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Chipotle Mexican Grill at 123 Front Street W. + a CONTEST!

3 Feb

One of my favourite restaurants from the U.S. is Chipotle and I was thrilled when they brought the chain to Toronto a few years ago. The great news is that they recently opened their third restaurant at 123 Front Street West! It’s just down the street from Union Station and the location is perfect for quick dinner before a game at the Air Canada Centre or Rogers Centre.

If you’ve never been to Chipotle, they specialize in burritos, tacos and other fresh Mexican goodies. It’s a great place to grab a quick bite and unlike most other fast food chains, they have some tasty options for vegetarians (yay!). Since it had been awhile since my last Chipotle experience, I knew that I had to start off with their famous chips and medium salsa (sadly, I’m allergic to avocados and can’t have guacamole – yes, I know this is a tragic!). Their salsa has such a great, fresh and lively flavour that it’s pretty addictive (if it weren’t for my dining companion Andrea, I would’ve eaten it all up with a spoon!).

Usually when I visit Chipotle, I’m all about the burritos but after having a late lunch, I wasn’t hungry enough to do justice to one. Andrea suggested that I try a Burrito Bowl, which really is a burrito without the wrapper. There are a number of great vegetarian ingredients available at Chipotle, so I loaded them into my Burrito Bowl. I added some of my favourite ingredients including the vegetarian black beans and chili-corn salsa. Since my last visit, they added a new cilantro-lime rice made with brown rice, which was really tasty. Lastly, I added some fajita vegetables, sour cream and lettuce and I was all set. It was delish!

All of the ingredients are FRESH and the staff (who are amazing by the way!) will be the first to tell you that don’t freeze anything. Visit http://www.chipotle.com to learn more about the company and check out the menu.

Now, here comes the fun part… 

CONTEST – Win dinner for two at Chipotle (2 dinners to give away!)

My friends at Chipotle have given me two sets of Burrito Bucks to give away! The Burrito Bucks can be used at any Chipotle restaurant in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) until Tuesday February 28 – so yes, this will be a quick contest!

There are 2 ways to enter:

OPTION #1 – If you’re on Twitter – Tweet the following message:

@savvari I want to win dinner for two at Chipotle! #ChipotleTO

OPTION #2 – If you’re not on Twitter, leave a comment on this blog post and tell me what you would order at Chipotle with your Burrito Bucks. You can check out the Chipotle menu here at http://www.chipotle.com/en-US/menu/menu.aspx– yum!

 Contest closes on Tuesday February 7 at 12 pm EST, so get your entries in quickly!

IMPORTANT!

-You can only enter once per day.

-You MUST be from the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) to win.

-The Burrito Bucks are only valid at the following locations in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area):

  • 123 Front Street West,Toronto(near Union Station)
  • 323 Yonge Street (Yonge and Dundas)
  • 2323 Yonge Street (Yonge and Eglinton)

These Burrito Bucks expire on Tuesday February 28, so if you win, you will have to use them quickly!

Good luck!

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WINNERS! 

Congrats to @iamvickytam and @anumhashim for winning the #ChipotleTO contest! Your Burrito Bucks are going in the mail tonight!

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Dianne’s Spiced French Toast with Sandy’s Vanilla Toffee Pears

30 Oct

A few weeks ago, I was asked by Egg Farmers of Ontario if I wanted to participate in a ‘French Toast Challenge’ in celebration of October’s ‘World Egg Month’. Of course, I accepted (hello, French toast!) and I received a BEAUTIFUL basket filled with all of the ingredients needed to create a few variations on the classic French toast recipe. I received eggs, milk, sugar, spices, maple syrup, whipping cream, apples, pears and a gorgeous baguette!

After playing with a few variations, I settled on the recipe posted below. It’s a spin on the original French toast recipe that was in the Egg Farmers of Ontario basket, served with vanilla toffee pears! I love pears and I love toffee, so I combined the best of both worlds into one topping recipe. I don’t know about you but just reading the words “vanilla toffee pears” has my mouth watering….

You can enjoy this French toast recipe any day of the week but my favourite time to make it is on a lazy Sunday morning, when you can sit down and enjoy it at your own leisure, with a great cup of coffee. Yum!

Dianne’s Spiced French Toast with Sandy’s Vanilla Toffee Pears

( Inspired by Dianne’s Spiced French Toast recipe at http://bit.ly/tWmMQZ ).

Makes: 2-3 servings

Ingredients:

3 eggs

1 cup of milk

1 tbsp granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp ground cloves

2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided

Day old baguette, sliced into 2 cm thick slices at an angle (you will need about 8 slices)

Icing sugar, to dust (if desired)

Directions:

In a medium-sized bowl, beat together eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and all of the spices. Heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat; brush to spread evenly. Dip bread, 2 slices at a time in the egg mixture. Note: Allow the egg mixture to soak into the bread for a few seconds. Then, place soaked bread slices in hot skillet. Cook about 2 minutes then flip and cook until golden brown, about 1 minute. Remove French toast from skillet to a large plate; cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat cooking process until all egg mixture has been used. To serve, place a few slices of French toast on a plate and spoon a few vanilla toffee pears (recipe follows) and toffee sauce over the French toast. Dust with icing sugar (if desired).

Sandy’s Vanilla Toffee Pears

Ingredients:

2 semi-ripe D’Anjou pears, cored and thickly sliced

1/4 cup of butter

4 tbsp brown sugar (have some extra brown sugar on hand in case)

2 tbsp water

2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Heat a small frying pan over medium heat, and add the butter.

After the butter has melted and foamed, put in the brown sugar and water. Stir together until the sugar has dissolved and turned a medium caramel colour.

Put in the pear wedges, and cook over a medium high heat, stirring periodically, until the pears are a rich golden colour and can be pierced easily with a fork.

Add the vanilla and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Remove pan from heat.

CONTEST!! Win a $50 Chez Cora Gift Certificate!!

In celebration of the glory of French toast and ‘World Egg Month’, I`m egg-cited to give away a $50 gift certificate to one of my favourite breakfast and lunch restaurants, Chez Cora!

TO ENTER:

-Get cracking and visit http://www.eggfarmersofontario.ca/ and learn about the many ways you can enjoy eggs

Write a short poem about eggs and post it in the comments section below my post `Dianne`s Spiced French Toast with Sandy`s Vanilla Toffee Pears’

-My 3 favourite egg poems will be entered into a random draw to win the $50 Chez Cora gift certificate!

-The winner will receive their gift certificate via Canada Post

RULES:

-You MUST be a resident of Ontario, Canada to win.

-You may enter as many times as you wish!

-Contest closes on Friday November 4, 2011 at 5 pm EST.

-Winner will be announced on my blog on Saturday November 5.

Good luck!!

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November 6, 2011 – Announcement

And the winner is…..

GREAT EGGSPECTATIONS

Sunny side, scrambled, or over easy
Omelette, frittata, or quiche made cheesy
McMuffin in the morning, egg salad for lunch
This dietary powerhouse packs quite the punch
An eggscellent staple with benefits galore
You’re delicious, nutritious, and so much more!
Oh god of breakfast foods, you reign supreme
With pancakes and bacon, you’re an all-star team
Alas, I’m no eggspert, but this much is true:
I’m always eggscited to devour you!

Congrats to Jacintha Daniel for her winning entry! Jacintha will receive her $50 Cora’s gift card in the mail next week. Thanks everyone for entering, I LOVED the poems and I know the great people at Egg Farmers of Ontario enjoyed them as well!

Stay tuned for another great contest next week!

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