I hope everyone has a great three day weekend – for those in the US and UK. If you’re in the US don’t forget that all Costco locations are closed on Monday for Memorial Day. And if you’re in the UK, since it is a bank holiday Costco locations here have different hours (10 am to 6 pm). If you’re not having a long weekend, sorry, didn’t mean to rub it in!
Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix – I am pretty sure that this is the best brownie or cake mix that you can buy, anywhere. The brownies are always delicious and so super chocolaty you can’t believe you can make them from a mix at home…at any time you want. They’re like a perfect dream brownie. We’ve been buying these for years and pretty much always have some on hand because Dave is a big, big fan of brownies. So, when we moved to the UK I was a bit worried that we wouldn’t be able to find them. But luckily Costco knows that people love chocolaty goodness like this around the world. Ghirardelli did a bit of a revamp on the recipe a couple of years ago and they’re even more chocolaty and moist now, if you haven’t tried them lately. They have three different kinds of chocolate: semi-sweet chips, bittersweet dark chocolate chips, and milk chocolate chips. So, no matter what kind of chocolate you like, you should be happy with these. All of the different chocolate chips really work nicely together to make an ideal brownie. In the box at Costco you get four mixes; each making around 16 brownies according to the box. Obviously, that is going to depend on how generous you are with your serving sizes. I just can’t say how wonderful these brownies are because I just sound goofy and gushy now. But, if you are a person that likes brownies you really, really need to pick up a box on your next trip to Costco. I think they’re even better when I use olive oil instead of just vegetable oil. I don’t know what it is about the different oil, but really they do seem more moist. Also, if I’m feeling really decadent (or depressed) I add a generous blob of Nutella to the top. And maybe some ice cream. Or a sprinkling of powdered sugar. But I don’t do it all at the same time because that would just be wrong (right?). 4 packets for £6.49. Item #: 0195135.
Slow+Low Pork Belly with Cider & Honey Sauce – This is delicious! Dave and I got this because we hadn’t tried it before, basically, and were kind of on the fence about trying it. But of course, we had hopes that it would be good because it is perfect for a low preparation time dinner. After we tried it, we were so glad that we decided to pick it up. In the package you get two good sized pork belly pieces which are all prepped for you with a sea salt and herb rub. The herb rub is made up of rosemary, thyme, sage, sugar, pepper, fennel, onion, and garlic. All you have to do it cut up the vacuum packed bag and put it on a pan. The only thing you MUST do is to line your pan with foil or face the unenviably task of trying to get your very crusted pan clean. After seeing the stuff left on the foil, I think it might be easier to throw the pan away if you forget the foil lining. It does take 45 minutes to cook but you don’t have to do anything during that time except prepare whatever else you’re having for dinner. The pork comes out juicy and tender and scrumptious. The accompanying sauce comes in a little bag and you pop it in the microwave for a couple of minutes to heat it up and then serve it alongside your yummy pork. The sauce was a little tart and a little sweet and worked perfectly with the herbs on the pork. I don’t usually like sauces like this but we both thought it was really good and did actually add a little something to the taste of the pork. We served the sauce on the side in little cups so that it wouldn’t impact the nice crustiness of the pork. It was delicious when freshly cooked but was also quite good the next day cold on a sandwich. This is something we will definitely be picking up again. It does say that you can freeze it but I didn’t try it so I can’t vouch for that. But really, if you get this, do not forget to line your pan with foil! 960 grams for £7.99. Item #: 0187781.
Under Armour Women’s Workout Tees – I’ve been trying to update some of my workout wear just because I wear it often enough that I get sick of always wearing the same stuff. So, I was really pleased to see the nice selection of colours in these Under Armour tees at Costco recently. Dave has had good luck with his Under Armour tees, so I figured I was safe and stocked up with five different shirts. They had so many great colours it was hard to curtail my choices. I ended up getting a white, purple, yellow, grey and two pink tees, but they had several other colours too. I like this tees because they have a great cut for working out. They are not too tight, but not too loose either, so they are comfortable no matter how you are moving around. Plus, they are long enough to keep from pulling up and showing your back or tummy every time you bend. They have a v-neck and short sleeves too. The shirts have flat seams so they don’t rub you either. Like all workout wear now, they have fancy fabric that wicks away moisture to keep you drier when you are working out. It’s pretty effective at that too except when I am working out super hard and get super duper sweaty (attractive!) and even then I don’t feel like I’ve got a grossly wet shirt on, just a bit moist. They are great tees and even more so when you consider the price. I figure that I got two of these, at least, for the price that a decent workout tee would have cost me somewhere else. I apparently picked up one of these tees that had a different cut or something because it was £1 more, but either way they were under £10.00 and that is a terrific deal. £8.99. Item #: 0228321. £9.99. Item #: 0623124.
Kleenex Balsam Tissues – It might seem like it is a strange time to buy Kleenex because it should be the end of cold and flu season. However, if you are like my husband, than this time of year brings with it the joy of allergies and a runny nose. It’s unpleasant enough but to end up rubbing your nose raw with all of the blowing and wiping, it just adding insult to injury. So when I recently saw the coupon for these tissues I knew we had to get them. I had tried some of these in little packs so I knew we would like them. These are great tissues because they are thicker than normal and have a microfine layer of calendula to provide a little bit of protective balm with each blow and rub of your nose. The balm really does manage to keep your nose from getting that red irritated look after too much blowing. I was amazed that it was actually able to keep us from getting red noses because it feels soft sure, but we’ve all had soft feeling tissues rub our noses raw. The balm that is on the tissues is so fine a layer that you don’t really notice it in any way and it doesn’t feel like you’ve just wiped something onto your nose either. If you ever tried other versions of these types of tissues, or even the earlier versions from Kleenex, you might remember how they either made your nose feel greasy or like you had just wiped what you were blowing out all over. But these don’t feel like that at all, even though they seem to do a better job at protecting the skin around your nose. We also like that they are a big tissue that can actually handle someone blowing their nose without ripping. I got these when Costco had a coupon for £1.20 off a 6 pack of 80 tissue boxes, which made them a great deal over other retailers where a 2 pack is £2.66 – £4.00 depending on the retailer. But even at the least expensive place they are almost £3.00 more than at Costco. So, Dave’s nose isn’t irritated and neither is our budget. Plus, this way we have a head start on being prepared for next cold season. 6 pack for £4.69 (£5.89 – £1.20 coupon). Item #: 0103235.