Thursday, June 30, 2011

BBQ Ribs At Sprouts

All that planning and cooking in the post below looks like too much work? Our Boulder Sprouts can take care of you, since they'll be cooking full racks of baby back ribs over mesquite from 11 to 6 tomorrow and Saturday, while they last. You can take home cooked racks of ribs for $9.99 each and spend your time doing something else for the weekend.

4th of July Weekend Dinner Planning

Looking for ideas to put together some great meals for this Fourth of July weekend? Check out Bon Appetit's Fourth of July menu page and the Fourth of July Celebration page at Epicurious. Also, don't forget yesterday's post below on Mark Bittman's grilling videos and my post a few days ago about the current issue of Saveur magazine, BBQ Nation.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Return of the Giant Basil Plants

About a month and a half ago, our local Whole Foods stores had big one-gallon pots holding multiple organic basil plants selling for just $5 (indeed, I said organic for that size and price). I bought two, but our nights were still too cool to actually plant them outside back then. While they waited indoors, one met an unfortunate demise when a stack of newspaper en route to recycling accidentally landed on top of it. I immediately sought a replacement, but the gallon plants had vanished. I'm therefore pleased to report that they have returned in a big way, at least at the Pearl Street store, where I found glorious displays of them in several spots around the store today. My new one will get replanted straight into a large pot outside, next to its original surviving brother (or I guess step-brother), which is thriving.

Boulder Farmers' Market This Afternoon

Check out today's newsletter from the Boulder Farmer's Market for a detailed list of what you're likely to find at this afternoon's market, starting at 4 pm. Notice a tantilizing possibility - cherries.

Bittman on Grilling

Want video from an expert on how to grill just about anything to prep for your Fourth of July weekend grilling events? Check out Mark Bittman's The Minimalist Grills at the New York Times for mouth-watering videos, with links to more grilling recipes as well. Remember, the NYT has unfortunately imposed limits to its previously free viewing, but at least your arrival from a blog post like this isn't supposed to count.

This Week's Hot Deals (IMHO)

It's a big week to cover, with new sales starting today at all our Boulder natural grocery stores except Vitamin Cottage. Here's what I see in the advertised new deals.

Wild salmon wars: $9.99 a pound the going price this week for fresh Alaskan sockeye at Sprouts (through July 6th), and also at King Soopers and Safeway (both with card through July 5th). Sunflower has wild sockeye for $7.99 a pound through July 6th, but fresh isn't specified in the ad.

Chicken breast sale news: If you're okay with chicken from Sprouts and Sunflower, stock up on the boneless, skinless ones for under $2 a pound at either place at the sale that runs through today. Starting tomorrow, both places will up those "sale" prices: $2.99 a pound at Sprouts, $3.99 a pound at Sunflower, family/value packs at both places through July 6th.

Other deals looking good to me at Sprouts through July 6th include extra lean ground beef for $1.99 a pound (value pack, beating Sunflower by $1), chicken sausage for $2.99 a pound, and haddock for $5.99 a pound. In a weekend special only good Friday through Monday the 4th, shrimp skewers are 99 cents each. Center-cut pork loin roasts or chops are good at $3.99 a pound, but were much better a couple of weeks ago at an astonishing $1.99 a pound. Organic produce looks good, with red or green seedless grapes $1.99 a pound (same at Sunflower), Cameo or Fuji apples or butternut squash all 99 cents a pound, celery 99 cents each, grape tomatoes $2.50 a pint (probably same at Sunflower), and Packham pears $1.49 a pound. All sliced cheese is 30% off, party trays are 25% off, and Oasis hummus is BOGO.

At Sunflower through July 6th, I'm liking boneless Harris Ranch New York strip steaks for a stunning $4.99 a pound, pork country style boneless ribs or pork spare ribs both $2.99 a pound, and beef stir fry $3.99 a pound. In organic produce, red or green seedless grapes are $1.99 a pound (same at Sprouts), cluster and hothouse tomatoes are very good at $1.99 a pound, one pound bags of baby carrots are $1.50, grape or cherry tomatoes are $2.50 (probably same at Sprouts for grape), and red or green leaf or romaine lettuce are very good at $1.50 a bunch. Mozzarella Fresca's fresh one pound mozz log is good at $6.99 each, but you can get a Crave Brothers one pound mozz log at Whole Foods for $5.99. Select Annie's dressings are $2.50 (also on sale at Vitamin Cottage), and my favorite Nature's Grilling briquets are $4.99 a bag.

At Whole Foods through July 12th, I really like organic peaches for $1.99 a pound, organic cantaloupe for $2.50 each, and organic spinach at $1.50 a bunch. Their yummy Market Made teriyaki salmon burgers are $7.99 a pound, and you can get some picnic classics from their fine deli, potato or macaroni salad or firecracker cole slaw, all at $3.99 a pound. In cheese, jarlsberg looks great at $5.99 a pound, as do one pound logs of Crave Brothers fresh mozzarella for $5.99 each (beating Sunflower on mozz logs). For your grilling, their 365 Everyday Value charcoal bags are $1 off at $4.99 each.

I'll report on Alfalfa's when I pick up their new flyer at the store. They're also putting it in their Facebook photos section, but the new one isn't posted as of this writing.

You can find my take on Vitamin Cottage's long-running specials (through July 9th this time, so we're getting close to the end) at this post.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a trio of special deals just for tomorrow, the 29th. One pound boxes of Diestel turkey burgers will be half off at just $2.99, and to go with them, fresh corn sounds great at 5 for $1, just 20 cents each. Also available will be Norwegian salmon portions for $4.99 each, $2 off their usual price.

Splendid Table Newsletters

Many thanks to my friend Ms. B. for tipping me off to two great-sounding email newsletters from Public Radio's Splendid Table program. "Weeknight Kitchen from The Splendid Table" sounds right up my alley, promising "inspiration for real midweek meals," while "The Griller's Chronicle" is a timely newsletter to be delivered every Friday in July to jumpstart your weekend grilling. You can sign up for them here.

Monday, June 27, 2011

In Praise Of Home Cooking

Here's a brief and thoughtful article by a NYC chef from this month's Atlantic, articulately singing the praises of home cooking over fine restaurant cuisine. Amen.

Mambo Sprouts Coupon Books

The summer edition of Mambo Sprouts' very useful coupon books is out, and I've seen copies recently in the checkout lanes at our Boulder Sprouts and Sunflower stores. Grab one while you can, as the supply usually disappears pretty quickly. Mambo of course always has online coupons, but the coupon book ones are all good through the end of September, so you might find one in the hardcopy book that's no longer available online.

And don't forget that Whole Foods publishes its own exclusive Mambo Sprouts coupons in its Whole Deal newsletter, good only at Whole Foods. Again, even though the coupons are online, it helps to have the hard copy too, since the current ones (in the May/June/July issue) are good through the end of August.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Time to move on to thinking about the rest of the week's dinner plans, still having the asparagus sale at Sunflower and the boneless, skinless chicken breast sales at both Sunflower and Sprouts on the brain.

By tomorrow, we'll be in the mood for a pasta dish, and with snap peas making their appearance, I'm thinking about pasta with sugar snap peas, asparagus and parmesan from Bon Appetit. This is a tad austere, even by my standards, so I'm going to hybridize it with another recipe, penne with asparagus and basil, also from Bon Appetit. The addition of garlic, crushed red pepper, and tomatoes will really liven it up.

Tuesday will be time for our usual easy reheat of something big made over the weekend, this time being the quick coq au vin, with a fresh green veggie and some crusty bread on the side.

For Wednesday, it will be time for something based on rice. Enjoying more asparagus, we'll go with asparagus and leek risotto with prosciutto from Bon Appetit. Bear in mind that Whole Foods sells chunks of prosciutto for cooking like this at a much better price than the freshly thinly sliced product. Since Alfalfa's does something similar with bacon, I wonder if they also sell prosciutto for cooking.

Finally, for Thursday we'll keep it exceptionally simple, just sauteing some of the sale chicken breasts coated with a bit of panko and herbs. A microwaved "baked" organic russet will go on the side, along with some sort of veggie, and we'll be done.

And that will get us through to next Friday's planning. Stay cool out there.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Weekend Sale At Whole Foods

Our local Whole Foods stores are offering us a trio of specials for just today and tomorrow (the 25th and 26th). 85% lean ground beef patties are $3.99 a pound ($2 off), hot dog and hamburger buns are half off at $2, and organic red seedless grapes are a good deal at $1.99 a pound (also half off).

Boulder Farmer's Market Today

Heading to today's Boulder Farmer's Market? The Market is producing a great newsletter with featured vendors, recipes, info on bands, wine, and beer, and a detailed list along the right side of veggies and herbs in season, not just for the season, but for this very week. Check it out, and let your mind start playing with what to cook not just for the season, but for this week in the season. Wow, beyond seasonal, man.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Thinking about upcoming dinner ideas, I have two things on the brain: asparagus for $1.27 a pound at Sunflower, and boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.88 a pound at Sprouts (Sunflower being close at $1.99 a pound). For tonight, we'll hit the asparagus, with asparagus with balsamic tomatoes from Cooking Light serving as a side for some salmon hot off the grill (fresh Alaskan sockeye is $9.99 a pound at Sprouts).

Moving on to tomorrow, we'll turn to the chicken sales, doing quick coq au vin from Bon Appetit, with some crusty bread on the side to soak up all those good juices. Since this isn't exactly seasonal (sometimes your mood just sends you in other directions), I'm hoping tomorrow's Farmer's Market will provide inspiration for a seasonal side veggie.

By Sunday, a quick veggie skillet on a hot night sounds good, so it will be fingerling potato-leek hash with Swiss chard and eggs from Cooking Light. Swiss chard or other greens can come from the Farmer's Market, and I'm hoping the leeks as well. More asparagus could either go on the side, or into the skillet too.

And that gets us through a warm weekend of planning.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Junk Food Vicious Circle

I'm totally for cooking as seasonally and as from scratch as possible, so junk food plays pretty much no role in our house. Now the Daily Mail brings us an article about research finding that junk food may destroy brain cells that control weight, driving you to more junk food. Add to that a study in today's New England Journal of Medicine targeting potato chips as a big driver of pound-a-year weight creep. Put down that bag of chips! (True confessions: I had yummy kale chips at The Kitchen [Next Door] yesterday. Where do they fall on the junk food spectrum?)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

No Organic Peaches At Sunflower

$1.99 a pound may be a great price for organic peaches, but it doesn't help a whole lot if the store doesn't have any, as was the case this afternoon at the Boulder Sunflower. I got a raincheck and have no idea when they'll be back in stock. And I was all psyched to do peaches with serrano ham and basil from Gourmet magazine, one of my favorite summer appetizers of all time. Patience.

Boulder Farmers' Market This Afternoon

If you're downtown or can get there, don't forget the Boulder Farmer's Market's Wednesday market opens in just a few minutes. Looks like the market folks are expecting sugar snap peas and snow peas to be added to the cornucopia of spring veggies. You can find them on Facebook, and hey, there's a mention of me!

This Week's Hot New Deals (IMHO)

We have new specials today from our Boulder Sprouts and Sunflower, while previously reported deals continue from Alfalfa's, Vitamin Cottage, and Whole Foods (click those links for my reports). Here's what's appealing to me in the new specials.

Boneless, skinless chicken breast wars: $1.88 a pound (value pack) at Sprouts, $1.99 a pound (family pack) at Sunflower, both through June 29th.

At Sprouts through the 29th, I'm also liking their stuffed chicken breasts all for $2.88 a pound, fresh wild Alaskan sockeye salmon for $9.99 a pound, boneless ribeye steaks at $9.99 a pound, and beef stew meat for $3.99 a pound. In organic produce, I'm very enthused about cauliflower at 89 cents a pound, green onions at 49 cents a bunch, and baby carrots at $1.50 a one pound bag. Also in organic, two kinds of apples are 99 cents a pound, romaine hearts are $1.99 a three-pack, and D'Anjou pears are $1.49 a pound. Sprouts' own frozen veggies are $1.50 a one pound bag, refreshing Metromints are $1 a bottle, and medium or sharp Tillamook cheddar looks good at $3.99 a pound.

At Sunflower through the 29th, I'm raving about asparagus at $1.27 a pound. That will be conventional, but asparagus most often is, so I shirk my standards there and go for it. I'm also liking all fresh chicken sausage at $2.99 a pound and boneless pork loin chops for $3.99 a pound (although I froze some from Sprouts' fantastic $1.99 a pound sale a week ago). In organic produce, yellow peaches and nectarines look great at $1.99 a pound, Hass avocados are 99 cents each, yams, cantaloupe and honeydew melons are all 99 cents a pound, green onions are 99 cents a bunch (49 cents at Sprouts), and raspberries, blackberries, blueberries (all six ounces) or strawberries (one pound) are all $3 (but check the note below re King Soopers).

Finally, I don't usually include King Soopers, but they're doing a big organic produce sale this week through the 28th. Most notable is Driscoll's organic strawberries at $3.99 for a two pound package (that's a lot of strawberries for that price). Their raspberries or blackberries are both $1.99 for six ounces, honeydew or cantaloupe are 79 cents a pound, and there are other deals as well.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Five Bucks Off At Alfalfa's

Check out the bottom of this flyer for a coupon that's worth $5 off a purchase of $30 or more at Alfalfa's. It's good through July 15th, so there's plenty of time to use it.

Happy Summer

It's 11:16, so it's the summer solstice, and we're officially into summer, yahoo! More veggie variety, and I can't, can't wait for Munson's corn.

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

For tomorrow only, the 22nd, our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a duo of special sales. Bobo's oat bars will be 3 for $5 ($1.12 off each one), and Third Street organic iced tea concentrates will be half price at $4 each.

Bike By Alfalfa's Tomorrow

If your Bike to Work route takes you toward downtown Boulder tomorrow, stop by Alfalfa's for your free breakfast between 7 and 9 am. Mmm, homemade sausage. Here's what they say:

"It’s Bike to Work Day and Alfalfa’s will have a yummy spread of Chilaquiles, homemade sausage, organic fresh-squeezed orange juice, Ozo offee and so much more! Bike on by!"

Monday, June 20, 2011

Whole Foods Fetes Bikers Wednesday

Wow, the Pearl Street Whole Foods store is planning a veritable feast for those stopping by for free breakfast from 6 to 8:30 am on Bike to Work day Wednesday. Check out their menu!

Bike To Work Wednesday

Okay, so this has nothing to do with cooking, but it does involve food and is also very Boulder, so I guess it's fair territory. This Wednesday, the 22nd, is Bike to Work day, so get on out there. Bikers and walkers are eligible for free breakfast, so check out this list of breakfast stations around town to find the one that's most convenient for your trip.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Getting ready for a potentially rainy Father's Day afternoon? Then it must be time to think about the rest of the week's dinners, too. For tomorrow, I'm going to go with shrimp risotto with baby spinach and basil from Bon Appetit. My huge basil plant from Whole Foods will benefit from the trimming, and since pea shoots were back at Cure Organic Farm's store yesterday (yahoo, although they're getting a little tougher as the season progresses and need to be edited more), I'll add some pea shoots in with the spinach to make a nicely seasonal dish.

For Tuesday, our big weekend dish to be a quick midweek reheat this time is the baked rigatoni with ricotta and collard greens, except I made it even better by using fresh organic braising mix and pea shoots (of course!) instead of the collards.

We'll also want something quick for Wednesday, and the ground pork sale at Sunflower has me thinking of trying a recent recipe from Bon Appetit, spicy pork with asparagus and chile. This could be served over brown rice or sobas for a hearty dinner, or rolled in lettuce leaves in the mode of the dish variously called laap, larb, or larp for a more diet-friendly version. (I bought the most gorgeous head of organic red lettuce yesterday at Cure that's just crying out to roll up this pork mixture.)

For Thursday, with boneless chicken breasts on sale at both Sprouts and Sunflower, and always in my freezer, I'm thinking about a recipe from Mark Bittman's Food Matters Cookbook (which therefore doesn't have a link), a one-pot dish in which pasta is cooked right in with zucchini and chicken. It was hugely successful the time I made it before, although that might have been because I added a whole bunch of prosciutto I happened to have on hand, which flies in the face of Bittman's "less meat" mantra. Anyway, it was delicious.

And that will get us through until Friday's planning. Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Buck A Brat At Alfalfa's

In addition to the pre-Father's Day events mentioned in the post below, Alfalfa's is joining in the festivities with brats (bet they're really, really good) for a buck at lunchtime today. Here's what they say:

"Buck a Brat at Alfalfa's
Today, Saturday, June 18 11:00a to 3:00p
at Alfalfa's, Boulder, CO
Party on Dad! Buck a Brat at Alfalfa's Market Saturday, 11-3 Broadway & Arapaphoe"

Two-Day Sale at Whole Foods

Our local Whole Foods stores are offering us a quartet of good deals for this weekend only, the 18th and 19th:

organic peaches from California half price at $1.99 a pound (yum!)

applewood smoked bulk bacon $2 off at $4.99 a pound (double yum, and you choose exactly how much you want)

smoked mozzarella pasta salad $2 off at $7.99 a pound (triple yum!), and

Annie's organic fruit snacks at $3 each (I haven't tried them, but I love all things Annie's).

Boulder Farmer's Market Today

If you're heading to the Boulder Farmer's Market today, here's the produce you can expect to see, based on their newsletter this week:

This Week's Fresh Produce

Arugula, Bok Choy, Braising Mix, Broccoli Raab, Chard, Collards, Lettuce Mixes, Lettuce (Anuenue, Blushed Butterhead, Cardinale, Green Star, Pablo, Red Oak, Romaine), Kale (Curly, Lacinato, Red Curly, Red Russian), Mesclun Mixes, Mizuna, Mizpoona, Mustard Greens, Pea Shoots/Tendrils. Spinach (Green Space, Red, Ruby, Tyee), Tatsoi

Apple Mint, Basil, Burnet, Catnip, Chives, Chervil, Chocolate Mint, Cilantro, Dill, Garlic Chives, Italian Parsley, Lemon Balm, Lovage, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Sage, Sorrel, Tarragon, Thyme, Violas

Asparagus, Baby Beets (Red), Broccoli, Carrots (Hoophouse), Green Garlic and Garlic Scapes, Mini-English Cukes, Kohlrabi, Lambsquarter, Mushrooms, Napa Cabbage, Peppercress, Pinto Beans (dried), Radish (Cherrybell, Daikon, Easter Egg, French Breakfast, German Beer), Rhubarb, Scallions, Spring Onions (Cipollini, Purple Bunching, Super Star), Strawberries, Sugar Snap Peas, Sunchokes, Sweet Bell Peppers (greenhouse), Turnips (Japanese Salad, Hakuri), Tomatoes (all greenhouse)

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Regional BBQ Goldmine

For those ambitious barbequers/smokers out there, the current issue of Saveur magazine should be in your hand or on your screen. It focuses on BBQ Nation, with great articles on regional styles that highlight off the beaten path places, with stunning photography, especially the portraiture. The serious bbq gourmand will appreciate the issue's recipe collection, which includes classic regional ribs, sides like Carolina hush puppies, and a stellar group of regional sauces to make from scratch. Something to consider for this weekend's cuisine, maybe for Father's Day.

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Looks like we have a great weekend ahead, a bit of a chance of afternoon showers, but that won't stop us from heading out to the grill, starting with tonight. With fresh wild salmon all around us, that will certainly have to go on the grill again. I haven't seen all the prices around town, but among the advertised ones, King Soopers is taking the lead with Alaskan sockeye for $8.99 a pound (with card), followed by Sprouts at $9.99 a pound, and it goes up from there. Ours will go simply on the grill, finished with just a squeeze of lemon. Buttermilk mashed potatoes will go on the side, and for a veggie, I'm thinking about grilled corn succotash from Cooking Light, using edamame instead of the lima beans called for. It's still too early for our local corn, but I can't wait, so I'll take what's in the stores.

For tomorrow, with temperatures not expected higher than 80 and the chance of storms increasing, we'll stay inside to do one more casserole from the oven, baked rigatoni with ricotta and collard greens. I made this quite recently, but my seasonal spin using braising mix and spinach from the Farmer's Market instead of the collards was so successful that I just have to do it again while I have the chance (plus it will make enough for a later reheat as well). The side veggie will also be inspired by whatever I find tomorrow at the Farmer's Market or at Cure Organic Farm's store.

For Sunday, we'll be back on the grill with some sort of beef suitable for Father's Day. It will either be the Harris Ranch New York strip steaks on sale at Sunflower ($4.99 a pound bone-in, $6.99 a pound boneless), or possibly the beef brochettes on sale at Whole Foods ($5.99 a pound). Either way, we'll start by grilling some of Whole Foods' $1.50 shrimp skewers as appetizers. We'll probably do diced organic sweet potatoes wrapped in foil and grilled on the side, and for a veggie, it will be our favorite tomato and corn salad with marjoram from Bon Appetit, so delicious. Both Alfalfa's and Sunflower have organic tomatoes for $1.99 a pound this week, and I've seen corn (even organic) around town at decent prices.

And that will get us through the weekend, with more to come.

Friday pm update: this weekend's forecast keeps changing at a head-spinning rate, and Channel 9 weather just reported that Sunday bbqs will probably want to "move inside" by 2 or 3 pm. Now what?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

For tomorrow only (the 17th), our local Whole Foods stores will have organic blueberries for the excellent price of $1.99 for a pint (blueberries being something I'd never want to eat in a conventional variety). Don't forget also that Vitamin Cottage has six ounce containers of organic blueberries or raspberries for $2.50 all the way through July 9th. I need to look up wet pints vs. dry pints to see how a pint compares to six ounces.

And yahoo, dear readers, my laptop had a brush with near death this morning but seems to have resurrected itself. My apologies in advance if the problem reappears, and my chatty self goes silent while seeking a fix.

Pre-Father's Day Events Saturday

Our local natural foods stores will be whooping it up this Saturday in anticipation of Father's Day on Sunday, with at least three events that I see:

The Boulder Sunflower plans "brats for a buck to celebrate Dad," running from noon to 2 on Saturday.

The Pearl Street Whole Foods will hold a "Get Outside With Dad" event Saturday from 11 to 3. Here's what they say:

"Saturday, June 18th
Get Outside with Dad!
11 am - 3 pm FREE!
Celebrate Dad with us Father's Day Weekend!
-Great grill specials!
-Kid's customize trail-mix for Dad activity.
-Summer entertaining demonstrations.
-Rock climbing wall!
-Fun, Pearl Street Style!"

The Superior Whole Foods store will also get into the act, with a Kids Club cookie decorating event on Saturday from 2 to 5. Here's what they say:

"Saturday, June 18th
Kids Club
2:00pm-5:00pm Free
Kids, join us for a Kids Club Event. Surprise Dad this father’s Day with a large chocolate chip cookie decorated by you for Father’s Day and a card. Check in at the Customer Service Counter."

Father's Day Coming Up

Father's Day this Sunday isn't exactly a big culinary holiday, but if you're looking for dinner inspiration, check out Epicurious' Father's Day Fun page and Bon Appetit's Father's Day Favorites slideshow. Since the grill tends to dominate the day, you can also look back to the guides I collected for Memorial Day, and also check out Saveur's current issue on the BBQ Nation.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chinese Farmed Fish Takes Over The World?

This seems to be a week of reminders to give very conscious thought to where your food comes from. Yesterday, it was the new "dirty dozen" list of most contaminated produce, so for today, how about "The Scariest Chart About Seafood You'll See This Year," from The Atlantic? The figures are alarming, as is the discussion of the FDA's inability to effectively ensure the safety of seafood imports. All the more reason to jump on Whole Food's sale today on swordfish that's "sustainably caught and traceable from source to store."

Glorious Swordfish At Whole Foods

Today's one-day sale at our local Whole Foods stores (mentioned yesterday in a post below) is swordfish for $13.99 a pound, and it's a stunner. The sustainably-sourced swordfish is fresh, from the East Coast, delivered today, and absolutely beautiful. I bought a little extra to have grilled swordfish leftovers for lunch, yum. Now I just have to convince the family griller-in-chief to depart from our previous plans and get these beauties on the grill.

This Week's Hot Deals (IMHO)

We have new specials today from our Boulder Sprouts, Sunflower, and Whole Foods, while previously reported deals continue from Alfalfa's and Vitamin Cottage (click those links for my reports). Here's what's appealing to me in the new specials.

At least in the advertising, the stores are moving away from specifying Copper River salmon to generalized fresh Alaskan sockeye. Maybe I'll have a chance to do a big price comparison like last week, but in the meantime, here's what's in the ads:

King Soopers: fresh, wild caught Alaska sockeye salmon fillets $8.99 a pound with card (through June 21),

Sprouts: fresh Alaskan sockeye salmon filets (their spelling, it's correct), wild caught, $9.99 a pound (through June 22),

Whole Foods: wild caught fresh Alaskan sockeye salmon $16.99 a pound (through June 28).

In other price war news:

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (also pork sausage): $2.99 a pound at both Sprouts and Sunflower through June 22.

Lobster tails: 5 ounce Brazilian $5.99 each at Sprouts, 3.5-4 ounce lobster tails $4.99 each at Sunflower, both through June 22.

Other deals of interest to me at Sprouts through June 22 include filet mignon steak at $9.99 a pound and possibly their fresh tilapia at $6.99 a pound, depending on where it comes from. In organic produce, cantaloupe or honeydews are 69 cents a pound, red delicious apples are 99 cents a pound, romaine lettuce or celery look pretty good at $1.29 each (but Sunflower has the celery for 99 cents), mini mixed peppers are good on the grill at $2.99 a package, and red or green seedless grapes are $2.50 a pound (Alfalfa's has the red for $1.99 a pound). All Sprouts sliced breads are 30% off, Fage Greek yogurts look good at $1 each (5.3 ounces), Ben & Jerry's or Starbucks ice cream are $3 a pint, bulk hot pepper jack is $3.99 a pound ($2.99 at Sunflower). Their own flatbreads (which I've gotten compliments for) are $2.99 a package, and there are probably good deals among their own organic spices, which are all $3 each.

At Sunflower through June 22, I'm liking Harris Ranch New York strip steaks at $4.99 a pound (bone-in) or $6.99 a pound (boneless), whole fresh organic fryers for an excellent $1.99 a pound, and I could get creative with ground pork at $2.99 a pound. In organic produce, hothouse or on-the-vine tomatoes are $1.99 a pound (same price at Alfalfa's for on-the-vines), black plums sound good also at $1.99 a pound, they beat Sprouts on celery at 99 cents a bunch, and Organic Girl 5 ounce clamshells are all $3 each. Organic red or green seedless grapes are $2.99 a pound, so you'll do better at Sprouts ($2.50 a pound for either) or Alfalfa's ($1.99 a pound for red). Bulk roasted coffee is cheap at $7.99 a pound, yogurts are good with Cascade Fresh 69 cents or Brown Cow Greek 99 cents each, Cascade Fresh sour cream is $1.50 for 16 ounces, and they beat Sprouts with hot pepper jack at $2.99 a pound. Finally, their price on select Santa Cruz organic lemonades is so good at 99 cents a 32 ounce bottle, there's a limit of four.

At Whole Foods through the 28th, I'm liking their salmon burgers, this time the more decadent bacon cheddar one, at $7.99 a pound, chipotle cheddar beef burgers for $4.99 a pound, organic grass-fed 95% lean burger for $5.99 a pound, three types of beef brochettes also $5.99 a pound, and all flavors of their shrimp skewers for $1.50 a skewer. Organic iceberg lettuce looks intriguing at $1.50 a head (bleu cheese for a wedge anyone?), and their own Bakehouse rosemary sourdough sounds tempting at $3 a loaf. Their own large pepperoni pizzas are very good at $8.99 each, as are select Back to Nature crackers at 3 for $4, and Annie's organic salad dressings are excellent at $2.50 each (but Vitamin Cottage has them at $2.49 through July 9th). In cheese, Fronterra Australian cheddar is $5.99 a pound ($4 off) and Unikaas reserve gouda looks good at $11.99 a pound, $6 off.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pesticides In Your Produce

The Environmental Working Group has released its new "dirty dozen" list of pesticides in conventional produce for 2011, and apples have the dubious distinction of being newly at the top. Their report is fee-based, which you can read about here. As I've long maintained, organic is best whenever possible, and imperative in produce where you're eating the skins, such as apples and berries.

Sing Along In The Parking Lot

Speaking of Whole Foods, if you have three minutes to spare, this YouTube video is hilarious.

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

I'm excited about tomorrow's one-day sale at our local Whole Foods stores, since they'll have swordfish for a reasonable $13.99 a pound, $6 off their usual price. They'll also have Continental Sausage Company of Denver's bratwurst packages for half off at $2.99 each. Sounds like grilling will be on the agenda soon.

Monday, June 13, 2011

In Praise Of A Real Strawberry

The current issue of Saveur magazine has a wonderful article about how Jim Cochran made a success of growing organic strawberries because of their delicious taste and heady fragrance, far superior to cardboard conventional varieties. While his Swanton Berry Farm fruits are only available within driving radius of his California farm, we have our own option here at Cure Organic Farm, where I bought a pint of strawberries yesterday. (And no, while I sing Cure's praises frequently, I have no connection to them - I just love their food.) Sorry, you'll have to wait until Wednesday to get yours, as their farm store is only open Wednesdays through Sundays.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Rest of This Week's Dinner Ideas

Time marches on, and we'd better get going with weekday dinner plans. For tomorrow, I'm thinking about the very lean (93%) grass fed burger that's $2.99 a pound at Sunflower, which is leading me towards doing a pasta Bolognese with it, such as this one from Cooking Light (simplifying by using all burger rather than a mix of ground meats). A salad on the side, and it's dinner.

For Tuesday, we always have something big made over the weekend that serves as an easy midweek reheat, and this week, it's smoky shrimp and halibut stew from Bon Appetit. Since this calls for another side salad, don't forget that there are good deals on organic tomatoes this week, with romas $1.49 a pound at Whole Foods (through Tuesday) and on-the-vines $1.99 at Alfalfa's (all the way through June 28th).

Moving on to Wednesday, we'll be in the mood for something rice-based by then, and I was really impressed by Cooking Light's recent spring risotto. It's a great use of edamame, and the addition of low fat cream cheese adds a lovely richness. If we don't want to make it a completely vegetarian meal, we might catch the tilapia burgers while they're still on sale at Whole Foods through Tuesday, since they were really, really good when we had them last week, and sauteing them couldn't be easier.

Finally, for Thursday, we simply can't let the week go by without enjoying Sprouts' outstanding deal (catch it by Wednesday) on center-cut pork loin chops. They're excellent, and at $1.99 a pound, some should go in the freezer too. Simply sauteed and a pan sauce made with a bit of garlic and wine to deglaze it, some microwaved "baked" potatoes, plus something green (maybe from Wednesday's Farmer's Market) and you're done.

And that will get us through to next Friday's planning. Enjoy this beautiful Sunday.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

Looks like a lovely day for today's Boulder Farmer's Market, before some storms might roll in later this afternoon. Check out their current newsletter for a really detailed list of greens, herbs, and veggies to expect at this week's market, plus lots of other info.

Weekend Sale At Whole Foods

Our local Whole Foods stores are offering us a quartet of special sales for today and tomorrow only (the 11th and 12th). Applegate organic chicken strips will be $3 off at $4.99 each, and Kerrygold's yummy Kilaree cheddar will also be $3 off at $6.99 per pound. High Country kombucha will be practically half price at 3 for $5, and you can brighten the house with a bunch of Whole Trade Gerber daisies for $9.99, $5 off.

Celebrate National Lobster Day

Better start planning now. Next Wednesday, the 15th, is National Lobster Day. (That one would get me a whole lot more enthused than National Doughnut Day, just passed.) I doubt I'll be chasing a lobster around my kitchen a la Woody Allen in Annie Hall, but if you're looking for something to do with one, the Maine Lobster Council (who else?) has what they say is the World's Largest Collection of Lobster Recipes.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Sea Scallops For The Freezer

Don't forget today's fabulous one-day sale at Whole Foods on MSC-certified sustainable sea scallops for just $9.99 a pound. In addition to the defrosting ones, the Pearl Street store also has some still frozen, so it's an opportunity to add some to your freezer as well. This is such a great price for seafood you know has been caught sustainably.

Cure's Done With Pea Shoots

My luck, planning on using them tonight, my favorite Cure Organic Farm has finished with their over-wintered crop of pea shoots (glad I caught them last week). The current crop is slated to complete its pea destiny, I think he said as sugar snap peas. I expect there still will be some organic pea shoots to be had at tomorrow's Farmer's Market. Meanwhile, I'll experiment with substituting Cure's beautiful baby arugula in tonight's dish.

Seventh Generation Sale/Coupon Combo

I'm a fan of Seventh Generation cleaning products, and Whole Foods' current sale (through the 14th) on their dish liquid for $2.50 is a good price. But check out the current issue of The Whole Deal magazine that's available in the store, or their online coupons, for a coupon worth $1 off any Seventh Generation product. That makes an already good deal a steal.

Weekend Dinner Ideas

With great prices on sea scallops, Copper River salmon, and cod happening in Boulder, this will be a weekend for fish!

To start with tonight, today's fantastic one-day sale on sustainable sea scallops at Whole Foods for $9.99 a pound is definitely pointing me to seared scallops with lemony sweet pea relish from Cooking Light. I made the wonderfully seasonal pea relish last weekend to go with our Copper River salmon, and it was delish, so now I get to try it as originally envisioned. I just hope my favorite Cure Organic Farm store will have pea shoots today, as they did last week, since I'd like to do this tonight instead of waiting for tomorrow's Farmer's Market.

Since some showers might still be around tomorrow, I'll postpone our grilling until Sunday, and go with a big fish chowder instead, doing smoky shrimp and halibut stew from Bon Appetit. I think using halibut in such a stew is a waste of a fine, very pricey fish, and this works wonderfully with Alaskan cod, which Sprouts has for $7.99 a pound. They also have 41/50 count ex peel raw shrimp for $5.99 a pound, a perfect combo (they're $1 more per pound at Sunflower). A big side salad and fresh bread from Whole Foods' bakehouse will go on the side.

It currently looks like by Sunday we can count on a good grilling day, which we've been waiting for in this fresh Copper River salmon season. See my salmon price comparison to check out where you might want to pick up Copper River this week. As I mentioned, last week I made the sweet pea relish noted above to go with it, and it was delicious. This week the grilled salmon will either go naked with just a squeeze of lemon, or I might try this red pepper and corn relish from Bon Appetit. Roasted sweet potato packages will also go on the grill, for and a green veggie side, we'll have shaved zucchini salad with parmesan pine nuts from Bon Appetit. You'd certainly want the squash to be organic in this uncooked dish, and Sprouts has organic Italian squash for $1.29 a pound this week. While there, don't forget their big 25% off bulk department sale, which includes pine nuts, yahoo.

And that will have us swimming all the way through a weekend of seafood.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Good Deals At Lucky's This Week

Although out of my usual travel pattern, I happened to be in Lucky's Market's north Boulder neighborhood yesterday, and found some good deals there as usual, (through the 15th). Although I'm more intent on enjoying our seasonal spring veggies right now, organic broccoli is positively stunning at 49 cents a pound, and they have what appears to be the best price in town this week for six ounces of organic blueberries at $2 (Sunflower and Vitamin Cottage offering more in the $2.50 range, which is also pretty good). Lucky's has organic cantaloupe for 99 cents each, and considering how heavy a cantaloupe is, that's probably much better than the per pound specials around. Also, organic on-the-vine tomatoes are $2 a pound, basically matching Alfalfa's sale price (although Whole Foods has the organic roma variety for even less, $1.49 a pound), and organic romaine is great at 99 cents a head. I'm also tempted by Niman Ranch boneless ribeyes at $12.99 a pound, fresh Pacific snapper for $7.99 a pound, and Back to Nature crackers at $2.50 a box.

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores are offering us a fantastic sale for tomorrow only (June 10th), with wild caught sea scallops for $9.99 a pound. These are MSC certified sustainable, so you can feel good about eating them, in addition to enjoying $8 off per pound. Between the sea scallops at Whole Foods, the cod at Sprouts, and Copper River salmon all around town (see my price comparison post), I feel a big seafood weekend coming on.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Copper River Sockeye Salmon Price Smackdown

As we work our way through Copper River sockeye salmon's brief fresh season, there are some interesting price differences to be found among our Boulder stores. Here's what I've found today, in alphabetical order, as usual.

Alfalfa's: $15.99/lb per call today.

King Soopers: $13.99/lb with card in today's ad.

Lucky's Market: $14.99/lb seen today.

Safeway: $8.99/lb club price "limited time" in today's ad.

Sprouts: $9.99/lb in today's ad through June 15th and seen today.

Whole Foods: $19.99/lb seen at the Superior store today.

Happy shopping.

Boulder Farmers' Market This Afternoon

Just about a half an hour until the Wednesday Boulder Farmer's Market opens today at 4. Check out their current newsletter for an excellent list of fresh veggies to expect this week in the season, along with other news, info about beer and wine, music, and an invitation to vote for America's favorite farmer's market!

This Week's Hot New Deals (IMHO)

We have new deals starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Sunflower, while last week's specials continue at Alfalfa's, Vitamin Cottage, and Whole Foods (click those links for my reports). I might also have a chance to get to Lucky's this week.

The good news this week is that the Copper River salmon specials are really heating up. I'll do a separate post when I get to see more prices, but here's what's advertised as of today for fresh Copper River sockeye salmon fillets (in alphabetical order, as usual):

King Soopers: $13.99 a pound with card,
Safeway: $8.99 a pound club price (doesn't specify sockeye in ad),
Sprouts: $9.99 a pound.

Boneless New York steak wars: $9.99 a pound at both Sprouts and Sunflower through the 15th.

Chicken tender wars: $2.99 a pound at Sprouts, $3.99 a pound at Sunflower, both through the 15th.

In other new deals at Sprouts through June 15th, I'm excited about their bulk department sale, with 25% off mostly everything, including their excellent organic, Fair Trade coffee (and one's a decaf to boot). Boneless center-cut pork loin chops or roasts are stunningly good at $1.99 a pound. They have wild caught Alaskan cod for $7.99 a pound, and since it says "delivered up to 6 days a week," I'm presuming we're now talking fresh. Chicken Italian sausage are $2.99 a pound, whole or cut up chicken is $1.49 a pound, and 100% grass-fed organic ground beef, tip roast or steak are all $5.99 a pound (see Sunflower below for a non-organic grass-fed burger option). In organic produce, Italian squash (think zucchini) are good at $1.29 a pound, three pound bags of yellow onions are $1.99 each, three packs of romaine hearts are $2.49 each, D'Anjou pears are $1.49 a pound, gala apples are $1.29 a pound, and although we've seen it lower, organic celery is still pretty good at $1.49 each.

At Sunflower through the 15th, I'm interested in their all natural grass fed super lean (93%) USA ground beef sale for $2.99 a pound. All chicken sausage are very good at just $1.99 a pound, as are boneless pork loin chops for $2.99 a pound. There are good deals in organic produce as usual, with baby carrots $1.50 a bag, three packs of romaine hearts matching Sprouts with $2.50 each, cantaloupes or yellow onions 77 cents a pound, green cabbage 99 cents a pound, and six ounces of blueberries for $2.50 (but Vitamin Cottage has that size organic blueberries or raspberries for $2.50 all the way through July 9th). Annie's Naturals organic dressings are okay at $2.99 each (Vitamin Cottage has them for $2.49), and loving smoked foods, I'm interested in assorted apple smoked cheese at $5.99 for eight ounces.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will have a special sale tomorrow for fans of whey protein powder. Biochem 100% whey protein powder in three flavors will be $9.99 each, which is a whopping $11.99 off its usual price of $21.99.

Vitamin Cottage June Deals

Our local Vitamin Cottage (aka Natural Grocers) has a new set of sales that runs through July 9th, and as usual, there are some good ones. How nice to know that we can get six ounces of organic raspberries or blueberries at $2.50 for an entire month. One pound bags of tamari almonds are $3.99, free range, air chilled, un-antibiotic-ed boneless skinless chicken breasts are $5.99 a pound, party-size (16 ounce) bags of Garden of Eatin' tortilla chips are $2.79 each (with Muir Glen salsa to go with them for $2.59), ten-packs of Justin's peanut butter single serves are $3.89 (making them 39 cents per pack, which has got to be a record low, or you can get a 16 ounce jar also for $3.89), and Annie's Naturals organic dressings look great at $2.49 each, a rare price on the organic ones. Of course there are lots of supplements on sale too, and Jarrow's Bone-Up makes the front page of the flyer at $14.99 for 240 capsules.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Seafood Service Compliment

Good service noted at the Superior Whole Foods store by my salmon-aficionado friend, Ms. A., who purchased a whole Copper River salmon there and had it deboned and filleted, all for $12.99 a pound. Now she has fillets ready to cook or freeze, plus the makings for a fantastic fish stock from the rest of it.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Weekday Dinner Ideas

A gorgeous Sunday already, but time to get the rest of the week's dinner plans in order. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow, which looks like a rare combo of fun, easy, healthy, seasonal, sophisticated, and delicious, with an Asian theme to boot. I'm going to try the teriyaki tipalia burgers that are on sale at Whole Foods for $6.99 a pound, pairing them with soba with pea shoots, shiitake mushrooms, and leeks from Gourmet magazine, and also sauteing some organic bok choy in a bit of sesame oil on the side. It's our brief season to enjoy pea shoots, which they had yesterday at the Cure Organic Farm store, where I picked up the organic bok choy as well.

On to more mundane midweek thinking for Tuesday, we always have something big made over the weekend that serves as an easy midweek reheat, and this week it will be last night's big casserole, baked rigatoni with ricotta and collard greens, made specially seasonal by using Cure's wonderful organic braising mix and spinach instead of the collards. My timing for baking a hot casserole was right on target for yesterday, as today we'll be back in the 90s.

For Wednesday, with more of that great organic spinach from Cure on hand (and also Boulder Farmer's Market day), we'll try stir-fried rice noodles with beef and spinach, a new recipe from Cooking Light. I like to shortcut by using pre-cut stew meat, which is $3.99 a pound at Sprouts through Wednesday.

We'll go completely simple and quick for Thursday, grabbing some chicken breasts during Sunflower's chicken sale through Wednesday and sauteing them, maybe dressed up with seasoned panko breadcrumbs. A microwaved "baked" potato (Alfalfa's routinely has a great everyday price on organic russets) will go on the side, along with something fresh and green from the Farmer's Market or the Cure store.

And that gets us through to Friday's planning.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

If it fits with your plans, today looks like a lovely day for the Boulder Farmers' Market. I'm so glad they publish a quite detailed list of fresh veggies and herbs to expect at today's market. No more need for me to walk around scribbling down what's available. Besides, I might just skip the ever more insufferable crowds and head on out to the peace of the Cure Organic Farm store instead.

Weekend Sale At Whole Foods

Our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a duo of specials sales for today and tomorrow. A 12 ounce bag of Whole Catch mahi mahi is $6.99, $2 off the regular price. Also, organic cluster tomatoes are $1.99 a pound, $3 off their usual price (but don't forget you can also get organic on-the-vine tomatoes for that same sale price at Alfalfa's through the 14th).

Friday, June 3, 2011

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Ever since seeing the Copper River salmon for $15.99 a pound at Alfalfa's on Wednesday, there's been no doubt in my mind what will be for dinner tonight - Copper River will be going on the grill. On the side will be grilled yam spears (organic yams are 99 cents a pound at Sunflower) and some of the fresh corn on the cob that's been appearing around town, although we have a long wait to go before it's local. Since we're in spring pea shoot season, I'll also accompany the salmon with the relish that goes with a new recipe from Cooking Light, seared scallops with lemony sweet pea relish.

For tomorrow, with temperatures remaining relatively cool as 90s threaten around us, I'll take advantage by doing one last casserole hot out of the oven, baked rigatoni with ricotta and collard greens from We'll give it a seasonal spin by using a mixture of beautiful spring greens, like braising mix and spinach from the Farmer's Market or from the Cure Organic Farm store, instead of the collards.

Still thinking of those greens for Sunday, we'll do smoky shrimp and grits from Food and Wine magazine. For the shrimp, I'll check out the gulf shrimp that are on sale at Sunflower for $5.99 a pound, pleased that they're domestic and curious about they're being "broken." Grits (call them polenta if you want to class it up) are convenient from the bulk aisle of Whole Foods, and probably other places.

And that will get us through the weekend, more to come.

Happy National Doughnut Day

Or Donut Day or International Doughnut/Donut Day. Pretty hard to find much redeeming nutritional value in those critters though.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ice Cream Social At Sunflower

Our Boulder Sunflower is planning an "ice cream social" tomorrow from 4 to 5:30 pm. No further details on their calendar - might be a tasting, or they sometimes do things like these as benefits for very worthy causes.

New Deals At Alfalfa's

Alfalfa's has a new set of specials that started yesterday and runs all the way through June 28th ("runs" should agree with "set," not "specials," right?). Deals that look particularly appealing include Meyer Angus aged sirloin for $7.99 a pound. The sale flyer includes a recipe for steak au poivre using it, which they were sampling yesterday, and it was divine (although the recipe calls for a scary-sounding step involving flaming bourbon). They have Copper River salmon at "market price," which as noted in the post below, was $15.99 a pound yesterday, possibly the best price in town. Organic on-the-vine tomatoes look really good at $1.99 a pound. (Sunflower has organic hothouse ones for the same price this week, but on-the-vine tend to be tastier, IMHO. For the roma shape, Whole Foods is doing even better at $1.49 a pound.) Organic mini carrots are good at $1.50 for a one pound bag, red grapes are $1.99 a pound (same price as green at Whole Foods for the next two weeks), and organic cantaloupe is half price at 99 cents a pound. Their own fresh basil potato salad looks like a tempting side at $3.99 a pound ($3 off). Pre-grated parmesan is a convenient refrigerator staple, and Cello is good at $6.99 a pound. It's also time to stock up on Izze sparkling juice cans for the summer, since they're BOGO.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Copper River Salmon At Alfalfa's

This is by no means a systematic study of lowest costs around, but I was thrilled to see today that Alfalfa's has Copper River sockeye on sale for $15.99 a pound, beating King Soopers by $1. The seafood person reported that they're getting their shipments in every day, and I'd be surprised to see such fine fish at a lower price anywhere right now (although the price should continue to trend downward).

Boulder Farmers' Market This Afternoon

There's less than an hour before today's Wednesday Farmers' Market opens at 4. Today's newsletter from them includes a handy list in the right column of produce to expect to see this week. I wouldn't stake my life on the appearance of each and every item, as things like green garlic have been popping in and out of the market this season, but it's a very handy guide, with seasonality honed right down to the week.

6 pm update - yup, there's organic green garlic today, as well as Egyptian walking onions, pea shoots, glorious greens, radishes, and very handsome turnips. Can't wait to cook my broccoli raab.

This Week's Hot New Deals (IMHO)

Hmm, some weeks are better than others for the types of food I like to see on sale, and this isn't striking me as one of the better ones. But there are a few bright spots on the landscape, noted below. And there will be further sales to consider, since Alfalfa's should be starting a new one today, but I have to get there to pick up the flyer, and Vitamin Cottage is expected to have a new sale on the 5th.

In good news, fresh wild salmon is starting to come down from stratospheric prices. King Soopers is advertising Copper River sockeye for $16.99 a pound with card (the Copper River season started a week or two ago, and I saw it at a store that shall go unnamed selling for $34.99 a pound back then). Sunflower is advertising "first of the season" king salmon for $15.99 a pound. Whole Foods is advertising Norwegian salmon steaks for $10.99 a pound, which I'd presume is farmed salmon, but Norwegian is reportedly the good stuff of the farmed.

Sprouts' specials this week (through June 8th) head mostly in directions I don't usually take, like chicken legs, bison, lamb, and ground wild game meats. I do like their stew meat for $3.99 a pound and possibly a mysterious "ground chicken breast" special at $3.99 a pound for "scaloppine or stir fry," which doesn't sound ground. In organic produce, I'm liking broccoli at $1.49 a pound, Braeburn or Cameo apples at 99 cents a pound, and blueberries $2.99 for six ounces. Santa Cruz organic lemonade or limeade is pretty good at $1.50 each, but it was $1.25 for the past three weeks at Whole Foods.

Sunflower through June 8th is doing an "all natural chicken extravaganza" of 50% off, and we have another intriguing mystery special, $5.99 a pound for "16/25 ct. broken" USA jumbo domestic raw gulf shrimp. That size is really big, and domestic is very good, so I wonder how broken is "broken." Harris Ranch ribeyes are $7.99 a pound for bone-in and $8.99 a pound boneless, while their king salmon special is mentioned above. They have good organic produce specials as usual, with romaine lettuce just 99 cents a head, yams or gala apples 99 cents a pound, hothouse tomatoes $1.99 a pound (but check Whole Foods below for cheaper tomatoes), cucumbers 99 cents each, and good specials on raspberries (six ounces) and strawberries (I think it says one pound) for $2.99 each. I also like Voskos Greek yogurts at $1 each, select 64 ounce Horizon Organic milk for $2.50, Ben & Jerry's ice cream $2.99 a pint (that's dangerous), and Mozzarella Fresca $3.99 each.

Whole Foods' new specials, good through the 14th, are kicking up my enthusiasm a bit more than usual, with organic roma tomatoes for $1.49 a pound and organic green seedless grapes $1.99 a pound. They have organic strawberries for $3.99 a one pound package, but if I'm reading the teeny print right, a pound is $2.99 at Sunflower. Organic cucumbers are $1.49 a pound, hard to compare with Sunflower's 99 cents each. I'm intrigued by their Market Made teriyaki tilapia burger, which sounds like a good deal at $6.99 a pound, given Whole Foods' pedigree for fine fish. Robusto cheese is good at $11.99 a pound ($6 off), but the two specials that have me especially enthused are Stonyfield organic yogurts at 50 cents each and my very favorite WFM two-bite brownies at $3 for a big tub of them.