Monday, December 9, 2013

Compliments Presents: Jamie Oliver Discovers Canada

Melt In The Mouth Beef Blade Pot Roast; Old-School Holiday Ham; Easy Cookin' Flattened Chicken; Heart-Warming Apple & Berry Crisp
Years ago I used to be obsessed with the Food Network. I was the kind of obsessive Food Network junkie that would have the food-centric network on in the background all day long, no matter what I was doing. It's been a few years since I've kicked my Food Network-watching habit, tired with the many reality TV shows and disingenuous plucky hosts that seem to have taken over the channel, but the one Food Network personality that I will always, and I mean always, stop and watch for is Jamie Oliver. Jamie has always been my absolute favourite food personality thanks to his wonderful recipe creations that always leave me drooling, his commitment to helping to create a healthier future, how genuine and personable he always comes across, and his all around positive attitude that is downright infectious! I truly trust Jamie's opinions and advice, which is why I was so excited to hear that he had partnered with Canadian grocery chain Sobey's to create a line of food products inspired by his travels throughout our beautiful country. Last week I had the opportunity to try all fourteen better food options that were tested, tasted, and approved by Jamie Oliver himself, as well as meet the Sobey's team that worked alongside Jamie and his recipe development team to bring these wonderful products to life! 
Nice & Spicy Indian-Style Dahl Dip; A Taste of Tuscany Italian-Style Bean Dip; Zingy Moroccan-Style Hummus
Myself, along with a group of other eager food bloggers and recipe developers were welcomed to sit down to a nine-course dinner at Nella Cucina, compliments of Sobey's, to try the entire line of products. I wasn't quite sure how the products would fare, as I find a lot of packaged products like this can be very hit or miss, but with Jamie's stamp of approval on all of the products served, I was sure that I wouldn't be let down. Sure enough, I was so extremely impressed by the whole Compliments Presents: Jamie Discovers Canada line. Of course I like to prepare meals from scratch as often as possible, but with numerous jobs, plus night school, and a social life that I try to keep afloat, scratch-made meals aren't always a reality, which is why I can see myself turning to the Jamie Oliver and Sobey's line to aid in bringing healthy and well rounded meals to the table when I find myself in a bind for time. I really liked almost all of the products in the line (I have to admit, the Seafood Pie was a wee bit too fishy for my taste buds) but I always like to fill you in on my favourites. My first favourite taste of the evening was in the very first course that was served to us. Jamies three Greek yogurt and hummus dips all featured a wonderfully creamy texture and big flavours that were not short on complexity and depth. My favourite of the three flavours of dips was the Zingy Moroccan-Style Hummus, topped with spicy harissa, which was certainly not timid in the spice department with my piece of flatbread topped with a big dollop of that spicy harissa. 
Tear & Share Fruit & Nut Loaf; Heavenly Roasted Garlic & Rosemary Focaccia; A Dolce Twist Sweet Cherry Focaccia
The next course served to us was probably my all-around standout of the night, the bread course. All three breads in the Jamie Discovers Canada line were absolutely fantastic! I completely swooned over them, and even found myself asking for seconds! The bread course featured: Tear & Share Fruit & Nut Loaf, Heavenly Roasted Garlic & Rosemary Focaccia, and A Dolce Twist Sweet Cherry Focaccia. These breads are all begging to be served when entertaining, being the type of short cut that you would be proud to serve your guests. Trust me, go to Sobey's now and buy all three! You will not be disappointed! 
Gooey In The Middle Festive Brownie
I don't have much of a sweet tooth, almost always preferring savory to sweet, but my final two favourite tastes were both desserts! The first to be served was the Gooey In The Middle Festive Brownie. This dark chocolate brownie is ooey gooey perfection, packed with lots of dried fruits (this made me nervous to hear at first, but they were SO good in the brownie!) and both pecans and walnuts for crunch. An item that you will find in the freezer section, I love the idea of keeping these brownies on hand for unexpected guests during the holidays...or maybe even for those tough winter days that require brownie comfort at the end of them. I have a package of these babies in my fridge right now and it requires all of my strength to not go in there and thaw the whole package right now! The good news is, you can remove part of the package of brownies to thaw, while leaving the rest in the freezer for another time, so you can manage your dessert portions carefully. 
Simply Incredible Banoffee Cakes
My final favourite taste of the night was the hands-down crowd favourite, and apparently had Jamie slamming his spoon down in delight, declaring that this was best thing he had tasted out the whole line! The product developers told us that Jamie was a little skeptical about the idea of a toffee-soaked cake at first, unsure if it fit with the rest of the collection and his taste. He looked at the cake and asked what the "little black specks" were. When he found out that they were from the bananas that make up the little bundt cakes, his interest was peaked. He took a bite, an the rest is spoon-slamming history! He loved the Simply Incredible Banoffee Cakes! To keep these cakes on the healthier side, Jamie suggests sharing the fairly large portioned cakes, and with such decadent flavour, you just may want to. I personally would have my own, eat half after dinner, then save the other half for my midnight snack! Yum! These were so sinfully delicious! 

I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to taste the Compliments Presents: Jamie Discovers Canada Line and hear all about the process from the product developers. This is a line that I would really feel good about purchasing for myself, my friends, and my family with so many of the ingredients sourced from Canada, so few preservatives and other suspect ingredients, such easy preparation, and sold at such a reasonable cost! These products won't be in stores forever, with plans of bringing out another Spring/Summer line and another holiday line in the future, so get your hands on them while you can! 

Listening To:
New Order - Age Of Consent 

1 comment:

Rayanne Langdon said...

So glad you had a good time at the event, Danielle! Was awesome meeting you : )

P.S. Awesome song choice.