Don’t forget that this is the last weekend that you can make use of the current Costco Coupon Book since it expires November 1! I still haven’t totally made up my mind about the FoodSaver but I guess I’ll have to do that or miss out on the savings; thanks to everyone that posted your opinion of how wonderful the FoodSaver works for you. Makes me wonder if there’s anyone that doesn’t love it.
Kellogg’s Dual Cereal Pack, Froot Loops and Apple Jacks – Nostalgia can only take you so far, and then you realize that Apple Jacks is not so good anymore. It’s got way less of a cinnamony taste than it used to, and that was what made it so good. I’m also not a fan of the addition of the bright green Os in the mix. I have managed to eat them, but I won’t be trying to act like I’m 8 years old and buying kid cereal anymore. Lesson learned. However, that said, the Froot Loops still taste the same to me. These were another favorite when we were kids. They’ve definitely handled the 30 years of aging better than Apple Jacks. They still have that same citrusy smell and taste that makes them so delicious to kids, and me. The amazing thing is the price though. At Costco, you get a big box that has 3 bags of cereal in it, 2 Froot Loops and 1 Apple Jacks, that are each 17.5 ounces each (that’s 52.5 ounces of cereal in all) for just $6.99, not including the $2.00 coupon that is valid right now. So, I was able to get my cereal for just $4.99 and I know that is way less than it is in grocery stores. Something they have changed since we were kids, they now have fiber in the cereal. So, if it makes you feel any better about buying this for your kids, they now get 3 grams of fiber in each cup of cereal; it’s not just sugar anymore, I guess. 3, 17.5 ounce bags (52.5 ounces total) for $4.99 ($6.99 – $2.00 off coupon). Item #: 451463.
Land O Lakes Whipped Light Cream – I will easily admit that it is easier to have a can of whipped cream (or three) in the fridge than making my own every time we have a piece of pie or a brownie or something similarly in need of a dollop of whipped cream. So, every year around this time, I buy the three pack of Land O Lakes whipped cream in a can at Costco. This year, instead of having the regular heavy cream stuff, they had the Whipped Light Cream. This seems to be pretty similar to the regular cans of whipped heavy cream that they used to sell. The only difference that I can tell is that the taste is not quite as rich or sweet and the consistency seems a little lighter and fluffier. I don’t like my whipped cream that sweet, so this is not a big deal for me. But if you’re a Cool Whip kind of person, this is probably not going to be sweet enough for you by a long shot. It also seems to break down and turn a little liquidy at the edges quicker than I remember that happening with the regular stuff. This isn’t really that big a deal though because you’re probably not going to squirt it out on a plate and leave it to hang out, like I just did. And if you are wondering, yes, this is still made with real cream, milk and sugar. If you were also wondering about light cream vs. heavy cream, it is all about the per cent of milk fat: 18 – 20% for light cream and 36 – 40% for heavy cream. Also, these cans are okay in the fridge (but not the freezer) until mid-April 2010; plenty of time to enjoy it all. 3, 15 ounce cans for $6.75. Item #: 696469.
Kirkland Signature Frozen Cooked Tail Off Shrimp, 50 – 70 Count – We like shrimp quite a bit, and sometimes have a desire to just have some cooked shrimp with a little sauce of some kind. This was one of those weeks. We thought about buying the shrimp platter that they have in the deli area, but decided that it would be better to just try the frozen cooked shrimp. Usually, we buy the uncooked and just cook it ourselves. So, this was a bit of an experiment for us. And turns out, we were really pleased with it. For one thing, all you have to do is thaw it out, rinse it off, and your prep work is over. The key is to thaw it slowly, in the fridge overnight preferably. If you try to quick thaw it using the running water method, the frozen shrimp (cooked or not) tends to get rubbery and unpleasant; and you don’t want that. We went for the 50 – 70 count shrimp because they are plenty big enough for dipping. I don’t know what else you can do with cooked shrimp but I should figure something out so that I have an excuse to buy more. 2 pounds for $11.99. Item #: 77009.
Yancey’s Fancy Artisan Cheeses – This week they were having an enticing little demo of all of these really great cheeses. And while they were all really delicious, we chose the Habanero and Jalapeno Cheddar, as well as the Horseradish Cheddar to take home with us. Previously we tried their Wasabi variety which was so good and made a really great cheese sauce for pasta. This time though we were looking for something a little different. The habanero and jalapeno is assertive to say the least. You could eat it by itself or just on a cracker but we think it is best with something to temper the fire a bit, like a burger. Or mixed with another, milder cheese, for a quesadilla. But if you like spicy stuff, you’ll love this cheese. The horseradish cheese is really interesting because it tastes so much like horseradish, and isn’t normally a flavor that I think of as a good companion to cheese, but it really matches up nicely. This would also be good on a burger or any kind of sandwich, especially if you were thinking of applying some heat to get the cheese kind of melty. Yum! I’m also going to try making a cheese sauce for some pasta with the horseradish cheese; I think it will work really well. This flavor is mild enough though, that you can eat it just by itself or with some crackers and not get overwhelmed as quickly as you do by the spicy habanero and jalapeno. And even though these are kind of big blocks of cheese, if you treat them right, they will last for a really long time in your fridge. After you open the package, I suggest taking off the plastic wrap and wrapping the cheese in either a paper towel or some deli wrap (to keep the moisture off the cheese) and then putting it in a zip top storage bag. The key is to keep the moisture from settling on the cheese. $5.49 per pound; 1.14 pounds for $6.26. Item #: 229027 Cheddar with Horseradish; 236567 Cheddar with Habanero & Jalapeno.
Book: A Day in the Lie of Ancient Rome by Alberto Angela, translated from Italian by Gregory Conti - I have this weird little thing for ancient Rome; it’s not an obsession, just a deep interest. I don’t have a degree in history, so I can’t even use that as a cover story or an excuse. Maybe it’s the Italian side of my ancestry. In any case, the one thing I’ve always thought about when reading anything about ancient Rome, is: I wonder what it would have been like to actually live back then. And now, I have a great book that is giving me a taste of that experience. You might think that this could end up being very dry and like reading a journal article from an archaeologist, but it is not at all like that. While there’s no real story line or anything forced like that, it is little vignettes and peeks into what various types of people lived like and did during the course of a normal day. From just before sun up to well after the sun goes down, the author takes you through stores and homes and street scenes with little details that really make 115 CE (that’s AD to you and me) Imperial Rome come alive for the reader. The amazing similarities between Rome of 1,800 years ago and right now, that can be found in the mundane everyday transactions, activities, and lifestyles, make it all that more poignant and exciting to read. What I really appreciate is that the author has taken all of the archaeological data and information, as well as historical writings, and put it all into a very readable and accessible book. If you’re at all interested in ancient Rome, or have just wondered what it would be like to live in an age far behind us, then this is the book for you. Just for comparison, this book is $10.88 at Amazon. $9.99. Item #: 467930.