Thursday, May 23, 2013
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First, I want to say, no, I do not work for McDonald's! Yes, I got a super cute complimentary picnic basket (see bottom of the post) but no, I did not get paid to go to Savour the Flavour, an information session with McDonald's Director of Menu Development, Anne Parks, about the new Signature Wraps.
Second, I had so much fun hanging out with other bloggers getting to ask tons of questions about the new line of products and pretty much anything we felt like.
Third, I will be absolutely honest no matter what free food or gifts McDonald's sends my way. Promise!
We had some designated seating just for us for Savour the Flavour.
Very festive and fun and the turnout was great. The weather was a bit iffy so we gathered inside.
I soon discovered that apparently Reg is not the only chicken fanatic in Canada. The demand for new chicken products was part of the reason for this new line of wraps. Canadians want more chicken.
We started off with some smoothies and I love the mango pineapple one. I actually inadvertently ended up drinking two, LOL. Whoops! And... yum.
Anne Parks is on the right and was totally open to questions about the wraps and how she created the recipes. The Sweet Chili wrap needed more heat! Apparently in Canada we want it spicier than people in the UK. We also want more crunch which is why there are crispy tortilla slices in the Fiesta Wrap.
I also found out that they are completely customizable. OK, maybe yours won't have your name on it but mine did! I went for the naughtiest wrap they had: Crispy Chicken and Bacon. One I would normally never order but I had to go for it, right?
There was a bit of a learning curve on how to eat this giant wrap. I automatically wanted to open it at the top but you actually tear along the seam in the middle to open it.
Anne Parks discusses what is exactly in the crispy chicken and guess what? It's chicken!
For me, the most impressive part about the wrap (other than its sheer gynormous-ness) was the tortilla. The tortilla is not only whole wheat but comes from Mexico. You can taste it. It isn't quite the authentic corn tortilla I have made by hand but damn, it was very tasty, hearty and delicious.
Inside there was sliced cheese, bacon, crispy chicken, veggies... Funny, despite there being pork in this wrap, this is one I think Reg would like. The flavours are very basic and traditional. I think when it comes to sauces, I would prefer something more interesting than mayonnaise. That said, it was a good wrap. I am really looking forward to trying the other two next but not for a while, this sandwich was so filling! I hope my photos do the size of this wrap justice.
The wrap is $5 which for me, was a meal on its own. With a snack-size smoothie? A decent lunch out for well under $10.
We were also invited to order a side of fries or salad. As my regular readers know, I am not a fry fan. I ordered a Caesar and man, I could not believe it, shaved Parm! Yes, there is shaved Parm in there and you also get a small package of Renee's 1/2 the fat Caesar salad dressing. Dang!
Facebook foodie friend Tammy wanted to know about gluten free options at McDonald's so I asked if they were planning on making a product like their wraps but gluten free. Here is Anne's response. Doesn't sound like it. Sorry Tammy! I tried.
We were really given such a beautiful gift for participating in the discussion. This gorgeous picnic basket, blanket, coupons, frisbee, plates, napkins, cutlery... Everything you could want for your next foodie outing. But I will not let that go to my head!
If you are curious about the McWraps but do not want to pay full price, they are 50% off until Saturday so now is the time to go in and try one. The one I had was filling and pretty good. I would prefer more zing but maybe I will like the other two better. I love the whole wheat tortilla and do feel that $5 for a customizable wrap is a good value. If you want a healthier choice, stick with the grilled chicken and stay away from the bacon. Sniff.
I want to say thank you to Listen to Lena for being such a gracious host, to Anne Parks for her patience with all our questions and McDonald's for letting me try out their new products for free! I will be back with reviews of the other two wraps. I give the Crispy Chicken McWrap four out of five wooden spoons for those who love that combo. Me? I am going for the Fiesta Wrap next!
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
I remember when President's Choice came out with the cookie "The Decadent" in 1988. In only nine months it became Canada's best selling cookie. It was a game changer for most people. I was working at a bookstore filled with anarchists and lost souls. We saw the commercial for the cookie and this guy Paul looked at me and said, "You know what scares me? I am starting to believe in them. I am starting to believe that this company is going to start make products I am going to like."
He walked away in disgust. I watched the commercial while eating my Costco frozen pizza (not a foodie yet) and thought it was fascinating. A company that cares about what its consumers wanted? Nothing wrong with that.
This cookie has inspired so many PC products, including many I have reviewed such as their Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwich.
The Decadent Milk Chocolate Chips
Chocolate Chip Mini Bars
Molten Chocolate Chip Cookie
Happy Anniversary and some more treats please!
Recently President's Choice sent me one of their commemorative collectable cookie tins.
Inside were TWO bags of The Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookies!
There was also a gift card so I could find another new-to-me Decadent-inspired treat and I found their Molten Chocolate Cakes. Four million have been sold and I had not had one before! So I just had to try it.
I brought it over to my Mom's and took out one of the plastic-wrapped cakes.
You have to take it out of the plastic container and bake it on a baking sheet at 400F for 15-17 minutes. Then let it sit for a couple of minutes. The cake came off my mom's baking sheet just fine but it really stuck to my sister's when I made it for her the next day.
The cake was crisp on the outside and super gooey in the middle. This dessert is very rich and if you are a chocolate lover, you will probably love this. If you add some homemade whipped cream and a zip of raspberry sauce across the top, people will probably think you baked this yourself and you will wow them.
On their own they are quite yummy and comforting but at 21 grams of fat per cake (12 saturated), this is a treat I would have only once in a while. The box says ganache filling but I did not see truffle center in the list of ingredients. I think this is just one of those molten cakes that are not fully cooked in the middle which has a little less appeal for me than other molten cakes that really do have a truffle in the center. It was so wet and moist my sister Jamie could not eat it so this is definitely not for everyone. As a result, I give this product four out of five wooden spoons.
I am happy to save congratulations President's Choice for coming up with this foodie game-changer in Canada and living up to your high standards. A cookie that is comprised of 39% chocolate made with fresh creamery butter back then was kind of unheard of. I will admit I am not a huge fan of boxed cookies but you took on that challenge in a way no other store has. Bravo and keep baking!
Monday, May 20, 2013
Life has been tough. Like, pretty damn brutally tough. It is the long weekend and I wanted to do something different. I wanted... alcohol!
Yes, it is true, I do not normally drink but I picked up a muddler from Good Egg (article to come) and knew I wanted to use it to crush mint into a mojito the second I saw it. I used this recipe as an outline.
I started with the mashing part of the muddler to break up the mint. To each glass I added one entire stem of mint leaves (discarding the stem of course). The muddler really bruised the leaves and all you could smell was mint! Yum!
If you do not have a muddler, do not despair! You could use the end of a wooden spoon to break down the leaves too. Mojitos are for everyone.
I put 1 tbsp of sugar per glass with some ice. The idea was to use the other end of the muddler to help smash the ice around with the mint and the sugar to help break the sugar down.
I put in too much ice and it was awkward so I said screw it, let's just go for it and make the damn drinks. As I mentioned, things have been tough.
So we added 1 ounce of light rum per glass, the juice of half a lime and topped it with club soda.
It was very, VERY refreshing! I really did not think I was going to like it since I am not a huge fan of mint but with the rum and lime juice... lip smacking! All the sugar did remain on the bottom so next time I will make a simple syrup and throw in some mint leaves for flavour and use that instead.
Or you could just use a lime pop if you want easy-peasy mojitos but do not forget the fresh mint, lime juice and rum.
Cheers Foodies and Happy Victoria Day!