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So I’ve managed to reign it in a little but, at heart, I’ll always be a Costco junkie. I’m not ashamed. I have the executive membership, I have the AMEX, and I get excited when the new coupon books show up in the mail. They have done a great job, in my opinion, of building a good reputation and having quality products and clean stores.

Below half a tank in the hybrid and needing a few items I decided to make a “quick” Costco run yesterday afternoon… famous last words. 4:00pm-ish on the first day of a new coupon book proved to be a good time. The store was busy but not crazy and there were lots of interesting samples going on.

So allow me a minute to soap box on samples at Costco. I think samples can be an effective tool. On many occasions, yesterday included, I’ve tried something new, or something I have seen but not been sure on, resulting in a post-sample purchase. I like when there are samples during the less crowded times so I can actually try one without having to wade through an extended family’s field trip. Samples are not meant to be an all you can eat buffet or a substitute for a meal. You don’t have to try every one of them just because they are free. Please don’t send your kids to grab seven samples and please stop parking your cart in the middle of traffic flow, blocking all others from shopping while you wait for the next tray to be put out. Costco has provided trashcans throughout the store… dozens of them… please throw away your dirty napkin/used wrapper/spoon from your sample and stop leaving them in your cart for the next customer to find and when your child drops one of the three samples they are juggling (a.k.a. lunch) please pick it up. 

I got lots of goodies on my trip yesterday… a box of wine (don’t judge, it’s great for cooking and not bad for drinking), 25 sq. ft. of mosaic tile (now to see if I can redo the fireplace surround), and dinner… a $5.99 take and bake, pepperoni pizza (reg. $8.99).

So I love the idea of homemade pizza. I envision making mixing then ingredients, kneading the dough, letting it rise, and wistfully throwing it in the air to stretch to perfect shape and thickness… I also have visions of cashing in a winning lottery ticket but neither has happened… YET. That said I took advantage of the $3.00 off on their ginormous pepperoni pizza.

These pizza aren’t bad as-is. No the crust doesn’t puff like but for a quick dinner shortcut (and for $5.99) it ain’t bad. That said with a little embellishment you can kick it up a bit.

My favorite way to add some love to take and bake pizza is adding 3 things: Fresh Ground Pepper, Diced Banana Pepper rings, and a drizzle of white truffle oil. it’s quick, it’s easy, and I always have it on hand. A close second favorite is to replace the pepper rings with sliced green olives, and occasionally I’ll throw on mushrooms or onions depending on craving. Pop it in the oven and your about 15 minute away from dinner… the perfect amount of time to throw together a quick salad and pop open a bottle of wine… and your kitchen clean up is minimal!