Anyone with a special diet is a pro at reading ingredient labels. You have to be. It's your health at stake, after all. But it sure can make a trip to the store take forever!
In honor of gluten-free month, we're making it easier to find all the gluten-free goodness at PCC. Fremont and Redmond already have these new orange shelf tags up, with the other seven stores soon to follow.
(photo courtesy of Janice Parker)
One more thing to make life a little easier. Let us know what you think!
Kids Day Out: at Kids Day America, 12-3 p.m. May 16 at Rainier Community Center, 4600 38th Ave. S., Seattle. KDA is an international health, safety and environmental awareness day with fun activities for kids, including a healthy taste testing at the Kid Picks Mobile.
Try this: PCC Cooks Chef Lynne Vea’s recipe for Caribbean Spice Chicken (at Fremont, Edmonds, Issaquah, Redmond and West Seattle this weekend). Learn about this and other fun food demos here.
Vote: For your new PCC Natural Markets board by May 22. Learn more here.
Taste test: to a Kid Picks tasting 4-8 p.m. May 18 at Fremont PCC and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. May 19 at Issaquah PCC.
Watch: PCC Cooks Chef Lynne Vea prepare Creamy Roasted New Potato Salad With Green Beans, Walnuts and Smoked Salmon10 a.m. May 16 on KING 5’s “Gardening With Ciscoe” show.
Take the kids: Students at Madrona K-8 (9300 236th St., S.W., Edmonds) showcase art from this school year. Enjoy live music from students and a taste-testing with the Kid Picks Mobile 6-8 p.m. May 21.
Help: Donate at PCC checkstands through May 31 to help a community kitchen pilot project in Seattle’s Rainier Valley that will encourage food bank recipients and local WIC families to cook together, learn new cooking skills, practice meal planning and provide food to take home. Call Leika Suzumura at 206-214-8892 or email email@example.com for more information on how to get involved.
First off, part of the reason I picked up this teensy container of Montlake Mousse was because of its snazzy name. Say it out loud: Montlake Mousse. Love that alliteration. But the real reason is that I adore dessert in all its forms. All-Natural Dessert, like its cousins Vegan Dessert and Gluten-Free Dessert, somehow seems less sinful to boot.
Chocolate mousse and I go way back. I remember visiting my aunts and cousins in Japan when I was, oh, six years old. To my detriment, no one told my pigtailed self "No" when I asked each of my three aunts for yet another giant bowl of chocolate mousse at the restaurant we were visiting. My mom had to give me the "everything in moderation" lecture when I summarily lost my mousse on the sidewalk shortly after (poor Mom).
This dainty container is a shining example of moderation, a great size for after lunch or for a taste of something sweet at night.
Most of us lead double, even triple lives. Lawyer/Mom/PTA president. Brother/weekend fisherman/Boeing engineer. PCC employee/dog owner/published author.
You may recognize Val Mallinson from her bubbly personality behind the registers at West Seattle PCC. If you're a local dog lover, you may recognize her byline from pieces she's written for Seattle Metropolitan magazine, BARk magazine and the two latest editions of her guidebooks for traveling with (wo)man's best friend (for Val, it's her team of daucshunds, Cooper and Isis). Here she is with her latest tomes, "The Dog Lover's Companion to the Pacific Northwest" and "The Dog Lover's Companion to Seattle."
I bought my Mom (and Sony, her yellow lab) "The Dog Lover's Companion to the Pacific Northwest" for Mother's Day. She's already excited to get in the car and try out dog parks with high "paw" rankings.
I admire people like Val for finding ways to carve out time in their busy days to create, whether its art, music, gardening, design, cooking, writing, you name it.
Stay tuned for profiles of PCC employee/band leader, PCC employee/father/chicken owner and PCC employee/capoeira maestro.
Lots happening at all the stores. Here are some highlights:
- Kid Picks taste test, 2-6 p.m. May 13 at West Seattle PCC
- PCC board candidate meet and greet, 5:30-6:30 p.m. May 12 and 13 at Redmond PCC and Issaquah PCC, respectively. PCC is a cooperative, which means, like REI and other cooperatives, members get to pick the leaders who will keep PCC moving toward its goals. A chance to do your shopping and share your thoughts.
- Kids Day America, 12-3 p.m. May 16 at Rainier Community Center, 4600 38th Ave. S., Seattle. KDA is an international health, safety and environmental awareness day with fun activities for kids, including a healthy taste-testing at the Kid Picks Mobile.
- Wine tastings: Wines of Spain and Portugal, 6:30-8 p.m., May 14 at PCC Fremont and Redmond, $5. RSVP on the reservation line at 206-547-1222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, new releases from Northwest producers, 6:30-8 p.m. May 14 at Edmonds PCC. Same deal.
- Plenty of tasty demos this weekend, including Caribbean spice chicken at West Seattle PCC from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. May 16-17.
Fresh produce is streaming in from all directions this month, though the height of our Washington harvest won't come until July/August/September (so hard to wait!). Here's what's new this week from the desk of PCC produce merchandiser Joe Hardiman.
- California organic cherries: Look for them by the end of this week. Washington Bings should be available in about a month
- Organic apriums (that tasty cross between an apricot and a plum)
- Organic Vidalia sweet onions from Georgia: by the weekend. Our own Walla Walla sweets will be here in July. Joe likes the Vidalias sliced on salads, in burgers and in sandwiches.
- Driscoll organic strawberries from Watsonville, Calif. (I've been snacking on these nearly every day). Local strawberries will be here in late June.
- Organic white peaches
- And local asparagus is still going strong, as is organic salad mix from Full Circle Farm.
A bell rang in my head when my friend Laura bought PCC vitamins a couple months back.
"Dude, did you know you helped fight childhood blindness?" I asked her via Facebook.
"Oh really? That's great! No, I had no idea. I didn't see a sign or anything."
Alas, too often at PCC we neglect to let people know the big and little ways that shopping here nourishes your body *and* contributes to the community. Back when Laura bought those vitamins in March, 25 cents from each sale of vitamins and supplements went to support Vitamin Angels, a nonprofit group that aims to eliminate childhood blindness by 2020 by distributing vitamin A to kids at risk.
In a similar vein, you've probably helped Children's Hospital this month without knowing. Through June 15 five percent of all Kid Picks purchases goes to support pediatrics at Children's as part of PCC's Families Helping Families program. Here's the essence of how Kid Picks works: Kids taste test a variety of foods and those that receive thumbs up from two-thirds of testers are flagged as Kid Picks items in our stores. Plenty of adults make a beeline for KP stuff as well (myself included).
Here's just a handful of the 1,500-plus Kid Picks options:
Hero jam, my favorite! I recommend the strawberry.
Who doesn't love English cucumbers? So good cut into sticks for a snack with salt or a creamy dip or sliced atop salad.
How now, Brown Cow?
I need to learn more ways to cook up polenta. It's such a pleasant comfort food.
Turkey bacon: One of life's great compromises.
I wish I'd tried more cereal like this as a kid. Perhaps it would have diminished my sweet tooth.
Those of you who follow PCC on Facebook and Twitter already know him by personality and reputation. Now you can learn more about Ricardo, PCC's man behind the scenes on social media -- he's today's featured guest on Seattle Social Media Profiles.
Check out his video debut!
Happy Friday, everyone! In honor of the upcoming weekend, here's Tom and Thom's recipe for chili-cheese fries from our PCC potluck (they're lying in wait in those glass baking pans in the middle of the spread. Wish I'd snapped a close-up).
Thom and Tom’s Chili Cheese Fries
4 chopped links of Applegate Farms’ Organic andouille sausage
1 organic diced onion
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
12 ounces Guinness beer
1-14.5 ounce can of Muir Glen Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes (love these!)
1-14.5 ounce can of Muir Glen Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Chilies
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2-14.5 ounce cans of Westbrae Natural Kidney beans
1-14.5 ounce can of Westbrae Natural Garbanzo beans
Salt and pepper to taste
Melinda’s Extra Hot Sauce
French fries (Thom and Tom used 3 orders of fries from Burger Hut at 42nd and the Ave.)
Pepper jack cheese
Heat olive oil with sausage and onion on medium heat. After sausage is darkened and onions are soft, add all spices and sauté. Pour in beer and scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Next, include the tomatoes, paste and beans. Combine and bring to a simmer for about 40 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste.
Pick up French fries from your favorite restaurant (or bake your own using potatoes and olive oil). The crispier, the better! In an oven safe container, assemble the fries so that they are about 1-2 inches thick. Cover with the chili and then the cheese. Broil until the cheese has melted. Once the pan is removed from the oven, top with green onions.
Lord knows we all watch enough Food Network, Top Chef and KCTS 9 food specials. And since we never can have enough food in our lives, PCC has branched out into the video world as well. The most popular of our efforts thus far is PCC Cooks instructor Lynne Vea's guest spots on KING 5's "Gardening With Ciscoe" show. I went to PCC Issaquah yesterday with a fun crew to watch it come together.
Cooking videos appear effortless on TV, but man, is that ever deceiving. Lynne says she spends about 10 hours on each two-recipe shoot, to shop, chop, style and finally, cook. Each recipe is shot twice: Once at a wide angle to capture the banter between Lynne and Ciscoe, another for tight close-ups of each step of the process to help viewers see just how it's done. That means two sets of every ingredient. Lynne is a miracle worker (and yes, Ciscoe is every bit as ebullient in person as he is on TV).
On the menu: French Roasted Potato Salad With Beans, Walnuts and Smoked Salmon for the show airing May 16 and a Fava Bean Hummus for May 23.
For the salad, Lynne chose Russian fingerling potatoes for their sweetness (good stuff!):
And here's the finished product (the smoked salmon adds a savory punch of richness):
I discovered that the insides of fava bean jackets are plush and soft, like a new baby blanket.
And voila! (the hummus is a dainty spring green from the favas. Lynne also included a radish salad with dill as a garnish.):
I enjoyed watching her transform the kitchen via her styling. She stores a huge variety of serveware and linens in a big closet at her house. I made her promise to let me take a peek (and I promise you I'll bring my camera). Here's some of her work from the shoot.
Accompaniment for the potato salad:
Next to the hummus:
I also liked this merry display in the background, especially the lemon slices:
We've developed a bunch of fun new PCC cooking videos, which debuted at our annual membership meeting this spring. Click here to see producer profile videos. And check out PCC on Facebook for even more videos!