Monday, December 31, 2012

Sprouts Opening In Longmont Wednesday

The natural foods trend will continue to march eastward in Boulder County when Sprouts opens its long-awaited new store in Longmont this Wednesday, the 2nd, open daily from 7 am to 10 pm.  In addition to prize eligibility (with email sign-up), they'll be giving out free reusable shopping bags with purchase while supplies last (like I need another bag, but who can resist?), and the first 300 customers to make a purchase will receive a coupon booklet for five free sandwiches.  The store is at 1101 S. Hover Street, which I think is the location that used to be Borders bookstore.  This will be pretty handy for me, as I pass near that location fairly frequently, while the Vitamin Cottage in Longmont, while much roomier than the Boulder one, has generally been too far north for me.  More natural food options!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Doing The Lobster Tail Math

I've been excited about the Craig's lobster tails from Maine that Whole Foods has on sale for $6 each (technically two for $12, but you can buy in any quantity).  The fish guy told me these are four ounce tails, a decent size.  At the Pearl Street store, I also found eight ounce packages holding three Craig's lobster tails on sale for $17.99 a package.  (Hope I'm remembering these details accurately, as I didn't write anything down.)  So do the math before buying.  Two four ounce tails equals eight ounces, and you can get them individually at $12 total for the two, meaning you'd spend 50% more if you pick up the package to get your eight ounces.  I used to think this stuff was obvious, until I encountered a woman who was about to buy a one pound package of fresh mozzarella at full price, when I pointed out that the half pound packages were BOGO (so she could get a pound at the price of the half pound).  She considered this for a bit, then asked me "Is that a better deal?"  I'm not kidding.

Weekday Dinner Ideas, Including New Year's

With the holiday, this is no ordinary weekday, but time still remains awfully tight.  Tomorrow night being New Year's Eve, we'll do a special dish I've been wanting to try from the November issue of Cooking Light, creamy lobster pappardelle.  Whole Foods has beautiful lobster tails from Maine on sale for $6 each right now, which is my motivation for the dish.

We need some lucky food for New Year's Day, and our usual is Mark Bittman's rather healthy spin on hoppin' John, black-eyed pea soup with ham and greens, from the New York Times.  I take his suggestion to increase the meat and greens to make it a stew, and usually make my own corn bread to go one the side (although the corn bread you'll find at Whole Foods is pretty darned good too, in a pinch).

We'll simplify for Wednesday, just sauteed pork chops ($2.99 a pound at Sprouts through that day), with microwaved russets and some big green veggie on the side.

Then we'll reprise the soup that really is a stew for Thursday, making life even easier.  It will be a week of salads, too, since they'll be on the side for everything but Wednesday.  Last time I looked, organic spring mix was still a steal at Sprouts at $3.99 a pound.

Have a safe and enjoyable New Year's Eve, and beware the possibility of snow and wackos out on the road.

No Sale Currently At Vitamin Cottage

Unless they've started something in the past couple of days, it looks like our local Vitamin Cottage is taking a well-deserved sale hiatus across the holidays.  I was in the Boulder store a couple of days ago, where there were no sale flyers to be found, so I asked the cashier about it, who replied that there currently wasn't one.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lucky Foods For The New Year

Everybody could use a boost to get the New Year off to a good start, and there are traditions around the world about foods that can in theory help.  Here's a link to my prior post about great articles from Saveur and Bon Appetit, and you can add to that this one from Whole Foods, much briefer but just out.  You'll see common themes among them, and I don't swear allegiance to the prosperity aspect of the luck, since I got laid off since eating these "lucky foods" a few years ago, but I believe there were other aspects in that layoff that indeed proved to be fortunate.  I'll probably stick with the black-eyed pea tradition.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Weekend Dinner Ideas

If I thought time was tight previously, that was nothing.  Here's a quick rundown, two thirds of which is driven by the boneless skinless chicken breasts that are $1.97 a pound at Sprouts this week.

Tonight:  chicken paprikash from Cooking Light, using the chicken from Sprouts.

Tomorrow:  something called New Spanish Rice from an old but excellent cookbook, Great Good Food, and harking back to a childhood favorite, to boot.  Doesn't look like that one's hit the web, sorry.

Sunday, chicken with mushroom sauce (that Sprouts chicken again, as we're burned out on beef after our fabulous standing rib roast), from Cooking Light.

And that's all there's time to write!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Food Is Your Best Medicine At Alfalfa's

Alfalfa's will offer a class on healthy food three times in January, with the first one coming up shortly, next week.  It comes with a $25 price, and registration is required.  Details below:

Food is Your Best Medicine with Charley Cropley

Jan. 3, 6:00pm to 9:00pm

Jan. 5, 10:30am to 1:30pm

Jan. 13, 10:30am to 1:30pm

Charley Cropley has been a practicing naturopathic physician in the Boulder/Denver area for 25 years. Charley will teach participants how to transform their lifestyle by building a wholesome menu around an active lifestyle. It only costs $25 to register!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

Good morning on a cold, white day after Christmas.  Through all the festivities, we still have grocery sales to consider, but with much else to do, this will be quick.  We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Whole Foods, while the current one, which I have yet to get to, should be continuing at Vitamin Cottage.  Here's a brief look at what I'm liking.

At Sprouts through January 2nd (!), value packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts are $1.97 a pound, fresh (farmed) Atlantic salmon fillets are $6.99 a pound, king crab legs are $9.99 a pound, pretty big 26/30 count cooked shrimp are $6.99 a pound, four types of grass-fed organic boneless roasts are $5.99 a pound, boneless center-cut pork loin chops are $2.99 a pound, their very good stuffed chicken breasts are $2.99 a pound, and ground chicken, pork, or chicken breast are all also $2.99 a pound.  It's a two page ad again, instead of the usual four pages, so we're lacking info about the organic produce specials.  Organic avocados are known to be 99 cents, but I'm going with the conventionals, which this week are very good at three for $1.  Party trays are 25% off.  Also, five ounce lobster tails are $5.99 each, but keep reading for another option.

Once again, Whole Foods has posted just a few featured specials instead of the entire sale flyer for their new sale running through January 15th, so there's not much to see.  One special however is jumping out at me:  lobster tails (no size specified) at $6 each, effectively the same price as Sprouts.  When Whole Foods does a lobster tail, it comes with a fine pedigree of sustainability and provenance, probably from a place like Maine.  I know what New Year's Eve dinner will be...  Two other specials get my attention, ground turkey breast at $4.99 a pound (pricier than the ground meats on sale at Sprouts and I guess this is what happens to those fine turkeys that didn't get sold for Christmas at Whole Foods), and their own rustic spelt bread at $2.99 a loaf.

Whole Foods has also been known to throw three-day sales following Christmas.  There's no word of one that has reached me yet, but sometimes you only find out about those when you walk in the store.

Stay warm!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas To All

For all those observing it, or simply going with the holiday mood, best wishes for a very merry Christmas day.  I'm thinking my standing rib roast for dinner is going to be spectacular.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Recipes Reminder

Happy Christmas Eve.  If you're still angsting about Christmas dinner, here's a reminder about the post I did a bit ago about various online guides to Christmas dinner from my favorite sources.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

With Christmas falling on Tuesday this week, this will be no ordinary post of daily fare.  Tomorrow being Christmas Eve, I'm torn between two traditions within my experience.  With connections to New Mexico, I'm tempted by the Christmas Eve tradition of serving tamales.  My understanding is that because tamales are so time-consuming to make from scratch, this serves as a very special meal.  However, they are just plain too time-consuming to me to make from scratch, especially with some fine frozen ones available at our natural food stores.  So that's a possibility, while another part of me is leaning towards fish, a nod to the Italian tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes for Christmas Eve.  Seven's a bit much, but I think I could make my way through at least two, maybe three (smoked salmon spread from Whole Foods as an appetizer would be an easy first).

Christmas Day at my house is perhaps rather unimaginative, but it is scrumptious:  a standing beef rib roast from Whole Foods, accompanied by a horseradish sauce made with lowfat sour cream, steamed Brussels sprouts, roasted beets, and potatoes, either baked or mashed.  I keep telling myself that some year I'll do some elegant potato gratin, but that just never seems to happen.  This year I'll go so far as to fancy up the mashed potatoes by doing mashed potatoes with crispy shallots from Food and Wine magazine.  I can go so far as to add a garlic clove or two to the cooking potatoes and to fry some shallots on the side.

Then the rest of the week is easy - leftovers!  No, I won't really do that three days in a row, so something light and healthy will slip in there, probably an easy veggie stir-fry over brown rice.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Get A Knife Sharpened For Free

If you're not sure your carving knife is up to getting through that turkey or roast, MHOTC is reporting that Sur La Table will sharpen one knife for free through Monday, subsequent knives a good price at $5 each.  There's a Sur La Table in the 29th Street mall.  Here are the details from MHOTC:

With Christmas and all that food prep coming up, a sharp knife is a cook’s best friend. Bring your neediest knife to any Sur La Table store by December 24, and they’ll sharpen the first one for FREE and subsequent ones for $5 while you shop. No scissors, ceramic knives or damaged knives, please. There are three Front Range Sur la Table retail stores: 121 Clayton Ln. (Cherry Creek North), Denver, 303-780-7800; 1850-29th Street, Boulder, 303-952-7080, and 343 S. Teller St. (Belmar), Lakewood, 303-936-4677.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Weekend Dinner Plans

It looks like a weekend filled with seafood, which is quick and easy, in addition to having all its healthy virtues.  For tonight, Norwegian salmon will be on the plates, coming from Wednesday's one-day sale at Whole Foods (Whole Foods is the only place I know of that has seafood so fresh, it's still fresh a couple of days later).  Baked potatoes from Sprouts' five pound bags of organic russets ($2.99 a bag) will go on the side.

We'll veer away from seafood tomorrow to do sausage and spinach soup from Cooking Light, using the deals at Sprouts, considering chicken sausage is $2.99 a pound and bulk organic spinach is just $3.99 a pound.  Instead of ripping up my own lettuce, I could also get their bulk organic salad mix for the side salad, since that's also just $3.99 a pound.

We'll return to the seafood for Sunday, and with "colossal" sea scallops (previously frozen) a quite good $9.99 a pound, it will be grilled sea scallops with tomatoes and olive vinaigrette, an old favorite from Gourmet magazine.  Today being the winter solstice, it's a good thing the grilling takes place on a grill pan.

Beef lovers, don't forget today's fabulous one-day sale on New York strip steaks at Whole Foods (see the post below for details).  I'm not including them now because we'll be doing a big standing rib roast from there on Tuesday, but it's a fantastic deal.  I might even freeze some, although I think freezing is a disservice to a fine steak.

All this planning of course assumes the Mayans got it wrong, and we'll still be cooking tomorrow.  Happy solstice!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

NY Strips At Whole Foods Tomorrow

For a one-day sale tomorrow, Whole Foods is reprising that incredible deal they did a few weeks ago on New York strip steaks for just $9.99 a pound (these steaks are excellent).  With a beef standing rib roast on the horizon for Tuesday, I'm angsting, since that's too much beef in a low-red meat eating family.  I generally don't freeze steaks since I think their quality suffers in doing that, but this one has me thinking about it.  Here are the details from Whole Foods:

Our last NY Strip sale was a hit, so here’s an encore! Whole Foods Market has NY Strip steaks on sale again this Friday at a savings of around 50%. 

Date of sale: Friday, December 21 ONLY

What’s on sale: New York Strip steak
Price: $9.99/lb (average savings of 50%)

What to know about Whole Foods Market’s beef

Whole Foods Market’s New York Strip steak comes from animals raised on farms and ranches certified to Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Rating program. With our steaks, you also get:

No antibiotics – ever!·        No added hormones. ·        No animal byproducts in feed.

Dessert Tasting In Superior Tonight

At least I think they mean a dessert tasting.  The mouthful of sand evoked by their listing of a "desert tasting" really doesn't sound so appealing.  Here are the details from them, typos and all:

Holiday Tasting- Deserts

Thursday, December 20th
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Superior Whole Foods Market, Free

Join us for our Holiday Tasting on Thursday, December 20 from 5:00pm-7:00pm. Start your evening enjoying dinner with us [Burger and fries for $5.99 from 4:00pm-8:00pm] and then stop in each of our departments and sample decadent Holiday deserts. Pick up ideas or new recipes for your Holiday entertaining!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

This Week's Hot New Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have a new sale starting today at our Boulder Sprouts, while the current one continues at Whole Foods through the 25th (click the link for prior report).  There also should be something new at Vitamin Cottage, and I need to get there to check it out.  Not this morning, though, as I'm so lucky to be able to stay in and watch the snow come down.

At Sprouts through December 26th, I'm liking their Wild Caught Seafood Spectacular, although it's all previously frozen.  They have really big 16/20 count raw shrimp, cod fillets, Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets, crimson snapper fillets, and swordfish steaks all at $6.99 a pound, while "colossal" sea scallops are $9.99 a pound, and five ounce lobster tails are $5.99 each.  Their presidential-cut rib roast is $7.99 a pound, and all chicken sausage (pork, too) is $2.99 a pound.  In organic produce, one pound bags of baby carrots have bumped up to a still very good $1.25 a bag ($1.99 elsewhere), grape tomatoes are great at $1.50 a pint, butternut squash is just 79 cents a pound, russet potatoes are $2.99 for a five pound bag, bulk spring or spinach salads thankfully are still $3.99 a pound ($6.99 elsewhere), Braeburn, Cameo, or Fuji apples are all $1.25 a pound, and there are lots of other fruit deals as well.  Elsewhere in the store, I'm very psyched to see their bulk coffee beans at $6.99 a pound.  As I've said too many times already, the store on Baseline carries Fair Trade certified organic coffee, including a decaf one, which is an absolute steal at this price.  My favorite Imagine organic broths are BOGO, putting them in the very good neighborhood of about $2 a box.  Also BOGO are Sprouts' own 16 ounce frozen veggies and Cascade Fresh sour cream, and the 14.5 ounce size cans of Muir Glen organic tomatoes are $1.50 each.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

And this one-day sale is a good one.  I can see fans of Norwegian salmon dancing in the streets.  Here are the details from Whole Foods:

Tomorrow only! Wednesday, December 19th.

Salmon Fillet
(save $6/lb)

American Homestead
Hickory Smoked
(save $3/lb)

San Daniele - 3 oz.
Buy 1 for $9.99
Get 1 Free

All Flavors
(save $0.99/ea)

Spa Night In Superior Tonight

The Whole Foods in Superior will host another Spa Night tonight, with a suggested donation going to the Sister Carmen Center.  Here are the details from Whole Foods (and I hope they really mean tonight, since their description references the one they did back in November):

Spa Night

Tuesday, December 18th
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Superior Cafe, Suggested Donation to Grab n Give

After all the Thanksgiving cooking, the Chef deserves an evening of pampering! Join us at the Superior Whole Foods Market in our Cafe on Tuesday, November 27th from 6:00pm-8:00pm for a relaxing evening of facials, chair massage and nail painting. Guests will enjoy refreshments, music and a "Buck a Raffle"[All proceeds will go to Sister Carmen Center] for a chance to WIN a gift Basket. A suggested donation of $5.00 will go to our Grab n Give recipient this Holiday season; Sister Carmen Center! Help us Feed a local family! Space is limited so please sign up at our Customer Service Counter to reserve your spot today!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Recipe And Menu Guides

If the season is so stressfully busy, that must mean it's also time to start thinking about Christmas dinner.  Mine's pretty primordial, centering around a hunk of meat, a standing rib roast from Whole Foods, very simply done.  But if you're in the mood for more creativity, check out these guides for some ideas:  Christmas Unwrapped from Epicurious, Bon Appetit's 2012 Christmas HQ, Celebrate the Holidays from Cooking Light, and Holiday Recipes from Whole Foods, which features gluten-free and dairy-free sections.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Just No Time!

I usually put out something about weekday dinner plans on Sundays, but today it's just not looking like it's going to work.  Needless to say, everything will be quick.  Well, here's a sketch, since that's all I have time for.  Annie's mac 'n cheese, with a can of tuna and some defrosted peas makes a dynamite new-fashioned tuna casserole in minutes.  Our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend will be smoky split pea and root vegetable soup.  And that large pepperoni pizza on sale at Whole Foods this week will likely also figure in.  And that's all I have time for!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Last Day Of Vitamin Cottage Sale

Good stuff in the current Vitamin Cottage sale, like five pound bags of organic russet potatoes being practically given away at $1.79 a bag.  My prior summary's here, and today's the last day for the sale, but who knows what tomorrow may bring?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Holiday Tasting At Pearl WFM Tomorrow

The Whole Foods store on Pearl Street will be hosting their big Taste of the Holidays shindig tomorrow.  Here's what they say:

Taste of the Holidays

Saturday, December 15th

11:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Whole Foods Market Pearl Street, FREE

Join us for our annual Taste of the Holidays event where we'll help you plan your holiday meal from appetizers to desserts. We'll have tons of yummy food from each department in our store and beautiful music from our friends Adam and Jon. This tasting will also feature beer, wine and spirits pairings from our friends at the Wine and Spirits Store!

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Super quick post.  At a busy time, we'll go for convenience tonight, doing the stuffed chicken breasts Sprouts already has prepared for $2.99 a pound.  I've had good luck with the ones at the Baseline store, although I haven't tried the ones at the former Sunflower.

For tomorrow, with grass-fed organic ground beef half off at Sprouts (along with their other ground meats), I'm thinking about doing something I haven't made forever, layered enchilada casserole from Bon Appetit.  Wow, that was published back in 1996.

I should be thinking very easy for Sunday, but with Christmas fast approaching, I can't resist cracking open my venerable Bon Appetit Christmas book to do smoky split pea and root vegetable soup from Bon Appetit.  This one goes back so far, it hasn't been officially posted by Bon Appetit, but it has made its way around the web in numerous places, like here.  Considering split peas don't really take all that long to cook, this should get us in a festive mood (it appears in the Carolers' Warm-Up menu in the Christmas book), while not taking terribly long.  And Whole Foods has their fabulous baguettes on sale for $1.50 to go along with it, plus a salad, of course.

So that's the weekend!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Holiday Cookie Decorating At Alfalfa's

Looking for some holiday entertainment for the kids?  Alfalfa's will be doing holiday cookie decorating Saturday, as they say:

Holiday Cookie Decorating with Terry Retzloff

December 15th

1:00 to 3:00 PM

Join us for some holiday cookie fun! Learn how to make your own housemade dough and icing in our demo kitchen, then take the kiddos upstairs to our community room for some interactive cookie decorating. Great fun! FREE!

Three Day Heads Up Re Vitamin Cottage

Just a heads up that the current sale at Vitamin Cottage runs through this Saturday, the 15th, so get thee there if you want some of the great deals they currently have (although stock tends to run low around this time in the sale cycle).  You can see my prior summary of the sale here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

This Week's Hot New Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Whole Foods, while the current one continues at Vitamin Cottage through Saturday.  Here's what's looking good to me in the new sales.

Sprouts will hold another 72 hour sale this Friday through Sunday, where the highlight for me is 25% off the entire bulk department, including the great organic Fair Trade roast coffee they have at the baseline store.  Among the other 72 hour offerings are huge 16/20 count wild raw shrimp for $5.99 a pound, select Cascadian Farm one pound bags of organic frozen veggies for $1.50, and five pound boxes of Cuties clementines for $3.99 (they're conventional, but I nice office alternative to platters of Christmas cookies).

In Sprouts' regular sale through the 19th, all sorts of ground meats are 50% off, including ground chicken, turkey, and grass-fed organic ground beef.  Chicken sausage is $2.99 a pound, as are their very good stuffed chicken breasts, and their Presidential-cut standing rib roasts are $7.99 a pound.  They're giving us news again this week about organic produce, and I'm loving baby carrots at 99 cents for a one pound bag.  Also, six ounces of organic blueberries are $2.99, Braeburn, Fuji, or Gala apples are all $1.25 a pound (plus good deals on Granny Smiths and red delicious by the bag), celery is 99 cents a bunch, butternut squash is 79 cents a pound, grape tomatoes are $1.99 a pint, bulk spring or spinach salads are $3.99 a pound ($6.99 elsewhere), and russet potatoes are $2.99 for a five pound bag, although Vitamin Cottage has that for $1.79 through Saturday.

At Whole Foods through December 25th (guess they plan to be open on Christmas?), I'm loving their fabulous Bakehouse French baguettes at $1.50 each.  Organic cauliflower is $1.99 a pound, while organic russets or yellow onions are 99 cents a pound, in their fine beef, top round roast is $4.99 a pound, and their fine spiral sliced hams are also $4.99 a pound.  Organic Granny Smith and Braeburn apples are $1.49 a pound, but you'll do better on those at Sprouts, above.  Looking for convenience at this busy time, their own large pepperoni pizzas are $9.99 each, and their smoked turkey and pesto wraps are $1 off at $5.99 each (one serves two, in my experience).

And don't forget about Imagine organic broth, $2.50 a box at both Sprouts and Whole Foods.  Although we don't yet know what Vitamin Cottage might do with a new sale on Sunday - perhaps even beat that?  It's all good.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Imagine Organic Broth For $2.50

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Imagine's organic broths and cooking stocks, and go through a lot of them in stews and rice dishes.  Packaged in aseptic boxes, they have far-out expiration dates and are therefore a good stock-up candidate.  We usually see pretty good sales on them around the holidays, but I go through so much of the stuff, my stash from the Thanksgiving sales is already running low.  So ho, ho, ho, I am so pleased to find it for $2.50 a box (not the lowest price ever, but much better than its norm around $3.69) at both Sprouts and Whole Foods.  The Whole Foods sale runs through December 25th, and the Sprouts sale even longer, possibly to the end of the month (I was there a couple of days ago, and if I don't write it down, it exits the sieve-brain immediately).  Both stores carry my favorite low sodium variety of the chicken broth.  Now if they'd only put the cooking stock on sale too...

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

Wednesday one-day sales used to be customary for Whole Foods, but they've skipped several, while instituting some Friday ones instead.  Wherever their pattern is headed, we have another one-day Wednesday sale for tomorrow only, the 12th.  Golden king crab leg lovers take note, as here's what they say:

Tomorrow only! Wednesday, December 12th

Stem & Leaf
(save $1/lb)

King Crab Legs
(save $9/lb)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Grocery Newsletters

Our local natural foods grocery stores offer email newsletters that are worth signing up for, if you like that sort of thing.  They won't flood your inbox, and sometimes offer coupons with them (Sprouts is especially good for this).  For instance, in the December newsletters already out, Sprouts has coupons for free water and a free bag of cookies, while Alfalfa's has one for 15% off your entire shopping trip.  You can find the signups for the newsletters on the stores' websites.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Tis the season to have way too much to do, so we'll basically ditch the recipes for this week, plus this blog post will be super-speedy.  Doesn't help anybody else, but since I have so many containers of pesto from this summer's basil plants in my freezer, tomorrow will be a simple pasta with pesto.

Tuesday is our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is tonight's chicken posole from Food and Wine magazine.

For Wednesday, with basil or parmesan chicken sausage $2.99 a pound and fresh mozzarella $3.50 at Sprouts through that day, that says to me, make a pizza.  I love the multi-grain fresh dough from Whole Foods as a base; I know there are no additives in it, and it spreads out to fill an entire rimmed baking sheet, which makes a ton of pizza, good for quick lunches as leftovers.

For Thursday?  I don't know yet!  It will be something quick, maybe even basic turkey burgers, or a tuna casserole improvised using Annie's fabulous mac 'n cheese, which always turns out well in a flash.

Onward to the holidays!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Hanukkah Guides Reminder

Happy Hanukkah to all my friends celebrating its start tonight.  To those still contemplating some dinner ideas, here's a reminder about the guides I posted about earlier.  And for my other friends, Christmas idea guides coming soon (I hope - time is so very short these days!).

Friday, December 7, 2012

Weekend Dinner Plans

Super quick dinner plan rundown.  With MSC-certified wild sockeye salmon $7.99 a pound at Whole Foods for today only, sockeye will be what's for dinner.  With a high expected of only 49 and evenings totally dark, it will probably go on the grill pan or under the broiler, rather than outside on the grill.  I love the Lundberg gourmet rice blends that Vitamin Cottage has on sale for $2.39 (a one pound bag) as a festive side for fish.

Sounds like the weekend will finally head us into winterish territory (although we're still technically in autumn), so we'll go for comfort food with potatoes romanoff from my venerable copy of the Vegetarian Epicure tomorrow.  Since practically everything's been reposted to the web, even from such old cookbooks, you can find the recipe here.  With organic russet potatoes just $1.79 a five pound bag at Vitamin Cottage, this will also be a super cheap dinner to make, in addition to hitting the comfort food spot.  We'll stick with the vegetarian option, but carnivores might consider it a side to the London broil Sprouts has through Wednesday for just $2.99 a pound.

With snow expected tomorrow night into Sunday morning, and Sunday's temperature maybe no higher than 18 degrees (!! - what a change after the 60s we've had for weeks), a warming soup will be in order for Sunday.  With chicken breast tenders $1.99 a pound at Sprouts, I'm thinking it will be chicken posole from Food and Wine magazine.  I prefer to make it with white meat instead of the dark called for in the recipe, but that makes me a complete wuss when you consider the recipe originated with veal head.

Stay warm and safe through our weather change.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

One-Day Salmon Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

Yes!  For tomorrow only, our local Whole Foods stores will have their fine, MSC-certified (and presumably previously frozen) sockeye salmon for just $7.99 a pound, beating Sprouts' weeklong sale by a couple of dollars.  Here's what Whole Foods says:

One-Day Sale!

Friday, December 7

MSC-Certified Wild-Caught Sockeye Salmon
Just $7.99 per pound

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

This Week's Hot New Grocery Deals

We have a new sale starting today at our Boulder Sprouts, while current sales continue at Vitamin Cottage (through December 15th) and Whole Foods (through the 11th).  (Scroll down for those reports - I'm short on time for linking.)

At Sprouts' new sale through the 12th, I'm liking chicken breast tenders at $1.99 a pound, boneless London broil for $2.99 a pound, and stew beef for $3.99 a pound.  In fresh farmed Atlantic salmon, fillets are $5.99 a pound, while steaks are $4.99 a pound.  They also have wild Alaskan sockeye salmon (presumably previously frozen) for $9.99 a pound, but stay tuned for a possible one-day Friday sale I'm trying to confirm at Whole Foods that's even better than that.

Sprouts is continuing to stick with the two-page flyer format they introduced last week, which means we don't get all that info we used to about organic veggie sales.  I can only report that organic Hass avocados are 99 cents each and a four pound bag of organic Valencia oranges is $2.50.  Conventional avocados, on sale for 49 cents through today, will bump up to 77 cents tomorrow (always a price of interest to my avocado-aficionado and blog-reading friend Ms. A., whom I miss seeing nearly daily, due to a change in our schedules.  Hi, Ms. A.!).  Elsewhere in the store, Horizon Organic milk is good at $3 for a half gallon, but Whole Foods' own 365 organic brand is lower than that every day.  Mozzarella Fresca fresh mozzarella balls are also appealing at $3.50 for eight ounces.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hanukkah Recipe Guides

With Hanukkah just a few days away, here are some guides to help with some festive tables:  Hanukkah recipes, menus, and parties from Epicurious, Hanukkah recipes from the New York Times, and Hanukkah recipes from Food and Wine magazine.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Italian Olive Tree Adoption

Touted as the gift for the cook who has everything, Food 52 has a promotion where you can "adopt" an olive oil tree in Italy and receive periodic shipments of olive oil from it and other sources, tasting seasonal differences in the oils.  It doesn't come cheap, at nearly $200 for the year, and I'd beware the inconsistencies in the description (1.5L total versus 1.5L recurring deliveries, 3 x 500 ml in four shipments, etc).  They have a similar promotion for the truffle-lover on your gift list.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Here's a quick rundown of the plan for the rest of the week.  Having had steaks this weekend (the organic grass fed ones on sale for the amazing price of $8.99 a pound at Sprouts were excellent), we'll get back on track with a vegetarian pasta tomorrow, linguine with spicy leek and tomato sauce from Bon Appetit.  No particular sale is driving this one, and organic tomatoes are in fact running rather high right now, so I might go with a can of Muir Glen organic ones instead.

Tuesday is our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is tonight's corn and cod chowder from Food and Wine magazine.  Add a salad, maybe a bit of bread, and dinner is done.

With boneless skinless chicken breasts on sale at Sprouts for $1.99 a pound through Wednesday, we'll take advantage of the last day of the sale to do a new, simple, yet surprisingly good favorite, sauteed chicken breasts with a mushroom sauce that hails from Cooking Light.  Vitamin Cottage is practically giving away five pound bags of organic russets ($1.79 a bag) for a baked potato (actually microwaved) on the side.

We'll keep Thursday super simple, catching the shrimp that are $3.99 a pound through Wednesday at Sprouts to do an easy shrimp stir-fry, using a defrosted bag of Seapoint oriental veggies as a starting point, and supplementing with garlic, ginger, crushed red pepper, and fresh scallions right at the end, with the whole thing going over some brown rice.

Which gets us through to Friday's planning.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Holiday Farmers' Market Today

Happy December, if you can believe it with the weather we've been having.  If you can make it the short distance to Longmont, don't forget about the Winter Farmers' Market and Holiday Gift Show the Boulder County Farmers' Market is hosting at the fairgrounds today.  A fine time to do some fall produce shopping, as well as checking gifts off your list with local, handmade works.  Here are the details from the Farmers' Market.

The Boulder County Farmers' Market 7th Annual Winter Farmers' Market & Holiday Gift Show Is This Weekend!

Located Indoors at the Boulder County Fairgrounds Exhibit Building
9595 Nelson Road
Longmont, CO

Saturday and Sunday December 1st & 2nd
9am - 3pm

Please join us for our final and largest market of the year. Boasting more than 100 specialty vendors, the Winter Market is one of the most anticipated holiday shopping events in the area. Many of the farmers, ranchers and food artisans from our Boulder and Longmont markets have everything you need for a FRESH & LOCAL holiday season... tender greens, vine-ripened tomatoes, fall produce, Colorado-raised beef, poultry, lamb, pork, award winning cheeses, eggs, apples, cider & preserves, baked goods, live holiday plants, Colorado wine and much, much more.

This is also our best and biggest Fine Art & Fine Craft Fair of the season, featuring over 40 Colorado juried artists. You'll find everything from unique stocking-stuffers to one-of-a-kind museum quality gift items.

Bring the family and enjoy live music, children's activities, chef demos, wine tastings, hourly prize drawings and more!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Time to get back to planning some dinner ideas, but with last week's turkey-induced reprieve, I'm inclined more than ever to make this quick.  For a nice change of pace, tonight will be baked polenta with fontina and tomato sauce from Bon Appetit.  This oddly never made it to the web that I can see on or its sister,, but somebody else has captured it here.  If we're up for chicken sausage on the side after all that turkey, it goes very well with it, and the Italian variety is $2.99 at Sprouts this week.

Tomorrow, we won't exactly be detoxing after the Thanksgiving week excesses, but with such beautiful weather and mild temperatures, and 100% grass fed organic boneless New York steaks on sale at Sprouts for just $8.99 a pound, we'll be grilling, albeit in the dark tomorrow evening.  Haven't figured out a thing about the sides, but organic diced yams in foil on the grill are always good, too.

We'll still need a big weekend item for a midweek easy reheat, so Sunday will be a nostalgic look back at summer with corn and cod chowder from Food and Wine magazine.  Our fabulous Munson's corn season being long gone, the corn will come from a frozen bag, but will still be good.  Both Vitamin Cottage and Sprouts have outstanding deals on five pound bags of potatoes, and Sprouts has previously frozen cod for $7.99 a pound this week.  I also lighten the whole thing by making the milk 1% fat and using a bit of half and half for richness, nothing like the one cup heavy cream called for.

So once again, I promised myself I'd keep it shorter, but I've gone to the max that I have time to do these days.  Maybe next week I'll keep it shorter.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Farmers' Winter Market This Weekend

If you need one last taste of the Boulder Farmers' Market this year, you can head out to Longmont this weekend, where they'll be holding a special Holiday Market and Gift Fair Saturday and Sunday at the Boulder County Fairgrounds.  Here's what they say:

Join us for the 7th Annual Winter Market & Holiday Gift Show

December 1 & 2 ~ 9am-3pm

Located at the Boulder County Fairgrounds at 9595 Nelson Rd, Longmont CO in the Exhibit Building. 2012 Market bucks will be accepted! Tons of FREE parking and FREE admission. We will have fresh greens, winter roots, artisan cheeses, meats, live music, kids activities, chef demos, and wine tasting, all in addition to an amazing array of holiday gifts from local artists.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lucky's To Open Longmont Store

Things just keep getting better on the natural foods scene for eastern Boulder County.  Today there's word that beloved north Boulder Lucky's Market plans to open a second store next summer at 700 Ken Pratt Boulevard in Longmont.  This is on top of the Sprouts soon to open on Hover Road and the Vitamin Cottage currently existing around 17th and Main in Longmont.  Given how built out the natural foods scene is within the Boulder city limits, and how little there is as you head east, this just makes sense.  You can check out the Daily Camera's coverage here.

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

Now that I'm wanting to see something other than turkey, we have new sales starting at our Boulder Sprouts and Sunflower, while the current one continues through December 15th at Vitamin Cottage (click for prior report).  Here's what's looking best to me in the new sales.

At Sprouts through December 5th, boneless top sirloin steaks or 41/50 count ez peel raw shrimp are both $3.99 a pound, and boneless skinless chicken breasts in the value pack are $1.99 a pound (although I'm not sure if I'm ready for more poultry).  100% grass fed boneless organic New York steak looks stunning at $8.99 a pound, while in previously frozen fish fillets, cod is $7.99 a pound and sockeye is $10.99 a pound.  I'm always happy when my favorite bulk roast coffee goes on sale for $7.99 a pound, since the Sprouts location on Baseline carries Fair Trade organic varieties that are a steal at that price.  Conventional Hass avocados are 49 cents each, and Sprouts has been carrying some good sized ones, at least at the Baseline store, although the one I got there several days ago is ripening stubbornly slowly.  In organic produce, organic Hass avocados are 99 cents and celery is $1.29 a bunch, but that's all I can tell, since Sprouts produced a two page flyer this week instead of their customary four page one, so there's no big box of organic veggie specials, bummer.

Whole Foods has a new sale running through December 11th, but they're messing with my reporting capabilities even more than Sprouts this week, since once again, Whole Foods has posted a few featured specials instead of posting their whole new flyer.  Of the limited eleven items I can see this morning, I'm interested in organic D'Anjou pears at $1.49 a pound, Changing Seas cold smoked salmon at $4.99 each, nine inch Bakehouse cherry pies at $9.99 each, and their own yummy smoked mozzarella pasta salad at $7.99 a pound.  They also have Country Natural Beef top sirloin steak for $9.99 a pound, but I'd weigh that against the grass-fed organic boneless New York steaks that are $8.99 a pound this week at Sprouts (or top sirloin itself for $3.99 a pound, but without that Whole Foods pedigree).

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

No News Yet Re One-Day Sale

Whole Foods typically does a special sale just for Wednesdays, but so far today, I'm not seeing any news of one coming tomorrow.  Maybe they're taking a well deserved post-Thanksgiving breather, just like Sprouts skipped a sale after the holiday.  But we should have some new regular sales that will start tomorrow, so check in tomorrow morning for that.

Spirits And Cheese Pairing Thursday

Here's something a little different.  This Thursday, the 29th, Whole Foods' Wine and Spirits store invites you to learn how to pair spirits with cheese, a free event from 4:30 to 6 pm.  I can't quite envision such a pairing, unless it's a fine single malt scotch with some really stinky cheese, neither of which appeals to me.  Guess that shows I'd have a lot to learn if I were to go.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sprouts Sale Evidently On Hiatus

As previously mentioned, I hadn't seen any evidence of a new weekly sale at Sprouts currently, and when I was at the store on Baseline yesterday evening (picking up a few things for a most marvelous turkey, green chile, and white bean stew), there in fact was no new flyer in the store, either.  Guess we'll wait till Wednesday for news.

Spa Night Tomorrow In Superior

The Whole Foods store in Superior will help you wind down from Thanksgiving tomorrow evening with a Spa Night.  Here are the details from them:

Tuesday, November 27th

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Superior Cafe, Suggested Donation to Grab n Give

After all the Thanksgiving cooking, the Chef deserves an evening of pampering! Join us at the Superior Whole Foods Market in our Cafe on Tuesday, November 27th from 6:00pm-8:00pm for a relaxing evening of facials, chair massage and nail painting. Guests will enjoy refreshments, music and a "Buck a Raffle"[All proceeds will go to Sister Carmen Center] for a chance to WIN a gift Basket. A suggested donation of $5.00 will go to our Grab n Give recipient this Holiday season; Sister Carmen Center! Help us Feed a local family! Space is limited so please sign up at our Customer Service Counter to reserve your spot today!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Turkey For The Rest Of The Week

I usually line out all my dinner plans on Sundays, but that's getting a little old, and I need a break.  Fortunately, we still have a fridge full of Thanksgiving leftovers, so I'm not going to have to think too much about dinner.  In terms of morphing them into something new, one thing I do know will be on deck is turkey and mushroom risotto from this month's issue of Bon Appetit.  For more inspiration, check out Thanksgiving Leftovers: The Ultimate Guide from Epicurious.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Shop Small Saturday

Today's a day I can get behind, Shop Small Saturday, supporting all the wonderful, local, independently-owned stores we have here in Boulder.  Think of the myriad of food-related ones, places like Cured or Kim and Jake's Cakes.  I'm not one for Black Friday, and am disgusted with its creeping into Black Thursday eve (although it doesn't mean I'll never set foot in Target again), but supporting local business with Shop Small Saturday works for me.

Friday, November 23, 2012

No Word Re Sprouts

The last sale I knew of at Sprouts went through yesterday, and so far, I haven't received a new flyer or their usual email about the new sale, so they may be taking a much deserved break.  I'm stacked up with Thanksgiving leftovers anyway.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks Today

Happy Thanksgiving, and best wishes for a successful dinner and day.  If you should somehow find yourself with some downtime, the November issue of Bon Appetit has a rather unusually contemplative article touching on the meaning of the day, giving thanks, and the course of life in general, that's also a good read, despite my rather heavy-sounding description.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Last Day To Bag Hunger

Today is the last day of Community Food Share's Let's Bag Hunger food drive, and it looks like they really need help from all of us.  They've had to revise their goal downward, and still have quite a ways to go to meet even that.  C'mon.  While you're dropping three figures for your own turkey and fixings, pick up some extra provisions to drop in the Community Food Share bins you'll find just about everywhere.  You'll enjoy your turkey even more, having done so.

No New Grocery Sales Today

Wednesday is usually our big new grocery sale day, but with our Boulder Sprouts' sale running through tomorrow, and Whole Foods and Vitamin Cottage beyond that, there's no news today on the sale front.  You can check out last week's report here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Shrimp Sale At Whole Foods

No time for further comment, am too busy.  Here's the deal from them:

Three Day Sale

Beginning today through Thursday, Nov. 22.

All Shrimp Trios
(save $8/ea)


Southwest Style
Hot & Mild
Cocktail Style
Mild Style
Sweet & Spicy

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Recipe Guides

In case you're still angsting about what to serve for Thanksgiving, here's a reminder of the post I did a couple of weeks ago about Thanksgiving recipe and menu guides from wonderful places like Bon Appetit.  They're great places to look for menu inspiration.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas, Including Thanksgiving

With so much to do (this is our weekend to rake up all the leaves, plus Thanksgiving prep), this necessarily must be quick.  Tomorrow will be our reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is last night's very successful sweet potato and butternut squash soup from the New York Times.

Tuesday will be another easy one, baked potatoes with spiced beef chili from Bon Appetit, drawing organic russets from my big five pound bag (very good at $2.99 a bag at Sprouts, but outrageously cheap at $1.79 at Vitamin Cottage).

With Thanksgiving looming, Wednesday will be even easier, doing the fantastic crab cakes Whole Foods has on sale for $13.99 a pound.  I'm headed to Vitamin Cottage today to stock up on Lundberg's wonderful rice blends (the wild rice blend and black japonica are especially good) at just $2.39 for a one pound bag, so lovely rice will go on the side.  Plus, there's a theme going here of doing dinners that don't create leftovers, since the fridge can only hold so much, and we can only eat so much, too (and there's been no poultry involved for several days).

So for Thursday, the turkey will be the star.  Several items on my table are fixed traditions: the turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, and a stuffing made with the New England classic, Bell's Seasoning (Pearl Street Whole Foods doesn't have it this year, but the Superior store does, thank heavens).  I'm really mixing it up this year with the rest.  I've burned out on the carb-heavy dinner, so we won't be doing any other root vegetable dishes (as admirable as they are at other times) or rolls this year.  Instead, we'll have sauteed broccolini with tomatoes from Cooking Light, but the really radical thing will be adding a salad, and a kind of wild one (yet appropriate to the season), to boot.  Jumping on the current craze for kale salads, I'm going to try kale and Brussels sprouts salad from the current issue of Bon Appetit.  Not only is this a departure for me in terms of having a salad at the Thanksgiving table, but the interesting thing is that both the kale and Brussels sprouts are raw.  We'll see.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Current Sale At Vitamin Cottage

The current sale at our Boulder Vitamin Cottage runs through December 15th, and it contains some especially good deals.  First of all, they're just about giving away five pound bags of organic russet potatoes at $1.79 each (so handy to have during holiday cooking).  Chocolove 3.2 ounce chocolate bars are $1.69 each for the naturals (the organics aren't on sale).  Whole California almonds are $3.99 for a one pound bag, or $7.98 for two pounds.  My favorite Earth Balance buttery spreads and sticks are very good at $3.29 each (and no cholesterol, rather helpful in this season of overeating).  My favorite Blue Diamond Nut-Thins are excellent at $1.89 a box, and Lundberg Family Farms' lovely one pound gourmet rice blends are $2.39 each (try the wild rice blend or the exotic black japonica).  Annie's Naturals eight ounce organic salad dressings are stunning at $2.69 each (a price that might be seen for their natural version, but almost never for the organic), Pamela's fantastic gluten-free cookies are excellent at $2.69 a box, and I see all sorts of other deals on sweets and creams, all the fattening stuff for the holidays.  My favorite Seventh Generation big 100 ounce 2x laundry detergent is as low as it ever gets at $11.49 a jug, and this being Vitamin Cottage, there are lots of specials on supplements, including Jarrow Formulas' Bone-Up at a very good $16.15 for 240 capsules, and I know women who swear by the stuff.

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

We have fine fall weather for a special Cornucopia Market from the Boulder Farmers' Market today (last one for the year, sniff), at the usual downtown location and usual 8 am to 2 pm time.  Enjoy it while you can, and buy local for Thanksgiving!!!  Here's what they say:

Please join us in Boulder on Saturday for the special Cornucopia Market where you'll find everything you need for a deliciously local holiday meal. Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Weekend Dinner Ideas

So with the one-day sale happening today at Whole Foods, with fine New York strip steaks $9.99 a pound, there's no question that beef's what's for dinner tonight.  Temperatures will be mild enough that it will go on the grill, albeit in the dark.  Baked potatoes (or possibly diced potatoes done in foil on the grill) will go on the side, since organic russets seem to have entered something of a price war.  Whole Foods has them for 99 cents a pound this week, a respectable sale price for the loose ones, but five pound bags are a much better price at $2.99 each at Sprouts, and I've just learned that Vitamin Cottage is practically giving away five pound bags for $1.79 each.

Having indulged in lots of red meat tonight, we'll compensate tomorrow with a vegetarian and seasonal soup, sweet potato and butternut squash soup from the New York Times.  This is especially appealing, since not only will it help compensate for a red meat fling, but it will also help fill a hole I'll feel later in the week, because this year I'm dropping sweet potatoes and hard squash from my Thanksgiving menu to lighten it up (more on that later).

I'm looking at pasta for Sunday, but it presents a quandry.  With tonight's beef-fest on deck, I don't want to do a beef sauce, and I'm avoiding poultry, since we'll be looking at that for days from Thursday on.  Although I like lots of vegetarian pasta recipes, back-to-back vegetarian dinners don't go over well in this household, so my attention is turning to an unlikely pasta protein, fish.  I'm thinking about trying to recreate a lightened version of pasta with salmon in cream sauce that the long-departed European Cafe in Boulder used to do extremely well at its height.  I'll use the $4.99 a pound fresh Atlantic salmon from Sprouts, or possibly the $13.99 a pound Norwegian salmon from Whole Foods for the fish, and I'll try to incorporate it into Cooking Light's marvelously lightened version of fettuccine Alfredo.  Should be interesting.

More to come later for the rest of the week, including Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Turkey Cooking Demo At Alfalfa's Saturday

This sounds intriguing.  You can see an upside-down, Italian-style turkey prepared at Alfalfa's this Saturday from 1 to 3 pm, which means it also dovetails with the Farmers' Market's Cornucopia market ending at 2 practically next door that day.  Here's what Alfalfa's says:

Turkey Cooking Demo with Terry Retzloff

Saturday, November 17th
1PM to 3PM
Alfalfa's Demo Kitchen

Come see Terry as she prepares her famous, upside-down, Italian-style turkey.

New York Strip Steaks Tomorrow At Whole Foods

Oh my, just as we're all hitting the gym more in anticipation of too much turkey next week, Whole Foods will be offering us a sale on their fine New York strip steaks for $9.99 a pound tomorrow only, the 16th.  There's a note in their blog about possible limits in availability, but Boulder's always been in their scope for sales like this previously.  Oh, temptation.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Whole Foods, and I still need to check out the new one going on at Vitamin Cottage.  Here's what's looking good to me that I know of in the new ones.

At Sprouts through November 22nd, value packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts are $1.99 a pound, but given the turkey feasting that will be coming up, I'll probably skip more poultry this week.  Fresh Atlantic farmed salmon fillets are $4.99 a pound, and Bell & Evans fresh organic turkeys are $3.99 a pound while supplies last, matching the organic price below for Whole Foods.  Sprouts' "presidential cut" standing rib roast is $9.99 a pound, and boneless ribeye steaks are $10.99 a pound.  In organic produce, pomegranates are $1.29 each (basically the same as today's one-day sale at Whole Foods, but Whole Foods doesn't specify organic, so I'd assume they're conventional there), Italian squash is 99 cents a pound, five pound bags of russet potatoes are just $2.99 each, butternut squash is 88 cents a pound, garnet or jewel yams are 99 cents a pound, three pound bags of yellow onions are $1.99 each, bulk spinach or spring salad mix remains great at $3.99 a pound ($6.99 elsewhere), and there are great organic apple deals.  Elsewhere in the store, I'm delighted to see bulk roast coffee at just $6.99 a pound, which will include my fave organic Fair Trade varieties (too bad that can't be a stock up item - coffee obviously has to be as fresh as possible).  The big 28 ounce size of Muir Glen organic tomatoes is $2 a can, some Horizon Organic "baking essentials" (I see sour cream in the picture) will be 25% off, and my fave Blue Diamond Nut Thins are $2 a box.

At Whole Foods through the 27th, Diestel organic turkeys are supposedly $1 off at $3.99 a pound, but that's the same price they were when I did my price comparison smackdown back on the 6th, using prices on the Whole Foods website.  Spiral sliced hams from American Homestead or Wellshire are $4.99 a pound, and fresh Norwegian (farmed) salmon is $13.99 a pound, reminding us of how good that one-day sale at something around $8.99 a pound was a few weeks ago.  The sale price of my favorite Maryland style crab cakes has bumped up to $13.99 a pound, but especially in busy holiday times, they're worth it.  Organic russet potatoes and yellow onions are 99 cents a pound (but you'll have a better price buying by the bag at Sprouts), organic acorn, butternut, or spaghetti squash are all $1 a pound (88 cents for the butternut at Sprouts), and organic cauliflower is $1.99 a pound.  I love everything coming out of Whole Foods' Bakehouse; this time the sale is their cranberry walnut bread for $2.99 a loaf, and I'm just discovering that breads incorporating fruit are more versatile than I had thought.  A large "four cheese" pizza (probably formerly the cinque formaggio, I assume, so did we get reduced by a cheese?) is $8.99, which I believe is a $1 bump up on the sale price, but they're really good on their own or dressed with toppings you  supply.  Finally, if your own gravy runs out before the turkey leftovers do, Imagine's organic gravy is $2 for a one pound box.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

For tomorrow only, the 14th, our local Whole Foods stores will offer us these specials (the salamis sound interesting if you're contemplating a salumi platter as part of your Thanksgiving feast):

Tomorrow, Wednesday, November 14th only:

Persimmons &
4 for $5
(save up to $1.24/ea)

Olli Salamis
All Varieties
(save $4/ea)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Beat Holiday Bloat With Sprouts Webinar

Sprouts will be offering a webinar onTips for Beating the Holiday Bloat on Sunday, November 18th.  You can get details and register here.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Seems like I've been burning out on the cooking recently, and with Thanksgiving looming, I'm going easy on myself this week with simple dinners.  Tomorrow's will still involve a recipe, since I want to do a seasonal butternut squash risotto with shrimp from Bon Appetit, using the really big shrimp Sprouts has for $5.99 a pound through today, the last day of their 72 hour sale.  They also have organic butternut for 99 cents a pound.

Simplicity will kick in Tuesday and run through the rest of the week.  Tuesday is our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is tonight's slow-cooked Tuscan pork with white beans from Cooking Light.  Speaking of which, I need to speed this up and get that assembled in the slow cooker to cook all day.

The family will be craving pasta by Wednesday, so we'll throw out the recipes and go with a simple sausage and peppers over linguine.  All it takes is sauteing chicken sausage ($2.99 a pound through Wednesday at Sprouts) along with bell pepper and onion, then adding a good quality jarred pasta sauce.  Served over pasta, it's a riff on the New England classic, an Italian sausage and pepper grinder.

We'll want something Asian and rice-based by Thursday, and with chicken breast tenders $1.99 a pound at Sprouts through Wednesday, it will be an improvised chicken stir-fry over rice.  I make it even easier by starting with a defrosted bag of the oriental edamame veggie mix (the brand name escapes me at the moment) that usually can be found in the freezer at both Sprouts and Whole Foods.  Start with a base of garlic, fresh ginger, and hot red pepper, then top the stir-fry with fresh scallions, and it couldn't be easier.

Now off to the slow cooker assembly.  I wonder if I might find any usable leaves remaining on my sage plant, which is now hiding under a layer of snow.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Do It Yourself Week At Pearl Whole Foods

The Pearl Street Whole Foods will help you through the holiday season with a whole week of Do It Yourself demos, starting with one tomorrow on floral centerpieces, with ongoing demos from 3 to 5 pm.  The remainder will run from 4 to 6 pm, and here's their plan for those:

Monday:  seafood appetizers
Tuesday:  the turkey
Wednesday:  holiday fondue
Thursday:  remodel your store-bought dessert
Friday:  holiday mulled wine
Saturday:  who needs turkey?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Weekend Dinner Ideas, Part Deux

Okay, so things are getting a little bit more manageable, so here's a quick rundown.  Wanting to keep tonight simple, it will be a quick frittata of many sauteed veggies bound by a little bit of egg.  Mark Bittman published this as a more vegetable than egg frittata in the New York Times (google it if you want), but it doesn't really need a recipe at all.

We'll get a little more ambitious tomorrow, and thinking about the 72 hour sale currently going on at Sprouts (see Wednesday's post a bit below), it will be smoky shrimp and grits from Food and Wine magazine, using the very big shrimp from Sprouts at $5.99 a pound through Sunday (they have good bulk cheddar sales happening, too).  Mine will be a bit smokier, since instead of a regular cheddar, I'll finish off the smoked Seaside cheddar I have from a recent Whole Foods sale.

Whole Foods currently has American Homestead pork shoulder roast on sale for $2.99 a pound.  Although it's a cut I don't frequently use, Whole Foods' quality pork got me to thinking about a recipe I've had success with in the past, slow-cooked Tuscan pork with white beans from Cooking Light.  Since we might be waking up to some snow on Sunday, a slow cooker comfort food recipe like this looks like just the thing for that day.

Maybe with snow on Sunday, I'll have more time to think about the weekday ideas.

Laudisio At Alfalfa's

Chef Antonio Laudisio is Alfalfa's Chef of the Month, so you can see him in action this Sunday, the 11th.  Here are the details from Alfalfa's:

Chef of the Month: Antonio Laudisio

Sunday, November 11th

1 PM to 3 PM

Alfalfa's Demo Kitchen

Come see Antonio in action as he prepares a few classic Italian recipes!

No Time For The Dinner Plans

While I usually post something Friday mornings about weekend dinner plans, it looks like that's not going to work out this week.  Do I have ideas?  Yes.  Do I have time to write about them?  No.  Problem is that getting a new roasting pan for this year's turkey took all my available time in the past 24 hours (doesn't help that staff at several stores and even my advising friends don't know the difference between a 14 and 16 inch roaster).  So I have dinner cooking ideas with no time to share, but then there's always First Bite Boulder starting!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thanksgiving Tasting Fair At Alfalfa's

This Saturday sure will be the tasting day, since in addition to the one at the Pearl Whole Foods (see below for that one), Alfalfa's will be doing a tasting fair from noon to 4, with coupons for those pre-ordering turkeys, as well.  Here's what they say:

Thanksgiving Tasting Fair

This Saturday Nov. 10th, feast on FREE samples of roasted turkey, stuffing, green beans, and other Thanksgiving Day favorites. We'll be handing out coupons to folks who pre-order turkeys from Noon to 4 PM!

Thanksgiving Tasting Saturday At Pearl WFM

In addition to checking out main dishes and sides at the Superior Whole Foods this afternoon (see the post below), Saturday will be the big Thanksgiving tasting at the Pearl Street store, from 2 to 5 pm.  Here are the details from them:

Thanksgiving Tasting

Saturday, November 10th
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Whole Foods Market Pearl Street, FREE

Join us for our annual Taste of Thanksgiving event where we'll help you plan your holiday meal from appetizers to desserts. We'll have tons of yummy food from each department in our store and beautiful music from our friends at the Boulder Symphony. See you there!

Thanksgiving Tasting In Superior Today

Just a reminder that today will be the second of three Thursday tastings from 5 to 7 pm at the Whole Foods in Superior.  Today's is main dishes and sides!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have a new sale starting today at our Boulder Sprouts stores, while the current one continues at Whole Foods through the 13th (click for prior report).  There also should be something new happening at Vitamin Cottage, and I'll need to find some time to check it out.

Sprouts will offer us a special 72 hour sale this Friday through Sunday, which includes really big 16/20 count wild raw shrimp for $5.99 a pound, 15 ounce cans of Farmers Market organic pumpkin $1 each, and bulk medium cheddar for $2.99 a pound.  In the regular sale lasting through November 14th, I'm  liking chicken breast tenders for $1.99 a pound, boneless New York steaks $6.99 a pound, all chicken sausage $2.99 a pound, boneless country style ribs $2.99 a pound, ground chicken breast $2.99 a pound (dark meat also available at that price), and the salmon sale has switched to flash-frozen, with wild Alaskan sockeye fillets for $9.99 a pound.

In organic produce at Sprouts, one pound bags of baby carrots happily remain at $1.25 a bag (I go through a lot of those), yams are 99 cents a pound, butternut squash has bumped up to the still very good price of 99 cents a pound, spinach or spring bulk salad mixes are still excellent at $3.99 a pound ($6.99 a pound elsewhere), Italian squash (i.e., zucchini) is $1.29 a pound, and russet potatoes remain a steal at $2.99 for a five pound bag.  Elsewhere in the store, I'm enthused to see my favorite Imagine organic broths at $2.50 a box (hoping "select varieties" means most, and their picture shows my total favorite, the low sodium chicken).  Chobani Greek yogurts also look good at $1 each, Cascade Fresh sour cream is BOGO (if you can use that much while it's still fresh), and eight ounce containers of various Mozzarella Fresca fresh mozz are $3.99 each.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

For tomorrow only, our local Whole Foods stores will have organic gold and red potatoes for $1 a pound.  Nice prices for those, but if you aren't concerned about the color, Sprouts' current deal, which continues through next week, on five pound bags of organic russets for $2.99 a bag, is a better price per pound.  (For the math-challenged, five pounds of potatoes at $1 a pound is $5.  One thing I've learned since starting this blog is that a surprising number of people don't do basic math.)

Natural Turkey Price Comparison Smackdown

My Thanksgiving turkey will come from either Whole Foods or Vitamin Cottage, since I want a bird with a fine pedigree, including being free of growth stimulants and hormones, and those are the two stores within my reach in Boulder.  Each store offers a variety of birds, and here are their prices, Whole Foods' being taken from their website, and Vitamin Cottage's from the flyer in the Boulder store.  All are uncooked birds (Whole Foods has some precooked offerings as well).

Vitamin Cottage (as previously reported):

They are all deep chilled, free range, antibiotic free, no hormones, and a $5 deposit is required.

Mary's fresh free-range deep chilled 10-24 lb turkeys, $2.29 a pound.

Shelton's fresh free-range deep chilled 10-24 lb turkeys, $3.29 a pound.

Mary's organic fresh free-range deep chilled 10-24 lb turkeys, $3.39 a pound.

Mary's heritage fresh free-range deep chilled 7-20 lb turkeys, $5.99 a pound.  

Whole Foods

Petite whole turkey 6-10 lb turkeys, $2.99 a pound  

Diestel all natural turkeys, $2.49 a pound  

Diestel organic turkeys, $3.99 a pound  

Diestel organic heirloom turkeys, $4.99 a pound  

Diestel all natural turkeys (Tom), $2.49 a pound

Community Food Share Drive Coming Up

One of my favorite things about the holiday season arriving is the annual Let's Bag Hunger food drive organized by Community Food Share.  This year it will start this Sunday, November 11th, running through the 21st, when you'll be able to donate food at tons of stores around town.  It's a wonderful program, and they're looking for volunteers right now to help pull it off (call Sue at CFS, 303 652-3663 ext 202).

Monday, November 5, 2012

Thanksgiving Planning Guides

So if turkey reservations are already getting tight (see the post below this), I guess it's time to start planning for the big Thanksgiving feast.  My turkey, stuffing, and gravy are sacrosanct traditions, but everything else is open to change, so long as it stays within the traditional mood.  For some help with ideas, here are a few fine guides:  Thanksgiving recipes, menus, and how-to videos from Epicurious, top 26 Thanksgiving menus from Bon Appetit, celebrate the holidays from Cooking Light (they get double duty out of that one), Thanksgiving recipes from Food and Wine magazine, and Thanksgiving from Saveur.

Turkey Reservations Getting Tight At Vitamin Cottage

When I was at the Vitamin Cottage in Boulder recently, the cashier mentioned that their turkey reservations are selling out rapidly.  So if that's where you're headed for your turkey, you'd best get moving on getting your reservation and deposit in.  I summarized their prices for Mary's and Shelton's turkeys in this post last month.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Here's a quick rundown.  For tomorrow, spicy shrimp and fettuccine from Cooking Light, with big 26/30 count shrimp $7.99 a pound at Sprouts.

For Tuesday, the double batch of chicken paprikash I'm making tonight, also from Cooking Light, will make for an easy midweek reheat.  Sprouts has value packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts for just $1.99 a pound through Wednesday.

Wednesday will be simmered cabbage with beef Shan style, yet another one from Cooking Light.  The impetus for this one is just to make good use of all the cabbage I still have left from a Thai cabbage wrap recipe done a few days ago.

We'll wrap up the planning with a risotto from my favorite old risotto book (so it doesn't have a link), involving butternut squash (organic 88 cents a pound through Wednesday at Sprouts) and peas.  But googling it brings up plenty of online options as well.

Which quickly gets us through to Friday's planning.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Last Regular Farmers' Market Today

The season is really flying, since today marks the last regular market of the Boulder Farmers' Market's 2012 season.  But don't go into withdrawal yet, as there will be Cornucopia Days from them for the next two weekends, as they say:

Save the dates! Back by popular demand, the Boulder market will host Cornucopia Days on November 10th & 17th. Same place, same time as the regular Boulder market. 8am - 2pm on 13th Street. Look for details next week.

Friday, November 2, 2012

First Bite Boulder Coming Up

While I'm usually engaged in my own kitchen for dinners, the annual First Bite Boulder always catches my attention.  So many of our fine restaurants will be offering three course dinners for $26 from November 9th through the 17th, and its worth checking out, even for a diehard cooker like me.  It's also worth getting your reservation in early, as these tend to fill really quickly.

Weekend Dinner Ideas

In the spirit of simplifying both my ideas and my reporting in order to keep this blog going on very limited time, here's a quick rundown for the weekend.  With weather looking pretty good and the plunge into evening darkness looming with daylight savings on Sunday, we'll hit the grill (perhaps for the last time this year) both tonight and tomorrow.  Tonight's will be the Atlantic salmon from today's one-day sale at Whole Foods (look below for the post on that), and tomorrow will be the boneless top sirloin that Sprouts currently has for $4.99 a pound.  All accompaniments will be improvised (organic yams 99 cents a pound at Sprouts, but I just told myself to stop adding detail, and can't quite yet do it).

For Sunday, we'll turn to a recipe I haven't done for a couple of years, chicken paprikash from Cooking Light, capitalizing on the boneless skinless chicken breasts that are $1.99 a pound at Sprouts this week.  I'll be sure to make a big batch, to have more for an easy midweek reheat.

So this post was much faster than usual, and I'm going to try to keep them trimmed down in the future, but hopefully still of some use.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Heads Up Re Vitamin Cottage Sale

Happy November!  Just a note that the current sale at Vitamin Cottage ends on Saturday, the 3rd.  You can see my prior coverage of the sale here, but the big question is what will be happening with my beloved Imagine organic broths and cooking stocks.  Having them on sale for $2.49 a box currently has been a great help (especially for the pricier cooking stocks), as my laid-in supplies from past sales are long gone, but as the holidays approach, we've been known to see even lower prices.  I guess this is grocery shopping meeting Vegas odds-making.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

One-Day Salmon Sale Friday At Whole Foods

We all know Whole Foods' fish carries a pedigree unmatched by other stores, so this sale on farmed salmon for Friday only should be a good one.  Here are the details from them.

Holiday meals are delicious – and they can be heavy. Why not lighten up the table before all those festive dinners… and save some money in the process? On Friday, November 2, fresh Responsibly Farmed™ Atlantic salmon will be on sale for $8.99/lb at Whole Foods Market stores nationwide.

This salmon is raised without antibiotics or added hormones, then harvested and shipped to order directly from farms in Iceland, Norway or the U.K. that are third-party verified to meet Whole Foods Market’s Quality Standards for Farmed Seafood. The Responsibly Farmed™ label assures shoppers that seafood is raised according to the industry’s highest aquaculture standards. Not only are the fish raised without added hormones or antibiotics, but we also prohibit treating our fish with parasiticides and phosphate and sulfite preservatives.

Our Quality Standards also require our farmers to maintain low density pens so fish have room to swim and stay healthy, and to monitor water quality to prevent pollution.

This Week's Hot Natural Grocery Deals (IMHO)

So after spending last week out of state, I finally maybe have a little time to investigate our new grocery sales in Boulder, which involves Sprouts and Whole Foods (Lucky's being unfortunately out of my usual geographic reach).  Meanwhile, Vitamin Cottage's long-running sale will be wrapping up shortly, on November 3rd.

At Sprouts for Friday only, November 2nd, you can buy a $100 gift card (for yourself, obviously, plus maybe for others) for $89.99.  As for the regular sale running through November 7th, boneless skinless chicken breasts are $1.99 a pound, boneless top sirloin is $4.99 a pound, fresh Atlantic (read farmed) salmon is $7.99 a pound, previously frozen cod is $6.99 a pound, and their very good stuffed chicken breasts are just $2.99 a pound.  In organic produce, one pound bags of baby carrots fortunately remain $1.25 each ($1.99 elsewhere), butternut squash is still 88 cents a pound, yams are 99 cents a pound, Italian squash (think zucchini) is $1.29 a pound, bulk spinach or spring salad mix is just $3.99 a pound (nearly twice as much elsewhere), and five pound bags of russet potatoes are practically being given away at $2.99 each.  Six ounce boxes of Annie's mac and cheese are just $1 each, great for having in the cupboard for impromptu tuna noodle casserole, an excellent choice for those days when you can't face anything more than opening a can and a box.

Whole Foods' new sale will run through November 13th, and I'm liking American Homestead pork shoulder roast (interestingly enough, both bone-in and boneless) for $2.99 a pound, which is reminding me of a slow cooker comfort food recipe that might have to happen.  Their own country style turkey sausage (pork also) is $3.99 a pound, and organic green kale looks very good at $1.50 a bunch.  Their own Bakehouse rosemary sourdough (so very good) is $2.99 a loaf, and don't forget they're always happy to sell you a half a loaf if a whole's too much to deal with.  My favorite Earth Balance buttery spread (no cholesterol and great for cooking, so you can reserve the special high fat European butters for when you can specifically taste them) is $3 a tub, and my favorite Seventh Generation dish soap is very good at $2.50 each.  Finally, we don't usually do dessert around here, but on Halloween, a six inch pumpkin cheesecake for $9.99 sounds mighty good.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will offer us another one-day sale for tomorrow only, and if you're doing any Halloween entertaining, this should be of interest:

One Day Sale

Tomorrow, Wednesday, October 31st only:
Fruit & Vegetable Trays
Small Size
(save $3/ea)

Last Two Days For Sprouts Sale

With all the travel last week, I never did have time to do more than post a link to the current Sprouts sale.  With things now settling down at home, here's a two day heads up on a few of its highlights, since it has some good ones.  Foremost, they're doing a Vitamin & Body Care Extravaganza, with everything in that department 25% off.  This is a great time to stock up on those favorites that never otherwise go on sale.  Other items looking particularly good are my favorite bulk coffee (at the original Sprouts location, as the former Sunflower still doesn't have organic Fair Trade decaf, last time I looked) on sale for $7.99 a pound, conventional Hass avocados just three for $1, and fresh wild Pacific salmon fillets $5.99 a pound.

Holiday Tastings In Superior

Gotta love the holiday season.  The Whole Foods in Superior is getting in the mood with a series of tastings on Thursdays, starting this week.  Here are the details from them, and the typos are theirs, not mine.

Holiday Tasting

Thursday, November 1st
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Superior Whole Foods Market, Free

Join us at our Superior Store on Thursday evenings in each department starting in early November from 5:00pm-7:00pm for our Holiday Tastings! Each event is FREE and a great way to sample our Holiday Faire!
•November 1st Appitizers and Beginning Courses

•November 8th Main Dishes and Sides

•November 15th Deserts

Monday, October 29, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

So I get back from California, facing a bare fridge and much unpacking to do, only to find out that good friends from the east coast have made it as close as Taos.  So instead of getting life reorganized here, we piled into the car for a one-nighter in Taos to see them, and it was so good to do that.  Now I'm back, with renewed hopes for unpacking, laundry, and getting some food into the house (have to wonder about the level of my goals in life).  For tonight's dinner, we never got a chance to make (or even shop for) the cod, potato, and fennel casserole from Gourmet magazine that I'd previously planned, so that will be on deck for tonight, taking advantage of the last two days of Whole Foods' fine cod on sale for $9.99 a pound.

With the long distance runner in the family clamoring for pasta, that will be the plan for tomorrow.  My starting point will be pasta with winter squash and tomatoes from the New York Times, and Sprouts has organic butternut for just 88 cents a pound through Wednesday.  But I enjoy tinkering with recipes, and this one strikes me as benefiting from the addition of some fresh organic spinach ($3.99 a pound at Sprouts) and maybe starting with some sauteed ground meat (all sorts 40% off at Sprouts through Wednesday).

We'll make Wednesday easy with our usual reheat of something big, which this week will be tonight's cod, potato, and fennel casserole.

We'll also hit that ground meat sale by Wednesday for the final plan of the week, which will be Thai beef cabbage cups from Cooking Light, although I also like to make it with ground poultry, rather than the beef.

So I guess some sense of normalcy is starting to be restored!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Partial Weekend Dinner Ideas

So I'm back after traveling all week, haven't unpacked, and the family's asking what's for dinner, sheesh.  No time for writing, so this will be super quick.  Miraculously, the empty fridge I've returned to has all the components needed for quick Mexican corn risotto from Bon Appetit, since there's a block of pepper jack that never got opened before I left, fairly fresh cilantro, a bag of corn in the freezer, the usual staples like rice and garlic, and even a bunch of broccoli for the side that my husband bought but never got around to cooking while I was gone.  Truly a miracle that I can pull this together without going out to a store.

The other thing I'm thinking of for this weekend is cod, potato, and fennel casserole, from Gourmet magazine.  I've had enough time to see that Whole Foods has their very fine cod for a good price this week, but unfortunately don't have enough time to seek out the details for you.

So that's all I can offer for now, and the next few days aren't looking any better.  Somehow, coming back from a trip is a whole lot gnarlier than preparing for it.  Sorry if things will be kind of quiet until I can get my life here caught back up.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fall Harvest Party Saturday

The Whole Foods on Pearl Street will be throwing a big fall harvest party this Saturday, the 27th, from noon to 3.  Here's what they say ("yummy samples throughout the store" always bodes well):

Fall Harvest Party!

Saturday, October 27th
12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Whole Foods Market Pearl Street

Stop by Whole Foods Market Pearl Street for a fun day full of fall festivities! We'll have lots of yummy samples throughout the store, kids activities, live music and a special chili lunch.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

This Week's Grocery Sales

We have a new sale starting today at our Boulder Sprouts, while current sales continue at Whole Foods and Vitamin Cottage.  You can click those links for my prior reports on the continuing sales.  With no time today for me to take a good look at the new sale at Sprouts, I'd suggest you peruse their new flyer yourself at Sprouts' website.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wonderful Farmers' Market In Monterey

I've previously mentioned I'm at a conference in Monterey while my family fends for itself from the Whole Foods deli.  At the end of today's meetings, I had a chance to stroll the weekly market here.  How refreshing to see all that lovely summer produce still abundantly available in this land of year round growing.  I even saw artichoke blossoms - stunning purple flowers bursting out of the opening artichoke (although isn't the artichoke itself the blossom of the artichoke plant?)!  I'll be back to the land of butternut squash soon enough.

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

Organic honeycrisps for $1.99 a pound, but they've been that price at Sprouts all week, through tomorrow.  Here's what Whole Foods says:

Tomorrow, Wednesday, October 24th only:
Honeycrisp Apples
(save $1/lb)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fall Supper Club In Superior

The Whole Foods in Superior will host a Fall Supper Club this Thursday at 6 pm.  It's $10 for a yummy-sounding fall spread, and note that you should sign up and pay at the Customer Desk.  Here's what they say:

Fall Supper Club

Thursday, October 25th
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Superior Cafe, $10.00 per person

Join us in our Cafe on Thursday, October 25th at 6:00pm-7:30pm for our Holiday Supper Club. Bring your friends and enjoy pumpkin soup, salad, bread, eggplant manicotti with cream sauce and raw pumpkin pie. Please sign up and pay at the Customer Desk to reserve your spot today!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hiatus On Dinner Plans

I usually post something about weekday dinner plans on Sundays, but this week is different, since it's based on real life.  While I'll be at a conference in Monterey (I know, it's tough), the rest of my family will be fending for themselves at home, which usually means dinner from the Whole Foods deli.  And I get a break from cooking!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Food Day Coming Up

This coming Wednesday, October 24th is Food Day, a national celebration in support of healthy, affordable, and sustainable foods.  Check out the national Food Day webpage to read all about it and to put in your location to search for local events.  I'm seeing lots of them, including doings at both the Pearl Street and Baseline Whole Foods stores (and maybe more - I put in a pretty small radius around me), and a Harvest Feast at CU.  And while you're contemplating good food, don't forget about our own fabulous local source, the Boulder Farmers' Market today from 8 to 2.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Weekend Dinner Ideas

With little time available, here's a quick rundown of the plan.  At some point I want to get some fish on the grill, and want to check out both the fresh wild Pacific salmon fillets Sprouts has for $5.99 a pound, and the flash-frozen swordfish steaks they have at $8.99 a pound, to see the country of origin on the swordfish.  I'm hoping we'll hit the grill tonight, but if the winds persist, we'll just swap things around to a calmer weekend day.  With organic yams 99 cents a pound at Sprouts, foil packages of diced yams will also go on the grill.

For tomorrow (or perhaps tonight if the winds dictate), we'll get to that stew from Food and Wine magazine that I was tempted to do last week, kale and white bean stew.  Nothing in particular from the sales is prompting this - call it just the lure of the fall season and my love of kale.

We'll round out the weekend with a simple pasta, and with 41/50 count ez peel raw shrimp just $3.99 a pound at Sprouts, I'm thinking about spicy shrimp and fettuccine from Cooking Light.  It's super easy, but gets five stars from the reviewers.  Too bad we're past the days of my abundant basil plants for some fresh basil, but the recipe calls for dried anyway.

Which quickly gets us through the weekend.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Baby Back Ribs At Sprouts

If you're in the mood for some bbq but not in the mood for doing it yourself, Sprouts will be doing a Backyard BBQ tomorrow and Saturday, the 19th and 20th, with full racks of mesquite-grilled baby back ribs from 11 am to 6 pm for $10.99 each, as long as they last.

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores are likely to have an excellent sale on responsibly farmed cooked white shrimp for tomorrow only, the 19th (note cooked, not raw, so great for cocktails, not so much for further cooking as an ingredient).  It does say to contact your store for details, but I've never seen a national sale that didn't also happen in Boulder.  Here's just part of what they say about these shrimp with a fine pedigree:

If you love shrimp and convenience, make sure you stop by our stores this Friday, October 19! We’ll have ready-to-eat cooked, peeled white shrimp for $6.99 per pound in our US and Canada stores.

Availability and limits may vary by region, so you can contact your store for details. While supplies last. Most of our stores do not provide rain checks for sales like this.

Tender and sweet, these responsibly farmed 31/40 count white shrimp were raised in Thailand according to our Aquaculture Quality Standards with a third-party verification process. So when you stock up on shrimp from this Friday’s sale, you can enjoy delicious shrimp knowing that it’s fully traceable to the source and from the world’s leaders in environmentally responsible aquaculture.

A.M. update - it's for sure at our local stores.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Halloween Frustration

Halloween isn't a big culinary event for me, but I usually like to round up some of the better holiday food guides (IMHO) as each holiday approaches, for those who get into the spirit more than I might do.  It's rather time-consuming, gathering the guides from each site then putting them together in the post, but I was forging away anyway yesterday evening.  I'd gathered guides from several sites and was about to write the post when my laptop completely locked up.  I had no recourse but to shut it down, losing all that work.  I'll try to recreate it for a post if I can find time, but I have a very busy week coming up.  Thanks for letting me vent.

This Week's Hot New Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Whole Foods, while the current one continues at Vitamin Cottage (click for prior report).  Here's what's looking best to me.

At Sprouts through October 24th, conventional produce is rarely a highlight of the week for me, but asparagus at $1.99 a pound is a welcome sight in the fall.  The return of their Gluten Free Jubilee, with 25% off over 2,000 gluten-free products is another biggee.  In meat, boneless skinless chicken breasts are $1.99 a pound in the value pack and whole, split or cut up chickens are $1.59 a pound (shows you how good last week's deal on air chilled ones at Whole Foods was), but the more interesting action seems to be in fish.  Fresh wild Pacific salmon fillets are just $5.99 a pound (although I wonder how late in the season we can go), ez peel 41/50 count (small but useful as an ingredient) raw shrimp are $3.99 a pound, and I'd take a look at the flash-frozen at sea wild swordfish steaks at $8.99 a pound.  Country of origin should be marked, and I swear I once found a very good piece that came from the USA.

In organic produce, a pint of grape tomatoes remains good at $1.99 each, butternut squash is 88 cents a pound, broccoli remains $1.49 a pound, cauliflower is $1.29 a pound, russet potatoes are still $3.99 for a five pound bag, red or jewel yams are 99 cents a pound, and honeycrisp apples, which have something of a cult following, are $1.99 a pound.  Elsewhere in the store, I'm also interested in Lundberg Family Farms rice products at 25% off.  It says "select varieties," and I hope their bags of rice (stock up time) and addictive rice chips are included, as I suspect they are.  Pamela's cookies (dangerously good and gluten-free) and Seapoint Farms edamame are also 25% off.  Actually, a whole bunch of lines are 25% off select products (partly because of the Gluten Free Jubilee), but those are the ones that catch my eye.

Whole Foods has a new sale through the 30th, but I have to rely on their online posting until I can get my hands on the sale flyer in the store, and so far this morning, they've only posted a few featured sales, instead of the usual full online flyer.  Of the featured ones, Ford Farm smoked seaside cheddar looks very good at $7.99 a pound, but nothing else of the few choices is really getting me enthused.  Organic gala apples are $1.99 a pound, but you can get four pounds of organic gala apples for $5 at Sprouts this week, nearly half the price of the Whole Foods sale.  And Whole Foods has Muir Glen organic canned tomatoes on sale for $3 each (size not specified, but it's probably the larger one, since that would be a terrible price for the small ones), but that bigger 28 ounce size is just $1.79 at Vitamin Cottage through November 3rd.  More later when I get the full flyer in my hands, if I can find time (very busy week ahead).

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

For tomorrow only, the 17th, our local Whole Foods stores will offer us two specials.  Regarding the peppers, I'd presume they are conventional, since nothing is specified, so bear in mind that 10 for $10 obviously means they are $1 apiece.  Compare that to Sprouts' price at least through tomorrow of 50 cents each for green bell peppers, and 33.3 cents (3 for $1) on the reds.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, October 17th only:
Bell Peppers
Red, Yellow or Orange
10 for $10
(save up to $0.79/ea)
Continental Sausage Co.
NEW Flavor!
Tommy Knocker Beer Brats
12 oz.
(save $2/ea)

Dinner And A Movie In Superior

The Whole Foods store in Superior will host dinner ($5) and a showing of Forks Over Knives this Thursday, the 18th.  Here's what they say:

Dinner and a Movie- "Forks over Knives",

Thursday, October 18th
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Superior Cafe, $5.00

Meet in the Cafe at 6:00pm-7:30pm and we will go over to the annex for Dinner and a showing of the movie, "Forks over Knives." Dinner includes Soup and a HSH Bread for $5.00. Movie is no charge. Please sign up and pay at the Customer Service Counter.