Thursday, April 30, 2015

Whole Foods' Cinco De Mayo Sale

Whole Foods will offer us a special sale for tomorrow through the 5th, Cinco de Mayo. They say to see the store for details, so presumably there might be sales throughout, but they do also specify three specials. Beef tequila lime seasoned fajitas will be $3 off at $8.99 a pound, chicken fajitas will be $1 off at $6.99 a pound, and tamales will be two for $4, 49 cents off.

Weekend Sale At Whole Foods

Our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a quintet of special sales for tomorrow through Sunday (plus a special five day sale for Cinco de Mayo, more on that later). For the weekend, Leigh Oliver's queso dips are $4.99 each, $3 off, Threads for Thought dresses are 30% off, 9-packs of crispy cookies are $3 each, and Tera's whey protein powder is $11.99 for 12 ounces and $19.99 for 24 ounces.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

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 all the way through May 30th. Here's what's looking good to me now.

Sprouts will do another 72 hour sale this Friday through Sunday, when fans of Hass avocados (conventional but you peel them anyway) will be happy to see them at three for $1 (get that guacamole ready for Cinco de Mayo). Baby back pork ribs will be $2.99 a pound during the sale, but otherwise the items they're showing aren't on my usual list. In Sprouts' regular sale through May 6th, value packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts (thighs also) are $1.99 a pound, their very good stuffed chicken breasts remain exceptionally low at $2.99 a pound, chicken Italian, southwest or green chile sausage are $3.99 a pound (how might southwest and green chile differ?), fresh ground chicken (breast or thigh) and ground pork are all $2.99 a pound, and pork tenderloin is also $2.99 a pound. In fish, previously frozen wild Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets are $7.99 a pound, although we're getting close to the start of this year's fresh wild season.

In produce, I usually focus on just the organic, but as we have a long way to go until we have local corn, the corn-lover in me is happy to see conventional sweet corn just 25 cents an ear. Must do a corn chowder this weekend. In organic produce, heirloom tomatoes are great at $1.88 a pound, red delicious apples and Bartlett pears are both just 98 cents a pound, and cantaloupes or honeydew melons are 88 cents a pound. Elsewhere in the store, you'll find some "fiesta favorites" 25% off, Back to Nature crackers are $2.50 a box, and a big 13 ounce bag of Garden of Eatin' cantina style tortilla chips is $2.50.

Whole Foods' new sale runs through May 12th, but the web says "sales flyer pdfs are temporarily unavailable," so I'll have to work my way through the boxes of features instead. Lobster tails (past experience has been they are always domestic or Canadian) are $7.99 each, $4 off, and 26/30 count peeled and deveined raw shrimp are $12.99 a pound, $3 off. Sprouts has smaller 31/40 ones at $9.99 a pound, but Whole Foods provides a pedigree in addition to the larger size. Large Hass avocados are $1.25 each, and those are usually really large at Whole Foods, although the smaller size during Sprouts' 72 hour sale would be better at three for $1. I haven't tried them, but everything from Evol is good, so their frozen Asian bowls might be of interest at $3.99 each, $2 off. That's about it for me, at least until the full sale flyer pdf comes up.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Kentucky Derby Coming Up

The Running of the Roses, always an excellent excuse for a party, will take place this Saturday, the 2nd. I so miss those fabulous bashes our Louisville (Kentucky, not the town next to us) friends used to throw during the several years they were in Boulder. If looking to plan your own party, or at least celebrate with a proper mint julep, there are guides to help you out. It's such a party-centric event that the official site for the race itself has a section on it, Plan Your Own Derby Party. It not only covers food and the ever-important drink, but also what to wear, which looks like it's straight from Vineyard Vines. For additional ideas, check out Kentucky Derby Cuisine from Epicurious.

New Book From Bittman

Mark Bittman has been one of my favorite food writers for a long time, from the many recipes he has published in the New York Times, to his cookbooks and his advocacy for more veggies, less meat. He has a new book coming out May 5th, highlighting how food fits in with our society and the planet, so here are the details from him:

As important as cooking is to me, it's impossible to pretend that there isn't more to food than pleasure and even nourishment. For the last few years, I've concentrated much of my work on how the food we eat gets to our table, because how it's grown, distributed, and marketed affects everyone. That's nothing new, of course, but as more and more people recognize the role of food in culture and politics, it represents an opportunity to change many things for the better. There's a lot to say about this, and I've been lucky to take a crack at it in my New York Times opinion column.
I'm also lucky—and thrilled—to announce my latest book: A Bone to Pick, on sale May 5. It's a collection of my columns on agriculture, the environment, policy, health, cooking, and more—and what I believe all of this means for the future of food and, ultimately, the fate of the planet.
The conversation about food's effects on our lives will never end. Use #ABoneToPick to chime in on social media and follow along as it evolves. And look for another email from me in the coming weeks—I'll be partnering with the New York Times on a cool giveaway.
Preorder Your Copy
A Bone to Pick
Barnes and Noble

Monday, April 27, 2015

Cinco De Mayo Coming Up

Writing about food celebrations seems so very stupid as the news coming out of Nepal just gets worse. But since food celebrations are about celebrating life, maybe it's good to start thinking about Cinco de Mayo. For ideas, check out Bon Appetit's Ultimate Cinco de Mayo Guide, Mexican-Style Favorites from Whole Foods, Quick Mexican from Food and Wine magazine for a fast take, and anything from Rick Bayless for an authoritative approach.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Seeds Library Cafe Opening Tomorrow

As a librarian who loves local food, there's nothing better to me than the confluence of the Boulder Farmers' Market and the Boulder Public Library in launching Seeds Library Cafe at the library. You'll be able to check it out starting tomorrow morning, enjoy the library, and support local vendors in the process! Here's what the Farmers' Market says:

Seeds Library Cafe Opening Mon. April 27
Opening in the Main Boulder Public Library at 9am

As the final pieces are being drilled in and the baristas perfect their espresso skills, we are thrilled to be approaching opening day. 

Elyse Wood, program coordinator for Seeds, said, "Seeds is a unique collaboration between Boulder's Library and its farmers. We want it to be a venue to help the community connect more with its food and drink through educational programs."

Seeds has committed to spending 75 percent of its food costs with local vendors, including Aspen Moon Farm, Breadworks Bakery, Ollin Farms, Ela Family Farms, and Oxford Gardens. Sample menu items include the Market Beet Salad and Grilled Cheese Pesto Panini. The "Sprouts Menu" for the kids will feature a Pancake Pocket and Little Dippers, which are vegetable sticks and bread bites served with house-made hummus.

Seeds Library Cafe will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon. through Thurs., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fri. and Sat., and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sun. Follow Seeds on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for updates: @seedsboulder. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Boulder Farmers Market Today

Looks like a decent morning to get out to the Farmers' Market before showers move in (plus real rain for tomorrow and Monday). I'm so looking forward to picking up green garlic, pea shoots, and various leafy greens for a risotto tonight. Will try to time it to walk a block west for Alfalfa's B'Earthday celebration that runs 11 to 4 (Farmers' Market 8 to 2) to get a bit of prosciutto or smoked ham and some fresh cheese to add to that dish. Here's the word from the Farmers' Market on what to expect today:

In Season This Week: 

green garlic, radishes, arugula, mizuna, spinach, lettuce, spicy greens, parsnips, pea shoots
, tulips, greenhouse tomatoes, and greenhouse  cucumbers. Herbs available will include freshly cut basil, chives, mint, and cilantro. Throughout the spring, vendors will have locally-raised garden starts and hanging baskets of flowers, strawberries and herbs, ready for your garden. All season long, you will find eggs, beef, lamb, goat, pork, locally-made cheeses, and mushrooms. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Dream Kitchens Tour

The annual Dream Kitchens Tour, a benefit for the I Have a Dream nonprofit, will be this weekend, tomorrow and Sunday. A $20 ticket will get you a chance to tour eight phenomenal kitchens, and might be a good idea for spending a rainy Sunday. For details and the tour brochure, check out the Dream Kitchens Tour page.

Alfalfa's B'Earthday Bash

If I recall correctly, the reincarnation of Alfalfa's in Boulder was launched on Earth Day several years ago. The celebration of its anniversary, more conveniently placed on the weekend, is therefore called its b'earthday. That will be happening in Boulder tomorrow from 11 am to 4 pm, so you can also tie it in with a stop at the Boulder Farmers' Market a block away, so long as you do that part before 2 pm. Here's what Alfalfa's says:

Alfalfa’s B’Earthday Bash

Boulder: Saturday, April 25th

11:00am to 4:00pm

A FREE event!

Boulder Store

Join us as we celebrate our 4th b’earthday with the following:
  • a beer garden with Asher Brewing to benefit Growing Gardens,
  • live music by the Jonah Wizneski Band and Anarchy Blues,
  • sales on many of our favorite local or eco-friendly products,
  • Maxfield’s Organic Soil,
  • demonstrations by Urban Farm,
  • Boulder Bookstore,
  • T-shirt screen printing by Sam,
  • Zachary Gart of LYFE Kitchen,
  • baby animal petting zoo,
  • free samples from vendors,
  • and TONS more!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

No Word Yet Re Weekend Sales

When Whole Foods does its usual weekend (Friday through Sunday) special sales, they've always had something posted about them by now, but so far, there's no word on one for this weekend. That doesn't mean you won't necessarily encounter something interesting while in the store. I'll try to check again later today.

Anti-Inflammatory Diet Talk In Louisville

The Alfalfa's in Louisville will host a free anti-inflammatory diet event this Saturday afternoon. Here's what they say, and note they request registration:

The Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Louisville: Saturday, April 25th

1:00pm to 3:00pm

A FREE event!

Eventbrite - Alfalfa's Event Registration

Louisville Store, Community Room

Find out how diet choices can reduce pain and inflammation with Todd Nelson D.Sc., Naturopath!
  • Learn the best foods to avoid
  • Learn the best foods to include
  • The power of raw juices
  • Key herbs and supplements
  • How to build your own food plan
  • Reduce common aches and pains like headache, joint aches, muscle soreness
  • Prevent chronic illness
Click the link above to sign up, or stop by Guest Services

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day Bulk Sale At Lucky's

In honor of Earth Day, for today only, all bulk is 30% off at the Lucky's stores in both Boulder and Longmont.

Cured Offering Fine Salmon

I've previously mentioned the wonderful shop Cured's new fresh fish program, where you can pick up your pre-ordered special fish offering on Fridays. This week it is a fine-sounding Canadian farmed salmon, as we await the start of the fresh wild salmon season, drawing ever closer. Here's part of what Cured says about it (I'm thinking they just missed a zero on the cents in the price), and they are also offering morels for $50 a pound (but you don't need a pound!) to go with it. Note orders need to be in by 4 tomorrow. Here's part of what they say, so get in touch with Cured for further info:

So, when we saw Skuna Bay Salmon on the fresh sheet from Seattle Fish Co, we simply couldn’t resist. Skuna Bay Salmon are raised in a natural ocean environment off the coast of Vancouver Island in the Nootka Sound. This area is the perfect environment to raise salmon given its glacier-fed waters from the God River, which flow into the Pacific Ocean. Skuna Bay’s Craftsman farmers live on the farm 24/7 and work daily to ensure the natural waters stay as pristine as when the farm was first established. Their farmers are wonderful stewards of the ocean; once fish are harvested from a Skuna site, that ocean location is allowed to rest and regenerate before being restocked. 33% of Skuna Bay’s farm sites are always in fallow, meaning farmers intentionally sacrifice potential farm use to protect the ocean environment. When ready for harvest, the salmon is selected by one of six approved salmon experts at a small, family owned operation by salmon professionals who have been grading salmon for over 
ten years. By using a 14 grade criteria they ensure that only the very best salmon are chosen. The Skuna Bay exclusive process of harvest, hand cleaning, selection and packingby their 6 approved salmon inspectors ensures that only the best 6% of harvest make the Skuna Bay standard. Only the best will do for Mr. Holden ;-) Coming in at $19.5/lb for filet cuts, let us know how much you would like by Thursday at 4 and we’ll have it waiting for youFriday afternoon! Plus, since we can’t resist pulling out all the stops, we are also offering preorders on morel mushrooms, which just so happen to go perfectly with salmon! $50/lb, just let us know how many you would like and we’ll have them waiting for you Friday evening!

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

Happy Earth Day (also Administrative Professionals Day) and happy Wednesday, which means it's time for the natural grocery sales. We have a new sale starting today at our Boulder Sprouts stores, while the current one continues at Whole Foods through April 28th and at Vitamin Cottage all the way through May 30th (look a bit below for info on those). Here's what's looking good to me now.

At Sprouts through April 29th, the big news to me is the return of the Vitamin & Body Care Extravaganza, with everything that's in stock 25% off. That makes it a great time to pick up those items that might otherwise not go on sale, and also just a convenient time to stock up. In meat and seafood, I'm liking very big 16/20 count previously frozen raw peeled and deveined (no work for you!) shrimp for $7.99 a pound, whole or split chickens $1.69 a pound (cut up a little higher), their very good stuffed chicken breasts just $2.99 a pound, $1 lower than their usual sale price these days, and bone-in pork country style ribs $2.99 a pound (although we like those on the grill, but this weekend, especially Sunday, is sounding kind of rainy). I'm also curious about fresh wild Alaskan halibut steaks at $19.99 a pound. Must look again at Whole Foods, as the last time I looked, it was considerably higher there. I'd beware of Sprouts' fresh farmed salmon listed as six ounce portions at $4.99 each, as if you do the math, that's more than their usual sale price for farmed salmon.

In organic produce at Sprouts, whole seedless watermelons are three pounds for $1, green curly or Lacinato kale are 98 cents a bunch, cantaloupes are 88 cents a pound, and Bartlett pears are also 98 cents a pound (fewer organic sales than they usually advertise). Elsewhere in the store, the big news is of course the vitamin and body care sale. I'm also liking some Fage fruyo yogurts $1 each, bulk hot pepper jack $1.99 a pound, some Silk yogurts also $1 each, evol burritos $1.99 each, and the big 28 ounce size of Muir Glen organic tomatoes $2 a can.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Dine Out For Wildlife

The Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center north of Boulder does amazing work saving injured or orphaned wild animals. You can dine out for Earth Day tomorrow (also Admin Professionals Day), and the restaurants below will donate a portion of the proceeds to Greenwood. Here's what they say:

Dine Out for Wildlife on April 22!

Dine Out Logo_utencilsHelp give sick, injured and orphaned wild animals a second chance at life by eating at any of these participating restaurants on Wednesday, April 22, and a portion of your dining dollars will be donated to Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Earth Day Coming Up

Earth Day, near and dear to our hearts, will be this Wednesday, the 22nd. There are typically good specials on things like natural cleaning products, TP and the like at our local grocery stores, but Sprouts did basically a blowout on those last week. I haven't been back yet to see it they might be continuing them, since they're not in their ad, but there's always a possibility. And Vitamin Cottage has a long history of giving a free excellent reusable bag with purchase on Earth Day, but there's no mention of it in the current Hotline like they've done in the past. Whole Foods used to give those great grocery bags on Earth Day, but stopped that practice several years ago. Possibly wise, given how many of us have bags in the car, stored in the house, maybe even at work as they continue to proliferate. Regardless, celebrate Earth Day.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

It might not be sunshine-y and bright, but it's still a good day to check out the Boulder Farmers' Market, in its third week of the 2015 season. Pea shoots alone, with their short season, are worth the trip! Here's what they say:
Oh snap! It's pea shoot season. You'll be surprised at the versatility of these fragile leaves, twirling tendrils and crunchy stems. Bonus: Grilled Pea Shoots with Hazelnuts recipe from The Kitchen Upstairs.
photo: Cure Organic Farm greens display
Pea shoots a precursor of beautiful spring peas to come

Friday, April 17, 2015

Current Sale At Vitamin Cottage

So I finally found a decent parking space at the Boulder Vitamin Cottage (aka Natural Grocers), and discovered they have returned to their long-lasting Hotline sales. The current one runs through May 30 and includes great stuff as usual. Organic broccoli is $1.79 a pound, and organic mixed mini peppers (great on the grill) are $3 a pint (I love that Vitamin Cottage only sells organic produce). Food Should Taste Good tortilla chips are low at $1.79 a 5.5 ounce bag, Santa Cruz organic light or dark roasted peanut butters are $4.49 a 16 ounce jar, Rumiano organic cheese blocks are $3.49 a half pound package, Annie's Naturals has organic ketchup for $2.49 and organic mustards or bbq sauces for $2.99 each, and my favorite Blue Diamond Nut-Thins are decent at $2.29 a box, although I'm well stocked up from a recent sale elsewhere at an even better $2 a box. Newman-O's organic cookies are $3.29 a 13 ounce package, although you'll find some of those at Sprouts for $2.50 this week, and some Cascadian Farm organic cereals and granola are $2.99 each, although again, Sprouts has some of those this week for $1.99, the advantage to Vitamin Cottage being that its sale runs a month and a half longer.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Weekend Sales At Whole Foods

This weekend before Earth Day, our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a quintet of special sales for tomorrow through Sunday. Four types of raw milk cheese will be 20% off, Dr. Bronner's 32 ounce castile soap will be $6 off at $9.99 each, London broil and top round steaks will be $5.99 a pound ($3 off), 90/10 ground beef will be $7.99 a pound, just $1 off, and see the store for details on pollinator-friendly products on sale.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

Happy tax day, which means it's time for new sales at our Boulder Sprouts and Whole Foods stores. Here's what's looking good to me now, IMHO as always.

At Sprouts through April 22nd, fresh chicken breast tenders are low at $1.99 a pound, boneless center-cut pork loin chops (roast also) are $2.99 a pound, all fresh chicken sausage types are $3.99 a pound, fresh ground chicken, pork or chicken breast are all $3.99 a pound, whole Rosie organic chickens are $2.99 a pound, tilapia is $6.99 a pound, and previously frozen stuffed clams, scallops or crab are $1.50 each.

Sprouts' big emphasis this week is on organic, with sales on organic products throughout the store. In organic produce, their own five ounce salad blends are $1.98 each, one pound containers of strawberries are just $1.98 each (yup, that's for organic), bananas are 59 cents a pound, Gala or red delicious apples are both 99 cents a pound, five pounds of table carrots or three packs of romaine hearts are both $2.50 each, and four pound bags of Valencia oranges or grapefruit are also $2.50 each.

Elsewhere in the store at Sprouts, I'm liking Muir Glen organic pasta sauce just $1.99 a jar, R.W. Knudsen organic juice half off, some Cascadian Farm organic cereals or granola $1.99 each (and those things are expensive), some organic Newman-O's $2.50 a 13 ounce package, Sprouts own organic beans $1 a 15 ounce can, Annie's organic mac & cheese $1 a six ounce box (throw a can of tuna and defrosted peas into it and you have instant classic tuna casserole), Spectrum organic extra virgin olive oil $8.99 a liter, and Sprouts' own organic English muffins $1.99 a package (I haven't tried them so I must be getting hungry, as the picture looks really appealing).

At Whole Foods through April 28th, organic asparagus looks good at $3.98 a pound (one of the few veggies I usually buy in conventional because the organic is usually just so expensive), but for organic strawberries I'd get the $1.98 deal at Sprouts instead of Whole Foods' $2.98 for the same size. Their delicious fresh Icelandic cod fillets are $13.99 a pound, sea scallops are $14.99 a pound, and all varieties of their salmon burgers are $3.99 each. Brown Cow yogurts are $1 each, their own fresh mozzarella balls are $3 a half pound, Back to Nature cookies are $3 a box, and while it's only $1 off, buttermilk brined fried chicken is dangerously tempting at $7.99 a pound.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Last Call For $2 Broth

It's no secret that I think Imagine organic broth is the best broth out there (aside from something you actually make yourself), and that using it instead of water enhances everything from rice to chowders. Today's the last day of Whole Foods' current sale that includes Imagine broth for just $2 a box. Past experience has been that, with Easter now over, this will be the end of the big sales all the way until the competition starts cranking up again around Thanksgiving, although you never know. Regular pricing across that wasteland tends to be about $3.50 a box. It stores well, and the boxes I stocked up on yesterday have a "best before" date of July 25th this summer.

Ben & Jerry's Free Cone

Something to be said for April 14th, the day before tax day. Today's the day to get a free ice cream cone at Ben & Jerry's from noon to 8 pm. Details available here. The shop on the Pearl Street Mall is participating, and with temps expected to get up to 75 today, it's a great day for ice cream.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Sprouts' Laundry Room Contest

Perhaps I shouldn't mention this, as I need to win this one myself. Sprouts is doing a Clean Sweeps contest, co-sponsored by Seventh Generation, for a laundry room overhauls with a high-efficiency washer, dryer, and a $1,000 home improvement gift card. You can enter here through the 22nd, and there are also 10 runner-up prizes of laundry baskets filled with Seventh Generation products. Plus don't forget the great prices Sprouts is doing this week on Seventh Generation, including TP nearly half price at $5.99 for a 12-pack.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

So it's a beautiful day for the second Boulder Farmers' Market today, starting at 8 am in both downtown Boulder and at the fairgrounds in Longmont. In addition to special kids' activities (a baby goat meet and greet at the downtown market from 10:30 to 1:30!) and the inaugural Artisan Show, with 16 vendors showcasing their artwork downtown, here's what the market says to expect. Pea shoots! Green garlic!

In Season This Week: 

arugula, mizuna, spinach, lettuce, herbs, carrots, turnips, parsnips, pea shoots, green garlic, greenhouse tomatoes, and greenhouse cucumbers. Throughout the spring, vendors will have locally-raised garden starts, ready to be planted in your home garden, as well as flowers and succulents. In addition, all season long, you will find eggs, beef, lamb, goat, pork, locally-made cheeses, and mushrooms. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Sprouts' Corn Is Domestic!

As previously noted, one of the items in Sprouts' 72-hour sale that starts today is fresh sweet corn at four ears for $1. I'd thought it probably would have come from further afield, but the corn I found today was in fact from the USA. Undoubtedly California or Florida at this point, as we'll need to wait until July for our fabulous local corn from Munson's Farm, but I've been so corn-deprived across the winter, I'll happily eat what's available now.

Spring Into Health Workshop

Goodness, Alfalfa's is on a roll with events, especially at the Louisville store. This Sunday, the 12th, the Louisville store will present a Spring into Health Workshop from 9 to noon. They say: "Join local health author Kris Sampson and certified nutritionist Diana Walley for an empowering and invigorating FREE workshop designed to help you reboot your health this spring. Included in this workshop is 'DRESS for Health Success' and 'Stealth Sugar'. We'll begin the morning with a rejuvenating yoga class taught by local yogi Genie Malone, and complementary healthful snacks will be provided!"

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Weekend Sales At Whole Foods

Our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a quintet of special sales for tomorrow through Sunday. Mango ginger Stilton will be $14.99 a pound, $5 off (that sounds like quite a unique combination), select varieties of 12-packs of Mojo, Clif, and Luna bars will all be 30% off at $9.99 each, and Preserve toothbrushes will be two for $5. Seems like kind of a quiet weekend in terms of things I'm inclined to rush out for, but then we're still contending with leftovers from prior feasting.

Local Celebration At Louisville Alfalfa's

This Saturday, the 11th, the Alfalfa's in Louisville will celebrate all things local with a Lovin' the Local Fair from 4 to 6 pm. They say: "Come meet some of our favorite LOCAL vendors and learn their stories. These folks are passionate and devoted to creating amazing products that you will love to taste. FREE samples all throughout the store."

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts stores, while the current sale continues through April 14th at Whole Foods. Here's what's looking good to me now, IMHO as always.

Sprouts will be offering us another 72 hour sale this weekend, starting Friday the 10th and running through Sunday. I've been seeing sweet corn starting to pop up in stores (most likely from Mexico at this stage of the game), and for the weekend, Sprouts will have it for just 25 cents an ear. We're a long way from my favorite local corn starting in July, so I'll have to snarf up quite a bit of this corn this weekend. Other items in the weekend sale looking good to me are pretty big 16/20 count previously frozen peeled and deveined raw shrimp for $7.99 a pound (all your work already done for you), Tillamook yogurts, which I've never seen before but love their cheese, at 50 cents each, and all hair care 25% off.

In Sprouts' regular sale running from today through April 15th (happy tax day), I'm liking value packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts for just $1.79 a pound, farmed fresh Atlantic salmon fillets $5.99 a pound, whole or split chickens $1.69 a pound (cut up a little higher), pork shoulder roast $2.99 a pound, ribeye steaks $8.99 a pound for bone-in, $10.99 a pound for boneless, and 30/40 count Peruvian sea scallops (previously frozen) for $8.99 a pound. Those sea scallops and the weekend sale's already peeled shrimp could make a nice fish chowder (with corn!).

In organic produce at Sprouts, vine ripe tomatoes are fantastic at 98 cents a pound (although I was disappointed yesterday in the heirlooms on sale through today as too ripe and soft), one pound bags of baby carrots are $1.50 each, red beets are $1.50 a bunch, four pound bags of Valencia oranges or grapefruit are $2.50 each, and Gala apples and Bartlett pears are both $1.50 a pound.

Elsewhere in the store at Sprouts, I'm loving their bulk coffee at $6.99 a pound (although it says "select varieties" - hope that means most as it usually does), some Late July organic tortilla chips 99 cents for a 6-ish ounce bag, local Noosa yoghurts very low for them at $1.50 each, some Earth Balance buttery spreads (excellent and no cholesterol) $3.49 each, and Voskos Greek yogurts $1 each. Finally, even though were still a ways from Earth Day, Seventh Generation products are looking extremely good, with dish or hand soap $2.50 each, laundry detergents ranging from 95 to 100 ounces $9.99 each, and 12-packs of toilet tissue nearly half price at $5.99 each.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Cured Might Make Gourmands Of Us

Since its inception, the wonderful Cured store on Pearl has brought us artisanal cheese, charcuterie, and lovely wines. Ever increasing their culinary reach, Will and Coral recently added the finest fresh fish, and this Friday's offering looks to be a heads up for us humble Boulder home cooks. On Friday, they will offer halibut cheeks and also fiddlehead ferns, both seasonal, and the ferns especially so. The fiddleheads are to be pre-ordered at $8 a quarter pound, quite a bit for a veggie, but you'd be getting something very special that doesn't require pounds of it. The halibut cheeks don't have price/pre-order info, but always good to inquire ahead.

Stock Class At Louisville Alfalfa's

The Alfalfa's in Louisville will host a Bone & Meat Stock Demonstration this Saturday, the 11th, from 2 to 4 pm. Cost is $5, and you can sign up online or at Guest Services. They say, "Come and learn what makes this comfort food a superfood! Making your own stock is cost effective and easy!! Don't throw away those bones!!"

I have no idea if Alfalfa's approach will be similar, but I had an eye-opening experience this past Thanksgiving. Sure, I've always made turkey stock with the bones and clinging meat simmered in water. But this past year, one of our guests was a chef, and her method included all sorts of other scraps from the dinner like onion skins, carefully chosen through her knowledgeable eye. The resulting stock, once those solids were drained away, was so much more flavorful than any I've ever made.

Celebrate National Beer Day

Responsibly, of course. Evidently in honor of the anniversary of the end of Prohibition, today is National Beer Day. With all the craft breweries (from micro to nano) sprouting up around Boulder, you have possibly the best choices in the country right here. Check out this map for a complete list. Note that it's comprehensive and therefore includes breweries that are production only, without tasting rooms, but I chose it because it was updated only a couple of months ago. With all the brewery action that's been happening around here, anything older than that is way out of date.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Chicken Wing Bucket Reminder

Just a reminder that today, in time for tonight's March Madness finale, is the last day to get your chicken wing buckets at Whole Foods for $9.99 a bucket, $5 off. And are they good...

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Boulder A Kosher Wasteland Right Now

Happy Easter and continuation of Passover! We're planning a traditional Easter dinner today, with a beautiful ham from Whole Foods, golden potatoes with caper brown-butter crumbs from Gourmet magazine, and asparagus with balsamic tomatoes from Cooking Light. Since Easter brunch is also traditional but rarely done in the house, I started thinking about how to incorporate and easy one when a rather unorthodox idea for Easter hit me. Thinking about egg dishes, I remembered an old favorite I haven't made for many years, matzo brei, to which I was introduced by the Jewish family of a childhood friend. The basic idea is so simple, essentially a delicious riff on scrambled eggs. As I remember it, you get your raw scrambled eggs ready, then loosely break up an appropriate number of matzo crackers and lightly wet them before incorporating them, more broken up, into the egg mixture. Then just cook much like scrambled eggs, except the matzos will add so much more interest. I might add a bit of diced onion and/or Whole Foods' garlic granules to amp it up.

This idea sent me in search of a box of matzos on Friday, which was not only Good Friday but also the start of Passover that evening. At the Whole Foods on Pearl Street, I found the kosher food section completely bare, and the nice guy stocking an end-cap Passover display with what little they had left said they'd been completely wiped out. Not a matzo cracker to be seen in that store. Onward I went to the Sprouts on Arapahoe, where I wasn't able to locate a kosher section, although it might exist. Seeking help, I asked a stocker if they had matzos, and he drew a complete blank, saying he'd never heard of them (ah, Boulder). But he kindly went in search of a manager for further help, but since he couldn't find one, I struck out there too. In desperation, I moved on to the mammoth Safeway in the Meadows shopping center. There again their kosher section had been completely wiped out. A nice stocker directed me to another display near the bakery, but the only things left there were five pound packages (actually five one pound boxes wrapped together as one) of matzos. For something I haven't made in decades, I wasn't about to buy five pounds of matzos for it. Yesterday, my husband was in the vicinity of the Whole Foods in Superior, where he found a couple of boxes of matzos remaining (noting you had to be at least six feet to see them). Ironically, they were marked as not suitable for Passover, which might be why they were still there, but he fortunately grabbed one since that wasn't a guiding principle for our brunch.

So the moral of the story is that Boulder stores seem to be seriously underestimating the culinary needs of the local Jewish community and/or those of us with interests in exploring a variety of cuisines.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Boulder Farmers' Market Today!

Yahoo! Let the season begin! The Boulder Farmers' Market opens today at 8 am in both downtown Boulder and out at the Boulder County fairgrounds in Longmont. The downtown location runs until 2 pm, while the Longmont one is an hour shorter, ending at 1. Expect lots of spring greens in addition to meats etc., and look for 12 new vendors, including prepared food along Korean or French bistro lines. Mmmm.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Market Easter Egg Hunt Tomorrow

What a time of year. It's Good Friday, with Passover also this evening. And then we have the first Boulder Farmers' Market of the year tomorrow, and it will kick off with an Easter Egg Hunt for kids at both locations, downtown Boulder and the fairgrounds in Longmont. Here's what the Market says:

Farmers Market 
Easter Egg Hunt April 4

9am children's activity at Longmont and Boulder farmers markets 

We'll gather on the steps of BMoCA in Boulder (right next to the tea house) and next to the info booth at the pavilion in Longmont to kick-off the Easter egg hunts. 100 paper eggs will be hidden among the vendors' displays at each market, each with a prize in it. This children's activity is meant for those 10 years old and under. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Weekend Sales At Whole Foods (Including Wing Buckets!)

Our local Whole Foods stores have so many sales going on this weekend, I'm going to just throw up my hands and give you the link to them here. Just be sure to note the sale dates at the top of each item, as some are three days starting tomorrow, and others extend to four. The items most exciting to me are the Icelandic cod for $11.99 a pound, $4 off, Robusto cheese $13.99 a pound, $5 off, and YES, just in time for the end of March Madness (it's April after all), chicken wing buckets will be on sale for $9.99 each ($5 off) in a four-day sale from tomorrow through the 6th. I caved for the Super Bowl that I didn't even watch except for the commercials, so I guess I'll become an instant basketball fan this week as well.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Whole Foods stores. Still don't know what's happening at Vitamin Cottage since last week's failed attempt to park there (wonder if they are still considering a move). Here's what's looking good to me now.

At Sprouts through April 8th, bone-in country style pork ribs are excellent at $1.69 a pound (although we'll already be dealing with lots of Easter ham), all varieties of chicken sausage (pork also) are $2.99 a pound for bulk and $3.99 a pound for the links, their "Presidential Cut" standing rib roast is $7.99 a pound, boneless ribeye steaks are $10.99 a pound, fresh turkeys are $1.99 a pound, Rosie organic chicken grill packs are $3.49 a pound, and their very good stuffed chicken breasts are $2.99 a pound. They also have specials on lamb and spiral sliced ham, but my ham will be from either Whole Foods or Lucky's. In fish, previously frozen wild Alaskan coho salmon fillets are just $5.99 a pound, and they have fresh wild caught Alaskan halibut, but do the math with six ounce portions $9.99 each and you'll find it pretty pricey.

In organic produce at Sprouts, heirloom tomatoes are absolutely dynamite at 98 cents a pound (how can they do that?), Gala or Fuji apples are $1.48 a pound, and one pound containers of strawberries are $2.98 each. Elsewhere in the store, I'm thrilled to see some of my favorite Imagine organic broths for just $2 a box (they store well with long expiration dates and improve everything from chowders to rice, but also see below for another great option), bulk mild cheddar is just $1.99 a pound, Chobani Greek yogurts are $1 each, some Simply Organic spices are 40% off, some Near East rice or couscous are $1.50 a box (makes a nice side on its own or the basis of a superfast main when sauteed chicken or shrimp are added), Cedar's hommus is $3 a container, and my favorite almond Nut-Thins are great at $2 a box.

In Whole Foods' new sale through April 14th, I'm loving the competition on my favorite Imagine organic broths, as they are $2 a box there also! Responsibly caught coho is $13.99 a pound, way higher than Sprouts, but Whole Foods never fails to have fabulous fish. Boneless pork shoulder roasts, steaks and country style ribs are $3.99 a pound, and that's for very fine American Homestead pork. Organic strawberries are $3.98 a one pound container, so you'd do $1 better if Sprouts is also in your itinerary. La Croix sparkling waters are $3.99 a 12-pack, my favorite organic sprouted Seeduction bread is $4.99 a loaf in the bakehouse, two pound bags of organic Lundberg rice are 25% off, my fave Cotswold cheese is $13.99 a pound, $4 off, Method dish soaps are $2.99 each, and fans of Toms of Maine toothpaste will be pleased to see some at $3.99 each.

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Today

Happy April 1st, but this isn't an April Fool's joke. For today only, our local Whole Foods will have their spicy shrimp avocado roll for $3.99 each, a full $4 off.