Thursday, December 9, 2010

President's Choice Holidays - Part IV

If you're not recognizing this logo by now you're not Canadian. AND... if you're not Canadian, I'm sorry - you're missing out on a great year for new entertaining products. If you're American and planning a trip to the great white north, remember to bring a cooler and ice packs for take home goodies.

Package 2 of 3 arrived filled with frozen goodies. I'm not sure how many of the packages went but it was a gutsy effort to logistically send them out, packed in dry ice and make sure everything went where it was supposed to go without incident. I really have to commend our contact Laura for making sure it was relatively seamless. She was diligent in follow up and a plesure all the way through. I suspect she's sitting back now and saying "whew, thank goodness that's done".

Let me share package contents with you and my own personal thoughts about favourites and how to incorporate them into making the holiday season less stressful.

Red Velvet Cheesecake as an opener is sure to grab your attention. Although I've made red velvet cakes before, I can honestly say that tasting this one has encouraged me to perfect my own recipe. This cake is a party in your mouth and I generally don't like cheesecakes finding them dense and oh so rich. This one is sweet but not dense. I took this cake to a party in my building and couldn't find it about 10 minutes after I put it down. Enough said!

I had already talked about the Beef Bourginon previously and loved it.

It didn't take long to make the decision that this would be dinner. There's a substantial enough amount in the package for two average eaters and one hearty eater. I suspect this one will be in the top 5 of best new frozen entrees for this season; restaurant quality with braised beef pieces, baby carrots, pearled onions, root vegetables and mushrooms in a red wine reduction, demi-glaze with bacon. I really doubt my mother had this type of option available to her when we were growing up.

If beef's not your thing, think about Roasted Chicken in Merlot Sauce or Creamy Tarragon Pan Fried Chicken.

Friends stopped by and we took out the newest Hors D'oevre collection. PC took familiar ingredients and designed new fillings and shapes. Flavours include Chicken Sausage Roll, Swiss, Gruyere and Smoked Ham Boats sprinkled with parsley (no less), Roasted Sweet Potato and Goat's Cheese Rolls sprinkled with paprika; and Apple, Smoked Gouda and Carmelized Onion Lattice Roll.

The absolute favourite in this collection is the Roasted Sweet Potato and Goat's Cheese Rolls. Every flavour is easily distinguished and the combination is delicious. We challenged each person to tell us what was in the french puff pastry and since many are foodies, it was fun and interesting to see how refined peoples' pallets are. Each box has 40 pieces and warms up really quickly in the oven.

French Souffles... authentic .... imported from France ... not possible. Yes possible. We took out a couple of ramekins, buttered them well and dropped in premeasured cubes of frozen souffle pieces, put them in the oven and within minutes we had a taste of richness that I've only seen in restaurants. You can make the mini size or full size of either the Emmental Cheese Souffle or the Smoked Salmon & Dill Cheese Souffle.

We're having a drop in event this weekend and I've saved these dry seasoned rotisserie style chicken wings for the event. There's a goodly amount in the package and after all, who doesn't love chicken wings. Grey Cup, Superbowl, New Years, a beer and wings get together - fussy to make from scratch, easy to warm up.

If you're not drinking the beer, this alternative is really addictive;

Smoked salmon is really popular during the holidays. PC has come out with another smoked fish - Smoked Wild Albacore Tuna. The meat texture is more delicate than salmon. I'm serving a combination of both smoked salmon and smoke tuna on pumpernickle squares and rounds with a dollop of room temperature creamed cheese and a garnish of dill. This appetizer is the #1 baba approved and is a must do at any family function.

I don't think I've been to many holiday parties and not found a tray of cheeses and crackers. This one is great value for dollar, six (6) varieties and plentiful. Really, it's all you'll need for that big tray. We keep these around all year long; great as a snack and a quick prep when the mahjong group comes.

You've got the snacks and now you need a good cup of coffee all around (except for the tea drinkers of course). This 100% Hawaiian coffee is medium and balanced and left me asking for a second cup. I suspect this is the coffee that most people would consider their every day coffee. If you want something that's more full-bodied, the 100% Columbian Supremo should fill the bill, or the 100% Kenyan that has an interest berry and citrus flavour. The 100% Sumatra is the wake up coffee that's bold and intense with earthy undertones.

Although the mini melts came earlier (first package), I had to go to my local Loblaw store and get all the flavours and you'll soon be seeing posts of the holiday baking using these products.

Freezer bags was something I really didn't expect and welcomed with open arms. The size is bigger than a lunch bag size and smaller than a large freezer bag size - perfect!!! I admit it - my freezers are FULL of things packed in freezer bags.

Gift Box #3 arrived on December 1st and was an envirobag full of a number of items individually packaged. I love presents and I especially love trying to guess what's in the packages before I open them.

I don't think any explanation is really necessary with these items. Each and every one is fabulous, giftworthy and symbolic of so many of the foods I think of when I think of the holidays.

Thank you President's Choice for the opportunity to sample the new products and also for including a gift card for my future shopping and sampling.

Stock your freezers - you won't be sorry. StumbleUpon


Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

The company was so generous and I agree that Laura did an amazing job in getting everything to us. Her toes and fingers must be cramped from crossing them.

Unknown said...

Hi Mary,

Thank you so much for the kind words about all the products and shout out to me. We truly appreciate it and sincerely look forward to working with you in the future!

Very best!


Anonymous said...

All of these look so delicious!!