Sunday, September 30, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

It's Sunday already, so here's a quick rundown of the rest of the week.  Despite the big batch of pesto I made and largely froze a couple of weeks ago, my basil plants still have quite a bit left on them.  With temperatures currently expected to get as low as the upper 30s Wednesday night, my focus for the beginning of the week will be ruthless stripping of those basil plants.  Tomorrow night will be zucchini, corn, and basil fusilli with bacon from Gourmet magazine, making my own pesto again instead of the prepared variety in the recipe, and praying that I can still get my hands on some Munson's corn.

Since I seem to have a hard time stripping off every last basil leaf, I know I'll have enough left on Tuesday for shrimp risotto with baby spinach and basil from Bon Appetit.  The baby spinach will come from the bulk bins at either Sprouts or Whole Foods, and this time, it really will be curtains for those basil plants.

With all that basil stripping, we'll move our reheat of something big, which this week is tonight's New England seafood chowder from Bon Appetit, to Wednesday.  A salad on the side, and it's dinner.

I'm impressed with Sprouts having 100% grass-fed organic ground beef at $3.99 a pound through Wednesday, and since I haven't yet fit it in, I'll catch it by then to do chipotle sloppy joes from Cooking Light on Thursday.  I prefer it on organic baked (read microwaved) potatoes instead of a roll, kind of heresy for a sloppy joe.

Which gets us through to Friday, when I'm afraid we'll be thinking more fall than summer produce.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Munson's Corn Update

I was at the Pearl Street Whole Foods yesterday, expecting to catch some Munson Farm sweet corn along with the rest of my purchases, and lo, the store had no Munson's corn.  I asked the produce person, who said, nope, no more Munson's corn (eek, shades of the season ending).  So I trekked out to the Munson stand at 75th and Valmont (usually done happily, but it was a bear on tight time yesterday), only to find that they had no picked corn either.  Per the woman manning (womanning?) the stand, the irrigation ditches were open when our recent (most welcome!) rains came through, and it got so wet, "the raccoons were surfing the ditches."  The corn is still out there, and intrepid types armed with boots went out and picked their own.  They expect to have picked corn back at the stand today, and I'd hope at today's Boulder Farmers' Market as well (8 to 2), but I would have loved to see a raccoon surf a ditch.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Super quick post.  For tonight, beef short ribs from Sprouts' 50% off ribs festival sound good, especially since they are great both out on the grill, or done in the oven, if we should happen to have the luck of another rain shower.  Being on a roll with both fresh corn from Munson's and freshly roasted chiles everywhere, the side's creamy stovetop corn with poblano chiles from the New York Times.

For tomorrow, in conjunction with hitting the Farmers' Market, I'll detour a couple of steps to Alfalfa's to get more of that great fresh domestic swordfish they have on sale for $13.99 a pound through October 2nd.  Some pancetta-wrapped figs may have to go on the grill along with the swordfish.  The Munson's corn fest will continue with succotash of fresh corn, lima beans, tomatoes, and onions from Bon Appetit, which I think is great with edamame instead of limas.

We'll do a big chowder on Sunday, which in my first acknowledgement of autumn, with be New England seafood chowder from Bon Appetit.  This is my first bow to using butternut squash (99 cents for organic at both Sprouts and Whole Foods) for the season, with a long winter of it to come.  And organic kale is everywhere, plus Sprouts has haddock available at $4.99 a pound, so it just seems like the week to jump in with it.  (Although the cod and corn chowder from Food and Wine, no time to grab that link, is still calling.)

More to come for the weekdays.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hatch Chile Fest At Centro

Here's an interesting confluence, since it's no secret that I love freshly roasted chiles and am a fan of Taos, too.  Boulder's Centro Latin Kitchen and Refreshment Palace (what a great name) will be holding a three-day celebration of Hatch green chiles October 5 through 7, interestingly enough, sponsored by the town of Taos.  You can check out all the details, including menus, a green chili cookoff, and a hot pepper eating contest at Centro's page on the festival.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Cooking Demo Tomorrow In Superior

Plus a book signing with the demoing chef.  Tomorrow, the 27th, the Whole Foods store in Superior will hold a book signing and cooking demo with Alan Roettinger.  Here's what Whole Foods says:

Book Signing and Cooking Demo

Thursday, September 27th

6:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Superior Cafe, Free

Join us at the Superior store in our Cafe and meet Private Chef and world traveler Alan Roettinger as he shares his kitchen wizardry to create great tasting, healthful vegan dishes. He will be making a healthy Green Curry Salad and Napa Cabbage and Tuscan Kale Salad. Alan combines quick, easy preperation with palate- pleasing results.Purchase your book in our Whole Body dept. and have it signed. Please sign up at Customer Service to reserve your spot today.

This Week's Hot New Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have new specials starting today at Sprouts (incorporating the former Sunflower) and Whole Foods.  Here's what's appealing to me in a quick look.

Through October 3rd, Sprouts is offering a Rib Festival, with a whole bunch of cuts of beef and pork ribs all 50% off.  Grass-fed organic ground beef also looks really quite good at $3.99 a pound, and regular stew beef is also $3.99 a pound.  In fish, previously frozen wild caught haddock (great for fish chowders) is quite low at $4.99 a pound, fresh, albeit farmed, Atlantic salmon is just $5.99 a pound, as are 26/30 count peeled and deveined raw shrimp, those being previously frozen.

In organic produce, I'm glad to see my weekly purchase of one pound bags of baby carrots back down to $1.25 a bag (usually $1.99 elsewhere), acorn, butternut, and spaghetti squash, and also red or jewel yams are all 99 cents a pound (same at Whole Foods for the squash), three pound bags of yellow onions are just $1.99 each, red or green leaf lettuce is $1.29 a head, green onions are 69 cents a bunch, and their bulk spring mix salad is just $3.99 a pound.

At Whole Foods through October 16th, very fine air-chilled whole chickens are notable at $1.49 a pound (nearly half off), and Norwegian salmon (that typically means farmed, but with the finest pedigree) is $13.99 a pound for fillets.  In organic produce, acorn, butternut, and spaghetti squash are all 99 cents a pound (same at Sprouts - welcome to winter squash season), red or green cabbage is also 99 cents a pound, and gold Delicious or Jonathon apples are $1.49 a pound.  Beware the red bell peppers on sale for $1.25 each; when organic isn't specified, as in this case, conventional is assumed, and those are three for $1 at Sprouts this week.  In the Bakehouse, pumpernickel bread looks good at $2.99 a loaf, and in Whole Body, Avalon Organics shampoos and conditioners are nearly half price at $4.99 each.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

As is the norm, our local Whole Foods stores will offer a special Wednesday sale for tomorrow only, the 26th, this time a duo of them.  I'm not familiar with either of them, but if the Rubicon cinnamon bread is anything like the Greenlee's also carried by Whole Foods, I can say that one's outrageously good.  Here's what Whole Foods says:

Tomorrow, Wednesday, September 26th only:

Rubicon Bakery - 18oz.
Cinnamon Bread
(save $2.00/ea)

Fresh Pack Soups
All Varieties - 24 oz.
(save $3.00/ea)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Excellent Swordfish At Alfalfa's

While I was at the Farmers' Market on Saturday, I strolled over to Alfalfa's, and discovered that they have fresh wild swordfish from the USA on sale for the very good price of $13.99 a pound through October 2nd.  That's $2.99 off their regular price, which is already very reasonable for fresh domestic swordfish.  This discovery caused an immediate deviation from my prior menu plan; swordfish went on the grill that night, and it was wonderful.

Alfalfa's also has some of the best prices in town on organic produce, as well as a selection from local farms that practically rivalled the nearby Farmers' Market.  I used to shop at the original Alfalfa's regularly, back when it and the old Crystal Market were pretty much the only natural food stores in town.  With so many additional choices in 21st century Boulder, and so many stores I'd pass to get that far west in town, I rarely get there for my shopping any more (I've even seen in print that they consider their customer base to be west of Folsom, which definitely isn't me).  A new option may be looming, however, as there's a possibility that Alfalfa's may open a second store in the old Safeway location in Louisville.  That might be greater mileage for me, but probably a quicker drive than fighting the traffic all the way across Boulder. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Good lovely Sunday morning, Boulder.  My dinner plans for the rest of the week are in place, and keeping with my theme of simplifying life, they're modest and easy.  They also emphasize chicken, since boneless skinless ones are just $1.97 a pound in the value pack at Sprouts through Wednesday, and Whole Foods has really excellent, even though frozen ones from Nature's Rancher on sale for $6.99 for a two pound bag through Tuesday.  My only slightly ambitious plan is for tomorrow, which will be spicy stir-fried chicken and greens with peanuts from Bon Appetit.  Yesterday's Farmers' Market was loaded with greens choices, but they're also widely available at Sprouts and Whole Foods too.

Tuesday will be the essence of simplicity, sauteed pork chops with microwaved "baked" potatoes on the side, topped with Straus European-style nonfat plain yogurt, which is so creamy, you can hardly believe it isn't full fat sour cream.  Sprouts has the boneless chops for $2.99 a pound, and they also have organic russets for 99 cents a pound.

Wednesday will be our easy reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is tonight's white bean soup with tomatoes, zucchini, and basil.  My recipe comes from my old Mediterranean Light cookbook, but is nearly identical to that link, except mine starts with dried beans.  They soak overnight, but it's not like one has to put any effort into that.

We'll finish off the planning with another easy dinner, sauteed chicken breasts dressed up a bit with the mushroom sauce from Cooking Light that's been such a hit around here, even though it's so easy to make.  The side could again be those baked potatoes from the microwave, or perhaps some noodles for variety.

Which gets us through a very easy week of barely cooking.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Chip 'N Sip Today

Here's an unusual one, but involving a confluence of several favorites:  wine tasting, the Boulder Humane Society, pets, and good deals.  Boulder Humane will be hosting a Chip 'N Sip event today at Liquor Mart, where you can get your adored pet microchipped for the insanely low price of $10, while you taste wines courtesy of Cru Vin Dogs.  Somebody really got creative with that one.  Here are the details from the Humane Society:

Join us on Saturday, September 22 at Liquor Mart for a unique event for wine lovers and pet guardians!


For $10, your pet will receive a mini-microchip implant (registered with 24PetWatch) performed in a private area by a licensed veterinarian.

...A microchip is one of the best chances for you to be reunited with your pet should he or she get lost. Secure a happy reunion by participating in a low-cost microchipping event.


The fabulous folks of Cru Vin Dogs Wine Group will be standing by to please your palate with a free tasting of several varietals. Plus, for each bottle of Cru Vin Dogs wine sold, the Humane Society of Boulder Valley will receive $1. Stock up for entertaining, gifts or just for yourself!

No tickets or appointments required. All pets welcome (must be on leash or in a carrier). For more information, please email

WHEN: Saturday, September 22, 2 - 4 p.m.
WHERE: Liquor Mart
1750 15th Street, Boulder

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

Happy first day of fall, which means it's the perfect time to check out the Boulder Farmers' Market downtown from 8 to 2 today.  To me, this is the very best time of year, with a vast array of late summer produce, plenty of fall offerings, and I'm hoping there will be chile roasting as well.  You can check out the wonderful produce to expect at this week's croplist.  And don't forget that Alfalfa's, just a few steps away, will be holding an organic tasting fair, including live music and their own chile roasting, from 11 to 4.  A great day for the foodie to be downtown.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Weekender Sale At Whole Foods

I was just at the Whole Foods store on Pearl Street, and they were having a weekender sale for today through Sunday, the 23rd.  The sales were noted on a chalk board outside and I didn't get any email about it, so it might be limited to the store on Pearl.  Not having any concrete documentation for it, I can only relate my memory of the chalk board.  Three kinds of organic squash are $1 a pound (butternut, acorn, and I think spaghetti), freshly roasted chiles are $1.99 a pound, and a big two pound block of Tillemook cheese is something really low, in the $8 range.  There was also fresh wild king salmon on sale, but still several dollars higher than the current sale price for fresh wild king at Sprouts.

Weekend Dinner Ideas

With almost no time available, here's another quick post.  For tonight, since we never did bbq a fish last weekend to go with our glorious linguine with homemade pesto (it simply didn't need an addition like that), we'll hit the grill for some fish, trying the fresh wild caught northern king salmon fillets that Sprouts has for $9.99 a pound.  Needing more Munson's corn (of course), the side will be either simple ears, or Bittman's raw corn salad with tomato and basil, so perfect for this time of year, if I have more time.  Unbelievably, I still haven't cleared out my basil plants, despite last weekend's big pesto fiesta and this week's menus.  A lovely predicament to have.

For Saturday, I'm thinking about a pasta dish in my beloved Chez Panisse cookbook that's perfect for this time of year, which a site has posted as linguine with cherry tomato vinaigrette, crediting (thank heavens) Chez Panisse for the recipe.  If the tomatoes don't come from the Farmers' Market, a good alternative would be the organic grape tomatoes that are $2.50 a pint at Sprouts.

Sunday will be a big soup, this time from my time-honored Mediterranean Light cookbook, white bean soup with tomatoes, zucchini, and basil, yet another late summer celebration.  I don't see that anyone has posted that particular recipe yet, but this one is somewhat close (mine calls for starting with dried beans, but that really isn't a time problem, since they simply soak overnight).

That's it for now!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Organic Tasting Fair At Alfalfa's

Alfalfa's will hold an organic tasting fair with live music this Saturday, conveniently coinciding with the Boulder Farmers' Market, which runs from 8 to 2 just a few steps away.  Here's what they say (is the band's name trying to tell us something?):

Organic Month
Tasting Fair

When: Saturday, September 22nd
from 11 AM to 4 PM

Where: Alfalfa's Market

Come taste the organic difference and hear live music by Hang Massive.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

This Week's Hot New Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts (including the former Sunflower), while the current one continues at Whole Foods.  Click there for the prior Whole Foods report, and I'm afraid I'm short on time to get to looking at Sprouts, but you can see their rather fuzzy pdf of the new flyer here.  More later, as soon as I get a chance.

Phew, and now a few seconds for the new Sprouts ad, lasting through September 26th.  There's a 72 hour sale for Friday through Sunday, including whole pineapples for $1 each (excellent price, but surely without the Whole Trade pedigree) and ez-peel 41/50 count (pretty small but useful in many dishes) raw shrimp for $3.79 a pound.  In the general sale, the big deal is boneless skinless chicken breasts at $1.97 a pound in the value pack.  Also, boneless center-cut pork loin chops are $2.99 a pound, and pork tenderloin is low at $2.97 a pound, although I've never mastered cooking with that.  Chicken sausage is $2.99 a pound, as are Sprouts' own (quite good) stuffed chicken breasts.  Fresh wild northern king salmon fillets are $9.99 a pound, as are fresh wild mahi mahi fillets (excellent on the grill and especially for fish tacos, but the fish must be truly fresh).  Also, fresh ground chicken, pork, or chicken breast (the leanest) are all good at $2.99 a pound, and the more I get into Asian wraps, the more I like this.

In organic produce, you can get a one pound bag of carrots for an astonishing 69 cents, a three pound bag of gala apples for $3.99 (barely over a dollar a pound), grape tomatoes are $2.50 a pint, broccoli is $1.69 a pound (not the best price we've ever seen), russet potatoes are 99 cents a pound, green onions are 99 cents a bunch, and roma tomatoes are $1.99 for a three count package, although I didn't see those (could have missed them) when I was there moments ago.  (Paid $3.49 a pound for my organic romas.)

So that quickly does it, but to my faithful readers (and I thank you so much!!!), I have to say that my life is getting busier, and keeping this blog current to my standards is getting more difficult.  I appreciate your patience as I sort out what's best for myself (since this is purely on my own, no remuneration involved whatsoever).  I enjoy doing it very much, but it's increasingly hard to find time.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

For tomorrow only, the 19th, our local Whole Foods stores will have organic red or green seedless grapes for $1.99 a pound.  This beats the $2.49 a pound that Sprouts has through tomorrow, but be advised that Vitamin Cottage has organic California seedless red, green, or black seedless grapes for $1.99 a pound all the way through the 29th.  Here's what Whole Foods says:

Tomorrow, Wednesday, September 19th only:
Red & Green
Seedless Grapes
(save $2.00/lb)

Cheese And Wine Class Coming Up At WFM

This is a bit in advance, but space is limited, so I'd suggest jumping on it right away if interested.  The Whole Foods Wine and Spirits store next door to Whole Foods on Pearl Street will host a free class and sampling of Avalanche goat cheeses paired with wine on September 27th.  Here are their details, including the email for an RSVP:

Avalanche Cheese and Wine Class
Thursday, September 27th
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Whole Foods , FREE Join us at Whole Foods Market Wine and Spirits for an informational and delicious evening. Our friend and Cherry Creek Cheese Monger, Devin will be on-hand to tell the tale of the amazing Avalanche goat cheeses, made in Basalt, Colorado. Participants will also get to sample yummy wine pairings and take home a cheese flight of their very own.

Space is limited, so please RSVP to to reserve your spot.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Keep That Munson's Corn Coming

I was talking with the lady at the Munson farm stand at 75th and Valmont today as I was picking up my near daily fresh corn fix, and asked how long they expect to continue to have it.  She replied it will be until the first hard freeze, which is 28 degrees.  Short term, we're looking quite safe from that, and last year they made it all the way to October 31st.  But as she said, this is Colorado, so ya just never know.  Enjoy it while you can.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

With the weekend rapidly flying by, it's time to get the ducks in line for the rest of the week.  For tomorrow, I'm in a near frenzy of enjoying our late summer produce while we have it, and the family will be craving pasta, so it will be linguine with summer succotash from Bon Appetit.  The corn will of course be Munson's, the tomatoes will be the organic ones at Sprouts for $1.99 a pint, and since we're past sugar snap season, that just might morph itself into organic zucchini.  The basil will be my own, from what's left after my big pesto-making enterprise on Friday.

Tuesday is our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is the chicken posole from Food and Wine magazine.  Organic leaf lettuce is $1.29 a head at Sprouts for the side salad, with organic baby carrots $1.25 a one pound bag, too (and on Friday, organic romas were $1.99 a pound, all good for a well priced organic salad).

We'll want something rice-based by Wednesday, and Asian would be good, so I'm looking at garlic pork with tomato and basil from Cooking Light, capitalizing on the fine tomatoes everywhere right now, the pork sirloin chops that are $1.99 a pound through that day at Sprouts, and probably the last of my own basil plants.

For Thursday, we'll be back to the Munson's corn for chicken burritos with chiles and corn from Bon Appetit.  I use whatever freshly roasted chiles I have during this chile season instead of the fresh poblanos, and will also make use of Whole Foods' sale on individually frozen Nature's Rancher boneless skinless chicken breasts at $6.99 a two pound bag for this.  Another bag of those chicken breasts might land in my freezer before Whole Foods' sale ends on September 25th.

Which gets us through to next Friday, whew.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Rosh Hashanah Recipe Ideas

With Rosh Hashanah starting tomorrow evening, I'm a little late to the table, so to speak, with these guides that offer all kinds of suggestions:  Rosh Hashana Recipes from the New York Times, Rosh Hashana Recipes and Menus from Epicurious, Bon Appetit's Rosh Hashana Guide, and Food and Wine magazine's Rosh Hashanah slideshow.  My time just keeps getting tighter and tighter.

Boulder Farmer's Market Today

It should be a lovely day for strolling the Boulder Farmer's Market from 8 to 2 today, with a cornucopia of late summer produce, plus a Fine Art and Fine Craft Fair going on next door.  To do any advance planning for the produce you're likely to encounter, check out the Market's crop list here.

Friday, September 14, 2012

No Wine At Boulder Trader Joe's

If you were looking forward to buying Two Buck Chuck when Trader Joe's opens next year at 29th Street, you're evidently out of luck.  They'll be using their limited license to sell alcohol at their newly announced Denver store instead.  You can read the entire Daily Camera coverage here.  Oh well, I never particularly cared for Two Buck Chuck anyway.

Weekend Dinner Ideas

We're back to milder temperatures, but basil doesn't like to get chilled, so with the mid-40s low we've just had, I'm thinking it's time to harvest a goodly amount of my basil crop for a great big pesto.  Some will be used for linguine with pesto for tonight, while the rest will freeze beautifully in plastic containers sized for one-recipe uses.  I turn to my favorite old Jane Brody cookbook to do mine, but pesto recipes abound on the web, and it's basically just a matter of getting the right balance of fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, good parmesan, and olive oil.  The question remaining is whether the linguine with pesto will be dinner itself, or an especially good side to grilled salmon (fresh wild coho fillets are $8.99 a pound at Sprouts, $14.99 at Whole Foods).

Tomorrow will definitely be out on the grill, trying out the bone-in New York steaks that are $5.99 a pound at Sprouts (they always say that bone-in is more flavorful).  To capitalize on the freshly roasted chiles all around us and our fresh corn season, which is surely eyeing its end on the horizon, the side will probably be creamy stovetop corn with poblano chiles from the New York Times.  I say "probably" only because a simple ear of Munson's corn is so tempting, and also because I wouldn't do steak and creme fraiche in the same dinner, just because of the cholesterol count.  Nonfat plain yogurt works as a creme fraiche substitute, but only with great care to keep its temperature down to avoid curdling.

For Sunday, we'll turn to the Nature's Rancher boneless skinless chicken breasts that Whole Foods has on sale at $6.99 for a two pound bag (now that I have their flyer in front of me I see they are "individually quick frozen," which was not on the web when I wrote about their sales) to do a chicken posole from Food and Wine magazine.  I prefer to make it with white meat chicken, rather than the dark meat called for, and it never hurts to throw in a bit of freshly roasted chile as well, while the season is upon us.  Sprouts has organic red or green leaf lettuce for $1.29 each for the side salad.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

Good morning, Boulder friends.  What is this liquid that is falling so beautifully from the sky?  I vaguely remember seeing it a long time ago.  But it's also Wednesday, so time for the new specials, at both Sprouts (including the former Sunflower) and Whole Foods.

At Sprouts through September 19th, bone-in New York steaks or 26/30 count peeled and deveined shrimp can both be had for $5.99 a pound.  Boneless country style pork ribs, wickedly good done in a smoker, are just $1.99 a pound (same for the pork shoulder cut).  Fresh wild coho salmon fillets and previously frozen swordfish steaks are both $8.99 a pound (I don't usually like previously frozen swordfish, but one time got an excellent piece at Sprouts, followed by one that didn't live up to the prior one).  It's not a great week for a chicken sale here, with tenders advertised at a probable high of $3.99 a pound (hope this isn't a merger effect).

In organic produce, I'm pleased to see one pound bags of baby carrots remaining at $1.25 a bag, as I go through a lot of them, and $1.99 is the usual price elsewhere.  Red or green (and black this time) grapes are inching up to $2.49 a pound, while a one pound clamshell of strawberries can still be had for $2.99.  Broccoli is $1.49 a pound, red or green leaf lettuce is $1.29 a head, grape tomatoes are $1.99 a pint, and five pound bags of russet potatoes are stil $3.99 each.

Sprouts is also offering a bunch of BOGOs (shades of last week), including five ounce Earthbound Farm organic salads, Oikos Greek yogurts, Lundberg rice chips (my downfall, but their rice cakes are BOGO too), Cascadian Farm ten ounce organic frozen veggies, Cascadian Farm organic cereals, the 14.5 ounce size of Muir Glen organic fire-roasted tomatoes, and Westbrae organic beans in the 15 ounce can.

Whole Foods is being a bit mysterious in the midst of change.  I have to check their new specials online, since I can't get my hands on their hardcopy sale flyer until I get to the store, and they appear to be changing their web design once again.  The Pearl Street store now has a mini set of boxes showing specials effective from today through September 25th, while the downloadable pdf is still the flyer that expired yesterday as of this writing.  So looking at just the nine specials in the boxes, I'm pleased to see organic heirloom tomatoes continue at $3.99 a pound, and organic gala apples are $1.99 a pound.  Whole Foods tends to have excellent chicken, so a two pound bag of Nature's Rancher boneless skinless chicken breasts for $6.99 each sounds pretty good, especially considering Sprouts has upped mere chicken tenders to $3.99 a pound this week (i.e., $7.98 for two pounds).  Also, Muir Glen canned tomatoes are $2 each, but the size isn't specified; that's good if it's the large can, but bear in mind that Sprouts has the small can of the fire roasted ones on BOGO this week.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

One-Day At Whole Foods Tomorrow

For tomorrow only, the 12th, our local Whole Foods stores will have Hass avocados for $1 each.  These are presumably conventional, since organic isn't specified, and Sprouts has conventional ones for 50 cents each through tomorrow.  But size does matter, and the ones at Whole Foods typically run quite a bit larger than the ones at Sprouts.  So take your pick based on your size and location preferences, since ounce per ounce, it looks like they'll be pretty equal tomorrow.  Here's what Whole Foods says:

Tomorrow, Wednesday, September 12th only:

10 for $10
(save $0.59/ea)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Twitter Tailgate Chat Coming Up

I don't usually cover Whole Foods' doings in the virtual world (until they figure out a way to make virtual sampling tasty, my time's already too short), but since that seems to be the only thing in the near future, I'll mention the Twitter chat coming up this Thursday, September 13th, on tailgaiting ideas.  Here's what they say:

Break out the cooler, hibachi, koozies, and crudities: it's time to tailgate! In this chat we'll discuss recipes, tips, tricks, and fun ideas for making your pre-game party a smashing success. Follow #wfmdish on Twitter to join the conversation. Chat time is 6-7pm CST.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

World's fastest blog post.  Tomorrow, reheat of yesterday's corn and fingerling potato chowder from Cooking Light.  Tuesday, yet another reheat, the giant pizza alla salsiccia, the Cooking Light recipe I'm doubling tonight to fill an entire baking sheet.  Wednesday, a simple invention I haven't made in eons, inspired by the BOGO through that day on Near East pilafs at Sprouts:  saute diced chicken breast with some onion, separately cook one of the pilafs according to directions on the package, combine, and that's it.  For Thursday, another easy one, showcasing the tomatoes that are so glorious right now, tomato frittata, a new recipe from the August issue of Bon Appetit.

Which gets us through it all on short time, both for cooking and for blogging.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Chile Roasting At Alfalfa's

I don't know if the roaster will be cranking at the Farmers' Market today, but if it isn't, you should still be able to get your freshly roasted chiles fix a few steps away at Alfalfa's this afternoon.  Here's what they say:

Local Chile Roasting

When: Every Saturday*
from 1PM to 4PM
Where: Alfalfa's Al Fresco Tent

Want to spice up that cheeseburger? Need an extra kick in those home-made quesadillas? Then come get our fresh-roasted organic chiles!
*while in season

Friday, September 7, 2012

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Free time just seems less and less available, and changing the batteries in my mouse just took most of the time I have for this post, so this will be quick!  Today's finally supposed to be cooler, but I so discount the possibility of rain ever again that I'll go for grilling tonight.  It will be salmon, but the questions remains, the fresh wild coho at Whole Foods for $14.99 a pound, or the farmed Atlantic at Sprouts that's just $4.99 a pound.  Munson's corn will of course go on the side, probably in a new recipe Mark Bittman demoed recently on the Today Show, raw corn salad with tomatoes and basil, which will also keep me working on my overflowing basil plants.

Tomorrow will be corn and fingerling potato chowder with applewood-smoked bacon from Cooking Light.  Do we have a theme going on here?  You betcha, until the Munson's corn runs out.

Although actually we'll take a break from the corn for Sunday.  With days no longer in the 100s and mornings downright cool (my furnace has actually turned on and had to be whacked back off a couple of mornings), I'm pining for a pizza hot from my own oven.  Chicken Italian sausage is $2.99 a pound at Sprouts this week (although never expensive anyway), so it will be a favorite, pizza alla salsiccia (sausage pizza) from Cooking Light.  Love the taste the fennel imparts, and I always make a double batch, using the wonderful multigrain fresh pizza dough from Whole Foods that fills an entire cookie sheet.

Which gets us through the weekend, my having spent more time writing than I should.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Boosting Immunity With Herbs Webinar

Sprouts has another webinar coming up, this time on the interesting topic of Boosting Immunity With Herbs.  Note that you should preregister.  Here's what they say:

Join us on September 10 for a brand-new webinar!

Medical Herbalist Mitchell Coven joins Sprouts Nutritionist Janet Little for a discussion on herbal remedies. Discover which herbs help maintain a healthy immune system and which provide effective relief for colds, bronchitis, asthma, flu, pneumonia, sinus infections and recurrent immune weakness.

Boosting Immunity with Herbs
Monday, September 10, 2012
7 - 8 p.m. PDT
Click here to register and reserve your space!

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

With Wednesday sales the norm, a Friday one-day sale at Whole Foods is a special treat, although not being much of a red meat eater, this one isn't for me.  Here's what they say:

One-Day Sale!

Ground Grass-Fed Beef

This Friday, September 7th, ground grass-fed beef is just $4.99/lb. Stock up and save!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sunflower Now Sprouts

The "merger" has been official for quite some time, but now it's visual too - the store that was our Boulder Sunflower is now signed everywhere, inside and out, as Sprouts.  And you can use that $5 Sprouts coupon that was in last week's sale flyer there, too.  The bad news is that, as I feared, they're closing out my favorite Luigi Vitelli whole wheat dried pasta in the store that was Sunflower.  It will be hard to find a quality replacement anywhere near the $1.49 it was selling for, but in the meantime, I picked up all I could handle at the $1 a package closeout price.

This Week's Hot New Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Sunflower (both logos still coexisting on the new sale flyer), while the current sale continues at Whole Foods (click for prior report).  Here's what's looking good to me in the new sales.

At Sprouts and probably Sunflower (there's still that fine print about the merger in progress and price differential possibilities) through September 12th, surf & turf is featured, with porterhouse steak $6.99 a pound, and very big 16/20 count shrimp $5.99 a pound.  Value packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts are $2.99 a pound, not the lowest we've ever seen, while chicken (also pork) sausage are $2.99 a pound as well.  Rosie's organic whole fryers or grill packs are $2.79 a pound, previously frozen Alaskan cod fillets are $7.99 a pound, fresh (farmed) Atlantic salmon is just $4.99 a pound, and there's a big "buffalo stampede," with many types of bison on sale.

In organic produce, baby carrots remain nicely low at $1.25 for a one pound bag, red or green grapes are $1.99 a pound, one pound clamshells of strawberries are $2.99, celery is $1.29 a bunch, five pound bags of russets are $3.99 each, grape tomatoes are back down to $2 a pint, and the march towards prepackaged produce unfortunately continues.  There's a lot of BOGO action, including Earthbound Farm organic salads, my favorite Cascade fresh yogurts (good thing, considering they've bumped up the regular price), Cascadian Farm cereal, Westbrae organic canned beans, Oikos Greek yogurts, and Near East pilafs and couscous (select varieties for all).  Last but not least, conventional avocados are 50 cents each, not as good as last week's three for $1, but still pretty good.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

Be still, my wildly beating heart.  Organic fig lover that I am, I'm very enthused about tomorrow's one-day sale at our local Whole Foods stores.  Read the news from them and you'll see why:

Tomorrow, Wednesday, September 5th only:

(save $2/lb)

Oat Bars
2 for $3
(save $1.29/ea)

Hemp Hearts
(raw shelled hemp seed - 8oz.)
(save 50%)

No Benefit To Organic?

I don't think so.  I was going to ignore this when I read it yesterday, but since it's all over the news this morning, I guess I'll jump in.  There's a new meta-analysis out from Stanford University that questions the value of buying organic over conventional.  Anyone telling me that because the pesticide residues in the conventional are deemed mostly "safe" means they are equal in value to the organic has got to come up with a different argument to persuade me.  You can read the coverage from the New York Times here.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day

Wishing you a fun holiday filled with lots of grilling and Munson's corn.  If you're still debating what will go on the grill, check out these grilling guides for inspiration.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas, Starting With Labor Day

So what to do for Labor Day tomorrow?  It obviously has to include something on the grill, which I'm thinking will be the St. Louis ribs from American Homestead Pork that Whole Foods has for $3.99 a pound.  Potato salad would be classic on the side, and I like the very light, veggie-filled version from Cooking Light, light and fresh potato salad, with its vinaigrette dressing.  And of course, some ears of fresh Munson's corn on the cob.

Tuesday is our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is the corn and green chile chowder from the Food Network.  Much as I'm enjoying these soups and chowders, I'm secretly starting to look forward to returning to some comforting casseroles when the days start cooling off in the fall.

For Wednesday, we'll finally give the corn a break, using the raw shrimp that are $3.99 a pound at Sprouts and Sunflower through that day to do spicy shrimp and fettuccine from Cooking Light, since the runners in the family will be clamoring for pasta by then.

I'll also grab some of the top sirloin that's $3.99 a pound through Wednesday at Sprouts and Sunflower to do a longtime favorite for Thursday, sirloin steak with tomato and cilantro sauce from Bon Appetit.  The steak mixture is great either on its own, or wrapped in warm tortillas.

Which quickly gets us heading well into September, as I'm seeing more and more yellow leaves around my yard.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

Happy September, all (how did we get here so quickly?)  Labor Day weekend makes for a fine time to stroll the Boulder Farmers' Market, downtown today from 8 to 2.  While there, you can take advantage of all the activities of the Boulder Creek Hometown Festival, bearing in mind that the live music starts at 12:30.  Planning types can check out the spectacular late summer list of produce you can expect to find at the market using their crop list.  It's an absolute ode to late summer.