Monday, October 31, 2011

Tales Of Cilantro And Eavesdropping

If you're in the market for organic cilantro, get thee to Vitamin Cottage. At Sunflower today, they only had two very sorry-looking bunches of it, so I went to the Pearl Street Whole Foods store, which turned out to be completely out of stock (I checked with the produce staff). Hopping across the parking lot, I found a beautiful stack of it at Vitamin Cottage, at their always reasonable organic produce prices. Also, while in Whole Foods, I overheard the following comment from a a guy to a woman in the aisles: "Let's get out of here before I need to get a second job."

Two-Day Heads Up

Just a quick note that you only have through tomorrow to capitalize on what to me has been a particularly good three week sale at Whole Foods. The deals I'm particularly going to miss include organic green or red leaf lettuce for just $1 a head, two-bite brownies $2.50 a tub, large cinque formaggio pizza for $7.99, and Imagine organic cooking stocks or broth at $2.50 or $3 for the low sodium, but with a $1 off coupon in the Whole Deal newsletter in the store. Happy Halloween shopping!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Oh great. It looks like we'll have a repeat this week of last week's Tuesday night into Wednesday snow. Best to have everything planned out and shopped for this weekend. I'm not big on Halloween dishes, but I will do something orange to get in the spirit tomorrow night. With organic butternut squash cheap in most stores (77 cents a pound at Sprouts, 79 cents at Alfalfa's, 99 cents at Sunflower), I'm going to opt for butternut squash risotto with shrimp from Bon Appetit. Sprouts has pretty big 26/30 count shrimp on sale for $7.99 a pound, as well as the lowest organic butternut price.

For Tuesday, we have our usual easy reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week will be the quick coq au vin from Bon Appetit, unless I decide to postpone such a warm comfort food to a snowy Wednesday.

Unless I flip Tuesday and Wednesday plans, we'll be wanting pasta by Wednesday, and also something vegetarian, for which I'm thinking whole wheat pasta with edamame, arugula, and herbs from Cooking Light. Truth be told, although I made and froze a whole bunch of pesto a couple of weekends ago, I had so much basil this year that one entire pot escaped that pesto batch and is currently sitting inside my house, where it's not getting enough light. This pasta dish will definitely go heavy on the basil.

Sunflower is doing 40% off ground meats through Wednesday, which I intend to pick up in time to try a new recipe on Thursday from the October issue of Cooking Light, Thai beef cabbage cups, which looks like a spin on the dish I've been extolling as laab, larb, or laap. I'd venture to guess it would also be good with ground turkey or chicken breast as well, instead of the ground sirloin if desired.

And that will get us through to next Friday's planning. But hey, they're also talking about the possibility of another snowstorm for Friday and Saturday!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Wine Class in Boulder

Whole Food's entry into the wine class arena has proven so popular that one has to jump on these as soon as they are are available. Here's their next one.

Thursday, November 17th

Wines Around the World: Germany
6-7:30pm FREE

Join our cooking coach, Beth and and wine and spirits Guru, Ben as they lead you on a culinary journey through Germany.

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

On another beautiful fall day, with the snow melting all around us, here's what you can expect to find this morning at today's Boulder Farmers' Market, from this week's ever-exacting newsletter. Enjoy while it lasts, since you'll note how much shorter the list is becoming, and this week is the first where beloved local corn is absent, sniff. Oh well, on to winter squash, plus there are still some incredible greens to be had!

Now At the Market

Arugula, Braising Mix, Broccoli Raab, Chard, Collards, Kale, Lettuce, Lettuce Mix, Mixed Greens, Mizuna, Mustards, Salad Mix, Sorrel, Spinach, Tatsoi

Basil, Catnip, Chives, Cilantro, Parsley, Mint, Oregano, Tarragon, Thyme

Beets, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Burdock Root, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Eggplant, Fennel, Fingerling Potatoes, Garlic, Green Beans, Horseradish, Leeks, Mini-English Cucumbers, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Pepper, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Radish, Roasted Peppers, Rutabaga, Shallots, Sunchokes, Sweet Potatoes, Turnips, Winter Squash

Cherry, Heirloom, Slicing

Apples, Grapes, Melon, Pears, Plums, Strawberries

Friday, October 28, 2011

Weekend Dinner Ideas

It's Friday already, so time to get the weekend dinner ideas together, starting with tonight. Even though it's starting to warm up out there, with snow on the ground, chilly temperatures, and boneless skinless chicken breasts just $1.97 a pound at Sprouts, I'll warm the house up tonight with comfy quick coq au vin from Bon Appetit. Sprouts also has packages of bacon that promise to be nitrate-free on sale, but this household prefers to buy a few single slices instead. And of course there's a good supply of chicken broth and cooking stock in the kitchen from the sales currently happening on Imagine organic broth and stock at Vitamin Cottage (through tomorrow there) and Whole Foods (through Tuesday).

After our brush with winter this week, since it's supposed to reach the 60s tomorrow and Sunday, I'll go out on a limb and plan for one last weekend of grilling, although it pretty much happens in the dark at this time of year. One last round of grilled salmon sounds great, and I have a beautiful piece to come out of my freezer from that great one-day sale Whole Foods did a few weeks ago. If you aren't so lucky, Sprouts has fresh wild caught Pacific salmon for $5.99 a pound, and Sunflower is advertising wild caught sockeye for $9.99 a pound. To complement all those good omega-3s in the fish, we'll do grilled vitamin-rich yam spears, and Sprouts has organic yams for $1.49 a pound.

After tomorrow's healthy dinner, we'll bend a bit on Sunday by grilling or smoking the boneless country-style ribs on sale at Sprouts for $1.97 a pound. To healthy it up, we could roast some handsome winter squash on the side, and organic hard squash is a good price just about everywhere at this time of year. Since Full Circle Farm was still roasting their wonderful chiles at last Saturday's Boulder Farmers Market, and I have a freezer full of them too, I'm also thinking about creamy stovetop corn with poblano chiles from the New York Times, although, sniff, it would be the first time this fall that I'll have to pull a bag of corn from the freezer to do it.

And that will get us through the weekend's dinners. Enjoy the warm up!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Congrats To Evol

Congratulations to local Evol Foods for getting Cooking Light's "taste test award" for their veggie fajita in the current issue of the magazine. Known first for their burritos, Evol has been branching out recently, and everything I've tried has been yummy.

Spooky Dinner Ideas

Looking for something besides candy for Halloween dinner? There are a few guides that can help with your planning. Check out Halloween treats and party ideas from Epicurious, spooky Halloween recipes from Cooking Light, or Bon Appetit's 2011 Halloween guide. And for Los Dias de los Muertos on November 1st and 2nd, Saveur magazine offers a Mexican feast. (How come, when there are two dias, they are so frequently called a singular Day of the Dead? Even savvy Saveur tripped up with dia.)

Three Day Heads Up Re Vitamin Cottage

Just a note that you only have through this Saturday, the 29th, to catch the current set of long lasting specials at Vitamin Cottage. My favorites have been Imagine organic cooking stock or broth at $2.39 a box (although we have seen the broth as low as $1.99 during the holidays), big 28 ounce cans of Muir Glen organic tomatoes for $1.79 each, Ezekiel bread at $2.99 a loaf, and large 25 ounce cans of Westbrae organic canned beans at $1.69 each.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkin Carving Contest At Cured

Think you're pretty creative on the pumpkin carving front? The Boulder store Cured is doing a carving contest, with a $50 gift certificate towards their wonderful cheeses and wine as the prize. Here's what they say:

Cured's Pumpkin Carving Event: We love a good carved pumpkin and we want you to sharpen your knives and try your hand at a “Cured” themed pumpkin. Submit your pumpkin by Saturday at noon for a 5pm Judging. Entry is free and the creator of the best pumpkin will take home a $50 dollar Cured gift certificate.

This Week's Hot New Deals (IMHO)

On this snowy Boulder morning, we have new sales starting at Sprouts and Sunflower, while current sales are in their last week at Alfalfa's, Vitamin Cottage (ending on the 29th there), and Whole Foods. (That means lots of work for me next week!) Here's what looks best to me in the new sales.

At Sprouts through November 2nd, they're doing a Vitamin & Body Care Extravaganza, with everything 25% off. (And don't forget that today's the last day of their 25% off gluten-free, a great combo if you're out in this weather.) Value packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts are very low at $1.97 a pound, handily beating Sunflower's $2.99 a pound. Boneless pork shoulder roast or country-style ribs are just $1.97 a pound, and amazingly, we should be back into barbeque weather by this weekend for those ribs. Fresh wild caught mahi mahi is $9.99 a pound, and fresh wild caught Pacific salmon is an almost suspiciously low $5.99 a pound. In organic produce, red seedless grapes are good at $1.99 a pound (same for the green at Whole Foods), gala or red delicious apples are $1.29 a pound, butternut squash is just 77 cents a pound, and several good prices continue: broccoli or red yams at $1.49 a pound, yellow onions $2.49 for a three pound bag, and russet potatoes at $3.99 for a five pound bag. If you're okay with conventional pineapple, they're just 97 cents each.

At Sunflower through the 2nd, they're holding an "All Natural Grind Extravaganza," with five kinds of ground beef, turkey breast, and chicken all 40% off. Both conventional and organic Hass avocados are 50 cents each, up a bit from the three for $1 that's ending today on the conventionals, but still good. In organic produce, red or yellow onions are 99 cents a pound (a little cheaper for the yellows by the bag at Sprouts), acorn, butternut, spaghetti squash, and pie pumpkins are all 99 cents a pound (79 cents a pound for the squash at Alfalfa's), six kinds of apples are $1.77 a pound, and pomegranates, bunched arugula or dill are all $1.50 each. Organic red or green leaf lettuce are about $1.50 at both Sunflower and Sprouts, but they're just $1 a head at Whole Foods. My favorite Cascade Fresh yogurts are also pretty good at 69 cents each.

Watch out for breaking tree branches today!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a quartet of special sales for tomorrow only, the 26th, on our first snowy Boulder Wednesday. Amy's frozen pizzas will be nearly half off at $3.99 each, pumpkin pies will be $6 (almost $4 off, and how seasonal can you get), Cambazola cream cheese spread (can't say I'm familiar with it) will be $2.99 each ($2 off), and organic honeycrisp apples, which seem to be gaining cult status, will be $1.99 a pound.

Monday, October 24, 2011

First Bite Boulder Coming Up

We all need to get out of the kitchen every once in a while, and one of the best opportunities is First Bite Boulder, where many of Boulder's best restaurants (and given Boulder's restaurant climate, that's saying a lot) offer three course prix fixe dinners for just $26. This year it will run from November 11th to the 19th, which will be here before you know it. You can check out the menu offerings at the First Bite Boulder website. I'd suggest making your selection(s) and getting your reservation(s) in soon, as seats fill quickly for this very popular event.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Monterey Digression

I wasn't going to mention this, since it has nothing to do with my blog topic of cooking in Boulder (although it does involve food), but with Reggie Jackson's name all over the news this morning because of his three homer World Series performance that was matched last night, I feel the stars are aligning for this post.

Last Sunday, when I arrived in Monterey for a conference, I ran down the beach (literally) to my favorite fish place, the Monterey Fish House, for dinner. Since I'd just gotten in, I was dining solo, and therefore opted to grab a seat at the bar. While I was chowing down on their fabulous swordfish, two guys came in, looking for seats at the bar also. There was one empty seat next to me, so I offered to move my dinner to another single seat that was available on the other side. My first clue that something was up was when I'd settled in at my new location, and the bartender nodded to me and said I'd "been appreciated." Turns out I'd given up my seat to Reggie Jackson, who bought my whole dinner! What a nice guy!!

Weekday Dinner Ideas

How quickly Sunday rolls around. Time to get the rest of the week's dinner planning out of the way on this beautiful Boulder day, before snow moves in later this week.

For tomorrow, the sale at Sprouts is practically demanding that we do chicken, asparagus, and broccoli stir-fry from Bon Appetit, since they have chicken tenders for $1.97 a pound, asparagus for $1.47 a pound, and organic broccoli for $1.49 a pound. Heck, with their 25% off gluten-free, even the Lundberg brown rice that will go at the base of it is on sale. (There's also the great option of organic asparagus at Sunflower for $2.99 a pound, an excellent price for organic.)

Tuesday will be our usual quick reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is cod, potato, and fennel casserole from Gourmet magazine. More of that organic broccoli or asparagus could go on the side.

Wednesday needs to be particularly quick and easy for me this week, so I'll turn to Whole Foods for their yummy prepared teriyaki wild salmon burgers that are on sale for $7.99 a pound. I like them served open-faced on my favorite Ezekiel bread, which is on sale for just $2.99 a loaf at both Sunflower and Vitamin Cottage right now. A platter of lettuce, tomato, and avocado will be composed from the organic leaf lettuce that's just $1 a head at Whole Foods, and from my stock of three for $1 avocados from Sunflower.

Thursday will be another quick and easy one, sauteing the pork loin chops that are $3.99 a pound at Sunflower through Wednesday (their new pork line that promises to be antibiotic-free, in addition to the usual suspects), with microwaved "baked" potatoes on the side. Through Wednesday, Sunflower has organic russets for 99 cents a pound, while Sprouts has five pound bags of them for $3.99. I've recently also caught them for an excellent 79 cents a pound at the Pearl Street Whole Foods, but keep an eye on them as they are rung up, as the cashiers have consistently rung them up as conventional, ironically at two or three times the price of the organics.

And that will get us through to Friday's planning. Watch out for snow on Wednesday!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Quick Farmers' Market Report

You still have a couple of hours to get to the Boulder Farmers' Market on this glorious fall day. Munson Farm only has the decorative (previously called Indian) type of corn at their stand at the Market (plus plenty of winter squash and beautiful gourds), but they reported that they still have fresh corn out at their farm stand at 75th and Valmont today. (Consider this your final warning on fresh local corn.) Also, Full Circle Farm was roasting their wonderful organic chiles again. A heavenly day at the Market!

More Doings At Superior WFM

The Whole Foods store in Superior will be sampling a yummy crisp for fall on Monday, and starting a weeklong "paper bundle deal" on Wednesday, to help you prep for the holidays. I'm not guaranteeing that their bundle deal will actually save money on products you prefer. I'm still trying to adjust to the new packaging on their 365 brand of wax paper, and am ready to defect to my favorite since childhood, CutRite. Anyway, here's what they say:

Monday, October 24th

The Kitchen is Calling
3:00pm-6:30pm Free

The Seasons are a changing- and fall is upon us! The grills are being stored away and it’s time to get back in the kitchen and we can help with these yummy, “The Kitchen is Calling” recipes of comfort food. Cheryl will be sampling our first fall recipe, Apple n Pear Crisp with Mascarpone Whipped Cream. Grab a recipe booklet and all the ingredients right there to make these delicious fall recipes at home.

Wednesday, October 26th - Tuesday, November 1st

Paper Bundle Deal
7:30am-9:30 pm

What is a Bundle Deal? Buy together and Save. Just in time for holiday baking. This week our Bundle Deal includes the following; 365 Slider Storage Bags [Qt], 365 Wax Paper, 365 Plastic Wrap. Stock up today!

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

It's another stunning fall day in Boulder for today's Boulder Farmers' Market, starting at eight this morning. If you like to plan ahead, here's what you can expect to see today, from the Market's weekly newsletter. I focus on the one in downtown Boulder, but they even have a note about some additional produce you'll find if you're out at the one in Longmont. My, how the list is growing shorter. But on a brighter note, you can now pick up a 2012 calendar featuring our favorite local farmers, presented by "Pitchfork Pinups." I love it! (Although it looks like the farmers get to keep their clothes on.)

Now At the Market

Arugula, Bok Choy, Braising Mix, Chard, Collards, Kale, Lettuce, Lettuce Mix, Mixed Greens, Mizuna, Mustards, Salad Mix, Sorrel, Spinach, Tatsoi

Basil, Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Parsley, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme

Beets, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Burdock Root, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Corn, Eggplant, Fennel, Fingerling Potatoes, Garlic, Green Beans, Horseradish, Leeks, Mini-English Cucumbers, Mushrooms, Pepper, Potatoes, Okra, Onions, Parsnips, Pumpkins, Radish, Roasted Peppers, Shallots, Summer Squash, Sunchokes, Sweet Potatoes, Turnips, Winter Squash

Cherry, Heirloom, Slicing

Apples, Grapes, Melon, Pears, Plums

Longmont will also have: Fresh Cannellini Beans, Black Eyed Peas, Dixie Speckled Butter Peas, Black Beans

2012 Farmers of the Front Range Calendar Now Available

A beautiful, new 12-month wall calendar promoting a different Northern Colorado farmer each month (like this photo of the Cure Farm family) is now ready! It is in stock and available at Boulder County Farmers' Market info booths, and features the art of local photographer Darren Mahuron, a monthly seasonal local food recipe and biographical information for each farmer.

The calendar is presented by Pitchfork Pinups, Ltd., who will donate all profits after taxes to the farmers featured in the calendar. Some of your favorite market farmers are in the calendar, including: Abbondanza Organic Seeds and Produce, Cure Organic Farm, Hazel Dell Mushrooms, Jodar Farms, Pastures of Plenty, Red Wagon Organic Farm, and Windsor Dairy.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pot Roast And Pumpkins In Superior Tomorrow

The Whole Foods in Superior will be celebrating fall in two ways tomorrow. Here's what they say:

Saturday, October 22nd

The Kitchen is Calling
11:00am-2:30pm Free

The Seasons are a changing- and fall is upon us! The grills are being stored away and it’s time to get back in the kitchen and we can help with these yummy, “The Kitchen is Calling” recipes of comfort food. Cheryl will be sampling our first fall recipe, Classic Winter Pot Roast. Grab a recipe booklet and all the ingredients right there to make these delicious fall recipes at home.

Saturday, October 22nd

Pumpkin Painting and Trick or Treating
3:00pm-5:00pm Free

Join us in our café and decorate your own mini pumpkin. While your pumpkin is drying, stop in each of our departments and trick or treat! Be sure to wear your Halloween costume. Sign up at the Customer Service desk to reserve your spot today!

Food Day Coming Up

I didn't realize there's a day designated as "Food Day," intended to highlight healthy eating and accessible food. It's coming up this Monday, the 24th, and here's the word on it from Whole Foods, including info on a Facebook contest from Epicurious.

Weekend Dinner Ideas

This will be pretty quick, as I'm still trying to get life organized after arriving back home. Grilling will happen with our fine fall weather either tonight or tomorrow, so here's the plan.

If we stay indoors tonight, we'll do an adaptation of linguine with bay scallops, fennel and tomatoes from Bon Appetit, using the shrimp that are just $3.97 a pound at Sunflower instead of the bay scallops. After eating rich food on the road, this sounds light and appealing, especially the fennel. Sprouts has a good price on organic grape tomatoes for it if I'm headed to two stores, and Sunflower's everyday price on pesticide-free EuroFresh super cherry tomatoes is always good. The fridge is stocked with organic lettuce at just $1 a head from Whole Foods for the side salad.

For tomorrow, unless we flip them and grill tonight, the top sirloin steak that's just $3.97 a pound is calling for ginger soy grilled steak from Bon Appetit. I am absolutely getting to Munson's today to get corn for the side, as they told me yesterday that today is probably the last day for it. Corn on the side, lots of it (sniff).

For Sunday, since I'm on a fall fennel kick and haddock is just $4.99 a pound at Sprouts, I'll use it for an adaptation of cod, potato, and fennel casserole from Gourmet magazine. I find haddock to be an easy swap for cod, and Sprouts also has a great price for a five pound bag of organic russets at $3.99 (or 99 cents a pound at Sunflower), plus we could do their $1.47 a pound asparagus as the side (unless I opt for the organic asparagus that Sunflower's advertising for an excellent $2.99 a pound).

And that will get us through the weekend with predominantly lighter food in travel recovery mode, and probably our last fresh corn from Munson's for 2011, sigh.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Munson's Corn Report

I just heard from Mike at Munson Farm that they'll have corn today and tomorrow, but probably not after that. Woe is me!

This Week's Hot New Deals (IMHO), Part Deux

Yesterday, while gazing at the ocean in Monterey (well, no, actually more like while gazing at slide decks in a conference room), I gave you the links with highlights of the ongoing sales at Alfalfa's, Vitamin Cottage, and Whole Foods. Now that I'm back in Boulder, I have time to check out the new sales that started yesterday at Sprouts and Sunflower. Here's what looks good to me.

At Sprouts through October 26th, I'm enthused about asparagus at $1.47 a pound. It's conventional, as is most often the case, although Sunflower has organic this week at $2.99 a pound, stunning for organic. I'm also a big fan of their Gluten Free Jubilee, where thousands of gluten free products in the store are 25% off, and that continues through the 26th. Don't forget to check the Mambo Sprouts coupons for gluten-free Crunchmaster and Nut Thins deals, as I reported when the sale started last week. Other hot deals this week include chicken breast tenders or pork spare ribs for $1.97 a pound, and previously frozen haddock for $4.99 a pound. They also have fresh wild caught Columbia River coho salmon for $8.99 a pound, but isn't it a bit late for that? In organic produce, I'm liking grape tomatoes at $2.50 a pint, celery at 99 cents a bunch, broccoli for $1.49 a pound, butternut squash just 77 cents a pound, three pound bags of yellow onions for $2.49, gala apples at $1.25 a pound, and five pound bags of russets for $3.99 each.

At Sunflower through the 26th, the big news is Hass avocados at three for $1. Also looking good are top sirloin steak and 41/50 count ez peel raw shrimp both $3.97 a pound, their new, antibiotic-free line of pork loin chops at $3.99 a pound and ground pork $2.99 a pound, and ground turkey breast for $3.99 a pound. In organic produce, asparagus is stellar at $2.99 a pound, but it's competing with the conventional option for $1.47 a pound at Sprouts, a tough choice. Other good organic prices include russets at 99 cents a pound (a little cheaper by the bag at Sprouts), baby carrots $1.50 a one pound bag, sweet onions $1.99 for a two pound bag, yams or sweet potatoes just 88 cents a pound, and four types of pears at $1.88 a pound (although Sprouts has the Anjou ones for $1.29 a pound). My favorite Ezekiel breads can be found at a very good $2.99 each, and the entire line of Cento products is 25% off (if they have their clam sauce, it's good).

Sorry for the delay in getting these out. Now, after several days of conference sitting and dining out, it's definitely time to hit the gym.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Two Quick Notes Re Sales

No time to write more right now, but there are two things I have to call out about the new sales starting today in Boulder: avocados 3 for $1 at Sunflower and asparagus (conventional, but it so often is) $1.47 a pound at Sprouts. Yippee.

Update To Come On Sales

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Sunflower, although the great 25% off all gluten-free that Sprouts started last week continues through October 26th. Meanwhile, current sales continue at Alfalfa's, Vitamin Cottage, and Whole Foods (click those links for my prior reports). I won't be able to check out what's new at the Sprouts and Sunflower sales until tomorrow at the earliest, but meanwhile you can size up the new sales flyers yourself at their websites, Sprouts and Sunflower.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Farmers' Markets - The View From Monterey

While my starving family struggles on their own (well, technically "its own") back in Boulder, I just got a chance to check out the farmers' market in Monterey CA, which runs all year round in this farming paradise (think Salinas Valley, Steinbeck, Earthbound Farms - you get the picture). The market here is pretty big, at least three long blocks, and includes more crafts and even more prepared foods than we see in Boulder. As for the produce, in addition to what we expect at this time of year, I saw tons of strawberries, grapes, persimmons, figs, and some artichokes. There was a long table of very interesting veggies, many unfamiliar to me, that I couldn't inspect more closely, as I wasn't buying, and the table was exceedingly crowded with a predominantly Asian clientele. I'd love to know more about what those things were. Probably the biggest surprise for me was the "Roti Rosti" truck - a truck with its side panel flipped up to reveal hundreds of chickens roasting on spits, right on the side of the truck. And there was a line to get them. So I'm off for dinner out (although the sample of naan with some sort of eggplant sauce I had at the India Cuisine booth was mighty tempting), the family back in Boulder gets to cope on its/their own. Hey, I left them with plenty of leftovers, including a beautiful chowder and some roasted chicken, and there's still that option of the excellent deal on a large cinque formaggio pizza at Whole Foods.

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will hold their usual one-day sale for tomorrow only, the 19th. Instead of the usual one or two items, they've sensed I'm on very limited time and are therefore complicating my life by offering five. Here they are, as quickly as I can type. Wild Alaskan true cod $7.99 a pound, Kerrygold spreadable tub butter $3 each (half off), Food Should Taste Good tortilla chips $1.50 each, six inch herb gardens $8.99, Applegate chicken pot pie $1.99. Whew, done.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Risotto Cooking Class

Beth Pilar, the Pearl Street Whole Foods cooking coach will offer a free cooking class next week on one of my favorite foods in the world, risotto. It's better when a chef has to do the work for you, but worth the effort at home, too, even if you can't quite recreate that incredible creamy/crunchy texture. These classes are becoming super popular, so sign up early. Here's what they say:

Wednesday, October 26th

Cooking Class: Risotto
6-7:30pm FREE

Join our Cooking Coach, Beth, for a go-to risotto tutorial with lots of variations on this classic and versatile Italian staple. Space is limited, so please RSVP to or sign up at our customer service desk.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Sunday mornings, I usually figure out what the Monday through Thursday dinner plans will be, but this week, my family will be on their own for most of those while I'm in Monterey. Here's a quick rundown of really, really easy dinners they can pull together.

First of all, last night, I made a big pot of smoky shrimp and halibut stew, that will make for an easy reheat one of those nights. I'd also suggest the large cinque formaggio pizza that's an excellent deal this week for $7.99 at Whole Foods. They could either pop it in the oven as is, or dress it up a bit with Yves veggie pepperoni and maybe some sliced mushrooms. Finally, there's always pasta, opening a jar of Muir Glen organic pasta sauce that's always in stock in my kitchen from those excellent sales that Vitamin Cottage holds periodically.

I'll be back in the cooking action by Thursday, for which I'm planning Mark Bittman's winter squash and pork stir-fry from the New York Times. I make this even easier by using pork stew meat that's already cut up, and since it's on sale through Wednesday at Sunflower, it will be waiting in my freezer. All the rest of the ingredients will be waiting for me too, since they all keep well. Some edamame, also coming from the freezer, will get steamed on the side.

So in a strange way, that gets us through to next Friday's planning.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Real Freeze Coming To Boulder

It's amazing that we've escaped it for so long in this glorious Boulder fall, but it looks like we'll get our first true hard freeze this Tuesday night into Wednesday, with Monday night looking pretty chilly as well. My herb pots have been spectacularly successful this year, but their time is nigh. I'm making pesto today and freezing it in ice cube trays for convenient access.

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

On a fine fall day in Boulder, here's what you can expect to find at today's Boulder Farmers' Market, starting at eight this morning. Yay, corn is still in the list!

Now At the Market

Arugula, Braising Mix, Chard, Collards, Kale, Lettuce, Lettuce Mix, Mixed Greens, Mizuna, Mustards, Salad Mix, Sorrel, Spinach, Tatsoi

Basil, Borage, Catnip, Chervil, Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Garlic Chives, Parsley, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme

Beets, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Burdock Root, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Fennel, Fingerling Potatoes, Garlic, Green Beans, Haricot Verts, Horseradish, Leeks, Mini-English Cucumbers, Mushrooms, Pepper, Potatoes, Okra, Onions, Parsnips, Pumpkins, Radish, Roasted Peppers, Shallots, Summer Squash, Sunchokes, Sweet Potatoes, Turnips, Winter Squash

Cherry, Heirloom, Slicing

Apples, Grapes, Melon, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Raspberries, Strawberries

Friday, October 14, 2011

Whole Foods' Imagine Broth/Stock Sale Continues!

People are probably getting tired of my singing the praises of Imagine organic broth and cooking stock, but they really do make a big difference in soups and the like. I blathered on and on over the past few weeks about the Whole Foods sale on it, which at $2.50 a box wasn't all that great, but when combined with the $1 off coupon in the Whole Deal newsletter, became a stellar deal. The sales flyer it appeared in expired this past Tuesday, but I was just in the Pearl Street store, and lo, it's still on sale, through November 1st. While most of the products are still at $2.50 (before using the coupon), the bad news is they've increased my favorite low sodium stocks to a sale price of $3. But still, $2 after the coupon is a good deal, and I didn't see the low sodium chicken stock carried at all at Vitamin Cottage, where the stocks and broths remain $2.39 a box all the way through October 29th.

Free Ice Cream Sundae at Sunflower

Sunflower is celebrating nine years in business, and both the Boulder calendar and the store's website report that they'll be handing out free three ounce sundaes tomorrow, the 15th, from noon to 2. Donations going to the local chapter of Susan G. Komen for the Cure would also be appreciated.

Munson's Still Has Corn!

With the fantastic weather we've been having this fall, Munson's still has fresh corn at their stand at 75th and Valmont! I asked how long they thought it would still be around, and was told "anywhere between now and Halloween." In celebration, I'm going to add kernels from two or three ears to tomorrow night's smoky shrimp and halibut stew, kind of hybridizing it with corn and cod chowder from Food and Wine magazine. Yum.

Weekend Dinner Ideas

This is a sort of strange planning weekend for me, since I'll be here for most of it, then abandoning my family to head to a conference in Monterey (I know, it's tough). Influenced by that scenario, here's what I'm thinking.

For tonight, with my herb pots needing more whacking even now, with the glorious weather we've been having, I'll take advantage of our current chicken sales to do spicy roast chicken with tomatoes and marjoram from Bon Appetit. Since my herb pots don't actually contain marjoram, I'll use the herbs at hand: rosemary and oregano baked with the chicken, possibly with a sprinkling of basil ribbons when it's done. Whole Foods has their excellent air-chilled chicken breasts on sale for $2.99 a pound, and this can also be made with boneless skinless chicken breasts, which are $1.69 a pound for the family pack at Sunflower. This recipe can also be easily adjusted in quantity, and I'll probably make a little extra for the starving family to have available while I'm gone.

For tomorrow, we always do something big over the weekend that serves as an easy midweek reheat, which this week will be more convenient than ever, given that the chief cook won't be available. With today's one-day sale on Georgia shrimp at Whole Foods, I'm planning to do a big pot of smoky shrimp and halibut stew from Bon Appetit. I think using halibut in a stew like this is a waste of a very pricey fish, and making it with cod, which is on sale at Sprouts, is a perfectly good alternative, although it doesn't hang together quite as well as halibut. For the side salad, Whole Foods has organic leaf lettuce at the exceptional price of $1 a head.

By Sunday, the rest of the family will be on their own for dinner. Since I'm not the griller anyway, I'd recommend they check out the previously frozen Copper River salmon that's on sale at Sprouts for just $6.99 a pound (almost too low), and put that on the grill if it looks good. Sprouts also has organic yams and broccoli at pretty good prices.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Free Chair Massage At Sunflower

According to our Boulder Sunflower's calendar, they'll be offering free chair massage from the Wellness Bridge from 3 to 6 pm tomorrow, the 14th.

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

For tomorrow only, the 14th, our local Whole Foods stores will have pretty big 26/30 count wild caught Atlantic white shrimp from the good ol' USA for $7.99 a pound. These are shrimp with a distinguished pedigree. Here's part of what Whole Foods says: "Caught by US shrimpers at the peak of the season and frozen within hours of catch, we don’t allow sulfites and phosphate preservatives so that you can enjoy the naturally sweet taste of the shrimp." I'd pop some in the freezer as well. (And c'mon Whole Foods, give us more special sales! Weekend sales used to be the norm, but we haven't seen one in eons. Thanks for this rare Friday sale!)

Spanish Wine Class At Pearl Street WFM

The Pearl Street Whole Foods will be doing a cooking class featuring paella and Spanish wines on the 21st. Since the class size is very limited and is also free, it looks like they're already building a waiting list. Here's what they say:

Friday, October 21st

Cooking Class: Wines Around the World- Spain
6-7:30pm FREE

Notice class has been moved. Please note the new date. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Wow the guests at your next dinner party with tips and tricks from our professionals. Join our Cooking Coach, Beth and Wine Specialist, Ben for a traditional paella and appropriate wine pairings. Class will be held inside Whole Foods Wine and Spirits- attendees must be 21 years of age or older. Space is limited, so please visit Event Brite: or sign up at our customer service desk.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

This Week's Hot New Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts, Sunflower, and Whole Foods, while current sales continue at Alfalfa's and Vitamin Cottage (click those links for prior reports). It looks like a week of good sales, so here are the highlights, IMHO.

Sprouts' regular sale runs through October 19th, but all the way through the 26th, they're bringing back their ever-popular gluten free jubilee, with 25% off over 2,000 gluten-free items in the store. This is my chance to stock up on favorites like Crunchmaster crackers, Nut Thins (Mambo Sprouts, at least in the hard copy, has coupons for both of those, and for the Crunchmasters, it's $1 off a bag, making them practically free), Pamela's cookies, and especially, Lundberg rice. Getting back to the regular sale through the 19th, the other exciting news is Hass avocados for 49 cents each, and flash-frozen Copper River sockeye salmon for $6.99 a pound (and you can probably buy it still frozen, to control the defrosting yourself). Also looking good are center-cut boneless loin pork chops for $2.99 a pound and fresh free-range whole turkeys for $1.99 a pound, if you're in the mood for an early Thanksgiving. In organic produce, red or green seedless grapes are great at $1.99 a pound (same for the green at Whole Foods), celery is good at 99 cents a bunch (but it's just 77 cents at Sunflower), red yams are $1.49 a pound, butternut squash is just 77 cents a pound, and green or red leaf lettuce is $1.49 a head (but just $1 each at Whole Foods).

The big news at Sunflower through the 19th is boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.69 a pound, family pack. All varieties of chicken sausage are $2.99 a pound, as is pork stew meat, and whole chickens are $1.49 a pound. Organic produce looks good as usual, with butternut, spaghetti, acorn or pie pumpkins all 99 cents a pound (Whole Foods effectively the same for the spaghetti and pumpkin, but Alfalfa's has organic acorn, butternut, and spaghetti squash for 79 cents a pound), five kinds of apples at $1.77 a pound, celery just 77 cents a bunch, yellow or red onions 99 cents a pound, romaine lettuce $1.50 each, and cauliflower $1.50 a pound. Their bulk roasted coffee is quite cheap at $7.99 a pound, but doesn't include a Fair Trade organic decaf that I prefer. Large 28 ounce cans of Muir Glen organic tomatoes are pretty good at $2 each, but they're $1.79 each at Vitamin Cottage.

Whole Foods through November 1st has me very enthused, and let's get the main reason out of the way right now: their own, fantastic Two-Bite brownies are half off at $2.50 a tub. But there are also a surprising number of other good deals in this new sale. Organic red or green leaf lettuce is great at $1 a head, organic red delicious apples or organic Bosc pears are just $1 a pound, organic green seedless grapes are $1.99 a pound (same at Sprouts), and organic spaghetti squash or pie pumpkins are $1 a pound (effectively same at Sunflower). Their wonderful teriyaki wild salmon burgers are $7.99 a pound, and their fine, air-chilled chicken breasts are $2.99 a pound. Their own large cinque formaggio pizza is also a fine deal at $7.99 each.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

For tomorrow only, the 12th, our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a duo of special sales. For you pumpkin carvers out there, Colorado grown medium carving pumpkins will be $2.50 each. Also, two kinds of Traditional Medicinals boxed teas will be half off. Maybe it's too late after a long day, but I'm not getting enthused. We'll see what the rest of tomorrow's new sales bring, including a new one probably lasting two weeks at Whole Foods as well.

Cooking Class and Supper Club

I mentioned this awhile ago, but here's a reminder that the second part of the Pearl Street Whole Foods' Kitchen Basics classes will take place tomorrow. Also, they'll be doing a Flavors of Fall Supper Club on Thursday. Here's what they say:

Wednesday, October 12th

Cooking Class: Kitchen Basics II
6-7:30pm FREE

Join Beth, our Pearl St. Cooking Coach Beth Pillar to expand on the lessons learned in Kitchen Basics I. This will be cooking basics, with Beth demonstrating various cooking techniques. Space is limited, so please RSVP sign up on Event Brite: or visit our customer service desk to reserve a spot.

Thursday, October 13th

Health Starts Here Supper Club
6:30-8pm $20 Per Person

Join Sarah, our Healthy Eating Specialist, for some delicious and elegant vegan cuisine on our west patio. This month’s food will feature the flavors of Fall.

Prep Those Knives For Thanksgiving

It's time to get those knives ready for all the holiday cooking to come. The cooking store What's Cooking at 2770 Arapahoe in Lafayette offers monthly knife sharpening, and the next one is tomorrow. If you get your knives in by noon, you'll have them back by 4 with a nice, newly sharp blade. Their prices are reasonable at $5 for a blade under 6 inches, and $6 for blades 6 inches and up. I've had my knives done there in the past, and they did an excellent job. (Unlike the German knife rep at a Boulder store that shall go unnamed who decimated one of my Wusthof Trident knives at a "free" sharpening. Not a deal.) If you miss this sharpening, the next one at What's Cooking will be November 9th.

Fall Tasting Fair At Alfalfa's

Alfalfa's is planning a "Wonderfall Tasting Fair" to celebrate fall this Saturday, from 11 to 3. Stroll on over after stowing all your purchases from the Saturday Farmers' Market, just a block away. Here's what they say:

Wonderfall Tasting Fair
Saturday, Oct. 15th
Saturday, Oct. 15th
11am – 3pm

Celebrate the beauty and bounty of Fall with us. We’ll be giving out free tastes of homemade Amish Apple sausage, fried apple pie (yes, that’s right, fried apple pie!), maple syrup’d salmon, steamed apple ginger cider – and so much more of everything wonderfall. We’ll even be giving away our secret homemade Fall recipes, mini pumpkins and we’ll have some live music to set the mood.

And if you’re still hungry after all those tasty bites of goodness, we’ll be serving a $5 bowl of Beef and Bean Red Chili over our homemade cornbread. $2 of the proceeds will benefit Community Food Share.

Last Call For $1.50 Imagine Broth

Just a heads up that today's the last day of the current Whole Foods sale, which includes Imagine's wonderful organic broth or cooking stock at $2.50 a box. Combined with the $1 off coupon you'll find in the Whole Deal newsletter available at the store, that results in my favorite broth/stock at just $1.50 a box. Vitamin Cottage does have it on sale for $2.39 a box until nearly the end of the month, and we can always hope for even better prices as the holidays get underway. With their giganto shelf space, Whole Foods carries a low sodium version of the chicken cooking stock that I didn't see at Vitamin Cottage (which has the regular chicken stock). The stock usually sells for more than the broth, so it's great to have them both at the same price. A customary broth user for my soups, rice dishes, and casseroles, I've really been getting into using the stock instead. The pork green chili I made with the stock a week or so ago was the best ever.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mambo Sprouts Coupon Books

Mambo Sprouts has good coupons for the types of products that are sold at our local natural foods stores, and unlike the coupons in The Whole Deal, which can only be used at Whole Foods, Mambo Sprouts coupons are good everywhere. The new fall coupon book is out, and I've seen it recently at the cashier stands at both Sprouts and Sunflower. If you see one, grab it, as they tend to disappear quickly. Mambo Sprouts coupons are also available online, but the hard copy ones are good all the way through December 31st, and you'll find that the online ones rotate around more quickly than that.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Monday will be upon us shortly, and since I'm expecting it to be a busy one, dinner will need to be quick and easy. Since the current Whole Foods sale ends this Tuesday, I'm going to have to grab some of their fabulous Maryland style blue crab cakes while they're still on sale, which couldn't make for an easier dinner. Some rice will go on the side, and I like to dress it up by using Lundberg's "Black Japonica" rice, which makes for an exotic-looking side. The veggie will be something quickly steamed, and Sunflower is offering us two options, with great sales on both asparagus and organic broccoli through Wednesday.

For Tuesday, we'll do our customary reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is the corn and fingerling potato chowder with applewood-smoked bacon from Cooking Light. A side salad (Lucky's has organic spring mix for just $2.99 a pound through Wednesday, if you happen to be in that neighborhood), some fresh bread, and that's dinner.

For Wednesday's dinner, we'll hope to catch more of that $1.77 a pound asparagus at Sunflower by the end of the sale to do a favorite rice dish, risotto with asparagus and prosciutto from Bon Appetit. For cooking purposes, I buy the chunks of prosciutto that Whole Foods sells for much less than the freshly sliced stuff at the deli counter. And with the current sales on Imagine's wonderful organic broths and cooking stock (through Tuesday at Whole Foods, all the way through October 29th at Vitamin Cottage), the risotto will be flavored with rich chicken stock.

By Thursday, we'll want something simple, a little meaty, and more like comfort food, which spells baked potatoes with spiced beef chili from Bon Appetit. Both Sprouts and Sunflower have ground beef on sale through Wednesday, and I also like to make this with stew beef instead, which is on sale at Sunflower. Sprouts also has five pound bags of organic russet potatoes for $4.99 through Wednesday.

And that will get us through to next Friday's planning.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

So not every day can be a spectacular, warm and sunny one in Boulder. If you're heading out to today's Boulder Farmers' Market (starting at 8 this morning), here's the fresh produce you can expect to find as your reward, from this week's market newsletter.

Now At the Market

Arugula, Baby Greens, Braising Mix, Chard, Collards, Kale, Lettuce, Mixed Greens, Mizuna, Mustards, Romaine, Salad Mix, Sorrel, Spicy Greens, Spinach, Tatsoi

Apple Mint, Basil, Catnip, Chervil, Chives, Chocolate Mint, Cilantro, Dill, Garlic Chives, Parsley (Curly, Italian), Lemon Balm, Lovage, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme

Artichokes, Beets, Beans (Cannelini Shell, Haricot Verts), Beets, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Corn, Cucumbers, Edamame, Eggplant, Fennel, Fingerling Potatoes, Garlic, Leeks, Mini English Cukes, Mushrooms, Pepper (including roasted peppers), Potatoes, Okra, Onions, Radish, Radicchio, Scallions, Shallots, Summer Squash & Blossoms, Sunchokes, Tomatillos, Turnips, Winter Squash (many varieties)

Cherry, Heirloom, Slicing

Apples, Grapes, Nectarine, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Raspberries, Strawberries, Watermelon

Mixed Bouquets

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pumpkin At Sunflower

Our Boulder Sunflower plans an "Everything Pumpkin" tasting fair tomorrow (the 8th)from 11:30 to 2:30, promising "food samples and lots of unique recipes."

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Friday comes around just too quickly, time for weekend dinner plans. It sounds like Sunday will be our best day for some fall grilling, and tomorrow will be downright rainy. So we'll stay indoors for the time being, starting to edge into some fall foods.

That fall transition will start with tonight, with a recipe from the September issue of Cooking Light I've been itching to try, but since it includes butternut squash (which I adore), it just seemed too fall-like up until now. It's creamy, light macaroni and cheese, which uses the trick of a butternut squash "bechamel" to lighten up the dish. I'd definitely attack this one with an immersion blender, rather than following the directions to put the hot squash mixture in a regular blender, yikes.

For tomorrow, we have to do at least one more corn chowder while we're still blessed with our local corn. One of my favorites is corn and fingerling potato chowder with applewood-smoked bacon, which is also from Cooking Light. Sunflower has 1.5 pound bags of organic fingerlings on sale for $2.99, and I've seen some very handsome fingerlings at the Farmers' Market, but any organic potato also works in this recipe.

We'll get back out to the grill on Sunday. I generally stick with wild salmon, but with that season winding down, I'm willing to try the fresh Atlantic (that means farmed) salmon that Sprouts has on sale for just $4.99 a pound. Both Sprouts and Sunflower have organic yams to grill on the side, and we'll just have to have another ear of that Munson's corn while we can. A less-than-intriguing, but very cheap, alternative would be steamed broccoli, since Sunflower has organic broccoli for the stunning price of 77 cents a pound. Or roast some asparagus from Sunflower's $1.77 a pound sale.

And that gets us through the weekend, with our first nod towards the reality of autumn.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pssst - A Hint Re Imagine Broth

I've been madly singing the praises of Imagine organic broth and stock, currently on sale at both Whole Foods and Vitamin Cottage. Vitamin Cottage has the better sale price at face value, $2.39 a box all the way through October 29th, while Whole Foods' sale price is $2.50 a box through next Tuesday, the 11th. But Whole Foods' own coupon newsletter, The Whole Deal (available at the front of their stores and online) includes a coupon (good only at Whole Foods) for $1 off per box, bringing its price down to an astonishing $1.50 a box. The coupons do limit themselves to one per purchase, but I've heard a rumor that the cashiers have excepted more than one coupon for more than one box. Not sure I'd experiment with this myself. Just sayin'.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Last Wednesday Farmers' Market Today

In a sure sign that we're headed into fall, despite the beautiful warm weather, today will be the last Wednesday evening of the Boulder Farmers' Market for the season. The Saturday market will continue through the third Saturday in November, which should be November 19th this year. I feel the stranglehold of winter, with its months of butternut squash recipes, descending.

Meat Curing Class At Alfalfa's

This is a tad too ambitious for me, but Alfalfa's will host a Holiday Meat Cure-All with Paul, their meat manager, tomorrow the 6th, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. "Learn how to cure bacon and ham to be ready in time for the holidays. Discover how easy it is to make your own pate and breakfast sausage." Cost is $15 per person or $25 per couple (sign up at guest services), and you'll also get to take home "a pound of your own custom seasoned sausage!"

This Week's Hot Deals (IMHO)

We have new specials starting today at our Boulder Alfalfa's, Sprouts, and Sunflower, while the current sales continue at Vitamin Cottage and Whole Foods (click those links to see my prior reports). It's a good time to be a natural foods sales junkie, with all sorts of good things going on. Here are my thoughts on the best of the deals, IMHO, as always.

Alfalfa's new sale starting today will run all the way through November 1st and has some beautifully seasonal specials. Most notable are local, organic acorn, butternut, and spaghetti squash from Full Circle and Grant Family farms at just 79 cents a pound, and they have a slew of organic apple varieties from the Western Slope for $1.49 a pound. Their homemade, spooky shortbread cookies look adorable at 50 cents each. In meat, you can get a pot roast package, with two pounds of potatoes and a pound of carrots free with purchase of three or more pounds of Meyer Natural Angus chuck roast at $5.99 a pound. They're advertising their "sustainable value everyday low price" for Diestel oven-roasted turkey breast, which is a surprisingly low $7.99 a pound, especially for an everyday price. Local Blue Moose cream cheese spreads and dips look good at $1 off, and local Evol's frozen flatbreads (they're so good) are $3.49 (select eight ounce packages). Finally, I haven't tried them, but I'm intrigued by Zevia soda, with no sugar and zero calories, my kind of thing, and six-packs are BOGO.

At Sprouts through the 12th, they're offering a stunner on farm raised fresh Atlantic salmon for just $4.99 a pound. I'd rather have wild, but all things have their season, and we seem to have reached the end of that one. Also looking good are my very favorite stuffed clams for just $1 each, and they'll keep well in the freezer if you get some that are still frozen. Sprouts is offering lots of BOGO deals this week, the most appealing of which to me are big 16 ounce Chobani Greek yogurts, Kashi GoLean cereals, Pita Pal eight ounce hummus, and Cascadian Farm 16 ounce frozen veggies. The six ounce size of Chobani Greek yogurts are just $1 each (same at Sunflower). In organic produce, gala or fuji apples or D'anjou pears are all $1.49 a pound, a one pound bag of Cello carrots is just 69 cents, butternut squash is 88 cents a pound (77 cents at Alfalfa's), red yams are $1.49 a pound, celery is 99 cents a bunch, and green or red leaf lettuce are $1.69 each. Organic broccoli is on sale for $1.49 a pound, but head to Sunflower for that, where it's just 77 cents a pound. Finally, Sprouts' bulk coffee, which I love because you can get Fair Trade and organic and decaf all together in one coffee, is great at $8.99 a pound.

At Sunflower through the 12th, the big draw for me will be asparagus for $1.77 a pound (it's conventional and obviously not local, but some things are like that). Boneless pork loin chops in their new line look good at $3.99 a pound (Sprouts' $1.99 a pound sale on chops that ends today is spectacular in price, but the new Sunflower chops promise no antibiotics, in addition to the usual suspects). Beef stew meat is good at $3.99 a pound, and they have wild caught king salmon for $10.99 a pound, but fresh/frozen isn't specified in the ad. They're having a BOGO sale on roasts, but I'm not sure what one would do with a second roast. Organic produce looks great, with broccoli a stunning 77 cents a pound, baby carrots $1.50 for a one pound bag, one pound packages of strawberries for $2.50 (yes, these are organic), yams and sweet potatoes $1.49 a pound (same at Sprouts for red yams), fuji apples $1.49 a pound (same at Sprouts), and red radishes 99 cents a bunch. If you're okay with conventional for your winter squash (I am), acorn, butternut, and spaghetti squash are all just 77 cents a pound (88 cents a pound at Sprouts, but you can get actual organic, local squash at Alfalfa's for 77 cents a pound, see above). Finally, select Chobani Greek yogurts are very good at $1 each for the six ounce size (same at Sprouts).

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Health Starts Here Lunch In Superior

The Whole Foods store in Superior will be enticing us with a 5 for $5 Health Starts Here lunch this Thursday, the 6th. Here are their details:

Thursday, October 6th

Health Starts Here 5 for $5 Lunch
11:30am-1:30pm $5.00

Looking for a healthy lunch and a great deal? Join us and try 5 healthy items; choice of soup, bread and three salads for $5.00

Cheese Sampling At Sunflower

The calendar of our Boulder Sunflower says they'll be offering us a "cheese lovers' sampling" tomorrow, the 5th, from 3 to 5 pm. (Okay, so I added the apostrophe. Do I have to add a disclaimer if I add something within quotes? Without that apostrophe, isn't it a sampling of cheese lovers, i.e., cannibalism?)

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a duo of special sales for tomorrow only, the 5th, and both are effectively half off their usual price. Two kinds of Continental Sausages' brats (Avalanche Ale and veal & pork) will be $2.99 each (I'd presume this is a package, not one brat), usually $5.99, and Shikai borage dry skin therapy lotion (eight ounces) will be $6.99, regularly $13.99. We have great grilling weather for brats right now, although the weekend isn't looking so spectacular, but dry skin therapy is a year-round need around here.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Get Thee To Munson's Stand

If you're looking for some fresh, local Munson's corn, it sounds like you'll need to head out to their farm stand at 75th and Valmont to get it for what remains of our corn season this year. I'd gotten lazy and was picking it up at the Pearl Street Whole Foods, but there was none there this morning, necessitating a trip out to the stand. I inquired about availability at Whole Foods while at the stand, and was told that that's it for the rest of the season. This is probably a good thing, as I should have been hopping on my bike and riding out to the stand anyway, and now I'll have the motivation.

Alfalfa's Sale Through Tomorrow

I stopped by Alfalfa's to see what might be happening with any new sale, and found that the old one in fact is continuing through tomorrow. It turns out that the "through September 27th" on their sale flyer was a typo. So I hope we'll have a new sale to look forward to on Wednesday.

October 5th update - I think there's some confusion among the good folks at Alfalfa's. Today I have a sales flyer in hand that says the new sale began on September 28th, jiving with the published end of the last sale, despite the fact that the new flyer was not available when I stopped by last Saturday, when the staff told me the typo tale above. Oh well, at least we're all set now, and the new sale runs all the way through November 1st.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fig Pizza Sampling Tomorrow

The Whole Foods store in Superior will be celebrating the return to the kitchen for autumn cooking with a "The Kitchen is Calling" sampling of fig, brie and arugula pizza tomorrow afternoon. Fig-lover that I am, I would swoon over that one. Here's what they say:

Monday, October 3rd

The Kitchen is Calling
3:00-6:30 Free

The Seasons are a changing- and fall is upon us! The grills are being stored away and it’s time to get back in the kitchen and we can help with these yummy, “The Kitchen is Calling” recipes of comfort food. Cheryl will be sampling Fig, Brie and Arugula Pizza. Grab a recipe booklet and all the ingredients right there to make these delicious fall recipes at home.

Weekday Dinner Ideas

As we continue our stretch of gorgeously warm weather into October, it's time to get going on dinner ideas for the rest of the week. I'm obviously obsessed with our fresh, local corn, and even more so as the end of the season draws near. In addition to eating it straight off the cob, I've already put it in four or five chowder recipes and a bunch of pasta dishes. Looking for another pasta-with-corn recipe to make tomorrow evening, I found myself in a fantasy versus reality situation. A recipe I haven't yet made this season that really appeals is tagliatelle with fresh corn pesto from Bon Appetit, which would have the advantage of using more of my basil that needs to be finished off. But in looking at the amount of work involved in that recipe, I decided it's just a little too involved for a weeknight, so let's just call it a "serving suggestion." Instead, I'll opt for an easy one I've already made this season, linguine with summer succotash, made easier by skipping the blending business and just putting all the corn straight into the pan. Since we're long past local sugar snap peas, I'll keep it seasonal by substituting organic zucchini from yesterday's Farmers' Market instead. I'll also change it up by adding some chicken sausage, since today's the last day of Sprouts' 72 hour sale, with chicken sausage just $1.99 a pound. With that many changes, I guess it's my own recipe.

Tuesday will be our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, which in this case will be the pork green chili I made last night by winging it, without opening a cookbook. To keep it lean, I used the center-cut pork chops that are on sale at Sprouts for just $1.99 a pound this week. The green chiles were freshly roasted from Whole Foods, where the $1.99 a pound sale is over, but $2.99 a pound still beats the price at the Farmers' Market by a mile (and I believe they're stil $1.99 a pound at Sunflower).

For Wednesday, with Rondele a very good price at $3.99 each at Sprouts through that day (and it's very similar to Boursin), and ground chicken or turkey breast on sale at Sunflower, that spells Boursin-stuffed turkey burgers from Gourmet magazine. Sprouts also has great prices through Wednesday for organic cluster tomatoes ($1.50 a pound), avocados (49 cents each), and organic lettuce ($1.69 a head, although Sunflower beats that by 19 cents) to put on the side. We like these served open-faced on toast, rather than in a gigantic roll, and my favorite bread is Ezekiel's, which is $3.39 through Wednesday at Sprouts, but even better at Vitamin Cottage for most of the month at $2.99.

We'll finish Thursday off with an easy round of pork chops, since the $1.99 a pound sale through Wednesday at Sprouts is such an outstanding price (some should go in the freezer as well). Sprouts also has organic yams through then at $1.49 a pound to bake as a colorful alternative to a potato. (If going for organic russets instead, through Wednesday, Sprouts and Sunflower are equivalent, with them 99 cents a pound at Sunflower, and five pound bags of them $4.99 each at Sprouts. That's math that doesn't require a calculator.)

And that will get us through to Friday's planning. I seem to be rather verbose today. Think there's a bit of extra caffeine in my primarily decaf coffee this morning.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ode To A Bunch Of Beets, Part Deux

I remember last summer buying a bunch of beets from Cure Organic Farm that was so beautiful, I just had to do an entire blog post about them, and Cure has done it to me again. I was just at the Boulder Farmers' Market downtown, and in my humble opinion, Cure has the best organic beet bunches you'll find there. The beets look tender, not gigantic, and the greens on top of them are glorious, filling my bike pannier and overflowing it. At $3 a bunch, I think they represent the best value in organic beets at the Market, too. There were in fact bigger, even more spectacular, bunches at two other organic vendors, but those were selling for $5 a bunch. If you need more beets than the $3 bunch from Cure, I'd suggest buying two of them.

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

On this first day of October, it should be a lovely morning for strolling the Boulder Farmers' Market, gathering up all the late summer-type produce you can before we face a winter of hard squash. The market starts at 8, and for your planning purposes, you can check out this post for a list of produce you can expect to see, from this week's Farmers' Market newsletter.