Monday, November 30, 2015

Patience Until Wednesday

As previously mentioned, current sales are continuing at Whole Foods and Vitamin Cottage, but I was not sure what might be happening at Sprouts, as their last sale flyer said it was good through Thanksgiving day. It's now looking like we'll need to wait until the usual Wednesday for something new from them, as there's no weekly sale flyer online now, and nothing in the store when I was there yesterday, although there are still plenty of specials marked on the shelves, seemingly continuing from that last weekly sale. Makes sense, as I still have a few turkey leftovers to go.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Shop Small Saturday

In the midst of Black Friday weekend, with a frenzy surrounding the big box stores, how nice to celebrate today as Shop Small Saturday, a day to enjoy the small and preferably local. Boulder abounds with options, including lovely Peppercorn for your food-related gift buying. Cured, now with two stores near downtown, would be another excellent place to patronize.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving Leftovers Ideas

So now we're done with the feast proper, but facing a mountain of beautiful leftovers, not a bad problem to have. What to do with them? Last week I read a quick essay in the New York Times' Cooking feature from a guy who eschews the prevalent idea that transforming them is necessary, advocating instead that you just reheat and re-enjoy that fabulous feast as it was. There's great merit in that idea, at least for one meal. If you are looking for some other ideas, here are a few guides to help you out: Thanksgiving Leftovers Go Beyond the Turkey Sandwich from the New York Times, Top Thanksgiving Leftovers from the Food Network, and Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes from I usually like to include something from, but unfortunately their link for Thanksgiving Leftovers goes to something about sweets for Rosh Hashannah, whoops.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Weekend Sales At Whole Foods

Happy Thanksgiving! In the midst of all the prep, there's probably no time to contemplate how Whole Foods will be doing Black Friday and beyond. I don't have that time either, so here's a short version. For tomorrow only, the Black Friday deal will be 7 to 8 foot Christmas trees for $39.99 each. Time to move on to the next holiday, after all. For the whole weekend, sockeye salmon (presumably previously frozen) will be $11.99 a pound, the cookie bar will be $8.99 a pound (like you need more calories), and watch for specials on apparel and also on Theo's chocolate bars. Time to get back to my dinner prep!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

An Unusual Wednesday

Wednesday is usually "food day," when the new sales are announced, but for Thanksgiving Eve, this is of course an unusual one. Sprouts always does something new on Wednesday, but in this case, its sale will continue through the holiday tomorrow. By the way, they'll also be open from 7 am to 4 pm in case your planning didn't work out quite so perfectly. The current sales at Whole Foods and Vitamin Cottage also continue on, those for quite some time, so look below for those.

When Sprouts does announce its new sale, I expect to be quite busy with family and friends, and will simply get to the sale when I get to it. Isn't enjoying good times and being thankful with family and friends what Thanksgiving is about anyway?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Reminder Re Thanksgiving Planners

If you still haven't ironed all the details for Thanksgiving dinner, here's a reminder of the guides I posted a couple of weeks ago, in addition to the ones posted yesterday, just a bit below this.

Monday, November 23, 2015

More Thanksgiving Ideas

If you still haven't made up your mind for some Thanksgiving particulars, here are a couple of excellent guides, in addition to the ones I posted a couple of weeks ago: Thanksgiving 2015 from the New York Times' excellent Cooking source, and Thanksgiving Menus from Whole Foods.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Community Food Share Drive

Just a reminder that the incredibly important food drive that Community Food Share conducts every year at this time runs through this Wednesday, the 25th. If you haven't already done so, it's a wonderful opportunity to provide non-perishable food for the drive at so many of our Boulder stores while doing your own ample holiday shopping.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Last Call For First Bite Boulder

Today's the final day of First Bite Boulder, with lots of restaurants offering special three course menus for $29. You can check out the various menu options on the First Bite website, but be aware if you haven't already gotten your reservation, you might be out of luck.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Genetically Modified Salmon?

Yesterday the FDA approved genetically engineered salmon for consumption, making it the first approved GMO animal to potentially reach your plate (eventually). I heard that Whole Foods will not be carrying it, no surprise there. You can read about it in lots of places, including this article from the New York Times.

Final Regular Markets Tomorrow

Tomorrow, just in time for Thanksgiving, will be the final regular Boulder Farmers' Markets, both in downtown Boulder from 8 to 2 and at the fairgrounds in Longmont 8 to 1. There will also be a special Winter Market at the fairgrounds in early December, more to come on that later. Here's what the Market says to expect for tomorrow, with lots of root veggies for that Thanksgiving dinner:

In Season Now

Leeks, tomatoes, cauliflower, spicy greens, broccoli, Swiss chard, radishes, arugula, kale, cabbage (click through for a sauerkraut recipe and storage tips), potatoes, winter squash, beets, carrots, winter radishes, turnips, garlic and celeriac. Also available: honey, bread, baked goods, eggs, beef, lamb, goat, pork, chicken, cheeses, preserves and mushrooms.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Weekend Sales At Whole Foods

Whole Foods is really mixing it up with a bunch of different sales, so let me try to sort them out by time frame.

The shortest is a happy hour cheese sale from just 4 to 7 p.m. tomorrow, when Bellavitano merlot cheese will be half off.

There's a quintet of special sales for the usual weekend timeframe, tomorrow through Sunday. Whole Foods' own chocolate marshmallows and caramels are two for $7, their own truffles are two for $8, eight ounces of Allegro's Celebration coffee will be two for $8 (whole bean, ground, or decaf), bison ribeye steaks are $14.99 a pound, and something that's really getting my attention, prepared seafood appetizers will be 25% off, and that includes take and bake options. Maybe I won't even make my baked clam dip from scratch.

For today through Sunday, it's beaujolais nouveau time again, with Georges DeBoeuf for $9.99 a bottle, presumably with the wine store next door participating.

Then the longest special sale, starting yesterday and running through the 24th, is on three pound bags of organic Braeburn apples at $2.98 each. Whew, hope I got that all exactly.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

Heading into Thanksgiving week, we have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Whole Foods stores, while the current one continues through December 12th at Vitamin Cottage (look a post just below for that one). Here's what's looking good to me now.

Sprouts' new sale runs through November 26th, taking it through Thanksgiving Day instead of the usual Wednesday, and they note they'll be open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving. I sure hope they are adequately compensating those who will be working those hours. The new sale has value packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.77 a pound, although poultry other than turkey won't be a high priority for me right now. Similarly, whole or split fresh chickens are $1.69 a pound, stuffed chicken breasts are $2.99 a pound, and chicken sausage (pork also) is $3.99 a pound for links and $2.99 a pound for bulk. Their Presidential Cut of beef standing rib roast is $9.99 a pound, pork loin chops are $2.99 a pound, fresh farmed salmon fillets are $5.99 a pound, and previously frozen wild Alaskan cod fillets are $7.99 a pound.

In organic produce at Sprouts, some Earthbound Farm salads are $2.50 for a five ounce container (how I wish they still had the bulk organic greens that were always a great price), celery or one pound bags of baby carrots are $1.50 each, acorn, butternut or spaghetti squash are all 98 cents a pound, and Granny Smith or red delicious apples are both 98 cents a pound. In conventional produce, I'm pleased to see asparagus remaining $1.98 a pound. Elsewhere in the store, I'm liking their bulk coffee just $6.99 a pound instead of the usual $9.99, Horizon organic butter $3.99 for a one pound package (a good week for going through organic butter, preferably unsalted), all Spice Hunter items are 50% off, some Horizon organic milk is $3.49 for 64 ounces, putting it on a par with Whole Foods' own brand, some Lundberg rice packages are 30% off (their blends with wild rice are great), and there are a lot of Sprouts' own brand products on sale, including their hummus at $2.99 for the pretty big 10 ounce size, and organic maple syrup $6.99 for a 12 ounce bottle, which considerably beats Vitamin Cottage's sale price.

In Whole Foods' new sale running through December 1st, I'm liking satsumas at $1.69 a pound (presumably conventional, but they're fun and have such a short season), but I'd get my conventional asparagus at Sprouts, as Whole Foods' sale price is $1 higher at $2.98 a pound. Fresh Icelandic cod looks yummy at $13.99 a pound, and mini ovals of San Daniele prosciutto are $3 each (that's only for an ounce, but that can still look like a fair amount of prosciutto. If you are looking for an alternative to turkey, their very fine American Homestead or Wellshire bone-in spiral hams are $5.99 a pound, and have that Whole Foods pedigree. And if you are looking to cheat on dessert, Immaculate Baking Company's ready to bake pie crusts are $2.50 each, or you could go further and just get a WFM prepared iced lemon Bundt cake for $6.99 each.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Current Sale At Vitamin Cottage

Sometimes the terrible events of the world make me feel writing this silly blog is about the stupidest thing possible, but then I consider that sharing wholesome food with friends and family is one of the finest gifts we have in life. So why not contemplate those new specials on excellent food from Vitamin Cottage (aka Natural Grocers), especially as we near Thanksgiving, a holiday dedicated to giving thanks.

Vitamin Cottage's current sale runs through December 12th, and includes plenty of items to help with your Thanksgiving table. For starters, five pound bags of organic russet potatoes are just $2.39 each, so whip up a big pile of mashers or a gratin to go with your turkey. Organic jewel and garnet yams are also looking good at $1.49 a pound, and 12.7 ounce bottles of Shady Maple Farms organic grade B maple syrup are handsome at $9.99 each (my understanding being that grade B is the more flavorful and desirable anyway, and this is for organic too). I'm thrilled to see they have my favorite Imagine organic broths at $2.50 a box, so I can get that price halfway through next month instead of just this week at Sprouts (it's a requirement for my Bell's Seasoning bread stuffing for my turkey). Lundberg rice chips are tempting at $2.29 a six ounce bag, the big 28 ounce size of Muir Glen organic tomatoes is a stock up price of $2 a can, Annie's organic salad dressings are great at $3.29 an eight ounce bottle (just $2.69 if you go for the natural ones instead), and some of my favorite Earth Balance buttery spreads are $3.29 each (no cholesterol being quite a plus in this season of overindulgence). Some Back to Nature crackers are $2.39 a box, and Horizon organic half and half, whipping cream and eggnog are also looking good. The Bark Thins snacking chocolates that are being sampled everywhere are $3.29 for a 4.7 ounce bag, and while I haven't tried them, Immaculate Baking Company has 16 ounce tubes of flaky or buttermilk biscuits that might land on my Thanksgiving table at $2.69 each. I rarely care for a bakery tin of prepared rolls and don't have the ambition to make my own from scratch, but those sound quite appealing. They also have cinnamon rolls for $3.29 a tube.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Surf And Turf At Alfalfa's

Just through today (sorry for the short notice, but it's also a brief sale), Alfalfa's has organic, grass-fed beef ribeyes or New York strip steaks for a fabulous $12.99 a pound (yes - that's for organic!), and you can pair them with lobster tails for $5 each.

Let's Bag Hunger Today!

One of my favorite annual events, Community Food Share's Let's Bag Hunger food drive collection, starts today and runs through November 25th. You can pick up some extra groceries and drop them off for Community Food Share at practically any grocery store in town, except the weird thing is that I don't see Safeway or Whole Foods listed, and they've always participated in the past. Whole Foods has previously even had prepared bags to grab and donate, so maybe it's just an oversight in Food Share's flyer. In any case, items most needed (in addition to cash, which goes a long way for them) are canned proteins like meats or tuna, soup, canned meals like chili, peanut butter, pasta, and all those other good, high quality non-perishables you can think of. Donate a whole bunch, and you'll enjoy your own fine meal at home all that much more.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

What a beautiful fall day to enjoy the second to last Boulder Farmers' Market of the year. Revel in temperatures in the 60s for today and tomorrow, since snow is likely for Monday and Tuesday, possibly all the way into Wednesday, brrr. Here's what the Market says to expect on this gorgeous day (and don't forget to pair it with a visit to nearby Alfalfa's for the Thanksgiving tasting fair, see a couple of posts below):

In Season Now

potatoes (click through for prep, storage and cooking tips), leeks, beets, tomatoes, spicy greens, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, winter squash, cabbage, broccoli, carrots, onions, celeriac, potatoes, kale, turnips, radishes, rutabaga, Swiss chard, arugula, lettuce, garlic and herbs.

Friday, November 13, 2015

First Bite Boulder

A reminder that First Bite Boulder, with lots of restaurants offering three course dinners for $29, starts today and runs through November 21st. You can check out the offerings of each restaurant at the First Bite website.

Tasting Fair At Alfalfa's

Another chance to get in the mood for Thanksgiving. Tomorrow the Boulder Alfalfa's will offer a tasting fair from 11 am  to 2 pm, offering samples from their Thanksgiving catering menu. Note that this is in the Boulder store only - the Louisville one got its chance last weekend. Combine this tasting fair with the Boulder Farmers' Market, only a block away.

Happy Friday the 13th!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Weekend Sales At Whole Foods

For tomorrow only (happy Friday the 13th), from 4 to 7 p.m. only mountain time, cranberry Wensleydale cheese will be half off. Also, from tomorrow through Sunday, Aura Cacia essential oils are 30% off, and all Cappello's products are half off.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Steak Sale At Whole Foods

Whole Foods is doing a one-week sale on New York strip steaks, starting today and running through the 17th for just $12.99 a pound (although the online notice doesn't mention bone-in/boneless). Heck, at that price, I might just throw them on the grill pan tonight, in case today's snow discourages the family griller. There are also several new produce sales just for the week, including green beans $1.48 a pound (I'd assume those are conventional, doesn't say).

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

Happy Veterans' Day on this pretty, somewhat snowy morning. We have a new sale starting today at our Boulder Sprouts stores, while the current one continues at Whole Foods through November 17th. I still need to check out what's happening at Vitamin Cottage too, but here's what's looking good to me now.

I think Sprouts knocked itself out with so many good deals last week (that one-day gift card sale, the 72 hour sale, and really good stuff through the week), that they deserve a little bit of a break this week. They do have London broil for $3.99 a pound, chicken Italian sausage (pork also) also $3.99 a pound, beef stew meat $4.99 a pound, fresh farmed Atlantic salmon fillets $5.99 a pound, and fresh wild Pacific cod fillets $7.99 a pound (that's a change from the usual previously frozen cod, must take a look).

In organic produce at Sprouts, fruit is reigning this week, with 5.6 ounce blackberries $2.98 each, black seedless grapes $2.98 a pound, and Braeburn apples just 98 cents a pound, plus some five ounce Earthbound Farm salads are $2.50 each. In conventional produce, asparagus remains notable at $1.98 a pound. Elsewhere in the store, I'm thrilled to see the holiday sale season begin on my favorite Imagine organic broth, with boxes $2.50 each. It's possible it will go even lower, but that's pretty darned good for a staple that keeps well and regularly sells close to $4 a box. I'm also liking Annie's mac and cheese $1.50 a box, Late July tortilla chips $2 for the six-ish ounce bag, and some Wallaby organic yogurts 88 cents each.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Diabolical Appetizer Idea

I'm expecting there will be two, possibly three New England ex-pats at my western Thanksgiving table, and I've just encountered a really tempting appetizer idea for them in the current issue of Martha Stewart Living. It's for baked clam dip, which Martha calls a nod to New England. The kicker is that it is served with potato chips, and I've been looking for an excuse to buy Charles Chips online ever since I heard the company revived in an attempt to recapture its glory days in my childhood. Back then, every family room had the iconic tan and brown tin, which was refilled whenever the Charlie Chip truck cruised the neighborhood (although they are technically Charles Chips they were always known as Charlie). Now I'll have to buy them online, and had balked at the idea of paying $20 for three bags of chips to be delivered. But with this appetizer for Thanksgiving and the New England ex-pats at my table, I just might have to do it.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Thanksgiving Planners

Guess it's time to start getting serious about planning for Thanksgiving. If you are looking for ideas, check out the Thanksgiving guides from Epicurious, Food and Wine, Cooking Light, and Saveur.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

We're down to three left for the year, but it's still a lovely fall day to stroll the Boulder Farmers' Market. Here's what they say you can expect to find (plus, you can stop by their Info Booth to enter an end-of-season raffle):

In Season Now

acorn squash (click through to learn all about acorn squash), leeks, beets, apples, tomatoes, spicy greens, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, delicata, cabbage, broccoli, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, carrots, onions, peppers, beets, eggplant, potatoes, kale, turnips, radishes, rutabaga, Swiss chard, arugula, shallots, celery, edible flowers, lettuce, garlic and herbs.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Tasting Fair At Alfalfa's

Time to get in the mood for Thanksgiving. Tomorrow, the Alfalfa's store in Louisville will hold a tasting fair sampling dishes from their Thanksgiving catering menu from noon to 2 pm. Note that this is at the Louisville store only - stay tuned for one at the Boulder store next weekend. (P.S. I so rarely shop there, but Safeway is also doing a tasting Open House tomorrow 11 am to 6 pm.)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Coupon From Whole Foods

As Thanksgiving preparations get underway, Whole Foods is saying if you order online (unclear if they specifically mean the turkey) by November 15th, you'll get a coupon for $10 to use on a $75 or more purchase from November 27th through December 31, 2015. Wish I had something to link to, but this is something that came in through my email, so not sure if you have to use that "Order Now" button in the email to get this.

Immune Health With Brigitte Mars

Renowned local Brigitte Mars will be talking about immune health at Bauman College on the evening of the 9th. Here's what the Boulder Farmers' Market says about it:

Community Conversations: Immune Health
Nov. 9, 6 to 7 p.m. at Bauman College in Boulder

Flu season is here, and it is extremely important to do everything you can to stay healthy. But before you run out to get your flu shot, join Brigitte Mars — Nutrition Consultant Instructor, Herbalist, Author, and Teacher — as she discusses how to support your immune system naturally. Learn how to use food, herbs, essential oils, and lifestyle techniques for a healthier immunity, more resistance to disease, and greater well-being. Please RSVP.

Weekend Sales At Whole Foods

Our local Whole Foods will offer us several specials just for this weekend. For tomorrow only, the 6th, shucked oysters will once again be $1 each. They will also offer us a trio of specials for the entire weekend, tomorrow through Sunday, with very fine Bell & Evans Cornish game hens $3.99 a pound (game hens are cheaper at Sprouts, but I really like Bell & Evans, and how heavy is a game hen anyway?), Giovanni 2 Chic blackberry and coconut shampoo and conditioner $5 each, and Simple Mills baking mixes $4 each (Paleo-friendly and gluten-free).

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Title Nine Blowout Sale Returns For 2015!

This has nothing to do with food except everybody I know works out, and you have to, to work off all that great cooking. It has been quite a while since we've seen the Title Nine (aka Title 9) blowout sale (aka warehouse sale) in our area, and it's coming back! It will be November 12-15th at 600 Center Drive, Space 22 in Superior (that in the Superior Marketplace next to Whole Foods - there's the food connection!). Hours Thursday 9am to 7pm, Friday 10am to 7pm, Saturday 10am to 5pm, and Sunday 10am to 4pm. They're taking cash, Visa or Mastercard. Yahoo!!!

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Whole Foods stores. There also should be something new happening at Vitamin Cottage, as their prior long-lasting sale ended this past weekend, must check that out. Here's what's looking good to me now.

At Sprouts, before I get to the regular or even 72-hour sale, the big news is the return of the $100 gift card for $89.99, a deal available for today only, November 4th. Sure you could get it to actually gift to someone, but why not get them for yourself (limit 10) and effectively get 10% off all your purchases, even those that are already great deals?

Sprouts will also do another 72-hour sale for this Friday through Sunday. Items appealing to me in that one include Hass avocados three for $1, bulk mild cheddar $2.99 a pound, 750 ml bottles of San Pellegrino sparkling water four for $5, and all full service seafood 30% off.

In Sprouts' regular sale through November 11th, chicken breast tenders are $1.77 a pound, their very good stuffed chicken breasts are $2.99 a pound, Cornish game hens are $2.49 a pound, whole or split chickens are $1.69 a pound, ground chicken is $2.99 a pound (looks like a good week for poultry), bone-in country style ribs are $2.99 a pound (shoulder roast and steaks also), and stew beef is $4.99 a pound.

In organic produce at Sprouts, on-the-vine tomatoes are $1.98 a pound, five pound bags of table carrots are $2.88 each, cantaloupe or honeydew melons are 88 cents a pound, and black seedless grapes are $1.98 a pound. And if you don't care if your hard squash is organic or conventional (that's something I don't worry about so much as other veggies), conventional acorn, butternut or spaghetti squash are all just 48 cents a pound, and local too. Elsewhere in the store, I'm liking Chobani Greek flip cups 99 cents each, my favorite Blue Diamond Nut Thins at a stock up price of $2 a box, some Near East rice, quinoa or couscous $1.50 a box, 30% off all Frontera products, and the big 100-is ounce size of Seventh Generation laundry detergents $9.99 each.

At Whole Foods through November 17th, I'm liking fresh conventional asparagus at $1.98 a pound, organic Fuji apples $1.99 a pound, six ounce organic raspberries $2.98 each, prepared turkey ficelle sandwiches with smoked mozz and peppers $5.99 each, four ounce packages of Applegate Farms soppressetta $3 each, and if you're feeling really decadent, slices of chocolate eruption cake are $2.99 each.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

More Non-Food Mags For The Foodie

'Tis the season, I guess. The November 1st issue of the New York Times Magazine is also its Food Issue. And the cover story of the new November 9th issue of Time is "The War on Delicious," probably kicked off by that recent World Health Organization report on processed meats and cancer. I haven't looked at a hot dog for most of a lifetime, but charcuterie, that's a different thing. It's a spooky article about meat in general.

New Yorker Food Issue

Fans of food and the New Yorker magazine might appreciate that the current November 2nd issue of the New Yorker is the Food Issue. You could always buy it or check it out at the local library, but if you're lucky enough to have a Longmont library card, you can also download it for free to the device of your choosing. The service is called Zinio, which the Boulder library also has, but interestingly the New Yorker is not among the titles offered by Boulder through the service.

Happy National Sandwich Day

Thanks to those fine folks at Mile High on the Cheap for pointing out in their daily email that today is National Sandwich Day, and there are deals to be had. The one appealing to me is sandwiches half price at Modmarket if you say the magic word "Sammy" when ordering. I don't see anything about it on Modmarket's website, but you could always call ahead to be sure.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Farmed Salmon Passing As Wild

Catching up on some reading over the weekend, I found the New York Times reported a few days ago on a study that found a rather stunning amount of salmon labelled as wild is actually farmed. It looks like restaurants are more likely culprits than supermarkets, but those are in the game as well. I just hope (and rather don't think) the stores I shop at aren't among the transgressors. You can read the NYT article here.