Sunday, November 23, 2014

Salmon At Alfalfa's

Apologies that I just saw this, but today is the last day of a weekend sale at Alfalfa's, where they have farmed Scottish salmon for $9.99 a pound. The salmon are raised with non-GMO feed.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Last Downtown Boulder Farmers' Market Today

And with Boulder temperatures expected around 60 and Thanksgiving coming up next week, who could ask for anything better? Here's what the Farmers' Market says:

Don't Miss the Last Boulder Market of the Year!  
With Winter Market following, December 6 & 7

Our rockstar customers and vendors at last weekend's snowy market

Make sure to stop by the last Boulder Farmers' Market of the season this Saturday, rain or shine! Many of our farmers have harvested the last of this year's crops and will have plenty at the market this weekend: potatoes, radishes, apples, turnips, mushrooms, spinach, carrots, onions, garlic, kale, arugula, winter squash and locally raised beef, lamb and chicken eggs. Look forward to grabbing a cozy drink from Forest Coffee or Silver Canyon, a baked good or warm prepared food to keep you going while you're shopping! See below for specials. 

We will be back to the Boulder County Fairgrounds for our 8th Annual Winter Market onDecember 6 and 7 from 9am-3pm

Boulder Farmers' Market Saturday 11/22, 8am-2pm
  • Weigh Your Bounty contest: Come weigh your market purchases at the info booth, and compete for wonderful prizes of Market Bucks and merchandise. Try and beat Jim, who had a whopping 126.5 lbs of market food! 
  • Market Specials:
    • Oxford Gardens: 5 lb and 10 lb bags of storage carrots for $3 per pound.  
    • Ela Family Farm will have their storage apples at market. Stock up on organic Fuji, Braeburn and Granny Smiths for just $32 a case (20 lbs!). When kept cold, the Granny Smiths and Braeburns will stay crisp and delicious until December 1st. Fujis will be delicious until the new year! Also, 2nds for $20/box. Great for applesauce, apple butter and dried apples. 
    • Rocky Mountain Fresh: Tomatoes are done growing for the season, except if you grow them inside! Rocky Mountain Fresh will have a sale on 15 lb boxes of tomatoes. $20 for red tomatoes and $25 for mixed heirlooms. These are freshly picked, hydroponic, pesticide-free tomatoes. $2.50/lb for reds and $4/lb for heirlooms. 
    • Aspen Moon Farm: Bulk storage sale! $1/lb or 30 lbs for $25 butternut squash, $2.5/ lb or 10 lbs for $20 butterball potatoes, $2.5 /lb or 10 lbs for $20 yellow storage onions, $3/lb or 10 lbs for $25 storage carrots (4 types), $2/lb or 10lbs for $15 rutabaga and/or purple top turnips, $1.5/lb or 10 lbs for $1/ lb
    • Plowshares Community Farm: They will be offering holiday hams for Thanksgiving and Christmastime. Stop by their booth to find out more information, to pick up a Thanksgiving ham, or to reserve yours for next month! 
    • MM Local Foods: MM Local will have their very seasonal jarred pumpkin and butternut squash. They are flash-pasturized with outstanding flavor and color, sourced from Full Circle Farms and Isabelle Farms. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

New Library Spot Will Be Seeds Cafe!

As previously noted, in a really cool move the Boulder Farmers' Market will be operating the new cafe at the Boulder Public Library main location. And the name winning the public naming contest is Seeds Cafe, the one the Farmers' Market was hoping for! It beat out Aesop's Tables, which also had resonance, but I'm so glad the name will be a great match with the actual operators. Here's what the Market says:

Official Library Café Name 

After weeks of nominations and voting, our café space opening in February inside the Boulder Public Library finally has it's name: Seeds Café.

See you at Seeds in a few short months! 

Prosciutto On My Mind

With today's flash sale on prosciutto di Parma at Whole Foods (see a couple of posts below for details), I have prosciutto on my mind for this weekend's dinners. One of my favorite things to do with it is asparagus and leek risotto with prosciutto from Bon Appetit, which is also a good choice since asparagus is also on sale, $2.98 a pound at Whole Foods and $1.48 a pound at Sprouts. strisce all Chiantigiana from Bon Appetit. Yes, technically that one calls for pancetta, but it's great with prosciutto too. There are just so many things you can do with prosciutto - heck even use it with a fine cheese and good bread to make the grilled cheese sandwich from heaven. And the best thing is that none of these ideas even hints at Thanksgiving-type foods. There will be enough of those shortly.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Boulder Natural Turkey Prices, 2014 Edition

At least a minimal view. I posted Vitamin Cottage prices quite a bit ago here, and among all those options, the prime takeaway is that a fine Mary's free range turkey with all the assurances that go with Vitamin Cottage meats would be $2.69 a pound (but reservations and deposit required).

You can see all Whole Foods' turkey offerings here by checking their online shopping then clicking turkeys right up at the top on the left (they know what you want to find now). Quick takeaway is that a very fine fresh Diestal bird, the kind we've gotten for a decade or better, is $2.49 a pound

The intriguing thing to me is that Lucky's Market in both Boulder and Longmont is offering a fresh Plainville turkey with Lucky's "never ever" standards for $1.99 a pound. (In keeping with its tendency to also go lower, the Longmont store also has an "all-natural" turkey from Amish Country fro $1.39 a pound, without the "never ever" standards.)

Sprouts' all-natural fresh turkey is $1.49 a pound, probably similar to the Longmont Lucky's one, and they are also advertising an organic option for $3.99, which the other stores also offer if you have the time to look further.

So after years of Diestals from Whole Foods, this year I'm experimenting with the Plainville from Lucky's. Motivation is at least three- if not four-fold. First, it's 50 cents cheaper per pound than my usual, no big deal although with a large bird that does mount up. Second, while I have no prior experience with Plainville, it's the brand Whole Foods has chosen to do its brined turkeys this year, which unfortunately are only available as frozen (confirmed with conversation with a Pearl Street butcher). So while I'll be buying a fresh one from Lucky's, the brand has also seen a thumbs up from Whole Foods. Third, while I could reserve and pick this Plainville bird up from either Lucky's store, the one in Boulder also has its associated Bakehouse, which advertised a pumpkin pie with gingersnap crisp crumble that in effect made me crumble myself. Turkey reservation went in immediately with order for pie at the Bakehouse next door (something in the area of $17). Sure, I'm also thinking about Whole Foods' special on its pumpkin cheesecakes for $19.99, but how many desserts can we eat? Hmm, maybe two. And I don't have multiple hours to spend in the kitchen doing these dessert things from scratch.

With the nearby opening of Top Chef winner Hosea Rosenberg's Blackbelly restaurant and market, my real hope for this year was to get one of the turkeys he hoped to have pre-brined himself, but when I called about them, was told they weren't able to get the turkeys ordered in time, and they are thinking maybe for Christmas. That won't help me, as two turkeys in the space of four weeks is just a bit much, and we'll be looking towards a rib roast instead.

So good luck in your turkey choice - lots of fine options out there!

Flash Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

And this is the only special sale I see them listing for the weekend, which makes sense, with everybody focused on their own Thanksgiving plans. For tomorrow only and only between 4 and 7 pm, you can get genuine prosciutto di Parma for $10 off per pound. The $19.99 a pound price is lower even than that for the very good domestic prosciutto they also carry. Here's what they say (and why always with so much space at the end I can't delete?):

Fri, Nov 21st 4-7pm
FLASH SALE 4-7pm 11/21

Prosciutto Di Parma, $19.99 lb

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods

And goodness, it's today. Here's what they say:

Wed, Nov 19th

Creminelli Bacon Salami, 9.99 ea

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

And what an important week it is, with the sales that will lead us into Thanksgiving a week from tomorrow. There's a new sale starting today at our Boulder Sprouts stores, while the current one continues at Whole Foods through December 2nd and at Vitamin Cottage through December 13th (use the post list at the lower left to find those previous reports). I also hope to say something about Lucky's shortly too. Here's what's looking good to me now.

I usually start with meat and seafood, but at Sprouts through November 27th, it's some other happenings that are particularly striking to me. First and foremost, my favorite Imagine organic broth is on sale for $1.50 a box, wow! Sales on this always happen around the holidays, but it rarely gets that low, and it's a stock up item to enhance soups, stews, casseroles, rice dishes, etc. for months to come. Also, all Spice Hunter items are half off, bulk coffee is just $5.99 a pound, some Lundberg rice bags are 25% off (I really like their festive blends), and while I don't buy much conventional produce, asparagus is just $1.48 a pound.

Back to meat and seafood at Sprouts, value packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts are just $1.88 a pound, but who is going to be emphasizing chicken just prior to a week of turkey leftovers? Ditto the whole or split chickens for $1.69 a pound, and chicken sausage (pork also) is $3.99 a pound for links, $2.99 a pound for bulk. If you are looking for a holiday turkey alternative, their "presidential cut" standing rib roast is $9.99 a pound. In fish, previously frozen Alaskan cod fillets are $7.99 a pound, and fresh farmed salmon fillets are $6.99 a pound.

Sprouts is always good for organic produce, and this week broccoli or cauliflower are both $1.48 a pound, acorn, butternut or spaghetti squash are all 98 cents a pound, gala, Fuji or Granny Smith apples are all $1.48 a pound, green beans are $2.98 for a one pound package, russet potatoes and yellow onions are both 98 cents a pound, and five pound bags of table carrots are $2.98 each.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cuisinart Mini-Oven Fun

Good warm, toasty and cozy morning, Boulder. Yesterday's adventure getting the furnace revived was even food-related, as husband's ill-fated upgrading of a kitchen outlet that amazingly knocked out the furnace was inspired by my acquisition of a new countertop appliance, a Cuisinart Oven Central. This little gadget is amazing; it browns, sautes, roasts, steams, bakes, toasts, and who knows what else, all in one little appliance that takes up very little counter space. I've been eyeing quality toaster ovens for years, wanting something that could bake small items like a couple of russet potatoes without heating the whole big oven, but the good toaster ovens all take up too much prime countertop real estate space. This little Cuisinart does more functions than I ever imagined, all with a very small footprint. So its arrival also inadvertently caused a very expensive electrical adventure, oh well. Next time we'll leave outlet upgrades to the professionals.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Thanksgiving Dinner Guides

Am sitting here wrapped in multiple clothing layers and typing through gloves, waiting for a master electrician to try to revive our furnace after husband's handyman project yesterday had the definitely unintended consequence of leaving us without heat. Good thing it's about 30 degrees warmer than a couple of days ago. In any case, the cold means it's more than time to start planning for Thanksgiving dinner, and here are a few guides to help you out: Thanksgiving Menus, Recipes and Cooking Tips from Epicurious, Thanksgiving Recipes from Food and Wine magazine, Thanksgiving from Saveur, and as they did last year, Cooking Light has an all purpose Celebrate the Holidays that can take you right through New Year's.