If you’re in the UK, don’t forget that this is the last weekend for the current coupon book and the new one starts on Monday. Also, since Monday is a Bank Holiday, Costco has slightly different store hours of 10 am to 6 pm (only on Monday).
Il Pesatore Mini Mozzarella – As you probably know from reading my blog, I love cheese. I’m not even snooty about it, I love all kinds, shapes, and varieties. I’m just a fan of the dairy, what can I say? However, these mini mozzarella balls were a rather large disappointment. Instead of having the taste of mozzarella, these taste of not really much at all, maybe water (yeah, nothing at all). They have a kind of off texture too, a little rubbery and not smooth and creamy like a nice mozzarella should seem. I have tried them straight from the fridge when they are cold, which is usually not the best way to eat cheese of any kind. And, I’ve tried them warmed to room temperature, as well. But no matter which way I try them they still are strangely void of flavour and have a texture that is not the best, to be polite. These are nowhere near as good as some of the other mini mozzarella versions I’ve tried at Costco. I’m thinking of draining the brine and making an herb and olive oil mixture to keep them in instead, to see if that can add a little flavour to them. I’m so sad to have to write mean things about cheese, but as much as it saddens me, I don’t think I’ll be getting these again. And hopefully, Costco UK will find another, better, vendor to get their mini mozzarella balls from soon. 500 gram tub for £2.99. Item #: 0109560.
Belazu Pesto Alla Genovese – This is excellent pesto, especially considering that it came from a store and not my own food processor. For those of you not familiar with pesto, it is a mixture of basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese that you make into a paste type sauce or topping. I have made this before with fresh basil from my garden and it was so delicious, you can’t help but not want to start putting it on everything you try. Traditionally, it was used as a pasta sauce, but now people add it to bruschetta and roasted vegetables or even as a topping for fish or chicken. You really can add a little bit to just about anything to give it a boost in flavour. I still love it best with pasta though. The key to a really good pesto, in my opinion, is to not mash it or pulse it in your food processor so much that it is just a smooth paste, you need to keep the texture of the pine nuts because that adds a whole different layer to the flavour when you have little pieces of pine nut. And that’s what is so great about the pesto from Belazu, they have plenty of pine nuts in the mix and you can still see the little chunks of pine nuts and the cheese as well. The color is still a beautiful fresh green and not that kind of weird dark green almost gray color that sometimes you get when you buy pesto. Plus, the smell is just amazing! It’s thick and delicious and probably as close as you are going to get to making your own pesto at home. 500 grams for £4.79. Item #: 0112106.
Kirkland Signature Women’s Cashmere Cardigan – What girl doesn’t like a nice cashmere sweater? This is my second Kirkland Signature cashmere sweater I’ve bought from Costco. The first was just a plain v-neck sweater and after having it for a whole winter, it has held up perfectly through several wearings and trips to the dry cleaner. So, I wasn’t at all hesitant about picking up this cardigan too. I’m amazed that their cashmere is so soft and the sweaters are so well made, but the price is so small. How do they do that? I just don’t know, but I am glad that they can pull it off. The sweater has a ribbed collar, cuff, and hems that is a little thicker than the rest of the sweater and seems like it will be durable and not fray after I’ve worn it two times. The placket where the buttons is has been doubled over with the front (the part that shows) looking just like the regular sweater area, but the doubled up part is the thicker ribbed knit like around the cuffs. This definitely gives it a nice finished look and makes it much more durable I am sure since you will be buttoning and unbuttoning every you put the sweater on or take it off. The buttons are color matched to the sweater and have a little sheen to them, and they’ve nicely included an extra one, just in case you pop one off. However, they seem to be sewn on quite well, so I wouldn’t expect to need the spare button any time soon. The sweater feels very soft and cozy and now I just can’t wait for it to be truly sweater season here so I can wear it. £31.99. Item #: 0055705K.
Ginger Pig Meat Book (cookbook) – We live in an area of London called Marylebone and just off of our high street is this wonderful, wonderful butcher called the Ginger Pig. They are a frequent stop after we’ve been to the farmer’s market on Sundays to see what kind of giant piece of meat or delicious sausage we can buy for the week. Their rib eyes are out of this world. And since they are cut to our specifications, we can get them nice and thick like we prefer. Anyway, a few weeks ago I noticed that they had a new cookbook out and debated about getting it or not but decided to hold off on buying it. Probably because I had my bags full of veggies, fruits and such from the market and didn’t feel like lugging home a big book too; I’m pathetic that way. And then incredibly, on our next trip to Costco I just happened to walk past the book area and there it was! And for at least £6.00 less. Though, it is about this same price on Amazon. But I was just pleased to get a copy. This is more than just a cookbook really, it’s an exceptional reference book for all things meat. There are in-depth guides to beef, pork, back, lamb, poultry, turkey, and ducks, as well as game such as venison, rabbit, and goose. It talks about how to select the right meat and how to work with your butcher to get the right meat for the dishes you want to make. I really appreciate the helpful diagrams to British cuts for each type of meat though because these can be a little different than what we have in the US. But along with the names for each cut, they also give a description of the texture and taste of those cuts, as well as the best way to prepare them. The 100 recipes are arranged in months, based on the best or freshest ingredients for that month. At the front of each month’s section, there’s also a bit about what’s going on around the farm at that time of the year. There’s just so much terrific information in this book, it’s a great read, even if you didn’t want to try any of the recipes. The recipes are a nice mix of what I think of as traditional British dishes, like shepherd’s pie or toad-in-the-hole, but also recipes from much further afield, like lamb kofta kebabs or Hungarian pork goulash. The variety is definitely impressive and should tempt anyone. Once you read through a couple of the recipes, you’ll be itching for it to be that time of year so you can experience them first hand. While I don’t know if Costco US will carry this book, you can get it at Amazon.com (pre-order now for the release in November). £12.99. Item #: 0123668.