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:

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No “Shrimpy” Shrimp on Our Plates

This month’s “What’s on Your Plate” blog challenge was restaurant inspired. Since we still eat mostly at home, I’ll say this blog was inspired by HEB grocery store and their “Texas sized” shrimp.

Texas sized shrimp from HEB Grocery Store

One of the meals my husband and I discovered is Baked Shrimp Scampi by Ina Garten. In addition to the HEB shrimp, another inspiring factor of this recipe is the substitution of one of the ingredients. Read on to find out….

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What I’m Thankful For: He Cooks Too!

I haven’t felt much like blogging, but I’m feeling overdue. I’m thankful for blogger challenges such as “What’s on Your Plate?” and “What’s on Your Book Shelf?” I’m going to slip under the November deadline with a belated Thanksgiving post right now! I’m also grateful for my talented and attentive husband, whose been doing more than his share of the cooking this year. What’s on my book shelf? My husband’s collection of old cook books. What’s on my plate? Meals cooked by my husband using those old cook books.

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Deer Distractions

My husband and I live on a 2 acre wooded lot that backs up to a large section of undeveloped land. When we moved in last summer, we heard a lot of wild life stories from our neighbor. He boasted of raccoons lounging in his pool, possums nesting in the hole of one our trees, and deer giving birth in our very yard. Some of the stories were so comical, I thought he was kidding.

Then one day about six weeks ago, I was looking out our bedroom window and watched a doe give birth to twin fawns right before my eyes. I’ve been wondering what to do with some of these photos, so I’m sharing them now via Terri at Second Wind Leisure Perspectives photo challenge on “The Great Outdoors.”

First born fawn:

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A Sign of the Times, Vacationing in Coachella Valley

We love spending time visiting Coachella Valley in December, visiting friends and family. Only no one was going in 2020. We had to get out, so we packed up the car and headed west for a two week road trip anyway. In our planning for the trip, we knew some of the things we normally do would not be open. However, our favorite thing to do wherever we vacation, is visit National and State parks. This was still an option.

We stopped in West Texas and Arizona for rest and to visit friends, but our ultimate destination was a vacation rental in Indio central to several parks. Shortly after we arrived, California went on a serious lock-down. We even got an emergency alert on our first hike. That night, we had a nice dinner at one of our favorite outdoor dining spots, then stocked up on groceries. We would spend the rest of our time hiking and picnicking during the day, then cooking meals hunkered down at “home” each night.

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Mother’s Day Memories of Cheesecake on My Plate

In honor of Mother’s Day, I decided to share one of my favorite recipes that Mom handed down to me. Even though she is no longer on this earth, I’m surrounded by her beautiful art work and a load of great recipes. Mom was a gourmet, but my favorites from her collection are always the most simple recipes. I’ve never made this cheese cake when it wasn’t just fabulous. It’s so simple!

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Variations of Violet

In response to Sunday Stills Monthly Color Challenge Views in Violet, I’m scrolling through my photo log recalling experiences where our photography brought variations of the color violet.

The following photos are from Orkas Island, Washington….an absolute dream land. We love the Pacific Northwest and are missing it so much. Here are lavender plants near a harbor restaurant and my favorite pottery place, Orkas Island Pottery (now reopened!)

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