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Buy Local: What I Pick Up at the Grocery Store

Posted by on July 15, 2012

I have some favorite local products and Texas-based items that I buy regularly for my family.  Most of these are easily found around Austin, whether it’s at HEB, Randall’s, Central Market or Whole Foods.  I love discovering a “new-to-me” brand that is either made in Austin or in our state so I can keep those dollars spent as local as possible!

Mrs. Baird’s bread is often in our home, as my picky eater son will almost always eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  That said, the peanut butter we favor is Central Market’s All Natural Smooth Peanut Butter.  This kid does not like “stuff” in his creamy nut butters.  And this bakery has a rich heritage.  Founded in 1908 by Mrs. Ninnie Baird after the death of her husband, her bread, cakes and pies were delivered by her sons, on foot.  As the business grew, their bicycles became delivery vehicles.  In a day and age when women-owned business were extremely rare, Mrs. Baird’s prospered and became the bakery giant it is today, as a division of Bimbo Bakeries USA.  After Mrs. Baird’s death in 1961, the Texas State Senate passed a resolution honoring her as a “living example for mothers, wives, business executives, Christians and good people the world over.”

Bolner’s Fiesta Spices have been in my cabinet for decades.  I use their comino a lot, for taco meat seasoning, to bring out the full flavor in my carne guisada, in chili, caldo and more.  I’ve often tried other brands but the ground comino was stale more often than not.  My husband has banned me from buying any more kitchen appliances and gadgets, so until I can own a new coffee grinder designated for spices only, I’ll buy Bolner’s Fiesta brand ground comino.

Sabor! Hot Sauce is freakin’ good.  We like salsa that gives your taste buds a wake up call, and this sauce “Made by Mexicans in Austin, Texas” is the one that we prefer.  It’s a fresh red sauce, and can be found in the refrigerated section of dips and salsas at Central Market and some HEB’s.

I love good coffee.  I adore great coffee.  But sometimes the acidity of coffee upsets my tummy, makes it feel angry.  Luckily for me, my favorite South Austin microbrewery, Kohana Coffee, has come to the rescue with their Cold Brew.  Coffee brewed in cold water does not contain the same acid levels as when using hot water, plus the method produces a slightly sweeter drink.  I use 1 part cold brew concentrate, two parts 2% milk and no sugar for my morning cup.  This is a far cry from my hot drink, sweetened with a teaspoon of sugar and a dollop of half & half.  Better for me all the way around!  Cold Brew is also excellent in adult coffee beverages and milk shakes.  You can find Kohana Coffee at various restaurants and cafes around town, and by bulk in Central Market and Whole Foods.  This company is local and women owned, which is a plus for me.

I plan to post more of my favorite local products in the coming weeks.  What are some of your local staples?

4 Responses to Buy Local: What I Pick Up at the Grocery Store

  1. Piper

    Kay, we’re thrilled to be in your local list – mostly because we admire and respect your opinion A LOT. I also wanted you to try a dash of ground cardemom in to your recipe. We’ve been going crazy this summer with different ways to use Kohana Cold Brew but my daily dose currently is the same as yours, plus the cardamom and crushed ice. I’m even shakin’ it like a cocktail – watch out!

    Thank you for the shout!


  2. Kay Marley-Dilworth

    Piper, that sounds fantastic! I’ll pick up some cardemom on my grocery trip tomorrow. And thank you for your compliment. <3

  3. silver price

    I’m a huge fan of iced coffee, but I don’t own a coffee pot. I recall trying Starbucks VIA in stores a few months ago, and the barista telling me that it could dissolve in cold water or milk (unlike normal instant coffees), and tucked it away in the back of my head to try it this summer. I was pleasantly surprised when Starbucks came out with the VIA Iced Coffee packages, mostly because it was designed for a 16 oz serving and lightly sweetened with sugar (100 calories in the entire packet, 50 calories for an 8 oz serving). I add it directly to 16 oz of skim milk, add a little extra sweetener, and shake it all up in a water bottle. It’s delicious! It has the classic Starbucks coffee flavor, without being overly bitter, because the coffee hasn’t been brewed. It dissolves almost instantly, sugar and coffee and all, in COLD liquid, with no residue or sediment at the bottom.At $1.00 a packet, it’s not cheap – but it is cheaper than getting an iced coffee at Starbucks, and just as delicious – plus, you don’t need to leave your house. I used to make cold brewed coffee to drink iced, but that has to be done the night before to extract the full flavor, and then you need to strain it, and to make larger quantities was just cumbersome without the right equipment. I love that I can just pour a packet into a water bottle, add water or milk and sweeteners, and instantly have delicious iced coffee!