Costco Chicken – Single Man’s Dinner

This is how some single men cook. Below is my dinner from last night. The prep time was about 15 minutes.

Chicken was from my August 2020 Costco Shopping (9 months ago). I thawed it overnight in the refrigerator. I also thawed some tortillas (I vacuum packed them in single serving size). I used a Soup Mix from World Market I purchased about a year ago. It’s a dry food with long shelf-life.

I boiled the soup mix with chicken for 1 hour. I topped the soup with shredded tortillas. And seasoned it with oregano, peppers, and Tapatio (hot sauce).

It was an excellent dinner. The chicken was tender and tasty. I always keep these Costco chicken breasts in my freezer. Once I make a soup like this, I will eat this for three days.

As a single person, buying bulk from Costco works for me. I save money and time. Also, Kirkland Signature products are high quality. Vacuum, freeze, and enjoy.

I am not a cologne guy

I don’t always wear fragrances. I only wear fragrance when I’m home alone or when I go to sleep. Sometimes I burn a scented candle. I rarely wear fragrances outside. I never wear fragrances with other people in mind. When it comes to attracting the opposite sex, I believe the smell is at the bottom of the list. For example, women will go for unscented Brad Pitt over Danny DeVito with heavy cologne. In fact, Danny DeVito will get more women if he doesn’t reek Sauvage.

All my deodorant, after-shave, and body lotion are unscented. I cannot stand perfume on women, but I get a kick out of the natural scent of women’s skin. Smelling other men’s colognes is the worst. It makes me gag.

So, I refuse to be that guy with heavy cologne.

I believe the fragrance is like music. A few people around me may like to hear my music, but most people would rather not hear it, especially at work. I believe that’s how it works with fragrances. For one person who compliments my smell, there will be many other people who wish I would leave the place and take the smell with me. Leaving my smell behind, when I leave the conference room, would be one of the worst offenses at work. My employer routinely sends out company-wide emails asking us to tone down on personal fragrances.

My closet: Fragrances, gloves, wallets, glasses, and socks.
  • I have enough fragrances to last my lifetime. I may buy a few more fragrances for fun. Besides that, I don’t think about fragrances. They look pretty in my closet, and they are there when I feel like wearing them.
  • I think the only time it’s OK to wear fragrances in public is when I go out to dance. Still, I would wear a little amount. FYI: I have not gone out to dance since the early 90s. My God, I used to attract gay men like I was on flame.
  • There is personality, God-given looks, toned body, special talent, wealth, fame &, etc…that might attract other people. The “smell” is at the bottom of the list that often works against you. Not many people would like to hang out with a guy with heavy cologne.
  • It is true, expensive colognes obviously smell better. Most of my collection is cheap. I can trash 15 bottles right now and not miss them. I keep them because they look nice on the shelf.
  • In the US, my boss can tell me to stop wearing fragrances and can fire me for it.
  • In the US, wearing fragrances is banned at some workplaces.

I enjoy fragrances. But I refuse to be that guy with heavy cologne.

Smell you later.

Costco Shopping – April 16, 2021

8th Costco Shopping in 2021 – $17.31 today / $1497.79 this year

I went to Costco for a hot dog lunch. I had nothing on my shopping list.

Duke’s Original Recipe Smoked Shorty Sausages is enjoyable. It has a classic (typical?) smoky taste. I love salty meat treats like these, but I can’t eat these too often, mainly because of the salt content. Don’t get old.

I used self-service checkout, so it printed my receipt on a blue ribbon.

After quick shopping, I ate a hot dog in the back of my station wagon. I saw other cars and trucks nearby, eating their hot dogs and pizzas. This is why I went to Costco today, to enjoy this lazy moment in the Costco parking lot. I live for little moments like this. Most people living alone should understand.

Costco Shopping – April 8, 2021

7th Costco Shopping in 2021 – $62.24 today / $1480.48 this year

I wanted to drive my convertible, so I went to Costco after work. I recently bought a car battery a few weeks ago. Today I turned in my old car battery and received $15 back in cash.

The season for Costco Garden Products

Costco still stocks garden products such as water hose, Ortho weed killer that also kills crabgrass but doesn’t kill your lawn, and slug bait. You should hurry before they are gone. They are all excellent value; I mean the best price. I picked up a 5lb jug of slug bait. I had blind faith that $27.99 was the best price I can find anywhere. I came home and check the price online to confirm that my guess was right.

Kirkland Signature Bath Mat

Since the water damage to my house 13 months ago, I needed a bathroom rug for my guest bathroom. I waited 13 months because good bathroom rugs are expensive. Today, I finally found a Kirkland Signature bath mat. It was only $9.99, and it was beautiful. Their quality easily equals $30-$50 mat from elsewhere. Most bath rugs are one-sided, and their rubberized bottom side mash will break apart after a few years. So, you will have no choice but to buy a new rug. These Kirkland Signature Bath Mat are double-sided and high in quality. I don’t think they will ever break apart. I really think I will use this one until I die.

I took some detailed pictures so you can appreciate the quality of it.

Notice the blue color on the receipt. I used the self-checkout system for the first time. I believe they use blue paper on self-checkout machines. I think I still get the white paper if I use a conventional checkout. And, of course, the food court will give you the yellow receipts.

After the shopping, I bought a hotdog. Then I parked my car in the corner of the parking lot where nobody will accost me (just in case) and enjoyed the hot dog.

Mr Al Jarreau

Meeting my favorite singer Al Jarreau

It was the late 90s, before smartphones and digital photography. A music promoter I knew had a favor to ask. He was meeting Mr. Al Jarreau, and he needed a photographer to document the meeting. So, in my tank top, I gathered my cameras and drove my beat-up convertible to Mr. Al Jarreau’s house. Al Jarreau was a 7 times Grammy-winning Jazz singer who sang a part of “We are the world (1985)”. He also sang the theme song from ‘Moonlighting’. I liked Al Jarreau. I had 2 of his CDs at that time.

At Al Jarreau’s house, I took pictures of them in various settings, including family-style snapshots. I took one picture with him as well. During break time, Mr. Jarreau signed the CD that I brought with me.

His personality was just like the above live video. He was mellow. And he had an “I am not in a hurry” demeanor.

He was a smoker, and people constantly smoked in the house. At one point Mr. Jarreau said (to me), “let me light the cigarette for you”. I was star-struck and absolutely thrilled. And Mr. Jarreau… he looked so satisfied as he lit my cigarette slowly with a big smile. I didn’t really smoke, but I went along with the flow.

A few months later, Billboard Magazine had a blurb about what Al Jarreau was up to lately. And, boom! There was a picture that I took – on Billboard Magazine!!!

Mr. Jarreau died 15 years later. God bless him. I have a special memory of him. Sometimes I look at the picture of Al Jarreau and me together – me with that stupid tank top.

Costco Shopping – March 24, 2021

7th Costco Shopping in 2021 – $240.07 today / $1,418.24this year
Coupon saved $10.50

Today I…

  • Went to the Costco Tire Center and bought a car battery – $100.12
  • Shopped at the warehouse – $138.33
  • Ate a hot dog – $1.62

Interstate Car Batteries at Costco

Costco doesn’t install batteries for you. You must install it on your own.

According to my personal research, this Interstate car battery at Costco was absolutely the best price by a big margin. Your research may vary depends on your car models. If you are not a savvy shopper, don’t think too much, just buy at Costco.

I called my Costco Tire Center a few hours ahead to make sure they had my battery. The guy on the phone said, “You don’t need to reserve, we have plenty”. The shopping process was painless. I paid an extra $15. I am supposed to bring back my old battery so they will refund $15.00.

Pasta and Pesto

Most of us have heard of Macaroni, Rigatoni, Fusilli, and Spaghetti. But there are about 350 varieties of pasta.

At Costco, 6-pack of Garofalo Pasta contains 3 different varieties (shapes) of pasta. And they rotate the varieties. This time, the 6 pack contains: (click to view images)

Kirkland Signature Italian Basil pesto was on sale for $2 off each. I bought 4 jars and put them in the freezer. They will last over a year. I always buy multiple jars of Basil Pesto when they are on sale. They are very good; I enjoy them a lot.

What I didn’t like

I didn’t like the chorizo. Maybe some people will like it. But I couldn’t eat it. I threw mine away. I will continue to buy my chorizo from the local Mexican meat market as I have been for over 15 years. I don’t want to talk about this topic, but I think Costco is making a big mistake. I think the Costco executives never tried authentic chorizo from the meat market. More coming on this topic…

See’s Candy Gift Certificate

2 x $25 ($50 total) See’s Candy gift certificates were $38.99. I have a friend who buys me See’s Candy occasionally. So, I gave her these gift certificates and told her to use them. I understand it was a little odd that I paid for my own surprise gifts. But anyway…. Now she can buy me chocolate whenever she feels like without worrying about money.

Baby back ribs is in the freezer.

After shopping, I ate a hot dog in the car.

Now I have nothing on my Costco shopping list. I may not go to Costco for a few months.

Big Shoulders Smokehouse Baby Back Pork Ribs

I enjoyed these baby back pork ribs by Big Shoulders Smokehouse. This 48 oz (3 lb) package was $12.99. That’s cheaper than 2 double cheeseburgers without drinks. 2 average-sized adults can pig out on this. In my case, 2 of us could only eat 2/3 of it. This is an excellent value. I shall buy some more.

Update: I went back to Costco 2 weeks later for some more. Now they were $13.99 each. The price went up by $1.00.

I bought this on my Costco Shopping – March 10, 2021. They are fully cooked, so I just needed to reheat in the oven. I put it in the 375-degree oven for 27 minutes.

Maybe these were as good as Tony Roma’s. Maybe these were better than Tony Roma’s. I am not sure. They are that good. The meat was tender and falling off the bone. The sauce was just right. Next time, I shall scrape off BBQ sauce and warm it up separately. Then I shall re-apply the sauce after the ribs are cooked.

As a side dish, I microwaved Kirkland Signature’s Normandy-Style Vegetable mix. I always keep a bag of Kirkland Signature’s frozen mixed vegetables. The bread was from a local store.

It took me about 40 minutes to prepare everything. It was an excellent dinner. Baby back ribs are crazy good times. If you have young dogs (with good teeth) they will love the bones. They will enjoy the bones more than we enjoy the meat.

1/3 of a rack = 1 lb
Corned Beef Round – St. Patrick’s Day

Created March 17, 2017. Updated March 16, 2021.

Top of the morning to you.

I’ve been making a special St. Patrick’s Day dinner since 2013 (9 years as of 2021). I always buy Bill Bailey’s Irish Brand Corned Beef Brisket from Costco. In 2020, they switched from briskets to round cut. Personally, I didn’t notice the difference between brisket and round. I enjoy their brisket (Round) very much. Costco always stocks an extra amount of Corned Beef Rounds from late February to the beginning of March.

The traditional cooking method is slow cooking for 10-12 hours. I set my slow cooker in the morning before I go to work. The dinner would be ready when I come home from work.

Since 2020, Costco also sells pre-cooked Corned Beef Brisket that you can microwave for about 20 minutes. So, if you don’t like to cook, you can microwave. Personally, I prefer slow cook. I enjoy the cooking experience. It looks like the microwave version is gaining popularity. My visitor reported she enjoyed precooked round very much.

Bill Bailey's Corned Beef Round, formerly brisket
March 13, 2021. Bill Bailey’s Corned Beef Round, formerly Brisket, with Cabbage and potatoes

The slow cooking method is simple. I put the meat and water to cover the meat and cook it low for 10-12 hours. I put cabbages in the pot later (last 2 hours or so). And I boil potatoes.

Some people soak the meat in cold water over-night to take the salt out. I think that’s an excellent idea to promote a healthy diet. But that will change the taste that Bill Bailey originally intended. So, I follow the direction on the package.

I like to eat my corned beef brisket (round) with juice. I don’t know how authentic this is, but I like it.

To me, it is frustrating to think that I may never get to eat an authentic home-cooked Irish meal, prepared by real Irish people in the real Irish household. The same goes with real home-cooked Chinese food, real home-cooked Cajun food, real Texas BBQ, authentic soul food, etc… I am very frustrated about this. I wish I can make friends everywhere so I can visit them and enjoy their cooking.

Costco Corned Beef Brisket, Bill Bailey
Corned Beef Brisket Costco

CLA and weight loss – 135 days experiment

Quick update. Just the fact. No opinion. Your results may vary.

CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) – is a dietary supplement that’s supposed to burn fat. Costco sells 2 kinds of CLA pills.

I am 5’7″. My normally weigh is 158 lb. I wear a size 40 suit jacket and 31-inch waist pants. I am a little wider on top. Although I haven’t been to the gym in 20 years, I can comfortably do 10 pull-ups in competition standard (no kicking, no swinging – no cheating).

I gained 6 pounds during the pandemic lockdown. When I weighed myself 165 lb on September 2020, I bought some CLA pills.

  • I took CLA pills for 45 days and lost a few pounds.
  • Next, I took different CLA pills for 45 days and lost another few pounds.
  • After that, I didn’t take any pills but watched my diet for 45 days, and lost additional few pounds.
  • During that 135 days, there were no changes in my physical activities.
  • During that 135 days, I thought about losing weight a lot. So, I watched my diet more than usual.
  • Then the holiday season came. My weight went up (160) and down (157) after the holiday season.
  • Currently, I don’t take any fat burners, and I keep my weight at 156 lb.
  • Overall, I lost 2 pounds after 12 months of pandemic lockdown. I lost more than I gained.
  • I plan to bring my body weight down a few more pounds with no supplements. I would like 155 lb or under.
  • For this experiment, I made sure I didn’t work out.

This experiment doesn’t prove much. Everyone has a unique body and a unique scenario. I just thought some people might find it interesting.

November 24, 2020. The end of the 135-day experiment & the beginning of the holiday season (massive eating). I hit 152.5 lb once, but I didn’t maintain that weight.