National Pancake Day at IHOP

With National Pancake Day coming up, IHOP has been spreading the word for weeks with public service announcements starting NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young for their fifth annual fundraising event to be held Feb. 23.

The restaurant is partnering with the Children’s Miracle Network for the event to raise money for the non-profit organization as part of NPD. IHOP’s goal this year is to raise $1.75 million.

On National Pancake Day, IHOP will give guests one free short stack of its signature buttermilk pancakes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. at its more than 1,400 restaurants throughout the United States.

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In return, the restaurant asks that guests make a voluntary donation to support local children’s hospitals through Children’s Miracle Network and other local charities.

To help spread the word even more, Children’s Miracle Network announced that a number of its celebrity supporters plan to make National Pancake Day wake up calls to remind interested individuals to stop into an IHOP for free flap jacks on February 23, and IHOP announced a “Stacks for Good Acts” online contest offering a year’s supply of free pancakes to the winner.
 
Children’s Miracle Network National Pancake Day Celebrity Wake Up Call Program invites interested individuals to receive a wake-up call from their choice of celebrity as a reminder to stop in on Feb. 23. 

Celebrity callers include NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young, entertainer and Children’s Miracle Network co-founder Marie Osmond and newly crowned Miss America 2010 Caressa Cameron.  Wake up calls can be ordered at www.IHOPPancakeDay.com.
 
IHOP’s “Stacks For Good Acts” Online Contest invites good Samaritans to submit a 250-words-or-less story, at the website above, about a good deed they or someone they know did in 2009. Entries will be judged on emotional impact, originality and entertainment value.  One grand prize winner will receive free pancakes for one year.
 
More information and complete contest rules can be found at www.IHOPPancakeDay.com. Entries can be submitted online and the contest ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on Feb. 19, 2010. One (1) grand prize winner will receive free pancakes for a year (defined as one free short stack of buttermilk pancakes per day for 365 days) at IHOP.
 
Fun fact about National Pancake Day:
For centuries, the English have ‘flipped’ for pancakes in celebration of Shrove Tuesday, which heralds the beginning of fasting during Lent. Long ago, strict rules prohibited the eating of all dairy products during Lent so pancakes were made to use up the supply of eggs, milk, butter and other dairy products, hence the name Pancake Tuesday. 
While IHOP’s National Pancake Day typically takes place on Shrove Tuesday, which lands on Feb. 16, this year the company will host its free pancake event on Tuesday, Feb. 23 instead.

McDonald’s Coffee

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All this news about McDonald’s vs. Starbucks coffee …

The second time I tried McDonald’s coffee was when they gave away McSkillet Burritos with the purchase of a large drink. (The first time was a early morning stop in Barstow. It was so early, my taste buds hadn’t kicked in yet.)

I was pleasantly surprised. The coffee wasn’t bad at all! It had good flavor and body. Unlike Starbucks, I didn’t detect a bitter, burnt taste.

I won’t be making McDonald’s a morning habit. I’m more of a toast-for-breakfast type of person. If I want to treat myself to coffee and breakfast, I’d go to Starbucks. I love croissants and their banana walnut loaf. Comparing calories and fat, Starbucks will be kinder to my figure.

Croissant: 370 calories, 21g of fat
Banana Walnut Loaf: 410 calories, 17g of fat
McSkillet Burrito: 610 calories, 36g of fat

Free burritos on Leap Day

4933-burrito-thumb-400x300.jpgFor Leap Day, McDonald’s gave away free McSkillet burritos with the purchase of a medium or large drink. For $1.72 (including tax), you get an extremely unhealthy breakfast plus coffee. The burrito includes eggs, potatoes, sausage patty, a dash of salsa and almost undetectable amounts of bell peppers and onions.

Here’s the nutritional (not really) highlights:
Calories: 610
Calories from Fat: 330
Total Fat: 36g (56% daily value)
Saturated fat: 14g (69% daily value)
Cholesterol: 410mg (137% daily value)
Sodium: 1390mg (58% daily value)
Carbs: 44g (15% daily value)]

Whatever you do, don’t make a habit of eating breakfast at McDonald’s. You won’t live long.