner party with friends. Since I can’t get to the supermarket during the week anymore (my husband takes our car to work and I commute into Manhattan), I was excited to get my favorite brands delivered to me!
If you read our senior writer Maytal’s recent post, she discussed how easy it was to order from Peapod. Peapod offers the best of the suburban grocery store without having to go to the suburbs! A full assortment of popular grocery and store-brand products, from grocery basics to farm-fresh produce; top quality meats and seafood; prepared foods and party trays; deli meats and cheeses that are sliced to order; Kosher, organic and specialty foods; time savers like rotisserie chickens; office, school, health & beauty and pet supplies and store brands like Nature’s Promise (affordable organics and natural products). In this post, we decided to have a dinner party… using Peapod.
I decided to invite my friend Carolyn over for a family dinner party. I found some great recipes on Gatheredtable — a great resource for meal planning. If you aren’t familiar with Gatheredtable, check this tutorial out that walks you through editing your weekly menu, using the smart grocery list, adding recipes to your personal recipe library and updating your menu preferences. The coolest thing was that it seamlessly worked with Peapod. I was able to pick recipes for our dinner party and add all the ingredients I needed into my Peapod shopping list.
For my dinner party, Carolyn and I discussed what we wanted to make. You can order Peapod up to 10 PM the night before delivery (or order a few days in advance). We decided to make Grilled Teriyaki Shrimp Kabobs, Tropical Cucumber Salad, and corn on the cob. I used Gatheredtable’s recipes to even order the food I needed. It worked seamlessly with my Peapod account and let me take off the ingredients I already had in my home. It was really simple! I added a few more groceries for the week, picked my delivery window for the next day and checked out. It was so easy!
My groceries showed up around 20 minutes into my delivery window. I got a text saying that Peapod was on its way. My driver showed up with my bags in little green crates.
I was actually so impressed that I immediately added their app to my iPhone and plan to order again soon.
The Dinner Party
Our friend Carolyn (of YouCake.com) came over and we started getting things ready.
While I started prepping the cucumbers for the salad and started the corn, she was in charge for entertaining the kids. We had already made the cupcakes for dessert. I had ordered Duncan Hines Cake mix and vanilla frosting from Peapod.com and we had them pre-baked to make things easier.
As I’ve mentioned before, I used to work with Carolyn and YouCake.com. YouCake is a great way to personalize cookies, cakes, and cupcakes and we have done several birthdays for my kids with them. That night we were using homemade cupcakes and putting YouCake Edible toppers right onto the cupcakes using frosting. We wanted the kids to have fun!
And they did. Cupcakes + frosting + their own faces on said cupcakes = winning. Now that my kids are a little older (B is 9 1/2, A is almost 7 1/2, and S is almost 5), they were able to follow Carolyn’s directions and put the toppers on the cupcakes themselves.
I had sent photos that I took on my iPhone and Carolyn made edible stickers.
They picked it up pretty quickly (because cupcakes were involved).
Carolyn ended up decorating S’s cupcakes (we had him wearing the Playmobil pirate hat from our Playmobil Super 4 Party), because he preferred to just put frosting and sprinkles on his cupcake.
How to Decorate Cupcakes with YouCake Edible Toppers
1. Put frosting on the cupcake (just a small amount).
2. Peel the edible topper backing off and place it on the cupcake!
3. Put the cupcakes in a container to sit for a while to let the toppers attach. A cooler place is recommended, like a freezer or fridge, if the weather is warmer.
Then we sent the kids off into the other room with my husband and Carolyn and I made the rest of the dinner. And we had fun! I’ve known Carolyn for almost 7 years and it was great to spend time with her.
After I spiralized the the cucumbers (love the Paderno Vegetable Spiralizer). I defrosted the shrimp that we bought from Peapod and deveined it.
Carolyn was in charge of putting it on the skewers. She also added red pepper and pineapple.
I brushed the kabobs with Soy Vey Marninade.
While the shrimp cooked, I finished the cucumber salad with Carolyn’s help. I zested the lime and added it to some olive oil for the marinade.
Then I added the pineapple. The recipe called for a whole pineapple, but I didn’t have time to cut one up. Luckily Peapod offered cut-up pineapple, which was very fresh and delicious (and saved me time).
Next, I added the avocado.
The Cucumber Salad looked delicious.
Since we had leftover shrimp, I brushed them with the marinade and popped them into the oven to broil.
I plated the skewered shrimp and put it on the table.
It smelled amazing.
I forgot to add the fresh cilantro to the cucumber salad, so I added it when it was on the table.
It really “kicked it up a notch” — with a nod to Emeril Lagasse, who I did research for at Food Network in the late 90’s. Note: If you use a spiralizer, you may have to cut the “noodles” for young kids, sometimes they are too long.
I served fresh corn on the cob and fresh organic Nature’s Promise Baby Carrots, also from Peapod.
Small girl, big skewer
After dinner, we enjoyed the cupcakes that the kids decorated.
Peapod really made entertaining easier.
Click on each picture to go straight to the recipe on Gatheredtable.com.
Thoughts on Peapod:
The prices and quality of the food made me happy. I liked that they had specials and since I am a Stop and Shop customer regularly, I appreciated that I knew the house brands well, such as Nature’s Promise (their organic line). Plus, I got to use my rewards card on this purchase.
Note: I didn’t tell the reps from Peapod when I was ordering, to see if I could have the average, everyday experience (which was excellent anyway). I was pleased that I could order things like organic chocolate milk in tetrapacks for my 4 year old’s lunch and my favorite Stop and Shop iced tea drink mix, without having to leave my house. Because it was such a good experience, I would definitely order again.