There is a whole lot of Kirkland Signature going on in my reviews today, but it really wasn’t my plan. Thankfully I’ve got the Pringles in there for a bit of non-KS stuff. Don’t forget that this is the last weekend for the current Costco US coupon book, so if you’ve had your eye on something, you really can’t put it off any longer. Also, if you’re around Charlottesville, Virginia, there’s a new Costco in town, so go take a look and do a little shopping.
Kirkland Signature Rader Farms Nature’s Three Berries – I haven’t gotten this for quite some time, but someone mentioned it to me recently and that reminded me to get some again. This three berry mix is a nice combination of raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Amazingly they still look like berries when they thaw out too, not just a mushy mixture of what is possibly fruit. I found that it worked best to let them thaw in the fridge overnight, but I think you could speed up the process a bit by just having them on the counter while they thaw. This berry mix is great for all kinds of uses, not just smoothies, though of course they are perfect for that too. I think it is great with plain yogurt to make my own fruity yogurt that has better fruit and less sugar than the stuff you’d normally buy. I think this mix would also be good for a cobbler or crumble and I imagine you could use them for a fruit pie filling as well, but I haven’t tried any of that. I have used it for fruit topping with ice cream or custard and that was really delicious. And it is a great way to sweeten up porridge or oatmeal in the morning. When you can get a decent quality of frozen fruit it really is nice because it isn’t always convenient to have fresh fruit. The fruit mix is pretty healthy too because there’s nothing in the mix but the berries, no extra sugar, flavourings, or preservatives, just berries. The berry mix is a good source of fibre and vitamin C. The nice thing about this mix, that you don’t always get with fresh berries, is that they all seem sweet. 1.81kg/4 lbs for £8.99. Item #: 0293223.
Kirkland Signature Wild Caught Hake Loins – Hake is a nice white fish alternative if you’ve had enough cod for a while. Hake are in the same family as cod, and have a similar texture and firmness but are often said to have a more mild flavour. I’ve never found cod to be all that assertive taste-wise but hake it very subtle in flavour. That subtle flavour though makes it a perfect fish if you want to really spice it or pair it with a sauce. The hake loins are decent sized, though a bit small for Dave so I usually make him two. I have prepared them in a number of ways but we like them best panfried with a lemony sauce with capers. They are a firm fish once they cook so panfrying them is okay as they don’t fall apart when you want to flip them over. Because the hake is so mild, it really is necessary to dress it up with a sauce or a liberal dose of spices. I think it is a perfect fish for all types of summer recipes, including serving over a salad. But it’s also great with really robust flavours like tomatoes or a tomato sauce as well. The firmness also makes it a great choice for fish tacos and it is really good with avocado for some reason. Anything you would do with cod, you could certainly do with the hake, including use it for fish and chips. I believe that we had nine of the loins in our bag and they were all quite equal in size or with a difference so small that there is no issue when cooking. You can’t cook this from frozen, so you do need to thaw it before you want to prepare it. You can either put it in the fridge over night or at least like 10 hours, or you can do the quick thaw method that takes about 15 minutes. I’ll be honest, we usually end up using the quick thaw method and I don’t notice a difference in the way the texture or taste once it is cooked. I like getting the frozen fish from Costco because they do the work of skinning and deboning it and all I’ve got to do is cook and enjoy. I also really appreciate that they individually vacuum pack each piece so that they don’t get stuck together into a huge frozen fish brick, I also think this protects the delicate flesh from freezer burn too. 1.13 kg/2.5 lbs for £9.39. Item #: 0695263.
Kirkland Signature Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips – If you like to make chocolate chip cookies, you will not be disappointed with these. I used to get the Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips, also from Costco, but they don’t have them here so we tried these out and are really happy with them. The nice thing about these chips is that they are actually a lot of cocoa, 51% to be exact, and that really does make a difference to the taste I think. I also like that sugar is not the first ingredient but the cocoa is, as it should be, but mostly isn’t in chocolate chips. I’m not usually a fan of semi-sweet chips because they can be terribly bitter and have a less than great taste (at least to me), plus a lot of them have a waxy texture. But these are no where near as bitter and the addition of real vanilla gives them a really nice flavour. I also like that they don’t have the waxy texture at all and I think that makes them melt better when you bake them in cookies. All of which makes them perfect for your cookies, or anything else you make that requires chocolate chips. Dave likes the taste so much that sometimes he just has a handful when he’s having a bit of a sweet tooth. The other nice thing about these chips, is the program set up by Costco to develop a more ethical and sustainable cocoa supply. The goal of this program is to have cocoa beans that are of a high quality and fully traceable, and grown in a way that is good for the environment and the producers. The program also helps the farmers by teaching them better growing and harvesting skills and farm management. So they are tasty and social and environmentally responsible as well. And I like them even better because they have coaxed Dave into making delicious chocolate chip cookies on several occasions. And really, the cookies someone else makes for you really are the best kind. 2.04 kg/4.5 lbs for £7.99. Item #: 0903681.
Pringles Sour Cream & Chive Potato Snacks – Dave’s got an appreciation for Pringles and even though I’m not all about eating chips/crisps, sometimes I like some too. They’re a great way to make a lunchtime sandwich seem a little more filling and that’s mostly how we eat them. Pringles have been around forever, certainly all of my life and they somehow hit a nostalgic note with me. Though to be fair, I don’t really remember eating them much as a kid. I think it is something about them coming in a can rather than a bag like everyone else, seems so 70s to me. Pringles came about from Proctor & Gamble trying to respond to customer complaints about greasy, broken chips and the air in the bags making the chips go stale. Because no one wants to eat greasy, stale, pieces of chips. Even though they didn’t actually start selling Pringles until the late 60s they had been working on them since the end of the 50s, to get the right texture and flavour. Unlike regular chips, they aren’t made from sliced potatoes but from a potato dough that is fried, which you would think would make them seem greasier but they really don’t seem greasy at all. But because they are made from a dough, instead of a piece of potato, they can’t be referred to as potato chips or crisps, but only as a potato snack. Did you realize that there are as many chips in a can of Pringles as there are in a regular size bag of chips? Except there aren’t any crushed chips in your protective can, though sometimes you do get some that are cracked or broken a bit but never to the point where they are dust. In our house, we like our potato snacks, and don’t discriminate about how whole the potato was that they came from. At Costco you can get six normal sized cans bundled together, or you can get this twelve can pack that are all sour cream and onion flavour. I like the sour cream and onion flavour best, that’s always been my favourite chip/crisp/potato snack flavour, so this is perfect for me. And I really like the little cans because they are a great portable size but also a nice size for lunch and a snack. I can’t eat a whole one of the little cans, but I still like the smaller size. With the smaller cans, I also don’t feel like I have to eat Pringles for days until I work my way through the whole can. The price for these little cans is so much less than at other places. At Costco each can is £0.27, but at other places you’ll pay somewhere between £0.77 and £0.80 per can. That is a huge difference that means you will end up paying almost £6.00 too much if you buy these anywhere but Costco. You can almost buy this twelve pack three times over, as in 36 cans, for the price of just one bunch of twelve cans someplace else. 12, 40 gram cans for £3.29. Item #: 0185758.