Tuesday, July 31, 2012

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

Finally, we have news of the customary one-day sale happening at our local Whole Foods tomorrow (I was beginning to wonder), and it's a good one.  Be still, my heart.  My favorite two bite brownies will be on sale for tomorrow only at half price for just $2.50 a tub.  They are sooooo good (with sincere apologies to my gluten-free friends).  Dr. Bronners on sale also.  Here are the details from Whole Foods:

One Day Sale

On Sale Wednesday, August 1st only:

Whole Foods Market
2 Bite Brownies
2 for $5
(save $2.49/ea)

Dr. Bronners - 32 oz.
Liquid Castile Soap - Peppermint,
Baby Mild, Lavendar and Tea Tree
(save $6.50/ea)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Gluten Free Athlete Tomorrow

The Pearl Street Whole Foods will present The Gluten Free Athlete tomorrow, the 31st, which will be both a presentation and a tasting.  Note that they are wanting an RSVP, if interested.  Here's what they say:

Tuesday, July 31st

The Gluten Free Athlete- Presentation and Tasting

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Whole Foods Pearl Street East Patio

Join HES Lara Ulfers, MS, RD for this informative presentation on how to fuel up for optimal athletic performance while following a gluten-free diet. Join Lara on our East patio for this fascinating lecture. Participants will receive samples, recipes and great information. Please RSVP to boulderevents@wholefoods.com.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

How quickly Sunday morning rolls around.  Time for a short rundown of the rest of the week's dinner plans.  Since grilling is dominating this weekend, I'll resort to tomorrow to make something big that will also serve as an easy reheat later in the week.  My motivation for this on is a kind of reverse seasonality; here we are, almost in August, and I still have a bunch of roasted chiles in my freezer from last fall's roasting season.  So with boneless center cut pork loin chops or roasts $2.99 a pound at both Sprouts and Sunflower, tomorrow's dinner will be New Mexican chile verde from Cooking Light.  Organic leaf lettuce is $1.50 a head at both Sunflower (through Wednesday) and Whole Foods (through Tuesday) for the side salad.

We'll return to the bounty of the current moment for Tuesday's dinner, which will be pasta with corn, zucchini, and tomatoes from the New York Times.  Although I don't like my organic veggies prepackaged, the six packs of organic romas for $2.50 at Sunflower are a pretty good deal.

Our usual easy reheat of something big will move to Wednesday this week, when the New Mexican chile verde will have its return engagement.  Yet another salad will appear on the side, so it's a good week for salads.

I hope to grab some of the BelGioioso fresh mozzarella that's on sale at Sprouts through Wednesday ($3 for eight ounces) for Thursday's dinner, which will be an improvised risotto.  My herb pots are going gangbusters, and I love a rice dish that starts with some sauteed onion (maybe a little garlic), into which the rice gets cooking.  When that's done, it gets finished off with a couple of handfuls of coarsely chopped mixed fresh herbs, a bit of grated parmesan, and the fresh mozzarella.  Mmmmm.

Which gets us through to Friday's planning.  Happy Sunday.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

It's a fine day to enjoy our Boulder Farmers' Market, running from 8 this morning to 2 this afternoon.  Summer produce is in full swing; planning types can check out what to expect in advance by viewing the crop list.  In addition to the usual suspects, there's produce I'd need to look up to find out about.  Komatsuna?  Trombocino squash?  Calibacitp squash (that's not a typo, unless it's a typo on their website)?  Never a dull moment in Boulder.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Coho Also Heading To The Freezer

Seeing the Coho salmon at today's one-day sale at Whole Foods (look a couple of posts below for details), I got so enthused, I bought some to freeze as well.  After a season when I went way overboard freezing Copper River sockeye, I stopped with the freezing routine, but this Coho looks worth it.  Besides, the Whole Foods fishmongers were encouraging taking some for the freezer, too, so I was operating on advice.

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Fortunately we're no longer seeing triple digit temperatures, but it's still pretty darned hot, so for tonight, I'm thinking of trying a recipe from the June issue of Cooking Light, Chinese noodle salad with sesame dressing.  The reviews so far are only coming in at three stars, but light dishes like this seem to be received pretty well in my house.

Tomorrow and Sunday's dinners will be out on the grill, driven by the excellent one-day sales that Whole Foods has given us this week.  Tomorrow will be the coho salmon I plan to pick up at today's one-day sale (see the post below this for details).  With something so simple going on the grill, I can place more emphasis on the sides.  For a lovely coho, I'm thinking of doing shaved zucchini salad with parmesan pine nuts from Bon Appetit.  I always buy organic zucchini anyway, but for something like this, I'd say it's mandatory.  Sunflower has three-packs of organic for $2.50 this week, but as I've mentioned before, this new development of prepacking it is bumming me out.  What if I just want two zucchini?  Or four?

The beautiful New York strip steaks from the other one-day sale this week at Whole Foods will hit the grill Sunday.  Steaks scream fresh, local Munson's corn on the side.  It could be simply as ears, but I'm thinking about something I haven't made for a couple of summers, succotash of fresh corn, lima beans, tomatoes, and onion from Bon Appetit.  Edamame are an option in place of the lima beans, and both Sprouts and Sunflower have six-packs of organic roma tomatoes on sale for $2.50.  (There are those darned packages again.)

Which quickly gets us through the weekend plans.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

News From Sunflower

I've been opining about the arrival of prepackaged organic veggies at Sunflower, but the good news is that, at least today, they still had those same veggies available for you to choose individually, too.  The pricing cuts both ways.  I picked up a six-pack of organic romas, which was on sale for $2.50, because my menu plans happen to be able to accommodate six tomatoes quite quickly, while they'll still be good.  This was fortunate timing, as my $2.50 six-pack weighed in at 1.5 pounds, while the price for the loose romas was $2.99 a pound, so those of you with a bit of a mind for math will quickly recognize how good the prepackaged deal was for me.  Not necessarily so for the three-packs of organic zucchini at $2.50 each; the one I picked up weighed just a little over a pound (that's another issue - one would assume these packages must vary a bit in weight), while the bulk price was $1.99 a pound.  A close call, with bulk probably the cheaper price.

The other news is that I chatted with one of the Sunflower employees, who's under the impression that our Boulder Sunflower will become a Sprouts next week.  We've certainly been watching the underpinnings of this happening, as sales have increasingly merged and Sunflower has switched to Sprouts' fish provider.  But it seems like there's still lots more to happen than just hanging a Sprouts sign out in front.  Sunflower still seems to have quite a few of their own brand name products in the store, and I'm especially wondering what's going to become of the whole wheat organic pasta I've been buying for years for cheap at Sunflower, for which I've never seen anything comparable at Sprouts.  Keeping in mind the comment of one Sunflower employee I overheard this afternoon, "Change is good."

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will offer us an intriguing sale for tomorrow only, the 27th, with (presumably fresh) coho salmon at an excellent price for their fine fish.  I have a vague impression that I prefer sockeye over coho (any salmon aficionados out there like to weigh in?), but the sockeye I've been buying elsewhere recently, while tasty, has also seemed exceptionally full of bones.  I'm looking forward to scooping up some of this coho tomorrow.  Here's what Whole Foods says:

One-Day Wild Salmon Sale!

This Friday only, our Alaska troll-caught Coho salmon will be on sale for just $8.99 a pound.

From fisheries certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Sunflower (increasingly Sprouts/Sunflower as they continue their merger), while the current sale at Whole Foods continues through the 31st (click for that prior report).  Here's what's particularly appealing to me in the new sales.

Sprouts and Sunflower seem to continue their sharing of meat and seafood specials, while organic produce specials diverge, although with some confluence as well (and a disturbing new development, see below).  In the major protein category, the big news for both stores is fresh, wild caught Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets for $7.77 a pound, although as we approach August (!), I have to wonder if the season isn't winding down.  Boneless center-cut pork loin chops (also roast) are $2.99 a pound.  Lovers of baby back ribs might be interested in them at $2.77 a pound, and boneless ribeyes are $10.99 a pound, but otherwise, I'm finding the meat/seafood sales this week a bit "meh," a most apt term introduced to me by my friend, Ms. A.

For Sprouts through August 1st, the other big news is the return of their vitamin and body extravaganza, with everything in that department 25% off.  In organic produce, celery is 99 cents a bunch and one pound containers of strawberries are a very good $2.99 each, both prices also the same at Sunflower.  Organic red or green seedless grapes are $2.49 a pound, and Sunflower again offers the same on both, plus organic black grapes there at the same price.  Sprouts does differ in one pound bags of organic baby carrots for $1.25 ($1.50 at Sunflower), kale $1.29 a bunch, five pound bags of red potatoes $3.99 each, and red plums $1.49 a pound (plus others - I only focus on what I'm interested in buying myself).  I'm also enthused about Chobani Greek yogurts for $1 each (same at Sunflower) and three types of BelGioiosa fresh mozzarella at $3 for eight ounces, although in the past, the mozz has been out of stock when I've sought it.

At Sunflower through August 1st, in addition to the shared organic produce specials mentioned above (celery, strawberries, seedless grapes, at a minimum), I'm particularly enthused about organic broccoli at 99 cents a pound.  Organic yams are 99 cents a pound, and organic red or green leaf lettuce or romaine are $1.50 a head.  But this week I'm seeing a very disturbing newcomer on Sunflower's organic produce front; I've always vastly preferred buying my organic produce at Sunflower rather than Sprouts because Sunflower has generally offered it in bulk bins from which you can choose your selection, while Sprouts has favored organic produce that is pre-packaged in some instances.  This week, Sunflower is advertising organic produce as packages that previously would have been by the pound:  six-packs of romas for $2.50 and three-packs of zucchini or yellow squash, also $2.50.  I'm not rushing to judgment, but I like to buy the amount of produce I want.  What if my dish calls for one zucchini and one yellow squash?  This could possibly drive me to buying more organic produce at Whole Foods, although there's often a punishment in the prices there.  We'll see how this develops, but it makes sense that if their distribution systems are coming under one roof as Sunflower becomes Sprouts, this pre-packaged approach in organic produce is what we'll see.  Not good news, to my mind.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

For tomorrow only, the 25th, our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a special sale that lovers of their fine beef will enjoy.  Some might just have to go on my grill.  Here's what they say:

One Day Sale

On Sale Wednesday, July 25th only:

Country Natural Beef
New York Strip Steak
(save $7/lb)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sausage Sampling At Sunflower

Our Boulder Sunflower is planning a sausage sampling this Wednesday, the 25th, from 3 to 5 pm.  They say, "We're firing up the grill!  Stop by to sample some of our sausage made fresh daily at Sunflower!"  Wednesdays are also double-ad days, with both weeks' ads in effect, making it a rather good day to shop.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

I usually get my thinking together about the rest of the week's dinners after sunrise on Sundays.  Since I'm wide awake at this ridiculous hour, I suspect the tamed-down decaf iced coffee I ordered from a local coffee shop this afternoon actually came fully leaded.  In any case, since I can't sleep, here's a quick rundown of plans for the rest of the week.

It has been so darned hot, it seems more grilling should be on deck for Monday, especially since we have such excellent choices.  Tonight's swordfish from Whole Foods' weekender sale that runs through tomorrow (see below for the post with details) was so superb, I could even see a repeat of that.  Switching to meat, I'd be inclined to do either the beef short ribs (possibly boneless, not clear from the ad) that are $3.99 a pound or the boneless country style pork ribs that are just $1.99 a pound at both Sprouts and Sunflower through Wednesday.

Tuesday is our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is the corn and cod chowder from Food and Wine magazine.  Both Whole Foods and Sunflower have organic leaf lettuce at $1.50 a head for the side salad, and organic romas are just 99 cents a pound at Sunflower.

Wanting a pasta dish by Wednesday, I'll turn to the very large 16/20 count shrimp on sale for $7.99 a pound at both Sprouts and Sunflower through that day to do spicy shrimp and fettuccine from Cooking Light.  Same comment as above regarding organic leaf lettuce and romas, plus more romas go into the pasta.

We'll round out the week Thursday with something Asian and rice-based, a stir-fry using the stew beef that's $3.99 a pound through Wednesday at both Sprouts and Sunflower.  I find stew beef to be perfectly workable (with no slicing required) in something like sirloin and vegetable stir-fry from Cooking Light.  Love all the veggies in that as well.

Which will get us through to Friday's planning.  Now if I could just get some sleep.

Health Fair At Sunflower Today

Our Boulder Sunflower is planning its Annual Health Fair for today, the 21st, from 11 am to 2 pm.  They say that "vendors from our Natural Living Department will be here with lots of information and give aways!"

Friday, July 20, 2012

Boulder Farmers' Market Tomorrow

You might want to get out early tomorrow for the Boulder Farmers' Market, running 8 am to 2 pm, before the heat of the day really hits.  The market is in full summer swing, including summer squash, stone fruits, and local corn.  Planning types can check out the produce to expect from the market's croplist here.  Here's a reason to celebrate summer's bounty:  in just a few months, we'll be staring at not much besides butternut squash again (although I love butternut squash!).

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Okay, so if it's going to be about 100 degrees today, what are we going to do about dinner?  Picnic-style food!  I could turn to my favorite 101 20-minute ideas for inspired picnics that Mark Bittman did for the New York Times, since it's chock full of ideas.  But since Whole Foods' new sales flyer came out on Wednesday, it has been screaming PICNIC at me, with already prepared smoked turkey pesto wraps for $5.99 a wrap (which easily serve two), and smoked mozzarella pasta salad for $7.99 a pound.  So unless I get more ambitious, tonight is looking like cook's night off!

We'll get back to cooking tomorrow, and back to the grill to keep things cool, turning to Whole Foods' fabulous weekender sale on MSC-certified harpoon caught fresh swordfish that's $16.99 a pound through Sunday.  I love a truly fresh swordfish so much, I think it's criminal to apply anything further than a crack of pepper and a squeeze of lemon to it.  That means I should get more inventive with the sides, and with Munson's local corn having arrived, one is going to be tomato and corn salad with marjoram from Bon Appetit.  The butter lettuce makes a nice presentation, but both Sunflower and Whole Foods have organic leaf lettuce for $1.50 a head right now, a decent substitution.  I'm not sure where we stand yet on local tomatoes coming in, but for non-local, Sunflower has organic romas for an astoundingly low 99 cents a pound.

For Sunday, we still need something big that will serve as an easy midweek reheat, and I'm still fixated on local corn, so I'm thinking chowder.  It's funny that I usually advocate swapping out pricey halibut for more inexpensive cod in a dish like chowder, but this time I'm contemplating going in the opposite direction.  Both Sprouts and Sunflower are offering fresh wild California halibut fillets for $10.99 a pound this week (the two stores now share the same fish supplier), and while that strikes me as suspiciously low for halibut, I'm going to take a look before forming an opinion.  If I like it, it will go as a cod swap into corn and cod chowder from Food and Wine magazine.  While I'm sure the recipe is divine in its original form, I'll lighten it by reducing the bacon, swapping half and half for heavy cream, and using nonfat milk for the remainder.  (Okay, so I always have the best of intentions for reducing the bacon, but that part usually doesn't happen.)  Again, Sunflower and Whole Foods have organic leaf lettuce for $1.50 a head and Sunflower has organic romas for 99 cents a pound for the side salad.

And that gets us through to Sunday's weekday planning.  Stay cool out there.

Thoughts To Aurora

This is not the way you want to wake up, with news of a mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora.  My heart goes out to those affected.  And to think I used to have to commute to an office nearby, and frequented that shopping center for errands.  All so sad.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Swordfish To Die For

Sure, everybody knows that Whole Foods has absolutely sublime fish.  Swordfish happens to be about my all time favorite, and for the past week or so, they've opened a limited time window on something really extraordinary:  MSC-certified, harpoon-caught fresh swordfish.  (I know, the Moby Dick image is a little unnerving.)  They've been selling it for $18.99 a pound since it arrived, theoretically already a sale price and not really bad in my estimation for this quality.  But for tomorrow through Sunday, Whole Foods will knock another $2 off that price for a special weekender sale, $16.99 a pound.  I'm getting mine before you can get yours.  Here's what they say:

Harpoon Caught Swordfish

Get it while it's here! Nova Scotia's harpoon fleet was the first swordfish fishery to be certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council. Harpooners bring us fresh swordfish for just a few weeks each summer, so now is the time to get cooking with this legendary fish.

Weekender Sale, Friday - Monday,

July 20 - 23 only:

MSC Certified
Harpoon Caught
(save $3/lb)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I Adore Saveur Magazine

I read a lot of cooking magazines, and a fair amount in general, and continue to be amazed at the quality of Saveur magazine.  While it does contain recipes related to its features, its focus is on the culture and history of food around the world, with photography that rivals National Geographic.  I learn astonishing things with every issue.  For instance, from the current issue, there's an island the size of Switzerland at the mouth of the Amazon River, mile markers along Route 7 in France are called bornes, and hops for beer-making are related to cannabis.  And that's just for starters.  Thank you, Saveur, for continuing to open my eyes with every issue.

This Week's Hot New Grocery Deals

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts, Sunflower (with so many specials in common as they merge, maybe I should start calling them Sprouts/Sunflower) and Whole Foods.  Here's what's appealing to me, IMHO, as always.

Sprouts and Sunflower continue to share meat and fish specials in their new sale through July 25th.  Although I prefer my salmon wild, particularly during this fresh time of year, Atlantic (farmed) salmon fillets are notable at both stores at $4.99 a pound.  I'm also interested in taking a look at the fresh wild California halibut fillets both have for $10.99 a pound.  Pork spare ribs or boneless country style ribs make a great bbq, and are just $1.99 a pound, while beef stew meat or short ribs are $3.99 a pound.

The stores continue to differ in their organic produce specials.  At Sprouts through the 25th, I'm liking one pound packages of baby carrots for $1.25, red plums $1.69 a pound (but $1.50 for plums at Sunflower), one pound clamshells of strawberries for $2.50 ($2.99 at Sunflower), kale $1.29 a bunch, and red potatoes $3.99 for a five pound bag.  Also, Amy's burritos are BOGO.

In organic produce at Sunflower through the 25th, I'm especially enthused about roma tomatoes for just 99 cents a pound.  Also good are organic yams or yellow onions 99 cents a pound, cauliflower $1.50 a pound, red, green or romaine lettuce $1.50 a head (same at Whole Foods for the red or green), large red potatoes 99 cents a pound, plums $1.50 a pound, and celery 99 cents a bunch.  Also, select Annie's Naturals organic salad dressings are $2.50, stunning for the organic ones, and my favorite Cascade Fresh yogurts are 69 cents each.

Through July 31st, Whole Foods is yelling "picnic time!" to me with two Market Made specials from the deli:  smoked mozzarella pasta salad for $7.99 a pound, and their fabulous smoked turkey pesto wraps for $5.99 each (and their wraps easily feed two, unless you haven't seen food for at least 24 hours).  Sounds like a smoky-flavored picnic made in heaven to me.  Also looking good are organic San Marzano tomatoes for $3.99 a pound, organic green and red leaf lettuce $1.50 each, Oikos Greek yogurts $1 each, and vintage reserve cheddar for $8.99 a pound, which sounds great with their own sourdough boule at $3 each.  I'm not usually attracted to desserts, but I have to notice their own 9 inch fruit pies at $9.99 each and creme brulee for $2.99 each.  Temptation, temptation.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Food stores will hold a special sale for tomorrow only, the 18th.  It's one for orchid-lovers, not so good for food fans.  But fish-lovers, stay tuned.  I sense there's something very good on the horizon for us this weekend.  Here's what Whole Foods says about tomorrow's sale:

On Sale Wednesday, July 18th only:

United Denver
4" Orchid
(save $10/ea)

Big Craft Food Fest Coming Up

Here's a heads up that the Pearl Street Whole Foods will hold a big craft food festival and best butcher competition this Saturday, the 21st, from 2 to 5 pm.  I've seen a picture of the Mason jars they've had custom made for this and am lusting for one.  Here are the details from them:

Saturday, July 21st

1st Annual Craft Food Fest and Best Butcher Competition

2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Admission is free, food price varies

2905 Pearl Street Boulder, Co. 80301

Do you like food? Do you like food on sticks? Well, this is the event for you!
We’ll have delicious menu items to please the whole family, kid’s activities, live bluegrass from Finnders and Youngberg (http://finndersandyoungberg.com/), a craft market featuring goods from Facory Made artisans: ( http://factorymadeboulder.com/) facepainting, photo booth, cornhole tournament, wine and spirits tastings for the adults, local vendors and our Best Butcher Competition finals.

This is the do-not-miss event of the summer!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Free Bloomin Onion Today, But...

I don't follow car racing, but evidently the Outback Steakhouse, with locations in Louisville and Longmont, offers a free Bloomin Onion with any purchase the Monday after Ryan Newman does a particular top ten placement, so long as you mention Newman's name.  According to our friends over at Mile High on the Cheap, today's the day.  I recall eating one of those onions eons ago, and it was addictively yummy, making me suspicious about its sodium and fat content, since I don't get that nose-to-the-plate reaction from eating a bunch of carrots.  I looked up the Onion's nutritional info on the Outback's website, where I learned that one Onion packs a total of 161 grams of fat, 4100 milligrams of sodium, and a whopping 1949 calories.  One Onion supposedly serves six, but when people go face first into something like that, six people aren't likely to get their fingers on it.  I'll resist and go back to my carrots.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Busy day today, so this will be practically an outline.

With all sorts of ground meats 25% off at both Sprouts and Sunflower through Wednesday, it's looking like Italian-style beef with polenta from Cooking Light for tomorrow.  I'd like this with ground chicken or turkey as well as beef.

Tuesday is our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is the chicken posole from Food and Wine magazine.  Salad plus tortillas equals quick dinner.

For Wednesday, we'll want some pasta, probably something vegetarian by then, and definitely more of our newly arrived local corn, so linguine with summer succotash from Bon Appetit will be on deck.  Organic grape tomatoes are $2 for 10 ounces at Sunflower through Wednesday.

For Thursday, I'm trying something that has nothing about seasonality or sales, ham, mushroom and Fontina frittata from Whole Foods.  When Whole Foods tweeted this recipe name earlier in the week, I fell for it without even looking at it.  Seeing now that it calls for broiling, I'll adapt away from that, making sure it's well cooked in a nonstick pan.  It just sounds too good.

Which gets us through to Friday's planning.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Boulder County Farmers' Markets Today

Now that Munson's local corn has arrived, I feel like summer is in full swing, so it should be a great day for the Boulder Farmers' Market downtown from 8 to 2 today.  And if you're heading to the Longmont Farmers' Market (8 to 1, one hour shorter than Boulder), please do stop by the booth of the Longmont Public Library, where a couple of friendly staffers will greet you with a bowl full of cherries, as well as amazing info about the library.  The library folks will only be there from 8 to 10 am, so stop by early!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Weekend Dinner Ideas

A good, warm morning, Boulder, and happy Friday the 13th.  With heat in mind, we'll think picnic-type food for tonight, turning to Mark Bittman's splendid 101 20-minute dishes for inspired picnics from the New York Times.  With boneless skinless chicken breasts a steal at both Sprouts and Sunflower for $1.77 a pound, this time we'll try Bittman's idea number six for cornflake chicken bites, doing either the panko or cornmeal options rather than the flakes.  I have a suspicion that cupboards in New York are more likely to contain cornflakes than those in Boulder.  Meanwhile, I have both the panko and the cornmeal.

Afternoon storms are possible for both tomorrow and Sunday, but if grilling will fit in, we'll want some fresh wild salmon on it ($9.99 a pound at both Sprouts and Sunflower).  And with local corn newly arrived, it will have to be somewhere, either as ears on the side or incorporated into a relish for grilled salmon with roasted corn relish from Cooking Light.  I still have a few chiles in my freezer from last fall's roasting season, so the relish has extra appeal.

For Sunday, with those great chicken sales mentioned above, we'll return to that for chicken posole from Food and Wine magazine.  I prefer to make it with the white meat that's on sale, to lighten it up over the dark meat called for anyway.  Salad, tortillas, done, and with extra to reheat midweek.

Which will get us at least through the weekend.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will celebrate Friday the 13th with a special sale on cherries for tomorrow only.  Unfortunately, they don't say that they will be organic, which makes me fear they would be conventional, not of interest to me.  Here's what they say:
On Sale Friday, July 13th only:

(save $3/lb)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Music And Dinner On Sunflower's Patio

Our Boulder Sunflower will be doing a Night on the Patio tomorrow, the 12th, from 5 to 7 pm.  They'll offer free live music and a dinner from the grill that's possibly $3.  The paper copies of their calendar in the store have a blank spot for the price, with $3 handwritten below, although that makes for a mighty cheap dinner.

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Sunflower, while the current sale continues at Whole Foods, through next Tuesday.  Here's what's appealing to me in the new sales.

As they merge, Sprouts and Sunflower are sharing the same meat and seafood specials, while they differ in other areas.  In meat and seafood through July 18th, both are highlighting large packs of boneless skinless checken breasts for a very low $1.77 a pound.  Both also have a ground meat sale, with a whole bunch of types (including poultry and pork) all 25% off.  Center-cut pork loin chops are $2.99 a pound, but those are bone-in, so the price isn't really that great, and fresh wild caught Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets are $9.99 a pound.

In organic produce at Sprouts, broccoli is $1.49 a pound (a penny more at Sunflower), one pound bags of carrots are $1.25 each (higher at Sunflower), acorn or butternut squash are both 79 cents a pound (also higher at Sunflower), five pound bags of red potatoes are $3.99 each, cantaloupe or honeydew melons are 79 cents a pound (88 cents for the cantaloupe at Sunflower), and one pound clamshells of strawberries are $2.99 each, same at Sunflower.  I'm also liking Sprouts' fine bulk coffee (including Fair Trade organic) on sale for $7.99 a pound, my favorite Cascade yogurts very low at 50 cents each, and 25% off all Barbara's cereals and snacks and also Lundberg rice chips (those are addicting).

In organic produce at Sunflower, 10 ounce grape tomatoes are $2 each, acorn or butternut squash are 88 cents a pound (79 cents at Sprouts), broccoli is $1.50 a pound (effectively the same at Sprouts), cauliflower is also $1.50 a pound, jewel yams are 99 cents a pound, kale is $1.50 a bunch, one pound baby carrots packages are $1.50 (but $1.25 at Sprouts), and one pound of strawberries is $2.99, same as Sprouts.  Chobani yogurts look good at $1 each, Blue Diamond Nut-Thins are $2, Tribe hummus is $2.99 for eight ounces, bulk coffee is $7.99 a pound (same at Sprouts), and select eight ounce Rising Moon organic pastas are $2.99 each.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will offer us readers and sunglasses on a special sale for tomorrow only, the 11th.  Here's what they say:

On Sale Wednesday, July 11th only:

Readers & Sunglasses
50% off

Munson's Is Open!

Boulder's Munson Farms has opened their farmstand at 75th and Valmont, so the corn is coming in!  They're open seven days a week, 9 am to 6:30 pm.  With Munson's on the northwest corner of the intersection and the Cure Organic Farm store on the southwest corner (with shorter hours Wednesday through Sunday), 75th and Valmont is foodie nirvana.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Fish News From Sunflower

As I've been mentioning, Sunflower and Sprouts are working on their "merger," in which Sprouts sounds a bit more like the acquirer, since our Boulder Sunflower will eventually be rebranded as Sprouts.  Chatting with a dude at the meat/seafood counter recently, I learned that Sunflower has switched to using Sprouts' fish supplier as part of this transition.  That's good news to me, as I've generally had better luck with the fish at Sprouts than at Sunflower.  (Then there's the sublime fish at Whole Foods, but that's another story.)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Busy day ahead, so this will be quick.  With chicken tenders $1.99 a pound at both Sprouts and Sunflower, and wanting a pasta dish by now, tomorrow will be my attempt to mimic the fantastic dish at Carelli's restaurant called scoozi.  The basic concept (by my interpretation) is to saute white chicken with some garlic, maybe a touch of crushed red pepper or cayenne, and add broccoli and artichoke hearts, sauced with a bit of white wine, to serve over pasta.  If I recall correctly, it's health-minded enough to have earned a HealthMark notation.  Mine's never as good as at the restaurant, and you can't beat the garlic bread there, either.

Tuesday is our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is the double batch of pizza alla salsiccia from Cooking Light.  Sunflower has organic leaf lettuce for $1.50 a head and organic hothouse tomatoes $1.50 a pound for the side salad.

For Wednesday, with ground chicken breast $2.99 a pound at both Sprouts and Sunflower through that day (also the less lean ground chicken, not just breast), we'll do a spin on our recent fave, Thai beef cabbage cups, also from Cooking Light.  No wonder reviewers are giving it five stars out of five.

We'll also turn to that sale ground chicken breast for Thursday (remembering the sale is through Wednesday), this time for a spin on Boursin-stuffed turkey burgers from Gourmet magazine.  Instead of Boursin, we'll use Rondele, which I like almost as well, and Sprouts has it on sale for $3.99 through Wednesday.  The recipe also works perfectly well cooked indoors, rather than on a grill.

Which gets us to Friday!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

Good morning Boulder!  Happy rain!  Rain yesterday, rain today, and more tomorrow!!!  Grab that rain jacket and head to the Boulder Farmers' Market downtown today from 8 to 1.  You can check out the fine produce from local farms to expect on the market's crop list, and notice that peaches have arrived!!!!  Rain and peaches, yay!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Weekend Dinner Ideas

It looks like we'll finally be cooler and maybe even mercifully rainy this weekend, so here's a quick rundown of the current dinner plans.  For tonight, salmon will be on deck (wild Alaskan sockeye $9.99 a pound at both Sprouts and Sunflower), either grilled outside or on the grill pan, weather the determinant.  On the side, I'm going to try one of the salad recipes from the intriguing article on grain salads in last month's issue of Bon Appetit, tonight's choice being quinoa tabbouleh.  Lots of other nice veggies and herbs in there, too.

With rain (hopefully) set in for the weekend's evenings, we'll stay inside for the remainder.  Tomorrow I'm looking at Italian-style beef with polenta from Cooking Light.  Both Sprouts and Sunflower have an 85% lean ground beef at $3.99 a pound, not the best price ever seen.

I'm going out on a limb for Sunday.  With temperatures lowering well down into the 80s for the weekend, and in the best possible case, lots of rain, I'm looking to return to the oven to do a pizza on Sunday.  Our favorite is pizza alla salsiccia from Cooking Light, and with chicken sausage on sale for $2.99 a pound at both Sprouts and Sunflower, it's good timing.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ice Cream Sampling At Sunflower

This Saturday, July 7th, our Boulder Sunflower will hold an ice cream sampling from noon to 2 pm, when they invite you to "stop by for a treat this afternoon."

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

The Boulder Farmers' Market isn't taking a break for the holiday, holding its Wednesday market as usual from 4 to 8 pm today.  To lure you from your other 4th of July celebrations, they also have a $2 off coupon in today's Daily Camera, good for today's market only.

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

It's Wednesday, food day, but it's also the 4th of July, and I have better things to do, so this will be quick.  We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Sunflower, while the current sale continues at Whole Foods through the 17th.  Here's what's looking good to me now.

As noted last week, the merger of Sprouts and Sunflower is becoming apparent in some joint pricing.  Meat and seafood prices now appear to be coordinated, while other deals still differ.  In the new sale running through July 11th, both Sprouts and Sunflower are featuring chicken tenders for $1.99 a pound and baby back ribs for $2.99 a pound, but the ribs have been previously frozen, not appealing to me.  Both stores have chicken sausage (pork, too) at $2.99 a pound for all types, 26/30 count peeled and deveined raw shrimp for $6.99 a pound, fresh wild sockeye fillets $9.99 a pound, and ground chicken, pork or chicken breast $2.99 a pound, among other deals.  Both stores are also offering one pound containers of organic strawberries for an impressive $2.99 each.

At Sprouts through the 11th, I'm also liking these organic produce deals:  one pound packages of baby carrots for $1.25 each, acorn or butternut squash 79 cents a pound (99 cents at Sunflower). five pound bags of red potatoes $3.99 each, cherries $3.99 a pound ($4.99 at Whole Foods), and cantaloupe 79 cents a pound (99 cents at Sunflower).  Conventional avocados are three for $1, same at Sunflower (the ones at Sprouts used to run larger than the ones at Sunflower, and I imagine the merger will affect that, but in which direction?).  Chobani Greek yogurts are good at $1 each, and Rondele cheese spreads are $3.99 each.

At Sunflower through the 11th, these organic produce deals are calling me:  hothouse tomatoes at $1.50 a pound, cauliflower also $1.50 a pound, chard $1.50 a bunch, yams, russets or large red potatoes all 99 cents a pound, yellow onions 77 cents a pound, green onions 77 cents a bunch, leaf lettuce $1.50 a bunch, and yellow peaches or nectarines $1.99 a pound (same for the peaches at Whole Foods).  Half pound balls of Mozzarella Fresca fresh mozz also look very good at $2.99 each.

Have a safe and happy 4th!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will continue the tradition of Wednesday one-day sales for the holiday tomorrow with a pretty good one, especially for anyone looking for fresh salmon to put on the grill for the 4th.  Here's what they say:
On Sale Wednesday, July 4th only:
Fresh Sockeye
Salmon Fillet
(save $7/lb)

Creminelli - 5.5oz
Americano Salame
(save $7/ea)

Whole Foods Market
Tortilla Chips & Salsa
Entertaining Trays
(save $4/ea)

A Second Alfalfa's In The Works?

Today's Daily Camera is reporting that Alfalfa's is considering locations for a second store, and Louisville has gained prominence as a possibility because residents have been wooing it with a mailing campaign of alfalfa seeds.  Gotta love that.  You can read the Camera's entire story here.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Relief In Sight?

Channel 9 is actually using the word "monsoon" for Friday and Saturday of this week.  Is it possible that we will see the return of the monsoon rains???  And a heads up for grilling on the 4th this Wednesday - afternoon storms are also in the forecast for then.  My plan for whole grain salads and Qrunch burgers done indoors might be just the ticket.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Happy July!  Here's a quick rundown of the rest of the week.  Wanting some pasta for tomorrow, since I have a bunch of pesto left from Friday's Bittman-inspired wraps, we'll use up the rest with zucchini, corn, and basil fusilli with bacon from Gourmet magazine.  This would be even better with local zucchini and corn, and we're getting close, very close.

Tuesday is our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is shrimp and scallop posole from Bon Appetit.  The rest of the tortillas used for the wraps will go on the side, along with a salad.

I'm still a bit up in the air for Wednesday, the 4th of July.  All our Colorado wildfires are inclining me toward the heretical thought of skipping the grill altogether.  The June issue of Bon Appetit had a fabulous feature on healthy but delicious sounding whole grain salads, and I'm thinking of trying one or two of those.  You can't read the article in its entirety online, but you can see all the recipes by going to the June table of contents and scrolling down to the salads section.  Black barley, fennel, and radish salad, anyone?  Along with a salad feast, I'm thinking of my new favorite from Whole Foods, Qrunch burgers, made with quinoa.  That sounds like a Boulder-style spin on the 4th of July.  Oh, and microbrews, definitely plenty of microbrews.

I'll grab some more of the huge shrimp on sale at both Sprouts and Sunflower for $6.99 a pound by Wednesday to do Thursday's dinner, which will be based on shrimp risotto with peas from the New York Times.  It's lovely as is, but at this time of year, it's also tempting to add in things like mixed spring greens, spinach, arugula, garlic scapes, and on and on.

Which gets us through to Friday's planning.