I don’t know if it was because everyone was taking it easy after the 4th of July, or they were just out of town, but our Costco was definitely seeing less action than it normally does on a Sunday morning. So, we made the most of it and strolled through all of the aisles we’ve been skipping past recently. All of the furniture is in and has totally pushed out the gardening stuff. Some of the pieces look like things we saw earlier this year, and some are definitely different items. We also noticed some new items in the other aisles too, like dimmable fluorescent light bulbs. I will be picking up some of those soon (I hope!) for one of the finishing touches for our bathroom remodel.
Don’t forget that the latest Costco Coupon book starts on Monday, July 13th, so take a look through it and make sure you don’t buy anything this weekend that will have a coupon next week!
Fresh Farmed Penn Cove Mussels – Sometimes we get the mussels from the Seafood Roadshow but not all that often. However, this week we were looking for something seafoody but different from our usual fish or shrimp purchase. So we decided to give the mussels a try. And of course they were delicious. I was amazed that there were really only a couple out of the whole 2.35 pounds that weren’t alive; always a good thing. Dave ended up making us a very yummy mussels and pasta dinner. He steamed them in a broth made from diced onions and chicken stock, and some butter was in there too. After he steamed them, he served them over some spaghetti with fresh basil sprinkled on top. What’s nice about cooking mussels is that it takes just doesn’t take that long and they are all ready to eat. There’s a ton of ways that you can steam them too with various wine based mixtures or more like Dave’s with stock and vegetables; pretty much whatever you want that has enough liquid to generate some steam. But really, they’re always good if they’re all alive and in good health, which of course they are if you buy them at Costco. 2.35 pounds for $6.56; $2.79 per pound. Item #: 29604.
Pita Pal Cracked Wheat Salad – Based on someone’s suggestion here, I decided to give this salad a try. I like the Pita Pal baba ghanouj, so I was hoping that this would be just as good. The salad is made up of Bulgar wheat, onion, green and red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, and parsley along with some spices, canola oil, and sea salt. I figured this would be a pretty healthy addition to my lunch repertoire and be filling as well from the Bulgar wheat. I mean, from just one 3.5 ounce serving you get a decent 3 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber, 30% of your vitamin c, with 7 grams of fat for just 130 calories (yes, almost half of those come from fat). I was a little surprised by the fat content but that’s from the canola oil that they use to bind the salad together. And we all need a little fat in our diet, but this is certainly a healthier fat than, let’s say, a donut. And on top of it all, it’s really tasty too. It’s got a great mix of flavors that don’t fight or overpower each other but blend very nicely; fresh with a little citrusy flavor too. And because of that oil it’s moist and not dry or clumpy like the Bulgar wheat could have easily ended up. It’s nice as a salad topping (like a lettuce salad) because you can really get by without any dressing if you use this and it can totally perk it up. But it is also nice just as a side dish. I’ll bet it would be good in a pita too. 27 ounces for $4.99. Item #: 229494.
Cripps Pink Apples – Apples are an easy fruit to keep around because they will last quite a while, and when you want to eat one you just bite in (after cleaning it off first). And at Costco, with the cool plastic bubble packaging, you run a much lower risk of bruised and beat up apples when you get home. Dave likes tart apples like Granny Smith, and I like ones that are sweet like Gala, so we thought we would give the Pinks a try to see where they would fall on the tart to sweet spectrum. Amazingly, we both ended up really liking them. They have a bit of tartness when you take a bite but with a mellow sweet aftertaste. I must admit that I also like them because they aren’t really large; they are the perfect fruit snack size. They are certainly more expensive than Red Delicious (which neither of us likes) but they are about in line at our Costco with the Galas. 12 apples, 5.5 pounds for $7.79. Item #: 23205.
America’s Test Kitchen Cooking For Two 2009 – I really like the America’s Test Kitchen television show (on PBS, you should check it out sometime) and their cookbooks. So, any time Costco has one of their magazine style cookbooks, I am enticed to buy it. This one is great because it takes all of these fabulous recipes that they work on perfecting and shrinks them down so they are just right for two people. Here’s what I really like about the Test Kitchen, they aren’t just happy to rehash old recipes or to add a little something different and call it new, they actually take the time to compare all kinds of recipes and techniques to make sure that the recipe you end up trying at home will turn out perfectly. What the recipes end up being are a combination of all of the good points from all of the things they’ve tried and things that will be easy for the home cook to reproduce. I haven’t tried one of their recipes yet that failed to be really wonderful when I was all done. And most of them have the added benefit of being pretty easy to do as well. In this particular set of recipes, you have easy things like stir-fried beef with snap peas and red peppers, to things that most people might not take the time to make for just two, like beef Wellington with Madeira sauce or herb roasted prime rib. They have managed to make the time and work for those more complex recipes doable for even a weeknight meal. They even have some desserts, like a layer cake and pie, sized perfectly for 2 people. Here’s the other thing that is cool about this magazine cookbook, they give you an explanation as to why they made the changes they did and tips on how to do certain techniques, as well as what brands or types of ingredients got the highest marks from their taste testers. If you like to cook, you should certainly catch the television show and pick up one of their cookbooks too. 64 recipes for $5.56. Item #: 298452.
Kirkland Signature Environmentally Friendly Laundry Detergent – I decided to try this a few months ago when they had a coupon for it. I like it because it doesn’t have a lot of scent, just a faint lavendar armoa, but it isn’t overpowering or fake smelling like so many laundry detergents. I also thought this might be good because my skin isn’t super tolerant of a wide variety of detergents and I’m pretty sure it’s because of something unnatural in them. I’m happy to report, it doesn’t make me itchy in the least, and it does a great job on our clothes; no fading or fabric deterioration. So, you might be wondering what makes it so environmentally friendly. It is made with all biodegradable cleaning agents that are derived from plants, plus it has a natural fragrance (lavendar). There’s no animal testing, the detergent does not contain phosphates or dyes, and it is made from bio-renewable resources. Even the container is made from 25% or more recycled material (and you should really recycle it when done). All of that goodness for the planet, plus it’s great at the actual job of getting your clothes clean too. It’s also good for the high efficiency machines. This is a couple of dollars more than the regular KS laundry detergents, however, it is easier on the environment and perhaps your skin too, so it might be worth it for you. 170 ounces (approximately 110 loads) for $13.99. Item #: 295863.