Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Last Downtown Market Of The Season Tomorrow

As fall envelopes us, tomorrow will be the final Boulder Farmers' Market in downtown Boulder for the season. Longmont's new Wednesday evening Market ended last week with a celebration at Left Hand Brewing Company, but I don't see any such partying on deck with any of Boulder's many microbreweries (although the Boulder evening market of course is not new, and will have Fate Brewing in the beer garden for the evening, plus Lee Gabriel on stage). Is it possible that Longmont is becoming cooler than Boulder in some respects, at least in the microbrew party zone???

Monday, September 29, 2014

World Vegetarian Day Wednesday

This Wednesday, October 1st, is World Vegetarian Day, not just one day but also the kickoff to a vegetarian awareness month. You can read all the details on the World Vegetarian Day page, including a contest with prizes up to $1000 and more. We're more omnivores in this house, with vegetarian dishes at least once or twice a week, but fish, poultry and the occasional ribeye steak also being on the menu. Tonight's pasta with homemade pesto is in fact vegetarian.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Time For A Fall Dinner

Even though we've had such glorious warm weather and today will get to the upper 70s as well, I'm feeling like it's time to concede to the arrival of fall with a classic Sunday night supper: roast chicken with roasted fall veggies like sliced acorn squash, sweet potato spears, parsnips, carrots, etc. This is partly driven by the changing seasons, but also by the fact that Whole Foods' current sale on a very fine whole chicken for just $1.89 a pound will end this Tuesday. Plus, with the chicken and veggies in the oven, I'll have a whole bunch of time available to make a second big batch of pesto from my prolific basil plants. Most will go in the freezer to join my first batch from a week ago, with one container reserved to do pasta with pesto tomorrow. Carpe diem!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

Don't forget our Boulder Farmers' Markets, both downtown in Boulder and out at the Boulder fairgrounds in Longmont, both starting at 8 this morning. Here's what the Market says you can expect to find (oh, is it starting to look like fall, despite our temps in the high 80s and beautiful sunshine):

This week at the markets: plums, pears, apples, pumpkins, butternut squash, acorn squash, tomatoes, spinach, arugula, wax beans, beets, fall raspberries, sunflowers, lilies, carrots, onions, garlic & mushrooms. 

Boulder Farmers' Market Saturday 9/27
  • On stage: Intuit 
  • Boulder Valley School District food truck breakfast 
  • Art activity at BMoCA (all ages): Stop by the front steps of the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (right next to the tea house) for a fun family art activity. 
Longmont Farmers' Market Saturday 9/27
  • On stage: Heartwood

Friday, September 26, 2014

Make Someone's Day Shortly

Fun stuff from the Boulder Farmers' Market. Saw it yesterday afternoon but just didn't have time to put anything up then. If you can't make it to the event, make someone's day today some other way! Here's what the Farmers' Market says:

Make Someone's Day  
Friday, 9/26: 9am, south corners of Broadway & Canyon 

BCFM won one of City of Boulder's Public Displays of Affection grants, and we'll be making over 1,000 people's days with a locally-sourced surprise tomorrow beginning at 9am on the south corners of Broadway and Canyon. We need YOUR help. Come by Broadway and Canyon at 9am (until supplies last) and help spread the local love! More information on The Daily Camera and Boulderarts.org.
Use the hashtag #makesomeonesday
to share photos and stories throughout the day 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Weekend Sales At Whole Foods

Our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a duo of special sales this weekend (assuming Friday kind of counts as its start). For tomorrow only, their excellent cooked shrimp will be $9.99 a pound, $6 off its usual price. And for the whole weekend, tomorrow through Sunday, marinated chicken satays will be $5.99 a pound, $2 off. That presents a dilemma for me, as the Lucky's Market in Longmont is offering house-made chicken kabobs (purists would disagree, but satays and kabobs are all chicken on a stick to me, although a satay could be straight meat) for just $2.99 a pound all week. (The flyer for the Boulder Lucky's is offering Korean beef kabobs for $8.99 a pound instead.) The chicken at Whole Foods will have a fabulous pedigree, while that at the Longmont Lucky's is undoubtedly "natural," but still antibiotic-free. Tough choice.

Last Call For Current Vitamin Cottage Sale

Just a heads up that the current sale at Vitamin Cottage runs through this Saturday, September 27th. Items that particularly caught my eye include six ounce packages of Applegate organic sliced turkey breast for $4.69, Annie's organic salad dressings $2.89 each for the eight ounce bottle, a splendid price for the organic as opposed to the natural ones, and two cookie temptations: Newman's Own organic 13 ounce Newman-O's $2.99 each (those are usually $4.35) and Pamela's yummy gluten-free cookies $2.79 a seven-ish ounce box (usually $3.69). Stock of sale items does tend to run low/out at the end of a sale, but who know what the next sale will bring us.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have a new sale starting today at our Boulder Sprouts stores, while the current sale continues at Whole Foods through September 30th and at Vitamin Cottage just through this Saturday, the 27th. Here's what's looking good to me now.

At Sprouts through October 1st (October already!), fresh wild Alaskan coho salmon fillets are still available for $9.99 a pound, bone-in New York steaks are $6.99 a pound, ground pork (good for Asian dishes) is $2.99 a pound, whole or split fresh chickens are $1.69 a pound (a little higher for fully cut up), all fresh sausage are $3.99 a pound (Octoberfest anyone?) and Rosie organic whole chickens are $2.99 a pound. In fish, they are also offering previously frozen swordfish steaks for an attractive $7.99 a pound, but I only buy that when it's domestic or Canadian, which it rarely is at Sprouts.

In organic produce at Sprouts, baby heirloom tomatoes look great aat $2.50 a pint (don't think I've ever seen a baby heirloom one), table carrots are $2.99 for a five pound bag, vine ripe tomatoes are $1.99 a pound, Bartlett, Bosc or red pears are all $1.50 a pound, yellow or white peaches and yellow nectarines are all $1.98 a pound, and red, green or black seedless grapes are all $2.50 a pound (although when I was last in the Pearl Whole Foods, they were doing an unadvertised sale on those three grapes for even better, I think $1.98 a pound). Elsewhere in the store, bulk coffee is $6.99 a pound (and they have some nice organic and decaf choices), Voskos Greek yogurts are 89 cents each, Crunchmaster yummy gluten-free crackers are $3 a bag, and some Newman's Own Organics cookies are $2.50 a bag.

More Re Last Downtown Longmont Market For The Season

More news about tonight's final Boulder Farmers' Market in downtown Longmont for the season. It will include a party as previously noted and will also close an hour earlier, probably since everybody will be heading to the party. Also news is that you can get a BOGO beer coupon from Left Hand Brewing at the market with proof of purchase. Here are the details:

This Wednesday will be the final Downtown Longmont Farmers' Market of the season. We hope you'll join us at the market from 4-7pm (we're ending an hour early) for fresh food, live music, DIY thank you cards for our vendors and a collaborative art project. 

A celebration will follow at Left Hand Brewing Company from 7 to 9pm. Don't forget to bring your 'buy one get one free' beer coupon that you can receive at the market info booth with proof of purchase from the market. The coupons have been given out all season and will expire on 9/24. We will raise a glass to the all of the hard work put into making this farmers' market happen this year and to the future of our local agriculture. Underage folks are welcome to the brewery as well! There are non-alcoholic drinks available, and there will be a food truck. 

We would like the chance to thank you all on Wednesday, and it would mean a great deal to see you there. Let's close out the season with the best market day yet! 
The Longmont Farmers' Market at the Fairgrounds on Saturdays will be continuing through November 1. We hope you will join us there! 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fresh From The Fields This Week

Happy first full day of fall, but this week's list of veggies from Red Wagon Organic Farm's CSA is telling us that without having to look at the calendar. Fortunately tomatoes are still on the list, but it's now time for spaghetti squash and parsnips too. Maybe it's time to start planning Thanksgiving dinner. Here's what's up for this week, always a good indicator of what you'll find at the Boulder Farmers' Market as well.

Week 19!   We’re knocking on fall’s door, get ready to start enjoying winter squash for the season!

Regular Share
-Spaghetti Squash
-Choice: Arugula OR Lettuce
-Choice: Kale OR Bok Choi OR Collards

Large Share Additions

-Pears & Apples

Season's Last Longmont Evening Market Tomorrow

Hard to believe things are drawing to a close already, but the final Wednesday market of its inaugural season in downtown Longmont will be tomorrow afternoon starting at 4. (The Saturday one at the Longmont fairgrounds continues for a bit, and everything lasts longer in Boulder proper.) To celebrate its success, it will also be followed by a party! Here's what the Boulder Farmers' Market says:

Downtown Longmont Farmers' Market Wednesday 9/24
  • Downtown Longmont Farmers' Market after-party
    at Left Hand Brewing Co: Join BCFM and vendors just right down the street from the market at Left Hand from7pm to 9pm to raise a glass to the first Downtown Longmont Farmers' Market season. Thank you all for making this a great first season and for your support of local agriculture. We are excited to celebrate with you.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Welcom To Autumn

With the wind blowing the leaves in swirls and Munson's farmstand full of hard squash beautifully displayed (one looking totally like a swan), it's a lovely day to say goodbye to summer and welcome (?) fall this evening practically at bedtime. Realizing this means our fresh local corn season is growing short, and with cod just $4.99 a pound at Sprouts this week through Wednesday, I grabbed an armload of corn at Munson's today (forget the three ears called for in the recipe - go for at least six, maybe eight) to do corn and cod chowder from Food and Wine magazine. Love that they call it a classic New England dish. And the beginning of fall also signals time to have a pesto-making day with my basil plants, one of which has gotten so big, it has needed the support of a tomato cage. Looks like tomorrow will be devoted to pesto. Happy autumn!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Last Day For Incredible Salmon

Just a reminder that today is the last day of Whole Foods' current weekend sale, which features fresh wild king salmon at an astonishing $14.99 a pound. We enjoyed some on the grill Friday, and I think I'll head back to get a bit more to freeze today, hoping they won't have out-of-stocked in the frenzy (on Friday, it sounded like they were pretty well prepared for a stampede). My freezing at home won't be professional and longlasting like they'll have at the store for future stock, but at this end of fresh wild salmon season, I'll go with it, since the regular price at Whole Foods for the frozen we'll be looking at in the future will be considerably higher (think the fish guy mentioned about $22).

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

I'm loaded down with veggies from this week's Red Wagon Organic Farm CSA pickup, but here's what you can expect at the Boulder Farmers' Market today, both in downtown Boulder and also at the fairgrounds in Longmont:

This week at the markets: apples, pears, plums, tomatoes, sweet and spicy peppers, arugula, garlic, onion, sweet corn, eggplant, mushrooms, carrots, peaches, kale, sunflowers and lilies. 

Boulder Farmers' Market Saturday 9/20
  • Art activity at BMoCA (all ages): Stop by the front steps of the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (right next to the tea house) for a fun family art activity. 
  • On stage: Old's Cool Rock 
Longmont Farmers' Market Saturday 9/20
  • On stage: Left Hand Market Boys 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Whole Foods' King Is Wild And Fresh

Just got to the weekend sale Whole Foods is doing on king salmon fillets (see the post just below this), and that great $14.99 a pound is rendered incredible by the fact this wild salmon is also fresh, not previously frozen as I expected at that price. It looks beautiful, and maybe something of a closeout deal as we reach the end of fresh wild salmon for the year. Get it while you can - even freeze some at this price!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Weekend Sales At Whole Foods

Our local Whole Foods stores are offering us several sales for the weekend, and I'm particularly interested in this one:

There's no further information about it, so fresh vs previously frozen, wild vs farmed all unknown. At that price, it would be just too much to ask to have it fresh and wild, no way. I'll get some however it turns out.

Also, three other things I'm not familiar with are on sale for the weekend: Biochem whey protein, 40% off at $15.99, Kevita $2 each, and Beecher's Marco Polo cheese $11.99 a pound, $4 off.

Wednesday, September 17, 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 September 27th, which is creeping up on us. Here's what's looking good to me now.

At Sprouts through September 24th, previously frozen wild Alaskan cod fillets are very low at $4.99 a pound, and we're back to an advertisement of farmed instead of wild fresh salmon for $9.99 a pound, but salmon lovers should stayed tuned to something I'll post tomorrow regarding the weekend at Whole Foods. Back to Sprouts, grass-fed organic ground beef is $4.99 a pound, any size package of boneless skinless chicken breasts, including the stuffed ones, are $3.99 a pound (I have a freezer stocked with the boneless skinless ones on sale at the Lucky's in Longmont for $1.97 a pound through today), Rosie organic whole chickens are $2.99 a pound, and there's an end of summer rib fest, with bone-in pork country style ribs $2.49 a pound, pork spare ribs or beef back ribs $2.99 a pound, and pork baby back ribs $3.99 a pound.

In organic produce at Sprouts, two pound bags of carrots in rainbow colors are $2.50 each, pints of grape tomatoes are also $2.50 each, celery or arugula are both just 99 cents a bunch, red, green or black seedless grapes have bumped up a bit to $2.50 a pound (they're $2.19 a pound at Vitamin Cottage through the 27th), and gala apples or Bartlett pears are both $1.49 a pound. Elsewhere in the store, it's a sure sign we're headed for fall when Imagine organic soups or broths start going on sale, $3 each for select varieties. That's a pretty tepid sale price, but that's the way it goes - tepid to start, then increasingly competetive pricing as we get through Thanksgiving and on to Christmas. I use copious quantities of the organic broth in all kinds of cooking, including always using it instead of water to cook something as simple as rice. Some Earth Balance buttery spreads (no cholesterol!) are 25% off, some Evol burritos are $2.50 each, the big 25 ounce size of Westbrae organic beans is also $2.50 each, and seven ounce blocks of Kerrygold Irish cheese are $4.99 each. Nobody does dairy like the Irish in County Kerry.

At Whole Foods through September 30th, organic red, green or rainbow chard are all very good at $1.50 a bunch, and organic butternut squash makes its dreaded end of summer appearance at 99 cents a pound. I truly love butternut squash - its the end of summer part that gets me down. Whole Foods has fine whole chickens for $1.89 a pound, London broil or top round steaks are both $4.99 a pound, $3 off, and two-packs of lobster and shrimp egg rolls look tempting at $2.99 each. I'm very enthused about DeLallo organic pastas at $2 a bag, including the whole wheat ones, and Bella Terra organic San Marzano organic tomatoes look stunning at $2 for the big 28 ounce can.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fresh From The Fields This Week

I'm so looking forward to my CSA pickup from Red Wagon Organic Farm this week and am glad they're still heavy on summer bounty, although hard squash does make its dreaded appearance for the folks getting the large share. Not sure what the last week of the CSA is, but the weeks are marching on and autumn officially begins next week, so enjoy summer while we can! Also very relieved to see Red Wagon escaped damage from our recent very cold weather, as did Munson's, and presumably Cure Organic Farm across the street from them. Here's what Red Wagon says:

It’s week 18 and we dodged the freezing weather! Enjoy a few more summer crops as we transition into fall.
Regular ShareKale
-Choice: Kale OR Collards OR Chard
-Choice: Beets OR Hakurei Turnips
-Choice: Lettuce Or Braising Mix OR Arugula
Large Share
-Double Potatoes
-Spaghetti Squash
Fruit Share

Monday, September 15, 2014

In Praise Of Efrain's Chile Verde

If you are under the weather like I continue to be, I swear there isn't a better restorative meal in the county than the chile verde to be had at Efrain's on 63rd Street (probably at the Lafayette and Longmont locations as well). Chile peppers are naturally high in vitamin C, and I swear that dish should come with a fire extinguisher. Efrain's has a zero to ten heat rating for all its menu items, with most rated between zero and three or four, but they rate their chile verde at the full ten and they aren't kidding!!! If you are trying to get past a cold or the like, try ladeling some of that chile verde past your lips and see if you don't catch fire right down to your toes. Bring Kleenex and ask for extra water, although the wait staff already knows you're going to need that water.

More On Alfalfa's Shake-Up

The shake-up at Alfalfa's as mentioned last week, with Mark Retzloff out as CEO plus more senior management now gone, gets the front page article in today's Daily Camera Business Plus section. You can read the article here, and as usual, Alicia Wallace does a great job writing it. My history of buying natural/organic foods goes back so far, I have two canvas bags from the original Alfalfa's back when it was practically the only option in town and I had to drive across the whole city to get organic food. Interesting that the article confirms something I've suspected about Boulder, that "natural and specialty grocery stores outnumber conventional groceries..." Way to go, Boulder!

Jewish Holy Days Guides

With Rosh Hashana coming up next week (seems it can be spelled with or without an h at the end, so I'll go with the New York Times' preference) and Yom Kippur shortly thereafter, here are a couple of guides to help with dinner planning: Rosh Hashana Recipes from the New York Times (note the Recipes Navigator in the middle, with articles dating back to 1859!), and Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur from Epicurious, which uses the "h." For a local yet internationally known gluten-free writer, visit Elana's Pantry's Paleo Rosh Hashana Menu for gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free and Paleo options.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Family Gets Royal Treatment At Munson's

Since I'm laid low with bronchitis this weekend, my husband headed out to Munson's yesterday to get the veggies I needed for last night's ratatouille and tonight's corn chowder (cooking while hoisting a vitamin C-packed Bloody Mary can be a great restorative for those under the weather). The excellent news is that Munson's corn escaped damage from the two very cold nights we just had. But instead of just picking up an eggplant from the stack, Bob Munson invited my husband to go out with him into the field to pick his own! He came back with two of the most beautiful eggplants I've ever seen, and it doesn't get fresher than that.

Cured Speaks On Artisanal Cheese And The FDA

Beloved local cheese, wine and everything else yummy shop Cured has a very interesting discussion of new regulations affecting raw milk cheeses in its newsletter this week. Take a look at what they say:

The Crackdown on Raw Milk Cheeses: Many of you have asked lately about the effects of the FDA and EU Health and Safety regulations on what cheeses we are going to be able to carry in the future.. The world of artisanal cheese is in an interesting place. The FDA has recently lowered the threshold for certain bacteria often found in raw milk cheese cheese!from 100MPN per gram to 10MPN per gram.  That’s a pretty big drop. From cheesemakers to scientists, almost everybody agrees that the basis for this change is flawed and lacking justification, but sadly the good ol FDA doesn’t always operate in the most logical of ways.Unfortunately, this is happening at the very same time that many of the best, small production, raw, artisanal European cheeses are becoming threatened by political pressure from a few giant dairy companies pushing for pasteurized milk versions of the classics. With price pressure coming from above and regulations cracking down on what they can sell, small producers in Europe are a dying breed. It’s worrying that this might be another case of the big guys beating up on the little ones.  It is going to be interesting to see where it all goes, and needless to say, we’re watching it all closely.  It’s not all bad news however. With our focus on artisanal American cheeses, we’re not seeing a big change on our counter (yet), and we couldn’t be more proud to champion the ‘little guys’ and what they do so well. The small farms here in the US fortunately operate at incredibly advanced levels of cleanliness and with technology available that few elsewhere have access to.  At least for now, this enables most of them to continue doing what they are doing and get their amazing offerings our way.  While cheese doesn’t need to be raw milk (and we’ve never been able to sell any under 60 days old, the FDA limit), the bacteria in raw milk cheeses does add a certain “je ne sais quoi” and complexity that would be horribly sad to not be able to enjoy. But for now, we have a shop full of incredible raw milk offerings, and we plan to eat as much as possible while we still can :-)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Whole Foods And Humane Society Today

Sorry for the short notice, but the Humane Society just posted on Facebook about a wonderful event this morning for those with pooches:

Good Deals At Lucky's

The differences between the Lucky's Markets in Boulder and Longmont never cease to amaze me, and I wish I had more time to do comparisons. The Longmont one falls more in my travel path than the Boulder one, so Longmont is the one I rely on. As I've said before, Longmont seems to emphasize special deals on meats that are antibiotic-free but without Lucky's "never ever" standards, while Boulder's fortes are organic produce and never ever meats.This week is a classic example, with boneless skinless chicken breasts a stunning $1.97 a pound for the "natural" ones at the Longmont store, while the Boulder store is advertising "never ever"ones on sale for $4.99 a pound. Fish prices usually differ, with wild caught tuna steaks (previously frozen ahi from Hawaii) $6.99 a pound in Longmont (very good -we had them last night), while wild caught tuna steaks that I'd assume are the same are advertised in Boulder at $9.99 a pound. Their yummy salmon burgers have pulled a price reversal, with Longmont jumping a dollar to $2.99 each this week, while they have dropped that dollar in Boulder to $1.99 each.

The front page of the Boulder flyer is awash in great deals on organic produce, including red, green or black grapes for a mere $1.69 a pound, while half the produce in the Longmont flyer is conventional. In a twist, new crop organic gala apples are actually lower in Longmont at a lovely $1.48 a pound, while they are 30 cents higher in Boulder, and local organic new crop acorn, butternut or spaghetti squash unfortunately make an appearance at both stores for $1.48 a pound (I am so not ready for winter).

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

As we emerge from our brief brush with winter, it's time for the Boulder Farmers' Market again today, both in downtown Boulder and at the fairgrounds in Longmont. Just hope none of the farmers were hit by frost last night. (My herb plants get to journey back outside today after sheltering indoors for the past two nights.) Here's the news for the week from the Farmers' Market:

We got a preview of winter last night, and some of us are wondering, "What does this mean for our farmers?" We talked to Mark with Ollin Farms this morning, who said the snow didn't hit Longmont and that all of his summer crops are still safe. We're hoping that runs true with everyone and are sending warm wishes to all of our farmers tonight. We hope to avoid a frost tomorrow morning, which would mean saying goodbye to tomatoes and a few other crops. 

This week at the markets: tomatoes, sweet and spicy peppers, arugula, garlic, onion, sweet corn, winter squash, eggplant, mushrooms, carrots, apples, peaches, plums and kale. 

Boulder Farmers' Market Saturday 9/13
  • Art activity at BMoCA (all ages): Stop by the front steps of the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (right next to the tea house) for a fun family art activity. 
  • On stage: Hotel Radio 
Longmont Farmers' Market Saturday 9/13
  • On stage: Wallpaper House Band 
  • Live chef demos: Above and Beyond Vegan
Boulder Farmers' Market Wednesday 9/17 
  • In the beer garden: Asher Brewing Company 
  • On stage:  Miles Perry Band 
Downtown Longmont Farmers' Market Wednesday 9/17
  • Food court: Tacos and BBQ
  • On Stage: Left Hand Market Boys 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Protect Those Plants?

Gads, tonight's forecast keeps getting worse for early September (plus so many bad memories for today, with last year's floods on the anniversary as it rains this evening, then back to 2001). Rumors started circulating Monday or Tuesday that a bit of snow might be possible for tonight/early tomorrow morning, then forecasters seemed to head to clarifying foothills areas only, but now it's sounding like a tiny bit might be possible for Boulder proper by tomorrow morning. Certainly not a big deal for a snow amount, but I'm bringing in or covering as many herb and flower pots as I can. Basil in particular hates a cold overnight, even if it doesn't come close to freezing. It's way too early to say goodbye to these herb pots, even if the perennials are destined for our newish herb garden to come back up again next year. Return to warm temperatures expected for the weekend and grilling in my plans!

Weekend Sales At Whole Foods

For the weekend, our local Whole Foods stores will offer us several sales, including a one-day sale for tomorrow only on grass-fed beef at $4.99 a pound, $3 off. Stretching from tomorrow through Sunday will be new crop organic gala apples at $1.69 a pound (organic galas are $1.50 a pound at Sprouts all week, but I wonder if they are "new crop"), 9-count crispy cookies $2.50 each, and Jason bodywash half off at $7.49 each.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have a new sale starting today at our Boulder Sprouts stores, while the current sales continue at Whole Foods through September 16th and at Vitamin Cottage through the 27th. Here's what's looking good to me now, IMHO as always.

At Sprouts through September 17th, boneless pork loin chops (roast also) and chicken breast tenders are both $2.99 a pound, three types of chicken sausage are $3.99 a pound, Rosie organic chicken grill packs (mixed chicken parts) look very good at $2.99 a pound, and all varieties of grass-fed organic beef are 25% off. In fish, fresh wild Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets have returned to the ad at $9.99 a pound, previously frozen stuffed clams, crab or scallops (I especially like the clams) are $1.50 each, and fresh tilapia is very low at $4.99 a pound, but I'd want to see where it comes from.

In organic produce at Sprouts, pints of grape tomatoes are $1.98 each, red or yellow onions are just 88 cents a pound, Earthbound Farm organic salad blends are BOGO, baby carrots are $1.50 for a one pound bag, gala apples are $1.50 a pound (lower than Whole Foods' forthcoming weekend only sale), Bartlett pears are also $1.50 a pound, and red or green seedless grapes are very good at $1.98 a pound. Elsewhere in the store, the BOGO sale begun last week continues with some new items being advertised. Items looking good include Sprouts own hummus, Muir Glen pasta sauce, Annie's Homegrown mac and cheese, Wolfgang Puck organic soups, Pop Chips, Rustic pizza crusts, and Andalou Naturals shampoos or conditioners.

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Today

It has been a while since we've seen a one-day sale advertised for a Wednesday, but for today only, spicy shrimp avocado sushi rolls will be half off at our local Whole Foods stores.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Management Shake Up At Alfalfa's

The Daily Camera is reporting today that Mark Retzloff, co-founder of Alfalfa's both times, is out as CEO and Chairman, and is calling himself "the fall guy." Sounds like interesting stuff going on. You can read the details from the Camera here.

Whole Foods Benefit Chef Competition

Whole Foods is sponsoring s chef cook-off competition called The Big Event 3, Here We Grow Again!, involving dinner, music and a silent auction this coming Saturday, September 13th in Lafayette, to benefit the Sister Carmen family resource center. They say you can buy tickets online at sistercarmen.org, but it's not easy to see where. If you wait long enough, the event will appear on the fly-in, or you can them at 303 665-4342.

Fresh From The Fields This Week

Here's what's coming out of the fields this week for my Red Wagon Organic Farm CSA, including a lovely photo of the shishito peppers that I didn't get to last night, so they're on deck for tonight. Thank heavens hard squash has not yet made its dreaded end of summer appearance.

Week 17, and this week we hope to bring you a bountiful pickup full of goodness, such as shisito peppers…

Regular ShareIMG_1318

-Choice: Kale OR Collards OR Chard
-Choice: Cherry Tomatoes OR Eggplant
-Choice: Bell Pepper OR Shishitos
-Choice: Roasted Chilies OR Greens
-Choice: Beans OR Zucchini and Cucumber
-Choice: Cilantro OR Parsley

Large Share
-Beans AND Zucchini AND Cucumber

Fruit Share

Monday, September 8, 2014

My CSA Is Driving Me To Drink!

Well, not exactly, but two of the veggies in my recent  Red Wagon pickup certainly suggest bar food snacks. The edamame done yesterday simply boiled then salted were a spectacular success, so now we're on to the shishito peppers, which also suggest a cocktail. They are evidently best done by a quick saute in olive oil, followed by a dusting of salt, much like the edamame in terms of salt finish (and giving me my salt quota for the month). At least my bar food will be vegetarian.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Braving The Edamame

I'm so loving the way our Red Wagon Organic Farm CSA supplies us with loads of traditional veggies, yet also challenges us occasionally with something to contend with. I've already conquered fava beans and kohlrabi this summer, and the current challenge is edamame. We eat them all the time, coming conveniently shelled from a freezer bag, but these are the real thing, growing on leafy stalks nearly three feet long. Everything I'm seeing says boil the picked bean pods for five minutes, drain and salt. I have a lovely Himalayan pink salt I can crack over them, but it always mystified me why someone would salt something that would be peeled anyway until the fine Red Wagon folks explained that you can crack the cooked salted pods with your teeth, thereby enjoying the salt as you get the beans. Wish me luck. At least this will be a nice veggie appetizer to the t-bone steaks picked up from Lucky's in Longmont for just $5.97 a pound this week, an indulgence allowed since the CSA is dominating the week with fabulous veggie-heavy options like the ratatouille we did last night.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Boulder Farmers' Markets Today

Here's your weekly reminder about the Farmers' Markets happening in Boulder and Longmont today. Details from them below cover not only what you'll find today, but also at the Wednesday evening markets.

This week at the markets: sweet and spicy peppers, tomatoes, 
watermelon, green beans, apples, cabbage, bell peppers, peaches, beets, chicken eggs, crookneck squash, zucchini, tomatoes, garlic, onion, potatoes, sweet corn, eggplant, carrots, kale and herbs. 

Boulder Farmers' Market Saturday 9/6
  • Illustration activity at BMoCA (all ages): Visit the front steps of the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art from 9am-1pm to participate in the BCFM + BVSD illustration contest for the farmer cards that we are making to distribute to elementary schools in the area. Your art could be featured on them! 
  • On stage: Whisky Autumn 
  • Live chef demos: Above and Beyond Vegan 
Longmont Farmers' Market Saturday 9/6
  • On stage: Flynn & Co
Boulder Farmers' Market Wednesday 9/10 
  • In the beer garden: Vindication Brewing Company 
  • On stage: Brian Payne 
Downtown Longmont Farmers' Market Wednesday 9/10
  • Food court: Tacos and BBQ

Friday, September 5, 2014

Cured Introduces Flood Benefit Sandwich

With many thanks to Annie Brown for clueing me in to this, our beloved Cured on Pearl Street, famous for its charcuterie, cheese, wine, and artisanal everything else, has introduced a "PLT" sandwich this week, with 10% of proceeds this month going to two farm operations that were particularly impacted by the Boulder County floods that happened one year ago in a few days, but are still a part of many lives. Here are the details from the news release, thanks to Annie.

BOULDER, COLORADO – September 4, 2014 – It's been nearly a year since the floods swept across the Front Range, inundating so many communities. The waters leveled and swamped houses and businesses, destroyed roads, and turned fields full of vegetables into rivers and lakes. Farmers were especially hard-hit - and continue to struggle.

In remembrance of the events one year past, Cured, Boulder's premiere cheese, charcuterie, wine and artisanal provisions market, is joining with local businesses to help raise awareness and money through - what else? - food. 

Starting on Friday, Sept. 5 and running through the month of September, Cured will be selling a special $10 sandwich called the PLT. All of the ingredients hail from Colorado companies - Tender Belly Ham in a house made Porchetta, Cure Farm Egg Aioli, Avalanche Cheese Company's Cabra Blanca Cheese, BonaVida Growers' Tomatoes, and Oxford Gardens' Summer Lettuce Mix. Fabulous? You bet.

10 percent of the sale price of every sandwich purchased is returned to Oxford Gardens and BonaVida Growers. The floods hit both farms extensively, and both were part of Cured's Flooded With Wine Fundraiser in 2013. 

About Cured
Founded by Will and Coral Frischkorn in 2011, Cured quickly became one of the most celebrated cheese and charcuterie shops in the Rocky Mountain West. The market, on Boulder, Colorado’s historic Pearl Street, also sells prepared foods, dry goods and in a quaint space inside the shop offers a range of smartly edited wines, beers and spirits.
For more information, visit http://www.curedboulder.com.  Get in touch by heading to Cured at 1825 B. Pearl Street in Boulder; by telephone,720-389-8096; or email, answers@curedboulder.com. Follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Cured on Twitter athttps://twitter.com/CuredBoulder.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Weekend Sales At Whole Foods

Our local Whole Foods stores will offer us both a one-day sale for tomorrow only, plus several weekend sales running from tomorrow through Sunday. For tomorrow only, the 5th, organic red, green or black grapes will be spectacular at $1.69 a pound. Across the weekend, gummies by Nordic Naturals will be 30% off, tempting sopressata salami will be $5 off at $9.99 each, and (be still, my heart) chicken wing buckets will also be $5 off at $9.99 each. I usually only indulge in those wings as a Super Bowl treat, but it just might have to be twice this year.

Taste of Tomato Saturday

It's become an annual event, the local tomato tasting sponsored by Harlequin's Gardens and CSU Extension. It will be this Saturday the 6th, from 10 am to 1 pm at Gateway Park Fun Center, 4800 28th Street. Admission is $5 unless you bring tomatoes to share. Details at Harlequin's Gardens.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

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 September 16th and Vitamin Cottage through September 27th (you can either scroll down for those or expand the list of posts for August on the left to click to them). Here's what's looking good to me now.

At Sprouts through September 10th, guess I have to stop grousing forever about how sale prices have generally increased, and accept that a value pack sale on boneless skinless chicken breasts is now $2.99 a pound, and ditto re chicken Italian sausage (pork also) is $3.99 a pound. Stew beef and boneless beef short ribs are both $4.99 a pound, as are their stuffed chicken breasts, and there's also a Buffalo Stampede, with all bison on sale. In fish, the fresh wild salmon sale has been replaced by farmed Atlantic salmon for $8.99 a pound.

In organic produce at Sprouts, roma tomatoes look fabulous at 98 cents a pound, celery and carrots with tops are both $1.50 a bunch, curly, Lacinato or red Russion Kale are all also $1.50 a bunch, Earthbound Farm salad blends are BOGO, and red or green grapes are inching up to $2.88 a pound. Organic gala apples or Bartlett pears and Minneola tangelos are all $1.50 a pound. Elsewhere in the store, the news is a big BOGO sale, and I see several items I buy as part of it: Muir Glen organic pasta sauce or the big size of canned tomatoes, Lundberg rice chips, De Lallo whole wheat pasta, Annie's organic mac and cheese, Near East couscous and pilaf, and Back to Nature crackers among other sale items.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Fresh From The Fields This Week

My dear Red Wagon Organic Farm CSA is presenting me with dilemmas on so many fronts this week. Here's what's going to be in this week's pickup (plus a very pretty veggie composition), always a good indicator of what's at the Boulder Farmers' Market as well:

Regular Share
With love, Red Wagon
With love, Red Wagon

-Cherry Tomatoes
-Choice: Melon OR Tomatoes
-Choice: Bell Peppers OR Eggplant
-Choice: Tomatillos OR Broccoli OR Arugula
-Choice: Roasted Chilies OR Shishito Peppers OR Leeks

Large Share
-Melon AND Tomatoes
-Peppers AND Eggplant
-Extra Choice: Tomatillos OR Broccoli OR Arugula

Fruit Share

So the first dilemma is the edamame, which I always thought just came already shelled in a freezer bag. Having already conquered fava beans and kohlrabi this season, I'm sure I'll figure out what to do with edamame in its natural state as well. Second, what to do with that choice re roasted chilies or shishito peppers or leeks? All are so tempting. It's hard for me to pass up a roasted chile, but how large a stock should I put in my freezer, having already gotten some from Whole Foods plus some organic ones on a recent trip to their homeland, New Mexico. Finally, what a wonderful dilemma to have, but how many veggies can I contend with in a week, as Red Wagon is also offering a farm tour for CSA members this week, during which we'll have the opportunity to harvest our own veggies. That was great fun during their spring tour, when we learned some harvesting techniques with different implements, and I took away a big bag of veggies from it. But the CSA pickup always nets me two big bags for starters, then I'll get more at the farm tour? I'd better start some serious veggie recipe investigation.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Grilling Guides Reminder

Labor Day isn't exactly a big culinary holiday, but something hopefully will go out on the grill. If you are ambitious and still looking for ideas, here's a reminder about the grilling guides I posted for Memorial Day.

Have a safe and happy Labor Day!