Friday, August 30, 2013

Random Costco News: Golf Shirts, Laundry Pods, Ibotta Coupons

Kirkland Men's Golf Shirts

Costco is developing more Kirkland brand clothing, and one new item this summer was men's golf shirts. Here's great-grandpa in his new Kirkland golf shirt, on sale this week for $15. I'm really happy with this.

Kirkland Laundry Pods

There's been a lot on the Internet about the danger of liquid laundry pods, and some children, apparently thinking they looked like candy, have been sickened and even died by ingesting. At least one person questioned Costco's choice to put the laundry pods in a clear container.  Now, according to the Internet and the picture in the new coupon book, the liquid laundry pod container is no longer transparent.

Ibotta Coupon System

Ibotta is a complicated coupon system that works on a smart phone and claims to work with Costco purchases. I bought the product, photocopied my receipt (which took three separate photos), captured a copy of the price code, and was approved for $.25 cents back on my Costco purchase of eggs. But when I tried to find my $.25 cents, it was nowhere to be found.  The email supposedly containing my money never arrived.  I haven't totally given up on Ibotta, but I'm skeptical.

Band-Aids at Costco

For various reasons, we've used a lot of band-aids recently, leaving us with the band-aid dregs - tiny rectangles and rounds.  Having compared prices the last time I bought band-aids, I wanted to purchase at Costco. 

At Nashville Costco, I found a three-case pack for $12.00, but the contents list was very confusing. I never did figure it out, but bought them anyway. After opening, I was able to ascertain that each box contained 54 band-aids of various sizes (no useless tiny ones) plus three little squeeze packs of Neosporin - so over 162 in all, or over $.07 cents a band-aid.

After checking at the local supermarket, this didn't seem like such a good deal. I could buy 100 band-aids there for $5.00 or $.05 cents each.  The pack at Costco had more shapes, a hard plastic container, and small Neosporin packs.

I could have saved money with the supermarket choice; but, since the paper band-aid boxes here always end up coming apart and scattering band-aids everywhere, I do like having the plastic container.

My daughter took one of the three containers home to Brooklyn. If you can divvy them up, or if you have need for the hard plastic cases, this might be a good buy for you.




Thursday, August 29, 2013

Costco Eggs, Brown or White, and Backyard Chickens

I know that you can't judge an egg by the outside color.  When I lived in the country outside Chapel Hill, NC, I had chickens, and had plenty of experiences that taught me, whether brown or white or speckled, the outside of an egg doesn't predict the inside.

But I forgot. The lovely brown eggshells made them seem healthier, so I bought brown eggs at Costco.

Purely by accident, I cracked a brown egg into two white eggs from my previous carton. The color of the brown egg yolk was completely different, pale yellow compared to the rich orange of the white-shelled egg yolks. The brown egg yolk looked sick beside the others.

I think deeper food colors are generally better for you (spinach, kale, beets). The pale egg yolk convinced me to go back to the white-shelled eggs that I've been buying for years. The darker yolk makes them look healthier to me.

But, but, but: I've also learned that chicken feed can contain chemicals such as lutein and zeaxanthin that make egg yolks darker. 

I'll stick with white-shelled eggs, but food chemicals and food science is complicated; I don't understand It. A helpless feeling makes me want to feel in control and "grow my own", but I won't revert to backyard chickens. When the hens get too old to lay, or if the chicks turn out to be roosters, keeping backyard chickens can be sad.



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Kirkland Hard Candy at Costco

Halloween candy is coming in to Costco, and I was happy to see this Kirkland Sunshine Candy Mix of hard candy, containing Werther's, Root Beer Barrels, Jolly Ranchers, fruit candies, mints, butterscotch.

When I have a sore throat or cold, I want hard candy, and I've been hoping to get it at Costco.

I didn't buy these for Halloween, but I might end up using some of this 7 lbs. of candy for Halloween.

....and maybe some of the crushed peppermint candy would be good in icing on winter baked goods.... 

I'm going to have this candy for the rest of my life, aren't I?

We told my 3 year old granddaughter, whose hands are in the photo, that this is "old people candy"; and she's shown minor interest.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Princess Sophia at Costco

I was going to hold off buying these Sofia Princess sets until closer to Christmas, but they were selling so fast I began to worry they were selling out. Sunday, only a few were left, and after seeing a woman with two in her cart, I decided not to wait. 

Luckily, I have a visiting 3 year old to test out the set. The dress met with approval, not too scratchy, short enough not to trip over. She liked the large plastic locket.  Earrings hurt, and the tiara was not worn.
She slept with the Sophia doll. My granddaughter said the set needed Sophia slippers.

She said she was familiar with the Sophia story, but I'm not sure she is. I know I'm not.  

Sophia is a new Disney Princess, the subject of a TV series that's not watched at my granddaughter's house.

Fuji Apple Waldorf Salad

According to Wikipedia, over 7,500 apple cultivars have been developed. New cultivars are bred for taste, but, also, for disease resistance and productivity. 

One old apple variety, Rambo, was brought here from Sweden in 1643 by Peter Rambo, my 8th great-grandfather. Rambo apple trees are still available from specialty nurseries, but the apples are not for sale in grocery stores anymore.

Among newfangled apples, Costco carries Fuji. To me, Fuji apples are the perfect mix of not too sweet and not too tart. (Costco carries many other varieties, if you prefer those.)

Fuji (or other) Apple Waldorf Salad

1 Fuji apple chopped
2 sticks celery chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 Kirkland Sahale snacks (or walnuts)
1/4 cup mayonnaise

Stir together and chill.  Using the Kirkland Sahale snacks as a substitute for walnuts worked great; any crunchy nuts would work.


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Random Costco News: Shooting, Bruce Willis, Lois Suarez, and Christmas

Some blogs have a regular post every week. Amy Feezor's M-dashing blog has Monday on the Menu Board, and Ronni Bennett's Time Goes By has Interesting Stuffon Satuday.  I've decided I need a way and time to post small snippets that don't require a complete post, but nevertheless should be mentioned. Like Ronni Bennett, I'm going to schedule those for Saturday.

Four things happened this week.  First, to follow up on the shooting at the Loudin County,Virginia, Costco last spring, the ruling came out that the Sheriff's deputies used reasonable force on the woman who was shot and killed at Costco while she was being a food demonstrator.

A second story this week revealed that actor Bruce Willis loves Costco and has compared it to an art museum.

In a third story, a footballer (soccer player) named Lois Suarez was thought to possibly be staying in Liverpool rather than moving to the London Arsenal team, which had targeted him to transfer. Since he was spotted with a full cart at Liverpool Costco, the press believes he's staying in Liverpool. 

And finally, it's true, some Christmas decorations are already for sale in the store. I've seen more than one complaint on social media about this, but since Costco sells to retailers, this doesn't bother me. I figure they're trying to help retail stores that have to plan store displays now.  And I'm glad toys are back, because we have grandchildren visits in our near future!


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Yakisoba at Costco

The local universities, Vanderbilt, Lipscomb, Belmont, TSU, are back in session, and Costco is full of college students and their parents measuring the furniture and stocking up on food.  I saw one student with only one thing in his cart - Yakisoba frozen soba noodles.  I had never tried these, but this was a sign.

So simple - three minutes on high in the microwave.  I added a handful of Costco fully-cooked tail-off shrimp, a little chopped Costco roast chicken, and 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, and the two of us could easily split one package.

When we lived in Japan in the late 50's, I remember soba carts everywhere, but never trying them. I'm sure we would have had a significant language barrier; but, still, we missed so much.

This box contains six 9 oz. packages of 500 calories each.  I paid under $12.00 for the box which is less than $2.00 each package.

I foresee these becoming a staple here.



Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Self improvement with HTML and the History of Photography

I've signed up to audit two on-line classes at Nashville State, our local community college. One is about HTML, which I believe will help me edit my blog. Or not. I suppose I shouldn't admit I don't really know how it works.

The second is History of Photography. I was going to take a more hands-on Photography class, but the student was required to have a Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) Camera. After research, I'm not sure I need DSLR. I'm hoping that the History of Photography class sensitizes me to issues such as lighting and focus.

The text books were almost $200 used (class is free because I'm of a certain age). Even with competition from the Internet, college bookstores still maintain ridiculous prices; but I surrendered and purchased them anyway. The bookstore offered to rent the books, but that would make me nervous all semester. If they survive, I might be able to sell them back.

I can not remember the last time I spent so much time standing in lines: a line to register, a line at the bursar's office (even though the classes are free), a line for student IDs, a line at the bookstore. The mother and daughter in front of me at the bookstore used a check, and the clerk had to call the bank and make sure it was OK. I remember when it was the credit card users holding up the line with validation calls.  

I'm looking forward to the classes. Bob encourages me with various blog related activities, but he must wonder at the time and expense.  I tell him that it's a great retirement hobby, and much cheaper than a boat.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Harvest Moon Cakes at Costco

I saw a young Asian woman looking at the Harvest Moon Cake tins in Costco; she seemed surprised and happy to see them there. 

"Are those any good?" I asked.

"Oh, they're wonderful.  I grew up with these." Pausing, she looked at me.  "They might be an acquired taste though."

Moon Cakes, I learned, are traditionally given to friends and family on the occasion of the Harvest Moon Festival, one of the four most important holidays in China (this year, September 19-21). The cakes are very complicated to make, so are usually a bakery product.   Auspicious words in Chinese are formed on the tops; the cakes contain bean or seed paste, and salted hard egg yolks to mimic the harvest moon.

The Joy Luck Palace Moon Cake tin at Costco contains 4 cakes; each cake has double salted egg yolks and lotus seed paste.

It's true, the taste is different, but for an interesting cross-cultural experience, celebrating the Moon Festival seems like a great adventure.  I learned by experience to cut the cakes in wedges so everyone gets part of the "moons".



I've ordered Round is a Moon Cake, a children's picture book, and will share the Moon Cake story and the Harvest Moon Festival with my granddaughters.

I love Costco for carrying things like this.

Here's a famous poem about the Moon Festival from poet Su Shi, (1039-1112). I don't particularly get a connection to festivals or cakes, but there you go.

The Moon Festival

Bright moon, when was your birth? (明月几时有)
Winecup in hand, I ask the deep blue sky;(把酒问青天) 
Not knowing what year it is tonight (不知天上宫阙)
In those celestial palaces on high. I long to fly on the wind, (今夕是何年,我欲乘风归去) 
Yet dread those crystal towers, those courts of jade,(又恐琼楼玉宇)
Freezing to death among those icy heights! (高处不胜寒)
Instead I rise to dance with my pale shadow;(起舞弄清影) 
Better off, after all, in the world of men.(何似在人间) 
Rounding the red pavilion,(转朱阁) 
Stooping to look through gauze windows,(低绮户)
She shines on the sleepless.(照无眠)
The moon should know no sadness;(不应有恨) 
Why, then, is she always full when dear ones are parted? (何事长向别时圆)
For men the grief of parting, joy of reunion,(人有悲欢离合)
Just as the moon wanes and waxes, is bright or dim:(月有阴晴圆缺)
Always some flaw and so it has been since of old.(此事古难全)
My one wish for you, is long life,(但愿人长久)
And a share in this loveliness far, far away! (千里共婵娟)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Pear Paletas

After yesterday, I needed to cool off, so I experimented with my new frozen popsicle mold.

Because Bob always takes pears for lunch at work, we almost always have Costco pears. Many paletas recipes call for limes, and we had Costco limes next to pears in the fridge.  

I used a standard 10 pop mold from Amazon. I'm glad I read the comments before buying, or I never would have understood the need to put the sticks in about 45 minutes after beginning the freezing or that, to remove the pops, one should run the mold under warm water.  I like to think I would have figured this out but apparently some people were mystified.

Pear Paletas 

5 pears, peeled, seeded and chopped
3/4 cup water
Juice of 2 limes
6 tbs sugar (or to taste)
1/8 tsp salt

Simmer 5 minutes, then let cool.  I mushed the pears up with a fork at this point. Pour into molds (leave a little space for expansion) and place in freezer.  After 45 minutes insert sticks.  After 6 hours, unmold using warm water and put each pop in a sandwich bag, seal, and freeze.

Very simple and good. Bob asked for seconds and decided they were "darn good", significantly better than the frozen fruit bars, which he loves, so this is a win.










Friday, August 16, 2013

There goes my book deal.

This is not a post about Costco, it's about the "Granny" aspect of the blog.

I got in a twitter altercation yesterday. It's my first one, and I blame Ronni Bennett, from the blog, Time Goes By; I had recently read her blog post about the media and ageism.

A young man, whose twitter bio says he's managing editor of a major Publishing Group, and, who, I'm sure, is a nice person, made this comment after calling Peggy Noonan a crone.

"May I safely use "crone" to describe, say, Peggy Noonan, if I would just as naturally use "codger" for John McCain?"

Which he followed up with "As long as we're discussing La Noonan, ask them what they think of "half in the bag blithering old hag."

To which I replied. "Same as categorizing someone you don't like by disparaging their color."

To which he replied:  "I'm going to very much have to differ with you on that.  That level of oversensitivity guts the language."

I replied:  "OK to mock old people?"

He said:  "If they're Peggy Noonan, Dorothy Rabinowitz or John McCain, you bet." and added, "I'm done with this conversation."

Why can't people hear themselves?  I feel sure he would not think it acceptable to use negative adjectives about color or sexual orientation to denigrate people with whom he disagreed, but that consideration doesn't extend to old people.

I don't agree that elders objecting to negative, pejorative slang are oversensitive or that preferring that people don't namecall using words like codger, crone and hag is "gutting the language".


Field Trip with Great-grandpa

Ever seen people riding in the Costco
motorized shopping carts and wondered how they worked?   

Yesterday, I took my 93 year old Dad to Costco. The person checking membership cards at the door made sure my Dad understood how to stop, go forward and reverse the cart. All the controls are on the steering mechanism. The ride is very smooth, but not as fast as a fast walk.  

In a freezer aisle, we were mesmerized  by the Raybern's Philly Cheesesteaks. After standing (and sitting) in front of the freezer case for a full minute of indecision, we grabbed them. (I was pretty sure, if Costco had them, they were good.). 

They were.

My Dad, who grew up outside Philadelphia, said, "you would probably have to go to Philly to do any better." 

Eight in a package, not gigantic, but very filling; cooked perfectly after 90 seconds in the microwave, about 400 calories per sandwich.



Wednesday, August 14, 2013

People don't really like pharmacists.

I've decided people don't really like pharmacists.  I come to this conclusion reluctantly, I was going to go off on modern pharmacists comparing them to their much beloved brethren of yore. They knew where everything was in their immaculate stores.  But, when I started to think of well-known and loved fictional pharmacists, I couldn't come up with any.

The first pharmacist I thought of was Mr. Gower, the pharmacist from It's a Wonderful Life.  Without George Bailey to catch his prescription error, we all know how that would have turned out.



Then, I remembered the creepy Monsieur Homais from Madame Bovary; he epitomized the worst of the bourgeoisie. I began to question my assumption that pharmacists used to be well-loved.  



Bob maintains there is a good pharmacist in The Natural and that Patrick Cleburne, Civil War General, was a pharmacist and a good guy, but there are always exceptions.

Maybe pharmacists haven't changed as much as I thought. Which leads me to my complaint.  

Pharmacists are druggists, meaning they should know what drugs they have in the store where they work.  Just because the drug is not behind a little glass wall does not mean that one should say, "If we have it, it would be down that aisle; if it's not there, we don't have it."  

I looked there. That's why I'm asking you. 

Look it up, pharmacist, or get one of your 'leventy million helpers back there to look it up.  If no one in pharmacy knows how to look up stock in the store, ask for retraining.

Yes, I'm talking to you.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Oh, no! How did this happen?

If you haven't ever tried H. K. Anderson Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels, and you're not sure if you would like them, if you like peanut butter and pretzels, you will like these. 

Nutritionally, not too bad per serving with 5 grams of protein, 8 grams of fat. The Kirkland label is an additional guarantee of quality. At Costco, I paid $7.59 for 3 lbs. 4 oz. (52 oz.). These sell in other stores in small packages for $1 for 3.5 oz. 

My Dad used to eat these on the golf course. I guess if you're rounding the first nine without lunch, you might need something to keep you going.

I, on the other hand, am never that far from a regular meal, so I have no excuse for eating snacks. Nevertheless, here they are in my kitchen. 

How did this happen?

I hope I don't eat too many. 

Too late.





New Yoga Shirt has Better Neckline (That's my headline, and I'm sticking with it.)

In the June Costco earnings call, Costco discussed expansion of Kirkland Brand athletic wear.  I posted about their summer capri length pants, now the winter styles are in.

I was happy to see the neckline in the women's long-sleeve shirt.  The previous crew-neck wasn't flattering. This "1/4 zipper" opening looks better on me, and, I'm guessing, many others.  

The shirt comes with details you might expect in more expensive athletic wear, such as thumb holes and cuffs to pull down over your hands and a plastic tab on the zipper in case of extreme temperatures.

Color choices are happy and bright, and, for yoga class, or just looking like I stopped off at Costco on my way home from yoga class, these will be great. The price is under $20.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Blogging Six Months Today

Today, I've been blogging six months.

I was so surprised and grateful that Kimberley at Addicted to Costco, reviewed my blog.  Her blog is the standard for all Costco blogs, and I was amazed by how gracious she was to welcome me.  I've also communicated with  Costcotuu, the Japanese Costco blog.  I love checking out her blog, but there's a significant language barrier.  

Nashville Food Bloggers, a group here in town that encourages quality blogging, has been a resource. (Lindsay Landis of Love and Olive Oil is their guiding light.) I've learned a tremendous amount from this group, even attending a food styling workshop they sponsored. 

Both my kids have helped.  My son designed my logo, and my daughter gives me tips, such as alerting me to the upcoming Costco in North Brunswick, New Jersey and catching spelling errors. My daughter was the first person to ask me about my bounce rate (which I didn't even know existed).  Bob/Jacques reads and comments.; he's been a great sport about the whole thing.

As a pastime, this is as good as any game. I enjoy checking my page views, seeing what posts are popular. I've learned about Alexa rank, bounce rate, and time on site. And, of course, I love spending time at Costco.

Thank you very much if you're one of the readers.  If you start a blog or are a blogger, I hope you send me the link or comment below.  I'm still learning; so, if I've misstepped in any way,
I hope you'll let me know.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Crayola Super Art Tub at Costco

The Crayola Art Tubs are back at Costco. These are standard items in the fall, and I think they suffer from the "can't tell what's in the sealed box" effect of the Hello Kitty set.  Without opening the package, it's hard to tell exactly what you're getting; but, when I've bought these "surprise package" sets, I've been happy. In my opinion, Costco makes sure you get your money's worth. (This Crayola Tub was around $20.)

Yesterday, I bought this because my grandchildren have reached the age to enjoy the contents; and, in a couple weeks, I'm expecting my 3 year-old Brooklyn granddaughter.

The plastic carrying case would work as a portable 8 1/2" by 11" inch manilla file box.  I've bought several of these empty file boxes on sale for around $8 each at the office supply store, and I'm happy to have another.  

This set has SEVEN Crayola sets of various kinds, including markers, crayons, glitter glue, a large kids' paint set (including paint brush), and colored pencils. The set does not have a box of standard, regular, everyday crayons.

The sketch pad is small, 40 pages, so, to fully use all the colors/glue, we will need more paper. Two small sheets of stencils are included.  My Detroit granddaughter enjoyed playing with the Hello Kitty stencils, so maybe these, in the Crayola set, will be fun. One is butterfly, hearts, and flowers; one is rocket ship, stars, and planets.

The Crayola Super Art Tub seems like a good purchase to me; but I have a feeling we're going to be art-supply-rich for a long time.  Maybe I better start playing with it myself, just to test everything.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Crabby, Asthmatic, but Trying to Empathize about Your "Service Animal"

I started blogging because I was inspired by Ronni Bennett from Time Goes By.  She advocates blogging as a great hobby for older people, and I agree.  She calls herself Crabby Old Lady, and, sometimes, she is, but mostly she's not.

I think that mostly, I'm not a Crabby Old Lady, but sometimes, I am.

When I was little I had terrible asthma, I've ended up at the emergency room more than once as an adult because I needed emergency asthma intervention.  I'm very allergic to animals.  Three times recently I've been in Costco when people were accompanied by phony "service animals".  Now, I'm not someone who can claim to love animals. I'm not an animal person. 

But I particularly don't want to be around over-groomed animals in bows trotting around my grocery store, pretending to be "wink, wink" service animals.

Who are these people accompanying these obviously spoiled pets?  The people actually look pretty raggedy compared to the fussy little dogs. 

I began to wonder: what could make you think taking your dog to Costco was a good idea? Maybe these folks aren't just stopping at Costco on their way home from sashaying their pet around PetSmart. Maybe these people are afraid to leave their houses without their pet, maybe they are severely agoraphobic!?  Maybe they couldn't ever even visit Costco unless they brought their dog!

I'm trying to reframe this entire thing. Now I feel guilty for being so judgmental.

Still don't like pets in the store though.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Brownie Brittle and Natural Ingredients

Brownie Brittle seems to have taken off as a snack, and we like it too.  The lore of this snack is that Sheila G. liked the burnt edges of brownies the best, so created a snack that consisted of cookies that taste just like brownie burnt edges.

I was a little disconcerted by the packagiing changes I noticed last time I was in Costco. The old package had a much lighter photo, the new photo is darker.  The old package said "All Natural" in the upper right corner.  The new package says "Made with Natural Ingredients".   The ingredients listed on the two packages are slightly different.

I tried the new Brownie Brittles on Bob, and he didn't seem to notice any difference; so I'm not too concerned about this.  Although, it did make me wonder what the "natural" label meant on food.

I found this article on nutritional labeling that explains that the word "natural" doesn't have a great deal of meaning.  

Still, ALL natural seems better than implying that just SOME of the ingredients are natural.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Costco Coupons August 8 - September 1, 2013


The new Costco coupons start Thursday, August 8th.  Again, Kimberley over at Addicted to Costco has posted the coupon book PDF.  Don't print these out; copies don't work.

Coupons are changing - now you MUST have the actual book (no coupon cutting) or the Costco app on your smart phone. I'm looking forward to seeing the app work.  If you don't want this on your phone or didn't get this in the mail, talk to the Service Desk to make sure you're on the mailing list.

I'm definitely going to buy the frozen Edy's Outshine Fruit Bars; these usually disappear in the fall, and Bob loves them year round.  I'm planning to buy an embarrassing amount since there's no limit, and I have a freezer in my scary basement.  (Maybe this will give me an excuse to finally spruce up my basement?  No.)

Most of these coupons are for brand name items; and, since I try to use Kirkland as much as possible, most of this is not for me.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Coach's Oats

I am so happy to see Coach's Oats in my Costco  We started eating this a couple years ago, and then it disappeared.  I found it in the grocery stores but in very small packages for very large prices, so Amazon was my source for a while.  

I love this oatmeal; there's a slight nutty, toasted flavor that makes the oatmeal taste better.

I'm hoping Costco keeps it permanently. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Tillamook Medium Cheddar Cheese Slices at Costco

We like the pre-sliced Tillamook medium cheddar cheese at Costco. This is real cheese, not processed cheese product, and convenient enough that any increased cost over block cheddar is worth it. This is a medium cheddar, easy to use in recipes, but for sharp cheddar taste, Costco has better options.

Bob takes lunch to work, and the first time I made him lunch, he texted me about a surprise in his sandwich. Unknown to me, the slices come with a paper separator. Bob had eaten half the sandwich before he figured out where the crunch originated. 

Oops.  




Thursday, August 1, 2013

Marcona Almonds

One great thing about the blog is that it gives me the excuse to purchase what I might not ordinarily - such as Marcona almonds.  In my experience, anything with the Kirkland brand is going to be good, so I feel pretty secure experimenting.

Marcona almonds have been in Costco for a while; I found references on the Internet to Costco Marcona almonds as far back as 2005.  But I purchased them for the first time this summer. In my Costco, they're in the snack, candy aisle, not the cooking, nuts aisle.

The first time I encountered these almonds was back in the 90's at Greens Restaurant in San Francisco; I found them mystifying. I knew they weren't regular almonds, but I never knew what they were.

Since purchasing them last week at Costco, I've learned that these are a specific cultivar of almonds, usually associated with Spain. On the Internet, Amazon lists Kirkland Marcona Almonds at 4.5 stars; the Amazon price is 50% more than Costco's.

I tried Marcona Almonds sautéed with green beans and thought they were wonderful, with a yummy, very delicate almond flavor, more tender than raw almonds, but salted.  For green beans or salads, these will be my preferred almonds.  For snacking, I'll stick with raw almonds.