It’s been a hectic/weird week here, for some reason. It was so crazy that I didn’t even realize when Thursday came along and didn’t get my second post of the week up until Friday as a result. I blame the fact that it is getting darker earlier in the evening and staying dark later in the mornings too. That always throws me off. And of course, it is rainy too. And they’re doing all kinds of construction on our building, so there is scaffolding going up outside and banging and drilling going on too. I’m hoping that the loud stuff is over and I can have some peace and quiet so that I can concentrate again. It’s hard to write when all you can hear is very loud pneumatic tools. Yeah, I’m glad this week is pretty much over!
Rodeo Joe’s Onion Rings – We really wanted to like these because we both like onion rings and they are mess and troublesome to make (as in, I’m just never ever going to make my own). However, I wasn’t that pleased with them. They seemed greasy, even though we baked them instead of frying them. And it does suggest baking them on the package, so we weren’t going against the advice of the company that makes them. They were also less than crispy. The only way I could get them to be crispy was by basically over-cooking them. That improved the crunch and they did seem a shade less greasy but the one thing it couldn’t improve was the taste. They are bland, really kind of tasteless. It’s not that they taste bad, but they just don’t have much flavour of anything at all. Even the onions seem kind of flavour-free. How does that happen? I even tried sprinkling them with some cayenne pepper and salt but that only helped a bit; it just couldn’t overcome all of the bland onion and batter I guess. I was really hoping they would be as good as their jalapeño poppers, but they’re not up to the same level of tastiness. It’s a real shame because these would have been perfect American football watching fare. I guess I’ll either have to stick with the jalapeño poppers or find something else at Costco for a football-time treat. 1 kg for £4.99 (US: $8.01). Item #: 0004410.
Kirkland Signature Marinara Sauce – I haven’t noticed this at our Costco before, but that could be because I wasn’t really looking for marinara sauce before. But I’m glad that I saw it this week and picked some up. It’s really quite tasty, not quite as good as if I weren’t lazy and would make my own marinara, but better than most all of the other sauces in a jar that you’ll find in your local supermarket. I think it tastes so good because it is made with actual ingredients and not just a bunch of chemicals and stuff you can’t pronounce. They use California tomatoes, onions, extra virgin olive oil, and the classic Italian spices you’d expect to find in a good sauce like this – garlic, basil, sea salt, and oregano. It’s very flavourful with a lovely taste of garlic, oregano and basil, just like you’d make at home. The texture is mostly smooth but with a bit of tomato chunks too. I think that also helps the sauce to seem more like something you would make at home. I mean, when you make your own sauce, you don’t have a super even texture. At first when I poured it out, I worried it might seem a little too liquidy but after heating it up a bit, it was perfect over my pasta. I like the ease of a jarred sauce because it gives me the flexibility to make something like spaghetti and meatballs without needing to make sure I have all of the ingredients on hand to make my own sauce too. Not to mention, it takes a lot less time to heat up some sauce than to make your own. I bake my meatballs in the oven and so the last 8 minutes or so of the cooking time I add the sauce to the pan and it is perfectly heated through and ready to top my pasta. I also use this for my lasagna, which is enough work without adding in making my own sauce. When I’m making lasagna, I cook some Italian sausage (out of the casings) and add the sauce to that. It is perfect that way. But don’t forget to save a little bit of just the sauce so that you can use that between your first layer of noodles and the pan. No need to waste the delicious meaty sauce on the bottom of the lasagna. This is such a good and flavourful sauce though, it would be perfect used on a pizza or for dipping your fried mozzarella sticks. Maybe I’ll have to get some mozzarella sticks the next time I’m at Costco so I can try that out. At just £1.83 per jar, this sauce is more tasty and far less expensive than the fresh stuff from Ocado/Waitrose that I have been buying (and it’s got a lot more in a jar too). Delicious and a bargain – my favourite combination! 3, 970 gram jars for £5.49 (US: $8.81). Item #: 0525080.
Menissez Baguettes – I think I have bought pretty much every shape, size and variety of the part baked bread on offer at Costco. I love it all. You can get that fresh baked bread taste and freshness at home with just a few minutes of baking. No kneading, no mixing, no flour sifting. None of it. All you have to do is pre-heat your oven, open the package and place your loaf on a baking sheet, a quick sprinkle of water and you are ready to bake it. And in 10 minutes or so, you’ve got a perfectly baked loaf of bread fresh from the oven. The most important thing to remember is that you will need to let it cool just a bit before eating it, otherwise the texture is a bit gummy and not as good as it will be if you can be patient and just wait a bit. After trying out all of the various types of part-baked bread, I think these full-sized baguettes might be my favourite. The outside is nice and crusty, as it should be, and just like it would be if you got it from a real bakery. Plus, the texture of the bread inside is really nice too. These baguettes are perfect for making a couple of sandwiches or some really excellent garlic bread. I’ve also used them to make lots of delicious bruschetta. And of course, the baguettes are perfect with some Italian cured meats, cheese and olives. Or, split and grilled with your sliced cheese of choice; that’s my favourite quick lunch treat actually. But really, is there anything that isn’t better with fresh bread? 5 loaves for £3.19 (US: $5.12). Item #: 0004165.
My last review is courtesy of a US guest poster, Stella from Overland Park, Kansas. These brownies sound so good I wish I had some right now. Although, maybe I too would end up eating the whole bag too and that would be bad.
Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle– So I actually saw these last week, But Mike discouraged me from getting them and I took his advice. I have been pretty good about not eating junk food and trying to stick to a diet. He also reminded me that he would not eat them and I would end up eating the entire bag and that I would really be mad at myself. Like every person with eating issues will tell you, it is almost like being an alcoholic and you will binge during stressful time. Well I have been binging, especially since Costco has brought back the Giant Pumpkin Pie that is only $5.99 at the Overland Park Kansas Costco.
So, during today’s Costco outing, I got them! OMG – they are chocolate sin in a bag! They are everything you want when you are a chocoholic, sweet tooth binge eater, whose favorite is brownies. I did look at the Nutrition Facts and saw that 6 pieces are only 120 calories. So I thought, wow, that is not horrible when you consider an average candy bar can range from 150 – 250 calories. If I can control my portions, I could maybe stretch the pieces out over the day.
The bag clearly states, “No more fighting for that corner piece!” If you are a major brownie aficionado like I am, well I love the whole brownie, but those chewy edges are YUM! These pieces are a flat, crunchy fudgy goodness and really look as they do in the picture. Just opening the bag there is a burst of fresh brownie aroma similar to when you are baking brownies and open that oven door. The brownie brittle is the perfect chocolaty taste of brownie and a chocolate chip. There is lightness and airiness to them as well as that perfect crunch. These will certainly curb your sweet tooth craving yet will not kill the diet, IF you can manage portion control. I must warn you, they are addictive and as much as I hate agreeing with Mike, I could definitely eat the whole bag! 16 oz bag for $6.99 (UK: £4.36). Item #: 673197.