We are finally in our permanent flat, no more hotels or temporary places, and we actually have all of our kitchen items and furniture too. So, we were all set for a good day of Costco shopping. We got there a little later this week, so we didn’t see the mad rush for the door. However, it was still packed in there. And even though we weren’t that late in the shopping day, stuff in the bakery area was already really picked over. We did manage to get some great things, that are certainly new to us. Also, while we were at Costco I was able to pick up the latest UK Coupon Book. It’s good from March 22 – April 11. I’m going to try to get it online but my scanner is being uncooperative at the moment. And if you’re in the US, don’t forget that you’ve only got two weekends left to take advantage of the current Costco Coupon Book.
I went ahead and updated all the prices to include conversions to US dollars.
Joseph Joseph Index Chopping Boards – I didn’t bring a cutting board with me when we moved, for some reason. I had some of the chopping mats but I didn’t think they’d be a good match for the non-granite countertops we have here. So, I was really pleased when we saw this stylish set of cutting boards. I really liked that they have their own little holder and stand upright without leaning against anything else. Plus, they look acceptably nice and like something you can set on your kitchen counter without it looking too messy. There are four chopping boards in the set, they are color coded and have an illustration on the tab for a specific food type, and then they slot into a nice looking case/stand. The categories, for the most part, are what you expect: fish, vegetables, red meat, and (oddly) hot foods. The hot foods category, threw me quite honestly, especially since the illustration looks a bit like a jelly fish but I think is actually a bowl with heat waves coming off of it. I’m used to chicken, fish, red meat, and veggies, so this was a new one to me. In any case, weird categories and illustrations aside, they seem sturdy and didn’t nick and scar on my first couple of uses of the boards with my super sharp Global knives. And thankfully, they are dishwasher friendly. They aren’t big, which might be a problem for some people but doesn’t really bother me. However, the one bad thing about them is that they don’t have any non-skid properties, at all. So, when you put one down on your counter and start chopping, it will definitely move around. I put mine on a towel and it stayed in place after that. Buying these at Costco, as opposed to Amazon.co.uk saved me almost £13.00 too! So, if you like the look of them or want a nice little set of chopping boards, you should definitely get these at Costco. £16.99 (US $25.50). Item #: 0101471.
Scotch Beef Fillet Steak – We like a good steak and haven’t had one in quite a while with the move and all. So, we picked these great looking filets up at Costco. We’re not really familiar with all the beef grades and types here, so we were just hopeful that these would be as awesome as they looked. And they were so much better! The meat was so tender and had an incredibly rich flavor. The steaks had a good amount of marbling too; not too fatty. Really, my mouth is watering just recalling how delicious these were. I think Dave could have devoured his and mine and still been in the mood for more. We cooked them simply and they really didn’t need much embellishment aside from a little salt and pepper to enhance the flavor. I think it was the tenderness that really impressed me though. They were definitely like a ‘prime’ cut from the US in terms of quality and certainly in the same ballpark as far as price goes too. However, I am willing to pay to buy a really nice steak because it is still a better price than if we went to dinner at a steak place, and probably just as good in quality and preparation. I’m looking forward to trying some of the other cuts that they have available, as well as the more pricey dry-aged steaks. 4 fillets for £22.39; £27.99 per kilogram (US $33.60; $42.01 per kilogram). Item #: 0001207.
La Belle Crousteline Petite Pains – These are the best thing ever for people that love fresh baked bread (who doesn’t really?). I spotted these on our first visit to Costco and have been dying to try them since. Basically, these are little loaves of bread that have been proofed or partially baked (is my guess) and then you just finish them off in your oven for that fresh baked bread experience without all the kneading and work. I like this because these are French bread, which isn’t something I’m like to make but I do really like it. At Costco, you get four individual packages of four little loaves in each, so a total of 16 little loaves. The cooking process is easy too taking just 10 minutes, and the only prep work aside from putting them on a pan is to sprinkle them with a little water. The loaves are perfect for a nice sandwich (they were great with tuna salad for lunch) or as an accompaniment for your dinner. Since you pull them right out of the oven they are crisp on the outside but moist and hot on the inside, and the perfect place for a pat of butter or two. They would also be great paired with some soft cheese and a salad. I’m calling them loaves but they are someplace between a small loaf and a roll, veering more towards a roll I think. But the size is really nice for allowing everyone to have their own loaf. They are fresh from the oven bread and they will be good with anything or just on their own. I also noticed that they had bigger baguettes like this at Costco too, so we will definitely be trying those out in the future. 16 loaves/rolls for £1.75; just £0.11 per loaf (US $2.63 or $0.17 per loaf). Item #: 0106760.
Kirkland Signature Shortbread with Belgian Chocolate – These should be illegal, they’re that good and that addictive. But thankfully for us, there are just 15 of these delicious shortbread cookies in the pack at the Costco bakery. These are really delicious shortbread, with lots of buttery goodness, as well as a nice layer of sugar sprinkled on the top. The shortbread is the kind that has the perfect texture of soft cookie, but not all crumbly and falling apart. Of course, then they elevate the delicious shortbread base by adding in decent sized – neither too small or too big – chunks of Belgian chocolate. Wow! We loved these from the first bite. These were a really nice treat though. They’re pretty decent sized too, so even though you only get 15 in the container, it is quite a bit of cookie. I’ll bet these would be really great with a nice mug of hot chocolate. They were delicious as a nice afternoon pairing with my tea. And, they weren’t too shabby with a nice, cold glass of milk either. 15 cookies for £4.99 (US $7.49). Item #: 0008569.
Semi-Skimmed Milk – Okay, this isn’t so much of a review on what a great product milk is, though I am a big fan. This is mostly just to show those in the US, or elsewhere, how they package their milk here. I have a little fridge in our new flat, it’s definitely not sized for stocking up on anything or getting too big a collection of condiments going either. It seems to be working for us, so far. However, I must admit that I was worried about where I would put a full sized container of milk (that’s 3.408 liters here or around .75 gallons) in the fridge because the shelves do not have that much space between them and the door shelves are very narrow indeed. And as a person that can drink a gallon of milk in a week, this is a big concern. Turns out that the full sized containers here are not square-ish like they are in the US but more like a thin rectangular shape. They’re longer but skinny enough to fit in the door. Clever! For what it is worth, Costco seems cheaper on milk prices than the other places I’ve shopped. Just 2.272 liters of milk is £1.00 at my Sainsbury’s; that’s a difference of £0.11 per liter higher at Sainsbury’s. And the milk does go perfectly with the above mentioned shortbread…so, you might think about picking up this winning combination next time you’re at Costco. 3.408 liters for £1.45 (US $2.18).