Saturday, November 30, 2013

Shop Small In Boulder Today

Something of an antidote to Black Friday (which I detest, and even more so as it has crept into Black Thanksgiving), today is Small Business Saturday, a day to "shop small" in downtown Boulder.  (Using an adjective instead of an adverb has always bugged me, but nobody else seems to care about that anymore, and besides, "shop smally" would be positively weird.)  Think about visiting our beautiful one-of-a-kind Boulder stores for your Christmas shopping.  You might have a friend or relative who would be thrilled with a beautiful serving dish or other fun item from Boulder's incomparable cooking store, Peppercorn.  Visit one of the fantastic downtown restaurants for lunch or dinner while you're at it (I recently had a great dinner at Bramble and Hare on 13th Street).

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Leftovers Help

Hope all went stunningly for your Thanksgiving dinner (mine sure did).  I love at least one simple reprise of the basics for another dinner before spinning the leftovers into more innovative incarnations.  For some ideas on what to do with all those leftovers, here are a few guides to help you out:  Global Recipes for Thanksgiving Leftovers from Cooking Light, Thanksgiving Recipes from Epicurious (scroll way down to the Leftovers section, second from the bottom), and Love Your Leftovers from Whole Foods.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Weekend Sale At Whole Foods

Everyone's focused on the bird and trimmings today, but if your thoughts start straying towards a post-turkey future, you might consider the sale offerings Whole Foods will have for tomorrow through Sunday.  That fine salmon, almost always Norwegian, at $11.99 a pound will tempt me as a diversion from turkey leftovers.  Here's Whole Foods' rather substantial list:

:: FRI-SUN • NOV 29-DEC 1 ::

Black Bean Quinoa Salad: $3 OFF/LB
Sale Price: $5.99/lb

Market-Made Breakfast Burritos: 50% OFF
Sale Price: $1.99 Each

3lb Clementine Bags: $2 OFF
Sale Price: $3.99 Each

Rump Roast: $3 OFF/LB
Sale Price: $3.99/lb

Coffee Cake: 50% OFF
Sale Price: $2.99 Each

365 Everyday Value®
Winter Blend Coffee: $3 OFF/24oz Bag
Sale Price: $7.99 Each

Atlantic Salmon: 25% OFFSale Price: $11.99/lb
Threads 4 Thought Leggings: 20% OFF
Pact Apparel: 35% OFF
Root Candles: 30% OFF

Best Wishes For A Great Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all.  Hopefully you have everything planned and prepped, but if you're still angsting about some possibilities at this late hour, here's a reminder about the Thanksgiving guides post I did a couple of weeks ago.  Plus, Sprouts will be open from 7 am to 4 pm today, and Whole Foods, at least the Pearl Street store, is open 7 am to 3 pm, not sure I approve of that.  Heck, even my gym is open today.  I haven't checked for this, but Vitamin Cottage has always had the decency to stay completely closed for the holiday.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Baseline Whole Foods Discount Today

With its big remodel underway, everything except turkeys is 20% off today at the Whole Foods store at Baseline and Broadway.  It was posted on Facebook late yesterday, so "tomorrow" now means today.  Here's what they say:

Whole Foods Market Boulder
BREAKING NEWS! Tomorrow only, everything at our Baseline location will be 20% off, (SAY WHAT?!?!) We are having this fantastic sale in order to make space for our "mini-store" as part of our remodel. In our mini-store, all departments will be represented while they do construction on the left side of the store.

Check out our upcoming store hours:
Wednesday 11/27: 7:30am-6pm
Thursday 11/28-Sunday 12/1: CLOSED...
Monday 12/2 until mid-February: 8am-8pm

*20% off sale valid at 2584 Baseline Rd., Boulder CO 80305 on 11/27/13 only. Turkeys excluded. No rain checks. While supplies last.

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Today

Whole Foods is making it easy to add a shrimp appetizer to your feast tomorrow, with shrimp trio platters 35% off today.  Here's what they say:

:: WED • NOV 27 ::

Shrimp Trio Platters: 35% OFF
Sale Price: $12.99 Each

Current Sales Continue

Wednesday is usually the opening day for all the new sales at our Boulder natural grocery stores, but in this Thanksgiving week, that's not the case.  Sprouts' previously reported sale extends through tomorrow (when they'll be open from 7 am to 4 pm for your last minute emergencies), Whole Foods' current sale runs through December 3rd, and the one at Vitamin Cottage extends through December 14th.  Glance through the list of November posts over there on the left to find those links.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Asparagus Near Giveaway, Plus More

A friend contacted me today to let me know that fresh asparagus (conventional, but it almost always is) is only 99 cents a pound right now at the Sprouts store in Longmont.  I called the Sprouts on Arapahoe here, and evidently this is only in Longmont, lucky folks.

Also, no word yet about any customary one-day sale tomorrow at Whole Foods.  One might still come up, as they've been tending to mention it quite late in the day on Tuesdays, but on the day before Thanksgiving, who needs any added grocery shopping concerns.  Also, a warning that the parking lot at the Pearl Street store was already a complete zoo yesterday.  For the sake of sanity, I'll make any last minute purchases tomorrow at the Superior store, which has always managed to stay reasonably calm on the day before Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving? There's An App For That

Frankly, I'd rather just cook mostly familiar foods (along with a few new twists) for Thanksgiving and enjoy the time with friends, since family is so far away, but if you really want to be consulting a device for guidance for your Thanksgiving dinner, Bon Appetit has just the thing for you, their Thanksgiving app.  Good luck.  I'll be hoisting a glass of wine instead.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Quick Weekday Dinners For Thanksgiving Week

No time to even describe them, either.  Simplicity of cooking and avoidance of poultry remain the motivating factors for dinners leading up to Thanksgiving.  For tomorrow, I'll make my second attempt to get the Korean beef bracciole on sale at Whole Foods for $6.99 a pound, since the Pearl Street store was out of them when I tried to get them earlier this weekend.  Again, sobas and edamame are planned on the side.

Tuesday will be a shrimp and corn pilaf from Bon Appetit, a pretty light dish that should fit well into the week.

For Wednesday on Thanksgiving eve, we'll go completely vegetarian with a quick weekday Florentine omelet from Bon Appetit.  Using NuLaid eggs totally cuts out the cholesterol wallop of the eggs.

Then we're on to the excesses of Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Last Farmers' Market Of The Year Today

Enjoy a crisp, bright day to get out for the last Boulder Farmers' Market of the season downtown, 8 to 2 today.  I'm not so sure meeting Tommy the Turkey would make me feel particularly good this week.  Here's what they say:

Join us this Saturday, November 23rd
 for the Last Market of the Season! 
Pumpkin Decorating
Weigh Your Bounty Contest
Holiday Recipe Shopping List

With special guest:
Tommy the Turkey

Friday, November 22, 2013

Weekend Sale At Whole Foods

I'm a little late on this for today, but there's still tomorrow and Sunday to catch these three-day specials at Whole Foods:

:: FRI-SUN • NOV 22-24 ::
Whole Trade Guaranteed Red & Yellow Bell Peppers: 10 FOR $10

Top Sirloin Steak: $6 OFF
Sale Price: $6.99/lb

Califia Orange Juice: 2 FOR $6

Mrs. Meyers Dish Soap & Counter Top Cleaning Supplies:
20% OFF

Seventh Generation Unbleached Paper Towels: 20% OFF

Root Candles: 30% OFF

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Brrrr.  With these temperatures, I should be thinking about a big casserole hot from the oven or a warming chowder, but with Thanksgiving coming up so quickly, my primary motivations (in addition to what's on sale) are simplicity of cooking and avoidance of poultry.  That said, tonight we'll take advantage of the handsome wild caught lobster tails at Whole Foods for $6 each to do creamy lobster pappardelle from Cooking Light.  I haven't looked yet, but the lobster tails Whole Foods carries have always previously been from Maine, the best.  Using yolkless noodles instead of egg-rich pappardelle can lessen the cholesterol whack of this dish.

Simplicity will reign for tomorrow and Sunday also, with tomorrow being some salmon hitting the grill pan, either the fresh (farmed) salmon fillets from Sprouts at $7.99 a pound, or the fresh (also farmed, but known responsibly and I've always heard it's the best) Norwegian salmon fillets from Whole Foods at $13.99 a pound.  Lundberg's fancy rice blends make so much more of a festive side than plain old brown rice, and they are at a stock up price at Vitamin Cottage at $2.65 a one pound bag.

Simplicity continues for Sunday, as I'm intrigued by the Market Made beef bracciole Whole Foods has on sale for $6.99 a pound.  Bracciole is basically an Italian concept, but these say that they are Korean sesame, so with my new-found interest in Korean food, I want to try them out.  Heavens, am I already into Korean-Italian fusion?  Sobas make a quick side, as do edamame.

Stay safe on this sad anniversary day in American history.

Holiday Tasting At Lucky's Tomorrow

It seems unseemly to post this on such a solemn anniversary for JFK, but if you're in the area, the new Lucky's Market in Longmont will be holding a holiday tasting tomorrow, the 23rd, from 3 to 6 pm.  Yum.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cheese Platter Demo At Alfalfa's

Good cold and snowy morning Boulder!  We could all use a little help with our pairing and presentation skills, and this one comes with a 10% cheese discount as well.  Here are the details from Alfalfa's:

How to Make a Cheese Platter with Julian Hart
November 23, 1:00 to 2:00pm
Alfalfa's Demo Kitchen
Join us as Cheese & Specialty Manager, Julian Hart, shares his tips on how to create a perfectly paired cheese platter with assorted fruits and meats. All guests will receive 10% off the entire cheese department that day!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bon Appetit Lauds Winemaker I Know

So happy to see in Bon Appetit's blog today that they are giving a shout out to Corison Winery in a post that's enthusiastically titled California Wine Legends in the Making.  Having gone to college with the owner Cathy Corison, I'm so pleased to see Bon Appetit characterize her wines as "a standard-bearer of traditional Napa Cabernet that didn’t fall into the score-mongering, fruit-bomb trap of the ’90s."  And she's one of only six to be so singled out for commendation.  Way to go, Corison Winery!

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have a new sale starting today at our Boulder Sprouts stores, while the current ones continue at Whole Foods through December 3rd, and at Vitamin Cottage through December 14th.  Here's what's looking good to me now.

Sprouts' new sale runs through Thanksgiving day, the 28th, when they'll be open from 7am to 4pm.  Not so sure I like holiday grocery hours unless they're giving their staff some really good incentives, but then Black Friday now starts on Thanksgiving too.  In any case, there are good deals on chicken, with more poultry being the last thing on my mind for Thanksgiving week.  Value packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts are $1.77 a pound, whole, split or cut up chickens are $1.59 a pound, and previously frozen jumbo Cornish hens (that jumbo part is a little scary for a Cornish hen) are $1.99 a pound.  Bone-in beef standing rib roasts are $9.99 a pound, and for a smaller table option, boneless ribeye steaks are $10.99 a pound.  Another smaller table option is bone-in half or whole turkey breasts at $2.99 a pound.  In fish, stuffed scallops, crab or clams are fantastic at 99 cents each (you heat them in the shell).  I'm not so sure their ingredient list would pass muster at some other stores, but I swear the stuffed clams are divine, and such an easy appetizer for a crowd.  Also, fresh (farmed) Atlantic fillets are $7.99 a pound.

In organic produce at Sprouts, one pound bags of baby carrots, green curly kale, celery, and gala or Granny Smith apples are all $1.49, being a pound, a bunch, or per package, as appropriate.  Garnet or jewel yams are 99 cents a pound, baby broccoli is $2.50 for six ounces, and green beans are $2.50 a pound.  Elsewhere in the store, the big news is my favorite (but "select") Imagine organic broths at $2 a box, beating out even Vitamin Cottage's current sale at $2.29.  I love how the price competition heats up on such a cooking staple during the holidays.  I don't know what they mean by "bulk specialty coffee" at $5.99 a pound, but I'm betting that's not including my favorite decafs.  Some Spice Hunter spices and extracts are half price for your baking, Voskos Greek yogurts are $1 each, and the 15ish ounce size of Muir Glen organic canned tomatoes is $1.50, but even better for $1.25 at Vitamin Cottage.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Community Food Share's Bagging Hunger

One of my favorite events, Community Food Share's Let's Bag Hunger food collection campaign, is underway through November 27th.  You can drop off donations at grocery stores all over Boulder, or donate online on their website.  I enjoy doing a special shopping trip for this each year, bringing back skills honed long ago as a starving student, to optimize a big basket of great non-perishable food (proteins like peanut butter especially appreciated) at the best possible price.  Or, lots of our local stores have "grab and give" prepared bags ready for your donation purchase.  C'mon.  It's an expensive time of year, but you'll likely be dropping three figures for your Thanksgiving purchase at Whole Foods, so please do consider whether there's a little room to help out a family that possibly doesn't know if it will have anything to put together for its next meal.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Microbes Determine Mood?

I've always known that how we eat significantly affects our sense of well being, but a segment I heard on NPR this morning took it to a whole new level.  Could it be that microbes in the gut influence a wide range of brain function?  You can listen to the broadcast or view its transcript here.  So perhaps I owe my generally happy disposition to the eight active probiotics in my favorite Cascade Fresh yogurts?

Natural Turkey Price Comparison, the 2013 Edition

And an abbreviated one at that, as there's no time for a comprehensive look.  Here's what I see for the usual in a high grade natural bird, bearing in mind that you should check with the stores/websites for other options.

Lucky's Market:

Diestel Natural - $1.99 a pound (both Boulder and Longmont stores)

Barber's Fresh Natural - $1.27 a pound advertised for Longmont, don't know about Boulder

Vitamin Cottage:

As previously reported,

Mary's free range turkeys - $2.39 a pound

Mary's organic free range turkeys - $3.69 a pound

Mary's free range heritage turkeys - $6.99 a pound

Shelton's free range turkeys - $3.39 a pound

Quantities are limited, and you'll put down a $5 deposit with your reservation.

Whole Foods:

Diestel Natural - $2.49 a pound

Diestel organic - $3.69 a pound

Diestel heirloom - $4.99 a pound

plus a previously frozen brined option at $1.99 a pound.

Gluten-Free Baking Class At Lucky's

The new Lucky's Market in Longmont will host a gluten-free baking class "for the holiday season and beyond" this Friday, the 22nd at 6 pm, led by Pamela Fletcher, owner and founder of Outrageous Baking.  For questions or to register, call Tracee at 303 530-0782 x 122.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Drag Queen Bingo Returns To Alfalfa's

A benefit for the Boulder County AIDS Project, drag queen bingo returns to Alfalfa's this Wednesday, the 20th.  Here are the details from them:

Drag Queen Bingo
November 20, 8:00 to 9:30pm
Alfalfa's Cafe
By popular demand, it's back! Over the last year, we've raised over $2,500 for Boulder County AIDS Project (BCAP), and we are excited to host the makeup artists from MAC for more fun-- this time with a superhero theme! Come by and play a few rounds of bingo for your chance to win prizes from The Med, Brasserie Ten Ten, St. Julien, and more! Holiday desserts and mocktails will also be on sale. As always, all proceeds go to benefit BCAP!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Enjoy The Boulder Farmers' Market Today

Running through the fourth Saturday of November, we're getting close to the end of being able to enjoy our farmers' market in downtown Boulder, while the one in Longmont is already closed for the season.  Get out there while you can, especially as the weather remains rather warm.  I believe they are also still doing their farmer flood relief donation program as described here:

Support Your Local Farmers!
The Boulder County Farmers Market is hosting a Support Your Local 
Farmer Donation Program at both the Longmont and the Boulder Markets. 
 For a small donation of $2 or more you will get a nice hot cup of 
apple cider provided by the Ela Family Farm.  All donations go to the
 Front Range Farm Relief Fund and will go to help the farms and ranches
 that were affected by the flood.  You can find the cider and the donation 
sites at the Information Desk and it will be available until 
the end of the season.  
Thank you for supporting your local farmers

Friday, November 15, 2013

First Bite Boulder Starts Today

Just a reminder that today's the start of First Bite Boulder, where you'll find around 40 fine restaurants offering three course dinners for $26, some with optional wine pairings.  It runs through the 23rd, and you can find all the details including the special menus here.  Reservations essential at some places.

Beware The Flash Sale Ring Up

The fresh Whole Foods cheese pizzas that are 50% off in a flash sale lasting from 3 to 7 today are ringing up at $6.99 instead of half that, at least at the Pearl Street store.  That gets quickly corrected if you are looking for it while at the register.  Also, as these things tend to go, the pizzas have downsized, now looking more like a medium than a large.  Darn, fewer leftovers for lunches.

In other news, while there I checked the weekend sale price on Norwegian salmon and it's $11.99 a pound.  That finest of all farmed salmons is what will go into my salmon chowder on Sunday, although what I saw in the case was so beautiful, it almost seems a shame to chop it up for a chowder.

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Super quick because a) no time to write, b) no time to cook, and c) Whole Foods' weekend sales are going to ease me through most of that!  For tonight, I'll hit Whole Foods sometime between 3 and 7 pm today to pick up their cheese pizza at 50% off during today's flash sale, along with a few toppings like Yves veggie pepperoni and some mushrooms to dress it up.  While there, I'll get some New York strip steaks at $8 off, which should be almost half price, in the sale lasting all weekend.  Those steaks might even go out on the grill tomorrow, since the weather looks pretty good until a few flurries Sunday.  I'll also compose a weeklong list for Sprouts, since we'll want some of their $1.88 a pound asparagus to go with those steaks.

Sunday's still a little iffy, but I'm thinking salmon chowder from the Whole Foods website.  Sprouts has previously frozen wild coho for $8.99 a pound, while Lucky's Market in Longmont has fresh farmed Atlantic at $8.99 also (don't know about the Lucky's in north Boulder, but it doesn't appear in their ad this week).  And that's all the time I have!

Hanukkah Menu Helpers

Thanksgiving may be late this year, but Hanukkah seems early, starting at sundown on the day before Thanksgiving.  What sort of challenges does that pose for those wanting to put both on the table?  If you are looking for some inspiration, here are a few Hanukkah guides to help you out:  Hanukkah recipes from the New York Times, Hanukkah from Epicurious, Hanukkah recipes from Cooking Light, and Hanukkah from Whole Foods' holiday cheat sheet.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Weekend Sales At Whole Foods

Once again, our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a variety of sales for the weekend, ranging from one-day and flash sales tomorrow only, through several lasting all the way through Sunday.  Looks like I'll be picking up steaks and pizza tomorrow.  So glad the runner in the family has finished his marathon, if we're reverting to a diet like that.  Here's what Whole Foods says:

NOV 15 :: FRINY Strip Steak: $8 OFF/lb

NOV 15 :: 3-7PM ONLY
Take & Bake Cheese Pizza: 50% OFF

NOV 15-17 :: FRI-SUN
Melissa & Doug Toys: 30% OFF
Wonderful gifts!

Bulk Baking Nuts: 20% OFF*

Norwegian Salmon Fillet: 25% OFF

Pomegranates: 4 FOR $5

Persimmons: 4 FOR $5
Slice Fuyu persimmons like an apple, sprinkle cinnamon on top and enjoy.

Thanksgiving Menu Helpers

Thanksgiving arrives rather late this year on the 28th, two weeks from today, so it's time to get planning for the big day.  My table has many traditional dishes (never mess with my Bell's Seasoning stuffing and don't you dare rub New Mexican chile powder on my bird!), that adding in a new side dish with a lighter character is about all the innovation I can take for the day.  But if you're looking for some inspiration to shake up your table a bit, here are some guides to help you out:  Thanksgiving Recipes, Menus and Cooking Tips from Epicurious, Ultimate Thanksgiving Feast Headquarters from Bon Appetit, Celebrate the Holidays from Cooking Light (that one sounds like a multi-tasker), Food and Wine magazine's Thanksgiving Recipes, and Holiday Cheat Sheet from Whole Foods.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fermenting Foods Class At Lucky's

The new Lucky's Market in Longmont will host a class called The Good, The Bad & The Fizzy: Fermenting Foods this Saturday, the 16th, at 11 a.m.  You can register or ask questions by calling Tracee at 303 530-0782, x122.  Having recently fallen for kimchi, perhaps I should check this out, although for starters I think I'll stick with prepared jars of it from Lucky's or Whole Foods, rather than turning my small kitchen into a fermentation laboratory quite yet.

Give Superior Whole Foods Feedback Tomorrow

Here's an interesting one.  Tomorrow, you have two opportunities to provide the Whole Foods store in Superior with your thoughts about the store, while enjoying some snacks in the process.  Here's what they say (top part only lists a morning time, but there's an afternoon one further below):

What's Brewing   
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Superior Whole Foods Market, Free
Thursday, November 14

What’s Brewing

9:00am-11:00am and 4:00pm-6:00pm

Join us for some light bites and conversation. Share with us what’s on your mind about our store. We Value your feedback!  

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Whole Foods stores, while the current one continues all the way through December 14th at Vitamin Cottage.  Here's what's looking good to me now.

In the new sale at Sprouts through November 20th, the surprise is actually in conventional produce, where you'll find asparagus for $1.88 a pound.  Something of a welcome change in this season of butternut and acorn squash.  In meat, boneless center-cut pork loin chops are excellent at $1.99 a pound, three types of chicken sausage are $2.99 a pound, and ground chicken breast is $3.99 a pound.  But the primary action seems to be in fish, where a Clam Bake features live cherrystone clams, black mussels, and littleneck clams at $1.99, $2.99, and $3.99 a pound respectively.  Really?  Live clams in Boulder?  I recently had a chance to have a clam stew on the east coast that was made with fresh Ipswich clams, and it just doesn't get any better, so I'm a tad leery of this in landlocked Boulder.  To complete the clam bake, Sprouts' sale also features specials on lobster tails, snow crab clusters, and jumbo shrimp.  Then for the non-shellfish eaters, previously frozen Alaskan wild coho salmon fillets are $8.99 a pound.

In organic produce at Sprouts, one pound bags of baby carrots are $1.49 a pound, three pound bags of gala, Granny Smith, or red delicious apples are $2.99 each, bulk spring mix or baby spinach remain great at $3.99 a pound ($6.99 a pound elsewhere), cantaloupe or honeydew melons are 99 cents a pound, and three types of organic pears are $1.49 a pound.  Elsewhere in the store, I'm really liking select Fage Greek yogurts at $1 each, ten ounce packages of Cascadian Farm organic frozen veggies for $1.50 each (even better than Vitamin Cottage's current sale price of $1.69), Near East rice or couscous boxes $1.50 each (a great side dish or foundation for a main when mixed with sautéed chicken breast), and Alexia frozen rolls at $3 a bag.  Heads up about those Alexia rolls - if you'd like to pull fresh rolls piping hot out of the oven to impress your guests at Thanksgiving without getting up at 3 a.m. to start making them, Alexia's your ticket.

In Whole Foods' new sale through December 3rd, I'm enthused to see the return of four to five ounce wild caught lobster tails for $6 each.  The ad doesn't specify, but in the past, these have been lovely ones from Maine, so I see a creamy lobster pappardelle dish in my near future.  American Homestead or Wellshire spiral sliced hams are $4.99 a pound, and they are advertising fresh Diestel turkeys for $2.49 a pound, but I see that Lucky's in Boulder has fresh Diestels for $1.99 a pound.  Organic acorn squash is just $1 a pound and three pound bags of organic yellow onions are $2.50, effectively matching Sprouts on that, but Whole Foods' sale on organic d'Anjou pears is $1.99 a pound, 50 cents higher than Sprouts.  The size isn't specified on Whole Foods' Market Made pizza at $6.99 each, but that has always been the large one, which is a great price on a really easy dinner, whether left as is or dressed up with a few toppings of your choice.  Finally, lover of Imagine broth that I am, I'm intrigued by what looks to be a totally new level of it:  "Imagine Global Animal Partnership Rated Broth," $3 for 32 ounces.  Is this Boulder or what.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

For tomorrow only, our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a duo of special sales.  Folks looking for gluten-free for the holidays will probably enjoy this one.  Here's what they say:

NOV 13 :: WED

Pamela's GF Baking Mix: $6 OFF
Doesn't taste gluten-free, but it is!

Robusto Cheese: $8 OFF/lbA must-try cheese

Beating Holiday Stress At Superior Whole Foods

The Whole Foods store in Superior will hold a nutrition talk and tour focused on beating holiday stress tomorrow.  Here are the details from them:

How to Beat Holiday Stress - Free Nutrition Talk and Tour 
Wednesday, November 13th
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Superior Whole Foods Market Cafe, Free               

How to Beat Holiday Stress - Free Nutrition Talk and Tour

Do you secretly dread the holidays because they’re so stressful? Join holistic nutrition therapist, Jen Marshall, CNT, as she shares ideas on staying healthy during this hectic season. Attendees will receive a gift bag with Whole Foods Market products and special deals.  Please sign up at our Customer Service Desk or email

Monday, November 11, 2013

Great Imagine Broth Sale At Vitamin Cottage

Vitamin Cottage has a new sale running all the way through December 14th, and as I hoped, they've included their traditional excellent holiday sale price on my favorite Imagine organic broth, just $2.29 for a 32 ounce box ($3.19 for the organic kosher ones).  These usually run around $3.70 a box, and they add so much flavor when used instead of water in soups, stews, rice dishes, and just about anything else.  Plus they have no MSG, which hides under its many names in most other broths, and they store really well since they usually have very far out expiration dates.  Free range for the chicken one, organic, great taste, no MSG, lengthy storage, and a fantastic price - what more could you want?

Well, just in case you need more enticement, the sale also includes five pound bags or organic russet potatoes for $2.39 a pound, half pound bags of organic black chia seeds for $5.39, half pound blocks of Organic Valley cheese for $3.89 each (some of those usually as high as $6.25), select Earth Balance spreads and buttery sticks $2.99 each (no cholesterol!), ten ounce bags of Cascadian Farm organic frozen veggies for $1.69, fantastic prices on Muir Glen organic canned tomatoes (the 15ish ounce size), pasta sauces and salsas, and 32 ounce bottles of R.W. Knudsen natural or organic Very Veggie juice blends for $2.25 each.  Those Very Veggie tomato juices make a good base for a Bloody Mary, and since they usually run more like $3.69, this is indeed a good sale.  Plus, being Vitamin Cottage, there are plenty of good prices on supplements.

Lucky's Is Independent!

I find it interesting that in the past couple of weeks, I've spoken with three different well-travelled people, all thinking that when I write about our local Lucky's Market, it's associated with the Lucky's supermarket brand with a long history in California.  As far as I can tell, while the name is certainly close, there is no association.  Our Lucky's Market started with a single store in north Boulder many years ago, although it looks to be expanding rapidly now, with the recent openings of the nearby Longmont store, and also one in Columbus, Ohio.  An "independently owned and operated" store with a strong focus on natural and organic foods, you can see a snapshot of them here.  I might have shopped at one of those California Lucky's a long time ago, but more likely it was at Stater Brothers, another California name I was trying to recall in a recent conversation.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Brain Power Webinar From Sprouts

Sprouts will host a free webinar this coming Wednesday, the 13th, with the rather optimistic title of Reversing Alzheimer's and Dementia.  You can see the details and register here.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

New Deals At Lucky's In Longmont

I swore I'd cut back on posting about this, but I happen to have the flyer for the new sale (lasting through the 13th) at Lucky's Market in Longmont in hand, so here are just a few things that are popping out at me.  (And again, I unfortunately don't have time to compare this with the Lucky's in north Boulder, which is not in my usual travel range.)  The biggie is a Supplements Spectacular, with the entire supplements department 25% off.  Also quickly of interest are whole Dungeness crabs at $7.99 a pound, although they've never been my thing, pork loin chops (looks like bone-in from the picture) with Lucky's "never ever" standards for $2.49 a pound, organic romas for $1.50 a pound, organic Italian and yellow squash for just 99 cents a pound, local organic russets also 99 cents a pound, and Oasis Naturals hummus $2.50 an eight ounce container.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Holiday Tasting At Pearl Tomorrow

As if the holidays themselves didn't bring enough excess, we have the added temptation of lavish tastings to entice us with new holiday ideas.  Looks like the Whole Foods on Pearl Street will be hosting a good one tomorrow.  Here's what they say:

Taste the Holidays            
Saturday, November 9th
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Whole Foods Market Pearl Street, FREE
Join us at Pearl Street for our annual Taste the Holidays event! We'll have yummy samples from every department and lovely live music from the Angevine Middle School Jazz Band and the Boulder Symphony Orchestra!

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Quick rundown, with my focus turned back to Sprouts and Whole Foods, now that the Lucky's Market in Longmont seems to be calming down from its grand opening mode.

Wild sockeye salmon fillet will be on deck for tonight, since Sprouts has it for $12.99 a pound and Whole Foods has it for $14.99 a pound.  Sprouts specifies that it's previously frozen, while Whole Foods doesn't say in the flyer, but at this time of year, it has to be.  When it's super fresh, I like it straight off the grill with just a squeeze of lemon, but when it gets into previously frozen, I prefer to season it, as in something like pan-roasted salmon with ginger and curry from Gourmet magazine, which also keeps us inside for the cooking during these dark evenings.

The darkness won't stop the intrepid family griller from going outside tomorrow night with some of the bone-in country style pork ribs that are just $1.29 a pound during Sprouts' 72 hour sale through Sunday.  They are great on the grill and even better in a smoker.  After several weeks of particularly ascetic dining as the runner in the family prepared for a major race, this will be a welcome indulgence, now that the race is over.

For Sunday, I'm thinking about the previously frozen wild Alaskan cod at Sprouts for $7.99 a pound to return to a comfort food, cod, potato, and fennel casserole from Gourmet magazine.  Sprouts also has five pound bags of organic red, russet or Yukon potatoes for $3.99 each through Wednesday for the potatoes.

Which quickly gets us through the weekend, which looks to be lovely, although possibly a bit breezy today.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Weekend Sales At Whole Foods

Our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a bevy of sales starting tomorrow, including sales for tomorrow only, a flash sale tomorrow, and sales extending all the way through Sunday.  Here's what they say:

NOV 8 (FRI ONLY)Organic Gala, Granny Smith &
Braeburn Apples:
$1.49/lbExtra Savings: buy a 5lb bag for $5!
Rubicon Cinnamon Bread: 50% OFF
Do you Know the
Rubicon Story?

NOV 8 (3-7pm FLASH SALE)
Popcorn Indiana: 50% OFF
Boulder Canyon Chips: 50% OFF

NOV 8-10 (FRI-SUN)
Applegate Chicken Patties
& GF Chicken Nuggets: 2 for $6

Medjool Dates: 45% OFF

32oz Alba Botanica Very Emollient Body Lotion (Original/Unscented): $9.99 Each


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have a new sale starting today at our Boulder Sprouts, while the current one continues at Whole Foods through November 12th.  There also should be a new one just started at Vitamin Cottage, and I need to get there to check it out.  Here's what's looking good to me now.

In addition to its regular sale running through the 13th, Sprouts has some other happenings of note.  Heads up that for today only, the 6th, you can buy a $100 Sprouts gift card for $89.99, effectively making everything you buy with it 10% off, in addition to any sale prices you're picking up.  There's a limit of 10 cards per customer, if you really want to go wild.  The other news is a 72 hour sale running this Friday through Sunday, where I'm tempted by bone-in country style pork ribs for just $1.29 a pound (so good in a smoker or on a grill, and the runner in the family just finished a major race, so we're loosening up a bit from the pasta, veggies, and tofu diet), and Sprouts' own organic salads at $2 for a five ounce package.  Flash-frozen swordfish steaks are just $4.99 a pound, but I only found those once to be domestic, and the ones from Indonesia just don't taste as good to me.  Also, with organic cranberries usually priced very high, if you're going conventional on them this fall, 12 ounce bags are just $1 each.

In Sprouts' regular sale running through the 13th, value packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts are $1.99 a pound, their own stuffed chicken breasts are $2.99 a pound, whole, split or cut up chickens are $1.59 a pound, boneless beef short ribs and stew beef are $3.99 a pound, and in previously frozen fish, wild Alaskan cod fillets are $7.99 a pound and wild Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets are $12.99 a pound.

In organic produce at Sprouts, one pound bags of baby carrots are $1.49 each, five pound bags of red, russet or Yukon potatoes are $3.99 each, bulk baby greens or spinach are great at $3.99 a pound (you see them $6.99 a pound elsewhere), and three kinds of organic pears are $1.49 a pound.  Elsewhere in the store, my favorite Blue Diamond Nut Thins are $2.50 a box (I consider $2 a good sale, but this will do when my stock is low), and I'm really liking one pound bags of Lundberg's wild blend rice for $2.50.  It definitely spiffs things up when a side of plain brown rice just looks like too dull an option.

I took a peek at the new sale at the Lucky's store in Longmont, and it looks like they're finally moving out of grand opening mode, as nothing struck me as being almost given away.  Whole Dungeness crabs are probably a very good deal at $7.99 a pound, but eating whole crab is just way too much work for me.

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Today

Whole Foods says it's pizza time with their one-day sale for today only, the 6th.  (Heck, it's like they know I was just there yesterday buying their excellent multigrain dough and all the fixings for the great big pizza I made last night.)  Here's what they say:


Pizza Dough: 50% OFF
Regular & Multigrain Varieties

Wellshire Farms Pepperoni: 2 for $5
Pre-Packaged & Sliced

Bagged Fingerling Potatoes: 2 for $5Certified Organic

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Imagine Organic Broth For $2.79

It took me long enough to get there, but the current 30% off regular retail that Sprouts is running through tomorrow on Imagine broth translates to $2.79 a box.  That's a pretty good price for something that usually sells for about $1 more, although as we get into the holiday season, the sales on this (fortunately for us consumers) tend to get competitive.  This broth is so versatile and adds so much flavor to soups, stews, rice dishes and the like, while it's also organic, free range, MSG-free, and delicious to boot.  A hard combination to find elsewhere, plus the boxes store well with long expiration dates.

P.S.  No word yet re what tomorrow's customary one-day sale at Whole Foods will be.  That will probably have to be a post for tomorrow morning.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Bell's Seasoning Found At Pearl Street

Everyone has some Thanksgiving traditions they just don't mess with, and one of mine is stuffing made with Bell's seasoning, a New England classic.  I used have to pick it up on East Coast trips or have relatives mail it to me, but in recent years, it has appeared on the shelves of Whole Foods in Boulder.  Longtime readers (thank you!) might remember my panic last year, when no one at the Whole Foods store on Pearl Street could locate it, all of us logically looking in the herb and spice area.  That crisis was solved when I found plenty in the herb section of the Superior store.  Bell's has subsequently reappeared with the herbs in the Pearl Street store, but I've also discovered where it had been hiding out:  next to the clam juice, canned salmon, and kippers.  What the thinking is, I can't even guess.  I've never heard of Bell's being used anything like Zatarain's, which is also, and more logically, located there.  Who knows.  At least I have my Bell's seasoning without a panic this year.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

First Bite Boulder Coming Up

It's always a little too close to the excesses of Thanksgiving for me (but maybe that marks a downtime for the restaurants, hence the scheduling), but First Bite Boulder is coming up in a couple of weeks, November 15th to the 23rd.  This is your opportunity for a $26 prix fixe dinner at about 40 restaurants in the Boulder area.  Most menus are the traditional appetizer, main course, dessert, but I like to look for the ones that go for three savory courses, skipping the dessert.  Details on the whole event here, and reservations are absolutely needed (and made as soon as possible) for the most popular places.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

Enjoy our local Boulder Farmers' Market while you still can!  If you go to the one located in Longmont, today's the closing one for the season, open from 8 to 1.  You get to enjoy the one in downtown Boulder (8 to 2) through the 23rd, plus there'll be a Winter Market on December 7th and 8th, although it looks like that will be at the Longmont fairgrounds.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Colorado Cheese Festival Sunday

Colorado has its own celebration of its fine cheeses, and it will be happening this Sunday the 3rd at the Plaza Convention Center in Longmont from 10 am to 5 pm, with Top Chef Hosea Rosenberg featured.  The $35 admission is pretty pricey, but it gets you unlimited samples for you cheeseheads.  You can check out all the details here.