Steamy Kitchen Recipes | RSS Feed http://steamykitchen.com Steamy Kitchen Food Blog: fast recipes, simple recipes, with fresh ingredients to create delicious meals. Fri, 26 Jun 2015 12:53:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Kikkoman Sweepstakes: Win $1,000 Towards Cooking Classes! http://steamykitchen.com/24899-kikkoman-sweepstakes-win-1000-towards-cooking-classes.html http://steamykitchen.com/24899-kikkoman-sweepstakes-win-1000-towards-cooking-classes.html#comments Mon, 07 Jan 2013 16:03:54 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=24899   Since starting Steamy Kitchen, I’ve been making it a point to learn about the people behind the products that I feed my family. Not only is the quality of the product important, but the integrity and goodness of the team is, too. Kikkoman asked me to watch this documentary called Make Haste Slowly: The Kikkoman Creed, which was directed ...

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Kikkoman Soy Sauce

 

Since starting Steamy Kitchen, I’ve been making it a point to learn about the people behind the products that I feed my family. Not only is the quality of the product important, but the integrity and goodness of the team is, too. Kikkoman asked me to watch this documentary called Make Haste Slowly: The Kikkoman Creed, which was directed by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Lucy Walker. The 24-minute documentary tells the story of Kikkoman’s rich heritage and the family creed that has shaped the company for over 300 years. At first I didn’t quite know what to expect from this film, but I was so surprised and interested in all the rich family and company history that they talked about. I want to give you a run-down of the interesting parts so that you might appreciate this company the way I do.

Kikkoman is a family-run company started by a woman at a time when women didn’t start companies. It has been in business for 19 generations! The recipe for Kikkoman’s soy sauce has been handed down along with a family creed, which is a set of 16 guidelines.

Some Interesting Points from the Documentary

  • Kikkoman built the first American manufacturing plant in the year 1973 — it was actually the first Japanese company ever in the US! It was interesting to hear about that time period and how worried people were about having Japanese people “move in” after World War II.
  • Kikkoman decided on Wisconsin for the location of their first plant because of the hard-working labor that was found in that part of the country. The Americans said that they integrated well with their new Japanese neighbors by sharing their cultures with each other including sake and kimonos, tennis and all the bad words in their respective languages!
  • I was amazed to hear about the risk they took by using so much capital to create this plant. It was really sink or swim for them at that time with this US plant!
  • I loved hearing how they make their soy sauce — they naturally brew it using no chemicals in a fermentation process that takes 6 months! They’ll test and test to ensure the quality of the soy sauce. “It’s like checking the health of your children; if you don’t take care of them, then they will grow up poorly.”
  • The process is involved and lengthy, which is where the “Make Haste Slowly” phrase comes from.
  • I liked seeing these tasting plates that have to note the color of the finished product, which should be reddish brown, and when the circles on the plates appear purple through the sauce, then it’s the right color.
  • The soy sauce is said to have all five tastes of salty, sweet, bitter, sour and umami (sort of like savory) and the deep aroma of the soy sauce takes it to a whole other level!
  • My favorite part of this was when a woman from the laboratory was describing the flavor of Kikkoman soy sauce. She said something to the effect of: Naturally brewed soy sauce has over 300 elements that produce its unique flavor and aroma. Chemically manufactured soy sauce has very few aromas and is very flat. In this way, great soy sauce, like Kikkoman, can be compared to a fine wine. The more complex the flavor, the higher the quality.
  • Then she said, “Soy sauce goes so well with so many foods because the natural flavors and aromas are similar to those in other foods. And then she said that soy sauce goes great with ice cream” because of this! Wow, I’m interested to see if that’s true for my own tastebuds!
  • There is a special house for making soy sauce for the Emperor, and the Imperial Household Agency picked Kikkoman as the producer — what an honor!
  • There was a profile of an industrial designer who designed the first small bottles of the sauce. He remembers seeing his mother struggle with the heavy old bottles that everyone used to keep under the sinks in Japan. So he made them smaller, hand-held and in the shape of a water droplet, so it doesn’t drip when you pour it. Functionality at its best!
  • Soybeans and wheat don’t have any taste when you put them in water. It seems mystical that it takes on such a deep aroma. Before we understood the scientific properties behind fermentation, it was believed that spirits did the work to create this sauce.
  • My other favorite part was when they described the sustainability of the soy sauce industry. They explained that it is a very environmentally friendly process for the environment. The only things left are soy cake (used as animal feed) and soy oil, which is used to lubricate the machines! “Our company has been in business for hundreds of years. The reason we’ve survived so long is that we wanted to prosper along with society.”

Truly inspirational! And now about the best part — Kikkoman and Steamy Kitchen are pairing up to offer a Sweepstakes to win a $1000 Visa gift card to be used towards cooking classes!! Just answer the following question: If you were going to pass down a heritage family recipe, what would it be?

Kikkoman Sweepstakes Rules:

This sweepstakes is sponsored by Kikkoman and BlogHer. This isn’t like the normal sweepstakes that I run, so please read through these guidelines. No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post.
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post.
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post.
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to respond; otherwise, a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 1/7/2013 – 2/28/2013.

Be sure to visit the Kikkoman’s brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win! You can also visit Kikkoman to see the documentary and products that they have in store for you!

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Giveaway: $200 Steamy Kitchen Store Gift Certificate http://steamykitchen.com/21810-giveaway-200-steamy-kitchen-store-gift-certificate.html http://steamykitchen.com/21810-giveaway-200-steamy-kitchen-store-gift-certificate.html#comments Mon, 04 Jun 2012 17:09:20 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=21810 Prizes:

There will be one (1) grand prize winner.
The grand prize winner will receive one (1) $200 Gift Certificate to the Steamy Kitchen Store.

Rules & Details:

Approximate retail value of the Grand Prize is $200.00.
Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value if the Grand Prize cannot be awarded as described for . . .

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Prizes:

  • There will be one (1) grand prize winner.
  • The grand prize winner will receive one (1) $200 Gift Certificate to the Steamy Kitchen Store.

Rules & Details:

  • Approximate retail value of the Grand Prize is $200.00.
  • Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value if the Grand Prize cannot be awarded as described for any reason.
  • Taxes, gratuities and other expenses not specifically identified in these Official Rules are the sole responsibility of the Grand Prize Winner.
  • No transfer or substitution for the prize allowed except at Sponsor’s sole discretion.
  • The Grand Prize will be awarded on or around July 18th, 2012, approximately 2 weeks after drawing and notification of winner.

Enter now through June 27th, 2012. For complete details and rules, click here.

This contest ends June 27th.

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Tofu and Mushroom Miso Soup http://steamykitchen.com/20575-miso-soup-recipe-tofu-mushroom.html http://steamykitchen.com/20575-miso-soup-recipe-tofu-mushroom.html#comments Fri, 10 Feb 2012 16:29:01 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=20575 As my many house guests can attest to, I am not a breakfast eater (unless I’m hung over, then a 1/2 pound of bacon will be devoured quickly). When Diane and Todd were over, the first thing my boys did right after waking up in the morning was run over to the cottage to wake them up and drag them ...

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As my many house guests can attest to, I am not a breakfast eater (unless I’m hung over, then a 1/2 pound of bacon will be devoured quickly). When Diane and Todd were over, the first thing my boys did right after waking up in the morning was run over to the cottage to wake them up and drag them to the house to make their famous breakfast.

They made homemade pancakes, waffles, french toast and cinnamon sugar knots. Oh, and we went through 10 pounds of bacon too (I’m not joking). You should see my boys’ faces when they woke up on Sunday and realized Uncle Todd and Auntie Diane were gone….(sigh) back to cold cereal and boring eggs.

But the ONE thing I will eat in the morning is 10-minute miso soup. Okay, sometimes I like Ochazuke for breakfast too (but that’s for another post). My body craves savory Japanese flavors in the morning and miso soup, fortified with egg, mushrooms, tofu and whatever leafy greens I have will hit the spot.

I’m developing recipes for Miso & Easy, which is a prepared miso paste that’s all ready to go – add hot water and you’ve got instant miso soup. It’s a brand new product.

If you’re using regular miso paste, same recipe, just use vegetable broth or dashi broth in place of water.

What is dashi?

Dashi is Japanese soup base that’s made from bonito fish. Instead of using chicken, vegetable or beef broth (in soups and in cooking dishes), Japanese recipes will call for dashi broth instead. You can make it from scratch, with a piece of kombu (dried seaweed) and dried bonito flakes; or use instant dashi powder (which is what I use)

But if you don’t have dashi, just use vegetable broth instead.

As for the other ingredients, it’s simple. And flexible. Whatever fresh mushrooms you have (below I have Japanese mushrooms), whatever leafy greens you want (spinach, bok choy, napa cabbage) and whatever firmness of tofu you want.

Yum
Print

Tofu and Mushroom Miso Soup

Servings: 4 Prep Time: 2 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes
Tofu and Mushroom Miso Soup Recipe

The recipe is flexible - use whatever mushrooms and vegetables you have. The recipe has options for using Miso & Easy product or regular Miso Paste.

Ingredients:

6 ounces tofu, cubed
4 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
handful of leafy vegetable, chopped
1 egg, whisked
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
***
If using Miso & Easy:
  • 4 cup s water
  • 4 tablespoons Miso & Easy
If using Miso Paste:
  • 4 cups dashi or vegetable broth
  • 4 tablespoons miso paste

Directions:

1. In a sauce pot, bring the broth to a boil. Add in the tofu, mushrooms and the vegetables. While stirring the broth, slowly pour in the whisked egg. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat.

2. If using Miso & Easy: Stir in the Miso & Easy. Top with green onions and serve immediately.

3. If using Miso Paste: Ladle about ½ cup of the hot broth into a bowl with the miso paste. Use a fork or whisk to stir and liquify and soften the miso paste. Pour all of the miso paste into the pot and stir gently. Top with green onions and serve immediately.

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Giveaway: Kindle Fire http://steamykitchen.com/20551-giveaway-kindle-fire.html http://steamykitchen.com/20551-giveaway-kindle-fire.html#comments Thu, 09 Feb 2012 18:58:42 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=20551 So I've been getting a few emails from readers wondering when I'm going to give a little love non-Apple lovers.....as in anything but the iPad. While I'm a big fan of Apple products (I think I own every single product they make), I am also a big massive fan of Amazon.com. How can I resist not . . .

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So I’ve been getting a few emails from readers wondering when I’m going to give a little love non-Apple lovers…..as in anything but the iPad. While I’m a big fan of Apple products (I think I own every single product they make), I am also a big massive fan of Amazon.com.

How can I resist not giving away a Kindle Fire!??

I’m sure you all know what this nifty device can do – including browsing your favorite food blogs (ahem….like Steamy Kitchen).

Okay, so all ya need to do is enter below with a bonus for giving my client, Miso & Easy, a little Facebook love (just click the LIKE button on their Facebook page).  If you are the winner AND you’re a Miso & Easy Facebook fan, I’ll give you a bonus of $25 Kindle gift certificate.

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Crispy Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus http://steamykitchen.com/14946-crispy-prosciutto-wrapped-asparagus.html http://steamykitchen.com/14946-crispy-prosciutto-wrapped-asparagus.html#comments Tue, 12 Apr 2011 18:57:05 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=14946 This is a sponsored review by BlogHer and Kraft. This dish is what I call my “company asparagus” – even though the last time I referred to dinner guests as “company” was in 1979 when my parents had “company” over for dinner – I think it was either my Dad’s boss and his wife or someone else important that decides ...

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This is a sponsored review
by BlogHer and Kraft.

This dish is what I call my “company asparagus” – even though the last time I referred to dinner guests as “company” was in 1979 when my parents had “company” over for dinner – I think it was either my Dad’s boss and his wife or someone else important that decides Dad’s pay-raises.

“Company” food is simple, yet elegant, using high quality ingredients that you don’t mind spending a little extra money for. This asparagus dish uses fresh asparagus and really good imported proscuitto. The asparagus are perfectly tender with slight nuttiness that comes from roasting…and the prosciutto crisps up nicely in the oven.

But what makes this really elegant is just the slght drizzle of cream cheese sauce for that perfect finishing touch.

The beloved Philadelphia Cream Cheese that we all know has a new product called “Philadelphia Cooking Creme” and I used it pretty much straight out of the package, whisked with just a bit of water to thin it out and warmed in the microwave.

Three main ingredients is all that it takes to make this company asparagus dish: asparagus, prosciutto and the Philadelphia Cooking Creme – I used Italian Cheese & Herb.

The Cooking Creme is different from the regular “Philly Cream Cheese” – it’s made for using as a base for sauces (just stir it in), comes in different flavor varieties (others include, Original, Santa Fe Blend and Savory Garlic) and is incredibly meltable.

$25,000 Real Women of Philadelphia Contest

Want to win $25,000? Paula Deen and Philadelphia Cream Cheese are looking for the next big cooking stars, and this season of Real Women of Philadelphia is going to be bigger and better than ever! Join the Real Women of Philadelphia Community and check out details on how you can enter to win $25,000 or become a cooking star.

Three main ingredients: asparagus, Philadelphia Cooking Creme and prosciutto.

Use your hands to snap off the end of one spear. It naturally breaks where the tough part ends. This is where you need to cut the rest of the asparagus and discard.

Wrap two or three asparagus in each slice of prosciutto. Since prosciutto is pretty salty, I like to wrap multiple spears together. If you’re using thin asparagus, make sure you get at least 3 spears in each.

Place all on a baking tray.

Drizzle just a bit of olive oil on the tips and the ends of the asparagus. The prosciutto doesn’t need any oil at all.

Roast for 8-10 minutes – your asparagus should be tender and the prosciutto should be crispy.

In a small bowl, whisk together a 1 tablespoon of water with the Cooking Creme. Warm it up in the microwave on medium power for about 45 seconds.

Spoon over the asparagus and prosciutto.

Yum
Print

Crispy Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Servings: 4 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes
proscuitto-wrapped-asparagus-recipe-8170.jpg

If you can't find the Philadelphia Cooking Creme, feel free to omit (the Crispy Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus is great as-is!) or substitute with 1/4 cup Philadelphia Cream Cheese mixed with 2 tablespoons mayonnaise + 2 tablespoons water and your favorite chopped fresh herbs.

Ingredients:

1 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed and discarded
8 ounces prosciutto, very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup Philadelphia Cooking Creme (any flavor, I used Italian Cheese and Herb)
1 tablespoon water

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Wrap 2 asparagus spears with a slice of prosciutto. Place spears on baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil on the tips and ends of the asparagus (avoiding the prosciutto). Roast for 8-10 minutes, until the asparagus is cooked through and the prosciutto becomes crispy.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the Philadelphia Cooking Cream with the water. Microwave on medium setting for 45 seconds.

3. Plate the asparagus and drizzle the Philadelphia Cooking Cream over the asparagus. Serve immediately.

$25,000 Real Women of Philadelphia Contest

Want to win $25,000? Paula Deen and Philadelphia Cream Cheese are looking for the next big cooking stars, and this season of Real Women of Philadelphia is going to be bigger and better than ever! Join the Real Women of Philadelphia Community and check out details on how you can enter to win $25,000 or become a cooking star.

See more recipe from BlogHer’s campaign on roundup page.

 

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If only customer service was this easy http://steamykitchen.com/12446-kenmore-giveaway.html http://steamykitchen.com/12446-kenmore-giveaway.html#comments Wed, 08 Dec 2010 14:32:35 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=12446 This is a sponsored review from BlogHer and Kenmore. Am I so bored that I’m talking with my washer? Well, no, but my washer is talking to a Sears tech. Yup, you read right, my Kenmore washer and dryer communicates via phone to help the tech diagnose the problem through Kenmore Connect. Sure beats calling and waiting for a tech ...

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This is a sponsored review from BlogHer and Kenmore.

Am I so bored that I’m talking with my washer? Well, no, but my washer is talking to a Sears tech. Yup, you read right, my Kenmore washer and dryer communicates via phone to help the tech diagnose the problem through Kenmore Connect. Sure beats calling and waiting for a tech to arrive days later, especially with the amount of laundry we go through…..or worse yet….have a bored junior tech walk me through a troubleshooting script. I’m sure you’ve been through that with your computer! 😉

I sure wish Kenmore Connect was available on other things….like

….our entertainment system – “why does it take 5 remotes just to watch TV?”

….and our pet turtles – “why did you eat your tank mate, Speckles the harmless goldfish?”

….my AT&T service – “WHY CAN’T I GET *!@&$! SERVICE?????????”

Kenmore Appliance Giveaway

If you are interested in winning your own Kenmore Washer and Dryer (or Oven, Refrigerator, Dishwasher…your choice), we’re giving one away!

Head over to BlogHer’s Kenmore Elite giveaway page!

I’m also giving away a Kenmore Vacuum too – head over to the vacuum giveaway page.

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Kenmore Dryer http://steamykitchen.com/12225-kenmore-dryer-giveaway.html http://steamykitchen.com/12225-kenmore-dryer-giveaway.html#comments Wed, 01 Dec 2010 17:15:37 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=12225 This is a sponsored review from BlogHer and Kenmore. *rubs eyes* Yes, that’s my husband doing laundry. My feelings aren’t probably what you think – yes, it’s great Scott is doing laundry – but normally I don’t even let him touch the dryer. Ever. I can’t even begin to tell you how many $49 Banana Republic sweaters that have turned ...

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This is a sponsored review from BlogHer and Kenmore.


*rubs eyes*
Yes, that’s my husband doing laundry.

My feelings aren’t probably what you think – yes, it’s great Scott is doing laundry – but normally I don’t even let him touch the dryer. Ever. I can’t even begin to tell you how many $49 Banana Republic sweaters that have turned from perfect medium size to shrunken, felted, lump of wool small enough for a 8-inch teddy bear.

But this dryer is smart. Check out all these choices.

And even if you want to deal with all these choices and controls, the Kenmore dryer has an automatic sensor that determines the moisture content of the clothes before it even runs. Then it adjusts temperature and time accordingly.

If all you need is a little steam action, pour a bit of water here and let ‘er go at it! This is so much easier than breaking out the ironing board and iron.

Also, it’s big enough to fit my king-sized comforter!

Kenmore Appliance Giveaway

If you are interested in winning your own Kenmore Washer and Dryer (or Oven, Refrigerator, Dishwasher…your choice), we’re giving one away!

Head over to BlogHer’s Kenmore Elite giveaway page!

I’m also giving away a Kenmore Vacuum too – head over to the vacuum giveaway page.

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Giveaway: Kenmore Refrigerator/Washer/Dryer/Oven http://steamykitchen.com/12099-giveaway-kenmore-washer-dryer.html http://steamykitchen.com/12099-giveaway-kenmore-washer-dryer.html#comments Fri, 19 Nov 2010 15:15:59 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=12099 Kenmore Dishwasher/Washer & Dryer/Oven/Refrigerator Giveaway.

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This is a sponsored review from BlogHer and Kenmore.

I’m passionate about many things, but doing laundry really isn’t one of them. The washer and dryer that we have in our home is the generic one that came with the house, and it’s been crazy abused, from tricycles running into them to over-stuffing the washer more times than I can count. When the washer is too full, boy does it get mad!

A couple of weeks ago, the nice folks at Sears sent a truck over to deliver their new energy efficient Kenmore Elite Washer and Dryer to test out. Not only did they call to confirm installation the day prior, but the Blue Team also called the same day to give me an exact time of arrival. And show up on time, they did.

First things first though, they had to get rid of my old set. Goodbye craptastic machine!

UH. WHAT IS THAT!?????

Oh. Yeah. That’s where all the socks, loose change, Nerf darts, winning scratch-off lottery ticket, plastic army dude, spare Lego parts and 3 chewed up pieces of gum went. Lovely.

How embarrassing!

They installed my new babies.

Best feature so far? Check this out.

No center whirley spinny agitator thingy. Which means more clothes can fit in and tank top straps don’t get caught and twisted.

It’s a pretty darn smart machine…I’ll tell ya about the Smart Motion technology in another post…right now, it’s time for dinner!

Kenmore Giveaway

Winner will have a choice of ONE the following:

Kenmore Elite Ginger 5.2 cu. ft. Top-Load Washer and Kenmore Elite 7.3 cu. ft. Gas Dryer with Steam Generator ($2,469.98)
Kenmore Elite Stainless Steel 27.6 cu. ft. French-Door Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator ($2,889.99)
Kenmore Elite high-efficiency dishwashers feature 360° PowerWash technology (1,799.44)
Kenmore Elite Double Oven Freestanding Range ($1,839.99)

GIVEAWAY ENDED

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Giveaway: Kenmore Intuition 31810 Vacuum http://steamykitchen.com/12088-giveaway-kenmore-intuition-31810-vacuum.html http://steamykitchen.com/12088-giveaway-kenmore-intuition-31810-vacuum.html#comments Thu, 18 Nov 2010 20:06:46 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=12088 Giving away a Kenmore Intuition 31810 Vacuum Cleaner (value $349.00)

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This is a sponsored review from BlogHer and Kenmore.

GIVEAWAY ENDED – WINNER TO BE ANNOUNCED SHORTLY

I’m giving away a Kenmore Intuition 31810 Vacuum Cleaner (value $349.00).

Giveaway ends 12/15/10.

Kenmore Intuition 31810 Vacuum

The Kenmore Intuition upright vacuum cleaner features a Power-Flow dual chamber bag system that provides sustained power to clean, even as the bag fills with dirt. It’s True HEPA filtration system captures maximum debris for cleaner indoor air. It also has a beltless direct drive agitator, which means there are no belts to replace. It’s reach out wand and tools on-board allow this vacuum to clean floors and much more.

  • Direct Drive+ saves money because there are no replacement belts to buy
  • Electronic Dirt Sensor alerts you to the dirt that you can’t see
  • Reach Out Telescoping Aluminum Wand allows for easy above-floor and quick-action cleaning
  • Power-Flow Dual Chamber Bag System sustains the vacuums performance as the bag fills with dirt
  • HEPA filtration for cleaner exhaust air
  • Pet Handi Mate Cleaning Attachment is ideal for cleaning pet hair from furniture or stairs
  • Foot-activated Height Adjust sets the vacuum at the perfect height to clean your carpet

Official Rules:

No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a)      Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b)      Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c)       Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d)      Read the official rules for alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here.

GIVEAWAY ENDED – CONGRATS TO DONIREE WALKER!

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Middle Eastern Stuffed Zucchini http://steamykitchen.com/11751-stuffed-zucchini-boats-recipe.html http://steamykitchen.com/11751-stuffed-zucchini-boats-recipe.html#comments Thu, 04 Nov 2010 14:00:15 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=11751 There are a gazillion things to do with zucchini, but making stuffed zucchini boats are has got to be the most fun way to eat, and that's by unanimous vote from all members of the family.

This recipe, ripped out from Family Circle magazine, has been tacked on my refrigerator for a few weeks and I . . .

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There are a gazillion things to do with zucchini, but making stuffed zucchini boats are has got to be the most fun way to eat, and that’s by unanimous vote from all members of the family.

This recipe, ripped out from Family Circle magazine, has been tacked on my refrigerator for a few weeks and I finally got around to giving it a whirl. For our family of 4, we served these as the main course and threw in a salad to round out the meal. The raisins, cinnamon and pine nuts are what gives it a Middle Eastern slant. Substitute ground turkey or lean ground pork for the chicken (but pssst…the ground chicken is really good!)

How to Make Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Stuffed Zucchini Boats Recipe

First things first, you’ve got to make the boat. Slice each zucchini in half, lengthwise. Use a teaspoon and start at the big end of the zucchini. Carefully dig your spoon in without piercing the skin.

Now turn your wrist as if you were using a melon baller and scoop out just one section.

It should look like this.

Continue doing one scoop at a time – be gentle and don’t worry about scooping every single bit out – just a good chunk of flesh. Don’t worry about it being even either, we’ll take care of that later.

scooping out

Make sure you leave about 1/4″ of space all around. Careful not to go through the skin, otherwise your zucchini boat will sink (well not really, but….)

leave 1/4 inch

I’ve scooped 4 times. Now it’s time to make the zucchini boat even.

Hold the zucchini boat and turn the spoon over and gently scrape to even out the hollow. Scrape out all the seeds.

It should look like this.

The key to this dish is to first microwave the zucchini with some water until it’s almost cooked through. I used a glass Pyrex dish – microwave and oven safe so that i don’t have to transfer dishes.

Cover with plastic wrap, leave an opening and microwave.

In the meantime, saute the bell peppers, onion, garlic, ground chicken. Add the cinnamon, salt and pepper.

Don’t forget the raisins.

And of course the cheese. The cheese helps the mixture stick together as well as give it a great flavor.

Mix it all around and now the stuffing is done.

Fill the cooked zucchini with the stuffing.

Oh yum. Can you smell that?

Top with pine nuts and bake for 10 minutes.

Please promise me you’ll make this recipe!?? You’ll love it. It’s fun to eat (my kids just picked up the entire boat and ate by hand), savory from the cheese and chicken, sweet from the raisins and nutty from the pine nuts.

Yum
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Middle Eastern Stuffed Zucchini Boats Recipe

Servings: Serves 4 as main dish, 8 as side dish Prep Time: 10 Cook Time: 30
stuffed-zucchini-boats-recipe-middle-eastern-4759.jpg

Recipe adapted from Family Circle, August 2010 Issue

Ingredients:

4 medium zucchini (about 6 ounces each)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 medium-size onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 pound ground chicken
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons pine nuts

Directions:

1. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Using a small spoon, carefully scoop out flesh and seeds, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell around edges. Discard flesh and seeds.

2. Place half of the zucchini, cut-side down, in an 11 x 7 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Add 1/2 cup water and cover with plastic wrap, venting one corner. Microwave 4 minutes. Place cooked zucchini in a large baking dish. Repeat with remaining zucchini.

3. Meanwhile, heat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add bell pepper, onion and garlic; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Crumble in chicken. Stir in raisins, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and stir in cheese.

4. Fill each zucchini half with about 1/3 cup stuffing, then sprinkle the pine nuts over tops. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes or until the zucchini is cooked through.

This is a sponsored review from BlogHer and Tamron.

Tamron AF18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Lens Giveaway

Alright, my lens-lovin friends! What I love about this lens is that it’s got the world’s largest zoom ratio of 15X zoom, which means the lens covers an angel of view equivalent to that of a 28mm wideangle to a 419mm ultra telephoto with just one lens.

This is a great travel and food lens – because you can take a panoramic shot of the beach as well as closeup shots like the zucchini (take a look at the 2nd shot of finished dish).

The Tamron AF18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Lens also has built-in vibration compensation – no tripod was used for the final shot, though I did use a tripod in the kitchen (I only have 2 hands!)

There’s a lens for Canon as well as Nikon and retails for $629, but there’s currently a $150 rebate so you can grab this baby for $479. More info on the lens at Tamron’s site.

GIVEAWAY CLOSED — Congrats to Taylor of Taylor Made!

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