Costco Margaritas!

Golden Margarita at CostcoI found this Kirkland Golden Margarita at Costco and it’s my new favorite drink! I’m usually not a big margarita fan, but this drink has a great balance of flavors and plenty of tequila kick without an overpowering tequila flavor. It’s a big bottle (1.75 Liters) sold for $10 at the Costco here, and was on sale recently for $8. It doesn’t get much easier than pouring some of this over ice and serving at a party.

This is not a sponsored post, I just really like this stuff and thought it’s worth mentioning. It’s a fun alternative to a glass of wine in the evening and will be a summer staple at my house this year!

Have you seen this at your Costco? If you’ve tried it, what did you think?


Quinoa with Tomato & Basil

Do you know quinoa? It’s a grain from South America that is becoming popular in the US. It can be used in place of rice or couscous for added protein. In fact, it contains all nine essential amino acids which makes it a complete protein. It cooks quickly, usually in 10-15 minutes and has a mild, slightly nutty flavor. Quinoa can be seasoned simply with olive oil or butter and salt, or mixed with a variety of vegetables and herbs for fun flavors.

The photo at left is a quinoa dish my mom prepared for us when I was visiting. She made it as a side for some beautiful grilled salmon. She cooked it in water until tender, then added chopped fresh tomato and basil, and seasoned lightly with salt. It was simple and tasty!

If you haven’t tried quinoa yet, go for it! Quinoa is available at many grocery stores, Target and Costco. For more recipe ideas check out the Top 20 most popular recipes for quinoa on

Quick Tip: Storing Bulk Hard Cheeses

I’m a big fan of bulk shopping at Costco. Even though we are only a family of four we go through a lot of groceries. We eat almost exclusively home-cooked food –three meals a day, every day. That adds up to a lot of cooking and groceries in a month!

One of the things I buy in bulk is hard cheeses. I usually buy Romano because it’s less expensive than Parmesan.  This wedge was about $9, compared to $15 for a similar sized wedge of Parmesan. I use it to top spaghetti, in lasagna and on home-made pizzas.

The large package may seem like a lot of cheese, and it is, but it will keep for a one to two months if stored properly.  This is how I do it:

I cut the large wedge into 5 smaller wedges. These are the size you would find in a regular grocery store.

Then wrap each wedge in tightly in plastic wrap.

Then place inside a zipper bag (with the date written on it)

I left the small piece out to use in making two lasagnas that night. Why make one lasagna when you can make two, right? One went into the freezer to be used next month.
Do you buy cheese in bulk? How do you store it? Let me know in the comments!

My New Crock Pot

Isn’t it great? My mom got me a new crock pot for my birthday! I cracked the insert for my nine-year-old cooker I received as a wedding gift.  I tried going online to order a replacement insert but unfortunately they don’t make the kind I had anymore.

I can’t wait to get something cooking in there.  It’s an extra big cooker – a 7 quart which will be great for making large batches of soups and stews.  It also came with the cute little pot on the left – for serving hot dips. I checked my bread pans, and one will fit inside so I may even try making some bread with it.

On my “to cook” list:

  • French Onion Soup
  • Beef Stroganoff
  • Chili
  • Apple Butter

The best pasta sauce! (And it happens to be low-carb)

This sauce is from Costco and it is so yummy!  It’s called Victoria White Linen Collection Marinara. It comes in large jars (40 oz.) and amazingly only has 1 gram of sugar.  If you haven’t checked your pasta sauce for sugar content, you might want to do that.  What is average?  In my checking of various brands at the grocery store I’d say 8 gram is common.  The best I’ve found in the store is about 5 grams of sugar, and the worst – over 12 grams!  They had a sale on a particular brand, a very good price, but it was just too high in sugar so I didn’t buy it.

For whatever reason, the two Costco stores near me don’t carry this sauce.  I had my mom bring me a few jars on her last visit so I could stock up!  Look for it the next time you’re in Costco, and I did find it on if you shop there.