As I stare out the window at a tree ready to lose the rest of it's beautiful crimson red leaves through split-pea soup fog, I realize that we are about a week into November, so it's time to get my next Costco Food Finds post up! Below you will find strawberries from Michigan (what?!), a crispy snack made of nothing but cheese, and one of my readers' favorite products. All that and more in this Costco Food Finds post.
Nina Italia Peeled Tomatoes | $3.69 for 106oz (.64/lb)
By this time of year all the tomatoes have disappeared form my farmer's markets and my plants are no longer living. I usually make many large batches of tomato sauce and freeze it for the winter months, but since I am moving sometime in the next couple months I did not stock up this year. I didn't want to worry about having to move bags and bags of frozen tomato sauce. So I am already out of any tomatoes from this year. Fresh tomatoes in the grocery store just do not do it for me. They are picked too early for shipping purposes, so they have little or no flavor, and are lacking in sweetness. When fresh vine ripened tomatoes are hard to find, I turn to canned tomatoes, the only thing I ever buy that is in a can. They are often cheaper and will be as good as if not better in flavor than fresh grocery store tomatoes. I woudln't recommend eating them raw, but if sauce is waht you're after, canned tomatoes will do the trick.
I was happy to find the Nina Italian Peeled Tomatoes at Costco. These are the type of tomatoes you want for tomato sauce. They are more meaty, like a Roma tomato, and you will get more sauce for your buck. They work out to be 64 cents a pound and this is a fantastic deal. Fresh tomatoes this time of year are going to be a lot more money at the store.
Bella Vina Orchards Dried Pears | $8.99 for 20oz bag ($7.20/lb)
On one of my trips to visit family in Southern California I learned that they were fans of dried pears but were having trouble tracking them down. I was able to find some at the farmers market for them, and now I have this option at Costco. These dried pears have nothing added to them, here is an ingredient list:
I love that these pears are just pears, no added sulfites. Sure does make me feel much better about eating these or giving them to my family.
Kirkland Organic Chicken Stock | $11.79 for 6-32oz containers
This is chicken stock season, am I right? Cooler temperatures mean time to make more soups. With thanksgiving right around the corner, chicken stock is a must have for stuffing and gravy. This time of year I am totally down with buying stock in bulk. The price comes to under $2 per 32 oz container. You will pay more that any at other stores, especially for organic.
Rodelle Baking Dutch Cocoa | $5.99 for 25oz container (3.84/lb)
Last month I had a reader leave a comment about how much she loves the dutch cocoa she gets at Costco. I decided to include it in this month's food finds. I asked Damaris to explain why she loves this cocoa - "Our family enjoys it because of its deeper chocolate flavor. It often tastes bittersweet. Also, the color of the baked goods is very dark. It's like drinking an espresso or a regular cup of coffee. The cost is far less than at any other grocery store. We love making hot fudge (chocolate sauce), ganache and hot cocoa (whole milk, Dutch cocoa, sugar, a little vanilla). The best hot cocoa is when we let it simmer with a cinnamon stick :)"
Thanks Damaris for sharing. If anyone else has any recommendations for Costco foods you and your family loves, please leave a comment below!
Supremo Shredded Chinhuahua Cheese | $8.99 for 2.2 lbs ($4.08/lb)
This is the cheese you need to buy for quesadillas. It melts so beautifully. I normally don't buy shredded cheese but this cheese is so good that it is worth it. You can buy it whole from other stores and shred it yourself but the cost quite a bit more everywhere I have found it. We love having it on hand when my wife needs to make a quick lunch or dinner for the kids during her long babysitting days.
Master Carve Half Ham | $2.29/lb
This ham changed my mind about buying boneless hams. It is not just ham formed into a log with chemicals, its just cut from the bone and left it is natural shape. They now have them in half hams so that you don't need to buy such a big chunk of meat if you don't need it. To learn more about this ham, check out my Master Carve Ham review.
Sunset WOW Strawberries | $7.49 for 2 lbs ($3.75/lb)
Michigan grown strawberries in November? These are from Sunset, known for their Campari and Kumato tomatoes. They have a large greenhouse in Coldwater, Michigan. These guys grow strawberries that have real flavor, much better than anything else available this time of year. They aren't cheap, at $3.75 a pound, but that is about the going rate this time of year anyway for sub-par strawberries. I am not sure how many stores will be carrying these, I would love to hear if anyone else has found them. Leave a comment below.
Bartlett Pears | $7.99 ffor 6 lb box ($1.33/lb)
Bartlett pears are in season and for $1.33 per pound you definitely could do worse. I would suggest refrigerating some of the pears to keep them from ripening if you are concerned about eating them all before they go bad. Bartletts are ripe when they turn yellow and they give to gentle pressure around the top, but the middle of the pear is still firm. Learn more about how to tell if a pear is ripe.
Costco Snacks November 2016
Each month I am going to highlight some of the best, healthy snacks you an buy at Costco.
RW Garcia 3 Seed Sweet Potato Crackers | $7.49 for 2-15 oz boxes (.25/oz)
Lots of good-for-you stuff in these crackers. They are a healthier choice for you than your typical Ritz or Club crackers. An they're are gluten free, so there is no wheat in them.
Cello Parmesan Whisps | $9.79 for 9.5oz bag (1.03/oz)
Did you know that Parmesan cheese can be baked and turned into a crunchy and delicious snack? You can grate the cheese and do this yourself in the oven. Or just buy this bag and try it out to see if you like it.