We were actually up in Edinburgh this past weekend and wouldn’t you know it, it was perfect weather here in London. And of course, we had clouds and rain for our time in Scotland. But we loved it anyway; what a beautiful city. Sadly, we didn’t get a chance to visit the Costco location there. But next time, I am definitely checking it out. This week in London it is all Olympics, Olympics, Olympics! Lots of exciting things going on over the next few weeks.
Fylo Women’s Shrug – This is the second item that I bought at the special clothing event at our Costco a couple of weeks ago. This is sort of a shrug type sweater thing. I’m not exactly sure how to describe it actually. It has short sleeves and a woven fabric that has a pattern in the weave so that there is a bit of added texture and interest, the hem isn’t even all the way around either, with it being several inches longer in the front to create a bit of a drapey look. I’d say look at the photo for a better idea of what it looks like, but that’s pretty lousy as well. Somehow I couldn’t manage to get a decent photo of it where there was any amount of detail. In any case, it is really cute and works well with a sleeveless shirt or something like a camisole, but it also looks cute with long sleeved t-shirts too. If you wear it with long sleeves, you really do have to make sure that the sleeves are pretty fitted or else it looks kind of odd and you’ll end up with a puffy sleeve look in a pirate fashion. I bought this because it works well as a layer for this time of year in our London temperatures, which aren’t really all that warm. It’s nice to have a little something to wear that’s sweater-like but not the standard cardigan or something. I took this on a recent trip and found it worked well for a little something to throw on during the train ride that got surprisingly cold, plus you don’t have to worry about it wrinkling, so you can toss it in a bag and it won’t look all waded up when you pull it out. But really, it’s just a cute summer layer that can make your bland camisole, tank top/vest, or t-shirt look more like an actual outfit with a bit of style. £19.99 (US: $31.35). Item #: 0125267.
1001 Days Out in the UK, 2012 Edition – If you live in the UK this is a great book to have at hand for ideas of what to do for weekends or bank holidays. This book is filled with tons of things that you can do all over England, Wales and Scotland. The book is separated into 10 different sections dividing up the UK into little chunks. In each section there is a list of attractions that fall within that area with lots of useful information about the attractions. For each attraction, there is a description, location information as well as closest town, an estimate of how long it will take you to view the attraction, anything at the attraction that is a definite must see (this is particularly useful for museums), website address if available, as well as icons for the best time of year to go and price. In addition to all of that, there’s also a reference number so that you can locate the attraction on the included map. There are also two special designations: Star Attractions and Five Star Attractions. These are things that are highly recommended or in the case of the Five Star Attractions sites on the must-see list. There are only 10 different Five Star Attractions across the UK that they call out and while I don’t necessarily agree with them, it is nice to have the information for a reference. It’s really handy for planning a trip to an area you aren’t that familiar with because it allows you to get a good feel for what the big attractions are in the area. And it isn’t just all museums and art galleries. The attractions include things like parks and botanical gardens, zoos, castles and historic sites, special tours (like the Beatles tour in Liverpool), as well as scenic boat and train trips. I used this guide on our recent trip to Edinburgh and found it really helpful to have a little description and info before we got there. But mostly it is useful for all of the things you might not even know about or wouldn’t think of seeing in a particular area. There’s so much to see and do here, it’s good to have a list that is broken down by areas so you have some idea of where things are when you hear about various attractions. I do wish that they have a separate lists or indexes for the Star and Five Star Attractions, so you could know specifically where those were without the need to go through the whole book. But for price, I think it is a really helpful guide. £4.99 (US: $7.83). Item #: 0131774.
Menissez Demi Baguettes – These are the best thing ever for people that love fresh baked bread (who doesn’t really?). I spotted this selection of ready to bake breads and rolls on our first visit to Costco and have been buying them ever since. Basically, these are little loaves of bread that have been proofed or partially baked (is my guess) and then you just finish them off in your oven for that fresh baked bread experience without all the kneading, raising, and work. I like this because these are French bread, which isn’t something I’m likely to make but I do really enjoy it. At Costco, you get four individual packages of 2 little baguettes in each, so a total of 8 loaves. The cooking process is easy too taking just 10 minutes, and the only prep work aside from putting them on a pan is to sprinkle them with a little water. The loaves are perfect for a nice sandwich, or as a bun for a sausage like the brats we had recently, or an accompaniment for your dinner or a picnic even. Since you pull them right out of the oven they are crisp on the outside but moist and hot on the inside, and the perfect place for a pat of butter or two. They would also be great paired with some soft cheese and a salad. The size is really nice for a baguette for a couple of people depending on how you are serving them. Since they are fresh from the oven bread, they will be good with anything or just on their own. I’ve also noticed that if I make a 2 pack for dinner (they say on the package that you need to make them at the same time), I can save one loaf for the next day for lunch or for dinner the following day, as well. Fresh baked bread is great and since I don’t have to go to the bakery to get it, it’s even better. 8, 2 baguette packs each 300 grams for £2.39 (US: $3.75). Item #: 0004138.
Driscoll’s Fresh Blackberries – I love this time of year and all the fresh berries that will be filling the shelves (or pallettes) of Costco. I’ve noticed some really nice looking strawberries and raspberries lately, but the blackberries really caught our eye this week. Obviously, there are a million things you can do with fresh berries but I’ve got a terrific way of serving them that I want to share: roasting. I’ve never even thought of roasting my berries but it was so delicious and they make their own little sauce. It’s simple too, which is a nice thing for weeknight meals. All you have to do is put the berries in an oven-safe dish, sprinkle with a decent amount of sugar (enough to coat and have a bit on the bottom of the pan), then dot with butter, and finally give them a spritz of lemon juice. After you’ve got all that in the pan, shake it up and move the berries around so you can really get a decent amount of sugar on them. Finally, put them in the oven at 190 C/ 375 F for around 20 – 25 minutes. The end result is tender berries that are incredibly flavorful with a nice sweet berry sauce too; excellent for serving with angel food cake, pound cake, ice cream, or even just by themselves with a little whipped cream. Obviously, there are a number of ways to dress this up by using things like cinnamon, lemon zest, orange juice and zest, or even balsamic vinegar. You’ll love it, no matter what you pair up, is my guess. 340 grams for £3.49 (US: $5.47). Item #: 0067705.
Carrington Farms Coconut Oil – [Today I have a little guest review from the US to share with everyone. Chennill, the guest reviewer, makes this Coconut Oil sound so good, I want some of the miracle oil too!] Yesterday, I went to the Costco in West Palm Beach and I saw Carrington Farms Coconut Oil. As a person with dry skin, I purchased the 54oz. bottle to use on my skin. When I looked at the jar, I saw that you could use it for cooking. Last night, I sautéed veggies with it and it was awesome! You cannot smell it in the veggies, but has a really great taste. This is such a great product!!!! 54 ounces for $15.99 (UK: £10.16). Item #: 669653.