Costco Muffins

I have written a lot about my breakfast preferences in the past. Whether it be donuts, pancakes, or cereal, I have detailed my favorite unhealthy options for the most important meal of the day. But what if I told you that there is another breakfast item I prefer even more?

I gave a little hint more than six years ago. In a blog post I titled “The Top Five Things I Buy at Coscto,” I listed muffins right at the top of the list. Well, the cat is out of the bag, there you have it folks—I am obsessed with Costco’s bakery muffins.

Me holding a pack of Costco muffins in 2014.

From a very young age, I remember the special occasions when my parents would bring Costco muffins home. Perhaps we were hosting relatives for the Thanksgiving weekend or it was winter break and they wanted to be sure that there was something satisfying and fun to choose from. Whatever the reason, I couldn’t contain my excitement. At the time, the muffins seemed bigger than my head and tasted much better than the oatmeal I otherwise would have consumed.

Fresh, sweet, filling, and—like I have already said—HUGE, there was nothing not to like. Back in those early days, my parents would bring home a variety pack of chocolate, poppy seed, and blueberry. I loved them all. Also during those younger days I learned a unique way to eat them. My dad would take a Costco muffin, cut perpendicular slits in the middle, drop butter in it, microwave it for a minute, and eat it with a fork as the melted butter oozed out. Even though it was an approach that I never adopted, it was definitely memorable.

I saw Costco muffins in many different contexts outside of the house growing up. People would bring them to potlucks. Before Krispy Kreme infiltrated Spokane, Costco muffins were the sweet breakfast treat sold at little league concession stands and roadside rest stops. When we went camping, someone always had them. Of course, this was all for good reason.

Once I left the house, my Costco muffin consumption slowed down a bit. But if my parents ever came and visited me, they would take me to Costco to stock up on various items and you better believe I threw muffins in the cart.

By the time I settled down with Sidney, I knew we were compatible because she liked Costco muffins too and we could enjoy them together. That’s another thing, it doesn’t matter where you live, if there is a Costco, the muffins will taste delicious. Washington, Montana, and then South Carolina—I have never purchased a bad package of Costco muffins in my life.

Sidney isn’t the only girl in my life who loves Costco muffins…Sloan does too! We are holding my personal favorite flavor, chocolate.

And now we are back where my taste for this breakfast item developed. In our home in the Spokane Valley we have a freezer full of Costco muffins. As I mentioned, my approach differs from the one my dad perfected years ago. I will take one out of the freezer, throw it in the microwave for 20 seconds to unthaw it just a little, and then eat it relatively cold. No fork needed here. Because of health and novelty reasons, I limit myself to enjoying Costco muffins just on the weekends. I can’t say the same for my daughter. Sloan LOVES Costco muffins the same way that her parents do. Even though she might demand a whole muffin and only eat two bites of it, I know the passion is there.

One closing example of how much I love this Costco delight. On our anniversary this year, we didn’t have any muffins at home. My wife slipped out and went to her favorite espresso stand that just happens to sell Costco muffins. She purchased a chocolate one and brought it home to me. BEST. ANNIVERSAY. PRESENT. EVER.

Well, only five more days until I can sink my teeth into another Costco muffin. Until then, feel free to tell me about any experiences you have had with this breakfast delicacy. Hope you had a good Monday! Don’t Blink.

The Top Five Things I Buy At Costco

CNBC just showed a special on Costco so of course I can’t get the warehouse store out of my mind. I love Costco. However my love doesn’t ignite a fire hot enough to make me buckle down and pay the membership fee. Like a first class moocher I have relied on friends and family to get me through the doors of the place for years. Perhaps now that I am in South Carolina, with no family and no friends as of yet, I might make the sacrifice and purchase a membership. You see, there are some items I really like at Costco.

For this blog post I want to give you the five items I purchase the most at Costco. So without any more chatter let me give you my list in no particular order.

Muffins: About once every two months I will do the mix and match deal where you get to pick two packs of six muffins each in the bakery. I always go chocolate for one of the packs and then either apple crumb, banana nut, or blueberry for the second six. I freeze them at my place and then for two weeks I will wake up looking forward to breakfast! I will take one out of the freezer, throw it in the microwave for 20 seconds to unthaw it just a little, and then eat it relatively cold. BONUS: Down south they have a different flavor of muffin you can’t get out west…corn muffins!! Yes, the jumbo Costco sized muffins also come in the corn variety.

Me with some frozen Apple Crumb Costco muffins.

Me with some frozen Apple Crumb Costco muffins.

Cheese: Costco sells a cheese variety pack that is awesome. They put two pounds of thickly cut squares of cheese into plastic wrapping, a perfect snack item. Many times I will add some squares of cheese to my dinner or when I take a rare break from peanut butter I will layer my sandwiches with the cheese slices. The variety pack includes French swiss, creamy harvard, Dutch gouda, and my personal favorite…aged cheddar.

This is the cheese pack that Costco sells.

This is the cheese pack that Costco sells.

Pub Mix: Costco offers a snack mix that I can’t stop eating once I start. I don’t know how to describe the pieces that make up the mix because they are kind of obscure but pretzels are included…and then you got about four other heavily salted items. I started to chow down on this stuff when we would hold basketball tournaments at Montana. In our hospitality room we would always have a tub and my obsession started.

Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches: In western Costcos they sold a microwavable cheesesteak sub. A box contained six sandwiches and if you happened to put a little Sriracha on it you had something pretty special. I would buy a box and have a sandwich for lunch on the weekend. When I visited the Myrtle Beach Costco I couldn’t find my beloved philly cheesesteak subs but I opted for the BBQ beef steak sandwiches (coincidentally an item I never saw out west).

The Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches from the west turned into Beef Steak sandwiches in the east.

The Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches from the west turned into Beef Steak sandwiches in the east.

Hot Dogs from the Food Stand: It doesn’t matter if you are on the west coast, east coast, or no coast you will always find Costco’s signature hot dog at the store’s food stand. Oversized, tasty, and only $1.50 with a drink included you really can’t beat it. I have ate Costco dogs from when I was a little kid up until now and next time I go to Costco I am sure I will order another one.

The only way I am getting back to Costco anytime soon is if I bite the bullet and invest in a membership. With a store only five minutes from my place I think I am going in that direction. I just hope that particular Costco can pick up its samples game because it was pretty weak a few days ago. Don’t Blink.

Costco Samples Rudeness

So after work today, a co-worker and I went to Costco to look for cameras. After selecting one, the guy in the electronics department said it would take about fifteen minutes for him to package it up and get it ready for purchase. With the spare time, we decided to go look at the camping stuff. But who am I kidding, looking at “camping stuff” quickly took us to the bakery area where the samples start. You know when you go to Costco how sometimes it can be really hit-and-miss on samples? Sometimes each end of every aisle will have a samples table and everything offered on them will be delicious and then other times they will barely have any samples at all and the ones that they do have will be something unsavory such as granola bars or trail mix. Well, surprisingly for a Tuesday night, Costco was on its Samples “A game.”

After trying such selections such as chicken fettuccine and an empanada, I got to a table that was serving fajita samples. Standing directly in front of the sample table across from the Costco employee who looked to be pushing at least ninety was an elderly couple who looked to be around the same age. As they took up the whole front half of the table I waited patiently behind them as they took their time chatting with the old lady employee about how good the fajita was,  how unpredictable the weather has been, and how traffic has just increased so much in Missoula (not kidding). Although the unnecessary wait made me a little bit antsy, I was consoled by my good fortune as there was just one sample remaining on the tray and I was going to get it. As the couple finally started to slowly turn around to continue their shopping (an ordeal all in itself) and I started to make my way to the front of the table, the unthinkable happened. Some woman who looked like she had never missed a free sample in her whole life flew past the elderly couple on their left while pushing her cart, made a sharp right turn, reached from behind the back of the table, grabbed the last sample, shoved it in her mouth, and straightened back up and continued on down the aisle, leaving us all in her dust.

Rudeness.

I find it ridiculous how free samples can turn a Costco cliental into a Wal-Mart cliental the minute the aroma of something good cooking in the microwave hits people’s noses. Do good manners suddenly just not apply? To be completely truthful, although I was outraged at the lady’s behavior simply because I really wanted that fajita sample, it didn’t surprise me at all. I have witnessed this type of bush league behavior ever since my parents would take us to Costco after mass on Sundays. I don’t understand. I mean I am still embarrassed to admit that when we were ten years old my friend and I would would hit all the samples once and then we would trade hats and put them on backwards and then go through them all again, thinking that the employees could not see through our “disguises.” The fact that grown adults engage in behavior even more juvenile than that is mildly disturbing.

Whatever happened to saying thank you? Eighty percent of the people I see snatch samples will not take one second to make eye contact with the store employee and say thanks. Honestly, take the time to recognize the person who prepared a FREE sample for you. Would you ever take something from your grandma without saying thanks? How different is it at Costco? If my observations are correct from all the years I have shopped at Costco, all sample employees are ladies who are at least seventy-five years of age. Next time look at them as your grandma, if you still don’t say thank you than you don’t have a heart.

Don’t engage in the same act of rudeness that the lady did today. Stand in line and wait your turn. Don’t cut and don’t grab from the back of the table. Be patient. Let elderly people, kids, and cute girls go in front of you in line.  If you get to the table at the exact same time as someone else does and there is only one sample left, defer to the other person. Be classy.

Please don’t be greedy, take one sample from the table. I don’t care if you are shopping with your wife/husband, make him/her stand in line and get their own. It is so unfair when you have stood in line for  a while and just as you are about to get to the table someone else cleans out all the samples by grabbing three or four of them. Show some consideration.

Wow, I didn’t realize how many complaints I have about this topic. Well, I might as well keep going…

Don’t be a vulture at a samples table. If you get up to the table and just by your luck the samples run out, act like an adult and walk away. Don’t loiter around the table for a full ten minutes while the poor old lady has to nervously look at you and make small talk as she prepares the next batch. Don’t you have anything better to do? Go ahead and wait in line for tickets to the concert of your favorite band or for the best ride at Disneyland but not for a bite of a mozzarella stick.

Finally, throw your white cups, toothpicks, napkins, and other sample utensils into the garbage can. Notice how I say into the garbage can. Not right by it, not in the middle of the aisle, not in your cart for someone else to fish out. Be a slob at your own house but show respect elsewhere.

Just because we pay a membership to shop at Costco does not mean we have the right to check our manners at the warehouse doors. Take some pride in how you conduct yourself and realize that a frozen hot pocket is not the be-all, end-all. Set an example for those around you, especially if you have kids, and act in a classy and polite manner. If you can’t act like a civilized human being, stay away from the sample aisles and go look at the camping stuff…that always works for me. Don’t Blink.