18 December 2010

They'll Think You Hired a Caterer but it's Presidents Choice

Even if I don't prepare the menu on the BIG day that doesn't mean that I don't do my share of holiday entertaining. The holidays are here and as much as I love being in my domain Presidents Choice wants to get you out of the kitchen and into the party so you can enjoy your time with friends and family this holiday season. They have literally hundreds of ways to help you entertain, including everything from hors d'oeuvres to delicious desserts to ring in the festivities in style.

First and foremost I would like to thank Laura of Hill and Knowlton who pulled off this journey with Presidents Choice from beautifully gift-wrapped gifts for each day of the week, to packages delivered in dry ice, to luxurious chocolates. The logistics of sending these products all over Canada is a logistics nightmare handled with patience and professionalism. I am sure there were a few fingers and toes crossed when shipping the frozen goods!!! November 16th started the ball rolling. I was lucky enough to receive 3 shipments of gift wrapped goodies from Presidents Choice from chocolate covered jellies to chicken wings, from butter tart mixes to a gorgeous fresh wreath to grace my door. It was what I like to call the beginning of the holiday season 2010!!!

  Every year my friends and I kick off the holiday season with a trip to our local Art Knapps to gawk at all of the stunningly decorated Christmas trees. This year we started a new tradition which involved a taste testing of a wide variety of Presidents Choice products. The company has been very generous and offered us many of their new products to try. First we tried their Rotisserie Style Chicken Wings. Those of you who love the slow-roasted flavour and tenderness of a rotisserie chicken will agree these are tender little morsels. They skipped the sauce so they cook up incredibly crisp and flavourful. I added a dip of my choice for that extra flavour.

**Blue Cheese Dip**

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients; chill for an hour or two. Serve as a dip for the rotisserie wings. Makes about 1 1/2 cups of blue cheese dip.

Also included was their hors d'oeuvres collection which has something for everyone. Each one of the 40 pieces in the package is made with classic French-style puff pastry and filled with premium ingredients. The package include Chicken Sausage Rolls; Swiss Gruyere and Smoked Ham Boats; Roasted Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Rolls; and Apple, Smoked Gouda and Caramelized Onion Lattice Rolls. I am a sucker for goat cheese so would have to say the Sweet Potato was my personal favourite.

Our next sample was a Smoked Wild Albacore Tuna. It is made with a light delicate wild albacore tuna which is then smoked using three types of aromatic wood chips. This created a delicate smoky flavour that did not overpower  the natural flavour of the tuna itself. It is a nice change of pace from smoked salmon. They also offer a new taste sensation with Vodka Beet Smoked Atlantic Salmon which is cured in salt and brown sugar mixture then coated in a tasty red beet rub before being smoked and infused with premium vodka. The ruby red colour makes it perfect for your holiday tray. I sliced the smoked tuna thinly and created rosettes to garnish crackers from their Cracker Collection. The box is huge so eliminates having to head off to your local store to stock up more than once!!!We even received a gift card to choose any product from Presidents Choice we would like to round out our holiday party menu. I chose a tray of 4 dips to serve on the crackers for $7.00 including Red Pepper Dip, Tzatziki, Spinach Dip and Hummus.

But the overall favourite pictured above was the Souffle!!! They have premeasured portions so you can create full size or individual miniature souffles. Just bake your light and airy masterpiece filled with Emmental cheese or smoked salmon and dill for the perfect hors d'oeuvres or starter to a meal.

By this time our hunger was satiated but who can't resist a nice dessert. On their commercials I was presented with something that really appealed so imagine my excitement when it showed up in dry ice!!! What was I looking forward to so much ? Red Velvet Cheesecake!!!This is a Southern treat reinvented!!! Famously served at the New York's Walforf-Astoria Hotel in the 1920's this cheesecake version did not disappoint. It has a chocolate cookie crumb crust topped with creamy cheesecake surrounded by moist red velvety cake, all frosted with luscious cream cheese icing. It serves 6.

If you still have room...how about an assortment of chocolates from Gourmet Belgian to chocolate covered fruit fancies to a boost of dark chocolate studded with dried cranberries and crunchy roasted almonds.

The issue with Blogger and photos has still not been resolved so I have included photos that were luckily added before my free service was dissolved and my photos had reached their capacity. I must sincerely apologize to Presidents Choice and Hill and Knowlton for not being able to post photos of each individual product and display them as I would wish. I sincerely hope that you  come away from this post realizing that your entertaining needs can be met with flair when you let Presidents Choice into your life.
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  1. What a fun adventure! Thank you so much for sharing all of the wonderful products you were sampling! The blue cheese dip is a perfect match to hot chicken wings!

  2. Lucky Canadians to have a company that sends such wonderful gifts. I'm particularly intrigued by the salmon with beet + vodka.

  3. I love finger food and apperitives. That dip must be delicious.



  4. I love President's Choice cheeses and I'm sure I would adore these other products as well! IT all looks so tasty!

  5. President's Choice is available in one of our local supermarkets. I've never been disappointed in their products.

    I'm hoping your resolve your photo dilemma soon. How frustrating!


  6. How wonderful to be able to sample all those President's Choice products. I see their cheeses in our local market but not the other products you've written about. Appys are my favorite food. It looks like you will put out quite the spread, Val.

  7. How great to receive such an assortment of Presidents Choice. You are one lucky girl and your guests are even luckier. I could eat appetizers for dinner any time.

  8. President's Choice is a real success in the field of packaged foods.

  9. I am for easy easy entertauning -make a few appetizers...buy a few appetizers. Thesedo entice and finger food has no calories.

  10. I love President's Choice. I hope you get your pictures back.

  11. The salmon with beet and vodka sounds interesting. I love Presidents Choice and I wish they would send me something....Merry Christmas!

  12. Nice! Happy holidays to everyone!

  13. cheeeeeeese! yeah, it's no stretch to think that the souffle was the favorite. wowza.

  14. Hi Valerie,

    Just wanted to say a huge thank you for the wonderful mention. You've given me far too much credit - the credit really goes to our production team and the great President's Choice Loblaws team who provided the products. We truly all appreciate what you have said and your honest opinions about the products. Looking forward to working with/reading your blogs in the future!

    Very best,


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