Friday, May 30, 2014

First Weekend Dinners With The CSA

So I picked up my first CSA veggies from Red Wagon Organic Farm yesterday, and are they ever spectacular. I assumed one large grocery bag would be enough to hold them, but so glad I brought two of the large Natural Grocer size, as my delivery filled both. This week's offerings were much as outlined in my earlier post, but with a couple of surprises to spice it up; instead of a choice of lettuce or arugula (I was planning for the arugula), that one was limited to a beautiful big bag of spring lettuces, while there turned out to be a choice on the kale, as Tuscan was introduced as an option (I stuck with the original Russian red kale).

Now what to do with all those glorious veggies. This post will necessarily be quick, both because of lack of time and especially from the new world of not knowing yet just how I'll handle these veggies. General outline goes like this. For tonight, I'm thinking my idea of salmon with sorrel sauce will hold, as I got to the CSA drop off early enough to catch the sorrel option, and I hope I'll be able to get Copper River salmon later today at Safeway for just $12.99 a pound. The salmon should go on the grill, but if we get dark skies and winds like yesterday, the fish could just go on the grill pan indoors at that Safeway lure-in price. Wouldn't do that with Copper River from Whole Foods if that's still selling at $24.99 a pound. Sorrel sauce recipes seem relentlessly rich with cream and/or butter, which is probably why salmon with sorrel is always so darned good in France. I'm looking at the sorrel sauce recipe from Saveur as my likely go-to, knowing the only way I might lighten it without destroying it would be to use half and half instead of full cream. To compensate, we can have lots of Red Wagon veggies, including fresh thinly sliced raw turnips with hummus to start, and I need to decide whether the side veggie will be the Russian red kale or more likely the lovely turnip greens sauteed in olive oil with a bit of red pepper.

Okay, just writing that took basically all the time I have, so an abbreviation here. I'm thinking grill again for tomorrow, and the Longmont Lucky's Market has an excellent "flattened" marinated chicken for $2.99 a pound this week (so sorry no time to check their Boulder price). We last had that when the Longmont Lucky's first opened and it was excellent, and cleaving a chicken in half like that for the grill is in my mind better left to experts with better knife skills than ours. More of those fresh thinly sliced turnips with hummus will start, and the "grilling onions" from Red Wagon that look like humongous scallions will also go on the grill.

Sunday? I just don't know and haven't had time. The cod and sea scallop specials at Sprouts remind me of a chowder I've already made recently, so I need a bit of time to think out the options. Wish me luck with working with the remainder of this week's Red Wagon CSA bounty. New world here.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Current Vitamin Cottage Sale Ends Saturday

Just a heads up that the current, long-running sale at Vitamin Cottage ends this Saturday, the 31st, although who knows what specials they might be cooking up for the next one. Highlights of the current sale here, with the caveat that they tend to run low on sale item stock at the end of the sale.

Weekend Sales At Whole Foods

Our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a nice special for tomorrow only, the 30th, on organic blueberries, while yummy local Noosa yogurts will be very good at $1.50 each (eight ounces) through Sunday.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

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 at Vitamin Cottage, but only through this Saturday the 31st. Here's what's looking good to me now.

Looking best is not actually at any of those stores, since the best deal in town right now to me is the $12.99 a pound fresh wild Copper River salmon at Safeway (see the post just below this).

But back to the stores I usually cover, at Sprouts' new sale through June 4th, boneless skinless chicken breasts could be lower than $2.99 a pound, but at least it doesn't say value pack, so that's presumably any size package. The stuffed chicken breasts are $3.99 a pound, a dollar above where the sale price used to be but still not bad, and three types of link or bulk chicken sausage are $3.49 a pound, again an increase. Bone-in ribeye steaks are $8.99 a pound, and in fish, wild Alaskan cod fillets are $7.99 a pound and 30/40 count Peruvian sea scallops are $8.99 a pound, both previously frozen. They also have previously frozen Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets for $8.99 a pound, but with fresh Copper River $12.99 at Safeway, why would you do that.

In organic produce at Sprouts, bunched carrots and red or green leaf lettuce are all very low at 98 cents each, six-ish ounce raspberries or blackberries are $2.98 each, on-the-vine cluster tomatoes are $1.98 a pound, Bartlett pears are $1.50 a pound, and yellow nectarines and black plums are both $1.98 a pound. Elsewhere in the store, I'm liking Fage Greek yogurts at $1 each, Seapoint Farms edamame $1.99 a bag, some Pamela's cookies $2.50 a box, and Westbrae organic beans just 99 cents for the 15 ounce cans.

In Whole Foods' new sale through June 17th, fresh seafood kabobs look intriguing at $7.99 a pound and they have beef kabobs at that same price, while beef shoulder steaks are $3.50 off at $4.99 a pound. Organic red, green or black seedless grapes are all $2.49 a pound, which is very good for the Whole Trade seal. I managed to resist the prepared bbq chicken in the last sale, but Market Made Sriracha fried chicken at $6.99 a pound ($2 off) might be my downfall, especially if accompanied by the Market Made smoked mozzarella pasta salad at $7.99 a pound, also $2 off. Is there a cook's night off in my future? For a treat, Whole Foods' nine inch strawberry rhubarb lattice pies are $11.99, and if you are thinking ahead to summer picnics, some Olli Salumeria salamis are $8.99 each, $3 off. Finally, Alba shampoos or conditioners (12 ounces) are nearly half off at $5.99 each.

Copper River $12.99/lb At Safeway

In today's new ads, Safeway is listing wild fresh Copper River sockeye salmon fillets for just $12.99 a pound. They also say "weather permitting" and "low price every day," so I don't know if their club card is required. When I was at Whole Foods a few days ago, Copper River was $24.99 a pound, so this is definitely worth a detour. King Soopers' ad only says "Copper River salmon has arrived," no price for it, and Sprouts is still advertising previously frozen salmon, presumably from last year.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Free Yoga/Dance Next To Farmers' Market Tomorrow

If you're headed to the Wednesday evening Boulder Farmers' Market tomorrow, you can also take in a yoga or bump and grind dance class for free from 6 to 7 at Central Park next door. With all the prepared foods and seating at the market, you can get your workout, veggies for the week, and dinner all in one stop. Details here.

First CSA Pickup This Week

So psyched that I'll get to pick up my first biweekly batch of veggies from Red Wagon Organic Farm later this week. Here's what they say looks to be on deck:

Chive Flowers
Chive Flowers
This week we hope to bring you:

Regular Share
-Red Russian Kale
-Bok Choi
-Hakurei Turnips
-Grilling Onions
-Choice: Lettuce OR Arugula
-Choice of herbs: Sorrel OR  Mint OR Thyme OR Sage OR Tarragon OR Chives OR Garlic  Chives.

E back again. This will be so fun. By posting the likely contents, Red Wagon allows the planner in me to get in gear, while the "we hope" statement adds an element of uncertainty and possible surprise. Plus there are those OR choices - I really want the sorrel, so what if everybody else does too, and they've run out by the time I get there? Will my vision of Copper River salmon with sorrel sauce be dashed? Oh the anticipation is nearly too much to bear...

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Copper River Salmon At Pearl Whole Foods

The Whole Foods store on Pearl Street has Copper River salmon fillets back in stock today when I was there, $24.99 a pound. It's just the very start of the season, and that price is likely to go down, especially when King Soopers and Safeway get into the act, trying to lure us in with fresh wild salmon specials. Pearl Street is also sampling some yummy grilled corn today. Grilling dude said he was challenged to prepare great grilled corn without butter, and has he ever succeeded. He's pulling back the husks, removing the silk, applying a dry spice rub all over the corn, and replacing the husk to grill. When done, he's rubbing the corn with a cut lime. Heaven.

Grilling Guides Reminder

With the continuing threat of afternoon rains this isn't looking like the greatest Memorial Day weekend for grilling, but if you're still game and looking for new ideas, here's a reminder of the post I did a bit ago on grilling recipe guides.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Weekend Sale At Alfalfa's

Alfalfa's has gotten into the habit of doing regular four-day sales that run Thursday through Sunday, but I often don't mention them since I rarely head that far west in town and am usually too short on time to boot. But if you're headed to the Boulder Farmers' Market today before this afternoon's rain is expected to move in, you might consider also going another block for some of these specials through tomorrow. Bel Gioioso fresh mozzarella is $2.99 for an eight ounce log or ball (great if the one pound logs of fresh mozz in Whole Foods' weekend sale seem too big for you), organic cantaloupes are $1.69 each, local Callicrate ground beef is $3.99 a pound, organic raspberries look extremely good at $2.50 for six ounces ($4.98 off), Straus organic ice cream is nearly half off at $3.69 a quart, Santa Cruz organic lemonade is three for $5 (everybody does specials at this time of year), and sustainably caught wild coho salmon is $5 off at $9.99 a pound, but it's previously frozen, while we've just entered the new fresh wild season.

Stay dry this afternoon. Looks like my fresh king salmon from Lucky's Market (covered in the post below) might wind up on the grill pan instead of on the grill.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Happy Memorial Day weekend eve, and what a weekend it is to try to plan. Grilling obviously has to be a feature, but with the threat of afternoon storms we've been having, it would also help to be flexible enough to move indoors if needed. Since the severity of the threat seems to be decreasing, we'll start with an indoor plan for tonight, saving the first grilling for tomorrow. Having recently done a trip where I developed an appreciation for fresh fish very simply prepared, usually with some version of potato on the side, tonight will be a simple saute of either fresh Alaskan cod or fresh albacore tuna steak, which are both only $7.99 a pound at Lucky's Market in both Boulder and Longmont. Buttermilk mashed potatoes make a nice comfort side.

We'll hope to get out on the grill for tomorrow, turning again to the fish specials at Lucky's, since they are advertising first of the season fresh wild king salmon for just $14.99 a pound at the Longmont store, $15.99 a pound at the Boulder one. With a price that good this early in the season, I'm afraid availability may be a problem, but that would be easily solved by doing cod tonight and the albacore tuna on the grill tomorrow if so. A caprese salad also comes to mind for a side, given Whole Foods' excellent weekend sale on fresh mozzarella, and the Longmont Lucky's has organic romas for just 98 cents a pound.

I won't admit to Sunday's plan, as it's something we've already done twice since fresh corn first appeared a few weeks ago, but I want it so I'm going to do it. It will also help work on my remaining stock of frozen roasted chiles from last year's season before it's time for this year's.

Back to the grill for Memorial Day on Monday, of course. With boneless skinless chicken breasts an extraordinary $1.88 a pound at the Longmont Lucky's (they're on sale for $5.99 a pound at the Boulder store, to show you how good that Longmont price is), I'm thinking of grilled chicken and ratatouille from Bon Appetit. This is also something that can be made in quantity for convenient leftovers

Which will get us through what will hopefully be a pleasant Memorial weekend. At least my basil's going to get planted!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Weekend Sale At Whole Foods Starts Tomorrow

This one's a four-day sale to run all the way through Memorial Day. And I can testify that Crave Brothers mozzarella is really, really good. Here's what Whole Foods says:

MAY 23-26 (FRI-MON)

Crave Brothers Mozzarella: 30% OFF
16oz logs | Perfect for caprese salad!
Sale Price: $6.99 Each

All Suncare: AT LEAST 30% OFF
Sunscreen & Aloe Skin Care Products*

BBQ Ribs At Sprouts

If you're not in the mood for doing your own grilling this weekend, or just want something for an easy supplement, Sprouts will be grilling full racks of baby back ribs tomorrow and Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm. Cost is $12.99 for a full rack, grilled over mesquite. I picked up the flyer at the Baseline store, but I imagine Arapahoe is doing it too (no address mentioned on the flyer).

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Fresh Wild Salmon Scene In Boulder

We're just at the start of the highly anticipated fresh wild salmon scene, which unfortunately seems to get crazier every year. The Whole Foods store on Pearl Street had Copper River salmon at the beginning of this week, but it sold out in one day. They told me today they expect more by this weekend, but I'd expect a price tag to go along with that demand. The Pearl Street store did have fresh king salmon today (think the fish dude said from Washington state) selling for about $28 a pound. This puts an interesting perspective on the specials being newly offered by Lucky's Market this week, where fresh, first of the season wild king salmon is advertised for $14.99 a pound at the Longmont store, and $15.99 at the north Boulder store in the new sales through the 28th. Those are both incredible prices, and given the frenzy that has developed around wild salmon, I can only expect that there will be availability issues.

By the way, King Soopers also advertised today that Copper River has arrived, but no price mentioned. This is the only time of year I pay attention to King Soopers or Safeway, since when the fresh wild salmon wars heat up, they sometimes have some of the best prices. Give it a few weeks before that happens.

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Today

We have a ways to go until July, when we'll revel in local sweet corn from Munson's, but meanwhile here's a fix from Whole Foods for today only to tide you over. And if you happen to be in the neighborhood of Longmont, today is the last day the Lucky's Market there is effectively giving corn away at a spectacular eight ears for $1 (they are five for $1 at the Boulder Lucky's through today). Here's what Whole Foods says:

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

In this Memorial Day week, we have a new (and a continuing) sale at our Boulder Sprouts stores, while the current ones continue at Whole Foods through the 27th and at Vitamin Cottage through the 31st. Here's what's looking good to me now.

At Sprouts, I'm liking the second and final week of their Big Brand sale through the 28th, with tons of good products at 20 to 50% off regular price (I detailed a whole bunch of them in last week's report below). Stocking up on favorite Knudsen's Very Veggie juice at an excellent price a few days ago, the cashier asked if I had a dog that had gotten skunked.

In Sprouts' regular new sale through the 28th, value packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts are $2.99 a pound, whole, split or cut up chickens are $1.59 a pound, stuffed chicken breasts are $3.99 a pound ($1 more than the sale price used to be), and there's a Rib Fest, with pork spare or country style ribs or beef back ribs all $2.99 a pound, pork baby back ribs $3.99 a pound, and boneless beef short ribs $4.99 a pound. Also, for Friday through Sunday only, all chicken or pork sausages are just $2.50 a pound. In fish, previously frozen Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets are $9.99 a pound, but now that the Copper River season has started, I'm keeping my eye out for fresh wild salmon instead.

In organic produce at Sprouts the emphasis is on fruit this week, with six-ish ounce containers of blueberries or blackberries both $2.98 each, Bartlett pears $1.50 a pound, red or green grapes $2.98 a pound, and four pound bags of Valencia oranges just $1.98 each. Some Earthbound organic salad blends are $2.50 a container, and organic yellow onions are 98 cents a pound. As for elsewhere in the store, it's the aforementioned Big Brand sale all over the place.

Good luck to us all with our threat of "severe weather" for this afternoon.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Grilling Guides In Time For Memorial Day

With Memorial Day just around the corner, it's time to get serious about grilling, although it's at least a three season activity in this house. If you are looking for some grilling inspiration, here are a few guides to help you out: The Complete Grilling and BBQ Guide from Epicurious, Essential Grilling Guide from Cooking Light, and Summer Grilling Recipes from Food and Wine magazine.

Monday, May 19, 2014

CSA Starting Shortly!

I'm so psyched that my Red Wagon Organic Farm CSA pickups will start shortly. The CSA actually starts this week, but to ease into the concept, I opted for a biweekly pickup that will start next week. I'm looking forward to this with anticipation and a certain sense of dread as to how losing control of my veggie selections will mess with my mind as a planner. But now I find I might be in something of a middle ground, as Red Wagon does a blog that will give me a weekly heads up about the pickup veggies. (Am I somehow disappointed by this news, secretly wanting to see how I'd react to dealing with a surprise box every other week?) Here's the list from Red Wagon's week 1, which would still contain a few sand traps, as evidently some choice is still involved. How does one choose between kale or bok choi before knowing what's to be cooked? Ditto the fresh herbs. I almost think I'd prefer to be totally surprised, then have to deal with it. This is going to be fun, and a new, more flexible me might come out of it.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Copper River Salmon Is Coming

It's that time of year again. Yesterday, there was a chalkboard in front of the fish counter at the Pearl Street Whole Foods saying Copper River salmon is coming in four days. I asked the fish guy if that meant Sunday or Monday, since it depends on whether you're counting the current day as day one, but only got an answer of four days, so I don't know. It doesn't really matter to me, since it will probably arrive at a ridiculous price, something around $30 a pound I'd guess, which I don't think the fish is worth. The good news is that it marks the start of the fresh wild salmon season, which does become very enjoyable once we start moving on from the Copper River cult.

What To Do With Tomorrow's Farmers' Market Produce

If you are looking for ideas for fresh local spring produce, get your hands on the April issue of Bon Appetit. It has an article called Green Power with lots of ideas, but Bon Appetit unfortunately doesn't give access to recent articles on its site. But that's what libraries are for, so go check it out, literally. For a couple of recipes catching my eye that do have links, consider stir-fried pea shoots, which shows that pea shoots can be treated simply like any other green, or the tempting sauteed radishes with bacon, since everything (except cholesterol tests) goes better with bacon.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Weekend Sale At Whole Foods

Why are there always so many cholesterol temptations? For tomorrow through Sunday (the 16th through 18th), Whole Foods will have New York strip steaks for $13.99 a pound, $5 off usual. I've also heard a rumor that blueberry peach upside down cakes will be $5 each.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

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 at Vitamin Cottage through May 31st. Here's what's looking good to me now.

In addition to its usual weekly sale, Sprouts is doing a Big Brand sale lasting two weeks, through the 28th, with lots of brands at 20 to 50% off regular retail. Items catching my eye include all R.W. Knudsen juices 35% off, some Lundberg rice cakes and chips 30% off, all Barbara's products 35% off, some Back to Nature cookies and crackers 25% off, all Coleman pork and poultry products 20% off, Santa Cruz lemonade half off, some Seventh Generation household items 30% off, and some Arrowhead waters half off, including the 24 packs that are good to have around in summer so long as your guests are faithful in their recycling. Plus there are tons of other options.

In the regular sale at Sprouts through May 21st, I'm enthused about stew beef at $3.99 a pound, a price we haven't seen in some time, and short ribs also that same price. All chicken sausage is on sale, but still at $3.49 a pound, 50 cents higher than previously, while the $3.99 sale price on boneless skinless chicken breasts doesn't strike me as a sale price at all for Sprouts, where we sometimes see it as low as $1.99. Previously frozen sockeye salmon fillets are $8.99 a pound, Alaskan cod fillets are $7.99 a pound, and 30/40 count Peruvian sea scallops are $8.99 a pound, all previously frozen.

In organic produce at Sprouts, I'm loving roma tomatoes at 98 cents a pound, and also liking cucumbers 98 cents each, while here comes the organic fruit, with California yellow peaches $2.98 a pound, cantaloupes just 50 cents a pound, red or green grapes $2.50 a pound, and California blueberries $2.98 for a six ounce container. As for elsewhere in the store, look to that Big Brand sale.

In Whole Foods' new sale through May 27th (taking us through Memorial Day), I'm liking boneless chuck steaks nearly half off at $3.99 a pound (a real competitor to Sprouts' stew beef price if you're willing to chop it up), and St. Louis style spareribs $3.99 a pound. Their fine air-chilled chicken breasts are only $1 off at $5.99 a pound, but you have to buy chicken this week, I'd consider going with this one with a pedigree since the Sprouts $3.99 price is rather high for them. Organic Vidalia onions are notable at 99 cents a pound, as are organic Packham pears at $1.69 a pound. If you're cheating on your barbeque, the deli has Market Made bbq chicken for $6.99 a pound and Mediterranean pasta salad for $7.99 a pound, both $2 off. Finally, to protect yourself during your holiday fun in the sun, Kiss My Face suncare is half off.

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Today

And it's a good one. Cotswold, one of my favorite cheeses, is better than half off. Here's the pretty picture from Whole Foods:

Continental Sausage Company's cheddar brats and pork chorizo are also on sale for the day.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Pot Growing Next To My Favorite Veggies?

This whole marijuana thing in Colorado is just getting too weird. Now a grower is proposing to create a large greenhouse establishment next to one of my favorite places, Cure Organic Farm at 75th and Valmont, which would also place it close to another favorite, Munson Farm. Paul Cure is understandably disturbed, asking how he'd explain what's next door to school kids on a farm tour. You can read the Daily Camera article about it here.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Yet again, sort of. Good cold, rainy, and already a little snowy morning Boulder. I hope anything you've planted so far this spring is of the type that can take the heavy, wet snow that's expected through tomorrow morning. My fear is for the trees, with most of their leaves already out. At least if the tree carnage proves to be too much to haul away, our neighbor has already offered to host a bonfire.

As for dinners, making a major assumption the power stays on, I thought I had everything planned out for a delicious pasta dish for tomorrow, strisce alla chiantigiana from Bon Appetit. When a recipe calls for anything more than a splash of cooking wine, my feeling is that it should come from a bottle that you'd also be willing to drink, albeit a pretty inexpensive one since complexity would be a waste. With coq au vin on the menu last night, I thought I had it all figured out to split a decent cooking wine between the two recipes. However, when husband was directed to pick up a bottle of wine for cooking, what came into the house was far more appropriate for drinking, so after the allotted amount was measured into the coq last night, the remainder went into glasses, leaving me with the question of whether to trundle back out in the rain/snow to get another bottle of a cheap cooking type. Basic spaghetti with sausage and peppers is a backup plan.

Tuesday will be our reheat of something big made over the weekend, and this week we'll have our choice of two options, either last night's quick coq au vin from Bon Appetit, or tonight's kale and white bean stew from Food and Wine magazine. Given the weather, I'm so glad I opted to go with wintery comfort foods right now, although our side salads have lots of spring greens and pea shoots from yesterday's Farmers' Market.

In the sales running through Wednesday, high end burger seems to be prominent, with grass-fed organic ground beef $4.99 a pound at Sprouts and Teton Waters Ranch grass-fed ground chuck also $4.99 a pound at the Lucky's Market in Longmont (sorry, no time to check the Boulder Lucky's). Since the Longmont Lucky's is also advertising organic green beans at $1.98 a pound, that got me thinking of a recipe that doesn't have a link, burger and green beans from Jane Brody's Good Food Cookbook. Here's what I've said about it previously: ...we'll do a standby from a classic cookbook, Jane Brody's Good Food Book. Simply called ground beef and green beans, it's basically a stir fry of burger and green beans with some garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes, sauced with a bit of soy sauce, broth, and cornstarch, the whole thing served over rice.   

And for Thursday? I just don't know yet! Maybe simple sauteed chicken breasts from the Longmont Lucky's $1.98 a pound sale through Wednesday, or the usual fallback, salmon burgers from Whole Foods. We just need to get through the rest of this weekend first.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Truffle Tasting At Cured

If you are headed to the Farmers' Market this afternoon, you might also want to wander down Pearl Street to Cured, where they will be doing a Black Star truffle tasting starting a 1. Here's what they say:

SATURDAY MAY 10: BLACK STAR TRUFFLE TASTING, 1-4 PM: That's right, in honor of Mother’s Day, we will be hosting a truffle tasting in the shop on Saturday from 1-4. black starThere is not much better then a chocolate tasting, unless it is a Black Star Truffle Tasting. Black Star is a local Colorado company started by two friends and co-workers, Andrew and Jennifer. After discovering that each other created their own complicated batches of chocolate as holiday gifts, the pair joked about their future as professional chocolatiers. Joking turned into ambition as the need to share their love of chocolate with others took root. In August of 2010, Black Star Chocolates was born. And thank goodness it was. Black Star was voted Best of Denver in Westword's 2013 "Best Of" Edition and their truffles have won countless awards and Best in Shows at the Colorado Chocolate Festival. We couldn't be more excited to have them with us the day before Mother's Day, tasting their mouthwatering confections and giving you all the chance to pick up something special for mom.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Cure Organic Farm Store Is Open!

Yahoo, today is opening day of the season for Cure Organic Farm's store at 75th and Valmont. You can read all the details about hours and veggies of the week (yay, pea shoots this week) at their website here. Cure is a lovely east Boulder alternative if the crowds and downtown parking hassles of the Boulder Farmers' Market annoy you, as they do me.

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Funny how the week's dinner plans are sometimes determined. Tonight's are born of frustration. Early this week, I'd wanted some of that very reasonable Canadian swordfish the Whole Foods on Pearl always has in its fish freezer case for about $10.99 a pound for an easy midweek dinner, only to find they were down to one little half pound package. Fish guy checked a list and told me they'd have it back in stock by Thursday. I therefore went yesterday with the idea of it defrosting for tonight's dinner, only to find yet again it is still out of stock. Fortunately just yesterday morning I'd read in the current Cooking Light about an intriguing method for broiling fish in a good old fish shack style without drying it out (my broiling skills definitely could use improvement), which they call their cooking class for moist, flavorful broiled fish. Without my reasonably priced swordfish option, I grabbed more of the fresh Icelandic cod we'd had a week ago, which is still $12.99 a pound, and that will be our broiling experiment for tonight.

The rest of the weekend is also coming from unusual inspirations. I should be looking toward using the freshest of spring greens from tomorrow's Farmers' Market, but yesterday's cold, dreary, sometimes drizzly weather in Boulder as I was considering dinners got me thinking more along the lines of one last round of winter comfort foods instead. With antibiotic-free boneless skinless chicken breasts $1.98 a pound at the Longmont Lucky's Market this week (sorry, no time to check the Boulder Lucky's), that got me wanting to make quick coq au vin from Bon Appetit.

With Sunday I'm also looking toward comfort food prompted by our one day of cold weather yesterday (and the forecast for Sunday looks like more of the same). I'm leaning towards kale and white bean stew from Food and Wine magazine, thinking about the organic kale for 98 cents a bunch at Sprouts and really wanting to get back on a healthy track after some recent indulgence in very rich dairy products for several days. But that stew is still currently competing in my mind with the possibly equally virtuous spicy tilapia and fennel stew from Cooking Light, but that one just seems too easy for a weekend night.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

One-Day And Weekend Sales At Whole Foods

Our local Whole Foods stores will offer us both a sale for tomorrow only, the 9th, and one lasting all the way through Sunday. Plus, don't forget the previously mentioned sale on Whole Trade roses through Monday. Here's what they say about the new sales:

May 9 (Fri Only)
1/4lb Beef Patties: 50% OFF
Sale Price: $1.00 Each
Step 4 Rated | Made In House

May 9-11 (Fri Through Sun)
Large Quiches: $3 OFF
Sale Price: $9.99 Each

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wednesday Boulder Farmers' Market Starts Tonight!

Wow, this one really snuck (is that still technically sneaked?) up on me. This afternoon marks the first of the Wednesday evening markets for the Boulder Farmers' Market. Here's what they say:

 We're EXCITED and hope you are too!!!

Our Wednesday Boulder Market Kicks off at 4pm on May 7thand runs till 8pm on 13th St between Arapahoe and Canyon.

We'll have live music featuring one of our Local Boulder Bands, Boulder Beer will be on Tap at the Beer Garden and Augustina's Winery will be pouring their CO Wines!  

Also, Fresh Local Produce from our Wonderful Farmers, with 6 NEW Farmers bringing their goods to The Market! 


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 May 13th, and at Vitamin Cottage through May 31st.

Some sale weeks appeal to me more than others, and it's looking like this week there's not a lot new to get me enthused. At Sprouts through May 14th, grass-fed organic ground beef looks good at $4.99 a pound, although we don't eat much burger in this house, and whole, split or cut-up chickens are $1.59 a pound. Chicken tenders and ground chicken breast are $3.99 a pound, when I'd prefer to see that sale price at least $1 less, and previously frozen Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets are now $12.99 a pound.

Organic produce looks better at Sprouts, with green curly kale just 98 cents a bunch, cucumbers 50 cents each, four pound bags of Valencia oranges or grapefruits $2.98 each, and one pound clamshells of strawberries or small containers of blueberries or blackberries all $3.98 each, although this past week through today was much better on the strawberries at $1 less, $2.98 each. Conventional produce seems to be Sprouts' strong suit this week, and on things I'd only buy in organic, conventional on-the-vine tomatoes at just 48 cents a pound as an example. Elsewhere in the store, I'm enthused by Stonyfield organic Greek yogurts at $1.25 each, although they're on sale at Whole Foods for that same price, and Eat Well hummus, well liked in this house, at $3 for a big 10 ounce container.

One-Day Plus Longer Rose Sale

Our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a sale for today only on La Tur cheese, with which I'm afraid I'm not familiar. Here's what they say about that one:

May 7 (Wed Only)
La Tur Cheese: $4 OFF
Sale Price: $8.99 Each
The Perfect Trio of Milks

Plus, all the way through the 12th (guess that's an extra day in case you really slip up forgetting Mother's Day on Sunday), Whole Trade roses will be on sale:

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Hosea Rosenberg To Open New Restaurant

I usually stick with the home cooking scene, but this strikes me as big restaurant news. Hosea Rosenberg of Top Chef winner fame plans to open a new restaurant this summer, to be called Blackbelly Market. It will include a significant butchery component (wonder what Boulder's vegetarians are thinking about all this new emphasis on meat) and a food truck. Best of all from a personal standpoint is that it will be located near 55th Street and Arapahoe, an east Boulder location that has been long overdue for culinary interest but seems to be gaining traction rapidly. You can read all the details from Eater Denver here.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Mother's Day This Sunday

Mother's Day is quickly approaching, and in my mind, that's a day to make sure she's not in the kitchen making dinner. Either take her out, or turn to something like Mother's Day Celebration for ideas, including how to do brunch for mom.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Cinco De Mayo Tomorrow

Cinco de Mayo dinner will be an easy weekday one in this house, steaming the freshly-made tamales I'll pick up at Whole Foods today on the last day of their weekend sale. If you are looking to do something more elaborate, here are a few guides to help you out: Cinco de Mayo from Epicurious, Fiesta Foods for Cinco de Mayo from Whole Foods, Cinco de Mayo Recipes from Food and Wine magazine, and Rick Bayless' Ultimate Cinco de Mayo Party Planner.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Weekend Dinner Ideas, Sort Of

With my fridge brimming with fresh produce from yesterday's Red Wagon Organic Farm CSA open house (see the post just below), this is my first and possibly last post about how I plan to work with all these veggies. The conflict between my tendency to plan ahead and the need to go with the flow of veggies that arrive will probably be much too embarrassing to share in public. But at least for this weekend, here goes.

I actually found no conflict whatsoever for tonight's dinner. I recently had the chance to gorge on the freshest fish, richest dairy, and organic veggies imaginable, and bringing those trends into home cooking works for tonight. The fresh Icelandic cod on sale at Whole Foods for $12.99 a pound had already caught my eye, and since I'm now into the simplest preparations to not mess with the fish, it will be a simple saute of that. Organic Yukon potatoes will get mashed for a side, although back to one percent milk and Earth Balance for mashing instead of the rich butter and/or cream I indulged in for a few days. As for the abundance of veggies from Red Wagon, the fish can go on a lightly dressed bed of arugula, while most of that gorgeous spinach can get sauteed with a couple of Egyptian walking onions and a bit of crushed pepper for the side.

Tomorrow's a different story. With a nice top round steak on sale at Whole Foods for $4.49 a pound, I'd been thinking about an Asian dinner involving two recipes I've mentioned a year or so ago, a soy and ginger beef for the grill, and soba noodles with pea shoots to incorporate our short pea shoot season. But pea shoots weren't among the items we could get at Red Wagon yesterday (first experience of planning ahead for something that won't be part of the CSA delivery, plus we novices were way too clumsy to have been allowed anywhere near those pea shoots!). I could go to the Farmers' Market for them tomorrow, but with a fridge full of beautiful veggies already, that doesn't sound like the best use of time. Being already in a beef frame of mind despite resolutions to get back on a holy cholesterol track, and discovering that the Lucky's Market in Longmont has boneless ribeyes for $7.99 a pound this week, we're diverting to a plain old grilling event for tomorrow. The new crop of sweet corn arriving from out of state (five for $1 for white corn at Sprouts, four for $1 for bi-color corn at the Lucky's in Longmont today, even though their ad says it's two for $1) will go on the side.

Those corn specials will drive Sunday's thinking, and even though I did it just a few weeks ago when fresh corn first appeared this year, we're ready for another round of corn and green chile chowder from the Food Network. The side salad will be a great place to use up any remaining arugula, spinach, and radishes from the Red Wagon bonanza.

Temps heading into the 80s this weekend!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Fun Already With Red Wagon CSA

I've recently mentioned I decided to take the plunge and try out a CSA from one of my favorite places, Red Wagon Organic Farm. The CSA deliveries don't start until later this month, but to get folks enthused (and perhaps a bit educated), Red Wagon hosted an open house today where we got to pick our own veggies in the fields. Four items were available, and we learned how to harvest each in the process: spinach (just pick the leaves), arugula ("give it a haircut" with the harvesting knives they had available), radishes (check the radish peeking from the dirt to determine size to see if it's big enough to pull out), and Egyptian walking onions (stick the shovel in straight down next to the cluster, lift it up, then shake off the dirt). Now I have my first batch of veggies to deal with where they don't entirely fit in the weekend dinner plans that I was starting to form. Strange new world ahead.

Weekend Sale At Whole Foods

For tomorrow through Sunday, the 2nd through 4th, Whole Foods will offer us their own tamales at $2 each, so I know what we'll be having for an easy Cinco de Mayo dinner on Monday. (Sprouts also has 24 ounce six packs of tamales at $6.99 each all week, nearly half the cost per tamale, but for that rare occasion when we eat prepared foods instead of made from scratch, I generally opt for Whole Foods). Also, king crab legs will be $18.99 a pound (pretty pricey in my estimation for a bunch of shell and a lot of work to eat, plus you can get them any day in Whole Foods' regular sale through May 13th for $1 more per pound).

Happy May Day!