Have you stopped by McDonald’s lately? You should.
There are a lot of new things happening with McDonald’s. From the cool new additions on the My McD’s McDonald’s app to the fantastic Create Your Taste table service burger experience. It is definitely worth a trip. If you have a smart phone take a few minutes to download the new McDonald’s app before you do. To download the app search My McD’s or McDonald’s Canada in the Apple and Android App Stores.
The app has a plethora of information and setting up an account is super easy. Once your account is all set up you can explore all the app has to offer. It has the nutritional information for all the menu items to help you make more informed decisions. It will show you where the closet McDonald’s locations are. And best of all, there are Mobile Offers to help you save money when you are eating on the go! You can redeem the mobile offers at the drive thru, the front counter and at the kiosk.
There is also something new happening at McDonald’s you MUST check out. You have probably seen the commercials for the new table service burger experience called Create Your Taste. Using the kiosk you build your burger from scratch starting with the bun or lettuce wrap, through the amazing list of condiments to the fantastic toppings, like caramelized onions or crispy fried onions to sauted mushrooms, guacamole or the spectacular sundried tomato pesto (seriously try the pesto, they should sell it by the jar!) You can add additional paddies, each one a 1/3 pound of Angus Alberta beef and bacon to finish it off. The kiosk makes it vey easy to create your burger and you have options for sides like poutine, regular McDonald’s fries or salad.
Once your order is placed and paid for you take a tracker and head to your table.
Your order is now being prepared in a special Create Your Taste section of the kitchen and will be brought to your table along with your drinks.
I have to say the burgers are fantastic! You really have to try it. These are not the McDonald’s burgers you have had in the past. I have had to opportunity to try the Create Your Taste experience twice now, once at a Gastropost Outpost event when they rolled out the program and once last week. The new Create Your Taste burger is comparable to the big box sit down restaurant burgers……only better. Seriously, I can’t say enough about it, tasting is believing.
If you are on Instagram do a quick search of the #createyourtasteCA hashtag to see how creative people are getting with their burgers.
We would loved you try the My McD’s App and the Create Your Taste table service burger experience. We have one $25 gift card, supplied by McDonald’s to giveaway so your next visit will be on them! All you need to do is be a Twitter follower and share this post on Twitter! The winner will be announced on the 21st of September.
disclosure: The opinions in this post are my own. I was given a gift card to try out the My McD’s app. McDonald’s is supplying the gift card for this giveaway. This contest is only open to my Canadian readers.
I have been wondering how to start this post for a while now. It came to me quite clearly a few days ago to just simply share the story I have been telling so many in the journey to build this smoker. Because how else do you let the world know of a company with customer service so outstanding that you want everyone to own their products? Of a company that stepped up way way above and beyond. A company I had the pleasure of working with last spring when they rolled out their Life Is Better Bbqed campaign.
In the spring of 2015 I did a 3 post project for Char-Broil. They had a Spring campaign going on with Lowes and I was honored to be a part of it. As you know we love BBQ on Nutmeg Disrupted and to work with such an amazing team was a dream come true. I received a gorgeous Char-Broil BBQ from Lowes to review and grill with for the campaign. The BBQ was mine to keep.
Flash forward a few weeks after the campaign wrapped up standing in line at Starbucks…
My phone buzzed, it was a text from my son. A huge storm was rolling into town and a tree was down in the backyard. As I was standing there I was struck with a bit of panic. Tree down. Which tree. No way it could be the 1000+ pound tree beside the deck. Then he sent a photo from the inside of the house through the patio door. All you could see was leaves.
Indeed it was said tree.
I paid for my coffee then quickly made the 70 minute trip home.
That was what I found when I arrived home.
I was devastated. Yes that is a bold statement to make about a BBQ, but in that moment I was completely devastated. It took a couple of days to get the tree bucked up and retrieve the crushed grill. Almost every inch of it was damaged.
The evening the tree fell I had Tweeted about the storm and the sad fate of my BBQ. I was thankful no one was hurt, had anyone been grilling out back I can’t even imagine how that would have ended. The smoker that was on the deck took a hit and was damaged but the full weight of the tree was on the BBQ.
What happened next was something so unexpected and wonderful.
Within 24 hours of my BBQ misfortune I had been contacted by the marketing company that represented Char-Broil during the Lowes campaign.
Char-Broil had heard about what happened and they wanted to make it right and send me a new BBQ to replace the one that was crushed. Talk about a company standing behind their product! Because I had done some work for them they were willing to replace their product, not because they had to, simply because they wanted to. Now that is a brand I want to stand behind and do business with.
I may have cried a little when I received that news. BBQ is a passion and to have not only my smoker but my BBQ also taken out in a brief moment was a huge loss.
After the tree was cleared away we took apart the BBQ to salvage any of the good parts. It felt like a such a waste tossing out such a new piece of equipment and the goal now was to repurpose what we could. Immediately it was decided that we would build a smoker. The only pieces not damaged were the handles off the doors, the temperature gage, the logo and the heating element area of the grill, though bent it was still functioning. With the salvaged bits stored away we set off with a plan of building a smoker. We had an idea of what we wanted for the body of the smoker and scoured the ads for upcoming auction sales. Everything we looked at was just not quite what we had envisioned until one day while in Canadian Tire after a year long search we found the perfect body for our new smoker.
The vision has always been to build a large smoker. Something substantial so that we had the area to do a large cook. Having catered weddings and hosted pig roasts we have had the opportunity to use some very large BBQs and we wanted our smoker to not only be impressive but have the power to do the job.
From there everything started to fall into place. In conversation with Brian our butcher we mentioned that we were building a smoker and he gave us a great idea as to what we could use for the racking inside the unit. The heating element was a close fit and with a bit of work the smoker started to coming together.
We did a few small trial runs to work out the kinks and cooked for an event mid summer.
The smoker has been getting a lot of attention, it is a gorgeous piece of equipment and with every inquiry I share my Char-Broil story.
In closing I want to say a heartfelt thank you to Char-Broil. Not only have you made this girls BBQ dreams continue, you make a product that I love and your customer service is unmatched. Thank you!
Yorkshire Pudding. Those crisp little cups of love made just for filling with rich flavorful gravy! They are not hard to make at all, they just take a little bit of time and planning!
Traditionally they are served with roast beef but go well with any meat or poultry dish.
2 cups of all purpose flour
2 cups of milk
1 teaspoon of salt
Break the eggs into a large bowl.
Using a wisk, beat well to break up the yolks. Add the milk. Now add the flour and salt. Wisk well to combine thoroughly. Place the batter into the fridge for a couple of hours.
Heat oven to 400F.
You have choices as to what kind of cooking vessel to use to cook the puddings off. Muffin tins, bread pans or even cake pans work well.
Spray the pans well with non stick spray. I never skip this step, even when using non stick bakeware.
Pour a tiny amount of canola oil to cover the bottom surface of the pans.
I always place the pans onto cookie sheets before going into the oven. It helps catch any spills or overflows which can make one heck of a mess at the bottom of the oven. Place the pans into the oven to heat for 10 minutes.
I like to pour the batter into a large measuring cup for the next step. It makes quick work of a hot job.
Leaving the pans in the oven fill them half full with batter. Bake for 25 minutes.
For the second month of The Canadian Food Experience Project our focus is A Regional Canadian Food. Seeing I am a very proud Alberta girl it only seemed a given that I would go with Alberta Beef.
The province has over four and a half million head of cattle, compared to the population of roughly 3.931 million people we are out numbered by cattle. Agriculture has a significant position in the province’s economy with 44% of all Canadian beef being produced in Alberta! 44%. That is huge. Alberta is the largest cattle producing province in Canada. We export 35% of our beef to the United States and other countries.
I cook a lot of beef. My cousins all had 4H cattle growing up and my dad was a huge foodie with an fantastic backyard BBQ. When we had company over beef was always on the menu.
It is extremely versatile and you can prepare it 1000 different ways.
Below is just a small sampling of some of the beef dishes I love to create.
1 beef roast
2 cups of water
1/2 cup of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon of dry onion flakes
1 tablespoon of granulated garlic
pepper to taste
2 bay leaves
Place roast in a slow cooker. Add the water, soy sauce and seasonings. Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or until the beef is fork tender. Remove from the cooker and shred. Strain broth, skim of fat. Pour broth into small cups for dipping.
Using crusty rolls make the Beef dips with topping of your choice. I love a bit of sauteed red peppers and a bit of german butter cheese.
If you ever find yourself in Alberta, try the beef! Not only are you supporting the local economy you will be enjoying some of the best beef in the world!
We are growing everyday! Now 81 participants strong! Please do check out the food scene across Canada by tuning into the Canadian Food Experience Project. A round up of the projects posts will be available here on the 14th of July. We’d love to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by.
The Canadian Food Experience Project began June 7 2013. As we (participants) share our collective stories across the vastness of our Canadian landscape through our regional food experiences, we hope to bring global clarity to our Canadian culinary identity through the cadence of our concerted Canadian voice. Please join us.
Who knew the weather would play such a roll for FBC members across Canada.
Wednesday evening before I was to leave I received a call to inform me that my flight to Toronto had been cancelled. I was rescheduled on a earlier flight Thursday morning. Much earlier, like 5 hours earlier…. After a moment of slight panic I took a deep breath and headed to my closet. No problem, it just meant I had to get busy packing, it was looking like a long evening ahead. Between getting everything ready and nerves of excitement,( I had not been in a plane since I was a young child) headed to the biggest city in Canada, I was indeed anxious about the conference. Though you Tweet with many on a daily basis it still felt like I was walking into a room full of strangers.
I planned to arrive there a day early so I could get my bearings. Sleep late and try and get rested up. And give myself plenty of time to meet with fellow bloggers at the airport for the drive out to Hockley Friday afternoon.
After finally falling asleep around 2:30 the alarm rang at 4:15, my journey was about to begin. With just enough time to get ready and enjoy one steamy mug of hot coffee it was time to head to the airport. It was dark and calm out. Very nice for a drive out to the edge of the city. It is not often I am out & about during that hour of the day but I find that whenever I am, I marvel at the serene calmness of the world. Close to dawn yet still oddly silent. I just love it!
Unless I could be at home sleeping in my nice comfortable bed. Lord knows I could have used it. I arrived to find out that the plane was full. And there was no other way out until the following morning. Same time. Same place. The lovely woman from WestJet told me to go home and get some sleep.
On the drive home I realized all my travel plans out to the resort where now not going to work. I got home, brewed a fresh pot of coffee and enjoyed the 6:30 am sunrise.
By 7:00 I received a Tweet from Michelle in Edmonton, her flight was also cancelled. There was an ice storm in Toronto playing havoc with many peoples travel plans.
We all seem to hit the Facebook page at the same time. Many now looking for rides out to the resort because of changing travel plans. Deep down inside worrying if we would make it there at all.
I lucked out and there were offers of rides for latecomers to Toronto. As fate would have it, she was also my roommate for the weekend! As we headed out of the city the conversation flowed. Of course it soon turned to a passion we both share. Photography! Thank you again Heather. You were a fantastic roommate and I enjoyed hanging out and chatting with you throughout the weekend. The ride to Hockey Valley and then to Orangeville were greatly appreciated. As was the help in getting my over full suitcase zipped. That was most definitely a team effort.
On my way into Toronto between flights, I caught a Tweet in Edmonton before I boarded my plane that there was an ice storm out at the resort and that the power was out. Yikes. This definitely was going to be a conference to remember. On the drive out the closer we got to Hockley Valley the more ice covered the trees and fences were. It was quite stunning. Though I imagine the drive a few hours earlier was probably quite hairy. Unsure of how the evening would go with no power we joked about roasting hot dogs outdoors over the fire. And really that would have been fine, we were just so pleased to be there.
The power had been restored just before we arrived. We checked in, got registered, then headed up to our room to get ready for the Cocktail reception. When the elevator doors opened there stood the lovely Michelle from The Tiffin Box. You would never have known her flight left Edmonton at 1 that morning. She looked amazing! It was so nice to finally meet her in person. We have been Tweeting each other for a long long time and I was so very glad she made it to the conference.
A quick change, a few curls and we were headed downstairs to mingle and check out the fantastic spread being presented by the sponsors of the event. The room was a swarm of food and drink, hugs and loud conversation. I was busy scoping out name tags trying to place names and faces with the tiny avatars from social media. I briefly chatted with some of the sponsors, trying out the wonderful samples they were offering. And just as I made it from one end of the room to the other it was time to be seated for dinner.
And what a dinner it was. Every course had wine pairings with a description of the wines and the vineyard they came from by Luke Orwinski from Rosewood Estates Winery.
Like any good Canadian conference our meal started with an amazing rendition of Poutine paired with the Rosewood 2011 Chardonnay Reserve. It was unlike an Poutine I have ever experience. Truly outstanding.
The main was a fork tender Wellington County Prime Rib with Yorkshire pudding, sautéed Windy Field’s mushrooms with a red wine jus. The wines were a Henry of Pelham Baco Noir & Rosewood Merlot.
Our meal was finished with a luxurious Chocolate Trifle of stewed berries, chocolate genoise, vanilla custard with Chantilly cream paired with a Henry of Pelham Icewine.
Every moment of the evening was perfect. The food was outstanding. The event started off with huge expectations for the weekend ahead.
You would have never known the power was out for most of the day. Truly a testament to the amazing staff at the Hockley Valley Resort, the entire planning crew from the FBC and all of the sponsors who took part in the cocktail reception. The evening was flawless.
Like any good Food Blogger Conference following dinner we were lead to the next room over where Kitchen Aid had set up a milkshake bar! The ballroom had been transformed into a movie theater where everyone could relax and unwind from the days events.
Exhausted I fell into bed that night and reflected on the day. I realized that not once was I nervous about being there. From the moment you walked in it was like being a room full of friends. All gathered because of common passions with a need to learn more and meet fellow foodies from across our great country. Where it was okay to take pictures of each course of our dinner and Tweet between bites of the amazing meal before us. A fantastic feeling indeed!