I was a little disappointed in my Costco this weekend, because they either did not have the Swiffers or were hiding them really well. There was a coupon for Swiffer Wet refills that I was hoping to take advantage of but I couldn’t find them anywhere in the store. Maybe they’ll have them this week. I did, however, stock up on the Langer’s Mango Nectar using the coupon.
Don’t forget that the current coupons are only good through next Sunday, August 2nd.
Frigo Cheese Heads String Cheese – I don’t discriminate against cheese of any variety, even ones with weird names, so we gave this a try. I’m always looking for something that is easy to snack on for me at home and for Dave to take to work. I like the idea of the string cheese because it is very portion controlled, obviously, has just 80 calories but does have a decent 6 grams of protein and 20% of your calcium for the day. Plus, it’s cheese, so I know we’ll both eat it without complaining. In the bag at Costco you get 60 individually wrapped 1 ounce servings; with a cost of less than $0.14 each. So, this bag will last us at least a month, is my guess, but since they’re good through November, I’m not too worried about it. The string cheese is actually a low moisture part skim milk mozzarella, so it won’t get melty or horrible in a lunch box. Actually, warming it up a little, like any cheese, really helps the texture and taste. 60, 1 ounce cheeses for $7.79. Item #: 843323.
Master’s Touch Mini Peppers – I’m sure you’ve seen these in your Costco, but you might not have picked them up. But really, you should think about giving them a try. They are always cheaper than the normal sized bell peppers and have a similar flavor. They are great raw and sliced in a salad, or sauteed for a nice mix over pasta or rice, or they are a great addition to a stir fry. We’ve even used them like jalapeno poppers by stuffing them, breading them and then frying them (very delicious, even if it isn’t healthy). And, just 3 of these little peppers way exceeds your Vitamin C needs by providing you with 270% of your RDA. For those of us that aren’t fans of the orange, this is a great alternative. Plus, they are so colorful in the bright orange, yellow and red that they definitely will give a kick of color wherever you add them. They’re kind of sweet like the similarly colored bell peppers. The sweetness makes them really enjoyable to add to dishes because they play well with others and don’t drown out all of the other flavors. 2 pounds for $3.99. Item #: 26603.
Jalapeno Cheese Bagel Sticks – These were something new being demoed in the bagel area this weekend. They were so good we decided we had to get some. They are really jalapenoy: lots of kick to them. I was actually kind of shocked by how much heat a jalapeno that is cooked into a bagel can still have. Seriously, I’ve never had a jalapeno bagel with this much awesome flavor before. Love them! I’ve been having them for lunch just by themselves, it’s a bit like a sandwich without the meat. They would be great along side a salad or a bowl of soup too. They’re definitely going to be the flavor star in any meal, so you have to be careful what you pair them with. I’ll bet they’d be good with some scrambled eggs for breakfast too. Of course, if you’re not a fan of jalapeno, you’re definitely going to want to steer clear of these. And just like all of the other bagels, they come in a bag of 6 and at Costco you need to purchase two bags of bagels at a time. These count just like any of the other bagel flavors, so in our case, we paired them with a bag of sesame seed bagels. 2, 6 packs of bagels for $4.99. Item #: 31865.
Aidells Chili Season with Cheddar Cheese Smoked Chicken Sausage – The Aidells brand of sausages has a number of flavors at our Costco and I’ve always been kind of ‘eh’ about them before. But then we tried these and wow, they are so yummy! The chili seasoning makes them just so flavorful and they don’t seem quite as dry as some of the other flavors that we’ve tried. Of course, there is the addition of cheddar cheese too, which for me could be the key. Since they are already fully cooked, all you have to do is heat them up. We find it works best either in a hot skillet or under the broiler if you want to add a little crunch to them. Plain is just great for these because they have so much flavor though, they are also good with pasta, rice or a tortilla. What is healthy about these, even though they aren’t the lowest calorie choice you could make, is that they are made from hormone and antibiotic free chicken using all natural ingredients. I’ll point out that even though they are chicken they are in a pork casing, if that’s an issue for you. 2, 8 sausage packs (total of 3 pounds) for $13.99. Item #: 392421.
Book: Lost on Planet China by J. Maarten Troost – You know how sometimes you’ll be reading a book about someone’s travels thinking, I really wish they would tell it like it really is and not sugar coat it. Well, this is totally that book. I’ve never read such an unvarnished account of a persons travels to a foreign country. He covers everything from hygiene to government to eating to the language barrier issues and does it all with so much humor mixed with truth it really makes you not want to put this book down and a part of you hopes that he keeps telling you all about this trip. Seriously, I could have read a couple hundred more pages about his experiences in China and not even noticed because it was that entertaining. Some might find his writing style a bit acerbic and feel like he’s doing China a great disservice but I would completely disagree. There is certainly a fair bit of biting humor, and no doubt he doesn’t paint all of China as this glorious place you’d want to rush right out to visit. However, I think he manages to temper it with some really great accounts of the people, places, and culture. Sure, it’s not the US or Europe by any means, but who thinks it is? They have their own culture and you have to respect and embrace that as a traveler, but you don’t have to love every second of it either. He gives you a glimpse at the good, the bad and the ugly wth some funny along the way. Does it make me want to visit China any less than I did before, no, but it does make me think that when I do, I will be a little smarter now about avoiding some of the tourist pitfalls and places that wouldn’t be my idea of vacation, like polluty Beijing (but that I did already know). $8.99. Item #: 431441.