tongs over grill

Tips for a Grilltastic Summer

With the long days of summer in full swing, there is no question whether or not you should be outside grilling. Summer is a time for friends, family and visitors. We are lucky to live in such a beautiful place and to be part of a community that brings people together. So grab your neighbors, pick up your tongs and head outside to enjoy the magical nights of a Sitkan summer.

tongs over grill

The Toolkit

You don’t need to get fancy with your grilling toolkit. Here’s the lowdown on the 5 essentials every grill master needs:

  • Insulated BBQ mitts – keep your hands and arms burn free and stay clear of having to go to the hospital.
  • Tongs – we say you probably need at least 2 pair, one for raw meat and one for flipping.
  • Spatula – perfect for flipping burgers, seafood and veggies.
  • Grill brush – keep the grate clean for tastier mains and sides.
  • Basting brush – a silicone brush is way easier to clean than their traditional counterparts (they hold their shape better too).

barbecue sauce

The Sauces

While we love getting in the kitchen and experimenting with our own sauces, sometimes the night calls for the grill and you just don’t have enough time. If that’s the case, we recommend keeping these in your fridge at all times.

  • Sweet Baby Rays – Honey BBQ, a sweetened version without the bee sting.
  • Red Tail Ale – Spicy Chipotle BBQ, pairs perfectly with a Red Tail Ale!
  • Budweiser – Sweet & Smoky BBQ, a sweet sauce that leaves the kick behind.
  • Stubb’s – Original Legendary BBQ, it’s called legendary for a reason, this sauce is a staple.

o's ginger beer

Be a Drink Master Too

A fresh, crisp Alaskan beer is certain to make you a hit at your next barbecue, but we have another suggestion too. Q Ginger Beer is our favorite mixer for refreshing summer cocktails. Try it in a Moscow Mule, Dark & Stormy or use it as a base in a Ginger Beer Mojito.

Sea Salt

Don’t Forget the Salt

With so many great salt options available to us living on the sea, we have to say that the Leila Bay Trading Co. makes some unique varieties we love for barbecuing. Add to meat, seafood or veggies for a delectable pop of flavor. Our favorite is the sweetness of the Alaea.

What’s next in line for your grill night? Share your favorite recipes below, or the sauce and salt you can’t live without.

lemonade

Pack the Perfect Picnic for Mom

This Mother’s Day, treat mom to something she’ll love! We know breakfast in bed and mani/pedis are fun, but we encourage you to get mom outside for a little fun – and a great meal too! Picnics can be a lot of fun, especially here where there are so many great spots to explore and views to catch. Don’t let the “basket” bog you down, picnics taste great when they’re coming out of a bag or backpack too. Plus, with a backpack, you can usually catch even better views.

PicnicItems2

Picnic Essentials

The best part of a picnic is that the food doesn’t need to be heavy, plus kids can help prep the little stuff. We like to mix and match several different items to nibble on: a variety of cheeses and crackers, fresh fruit, hummus and veggies with pitas, mixed nuts (make mom her own trail mix), and fun snacks like spiced edamame or chickpeas. Add some meats like salami, prosciutto and sopressata. Fresh pickled veggies, jam and olives make great things to dip and wrap also. This is our version of the perfect charcuterie to go!

The Main Fare

There are so many options here, and chances are the family will be pretty full if you packed a large selection of appetizers. Get creative with your sandwiches and save space by making paninis or wraps ahead of time, they will help keep the load a little lighter rather than having a big hoagie roll. Skewers of grilled veggies and meats also taste delightful, they’re easy to eat and you don’t need to reheat them before you set off on your adventure. If you aren’t going far, quiche can be a savory feast as well, plus there are so many easy recipes on the internet to choose from.

kids in grass

For the Sweet Tooths

If it’s too warm, chocolate will melt – we know, it’s unfortunate. There are several great alternatives though. Lemon squares are light and fresh, and adding mixed berries can be a great treat in addition to the squares. Cookies like shortbread or oatmeal are really yummy too. Anything that can’t get smushed will do well, you just have to be a little bit more careful with the sweets.

lemonade

Drink Up

Reusable water bottles can be filled with everyone’s drink of choice. Lemonade, sparkling water, and homemade iced tea are all great options. If it’s a date night for two, Watson Point Liquor also has bagged wine and individual alcohol cans that can be a nice adult alternative.

harbor mountain trail

Don’t Forget

You’ll also need a few staples:

  • Blanket, unless you can find a great rock
  • Silverware, although sometimes you can pack all finger foods
  • Napkins, especially if you have lots of dips and sauces
  • Plates, or you can just dig in to the Tupperware and keep it simple

Make sure you pack out what you pack in and have a blast! Some of our favorite spots are Totem Pole Park, Harbor Mountain and Whale Park. Don’t forget to take a few photos with mom too, she’ll cherish the memories!

What are your favorite picnic spots on the island?

SEAMART_EASTER

Making the Perfect Easter Basket

Every year, the Easter bunny sneaks into homes dropping off beautiful pastel and brightly colored baskets for little ones. Historically, the Easter Bunny, originating among German Lutherans, originally played the role of judge for children’s’ behavior at the start of Eastertide. The bunny carried eggs, candy and toys in his basket – all of which we still see today.SEAMART_EASTER

Trail to the basket

Rather than just having kids dig right into their baskets, it’s fun to send them on a hunt. Use little eggs or goodies or fill the plastic ones with a scavenger hunt to make a game out of finding the basket! We love the little chocolate eggs, it allows kids to have some sweets along the way.

Good mix of candy and healthy treats

It’s not all about the sugar. Rather than just big bags of candy, purchase some of the plastic eggs that you can fill and add a couple treats to each – this is especially good if you have more than one kid to make a basket for. You can really get creative and it’s a fun way to also include healthier snacks. Bunny grahams and cheddar bunnies make great additions. We’ve also used fruit snacks, grapes, nuts, cheese cubes, raisins, blueberries and baby carrots.

SEAMART_EASTER

Get creative

We have several basket options you can purchase for your Easter Basket. You can also think out of the basket! Flower pots, toys (like a big truck or doll crib), and tin buckets make great baskets kids can reuse over and over again. Don’t forget about Sitka Sneakers – if your little one needs a new pair, fill them up with Easter goodies and just tie a bow!

Unique items

The unexpected always makes for a fun alternative. We’ve seen homemade rice krispies treats decorated for Easter, bath bombs shaped like eggs, a special sweet or coloring items – all of which make great Easter gifts. If you have a trip coming up (yay – miles!), find something your little one can use on the plane or when you get to your getaway!

SEAMART_EASTER

Spring/outdoor stuff –

Outdoor toys are always fun too! Think about bubbles, chalk, bug kits, a boomerang, or a kite. In case of the rare sunny Sitka day, it’s always fun to have a few things to grab before you head outside with your little one. All of these encourage your family to get active and enjoy the sunshine together, they definitely make great Easter basket items!

Once your Easter bunny basket it ready to go, we think getting into the kitchen and coloring eggs is a fun activity to enjoy with the family. With so many options these days, you can really be creative. Traditionally, eggs were boiled with flowers to give them the pastel colors we are accustomed to at Easter and this “brought spring” into everyone’s homes. Fasters would then break their fast by eating the colorful eggs. It’s a little bit easier with so many kits to choose from these days. Share photos of your Easter eggs in the comments below for a chance to be featured on our social media!

Sea Mart Sitka Alaska Travel

New Year, New Resolution

In today’s world, we aren’t very complacent. We’re always looking towards improving, doing more, eating better, and the list goes on. Although many resolutions fail after the first two weeks of the year, we still make them and sometimes we return to previous ones that we lost focus on. You’ve probably heard many quotes over the last two weeks similar to “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” or “A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan.” Some resonate with us more than others, but they all carry the same gist, you need a plan in order to accomplish your goals.
Sea Mart Sitka Alaska Goals

A better workplace

Do you have goals at your place of work? On the Sea Mart crew, Cassandra (Deli Manager) and Ian (Dairy Manager) both want to improve their departments. Setting SMART goals – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound – will help you create order, schedules and watch your progress. When setting goals at your workplace, break them up into smaller goals that will help you reach your larger, ultimate goal. Having a timeline whether via a special calendar or Excel can help you determine realistic benchmarks, so the goals aren’t daunting and unrealistic. You can also include checking your progress on your timeline so you can check in with yourself and see if you need to adjust your course.

Sea Mart Sitka Alaska Travel

A happier you

Living on an island can make you feel stuck sometimes, especially during these cold, winter months. One resolution we hear every year is to travel more. That is just what Joy (Front End) is setting out to do this year, and it is something that has worked out well for her in the past. When it comes to traveling, saving and careful planning are a must. At Sea Mart, we’ve got your back with the SMART Card so you can earn more miles; now it’s up to you to pull out the couch cushions and find all your pennies. Set a goal to save a specific amount each month before you go out to even one meal. Or try Redbox for a date night. Go for a snowshoe instead of hitting the bar for a game once in a while. You’ll watch your piggy bank fill up fast, and you’ll be ready to book your next getaway in no time!

Sea Mart Sitka Alaska Cooking

A healthier you

We’re all about the food at Sea Mart, and we couldn’t let this year go by without recognizing someone’s resolution to be a better cook. The kitchen is one of our favorite places, and we’re excited for Dennis (Asst. Store Director) as he begins to explore more. Our team is here to help. Ask us questions and ask us for recommendations. We can get you started on an easy path that won’t deter you from trying out new things.

Whatever your goal is, share it with your family and let them help you create a path for success. Have some recommendations for our team members? Share them below!

Fill the Bus

On Giving Tuesday…

Fill the Bus

Strong community ties are the backbone of any family owned business. They become even stronger when you live in a small community isolated on an island. As our tagline states, “We Proudly Serve the People and the Spirit of Alaska.” The Spirit of Alaska is something you have to experience, the Spirit of Sitka is even more remarkable. There is something to be said for driving down the street waving to your neighbors, grabbing a cup of coffee that turns into a two-hour catch up with an old friend, and spending time seeing your community partake in the arts and cultural festivals. Sitka has been our home for 67 years, and this community has supported us since we opened our doors. We can’t imagine being anywhere else.Sitka Cemetary

As we head into the final few weeks of the year and turn the calendar page to another Giving Tuesday, we remember all of the fun we had supporting the great organizations around Sitka this year. The Hames Corporation has donated to 80 organizations or individuals totaling about $60,000 so far this year. We had some great fun doing it too! The cello player during the shopping spree was a first, and definitely not the last, of its kind. Giving the Welcome Bags to the Sitkan families coming to support their United States Coast Guard families is always a special day, we love seeing our community grow and evolve. Supporting volunteers, the arts, the animals, and the land we live on helps keep our town what it is. Do you know, we even occasionally get to support feeding the bears at the Fortress of the Bear? We’ve hit a few softball games, danced along to music, and supported local artists too – it’s been quite the year!

USCG Welcome Bags

Here is the rundown of some of the larger donations we made to our partners in the community:

  • Sitka Cemetery Association
  • Sitka Economic Development
  • Brave Heart Volunteers
  • Sitka Summer Music Festival
  • Alaska Raptor Center
  • Sitka Community Land Trust
  • Sitka Young Life
  • Sitka Softball Association
  • Greater Sitka Arts Council
  • Coast Alaska
  • Sitka Chamber of Commerce
  • And many more!

Sea Mart Specials Softball

We can all do our part.

Whether it’s cheering on a local team during a tournament; two-stepping the night away; bringing out of town guests to local animal centers; purchasing locally produced goods; or giving a hug, high-5 or smile to someone in need; today and every day should be about strengthening our community.

Thank you for your continued support of our community.

An Alaska Day Celebration

The community of Sitka is special, it’s why we live here, and it’s why the people who have left come back to celebrate and see their families so often.

Ede-holding-large-fish

Ede Turns 15 in Sea Mart Years

Ede Fishing

Ede has been with us for 15 years. As the manager of the Sea Mart POS team, her attention to detail is astounding, and she helps to keep us all in line, on time and ready to serve you as best we can. We sat down with her to learn a little bit more about some of her favorite things.

To kick it off, she’s usually at the store, so we started there. Ede loves her job here. The Point of Sale team has to be hyper-focused on details, able to troubleshoot, self start projects, and make the technological aspects of the store run smoothly. She loves to learn, researching and troubleshooting are two of her favorite duties, she can never learn enough.

When she’s at home taking a break from all the happenings at the store, you can usually find her out fishing, she loves it! We definitely think she lives in the perfect place for being on the water.

Her favorite movie is a toss-up between Braveheart and Pretty Woman; although, if she’s home sick, she will pick Pretty Woman over any movie.

Ede also loves spending time with her grandchildren. Her dream vacation is to take them to Disneyworld over Christmas, and she’s saving to make that happen.

Here’s to making dreams come true. Thanks for being such a special member of our team Ede!

Kathy Ingallinera

We Love our Dads

A huge thank you to everyone who participated in our Father’s Day contests. Every day our community gets a little bit stronger and our family a little bit bigger. You are what makes Sea Mart so special. We hope all the dads out there had lazy Sundays spent by the grill eating good food.

Thank you to Silver Basin for putting together three amazing gift baskets for our drawings. Scroll down to see all the winners.

Maggie White – Fish Lover’s Delight Basket
Maggie White

Natalie Brown – Man Essentials Basket (Please note Natalie asked someone to pick this up for her)
Natalie Brown

Howie Pitts – Grill Master Basket
Howie Pitts

And, we can’t forget our photo contest! Thank you to everyone who participated this year. We loved seeing your photos (some were from 1940!) and learning more about the men in your life.

Kathy Ingallinera – $100 Sea Mart Gift Card
Kathy Ingallinera

Peachie Ann Wolff – $60 Sea Mart Gift Card
Peachie Ann Wolff

Miranda Byrd Littlefield – $30 Sea Mart Gift Card
Miranda Byrd Littlefield

Our next giveaway is coming up for the Fourth of July. Stay tuned and check out Facebook for more excitement happening at the store.

Bacon bleu burger

Throw a Bombtastic Barbecue

With all the sunshine we’ve had recently, it’s hard not to daydream about picnics and barbecues while we’re sitting at work. With Father’s Day ahead of us, we’ve put together some of our favorite ideas on how to host the perfect barbecue to celebrate the perfect man in your life.

First, let’s be honest, almost everyone loves a little competition so don’t forget the entertainment. Some of our favorites include ladder toss, corn hole, croquet, and horseshoes. Let the games begin!

Croquet

With all the gaming, it’s important to stay hydrated. We recommend mixing in sodas, lemonade, juice, and water with all your adult beverages. Have you ever tried sangria or margarita pitchers? Those can be made ahead of time and are great to have on hand as guests are coming in, allowing you to easily greet everyone.

shutterstock_200924654

Our perfect, simple lemonade recipe includes:
6 lemons, juiced
½ c. sugar
4 c. water
Just mix the ingredients, pour them into your favorite cup, and add a straw!

While your guests are enjoying themselves, you’ll want to be mingling too. What barbecue is complete without burgers and dogs? A great idea for a main course that you can set up ahead of time is a burger bar. Here’s a list of some of our favorite ingredients, to get you started.

Bacon bleu burger

The big cheese – feta, bleu, cheddar, swiss, and pepper jack.

Make it vegelicious – lettuce, tomatoes, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, avocado, jalapenos, and pickles will help make sure your guests don’t go hungry.

Get saucy – ketchup, mayo, and mustard are musts, but don’t forget the hot sauce, bomb sauce, and try some garlic mayo, it will help make the flavor combos unique!

Buns for days – potato buns and sesame seed buns are both delicious, but add in some other options too. Pretzel buns are a favorite of ours, and we also like adding in focaccia or tortillas. Taco burger anyone? Let your guests get creative!

Make the sides count. Spice up your potato salad with some of the garlic mayo and, we promise, guests will love it. We love cooking up some tortellini to give our pasta salad a cheesy kick. Quinoa and orzo are two other great bases for salads, and they can both be made ahead of time. Add some Latin flair to your grilled corn by adding lime juice, cotija cheese, and cilantro. Deviled eggs, grilled asparagus, coleslaw, and grilled potatoes are fun to add in also, leaving your guests with plenty of options and fully satisfied.

A great way to keep the “hangries” away is to offer chips and dips ahead of time. Don’t forget must-have party dips like guacamole and salsa, but give guests options by adding in Cowboy Caviar, loaded ranch, spinach artichoke, greek yogurt, or 7-layer bean dip.

Two great things to have on hand are sunscreen and bug spray (in case you party into the night), both of which will help keep guests comfortable while enjoying the outdoors.  Happy Summering from our family to yours!

Behind the Scenes at the Customer Appreciation Sale

It wasn’t the first time, but we definitely had the best time at this year’s Customer Appreciation Sale. Read more