Sucré PB&J Macaron Giveaway

I’m food negligent. Maybe you’ve seen it before. The truth is, I’m not good at food. Not ‘food preparation,’ I’m great at that. Not ‘food eating’- that speaks for itself. No, I’m talking about the wild, ephemeral, time-sensitive concept of general ‘food.’ And the thing at which I suck. I go grocery shopping maybe once a month, sometimes on my own, sometimes with The Bedfellow or my Mom, like today. And I get a lot of food. Plenty of staples, healthy snacks, ingredients for recipes, condiments. Shopping feels great, especially when there hasn’t been a lot of food in the house and I’ve spent the last four days making variations on ‘Bean Mustard Rice Chex Taco Surprises’. (The surprise is the lack of flavor.)

But seriously, the moment I leave the apparently sterile, cryogenic arms of the temperature-monitored grocery store, I start freaking out. As I’m putting the pasta into my cupboard, or am carefully wrapping the chicken to freeze for later, I panic. What if my freezer isn’t cold enough? I wonder, checking the temperature for the eighteenth time, moving aside buffalo steaks and duck breasts that could bludgeon a grown man to death. How do I know my vegetables are okay? I worry, staring at the crisper drawer like it’s a petri dish filled with herpes. I take an apple, a sushi roll, and a round of goat cheese out. Because you are with me, I think, you will die sooner and sadder than you would in the hands of a normal person. After all, they have to share top billing with the other food that comes and goes in my life. It’s never just goat cheese- it’s six different kinds of aged goat cheese, with a wedge of cheddar and St. Nectaire for the sheer hell of it.

It’s a tragic feeling.

I’m so sorry, organic polenta. We were doomed from the start.

You deserved better. 

And it compels me to eat the sushi and the goat cheese for dinner and lie awake in bed at night, worrying about the ribeye. What will happen to them? How can I take care of them, like delicious, spoiling babies? Some foods are easy. Most foods are hard.

Macarons, on the other hand, are not hard. I don’t need to worry about keeping them fresh because they’re typically gone before you can say ‘Ladurée.’ They’re French, they’re gluten-free, they’re customizable in a myriad possibilities, and they’re absolutely ethereal if they’re done well. If they’re done well. On this side of the pond, people have taken a quintessentially American approach, swelling the delicate, crispy biscuits into meringue-sized blobs with buttercream oozing out the sides, or relegating them to novelty items prettier than they taste, where the paper they’re on is more nuanced than the pastry itself. They tread a line as delicate as their cookie shells, and luckily, Sucré makes them perfectly. 

I was sent a box of their PB&J macarons in time for school, though if you’re sending your kid to lunch with these, be prepared for some serious Ralph Lauren wedgies. These are impeccable- a faintly floral strawberry shell with a dollop of thick, oozy jam and a rich, salty, peanut butter buttercream. Even the French, professed peanut butter haters, would swoon for these. The macarons are coated in sparkly sugar, which, though pretty, admittedly throws them from savory, which I prefer, to decadently sweet.

Want a box? I’m holding a Twitter contest for a box.

Just retweet this: RT: “Give me your macarons, Foodette! http://bit.ly/pbjmacaron”

And you could win! I’ll collect the entries on Tuesday, October 1, and announce a winner! If you don’t want to wait, macarons and other delicious treats, like king cake, can be purchased online.

Wendy’s Flatbread Giveaway!

Wendy’s is giving away $1,000 to a lucky customer who has tried their new flatbread sandwiches with their new #twEATfor1k campaign. I can’t give away $1,000 right now, but I can give away a few gift cards to Wendy’s!

Have you tried the new flatbread? I have reviewed it here. I’m curious to hear what you guys think, so comment here and you’ll be entered to win one of three $5 giftcards to try it yourself, or buy one for a friend. I’ll pick a winner next Monday, May 6th and announce them here.

To see how I liked my tour of the Wendy’s corporate headquarters, click here!

-Foodette

Oreo Birthday Giveaway!

A giveaway! It’s midterm slash surprise paper slash roast chicken craving slash apartment inspection week, so I’m taking a brief pause to get some work done. I will have new, fresh content back for you on Monday, where I’ll recap the amazing gastronomic extravaganza that was SIAL and showcase the other food expos I attended this week. Paris is all about the trade shows, yo.
In the meantime, Oreo wrapped up their 100th birthday bash with a user-generated advertising opportunity and international Oreo tasting in Times Square earlier on in the month. They have generously provided one Foodette Reviews reader a special Oreo birthday t-shirt and package of Birthday Cake Oreos (our take here) to win after following these two easy steps:

To gain an entry, you may either:

1. Comment on this post with your ideal imagined Oreo flavor: come on! Let’s one up lemon and peppermint. Do you want to see Red Velvet Oreos for Christmas? Champagne for New Year’s? Think outside of the box and tell me what you want them to create before they turn 200. 

2. Retweet/repost this phrase: “GIVEAWAY: Oreo turned 100 and all I got were these limited-edition Birthday Cake Oreos from @foodettereviews and @oreo http://bit.ly/oreobday” and give me a heads up in the comments.

The contest will run until December 1st, 6PM UTC and I’ll announce the winner then! (Photo courtesy of the Oreo team)

Give your worst grilling story, win $25 to Quizno’s!

What’s your worst grilling story? Ever lit something on fire? Have you accidentally served up hamburgers at a vegan barbecue? If your story is picked, you could win one of three $25 gift cards to Quizno’s!

Here’s how to win:

1. Tweet this on Twitter and link back to me: “Confess your grilling horror stories to @FoodetteReviews and win $25 to Quizno’s! #quiznos”


2. Comment or email with your grilling horror stories.


3. Like us on Facebook!

For every one of those tasks completed, you’ll receive an entry. Winners will be drawn on Sunday, July 1st!

MiO Lemonade and Blueberry Lemonade Giveaway

Lemonade is pretty nostalgic, right? Well, throw away that Kool-Aid, because there are two new MiO flavors, and two chances to win. MiO has introduced their latest and greatest to the flavor lineup, Lemonade and Blueberry Lemonade fresh for the summer. Wanna win these before the rest of the world gets their hands on them? Thanks to MiO and Kraft, I’m giving away two sets of the new flavors for you to try!
So, to make this fun we’re going to play a little over under game. To be eligible for the contest, simply leave a comment below and let me know what rating you think I’ll give these two newbies. The two people who are closest to the actual rating will win! Remember to leave your contact information in the body of the comment. You can get an extra entry by tweeting this phrase:

If you’re a MiOgician, @FoodetteReviews wants to give you free MiO Lemonade and Blueberry Lemonade! http://bit.ly/miogiveaway
I’ll post the two winners on the day of the review, most likely by 4/5, and will let you know who won! Thanks again to Kraft and MiO for facilitating my sampling and giveaway.

Blue Corn and Pistachio Chicken Tenders

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m a chicken tender wizard. I have literally perfected my recipe for creating amazing, crispy nuggets and tenders to a science. While I could eat plain nuggets and sauces for the rest of my days and die happy, I decided to fool around with some of the ingredients Target sent over as part of our giveaway (details here) and review.
Although we don’t have a television at home, I love turning on the TV at the gym or at my dorm to watch Chopped. It’s my equivalent of Sunday night football or watching a particularly rousing game of Wheel of Fortune. Once I see a contestant fumbling around with a Buddha’s hand or staring blankly at a langoustine, my triggers are set off and I’m screaming at the television- “Are you freaking nuts?! Use the cumin! How effing hard is it to make a hibiscus foam? Jesus!” So I thought it would be fun to see how many components from the Target selection I could use in my nuggets.
Granted, it wasn’t too difficult- let’s be honest, I wasn’t working with whole branzino or gummy bears, but I still had a ton of fun with it. Taking a leaf from the pages of Dude Foods, who also received a similar selection of products and made cheese ball chicken tenders with it, I also went for a funky approach and ground up the blue corn and flax seed tortilla chips along with some pistachio nuts as a crust. I marinated the chicken in a mixture of the salsa as well as some orange zest and harissa for a little zing.
The verdict? Freaking awesome. Served with some of the orange harissa salsa, they made a great and easy meal. Using nuts in chicken feels like an underrated technique that I’ll definitely try again. It’s a healthy and unique twist on traditional football food and gave the tenders a tremendous burst of protein. Thanks again to Archer Farms and Target for providing the goods, and don’t forget to enter our contest so you can make these, too!
Blue Corn and Pistachio Chicken Tenders
Ingredients (makes twelve tenders)
2 large chicken breasts, pounded to roughly 3/4 inches thick
Orange zest
1/2 teaspoon of Moroccan harissa
1/4 cup of orange juice
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cup pistachios
1 cups blue corn chips
Oil or cooking spray
1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Cut your chicken breasts up into twelve strips, roughly the same size. Toss with salsa, orange zest, orange juice, and harissa and marinate for fifteen minutes.
2. Grind your tortilla chips and pistachios (shelled, of course) in a food processor until finely ground. Pour into a bowl and coat chicken strips in the crumbs.
3. Bake in the oven for ten minutes on 425 degrees, and then turn up the oven and let them crisp at 475 degrees for five more minutes. Let cool briefly and eat with salsa or dip of your choice!
Superbowl Sunday has never been so…fab!

Target and Archer Farms Super/Puppy Bowl Giveaway!

The Puppy Bowl is this weekend. What’s that, forlorn jersey-wearer? You say there’s something else, too? What, did I miss your birthday? I celebrate no other event this week, unless said event includes chew-toy interceptions and fluffy wummy paw-paw tackles.
Because of the Puppy Bowl (okay, really in commemoration for the Super Bowl!) Target and Archer Farms have provided me with a bevy of awesome goodies to send to one lucky reader. That’s right, two simultaneous giveaways. Just how you like it. Comment on this post and tell me what your favorite Puppy Bowl contestant is. If yours matches mine, you win! I won’t post the winner until Sunday evening, so multiple people will have the chance to win…if you all guess correctly. Even through they snubbed Corgi dogs again.
(image courtesy of That Cheap Chick)

The prize pack includes:
Archer Farms Blue Flax Corn Tortilla Chips
Archer Farms Corn, Black Bean, and Roasted Pepper Salsa
Archer Farms Buffalo Style Blue Cheese Dip Mix

Trust that I will be creating a Chopped-style recipe with these components later on in the week. Comment now! Puppies! Puppies!

THIS CONTEST IS NOW OVER: Anonymous, you are the winner, and thank you for picking my favorite puppy! I loved Abilene!

Chuao Sweetheart Box and a Giveaway!

Yes, Valentine’s Day is coming. And yes, I’m plenty aware that some of you hate it and that some of you love it. Whether you’re single or attached, bubbly or bitter, nothing beats the fact that chocolate is everywhere. Before you flip the bird at the Russell Stover samplers or kick the display of bloated teddy bears onto the ground, the Chuao Sweetheart selection should cheer you up. And there’s also the possibility of a trip to San Diego and a $50 gift card to Chuao’s store. So buck up and play along, and you could be stuffing your face with popping chocolate and potato chip chocolate bars in no time. How do you win? The San Diego deets are on Chuao’s Facebook page. If you click through on my link to the right from now ’till February 14th and check out the information, you’ll automatically be entered in the running to win the contest. If we get enough clicks through the banner, Chuao will give me a $50 gift card to giveaway to one lucky reader. How’s that for awesome? It’s blogger-driven, so only bloggers whose readers participate will be entered to win!
To give you a little taste of the goodies to come, Chuao sent over two truffles exclusive to their newly debuted Sweetheart Box, filled to the brim with aphrodisiac-inspired truffles to delight your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day. The first truffle, the Love Child bonbon, was squat and petite, filled with a port-drenched dried strawberry hunk in a chocolate ganache. It had an incredibly creamy, milky texture, with a sour tang almost like balsamic vinegar infusing the strawberry. The port influences seemed to come more from the ganache, a delicate, fluffy core with a silkiness similar to cheesecake, and the entire thing was perfectly poppable and not too sweet.
The next truffle, the Firecracker bonbon, was easily one of the tastiest chocolates I’ve sampled from Chuao. Incorporating all of their funkier elements, like chipotle caramel and popping candy in a ganache with a touch of sea salt, the only thing that could have made this more orgasmic would have been the inclusion of potato chips. Oh, and maybe about fifty more of these. With a crispy texture like a brittle piece of feuillitine and an intense smokiness, its delicate exterior completely belied its inner contents. The caramel was luxurious, the sea salt tangy. I’m honestly inclined to order a box of these and these alone for myself.
If you’re too impatient to wait for the contest to end, you can order your own Sweetheart Box here. In the meantime, I’ll keep you updated with Twitter- keep those votes coming!

GIVEAWAY: $50 Gift Card to a Mohegan Sun Restaurant

Next weekend is the Mohegan Sun Wine Festival. We’re totally going and will report back on all the awesome details, but we (with a little help from the cool people at Mohegan Sun) want you to have some fun, too. Who’s up for a $50 gift card to any of Mohegan’s best restaurants? This includes top chef favorites like Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain, which we may soon be writing up, or Todd English’s Tuscany, and new kid on the block Ballo, which we’ve previously covered here. Or maybe you’d rather spend it on one of Mohegan’s buffets or get $50 worth of awesome pizza at Frank Pepe Pizzeria.
Regardless of what you choose, the first person to correctly identify this food and email me the answer at foodette.reviews@gmail.com will win the gift card. Mohegan Sun is in Uncasville, Connecticut, so this is perfect if you’re a regular or are planning a trip to the casino. And check out the wine festival details while you’re at it! If you’re interested in going it’s not too late! The festival starts Friday, January 27th and runs until Sunday, January 29th. Tickets range from $70-135 for the main event with seminars running $50-65 a pop.
For more information, follow @sunwinefest on Twitter or check out the event’s website. Hope to see you there! Check back tonight to see the winner of the slow cooker giveaway! THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED! CONGRATULATIONS TO DANIEL, OUR WINNER FOR CORRECTLY GUESSING THE DISH! It was Khao Niaow Ma Muang, Thai sticky rice and custard! Also, props to JunkFoodGuy for guessing it first…next time I’m in DC we’ll get grasshopper tacos together!

Slow Cooker Winner!

Dear readers,

The entries for the slow cooker contest ranged from breakfast to dinner, with snacks and sweets in between, and featured recipes from grandmas, blogs, favorite websites, and special cookbooks. There were many recipe entries, all ones I’d love to try, and I couldn’t pick just one- I wanted to give you all slow cookers and force you into an awkward dinner party, so I left the task up to Keepitcoming Love.

The winner of the West Bend Versatility cooker is…Gwen! Gwen’s recipe was for slow cooker mussels in white wine. We both liked the fact that it had a minimal ingredient list with easy preparation and no additional steps outside of turning on the cooker. We’ll be featuring the recipe soon on the site. For the rest of you, don’t despair! We’ll be cooking your recipes and enjoying them all winter. Expect more fun giveaways in the future!

Foodette