I hope that everyone had a festive St. Patrick’s Day. We enjoyed a bit of the parade here and got really lucky because the day was absolutely gorgeous out. Actually, we’ve had pretty good weather the last couple of weeks, so that has been a nice change. If you’re in the UK, the new coupon book started on Monday (I posted about it earlier this week), so you should take a look at it to prepare for your next shopping trip. Also, as you are probably aware, next weekend kicks of the Easter holidays, so be sure to check out my post next Tuesday regarding the holiday hours for your Costco location if you are in the US, UK, Canada,or Australia.
Garofalo Organic Pasta Variety Pack – We are big pasta eaters in our house. We always have spaghetti on hand, as well as the shaped pasta like penne or gemelli. Our favorite, is garlic buttered spaghetti or some other pasta shape of choice. It’s easy to make but really has so much delicious flavour, if you like garlic of course. Of course, anyone you’re talking to the next day might not appreciate it quite as much. There are so many ways you can prepare pasta and it really is our easy weekday dinner. You can pretty much saute up most vegetables or meats and have a great pasta dish in no time at all. They’ve been stocking the Garofalo signature line of pastas at Costco (UK and US) for a while now, and we’ve always been big fans, so naturally here in Australia we also had to pick some up as well. While there’s always the spaghetti to get, they also have two different shaped pasta varieties. In these varieties you get two packages each of three different shapes. This time we chose the package with gemelli, casarecce, and penne ziti rigate. All of these shapes are great for sauces because the sauce can settle in all of the little nooks and crannies and you get a lot of flavour with each bite of pasta. And of course, this also means they are perfect for my super lazy garlic buttered pasta too. Garofalo has been producing pastas for more than 200 years, so they’ve got it down at this point. Here’s a little information from the Garofalo website about their pasta: ”Semolina wheat used to create Garofalo Signature pastas must meet the highest standards for protein content and color quality to guarantee a product with superior aesthetic and flavor that will perform consistently whether prepared by a professional or home chef. Garofalo performs over 25 quality checks on each of its Signature cuts and runs all standard industry controls twice to ensure unmatched quality for its Signature line of pastas.” And that explains why every time I get it, it turns out beautifully. The one tip I would give, no matter what type of pasta you’re making or what brand you’re using: don’t rinse your pasta! If you rinse your pasta after cooking it, you’re going to get rid of all the starches that will help the sauce or oil or butter (or whatever) to cling to the pasta. And you don’t want that. 6, 500 gram bags for A$9.99 (UK: £6.86; US: $10.42). Item #: 993499.
Tom Clark’s Butter Toffee Popcorn – I’m normally not a huge fan of popcorn, though Dave loves it. But I figured that this sounded good and since it had a coupon at the time that we bought it, I thought it was worth the gamble. Turns out it was really, really good. But totally addictive. It was like the crack of the popcorn world. That sweet butter toffee coating was so delicious! I was amazed at how buttery it tasted! From reading the Tom Clark Confections website I see that they claim to use only the best ingredients, such as real, high quality butter. And it really does show in the quality of the popcorn and the depth of flavour. The pieces of popcorn are really big, I’m not sure how they even get it that big. It definitely seems bigger than normal. Of course, that is goof because it means you also get more of the yummy coating. The one possible negative is that due to the sweet and very sticky nature of the of the coating, there are some absolutely enormous chunks in the container. The chunks wouldn’t be that big a deal if not for the fact that sometimes they are more sweet coating than popcorn and so you get big chunks of nothing but butter toffee coating. It’s good but a little overwhelmingly sweet without the popcorn to temper the sweetness. Of course, it didn’t stop us from eating it or enjoying it. If you’re wondering, this isn’t like the Tom Clark cluster products where they include nuts into the mix, this is completely nut free and is just popcorn and coating. I’m not even going to get into the nutrition facts because, well, look at it, there’s absolutely nothing super healthy going on here. It’s like eating sugar and butter, so this is strictly a treat. The good thing is that it is surprisingly filling, so if you can overcome the temptation of the buttery goodness you’ll find that you don’t want to eat too much at any one time. 907 grams for A$7.99 ($10.49 – $2.50 coupon) (UK: £5.49; US: $8.34). Item #: 391230.
Jewel of Indian Mango Chicken – I really like to have a few quick items on hand for meals that require little effort to make for weekday dinners. Which makes something like this mango chicken dish ideal since all you have to do is heat the sauce and make your own rice and maybe some naan bread if you’re feeling fancy. The mango sauce part is really good and nicely creamy and actually does have a very nice mango flavour with tender chicken chunks. The nice part is that it is made with the stuff you would really use to make this sauce, not anything odd or things that you can’t pronounce. There are no additives, no preservatives, and no MSG. Dave and I were both really impressed with how good the mango chicken actually tasted. When you buy this heat and serve stuff, it is always iffy. I mean, it could go either way really. We have had stuff that has been so absolutely repulsive (even bought from Costco) that I had to just throw it away and make something else for dinner. And of course, that makes everyone sad and irritated. But despite these little set backs, I still keep trying the easy to prepare stuff. I feel like I got very lucky this time because this is so good and is actually better than I’ve had at restaurants (even pretty decent ones). This big container of sauce contains a kilogram and they say that is enough for five servings. I’m not sure exactly how many servings I would say but definitely we had quite a bit of leftovers. I think if you had other stuff with it, you could easily stretch this to serve six. And if you don’t have five or six people to serve, and don’t want to have leftovers, you can always portion it up and freeze part of it. We had a lot of leftovers, a lot. Looking back, I think for our little family of two, one of which gets sick of eating the same thing for lunch three days in a row, it would have been good to take at least half of this and freeze it. The good thing though, is that they didn’t skimp on the amount or the ingredients, and all of that means you’ll find it really enjoyable. 1 kilogram for A$15.79 (UK: £10.84; US: $16.47). Item #: 24642.
Kirkland Signature Men’s Dress Socks – Since Dave wears suits and decent shoes to work everyday, he needs a constant supply of black dress socks. It’s amazing how hard it is to find decent ones though. A lot of the dress socks are either all cotton or all nylon and that means that they either stretch out very quickly or aren’t able to provide all day comfort. Plus, when you get that type of mix it usually means that the sweat from your foot is just hanging out there all day long and that’s not great for your foot or your shoes, not to mention it is a little whiffy. However, the KS socks are made of a nice blend of cotton, nylon, and Lycra. That mix really increases the comfort of the socks, plus it makes them fit very nicely and not stretch out immediately. The toe and foot are reinforced and the toe also has nice flat stitched seams so that they don’t rub and make you uncomfortable in your shoes all day long or even worse, give you blisters. The other thing that is really nice about these socks is that they are a nice length going a nice way up the calf so that you never have bare skin showing between your pants and socks, even with your legs crossed. I also like that the socks aren’t just plain black but have a little bit of style about them. Two pairs of the socks have a textured pattern on them, but not the same one, and are all black. Then the other two pairs have pretty subtle and certainly not flashy designs in grey. All of the socks are really nice designs that will go with anything and be great for the man that doesn’t particularly feel comfortable wearing red socks or socks with flashy coloured stripes or polka dots. The socks are stylish and comfortable, and a great price to boot. You can’t beat that, can you? 4 pairs for A$9.79 (UK: £6.72; US: $10.21). Item #: 534896.