Grocery Challenge -Shopping in Our New Town

We left our natural gas grill in Texas because our new house is on propane. We said goodbye to HEB, (best grocery store ever) because they only operate in Texas. We sacrificed fresh grilled gulf seafood and the conveniences of a 100,000+ Houston suburb to live in a town of 2500 with milder weather, great views and no HOA. In other words, we love it. However, the move created meal planning dilemmas. The first time we went grocery shopping we went to 3 stores in 2 towns to get the things we needed for meals through the weekend. In the “main stream” grocery store, there was very little fresh fish and the produce was outrageously priced ($9 for 1-1/2 pints of blueberries?) Now into our third week, I’ve accepted this may be the norm until farmers’ markets open in the spring. Meanwhile, I’ve found several local gems that have taken the pressure off of meal planning:

Borrowed Kitchen Bakery – It started with the hunt for decent sour dough bread, lead to a slice of chocolate cake and then discovery of their freezer of “Farmhouse Foods.” We’ve enjoyed chicken coconut curry soup, pork tenderloin and root veggies (seasoned with a fresh sprig of rosemary), and delicious, creamy chicken and mushroom enchiladas. Three dinners…..done! They have a variety of sour dough breads that I’ve been using to make deli style and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch while we continue to unpack boxes. The chocolate croissants reminded hubby of his work days in France. The ginger snaps remind me of my Grandmother. I could go on. I was enjoying the food so much, I didn’t think to take pictures of anything but the cake:

Suquamish Seafoods – I was really going through seafood withdrawal. Fresh jumbo shrimp, redfish and red snapper are not to be found in our little Puget Sound Town. I started asking everyone I met where I could get fresh seafood. They all said the same thing….Suquamish Seafoods. There’s actually lots of fresh seafood available, its just different seafood; crabs, clams, muscles, geoduck and a different selection of fish. Suquamish Seafoods is a tribal business located on reservation land we pass through on the way to the next town. This week they had fresh scallops and that’s what we had for dinner one night (super easy recipe here.)

They have a steady stream of business, offer suggestions on preparation and the customers talk excitedly to each other about their purchases. The seafood counter at HEB was never like this. We’re going back soon, perhaps for some muscles. My Mom used to prepare geoduck when we lived/visited Washington while growing up. I have memories of going clam digging for them. I want to leave that in my memories for now, but maybe one day…..(“Google” geoduck if you don’t know what I mean.)

Westside Pizza – I first discovered this place while vacationing here three years ago. Delicious pizza and fresh salads, always delivered on time….even on Friday nights. They have unusual toppings for the adventuresome, such as “Death by Pizza.” We’ve had our plain old pepperoni and mushroom pizza with Cesar salad a couple of times now and were very happy. Not as motivated as Donna’s What’s on Your Plate Challenge, I like my pizza made and delivered by someone else!

Other grocery adventures over the past two weeks have included Safeway Sushi (actually not too bad) and an “erroneous” delivery of produce from Imperfect Foods.

In addition to the fruits and veggies, were a pack of bacon and a pound of ground chicken. Anyone have a good recipe for ground chicken??? It’s good to know that food delivery is an option. Meanwhile, my grocery shopping challenge has introduced me to some wonderful local businesses that I now feel loyal to.

23 thoughts on “Grocery Challenge -Shopping in Our New Town

  1. And so it is living on Maui! Grocery shopping takes at least three, usually, five stops to find all the ingredients we are looking for. But oh the joy in discovering that little store tucked away among the warehouses that sells excellent fresh produce for Asian inspired meals. Or that amazing place that is like a mini-Costco for all things Asian. Or that super cool farmers market where the Thai food truck outside (the only food truck) kills it!

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  2. Wow! You are a fast post writer – with great details and wonderful photos as well.
    Sounds like you made excellent tradeoffs in your move –milder weather, great views and no HOA! I live in a small town so definitely know about going to a few different grocery stores to locate what I need. Like you, I am waiting for the Farmer’s Markets to fully open.
    Westside Pizza sounds fun. I am very, very curious…what are the topping for ‘Death by Pizza’? πŸ˜€

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    • Thanks Donna! Death by Pizza has everything on it….literally. Haven’t tried it. I have tried “Tropical Heat.” It includes fresh jalapeΓ±os and pineapple. In spite of not liking sweet things on pizza, that one was pretty tasty.

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  3. What a wonderful adventure you are having! That seafood market sounds golden… I love that you can get recipe suggestions from the staff and other customers. I think that’s one of the many benefits of living in a small town. I am so happy that you are writing about your new home and I’m looking forward to learning more.

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  4. Finding great seafood is the best!!! The owner knows me and her suggestions are always on point. I found mine via a community message board on Facebook. Glad to hear you’re settling in!

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  5. My ground chicken favourite (although we call it chicken mince here in Australia) is either a larb salad or Chicken Krapow. Both are Thai inspired and fresh, full of flavour, and seriously yummy.

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  6. Sounds like you are enjoying life in your new location. Happy for you! Gloria

    Gloria CarpenterAbramowitz πŸ¦‹πŸ’šπŸ¦‹πŸ’šπŸ¦‹πŸ’šπŸ¦‹πŸ’šπŸ¦‹πŸ’š

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  7. Tracey, there is no better way to discover a new place than through food! Even though we have the convenience of one-stop shopping, we often prefer to shop around, for our favorites, especially seafood and produce. I am glad you are getting settled in and look forward to hearing more about your new hometown!

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  8. It’s so tough trying to find new favorites of everything when you move. We’re even experiencing that as we winter in Florida. It just takes time and definitely a few recommendations.
    I actually just saw a recipe with ground chicken on Facebook. I haven’t tried it, so I can’t recommend it with any confidence, but here it is. Let me know if you try it!!

    Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
    Makes 3 Servings

    Ingredients:
    1 lb 95 to 97% ground chicken
    1/4 cup grated reduced fat Parmesan cheese
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1/2 tsp garlic salt
    1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
    1/4 tsp onion powder
    1 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese, divided
    1 1/2 cups Great Value Italian diced tomatoes, divided or 3/4 cup Prego No Sugar added Traditional Italian Sauce

    Directions:
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Lightly spray a 13 x 9 inch glass dish with cooking spray.
    Blend diced tomatoes in a blender or small chopper to resemble tomato sauce or until desired consistency.
    Combine ground chicken, parmesan cheese, and spices. Add 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese. Measure out 3 tbsp of the blended diced tomatoes and add to the ground chicken mixture until completely combined. Form into meatballs. Since this recipe makes three servings, I made twenty-one meatballs. It is so much easier to divide the meatballs evenly when they are in increments of threes such as 15, 18, 21, and so on.
    Place meatballs in prepared glass dish. Bake for 25 minutes.
    Spread tomato sauce over meatballs and sprinkle with the leftover mozzarella cheese. Broil until cheese is melted. Divide the meatballs into 3 servings.

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  9. Hi Tracy, sounds like you are having new food adventures. How fun! I get bored with my regular supermarket. I should get out and explore more. Good luck in your new town. Sounds like a big change from Texas.

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