Friday, November 30, 2012

Weekend Dinner Ideas

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Farmers' Winter Market This Weekend

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

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

December 1 & 2 ~ 9am-3pm

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

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lucky's To Open Longmont Store

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

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

No News Yet Re One-Day Sale

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

Spirits And Cheese Pairing Thursday

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

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sprouts Sale Evidently On Hiatus

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

Spa Night Tomorrow In Superior

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

Tuesday, November 27th

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

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

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Turkey For The Rest Of The Week

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

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Shop Small Saturday

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

Friday, November 23, 2012

No Word Re Sprouts

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

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks Today

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

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Last Day To Bag Hunger

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

No New Grocery Sales Today

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

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Shrimp Sale At Whole Foods

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

Three Day Sale

Beginning today through Thursday, Nov. 22.

All Shrimp Trios
(save $8/ea)


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

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Recipe Guides

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

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas, Including Thanksgiving

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Current Sale At Vitamin Cottage

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

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

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

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

Friday, November 16, 2012

Weekend Dinner Ideas

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Turkey Cooking Demo At Alfalfa's Saturday

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

Turkey Cooking Demo with Terry Retzloff

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

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

New York Strip Steaks Tomorrow At Whole Foods

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

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

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

Tomorrow, Wednesday, November 14th only:

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

Olli Salamis
All Varieties
(save $4/ea)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Beat Holiday Bloat With Sprouts Webinar

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

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Do It Yourself Week At Pearl Whole Foods

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

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

Friday, November 9, 2012

Weekend Dinner Ideas, Part Deux

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

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

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

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

Laudisio At Alfalfa's

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

Chef of the Month: Antonio Laudisio

Sunday, November 11th

1 PM to 3 PM

Alfalfa's Demo Kitchen

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

No Time For The Dinner Plans

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

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thanksgiving Tasting Fair At Alfalfa's

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

Thanksgiving Tasting Fair

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

Thanksgiving Tasting Saturday At Pearl WFM

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

Thanksgiving Tasting

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

Whole Foods Market Pearl Street, FREE

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

Thanksgiving Tasting In Superior Today

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

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

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

Natural Turkey Price Comparison Smackdown

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

Vitamin Cottage (as previously reported):

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

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

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

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

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

Whole Foods

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

Diestel all natural turkeys, $2.49 a pound  

Diestel organic turkeys, $3.99 a pound  

Diestel organic heirloom turkeys, $4.99 a pound  

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

Community Food Share Drive Coming Up

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

Monday, November 5, 2012

Thanksgiving Planning Guides

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

Turkey Reservations Getting Tight At Vitamin Cottage

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

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

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

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

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

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

Which quickly gets us through to Friday's planning.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Last Regular Farmers' Market Today

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

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

Friday, November 2, 2012

First Bite Boulder Coming Up

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

Weekend Dinner Ideas

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

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

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

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Heads Up Re Vitamin Cottage Sale

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