Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dear Costco, How do I love thee? Let me count the ways ...

Costco has a soft spot in my heart. Even though they're not a mom-and-pop small business, I tend to think of them as one, being from the Seattle area (they're local, at least). They're good to their employees; stand fiercely by their cardinal rule that no branded item can be marked up by more than 14 percent, and no private-label item by more than 15 percent; and best of all, carry really, really awesome stuff.To no other store do I feel this sense of loyalty. Years ago, long before Morgan, a boy once took me on a date and made a quick stop at *gasp!* a Sam's Club. "That's a deal breaker, ladies!" I knew the relationship was going nowhere from that very moment. I kid, I kid ... kind of.

So without further ado, here are the top 10 reasons why I am a die-hard Costco fanatic:

1. My gorgeous engagement ring.
2. The rugged, yet stylish Honda Pilot in my driveway (Costco Auto-Buying Program).
3. The three-pack of English cucumbers in my refrigerator.
4. My bedroom furniture.
6. My excess of workout clothes (I need to stop buying these, but can't resist).
7. The flat of garden-fresh tasting Campari tomatoes on my kitchen counter that cost two-thirds less than at Fred Meyer (we eat a lot of these).
8. My Sonicare toothbrush.
9. My television(s).
10. The recipe below ...

Tonight's dinner inspired this post. It's just one of my fantastic recent finds. I've been looking at these ravioli for awhile in the refrigerated section, but hadn't picked any up until a few weeks ago (they come in a two pack and freeze well, too).

The ravioli is from Monterey Pasta Company and the sauce is a "back of the box" recipe for brown sugar walnut sage butter. The ravioli filling is to die for and as good as anything I could make myself. Perfect for a busy night. Super easy, super delicious. Enjoy!!

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Sugar Walnut Sage Butter

16 oz. Monterey Pasta Company Butternut Squash Ravioli – Cooked per package directions
3/4 cup walnut pieces
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
3/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or one teaspoon dried rubbed sage
2 tablespoons cream

  1. Prepare pasta as directed.
  2. While pasta cooks, start the sauce. Have all ingredients together as this comes together quickly!
  3. Using a large wide sauce pan or skillet, toast walnuts on medium heat until just fragrant and beginning to color.
  4. Reduce heat to low, add butter and stir.
  5. Add brown sugar, salt, cayenne and sage.
  6. Stir until butter is completely melted. Whisk in cream, add cooked ravioli and enjoy.