Saturday, June 30, 2012

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

You might enjoy an early stroll today at the Boulder Farmers' Market, before things heat up too much in terms of both temperatures and crowds.  Here's the list of what the Market says you can expect to find today.  The organic salad turnips I picked up at last week's market were fantastic.  Such a surprise that a bitter-sounding vegetable like a turnip can be so delicious just sliced and eaten raw.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Get Hula Hooping Tomorrow

Is this ever a blast from the past.  The Pearl Street Whole Foods will hold a "Hoopy Hour" tomorrow around lunch time for hula-hoop fans.  (Meanwhile, if you're in the neighborhood of the Superior store instead, they'll be sampling a version of Waldorf Salad made with kale.)  Here's what the Pearl Street store says:

Saturday, June 30th
Hoopy Hour

11:30am - 1:30 PM

2905 Pearl Street Boulder, Co. 80301 West Patio

Join our friend Brooke out on the west patio for some hula-hooping fun! Brooke will teach hula-hoop techniques to help you bring out your inner child. All ages and abilities welcome!

Weekend Dinner Ideas

With an expected return to triple digit heat today after our recent cold snap of upper 90s, I'm throwing in the towel for tonight and going with picnic food, albeit classy picnic food.  Mark Bittman's 101 20-minute dishes for inspired picnics from the New York Times is my favorite go-to for easy yet special hot weather food.  The very second idea, pesto chicken rolls, will be on deck tonight, as I still have homemade pesto in my freezer from last fall, while my current basil plants are advancing nicely.  The rolls can also be done with good quality poultry cold cuts instead of getting out the grill to cook some chicken, eliminating time, mess, and fire danger.

For tomorrow, wanting something big we can reheat later in the week, and certainly not wanting anything coming out of a hot oven, I'm thinking a variant of shrimp and scallop posole from Bon Appetit, using the quite large 16/20 shrimp that are $6.99 a pound at both Sprouts and Sunflower, in the stores' newly merged status.  With scallops running at sky high prices, I'll probably make it entirely with shrimp, or perhaps cut in a bit of cod that's also $6.99 at both stores.

We'll stick with the $6.99 seafood sale at both Sprouts and Sunflower for Sunday, turning this time to the swordfish.  I usually avoid previously frozen swordfish, but the fish I got recently at Sprouts was surprisingly good.  It would normally go out on the grill, but with our super-dry weather conditions, unless one of our afternoon storms actually produces substantial rain in addition to lightning, I might just stick with the grill pan indoors.  And I'm even thinking about skipping the grill for the 4th of July next week, heresy!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

4th Of July Dinner Plan Help

Thinking of something special for your 4th of July celebration next Wednesday?  There are lots of guides out there to help, including these from Epicurious, Cooking Light, Food and Wine magazine, and Whole Foods.  But so much traditional 4th of July cooking focuses on the grill, so with our high fire danger (even the Folsom Field fireworks have been cancelled), I'm contemplating the radical step of taking it all indoors, maybe with some of the great Qrunch quinoa burgers I discovered last week at Whole Foods, and an experiment with one of the whole grain salads that were featured in an article in this month's Bon Appetit.  More on that later.  But we'll for sure have some Colorado microbrews on hand, and I'm happy to see how many are now opting for the light protection and convenience of cans instead of bottles.

Weekender Sale At Whole Foods

Our local Whole Foods stores are doing a special weekend sale tomorrow through Sunday, the 29th through July 1st.  Let them eat cake at half price, but you'll find organic cluster tomatoes for $2.49 a pound all week at Sunflower.

Special Weekender Sale
Friday - Sunday (6/29 - 7/1)

Rubicon 6" Layer Cakes
Old-Fashioned Layer Cakes perfect for celebrations!
Reg: $10.99/ea
Sale: 2 for $10.99

Cluster Tomatoes
(save $1/lb)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

This Week's Hot New Grocery Deals

It's a welcome view from my house this morning, little to no smoke coming over the mountains, thanks to yesterday's huge firefighting efforts.  Let's hope the weather and everything else cooperates today to keep it going in that direction.

That said, it's Wednesday, so it's time for the new sales.  I mentioned months ago that Sprouts had acquired Sunflower, and it looks like this week is the first where we're actually seeing the impact.  Our Boulder Sunflower will eventually be rebranded as a Sprouts, and while the two stores are still issuing separate sales circulars, this is the first week I'm seeing their sales coordinating, at least among the featured ones.  Here's what it looks like in a quick perusal.

At both Sprouts and Sunflower through July 4th, previously frozen seafood seems to be the highlight, with center-cut swordfish steaks, Alaskan cod, 16/20 count really big raw shrimp, and crimson snapper (opakapaka to those of us who've had it as such in Hawaii) all $6.99 a pound.  The meat sales between the two stores are 99% identical, with all chicken sausage $2.99 a pound, boneless skiness chicken breasts also $2.99 a pound (not a particularly low price, and we'll miss the competition there), whole or cut-up chickens $1.49 a pound, beef short ribs or stew meat $3.99 a pound, and boneless ribeyes $9.99 a pound.  The one odd difference comes in the grass fed ground beef that both are offering at $5.99 a pound; the Sunflower ad says 93% super lean, while the Sprouts ad says theirs is organic.  Conventional corn is also a shared price at four for $1 (as are prices on some other conventional produce that I'll only eat in organic).

Differences appear to remain between the two stores in organic produce, at least in terms of what's highlighted.  At Sprouts through the 4th, one pound bags of baby carrots are good at $1.25 each, but Sunflower beats that at 99 cents, acorn or butternut squash are both 99 cents a pound (same at Sunflower), grape tomatoes are $2.50 a pint, red potatoes are $3.99 for a five pound bag, and strawberries are $2.99 for a one pound clamshell (whopping Sunflower and also Whole Foods on that one).  At Sunflower, baby carrots are just 99 cents a one pound bag, red or green kale is $1.50 a bunch, broccoli or yams are both $1.50 a pound, leaf lettuce or romaine are both $1.50 a head, grape tomatoes are $2.49 for 10 ounces, celery is just 99 cents a bunch, and four types of hard squash are 99 cents a pound.

Whole Foods' new sale runs all the way through July 17th, and organic yellow peaches look good at $1.99 a pound, but the other stores are beating them in the other organic produce that appeals to me.  Whole Foods has organic cherries for $4.99 a pound, but they're $3.99 a pound this week at Sprouts, one pound containers of organic strawberries are $3.99 each at Whole Foods but $2.99 at Sprouts, and Whole Foods' $2 a bunch sale on organic celery gets whopped by Sunflower's 99 cent a bunch price.  I do love Whole Foods' Bakehouse baby boules, which are great at 99 cents each (although their everyday price is good too), Hatch green chile cheddar sounds intriguing at $9.99 a pound (everybody knows my fetish about all things Hatch green chile), and my favorite in fresh mozzarella, Crave Brothers, has eight ounces of bocconcini for $3.99 each.  Since this sale runs all the way through the 17th, we might be able to pair the mozzarella with some local tomatoes by then.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

It seems a bit warped to be thinking about a one-day sale at our local Whole Foods stores tomorrow while smoke billows over Boulder and our friends to the west are dealing with pre-evacuation notices, but Whole Foods put out news late this afternoon of a sale happening for tomorrow only, the 27th.  (I wouldn't recommend grilling on an open fire on those hickory planks right now, and it's illegal in some parts of the county under a fire ban, I'm pretty sure.)  Here's what they say:

One Day Sale

On Sale Wednesday, June 27th only:
Norwegian Salmon
(save $2/ea)

Hickory Planks
(save $2/ea

Cakeheads - 5pk
Whoopie Pies
2 for $8
(save $2.99/ea)

Go, Slurry Bombers

We've had fires around the state for weeks, and now right in front of us, with the one that's being called either the Bison Fire or the Flagstaff Fire.  Looks like the slurry bombers are really working it.  My best thoughts and energy going to anyone impacted by the pre-evacuation notices, and the Boulder Humane Society has tweeted they're ready to take in evacuated pets.  Twitter's always likely to get you the latest (hashtag #FlagstaffFire seems to be winning over #BisonFire), and official word from Boulder's Office of Emergency Management is here.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Bike To Work Day Wednesday

Just a reminder that Wednesday is Bike to Work day, and a very toasty one it is looking to be.  Don't forget to plan a free breakfast station along your route.  And I've heard a rumor that Longmont's ahead of the People's Republic of Boulder in that they also have some afternoon stations for the bike home, and that a couple a breweries are represented.  Yes, yes.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Good, hot Sunday morning, Boulder.  Good grief.  So Denver hit a record high of 104 yesterday, with today predicted at 101, tomorrow 100, and back to 101 on Tuesday.  This is not the time for serious cooking.  But I think I've devised a plan that will get us through this heat and still eating well, without resorting to takeout or dining out.  Tonight's dinner as previously mentioned will be done completely outside on the grill.  Heading into our weekday dinners tomorrow, I'm going to try an experiment.  While I'll gladly sample products at our local stores, I'm rarely tempted to buy them, but there was a notable exception a few days ago at Whole Foods.  A vendor was sampling Qrunch burgers, a quinoa-based veggie burger that blew me away with its deliciousness, a total surprise.  I tried the spicy Italian version (it also comes in mild, which I haven't tried), and immediately picked up a package.  So for tomorrow, we'll keep the cooking to an absolute minimum by having these Qrunch burgers, probably on toast, since we're not into big buns, with lots of salad on the side.  All it will take is a quick heating of the burgers in a pan, and the directions say they can even be heated in a toaster.  That's minimal.

Tuesday is our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is our extra large batch of grilled chicken and ratatouille from Bon Appetit.  No cooking needed aside from a quick reheat of the chicken in the microwave.

Which means we've postponed any real cooking until Wednesday, which I also see as low key.  Wanting a pasta dish by then, we'll do a simple sauce involving chicken sausage (Italian ones $2.99 a pound at Sprouts through Wednesday), onions, bell peppers, and maybe mushrooms, with some good quality jarred pasta sauce, no recipe required.  For the recipe-inclined, a nice one is the sauce that goes with mushroom and sausage ragu with polenta from Cooking Light.

We'll keep Thursday minimal again, improvising a rice dish by adding whatever seasonal spring veggies appeal at Wednesday's Farmers' Market or at the Cure Organic Farm store, and finishing it off by melting in some fresh mozzerella, which Sprouts has at $2.99 for eight ounces through Wednesday (and $3.50 at Sunflower).  My herb pots are already yielding enough parsley, oregano, chives, basil, and the like that I'm starting to harvest a bit for dishes like this, too.

Which gets us through to Friday's planning with a simple plan for a very, very hot week.  Stay cool out there.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Celebrate The Farmers' Market's 25th Anniversary Today

Today marks 25 great years of local agricultural support by the Farmers' Market in Boulder County.  Enjoy it with celebrations in both the Boulder and Longmont venues with special events, plus the Longmont Public Library will be hosting a booth at the Longmont one from 8 to 10 am!  You can check out the list of fresh produce to expect here, and here's what they say about the special events:

The Boulder County Farmers' Markets officially celebrates 25 years of supporting local agriculture this Saturday, June 23rd. Please join us!

Festivities begin at 10:00 am with a mayoral proclamation and ceremonial cake-cutting in the Boulder Market foodcourt plaza on 13th street. Customers at the Boulder and Longmont markets are invited to enter hourly raffles for prizes from 8:30am - 12:30pm, and we have a free 'Farm Fun' activity book for every child.

Friday, June 22, 2012

25th Anniversary Of The Farmers' Market Tomorrow

Major congrats to the Boulder Farmers' Market on its 25th anniversary tomorrow, the 23rd.  There will be special events at both the Boulder and Longmont venues (plus the Longmont Public Library booth at the Longmont one from 8 to 10 am, a special event indeed!).  Here's what they say:

The Boulder County Farmers' Markets officially celebrates 25 years of supporting local agriculture this Saturday, June 23rd. Please join us!

Festivities begin at 10:00 am with a mayoral proclamation and ceremonial cake-cutting in the Boulder Market foodcourt plaza on 13th street. Customers at the Boulder and Longmont markets are invited to enter hourly raffles for prizes from 8:30am - 12:30pm, and we have a free 'Farm Fun' activity book for every child.

Seasonal Produce Sampling At Sunflower

Tomorrow, the 23rd, our Boulder Sunflower is planning a Seasonal Produce Sampling from noon to 2 pm, when they invite you to "sample some of our seasonal favorites!

Weekend Dinner Ideas

With the high temperatures predicted for this weekend in Boulder (100 for tomorrow, and pushing it today and Sunday), I'm tempted to say chuck the cooking entirely, and either go out or order in!  But since that's not really my style, I'm still outlining plans I think will get us through the weekend cooking at home.

With 40% off chicken sales at both Sprouts and Sunflower this week, chicken clearly needs to be on deck.  For tonight, I'm thinking about a quick dinner that was a great success when the sauce recipe was published a couple of months ago, doing chicken breasts served with mushroom sauce from Cooking Light.  Depending on my mood and how stultifying the temperature feels by dinner time, the chicken breasts will either go on a grill pan on the stove or outdoors on the grill.  And while I'm not much of a sauce-maker, this mushroom one is super easy and also delicious.

With tomorrow expected to hit triple digits, dinner will definitely be done out on the grill.  I'll take advantage of the fresh Copper River salmon fillets at Sprouts for $9.99 a pound to put some on the grill either plain, or possibly dressed up as grilled salmon and brown butter couscous, also from Cooking Light.  A few veggies also done on the grill would be all that's needed to round out dinner.

Wearying of the heat, we'll stay with the grill for Sunday, going back to those chicken sales at Sprouts and Sunflower to do grilled chicken and ratatouille from Bon Appetit.  I'll increase the quantities a bit so that this can also serve as our easy midweek reheat, since we're well out of the season for hot casseroles from the oven, and I'm not much feeling like a stovetop soup or chowder in this heat, either.  Let it be extras done on the grill!

Which will get us through to Sunday's planning for the rest of the week.  Stay cool out there.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Great Booth At The Longmont Farmer's Market Saturday

While I've usually focused on the Farmers' Market in downtown Boulder on Wednesdays and Saturdays, since it's within biking distance for me, I've also mentioned that the Boulder County Farmers' Market holds a fine one every Saturday from 8 am to 1 pm at the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont, accessed from the corner of Hover Road and Boston Avenue.  In addition to fresh, seasonal produce (click here to see the crop list of what to expect at this week's markets), this week's Longmont market on the 23rd will have a special table from the Longmont Public Library, humbly manned by yours truly, along with a more capable colleague.  The table will only be up from 8 to 10 am, while the rest of my family sleeps in, so please rise and shine early to come see us! 

The resources of the library can completely blow you away - the cooking magazines alone that are available for checkout are mindboggling (Bon Appetit, Cooking Light, Vegetarian Times, Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple, The Herb Companion, and on and on), plus you'll find subscriptions to Backyard Poultry, Bee Culture, Organic Gardening, and so much more.  Plus, the Longmont library has one of the best cookbook collections on the planet, with the hottest new cookbooks, books to address all kinds of special interests and dietary concerns, and all the classics, to boot.  On top of it all, the library has just added a Weigh and Win kiosk!  So if you can get to the Longmont Farmer's Market before 10 am this Saturday, please do look for the Longmont Public Library's booth.  I'd love to meet you and to answer any questions about all the great things the library offers!

Honey Bee Awareness Day Celebration

In honor of our friends, the bees, on which we depend for so much of our food, the Pearl Street Whole Foods will host a celebration this Saturday evening, the 23rd, including info, food, and a film screening.  Here's what they say:

Saturday, June 23rd

Honey Bee Awareness Day and Movie Screening: "Queen of the Sun"

5:00 PM - 10:00 PM

2905 Pearl Street Boulder, Co. 80301

In recognition of National Pollinator Week, June 18 to 24, Whole Foods Market Pearl Street will host an event to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators. We’ll host informational booths, have yummy food, kid’s activities and a screening of the film “Queen of the Sun” beginning at 8:30pm.

For more information about the film, please visit:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

This Week's Hot New Grocery Sales

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Sunflower, while the current sale at Whole Foods continues through the 26th (click for prior report).  Here's what's looking good to me now.

If last week was the time to eat ribeyes, this week it looks like it's chicken, with large packages of all sorts of cuts 40% off at both Sprouts and Sunflower through June 27th.

At Sprouts through the 27th, I'm also liking carne asada, pollo asado, and Italian chicken sausage all at $2.99 a pound, and center-cut boneless pork chops or beef stew meat both $3.99 a pound.  Fresh Copper River sockeye salmon is $9.99 a pound, and the piece I got there last week was quite good.  In organic produce, one pound bags of baby carrots are great at $1.25 each, red or green leaf lettuce are $1.29 a head, acorn or butternut squash are $1.29 a pound, and one pound clamshells of organic strawberries are just $2.99.  Organic red or green grapes are $2.50 a pound, but cheaper at Sunflower.  Also, Sprouts' own label of vitamins and supplements is 20% off.

At Sunflower through the 27th, in addition to the chicken sale above, boneless pork loin chops are $3.99 a pound (matching Sprouts), chicken stir fry and ground chicken breast are both $3.99 a pound, and beef stir fry is $4.99 a pound, but if you prefer it cut as stew meat, it's $1 cheaper at Sprouts.  In organic produce, I'm liking yams for 99 cents a pound, red or yellow grape tomatoes at $2.50 a pint, green onions 50 cents a bunch, and red or green grapes for just $1.99 a pound, the lowest we've seen this year.  Mozzarella Fresca eight ounce fresh mozz cups are $3.50, and assorted Kerrygold seven ounce Irish cheeses are $4.99 each.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

For tomorrow only, the 20th, our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a duo of special sales, both of which look pretty darned good to me (and kudos to Mrs. Meyers for the pollinators donation).  Here are the details from Whole Foods:

On Sale Wednesday, June 20th only:
Mrs. Meyers - 16oz.
Dish Soap
2 for $6
(save $1.69/ea)
For every bottle sold, Mrs. Meyers will donate $0.25 to the Xerces Society to protect pollinators.

Jason - 4oz.
Sport Sunblock & Kids
2 for $8
(save $5.99/ea)

A Summer Wine Primer

With temperatures reaching nearly 100 yesterday and expected around 96 today, it's a reminder that we should change our mindset regarding quaffable wines when it's sweltering out there.  Bon Appetit rides to the rescue with a Summer Wine Guide to help us out.  I already like vinho verde and rose for summer (and a good cremant is welcome any time of year), but txakoli is flat out new to me.  I see a wine experiment in my near future.

Plan Ahead For Local Spa Night

With reservations required, I'd suggest planning ahead if you'd like to attend the free Local Spa Night at the Superior Whole Foods next Wednesday, a week from tomorrow.  A "night of pampering and relaxation" involving facials, snacks, music, and more sounds pretty tempting, and all for free.  Here's what they say:

Wednesday, June 27th
Local Spa Night

5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Superior Cafe

We Love our Locals and want you to get to get to know and Love them too! This is our first event of three to celebrate Local! join us in our Cafe for our Local Spa Nite! Our evening will include facials with Local Product, Massage, snacks from Local vendors, music and a Gift Basket Raffle. Join us for a night of pampering and relaxation!

Please sign up at Customer Service to reserve your spot today!

Music And Brats At Sunflower

This Thursday, the 21st, our Boulder Sunflower is planning a patio night from 5 to 7 pm, when they invite you to enjoy "free live music and brats for $1 on our patio."

Monday, June 18, 2012

Bike To Work Day Coming Up

Get it on your calendar, if it isn't already.  Bike to Work Day is June 27th, a week from Wednesday.  Plan out your route, and be sure to include one of the free breakfast stations along the way to fuel your ride.

Coupon Swap At Superior Whole Foods

The Whole Foods store in Superior will host its first-ever Coupon Night this Wednesday, the 20th, including free refreshments and other fun stuff.  Here's what they say:

Wednesday, June 20th
Coupon Night

6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Superior Cafe
Join us for our first ever coupon night. Bring your coupons and be ready to swap- we will provide refreshments. We will also raffle off a gift basket filled with Value products and some coupons. Join us for the fun! Bring a friend and you and your friend will each receive a $5.00 Gift Card to start your next shopping spree!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Happy Father's Day, happy Sunday, which brings us to the question of what's for dinner for the rest of the week?  With very big 16/20 count raw shrimp being featured for $6.99 a pound at both Sprouts (through today only) and Sunflower (through Wednesday), I'm thinking tomorrow will be spicy shrimp and fettuccine from Cooking Light.  A side salad with my own homemade buttermilk dressing will round things out.

Tuesday is our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is salmon chowder from the Whole Foods website.  I've really been on a roll with fish and seafood, going on two weeks now.  Another salad will be on deck to complete the meal.

For Wednesday, if I have the good fortune to get to the Wednesday Boulder Farmer's Market, or more conveniently, to the Cure Organic Farm store at 75th and Valmont, we'll revel in more of our spring greens, since at 7:09 pm we'll officially be into summer!  With the greens (which usually remain available well into summer, too), we'll do spicy stir-fried chicken chicken and greens with peanuts from Bon Appetit.  Sunflower has boneless skinless chicken breasts for $2.99 a pound through Wednesday, but I've got them from a better price in my freezer.

To round out the planning, I'll grab more of those big sale shrimp at Sunflower by Wednesday in order to make shrimp risotto with peas from the New York Times, one of their "recipes for health."  This would be good with more of those spring greens tossed in as well.

Which quickly gets us through to Friday's planning.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

It should be a great day to get out to the Farmers' Market in Boulder, running from 8 to 2 today.  I'm so glad to see the spring specialties like green garlic, pea tendrils (did somebody decide that sounds classier than pea sprouts?), and walking onions should still be available, but we have the excitement of new additions like cherries and apricots being added as we close in on summer next week.  For planning types, you can view the list of produce to expect at the market here.  And for folks nearer Longmont, don't forget the market running from 8 to 1 at the Boulder County Fairgrounds there.

Friday, June 15, 2012

My Kingdom For A Fig

I was deliriously happy when the first figs of the season appeared at the Pearl Street Whole Foods a week or two ago.  With grilled salmon planned for tonight, I stopped by Whole Foods this afternoon to get more figs to wrap in pancetta and toss on the grill that will be going, but woe is me, they had none (figs, not pancetta).  The produce guy said they've only been getting sporadic small shipments, and the cashier told me they've been out of stock for a week.  I'm in fig withdrawal!

Weekend Dinner Ideas

With time flying, I'd best get some dinner plans laid out.  It looks like a good weekend for two of my favorites, grilling (since I'm not the one who has to do it) and fresh fish, neither of which calls for reliance on recipes.  So here's the current plan.

We need more fresh wild salmon on the grill, so for tonight, I'll check out the Copper River sockeye that Sprouts has on sale for $9.99 a pound.  I usually like it with just a squeeze of lemon, but am also considering trying the pesto sauce in salmon with red pepper pesto from Cooking Light.  Sweet potato spears may also go on the grill, a sort of healthier version of a french fry.

In an unusual twist, we'll stick with the salmon theme for tomorrow, when we'll be making something big that will also serve as a midweek reheat.  Since with our warmer temperatures, that means soups and stews instead of casseroles, it will salmon chowder from the Whole Foods website.  My favorite Seeduction bread from Whole Foods' Bakehouse is on sale at $3 a loaf to go alongside, plus a salad, of course.

Sunday looks to be the classic day for Father's Day grilling, and our local natural grocery stores are telling us it should be ribeyes.  Boneless ones are $9.99 a pound at Sprouts, while bone-in are $6.99 and boneless $8.99 at Sunflower, plus Whole Foods just did a big one-day sale on them.  I don't think any recipe is warranted for throwing a ribeye on the grill.  For sides, we'll dice some organic red potatoes ($3.99 for a five pound bag at Sprouts, and also useful in the chowder recipe) to put in foil packages on the grill, and what could be better with steak than corn on the cob (although it isn't local yet, the one thing that could be better).

Which gets us through to the weekday planning.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

I'm a little conflicted about this, since when organic isn't specified, it almost always means conventional, and while I'm willing to eat some conventional produce, blueberries are not on that list.  So anyway, our local Whole Foods stores are having a one-day sale tomorrow on blueberries, two pounds for five dollars.  Here's what they say:

Blueberry 2lb package - 2 for $10!

That's $5 each!

(Friday 6/15 only)

Just in time for Father's Day! Blueberries are at the peak of their season and now is a great time to stock up. Try them in your cereal, salads and smoothies or freeze them now to savor later.

Father's Day Coming Up

Father's Day is a bit of a culinary challenge, as taking dad out to dinner doesn't have as much of a following as taking mom out on Mother's Day.  Since dads often have primary grilling responsibilities at home (hope I'm not sounding dated, but this holds true even among twenty-somethings I know), some people like to celebrate the day by taking over the grill.  If you're thinking of doing that, here's a reminder about the grilling guides I mentioned for Memorial Day.  Alternatively, Restaurant 4580 is going to be doing a special Father's Day grill, suitable for those who want to take their dad out, or for those who will be toasting him from afar, be it across the country, across the world, or all the way (hopefully) to heaven.

Brats And Burgers At Sunflower

Our local Sunflower is planning a fundraiser for the National Wildlife Federation this Saturday, the 16th, from noon to 2 pm.  Brats on the patio will be just $1 and burgers will be $2, so consider an easy lunch on the go for a good cause.

$10 Recipe Finalists Compete

Tomorrow, you'll get to sample the $10 recipes of the two finalists in the Pearl Street Whole Foods' challenge competition, and vote on which will win.  Here are the details:

Friday, June 15th

$10 Challenge Recipe Showdown

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
2905 Pearl Street Boulder, Co. 80301

Join us in the Cooking Department where the two finalists from our $10 Recipe Challenge will sample their creations for our customers and you can vote for your favorite! The winner will receive a $150 Whole Foods Market gift card.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

This Week's Hot New Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts, Sunflower, and Whole Foods, while the new one that I have yet to check out at Vitamin Cottage continues (hey, nobody pays me to do this).  Here's a brief rundown on what's particularly appealing to me.

With Father's Day coming up this weekend, it's clear we're supposed to eat ribeyes.  See the post just below this for today's one-day sale at Whole Foods for both bone-in and boneless ribeyes.  Meanwhile, all the way through the 20th, boneless ribeyes are $9.99 a pound at Sprouts, while bone-in ones are $6.99 a pound and boneless $8.99 a pound at Sunflower.  We don't eat much red meat, but okay, twist my arm to put a ribeye on the grill this weekend.

At Sprouts through June 20th, my eye is on fresh Copper River sockeye salmon fillets for $9.99 a pound.  I'm also liking all chicken sausage (pork too) for $2.99 a pound (same for chicken at Sunflower), ground pork also $2.99 a pound, and very lean ground turkey breast or tenders for $3.99 a pound.  In organic produce, blueberries are notable at $1.99 for six ounces, broccoli is $1.49 a pound (but just 99 cents at Sunflower), grape tomatoes are $2.50 a pint, red potatoes are $3.99 for a five pound bag, and Cameo apples are just 99 cents a pound.  They're also doing a 72 hour sale for Friday through Sunday, the 15th through 17th, that includes roasted almonds for $2.99 a pound and pineapples for $1.50 each, but the $6.99 a pound price for huge 16/20 count raw shrimp is one you can get all week at Sunflower.

At Sunflower through the 20th, I'm liking the just-mentioned huge shrimp for $6.99 a pound, pork stew meat for $2.99 a pound, and the ribeye deals also mentioned above.  In organic produce, broccoli is just 99 cents a pound, chard is $1.50 a bunch, a new crop of hard shell squash (we're back to butternut?) appears at $1.50 a pound, and red or green seedless grapes, or yellow peaches and nectarines are all $2.49 a pound (same price for the grapes at Sprouts).  My favorite Cascade Fresh yogurts are just 69 cents each, and a honking one pound ball of Messana mozzarella (part skim, my preference) is $4.99.

At Whole Foods through the 26th, their very fine wild Alaskan cod is $9.99 a pound (fresh/frozen not specified), and teriyaki salmon burgers are $7.99 a pound.  Organic red seedless grapes are $2.49 a pound (same at Sprouts and Sunflower, but also including green at both), Annie's Naturals organic salad dressings are $3 each, my favorite Bakehouse Seeduction breads are also $3 a loaf, and half pound packages of Norseland Jarlsberg slices are BOGO.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will have a quartet of special sales for tomorrow only, the 13th.  The rib eyes sound awesome, and while I don't know anything about Finlandia cheese, I can say from experience that the Greenlee's cinnamon bread is incredible, and also stores well in the fridge (probably practically preserved by a high sugar content).  Here's what they say:

One Day Sale Wednesday

On Sale Wednesday, June 13th only:

Bone-In Rib Eye Steak
(save $3/lb)

Boneless Rib Eye Steak
(save $5/lb)

Cheese Slices
(save $2/ea)

Cinnamon Bread
(save $3/ea)

Best Butcher Competition Thursday

If you've been enjoying Whole Foods' fish monger and butcher competitions, you'll get another chance on Thursday, as the regional butchers reach their peak in a competition at the Pearl Street store.  Here's what they say.

Thursday, June 14th

Best Butcher Competition

8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
2905 Pearl Street Boulder, Co. 80301

Stop by the Pearl Street store to see the best of the best compete in our regional Best Butcher finals. The winner of this round will move on to our tri-region finale on July 21st!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Vitamix Sale Coming Up

The Whole Foods in Superior is planning a Vitamix sale starting this Wednesday, and my favorite word, samples, is in the details.  Here's what they say:

Wednesday, June 13th - Saturday, June 16th
Vitamix Sale

12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Produce Dept

You’ve seen it on TV and heard about it in our HSH Cooking Classes. Back by popular demand- The Vitamix. Join us in our produce dept. for yummy samples of fruits, veggies and recipes created by the Vitamix!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Here's a very quick rundown of the rest of the week's plan.

We'll be wonderfully seasonal tomorrow, doing a Farmers' Market version of Mark Bittman's more vegetable than egg frittata from the New York Times.  With all the fantastic spring veggies available now, it will be an improvisation of baby greens, spinach, green garlic, snap peas, and who knows what else.  With so many veggies in the frittata, maybe none will be needed on the side - just a crusty baguette from Whole Foods.

Tuesday is our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is the smoky shrimp and halibut stew from Bon Appetit.  A side salad, a bit more bread, and that's dinner.

I still haven't capitalized on the boneless skinless chicken breast sale at Sunflower for $1.99 a pound that ends Wednesday, so for that day, it will be a recipe I clipped long ago from somewhere, a variant of which has been posted on the web as crystallized ginger chicken.  In addition to the sale chicken, Sunflower has the organic yams for just 99 cents a pound, and my version includes organic broccoli, which Sunflower also has on sale for 99 cents a pound.  That makes for a powerhouse dish of antioxidants.

We'll round out the planning with some simple sauteed center-cut pork chops for Thursday, $2.99 a pound through Wednesday at Sprouts, and they might go even lower with the new sale that starts Wednesday.  With some simple buttermilk mashed potatoes and something green, that will be dinner.

Which gets us through to next Friday's planning.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

Good Saturday Boulder morning.  Just a reminder that the Boulder Farmers' Market runs from 8 this morning to 2 this afternoon, and you can plan your shopping a bit with their list of produce to expect.  If you don't care for crowds, an excellent alternative is the farm store at Cure Organic Farm at the southwest corner of 75th and Valmont, open 10 to 4 today and tomorrow.  Happy organic produce shopping!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Weekend Dinner Ideas

This wouldn't be everybody's cup of tea, but this blog reflects my preferences, and with a four-day fresh halibut sale happening at Whole Foods in the middle of wild salmon season too, this weekend is going to be about fish.  Tonight will be halibut, probably just going straight on the grill to enjoy in all its glorious simplicity.  If diverting to a recipe, one that's worked quite well for me is halibut and red pepper skewers with chili-lime sauce from Bon Appetit.  And I've already mentioned that black mission figs have made their first appearance of the year at Whole Foods, so pancetta-wrapped figs will probably hit the grill every time it's lit this weekend.

The order of tomorrow and Sunday's dinners will kind of depend on the winds, and Sunday is looking like the better day to return to the grill (but see below for a change in plans), so I'm thinking tomorrow will be a big soup:  smoky shrimp and halibut stew from Bon Appetit.  It could be done with more of that fantastic halibut from the Whole Foods sale (see the post below for details), or considerably improved in price by using the previously frozen wild caught haddock (a fine substitute in a dish like this) that's on sale for a mere $3.97 a pound at Sprouts instead. 

Unless I flip the order around, Sunday will be back to the grill, this time with some Copper River sockeye salmon going on it.  Sprouts has it on sale for $12.99 a pound, but Safeway wins at $9.99 a pound, club price.  Some diced yams grilled in foil packages and some corn on the cob, and that's a feast.  *Whoopsie, a morning update.  Having just seen the revised forecast, Saturday and Sunday definitely will be flipped, since tomorrow is supposed to be 94 (definitely the grilling day), while the breezes have shifted to Sunday, which will only be 80, making it the soup day.

Which will get us through a fish-lover's weekend.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Halibut Sale Tomorrow

So apropos, with the halibut demo mentioned below, our local Whole Foods stores will be doing a weekender sale on halibut, from tomorrow through Sunday, the 8th - 11th.  Here's what they say:

Weekender Sale

Friday June 8 - Monday June 11

Fresh Wild
Halibut Fillet
(save $7/lb)
Maple Plank
(save $4/ea)

Halibut Demo Tomorrow

Fresh halibut has to be one of my favorite foods in the world, and the Whole Foods in Superior will be demoing it tomorrow from 3 to 6, which also spells a sample.  Here's what they say:

Friday, June 8th
Seafood Demo – Halibut

3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Seafood Dept.

Join us in our Seafood dept. for a sample of everyone’s Favorite! Fresh and Wild Halibut is back! Perfect for backyard grilling!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Figs Are Here!!!

I had my first fig sighting of the year at the Pearl Street Whole Foods yesterday.  They were black missions (I didn't even notice whether organic or conventional), selling for about $8.99 a pound, rather high, but the first arrivals.  There's nothing better than a fig wrapped in pancetta, grilled outside until the pancetta crisps, yum.

This Week's Hot New Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Sunflower, while the current one continues at Whole Foods through June 12th (click for the prior Whole Foods report).  There should also be a new sale happening at Vitamin Cottage, which I need to check out.  Here's what's looking best to me at the moment, pending the Vitamin Cottage investigation.

At Sprouts through June 13th, grass-fed organic ground beef is looking very good at $3.97 a pound, and boneless center-cut pork loin chops are $2.99 a pound.  Fresh Copper River salmon fillets are enticing at $12.99 a pound (although it looks like the low price winner this week is Safeway, at $9.99 a pound with card), previously frozen haddock is low at $3.97 a pound, and while I usually don't care for previously frozen swordfish, it's $9.99 a pound, and I've had good luck with it in the past at Sprouts.  In organic produce, one pound clamshells of strawberries are stunning at $2.99 each, cauliflower is 99 cents a pound, red or green leaf lettuce are $1.29 each, and baby carrots are $1.29 a one pound bag.  Brown Cow Greek yogurts are good at 89 cents each, and while I'm not particularly a bison fan, there's a Buffalo Stampede sale happening on bison.

At Sunflower through the 13th, boneless skinless chicken breasts are a highlight at $1.99 a pound for the family pack.  Grass-fed 93% lean (really quite lean) ground beef is $4.99 a pound, which is hard call between the very lean non-organic at that price, versus Sprouts' lower price on organic grass-fed, which likely has a higher fat content.  Ground chicken breast is $3.99 a pound, while ground pork is $2.99.  In organic produce, there are lots of choices at 99 cents a pound:  garnet or jewel yams, bunched broccoli, yellow onions, red potatoes, and cantaloupe (although organic cantaloupe is 79 cents a pound at Sprouts).  Organic iceberg or romaine are $1.50 a head, and organic red or green seedless grapes are $2.99 a pound (but $2.49 a pound for the green at Whole Foods).  Select Brown Cow Greek yogurts are 89 cents (same at Sprouts), and a big, one pound log of Mozzarella Fresca fresh mozz is $7.49.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a duo of special sales for tomorrow only, the 6th, including a cheese that I particularly enjoy.  Here's what they say:

One Day Sale Wednesday

On Sale Wednesday, June 6th only:
(save up to $6/lb)

Natural Factors Supplement Line Drive
(all items except BioSil and PGX)
50% off!

Registration Open For Big Health Event

On June 23rd, the Whole Foods in Superior will host a big Kick Start Your Summer Health event, featuring seminars, exercise and cooking classes, and both breakfast and lunch, all for just $20.  Here's what they say (I think the 9:30 PM is a typo, as the text says it goes until 1):

Thursday, May 31st - Monday, June 18th

Register for Kick Start Your Summer Health

7:30 AM - 9:30 PM
Superior Whole Foods Market

Kick Start your Summer Health event takes place Saturday, June 23rd from 8:30 to 1 pm. The event includes breakfast and lunch, two seminars, exercise and cooking classes. Pay and register for seminars, and exercise classes at Superior Whole Foods Market customer service desk, or over the phone at 720-274-1415.

Monday, June 4, 2012

$10 Challenge Tours And Demos

In conjunction with its $10 Recipe Challenge Contest (see below for that post), the Pearl Street Whole Foods will host a series of $10 demos and a value tour, today through Monday.  Here are the details from them.

Monday, June 4th

$10 Challenge Demo

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
2905 Pearl Street Boulder, Co. 80301

Stop by the Cooking Department where Sarah and Arik will be preparing a recipe sure to get you inspired for our $10 healthy eating challenge.

Thursday, June 7th

$10 Challenge Demo

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
2905 Pearl Street Boulder, Co. 80301

Stop by the Cooking Department where Sarah and Arik will be preparing a recipe sure to get you inspired for our $10 healthy eating challenge.

Saturday, June 9th

$10 Challenge Value Tour

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
2905 Pearl Street Boulder, Co. 80301

Join our Healthy Eating Specialist Sarah and Cooking Coach Arik for a tour of our store and learn all the tips and tricks for feeding your family on a budget. Space is limited, so please RSVP to

Monday, June 11th

$10 Challenge Demo

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
2905 Pearl Street Boulder, Co. 80301

Stop by the Cooking Department where Sarah and Arik will be preparing a recipe sure to get you inspired for our $10 healthy eating challenge.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

$10 Recipe Challenge Contest At Whole Foods

The Pearl Street Whole Foods has launched a contest challenge for the best recipe not topping $10, undoubtedly another anti-whole paycheck effort (you can bet fresh halibut, which ironically will be demoed at the Superior store on the 8th, won't be on the menu).  It will be accompanied by a bunch of value tours and $10 cooking demos.  Here are the contest details from them:

$10 Recipe Challenge Contest

From June 1st- June 11th, Whole Foods Market challenges you to feed a family of four for $10 or less. If you’re a whiz at feeding your family on a budget, we want your recipe! Submit your favorite to for a chance to win a $150 Whole Foods Market gift card!

We’ll also be hosting value tours and recipe demos to get you ready and inspired to win the contest. On June 15th from 4-6pm, the finalists will be in our store demoing their recipe for our customers. Everyone will vote for their favorite and the contestant who receives the most votes will be crowned the budget shopping champion!

Entries must be received by 8pm on Monday, June 11th. Send submissions to

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Happy, warm Boulder Sunday morning.  Here's a quick rundown of dinner plans for the rest of the week.

With tonight being our vegetarian pea shoot experiment (see a couple of posts below), we'll be in the mood for a bit of beef by tomorrow, and a good weekday option is sirloin steak with tomato and cilantro sauce from Bon Appetit.  I like to wrap it in warm tortillas for a weekday meal, and the sauce is spectacularly flavorful.  It can be sped up by using pre-cut stew beef ($4.49 a pound at Sprouts through Wednesday) instead of sirloin, and Sunflower has organic hothouse tomatoes for $1.50 a pound, up from last week's 99 cents (of which I have a couple to use).

Tuesday is our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is our springtime variant on escarole soup from Saveur magazine, made with braising mix from Cure Organic Farm instead of escarole, and turkey instead of beef.

For Wednesday, we'll take advantage of the last day of Sprouts' 30% off pork extravaganza to fit in an Asian-styled dish over rice, garlic pork with tomato and basil from Cooking Light.  Until my own basil plants mature, dried basil also works in the dish, and this will be our second spectacular sauce of the week.

Still needing a pasta dish, we'll finish off the planning with an easy one for Thursday, spaghetti with turkey meatballs, using a quality jarred pasta sauce, and meatballs molded from the turkey meatloaf that's on sale for $2.99 a pound through Wednesday at Sunflower.

Which gets us to Friday's planning.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

It's a lovely morning for today's Boulder Farmers' Market, starting at 8 am.  That will probably bring out the crowds, but I'm pretty sure today is the first day that pets won't be allowed, so you shouldn't get tangled up in dog leashes anymore.  For planning types, you can check out the produce to expect at the Market's croplist.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Salmon Price Change

Hmmm, with Safeway advertising fresh Copper River salmon at $16.99 a pound (Club price) on Wednesday, maybe King Soopers decided to get a little more competitive.  Their advertised sale price on Wednesday was $19.99 a pound, but King Soopers has an ad in today's Daily Camera saying that it is $15.99 a pound, with KS card.  Love to see those prices go down.

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Good Friday morning and happy June.  Where oh where is the time flying?  On short time again, this will be quick.  We'll be grilling this evening, so long as the breezes behave themselves, and with the fresh wild salmon season upon us, it will be Copper River.  Whole Foods opened the season with a $24.99 a pound price, which the fish monger told me was considerably lower than they were expecting.  A week or so into the season, their price may have dropped already, and I'll swing by to check it out, but I doubt it will have gone as low as Safeway's advertised Club price of $16.99 a pound (and it's $19.99 a pound at King Soopers, with card).  (*See the post just above this for a price change update.)  Accompaniments will be simple, like grilled diced sweet potato packages and corn on the cob.

I want to make something big tomorrow that can serve as an easy midweek reheat as well, but with temperatures approaching 90, it's no longer the weather for a casserole out of a hot oven.  Turning to the stovetop, we'll do a big soup, a springtime spin on escarole soup from Saveur magazine.  Instead of the escarole, I'll use a beautiful bag of braising mix from Cure Organic Farm, which can be obtained at either tomorrow's Boulder Farmers' Market or at the farm store at 75th and Arapahoe.  Since we usually prefer poultry over beef, I'll also probably swap out the ground beef for the ground turkey that's on sale at Sunflower for just $1.97 a pound.

Sunday is looking like an experiment.  With pea shoots/pea tendrils still likely at the Farmers' Market (and possibly at the Cure farm store), I'm thinking of trying soba with pea shoots, shiitake mushrooms, and leeks from Gourmet magazine.  My family has briefly rescinded the pea shoot boycott, so I might as well run with it.  This will be the centerpiece of dinner, but we'll probably also throw something on the grill to supplement it.

Which quickly gets us through what's looking to be a fairly warm weekend.