Hello All I am so sorry it has been so long since I have updated the blog.
We have been here just 3 weeks and are beginning to feel a bit more comfortable. Many people have asked “Are you finding food? ” “What do you miss?” and “What are you eating? I figured I would write a little about our experiences shopping so far.
Grocery Shopping: We live in an international friendly neighborhood. We have an “International Market” within 15 minutes walking. There are 2 grocery stores/ markets, a convince store and a discount chain store store all within 5 minutes walking. There are lots of opportunities yet we find most if all prices are higher than we have experienced which makes us especially happy for the company providing us with a (COLA) Cost Of Living Adjustment . Here is a (not so)Fun fact: a package of bacon is ~$12
The Discount chain store near us is called Don Quijote it is unlike any store I have ever been in before. In our neighborhood the store is 6 floors. It has 2 fish tanks near the entrance and has a HUGE variety of goods including: spectacles for the aged, high brand items, luggage, snacks including 3-4 flavors of kit kats (so far we have seen raspberry, green tea, dark chocolate and , original) , luggage, toys, food, bedding, liquor, cosmetics.
To add more variety to the store there is actually a roller coaster located on top of the store! We can see the coaster from the balcony at our apartment! Only in Tokyo!!!!!
can you find the “Half Pipe” we see from our balcony?
Fun Fact #2: In 2005, Don Quijote began building a “half-pipe” roller coaster on the roof of its eight story Roppongi store. Roppongi is a heavily populated area in the core of Tokyo, and many residents and businesses were upset with the idea of having a roller coaster in their neighborhood because of the spectacle, noise and crowds it will likely create. The project was completed in 2006 but due to increasing pressure from concerned groups in the area it has never been operated. As of 2016, the structure still exists. Don Quijote has not announced what future plans they have for it. 
We are all happy to find English printed on a package. Here are our kids at our first trip, on our first night at “Family Mart” I am SO thankful for kids who are excited for our adventure!
We all miss some things. I think the kids miss their traditional American Breakfast the most. Even cereal is expensive here! Prior to moving they were very lucky to have hot breakfast made by their parents 80% of the mornings in their life. Pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs, waffles, breakfast burritos and occasionally cereal with milk. They had it good! Here Caleb and I often skip breakfast but offer the kids some of the good familiar foods: Yogurt, eggs, toast, fruit. A traditional Japanese breakfast may include Miso soup, baked fish, rice, eggs. We may never adapt 100% and diet varies wisely but we are trying to figure out what works for our family in this stage.
We finally found pancake mix and Zeke was happy to help out to make breakfast that day. Although it isn’t like the Aldi “just add water pancake mix” and the Aunt Jemima Lite syrup we used to buy. Pancakes are still a treat.
We are also trying to learn how to use the ingredients of traditional Japanese dishes. We have increased the amount of rice, vegetables, ramen noodles while decreasing the amount of meat we traditionally cooked with. Lucky for us the past 3 years we have began to eat a much cleaner diet in which we tried to consume less processed foods. This makes cooking in a foreign country a lot easier. Produce, grains and meat look much the same here as they did in the US.
Here is a dish I created with chicken, ramen noodles, bean sprouts. swiss chard, and soy sauce! It tasted great and we are all getting better at using chop sticks!
We do see some intresting ingredients at super markets, like bumpy cucumber vegetables, small pineapples, packages of green squishy jelly stuff, octopus, fish heads and those famous green tea flavored kit kat bars. One of my first outings with the kids on our own was to find ice cream. We found a Baskin Robins in the building under Tokyo Tower!!!!! With my shopping challenges and adventures I made it my goal to try to figure out to make chocolate chip cookies. I was successful (mostly) I found all the ingredients or ones that worked. I need to find a different chocolate chip for next time and adjust the amount of flour I used but overall it was a success! We all enjoyed the taste of home!