Monday, December 5, 2011

White Bean Dip With Mission Tortilla Strips And Baby Carrots

Food is a way I express affection and appreciation, so bringing in something for my coworkers to enjoy made a lot of sense.  One of my coworkers has Celiac's Disease, so making something gluten free seemed like a great idea.  As I am very fond of the tortilla strips and baby carrots we buy at Costco, some sort of dip to serve them with seemed pretty natural and the first one that came to mind was this white bean dip.

This recipe was simple, delicious, easy to make and gluten free for my friend.  And it certainly was a big success at work.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Costco Coupon Book 11/10 To 11/27

Thanks again to my wonderful friends at Addicted To Costco, I have a link to the upcoming coupon book.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ham And Cheese Pinwheels Plus A Review of Flatout Multigrain Flatbread

I have made this recipe for ham and cheese pinwheels a number of times and they are always well received.  For a change of pace, I thought I would make them with some Flatout brand flatbread instead of tortillas.  I made a double batch and used three of the Flatout multi-grain bread.  Below is a photo of the finished pinwheels.
The pinwheels were well received at the party I brought them too and there were no leftovers to take home.

However, I don't think we are likely to buy these again. It is a good product but for only two people, 18 pieces of flatbread is a huge quantity.  So my review of them is this:

Good product, good taste and useful, but for two people, the package at Costco is just two big. For larger families or for parties, this is a good product to buy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Peppers And Tomatoes Stuffed With Quinoa And Chorizo

While watching the most recent season of "The Next Food Network Star", I was intrigued by a dish of chicken and quinoa stuffed peppers.  I thought the idea of using something hearty and healthy to stuff peppers with sounded like a great idea, but I thought I could put my own spin on it. After some thought, I decided to use cooked chorizo as the meat in the dish.

But that was not the only way I experimented with the dish. While discussing this idea with my wife, she suggested adding a poblano chili to the stuffing and I thought that was an excellent idea. Then, to round out the flavors, we put in some chopped onion.  Finally, since my wife is not fond of cooked peppers, we stuffed some tomatoes to suit her tastes. The final dish was as follows:

1 small sweet onion chopped
1 pound chorizo
1 poblano, seeded and chopped
1 cup quinoa, cooked according to directions
About 1 tablespoon of chia (Available from Costco)
Peppers and tomatoes, tops cut off and centers cleaned for stuffing

Oven was preheated to 350 degrees.

The chorizo and onion were sauteed together, until the chorizo was cooked through. The chopped poblano was then added and cooked for a few moments. Finally, the cooked quinoa was added, along with chia.  The filling was mixed together and then the vegetables were stuffed.

The stuffed vegetables were placed in the oven and cooked until the tops were browned a bit, about 20 minutes. (Please feel free to cook these to your preference).

Aside from being good eats, I thought the results were attractive:

This was definitely a success. The stuffing of the quinoa and chorizo was flavorful and very satisfying.  As a stuffed vegetable dish this was wonderful, but my wife also had some of the stuffing for leftovers later and she commented it also works well as a stand alone dish.

This was easy, flavorful, and fun and it works well using both the peppers and the tomatoes. It is our guess that this would probably also work well with squash.

If you are looking for a hearty, meaty use of quinoa, this a great idea and I highly recommend this.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sacrilegious Black Bean Burger With Bacon And Pepper Jack Cheese

We are huge fans of the Morningstar Farms Chipotle Black Bean Burgers.  They are delicious, easy to cook and nutritious.  One day I suggested to my wonderful wife that they would be great with bacon and cheese and she was a bit taken aback.  While we are definitely meat eaters, she thought the idea of putting meat and cheese on a vegan product was blasphemous.  I, however, thought it sounded pretty yummy and we went ahead and did it.

The bacon and spicy cheese went very well with these burgers.  The flavors and textures all complimented each other very nicely and it was an exceptionally satisfying combination.

My wife made the comment to me that this was a great way to serve these burgers and I am sure we will do something like this again.

If you like meat, this is a great way to have some serious fun with these black bean burgers

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Costo Coupon Book For October 13 to November 6

Courtesy my wonderful friends at Addicted To Costco, here is a link to this month's coupon book.

Among other items, both the Take and Bake pizza and the Palermo frozen pizza are on our list.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Leveraging Caprese Salad: First A Great Salad, Then A Great Sandwich

We are quite  fond of the Belgioioso fresh mozzarella that we get from Costco.  One of our favorite dishes with it is a Caprese salad.  As you can see from the photo below, it is as beautiful as it is delicious.

As delicious as this salad was, there was so much of it we didn't finish it in one meal and that gave me an idea.  I thought it would make a great base for a sandwich so we got some sandwich rolls and toasted them lightly.  Then, on the bottom half, we put some cappocolla and topped it with some of the leftover caprese salad.  It was then put under the broiler just long enough to melt the cheese a bit and warm everything up.  
The finished product definitely met my expectations.  The flavors from the salad had blended together very nicely and by just warming it through with some gentle melting, the cheese was soft, warm and delicious.  Finally, the Italian lunch meat made this a complete sandwich. This was an absolute success and I am positive we will do something like this again.

Also, it is a great example of making one dish and leveraging it into multiple meals in different ways.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Dinner To Celebrate The Anniversary Of Our First Date: Baked Salmon, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans

Now that I am settled into my new 1st shift job, I have a lot more time to spend with my lovely wife.  Normally, to celebrate the anniversary of our first date, we go out of town or have dinner out. But my wonderful wife thought it would be romantic to have a nice dinner at home and watch a movie, and I concurred.

However, as much as we wanted a nice dinner at home, we had no desire to spend three hours in the kitchen, so we came up with this elegant, simple and quick meal to celebrate eight years together as a couple.

For the main course, my wife  took some Kirkland Signature Atlantic Salmon and cooked it in parchment paper with butter, dried dill, salt, pepper and a little lemon juice. She set the oven to 350 and baked it for 20 minutes.  While that was going, I snapped some fresh green beans and my wife cooked up some pancetta from the local Italian deli.  After steaming the beans, we added the pancetta to them and they were good to go.

For the potatoes, I made some Honest Earth potatoes we bought from Costco and dressed them up with bacon bits and dried chives.  The resulting dinner, along with being tasty, was also quite attractive.

The salmon comes in individually wrapped portions, which made the preparation of them simple, neat and quick.  The potatoes were also a snap to prepare, but as I said, adding the chives and bacon (real bacon!) made them more upscale.

The salmon was tasty and a great value for the dollar and we have already decide to make a meal like this again for entertaining my mother.

Once again, Costco gave us some great food at a great price that was easy to cook with.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Leveraging Homemade Corn Salsa Through Costco

Recently, my wonderful wife made some fresh corn salsa.  Absolutely delicious stuff and versatile too.  Her first use of it with Costco items was to make some scrambled eggs along with a quesadilla filled with the Jarlsberg cheese we get from Costco. Then she finished the meal by stuffing a tomato with the salsa. This was a complete meal nutritionally and it was tasty and beautiful.
We also used the salsa with those wonderful black bean burgers we get from Costco. These burgers are always delicious but the  corn salsa really added a vibrant, fresh flavor to them that really was just wonderful.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fruit Bars and Limoncello, A Tasty Combination

We stocked up big time on the Edy's Fruit Bars that were on sale earlier this summer. They are tasty, refreshing, fat free and low calorie: how much better can a sweet treat get?

My lovely wife discovered a fun way to have a little alcohol with them.  She buys Limoncello at Costco and gives the fruit bars a quick dip in them as she eats them.

This adds another layer of flavor to the fruit bars, plus it adds a tinch of alcohol to make it festive for for grownups.

So dunk and enjoy!

One Last Chance At This Month's Coupons Expiring 9/11/11

If you have time to run out to Costco today, you can get one last tray of the Alfredo on sale, or for that matter, a lot of other fun items on that they have coupons for this month.

Here is the link courtesy of my friends at Addicted To Costco.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Chicken Salad With Cannellini Beans, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Green Pepper and Sweet Onion

We had a rotisserie chicken from Costco recently and my wonderful wife decided to make chicken using salad using it.  Here is her list of ingredients

Rotisserie chicken-from Costco
Cannellini beans
Green bell Peppers
Sweet onion
Romaine lettuce-from Costco
Bella Sun Luci tomatoes-from Costco
Meyer lemon olive oil

The salad was colorful, easy to eat and refreshing-a perfect summer lunch or light dinner. I liked how she combined the crunchy with the chewy. Also, using mostly fresh ingredients gave this a nice, bright flavor profile.

While chicken and lettuce are the basis of this salad, it is the rest of the ingredients that sets this apart and makes it a home run.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Perdue Farms Bourbon Chicken Wrap With Peppers, Chives and Romaine Lettuce

With my lovely wife being off work for the summer, she has been doing the majority of lunch making. This lovely wrap consists of Perdue Farms Bourbon Chicken, fresh peppers, chives and romaine lettuce, all wrapped up in a flour tortilla. For dressing, she added just a little bit of lite salsa ranch dressing. As you can see, the dish is as attractive as it is tasty.
This was a wonderful idea and my wife executed it well. It was tasty, easy, quick and pretty to look at.  The tangy flavor and meaty texture of the chicken was well complimented by the crisp vegetables and the soft flour tortilla.

The bourbon chicken from Costco makes for great finger food, but with a little creativity, you can also use it to make a fun and easy lunch or dinner.  It works well in both sandwiches and salads and I am sure it will be it will be in our freezer on a regular basis.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Costco Coupon Book-July 14 To August 7

Once again, I would like to thank my friends at Addicted To Costco for posting this month's coupon book online.

Our freezer is still fairly full of lots of Costco items, so we probably won't be stocking up on frozen foods this month.

But I would be very surprised if we didn't get the cookies at some point!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pizza with Foster Farms Chicken Strips, Dole Pineapple, Sweet Onion and Barbecue Sauce

I saw some lovely Dole Pineapples at Costco recently and I thought a chicken pizza with some barbecue sauce would be a great use of this fruit. My wife agreed and while I was at work, she made the following pizza using:

  • 1- 12 inch pizza crust
  • 1/4 of a Fresh Golden Dole Pineapple, diced
  • 1/2 large Vidalia Onion cut into thirds and thingly sliced
  • 1 cup Foster Farms Chicken strips, cut into chunks
  • Barbecue sauce to lightly coat the pizza
Below is a photo of the pizza before it went into the oven.

And here it is, cooked and delicious! It was in the oven for about 15 minutes at 425-450 degrees.
As you can see from the photo below, for a pizza, it has a variety of colors and textures going on, plus a very pleasing range of flavors.

Originally, I suggested that we put mozzarella on it, but my lovely wife thought that was not the best idea and I am glad she omitted it.  The final pizza is definitely  much better off without the cheese in this case. This dish has a lot of bright, sweet and tangy flavors and cheese would have muddled that combination.

This meal was a huge success and it will be repeated.  I highly recommend picking up a pineapple at Costco now and then. They are fun, tasty and easy to work with in a wide variety of applications.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Free Cookbooks

Here is a link to a variety of cookbooks that are available for free download.

If you don't have Kindle software, you can get it here by following the various links to the software you need.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Open Face Black Bean Burger Sandwich: An Old Post But A Great Post

Note: With the Morning Star Chipotle Black Bean Burgers on sale this month, I felt that a repeat of this post was in order. My lovely wife and I just love these burgers and you can serve them up very quickly and easily.                 

Recently we bought some of the black bean burgers from Morningstar Farms at Costco.  They are frozen and are less than $14 per box of 12. That makes them convenient and reasonably priced.

We buy some delicious black pepper bread from our local farmer's market and toast it for the base of the sandwich. Meanwhile, we grill the burgers on our Griddler.

After the toasting and grilling, we put the burger on the toast, top it with some of the Jack's Special Medium Salsa and some cheddar cheese and we are good to go.

We love this meal.  The burgers have just the right amount of zing and they are filling and certainly healthier than a beef burger. The toasted bread compliments the spicy flavor of the burger and give a chewy bread in contrast to the "meatiness" of the burger.  The salsa and cheese provide a vegetable and dairy balance to the meal and a sense of completeness.

I can't say enough about how tasty this meal is.  I could certainly see something like this on the menu at a restaurant by someone like Bobby Flay.  Yes, it is that good.  And the time, effort and money involved are very reasonable.

And the meal is just plain fun, too.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Costco Coupon Book- June 9 to July 3

Once again I would like to thank my friends at Addicted to Costco for posting this month's coupon book.

I know we will be getting the black bean burgers, the Iam's dog food (to donate to our local shelter) and the take and bake pizza.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pasta Prima Chicken & Mozzarella Ravioli With A Spicy Italian Brats Tomato Sauce

My wife and I are very fond of the Pasta Prima raviolis that we get at Costco. We had some of the fresh Chicken and Mozzarella variety in the fridge and it was calling to me. Given the more subdued flavors of the ravioli, I thought a sauce with a little excitement to it would be fun.  My wife agreed and after gathering all the elements for the sauce that we had on hand, I finished the provisioning by getting some spicy Italian brats from  a local meat shop, Montello's. The ingredient list this dish was pretty simple:

  • EVOO
  • 2 cloves garlic; peeled, pressed and chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • Crushed red pepper
  • 1 pound Italian brats, casings removed
  • 1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • Fresh herbs: parsley, oregano and thyme
While my lovely wife removed the casings from the sausage, I sauteed the onion, garlic and crushed red pepper. Then we added the brats and I broke them up with a spoon as I cooked them.  After the brats were cooked, the tomatoes were added and I let it come to temperature and cook a bit as my wife got the fresh herbs.  The herbs were added just moments before serving and then we garnished our portions as we saw fit with grated cheese.

As you can see, it was a pretty dish and it went together in minutes.  As for the taste, it was excellent. My wife and I both commented that Italian brats were a lower fat alternative to typical Italian sausage, although I do think standard pork sausage would still work very well in this dish.

As we hoped, the sausage and the red pepper added some zing to the dish without making it just flavorless heat and spice.  The tomato and onion helped to add at least some vegetable, so you really have a good variety of meat, dairy, pasta and vegetables in this dish, making it a true one dish meal.

This was absolutely a home run: delicious, easy, affordable and quick.  I am sure we will be doing something very similar to this again.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chicken Taco Salad With Tostitos Garlic and Black Bean Chips

We make taco salads on a fairly occasional basis but they have always been beef based. For a change of pace, I thought we should try one that was chicken based.

To start the process, I took some of those Foster Farms chicken strips we bought at Costco a while back and tossed them with some chili powder and EVOO and put them in the fridge to thaw.

When my wife got home, she finished heating them up in a pan on the stove. I chopped some romaine lettuce, pulled the cheese out of the fridge along with some salsa and got those Tostitos Garlic and Black Bean chips that I reviewed recently.
Our conclusion: this worked really well and it was a fun, tasty dinner. There are a lot of different textures and flavors going on here.  The romaine lettuce and the chips give some crunch, while there is a meaty texture from the chicken.  The lettuce gives a fresh flavor while the salsa and the chips give a little spice and zing.

The value from this is pretty good too. A salad like this is probably going to set you back $16 to $20 for two people at someplace like Applebees. And unless you live next door to a restaurant, chances are you can put this together in less time than it takes to drive there and back.

So the next time you crave a taco salad, take a look in your cupboard, your fridge and your freezer. You very well might be able to make something delicious in less time than it takes to get to the restaurant.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Pasta Prima Chicken Mozzarella Ravioli With Pancetta And Vidalia Onions

We stocked up on the Pasta Prima Chicken Mozzarella Ravioli that was on sale last month and I thought it would be a good idea to make very simple sauce to help highlight the elegant flavor of the ravioli. This dish had only four components:

Pasta Prima Chicken and Mozzarella Ravioli-one package
About an inch think slice of pancetta, cubed
Half of a large vidalia onion, chopped

All there was to cooking this dish was just browning the onion and pancetta and then just adding a bit of EVOO to have enough liquid to balance out the sauce.  By serving it with a romaine lettuce salad we had a fine and complete meal in just minutes.
My wife and I were both very pleased with how this turned out and it was definitely a success. The hearty taste of the pancetta complimented the more delicate flavor of the ravioli and the sweet, light taste of the onion.

Our only negative was that the dish is just a bit salty due to the pancetta being a salty meat. But let me be clear, it was a very sucessful dish. I am only saying that if we could figure a way to temper the saltiness of the meat in it a little, it would be perfect.

As it stands, it was a lovely meal and the return on our time was fabulous.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Costco Coupon Book For May 12 to June 5 2011

Once again I would like to thank my wonderful friends at Addicted To Costco for putting this month's coupon book online.

Some of the things we will be getting this month include the bourbon chicken, the M&M's and the fruit bars.

I will have more on these items later.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Tostitos Garlic & Black Bean Chips-A Quick Review

You still have until tomorrow to buy these chips on sale and if you are a salty snacker like I am, I highly recommend stocking up on them.

While I generally eat my tortilla chips with salsa or as part of taco salad, I found these chips flavorful enough to eat on their own. The garlic and black bean flavors are present and enhancing, without being overpowering.  Also, these chips have more fiber than your typical tortilla chip, so they are a slightly less guilty pleasure. And while they are great by  themselves, they still work well with salsa.  And at some point we will make a chicken taco salad with some chicken strips we bought from Costco.

At $6.59 for a 26 ounce bag, these are definitely a better value than the bag you buy in the grocery store.  Then add in the coupon and you are paying about the same price for a 26 ounce bag as you pay for a 13 ounce bag in your typical supermarket.

Once again, Costco sells a great product at a great price. If you like tortilla chips, I highly recommend picking up some before the sales ends on May 8.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Quinoa With Ham, Pineapple, Black Beans and Vegetables

Sorry about the delay in posting. We went on vacation and then when we got back, we had a bunch of mundane chores to do like car shopping.  But it is time to start into posting again. Here is a fun, colorful dish that was easy to make to help me get into the swing of things again.

After Easter, my mother in law offered me all the ham I wanted, so I took her up on the offer.  I thought it might be fun to do something with quinoa and after some research, I came up with this dish.

1 cup quinoa, cooked and just so lightly salted
About 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 small onion, diced
About 1 cup chopped baby carrots
About 1 cup chopped celery
Canola oil
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
A portion of a fresh pineapple, chopped, with some juice from the pineapple
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly ground red pepper
Some freshly ground curry mix
Dried dill, crushed

I cooked the quinoa per directions. While that was happening I sauted  the ginger and garlic in the canola. After they had cooked a bit, I added the onions, then the celery and carrots. When they to about the right consistency, I added the quinoa, pineapple and beans. The last step was to season it and honestly, I just kept adding the spices until it had the flavors I wanted.

Due to our complex schedules, the first meal we had of it was for lunch the next day, so maybe that helped the flavors to meld. In any case, I think I got the seasoning pretty close to where I needed it. The ginger adds a fun, bright flavor while all the rest of the spices help to make the flavor profile broad enough that the dish was a little more complex, but not too busy.

My wife and I both rated this a success and I think we will try ham and quinoa together again.

I took a lot of inspiration from this recipe. However, as it is typical of me, I didn't bother measuring any of the seasonings.  Also, I eliminated the powdered milk and added onions. Finally, I used fresh pineapple and fresh ginger. I think those are probably the biggest changes since they help give the dish a lively, fresh and invigorating zing. (Eliminating the powdered milk also makes this dish a little brighter). I think this recipe definitely has a similar ingredient list to the one I referenced, but I think the few changes I made help to make it significantly different.  But I do want to be honest, I did get some good ideas from the dish I referenced.

Also, the quinoa and the black beans make this a pretty healthy dish, so you can enjoy the wide variety of flavors and textures this dish has to offer without any guilt.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Costco Canine Cuisine-Kirkland Signature Dog Food

As much as we buy cheese, Nutella, quinoa and other foods from Costco, the #1 food we buy by weight from Costco is our dog food. As it is with so many items at Costco, they offer exceptional value.  The Kirkland Signature food we get is less than IAMs and other name brands, but it is of excellent quality.  When we got our new dog from the local animal rescue, they were already feeding her this brand of food and she was certainly seemed to be doing well.  The day we brought here home, we took her to the vet for a baseline checkup and I showed the ingredient list to our vet.  He reviewed the list of ingredients, noted her health was excellent and gave his approval to keep using it.

Our pet's health is important to us and we appreciate that fact that Costco sells such a good product at such a reasonable price.  This is definitely another example of Costco offering excellent value.
As for our dog Layla, I am sure the photo below will illustrate what a happy, healthy and pretty dog she is and we thank Costco for making a great product that helps keep her that way.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Costco Coupons For April 14 To May 8

Once again, my friends at Addicted To Costco have published the upcoming coupon book.

Among the items I know we will be getting will be the Potstickers, the Tostitos Garlic Black Bean Tortilla Chips and the Welch's White Grape Cherry Juice.

I would like to thank my friends at Addicted To Costco. They have a lot of great info for Costco members.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Grilled Corn Beef Sandwich On Rye With Jarlsberg Cheese

My wife recently made a wonderful corn beef brisket in the crockpot. A delicious and versatile meat, it struck us that it would be great to make a sandwich out of it.  My wife and I are are very fond of the Jarlsberg cheese we buy at Costco and thought that would be an excellent cheese to mesh with the meat.  It is a great cheese for snacking and sandwiches, and Costco has a low price on it.

Given how tasty the meat was, this could be a pretty simple sandwich. We sliced the meat and the cheese and just dressed the rye bread with some Polish mustard.  Then after a few on the Griddler, we were ready for hot, cheesy, meaty goodness!

Honestly, this was an absolutely fabulous sandwich.  The corn beef and Jarlsberg work wonderfully together and the rye and the mustard added just the right flavors to put this over the top.

We have another brisket in the fridge and I can guarantee you, some of it will end up in a sandwich like this one.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Costco Cuisine Recipes on Pasta Prima Website

My wife and I love the Pasta Prima Ravioli and with our permission, they have posted some links to a couple of recipes on our blog.

I have added a link to their site to my list of links.

I am sure we will continue to use this fine product. It is tasty, affordable and easy to work with. Ravioli can have more than just a simple red sauce, so I encourage everyone to do some experimentation with it.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Costco Bagels-Not The Best Bagels In The World, But Good Value

I have had a lot of bagels in my life and thus, I was compelled to pick up some from Costco for a Toastmasters meeting where I was schedule to bring refreshments.

The bagels were a good success and my wife and I had some later. My lovely wife's comment was that they were fine but a little on the chewy side and honestly, I would probably agree with her. However, they were still good bagels and at the price Costco sells them at they are a solid value.

I highly recommend them and the next time you need to bring in a bunch of bagels to work, give Costco a try, it will give you a lot of bang for your buck.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Quick Comment About Honest Earth All Natural Creamy Mashed Potatoes

My friends at Addicted To Costco have sung the praise of these fine instant mashed potatoes. I have to say, they are a great product.

My lovely wife made a brisket in the slow cooker the other day and I suggested that we have some of these potatoes with it.  She liked the idea and in a few minutes these potatoes were ready.

Aside from being darn good for instant mashed potatoes, they come in packages of eight servings each, instead of just one big box that you have to worry about measuring out and controlling the mess.

As I said these are a great product and I highly recommend them.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Couple Of Ideas For Serving Nature's Earthly Choice Heritage Grain Blend.

I have done a post on Nature's Earthly Choice Heritage Grain Blend and so has my lovely wife.  She made another batch of it and we have had it couple of different ways.

My wife seasons it with Garam Marsala and tops it with the wonderful albacore tuna Costco sells. She really liked it and in addition to being tasty, it was easy and extremely nutritious.

As for myself, I seasoned some with cinnamon and chili powder and I topped it with some pre-cooked chicken strips we bought on sale at Costco a while ago.

I also felt my variation was dang tasty, and again, easy and healthy.

I would definitely recommend people that like quinoa trying out this product and experimenting with it.  It seems like it can take a lot of different flavors and it is not hard to prepare.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pasta With Sundried Tomatoes, Chicken And Cheese

I have been looking at that jar of Bella Sun Lucci Sundried Tomatoes in the fridge and I thought that they would go great with some rotisserie chicken.  Making a pasta with the those two components in the sauce seemed like a great idea for a tasty, quick dinner. My wife eagerly agreed and we set to it.

I browned up some crushed red pepper and garlic in some butter to start. Then some chopped chicken and tomatoes went into the pan and they weren't cooked really, just warmed. Finally, my wife doused the mixture with a very generous portion of grated parmesan cheese.  We served it with a romaine lettuce salad with a dressing of EVOO, salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar.

Everything turned out great and it was a fine midweek supper. However, my wife discovered that the salad dressing added a wonderful set of flavors to the dish. I tried her idea and I agreed that the balsamic worked well with this.

We will probably do this again, but we will add some balsamic to the sauce.

This meal was definitely a success and it gave a great return on the investment of the time we put into it.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Amylu Chicken Burgers Sweet Potato Fries

When we were browsing at Costco recently we saw these burgers from Amylu. Given how satisfied we have been with their chicken sausage, we definitely felt we should try the burgers.  Without a doubt, this was a great decision. To go with them, we bought some sweet potato fries and it made for a colorful and varied meal.
The burgers are flavored with caramelized onions and cook up in minutes. I dressed mine with romaine lettuce, red onion and some mango chutney.(The chutney is not in the photo).  I garnished the fries with barbecue sauce, which also added some nice variety to the meal.

This meal was a snap to prepare and it was a great value too. If we had gone out to Red Robin for something similar, after tax and tip, you would be talking about $20 for the two of us. A 10 pack of the burgers at Costco is $12, so it is easy to see what a comparative bargain this meal is.

Friday, March 11, 2011

New Link Added-Costco Insider Blog

Here is another Costco specific blogs:Costco Insider.

He has a different style and selection of content than the other Costco blogs out there, so I hope you will give this site a try.

I have added this site to my list of links.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Yahoo Article Comparing Costco and Amazon

I saw this article on Yahoo Finance comparing the two stores.

I do understand the comments about the time value of money, but I feel I get a great return on that at Costco. And I don't believe I spend as much time there as the author of the article does, except for times when I am deliberately surfing the store to find new products.

And I can't readily buy  through Amazon take and bake pizzas, romaine lettuce, black bean burgers, potstickers and innummerable other items I buy fresh, frozen or refrigerated at Costco.

Don't get me wrong, I do think for some people Amazon has a valid business model, but for so many of the grocery and other items we buy, Costco just can't be beat.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Costco Coupon Book-March 10 To April 3

A new coupon book starts this week and here is a link to it courtesy of my friends at Addicted To Costco.

The pizza is definitely on our shopping list and we will probably try the strudel.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Egg Casserole With Salami And A Crust Made From Crescent Rolls

We bought those four packs of Pillsbury Crescent rolls on sale a while back. When we got to the final package, I suggested we get creative and make a breakfast casserole.

It was a pretty simple idea, with the filling being just some eggs, soy milk and some of that tasty salami we get from Costco.

The crust was the crescent rolls in one big piece, formed into a 8 by 8 baking dish.

It was a tasty enough dish, but my wife had to put foil over the crust to keep it from burning so the filling would set enough.
We will probably try something like this again if we get a bunch of crescent rolls, but we will probably precook the filling a bit.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Southwestern Style Pasta Prima Ravioli

As many of the readers of this blog know, my wife and I are very fond of the Pasta Prima ravioli they sell at Costco. It is tasty, easy to cook, versatile and affordable. The other day my lovely wife cooked up a batch and dressed in a sauce of:

1-28oz can diced tomatoes
1-16oz jar bean salsa
1-15 oz can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
Oregano to taste.

After putting the dish together, she garnished it with some grated cheese.
While not "The Best Thing I Have Ever Eaten", it was a wonderful, tasty and satisfying mid-week supper.  The return on the investment of time and money was great, and I am sure we will continue to experiment with this wonderful ravioli.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pizza with Shrooms and Olives-One Last Chance

Whenever the Take And Bake pizza goes on sale, we buy them at least a couple of times during the sale. For the second pizza, we had his and hers sides. While my lovely wife and I do have compatible tastes in food for the most part, she does not like mushrooms and olives. Thus, my side had those wonderful toppings. I had a jar of a gourmet olive mix from Costco and some dried, reconstituted mushrooms. On my wife's side she had the wonderful Kirkland Signature Artichoke Hearts. Thus, if any of you in Mountain or Pacific time want to run out and get a pizza before the sale ends tonight, I hope you enjoy this suggestion.
We both enjoyed our respective sides and I have one to make one final mention: even though she does not like olives herself, my wonderful wife is the one that bought that delicious jar of olives for me.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cheap Emergency Lunch On Sale This Month at Costco: NongShim Noodles

My wife took advantage of the coupon to buy one box, get one free of the NongShim noodles at Costco. At a price of about 32 cents each, they are a tremendous bargain. I believe in having "emergency" lunches around the house that are easy, cheap and quick to prepare and these fit that description perfectly.

Just add boiling water (we have a wonderful Braun hotpot for this) and let the noodles sit for three minutes and you are ready to go.

I admit, they are a noodle bowl, but they are a quality one and for the price, they are a tremendous value.

And they store for a while too.  If you are a busy person that needs a quick lunch now and then, I say take advantage of this screamer deal and buy some before the sale ends on February 27.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tuna Pasta Salad With Artichoke Hearts and Sun Dried Tomatoes

The other day my lovely wife made this yummy but extremely simple tuna pasta salad.  She added a can of the delicious Albacore Tuna from Costco along with sun dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts, plus a bit  of the oil from both of the veggies to the pasta.
Yes, that is all there was to it. It was tasty, healthy and quick, and with the exception of the pasta, everything came from Costco.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Costco Take And Bake Pepperoni Pizza-On Sale and Kicked Up!

At its normal price, the Take and Bake Pizza from Costco is a good value. But when they chop off three dollars like they do this month, it becomes an absolute bargain.  At $6.99 I would be hard pressed to justify making my own pizza, given the materials and time involved.  And honestly, while this is not a gourmet pizza, it is an excellent "working class" pizza and it is the size of a hubcap off a Hummer!

While a straight pepperoni pizza is a classic, we felt like kicking ours up a notch. We garnished the pizza with the Kirkland Signature Artichokes Hearts we are so fond of and Bella Sun Lucci Sun Dried Tomatoes we also got from Costco.  This added a pleasing set of textures and a couple of more layers of flavor.  Given the mere moments it took to "upgrade" this pizza, I really have to say it was an excellent reward on our time and effort.

At this price, we plan on picking up at least one more of these beauties before the month is over. Great tasting and an awesome value, this pizza is a perfect example of what we love about Costco.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

World Nutella Day-February 5, 2011

Happy World Nutella Day!

Coupons for February

I was stuck in a motel with poor Internet access when the blizzard hit Michigan and did not have a chance to post a link to the new coupon book.  I do apologize for the delay.

Here are the coupons, with thanks to my wonderful friends at "Addicted To Costco".


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Aarti's Quinoa-All Bran Pilaf with Raisins and Simple Green Salad

We are big fans of the quinoa we get from Costco and we are also admirers of Aarti Sequeria, the most recent winner of "The Next Food Network Star".  For one of the challenges, they had the contestants work with breakfast cereals and she was given All-Bran.

Aarti made an impressive recipe for the challenge: A Quinoa-All Bran™ Pilaf with Raisins and Simple Green Salad. My wife and I were intrigued by this recipe and my wife decided to make it to go with some pork we had.

The dish was a huge success.  It was spicy without being heat for the sake of heat.  It has a wonderful variety of textures between the quinoa, the breakfast cereal and the raisins. There is no doubt that this will become a regular in our household and we will be serving with other meats like beef and chicken.  This dish had a number of virtues including:

  • It was delicious
  • It was nutritious
  • It was quick
  • It works great as a side dish

I highly recommend you checking this recipe out. If you don't have quinoa already, this is a great reason to buy it.

Monday, January 31, 2011

100 Posts

I noticed that the previous post was Number 100.

I would like to thank everyone for their interest and support in making Costco Cuisine a success.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cuban Style Sandwich With Naan Bread

My wife made a  pork loin in the crockpot and we will be getting a variety of meals out of it. For example, my lovely wife made this Cuban style sandwich with it using naan bread.  She layered the pork, ham, provolone cheese (from Costco) and red onion on the naan bread we also get from Costco. A quick dose of brown mustard was the last touch before grilling and it was ready to go. Then it just needed a few minutes on the Griddler and it was done.
To serve it, she simply sliced it in half.
Naan bread is a great panini bread and I notice there is even a sticker on the package saying it makes great panini. The pork went well with the cheese we buy from Costco and the ham and onion gave the sandwich a more complete feeling.

However, after a few bites, as good as the sandwich was, we thought it needed something else, so we put some pickle slices on it. That made a great sandwich just plain outstanding.

I highly recommend experimenting with naan bread for making panini. It takes grilling well, it doesn't need slicing and it has good flavor and texture.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

California Pizza Kitchen Sicilian Pizza Review And Serving Suggestion

There is a coupon this month for California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizzas, so we decided to buy a box.

We got the Sicilian, which is a thin crust meat pizza. They are about 13 ounces each, so we made a salad of romaine lettuce, peanuts and cranberries to go with it.

We thought it was a good pizza and with the coupon, they are a good value for an upscale frozen pizza.  Adding a salad helped make it into a pleasant, easy and quick midweek meal.

We will buy these again with the coupon, but only when they are on sale because there are other pizzas that we like better. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pasta Prima Ravioli With A Sauce Of Chorizo, Tomatoes With Chilis, Onion And Garlic

After some thinking of how to put a different spin on our favorite frozen ravioli, I decided to give it a bit of a Mexican flavor.

My wife diced one small onion and chopped three medium cloves garlic. While she made a salad of romaine lettuce and various veggies, I lovingly sauteed the onions and garlic in EVOO.  After a couple of minutes, I added some of a local brand of chorizo and cooked the mixture until the chorizo was done. I finished the sauce by adding one 14 1/2 oz can of diced tomatoes and one 14 1/2 once can of tomatoes with chilies. By serving it with the lovely salad made by my lovely wife, we had a very satisfying mid-week meal with some great leftovers for lunch.

The chorizo and chilies add some intriguing flavors with a bit of heat.  My wife and I were quite pleased with this dinner and I am sure we will make it again. And not only was it tasty, but it was a very quick meal that was easy to put together.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

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

My wife's uncle died and she headed out for the funeral with my sister in law and my niece.  As part of the care package I packed for them, I made some trail mix using dried cranberries, roasted peanuts and plain M&M's. The formula was:

  • 2 Parts Craisins (dried cranberries)
  • 2 Parts roasted peanuts
  • 1 Part plain M&M's

I tried some of it and I really liked it and my wife and the rest of clan thought it was delicious and satisfying. The peanuts add a bit of a salty flavor and a nice dose of protein and other nutrients.  The dried cranberries are a wonderful, slightly tart fruit and they provide vitamin C and fiber.

Also, this is economical because it was homemade and we bought the dried cranberries on sale. (They are on sale again this month).

If you like the idea of a healthy, fun and satisfying snack, this is a great way to put that three pound bag of Craisins to work.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Repost: Save $100 And 2500 Calories, Plus Eat More

With the Baked Lays on sale again, I thought this was worth reposting. Enjoy!

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.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Don't cry over spilled milk

or in this case, a lost dinner.

Chicken 'Pot Pie' with Garam Marsala

The dinner wasn’t a disaster, but storage ended up causing it to be wasted. I made a variation on chicken pot pie seasoned with garam masala inspired by Jeffery Saad. Start with a stock pot that has two small onions chopped, one carrot chopped, one stalk celery chopped and four cloves of garlic grated into it and softened in EVOO over medium heat. Add about six cups chicken stock and about half a rotisserie chicken chopped into bite size pieces. The whole pot is seasoned with salt, pepper and about a teaspoon and a half of garam masala. This all cooked together and about two cups of quinoa is added and left to simmer until cooked. The quinoa took the place that potatoes would be in a regular chicken pot pie.

The dish tasted fantastic, but was too hot to put in the refrigerator right away, so I set it outside to cool down. Unfortunately, the dish fell off the ledge later in the evening and crashed on the cement and we lost the rest of the beautiful dinner and a fine Corning Ware dish as well.

This is a dish we will be making again and hopefully I can take a picture of it and it will be around for Mike to eat as well. I will be more careful about using the 'Minnesota refrigerator' in the future.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Chicken With Artichoke Hearts In A Piccata Style Sauce Over Rice

We are very fond of the Kirkland Signature Artichoke Hearts  we get at Costco.  I was thinking they would be good with chicken and after surfing the web I came up with the idea of serving them in a piccata style sauce.

First, I cooked up one small yellow onion with three medium cloves of pressed garlic. After they were nicely cooked, I added 1/2 cup white wine, the juice and fat in the bottom of the rotisserie chicken package, a 1/4 cup capers, a rinsed and drained can of cannellini beans and a bunch of artichoke hearts that had been chopped up. Then I juiced one large lemon and added the juice, plus the zest from the same lemon.

After the flavors had melded a bit I added about half the chicken chopped and let it all come to temperature.  The finished product was served over jasmine rice.

I was really pleased with the outcome of this and so was my wife.   The artichoke hearts add slightly exotic flavors and textures and the beans help to make the dish hearty.  Overall, I though the flavor profile was broad and satisfying and I am sure we will make this again.

This recipe from Robin Miller did provide some inspiration, so I do want to give her some credit.  I liked the idea of the artichokes hearts in a piccata recipe, but then I made it my own by:

  • Using fresh onion and garlic cooked in EVOO
  •  Eliminating the step of cooking the chicken by using a rotisserie chicken
  • Cutting out some of the ingredients from the chicken breading since I used cooked chicken
  • Adding the juices and fat from the chicken instead of broth
  • Changing from brown to white rice
  • Substituting cannellini beans and using more of them
  • Cooking the beans in the sauce instead of with the rice
  • Not caring about any measurement except for the wine and capers
If you have been wondering what you can do with artichoke hearts that is quick, easy and delicious, this is a great option.

    Thursday, January 6, 2011

    New Coupons Start Today!

    I plan on doing some reviewing of products from the coupon book, so please check back.

    Monday, January 3, 2011

    New Coupon Book-January 6 to January 30

    My good friends at Addicted To Costco have posted a PDF of the new coupon book.

    You can see their post on it here.