Sunday, June 19, 2016

Time To Say Goodbye

At least for now, probably for good. When I started this blog in 2009, I never expected I'd still be writing it now. 3500 posts later, here I still am. I'm a bit of an info-junkie, loving to find good info and share it with others, but looking for new content for just about every day is starting to feel a bit like a prison. Plus, the methods for finding that content have changed remarkably in these past six years, and not necessarily for the better from the perspective of writing this blog. Initially, stores faithfully kept calendars of events on their websites where I could quickly look for ideas. Whole Foods hasn't maintained its local web calendars for at least two or three years, migrating instead to media like Facebook, where I have to chase them down. And now there's another shift, with the stores putting specials out on their own apps, yet another place to chase. So what was at first fun is now becoming somewhat tiresome, and I do think I deserve a break from this.

To those wonderful people who have been following these writings, thank you with all my heart. (And a very special thank you to you, Ms. A.!) Maybe I just need a rest, then the info-junkie will take back over and get me going again. But for now, I'm really looking forward to spending less time with my fingers on a keyboard.

P.S. Don't forget all the free breakfast stations on Bike to Work Day coming up quickly this Wednesday, the 22nd. Haven't had a chance to do a post on that, but I can already see my fingers might itch to get back into writing after a rest.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

A rather toasty day today, so probably best to get to the Boulder Farmers' Market before the temperature gets too high. And what reasons to do so on this last weekend officially falling in spring before the solstice - sugar snap peas and garlic scapes have arrived! With a short season for both, carpe diem. Here's what the Market says you can expect to find today:

Fresh at the Market this Week: 
garlic scapes, peonies, snap peas, collards, turnips, cherries, spicy greens, radishes, rhubarb, strawberries, spinach, mint, arugula, kale, Swiss chard, green garlic, lettuce, bok choy, micro-greens, edible flowers & hanging baskets

Friday, June 17, 2016

Weekend Plus Copper River

Once again, it looks like our local Whole Foods stores aren't planning any particular sales for the weekend, at least that they've posted yet (although their weeklong steak sale is enough to lure anyone in anyway, see Wednesay's post for that). As for the current state of fresh Copper River salmon fillets, yesterday at the Sprouts on Arapahoe I saw them for $15.99 a pound. At Whole Foods yesterday, they'd dropped a whopping $1 to $28.99 a pound, although they were indeed beautiful, basically ready for their photo shoot. And as mentioned Wednesday, King Soopers is advertising them this week for $14.99 a pound, club price.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

This Week's Red Wagon CSA

Always exciting to see what new produce emerges as the spring, now nearly summer, season progresses. Snap peas and garlic scapes this week from my Red Wagon Organic Farm CSA! Always a good indicator too for what you'll see at the Boulder Farmers' Market. Here's what Red Wagon says about this week's CSA (and what is a Salanova? - Red Wagon is educational too):

CSA week 4, here is what we hope to bring you:

Regular Share
-Hakurei Turnips
-Garlic Scapes
-Spring Onions
-Sugar Snap Peas
-CHOICE: Lettuce OR Spinach
-CHOICE: Kale OR Collards OR Chard

Large Share Additions
-Extra Sugar Snap Peas
-Salanova Head Lettuce
-CHOICE: Mint OR Dill OR Cilantro

Bike Ride, Farm Tour and Lunch

An event is coming up on June 26th featuring two of my favorite, and easily confused, entities, Cured, the fabulous local downtown shop of fine cheeses, wine and other delicacies, and Cure, the organic farm at 75th and Valmont. It's pretty pricey but takes up most of the day. Here are the details from Cured:

Pro Peloton + Cured Ride, Farm Tour and Lunch Ride: Saturday June 26th9am-3pm: Join Pro Peloton’s owner, cyclocross ninja and all around bicycle guru Brandon Dwight and Cured’s ex-Tour de France cyclist turned cheese and wine consumption expert Will Frischkorn for a supported 2.5 hour ride in the foothills of Boulder.  After your ride, enjoy a guided rose tasting, farm tour and catered picnic at Boulder’s Cure Organic Farm.  We will meet at the NEW Pro-Peloton (2516 Broadway) for a 9 am departure and will plan on being back in town at around 3:00. Cost is $148 per person and space is limited to 20 participants. You can purchase tickets on the website by clicking HERE!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Whole Foods stores. Here's what's looking good to me now.

Sprouts will do another 72 hour sale this Friday through Sunday, but the only items particularly appealing to me are previously frozen 16/20 count farmed shrimp for $6.99 a pound, quinoa (white or tri-color) $1.99 a pound, and raw almonds $3.99 a pound. I don't eat conventional strawberries, but those will be just 98 cents for a one pound package.

In Sprouts' regular sale starting today through June 22, I'm liking bone-in New York steaks at $6.99 a pound (everybody's advertising things for the grill for Father's Day), their own stuffed chicken breasts $2.99 a pound (boneless skinless ones also that price), whole or split fresh chickens $1.69 a pound, stew beef okay at $4.99 a pound, and boneless pork loin chops or St. Louis spare ribs $3.99 a pound. And if you don't want to break out the grill for dad, they have fully cooked full 22 ounce racks of baby back ribs for $11.99 each. In fish, previously frozen five ounce lobster tails are $5.99 each for a surf  'n turf on the grill for dad, and previously frozen wild jumbo sea scallops are $10.99 a pound, but I'd avoid the halibut or farmed salmon sold in portions if you do the math to make it per pound. They aren't advertising Copper River salmon, but I saw it at $15.99 a pound a few days ago, would hope it might be the same or lower. King Soopers is advertising Copper River for $14.99 a pound with card, while Safeway only says it is "available."

In organic produce at Sprouts, mini sweet peppers are $1.98 a pint, and they are great on the grill, while the rest is fruit: yellow peaches $1.98 a pound, red or green seedless grapes $1.98 a pound, and various sized strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or raspberries all $2.98 a container. Elsewhere in the store, I'm liking bulk coffee at $6.99 a pound (actually loving that one, and it includes organic), and the rest of the sale primarily emphasizes Sprouts' own brand in every department.

I know Whole Foods simply must have a new sale starting today, but as of this fairly early morning writing, the Pearl Street website is still listing the sales that ended yesterday. I'll check again on that later today, when new stuff surely will be up.

Update - so Whole Foods did finally update its sales post sometime this morning. For the sale running through June 21st, the stunner is their exceedingly fine boneless beef ribeye steaks for just $10.99 a pound, $9 off. If you are looking for brined meats for the grill, bone-in split chicken breasts are $3.99 a pound, and classic brined pork chops are $5.99 a pound. Organic strawberries are $2.99 for a one pound package, basically matching Sprouts. Also looking good are Cilegine mozzarella at $2.99 for eight ounces (caprese time!), Farmers Market potato salad in prepared foods at $6.99 a pound as an easy cheat for that bbq menu, and with all that time possibly outside this weekend (although it's going to be HOT!), some four ounce Alba Botanica sunscreens are $7.99 each. And maybe with that heat you'll want some Talenti gelato or sorbetto at $3.50 each.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Dine Out For Wildlife

Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, that wonderful organization that cares for injured or orphaned wildlife, will receive support from another Dine Out for Wildlife on June 21st. Here are the details from Greenwood:

Join us at the Boulder location of Potbelly's Sandwich Shop from 5-8 pm Tuesday, June 21. 25% of the proceeds go to Greenwood. Every toasty warm sandwich on the menu is made to order, and they have great salads too! 

Corn Running Late This Year?

I encountered one of the Munson family yesterday and couldn't resist asking how the corn was coming along this year. She replied that with such a cold spring, it looks like it's going to be a little late this year. If I remember correctly, she said last year the Munson farm stand opened on July 20th. Patience, waiting for fabulous local corn.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Lucky's One-Day Supplement Sale

In all this sadness, it seems positively silly to be writing this, but this Wednesday the 15th, all supplements will be 30% off at the Lucky's Markets in both Boulder and Longmont.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

It's a beautiful morning to enjoy today's Boulder Farmers' Market, before temps reach the 90s this afternoon. Here's the lovely spring produce (fruit!) the Market says you can expect to find:

Fresh at the Market this Week: 
turnips, cherries, spicy greens, radishes, rhubarb, strawberries, spinach, mint, arugula, kale, Swiss chard, green garlic, lettuce, bok choy, micro-greens, peonies & hanging baskets. coming soon: snap peas

Friday, June 10, 2016

Alfalfa's Cookout

A nice idea for an inexpensive lunch this summer. Every Saturday, the Alfalfa's stores in both Boulder and Louisville will be doing a Community Cookout, with four yummy options of plates at just $5, and $2 for hot dogs for the kids. From Alfalfa' (and apologies if it cuts off on the right):

The Alfalfa's Community Cookout!Join us in Boulder and Louisville every Saturday from 11am-2pm for our community cookout!
Natural Beef Burgers, BBQ Ribs, Grilled Veggie Sandwich, and Bratwurst all for $5 each. And a little somethin' for the kids: Grilled Beef Hot Dog for only $2.
Pick Your Side: Alfalfa's Famous Coleslaw, Basil Potato Salad, or Grilled Vegetables.
As always, thank you for shopping at the Boulder and Louisville communities' only local and independently owned grocer!

No Weekend Sale?

Whole Foods usually does some sort of specials for the weekend, but as of this writing, they haven't posted any on the Pearl Street page. Bummer, but it doesn't mean something might still be happening.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Red Wagon CSA

Here's what's in this week's Red Wagon Organic Farm CSA pickup. So much fun - still pea shoot season!

This week we hope to bring you the following:

Regular Share
-Hakurei Turnips
-CHOICE: Lettuce OR Spinach
-CHOICE: Kale OR Collards
-CHOICE: Green Garlic OR Spring Onions
-CHOICE: Herb OR Peashoots

Large Share Additions
-Lettuce AND Spinach
-Kale AND Collards
-Herb AND Peashoots
-Garlic Scapes

Don't forget to bring your bags. See you at your pick up!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Copper River Salmon Prices

As previously reported, this year's fresh wild salmon season has just begun with the arrival of Copper River salmon. I last saw it at the Whole Foods on Pearl about three days ago for $29.99 a pound, same price at which it was introduced a week earlier, although it could have subsequently dipped. This is the only time of year I check out the bigger grocery chains, as they tend to use Copper River as a lure for a visit (during which I buy nothing else). This week that visit is looking pretty likely, as fresh Copper River fillets are $14.99 a pound at Safeway (with card), and the same at Albertson's (I don't even know where the Albertson's store is in Boulder).

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Whole Foods stores. Something new is probably also happening at Vitamin Cottage, since their long-lasting sale ended last Saturday, must check that out. So here's what's looking good to me now.

At Sprouts through June 15th, I'm liking value packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.88 a pound, London broil $3.99 a pound, bone-in country style pork ribs $1.99 a pound (shoulder roast also), and their own stuffed chicken breasts $2.99 a pound. In fish, really big previously frozen 13/15 count raw farmed shrimp are $7.99 a pound, previously frozen wild Alaskan snow crab clusters are $7.99 a pound, and fresh farmed Atlantic salmon fillets are $6.99 a pound, but stay tuned shortly for a post about salmon.

In organic produce at Sprouts, on-the-vine tomatoes are $1.98 a pound, then the specials are all fruit: red, green or black seedless grapes $2.98 a pound, various size packages of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries $2.98 each, and Red Raven black plums $1.98 a pound. Elsewhere in the store, I'm liking bulk cut hot pepper jack cheese for just $1.99 a pound, Horizon Organic milk $2.99 for a half gallon, a line drive of 30% off all Amy's brand products, my very favorite Green Mountain Creamery Greek yogurts just 77 cents each (most are 110 calories!), Home Run Inn frozen pizzas $6.99 each, Annie's mac and cheese $1 a box, the 15-ish size of Muir Glen organic tomatoes $1.25 a can, 5.5 ounce bags of Late July tortilla chips $2 each, and spice it up with 40% off all Tabasco brand products.

At Whole Foods through the 14th, I'm ecstatic about wild halibut fillets for $14.99 a pound (nearly half price, and MSC certified of course, but wonder that it doesn't specify fresh/frozen). Also, brined St. Louis style pork ribs are $4.99 a pound, and Belgioioso Auricchio burrata is again $3.99 for eight ounces. Some Mineral Fusion shampoos and conditioners are half off at $5 each, and some Fage Greek yogurts are $1.25 each. Otherwise, not a lot is hitting me for this week's sale, but I'll be on their doorstep for that halibut.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

My Poor Herbs!

Yesterday afternoon's storm really did a number on my herb plants in pots. My giant basils from Whole Foods are now staked up, praying for a recovery. My parsley might make it, but somehow that doesn't seem as important as the giant basils. Plants in the herb garden proper are fine - once they got established, those guys seem indestructible.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Tips For Storing Greens

In this season of beautiful spring greens, my fave Red Wagon Organic Farm offers this blog post on how to best store them for better shelf life in your fridge.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

With so many markets run these days by the Boulder County Farmers' Market, guess I need to say that unless specified, I mean the original in downtown Boulder. (The organization is also hosting the regular Saturday Market at the fairgrounds in Longmont today, plus the inaugural Union Station Farmers' Market today, which being in Denver strains the definition of Boulder County.) In any case, the wonderful local produce you are likely to find will have the same seasonal theme. This from the Farmers' Market (and p.s. that I've heard a limited number of cherries may already be available):

Fresh at the Market this Week: 
turnips, spicy greens, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, pea shoots, asparagus, mint, arugula, kale, Swiss chard, green garlic, spring onions, lettuce, bok choy, micro-greens, peonies, allium stems, sweet peas (flowers), hanging baskets & gardens starts

coming soon: snap peas, strawberries and cherries

Friday, June 3, 2016

Union Station Farmers' Market Tomorrow

After a couple of evidently successful trial runs last summer, the Boulder County Farmers' Market will open its first ever regular season at beautiful Union Station in Denver tomorrow, if you happen to be in the area (perhaps taking the Flatiron Flyer RTD bus from Boulder that will land you right at the Station). Here's what the Market says:

This Saturday, 23 Colorado farms and 17 local food producers will set up their stands for the inaugural Union Station Farmers Market, downtown Denver's growers-only market at the historic Union Station. Our newest market will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., weekly through October 22. Join us at the Grand Opening for the ribbon cutting (9 a.m.), vegetable tastings, chef demo with Beast + Bottle (10-11 a.m.) and Market Bucks giveaways throughout the day.

This Week's Red Wagon CSA

Here's what Red Wagon Organic Farm has been offering in its CSA this week, always a good indicator of what to look for at tomorrow's Boulder Farmers' Market. From Red Wagon:

Week 2, and welcome to our biweekly B!

Yummy lettuce headed your way
Yummy lettuce headed your way

This week we hope to bring you:

Regular Share
-Egyptian Walking Onions
-Green Garlic
-Easter Egg Radishes
-CHOICE: Hakurei turnips OR Scarlet Turnips OR Red Russian Kale
-HERB CHOICE: Cilantro OR Mint OR Garlic Chives OR Oregano OR Thyme OR Sage OR Lovage
-CHOICE: Arugula OR Lettuce OR Pea Shoots OR Spinach

Large Share Additions
-CHOICE: Hakurei Turnips OR Scarlet Turnips OR Red Russian Kale
-Green Curly Kale
-TWO CHOICES: Arugula OR Lettice OR Peashoots OR Spinach
-TWO HERB CHOICES: Cilantro OR Mint OR Garlic Chives OR Oregano OR Thyme OR  Lovage

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Whole Foods Launches New Store Concept

I read yesterday via my cool new favorite New Yorker app that Whole Foods has just launched the first of a new line of smaller, lower cost stores, 365 by Whole Foods. It's evidently tech- and millenial-friendly, and scaled back in ways such as no butcher in the meat section. Aside from the tech saturation, I'm rather wondering if Whole Foods wasn't in fact piloting something along these lines when they took over and revamped the Wild Oats at Broadway and Baseline a few years ago, offering something more for the CU student than the serious cook. In any case, the intriguing New Yorker article is available here.

Vitamin Cottage Through Saturday

Just a reminder that the current long lasting sale at Vitamin Cottage runs through this Saturday, the 4th. You can read my picks here, bearing in mind that stocks tend to run low on sale items right at the end, and who knows what a new sale might bring.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Today

For today only, the 1st, our local Whole Foods stores have Kikka sushi spicy salmon avocado rolls (seven ounces) for $4.19 each, basically half off.

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

Good first morning of June, after a lovely overnight rain. We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Whole Foods stores, while the current long lasting one at Vitamin Cottage runs through this Saturday, the 4th (heads up on that one). Here's what's looking good to me now.

At Sprouts through June 8th, I'm liking boneless pork loin chops (roast also) for just $1.79 a pound, grass fed fresh ground beef $4.99 a pound, their own stuffed chicken breasts $2.99 a pound, there's a Buffalo Stampede of many specials on bison, and fresh ground chicken, chicken breast or pork are $2.99 a pound. In fish, I'm liking previously frozen wild Alaskan cod fillets for $6.99 a pound, and previously frozen 21/25 count farmed ez peel raw shrimp for $5.99 a pound. They also have three fish specials priced per portion - do the math on those and you probably won't bite. And we've just barely entered the fresh wild salmon season that always begins very high, no advertised specials on that yet.

In organic produce at Sprouts, pints of mini sweet peppers (great on the grill) are $1.98 each, some one pound packages of Earthbound Farm salads are $3.98 each, red or green seedless grapes are $2.98 a pound, and mini seedless watermelons are just $1.98 each. Elsewhere in the store, I'm liking Newman's Own pizzas $5.99 each, some Kashi cereals (bars also) $2.99 each, Near East side dishes $2 a box, DeLallo whole wheat pastas $2 each, and I've never tried them, but Plainville Farms organic sliced meats sound good at $5.99 for a six ounce package. Plus there's a Sip into Summer sale with a bunch of beverages 50% off.

At Whole Foods through the 7th, much looks like a repeat of last week, but I'm liking air-chilled split chicken breasts for $2.49 a pound (half price), fresh Artic char fillets $12.99 a pound, brined St. Louis style pork ribs $4.99 a pound, and brined chicken breasts $6.99 a pound (although far better to get the split ones and brine them yourself). I'm also liking Principe prosciutto di San Daniele $2.99 for a one ounce package, Belgioioso Auricchio burrata $3.99 for an eight ounce container, and for a cheat, the prepared caprese salad sounds good at $6.99 a pound, $3 off. In organic produce, blueberries are $3.98 a pint, cantaloupes are $2.50 each, and red or green seedless grapes are $2.99 a pound, basically a match with Sprouts on that one.