Solon Extra Virgin Olive Oil at Costco: Product Review

I love to cook, and no food is complete without olive oil. I exaggerate, but not much. While I don’t always use extra virgin olive oil to actually cook, I go through a ton of it in pasta, salads and other applications, so getting a great price really counts. Thanks to Costco and their unbeatable specials, I get to indulge – a lot – in my love of olive oil.

Last week I purchased one of my favorite oils (not *the* favorite, but that’s a story for another day) at Costco, with a $4 instant rebate. My 3-liter jug of Solon Extra Virgin Olive Oil, imported from Greece, ended up costing me a paltry $15.99 after the rebate (it was originally $19.99). These prices are all in Canadian dollars.

Solon Extra Virgin Olive Oil at Costco

Solon Extra Virgin Olive Oil at Costco

Overall, I’m very happy with this olive oil. On the pros side of things, the taste is powerful but not overpowering, the color is a pleasing dark green and the aroma is just enchanting, but not too strong. I never buy this oil at full price, even at Costco. It comes on special all the time, so I pay only $15.99 for 3 liters, which comes down to $5.33 per liter.

According to numerous websites, paying less than $10 per liter could be a sign that your olive oil is fake, but I trust that Costco has done its due diligence and is selling genuine olive oil. At $5.33 per liter when bought in a 3-liter container, price is a determining factor when purchasing Solon Extra Virgin Olive Oil. As a point of comparison, this website sells the exact same container for $30.99, US dollars.

Now, on to the cons. There are not major, but they are present, and are mostly related to packaging and format. Just like – I think – most people, I will not transfer this oil to another container for use. I use it straight from the 3-liter jug. The mouth of the bottle is too wide and pours too freely. It is difficult to pour small quantities of oil.

This is compounded by the fact that the bottle is not rigid enough. When holding the bottle to pour oil, it is quite easy to accidentally squeeze the bottle, letting out a bunch of oil that you unfortunately cannot put back in the jug. Also, the bottle’s cap is of dubious quality and doesn’t always close properly.

These minor irritants aside, I’m quite happy to purchase Solon Extra Virgin Olive Oil at Costco. The quality is there, as always, and because you’re shopping at Costco, the quantity is there, too. This is one of the items that I know makes my Costco membership not only affordable, but a great deal.

Kirkland Signature Unpasteurized Liquid Honey 2 x 750g

I love having honey in my kitchen, not only because I can use it in various recipes and dips, but also for the simple, honest reason that I love to smear it on my toasts in the morning. My wife thinks I exaggerate, but there is no such thing when it comes to toast. I enjoy my toast with butter or margarine, peanut putter and of course, a generous helping of honey. With Kirkland Signature’s Unpasteurized Liquid Honey, available at Costco in 2 jars of 750 grams each, I can indulge at a very affordable price.

First off, let’s talk value. Costco’s Kirkland Signature Liquid Honey costs $11.49 for 2 bear-shaped jars of 750 grams each. Despite it being liquid, honey is still sold by weight rather than volume, but whatever. That translates to 1.5 kilograms for $11.49, or 76.6 cents per hundred grams. Compare, if you will, the prices for honey at Amazon.ca (in Canadian dollars) and at Amazon.com (in US dollars) and be amazed at the savings!

Kirkland Signature Unpasteurized Honey (2x750g)

Kirkland Signature Unpasteurized Honey (2x750g). Those bears look cute.

Let’s be clear, 76.6 cents per hundred gram of pure, liquid honey, made in Canada, not Argentina, is a fantastic deal, but how’s the honey? It has to be good!

Honestly, I love honey, and I haven’t yet met a honey that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed. I’m talking about pure honey here, not strange mixes. This honey is the real deal and is absolutely delicious, on toast, in a recipe, in a hot beverage or even just like that, with a spoon. I know some people believe that all honey sold in big  stores is Chinese junk, but I don’t believe Costco would endanger their name over honey.

For what it’s worth, each bottle has a “True Source Certified” logo, and nothing on the packaging indicates that this is anything but pure, delicious, Canadian honey. The honey tastes right, and I trust Costco so there you have it! For those curious about the pasteurization process, you can read more right here.

So far I’m very happy with my purchase of Kirkland Signature Unpasteurized Honey at Costco. I’ve written the purchase date and price on the bottles so I’ll be able to post a cost-per-day update in the future.

Arctic Gardens Frozen Vegetables Stir-Fry Blend at Costco: Product Review

As regular readers of my blog will know, I am a fan of Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand, and always try to review these products before others. It is with some element of surprise, and a little bit of regret, that I discovered that a staple of my freezer, the Kirkland Signature Stir-Fry Frozen Vegetable Blend had disappeared from my local Costco, only to be replaced by the Arctic Gardens Frozen Vegetables Stir Fry Blend.

Now, my reasons for liking frozen vegetables are much the same now as they were in the summer of 2014 when I wrote my review of the Costco frozen vegetables (which you can read through the above link). The convenience, price and taste are generally unmatched, and numerous studies have shown that frozen vegetables retain their vitamins and nutritional value just as well as fresh ones.

The reason for the switch, I believe, is caused by the reduced value of the Canadian dollar compared to the US currency; the price of the Kirkland Signature – made in the USA – had been rising steadily before the product was removed from the shelves. I think that the perceived value to Costco members was now too low compared to what it had been. Maybe sales had dropped. Who knows. Here is the product that took its place!

Arctic Gardens Frozen Vegetables Stir-Fry Blend at Costco

Arctic Gardens Frozen Vegetables Stir-Fry Blend at Costco

According to the nutritional information sheet printed on the package, each serving is 85 grams, meaning that there are 23.5 servings per bag.

  • Item name: Arctic Gardens Frozen Vegetables Stir-Fry Blend
  • Bag size: 2 kilos (2,000 grams)
  • Price of bag: $6.99 (Canadian dollars)
  • Serving Size: 85 grams
  • Servings per bag: 23.5
  • Cost per serving: just under 30 cents

This compares advantageously to the Kirkland Signature mix, which cost 34 cents per serving, when it was at the original price, but there is one thing that is disappointing: the quality seems to have gone down. Check out a typical bowl:

Arctic Gardens Frozen Vegetables Stir-Fry Blend at Costco (detail)

Arctic Gardens Frozen Vegetables Stir-Fry Blend at Costco (detail)

Compared to the Kirkland Signature blend, you can see that the pieces of vegetables are smaller, and unfortunately, the comparison doesn’t get better when you get to the ingredients list (in order of importance):

  • Sugar snap peas
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Green Beans
  • Water Chestnut
  • Baby corn
  • Red Bell Peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Yellow Onions

While the ingredients list are quite similar, you’ll notice, as I did, that the mushrooms are common white mushrooms, not whole shiitake mushrooms as in the Kirkland blend, which is sad. I like shiitake mushrooms.

On a positive note, my wife likes these a lot more than the Kirkland Signature blend, which she found tasted a bit too much like the freezer. Maybe its just the way that I cook them, however. I find it challenging to get just the right texture when cooking frozen vegetables, a hit-or-miss kind of thing.

The Arctic Garden Frozen Vegetables Stir-Fry Blend, now available at Costco for $6.99 in 2 kilogram bags, is packaged in Canada, presumably from local and imported produce. This can in great part explains why it has remained so affordable in a period of economic uncertainty and the loss of value of the Canadian dollar. In any case, I’ll be stocking up. It’s cheap, delicious – except for the missing shiitake mushrooms – and nutritious, and my wife likes it!

CJ Bibigo Chicken and Cilantro Mini Wontons at Costco: Product Review

Today I would love to share with you what has become, over the last few years, of my favorite products to purchase at Costco, the Chicken and Cilantro Mini Wontons, from CJ Food’s Bibigo brand. These won-tons are absolutely delicious, surprisingly healthy, filling and affordable. In short, the perfect combination.

As the back of the package will happily demonstrate, these won-tons are fully cooked, and basically just need to be defrosted and heated through, usually a quick process. They can be pan-fried in about 5 minutes, from frozen, or boiled in less than 3 minutes. A delicious homemade won-ton soup, with a healthy dollop of Hoisin sauce and Sriracha, is one of my favorite weekday lunch meals. Quick and filling.

CJ Bibigo Chicken and Cilantro Mini-Wontons at Costco

CJ Bibigo Chicken and Cilantro Mini-Wontons at Costco

These won-tons are sold at Costco in 3-pound bags, or 1.36 kilograms. The regular price is $12.99 per bag, in Canadian dollars, but they come on sale regularly, so I stock up then. The bag pictured I purchased at $3 off, so $9.99 for 3 pounds, or $3.33 a pound.

CJ Bibigo Chicken and Cilantro Mini-Wontons Nutrition Facts

CJ Bibigo Chicken and Cilantro Mini-Wontons Nutrition Facts

According to the nutrition fact sheet, each serving is comprised of four (4) won-tons, for a total of 36 grams. We can thus deduce, through the power of intellect and basic math, that each bag contains approximately 150 won-tons.

When I make my soup, just for me, I use about 15-20 won-tons. So each massive bowl of soup costs me less than a dollar in won-tons, and I have not calculated the cost of the chicken broth yet, but I buy it at Costco too, so it’s super cheap per serving.

Besides the fact that these won-tons are really, really good, I love the fact that they are reasonably healthy, for something that you buy frozen in a bag. As you can see by the nutrition fact sheet to the left, each serving contains few calories – only 50 – and very little fat, only 1% per serving. What is highest in this case is the sodium, at 7% per serving, but even when you multiply it by 5, because you *will* eat more than 1 serving, it’s still not that bad.

Of course, when combined with the Hoisin sauce, you’ll probably get sausage fingers and be really thirsty, but that’s on you, not on the won-tons!

On to the ingredients. At first glance, the best news is that there are no incomprehensible ingredients. I can actually tell what all the ingredients in these won-tons are, which is uncommon, again, for frozen stuff that comes in a bag. The first ingredient is chicken -good news! – and sugar, my personal least favorite, comes way down the list.

Seriously, though, I have nothing more to say. Look at the ingredients. These things are wholesome by prepared food standards. Really wholesome. Of course, don’t look for them to contain much in the way of vitamins, but that’s a minor drawback. You can read more about the history of won-tons right through here (opens in a new window)

Bibigo’s Chicken and Cilantro Mini-Wontons, available at Costco are best served pan-fried and tossed with oyster sauce, on rice with sauteed vegetables, or in soup. Just be careful not to overcook them, or they’ll become very mushy and lose their shape and substance, if not their taste. Stock up when they are on special at Costco, and keep a bag or two of these in the freezer; they make for a quick, healthy meal the whole family will love! Sounds corny, I know, but in our case, it’s true!

Artika C7 Vertical Indoor Outdoor Light Fixture at Costco

Please note that this is not a product review per se, since I have not purchased the product in question. Following the tremendous response I got from my previous ceiling light product review for the Ampere Moonraker, I though that I would bring your attention to the Artika C7 Vertical Indoor or Outdoor Light Fixture, of the Vertical Stream Collection, which is currently available at Costco.

I say ‘currently’ because Costco being Costco, these light fixtures are likely to disappear overnight, and I know that they are extremely popular. The Artika C7 Vertical Outdoor / Indoor Light Fixtures are sold for $33.99, Canadian dollars, and are available in both stainless steel and black finish, although this is likely to vary by warehouse. There is a single SKU for both finishes, so you are at the mercy of what the distributor decided to ship to Costco, and in what quantities.

Artika C7 Indoor Outdoor Vertical Light Fixture (Stainless Steel Finish)

Artika C7 Indoor Outdoor Vertical Light Fixture (Stainless Steel Finish)

If you need these types of lights, I would suggest getting them as quickly as possible, and to overstock. You can always return the unused lamps later, thanks to Costco’s generous return policy.

Artika C7 Indoor Outdoor Vertical Light Fixture (Black Finish)

Artika C7 Indoor Outdoor Vertical Light Fixture (Black Finish)

These small but relatively powerful light fixtures are 11.2 inches high, 3.3 inches wide and only 4.8 inches in depth, meaning that they can be installed almost anywhere as an accent, either indoors or out. They are made of aluminium and stainless steel (even the one with the black finish) and as such, are weather-proof and rust-proof.

Artika C7 Indoor Outdoor Vertical Light Fixture (Box)

Artika C7 Indoor Outdoor Vertical Light Fixture (Box)

If you’re at your Costco and you’re looking for these lights, you should be able to find them in the central section, towards the back with the seasonal stuff. If you can’t find them, you’re probably too late, but you can just ask one of the employees near the cashes to look in the system for you. The item number is 498800. At worst, they’ll tell you in which Costco they still have some.

Artika C7 Indoor Outdoor Vertical Light Fixture (Specs)

Artika C7 Indoor Outdoor Vertical Light Fixture (Specs)

These Artika C7 Light Fixtures claim to be easy to install and assemble, and based on previous experience with Artika products, I would be inclined to take their word for it, even though I’ve not done it myself – I don’t need them. These light fixtures will need two GU10 bulbs, of a maximum of 50 Watts each, which are not included.

If you’re interested in attractive, quality and low-cost light fixtures, you could do worst than Costco’s Artika C5 Indoor / Outdoor light fixtures, with 3-way stream. Just make sure to hurry to buy them before they run out, otherwise you’ll have to wait until next spring!

Kraft Smooth Peanut Butter at Costco: Product Review

I love peanut butter. I wish I could eat it every single day of my life. Oh wait. Thanks to Costco, I can, and it’s not very expensive, either. For some reason I’ve always thought that eating peanut butter was basically a complete meal. Not complete as in “your teeth won’t fall out eventually” but complete as you’d be OK and it would kill your appetite for a while.

This is why I was so happy when my favorite, the Kraft Smooth Peanut Butter, returned to Costco after a lengthy absence. That it costs only $5.89 (Canadian) for a massive 2 kilograms (that’s 4.4 pounds for the metrically impaired out there) was just the cherry on the Sundae.

Kraft Smooth Peanut Butter at Costco

Kraft Smooth Peanut Butter at Costco

During its disappearance from the Costco sales floor, it was replaced by Skippy Peanut Butter, which is not bad but not nearly as good, and by some awful natural peanut butter. I would love to review it, but I purchase everything I review (so far) so that’s not likely to happen anytime soon, thank you very much.

Kraft Smooth Peanut Butter Nutrition Facts

Kraft Smooth Peanut Butter Nutrition Facts

I always thought that peanut butter was protein heavy, but close inspection of the label suggested that it was not the meat-replacement juggernaut I wanted it to be.

What peanut butter does have, is plenty of unsaturated fat, and not too much of the saturated kind, which is the sort that your doctor warns you about .

I know that non-natural peanut butter, such as Kraft or Skippy, has plenty of added sugar in it, which is not good for you. That being said, look at the numbers on the nutrition fact. There’s not that much sugar in there. Barely more than proteins, in fact. The main component seems to be fat.

What peanut butter is, like all things with lots of fat, is highly calorific, even more than say, olive oil (80 calories per tablespoon). Combined with the proteins and the sugar, it makes for a pretty well-rounded food. Of course, I would not recommend basing your entire diet around it, unless you’re a college student, or you don’t care if all your teeth fall out because of scurvy.

The bottom line is that peanut butter is a great part of any diet, except for those who are allergic to peanuts. Then it should be avoided like the plague. But joking aside, few things are as good as a delicious English muffin with some margarine and lot of peanut butter. I’m not going to get into the smooth vs. crunchy debate. It’s shockingly obvious that smooth is better. If you want crunch stuff, eat some chips. In the meantime, make sure you pick up your Kraft Smooth Peanut Butter at your local Costco before they decide to replace it with a lesser product!

Update – April 13th, 2015 – I’ve finished the jar of Kraft peanut butter I opened on March 5th, 2015. This means that my family and I consumed 2 kilograms of peanut butter in 39 days, or a little over a month. At $5.89 for the jar, this means that our consumption of peanut butter cost me a little over 15 cents a day, which is quite acceptable, considering my wife made some awesome peanut butter cookies, too.

Now, to the bad news. The cost of the same Kraft peanut butter container, at Costco, is now $8.49, an increase of almost 70%. This means that assuming that my next jar lasts as long as the previous one, my daily peanut butter cost will go up to over 21 cents per day.

Considering that the Kraft peanut butter at Costco is still about 4 times cheaper than at the grocery store, I will reluctantly accept this increase and keep buying my peanut butter at Costco. Maybe I won’t spread it on so thick anymore, though!

Kirkland Signature Enteric Coated Daily Low Dose ASA 81mg

I’m not much of an hypochondriac, I’m pretty healthy and I try to eat as well as I reasonably can. That being said, I’m a little bit paranoid. I am, after all, now at the age where it’s no longer weird or completely unexpected to have a heart attack.

You know, when you’re in your twenties or thirties, you can pretty much eat whatever you want, smoke cigarettes like they’re going out of style and generally be unhealthy, and you’ll still be ok. Probably. But once you hit 40, things change.

Now we’ve been told about the benefits of Aspirin, or acetylsalicylic acid, for a long time. You can either pay through the nose for brand-name Bayer Aspirin, or swallow your pride, save a bunch of money and buy the Kirkland Signature Enteric Doated Low Dose ASA 81 mg at Costco.

Kirkland Signature Enteric Coated Daily Low Dose ASA 81 mg

Kirkland Signature Enteric Coated Daily Low Dose ASA 81 mg

Costco being Costco, this bottle costs $4.99 (canadian) for 300 tablets, or just under 1.7 pennies each. This is really cheap. The Aspirin-brand product right next to it on the shelf was $16.99. Now I don’t know how many tablets were in that bottle, but let me assure you that it wasn’t 1,700 or so.

I’ve been taking these pills for a few days now, and I can happily report that I’ve not had a heart attack. Honestly, this is a tough product to review, because I’m certain the Kirkland Signature product is absolutely equal to its competitors. What’s really on trial here are the advantages and disadvantages of taking an Aspirin a day.

I’m no doctor, but thanks to the Internet, I’ve compiled a non-exhaustive list of pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Reduced risk of heart attack or stroke
  • Reduced risk of colorectal cancer

Cons:

  • Increased risk of ulcers and GI bleeding
  • Difficulty of blood coagulation
  • Swelling of skin tissue in some patients

There’s a whole lot of information on this page, if you’re keen to read it.

In my case, I did not notice any direct benefits, except of course that I remain heart-attack free – touch wood. I did, however, notice that I had insane heartburn yesterday. Considering I take prescription medication for the heartburn, this was extremely unexpected and supremely unpleasant. Check out the side of the ASA box, too:

Kirkland Signature Enteric Coated Daily Low Dose ASA 81 mg Warning

Kirkland Signature Enteric Coated Daily Low Dose ASA 81 mg Warning

Now I understand that Costco, like any other ‘manufacturer’ of this type of product, need to protect themselves with fine-print in case anything ever happens to one of their customers after taking their product, and I respect that.

In my case, however, it convinced me to wait until I talk to my doctor before resuming taking this medication.

As the package says, this pill is designed to minimize the gastrointestinal discomfort that can be caused by its active ingredient. This is done through having a coated pill, and a time-release mechanism. Gone are the chalky Aspirins of yesteryear!

That being said, and despite Kirkland Signature’s best intentions, there is nothing that can be down that can actually lessen the risks inherent to taking this medication, so it’s really a matter of weighing the pros and cons, with the help of your doctor.

As far as the product itself, I’m certain that the Kirkland Signature Enteric Coated Daily Low Dose ASA 81 mg is of high quality. According to what I’ve read, the dosage even seems appropriate, as it’s been scientifically proven that higher doses do not provide better results, as far as the preventative aspects of acetysalicylic acid goes. Just a last reminder: I’m not a doctor, and nothing here is medical advice. Talk to your doctor. I know I will.

Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce at Costco (finally!)

I discovered Hoisin Sauce many years ago with my friend Jason, who was quite the adventurer and would drag me to all sorts of strange Vietnamese restaurants, and would proceed to order (for both of us) strange cuts of meats I was unaware you could eat, but are quite delicious. Of course, multiple healthy and generous servings of Hoisin sauce were always on hand to help enhace the flavors of whatever we were eating.

I haven’t talked to Jason in over 10 years, but whenever I go to a Vietnamese soup place, or Pho, I always make sure to order the tripes, tendons, and whatever else is weird. If these things are unavailable, I label the restaurant as unauthentic and walk out.

Of course, the real discovery here is Hoisin Sauce, a sweet and extremely salty sauce that can be used both for dipping and for cooking. In the last 10 years I’ve discovered all sorts of ways to incorporate it in my food, and it goes well with everything. Almost. Hoisin sauce is, however, not exactly cheap when bought at the grocery store, which is why I was so happy to find the Lee Kum Kee-brand Hoisin Sauce at my local Costco!

Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce at Costco

Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce at Costco

Don’t get me wrong. Even when you buy it at the grocery store, a small jar is only about $5, but that’s usually for about 250 ml. As you can see from the picture above, the Costco-size Hoisin Sauce squeeze bottle contains a whopping 797 ml, and costs a ridiculous $3.89.

Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce Nutrition Facts

Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce Nutrition Facts

For those making the calculations, don’t. Let me. As you can see from the Lee Kuym Kee Hoisin Sauce Nutrition Facts sheet to the left, each serving is 30 ml, which turns out to be 2 tablespoons. Each bottle thus contains 26.5 servings.

Through the power of simple math, we discover that each serving of Hoisin Sauce costs 14.7 pennies, if you shop at Costco.

Now it’s clear to me that Hoisin Sauce is awesome, but it does have its drawbacks. If you’re using it to cook, it’s pretty easy to stick to one serving, but as a dipping sauce, I go through that stuff like it’s going out of style (it’s not), and as the Nutrition Fact sheet plainly points out, each serving contains an incredible 20 grams of sugar, and over a gram of salt, which is 44% of the daily recommended value.

I dare you to have just one serving.

Hoisin sauce is the kind of condiment that will leave you with sausage fingers caused by crazy water retention, but it’s totally worth it. Just like Sriracha (rooster sauce), it transforms any ordinary meal into a delightful culinary masterpiece.

I’m happy that I can finally buy Hoisin Sauce at Costco. Of course, Costco being Costco, I will buy 3 or 4 bottles in case they decide not to carry it anymore. I hope I’m not already too late.

Kirkland Signature Supreme Diapers Size 1-2: Product Review

As the proud father of a band new baby girl – as of this writing – I am also a devoted purchaser of diapers. It’s really incredible how many diapers a newborn or infant will go through in any given day. If you’re a parent, you *know* what I’m talking about. If you’re not, you simply have no idea. This is why I am so happy that Costco makes diapers.

My local Costco carries both Huggies and the Kirkland Signature diapers. Both work very well, but considering the volume we’re talking about, the house brand wins, hands down. Since my baby is still very small, I will start by reviewing the smallest diaper size Costco makes, the Kirkland Signature Supreme Diapers Size 1-2, for infants up to 15 pounds.

Kirkland Signature Supreme Diapers Size 1-2

Kirkland Signature Supreme Diapers Size 1-2

In terms of quality, and being leak-proof, I would rate the Kirkland Signature diapers on par with the leading brands. I guess that would depend on the child in question, but I’ve had both a both and now a girl, and they work fine for both.

One thing to consider is that Kirkland Signature lumps the size 1 and 2 in a single size, as opposed to other manufacturers, who will sell you separate diapers for the 1 and 2 sizes. This has the advantage of cutting down on costs, as the diapers get more expensive as they go up in size, but has the drawback of making the diapers quite large for infants, relatively speaking.

That being said, if you just fold the diapers at the front before securing them with the attached Velcro tabs, you’re fine, unless the baby is very tiny, such as less than 6 pounds. Our daughter was about 8 pounds when born, and we used one box of Newborn Pampers we had ( very expensive by the way) and went straight to the Kirkland Signature Diapers Size 1-2 with no problems.

Kirkland Signature Supreme Diapers Size 1-2 (back of box)

Kirkland Signature Supreme Diapers Size 1-2 (back of box)

Performance-wise, these diapers have all the bells and whistles you would expect from the major brands, including the color-changing bar that tells you if you’re darling child has wet him or herself, the stretchy leak-proof waist and legs and of course, the super-absorbency that will let your child stay nice and dry, unless she poops, which mine does a lot. Between you and me, I can’t imagine letting my child sit in her waste for any length of time, but that’s neither here nor there.

As far as price goes, the Kirkland Signature Supreme Diapers Size 1-2 costs $19.99 (Canadian) for a box of 136, which translates into just under 15 cents per diaper. This is a really good price. Other brands are usually in the 20 to 25 cents per-diaper bracket, unless they come on special at Costco, and then they’ll more or less match the Kirkland Signature price.

The bottom line is this: if you really like Huggies, buy them at Costco when they’re on special. Otherwise, buy the Kirkland Signature diapers. The money you save compared to buying them at the pharmacy or elsewhere, over a year, will by itself more than pay for your Costco Executive Membership.

Update – March 5th – The Kirkland Diapers are on sale at Costco! The 1-2 Size is $4.25 off per box, and the bigger sizes, $7-8 rebate! This is very timely indeed. I’ll be buying all my diapers for the next 2 years now.

Pan-Fried Salmon in a Creamy Herb Sauce Recipe

Who doesn’t love salmon? Well, I guess people with allergies, or those that don’t like fish in general. But salmon’s pretty awesome. What I have here is a recipe that was originally for cod, but brilliantly adapted by one of my colleagues, and yours truly, for salmon.

The gist of the recipe is pan-friend salmon chunks in a creamy sauce with salted herbs. Ok, I know what you’re thinking: “Creamy and salty! Oh my God, he’s discovered the secret to ultimate flavor!” And you would be mostly right. Except that this really is quite good, and not nearly as greasy nor salty as the name would imply.

Start with about 600 grams – a pound and a half, more or less – of nice, fresh salmon fillet, from which you’ll remove the skin. I’m really bad at this and tend to butcher the fillet, so no pictures of that. Cut the salmon in cubes about an inch a side.

Cutting the Salmon

I then prepared a mix of white flour, cayenne pepper and curcuma – for color. The mix was mostly flour, but took on a very slight red and gold tint from the other ingredients. I then rolled the pieces of salmon fillet in the flour mix, individually so as not to bruise them any more than needed.

Salmon in Flour

In an anti-adhesive pan, I melted a good-sized nugget of butter, maybe about one big heaping tablespoon, and added some olive oil. I then turned up the heat just short of “MAX”.

I carefully deposited the pieces of salmon, now nicely coated with the flour mix, in the burning hot oil and butter.Butter and Oil

I say carefully, both for the salmon, which I did not want to break apart, as well as for my fingers, who react predictably to contact with burning oil.

That being said, salmon is a lot sturdier than cod when fried, and should not fall apart too much. Once the fish was cooked on one side, I carefully (again) turned over the salmon so that the other side could comfortably bathe in hot butter and oil.

Salmon starting to FryOnce the salmon was outwardly cooked more or less evenly, I added one tablespoon of one of my favorite condiments, Les Herbes Salées du Bas du Fleuve, which translates as “Salted Herbs from the lower River”.

Les Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve

Les Herbes Salées du Bas du Fleuve

The “lower river” pertains to a region on the St-Lawrence river, not actual water herbs. It’s a mix of parsley, carrots, and lots of other things, and it’s really, really salty. So don’t put too much. I ended up with this:

FRIED_SALMON_WITH_HERBS

Now, this is good enough to be eaten as is. But I got the recipe from one of my colleagues, who is French, and never, ever misses an occasion to drown food with cream. He actually recommended that I use 45% cream, but that’s too much, even for me. I added maybe a quarter-cup of cream, and kept the heat on high for a few minutes, until the cream started to boil.

SALMON_WITH_CREAM

I I served the pan-fried salmon over a bed of rice, with probably some sort of vegetable on the side, I don’t remember that part! This is a really delicious recipe, easy and quick to make. It’s not exactly ‘light’, so it shouldn’t be an every day thing. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this. Bear in mind that all quantities are approximate. Look at the pictures and use your cooking common sense.

Bon appétit!

PAN_FRIED_SALMON_WITH_HERBS_AND_CREAM

Ingredients:

  • 600 grams of salmon (1 ½ pounds)
  • Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • Cream (15% or more)
  • Flour
  • Curcuma (a pinch)
  • Cayenne (a smaller pinch)
  • Herbes Salées du Bas du Fleuve (or equivalent)

Serve on rice.

Author’s Note: This is a reprint from the recipe I’d published a few years ago on a food website I owned. I haven’t changed a word. What has changed, however, is that I try not to eat greasy food like that too often. My doctor frowns upon it.