Thursday, December 9, 2010

Costco almonds, dry espresso beans and more

Shelled (right) and unshelled (left) almondsImage via Wikipedia
Shelled, left, and unshelled almonds.

Costco has improved the package for its Marcona almonds from Spain. These blanched, shelled almonds are seasoned with sea salt, and cost $7.69 for just over a pound of nuts (500 grams) in a plastic bottle with a screw top.

The old container was a canister with a loose-fitting plastic top. Costco also sells roasted, unshelled California almonds with sea salt, but I don't have the price.

Earthbound Farm's restaurant-quality, organic spring mix, which I buy at Costco in Hackensack,  seemed to be rotting before its expiration date, but in the last three or four weeks, I haven't had that problem.

I look carefully at the salad in its clear-plastic tub, to make sure it looks dry. If there is a more delicious salad mix, I haven't found it. It cost only $4.49 a pound, and it's pre-washed, so you can just grab some and put it on a plate or into a sandwich. 

Lately, I have been trying to cut down on bread, so I've been enjoying this salad for breakfast with smoked wild salmon, reduced fat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes in oil from Costco.

Espresso-bean dilemma

My built-in Bosch coffee machine seems unable to handle oily coffee beans, which get hung up in the chute of the grinder, prompting an "add beans" message and necessitating my sliding out the chassis and "stirring" the beans with my fingers.

I found some non-oily beans from Brazil at Fairway Market in Paramus and others from The 2.2 pounds of Lavazza Super Crema espresso beans cost less than $7 a pound, with discounts and free shipping, if you agree to have them sent to you periodically.

I'm trying the Lavazza beans from Italy first.

Black figs and tofu

I picked up two dozen black figs from California for $6.99 at H Mart in Fort Lee on Wednesday, as well as a new prepared-food item -- sweet-and-sour tofu balls with red pepper ($4.99).

I tried the tofu balls at room temperature, but I like them better after heating them in the microwave for about a minute and a half. The microwave also lends a new dimension to small blocks of stewed tofu with scallion and red pepper ($3.49).

For dinner Wednesday night, I cooked three small, wild-caught croakers ($1.99 a pound) on my stove-top grill, and ate them with a salad. What a mess.

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