So, I’ve got another week full of reviews of products that are from the US Costco. It’s a good thing that I had my Costco rebate check to use, because my mom and I did a serious amount of shopping. I don’t know if I mentioned it but you can’t use your US Costco rebate check at locations that are not in the US. I’m sure this isn’t something that causes a problem for most people but I was kind of annoyed by it since I didn’t know if when we were going to be back in the US. Also, you apparently don’t get the Executive membership 2% rebate for purchases made at Costco locations outside of the country where you purchased your membership; which makes me very sad indeed.
Kirkland Signature Belgian Chocolates – I am actually kind of surprised that I haven’t written about these before, but somehow I have missed them in the last three years. The KS chocolates are so delicious and they have a nice variety in the box, as well. They make a really nice gift this time of year because most everyone loves chocolate. Not to mention, they come gift wrapped already, so that is one less step that you have to do yourself. The first time I had them I was really impressed with the quality of the chocolate because it is very creamy and has a really lovely flavor; just like more expensive European chocolate. In each one pound package you get a mix of dark, milk, and white chocolate, though probably tends more toward dark chocolate. I’m not usually a dark chocolate person, but even I had to admit that their dark chocolate was excellent (not bitter and dry like cheaper chocolates). Most of the chocolates are filled with different creamy centers: ganache with a hint of champagne, hazelnut praline, caramel with orange and Grand Marnier, ganache with a hint of lemon. There is also a selection of chocolate squares that represent chocolate from different regions of the world with cocoa contents of 32%, 52% and 72% to give you a range from milk chocolate to really quite dark chocolate. And the ‘signature piece’ is the Brussels Bouchee, which is a dark chocolate filled with a double center of dark chocolate ganache and extra dark chocolate butter ganache. So, yeah, not for the diet conscious, for sure. Thankfully the boxes are just one pound! For full details of the different varieties of chocolates, click on the smaller image to the right. 1 pound for $11.99. Item #: 33750.
Kirkland Signature Assorted Belgian Chocolate Cookies – Oh my, these are delicious! We usually buy a tin of these every year because nothing says holidays like some beautiful cookies. This year though, my mom was nice enough to pick one up before we got to her house. All of the cookies have some type of Belgian chocolate on them, either milk, dark or white chocolate, or a combination of those types. The chocolate is the perfect accompaniment to the rich buttery cookies or the tasty wafers. There are 15 different varieties on each of the two layers of cookies. And luckily there’s a handy legend on the inside of the tin so that you can decide which super delicious cookie to try first or next. The other really considerate thing that Costco does is to individually wrap each layer. They will keep quite nicely in the tin too, so you don’t have to feel pressure to eat them all right away (if you can keep yourself from eating them right away, that is). I don’t have a favorite because they are all really scrumptious; though I do tend to leave the dark chocolate ones for Dave because I’m nice like that. These would make a great gift for someone that loves chocolate. They would be perfect for a party too because it is a pretty large amount of cookies (over 3 pounds) and they look gorgeous too. For full details of the different varieties of cookies, click on the smaller image to the left. 3 pounds for $10.99. Item #: 181679.
Wolferman’s San Francisco Sourdough Signature English Muffins – Unfortunately for those of you not in the Kansas City area, you probably won’t be able to find these at your Costco location. Wolferman’s is a Kansas City company that makes some of the best English muffins anywhere; I don’t know why they don’t sell them in other parts of the country. They were bought in 2008 by Harry & David, and now you can buy them online though. The packs that they have at Costco are their signature size, which are twice as big as traditional sized English muffins. And the size difference is all in the height; they are really like two English muffins stacked on top of each other. But even with the extra thickness, when you toast them you can still get that crunchy texture on the outside, just with these there is more delicious softness on the inside to soak up butter and compliment whatever topping you choose. The texture is really light for an English muffin too, I think, and they have a nice taste without that overwhelming sourness that you often get with sour dough breads (great if you like that but I’m not a fan). I much prefer them to other brands and I love to get them when visiting my mom. 2, 4 muffin packs (8 muffins total; 1 pound 13 ounces) for $4.99. Item #: 548848.
Kirkland Signature Stir-Fry Vegetable Blend – This is my mom’s favorite new find at Costco, and I have to agree with her that it is a nice change from the usual mixed vegetable fare. As the name implies, it is geared towards those making stir fry, however, it is just as good steamed and served alongside fish or chicken. The vegetable mix includes: broccoli, water chestnut, green beans, shitake mushrooms, red bell pepper strips, carrots, and (unfortunately) baby corn. It’s a great mix because there are a variety of textures, colors, and tastes but they work really well together. The only thing that made me sad about the mix was the baby corn. And I know that it is a frequent stir fry ingredient, but that doesn’t make me like it any more. Does it taste like dirt to anyone else or is that just me? In any case, as I said the mix is much more versatile than just for stir frying. We had it with chicken; a little butter melted into the vegetables, along with salt & pepper. As I’ve said several times before, it is always a great idea to have one of these big bags of frozen vegetables in your freezer because it gives you a healthy choice even when you don’t feel like peeling or cutting fresh vegetables or just can’t find fresh ones. Plus, I’ve heard that frozen vegetables are usually healthier too because they retain more of their vitamin and minerals because they are frozen so quickly after they are picked, until fresh veggies that take a trip before they get to your grocery store shelves. And with a price just over $1.00 per pound, they are an excellent value. So, if you’re looking for an alternative to the regular Normandy mixed vegetables, you might give this a try. 5.5 pounds for $6.99. Item #: 25533.
Bodum French Press Set – This would make a really lovely gift for someone, including yourself, that really likes coffee or tea. Personally, I think these are a great way to make loose tea but that could just be because I don’t drink coffee. The set comes with a full sized French press and then a smaller Travel Press with an extra lid. The full sized press, I believe it is Bodum’s Brazil press, makes enough for two people to have a couple mugs of tea or coffee, 8 cup capacity, which is the perfect size. Once you have your water heated you can have perfectly brewed tea or coffee in just 4 minutes. The body of the carafe is made from borosilicate glass (a.k.a. lab glass for those science geeks out there), which is heat and stain resistant and very sturdy and the press and mesh screen are all made from stainless steel, which means that the whole thing can go in the dishwasher. The Travel Press, which has a 15 ounce capacity, is perfect for using when you are needing to take your hot beverage with you on the commute to work, or even at work when you don’t want to drink the old coffee in the break room. The travel tumbler is made from double walled BPA free plastic, so it keeps the hot stuff hot for longer and won’t burn your hands, plus it has a handy silicone grip. It comes with two lids: one with the press and one that you can use for drinking on the go. The press parts are all stainless steel so you can put those in the dishwasher for sure, unfortunately, they do recommend hand washing for the tumbler. The price at Costco is way better than you’re going to find this set anyplace else too, since it is just $29.99. At Bodum’s website, their current set like this (slightly different carafe design) is $49.99. With that extra $20.00 you’re saving by shopping at Costco, you can buy some very nice coffee or tea to actually go in your new press too. I liked it so much when I was using it at my mom’s house, that I’m thinking of getting one for myself. Somehow I’m betting they don’t have the same set at my UK Costco, though. $29.99. Item #: 532428.