Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pasta Prima Ravioli with Grape Tomatos and Artichoke Hearts

While I was taking my nap before going to work on 2nd shift, my lovely wife made me a tasty and quick lunch using a variety of ingredients from Costco, including the Pasta Prima Ravioli, Kirkland Signature Artichoke Hearts and grape tomatoes.

I came up with the idea of using those ingredients together and after searching online, I found this recipe using these ingredients.  My wife approved highly of the idea and eagerly made this fine meal.The only real changes my wife made was that while the original recipe called for Roma tomatoes, she used the grape tomatoes from Costco.  She also sprinkled some of the cheese and herb topping that came with the ravioli on the finished dish instead of the cheese called for in the recipe.

Aside from using an ingredient we had on hand, I think the Roma tomatoes out of season are not very enjoyable.  The grape tomatoes which have a better texture and flavor for this time of year, were an ideal substitution.

We think the dish came out, per my wife's description as "pretty, incredibly well". The artichokes went well with the ravioli and using the tomatoes helped give the dish a bright, fresh flavor.

This is definitely a keeper and I am sure we will make it again.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Guest Post: Cinnamon Bark Cookies

Hi there.  I'm Amber from Sprinkled With Flour, and when Mike recently asked me to do a guest post on his blog, I was thrilled.  You see, this is my first time doing a guest post, and it really makes my day when other great blog authors take the time to visit my part of the blogging world.  I love Mike's concept here of creating dishes from the wonderful selection of products from Costco, and Mike was particularly interested in my recipe for Cinnamon Bark Cookies.  The Saigon Cinnamon that he has featured would work wonderfully for these cookies. 

There are some ingredients that go hand in hand with the holiday season, and cinnamon is at the top of that list for me.  Sprinkle it on a dollop of whipped cream that tops a cup of hot chocolate, mix it with sugar crystals that dust a snickerdoodle, or just use the cinnamon sticks as a holiday garnish.  When I came across a recipe for Cinnamon Bark Cookies in my local paper, they looked so festive I just had to make them.  While the ingredients seem simple enough, there is a bit of a learning curve when making these. 

Let's just say my first few attempts to assemble these cookies, resulted in a pathetic mess that you would definitely not want to leave out for Santa.  I quickly disposed of those, too embarrassed to capture my failure on camera, and set about making another batch.  After about the third or fourth batch, I finally got the hang of it, and was able to produce a few that weren't too shabby.  These little cookies are crispy and a little buttery, with a hint of cinnamon.  Yum!
Cinnamon Bark Cookies
(adapted from Springfield News-Leader, December 2010)
8 large egg whites
2 cups sugar, plus 1/4 cup
2 cups all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon extract
10 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup heavy cream
brown gel food coloring
2 tsp cinnamon
Heat the oven to 375 F.

Line a baking sheet with a nonstick silicon baking mat. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to whisk together the egg whites and 2 cups of sugar until foamy. Add the flour and salt and mix to incorporate. Add the cinnamon extract, butter and cream, then beat again until completely smooth. In small amounts, add the brown food coloring a drop at a time until desired color is reached, stirring thoroughly between additions. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with the cinnamon.

Scoop a teaspoon of batter onto the prepared baking sheet. Using a small offset spatula spread the batter thinly and evenly into a rectangle about 2-by-5-inches. Depending on the size of your baking sheet, you should be able to fit 2 to 4 cookies on at a time.

Sprinkle each rectangle lightly with the cinnamon-sugar. Bake the cookies for about 5-8 minutes, or until the surface looks dry. The edges should not be browned.

Working quickly and as soon as the baking sheet comes out of the oven,  use an offset spatula to flip each rectangle over. Tightly roll both long sides of each rectangle toward the center, similar to forming a scroll. Set aside to cool and repeat in batches with remaining dough.
* These cookies must be shaped into the rolled cinnamon stick as soon as they come out of the oven.
* Only cook 2-4 cookies at a time, or the rest will cool too quickly before you can roll them.
* For best results use a silicone baking mat, but if you don't have one use a well greased baking sheet.
* To remove the cookies from the sheet, use an offset spatula.
* Spreading the batter thinly ensures even baking of this cookie. Working with the delicate cookie while still warm and pliable is essential.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

12/19: Last Day For The Sale of The Griddler At Costco

Today is the last day to save $15 off the already low price of a Griddler at Costco.

We find it indispensable for making panini, bacon and other foods.

It also makes a righteous Christmas present for the foodie on your gift list.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ground Beef Stoup with Nature's Earthly Choice Heritage Grain Blend

With the cold weather here in Michigan, soups, stews and stoups are very comforting.  And to comfort myself and my lovely wife, I made a stoup recently using Nature's Earthly Choice Heritage Grain Blend from Costco along with some Costco ground beef. Here is the recipe:

  • 2-3 medium cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • EVOO
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, slightly thawed
  • 1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1  14 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 cup Nature's Earthly Choice Heritage Grain Blend

Mix the spices and the Grain blend together and set aside.

Cook the onions and garlic in the EVOO until soft and then add the corn and cook for a minute or two.  Then add all the other ingredients and bring to a boil.  Simmer until the grain blend is fully cooked.(The directions on on the package for how long to cook the grain). Then serve and enjoy.

I know, pretty simple, isn't it? Here is a photo of the finished dish.
I will agree with those that might suggest this has a similar flavor and texture profile to chili, but adding the corn and the grain blend changes the flavors and textures enough that it is a significantly different dish.  On a scale of 1-10, my wife gave it a 9.  I would agree with that and I have to say that is pretty good for something that had only a few minutes of prep time and less than 30 minutes of cook time.

Also, it does have a variety of foods with the grains, beans and ground beef.  Objectively speaking, I think this dish was a solid success on all fronts and I am sure we will make it again over the winter.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Free Costco Cookbook-Smart Cooking The Costco Way

When  we were at Costco after Thanksgiving to buy a new TV, we were given this cookbook as we were leaving the store.

While I have been a reader of their cookbooks in electronic forms (see my links to them), this was the first time I have had an encounter with a printed and bound paper book.

I have to say I am impressed, especially for a freebie. Sure, lots of stores have recipe cards and certainly a lot of food manufacturers do websites and cookbooks.  But this is the first cookbook I have seen from a food retailer.

It is primarily organized by course, with a special section devoted to famous chefs such as Mario Batali, Steven Raichlen, Bruce Aidells and other.

At 236 pages long, there is a wide variety of recipes.  Along with a typical index, there is also a index by manufacturer, which makes sense since they reference so many products by name.

There definitely are some recipes in here we are interested in trying or using as a basis for our own recipe.  I haven't seen this cookbook at Costco since the weekend after Thanksgiving, but if they hand them out again, I recommend getting one. It has a lot of appealing and practical recipes in it and I am sure most of the readers of this blog would find something useful in it.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

New Coupons Started 12/02

Once again, here is a link to the information, courtesy of my wonderful friends at Addicted To Costco.

They have a link to a PDF file in their entry.

The coupons last until 12/19.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Another Great Use For Saigon Cinnamon-Chili

Sorry about the delay in postings, I got a bit sick this week and unfortunately, that suppressed my appetite.  But finally, I am feeling better and it is time for a seasonal favorite: chili.

I know, I know, I don't make an authentic chili because I use beans and ground beef.  But chili with with ground beef and beans is certainly a classic dish and very easy for to prepare in a crockpot.  And it turns out great in a slow cooker, because the flavors have so much time to meld.

For the most part, this was a fairly typical batch by many people's standards: ground beef, tomatoes, onions, beans, some chili powder, ground cumin.  But my wife loves the idea of cocoa and cinnamon, so I added some of that.  The wonderful Saigon cinnamon from Costco adds another type of warmth to the dish and certainly broadens the flavor profile.

My wife commented to me how good the chili was and you know, she was right.  This was also easy to make since there is very little prep time involved.  It is also a reasonably priced meal.  Now that winter is here in Soutwest Michigan, a nice  bowl of chili with a slightly exotic but wonderful flavor is just the right thing to warm both your body and soul.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pork loin with cranberry relish and mixed grain salad

Hi everyone, I'm the wife and today is a report on a dinner that we put together for my folks.

My parents started by splitting one of the pork loin steaks and each taking one half. By the end of the dinner, they had worked on the other one too so that it was almost finished as well.

If the cranberry relish recipe was doubled, there would be enough to season an entire package of the pork loin steaks.

Out of one package of pork loin chops, four were set aside for dinner and the other six were packaged in twos and put in the freezer for later use. These pork loin steaks were cut at approx. 1".

Pork Loin

Season the loin steaks with salt and pepper and roast at 325 degrees until just past pink. Watch the meat, don't let a timer do the thinking. Do not overcook. While the meat is still a little pink put the cranberry relish on the pork and finish cooking. Let sit a minute and sprinkle on a handful of silvered almonds before serving.

Cranberry Relish

2 cups Kirkland apple, peach, and passion fruit juice blend
1 cup Ocean Spray Craisins
1/4 cup coarsely chopped crystallized ginger
zest of one lemon

Simmer the juice, the Craisins and the ginger on low until most of the juice is reduced. Add the lemon zest at the end.

This cranberry relish would also be good on ham, chicken, or ice cream.

With the pork, a salad was served. This grain blend has not only quinoa, but also amaranth, brown rice and wild rice for a satisfying and nutty flavor.

Heritage Grain Blend Salad

1 Cup Nature's Earthly Choice Heritage Grain Blend
3 cups water
juice of 1 lemon
approx 1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 thinly sliced red onion (pole to pole)
1/2 each thinly sliced red and green bell pepper
Handful of cherry or grape tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the grain with the water until the liquid is absorbed and the grain is tender. When the mixture is done cooking and still warm add the lemon juice and olive oil. Combine with the veggies and season to taste.

If it were still summer, a large handful of fresh herbs would have made it into the dish as well.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Guest Post-Cranberry Cobbler Crunch

Hi, I'm Chris Louie, and I blog over at The Simple Skillet When Mike asked me to do a guest post about my Cranberry Cobbler Crunch, well, I was honored! I love his ideas, and I love Costco (other than the crazy parking and long lines) and shop their regularly, although I rarely purchase any of the prepared foods. I buy the produce, fish, meat, and other whole foods, and of course some of their wines.... then come home and cook from my own recipes. However, once in awhile I do like to try some of their specials.

Getting back to the Cranberry Cobbler Crunch, well it really isn’t your typical cobbler, and not your typical cranberry dessert. It is more like a pudding cake, and the crystallized sugar on top adds a nice crunch and takes the tartness away from the dried cranberries. I make this dessert often (well, probably more often than I should). I also make Individual Berry Cobblers that are just as easy, and cook in half the time because they are made in little souffle cups. You could do that with the Cranberry Cobbler Crunch as well, and just bake for 30 minutes in the 3 inch souffle cups.
This is a perfect dessert for a cold winter night, served warm with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It’s also good for breakfast/brunch (I know)…but it is! It’s not too sweet, and goes great with a cup of coffee or tea. It is easy to make, but takes an hour to bake. You can serve it warm out of the oven, but it is just as good the next day, just warm it a little in the microwave oven. The top keeps it’s slight crunch from the Turbinado sugar. When you're done having your second piece, you may want to check out our low calorie meal plans with recipes and shopping lists!

Serves: 8 (but in our house we usually get about 6 slices out of it)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy
1 1/4 cups cranberries, dried
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg, large
1 cup milk, I use 2% fat
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour, all purpose
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar, such as Sugar in the Raw
Preparation: Place cranberries in a small microwave safe bowl. Cover with water and cook in microwave for 1 minute and set aside to soften. Lightly butter and sugar a 9 inch pie or cake pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a microwave safe mixing bowl. Add sugar to butter and whisk together. Add milk, egg, and vanilla to the bowl and whisk together. Add flour and baking powder and whisk together. Pour batter into prepared pie pan.
Drain cranberries in a colander, shaking it around to make sure the water is fully drained.

Arrange softened cranberries over top of batter. Sprinkle with Turbinado sugar. Place baking dish in oven. Bake for approximately 1 hour until a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean.

I sprinkle a little more sugar on top (optional, but really good) when I remove it from the oven.

Best served warm, and you can reheat individual pieces in the microwave later.
Nutrition: Per Serving About: 350 calories, 13 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 4 g protein, 58 g carbohydrates, 2 g dietary fiber, 140 mg sodium

We post free weekly meal plans, recipes and shopping lists for family meals, low calorie meals, low carb meals, vegetarian meals and kid friendly meals. Stop on by and check it out!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Guest Post Nutella Chocolate Mousse Tart

When Mike emailed me to do a guest post I was immediately excited by his invitation. Then to find out it's about my favorite single addiction, Nutella !!  I was in a hurry to get started on posting my latest creation! Nutella is nature's perfect food it's great on everything.

Nutella  was invented by Pietro Ferrero in Italy in the 1940s, and was originally called pasta gianduja. Hope your a big fan like me! Here is my latest entry and thanks Mike for your invitation... Nutella Chocolate Mousse Tart

Nutella Chocolate Mousse
3/4 cup Nutella
1/3 cup unsalted butter
4 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon sugar

In a double boiler or oven proof bowl, over simmering water, melt the Nutella and butter, stir to combine. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, stirring after each addition. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In large bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, then add the sugar and continue beating until smooth and glossy.
 Gently fold in 1/4 of the egg whites to the Nutella mixture using a spatula, then add the remaining whites and combine completely. Spoon into cooled pie crust and cool in the refrigerator 4 hours.

Chocolate Butter Crust :

Makes  1 large tart shell in pan with removable bottom
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons heavy cream, chilled
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Place flour, cocoa, sugar, and salt in the bowl mix together with electric heavy duty mixer. Add butter, mixture will resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. Add yolks, cream, and vanilla; process until mixture comes together, keep adding cream if too dry, a little at a time.

Turn out dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, and flatten into a disk with the palm of your hand. Wrap well, refrigerate at least 30 minutes or until ready to use, up to 2 days.

Line the bottom of a removable tart pan with pistachio nuts. Unwrap dough, roll the dough out about 1/2 thick on the clear wrap, lift still on the wrap and place on over the nuts, to line the tart pan. With plastic wrap push still over the top, press sides in to make sure all dough is in the fluted edges to the top. Remove plastic wrap. Prick the dough with a fork on the bottom and bake on 350 until tart is done around 25 minutes. I make sure the toothpick is clean in the center before removing from the oven. Cool around 5 minutes, loosen edges if they look stuck with a knife and gently move from the fluted edges then flip onto on board to cool.
Then line a cookie sheet with wax paper and flip it right side up.  Fill  when cooled with mousse, add a  toasted meringue- or whipped cream topping and chopped hazelnuts.


3 egg whites from large or jumbo eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
In a chilled clean bowl, beat the egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. With mixer running, add the cream of tartar, then gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form. But don't walk away and overbeat as I did! It will not be smooth and get dry as you see in the picture...don't even answer the phone! That's what happened to me and this is the result too stiff of peaks formed!
Pile on to the top of your pie and seal edges to crust. (Sprinkles with nuts after its sealed and starts to brown or they will sink in.) Bake at 400°F  until lightly browned. Watch this closely as it will brown quickly in different ovens.

The bowl must be cold I put my bowl and beater in the refrigerator first! The bowl must be immaculately clean!

Sugar fills an important role in meringue. It stabilizes the beaten egg white foam which enables it to sit longer and hold its shape. Sugar pulls the water from the eggs and allows it to set better. When using sugar, your meringue can run the risk of getting a gritty texture so I only use superfine sugar when making meringue because it dissolves faster than table sugar. Use meringue within 5 minutes after beating as they will deflate quickly.

The challenge in making perfect meringue is neither to under or over beat the eggs. Under beating introduces too little air, and the whites will rise inadequately. If over beaten the mixture will separate. Seal your pie to the edges before baking. Its also better to make just before you serve as refrigerating will cause it to seperate from the edges and get runny.

Try some of my other Nutella Favorites:

Nutella Ganache Milano Cookies
Nutella Rocher Hot Chocolate
Thanks For Reading ! Claudia From What's Cookin Italian Cuisine

New Feature-Guests Posts On Costco Cuisine

I am trying out something new: I am going to have guest posters that have recipes that I think fit well with the philosophy of this blog.

Let me know what your think after they start posting.

Thanks and I hope you enjoy this new feature.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Quick and Easy Spinach Quiche-Ideal For Holiday Brunch Or Breakfast

For Sunday brunch with the family, my mother in law generally makes scrambled eggs. However, sometimes she likes to kick it up a notch by making a quiche.  This one used eggs, mozzarella and bacon bits, all from Costco. She adds a little milk and some frozen spinach (thawed and drained) plus some seasoning and she is good to go.

Easy, quick, tasty and affordable.  That is a wonderful set of qualifications for any dish.  And buying a number of the ingredients from Costco really makes it simple to grab stuff from your pantry and fridge and have it put together in minutes.

I highly recommend something like this for a holiday brunch or breakfast.  It really satisfies people but it keeps your time in the kitchen to a minimum so you can enjoy family time together.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Amylu Chicken Sausage With Apple, Cranberry and Quinoa Salad

We are fond of those Amylu Apple and Smoked Gouda Chicken sausages.  We had one last pack of them in the freezer and so I pulled them out and cooked them on the Griddler and we had our meat course. For a side dish I made the following: Apple, Cranberry and Quinoa Salad. Here is the recipe:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled, (we buy our quinoa from Costco)
  • 1 large Granny Smith Apple, cored and diced
  • 1/2 cup Craisins (dried cranberries) from Costco
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt dip

My idea was to use tart fruits like the Craisins and the apple to make the salad more suitable as a side dish than as a desert. My wife and I both agreed that it worked okay, not brilliantly, but okay as a side dish and that I should make it again.

We also both agreed that adding walnuts would be a good idea. To sum up, it was a good side dish that took very little work and time, it was very healthy and it well with something less "heavy" like the chicken sausage.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Les Plats du Chef All Natural Spanakopita-Great Tasting, Fun And On Sale

We love the assortment of both basic items like rice and more distinctive foods like the spanakopita that Costco carries. While I was doing other chores, my wife threw half a package in the oven for refreshments for my Toastmasters meeting.

The spanakopita went over great, it was all gone by the time the meeting was over.  It is tasty, easy to eat and fun.

The holidays and their associated parties are coming up, so we will definitely buy some more of this.  The coupon has no limit, so we will get some and store it in the freezer. At $3.50 off per package and no limit, this is truly a great opportunity.

Friday, November 12, 2010

"Must Go" Cheese and Pasta

In my wife's family, they have a term for things that are in the fridge and have to be used up before they go bad. They call them "Must Goes". Here is my wife's take on a pasta dish using some "must goes" from our fridge

A while back we had one last piece of that wonderful fresh mozzarella  from Costco.  We also had some ricotta and some Parm Reg cheese. The mozzarella was still good but near the end of its life, so my lovely wife threw all those cheeses together with some fresh and canned tomato and just a little bit of spice to liven it up. While not the best thing we have ever eaten, it was pretty darn good for something she just threw together in minutes.
Fresh Belgioioso Mozzarella from Costco is a great cheese at an awesome price and we will continue to enjoy it on a regular basis.

New Coupons Started 11/11

Here is a link to the coupons courtesy of our friends at Addicted To Costco.

We will be buying spanakopita and the pita chips. And we will definitely max out the coupons for Nutella and the Potstickers.

Some great deals this month, so check them out.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Costco Take And Bake Pizza Review-Great Pizza, Great Price

Sorry I am behind on blog entries, I thought I was back in the groove but then my mom spent a day and a half in the hospital. She is fine, but it messed up my schedule for a while.

Until the November 7, Costco has their Take & Bake pepperoni pizza on sale for $3 off, which brings the price to 6.99 in my local store. It is a huge pizza, practically the size of a hubcap on a Hummer.  And it comes almost totally covered with pepperoni.

Sure, it is big, but it is also a good pizza, comparable to the major chains like Papa Johns.  As you can see, it has lots of pepperoni. But it doesn't end there, it also has a flavorful sauce with a well made crust. Even at regular price, it is a good value. On sale, it is just simply a bargain.  The first one we had we served with the same type of salad we made with the Craisins that are on sale.

For the second one we bought, we topped it with fresh tomato from the farmer's market and Kirkland Signature Artichoke Hearts from Costco. That was fun pizza. It had a variety of textures from the different toppings and the tomato and artichoke hearts added nicely to the flavor profile.

You still have a couple of days to buy them on sale, and even at full price, they are a good deal.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Twist On A BLT: Bacon & Tomato Ravioli With A Salad Of Romaine, Almonds & Dried Cranberries

As we move thoroughly into fall, I decided to buy one last batch of fresh tomatoes from the farmer's market.  Given that we still have a good quantity of that wonderful Pasta Prima ravioli from Costco, I thought I would do something with that. Since we had lettuce and tomato already included in the menu, adding bacon jumped into my mind.

I cooked up some onion, garlic and crushed red pepper in EVOO.  I then added the chopped fresh tomatoes and let soften and blend in. Finally, I  added in those bacon pieces you get in the bag (real bacon, please, no substitutes) and warmed it through.  We garnished it with grated cheese and ground black pepper.

While not brilliant, we both agreed this was a very good dish and it took about as much time to make as it does for me to  do a posting on it.  The crushed red pepper gave some background heat and using the last of the farmer's market tomatoes gave it a fresh flavor.  We will definitely make this again: quick, easy, tasty and affordable is a hard combination to beat.

To go along with the theme of BLT, we had a romaine lettuce salad. The dried cranberries (craisins) are on sale this month at Costco with a coupon so three pounds of them cost 3.99, a real bargain.  We finished the salad with those crunch sliced almonds you get at Costco and it made for a wonderful salad that was pretty also.
I am sure we will find lots of good uses for those craisins. Aside from being affordable, they are colorful, tasty and good for you.  I highly recommend buying a bag before the sale is over.

For wine, we had the Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio 2008 that was given a solid rating Costco Wine Blog.  While not the best Pinot Grigio ever, at less than $8 a bottle it is a very good value. This someone sweet wine went well with the freshness of the tomato and my wife and I both agreed with the review that it was easy to drink and enjoy with this dinner.

To sum this up, the concept of Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato being used together has been around for a long time, but this shows there are still ways to innovate and put new spins on the idea.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sorry About The Lack Of Posting-Regular Posting Will Resume 10/31

I have gone to a new work schedule and I have had some personal things that have been needing my attention.

My "regular" rate of posting at least a couple times a week will resume on 10/31.

Happy Halloween.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Tribute To My Father And Pizza With Artichoke Hearts And Salami On Roasted Garlic Crust

Back when we were kids, my mom used to make pizza on Saturday night using french bread for a crust. It was something we looked forward to every week and it is one of those memories of childhood that you treasure and keep in a special place in your heart.

Recently, the tenth anniversary of my father's passing away came around and it made me think of that painful time and how we dealt with our loss. On the Saturday after my dad passed, my brother and I made french bread pizza at my mom's house both as a way to make a good supper quickly and as a way to connect to our father.

I am a person that would rather remember a someone's life rather than their death but realizing it has been ten years makes me think and reflect. Food is a pillar in reconstructing memories so for dinner on Saturday night, we made pizza using some bread with roasted garlic from Costco.

For the pizza sauce, I took some tomato sauce, spread it on and seasoned it with dried parsley, dried basil and a little ground black pepper.  Then I topped it with artichoke hearts and salami from Costco.  It was finished off with mozzarella and put under the broiler.

I thought it turned out great.  Those artichoke hearts from Costco are true bargain at just over four pounds worth for 8.49.  And we love that salami from Costco, it is so tasty and versatile.  Finally, the fresh baked bread seasoned with roasted garlic was a flavorful and substantial crust. And of course, using the bread for the crust was extremely quick.  In fact, I am sure I am spending more time writing this blog entry than making the pizza.

As I write this, I am just a little misty eyed.  I think back to the days of childhood and those Saturday night memories.  And I think about my father.  I am positive he would have been thrilled that I was writing a food blog. My dad loved a lot of things in life and let me assure you,  food was at the top of the list!

I am sure we will make pizza like this again and I am also sure it will always remind me of my childhood and of my dad.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Follow Up On The Availability of Products Mentioned Here At Costco Cuisine.

I have had several comments about the availability or lack thereof of various products mentioned here.

In my posting about Palermo's Margherita Pizza, it was commented by one reader that this item was no longer available. As items vary from region to region, I can't vouch for her store, but at least in the ones in Grand Rapids, Michigan still have them.

In the posting about Aarti's pizza,  someone commented that Costco sells paneer cheese. Unfortunately for me, I could not find it in either store near me, but who knows, maybe sometime soon I will be able to buy it.

In my review of Sabatasso's Pizza Variety Pack's,  it was asked where you can buy them.  I looked around and the stores in Grand Rapids, Michigan did indeed have them. 

Finally, I just went shopping for provolone cheese last night and I noticed a change in the one store I stopped at. Instead of Stella Provolone in a 2 1/2 pound package for $6.79, they had a 2 pound package of BelGioioso for 6.99. While still a good deal, this is a bit of a price increase. We have been big users of the BelGioioso fresh mozzarella, so I wonder if they are just consolidating cheese suppliers?

In any case, do keep in mind products of disappear and reappear in Costco.  Please also keep in mind that Costco is a big company that tailors itself to the needs of individual markets, so inventory does vary from store to store.   But on the upside, out of the dozens of postings I have done, only a few have "availability" issues.

October 14, New Coupons Become Active

Sorry about not posting for a while, some late days at work and I have been sick.

In any case, here is a reminder about the new coupons going live today, October 14.  My wonderful friends at "Addicted To Costco" have plenty of information about the new coupon book here. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Clarification To Post On Chicken Panini With Naan Bread

It appears I was a bit vague in my post and I appreciate the input to help me clarify it.

It was asked if I sliced the naan bread in half.  The answer is no, I used two pieces of naan bread.

Each slice, on one side, was sprayed with EVOO and then sprinkled the chopped, fresh rosemary.

The sides with the rosemary on it faced toward the inside of the sandwich where the meat, cheese and tomato was.

I hope this clarifies things.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Chicken, Fresh Mozzarella And Fresh Rosemary Panini On Naan Bread-First Panini We Have Had That Was Better The Second Day

After making Aarti's wonderful pizza, we had a couple of pieces of naan bread left over.  Obviously, such good and useful food shouldn't go to waste, so I put on my thinking cap and started working on how to make a panini with it.

We had some fresh tomatoes around and we also had some of that wonderful Belgioioso mozzarella and I thought I would use those.  That left selecting a meat and I choose some deli sliced chicken.  These are all fine ingredients, but I thought I could put this over the top by seasoning this with some fresh rosemary because I do feel rosemary and chicken is a righteous combination.

Thus the design of the sandwich was this:

I sprayed some EVOO on the inside of the naan bread and then sprinkled chopped, fresh rosemary on that.  Then I covered each slice with the deli chicken meat.  Finally, I laid down the cheese and fresh tomato and flipped over the top slice of naan/chicken and I had a sandwich with bread and chicken on both sided with cheese and tomato in the middle. 

I then put the sandwich in a zip lock bag and put it in the fridge for a while to let the rosemary flavor meld into the EVOO.

After that, all it needed was a few minutes on the Griddler and dinner was done. (We also served it with some of the tomato basil soup we got from Costco a while back). Here is the finished panini:

As for how it turned out: the fresh tomato and mozzarella made it a bit moist and sloppy to eat. Not impossible, just a bit sloppy. But if the sandwich was a bit juicy, the flavor was spot on. As I said, rosemary and chicken go great together and that was the first thing my wife commented on when she tasted it.  The chicken,  tomato and fresh mozzarella also was a good combination of meat, vegetable and cheese.

As for the naan bread, it is a fabulous bread for panini and we will definitely be using it again and experimenting with it.

We had a fine meal of this with that organic tomato basil soup from Costco and that left a quarter of a sandwich for our lunch the next day.  And that is where things get really interesting: this is the first panini we have made that was better the next day!

After sitting overnight in the fridge, the sandwich solidified and was definitely less messy to eat. Also, the rosemary flavor blended in better after sitting overnight.  We both felt that this sandwich improved overnight.  And it works both hot and cold, because I warmed mine up and my lovely wife had her's cold.

This experiment was a great success both with this specific combination and our discovery that naan bread works great for making panini.  And it was a good use of Costco ingredients with the bread, EVOO and cheese, plus the soup on the side.

Friday, October 1, 2010

"Eat This, Not That" Recommends Palermo's Primo Thin Margherita That You Can Buy From Costco

Recently I was visiting my mother and she has to watch what she eats. She recently bought on of those "Eat This, Not That" books to help her in that quest.

I was thrilled to see them give a very positive rating to the Palermo's Primo Thin Margherita that Costco carries and that we have enjoyed so much and posted about before.

This is a hard combination to beat for a pizza:

  • Great taste
  • Great price
  • Healthy
No doubt about it, these will definitely continue to be a standard item for our freezer.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mango Chutney, Prosciutto and Naan Bread "Pizza"-From Aarti Sequeria, Winner of The Next Food Network Star

When I saw her do this recipe for her pilot, I was intrigued and I knew I we would try this someday.  After my wife discovered that Costco sells naan bread, we decided to do it. My wife followed the recipe as closely as she could, with the exception of using all fresh mozzarella instead of paneer for the cheese. (We don't know where to get paneer locally).

The pizza was pretty easy to make and here is a photo of it before it was baked.

After a few minutes in the oven, my wife topped it with the prosciutto and it was done.
The first word I will use to describe this is delicious!  This is absolutely a great recipe. There are a wide variety of flavors in this dish, but they work together wonderfully.  The sweet, spicy chutney compliments the pungent nature of the green onions.  The cilantro adds a fresh zesty taste and makes the flavors even brighter. The prosciutto adds meat and a slight saltiness while the cheese adds a dairy flavor and texture.

As I said, there are a lot of things going on here, but they really come together in a tasty and fun way.  This is definitely a dish we are going to make again. And it was a particularly Costco oriented recipe with the prosciutto,  cheese and bread all coming from Costco.


Here is the link to Aarti's recipe.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Save 38,750 Calories And $135 A Year On Your Work Day Chocolate Fix With Hunt's Pudding Cups From Costco

I brown bag my lunch and with very rare exceptions, I pack a Hunt's Pudding Cup that I buy from Costco.

The 36 pack of these goes for 7.49, which is a bit over 20¢ each. That compares to 75¢ each for a Snickers bar out of the vending machine.  Figuring in 250 work days per year and that is about $135 a year.

But there are more than just the monetary savings.  A Snickers bar has 280 calories while the chocolate pudding has 130 calories and the chocolate-vanilla has 120 calories. Figuring out an average of 125 calories, that is a whopping 38, 750 calories per year you will save.

As I said in my post about the baked Lays snacks,  this alone won't make you rich and thin, but it will help.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Peaches In Wine

My wife asked me to buy some peaches at the farmer's market and I said I would, on the condition that she would do something intriguing with them.  She agreed to those terms and I sent her a bunch of different recipes for her to get some ideas from.  She settled on something beautifully simple, elegant and delicious: peaches in wine.

For the wine, she used the Kirkland Signature 2007 Meritage, which we thought was a fine drinking wine.  We bought this wine based on the review of the 2006 vintage at the independent Costco Wine Blog.

The preparation was pretty simple. My wife simply peeled and sliced the peaches and soaked them in the wine for a couple hours. Then, just before serving, she garnished them with a little Ginger-Honey Balsamic that added just a bit of a twist.

The results were great.  The wine makes this into an upscale desert instead of just fresh fruit.  And the flavored balsamic added some "zing" from the ginger and a mild tang from the balsamic.  As I said, this dish was simple, delicious and beautiful we will definitely do it again.

Here is a link to the blog entry that this was inspired by.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Bourbon Chicken Kebabs

We are fond of the Perdue Farms Bourbon Chicken from Costco and we thought we would try something new.

I took some of the chicken out of the freezer and put it in the fridge to thaw out. Then we made kebabs (also spelled kebobs) with chunk pineapple and fresh green pepper.

We cooked them on the Griddler, with the Griddler being opened up so it was like a big grill.

As they cooked, I brushed them with Ginger-Sesame dressing and turned them now and then. Here is the result.

We were pleased with the results. They were flavorful and fun.  However,  for less effort and time we can make this Bourbon Chicken Salad.  My guess is we will make the kebabs again sometime, but we will tend toward the chicken salad. Let me be clear, the kebabs were fun and a good change of pace, we just get a better return on our investments of ingredients and time with the salad.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chocolate Cheesecake With Nutella Mocha Affogato Recipe

I saw this wonderful recipe at Bell' Alimento.

Here  is the link to this wonderful recipe.

I am adding them to my links.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Costco Pumpkin Pie Review-On Sale With Coupon and Delicious!

Even at the everyday price of $5.99 the pie is a good deal. At $4.99 with the coupon, it becomes a great bargain.

The coupon has no limit, so we bought three: one for my mother in law, one for my wife to take to some friends and another for me to take into work.

The pie has a smooth, firm texture and it definitely has a pleasing pumpkin flavor.  It is sweetened just the right amount for my tastes: sweet but not so sugary that it feels like you are eating a kids breakfast cereal. It has been years since we have had a home made pie in the family and these pies are the reason why.  Excellent quality and a fabulous price. For the time and material at home that we would have to use, it makes no sense but to do anything but buy these when we want pumpkin pie.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Kirkland Signature Albacore Tuna Salad

The albacore tuna from Costco is definitely top quality stuff: great flavor, good texture, low in fat and salt and a great source of protein. My wife made this lovely and tasty salad featuring the albacore tuna.  She topped a bed a lettuce  with the tuna then layered some rice noodles on top to give it some crunch. Finally, she placed some mandarin orange slices around the side.  We dressed the salad with some ginger-sesame dressing and we were good to go.

It was a nutritious meal, with a variety of textures and flavors and it certainly is pretty.

And it took less time to make it than it did to put up this blog posting.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Mini Review Of The Sabatasso's Pizza Variety Packs On Sale This Month

We saw these in  the coupon flyer for this month and we thought they were worth a try.

With the $3 off coupon, a 12 pack of mini pizzas were only about $7, which is a good price. There were six pepperoni and six cheese pizzas in the package. They are all individually packaged, which does make them easy to serve if you want just one or two of them.

At about 3.4 ounces each, they are definitely snack sized pizza, although we did cook up a couple each for lunch.

As for the taste, they are fine, but nothing outstanding.  With the coupon, they were a good value, so we have no regrets about buying them.  Will we buy them again? Probably not, just because there are things that are a better fit for our needs.

I do see people with families buying them because they are the right size for kids, they definitely are cute and they cook up very easily in a toaster oven.

They might also work well as something for a party, as a snack or as and "emergency lunch or dinner".

Depending on your needs, these may or may not be a good choice.  But I can definitely say this: while not a stellar value, they are a quality item at a decent price with the coupon

Quick Idea For The Pasta Prima Ravioli On Sale At Costco

Yesterday I noticed someone in the checkout line at Costco with several bags of the ravioli in their cart. They too, were stocking up while it was on sale.

She commented that she likes to cover the ravioli with marinara sauce, top it with part of one of the seasoning packets and then bake it.

Sounds like a yummy and easy idea.

I also found interesting she does not use a whole packet of seasoning at a time. The seasoning is good stuff, but it can be overpowering if there is too much of it.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Bacon Wrapped Sirloin Paired With Kirkland Signature Meritage 2007

I recently added the independent Costco Wine Blog to my list of links and I have started using their recommendations.  Before the holiday weekend, I picked up a couple of bottles of wine and one of the was the Kirkland Signature Meritage 2007.

We served it with those wonderful bacon wrapped sirloin steaks that we are so found of.  This robust red wine went wonderfully with them and it was definitely a solid choice. At $10 a bottle, it was an excellent value and I would definitely recommend it.

The Costco Wine Blog did a review the 2006 Meritage and it was a Bronze rated wine.  I definitely feel they are reliable source of objective reviews and highly recommend them.

Nutella-Ricotta Ravioli With Raspberries-Recipe Help Needed

As you might guess from the number of Nutella links I have on my list, my wife and I love the stuff.  I thought I might get creative and try designing a desert using it. What I came up with was a ravioli stuffed with a mixture of Nutella and ricotta cheese and garnished with powdered sugar and fresh raspberries.
The filling was 1/3 cup each Nutella and ricotta cheese, plus a 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

I then put some of the filling on wonton wrappers, folded the wrappers over and sealed them with water.

To cook the ravioli, I panned fried them in just a little bit of canola oil.  Then I garnished them with powdered sugar and dressed them with the raspberries.

The result was a mixed bag. As you can see, the dish is certainly pretty enough.  The filling was pretty close to what I wanted, but the texture of the ravioli was off. They were edible, but they were tough enough you had to cut them with a knife.

I think this idea can still work, but I have to figure out how to cook the ravioli. Should I deep fry them, fry them in a 1/4 inch of oil, bake them or something else? (I don't think boiling them will work).

My wife also found them a bit on the sweet side. I can control that by eliminating the powdered sugar and possibly by using something like whipped cream to "cut the sweetness".

If anybody has any suggestions, I would love to hear them.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Ravioli With Chicken Sausage-Recipe and Review

We bought some of the Pasta Prima Spinach and Mozzarella Ravioli that is on sale this month with the coupon.  While the water was heating up for the ravioli, we cooked some of those Apple and Smoked Gouda Chicken Sausages on the Griddler.

While this was going on, I cooked up some onions and garlic in EVOO and some unsalted butter. (The butter and the oil were both from Costco).

When the ravioli was done, we tossed it with three links of the sausage that have been cut up, the garlic-onion mixture and one of the sauce packets that came with the ravioli.

Finally, my wife garnished it with some fresh tomato.  As you can see, it was a beautiful dish.

As for the taste of the dish, it was very good. The ravioli has a nice flavor and is satisfying.  The chicken sausage adds meat to the dish and broadens the flavor profile with its own seasonings and another cheese flavor.  The topping mixture brings in some more cheese and spice flavors, plus some green color.  Finally, the tomato added some freshness and a bold red color.

Our only negative on the dish was that between the ravioli, the sausage and most notably, the flavor packet, it was just a bit on the salty side. Next time we do it, we won't add all of the flavor packet. We both think that a subtle change like that can take this very good dish up to excellent.

It certainly was a very quick recipe to put together and the price was certainly reasonable.  This made a little less than four servings total for about $6.50, which is about a buck less than what a super-sized Big Mac meal will cost for just one person.

Cooking at home and eating well is definitely very affordable, easy and quick if you keep a few basics around and do just a little thinking.

As for a review of the ravioli:

It comes in a 3.5 pound bag and the normal price is 9.89. The coupon shaved off 2.50, bring the price down to 7.39, which is reasonable price for upscale frozen ravioli.

While not the best ravioli I have ever had, it has very good flavor and texture. The cheese and spinach filling is a nice change of pace from just cheese or meat fillings. The package is resealable which makes for easy storage in the freezer.  It comes with two flavor packets per bag, which you can use as much as you see fit. Honestly, my only negative about these is the flavor packets: if you use a whole one, it is a little salty. Therefore, my recommendation is this:

These are very good ravioli at a low price, but if you serve them with the included seasonings, don't add a whole pouch of it.

We stocked up and there are two and a half bags of these left in the freezer and I am already looking forward to another serving of them!

Nutella Blog Added

After a long hiatus, the Nutty4Nutella blog is posting again.

I have added them to the blog list.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Grilling Ideas For The Holiday Weekend

I thought a summary with links  of some of the items we have grilled would be helpful.

While we did these on the Griddler, these black bean burgers might do well on your gas or charcoal grill.

These bacon wrapped sirloin steaks are a favorite of ours to grill and they store great in the freezer.

Hebrew National Hot Dogs  are a great upscale hot dog at a low price at Costco. 

These chicken sausages with apple and smoked gouda by Amylu are low in fat, high in flavor and are again, a great value at Costco.

We also like grilled romaine lettuce.  We do it with a simple dressing of dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar and capers from Alton Brown, but we also have used this citrus dressing recipe.  I must say, the citrus recipe is just fantastic.

I hope these ideas are helpful and have a Labor Day if I don't post before it is over.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Snack Food Review-Kirkland Signature Kettle Brand Crinkle Cut Potato Chips With Sea Salt

With the Labor Day weekend coming up, I thought I would review a snack for those that might be having a party or just enjoying the outdoors.

These Kirkland Signature Krinkle Cut chips are seasoned with Sea Salt and made for them by Kettle. Kettle makes some great chips and these certainly meet my quality standards.  I thought they had the right amount of salt and had great flavor, texture and crunch. They are good by themselves but I have to admit I ate most of them with french onion dip.

As for the price, they are $4.25 for 32 ounces, a two pound bag.  Lays chips in the store are typically 3.99 for a 11 ounce bag, so these are about 60% less than Lays in the grocery store on a per weight basis. That is a huge savings.

Admittedly, you can sometimes buy the Lays on sale for half price, but even then, the Costco chips have a great price advantage.  And from my viewpoint, the Costco chips are better.

My only negative are that the Costco chips are in a big bag and the last few chips were a bit greasy.  But otherwise, these are great chips, a great value and I definitely am giving them a very positive review and I do absolutely plan on buying them again.


Review Of Deli Cilantro-Lime Shrimp On Sale At Costco This Month

With the holiday weekend coming up, I thought I would review some prepared foods and snack items.

This month Costco has their Cilantro-Lime Shrimp on sale for $1.50 off per container, no coupon required.(They take $1.50 off the sticker when you check out).

As my wife does not eat shrimp, I bought these as a treat for me. Overall, I was very pleased with them. I ate them "plain" right out of the container and I was impressed with the quality of the shrimp-they were flavorful and prepared properly, with the tails removed.

The cilantro-lime dressing on them was also well done. I like the tang and zest of citrus flavors and found these to be at about the right level. I also enjoyed the cilantro and other flavorings that made this more than just some shrimp soaked in lime juice.

As I said, I ate them plain, but I would think they would work well in some sort of salad. Also, for those that avoid carbs, serving these in romaine lettuce leaves would make for a flavorful low carb, low fat, high protein wrap.

I was definitely pleased with these and if there is ever another coupon, I will definitely buy them. I also might buy them every once in a while just to pamper myself. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Costco Wine Blog Added To Links

I have added the independent CostcoWineBlog to my list of links.

It looks like a great reference for some wines to pair with the delicious foods you get at Costco.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Refurbished Griddler-$45.00 Shipped

Some of you may remember we are very fond of our  Griddler.  Today, 8/31,  Meijer has a refurbished one for 49.99.

Use the coupon code "KITCHENSINK" and get 10% off and free shipping.  While the sale on the Griddler lasts until noon on 9/1, the coupon expires today, 8/31.  Also, there is a limited quantity, so buy early if you want one.


Soup and Panini

We always keep provolone and salami from Costco on hand so we have sandwich making basics. The other day we also picked up a two pack of roasted garlic bread and some of that  Harry's Organic Tomato Basil Soup that is on sale with a coupon this month.  We made a panini with the salami, provolone and some capicola that we picked up from our local Italian deli.

A few quick minutes on the Griddler for the sandwich and a few minutes in the microwave for the soup and we were ready for dinner.

The Italian meats and cheese went wonderfully with the roasted garlic bread and the sandwich alone was satisfying and flavorful.  Adding the soup completed the meal and gave us a vegatable course.  This was a very upscale sandwich and soup supper that went together in less time that it would have taken us to drive to Panera Bread. And the price was very reasonable.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Off Topic: Donating Items From Costco To Charity

I won't belabor the point that these are tough economic times and that charities need all the help they can get.  While money is almost always good, time and materials are wonderful, useful donations. One of our favorite things to donate to is the local animal shelter, Harbor Humane Society.  This link is to a list of  things they can use on a regular basis that they will always take donations for.  We have donated pet food and other supplies and it is a great way to give back.  Plus Costco's great prices on Iam's, paper towels, hand soap and other items give you a lot of donating power for the dollar.

If you have a favorite charity, it never hurts to see what they need and see if you can pick it up at Costco.  Buying something for half the price they might have to go out and pay for it, plus the time you save them might really make their day.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Save $100 And 2500 Calories a Year, Plus Eat More With Baked Lays!

Many of us spend money on snacks out of the vending machines at our place of work. Recently Costco had a 30 pack of Baked Lays for $2.50 off.  The price in my local store is normally 10.89 so the final price is 8.39, which is 28 cents for each bag.

I looked in the vending machine we have at work and most snacks are 75 cents each which means bringing your own saves nearly 47 cents, which is a pretty huge savings.  And even without the coupon, you would be saving about 39 cents each.  If you buy a bag a day at work, this will save you about $100 a year, which is decent money.

And there is also a calorie savings too. I compared these to the regular Lays products at Costco and the baked products were about 10 calories less for most of them. However, the portion size for the baked products is larger than the fried products, so you get to eat more.

The boxes come with four varities:

  • Regular Baked Lays Potato Chips
  • Baked Barbecue Lays Potato Chips
  • Baked Cheddar Cheese Ruffles
  • Baked Cheetos

As I said, the box holds 30 bags, so it saves some space that way.

I admit that you need to do more than just buy these snacks to get rich and thin, but they certainly will help you reach those goals.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lentil Quinoa Salad Recipe From Melissa d'Arabian-5th Season Winner Of The Next Food Network Star

We have been doing more with quinoa lately. It is versatile, extremely healthy, a great change of pace and the stuff from Costco is very affordable at four pounds for 8.99.  We had a family reunion on my side of the family this past weekend and we thought something with quinoa would be fun and different for the occassion.

The recipe my wife made was for a Lentil Quinoa Salad from Melissa d'Arabian's "10 Dollar Dinners" show.  It was very quick and easy to make and it did have an intriguing appearance.

While we liked it, it did not strike us as a "five star recipe" which is how it is listed on the Food Network site.  It just was not that exciting of a flavor profile.  We have made other dishes like Giada's Herbed Quinoa that we have liked much better.

That being said, I think it might be a good dish for a family with a couple kids that don't want flavors that are too bold but yet the adults want some variety.  In that context, I can see where people will rate it higher.

There was only about one serving left after the family reunion, so it was a success in that context.  Also, my wife took that last serving and spruced it up with some paprika and she said it was much better. Therefore, we might well make this dish again, but we will add to its spice profile.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Curried Chicken Quinoa With Veggie Salad And Corn On The Cob

The other day we did not have a lot of time for dinner so my wife made a quick supper using a couple of our favorite things from Costco: quinoa and rotisserie chicken.

She seasoned the quinoa with curry and cooked.  Then she added the rotisserie chicken.  I know, it was very simple, but the elegant warmth of the curry powder complimented the taste and texture of the quinoa very nicely.

The meal was completed by a vegatable salad and some nice corn on the cob. It was a flavorful, healthy and fun meal done in very little time and at a reasonable price.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Refurbished Griddler-$49.99 Shipped

Via eBay Daily Deals, has the Griddler for $49.99

Great deal!

We use ours all the time. 

Chocolate Hazelnut Heaven-A Couple Of Nutella Links Added

One of our favorite things to buy at Costco is Nutella.  At 8.79 for two 26.5 ounce jars, it is definitely the best price I have seen for it. 

In recognition of this wonderful substance, I am adding a couple of new websites to my links.

The first one is for the recipe collection that celebrates the 5th Annual Nutella Day of February 5, 2010.  It definitely seems to be a pretty extensive list of a wide variety of recipes.

The next one is for an independent Nutella forum.  Traffic on this site seems to be very low, but there are a few recipes and ideas there and who knows, maybe traffic might pick up some day.

While these recipes are wonderful, one of my favorite ways to enjoy Nutella is just to get a scoop of it on a clean spoon and slowly savor it!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Chicken Taco Pizza

My mother-in-law gave us an extra pizza crust she bought at the farmer's market. It was a tomato jalapeno crust from Bova Bakery in Gobles, Michigan.

We topped he pizza with some rotisserie chicken, fresh tomato and onion.  To finish it off we added some fresh Jack's Medium Salsa from Costco and cheddar cheese.  Then just a few minutes in the oven to melt the cheese and we were ready for dinner.

While a bit spicy, the pizza was not too hot and it was an interesting selection of textures.  The crust was a bit crispy and chewy at the same time, while the veggies and other ingredients were more middle of the road in terms of mouth feel.

All the fresh ingredients gave it a bit more vibrant taste and it went together in less time than it takes me to write this blog post.  We think it was a big success overall and will certainly consider doing something like this again.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pasta, Peas & Prosciutto

Prosciutto is another one of those items that is at a ridicously low price at Costco.  Their Citterio brand at 8.99 for a pound is truy a great price.  It is pre-sliced and ready to use.  Prosciutto is great wrapped around melon and it is an excellent sandwich and panini ingredient. 

We also like to cook with prosciutto. One of our favorite recipes is from Rachel Ray.  It is Pasta, Peas and Proscuitto.  This dish has a lot of the typical elements of a red sauce but it has some nice touches that make it special.  The peas add color and another vegetable while the proscuitto gives it meat and another set of textures and flavors. Finally, all the fresh basil adds a nice, bright touch.

This is a great recipe and it is really affordable, since I think it makes a lot more than four servings. My wife constantly says Rachel must be feeding teenage boys when she figures out portions!