Monday, June 28, 2010

Pizza Dough Anyone?

Recently, I teamed up with California Pizza Kitchen to try their new menu items just released for the summer. Anyone who knows me, knows I love to eat and try new things, so in my opinion, this was the PERFECT assignment.

Armed with my "pizza dough" (California Pizza Kitchen money) and my pickiest eaters: Patrick, Jackson and Tyler, we headed out to taste test. I knew if something wasn't delicious, they would be the FIRST to tell me. One of my MOST FAVORITE things about CPK is their Menu Adventure Guarantee that states, "Be adventurous—try something new! If it doesn't thrill you, we'll replace it with one of your usual favorites!" HOW FABULOUS IS THAT? You can try something new, RISK FREE! I know I am a huge fan of trying new things, but that doesn't mean I don't have my standard favorite (Tostada Pizza with Grilled Lime Chicken)! Knowing that if something doesn't thrill you, you can send it back and get your standard favorite is definitely a BONUS!

We arrived at the Desert Ridge location last night and couldn't wait to stuff our bellies!



The first question my kids ask when we are going out is if the place we are going to has a coloring sheet. They will often choose the restaurant they want to go to based on the coloring sheet. CPK doesn't have a coloring sheet, they have a coloring BOOK! Along with an extensive menu that is sure to please all the littlest taste buds. Even the menu for kids is backed by their Menu Adventure Guarantee!



Pat and Jackson had time to play an intense game of tic-tac-toe while we waited for our food!



While they did that, Tyler and I enjoyed our tasty beverages. She was happy to hear they had her favorite, LEMONADE! I treated myself to a glass of their house made Caribbean Sunset Sangria. I will just let the picture speak for itself. It screamed summer and was DELICIOUS!




We started with the Miso Shrimp Salad (Shredded Napa cabbage with fresh avocado, julienne cucumbers, daikon, edamame, carrots, red cabbage, green onions, cilantro, crispy rice noodles and crispy wontons tossed in a Miso dressing and topped with shrimp.) It was incredible. It was VERY fresh, bursting with many different flavors and textures. The Miso dressing was a real treat, a combination of sweet and spicy, it was the perfect compliment to all the vegetables.



We chose to try the Four Seasons Pizza (Made with imported Italian tomatoes, oven-roasted artichoke hearts, salami, fresh mushrooms, mild onions, Mozzarella and fresh Mozzarella cheeses. Topped with fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese.) Do you see the bold mushrooms and onions, Pat does NOT eat mushrooms and onions, he would have NEVER ordered this pizza. NOT IN A MILLION AND ONE YEARS, but he grabbed a piece, didn't remove or pick anything off, took a HUGE bite and LOVED IT! He just kept saying over and over that he never would have eaten that pizza in a million years if it wasn't for this review. (PS-He took the leftover pizza to work for lunch today!) I LOVED IT! Sometimes when you get salami on a pizza it is soggy, and I HATE THAT, but this salami was crispy and crunchy and had a wonderful texture. I don't know if I enjoyed the pizza or watching Pat eat it more! This gives me hope that maybe I can continue to order mushrooms and onions on my pizzas from here on out?




We also ordered the Cranberry-Walnut Chicken Salad Sandwich on Garlic Cheese Foccacia with a Caesar salad on the side (Chilled-grilled chicken breast, dried cranberries, toasted walnuts, celery, onions and mayonnaise, topped with sliced fresh Roma tomatoes and shredded lettuce). Pat orders a chicken salad sandwich EVERY TIME he sees it on the menu, and honestly, he is usually VERY disappointed. When we saw Chicken Salad was one of their new items, we knew we had to try it. I was pleasantly surprised. I am usually disappointed in chicken salad because it is bland, lacking flavor or overly packed with mayonnaise. This was the perfect combination of ingredients and won us over instantly. The garlic cheese foccacia was the perfect bread to hold such a dense sandwich that has a tendency to fall apart in your hands. It stayed in one piece and was easy to eat! Pat would DEFINITELY order this chicken salad again, and it is now at the top of his chicken salad list! The Caesar salad had shaved Parmesan cheese, which automatically wins me over, and the croutons, a staple in Caesar salad were PACKED with flavor!



ANY THEN, after all this wonderful food, it was TIME FOR DESSERT! I had been hearing about the Butter Cake for weeks now. I even heard, "It will change your life!" I am NOT a sweets kind of person. I get my sugar intake through cocktails and wine! However, when it came to the table, the aroma was even too much for me to pass up, so I dug in. Warm, topped with ice cream, melt in your mouth, LIFE CHANGING! For me, my absolute favorite part were the crispy parts on the outside of the cake where the sugar had carmalized, harder than the soft cake inside, and when paired with the ice cream, it was a real TREAT! Jackson couldn't get the cake in his mouth fast enough, so he took these ENORMOUS bites! He is constantly practicing for his FRAT BOY days!






We left with our bellies full and fun new memories of a special family evening trying new things. As we were leaving, Jackson, my future foodie, said, "This was a great idea for dinner, Mom!"



Now it is your chance to win some "Pizza Dough" of your own so that you can be the hero in your family and treat them to a special meal at California Pizza Kitchen. There are three ways to win.

(1) Leave a comment stating what your favorite California Pizza Kitchen pizza is! If you have never been, take a look at their menu and tell me which pizza you would like to try! Make sure you include your email or blog address!

(2) Follow California Pizza Kitchen and myself on twitter @shakakan23 and send us a tweet stating that you would like to be entered to win Pizza Dough! Then, come back and leave a comment here that you did so.

(3) LIKE California Pizza Kitchen on facebook and leave a comment for me HERE saying that you LIKE them (Used to be known as Becoming a Fan)! facebook

The contest will end Thursday at 11:59 PM MST! Winner will be announced on Friday! GOOD LUCK!!!

27 comments:

Micaila said...

LOVE CPK! I think I like the BBQ Chicken the best. The most unusual one I've tried is the BLT and that, while not bad, was a little weird.

Roberta said...

Mushroom, pepperoni and sausage

Roberta said...

liked on facebook

Roberta said...

tweeted you both

Jennifer Weworski said...

THE WORKS ;o)

Jennifer Weworski said...

Liked CPK On facebook

Katie Thomson said...

Roasted Artichoke and Spinach...Y.U.M.!

Katie Thomson said...

I am a fan of theirs/like CPK on Facebook.

Katie Thomson said...

Tweeted both you and CPK! :o) How fun!

Short and Sweet said...

I want you to know that I almost jumped through my monitor to get to that salad and sandwich! I've only been to CPK twice and I had a pleasant experience both times. I'm closest to the CPK at Chandler Mall, but I haven't been there since we moved here 6 years ago!

Short and Sweet said...

I can't believe how precise you are when it comes to describing food! You should write for a newspaper because you really do sound like a food critic who knows her way around a good food presentation! Your adjectives are just perfect.

Claire said...

Pesto Chicken! Now I am HUNGRY! They need delivery.

Karen said...

I love the California Club, although that's the only one I've tried and I ate it when I was pregnant with Brandt ... so FOREVER ago, but it was soooo yummy.

Karen said...

Following on twitter & sent a tweet.

Karen said...

"Like" on Facebook.

Shannon said...

Love the original BBQ Chicken Pizza. I'm all about the old time classics. :)

Shannon said...

Liked on facebook. Remember us little people when you are famous on the travel channel!

Claire said...

I tweeted you both!

Again - how much do I love Twitter?!?

Claire said...

And... I like them on facebook!

Laurie said...

Classic BBQ chicken ! Yum! I buy the frozen ones to have on hand when I want a "dining out" experience but am stuck at home with the kiddos!

Karissa said...

How fun is that?! I love the hawaiian pizza!!

Karissa said...

I follow and tweeted :)

Karissa said...

I follow/like :)

Micaila said...

Followed you both on Twitter @sjhnny

Micaila said...

Everytime I se the pics and read your post my mouth is watering!! Yumm! Why did you stop your phx foodie blog? I "liked" CPK on FB too:)

the swope family said...

How did I miss this? Oh yeah, I was sick. Well, enter me to win some bucks so I can go get my BORING pepperoni pizza!

the swope family said...

Liked on FB!