We found some cool items at Costco this weekend but by far I think our best is the outdoor solar light set. But more on that later. The last time I went to my mailbox I still hadn’t gotten my latest Costco coupon book, but I’m hoping I’ll get it today so that I can post about it tomorrow or Monday. Oh yeah, I’m going to try to remember to put the item numbers for things now, as requested by Costco Fan Boy.
Solar Spot Lights Set -It’s funny that we saw these at Costco this weekend, because I had just been telling Dave that someone needed to come up with a remote solar panel for the landscaping lights. And there it was, just what I had been thinking about. This is great for people like us that have a mostly shady yard where the solar panel built into the actual light won’t work because it’ll get nowhere near enough sun. So instead, these have a normal looking landscape light, except it uses 6 LED bulbs, with a 16 foot length of cable that runs to a solar panel that you can place anywhere you have a patch of sun and the cable will reach. We tested these out in our front yard under a huge tree that has spotlights from traditional landscaping lights but is continually burning through bulbs. They worked surprisingly well. We were expecting a somewhat dim looking light but it’s pretty bright and definitely does the job of highlighting the tree. We’re thinking of getting another pack for our back yard where we have no lights and maybe even a third set for some additional lighting in our front yard too. We have a few things we really liked about the set: each spot light is made of metal not plastic so they seem more durable, as are the stakes; the solar panel is fairly small so it can be out of sight and isn’t like some huge thing sitting in the sun in your yard; the lights have a sensor so that they go on automatically at dusk and off at dawn which is nice because you don’t have to worry about a timer or anything like that. The only slight issue we’ve found is that length of 16 foot, which sounds like a lot but depending on where you want to put the lights and where your sunny spot for the panel is, might not be as far as you think. Dave’s thinking about doing some re-wiring work to make a couple of them longer for us though. 4 spot light set for $39.99. Item # 938025.
Wild Caught Grade A U-15 Scallops – These were a little something new at our Costco; not the usual U-8 -12 scallops that are in the freezer case. Also, these weren’t in fancy packaging, just a clear sealed bag. But nonetheless, we like scallops so I thought we could give them a try. They are slightly smaller than the usual KS frozen scallops since there are 15 to the pound instead of 8 – 12. And you can notice it when you’re cooking them, but for adding to things like pasta or a salad, it’s not that big a deal and might even be a bit of an advantage. If I were making a nice appetizer or something where the scallops took all the focus, I would go with the bigger ones. They might be smaller, but they still taste every bit as wonderful. And the big advantage of being smaller is that they definitley thaw out a little faster too. I love scallops and think they are great to add to a nice big salad this time of year, but I also like them with some pasta. The best part is that you can sautee them up in less than 4 minutes. Just don’t forget to have them really dry before you add them to the pan! 2.5 pounds for $19.99. Item # 34293.
Pure Nature Organic Valencia Orange Juice – They were doing a demo of this and Dave thought it was so delicious he wanted some in his very own fridge. Here’s what they say about this OJ on their website: “Pure Nature Organic Orange Juice is made from organically grown oranges that are handpicked from orange groves at the peak of ripeness. Our 100% Valencia oranges provides a crisp sunny taste, brilliant orange color and pure squeezed aroma. We do not add any concentrated orange juice, water or any additional ingredients to this product- it is 100% Not From Concentrate Orange Juice.” It’s amazing to me that they add nothing but the orange juice; I guess I’m used to juices where they at least add some water. Orange juice and I don’t get a long so well, but I tried a little bit of it for you guys and it is really delicious. But before you even taste it, you need to just breathe it in, because it smells wonderful, like you can almost see the orange trees kind of fresh. And it tastes every bit as good and fresh as the smell. It doesn’t seem as acidic to me as other orange juices that I’ve tried, which is strange since it’s straight juice of the orange with no diluting from water. I can see why Dave wanted some, even though it is a little more expensive than the other orange juice at Costco. 2, 64 ounce containers for $6.99. Item # 378621.
La Brea Bakery Italian Rounds – I love fresh bread of all shapes and kinds, I rarely discriminate. Plus, it goes so well with all of the cheeses I like. Normally when we go to Costco we will pick up the baguettes for various uses but often to pair with cheese and/or olives. So, this week when I spotted the new Italian Rounds (at least new to our Costco bread area), I had to give it a try. This wasn’t flavored with rosemary or anything else, just plain bread, and it was delicious! It had a perfect texture with lots of crusty outside and soft, holey inside. I used some to make a perfect grilled cheese sandwich with olive oil instead of butter and the great chipotle cheese I mentioned last week. It grilled up so nicely in the pan; it was gorgeous. I’ve got to say, it tastes as good plain too. There are a million ways you could use it: bruschetta, with cheese and olives, for sandwiches, croutons, grilled with olive oil and garlic, I could go on but you get the picture. In the package at Costco you actually get two of these delicious and large loaves. So, if you’re not going to be able to get through them both in less than a week, I suggest putting one in the freezer; which is what I ended up doing. 2, 1 pound 6 ounce loaves for $4.99. Item # 37504.
Henri Hutin Brie Couronne – Well, since I bought the bread, I needed to get some cheese to go with it too, right? (Sometimes I think I should have the ‘addicted to cheese’ blog too) This brie is so delicious! I like brie but this double cream, full fat stuff is really the best. The texture is unbelievably soft and velvety (if you let it get to room temp, which of course you would because that is how cheese should be eaten, never cold). The taste is mild and vaguely sweet and goes well with things like the raspberries that we picked up this week too. It would also be perfect with some apples or pears. You know, it makes a wonderful grilled cheese too. It sounds kind of wrong to use brie for a grilled cheese, but since it is so perfectly soft and melty it gets really runny and gooey and really melds with the bread. Yum! 1.02 pounds for $6.82 ($6.69 per pound). Item # 10099.