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.