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.