Microfiber Utility Towel Set – I got these to use in the kitchen because my old kitchen towels were looking a bit scruffy and didn’t seem to absorb as well as I’d prefer. You get 10 towels in this set at Costco, and they are generously sized at 16×28 inches (40×71 cm). But they are incredibly absorbent and dry in no time. The quick drying time means that they don’t take as much time to wash and dry as regular cotton towels either (which is nice if you have the little combo washer/dryer unit that I have). The towels will hold 7 times their weight in liquid. How amazing is that? I haven’t tried it, so I’m just taking their word for it. But that would be an impressive feat and come in handy next time you spill something all over the place. I’ve not spilled anything that big yet but I can certainly tell that they are much more absorbent than my old cotton towels. The towels are all super soft and since they are microfiber they are lint free too. The lint free thing is nice if you are drying something like a mirror or glass, glasses in my kitchen usage. In the set you get three different types of towels for different types of cleaning: friction towel for enhanced scrubbing, extra thick terry towel for extreme absorbency, dual purpose towel for everyday use. For me this was a great way to get a bundle of towels for my kitchen that are certainly far superior to the regular cotton kitchen towels I was using. After the first washing they still look good and are just as fluffy and nice as when we brought them home. They are likely to pick up the lint from any previous items you had in your dryer though, so be warned about that. 10 towels for £9.99 (US: $15.51). Item #: 0416196.
Highland Spring Carbonated Spring Water – We like to get the carbonated water to have something around that we can us to mix with the Ribena. And somehow, fizzy water works much better than just tap water (at least for me, it’s got a better taste someway). I’m not a water snob, I don’t care what name is on the label, it is all pretty much the same taste-wise and that is all that really matters to me. Well, except for price. And these are less expensive than the other waters at Costco by a £1-2 or so. But why waste a pound on water that tastes the same as this? The closest in price was the Pellegrino, which I always bought in Austin because it was the cheap mineral water choice there. But the downfall with the Pellegrino is that it is in those nice glass bottles; fine, if you have the recycling space that I no longer have. So for us, the Highland Spring water is good because it comes in plastic bottles that are crushable if we start running out of our little tiny recycling space before the week is up, and also because it is cheaper. Now if only Costco here had some mango nectar that I could mix my mineral water with… 12, 1.5 liter bottles for £5.95 (US: $9.24). Item #: 0017703.
Aquafresh Enamelock Toothpaste – My mom is going to be so jealous that I can buy such little tubes of toothpaste in bulk at Costco. She really doesn’t like the enormous tubes that you have to get in the US Costco locations. Maybe I’ll have to take her some back.The tubes are just 75 ml, they say you’re getting 50% extra for free, which makes them pretty small around but they are about the same length as the regular 6.7 ounce tubes. Normally, we get Aquafresh because it is the less expensive option at Costco and we don’t feel an overwhelming draw towards the Colgate or Crest options. It’s got a nice minty flavor and does the trick of keeping our teeth clean and white. What more can you expect from your toothpaste? Well, now they’ve got this new Enamelock formula. The Enamelock (I believe this is the same as the Aquafresh Advanced in the US) helps strengthen teeth from the inside out by locking in vital minerals and keeping out plaque acid. That sounds like a good thing, if it works. And if you’ve always wondered if the cool stripes in the Aquafresh toothpaste are anything but a gimmick, they apparently all have specific actions: red for healthy gums, white for strong teeth, and blue for fresh breath. The Aquafresh was cheaper by £4-6 for the same amount of toothpaste when compared with the other toothpaste options at our Costco. That’s quite a bit to me, so we were good with the little tubes for less money. The other nice thing about these tubes and their small size is that they are good for flying too because they fall below the allowed limits (3 oz or 100 ml) for liquids or gels. 12, 75 ml tubes for £5.99 (US: $9.30). Item #: 0062654.
Goik0a Sliced Serrano Ham – A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the great chorizo sausages that we had gotten at Costco, and when I saw the Serrano ham from the same people, I figured I would try that too. I believe this is the first time I’ve had the Serrano ham, as I usually tend to go with the Italian meats instead. This is similar to prosciutto since it is also a matured and cured ham, but the slices are a little thicker so you get a much stronger pork flavor. Though both have a similar, mouthwateringly light texture. To make the Serrano ham, fresh hams are trimmed and cleaned, then stacked and covered with salt for couple of weeks to remove excess moisture and keep the meat from spoiling. Next, the salt is washed off and the hams are hung to dry for about six months. Finally, the hams are hung in a cool, dry place for anywhere from six to eighteen months. In the case of the Goikoa ham, they hang it for twelve months. All of the curing and drying, really concentrates the flavors. While the flavors are concentrated, they can still be overpowered by strong flavors quite easily. So, I like it just by itself so that you don’t get any interference with the delicious taste from something heavy like bread or certainly from condiments like mustard or things you’d put on a sandwich. It is great served alongside some olives and excellent when paired with fresh fruit like an apple, pear, or some figs. Because it has a salty taste, it is nice to pair it with something that is sweet, I think. The package also suggests wrapping it around grilled chicken, which is certainly something I wouldn’t have thought of but will have to try. Also, you should remember to let it come to room temperature for the best flavor and texture. To avoid it sticking together, unpeel the slices from each other when cold though. 250 grams, 12 slices, for £4.49 (US: $6.97). Item #: 0099077.
Two-Bite Coconut Macaroons – I love a nice coconut macaroon, but Dave is not a fan of shredded coconut, so I hardly ever have them. But since it was my birthday, I decided to live it up and get this enormous package at Costco. Luckily, they aren’t something you’re going to eat a big bunch of all at one time because they are far too rich for that. They are really yummy though! Little pyramids of coconut and egg white mixed together and then lightly toasted and drizzled with chocolate. They’re pretty rich but two of them with a glass of milk or tea is a nice little treat in the afternoon. They’re sweet but not so much so that they aren’t enjoyable, and they have that great coconut texture: somehow crunchy, chewy and almost soft all at the same time. I was thinking I might try to freeze some of them because it will take me forever to get through the whole container I think. And I’m pretty sure that they should be okay in the freezer, at least regular coconut is when you freeze it. I do seem to recall seeing these in the US Costco locations too. And since they are from a Canadian company I would think they’d certainly be available in Canada, as well. They are also Kosher and Vegetarian friendly. Sure, each one has 72 calories but that’s less than a candy bar would be and they will definitely kick any sweet tooth craving you might be having. 750 grams for £3.95 (US: $6.13). Item #: 0100369.