Sorry for being a little light on the posts this week, I seem to have caught a cold or something with the drop in temperature and have been a bit under the weather all week. And this week, I am definitely going to remember to take my unpleasant smelling goose down pillows back to Costco. If you’re in the US, don’t forget to check out the current coupon book before going to Costco this week. There several great coupons to use this time.
Craghoppers MicroFleece Half-Zip Pullover - These are actually made for men, but we actually ended up both getting one. The fleece is really lovely and soft, as it should be, as well as incredibly warm. Our recent dip in the weather to the high 30s here has made for a nice trial period to see how this might work for me this winter. I was actually toasty warm in it, even with the sharp winds that were blowing in the early morning cold. Dave likes to wear his fleece around the house, like a sweatshirt. However, I wanted mine to use when I’m running or walking in the park every morning. And I liked this one in particular because it has a handy little pocket on the left sleeve where you can put your iPod or smartphone and a little rubberized place to run your headphone cord out. It’s a pretty convenient place and held my iPhone without it jiggling around too much or anything. While you could put other stuff in there too, I don’t like having my keys in the same pocket as my phone because I don’t want the screen to get scratched. So, it’s a shame that there aren’t any other pockets, like for your hands or a place to put your keys. But it is very nicely made, like all of the Craghoppers clothing items I’ve looked at. This same fleece is £35.00 on the Craghoppers website, so I feel like we definitely got a deal at Costco; we got two for less than that price. I’ve washed mine a couple of times since I bought it a couple of weeks ago and it still looks like new with not a bit of fading in the bright red color. £12.99. Item #: 0108252.
Ford Farm Oak Smoked Cheddar Cheese – Dave is a big fan of the smoked cheeses and this one was a really nice example. The farmhouse cheddar has a nice cheddar taste and the smoking over oak chips really adds to the lovely flavor. While it is delicious all by its own or with crackers, it really makes for a delicious cheeseburger. Though, I’ll be honest, the round shape made it a little hard for me to cut nice slices. Also, the somewhat crumbly texture of this type of cheese, makes it a little harder to slice too. But I managed and we absolutely loved it on our Costco burgers. It also makes a delicious grilled cheese sandwich because you can really get the full smoky flavor when it’s all hot and gooey like that. If you’re enterprising enough to make your own pizzas, I think this could make for a nice topping. I’ll bet it would be great as a cheese sauce over broccoli or cauliflower too. This is just one of the lovely cheeses that they have at Costco, which is just one of the great things about shopping there. You can get a nice variety of cheeses for a very good price, which makes you more likely to try new things. 400 grams for £2.99. Item #: 0095487
Kirkland Signature Tortilla Chips – Back in the US we would often buy the big, giant 3 pound bag of Kirkland Signature Tortilla Strips, but these are actual triangular chips. They also seem a little lighter in texture, which could be the blend of the white and yellow corn, I imagine. The flavor is also quite nice with a nice light, toasted corn flavor as well as enough salt to make it just that much more flavorful. I like these so much I can even eat them plain, which is something I really don’t like to do with tortilla chips usually. But they’re also great with the last jar of salsa that we had left from Austin (from Costco, of course). I’ve been saving the salsa until we had some tortilla chips that were worthy, and I just kept forgetting to check at Costco. The ingredients list is quite short, and simple, like the chips: masa flour, vegetable oil, and sea salt. And if you’re going to eat chips, you could choose something far less healthy than tortilla chips. They have a decent amount of protein and fiber, and aren’t too horrible fat-wise. We’ve missed having chips and salsa so much that we haven’t even tried making nachos with them, or any other kind of dips. Maybe we’ll try something else with the next bag. 1.1 kilograms for £4.55. Item #: 0475096.
Kirkland Signature Raw Shrimp, Tail Off – I frequently buy the big bags of frozen shrimp at Costco, I like that you can get them raw and peeled and have the choice of tail on or off. I switch back and forth on my preference as far as the tail goes, but this time I chose the tail off variety. They are a little smaller at 50 – 70 per pound, instead of the 21 – 25 per pound for the larger tail on shrimp. But they are still a decent size for stir-frying or adding to pasta. Or even just boiling and having with a little cocktail sauce. Sometimes I grill them on skewers (under the broiler here since we don’t have an outside grill) which gives them a nice, almost crunchy outside and a tender inside. Of course, you can just broil them without the skewers, which really is much easier. Either way, broiling them is very quick. The only downside with the frozen shrimp is that you do have to give them a full 24 hours in the fridge to thaw out, and a few more hours would perhaps be a good idea even. The good folks at Costco strongly urge you not to force thaw them (by running cold water on them) because you will really damage the texture of your shrimp. And let’s face it, no one likes rubbery shrimp, do they? If you get really desperate you can start thawing them on the counter until they are on their way and then place them in the fridge. 2 pounds for £7.29. Item #: 0085884.
Lemons – Okay, so lemons don’t seem like such an exciting purchase at Costco. However, I don’t see so many of them in the regular grocery stores around us. And when I do, they are small and kind of sad looking. Whereas the ones at Costco are big, nice lemons that look like they should be in a picture. I like the big lemons because they are easier to work with, honestly. Plus, they have more juice and obviously more zest too. So, if I get the bigger ones, I have to use fewer of them when cooking. We almost always use lemons for fresh lemon juice and some slices when we’re cooking fish; it’s a taste that goes well with just about any variety of fish. Also, when I’m not totally lazy, I’ll make a lemon meringue pie for Dave. I guess I should do that with one or two of these lemons. I also like a fresh hit of lemon juice in some pasta dishes that I make because in much the same way as salt, it just brightens and enhances the flavors, I think. There are just so many ways to use fresh lemons, including a ton of different drinks, that you probably won’t have any trouble getting through the bag from Costco. But if you’re getting to the point where they are starting to look a little less fresh, you can always zest them and freeze the zest, as well as put the juice into an ice cube tray and freeze it in little amounts that you can then use for cooking, even when you don’t have fresh lemons in the house. 1.5 kilograms for £3.49. Item #: 0091345.