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presidents choice

Gifts that Quench and Indulge

entertain, Shopping Reviews By November 26, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

It is already day 7, and our editorial board is famished and thirsty. We put ‘Gifts that Quench and Indulge’ together while salivating and are very much looking forward to a cocktail now!

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Tips to Get Your Kids Helping in the Kitchen

EAT, FAM, family meals, health, kids By October 19, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

It’s halfway through October, and the dust of a new school year is starting to settle. As parents, we’re busy adjusting our schedules with an influx of homework, sports, and extracurricular activities. Trying to manage it all can be stressful, and meal-planning is just one more thing to worry about.

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Healthy School Lunch Ideas for Picky Eaters

Uncategorized By August 29, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 7 Comments

School Lunch Ideas for Picky EatersI had a panic attack last week about the kids going back to school.  Our summer has been hot and full of learning.  Also a fair bit of goofing off.  And now I must think about fall clothes, proper shoes and (ugh)… school lunches.  Healthy school lunch ideas for picky eaters are hard to come by, so we’ve scoured our resources and assembled a comprehensive list for you.

Thermos Corn on the Cob

It includes store-bought snacks as well so you don’t have to make everything from scratch!

I did a few things this year to prep for back to school, and one was acquire sectioned Planet Boxes for each child.  The only issue now is filling them with healthy snacks and meals that the kids will actually eat.  At a local dollar store I found fun stickers and animals to add charm and smiles to lunchtime.  And of course picked up Funkins cloth napkins to remind the boys to take their manners to school.
Pesto Cream Cheese RollupsMake it Yourself:

1.  Pesto cream cheese pinwheels.
2.  Ham and Cheese sandwiches cut with a favourite shaped cookie cutter.
3.  Place a temporary tattoo on a banana.  Who could resist?
Hot Chicken Nuggets4.  Hot buttered corn on the cob in a thermos.

5.  String blueberries or grapes on fun toothpicks.
6.  Shaped chicken nuggets in a thermos.
7.  Mini Muffins
8.  Perogies in a thermos with a side of sour cream and cheese.
9.  Nestle a chocolate chip into the hole in a raspberry.
10.  Bake cut-up pita in fun shapes and send with hummus or tzatziki.

Prepackaged/Storebought:

Motts Fruitsations + Veggies1.  Mott’s Fruitsations + Veggies Medleys are packets of fruit gummies that have great nutritional benefits.  They are only 80 calories per packet and give 100% of vitamin C and 4% of daily vitamin A.  There are 9 in each pack and are flavoured with real fruit juice. We tried some and my kids were obsessed.  They kids think they are an appropriate dessert.  Win.
2.  Packaged seaweed snacks are a huge love in our household and are filled with antioxidants.  They come in wasabi, sesame, plain and sea salt and are available at most grocery stores as well as Costco.
Veggie Bagel3.  Leftover Sushi.  The cucumber, tuna and avocado are always a hit (the other kids will want it too).  Ensure that you place a freezer pack in the lunch bag to preserve freshness.
Mini Tuna Bagels4.  Vita Coco Kids is a great new brand of coconut water with flavour that will leave them completely hydrated.  We tried apple and fruit punch and it was a great product.
5.  President’s Choice is making new U.H.T. chocolate and white milk that does not need refrigeration.  They come in packs of three and include straws.
6.  Microwave popcorn is a great easy snack to prepare in the morning!
7.  Chocolate covered goji berries are a fabulous healthy addition to the lunch box.
8.  Last night’s leftover pasta with butter and shaved parmesan in a thermos is one of my last-minute tricks.
9.  Organic Rice Thins are healthy, filling and gluten-free.
Larabar10.  Larabar Apple Energy Bars are great for kids!

Be sure to visit the Life Made Delicious Facebook Page to enter a contest that could make back-to-school shopping much more affordable! They’ll have three $500 gift cards up for grabs until September 8th, 2013.

“Disclosure – I am participating in the Mott’s Fruitsations & Veggie fruit snacks Blogger Campaign by Mom Central Canada. I received compensation as a thank you for participating and for sharing my honest opinion. The opinions on this blog are my own.”

Grilled Flatbread

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A Chef's Summer BBQ Tips

Uncategorized By August 2, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Summer BBQ TipsJust in time for a long weekend, we have a special treat for you: a chef’s summer BBQ tips!  Chef Tom Filippou, Executive Chef President’s Choice Cooking Schools has given us an exclusive interview about the current trends and tips in BBQ.  Here he talks overcooking, smoking, menus and marinades.  Enjoy, and feel free to extend a dinner invitation to our team…  Have a great long weekend!

1.  What are this summer’s current trends in BBQ?

I would say that one of the hottest trends right now is incorporating traditional North African spices and flavours into your foods.  We’ve just introduced our PC black label harissa spice blend that is a Moroccan seasoning blend of crushed hot red chilies, cumin, ground caraway, coriander, garlic, sea salt and spearmint leaves adds a bold and slightly smoky kick to stews, grains and vegetable dishes. Not only can you use it to season your meats, but it also becomes a condiment when blended with olive oil to make a thick paste which is a really unique way to spice up your burgers or chicken.

Also, a fairly new trend that we’ve really been a bit of a trendsetter in is grilling cheese on the barbecue.  For example, we have a great mild-tasting Mediterranean-inspired PC Halloom Cheese that is great for the grill because it resists melting, holds its shape and great to add to kebabs, summer salads and sandwiches. Also, one of my favourite new foods this summer is our PC Cedar Plank Brie. The wood protects the double-cream Brie from the flames while the smoke imbues it with flavor. It even comes with our PC Memories of Tuscany Sauce  that adds sweet and tangy notes to the creamy cheese. Both of these are really unique foods to offer your guests and I think we’ll start to see more and more cheese on the grill.

Lastly, slow cooking on the barbecue using smoking and indirect heat are always very popular every summer.

PC Cedar Plank Brie2.  How do you ensure that you’re not overcooking your meat and vegetables on the grill?

The number one thing to do to ensure that you don’t overcook anything on the grill is to be attentive. Be focused on what you’re doing, don’t get distracted by trying to make other foods at the same time in the kitchen.

Also, get to know your barbecue and find out the “hot spots” and “cool spots” on your barbecue, this will help prevent charring and burning.

Lastly, I always teach people to use the “touch method.” This is what most chefs are taught to use, especially with meat and chicken. When you touch the meat, the firmer it is, the more cooked or well-done it is. If the meat is softer or pliable, the more undercooked it is.

3.  People keep talking about smoking on the BBQ.  How do you do it and what flavours are your favourites?

This is my super simple way to do smoking….

1. Soak your wood or wood chips in water for at least an hour before your barbecue

2. Strain your wood or wood chips

3. Wrap aluminum foil around the wood and pop some holes in it to allow the smoke out

4. Put the wood on the barbecue and put the heat on very low

5. Place your meat on the wood

6. When the chips start smoking, close the cover of your barbecue and keep the cover down so the flavor from the smoke imbues the food

Tom’s tip: for even extra flavor, soak your wood or woodchips in bourbon or apple juice the night before.

 4.  If you’re doing an easy BBQ with friends, what is your typical menu?

I always tell people to use the barbecue as much as possible to keep you outside with your guests instead of inside the kitchen.

I like to start off by having some bite sized chicken or beef kabobs or a great skewer (like the one that uses our PC Halloom cheese with sundried tomatoes) to serve to guests to snack on when they arrive.

Or serving our PC Cedar Plank Brie with some pita crackers is also a great unique offering for your guests that they will love.

Another neat idea that I’ve served my guests before is barbecuing a pizza and slicing it up into bite sized pieces to serve as a mini appetizers to guests when they arrive.

In terms of a main course, it’s always great to serve a grand finale like ribs served with a great barbecue sauce like our PC Molasses, Brown Sugar and Bourbon Barbecue sauce. If you’re going to do ribs, use indirect heat and let them cook for an hour or so.

Also, something really interesting that I’ve been doing lately that kids and parents love is setting up a D.I.Y. burger bar. Serve a really popular burger such as our PC Free From Angus Burger (serve the PC Free From Mini Sliders for the kids) and then set up unique condiments in serving bowls instead of the usual ketchup and mustard. Our new PC Condiments such as our PC Kimchi Korean-style condiment, our PC Soffrito Relish or our PC Maple Mustard are great crowd pleasers and conversation starters.

5.  Meats: marinate or flavour injection?  Or neither?

This all depends on the cut of meat you’re using. The tougher the cut of meat (such as a flank steak or a sirloin) the more you should marinate. True marinading is used to breakdown the connective tissue found in tougher cuts of meat. For meat that has a lot of marbling, you don’t need any marinade (such as a rib eye or fillets). Chicken can be marinaded or grilled without, depending on your individual preference.

When choosing a marinade, make sure it has a citrus or vinegar base (these are best to breakdown the connective tissue) or try any of our premade PC Marinades.

These recipes and more are available at www.PC.ca. The President’s Choice items Chef Tom mentions are available at Real Canadian Superstore, nofrills, and Extra Foods locations.  Happy Grilling!!

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Colourful Fish Tacos

Uncategorized By October 1, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , No Comments

Tacos are the new darling of the culinary world, and they help to inspire creativity, variety and healthfulness in our kids.  Not only fun and healthy as a meal, but fish tacos can help kids learn about sustainability in the seafood industry.  Parents can help their children learn more about the importance of sustainable seafood on the interactive www.oceansfortomorrow.com website sponsored by President’s Choice/Loblaws, who have made a commitment to sell only sustainable seafood products by the end of 2013. The link “school of fish” includes a list of fish at risk, a ‘did you know’ section, more recipes that kids will love, and tips for parents to help even their picky eater like to eat more fish.

Serves: 8
Skill level:
Advanced
Prep time:
20
Cooking time:
10
Total time:
30

Ingredients
2 tbsp (25 mL) sour cream
1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh lime juice
2 cups (500 mL) coarsely grated red cabbage, grated using large holes of box grater
4 green onions, thinly sliced on diagonal
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
Half jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
2 pkgs (each 280 g) PC Blue Menu Wild Pacific Halibut Skinless Fillets, thawed
2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) freshly ground black pepper
8 PC Blue Menu Jalapeño Corn Whole Grain Tortillas
½ cup (125 mL) PC Tomatillo Salsa
½ cup (125 mL) fresh coriander leaves

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). In large bowl, stir together sour cream and lime juice. Stir in cabbage, green onions, ¼ tsp (1 mL) of the salt and jalapeño, if using; toss to coat.
  2. Cut each halibut fillet lengthwise into 6 strips. In large nonstick frying pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle halibut with pepper and remaining salt. Place in pan; cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Meanwhile, remove tortillas from package and wrap with foil; place in oven and heat 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. To assemble, fill tortillas with slaw, fish, salsa and coriander.

Nutritional information

Low in saturated fat pillar
Source of Fibre

Per serving:

220 calories
fat 8 g (1.5 g of it saturated)
sodium 440 mg
carbohydrate 22 g
fibre 4 g
protein 17 g
Omega-3 pillar

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