Well, this was my last shopping trip to Costco for the year. It practically seemed like we were the only ones there this week, too. It’s so nice to have a week where there just aren’t that many people after all of the crazy holiday shopping filled weekends. I noted that, as usual for this time of year, it is furniture season at Costco. There were some nice deals, but since I’m not in the market for new furniture I just browsed through rather quickly.
Costco Bakery Pecan Pie – We love pecan pie and when I saw them all lined up this weekend, I just couldn’t resist. So, our week has been filled with slices of pecan pie, we even had it for breakfast yesterday. The pie they make in the Costco bakery is really good because they manage to not burn the nuts, which is a big problem for a lot of places (even restaurants) where I’ve had pecan pie. The filling is all sweet and gooey, but the pecans just work perfectly with it to give it some balance. The worst part about pecan pie is that it is hard to cut a very small piece because the nuts just don’t cut well, so you end up having to just work with what you get, I think. Or, maybe that is just my excuse for cutting myself a bigger piece. The crust is just crust and seems kind of bland after all of the super sweet filling, so you really need to eat the crust with the filling for sure. $9.99. Item #: 15827.
Pom Wonderful Pomegranate Arils – Okay, you’re probably wondering, like we were, what is an ‘aril’. Well, it turns out, it is a seed surrounded by a juice sac, botanically speaking. You learn something new everyday. This definitely seems to be something new at our Costco; they were located in the cold fruit and veggie room. They come from the people that make the Pom Wonderful juice that Costco also carries. In any case, if you feel like you’d like to try something different than just juice, you should check these out. You get two little tubs of these pomegranate arils that you can just eat straight (which is what we’ve done) or add them to sauces or mix into things like yogurt or ice cream even. On the website, they also suggest tossing them into a salad, sprinkling over cereal, or using as a cocktail garnish. Since you get two containers of them, and they only last for two weeks, I would suggest freezing the other container. You can find out about storing them on the Pom Wonderful website. For those of you that are unaware, pomegranates are super healthy and full of antioxidants, vitamins C and K, potassium, iron, and fiber. They’re kind of fun to eat just as they are because the little juice filled sac pops open when you bite into them and you get this nice little rush of juice. And it is a blend of sweet and tart, but not too overwhelming in either direction. Yum! Since they are only available fresh through January, you might want to pick some up before they’re gone until next fall! 2, 8 ounce bowls for $6.99. Item #: 45590.
Perdue Popcorn Chicken Bites – Okay, sometimes Dave and I eat like 5 year olds. And this point has been clearly driven home by this bag of popcorn chicken. On the back it talks about how it’s a great ‘after school snack’ and how they pair well with “French fries or macaroni and cheese’. Yeah, there’s nothing about what wine they go with at all. I’m trying not to be embarrassed about our kid-like eating habits as I write this. So, if you’re thinking these must be like popcorn shrimp, you’re right. They are little chunks of chicken that are breaded and slightly seasoned, and since they are already fully cooked all you are doing is heating them up and crisping up the breading. And, this family of 5 year olds, thinks that they are pretty tasty when done too. We used a little ranch dressing to dip them in and they were a great quick lunch. If you were trying to adultify them, I think you could toss them with a salad too. The breading is slightly seasoned and has a nice peppery taste. And, you can get them really crunchy because they are mostly small. They’re not really a health food, however, they are respectable and could be a lot worse because each nugget only has about 1 gram of fat. 3.5 pounds for $12.89. Item #: 295510.
Formaggio Mozzarella wrapped with Soppressata – Can you really go wrong with fresh mozzarella wrapped with Italian herbs and meat? The answer is ‘no, of course not.’ I think I have mentioned my fondness for cheese before, and I especially love fresh mozzarella. We normally buy the marinated mozzarella balls to keep handy and throw in salads or for a quick appetizer item if we’re having people over for dinner. When I saw this rolled up mozzarella though, I just had to try it. And it’s as yummy as I was hoping it would be. The soppressata and the spices just enhance the creamy deliciousness of the mozzarella. Plus, it looks pretty when you cut it because it’s got this nice pinwheel thing going with the meat and herbs and cheese in layers. I think it is good just plain in slices, however, you could probably put a couple of slices on a salad or make a jazzed up Caprese salad. I’ve also been thinking that it would be delicious with a light toasting on some good Italian bread. 16 ounces for $7.89. Item #: 169763.
Space Bag Storage Pack in Color – For those of you that aren’t familiar with the Space Bags (though I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials) concept, it’s basically a big plastic bag with a vacuum cleaner port so that you can put things in the bag and then suck out all of the excess air to squish down the items into this little flat pack. This is a great idea if you’re needing to pack away a bunch of clothing or linens for a few months but you don’t want them to take up a huge amount of space. You can even put pillows and big comforters in these bags. Then, when you unpack, the stuff will be fresh and clean, plus it just kind of pops up to it’s normal size. We’ve used the manual, roll-up kind for years when we travel because you can really get your clothes into a much smaller suitcase or backpack. However, we’re needing to pack some stuff away in storage now, so I thought this looked like the perfect solution. The pack at Costco contains 12 bags in all: 6 large which hold up to 10 sweaters each, and 6 extra large which hold up to 1 queen sized bedding set and two pillows each. And they come in three different colors so that you can color code your items too. But the real benefit is that we’ll be able to pack up the bedding and things, plus some clothing for more compact and cleaner storage. They really seem amazing the first couple of times that you use them because you just can’t believe how much you can compact your clothing or bedding or towels or whatever. And you know, it’s winter now and you probably have your heavy coats out but when spring comes around and you want to get them out of the closet and taking up less space, you should really consider these bags. They can take your bulkiest, puffiest coat and smush it down to this thin little size that you can slip under your bed or stack in a closet, and then next year when the cold weather comes back, you just open it open and your coat is good to go. The only thing that would make this pack better would be if they included some of the travel Space Bags too, or Costco could sell those separately. 12 Space Bags for $23.99. Item #: 310353.