It’s going to be a Bank Holiday here in the UK this weekend, which means Dave gets a whole extra day tacked onto his weekend. So naturally the forecast is for rain. We’ve decided to take a bit of a trip for the long weekend, since you know it’s been almost six whole weeks that we’ve been back in London. But really it is just because it is my birthday and thus a good excuse to do a little sightseeing and relaxing. In any case, this Bank Holiday means that Costco UK will have slightly different opening hours of 10 am to 6 pm. So, enjoy the long weekend if you are here. If you’re in the US or Canada, don’t worry, your long weekend is coming up next weekend.
Kirkland Signature Women’s Premium Pima V-Neck Tee – I am really happy to see that Costco is expanding their Kirkland Signature clothing line for women. And these t-shirts are a great addition. I got boring white, because that’s the kind of girl I am. However, they had a number of other colours including black, pink, and a turquoise colour. I think they might have had a purple one too but I’m not positive now. The tees have a deep v-neck cut and short sleeves and a flattering cut through the body as well. As well as the nice cut, the t-shirts are super comfortable because of the very nice quality 100% Pima cotton from Peru that was used. Seriously, the tee is so super soft and that of course makes it look smooth and hang nicely when worn. I like a nice plain tee like this to wear by itself but also under things too. The smooth fabric means that it works under jackets or a cardigan really well too because it doesn’t seem to “grab” the other fabric and bunch up in that annoying way that can often happen. The other nice thing about these tees is that they are long enough to tuck into jeans or whatever if you’d like, or to avoid showing too much skin if you bend down. I hate a t-shirt that pulls up and seems to expose more of me than not when I bend over or do normal movements like that. I’ve washed the shirt a number of times and it hasn’t shrunk up at all, the fabric still looks great, and it doesn’t even get all wrinkled and look horrible after you pull it out of the dryer (though I am always quite prompt about removing laundry from the dryer). I would certainly compare this to the quality of tee that I have purchased from Lands’ End, which is a combo of cotton and viscose modal, but doesn’t feel anywhere nearly as nice and soft as the KS tee. And of course, the Kirkland Signature tee isn’t nearly as pricey as the Lands’ End tee either. At Lands’ End you’ll pay £14.95, whereas at Costco you’ll pay less than half of that price. If you like a plain tee, these are great quality for an unbeatable price. I definitely plan on getting more of them on our next trip to Costco. £6.99 (US: $10.87). Item #: 0714220.
Ribena Tropical Mango & Lime – If you’ve read my blog for a while you probably know how much I love mango – the whole fruit, the juice, the flavour when added to things like sorbet or ice cream, etc. So when I saw that Ribena had a new flavour of juice that combined mango and lime, I was thrilled and couldn’t wait to try it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite as good as I was hoping. Really nowhere near as good, to be honest. We really like the regular Ribena black currant squash it has so much flavour. However, the mango and lime, while it had a bit of flavour was really watered down tasting. Like, they might have started out with a good tasting product but then added too much water too it and ruined it. So that’s a bit of a shame. The other thing that we didn’t like was that there’s quite a bit of sugar added to this drink, as well. I would have maybe looked over that added sugar, but it is way high at 27% of your recommended daily intake in the 500ml bottle. That is just crazy! And it wasn’t even super good, so all of that together made us not enjoy this new Ribena as much as we like the regular Black Currant squash that we can mix with sparkling water to get our preferred mix. Oh yeah, and they did the other thing that a lot of juice makers do that really irritates me. The juice is labeled as Mango and Lime, but has 8 times as much orange concentrate as either of the alleged stars of the juice. I can understand not adding too much lime, however, what is with having just 0.5% mango in here? To me, that is just like false advertising, also known as lying. So, I drank this post-workouts like Gatorade and we were happy to see the last bottle. And all of that is why I am begging Costco UK to start stocking the Langers Mango Nectar, which is the tops of the mango juice market, in my opinion. 12, 500 ml bottles for £5.49 (US: $8.54). Item #: 0155849.
Forest Feast Dried Philippine Mango – Luckily, along with the less than stellar Ribena I had gotten some of this dried mango so I still had a way to get my mango fix. This is really yummy dried mango too. It’s not so dried that it is hard and leathery, but still has enough moisture to make it enjoyable. And of course, there is lots and lots of concentrated mango taste. That is what I would expect since this is just mango with a little bit of natural cane sugar to enhance the flavour. One handful or 25 grams of this is equivalent to a single serving of the recommended five a day too. And if all of that isn’t enough to persuade you to try this, then you might also like that it is fair trade. Forest Feast sources all of their fruit solely from PREDA Fair Trading Organisation in the Philippines to guarantee a better deal for third world farmers. The PREDA foundation, based in Olangapo City in the Philippines is a three times Nobel Peace Prize Nominated Charitable Organisation. They are a pioneer in establishing Fair Trade in the Philippines and guarantees growers a fair price, helping to create economic stability. If you need still more confirmation that this is great, it also won the Great Taste gold in 2011. This is definitely some of the best dried mango I’ve ever had and we will definitely be getting another bag or two on our next trip to Costco. They say that you can use this for snacking, baking, or cooking. Of course, I just like to eat it right from the bag. They have a recipe for a salad with prawns and their dried mango on the back of the bag; it sounds super delicious. Of course, that would mean that I would have to forego eating it just straight and I’m not sure that I can do that. Of course, as you might know, dried fruit of any kind isn’t sugar free or a low cal snack, fruit has lots of sugar in it naturally and that doesn’t go anywhere just because they dry it out either. But the dried fruit, if you don’t over indulge, is a great way to get some fruit but not have to worry about having fresh fruit available. Aside from the fact that this isn’t low in sugar, it is actually low in fat and has a fair amount of fibre in it too. I just realized that they want you to refrigerate this once you have opened the bag. Whoops! I didn’t do that. I didn’t notice any adverse changes in the quality of the fruit, but it didn’t hang around in our cabinet too long either. The good thing is that it is a zip top resealable bag at least. But really, next time I’ll be a good kid and put it in the fridge after I open it. 690 grams for £9.99 (US: $15.54). Item #: 0148713.
Costco Chicken Enchiladas – These are HUGE! Seriously, the the sheer size of these enchiladas is amazing. They put two of them in the standard black plastic container that most of their deli items come in, and they are truly filling the entire space available. I’d say they are like 9 or 10 inches long and 4 or so inches wide. They are made with wheat tortillas and packed with chicken breast meat, along with other delicious things like cheddar cheese, spicy refried beans, and a nice spicy sauce. The real star is the chicken, of course because it is so moist and they aren’t chintzy with it either. I had thought they used the rotisserie chickens to make these but they don’t specify that, so now I’m not so positive; maybe that was an older version. Pickings are slim here in London in the Tex-Mex or Mexican restaurant area, this is as close as we’re going to get unless we make it ourselves, which we do sometimes but it is nice to have someone else cook dinner every now and again. And these were quite good. Sure, it’s not in any way authentic Mexican food, but it tastes good and that is the most important thing. We actually popped these into the freezer when we got home and had them in there for a few weeks before we thawed them out and ate them. Because they are so dense and big, the thawing process took a while in the refrigerator. I think it took them a full 24 hours to properly thaw. They are really easy to cook too because you can just keep them in the black tray and pop it into the oven for about 25 minutes and you are good to go. For me, one of these enchiladas is dinner and lunch the next day; for Dave it’s just one meal. So, if I think about these being 3 meals, it really is a great deal. You could easily feed four people with these if you added a few things to your meal, like a salad and vegetables as well as maybe some rice or even a quesadilla (any excuse for more cheese, I say). I think these are perfectly spicy, neither too hot nor too mild, but if you’re not into spicy things I’m not sure how you’ll judge them. They didn’t make my mouth feel like it was going to catch fire or anything, but they weren’t like eating a plain tortilla either. 1.452 kg for £8.70; £5.99 per kg (US: $13.53). Item #: 0080245.