I finally remembered to take back my receipt from a few weeks ago where I got double charged for something. Luckily, the Costco Customer Service people are so great they didn’t care or give me any attitude and just refunded the money to us. Plus, I took back the Merrell shoes that I mentioned last week, and then I forgot to look for replacements. Oh well.
English Provender Company Very Lazy Caramelized Red Onions – So, the name probably isn’t all that descriptive, but is pretty truthful and amusing nonetheless. Very Lazy Onions are actually caramelized red onions for those of us that are indeed very lazy, like me. I love caramelized onions, but don’t often look forward to doing it in the middle of the week for dinner, though I have before. And sadly, sometimes I’m just out of onions. But these make it easy to add a little touch of sweet oniony taste to just about any dish. And honestly, these are awesome. They are great added in with mashed potatoes for a little perking up. We’ve also had them with cooked carrots, but just a little bit to enhance the natural taste of the carrots. They would also be great with baked chicken breasts or pork loin. Well, obviously, anyplace you’d normally add caramelized onions. I blame the nice sample woman at Costco for these ending up in our cart because once we tasted these with the goat cheese that she was handing out, we were sold. It’s very handy to have the big jar that we can keep in the fridge until we feel like we need a little something extra to jazz up our regular dinner. 750 grams for £2.89 (US: $4.49). Item #: 0094486.
Riverway Foods Italian Style Pork Sausage – We’re big fans of sausage in our house and love the Italian sausage in particular. And these were really quite good because they have a great mixture of spices, such as red pepper flakes, sage, basil, rosemary, thyme, and garlic. If you’re not a fan of garlic, I’d steer clear of these for sure. I’d also suggest immediately putting them in a different container once you get them home, something that is very tight like a zip top bag. Or else, you’ll end up with the aroma of garlic wafting out of your fridge every time you open the door. They’ve got a great spicy kick too, so they are more like hot Italian sausages that we’d get in the US. They cook up marvelously in the oven in about 20 minutes and the casing gets nice and crispy, while the inside remains juicy and full of flavor. Our favorite way to have them is with some garlic buttered spaghetti, but any pasta shape will work really. They are also pretty tasty on ciabatta rolls with melted mozzarella cheese. If you’ve got some handy, you could add some red sauce to them as well, but it isn’t really necessary. I also use the Italian sausages to make lasagna, you just have to cut the casings and use it loose. Really, can you go wrong with some really great Italian sausage and cheese, in any form? Yum! 1.2 kg, 18 sausages, for £4.85 (US: $7.53). Item #: 0100590.
Simplehuman Rectangular Trash & Recycling Bin – We’ve been looking for a nice kitchen trash bin for months now, since we moved into our flat. But we were having a hard time finding one that was nicely made, wasn’t enormous, and had a foot pedal. It didn’t seem like we were asking for much, but we didn’t really like any of them. A lot of the stainless steel bins are either really large or rather tiny. And let’s be honest, most of them are made rather poorly with cheap feeling foot pedals and loudly clunking lids. But recently, we found a nice bin at John Lewis (the local Macy’s equivalent) that met all of our requirements, plus it had a bin for recycling too. The bad part was that it was £130.00! So, even though we liked it, I decided that we should wait to see what was available at Costco on our next visit. And would you believe it, they had the exact same bin for practically half the price! Even I was amazed at that kind of price difference. This is a great Simplehuman bin too with two separate buckets under the single lid – 30 liter side for trash and then a 16 liter blue bin for recyclables. It’s got a very nice foot pedal that doesn’t feel cheap and like it is about to break. And the lid has nice little air shocks so that it has a soft close action and doesn’t clang shut. I also like that the brushed stainless steel body and lid feel very sturdy, and are fingerprint proof. There are some other nice little features too such as the little wheels on the back to move it around easily, or the air vents in the back that keep it from getting all hot and smelly in there. And for anyone that hates having their trash bag hang over the inner bucket and show when the lid is closed, they’ve got this nice little place to tuck your bag in and get it to have a tight fit. Oh yeah, and as if all of that isn’t enough, it’s got a 10 year warranty. I definitely believe this is the best buy from our time in the UK. £67.99 (US: $105.58). Item #: 0098972.
Snuggledown of Norway Luxury Goose Down Pillows – Oh, I so totally wanted to love these pillows. But they’ll be going back to Costco because they have a very funky odor (much like old sneakers mixed with plastic from the bag they came in). I can’t seem to get rid of the odor even after airing them out and washing them. I’m kind of hoping that this is just a problem with the pack that we got and that the others are fine and smell of nothing really so that I can get another set of pillows. They are really nice and fluffy and are stuffed with the 90% goose down and just 10% goose feathers. This is good since the pillows or duvets with more feathers than down always feel prickly. Aside from the smell, they are really nice pillows and nicely made. They have enough fill to maintain some loft even after you put your head on them and the cotton 300 thread count down-proof cover assures that the down won’t keep migrating out of the pillows until you are left with hardly any fluff. But the best part is that you can easily wash and dry them at home, and they encourage it even. I’ve always done this with my down pillows and duvets because it keeps them fluffy and clean. So, they would be great if they didn’t smell like feet. Does anyone else have these? Is there a way to get rid of the aroma? I washed them according to the instructions and dried them thoroughly but there is still some unpleasant smell coming from them. Thankfully, Costco has an awesome return policy. 2 pack for £29.99 (£37.99 – £8.00 coupon) (US: $46.57). Item #: 0080558.
Sony Blu-Ray DVD Player BDP-S370 – When we moved to London we decided not to bring our DVD player since it wasn’t compatible electricity-wise and of course there’s the whole region encoding thing, so we wouldn’t have been able to rent or buy DVDs locally and watch them on our old player. We had figured we’d just get one of the cheap regular DVD players that are everywhere now, but then we saw this one at Costco and Dave thought it was worth getting since it is Blu-Ray. Aside from being Blu-Ray, this player has some other nice features that make it nice to have. The thing we probably get the most use out of is is the network capabilities because that allows us to access a variety of Internet services such as music videos, television shows, and movies that we can easily download and watch. There’s a ton of other things available too but those are the ones we use the most. It’s nice to be able to catch up on television shows that we missed on BBC, like Top Gear. They’re only available for a few weeks after originally aired, but it still gives you a some time to do a little catch up. Here in the UK, the local Netflix like service is called LoveFilm and we can also download movies and previews from them using the DVD player now. And if you’re a fan of YouTube, you can also easily access that through the player too. It’s got all the major things that you’d like or expect: BD Live, Dolby True HD, dts HD, DivX HD, AVCHD, 24P True Cinema, and has USB and HDMI connections, wired network, as well as wireless network capable (you have to get an adapter to actually use the wireless though). The Blu-Ray quality does really give movies a level of detail you miss normally on DVDs at home, and on our projector it makes it pretty much just like being in a cinema without the sticky floor and uncomfortable seats. £99.99 (US: $155.28). Item #: 0107944.