Big news for shoppers to the North Austin Costco location: they’ve updated the registers and in the process have added a couple of self-checkout lanes! We used this for the first time last weekend and it was so easy and so much quicker than waiting through the normal checkout lines. This is even easier than using the ones at other grocery store type places because at Costco, everything has a scanner code, so there’s not even the need to search for the vegetables or anything. Great!
‘Holiday Inn’ 3 Disc Collector’s Set – Even though it seems like you shouldn’t have to be thinking about it already, it’s getting to be time to watch holiday movies and buy presents too. And just in time for that, Costco has this great DVD set of ‘Holiday Inn’, my favorite holiday movie ever. It’s even appropriate for other holidays but it just completely says Christmas to me. On the 3 discs you will find a new color version of the movie, the original black and white version of the movie, and a music CD containing all of the songs, including ‘White Christmas’. Also on the discs containing the movies are some documentaries about coloring the movie, the making of the original, and the original theatrical trailer. It’s a timeless classic with tons of wonderful signing and dancing featuring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. I actually bought two of these, one for me and one for my mom since she loves it as much as I do. Since I’ve never seen it in color, I’m kind of looking forward to watching that version too this year! 3 Disc Set for $17.99.
Santa Fe Wrap Sandwich – This is not my favorite thing that I’ve picked up in the prepared meals section at Costco. It’s filled with a variety of items like corn, lettuce, beans, and rotisserie chicken pieces wrapped up with a flour tortilla and served with a slightly smoky salsa. I felt like I really needed the sauce to balance out the flavor and make it more tasty. It was good sized and is definitely enough for a hearty lunch or even dinner. However, it just wasn’t that great. I can’t exactly put my finger on what made it seem kind of bland and not that delicious but there was definitely something that my mouth was hoping would be there that just wasn’t. If I got this again it would probably be for weekday lunches because I think it would keep nicely in the fridge for a couple of days and will certainly fill you up; with some fresh fruit or veggies you could have just one of the wrap quarters for a good lunch. 4 pieces for $8.99
Sweet Potatoes – I know that some of you were wondering when the sweet potatoes would be available again; well, they’re back! You have to get a 10 pound box of them, which sounds like a lot more than it is when you’re talking about potatoes. I love sweet potatoes because you can use them in so many different ways. We like them just plain ol’ baked, like a regular potato, with butter, salt, and pepper. They are also great mashed with sage, butter, and garlic. Plus, you can make some great steak fries too. And did I mention that they rock when it comes to nutrition? I mean they have about twice the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A, over 40 percent of the recommended vitamin C, four times the recommendation for beta carotene, and, when eaten whole (that means including the skin), they have more fiber than oatmeal (and taste better). All these benefits with only about 130 to 160 calories. 10 lbs for $6.99.
Pumpkin Pie – I know I’ve written about the pumpkin pie from the Costco bakery before, in fact just a couple of months ago, but since it is the best pumpkin pie you can buy, I thought it deserved another mention. I know not everyone is a great baker, and certainly if you’re making a pie comparable in size you’ll need to make your own crust (the hard part), so you might consider this a great shortcut for Thanksgiving dinner. In short, this is a fabulous pie and the price is awesome too. I won’t tell anyone if you cheat for the holiday. You could even do the trick I picked up from Martha Stewart where you take the pie out of the pie pan. Of course, as we all know, Martha had not bought her pie, she was just trying to make it look more upscale when showing off to dinner guests. 10″ diameter pie for $5.99.
Land O Lakes Whipped Cream – I often make my own whipped cream but this is a very convenient way to have a supply on hand for your pumpkin pie obsession (oh, is that just us?). I haven’t found a whipped cream in a can that can compete with the Land O Lakes stuff either, to be honest. It isn’t too sweet and is thick and fluffy in just the right way; it almost appears to be made from scratch even. The one thing that is great about this option versus making it from scratch, is that this is going to stand up in the fridge much better for much longer (our cans are good until the end of March 2009) without getting weepy or flat. Plus, you’ve got the fun spray nozzle to make the perfect little puffs on your piece of pie or other dessert needing a little whipped embellishment. And honestly, on a day when you’re wrestling with a big turkey and enough food to cater a party for 30, will anyone mind if you take a couple of excellent and still tasty shortcuts with the pie and whipped cream? 3, 14 0ounce cans for $7.49.