The store seemed remarkably quiet this week when we were there. Or, maybe that’s just because the last time I had been there was on New Year’s Eve and there were a ton of people. But hey, I learned a valuable lesson: never put off your holiday shopping until the day of said festive occasion! Since I didn’t write up a post for the week of New Year’s (we were doing a little ceramic tile project here….so I wasn’t taking it easy or anything), I’ve mixed in some of the items that I bought then too.
Don’t forget that the latest coupon book is in effect until January 25th and there are a lot of great bargains in there!
Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider – Since neither Dave nor I drink alcoholic beverages, this is sometimes our celebratory drink of choice. If you’ve never had it before, it’s a carbonated apple juice type of thing. It’s got a nice crisp apple flavor but with bubbles. The only cavet is, you can’t drink too much of it. Seriously, I’ve seen a couple of people get really upset stomachs from drinking too much of it. I’m guessing it’s all of the carbonation. However, it is a nice little non-alcohol alternative and since it doesn’t have sweeteners in it, you could pass it off as healthy. I think kids also like it because it’s a change from regular juice and makes them feel like they’re part of the adult party too. 4, 25.4 ounce bottles for $7.99.
Dim Sum Platter – This was something new we spotted in the Costco deli area and figured we would give it a try. It was pretty good too. There were three different styles of little dumpling type goodies, all shrimp based, for a total of 21 pieces. And there was this super yummy and flavorful dipping sauce too. So, I’m going to try to do my best to name all three types of dumplings: there are definitely potstickers in the middle (these are the ones that look browned); siu mai (the ones that are yellowish and you can see the filling on the top); and har gow (the pale white ones along the outside). They’re all kind of a variation on the dumpling theme though, and were all really good in the Costco platter too. I think my favorite might be the siu mai because they just seem to have a really good ratio of wrapper to filling to me. And the sauce really was a great addition because it had this kind of citrusy flavor, probably ginger, that just brightened up all of the other flavors in the dumplings. Okay, now I’ve made myself hungry! 21 dumplings for $9.99.
Alexia Sweet Potato Fries - This is the first time in ages that I’ve seen an actual french fry type product in the freezer section of Costco. It amazed me so much that I had to buy them. Well, that and the fact that I like a good sweet potato now and then too. These are really a nice little fry and make a good companion to just about anything you’d regularly pair a potato with. Somehow they seem a little bit more acceptable than having regular french fries with something like salmon too. However, if you want them to be crunchy or even semi-crunchy, you really need to cook them for no less than 20 minutes with a good shaking and flipping in the middle. Also, we found that they needed a little bit of salt. So, I have found that if you sprinkle on a little salt when you flip them over that works out the best. I also like to add a little sprinkle of ground chipotle or cayenne pepper to the mix. The good news is that they are a bit healthier than normal french fries since they have 3 g of fiber and 100% of your vitamin A in just one 3 ounce 150 calorie serving. So, perhaps if you’re looking for something a little better for your kids but all they really want is french fries, this might be the perfect thing for you. 4 pounds for $6.59.
Parmesano Reggiano – They had another delicious cheese demo that I couldn’t get away from. I don’t know why they’re always pushing the cheese lately but it gets me every time! Oh wait, maybe that’s the reason; I’m not the only one that’s a sucker for a nice hunk of cheese. This time what caught my eye was the Parmesano Reggiano…like right from the big wheel and everything. Normally, we all know that they have the shredded parm in the containers, however, this was an actual slab of your very own to grate, shave, or cumble as you see fit. It has such a great strong nutty flavor and it is just perfect for pasta or on salads to give them a little punch of flavor. And for once, the pieces were ‘normal’ sized (as in, less than 1 pound). So, of course I had to buy some; it would have been rude not to since they had cut it into such nice pieces and all. 0.77 pounds for $8.39; $10.98 per pound.
Jif Creamy Peanut Butter - Okay, it’s nothing fancy or exotic or even that interesting but peanut butter is a staple in millions of homes so I thought I’d include it. I’m a creamy peanut butter person because I just think the crunchy stuff tends to tear your bread and no one wants that because then the jelly has an escape route and it just gets ugly from there. Mostly peanut butter at our house is used to make sandwiches, however, sometimes I make peanut butter cookies out of it too. Other than those two things, we don’t have many peanut butter based recipes. Yet somehow, in a year we do manage to go through the two big containers of it you get at Costco. I kind of wish that you could buy just one of the 3 pound containers, instead of having to get two of them but since they are good for like two years and we will easily go through it before that point, I guess I really have no reason to complain. Especially not when I think of how much cheaper it is to buy my peanut butter at Costco versus the other grocery stores in my area. 2, 3 pound containers for $8.99.