I luuurve Costco! I'm a huge sucker for cheap stuff and good deals and that's why I love Costco! For the benefit of those who have been living in a cave for the last decade or so (though, if one has been living in a cave, I suppose internet access isn't likely), Costco is an American-based warehouse supermarket for the members. The basic membership costs a little more than $30 a year and membership benefits include purchasing groceries in insanely huuuge quantities for very cheap. I had not shopped for groceries in more than 2 weeks so this Costco trip was waaay overdue. Can you believe I spent over $200? I can't either. But anyway, we did get a lot of stuff (including liquor) so it wasn't too bad.
The highlight of my splurge was the frozen Maryland crabcakes. For the past few months, I have been having a seafood withdrawal symptoms due to the shortage of good, fresh seafood in my diet! Living in the Midwest, it's quite a challenge to get reasonably-priced fresh seafood. Recently, I have been craving for crab in particular. I think those scintillating Ruby Tuesday commercials featuring the new crab cake appetizer dish helps to fire a lot of the seafood withdrawal neurons in my brain. Being the suckah that I am, I did go to Ruby Tuesday (RT) and tried their crabcake. It was quite tasty but at $9 per pop (only one pathetic crabcake per order), it was a bit too rich for my blood. The RT crabcake was a little overcooked (charred) but there were quite sizeable crab meat chunks visible. It was served with a spicy mayo sauce and a mini baby green salad.
Since then, I've just been wanting to eat some seafood all the time. It doesn't help that my one and only sushi-eating friend was out of town for a whole month! Solution: Costco crabcakes. We immediately made some as soon as we got home. There were a few ways to heat them up: (1) microwave, ech(!), (2) pan-fry, or (3) bake and then broil. I chose the third option because I was a bit occupied (which I will get to later) and so, couldn't labor over my pwetty crabcakes the whole time. The turned out beautiful and delicious! I had mine with some Indonesian Cap Jempol chili sauce and it was perfect!
As you can see for yourself, the crabcakes didn't have gigantic chunks of meat (which I would've preferred) but it was very well-seasoned and is really, really good considering they ARE frozen! I mean, really, us beggars in the Midwest cannot be choosers. Fortunately, I bought two boxes of these yummy crabcakes at Costco. It'll have to last me until I visit a place with access to the sea.
Besides a whole lot of frozen seafood and unhealthy stuff, I managed to squeeze in a lot of wonderful fresh fruit. I bought a whole pound of Chilean-imported blueberries. Not only are they nice and plump, they pop and ooze fresh, sweet yet tart goodness when you bite into them. I especially luuurve a handful of blueberries with my morning cereal. Also, I can just eat blueberries naked, all them themselves. Now, THAT is perfection.
However, I have also been in the mood to bake muffins. There's nothing better than a warm blueberry muffin with a cup of hot tea on a cold winter day while you're knitting or reading or just watching TV. But, I restrained myself from degrading my fresh blueberries and made oatmeal cookies with dried fruit instead. It was horribly cold yesterday and the the wind never stopped blowing! I flipped open one of my favorite cookbooks, The Best Light Recipe, and used the oatmeal cookie recipe. Before adding the raisins, I halved the dough into two portions. Into one, I added the classic, traditional raisins. To the other batch, I added some dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks.
The cookies turned out delicious and were crisp on the outside while it was chewy in the middle. Now that they have been sitting around for a day in the tupperware, they have crisped up more. I personally like chewy cookies so I probably should've underbaked them even more but the flavor is good. The oatmeal raisin cookies are simple and you can't go wrong with them. The oatmeal white chocolate cranberry cookies were quite exciting to me. It has a refreshing combination of sweetness and tartness that I really enjoy. I gave some to my colleagues and they remarked how they couldn't believe the cookies were "light" and that's pretty cool. So far, the light recipe cookbook hasn't disappointed. Even though all the recipes call for lower-fat or lighter substitutes, the flavor and taste is never compromised.
Another thing I tried out this weekend (I sure did a lot of stuff, huh?) was to make mochi. Not really "make" because I just basically heated one dried mochi in the toaster oven. It was pretty cool because the mochi transformed from this flat disc to a puffed-up ball of chewy goodness. I had it with some soy sauce and sugar, but it wasn't as delicious as some other mochi I had with peanuts and sugar. Hmmm... I think I need to get a pack of kinako (soybean powder) that the Japanese traditionally sprinkle on mochi.
Ok, one last thing I did (the activity that kept me from pan-frying my crabcakes) was I (FINALLY!) finished my second knit bag, lining and all! If you remember, a while ago, I made a knit bag for my sister. Since I had so much leftover yarn, I decided to make another one for myself. The second bag is considerably bigger and the main difference is the lining. Instead of a pretty, flowery pink lining, I chose a green tea-ish shade of cotton that matches the green color of the yarn. It turned out pretty awesome and I'm so glad I finally finished this project. And hey, it doesn't hurt that I can use the bag and show my creation off the world. Yippee!