Mr. K (As in Mr. Kirbie. Yes I’m phasing out DH. He’s still a dear husband to me, but for several reasons, I’ve decided to change it for future posts. Sorry to those who’ve grown attached to the “DH” name and sorry for changing it again.) and I recently celebrated our birthdays.

We’ve signed up and participated in some of the birthday freebies that restaurants usually offer throughout the years, but usually only one or two. This year, Mr. K requested one day of his birthday weekend to be all birthday free meal things. So I signed him up for a bunch of restaurant clubs prior to his birthday and we spent a few hours driving around and picking up all his free items.

It’s been a little disappointing to see that a lot of restaurants have pulled back from their offers. Some of our favorites got rid of their free birthday meals this year, or added a lot of limitations, so we didn’t partake. Here’s a round-up of stuff we did get:

Noodles & Company
If you sign up for their eclub, you’ll receive an email with a coupon, allowing you a free bowl up to $9. It’s actually a generous offer because when we went there, we realized everything was under $9. They also give a generous amount of time to use it. We received the certificate 5 days before his birthday and it was good for another 3 weeks after.

Of course we had to take full advantage and got one of the more expensive bowls, beef stroganoff.

Both of us have Starbucks rewards cards which gives you stars every time you buy a drink and entitles you periodically to free drinks after you’ve accumulated enough stars/points. What I especially like about Starbucks’ system is that their free drink is always any drink of your choice. A lot of restaurants that offer a stamp card for a free drink after a certain number purchased usually restrict the drink to one with a very minimal value. But Starbucks doesn’t have that restriction. You can get the largest size drink, add as many shots, extra syrups, etc, and it’s still free.

The same goes for their birthday free drink. If you put in your birthdate on your online account, they will put in a free reward into your rewards account, good on any drink or a bakery item. They give you the reward a few days before your birthday and give you about a month to redeem it.

Here’s another version of my easy cookies made with spread. This time I used the cocoa almond butter I bought from Trader Joe’s.

It’s basically chocolate flavored almond butter. I love almonds and I love chocolate, so I really enjoy this spread.

We recently made some trips to McDonald’s to try the new premium McWraps and the breakfast menu offerings available after midnight.

I had been quite curious about the Premium Chicken McWraps. I really enjoyed Wendy’s Chicken Flatbreads, and the McDonald’s version seemed to be in direct competition, with offerings of sliced grilled chicken, a less carb heavy exterior, and using spring mix salad and fresh vegetables rather than the standard iceberg lettuce.

When I saw the commercials on TV, the two things that stood out were how incredibly big the wrap looked and that they seemed to be emphasizing fresh slices of cucumbers (whereas Wendy’s thing was fresh slices of tomatoes).

McDonald’s offers the wraps in three flavors (sweet chili, bacon, and ranch). And for each one, you can choose either grilled or crispy chicken. Surprisingly, the price remains the same for all options ($3.99).

Sweet Chili Grilled Chicken McWrap

One thing I immediately liked was the container the wrap came in. It breaks in half, allowing you easy access to the top half, with the bottom half safely covered to prevent it from leaking onto your clothes. It’s definitely a good concept if you’re planning on eating this in the car.

After I removed the top wrap, I was surprised to see a ton of tortilla with no ingredients in sight. Everything seemed to be sitting at the bottom of the wrap.

So then I opened the entire thing up, and found the ingredients sitting at the bottom. And while I know that the commercials often exaggerate the size and look of these sandwiches, I was still shocked by what I saw.

Three measly strips of chicken? And iceberg lettuce? Where were the spring mix greens I was promised? And the fresh cucumber slices? Instead there was only one “cucumber” slice which was clearly a pickle once I tasted it.

The sweet chili sauce was also cloyingly sweet and not very enjoyable.