Monday, June 30, 2014

Kale And Apple Salad

This is almost spooky. About a week ago, I finally had a chance to enjoy the famed kale and apple salad at Oak at Fourteenth. Now in this week's blog post from my CSA's Red Wagon Organic Farm, they include not only a link to Oak's recipe, plus their own spin on it, which gives me a way to use more of the wonderful turnips I picked up from them a few days ago. Looks like yet another kale and apple salad is in my future, although it could never approach the one I had at Oak.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Alfalfa's Chicken Is Great!

Today is the last day of Alfalfa's four-day sale celebrating the opening of their new Louisville store (pretty nice one, I must say), and the sales are happening both there and at the Boulder store. We tried the bone-in split antibiotic-free chicken breasts out on the grill last night (amazing at $1.99 a pound, $4 off), and they were spectacular. So good in fact that I'm going back today so we can do a repeat on Tuesday. Their housemade roasted tomato and pesto farfalle pasta salad also is one of the best pasta salads I've ever tasted, and at $2.99 a pound through today (also $4 off), irresistible. One word of caution: with food this good at these prices, I've seen a couple of out of stocking problems at the Boulder store.

4th Of July Almost Here

We're still in June, but Friday will be the 4th of July already. It's traditionally a day for grilling, so here's a reminder of the grilling guides I posted prior to Memorial Day, equally appropriate for this week. If you are looking for something specific to the 4th, Food and Wine magazine has you covered with its 4th of July Recipes. Happy and safe 4th!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Hemingway's Hamburger

Yet another reason I love Saveur magazine. In the June/July issue, I learn that Hemingway's recipe for his favorite burger (actually a little more complex than a burger I'd make) has surfaced at the JFK Library in Boston. You can see his typewritten recipe from Saveur here. And what other food magazine would open an article with a sentence like, "If my ideal hamburger were a novel, its author would be Ernest Hemingway: I prefer my burgers powerful and spare, brutal yet refined." Saveur, I love you.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Alfalfa's Grand Opening Specials

A reminder that the new Alfalfa's in Louisville, the company's second store, opens at 9 this morning. In celebration, they are doing some very notable specials through Sunday at both stores. I'm particularly noticing their own housemade roasted tomato and pesto farfalle pasta salad $2.99 a pound, which is $4 off, Petaluma bone-in split antibiotic-free chicken breasts $1.99 a pound, also $4 off, parmesan reggiano $13.99 a pound, $6 off, 16 ounce housemade Italian sodas just 99 cents, $1.50 off, local grass fed ground beef nearly half off at $3.99 a pound, and housemade scones half off at $1 each.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Weekend Sale At Whole Foods

Here's a temptation. For tomorrow through Sunday, our local Whole Foods stores will have New York strip steaks for $14.99 a pound.

Hazel's Getting Younger

Love that Hazel's Beverage World celebrates the courageous women aviators of WWII. And Hazel herself will have a birthday bash tomorrow. Here's what she says:

Friday, June 27th 2014 It's Hazel's birthday!
Come to our regular Friday wine tasting from 4-7pm and get yourself a birthday cupcake while supplies last. Plus we will be having double ZCard points for purchases made that day!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

Good beautiful Wednesday morning on Bike to Work Day and the first day of the new Boulder Farmers' Market in downtown Longmont this afternoon from 4 to 8. Meanwhile, we have a new sale starting today at our Boulder Sprouts stores, while the current one continues at Whole Foods through July 1st and at Vitamin Cottage through July 12th. Here's what's looking good to me now.

In addition to its regular sale, Sprouts will offer a 72 hour sale for this Friday through Sunday. Items in that include whole seedless watermelons for $1.98 each, 30/40 count Peruvian sea scallops for $6.99 a pound, and in an interesting pricing twist, 24 pack cases of Arrowhead water that will be $2.50 each when you buy two, but $2.99 each if you just buy one. In Sprouts' regular sale through July 2nd, boneless pork loin chops are $2.99 a pound, any size package of boneless skinless chicken breasts (tenders also) is $2.99 a pound, and stuffed chicken breasts are $3.99 a pound (sale price used to be $2.99). In fish, fresh wild Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets are excellent at $10.99 a pound ($12.99 at Safeway, $13.99 at King Soopers with card, and last I looked the Pearl Whole Foods had very last of the Copper River season for $17.99 a pound, but that could be over). Sprouts also has previously frozen haddock fillets for just $4.99 a pound. Hmmm, haddock plus weekend scallop sale spells fish chowder.

In produce at Sprouts, one of the few items I'll buy in conventional is asparagus, and that's a great $1.98 a pound this week. On to my usual organic produce, five pound bags of red or Yukon potatoes are just $2.50 each, cantaloupes are 50 cents a pound, six ounce containers of blueberries are $2.50 each, red or green grapes are $2.98 a pound, and yellow peaches or "dapple" pluots are also $2.98 a pound. Elsewhere in the store, I'm liking roasted coffee beans for $6.99 a pound, Chobani Greek yogurts $1 each (but Whole Foods has Brown Cow Farm Greek yogurts $1 each through Tuesday, and I think they taste even better, plus they're non-GMO verified), some Amy's burritos are $2 each, some R.W. Knudsen organic juices are just $2.50 for 32 ounces, Annie's Naturals condiments are 25% off, and Blue Diamond artisan nut thins are $2.50 a box, a very good price for the artisan ones. Finally, select seven ounce Kerrygold Irish cheeses are $4.49 each, and I only recently recognized the lushness of that name, seeing contented dairy cows grazing in County Kerry and eating dairy products that were pure gold.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

So Much To Learn

As I've said before, I just love Saveur magazine, ever enlightening while still being such an entertaining read. Today I learned of nocino, an Italian walnut-infused liqueur made with unripe walnuts that, wouldn't you know, are traditionally gathered today, the 24th being the Feast of San Giovanni. So happy Feast of San Giovanni, and maybe I should go seek out some nocino to try.

Lucky's On The Move

Lucky's Market started with just the one store in north Boulder back in 2003, and the one they opened in Longmont last year marked just their second store. But in checking their website, I've been amazed at how quickly they are expanding elsewhere in the country (actually it's a little spooky, and I hope it goes well for them). Today's Daily Camera has an article about the expansion and how it has led to their expanding their corporate headquarters as well. The very good news in it is that they evidently reached a settlement with the owners of Lucky Supermarkets, which had sued them for trademark violation when their expansion evidently put them higher up on the radar.

Snow Peas This Week!

My Red Wagon Organic Farm CSA pickup is always a good indicator of what we'll encounter at the Boulder Farmers' Market as well, and the action seems to be really picking up this week. Not only do we have the introduction of snow peas, but carrots and cauliflower also get into the mix. And I'm glad to see bok choi will be an option again, since we have such reasonably priced fresh wild salmon now, and the Korean spin on bulgogi with salmon with bok choi I did a bit ago was such a success, might just have to do it again. Here's what Red Wagon says should be on deck for this week:

This week we hope to bring you:
Rainbow Chard
Rainbow Chard
Regular Share
-Snow Peas
-Hakurei Turnips
-Choice: Lettuce OR Braising Mix
-Choice: Kale OR Chard OR Collards OR Broccoli Raab OR Bok Choi
-Choice: Favas OR Beets OR Cauliflower

Large Share
-Double Snow Peas

Monday, June 23, 2014

Cheese Tasting Tomorrow In Superior

The Whole Foods store in Superior will be doing a seasonal cheese tasting tomorrow evening, looks like no reservations needed. Here's what they say (and sorry that it will cut off on the right side):


6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Tuesday, June 24
Seasonal Fresh Cheeses
Join us in our Specialty Dept. for a cheese sampling of our many seasonal fresh cheeses. Taste the difference and learn the best pairings for the many cheeses that we offer as well as meet Jens, our Certified Cheese Professional!

New Downtown Longmont Farmers' Market

When I refer to the Boulder Farmers' Market, I usually mean the Saturday and Wednesday ones in downtown Boulder, but it looks like I need to get more precise. The Boulder in the name actually refers to Boulder County. The market has long had a Saturday venue at the fairgrounds in Longmont, and now is adding a Wednesday evening one for downtown Longmont. Indeed, if you ever find yourself in the neighborhood, that downtown historic district is truly lovely, plus the new market is only a block away from such highlights as Ziggi's Coffee and the Longmont Public Library. Here's what the Boulder Farmers' Market says:

Wednesday, June 25: 4-8pm 
Opening night at the Downtown Longmont Farmers' Market, 5th Avenue between Main and Kimbark
Come by to help us celebrate the launch of our brand new market downtown Longmont in partnership with the Longmont Downtown Development Authority. Longmont's Mayor Coombs will be  in attendance and performing a ribbon cutting leading up to the open at 4pm.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Bike To Work Day Wednesday

This Wednesday, the 25th, is Bike to Work Day, and that of course means free breakfast at a whole bunch of places all around Boulder. You can see the list of locations here.

Alfalfa's Opening In Louisville This Week

The Boulder natural grocery scene just keeps getting better (does any place else in the country have as many options as we do in such a compact geographic location?). Alfalfa's, beloved in Boulder since the early days of natural/organic food, and now in its reincarnation era, will open its second store this Friday the 27th in Louisville on South Boulder Road. They promise special discounts on some of their most popular products in both stores.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Weekend Sale At Alfalfa's

Happy first day of summer! If you are headed to today's downtown Boulder Farmers' Market, consider also going another block west to Alfalfa's for the latter half of their current four-day sale. Organic Washington dark sweet cherries are notable at $4.99 a pound, nearly half off, local grass fed burger is $4.99, $2 off, grind your own organic peanut butter is $3.99 a pound, $1.50 off, and their own housemade mousse cups sound decadent at two for $3, nearly $2 off, among several other specials.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Bees Are So Crucial To Us

And as pollinators, especially to our food supply. The current crisis in bee colony collapse should be of concern to everybody. We're lucky to be participants in a CU study cleverly called The Bees' Needs, where we're tracking nesting activity in a "bee block" by our garage. Meanwhile Whole Foods is throwing its weight into the discussion with a Human Bee-In tomorrow. Here's what they say:

The Human Bee-In – Saturday, June 21
Ready to learn more about the link between bees and the future of food? On Saturday, June 21 all of our US stores are hosting a “Human Bee-In,” an event which will feature family-friendly  activities and tips for pollinator gardens. See your local store calendar for details.

Weekend Dinner Plans

Exceptionally quick rundown. For today, we'll rely on today's one-day sale at Whole Foods, where meat and seafood kabobs are $6.99 a pound. I'll opt for the seafood, and send the family griller out to the grill to do them.

For the rest of the weekend, we'll turn to extraordinary specials at the Lucky's Market in Longmont, with apologies for having no time to check the Boulder Lucky's specials (they do diverge). Since this week the Longmont store is offering boneless New York strip steaks for $5.99 a pound, who could resist unless come to think about it, you are someone like me trying to keep the red meat to a minimum. But with a gorgeous weekend ahead of us, it's just not going to be time for a tofu stir-fry.

Lucky's in Longmont also inspires Sunday's thinking. They have sweet corn at a fabulous eight ears for $1, which makes me think I should use up the last of my stock of frozen roasted green chiles from last fall's roasting season for corn and green chile chowder from the Food Network. The Longmont Lucky's also has organic red or green leaf lettuce for just 98 cents a head, and the red one I picked up there yesterday is handsome. Many apologies for not having time to check the Boulder Lucky's specials, but you can easily find them on the web.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Weekend Sales At Whole Foods

Whole Foods seems to have dropped the old Wednesday one-day sales in favor of weekend happenings. For tomorrow only, Market Made meat and seafood kabobs will be $6.99 a pound. For the entire weekend, tomorrow through Sunday, three types of local Haystack goat cheese will be $2 off at $3.99 each, and Feelgoods flip flops will be 40% off to get you ready for summer over this solstice weekend.

Wednesday, June 18, 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 July 12th (see the post just below this for that one). Here's what's looking good to me now.

At Sprouts through June 25th, value packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts are $2.49 a pound, bone-in country-style pork ribs are $2.99 a pound (see Whole Foods below for another option), and at $3.99 a pound, a sirloin tip roast or steak could be chopped up for stew beef, which is being advertised at $5.49 a pound. Fresh wild Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets are looking great at $12.99 a pound, and both Safeway and King Soopers are also advertising that price (with card).

In organic produce at Sprouts, one pound clamshells of strawberries are $2.88 each, beating Whole Foods' new sale price, yellow or red onions are both 98 cents a pound, five pound bags of carrots are $2.98 each, Bartlett pears are $1.50 a pound, and red or green grapes are both $2.88 a pound. Elsewhere in the store, the emphasis is on a Sprouts Brand Sale, and having not bought much of Sprouts' own brand, I can't really speak to that. Some of the prices do indeed look good.

At Whole Foods through July 1st, fine American Homestead boneless country-style ribs are $3.99 a pound, if you want to spend $1 more per pound than Sprouts and ditch the bone in the process. The salmon burger sale of the moment is teriyaki at $3.99 each, but their switching away from a $7.99 a pound sale price with its inherent price hike is still irritating me. Organic yellow peaches look very good at $1.99 a pound (half their norm), while organic strawberries are $3.50 for a one pound container, so you'd do better at Sprouts for that. Conventional sweet corn is three for $1. Elsewhere in the store, I'm thrilled to see Brown Cow Greek yogurts at $1 each, there are some kale and veggie crunch crisps half off at $3 a bag, and Mrs. Meyers dish soap and countertop spray are both nearly half off at $2.50 each.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Current Sale At Vitamin Cottage

I finally got a chance to check out the new sale running all the way through July 12th at Vitamin Cottage, and there are some appealing deals as usual.  On the vine tomatoes are $1.99 a pound, and of course, Vitamin Cottage only sells organic produce. Chip fans will like Boulder Canyon potato chips at $1.69 for a five ounce bag, or Garden of Eatin' tortilla chips $2.29 an 8-ish ounce bag, while I'll go for the Lundberg rice chips, $1.99 for the natural and $2.39 for organic. Annie's Naturals salad dressings are $2.39 for an eight ounce bottle, R.W. Knudsen Simply Nutritious juice blends are $2.39 for 32 ounces, and some Alexia frozen potatoes have varying sale prices. I like those Alexia potatoes, but with 90 degree temps today, I'm entering my summer mode of not being inclined to heat the oven. Also, being Vitamin Cottage, there are lots of deals on supplements.

Hosea Rosenberg's Restaurant Getting Closer

Actually, in a couple of senses for us east Boulderites. The Daily Camera recently reported that Top Chef winner Hosea Rosenberg's new Blackbelly Market restaurant on Conestoga off Arapahoe is on pace to open in east Boulder possibly in September. That's good news for all of Boulder, including those who are fed up with the challenge of parking downtown for that hot restaurant scene. I love his comment that "I see this part of town as a rapidly growing segment of Boulder with a lot of opportunity and a lot of hungry people."

Monday, June 16, 2014

What's Coming Out Of The Fields This Week

With my biweekly pickup schedule, this won't be my week for picking up my Red Wagon Organic Farm CSA selections, but their list is a pretty good indicator of what you can expect to see at the Boulder Farmers' Market as well. Here's this week's list. Meanwhile, I'm still trying to decide what to do with last week's collard greens. And the availability of sugar snap peas practically screams pasta with sugar snap peas, asparagus and parmesan from Bon Appetit, given that asparagus is just $1.98 a pound this week at Sprouts through Wednesday. But you won't catch me trying to shell a fava bean - that's just way more effort than I'm willing to put into cooking.

It’s Week 5 and the beets are here! This week we hope to bring you…Beets Loose
Regular Share
-Sugar Snap Peas
-Choice: Kale OR Chard OR Collards
-Choice: Shallots OR Garlic
-Choice: Braising mix OR Lettuce
-Choice: Baby Beets OR Fava Beans
-Herb choice: Basil OR Chives OR Cilantro OR Dill OR Mint OR Mixed Herb Bunch
Large Share Additions
-Baby Carrots
-Double Sugar Snap Peas
-Extra Choice: Kale OR Chard OR Collards

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all those dads out there. If you are still casting about for some culinary inspiration for the day, here's a reminder of the Father's Day guides I posted a few days ago.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Boulder Farmer's Market Plus Alfalfa's

Looks like a nice morning to head to the Boulder Farmer's Market downtown from 8 to 2, although beware the construction that I think has Arapahoe closed just east of the Market. Canyon is a good alternative, and the creek's bike path is an even better one. Alfalfa's is just one block west, and they are continuing their new tradition of four-day weekend sales, so it might make a nice little detour. Items there catching my eye are Organic Boulder ice cream $3 for six ounces, organic red plums or white nectarines both $1.99 a pound, and their housemade bbq pulled pork sandwich (organic ingredients) for $5.99 each, $3 off.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Weekend Dinner Ideas

If perhaps still ill-formed. For tonight, we'll turn to the prepared crab cakes Lucky's Market in Longmont has for $2.99 each. Sorry no time to check the Boulder store, but sometimes they match, and if you're motivated, all sale flyers are on the web. My crab cakes can go on a lightly dressed bed of arugula from my second CSA pickup from Red Wagon Organic Farm.

Tomorrow's the one that's still in formation, as I search for a good use for the collard greens in my CSA this week. Black-eyed pea soup with ham and greens from the New York Times would be a classic use, but I make that so often on New Year's Day, I'm still on the lookout for a better idea.

We'll turn to the grill for Sunday on Father's Day. I'd originally thought it would be with the king salmon from Whole Foods' weekend sale, but after learning yesterday that it would be previously frozen, we'll stick with some fresh Copper River ($14.99 a pound at Sprouts and same at Safeway, $19.99 at Whole Foods yesterday). With sorrel again from my CSA pickup, I could do another salmon with sorrel sauce like two weeks ago, but that sauce is so rich, I think once is enough for the season. Sorrel will find many other uses, and it's great in salads.

Enjoy what looks to be a pretty pleasant weekend, including today's very warm Friday the 13th!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

News Re Whole Foods Salmon

Since there weren't any details on the web about Whole Foods' weekend sale on king salmon for $14.99 a pound (the post below this), I asked the fish dude about it while at the Pearl Street store today, since that seemed an exceptionally low price for fresh king. Yes indeed, the weekend king salmon sale starting tomorrow will be previously frozen, and he thought it might also be farmed. By the way, fresh Copper River has now dropped to $19.99 a pound at Whole Foods, at least at the Pearl Street store. Sprouts still doing better with $14.99 a pound. Much as I love Whole Foods' fish, think I'll take fresh Copper River over any previously frozen fish, farmed or not.

Weekend Sales At Whole Foods

For tomorrow only (happy Friday the 13th), large Hass avocados will be $1 each, and they generally do really run large at Whole Foods.

Also, for Friday through Sunday, king salmon will be $5 off at $14.99 a pound (type not specified), value packs of potato or macaroni salad will be 33% off at $6.99 each, and Honey Stinger 10G protein bars will be two for $3, 79 cents off.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Giant Basil Plants Return To Whole Foods

I loved the huge basil plants Whole Foods had a couple of years ago, with the plant itself standing maybe eight inches high and practically ready to start harvesting from right at sale time. Maybe I've missed them, but I hadn't subsequently seen that big size since then until a couple of days ago. I stopped into the Baseline store just to pick up some milk, and boom, there in the entryway was a ton of them, on sale for $7.99 each (Osage Farm organic). I scooped one up, even though I already have a bunch of small organic basils getting started in their pots. Guess I'd better keep working on the pesto still in the freezer from last year's crop.

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have a new sale starting today at our Boulder Sprouts stores, while the current one continues through next Tuesday, June 17th at Whole Foods. Plus I still need to check out what new might be happening at Vitamin Cottage. Here's what's looking good to me now.

In Sprouts' new sale through the 18th, boneless center-cut pork loin chops (roast and baby back ribs also) are $2.99 a pound, all of Sprouts' fresh sausages are $3.49 a pound, although that sale price used to be $2.99, and ground chicken is $2.99 a pound. In fish, fresh Copper River sockeye salmon fillets are $14.99 a pound (same at Safeway this week, while King Soopers remains mum in its ad), and flash frozen swordfish steaks are $6.99 a pound, although only once did I find them from the USA there, and I don't care for the ones from Singapore.

In produce at Sprouts, the big news to me is on the conventional side, with asparagus $1.98 a pound. Moving to our usual organic produce, one-the-vine cluster tomatoes are good at $1.98 a pound (although they were even better in the sale ending today), grape tomatoes are $2.50 a pint, three-packs of sweet corn are $2.50 each (don't see organic sweet corn all that often), four pound bags of Valencia oranges are $2.50 each, white nectarines are $1.98 a pound, and you can get either six ounces of blueberries or raspberries or a pound of strawberries all at $2.98 each.

Elsewhere in the store at Sprouts, I'm liking the 16 ounce size of Voskos Greek yogurt for $2.50 and select DeCecco pastas $1.50 a box. Horizon Organic milk is a pretty good price at $3.49 for 64 ounces (a half gallon), but Whole Foods' own 365 organic brand is just $2.99 every single day.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Father's Day Soon This Sunday

As holidays go, Father's Day isn't exactly on a culinary par with something like Thanksgiving, but if your mind turns toward food, here are a few guides to help you out for this Sunday:  Father's Day from Epicurious, Father's Day Cookout from Cooking Light (what if he insists the grill is his responsibility?), Father's Day Favorites from Saveur magazine, and don't forget An Incomplete List of Unexpected Gifts for Dad for foodie dad-related ideas.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Another CSA Pickup This Week

I'm excited that this will be my second pickup of my biweekly Red Wagon Organic Farm CSA. The first one disappeared quickly enough despite the very ample portions provided. Here's what's expected for this week's delivery, which as a view of what's emerging from the fields also gives you insight into what new to expect at the Boulder Farmers' Market. Sugar snap peas have arrived! Plus my ever-favorite, garlic scapes. Here's their list:

Regular Share
Sugar Snap Peas
Garlic Scapes
Choice: Hakurei Turnips OR Scarlet Turnips
Choice: Lettuce OR Arugula
Choice: Kale OR Chard OR Collard Greens
Herb choice: Sorrel OR Garlic Chives OR Cilantro OR Dill OR Mint OR Oregano, Sage OR Thyme OR Mixed herb bunch

One of Red Wagon's very pretty pics:

The Goods

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Weekend Sale At Alfalfa's

If you are headed to the downtown Boulder Farmers' Market today, you might also want to head a block further west for the latter part of Alfalfa's current four-day sale (through tomorrow). Items catching my eye include local Hope organic hummus just $3 each, housemade Berkshire pork Avery ale brats $4.99 a pound (doesn't get more local than housemade with Avery), organic yellow peaches $1.99 a pound, organic cashew pieces $5.99 a pound, and Steaz 16 ounce iced teas $1 a can.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Simplistic but surely satisfying, so here's a sketch. Tonight will be those house-made salmon burgers that are on sale at Lucky's Markets in both Boulder and Longmont for an astonishing $1.99 each through Wednesday. With big chunks of salmon in them, I'd bet they'd break apart if placed on a grill, so doing them indoors tonight is also a good thing, given the black clouds that are starting to loom over Boulder. They do especially nicely on a bed of greens dressed with lemon and a touch of olive oil (I've found the Tuscan blend from Alfalfa's is particularly good for this sort of thing).

Tomorrow will be an indulgence in the bone-in ribeye steaks the Longmont Lucky's has for $5.98 a pound (they don't appear in the Boulder flyer). With this series of dark afternoons and the storms we've mostly avoided compared to Denver, hopefully tomorrow will be a decent grilling evening. If not, the steaks are cheap enough that it's no big deal if they wind up on the grill pan indoors, or in the broiler.

On Sunday, we'll need something to compensate for tomorrow's beef-fest. With arugula so seasonal and organic on-the-vine tomatoes $1.50 a pound at Sprouts, that's leading me to a vegetarian pasta dish, penne with arugula and tomatoes from Bon Appetit. After the steaks, think I'll up the veggie content by adding organic spinach as well, always a good deal at Lucky's and always available at Whole Foods for a couple of dollars more per pound, plus there's the likelihood of the Farmers' Market for both spinach and arugula.

Which gets us through a simple weekend.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Nice Specials At Lucky's Market This Week

Since north Boulder isn't in my usual travel path, I unfortunately rarely have a flyer from the Boulder Lucky's Market (yes, it's all on the web, plus I get it emailed to me weekly, but it is just more time than I have to deal with that on a little screen), but this week I just happen to have flyers from the Lucky's Markets in both Boulder and Longmont in hand, and there are some nice specials to note.

In the sale lasting in both stores through June 11th, the stunner is their house-made salmon burgers for $1.99 each. I'd suspect they're using up stocks of frozen wild salmon since our new fresh season is upon us, but they make them with nice big salmon chunks that somehow still hold together well in a burger, and the ones we had last week were really, really good. Other sales in common between the two stores that catch my eye are house-made tuna kabobs for $6.99 a pound, fresh red rock cod also $6.99 a pound, house-made parmesan and parsley pasta just $2.99 a pound for a real cheater side, and house-made kale salad $4.99 a pound.

Where prices diverge, the advantage usually seems to go to Boulder for organic produce and to Longmont for meats, although I have suspicions the standards for advertised specials for meats in Longmont might be a little different than Boulder's, although all are at least antibiotic-free.  For instance, the Boulder store this week is advertising pork country style ribs for $4.99 a pound, with their "never ever standards" under the price, while the Longmont store has "all-natural" country style spare ribs at $2.99 a pound. Who knows, maybe basic country style and country style spare ribs might be two things. The big deal at the Longmont Lucky's seems to me to be bone-in ribeye steaks for $5.98 a pound, while Boulder is emphasizing Teton Waters Ranch grass-fed single grind chuck for $3.99 a pound, "never ever standards" again mentioned.

In organic produce, you'll find red or green leaf lettuce $1.50 a head at the Boulder store, broccoli $1.98 a pound, green cabbage or Vidalia onions just 88 cents a pound,, and grape tomatoes $1.98 for ten ounces (although those are $1.48 at the Longmont store). For organic produce in Longmont, in addition to those grape tomatoes, red or black plums are just 98 cents a pound (but $1.48 a pound at the Boulder store - maybe they are reversing themselves on produce?), red or gold potatoes are 98 cents a pound, and if you fancy a wedge, organic iceburg lettuce is 98 cents a head.

Elsewhere in the store, Gardenburgers veggie burgers are $2.99 fpr 10 ounces at both places, and there are tons more specials, some in common, some divergent, so just pick up the flyer when you get there.

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

Whole Foods has been introducing us to paiche, a new variety of sustainably farmed fish, for a few months now, and for tomorrow only, it will be $8.99 a pound. You can read all about it, including recipe ideas, in their blog post. I haven't tried it yet, so no comments about the fish. And by the way, the traditional one-day sales on Wednesdays are looking endangered, as this was the second week in a row where none was announced, at least as far as I could see.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

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 June 17th. There also should be something new happening at Vitamin Cottage that I need to check out, as their last sale ended this past weekend. Here's what's looking good to me now.

At Sprouts through June 11th, bone-in country-style pork ribs look very good at $1.99 a pound (they're great in a smoker or on the grill), value packs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts are $2.49 a pound, whole, split or cut up chickens are $1.59 a pound, ground pork is $2.99 a pound (how come I won't buy pork sirloin in chop form but I will buy it ground for Asian dishes?), and there's a Buffalo Stampede with various bison cuts on sale. In fish, fresh tilapia looks great at $4.99 a pound, so long as it was farmed in the USA, must check on that, and this week they've started advertising fresh Copper River sockeye salmon fillets - $17.99 a pound is their price. However, Safeway has it for $14.99 a pound this week, a $2 bump up from last week's lure-in price. When I last looked a few days ago at the Pearl Street Whole Foods, it was still $24.99 a pound there.

In organic produce at Sprouts, red or green seedless grapes are particularly good at $1.98 a pound ($2.49 a pound at Whole Foods), on-the vine-cluster tomatoes are just $1.50 a pound, four pound bags of Valencia oranges or grapefruits are $2.98 each, Bartlett or D'Anjou pears are $1.50 a pound, and six ounce containers of raspberries or blueberries are $2.98 each. Elsewhere in the store, there's a Sip into Summer sale, with a whole bunch of beverages 50% off, Green Mountain Creamery Greek yogurts are $1 each, Near East rice or couscous mixes are $1.50 a box (makes for a super easy dinner with sauteed chicken breast mixed in), Galbani fresh mozzarella is $3 for eight ounces, and the 14.5 ounce size of Muir Glen fire roasted organic tomatoes is three for $5 (size is singular, but somehow "is" just doesn't read right there, oh well).

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Greenwood Wildlife Benefits From Your Bags

If you are shopping at either Ideal Market in Boulder or the Lucky's Market in Longmont this month, please be aware that you have the option of your reusable bag donation going to Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, a truly amazing organization. Here's what they say:

Ideal Market Benefit for Wildlife
In just the first quarter, Ideal donated nearly $1,200 in bag credits to Greenwood. Shop there through July 6 at 1275 Alpine, Boulder, and we'll continue to receive 10 cents for each reusable bag you bring in, even if you only purchase one item. When asked if you want to donate your bag credit, please choose Greenwood as the recipient.

Shop at Lucky's Market in Longmont
Through the month of June, bring your own shopping bag to Lucky's Market Longmont and donate your bag credit to Greenwood. You'll be given a wooden dime at check-out. Drop it in Greenwood's bin as you leave the store. These dimes add up quickly!  

Monday, June 2, 2014

Dinner At Cure Organic Farm

It's a little confusing to keep straight the names of Cured, the purveyor of fine food and wine on Pearl Street, and Cure Organic Farm, a fave farm located at 75th and Valmont, but now they are partnering for a farm dinner event, which really turns one's head around. Here's the word from Cured's weekly newsletter:

Friday Night Dinner featuring Cure Organic Farm: With June upon us, it is once again time for our bi-monthly Friday Night dinner next Friday Night. This time of year is the best as our local farms start filling out their farm stands with the summer produce and mangalitsavegetables abound. For next Friday night’s dinner, we are partnering up with Cure Organic Farm to bring you not only a delicious feast, but also a fun way to get out, get your hands in the dirt, and connect with your food. This Thursday (5/29) and next Thursday (6/5), from 9AM to 12PMCure is opening up their farm to volunteers who want to come out and help harvest the produce for Friday’s dinner. There will be a variety of tasks for all abilities, and anyone who volunteers will receive 20% off their dinner. And what might this dinner be you may be wondering? Fresh Cure Organic Farm Nettle and Goat Cheese Raviolis, finished with Enzo Meyer Lemon Olive Oil and Fresh Herbs, served along side an Herb Crusted Roast Mangalista Pork Loin (also from the good folks over at Cure). This will be accompanied by roasted baby carrots and a simple salad of spicy mix greens with Basil Vinaigrette. Dinner runs $46/couple and as always, quantities are limited so call a.s.a.p. to reserve your feast today!!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

More Dinner Ideas

Starting with tonight, since I never did get that figured out on Friday. We still need something big this weekend to also serve as an easy midweek reheat, and since I need to quickly find a use for the kale from my Red Wagon CSA pickup, we'll do one last round of New England seafood chowder from Bon Appetit before summer hits. (Happy first day of June today!) Sprouts has Alaskan cod fillets for $7.99 a pound and sea scallops at $8.99 a pound through Wednesday. Another advantage of this idea is that I can do a huge salad on the side using the gorgeous baby lettuce mix from Red Wagon.

With the bok choy from Red Wagon still needing an idea and fresh Copper River salmon just $12.99 a pound, for tomorrow I'm thinking of experimenting with salmon bulgogi with bok choy and mushrooms from Bon Appetit. It's a spin on a Korean dish usually done with beef that I tried at Boulder's Korea House. I normally wouldn't mess with Copper River with anything more than a squeeze of lemon, but at Safeway's price, why not.

Tuesday we can reheat tonight's chowder, with the last of the Red Wagon lettuce if we don't finish it all tonight.

We'll want something vegetarian by Wednesday, and pasta hasn't yet made an appearance this week. With this year's basil currently growing and a fairly good stock of pesto still in the freezer from last fall, a simple pasta with pesto sounds like the ticket. Alternatively, since Wednesday is the last day of this week's sale on $1.88 a pound boneless skinless chicken breasts at the Lucky's Market in Longmont (think they're $5.99 at the Boulder Lucky's, and $2.99 at Sprouts through Wednesday), we could do sauteed or grilled chicken breasts slathered with pesto for a non-vegetarian option.

Thursday is still up in the air, possibly boneless pork loin chops, $2.98 a pound at the Longmont Lucky's through Wednesday.

Enjoy a beautiful morning in Boulder!