Saturday, January 5, 2019

I Am Back-Spiked Biscoff Cookie Icebox Cake

I know it has been a couple of years and I have thought about blogging a great deal.  I (and my) wife have enjoyed this blog, but other things in life are enjoyable too or more necessary. 

But I just had to make this for a good friend who hosts a weekly board gaming get together and that absolutely loves these cookies.  So here I am and hopefully I will be able to keep bringing you more recipes, ideas and reviews of the fine cuisine at Costco.

As I said, my friend just loves these Biscoff cookies and so do my lovely wife and myself.  They are tasty and so easy to eat.  As I said, our friend hosts us a lot and although we always bring something, I felt she needed something special so I found this. It is ridiculously easy to make and elegant.

The key Costco ingredient are the Biscoff cookies. They are at a great price everyday at Costco and now and then they put them on sale.

The recipe is from WillowBird Baking, although there is absolutely no baking involved.  You start with heavy cream, add some powdered sugar and some cinnamon flavored liquor.  We used Goldschlager, which is what is recommended by the creator of this recipe. 

You beat the cream, sugar and liquor until you get stiff peaks and then it is all a very simple layering process.  I will say this though, as simple as this recipe is, by my wife laying down the cookies while I was layering the whipped cream mixture saved time and put this together lickety split.

You can use any suitably sized glass container, bowl, casserole or whatever, but a trifle dish really makes for a spectacular presentation.

I am definitely glad we followed instructions and made this the night before because the cookies were really perfectly softened by the time we served it.

While optional, we did drizzle some caramel sauce on top and that definitely added some nice flair to the dish.

To serve, just scoop it out and serve as-is or with more caramel drizzled on it.  Here a shot of the dish after taking out the first scoop. It shows all the yummy layers quite well.

Here is a sample of it in a bowl. Again, it shows the layering.

This dish was a total success.  Our hosts and everyone else there that had some absolutely loved it.  This desert is a winner in every way.  It is a make ahead dish, it is easy, it looks classy and it is delicious.  You really couldn't ask for more and I am sure we will make this again.

Take care and I hope to see you soon.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Costco Coupons Expiring 01/29/17-Some Comments on this Month's Sale Items

Here are this month's coupons.

We are fond of the Potstickers and they are a good value for a quick weeknight meal.

The Tomato Basil soup on sale is something we enjoy and that is were we get some of our left over soup containers that we use for other purposes.

I have previously reviewed the Chicken Alfredo.  We like it, but do realize this is Alfredo, so it does have a lot fat, sodium, carbs and calories. But according to some readers, it is better, health wise than what you get at Olive Garden.

I have previously reviewed the Frito-Lay Oven Baked Chips Variety Pack. The math on this might be different since I work at a place serviced by a different vending machine company than when I wrote the first entry on this.  However, whether it got better or worse, I am absolutely positive it is still tremendously in Costco's favor.

The Boneless Pork Loin Roast is on sale. We are huge fans of this: affordable, versatile , easy to cook and tasty.  How does it get better than that?


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Can You Really Do Breakfast For Two People For $1 a Day? Maybe, If You Use Costco!

Grabbing breakfast at a fast food joint is quick and convenient, but with a little planning, you can be just as quick or even quicker at home. Plus, you can save yourself a ton of money and eat much healthier.  Here is how we do it:

Every Sunday, we make our breakfast for the week.  My lovely wife makes some hard boiled eggs, using eggs we get at Costco. My lovely wife would like to note that if you chill the eggs in ice water, they peel more easily.

While that is going on, I make a big batch of oatmeal in the microwave, with McCann's Imported Quick and Easy Steel Cut Oatmeal.
I make it in the microwave, like the photo below, although you can make it on the stove top if you wish. I just find the microwave a bit easier.

After we cook the oatmeal, we let it cool. Then we put the oatmeal and the peeled hard boiled eggs into soup containers, although you can use any container that you like.
As for the oatmeal when you serve it you can add whatever you want, but some cinnamon is a favorite of mine.

I also tend to add some soy milk.
But maple syrup, dried cranberries, vanilla, sugar, brown sugar, honey, whatever, it is your choice.

Now I have to answer the question, what is the cost for this? The last time we bought eggs, they were two dozen (24)  for $3.19.  If two people eat two each for a total of four, that is about  53 cents.  I don't remember the price of the oatmeal, but one box makes 44 servings and I think it was less than $6.  Trust me on the math, if the oatmeal costs $6 a container,  that is about 27 cents, for two servings and thus you have about 90 cents total.

If you add a lot of stuff to your oatmeal, you will go over $1 for two people for day, no doubt about that.  But if you keep your oatmeal simple, you can squeak by on a $1 a day. And even if you go over and go to say, $1.50, you are still saving a bundle. And this is definitely a nutritious and healthy meal full of protein and whole grains.

Breakfast starts your day, so why not start your day with a satisfying and energizing meal that is easy on your wallet?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Spiced Apple Cranberry Compote

My friend Bill has Celiac's Disease, so whenever there is a potluck at work, he has a hard time finding deserts to eat since so many of them are baked goods with wheat products. For our recent Christmas potluck I made a fruit compote to serve with ice cream and it was a big hit. As I still had a lot of ingredients for it in the house, I made it again to take over to a party at a friend's house.  The most notable Costco ingredient was the dried cranberries, or Craisins, as Ocean Spray calls them. We always have at least one open bag in the house and another in reserve.

Another Costco product of note used in this is Kirkland Signature Clover Honey. It is "True Source Certified" and a great value.

The recipe comes from the book "Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes" by Donna Marie Pye, published by Publications International. The recipe is as follows:

  • 2 1/2 cups cranberry juice cocktail
  • 6 ounces dried apples
  • 1/2 dried cranberries (Craisins from Costco)
  • 1/2 cup Rhine wine or Apple Juice
  • 1/2 cup honey (Kirkland Signature Clover Honey)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • Ice cream for serving
  • Additional cinnamon sticks (optional)
Just mix everything together in the crockpot and cook on Low for 4 to 5 hours until the fruit is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the cinnamon sticks and serve with ice cream.

I wish I had a better photo of this, but people started wolfing it down, including me, and I forgot to take a photo until it was mostly eaten.

This is a really lovely compote that is easy to make and even easier to eat. And it is a great cold weather food. The cinnamon adds a nice, warm flavor and odor to the dish and there is also a little tang from the cranberries and the cranberry juice in the dish.  And since it is a slow cooker dish, the return on investment for your effort is phenomenal.  I have already made this dish more than once and I am positive I will make it again. And I may serve it with something besides ice cream, because it is so darn tasty and heart warming in cold weather.

Maple and Tangerine Glazed Carrots-And Hello Again

It has been a long time since I have blogged and I regret the absence. Other things in my life have been a diversion but I hope that this marks a return to more regular blogging.  I do want to be clear that I have continued to use the wonderful products you find at Costco, it is just that I have not been writing about them.

As for the recipe I am returning with, it was something I decided to make for Christmas dinner.  I wanted something simple, slightly different, colorful and with at least some nutritional value. After looking through some old cooking magazines, I found this recipe for Maple and Tangerine Glazed Carrots. It looked like an ideal recipe for all the previously mentioned reasons and part of the cooking could be done a day ahead, which made it even more practical for a holiday meal.

It had a broad range of sweet flavors from the tangerine juice, the carrots and Maple Syrup from Costco.

Another important ingredient from Costco was the Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter. I am sorry I don't have a better photo, all we have is an open and very thoroughly enjoyed package of it in the fridge.

As I previously mentioned, aside from the various enjoyable flavors, colors and textures of the dish, a great feature of this dish is that you can do most of the prep work ahead of time. Steaming the carrots and making the glaze the day before is a real time saver. Then all you have to do is  add the carrots to the glaze, simmer the  glaze down a bit and then add a little bit of salt, pepper and parsley. This makes it ideal for entertaining. The final dish was pretty as well as tasty.

I got a lot of compliments on this dish. It had a bright flavor from the tangerines, some sweetness and just a little bit of background heat from the pinch of cayenne pepper. The family was very pleased with the dish and I was completely satisfied in how well it met all of my expectations.  If you are looking for a fun, tasty, easy and practical vegetable dish for entertaining, I give a major thumbs up to this one.

Enjoy and I hope you will come back again soon!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Chicken Quinoa Soup With Onions, Carrots And Celery

The New Year started out a bit cold so I thought I would warm us up with some chicken soup. I pulled some chicken and a quart of homemade chicken stock out of the freezer. While the stock was thawing, I cooked up some Christopher Ranch Chopped garlic and some onion in EVOO. After that was cooked up a bit, I added chopped carrots and then onions.

Once all the veggies were properly cooked, I added the stock, quinoa and chopped chicken.  Seasoning the soup was pretty easy, I just added a nice amount of freshly ground black pepper (from Costco) and some Herbs de Provence.  A few minutes of simmering and I was done.

Adding the quinoa instead of noodles made this more nutritious and higher in fiber than adding noodles. (It also made it gluten free).  But this was still good old-fashioned comfort food that fit in perfectly for a cold winter's night in Michigan.

Delicious, easy, quick and nutritious, it was a great Sunday night supper and it will be wonderful leftovers this week for lunch.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup With Farro And Kale-Easy Four Ingredient Soup

It has been a long time but I am ready to start blogging again.  Sorry about being away for so long. Lots of things have happened  but let's get back to business with a quick post.

My wife has been busy this week making Christmas cookies for the family and I was out of town at a concert last night, so there wasn't a lot of time to make dinner tonight.

My lovely wife pulled some Pacific brand Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup out of the cupboard and cooked up some Earthly Choice Italian Pearled Farro. After the farro was cooked, she drained itand added it to the soup, along with some kale from the farmer's market and a pinch of salt.

While the soup alone is tasty, adding the farro and kale made it into a complete meal in one bowl.  It was satisfying and warm for a December night in Michigan.  And it was pretty too.  Definitely a success and it will make for lovely leftovers.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Not June Cleaver's Grilled Cheese Sandwich: Jarlsberg Grilled Cheese Sandwich With Dijon and Carmelized Onions On Whole Wheat

If June Cleaver had ever made the Beaver and Wally grilled cheese sandwiches, I am sure it would have been with some sort of white bread with possibly/probably some type of processed cheese product.

I do realize that type of sandwich is a treasured comfort food of many people's youth and I am not putting it down. But I do find it enjoyable to put new spins on comfort food and have a fresh yet sentimental experience.

My wife and I are big fans of Jarlsberg cheese and I thought it would make a great base for a grilled cheese sandwich.  To further enhance the flavor and variety, we caramelized some onions in butter. Finally, we used a hardy whole wheat bread with a bit of dijon mustard.  We put it all together and after a few minutes on the Griddler we were ready for hot, cheesy deliciousness.

My wife and I both agreed this worked very well. Jarlsberg is an excellent cheese for melting and we love the flavor and texture.

I am sure there are more sandwiches in our future with melted Jarlsberg.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Pasta Prima Butternut Squash Ravioli In A Garlic Butter Sauce

I do realize it has been a long time between posts and I hope to get back into the saddle again in terms of posting more frequently.  While we have been cooking and eating lots of Costco foods, I just haven't been putting those efforts online.  In any case, here is a dish I made for myself and my wife that she described as "lovely". She also described it as "savory" and "comfort food".

Previously, we have enjoyed Giovanni Rana Butternut Squash Ravioli from Costco but now they are carrying the Pasta Prima brand of this type of pasta. These are both excellent products, although the Pasta Prima ravioli is somewhat more subtle in its flavor profile.  In any case, it is a great product that is easy to use and very affordable at Costco.  We definitely try to keep some on hand and while we use it fresh, it also freezes very well.

The recipe was pretty simple, it had only the following ingredients:

Butter-from Costco
Extra Virgin Olive Oil-from Costco
Christopher Ranch Chopped Garlic-from Costco
Dried Oregano
McCormick Parsley Flakes-from Costco
Kirkland Signature Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano
Freshly Ground Pepper-from Costco
Pasta Prima Butternut Squash Ravioli

The preparation was very simple.  I melted a stick of butter in the pan with some olive oil and then added a healthy portion of the garlic. I browned the garlic until it was nicely sweet and caramelized.  Then I added the pepper, the dried herbs and the shredded cheese.  After a few moments, I added the ravioli and we were set.

After serving, we garnished it with a bit more cheese.  The carmelized and sweet garlic went well with the butternut squash ravioli.  Also, it was a simple sauce with a few prominent flavors that complemented each other.  This was a satisfying and easy dish and it came together in minutes. This is definitely something we will make again and if you served it with something else, you might even entertain with it.

And the price was right too.  I checked out the local grocery store and they were asking $4.19 for eight ounces of this ravioli, while Costco charges less than $10 for 36 ounces, which is quite a savings. So once again, Costco is an affordable source of delicious food.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Breakfast, Lunch And Dinner With La Brea Bakery Torta Sandwich Rolls-On Sale this Month

We have enjoyed the La Brea Torta Rolls before and with them on sale this month, we had to buy a package. They are versatile and we had no problem going through the whole package. We had breakfast, lunch and dinner using them and all of the meals were  tasty, easy and affordable.

For breakfast, I scrambled some eggs from Costco, put the eggs on one half of the roll and topped the eggs with Jarlsberg cheese. After a few moments in the toaster oven, I topped it with the second half of the torta roll. The cost of two rolls was $1 and I used four eggs.  Even with the price of the cheese, the total cost for both sandwiches was less than $2 and it took less time then running out to a fast food restaurant. Plus, the flavor was simply excellent.

It has been a while since I have had sloppy joes, so I thought that would be a fun idea. We had ground beef in the freezer from Costco ready to go, so I was part of the way through the dish already. I sauteed some onions with some Christopher Ranch garlic and then I added some chopped tomatoes and a small can of tomato sauce. My wife seasoned it with some dry horseradish and some other spices and we were good to go.

These were pretty darn good sloppy joes.  Using fresh tomatoes certainly made this a fresher, healthier and tastier dish than anything you will get out of a can.  Also, my wife's ideas on seasoning it worked well too.  Plus, we had some leftovers for dinner. 

Speaking of fresh tomatoes, we love them with the Belgioiso Fresh Mozzarella.  So why not make a sandwich with them?  First, we started with a torta roll and put some Kirkland Signature Basil Pesto and some fresh mozzeralla on it.

Then we added some freshly cut meat from a rotisserie chicken.

Next came the tomato.

Then we assembled it and we were ready to go.

Again, another home run of a sandwich that came together in moments and was absolutely delicious. Plus, it was pretty also.

We weren't done with the idea for these rolls though. My wife made a chicken salad sandwich using many of the same ingredients as above, plus some onion.

As you can see, we got some great use out of these torta rolls and they made making  a total of five different meals ( since we got two out of the sloppy joes) easy, affordable and delicious.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Caprese Con Pollo Salad

We have been enjoying the fresh summer vegetables and the Belgioioso fresh mozzarella and here is another variation on that theme.

This time some of our frozen rotisserie chicken was added along with some fresh herbs and then served on top of Costco romaine lettuce.

This was a tasty, bright and satisfying summer dish that came together in minutes.  This is definitely going to be made again and it certainly had a great payback reward in terms of the time and money spent on it.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Caprese Salad Burger

We love Caprese Salad over the summer with farm fresh tomatoes and that means occasionally we have some leftovers. Recently, we were making mini-meatloafs and the idea came up that we should set aside some of the meat to make hamburgers and use the left over salad with the burgers.

This idea worked very well. It was a juicy burger with some fun and different toppings with very little effort involved. This was a great success and the burger looked so good that I rushed photographing it and just got straight to eating it!

This Labor Day Weekend, I highly recommend experimenting with a Caprese Salad Burger.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Kirkland Signature Chicken Alfredo With Caprese Salad On Romaine Lettuce

We felt compelled to buy the Chicken Alfredo since it is such a great deal on sale. However, we felt serving something on the side made some sense, so my lovely wife made a Caprese Salad on a bed of romaine lettuce.  Aside from being a tasty combination, it was also very pretty.
This meal came together pretty quickly and it had a variety of flavors and textures.  Having romaine lettuce and mozzarella cheese from Costco also made this very affordable.

If you are looking for a way to spruce up your alfredo, I highly recommend this combination.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Costco Coupon Book, August 8- September 1

Once again thanks to my wonderful friends at Addicted to Costco, I have this month's coupon book.

We are buying a number of items this month.

The Fiber One bars a lower calorie, lower fat snack with the bonus of fiber, so I have them now and then for a sweet treat.

We also bought some of the Oberto Jerky on sale, that is a very high protein and flavorful snack that we enjoy.

And of course, we will stock up on the pudding cups on sale. I have previously written about their virtues as a chocolate treat.

We also bought a couple of packages of the Pasta Prima Spinach and Mozzarella Ravioli, which is a favorite of ours.

We also like the tomato basil soup on sale, which goes great with panini.

Finally, we bought another tray of the Chicken Alfredo, which I gave a good review of here.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Rotisserie Chicken Salad With Raspberry Chipotle Sauce-Served Two Ways

We are big fans of having rotisserie chicken in chunks in the freezer ready to go but we also appreciate fresh vegetables.  I suggested we do some sort of chicken salad with Fischer & Wieser Original Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce  and my wife was instantly thrilled with the idea.

To make a total chicken salad out of it she added some beans and herbs to make it more rounded and varied.  She then served them on top of those wonderful miniature peppers you get at Costco.

Aside from being a tasty combination with a variety of textures, it was also a very pretty dish.

After eating this with total relish I suggested we do something similar but instead stuff some tomatoes.  She also thought that was a great idea and here is the finished dish.

Aside from being delicious and pretty, this was also very portable and made a fabulous lunch for the next day. In fact, my wife took some of these over to my mother and she liked them too.

As I said, having the cooked chicken ready to go is a winning strategy, but combining it with fresh vegetables during the summer is an absolute home run.  We will continue to enjoy fresh veggies for a while and I am sure some more chicken from the freezer will make its way into our meals to compliment the summer bounty of fresh produce.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Raspberry Rumba Salsa And A Review Of Fischer & Wieser Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

We are always on the lookout for fun new foods at Costco and when we saw Fischer & Wieser's Original Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce, we were so intrigued we had to buy it.

This is a versatile sauce with the right balance of heat, sweet and other flavors. We have used it as a dipping sauce, a topping on meatloaf, an ingredient in meatloaf and other uses.  It is also lower in sodium than some other condiments, so for people that are watching their salt that is a bit of a plus.

The makers of this product, Fischer & Wieser have a pretty good website, so I did some poking around and found this recipe for Raspberry Rumba Salsa. (They also have a charming video on this recipe).

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours

2 cups canned Mandarin orange segments, well drained and roughly chopped
1 small red onion, diced
1 cup Fischer & Wieser The Original Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce®
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems chopped
4 chile pequins (more or less to taste-Note: I had a hard time finding these and omitted them
Corn tortilla chips

Combine all ingredients in a medium–sized bowl and stir to blend well. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Transfer salsa into serving bowl and serve alongside a basket of corn tortilla chips. Makes about 3 1/2 cups.

The prep of this salsa was ridiculously easy and the reward on my time and money was excellent. It really did have a nice bit of zip but the raspberry and orange flavors gave it some wonderful variety. I brought this into work and it got rave reviews and one person already asked me for the recipe. In fact, they even took a picture of it with their iPhone and emailed it to me.

This sauce is a seasonal item in most Costco stores so if it is gone now, don't worry, it should be back again. I would encourage you to post about this on their Facebook page and let them know what a great product this is.

I have added Fischer & Wieser to my links section so you can check out other ideas for this magnificent, versatile and affordable (at Costco prices!) product.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I'm Back With An Apple Strudel Review And Serving Suggestion For An Indulgent Breakfast

With the kitchen remodel we went through recently, I fell out of the habit of doing updates because frankly we were doing very little cooking while the kitchen was tore apart.  Then after that was done other distractions came around, but now it is time to get back to blogging.

Costco has their Kirkland Signature Braided Apple Strudel on sale this month and I have to say it is a must buy.  At full price, it is a good deal, it is certainly a better value than buying pastries at a bakery or out of a vending at work.  On sale, it is an absolute bargain. It is a well made strudel with a good quantity  of apple filling and well executed and flaky crust.

While we had some as-is for breakfast during the week, I thought that kicking them up a notch on the weekend was a great idea.  To do this, we heated them up in the toaster oven.
After they were a cozy, warm temperature we got some nice vanilla ice cream and served them a la mode.

This worked wonderfully. It was easy, delicious and indulgent.  I wouldn't suggest this on a daily basis, but for a special occasion or just because you feel you need a pampering, I highly recommend this.

I guarantee you that every time we buy the strudel, we will be thinking about doing this!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Costco Coupon Book March 7 to March 31

Once again thanks to my wonderful friends at Addicted To Costco, I have this months coupon book.

Among the items on sale this month are:

  • The pita chips, which are a fun variation on the salty snack and great for dipping.
  • Finally, I have had the Costco Chicken Alfredo before and it is a good value. Not the best Alfredo ever, but a good deal for the price.
  • And while it is not food, we stocked up on the charcoal for summer grilling.

Not the best coupon book ever, but it definitely has some good values in it.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Review Of Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches

I have seen these at Costco for quite a while now and with the coupon this month for them, I decided to take the plunge and I am glad I did!

These are a great product.  Yes, you can tell while eating them that they are not a full fat, full calorie ice cream sandwich but they cover this up very well.

The ice cream portion has a good vanilla flavor and texture and the cookie has good chocolate flavor and a typical mouth feel.

The box includes 20 sandwiches: 10 vanilla and 10 cookies and cream flavor.  The you can definitely taste the cookie in the cookie and cream flavor, so the box does have some real variety in it.

And being that these are ice cream sandwiches, portion control is built in.  You have one sandwich and you are done.

This is a great sweet treat for people of all ages and I highly recommend them from a taste and low fat/low calorie standpoint. I also recommend them from a monetary angle: even at full price they are less than 50¢ a serving, so they are a very affordable desert or treat. Certainly, compared to the price of going out for ice cream, they are a huge bargain.

I would think my best endorsement would be the fact that I bought a second box!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pork Piccata With Giovanni Rana Butternut Squash Ravioli Plus A New Link

The other day while on the way home from work I called my wonderful wife and asked if she needed any help with planning dinner.  She said she was open to ideas and I suggested that she pull some of the frozen pork we had in the freezer and serve them in a piccata sauce. She was immediately thrilled with this prospect and set to work.

When I got home, I found out she took the idea and ran magnificently with it!  She took some pork loin chops, sliced them up and made a piccata sauce to go with them.  This was a great start but where she made it into a home run was by serving it with some Giovanni Rana Butternut Squash Ravioli that we got at Costco.  

But then, as impressive as this was, she dressed it with some raw peppers and some lemons slices which made the dish even tastier and it also made for a beautiful presentation.

The butternut squash ravioli had a slightly sweet flavor and a gentle texture that complimented the piccata sauce well. Adding the peppers gave some more bright flavors that went well with the dish and added another layer of texture to it. Plus, as I said already, it made for a simply beautiful presentation.

This dish was a success in every way: fast, delicious, some real nutritional value and lovely to look at.  My wife and I were both overjoyed with the results.  This is definitely one of the best dishes we have had in the last year.

The only negative is that when I went back last Saturday to buy more of the butternut squash ravioli, they didn't have it any more! 

Hopefully, Costco will carry it again soon.  And when I do see it again, I will buy a bunch to freeze.

Given how wonderful their Butternut Squash Ravioli is, I added Giovanni Rana to my links section.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Costco Almond Bark Nutrition Info

I have been asked for the nutrition info on this tasty product and when I was at Costco today, one of the helpful people in the bakery got it for me.

Let me say in advance, it is definitely a candy/desert product without any significant nutritional benefit, but I am assuming most people would think that already.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Review Of Almond Bark On Sale At Costco

I saw this on sale for this month and I felt compelled to try it.  And you know what, I am glad I did! This is a great product that I will buy again and given that it has a good shelf life, I will probably buy some more of it while it is on sale and stock up!

This delicious treat has a lot going for it. As you can see in the photo, it really does have a lot of almonds in it. It is truly "almond bark" not just "bark with some almonds."

It also has a very balanced flavor to it.  It is not overly sweet so it will appeal to those that like dark chocolate but it is sweet enough for those of us (like me!) that prefer milk chocolate.  The texture is good and as I said, it definitely has a lot of almonds in it.

My wife loved it, I loved it, all my friends at work loved it.  And some even thought it was homemade, although I was honest and told them I bought it at Costco.

If you like chocolate and nuts, this is a product that is definitely worth buying. It gets my full recommendation as an indulgence!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

"Drunken" Pork Loin In The Crock Pot-Cook It Once-Use It Again And Again

Last month when the pork loin was on sale,  we stocked up.  We bought a bunch of the chops and froze them in pairs in bags so we have them in easy to use portions in the future.  We also bought a whole loin and my wife cooked it in the slow cooker with some wine and some of the Robert Rothschild Farm Cherry Pomegranate Habanero sauce that we bought at Costco. Because of the wine in the recipe, she calls this drunken pork. It takes about three minutes to get it ready to go in the crock pot.

She then cooked it for about eight  hours on low and it certainly looked and smelled good when it was done.

In addition to smelling and tasting good, the finished pork was very tender and it was practically falling apart.

This recipe is very versatile.  You just vary the wine and other seasonings to get a different flavor profile.  The pork itself is also has a wide range of uses.  The first day we had the pork just the way it was made but then later on we made some barbecued pork sandwiches by simply heating the pork up with some of our favorite barbecue sauce.

You can also use this in a stir-fry, a soup or in as many different ways as you can imagine.  After we had had it a couple or so times, I took the rest of it, cut it into bite sized chunks and froze a few packages of it for future use.  Now, in addition to the chicken and ground beef in our freezer, we also have some tasty pork.

Pork loin is generally a versatile and affordable meat and this is a great way to cook it. It is easy, effortless and the prep time is a few minutes.  Then you have some great pork to eat as is and some tasty meat in the freezer for future use.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Review of McCann's Imported Quick and Easy Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal

One of my favorite episodes of "Good Eats" is the "Oat Cuisine" show.  While I love the humor of the segment on how to make a haggis, the true value of the episode  is that they point out the wonders and joys of cooking with oats.

We enjoy oatmeal but let's face it, traditional instant oatmeal is hardly the best that this cuisine has to offer.  When we saw this fast version of steel cut oats at Costco, we had to try them and we are totally pleased.

This is definitely a hybrid product. It is not "instant oatmeal", it takes a few minutes to cook but it is vastly faster than making normal steel cut oats.  As for the taste and texture, as I said, we are totally pleased. They are definitely much heartier than you standard instant oatmeal with a very satisfying flavor.

They also take "kicking up" well with cranberries, cinnamon and vanilla.  I also plan on adding maple syrup, apples and other fruits and flavorings.

This product is an absolute winner and my wife and I recommend it with complete enthusiasm.

I have been asked for the nutritional information, here is a link to it.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Costco Coupon Book January 31 to February 24

Thanks to our wonderful friends at Addicted To Costco, we have this months coupon book.

We always keep the Craisins in the house and we will definitely be using the coupon to save a few dollars.  Here are some previous posts on the Craisins.

Trail Mix With Craisins, Peanuts and M&M's

We also like the Tomato Basil soup that is on sale if you want to read this link.

The take and bake pizza is a just a crazy deal on sale and here is a post about one way that we kicked it up.  And even without kicking it up, it is a great pizza!

And we will absolutely be stocking up on the salmon on sale. Here is one of my favorite posts about how you can make a wonderful, tasty, attractive dinner with very little time and effort with this great product.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Crescent Roll Pockets With Walnuts And Smoked Cheddar

After a bit of a winter hiatus, I am back with a post that is good for a cold night.  We recently made a fine pot of chili in the crockpot using some ground beef from Costco.  Chili is a pretty typical dish with ground beef but that is not what this post is about. My lovely wife decided it needed some accompaniment and she got creative with some Pillsbury Cresecent Rolls we bought from Costco.

She laid out the dough flat and added a piece some Smoked Coastal Cheddar from Costco and a large walnut piece.  She then folded it over into a pretty square and baked it about the normal time according to the package.

Here is a photo of the one of them broken in half.

Aside from being attractive these were also easy, tasty and quick.  When having soups, stews or chili, it is nice to have a bread product to help make it a full meal and this worked fabulously.  I have to say these were a great return on investment in terms of both time and money.  Also, they were a great way to use some of a large multipack of Crescent Rolls.  

I am sure we will do something like this again and these would also make a cute and easy appetizer for a party or a potluck.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Noodles With Tuna, Sun-Dried Tomatoes And Artichoke Hearts

The other day I was talking to my wife and she asked if I had any ideas about dinner. I said how about some tuna, artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes served over pasta. My wife was pleased with my suggestions and when I got home, that is what was ready for dinner.

Aside from the above ingredients, she also added some ground pepper, some garam marsala and some tumeric.  For pasta, she used some spaetzle we had on hand.

We were both very pleased with how well this turned out. The tuna, artichoke hearts and tomatoes all worked well together and my wife's seasoning of it gave it some zing and character. And aside from being easy and flavorful, this had a great blend of textures.

This was definitely a "very Costco dish" since the tuna, artichoke hearts and tomatoes all came from Costco. And certainly, I would say this would work with a variety of noodles and pastas.

I am pretty confident something like this will show up at our dinner table again.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Savory French Toast With Antico Artichoke And Asiago Tapenade

We are big fans of the Antico Artichoke and Asiago Tapenade at Costco  and recently my wonderful wife surprised me with a dinner of savory french toast featuring this as an ingredient.  In addition to the tapenade, she used eggs, fresh herbs and soy milk. (The soy milk and eggs also came from Costco).

The looks and the smell of this had me intrigued even before I tasted it and my expectations were certainly met!

This was a wonderful and easy midweek dinner that was a great change of pace. It was also a good use of some bread and other ingredients we had laying around.  The actual dish had a good french toast texture and the tapenade's flavors blended well with the fresh herbs.

I hope to see this on our dinner table again and if you have some bread you don't know what to do with, this is a fantastic use of it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Costco Coupon Book-Good Until November 25

Thanks once again to my friends at Addicted To Costco, I have this month's coupon book.

Among the items I recommend are the Spanakopita, the DiGiorno Pizza and the Pillsbury Crescent Rolls are all items we tend to buy.

I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Quick Review of Nature'd Path Flax Plus Pumpkin Flax Granola

Generally, I tend to eat simple cereals like frosted shredded wheat, raisin bran and such. However, this granola looked pretty tasty so I thought I would give it a try. I have to say that I am very pleased with it.

It comes in a two pouches in one box. A lot of cereals seem to be doing that these days and if you don't eat the cereal fast, this helps it from going bad.  I suppose it is also makes it easier to work with than one big bag.

As for the cereal's nutritional profile, it had a good quantity of fiber at 20% of your daily requirement per serving. It also has low sodium if you are watching that. Finally, the only allergen mentioned on the label is soy, although they have the caveat that this is made in a facility that uses tree nuts, peanuts and wheat.

As for the taste and texture of the cereal, it is, being a granola, nice and crunchy. The pumpkin seeds make it more interesting that your typical granola in the area of taste. While the cereal is good just by itself, I have discovered it is absolutely delicious with dried cranberries.  My wife followed my lead on this and she definitely thinks that while the cereal is great plain, the craisins add a lovely touch.

My wife and I both give this cereal two big thumbs up and I highly recommend stocking up on it while it is on sale.  This is a flavorful cereal, low in sodium, with a good quantity of fiber and it is a great change of pace.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Review of Tiramisu Cake On Sale This Month At Costco

We have bought a variety of baked goods at Costco and I thought the Tiramisu Cake that is on sale this month looked like a great thing to take over to our friend's house for a casual get-together.  I have to say I was definitely pleased with the decision.  Before we get in to how fun it was to eat, I have to say it does make for a pretty presentation.

As the cake is very rich, even a small slice, like the one below, is satisfying.

As for the reviews of the cake, my brother in law used the word "yummy" and I would concur with that. The flavors are balanced with the coffee/expresso flavor being well presented without being overpowering.

The combination of the textures were also very good with the smooth filling and topping contrasting and complimenting the cake.

The cake was very well received and we had some more again last night at my in-laws, who have also been won over by it.  This cake is a good value at full price and an outstanding value on sale and I absolutely, positively recommend it without hesitation.