Sorry for the long, long delay in getting a post out. Being sick is far less fun when you’re an adult – no missing school and watching cartoons on tv all day and having someone make you a grilled cheese sandwich and soup. Oh well, I’m feeling a bit better now and finally managed to get a whole post written. Thanks everyone for the nice comments on my post about being sick too!
Don’t forget that this is the last fews days for the current coupon books, both US and UK.
Highland Game Diced Venison – I can honestly say that I’ve never seen venison in any form in Costco locations in the US. Since venison is something we’ve had a couple of times in restaurants but never prepared it ourselves, we decided to buy this. It comes diced in cubes that are probably a big over 1 inch chunks, which is the perfect size for stew. So, I ended up turning about half of the package into stew and freezing the other half for later. Basically, I used the same recipe and technique that I would use if I were making a beef stew and got the same type of results. The meat was tender and delicious after slow cooking for about two hours or so. The taste was certainly stronger than beef would be, but not in a bad way necessarily. Though I’ve heard that if you want to mellow out the taste of the meat, you can soak it in milk. It seems like a really strange idea but something in the milk can get rid of the strong flavors in meat, garlic and even red onions. I might try this technique next time just to see how it works out. But this was certainly a nice change from soup made with beef or chicken. 1.498 kg for £10.47; £6.99 per kg (US: $16.95; $11.31 per kg). Item #: 0096427.
Nabisco Oreo Snack Packs – Dave has a bit of a love for Oreos, so this is the perfect way to make sure he doesn’t chomp through an entire package of full sized cookies. But it’s also nice and convenient for taking to work for a quick afternoon snack. I like packages like this that are already divided up into the perfect size for a snack, so that I don’t have to mess with it. Of course, these are still cookies, so it’s not a low calorie snack, by any means. The whole package of six Oreos is 318 calories, but they (laughingly) claim that there are really two servings of three Oreos in each pack. Um, yeah, I don’t see that happening for most people. I think more likely is that you will eat all six cookies. I like Oreos too, though not quite as much as Dave. My favorite was to eat them is frozen. Yum! There’s something really delicious about a super cold and crispy Oreo that I just can’t explain. And of course, they’re always good with a glass of milk too. 20 packs of 6 Oreos each for £5.99 (US: $9.70). Item #: 0064691.
Cheese and Onion Partially Baked Loaves – I really like the partially baked loaves that they have at Costco here in the UK. They have lots of different sizes, shapes and varieties to choose from. While we normally get the little baguettes, we thought we’d give something new a try this week and picked these because they looked to have lots of flavor. There are three good sized loaves of 300 grams each, which makes for a good amount of bread really. The loaves are the kind that are designed to tear apart and there are six segments. Cooking the loaves is pretty quick at just six minutes and the bread comes out smelling delicious and with a slightly crunchy outer crust. The onion is a really nice flavor that works well with just about anything, but we had some with our venison stew and it was super delicious. It does benefit from a light smear of butter though just to add a little flavor enhancement and moisture. Or, you can dip it in your soup or stew instead. The good thing about these loaves is that each one is individually packaged and they freeze really well. So, you don’t have to worry about eating all three right away; though they do have a pretty decent amount of time before their expiration date. Also, they do thaw rather quickly if just left on the counter top at room temperature. 3 loaves for £2.65 (US: $4.29). Item #: 0105418.
Coln Valley Smokery Gravadlax – Dave and I both love smoked salmon and it seems that there’s more available here and better quality too. Mostly, the salmon we have had since we’ve been in London has come from Scotland, however, this remarkably is much closer to home. The Coln Valley Smokery produce their smoked salmon in the East End of London. The gravadlax is produced using top quality salmon that is marinated with dill, sugar and black pepper. The end result is unbelievably delicious and has an outstanding texture. There’s none of that weird hard stuff that you might get in lesser qualities of smoked salmon, and also none of the unattractive brown bits. What I was really pleased with though, was the thickness of the slices and how easily they come apart without tearing and looking like your lovely salmon has been torn apart by a wolverine. The nice slices means that if you are trying to arrange it on a platter for a party, it’s going to be much easier to handle and will end up looking as wonderful as it tastes. My preferred way to have gravadlax or smoked salmon is on a bagel with some cream cheese or butter. However, you can also serve it with just toast and scrambled eggs if you don’t have nice bagels. Or, you can even have it with pasta or a nice salad. Or, on crackers with a soft cheese, cream cheese or even a light goat cheese. You also get two little packets of a nice dill mustard sauce. It was good, but didn’t seem necessary to me at all. I hated the thought of covering over any of the lovely flavor of the salmon, really. The price at Costco is fantastic too because you will pay far more to order directly from Coln Valley Smokery’s website, 415 g for £16.10 or £0.04 per gram. So, in contrast Costco comes out way ahead for around half the price for more salmon; £0.02 per gram. 485 grams for £7.29 (US: $11.80). Item #: 0094577.
Kirkland Signature Mixed Bagels – And of course, we had to get some of the lovely KS fresh baked bagels to go with the great gravadlax. Costco definitely has the best looking bagels that we’ve seen in London. I also like that they are big enough to work for a sandwich. You get to mix and match your own dozen from any two packages of six bagels. The flavors to choose from are: plain, sesame seed, cinnamon raisin and jalapeno cheese. I feel like I’m forgetting one, but I can’t think of what it is right now. Anyway, we have gotten all of these options are various times and they are all pretty tasty. Since we had the salmon we decided to get a stack of the plain bagels and our other six were jalapeno cheese. As expected the plain ones were great after a light toasting and a coating of butter when paired with the salmon. But are equally good with just butter, or any kind of jam too. As for the jalapeno cheese bagels they were awesome as the base for a tuna sandwich. The extra flavor that you get from the jalapeno really peps up the tuna. Of course, they are also pretty delicious with some cheese melted on top. The only problem with fresh bagels is that they don’t keep for long on the counter. Ours turned into a bit of a science experiment about four days after we bought them. They probably would have done better in the fridge or if we had frozen them and just thawed out one or two when we wanted some. So, unfortunately, I had toss four bagels, which makes me sad. 12 bagels, 2 packs of 6, for £2.99 (US: $4.84). Item #: 0059620.