We’re back in the US for a few weeks and of course, one of the first places I went, aside from the airports, was Costco. My mom and I went right after she picked me up from the airport actually. And we even tried out a new location for both of us in Independence, Missouri. The store was nice and clean and everyone was friendly, which is always good. Since it was a Wednesday, the store wasn’t too busy and we could talk plenty of time and look through and browse at all of the stuff that I don’t usually see in the UK. Plus, it’s just fun to see what each individual Costco location has because there’s always something cool and new, it seems.
We are going to be crazy busy for the next couple of weeks (until mid-November really), so if I don’t respond to your emails or questions right away, I definitely will it might just take a bit longer. I’m going to try to not be a slacker about responding though!
Costco Bakery Cupcakes – So, for those of you that don’t know, my mom lives near Kansas City. As you can imagine there’s lots of World Series fever going on right now. I mean, it’s been almost 30 years since the Royals were in the World Series. And to have them be winning, is even more amazing. The Costco Bakery was showing their support for the Royals too with some cute cupcakes decorated with the team logo. I was torn between getting them just because they were so fun and knowing that I shouldn’t because, well, we had lots of other unhealthy treats in the cart already. The Costco cupcakes are delicious! A few years ago they resized them to make them a bit smaller and more manageable too because they used to be like you were eating a small layer cake instead of a cupcake. The cupcakes are just like the Costco cakes and are delicious and even have good icing too. I hate icing that is too sweet but don’t find that to be the case with the cakes and cupcakes from Costco’s bakery. Yum! Normally, the cupcakes are white cake and chocolate cake frosted with white or chocolate frosting. Though they often have seasonal designs for the holidays. Or, to celebrate the fact that your baseball team is finally in the World Series again. These would be perfect for a get together to watch the games. 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. The other thing I like about the cupcakes now is that they come in a nice plastic clamshell type package with a little cubby for each individual cupcake so the frosting doesn’t get mangled on the trip home. I didn’t end up buying them, but we’re going to be here for a few more weeks, so there’s still lots of time to buy some! 6 cupcakes for
Costco Bakery Pumpkin Pie – When in the US at this time of year, I always want a Costco pumpkin pie. As a result, I possibly write about how great these are too often, but I have a little bit of hard time resisting these. I make a nice pumpkin pie, but it takes some time to make your own pie crust and assemble everything and then cook it for an hour. So, I *love* the fact that Costco has this wonderful, as good as homemade, pumpkin pie every fall. Pumpkin pie is probably my favourite pie too, so when they are in season and I’m in the US, I’m having one. They have them throughout fall, which means that you don’t have to just wait for Thanksgiving. I think what sets Costco’s pumpkin pies apart from other store bought pies is that they seem to actually use spices, just like you would if you were making them at home. The pies have a great cinnamony taste that is just exactly what a pumpkin pie should taste like to me. My mom thinks that the pies are too custardy and thick, but I think they are delicious and creamy with just the right amount of spices. Just so you know, she thinks that but she still eats it and enjoys it too. The container is made of a plastic bottom that is round and just slightly bigger in diameter than the pie itself. Then, the top is another piece of plastic that does pop off and you can use as a lid…sort of. The top does not have a piece of plastic or anything in the center to actually cover the pie though. That design always seems very strange to me. I always think that we can use a piece of plastic wrap in there and then put the lid on and all will be good. But our the plastic wrap is too narrow and definitely not sturdy enough. So, we just use a piece of extra wide tinfoil and that works quite well. And you use a lot less space with the round container than with the previous square box. But I imagine that for Costco, this makes the pies easier to stack, which is the draw. I do wish that they would figure out a way to have the top be an actual lid though. In any case, the pie is delicious and the price is so good for a pie this big that I’m pretty sure you couldn’t make a pie of this size at home for the Costco price. Well, unless you have your own pumpkin patch maybe. $5.99. Item #: 60809.
Land O Lakes Whipped Light Cream – I will admit it, I love the whipped cream in a can. I love the stuff that I make too, but the convenience of having it in the can is hard to beat. Normally I have found that the Land O Lakes whipped cream is outstanding, however, the light cream version that they had at Costco this time is not very good. The good thing is that this is made with real cream, unfortunately, it doesn’t taste like it. But it is trans fat free, and is practically fat free with just 1 gram of saturated fat per two tablespoon serving. Each serving only have 15 calories too. So, that’s all good. But the taste isn’t all that good and the texture is pretty close to horrible. The whipped cream has just a really nothing taste. It isn’t bad, but it isn’t good and also kind of negates the whole point of having whipped cream. The really horrible part though is the texture. It has enough texture to hold itself up when you first spray it out of the can. Unfortunately, in no time it starts to melt and just look like you’ve got a weird combination of whipped cream and something like skimmed milk on your pie. My mom and I were so disappointed the first time we tried it that we are considering taking it back to Costco just because we don’t want to be stuck with three cans of this in the fridge. I know a lot of people like to use this to jazz up their coffee or hot cocoa at home and I can’t even imagine how this would work with something hot. I’m pretty sure it would just melt away to nothing almost immediately. And since it doesn’t really taste like anything, it’s not even going to leave behind a nice flavour. So, needless to say, I’m not a fan. I won’t be buying this again and wouldn’t suggest it to anyone either. The normal whipped cream from Land O Lakes is great, but this version isn’t. 3, 15 ounce cans for $7.79. Item #: 696469.
Langers Mango Nectar – I almost forgot how much I love this mango nectar. Almost, but not really. Since I can’t get it in the UK, I feel like I need to fill up when I’m somewhere they actually have it. All other mango juice or nectars pale in comparison. The Langers has a thick texture and a deep golden orange color that looks just like the fruit. It doesn’t look watered down and pale like other products that try to pass themselves off as nectar but are clearly just juice, watery bad juice at that for the most part. The taste is really delicious too because it is very mango-y flavoured with a natural tasting sweetness and just a hint of something like cinnamon almost in the background. Honestly, I’m a mango fanatic and for the years that we have been in the UK, where they do not sell Langers at Costco (why, Costco, why???), I have been trying to find a reasonable substitute, to no avail. A lot of the mango juices try to sneak in other juices like apple or orange or white grape, which is just cheating to me. Aside from feeling like they are misrepresenting their juice, the mixing of juices just distorts the flavour and reduces the mango yumminess that you are looking for anyway. I think the difference comes from the fact that 20% of the ingredients are mango puree, and yes there is water and sugar in there too but that’s a lot of pureed fruit as well and that makes it taste like the fruit. That puree is also what gives it the nice thick consistency that truly sets it apart from other mango juice or nectar. Also, if you are like me and can’t drink orange juice or eat oranges, and therefore have a hard time finding something that you like as a way to get your daily Vitamin C needs met, one 8 ounce glass of this per day meets 100% of that requirement and is a reasonable (for juice) 140 calories. Truly, if you like mango fruit or the flavour, you will love this mango nectar. I know I write about this whenever I get a chance because I’m such a fan. I still don’t understand why they can’t stock it at Costco locations in the UK. It’s so much better than anything they’ve ever had on their shelves. Why settle for something so obviously inferior when you can have the best? Especially since they already stock other Langers juices. Anyway, enough of my ranting. If you like mango and are anywhere not in the UK (I’m not sure if they stock this at locations in Mexico or Spain either though), you should pick some up at your local Costco. 1 gallon for $5.89. Item #: 135344.