Happy new year! No doubt, you've drafted a few resolutions for 2010. For me, it's eating healthy, delicious, organic leafy greens daily. I made the same resolution in 2008 and felt energized and aglow throughout the year. I already feel a spring in my step from something I reintroduced to my diet back in early December: a daily delectably sweet (and heart healthy) Texas Rio grapefruit. Be still my heart!
Thankfully, since I sit near our produce guru, Joe Hardiman, it's easy to keep tabs on all the great fruits and vegetables flowing into our stores. But I hope you know that all of us at PCC are ready to help you keep any healthful resolution, whether it's to eat your vegetables, sip more tea, get your regular dose of vitamin D, treat your skin to all-natural lotions or to cook more at home. Too swamped to cook? Our deli can help with resolutions, too, with a bounty of salads and entrees that feature whole grains, protein-rich beans and plenty of fresh vegetables. Or, make the simplest resolution of all: Drink more water!
Here are some special events on the horizon:
- The Bloodmobile will be at our PCC office from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 4 and at each of our nine locations this month. Please consider giving the gift of life, and click here for your store's timeslot.
- Join us for a free screening of "Good Food," a documentary about sustainable farming in the Pacific Northwest, followed by a lively discussion about the documentary by PCC staff. Space is limited, so please arrive before the film is scheduled to begin. And yes, popcorn and beverages will be served! The dates are 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24 at Edmonds PCC and 4:30 p.m. Sunday Jan, 31 at Redmond PCC. Check out the preview!
- Celebrate the new year by cleaning out your closet and donating those extra sweaters to the KCTS9 Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Sweater Drive. All PCC locations will accept new or gently used, clean sweaters, coats and cold weather gear from January 11 to February 7. Wellspring Family Services will distribute them to those who need most them.
- Register now to head on out to Sequim, Wash. and walk the fields of Delta Farm, home to Nash's Organic Produce, Saturday, Jan. 16 on a farm tour. See first hand where those amazingly sweet carrots take root. Meet local farmers and feel great that you, via PCC Farmland Trust, helped to preserve organic farmland, forever.
- If you haven't already signed up for a class or two (or five) with our award-winning PCC Cooks cooking school, what are you waiting for?
We're in midwinter. That means we're only a few months away from tender spring asparagus, creamy peas, wild Alaskan halibut, fresh lamb, the first crop of organic strawberries up from California and so many annual traditions. Take the time now to savor the joys of winter, those savory stews and sweet baked treats and bubbling slow cooker goodness. And, again, happy 2010!
Those who celebrate Christmas are all abustle this week, wrapping gifts, delivering homebaked treats, meeting, greeting, gathering. We've been following the same pattern here at PCC HQ, with potlucks, snacks and fun. And today, our amazing colleague Dana finished rounding up dozens of gifts from our staff to deliver to Peace for the Streets by Kids From the Streets (www.psks.org), an important local organization that helps Seattle-area homeless youth and young adults.
While some wishes were pure fun (including musical instruments and games), others were so practical (socks, jeans, long underwear) they made me really take stock and appreciate all that I have in my life.
What could you do to help a community organization this holiday , or even someone special in your life?
They're made from recycled plastic bottles, so much better than letting them pile up in a landfill. And only 87 cents! Know a college student, an ailing friend or someone else who needs some love in your life? Bundle up a home-cooked meal, some fresh organic produce or other treats in one of these puppies so they have a bag to use for later when all the eating's done.
Our amazing art department created four new designs, including my favorite -- the happy produce people shown above.
Who's your favorite produce superstar? I'm partial to Mr. Melon. So jolly.
It's a cookie-baking time of year, and PCC Cooks instructor and Chef Olaiya Land is so kind to share one of her favorites with us. You may have heard her reference Korova cookies in this recent podcast interview. So tasty are they, she says, that they've been dubbed World Peace Cookies "due to their supposed ability to bring the whole world together in peace and harmony through sheer deliciousness alone."
She recommends Scharffen Berger cocoa and Ghiradelli 60% bittersweet chocolate. And, she bakes the cookies at 350 and puts in two sheets at a time baked for 10-12 minutes. Try them with red wine, she says!
Find the full recipe here.
What do you do to make popular recipes your own? I add oatmeal to the traditional Tollhouse chocolate-chip cookie recipe to give my cookies a little something extra. Other bakers I know add chili powder to their brownies. What about you?
Frosty nights have arrived and lights are aglow -- time to gather family and friends, appreciate that we have shelter from the storm and to reach out to those who don't. Address this trio this week with PCC.
JOIN US FOR REDMOND LIGHTS 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5 at Redmond City Hall and Redmond Town Center. PCC helps sponsor this annual event, which includes a tree lighting, lit river walk and live music. We'll be offering samples of fresh food and a special party mix, to boot. Visit redmondlights.com for details.
PET LIVE REINDEER, meet Santa and sit in his sleigh at the Issaquah Reindeer Festival, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 1-23 at Cougar Mountain Zoo, 19525 S.E. 54th St. in Issaquah. Discounted tickets are on sale at Issaquah PCC. Children under 2 are free. Visit cougarmountainzoo.org for details.
DONATE THE DIFFERENCE and help reduce hunger in our communities by contributing to the PCC Food Bank Program. PCC uses your donations (100 percent) to buy nutritious bulk foods at discounted prices, which are then packaged by PCC volunteers and given to local food banks. At the checkout stand say you'll "donate the difference" and your purchase will be rounded up to the nearest dollar, with the difference donated to the program.
AND ON THAT NOTE: If you live/work near Kirkland, stop by the Kirkland Food Bank (11011 120th Ave. N.E.) 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7 and volunteer to help package food for needy families.
DISCOVER A NEW WINE or two or three at our wine tastings. Click here for a list of events through the end of the year!
REGISTER FOR WINTER PCC COOKS CLASSES in the new winter catalog. From kids classes to gluten-free cooking to knife skills to perfect meat and poultry, there's something for everyone.
Have a great week!
So pleased to introduce our new-and-improved recipe database! We've listened to your suggestions and made it even easier for you to find favorite PCC recipes and discover new ones from our team of PCC Cooks instructors, our deli staff, nutrition educator Goldie Caughlan and other cooking wizards
Learn what to do with these...
Now you can:
- Search by ingredient
- Share recipes via e-mail
- Rate our recipes on a five-star scale*
- Comment on recipes and share your tips*
- Add ingredients to your online shopping list
- Save favorite recipes in your own virtual recipe box*
- Watch cooking videos that demonstrate some of our most-popular dishes
* Login required
Already saved to my recipe box: Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash Soup, One-pan Roasted Aparagus and Halibut with Tomato-lime Butter and Fall Farro Pilaf.
Please rate recipes you've tried and share your cooking tips so we can help each other find happiness in the kitchen!
Like many of my office teammates, I deployed to a PCC store (Redmond!) last week to bag groceries, stock shelves and help "face" the wine department and canned-food aisle ("face" is the grocery term for making displays look nice and neat, largely by turning labels so that they face out toward all of you shoppers. Let me tell you ... it's so disappointing to achieve a perfect display of diced, fire-roasted tomatoes only to have someone come along and buy one of them ;)
But I digress. The Redmond staff was so much fun and I wish I lived closer so I could visit the store more often (and eat more samples of our glorious pecan pie!). Saw so many gift ideas while I was there, from fun hats by San Diego Hat Co. to cool zippered pouches made from recycled materials to gorgeous candles.
Fun bags and zippered pouches.
I also saw the pretty handiwork of our graphics department. To wit:
See those pretty images up above the aisles?
Reporting for bagging duty!
Did you know PCC's aprons are ergonomic? Do you share my intrigue that such a thing exists? Apparently, the design is easier on our backs.
A bagger's view of the world.
Some bagging etiquette I'd like to share: If you bring your bags (and kudos to all those who do!) send 'em on down the conveyor ahead of your groceries. Makes the bagger's job easier and helps us get your groceries ready for home even quicker.
Later that week, I headed to PCC Fremont to pick up my reserved 19-pound Diestel free-range turkey (along with various and sundry additional items, including organic satsumas and farmstead butter from Golden Glen Creamery -- yum!). I stuffed said bird with fresh organic herbs (sage, thyme and rosemary) and roasted it cloaked it in butter-soaked cheesecloth per the advice of friend and local food writer Nancy Leson. Per...fection!
Reporting for carving duty! (T-Day photos courtesy Howard Wu)
Hope all of you had a happy Thanksgiving!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! When you awaken from your respective food comas, we've got plenty of fun in store.
WELCOME DECEMBER at the Edmonds tree-lighting ceremony, 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28 at Centennial Plaza by bell Street and 5th Avenue North in Edmonds. Enjoy Christmas carols, meet Santa and taste test healthy treats from the Kid Picks Mobile. Visit www.edmondswa.com for details.
PET LIVE REINDEER and meet Santa (man, he's busy!) and sit in his sleigh at the Issaquah Reindeer Festival, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 1-23 at Cougar Mountain Zoo, 19525 S.E. 54th St. in Issaquah. Discounted tickets are on sale at Issaquah PCC. Children under 2 are free. Visit cougarmountainzoo.org for details.
LEARN TO MAKE PEAR AND HAZELNUT TARTS with PCC Cooks instructor Chef Lynne Vea on this week's Gardening With Ciscoe show, 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 28 on KING 5 TV.
What do you do when you hear a neighborhood food bank was robbed of its Thanksgiving dinner fixings? Why, mobilize, of course!
Fresh, wholesome, organic produce destined for hungry families (photos courtesy Tom Monahan)
Our head honchos put the wheels in motion from the moment we heard of Rainier Valley Food Bank's misfortune (in Thursday's Seattle Times). Roxanne, one of our community relations miracle workers, contacted RVFB to find out exactly what they most needed to complete their meals. Their answer: produce.
Today (Nov. 20) our produce suppliers, Organically Grown Company and Peterson Fruit Company, delivered $1,000 worth of fresh, organic produce including celery, yams, kale, collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower and apples. That's $1,000 at wholesale prices, which means that money stretched even farther.
Fresh, organic, nutrient-rich cauliflower
PCC Community Relations Specialist Roxanne Winship with Sam Osborne, executive director of the food bank
We already donate thousands of pounds of staples (beans, grains and more) to Seattle-area foodbanks each month. It feels great to be able to help one more in such a time of need. Especially when we celebrated with such bounty earlier this week at our PCC Thanksgiving.