Bacon is on our minds often here at PCC, especially now that stew and chili season has just about arrived.
Here are more than a dozen delightful PCC recipes that call for bacon, including Fresh White Corn, Bacon and Cheddar Popovers and Pan Seared Brussels Sprouts With Red Pears, Bacon and Cranberries.
Here's my favorite chili recipe of all time (Smoky Beef-and-Bacon Chili, from Sunset Magazine).
Here are five great picks from our bacon selection. Did you know all bacon sold at PCC must meet the same high standards as the rest of our meat department? That means bacon from animals not treated with antiobiotics or added hormones and preserved with naturally derived nitrates. More on that.
And now for that Bacon Number. Perhaps you've played the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, the goal of which is to discover the shortest path between any Hollywood type and veteran actor Kevin Bacon, who has appeared in films across a startling array of genres. Google recently made this game even simpler: type "Bacon Number" into the search engine, followed by the name of any actor, and it will reveal their connection.
What are your favorite ways to enjoy bacon? One suggestion: sprinkle bacon bits atop this Maple-glazed Popcorn.
As PCC shoppers, we're famous for wanting to know exactly what we're eating, from the berries that top our oatmeal to the salmon that sizzles atop our grills.
Now we have a chance to require producers to tell us whether any food we buy from stores was created via genetic engineering: Initiative 522.
Through December, you can sign this petition in any of our stores to help get I-522 on the state ballot. Or, download the petition (see below for link) and help gather signatures in your community.
Our director of public affairs, Trudy Bialic, sums it up nicely:
>> "The People's Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act," I-522, is simple. It would require food sold in retail outlets to be labeled if produced through genetic engineering. Calorie and nutritional information was not required on labels until 1990. Country-of-origin labeling wasn't required until 2002. The trans fat content of foods didn't have to be labeled until 2006. These labels are accepted now as important, and consumers use their information every day.
Since the Food and Drug Administration says we must know if our orange juice is fresh or from concentrate, doesn't it make sense that foods engineered with foreign bacteria, viruses, insect, plant or animal genes should be labeled, too?<<
Visit this page to learn how you can help, whether it's with a donation, gathering signatures, or sharing this information with your community so that like-minded friends can help the cause and get I-522 on the November 2013 ballot.
Hey all! Thanks so much for shopping PCC, for following this blog, and for sharing your stories, thoughts and questions with us via our website, Facebook and Twitter. It's a pleasure getting to know you.
I'll be away on leave for a few months but look for some fun new features in this space when I return. One new trend: each PCC location is offering its own selection of super local products, delectable items like eggs from pastured hens, coffee roasted right in the neighborhood, and meat and poultry from small local producers (for example, Edmonds PCC shoppers, I hope you've become familiar with Spring Rain Farm & Orchard's organic stewing chickens by now! Trudy, co-editor of the Sound Consumer, just raves about their flavor when simmered in a traditional coq au vin).
Enjoy the sunny days ahead, and make each meal great in your own way!
Did you catch the recent 60 Minutes piece on sugar? If you have, no doubt you're pondering your own relationship with sweeteners. Here are a few popular resources from PCC to help you learn more about this sticky-sweet subject.
- Read more about natural sweeteners including honey, agave, barley malt syrup, and maple syrup in this PCC product how-to brochure.
- Wondering how to kick the sugar craving? Look no farther than this helpful Sound Consumer article from local naturopath Tom Ballard.
- Even better for those trying to quit sugar: take a PCC Cooks class on this very topic! Space is still available this spring for Tame Your Sugar Beast with instructors Birgitte Antonson and Karen Lamphere.
- Our staff nutrition educator, Nick Rose, speaks in greater depth about added sugars and how to strike a healthy balance in your diet in this Ask the Nutritionist podcast.
- For those searching for a less-processed version of sugar for your cooking and baking, check out this great list from Sound Consumer co-editor Eli Penberthy.
Coffee at PCC is something special: whether bagged, brewed fresh or pulled as espresso shots, our entire selection is organic, shade-grown, fairly traded and locally roasted. Now we've added three new blends from Tony's Coffee & Teas in Bellingham, Wash. to our line up; during the month of March come on in and try an 8-ounce cup of drip in our delis for only 50 cents.
We're also debuting a new espresso roast from Tony's at our certified organic espresso bars. Choose from Organic Valley milk or from four organic milk alternatives — soy, rice, almond and coconut — at no extra charge. (Note: the soy, rice and almond milks available also happen to be unsweetened!).
If you like what you taste, head over to the grocery aisles where you’ll find each blend available in bulk, ready to take home and brew.
Foursquare, Facebook and Yelp fans: each check-in at a PCC store in March nets you a FREE 8-ounce organic drip coffee. Happy sipping!
Our recent spate of sunny weather lulled many of us into fantasies of springtime. Hold those thoughts, people. It's time to clean out your closets and dressers and bring clean and gently used sweaters, coats and cold weather gear to any PCC through Sunday, Feb. 12 to donate to the annual Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Sweater Drive.
That's just what Brownie Troop #42920 did as a community service project. After they combed through their own wardrobes, they enlisted the help of friends and neighbors. Check out their haul, which they recently lugged into PCC Issaquah, triumphant.
Just look at those smiles!
Their total haul:
- Kids sweaters: 40
- Kids coats: 24
- Adult sweaters: 30
- Adult coats: 23
- Scarves: 6
- Hats: 14
- Gloves/mittens: 19 pairs
What could you donate to help those in need stay cozy until spring truly does arrive?
Plenty of occasions call for a great spread: potlucks, parties, open houses, even a little football game you might be catching with friends Sunday afternoon. Well, PCC is ready to ease your workload: save 20 percent off any of our freshly prepared party platters through Feb. 14, 2012.
PCC Deli Antipasto Platter
We request 48 hours notice to get things just right, so be sure to get your order in for the weekend at your local PCC Deli if you'll be needing one Sunday! Choose from fresh sandwiches, artisan breads and spreads, our own special chicken wings, cheese and fruit, antipasto and other fun, high quality selections.
The third week of January is drawing to a close, and if your resolutions aren't faring so well (especially after our snowbound, comfort food-laden week) here are some handy tools, tips and resources to keep you going strong!
IF YOUR GOAL IS TO:
- Eat more fruits and vegetables: PCC Nutrition Educator Leika Suzumura suggests reshaping your goal to "eat more colorful foods," as a simple reminder to boost not only your produce intake but the diversity of your produce intake. Watch her video for a great recipe. And check out our Produce Department, where on average more than 90 percent of the selection is organic! Our seasonal produce chart will help you know what's in season.
- Eat less sugar: Check out this Sound Consumer article on kicking the sugar craving. And don't miss our online brochure all about natural sweeteners.
- Eat more whole grains: Check out this video with recipes for easy side dishes and be sure to look for some of our delightful whole grain salads in the PCC Deli. Explore our online brochure about cooking with whole grains. Visit our bulk section on your next trip to PCC, where you can head home with a few servings each whole grain (rather than an entire package) to try them out and discover your favorite! Not sure how to cook? Just look up the grain by name or bin number in our bulk database and you'll find cooking instructions.
- Eat more green leafy vegetables: Check out our cheat sheet and visit our PCC Recipe Database for plenty of great cooking ideas.
- Eat less meat: Don't miss the January issue of PCC Taste magazine, available free in all stores, for our Meatless Mondays recipe spread. Or, find those recipes here. You also can search our Recipe Database for vegetarian and vegan recipes. Here's a quick tutorial for the uninitiated.
- Eat healthier, but no time to cook: Visit the PCC Deli. Here's a look at all the dishes you'll find that can help you get more whole grains, fruits and vegetables and leafy greens in your diet.
- Get your kids to try more foods: Check out our Kid Picks program, which flags more than 1,700 kid-tasted-and-approved foods in our stores with a bright orange label.
- Exercise more: Listen to our Ask the Nutritionist podcast on eating for energy, sports and fitness. And here's a handy chart of our energy bar selection!
And happy year of the dragon to everyone celebrating Chinese New Year this weekend and next!
Chilly, stormy weather is the perfect time to get creative in the kitchen. Warm your belly and your soul with these fun takes on everyday snacks.
Black Bean and Yam Quesadillas. Mmm...
- Spiced Hot Cocoa is just the ticket to keep cozy as you're hunkering down.
- Settling in to watch a movie? Try Maple-Glazed Popcorn. Take it to the next level with a sprinkle of crispy bacon. If you're a popcorn fan, don't miss our toppings suggestions.
- Keep your hands warm today with Masala Chai you can simmer on your stovetop from scratch. Pour the extra into a thermos and take along as you hike to the sledding hill, bus stop or on your errands.
- Tired of the same-old quesadillas? Change things up with black beans and pumpkin seeds. Or, try black beans and yam.
- For a healthy snack, roast cauliflower with curry powder. Or try Chili and Garlic-Roasted Broccoli. Those of you with leafy greens in your crisper: there's always time for kale chips!
All of us at PCC hope you're safe and warm wherever you may be reading this. Have a favorite snow day snack? Please share!
Here's a look at some of the content you found most intriguing in 2011!
PCC Quinoa Tabouli, a top recipe of 2011.
Top 10 most-viewed recipes (many are made right in our deli!)
- PCC Emerald City Salad
- PCC Perfect Protein Salad
- Kale Chips
- Butternut Squash-Apple Soup
- Steph's Tofu
- Warm Pear and Hazelnut Tea Bread
- PCC Quinoa Tabouli
- Pan Baked Cod
- Roasted Pumpkin and Salted Caramel Cheesecake
- Coconut Sweet Potato Soup
Top 10 most-viewed videos
- Recipe search screencast
- Learn how to make homemade ice cubes (from our annual April Fools' Day website. Don't miss it in 2012!)
- PCC Quick Bites: An easy way to slice watermelon
- PCC Quick Bites: Bulk shopping tips and tricks
- Meet our Producers: Schooner EXACT Brewing Company
- PCC Quick Bites: How to choose a perfect pineapple
- Screencast: How to add items to your online shopping list
- PCC Quick Sips: The world of Riesling
- PCC Quick Bites: Make your own roast chile paste
- Video recipe: Festive Cuban Tortilla Torta with Warm Spices
Top 10 most-viewed Sound Consumer pages
- Microwaved food: is it healthy?
- The truth about fats
- Mushroom magic
- Easy ways to preserve produce
- Wild shrimp vs. farmed shrimp
- Calcium vs. Magnesium
- Insights by Goldie: TSP in Cheerios
- Kick the sugar craving
- Tomato and pepper growing in the Pacific Northwest
- Fluoridation update
Top 10 most-viewed PCC Taste pages
- Eleven tips for a healthy new year
- 5 standout cooking oils
- Roaming Washington: road trip to some of our great producers
- It's easy being green
- March Madness Munchies
- Popcorn that pops
- Summer sun protection
- What to do in January
- Summer preview
- Feeding the healthy athlete
What were your favorite places to visit on our website in 2011? What would you like to see in 2012?
Happy new year from all of us at PCC!