Sunday, June 30, 2013

More Fun With Fannie Farmer

I was pondering what to serve along with the beautiful swordfish I was going to get at Whole Foods Friday, and thought to consult my new Fannie Farmer Cook Book to see what Fannie would have done in 1896, and that consultation sent me into a tailspin of thought.  Sure enough, Fannie had a recipe for grilled swordfish (she was from Boston, after all), with which she recommended serving Cucumber or Horseradish Sauce.  Not wanting to challenge my swordfish with horseradish, I looked up the Cucumber Sauce, and found this straightforward concept.  "Grate two cucumbers, drain, and season with salt, pepper, and vinegar.  Serve with Broiled Fish."  My kind of recipe.  I tried it, and it was great with the fish.  These days one has to be careful to use organic cucumbers from a place like Whole Foods, Sprouts, or Vitamin Cottage, but I started thinking about how at the time she wrote that, everything probably already was local and organic.  Which in turn got me wondering about the history of agriculture in the 20th century, and how we ever "progressed" to the idea of cucumbers grown with chemicals and waxed for shipment thousands of miles away.

Perusing the fish section of the book also started me thinking about how our attitudes towards it have changed and how some fish have become endangered through overfishing.  While we've taken to revering our fish, giving some near cult status and paying a king's ransom for it, fish was clearly not on such a pedestal in 1896.  Among the things Fannie says in her introduction to the fish chapter are "Fish meat, with but few exceptions, is less stimulating and nourishing than meat of other animals...," and "Fish meat is generally considered cheaper than meat of other animals."  But ringing ever true today, "To obtain from fish its greatest value and flavor, it should be eaten fresh, and in season."  We might be willing to pay $25 a pound for a piece of halibut to showcase from Whole Foods, but in Fannie's day, it was a fish that could simply be stuck in boiling water.

This train of thought brought me to how much of this change I've seen in my own lifetime, growing up when it was a "sacrifice" to eat fish on Fridays.  As a kid, that usually meant swordfish or shrimp, both of which were plentiful and cheap.  Which brought me to one further realization, that my lifetime stretches halfway back to when Fannie Farmer published this book in 1896.  Now, that one's a shocker.  Oh gift giver of this book, you are messing with my mind.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Weekend Dinner Idea Sketch

I told myself I'd stop posting dinner plans, as it was becoming too time-consuming and even skewing my own thinking in favor of a better post rather than a better plan for myself.  But maybe if I just outline a bit without taking the time and trouble to fill in all those other details will work out sometimes.  So here's a bare sketch for the weekend.

For tonight, I discovered that Whole Foods, at least at the Pearl Street store, is doing a sale on fresh swordfish for $17.99 a pound.  That's only $2 off their regular price, but it doesn't take much incentive to make me grab a beautiful piece of swordfish, which will go on the grill.  Their corn, most recently from Georgia, has also been very nice at 50 cents each.

Tomorrow we'll be back to the fresh wild salmon, trying out Sprouts' fish at $12.99 a pound.  Whole Foods also has it for considerably more (sorry, didn't write it down while I was there, but it was pretty high).  Sides may include a caprese salad using my Crave Brothers fresh mozzarella from Whole Foods' one-day sale Wednesday (reported in a post below), organic tomatoes just $1.25 a pound at Sprouts, and basil from my own herb pots, doing so well in this early summer heat.

We always make something big on the weekend to also serve as an easy midweek reheat, and that becomes something of a challenge for the summer, when big hot casseroles from the oven aren't appealing.  Soups, stews, and chowders are good, but we've done those for at least two weeks in a row.  So I'm thinking we'll head back out to the grill Sunday to do a double batch of a favorite, grilled chicken and ratatouille from Bon Appetit.  I like an exceptional quality chicken breast when it's the star as in this recipe, and this is a good week for choices.  Vitamin Cottage has fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts (free range, air chilled, no antibiotics, etc.) for $5.99 a pound, Sprouts has Rosie's organic boneless skinless ones at $7.99 a pound, and if you want to be naughty and add on the skin (plus bones), Whole Foods has air chilled split breasts for $3.99 a pound.  Decisions, decisions.

So this took more time than I'd hoped also.  Still trying to figure out a balance.

4th Of July Grilling Ideas

Looking for something new to spice up your 4th of July?  Epicurious can help you out with Recipes and Party Tips for a Star-Studded July 4th, while Cooking Light offers 4th of July Recipes.  And don't forget the various grilling guides I pulled together for a post around Memorial Day.  Hard to believe the 4th of July is coming up so quickly!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

One-Day Grape Sale At WFM

Wow.  For tomorrow only, the 28th, our local Whole Foods stores will have both red and green organic grapes at the stunning price of 99 cents a pound.  I had to look twice to be sure I was reading that correctly.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts (Longmont, too) and Whole Foods, while the current one continues at Vitamin Cottage through July 13th (click for prior report).  Here's what's looking good to me as we near the July 4th holiday.

While Sprouts' regular new sale runs through July 3rd, they're kicking things off with a 72 hour sale this weekend for Friday through Sunday.  My fave Cascade Fresh yogurts at 50 cents each catch my eye, although Vitamin Cottage has had them for 49 cents throughout its long-running sale.  Other items look like good deals but are just not my thing, like the pork brats for $1.99 a pound.  In the regular sale running through the 3rd, very big previously frozen 16/20 count shrimp are good at $6.99 a pound, but this time the ad unfortunately doesn't mention country of origin, so I'm guessing not domestic.  Fresh wild sockeye salmon fillets from the Pacific Northwest are $12.99 a pound (up a touch from this week's incredible $9.99 a pound), and all types of chicken sausage are $2.99 a pound.  Otherwise, meat and fish specials aren't really calling me this week in this sale, as I'm not a fan of pork sirloin or chicken thighs (although I know chefs routinely call the thighs the best cooking parts), and I don't think a sale of chicken tenders at $3.99 a pound is anything to write home about, when we often see those under $2.  Rosie's organic boneless skinless chicken breasts do appeal at $7.99 a pound, but Vitamin Cottage has a natural version for $5.99 a pound that also carries a good pedigree.

In organic produce through the 3rd, I'm especially enthused about on-the-vine tomatoes at just $1.25 a pound (pair them with some of the Crave Brothers mozzarella from today's one-day sale at Whole Foods, see the post below).  Organic kale is $1.29 a bunch, one pound bags of baby carrots remain $1.49, romaine or red or green leaf lettuce are all $1.29 a bunch, celery is also $1.29 a bunch, Gala apples are $1.49 a pound, nectarines are $1.99 a pound, and a one pound clamshell of strawberries is $2.99 (yup, we're still talking organic).  Elsewhere in the store, I'm liking Oasis Naturals hummus at $3 for eight ounces and Nature's Grilling or mesquite charcoal or chips at 25% off.

Whole Foods has a new sale running through July 16th, but once again, the sales flyer link on the Pearl Street store's website leads to a summary of a few items rather than to the full flyer pdf.  Of the few I can see from the highlights, I'll mention organic grape tomatoes at $2.99 a pint, Santa Cruz lemonades are great at $1 each, Whole Foods' own fresh fruit pies are $6 off at $7.99 each, their 365 Everyday Value Greek yogurts are $1 each, and their own farmers' market potato salad is $2 off at $4.99 a pound.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

Tomorrow only, the 26th, our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a duo of special sales.  Since I adore Crave Brothers fresh mozzarella, and I have a suspicion that Sprouts will have organic tomatoes for just $1.25 a pound starting tomorrow, and my basil plants are just reaching a harvesting stage, I'm thinking a caprese salad will be in the future this week.  (Although a pound of mozz is really pretty big.)  Here's what Whole Foods says:
One Day Sale

Wednesday, June 26th

Crave Brothers
1lb. Mozzarella Log
Sale: $5.99/ea
Save: $4/ea

Chef Prepared
Spicy Avocado Roll
Sale: $3.99/ea
50% Off

Picnic Class At Whole Foods Thursday

The Whole Foods on Pearl Street will host a Pack-a-Picnic Cooking Class this Thursday at noon.  Please note you should sign up in advance, and that light lunch and recipes are included!  Here are the details from them.  And P.S., no word yet that I've seen about the customary one-day sale for tomorrow, but that sometimes comes out fairly late.

Pack-a-Picnic Cooking Class

Thursday, June 27th
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Demo Island , Free

Going to a picnic or BBQ this summer and not sure what to bring? Join our Healthy Eating Specialist Steph as she shows you how to create delicious salads, appetizers, snacks and sandwiches. All are perfect for a picnic and feature local ingredients. Light lunch and recipes included. Email to sign up!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Fannie Farmer Fun

This past weekend, a sweet friend gave me a copy of a reprint of the 1896 Fannie Farmer Cook Book, a landmark publication.  I can't wait to delve into sensibility of the time, with recipes like birds in aspic and even housekeeping tips!

Bike To Work Day Wednesday

It should be nice and toasty this Wednesday for Boulder's Bike to Work Day on the 26th.  You can get all the details at Walk + Bike Month, and its Bike to Work page includes that all-important list of over 50 places where you can bike up to a free breakfast (some even offering bike maintenance while you eat) from 6:30 to 9 a.m.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Lobster Roll Ruminations

I'm in love with lobster rolls and am a bit annoyed when people confuse them with lobster salad rolls.  It's actually sort of a continuum, starting with nothing but lobster and butter (or perhaps a touch of mayonnaise instead) to a full blown salad where veggies and binders dwarf the poor lobster that should be the star.  So I'm pleased to see that the June issue of Bon Appetit has a nice little article (link unfortunately not available, but they can't give away everything) on all the variables involved, and focusing on the lobster and bread.  A more informed take than they did several years ago when what they hyped right on their cover as a lobster roll actually was a lobster salad roll, based on its recipe.  And if anybody knows where I can get a decent lobster roll in Boulder, *please* let me know.  It's something that's basically indigenous to New England, and as the article states, everybody has a different idea of what's the best.  For me, it's a neighborhood restaurant called Kay's that has been in Woonsocket, Rhode Island since the beginning of time.  A lobster roll to die for, and at an incredibly reasonable price, to boot (nearly two thirds less than the prices you'll find in downtown Boston or Manhattan).  Oh, if I only had time for a trip meandering the coast of New England in search of the perfect lobster roll at a shack on the shore.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Reminder Re Extraordinary Wild Salmon Sale

Just a reminder that today's the day that some of us have been eagerly waiting for, the fabulous one-day sale at Whole Foods on fresh wild Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets for just $11.99 a pound (original post here).  And remember that Sprouts has fresh Alaskan sockeye fillets for even less, $9.99 a pound, and that sale runs all week through next Wednesday.  I've usually posted our weekend dinner ideas on Fridays, but as I recently mentioned, that's getting kind of old for me, with so many other things to do and great weather to enjoy.  So I'm going to brazenly, and liberatingly (if that's a word), skip that post.  Suffice it to say that the weekend plans include fresh wild Alaskan salmon!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Weekender Sale At Whole Foods Starts Tomorrow

While my pathetic little world is still revolving around Whole Foods' one-day wild salmon sale tomorrow (see posts below), they're also offering us a trio of special sales for tomorrow through Sunday.  As for the chicken, bear in mind they also have spicily pre-seasoned split fryer chickens in their regular sale for $1.99 a pound.  We put some on the grill last weekend, and they were excellent.  Here's what Whole Foods says about the three-day sale:

THREE DAY SALE 6/21 - 6/23

Honey Stinger Protein Bars (10g)
Sale: 3/$4
Save $0.86/ea

Pasture Raised
Whole Chicken Fryers
Step 4
Sale: $2.99/lb
Save: $1.00/lb

Colorado Tilapia
Sale: 2 for $8
Save: $1.99/ea

Local Vendor Competition At WFM Saturday

The Pearl Street Whole Foods will host a "local throwdown" this Saturday from 11 to 2, in which you get to taste and vote.  Here are the details from them.

Local Throwdown

Saturday, June 22nd
11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Store-Wide, Free

This summer, we are celebrating our commitment to LOCAL. Every third Saturday, we will host a competition amongst some of our favorite local vendors. You be the judge - come taste and vote for your favorite!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have a new sale starting today at our local Sprouts stores, while current sales continue at Whole Foods through the 25th, and at Vitamin Cottage all the way through July 13th (click for my prior reports).  Here's what's looking good to me in the new stuff.

Oh, decisions, decisions about fresh Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets.  But isn't it great to have such choices?  In addition to Whole Foods' upcoming one-day sale Friday for $11.99 a pound, trumpeted in a post below, in Sprouts' new sale running through June 26th, they have it at just $9.99 a pound all week (same price also at Safeway all week with card).  I generally prefer Whole Foods' fish, where every piece in the display case looks like it's modelling for a Bon Appetit photo shoot and always tastes exquisite, so long as the price is within reason, which isn't always the case.  I did have some very good salmon from Sprouts last weekend, when the Copper River looked quite good and was $14.99 a pound there but $22.99 a pound at Whole Foods, a no-brainer of a choice.  But the week prior to that, the salmon at Sprouts had been cut into little serving pieces and looked like it had been around a while, so I went elsewhere that time.  Note that all these ads are for Alaskan - I suspect the Copper River season is about played out and other fine rivers are getting in the mix.

So, I'll be eating salmon all week - no need to look at anything else.  Well, if we need a little variety, at Sprouts through the 26th, boneless top sirloin is $5.99 a pound, value packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts are not the lowest we've seen at $2.99 a pound, pork spare ribs are just $1.99 a pound, their very good stuffed chicken breasts are $3.99 a pound, and previously frozen wild Alaskan cod fillets are $7.99 a pound.

In organic produce at Sprouts, on-the-vine tomatoes remain great at $1.99 a pound (compare to the $3.99 a pound sale price at Whole Foods), one pound bags of baby carrots are $1.49 each, red or green seedless grapes are $2.49 a pound (Whole Foods matching on the green, and also black), three pound bags of onions are $2.49 each, and cantaloupe is just 79 cents a pound.  Elsewhere in the store, the main news seems to be a big sale on Sprouts' own brand of products, with low prices on all sorts of things, including 25% off their entire Sprouts vitamin line.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

While I'm holding my breath waiting for Friday to come around, when I'll be able to get my hands on Whole Foods' gorgeous fresh wild Alaskan salmon for just $11.99 a pound (see the post below), they're also offering us a duo of special sales for tomorrow only, the 19th.  Here are the details from them:

Wednesday, June 19

Lemon Tart
Sale: $4.99
Save $2

Ice Cream
20% off all ice cream pints
Savings vary

FABULOUS Wild Sockeye Salmon Sale Friday

ANNOUNCEMENT!!!  Whole Foods will do a one-day sale this Friday, the 21st, on fresh Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets for just $11.99 a pound.  $11.99 a pound!  Yahoo!!!!  P.S. Get it while it lasts, and you'd better not beat me to it.

Drag Queen Bingo At Alfalfa's

Alfalfa's will pull out the stops with another Drag Queen Bingo tomorrow.  Sounds like a wild time and all a benefit for BCAP, a great cause.  Here's what they say:

Drag Queen Bingo

June 19th

Alfalfa's Cafe, 8 to 9:30pm

It's back and more fabulous than ever! Live performances, mocktails, and BINGO! All proceeds benefit Boulder County AIDS Project (BCAP). Come play for your chance to win some fantastic prizes from local companies like the St. Julien, Chautauqua, and Brasserie Ten Ten.

Thanks to everyone who has attended and participated in the past. With your help, we've been able to raise over $1,500 for BCAP.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Beans Class At WFM Pearl

The Pearl Street Whole Foods will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about cooking with beans in a class this Thursday.  Here's what they say:

Beans 101 Class

Thursday, June 20th
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Cooking Department, Free

Join Dana, our Cooking Coach, in our Cooking Department for a class all about beans. Learn how to buy beans in bulk, how to cook them, and incorporate them into tasty recipes! Email us at to sign up.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Happy Father's Day to all you fathers out there.  In my blogging custom, I'll outline dinner plans for the coming week, but this might be the last full one for a while.  I'm finding I'm spending way too much time messing with this when there's so much else to be done, and especially when it's so beautiful outside.  So I'll be seeking a better balance in the future, but here's what's on deck for this week while I'm still at it.

I'm grabbing some of that $2.99 a pound asparagus that's on sale at Whole Foods through today in their weekender sale to do penne with asparagus, spinach and bacon from Cooking Light tomorrow.  I also saw asparagus for $2.99 at Sprouts, but the asparagus I saw at Whole Foods a couple of days ago looked tastier.  I've also picked up organic spinach at the Farmers' Market, but Sprouts still has it at the remarkable price of $3.99 a pound.

Tuesday will be our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is tonight's kale and white bean stew from Food and Wine magazine.  The organic kale is also from the Farmers' Market, although Sprouts, at least at the Arapahoe store, has it for something like $1.50 a bunch, half what I opted to pay a local organic farmer.

Think I've planned on doing this previously but things got in the way, so this week I'm committed to doing sausage risotto with spring greens from Bon Appetit Wednesday, having a big bag of beautiful braising mix from Cure Organic Farm, plus the chicken sausage that's so often $2.99 a pound at Sprouts.

I'll grab ground chicken breast or turkey breast, both on sale for $3.99 a pound at Sprouts through Wednesday, to do spicy Thai basil chicken from Cooking Light.  Love the low carb meal it makes, wrapped in lettuce leaves.

And that's it for now.  Enjoy the day - I intend to!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Spring Abundance At Boulder Farmers' Market

I just love this time of year, when we get to enjoy so many fresh veggies after a winter of butternut squash, although I love that too.  A trip through through the Farmers' Market this morning was so fun, despite the crowds.  Assorted spring greens everywhere, plus snap peas, pea shoots, and the ever-fun garlic scapes!  Bob Munson told me they'll be opening the farmstand at 75th and Valmont in three to four weeks, whenever the corn starts coming in (can't wait!).  You still have until 2 this afternoon to get to the Market, and the abundance of organic produce is stunning.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Quick rundown on weekend plans.  With Copper River salmon prices dropping everywhere, tonight's got to be Copper River on the grill (look a few posts below for the $14.99 a pound sales).  I think a nice fresh fish is often best just on its own, with a drop of lemon, but we've also enjoyed grilled salmon with nectarine salsa from Bon Appetit, and Sprouts has organic nectarines at just $1.99 a pound this week, so that's kind of tempting.

It has cooled down a little from the super high temps of earlier in the week, but it's still too hot for June, so tomorrow we'll be back out on the grill, trying out the split seasoned fryer chickens that Whole Foods has for $1.99 a pound.  While at the store, I'll grab some organic zucchini they have for $1.99 a pound to do shaved zucchini salad with parmesan and pine nuts from Bon Appetit.  I managed to grab some of those pricey pine nuts (well over $20 a pound) during Whole Foods' bulk flash sale on Wednesday, but the amount needed is so small, it hardly matters.

For Sunday, we'll need something big that will also serve as an easy midweek reheat, and I'm thinking it will be kale and white bean stew from Food and Wine magazine.  I should find young kale in abundance at tomorrow's Farmers' Market, and Sprouts has organic Westbrae beans at a stunning 99 cents for the 15 ounce cans (if cannellinis aren't included, similar can obviously be substituted).

Which gets us through a warm weekend approaching summer.  Too warm and windy so far, and with much thought going to all those who have been affected by the horrific fires this week has seen.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Weekend Sale At Whole Foods

Our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a quartet of specials in a three-day sale, tomorrow through Sunday only.  I might not be able to resist planting more herbs.  Here's what they say:

$2.99/lb (save $2/lb)

4" Herbs
3 for $6 (save $2.99/ea)

Fresh King Salmon Fillet
$24.99/lb (save $5/lb)

Value Packed – 40 oz. Potato and Macaroni Salad
$4.99/ea (save $5/ea)

Father's Day Celebration At WFM Pearl

Father's Day doesn't tend to be a big culinary celebration (probably good to take a break from all that), but the Pearl Street Whole Foods will be celebrating him anyway on Saturday, with the following minimal details from them:

Father's Day Celebration

Saturday, June 15th
12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Store Patio , Free

We invite families to join us for the ultimate celebration of dads! We will have a rock climbing wall, kids activities, grilled food and more.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

New Sale At Whole Foods

Okay, I've encountered the pdf of the full sale flyer for Whole Foods' new sale in some hidden place (not under Sale Flyer for the Pearl Street store, like you would expect), so here's a bigger look at the new sale running there through June 25th.  As previously mentioned, I'm liking turbot fillet for $11.99 a pound and top round steak $4.99 a pound.  The usual salmon burger $7.99 a pound sale this time is on pepper jack poblano ones, yum, and a split seasoned fryer chicken might have to go on the grill at $1.99 a pound.  Organic zucchini is $1.99 a pound, and Whole Trade organic green or black seedless grapes are $2.49 a pound, beating Sprouts by 50 cents for the green ones.  Fage Greek yogurts, a fave in this house, are great at $1 each, and Whole Foods' excellent Market Made smoked mozzarella pasta salad is $3 off at $6.99 a pound.  Finally, the big 32 ounce Alba Botanica Very Emollient Lotion is a very good price at $11.99 each, but limited to original or fragrance-free.

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our local Sprouts and Whole Foods, while the current one continues all the way to July 13th at Vitamin Cottage (click for prior report).  Here's what's looking good to me in the new sales.

First, let's go straight to the fresh wild Copper River sockeye salmon news.  $14.99 a pound seems to be the going price for it this week, with Sprouts, King Soopers, and Safeway all advertising it at that price (card needed at the two latter stores).  When I was at the Pearl Street Whole Foods a few days ago, they'd dropped from $22.99 to $19.99 a pound, and it was some truly beautiful fish.  I got mine last week for cheap at King Soopers, and was fortunate to get the one piece that looked like it belonged in a Whole Foods display, as the rest didn't look as good.  Now on to the regular sales news.

At Sprouts' new sale through June 19th, in addition to the salmon sale above, I'm interested in checking out fresh wild Baja halibut fillets for $10.99 a pound, as they say they are caught off the Baja Peninsula or the California coast.  Baby back ribs and London broil are both $2.99 a pound, although you have to know what you're doing with London broil or it can be tough.  Boneless ribeye steaks are $9.99 a pound, ground turkey breast or chicken breast are both $3.99 a pound (same price for turkey tenders), and all chicken sausage (pork too) is $2.99 a pound.

In organic produce at Sprouts, on-the-vine tomatoes have bumped up 50 cents from this week's incredible price to a still very good $1.99 a pound (compare to Whole Foods' new sale on organic cluster tomatoes for $3.99 a pound).  Organic kale is $1.49 a bunch, red or green leaf or romaine lettuce are all $1.29 a head, green onions are just 69 cents a bunch, baby caarrots are $1.50 a bag, red or green seedless grapes are $2.99 a pound, and yellow peaches or nectarines are $1.99 a pound.  Elsewhere in the store, I'm thrilled to see my favorite bulk coffee beans at $6.99 a pound (and was also thrilled to discover recently that the new Longmont Sprouts actually listened to me and added the Fair Trade organic Sprouts Blend, which still isn't available at the Arapahoe store in Boulder).  Fifteen ounce cans of organic Westbrae beans are exceedingly low at 99 cents each, there's a line drive of 25% off all Spectrum items (think chia or flax seeds, good stuff), half pounds of Kerrygold Irish butter are $2.50 each, Annie Chun's potstickers are also $2.50 each, Eat Well Enjoy Life hummus is BOGO, and being a chia fan, I'm interested in something I've never seen before, Health Warrior chia bars at $1 each, which looks to be a significant discount ($3.45 off on five).

Whole Foods hasn't yet put up the pdf of their new sales flyer for the new sale starting today and running through the 25th, so I'm stuck with the handful of items they've highlighted, few of which are doing much for me.  Since I love Whole Foods' fish, turbot fillet looks good at $11.99 a pound, $5 off.  Country Natural Beef top round steak is $3 off at $4.99 a pound.  In organic produce, zucchini is $1.99 a pound, but I'd avoid the cluster tomatoes on sale for $3.99 a pound, since as mentioned above, you can get them for half that at Sprouts.  Maybe I'll have time for more (although I doubt it) when I pick up the actual sale flyer at the store.  *Update* I found the full sale flyer lurking in a hidden place, see the post just above for more info.

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Today

Whole Foods will offer us a trio of special sales for today only, the 12th, one of which is a flash sale, limited to 4 to 8 pm in the bulk department.  The olive bar at nearly half price is particularly tempting, especially since Whole Foods' olive bars contain far more than olives.  Last time I looked, the Pearl Street store's even had fresh pesto, which would be an absolute steal at $5.99 a pound.  Here's what they say:

American Homestead
St. Louis Style Spare Ribs
Save 50%

Olive Bar
Save $4/lb

Bulk Bin FLASH Sale
4-8pm, June 12th
20% OFF all bulk products
(excludes coffee, bath salts &
pre-packaged bulk bin items)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Father's Day This Sunday

Unlike many (most?) holidays, Father's Day doesn't seem to have gained a whole lot of culinary traction.  But with the holiday coming up this Sunday, the 16th, you might want to check these sites out for a little help:  Father's Day Recipes from Bon Appetit, A Father's Day Gift Guide, also from Bon Appetit, and Love Dad - Cook Him Healthy Food from Whole Foods (the latter falling in with my sensibility towards Valentine's Day - why cook your loved one a dinner calculated to finish him/her off?).

No News Yet Re One-Day Sale

It's getting a bit late in the day, and I have yet to hear about Whole Foods' usual Wednesday one-day sale for tomorrow.  Will keep an eye on it as time permits.

A Tad Annoyed With Zagat's

So this is a bit of a diversion from cooking in Boulder, but it is at least food-related.  For several years, I've enjoyed rating restaurants through the Zagat survey system, particularly those we've tried in New York City, and it has always been fun to receive a complimentary copy of the corresponding new Zagat guide as a thank you.  But with Zagat's recent acquisition by Google, Google is strong-arming the review process, requiring that it be done through a Google+ account, and submitted via Google Chrome, no less.  So much for getting those free guides.  The good side is that they're evidently making the Zagat content free online in the Google tradition, but I have to wonder about the breadth of reviews they'll receive, with those submission restrictions.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Cheese And Wine Pairing At Alfalfa's

This coming Saturday, the 15th, Alfalfa's will host a cheese and wine pairing class at 4 pm, $20 a ticket.  Just beware the road construction if you're traveling west on Arapahoe.  Here are the details from them:

The Perfect Match: Cheese and Wine Pairing Class at Alfalfa's

June 15th, 4 to 5:30pm

Alfalfa's Community Room

Join us as we host Executive Sommelier and Certified Wine Instructor Paul Giese! He'll explain the basics of tasting and evaluating wine and how to pair wines with chocolates and cheeses. All attendees will receive 10% off at Alfalfa's Cellar that day! Price: $20.

Call Alfalfa's Cellar today to purchase your ticket: 720.420.8400 x 1170

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Quick rundown.  Tomorrow, we'll catch the citrus bbq salmon burgers Whole Foods has for $7.99 a pound through Tuesday, with mashed potatoes done from my big five pound bag of organic potatoes from Sprouts (sorry, it came from last week's sale, unless they're continuing without advertising, which sometimes happens).

Tuesday will be a riff on tomato and mozzarella risotto from Cooking Light, using fresh Galbani mozzarella on sale ($2.99 for eight ounce cups) through Wednesday at Sprouts, organic on-the-vine tomatoes just $1.49 a pound there through Wednesday, hoping organic spinach in bulk remains just $3.99 a pound at Sprouts, and adding a bunch of fresh herbs from my burgeoning perennial herb garden experiment.

Wednesday will be our usual reheat of something big already made, which this week is the chipotle beef stew from Gourmet magazine.

And Thursday will be a simple stir-fry over brown rice, probably one with tofu and a defrosted bag of my beloved Seapoint Farms Oriental blend edamame mixes (which are increasingly hard to find), boosted with fresh ginger, scallions, snow or snap peas, and red pepper.

Which gets us through the week.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Nice Day For The Boulder Farmers' Market, But Beware Road Construction

A nice day to head to downtown Boulder for today's Farmers' Market (8 to 2), if you have a bit of spare time.  They're still not publishing their weekly crop list as they used to on their website, but I can understand that's pretty time-consuming.  So go and discover for yourself what's newly popped out of the soil this week!

The day might be nice, but the newly started construction on Arapahoe won't be.  I haven't driven that stretch on the west side since it started, but it sounds like it won't be pretty all summer.  All the more reason to take your bike up the creek path, getting off just steps from the Farmers' Market!  Here's what the Market has to say about it:

Attention Boulder Customers

The Arapahoe Avenue Reconstruction project will cause significant impacts to traffic and parking for the Boulder Farmers' Market, including a full-time westbound lane closure. Arapahoe Avenue has been reduced to one eastbound lane of traffic between Folsom and 15th streets, with the westbound lane closure in place through mid-August 2013. Westbound traffic and both directions of the JUMP bus will be detoured onto Canyon Boulevard. Part of the Boulder High School parking lot will be used a staging area for construction vehicles and equipment. While we encourage our customers to walk, bike, bus, hop, skip, jump down to the market we want you to note that the parking lots on 14th Street will still be available to BCFM customers (please access from Canyon).

Feel free to contact us with any questions. Thank You!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Alfalfa's Hosts Electric Bike Test Drives

Ever wanted to try out riding (or is it driving?) an electric bike?  This weekend's your chance at Alfalfa's.  Here are the details from them:

Electric Bike Test Drives

Saturday, June 8th, 1 to 4pm

Sunday, June 11th, 4:30 to 8pm

In honor of Bike to Work Month, we're proud to have partnered with Small Planet Electric Vehicles! They'll be at Alfalfa's this month showing customers the benefits of electric bikes. Stop by and say hi, and take one of their cool e-bikes for a spin!

Friday News From WFM Pearl

I was at the Whole Foods on Pearl this afternoon, and found that they have started a Friday fish steaks sale, a one-day deal possibly going all summer.  I instantly switched my plan from the albacore I was going to buy to fresh swordfish instead.  In produce, I also stumbled on an unadvertised sale of organic roma tomatoes for $1.99 a pound, and that one looks to last the entire length of the regular sale (didn't bother to drag out my glasses to check the fine print).

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Or at least a skeletal idea of them (no time these days!).  Fish will go out on the grill both tonight and tomorrow, and we're not sure which fish will be which.  One will be the fresh albacore tuna (on sale at Whole Foods through Tuesday for $14.99 a pound), which might be a reprise of our recent Asian-flavored seared tuna with green beans from Bon Appetit that was a huge success, or we might just wing it.  The other night will involve fresh Copper River sockeye on the grill ($16.99 a pound at Sprouts, $14.99 a pound with card at King Soopers, and I was in too much of a hurry to look to see if Whole Foods had dropped from $22.99 a pound when I was there a couple of days ago).  Sides to be determined:  wild rice blends on the stove or sweet potato spears or foil packages on the grill always good.

For Sunday, we'll experiment with the Country Natural Beef shoulder ranch steak that Whole Foods has for $4.99 through Tuesday, chopping it up for chipotle beef stew from Gourmet magazine.  A side salad, maybe some warm corn tortillas, and that's it.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Vitamix Class Coming Up

Hey, all you Vitamix fans, the Whole Foods on Pearl Street will hold a Vitamix class next Wednesday at noon.  Note that you need to sign up in advance, and that light lunch and recipes are included!  Here are the details from them:

Vitamix Class with Steph

Wednesday, June 12th
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Demo Island, Free

The Vitamix makes healthy eating easy and delicious. The Vitamix makes whole fruit and vegetable juices, soups, healthy fudge and even ice cream!

Join our Healthy Eating Specialist Steph as she blends up all sorts of deliciousness with her Vitamix! Light lunch and recipes included. Email to sign up.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have a new sale starting today at our local Sprouts stores, while the current sale continues at Whole Foods through the 11th, and the sale at Vitamin Cottage runs all the way through July 13th (click for prior reports).  Here's what looking good to me in the new sale.

Sprouts' new sale runs through June 12th (with the customary Wednesday overlap today with last week's sale).  They're featuring a natural beef or pork roast sale at 50% off, but not being a big roast fan, that one isn't doing a lot for me, and the Buffalo Stampede sale on bison similarly isn't particularly my thing.  I'm liking $2.99 a pound for boneless center-cut pork loin chops or Italian chicken sausage, but advertising boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders at $3.99 a pound as a sale, when Sprouts often drops their product to $1.99 a pound, seems a bit silly.  (For fresh air-chilled, no antibiotic boneless breasts, consider the ones currently on sale at Vitamin Cottage for $5.99 a pound.)  Boneless ribeyes are $10.99 a pound, and they're revealing their Copper River fresh sockeye salmon price at $16.99 a pound (King Soopers is advertising $14.99 a pound this week with card, and when I last looked at Whole Foods, it was still $22.99 a pound there, but that was several days ago).

In organic produce, I'm thrilled to see Sprouts is dropping their already great recent sale price for on-the-vine tomatoes even further to just $1.49 a pound.  Broccoli is also $1.49 a pound, and baby carrots are $1.49 for a one pound bag (seems to be a theme here).  Organic red seedless grapes are matching Whole Foods' current sale price of $2.49 a pound (but note that Whole Foods has organic green grapes at $1.99 a pound for today only), red delicious apples are $1.29 a pound, six ounces of blueberries are $2.99 a container, and one pound clamshells of strawberries (we're still talking organic on all of these) are also $2.99.  Elsewhere in the store, there's a Sip into Summer sale, with a bunch of drinks 50% off, and various shapes of Galbani Mozzarella Fresca eight ounce fresh mozzarella cups are $2.99 each.  Beware the sale on eight ounce bottles of Annie's Naturals organic salad dressings at $3.50 each, as you can get them at Vitamin Cottage for $2.79 through July 13th.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

Whole Foods will present us with a mighty nice duo of specials for tomorrow only, the 5th.  The organic green grape price is excellent, but if you prefer organic red ones, note that those are also very good at $2.49 a pound in their regular sale that runs through the 11th.  Here are the details from Whole Foods:

One Day Sale

Tomorrow Only! Wednesday, June 5th!

Organic Whole Trade
(save $2/lb)

Ficelle Sandwiches
All Varieties
50% off
(reg. price $5 and $6/ea)

Monday, June 3, 2013

New Sale At Vitamin Cottage

Vitamin Cottage (aka Natural Grocers) has a new sale that runs all the way through July 13th, and there are several items of particular interest to me.  I'm getting increasingly choosy about boneless skinless chicken breasts, still using the commonly available very cheap ones for dishes like stir frys, but opting for higher quality when the chicken is the star of the dish.  I'm therefore liking fresh boneless skinless breasts at $5.99 a pound because of these qualities: free range, air chilled, 100% vegetarian fed, no water added, and raised without antibiotics or added hormones.  I'm super-enthused about my favorite Cascade Fresh yogurts at 49 cents for a six ounce cup, since it's increasing difficult to find them even at 79 cents, and I recently had to pay as much as 99 cents.  Westbrae organic beans are $1.49 for the 15 ounce can, organic chia seeds are $4.99 for a half pound package, organic red, green, or romaine lettuce are all $1.50 a head, Muir Glen organic salsas are $2.49 for 16 ounces, Annie's Naturals organic salad dressings are excellent at $2.79 each (you don't usually see a price like that for the organic ones), and Organic Valley half & half and whipping creams are at very good prices.  Alexia's yummy frozen potatoes are a great price at $1.99 a bag, but we're getting into the season where I'm less inclined to run the oven in the heat.  Also, being Vitamin Cottage, there are tons of good deals on supplements.

Budget-Friendly Healthy Eating Tours Tomorrow

The Pearl Street Whole Foods will host not one, but two Eating Healthy on a Budget tours tomorrow, one at noon, then again at 5 pm.  Here's what they say:

Eating Healthy on a Budget Tour with Steph

Tuesday, June 4th
12:00 PM and 5:00 PM
Store-Wide, Free

Join our Healthy Eating Specialist, Steph for a trip around the store (at 12pm and 5pm). She'll show you how to find healthy options without emptying your wallet!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Weekday Post Sabotaged!

I just wrote a post re weekend ideas that required every second of my available time, and when I hit publish, it disappeared.  Sorry, no time to reconstruct.  I can only mention it involved lots of fresh spinach.  Scrambled eggs with spinach and parmesan, shrimp Florentine pasta, reheat of corn and cod chowder from tonight, plus an indulgence in some buttermilk brined fried chicken from the Whole Foods deli, currently an excellent sale.