Saturday, January 21, 2017

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

Here are this month's coupons.

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

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

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

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

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


Saturday, January 7, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, January 2, 2017

Spiced Apple Cranberry Compote

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maple and Tangerine Glazed Carrots-And Hello Again

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy and I hope you will come back again soon!