Thursday, September 26, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next came the tomato.

Then we assembled it and we were ready to go.

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

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

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

Friday, September 6, 2013

Caprese Con Pollo Salad

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

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

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

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Caprese Salad Burger

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Kirkland Signature Chicken Alfredo With Caprese Salad On Romaine Lettuce

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

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

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Costco Coupon Book, August 8- September 1

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

We are buying a number of items this month.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Rotisserie Chicken Salad With Raspberry Chipotle Sauce-Served Two Ways

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, June 29, 2013

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

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

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

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

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Costco Coupon Book March 7 to March 31

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

Among the items on sale this month are:

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

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

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Review Of Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, March 14, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Costco Almond Bark Nutrition Info

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

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

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Review Of Almond Bark On Sale At Costco

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, February 17, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, February 14, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Costco Coupon Book January 31 to February 24

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Crescent Roll Pockets With Walnuts And Smoked Cheddar

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

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

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

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

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