Pretty much this post could be sub-titled “How to Get Fat Over the Holidays”, but that sounds so negative. I just think of it is as a collection of festive holiday treats for all. So, if you’re trying to be good and diet conscious this holiday season, you might want to just skip this post; I don’t want to be the downfall of any one’s healthy plans!
Don’t forget that this is the last weekend for the current Costco US coupon book! And no matter where you are, this is the last weekend to get in some Christmas shopping.
Rodeo Joe’s Jalapeno Flamers – So, despite the fact that we now live in the UK, we do still like to watch some American football each week. And if you’re going to watch football, you really need some manly snacks, like jalapenos. These are a nice example of a stuffed jalapeno popper kind of thing. These are made with half a jalapeno that has been filled with a soft white cheese and then rolled in a tortilla chip crumb coating. Yum! They don’t specify what the soft white cheese is, aside from saying it is a full-fat cow’s milk cheese. It all goes together to make a really delicious jalapeno treat. They’re not crazy spicy like these things can be sometimes. I don’t know how they do that; perhaps it is a specific mild type of jalapeno. It’ kind of nice though because you can enjoy the taste of all of the parts – jalapeno, cheese, and tortilla chip coating – and enjoy it as a whole medley of flavours. The only complaint I had, was that the cheese had a slightly sweet, honey-like taste. Of course, that is a totally small complaint and didn’t make me stop eating them. Also, Dave didn’t notice the sweetness at all. So, maybe I was just imagining it. Possibly one of the best things is that these are a breeze to prepare. You can cook them right from frozen in just 15 minutes. It doesn’t get much easier than that. Honestly, I’m not even going to go into the nutrition information. Just suffice it to say, you are eating something stuffed with cheese, this is probably not going to be a big hit with with Weight Watchers diet plan. But every once in a while, you can have a little treat, right? If either of us drank beer I imagine these would be good with that too. But as it is, they are a great accompaniment to a night of American football (or your sport of choice) watching. I noticed last time we were at Costco, that this same company also makes mozzarella sticks as well as some awesome looking onion rings. I definitely want to try the onion rings at some point. 1.2 kilogram pack for £7.95 (US: $11.60). Item #: 0074332.
Walkers Luxury Mincemeat Tarts – There is nothing that seems to say Christmastime in the UK like a mincemeat pie or tart. I love, love, love the mincemeat treats. Though, it seems a little confusing at this point to refer to this delicious filling as mincemeat since there’s no meat in here at all. And that meat part makes it sound far more nasty than it is too. What the mincemeat filling is actually made up of is apple, currants, sugar, sultanas, ginger, candied citrus peels and spices. Plus, in the luxury edition from Walker’s there is a bit of Glenfiddich 12 year old whisky. The combination of the Glenfiddich whisky and the baking skills of Walker’s makes these kind of a perfect Scottish treat. Kind of the heavy-hitters, as it were, of the Scottish food industry. Personally, I’m a huge of Walker’s shortbread. It is the one thing I buy every holiday season and I have a whole collection of their tins even. I love shortbread and to me Walker’s is the next best thing to my own. So, when I saw these I didn’t even hesitate to pick them up. I have had some mincemeat pies from a couple of other sources over the two years that we’ve been here, but these are certainly better than any of the other options I’ve tried. The filling is so delicious and the hint of whisky flavour isn’t too overwhelming, even for those of us that don’t drink, it just adds another subtle layer of flavour. As you would expect from Walker’s the crust of the tart is buttery perfection! The filling is sweet but not too sweet, it’s just the right mix with the buttery pastry crust. Delicious! While these are scrumptious at room temperature, you can also put them in the microwave or oven for a bit to heat them too. I don’t know what the traditional way to eat these is, but I’m going to bet these would be wonderful with some vanilla or cinnamon ice cream on the side. 16 pies for £5.99 (US: $9.27). Item #: 0084935.
Forest Feast Coco Mango Balls – These are so much more delicious than I really expected them to be, honestly. The description doesn’t necessarily sound like a collection of flavours that go so perfectly together. But they are awesome! Here’s the description from the bag: mango infused with coconut milk hand-coated in Belgian milk chocolate with a light cocoa dusting. I’ve had coconut milk and mango together before in Thai food, but it was the addition of the chocolate that had me thinking that the whole combination could really go either way – good or bad. Turns out though, it’s a really good flavour combination. In the bag they look like little chocolate truffles because they are just little balls enrobed in chocolate with a dusting of cocoa powder on the outside. But once you bit into the little balls you hit the yummy mango center. The mango and the chocolate have this sweet flavour and then there’s the light note of coconut milk in the background. I don’t know exactly what they’ve done to the mango but it’s got a chewy texture (not as bad as it sounds) and a really concentrated mango flavour too. It might be that it’s dried mango perhaps that would definitely account for the texture and big flavour. These are such a unique sweet, I’m really glad that we picked them up despite our initial misgivings. I hope these aren’t something that they only have during the holidays because I’m totally in love with these now and I’m not going to want to wait a year before I can get more of these. These would be really nice to have out for a holiday party. Or, hidden away to enjoy all by yourself. £6.99(US: $10.82). Item #: 0123639.
Costco Bakery Christmas Cupcakes – I feel almost like I am taunting those of you in the US since they have pulled the cupcakes from the bakery lineup there. But for those of us in the UK, we can still get the cupcakes in the bakery section. There are just nine cupcakes in the box but that’s a good amount, perhaps more reasonably sized than the bigger package in the US. And, the cupcakes themselves seem smaller in diameter and height than the US version, at least that’s how it seems to me. However, they still had the delicious taste and moistness that we all depend on from cakes coming out of the Costco Bakery. Normally they have ones that are made from white cake and frosted in yellow, white, and pink and actually had a hint of flavouring in the frosting as well. The yellow and white frosting have a nice lemon flavour and the pink has a bit of strawberry flavour. But for Christmas they got all creative and whipped up some cute special cupcakes with reindeer with little (well, big) red noses too. How cute are these? If you’re having a holiday party, these would be a great item to pick up. Plus, they’re also really tasty. The Costco cupcakes are so so delicious and totally outstrip anything I’d pick up at a regular grocery store and even some (if not most) of the upscale cupcake bakeries. So, I find myself wondering why Costco in the US would get rid of the cupcakes. Perhaps they should think about scaling them back size-wise or packaging them in a smaller box like they do here. I’m guessing it is a bakery efficiency thing because it’s obviously going to take longer to frost a bunch of cupcakes versus a single large sheet cake. But since customers love them so much, I’m not sure increasing the efficiency of the bakery by getting rid of them altogether is the right answer. 9 cupcakes for £4.99 (US: $7.73). Item #: 0095634K.