Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wheatsville rocks in December!

Hello Wheatsville friends!

If you are celebrating or about to celebrate any of our winter holidays, we wish you the best! We have a lot of nice and easy items to brighten these long nights and make any holiday party sparkle and taste great!

We do have some hours changes for the coming couple of weeks that you might want to make note of-
We close early on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24th) at 7pm
We're closed on Christmas Day (Dec. 25th)
We will have SPECIAL HOURS on Saturday and Sunday the 26th and 27th from 10AM-10PM
We close early on  New Years Eve(Dec. 31) at 9pm.
We're closed on New Year's Day (Jan. 1st)

I also want to let you know that we are doing some construction fixes to the produce back room from 12/26- about January 4th. During that time, you may find some reduction in our produce selection. We're going to do all we can to have nearly all you might be looking for, but we won't have a walk-in or normal produce back room while the construction is happening, so it will be a little challenging. Thanks in advance for rolling with this along WITH us!

I must take this opportunity to thank you so much for a tremendous, monumental, exciting and successful 2009! We're looking forward to an even better 2010 and we wish the same for you!

We're chock full with delights this week! Scroll down for:
The deli has your Christmas covered!
Meat specials
Cheese platter tips along wit some wine pairing suggestions!
Savor the produce with a recipe!
Love ChocoLove!
By Owner's request
Staff Top 10!

From the Deli
Happy Holidays from your Wheatsville Deli! Christmas is coming and your co-op has you covered! We'll have all of your holiday favorites ready to go, like our Vegan Cornbread Stuffing, Leek-Roasted Carrots and Tempeh, Vegan Mushroom Gravy, Garlic Chive Cheddar Cheese Balls and Rosemary Biscuits! Plus homemade Pumpkin, Pecan and Vegan Coconut Cream Pies! And be sure to keep an eye on our hot bar during the week of Christmas for some seasonal, holiday-inspired dishes!

And while the weather stays chilly, we'll be keeping a rotating selection of hot soups in our self-service Grab'n'Go case. We are packing both pints and quarts for your convenience – stick some in your fridge or freezer to warm up a quick, satisfying and hot bowl of African Peanut, Mushroom Barley or Broccoli Cheddar anytime!

The Bakery Case is brimming with all of our classic goodies, like Carrot Cake, Buttermilk Cookies and Berry Brownies! And we have just added a tray of all-new pastries for your morning delight! We are excited to introduce some new items from Austin Favorite, Sweetish Hill Bakery, into the store! We are now offering a big, buttery Croissant, Cherry & Cheese Danish, and Cinnamon Roll! Mocha! These three new items are a huge bang for your buck, both filling and delectable, and perfect alongside a hot beverage from our organic and fair-trade Espresso Bar, like the chocolaty This month, owners can save 50 cents off both sizes of our Mocha – a freshly brewed cup of coffee with your choice of steamed milk and a few squeezes of Dagoba organic chocolate syrup stirred in!

The Deli Counter shines this month with our holiday-inspired Very Berry Christmas Smoothie! Blending strawberries and raspberries with bananas, apple juice and soymilk, this frozen scarlet treat is an annual favorite!

December's Salsa of the Month is the Roasted Tomato Salsa! Oven-roasting adds sweetness to vine-ripened tomatoes and onions, and smokiness to jalapenos – when hand-blended with some fresh cilantro and lemon juice, they create a very tasty salsa! Plus, this salsa is an Owner Special for this month, on sale for just 4.49/lb!
In December, the Deli Counter is running a special on Boar's Head Ovengold Turkey, usually $9.99/lb, and on sale this month for $9.49/lb. Also on sale is Boar's Head Muenster Cheese, regularly $5.99/lb and selling this month for only $4.99/lb!
Wheatsville Co-op owners will also find our beloved and best-selling Frito Pie on sale this month! This giant pile of Frito corn chips topped with our award-winning Tempeh Chili, Monterey Jack cheese, onions and jalapenos is on sale now! Or skip the cheese for a totally vegan meal!

Whatever your tastes, come on in to your Wheatsville Deli and we're sure you'll find something you'll love! And be sure to ask for samples!
From Bryan, the Butcher
Brrrrr.... One of my favorite things about cold weather is cooking. I love to make soups, beans, stews, pot roasts and braised lamb. If you feel the same look for specials and new items in the meat case you next time into Wheatsville.
Niman Beef top round roasts $ 7.59 lb
Niman Beef stew meat $ 8.49 lb
Niman Salt pork $ 4.69 lb
Niman Lamb Shanks $ 7.59 lb
Niman Lamb boneless sirloin roast $ 14.99 lb
Get you Christmas turkeys and hams now while supplies last!
Organic Prairie whole Turkey 12-15# $2.99 lb
Niman Ranch spiral cut hams $6.99 lb.
From Greg, Captain of Cheese Island
Wondering what to do for your next christmas dinner or party? Why not impress your friends and family with a cheese plate. It is simple to present and can be served as an appetizer course, the main course or as a desert. Yes, desert. You should serve 3 to seven cheeses with a variety of textures ( soft, semi soft, firm or hard) milks and (cow, goat, ewe) and tastes (mild to strong). The amount of cheese to buy is dependent on where in the meal the cheese plate is being served. If the cheese plate is being served as an appetizer, desert or as an hour dourve 3 - 4 ounces of each cheese per person and 6 ounces if the cheese plate is  the main course.

You should allow the cheeses to sit out an hour before being served. The flavors become stronger as the cheese warms.The cheese should be presented from mildest flavor to the strongest flavor, moving clockwise.  Don't know which cheese is the strongest in flavor? Then use your nose. The stinkiest cheeses are usually the strongest in flavor. That means that blues are generally the last on the plate.

Use a different knife for each cheese so that the next person isn't left with a Druken Goat Cheese that tastses like English Stilton. You can  garnish the plate with grape or fig leaves, sliced apples or pears, maybe some edible flowers for bling. Crackers or a crusty bread are generally served along with the cheese plate. Use plain crackers. Crackers with pepper or herbs will compete with the flavor of the cheese. Remember it is all about the cheese. You want to compliment not compete. To accompany the cheese and bread you could sever a fig spread, quince paste, olives, apples, pears and roasted nuts. Sliced onions go well with blues. Wines go great with cheese and for every good cheese, there is a good wine. Sweeter wines go better with the stronger, saltier cheeses. A good Port or Muscat would compliment a good blue.

You could give your plate a theme. Serve French cheeses from different regions and serve a wine that is from each region. Remember, it's all up to you and your cheese plate can be anything you want. There are no rules. Happy pairing!!!

The cheese department has a few sales for the holiday season. Organic Valley Pasteurized Sharp Cheddar 8 oz. is on sale for $4.49, regularly $5.29. Organic Valley Shredded Parmesan is on sale for $3.49, regularly $4.29. Organic Valley Blue Cheese Crumbles is on sale for $3.49, regularly $4.29. The blue cheese crumbles are located in the produce department in the same case as the packaged salads.
If you are still thinking of gift ideas, might I suggest a cheese, wine and cracker gift basket.  We have all the wonderful items to fill your gift basket here at Wheatsville. Talk to your friendly cheese monger for suggestions.

Savoring the Season in produce! with Johnny Livesay
I hope everyone is enjoying the tangerines and other citrus right now. If you haven't eaten any, feel free to ask me or any other produce clerk to open one up for you. The Texas citrus has been really great so far. This week we have Texas Meyer lemons, sunburst tangerines, Rio Star grapefruit, Marrs oranges (loose and in 3 lb bags for juicing) and bower tangerines. We also have delicious satsuma tangerines and navel oranges. Look for more citrus in the coming weeks and enjoy these fruits while they are in season to taste the difference.

What's Local?
In addition to the citrus fruits mentioned above, we have some nice fall and winter vegetables available as well: turnips with tops, jalepenos and serranos from Onion Creek Farm, Kitchen Pride mushrooms, Amador Farms hydroponic bibb lettuce, Texas Naturals Red Kale, and Texas Fuji apples from the panhandle.

As a Texan, I'm not too familiar with chestnuts, yet after having them I feel like I've been missing out. Commonly referred to as 'tree potatoes' in Europe, chestnuts can be used similarly and have a delicate, nutty flavor. They are a little difficult to get into, but once you do...YUM. Here is a really easy and delicious recipe to utilize them:
Braised Cabbage with Chestnuts
2lb red cabbage
1 lb chestnuts, boiled and peeled
6 Tbsp butter
Chicken stock to cover
salt and pepper to taste

1. With a sharp knife, cut an X in the flat-side of the chestnuts. Bring about two quarts of salted water to a boil and add the chestnuts, boil for 10 minutes. Peel and set aside (you must boil them to get them open, do not eat raw chestnuts).
2. Cut cabbage in half and remove the core. Slice thinly. In a large saute pan, or medium sized pot, add the butter and heat over a medium heat.
3. Add cabbage and chestnuts and stir well to coat with butter. Cook fro 2-3 minutes. Add chicken stock to cover. Bring braise to a simmer, reduce heat to maintain a slow simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes. Stir often. When 45 minutes have passed add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with roasted pork or beef or by itself. To make this recipe vegan/vegetarian, substitute Earth Balance for butter and Imagine No Chicken Broth for the chicken stock.

In the Grocery Aisle with Justin Merrifield, Grocery Buyer
Chocolove Mini Chocolate Bars:
New from Chocolove! Wheatsville has Mini Chocolate Bars in six varieties on sale right now for 79 cents each. It's a treat that you don't feel so bad about when you realize you've eaten the whole thing. They're the same Chocolove flavors that we know and love, but in at a price and size that are easier to swallow. Of course, we do have the full-size ones on sale right now too. These make EXCELLENT stocking stuffers!

BY OWNER REQUEST—Niki Nash, Wheatsville Merchandising Manager
This week's product we brought in by owner request is Kinnikinnik S'moreables Graham Style Crackers. These crackers are gluten-free and delicious! They're located in the cookie aisle, very close to the vegan marshmallows and the fair-trade chocolate. Yes, that means you can now make a gluten-free, vegan, fair trade S'more! Yum!

Staff Top Ten Picks!
Check out our "Staff Top Ten Picks" posted throughout the store, we work here and shop here!!!
Look for the green signs in front of the products.
From Lucio Gamboa, Cashier & Bagger
1.      Smoked Gouda from Holland: I want to eat my way out of this.
2.      Niman Ranch Apple Gouda Sausage: Everything about this is delicious.
3.      Helwa Choco Wafers: The perfect treat.
4.      Spaten Optimator : Will keep you warm and buzzin' this winter.
5.      Garden of Eatin' Guac Chips: Add cheese to these and its nachos!
6.      Almond Krinkles (in bulk): Make my mornings so much better.
7.      Sambazon Amazon Cherry Smoothie Packs: Who needs a smoothie when they taste so good?
8.      Bubbie's Sauerkraut: Makes my heart go pitter patter.
9.      Pureluck Del Cielo: Del Cielo + bread = Heaven
10.    Quorn Gruyere Cutlets: They make great sandwiches.
From Stacy Lamy, Cashier
Wheat-free Thai Style Pasta- kinda spicy deliciousness. Peanuts make it crunchy. Best when warmed up.
La Croix (lah-qwah) - Lime goes great with Mexican fare, mixed berry with everything else. Great price!
The Merry Hempsters Vegan Hemp Lip Balm- Great texture and yummy flavors. From the great land of Oregon!
Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread (soy-free variety)- Never thought I'd find a substitute for butter, but...VOILA!
Texas Longhorns (dark chocolate)- Oh My! I get some when I've been a good girl :)
Pyrenees Cheese with Green Pepper- A little sweet, creamy and peppery...the cheese they eat in heaven.
Aura Cacia Essential Oils- Blend equal parts: clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, rosemary and lemon for an immunity boosting bacteria killer. Use topically.
Gala Apples- My most "favoritest" apple. Grab some crunchy bulk peanut butter and munch out!
Ravenswood Zinfandel- Always pleasant, never rude. My first Zin is my favorite. From California.
Adbusters Magazine- This stellar publication makes me think, feel and question.

 I hope that you have a great week!

Wheatsville GM and e-mail guy