Steamy Kitchen Recipes | RSS Feed http://steamykitchen.com Steamy Kitchen Food Blog: fast recipes, simple recipes, with fresh ingredients to create delicious meals. Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:27:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Vietnamese BBQ Tacos http://steamykitchen.com/40327-vietnamese-bbq-tacos-recipe.html http://steamykitchen.com/40327-vietnamese-bbq-tacos-recipe.html#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:18:37 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=40327 Americans are obsessed with grilling, and here to help master the backyard grill is New Orleans chef, David Guas, award-winning cookbook author, restaurant chef and host of Travel Channel’s high-heat, high-stakes grilling competition show, “American Grilled.” His new book, Grill Nation: 200 Surefire Recipes, Tips, and Techniques to Grill Like a Pro is endorsed by my friend, Dr. BBQ Ray Lampe, ...

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Vietnamese BBQ Tacos Recipe

Americans are obsessed with grilling, and here to help master the backyard grill is New Orleans chef, David Guas, award-winning cookbook author, restaurant chef and host of Travel Channel’s high-heat, high-stakes grilling competition show, “American Grilled.”

david-guas-photo-2His new book, Grill Nation: 200 Surefire Recipes, Tips, and Techniques to Grill Like a Pro is endorsed by my friend, Dr. BBQ Ray Lampe, who says, “David takes on outdoor grilling and we all want a seat at the table. I offer his Grilled Peach BBQ Sauce, Creole-Coffee Rubbed Cowboy Cut Bone-In Rib Eye and Grilled NOLA BBQ Shrimp as evidence that life just got a little better for all of us.”

While Chef David is from Louisiana, the recipes represent a worldwide sampling of flavors, from Korean Flank Steak, Grilled Lamb with Mint Chimichurri, to Caribbean Shrimp Kabobs and Charred Eggplant with Miso Dressing.

His recipes are simple, most of them no more than a handful of ingredients and 3 steps. Our favorite is this Vietnamese BBQ Tacos recipe. David loves this as a fun party meal, complete with a “toppings bar” of Vietnamese dipping sauce, shaved red onions, pickled cucumbers and wedges of fresh lime.

The marinade is made of classic Vietnamese flavors: fish sauce, ginger, garlic and sugar. All easy-to-find ingredients at your grocery store.

Vietnamese BBQ Tacos

The marinade is whisked together in a bowl, then added to a zip-lock bag with strip, flank, flat iron or skirt steak.

Vietnamese BBQ Tacos Recipe

Get your grill ready on medium-high, and grill the steaks 7-8 minutes per side, depending on thickness and desired degree of doneness. I prefer medium-rare skirt steak, which is thinner – so 5-6 minutes per side works well.

Vietnamese BBQ Tacos Recipe

Cover the steaks with tin foil to let rest for a few minutes (while you get your Vietnamese BBQ Taco topping bar ready). Then slice ACROSS the grain if using skirt or flank steak.

Vietnamese BBQ Tacos Recipe

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Vietnamese BBQ Taco Recipe

Servings: 8 Prep Time: 30 minutes + marinating time Cook Time: 30 minutes
Vietnamese BBQ Tacos 2

Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books (c) 2015 Photos by Johnny Autry. Recipe from Grill Nation by David Guas. This recipe serves 8 (have a party!) Use a mandolin to thinly slice the onion and the cucumber. The dipping sauce stores in refrigerator for up to 1 week. You can use leftovers as a tangy/sweet salad dressing!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 pounds steak (flank, skirt, flat iron or NY strip)

FOR THE TOPPING BAR
24 (8-inch) soft taco-sized flour tortillas
1 lime, cut into wedges
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber, very thinly sliced
1 cup match-stick cut carrots
handful fresh cilantro leaves and mint leaves, roughly chopped

FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 serrano pepper or Thai chile pepper, seeded and sliced

Directions:

1. To make the marinade, whisk together the fish sauce and the next 7 ingredients in a bowl. Place steaks in gallon-sized zip-top bag, pour in the marinade. Squeeze out the air, massage bag a bit to distribute the marinade. Refrigerate for up to overnight.

2. To make the dipping sauce, whisk together the ingredients in a bowl, or add them to a mason jar, cover and shake.

3. When ready to cook, preheat grill to 350F-400F (medium-high). Remove steaks from marinade, discard marinade. Grill steaks 6-8 minutes per side, or until desired degree of doneness, turning every 3-5 minutes; remove from grill and cover loosely for 10 minutes. Cut steaks across the grain into thin strips.

4. Serve with the carrots, red onions, cilantro, mint, cucumber, lime wedges and warmed tortillas.

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$75 Gift Certificate to The Cocoa Pod http://steamykitchen.com/40899-75-gift-certificate-to-the-cocoa-pod.html http://steamykitchen.com/40899-75-gift-certificate-to-the-cocoa-pod.html#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 17:48:51 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=40899 Our friends at The Cocoa Pod is giving away a $75 gift certificate to their shop! You can buy raw cocoa beans and beautiful, decorative pods.

We just roasted a batch of cocoa beans in the toaster oven and enjoyed nibbling the roasted nibs with our trail mix. While dark chocolate has health benefits, cocoa nibs are even . . .

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how-to-host-chocolate-tasting-4Our friends at The Cocoa Pod is giving away a $75 gift certificate to their shop! You can buy raw cocoa beans and beautiful, decorative pods.

We just roasted a batch of cocoa beans in the toaster oven and enjoyed nibbling the roasted nibs with our trail mix. While dark chocolate has health benefits, cocoa nibs are even better, with higher levels of antioxidants.

Take a look at The Cocoa Pod’s offerings – and if you’re interested in hosting your own chocolate tasting party, read on! The $75 giveaway is at end of post. ~Jaden

 

Wooden box with set of dark, white and milk chocolate on wooden

How To Host A Chocolate Tasting Party

By Jeffrey Stern, The Cocoa Pod Shop

What could be better than getting together with a group of friends to eat some chocolate? A chocolate event should be a full sensory experience, involving not only taste, but sight, smell, touch and hearing. Holding a chocolate tasting at your home or office can be a fun way to spend an afternoon or evening, and in this post we’re going to show you how to do it. You can have a great time enjoying chocolate with friends and learning something new about chocolate!

Grab Some Chocolate!

Before anything, you need to get your self some chocolate! But what should you choose and how should you organize it? We’re here to help you with that.

First, you need a range of chocolates starting with a low percent chocolate up to a high percent. You will see chocolates of varying per cents such as 55%, 60%, 70%, and higher. Percent refers to the actual amount of cocoa solids and cocoa butter in a chocolate. So a 70% chocolate has 30% sugar, a 65% has 35% sugar; a 50% chocolate has 50% sugar. I suggest shopping online first, or going to a specialty gourmet market or store so that you can get some quality chocolate. Some brands to look for include Dandelion, Ritual, Fruition, Dick Taylor, among others. Skip the mass-market products for now and look for artisan, bean-to-bar chocolate brands.

Choose The Right Chocolates

When purchasing, make sure your chocolate contains only real cocoa butter and no added fats. The only ingredients you should find on the label are cocoa mass or cocoa liquor (not actually a liquor, just an industry term), cocoa butter, sugar, lecithin, and maybe vanilla. Avoid chocolate with vanillin or artificial flavor vanilla in it at all costs! For the tasting, you will want chocolates without any added flavors or inclusions, just pure chocolate, so you can get to know the range of flavors possible in a chocolate bar.

Milk chocolates usually is usually a 35% chocolate or less, so that means at least 65% sugar! Because of its high sugar content, milk chocolates aren’t really going to help you appreciate the flavor nuances good chocolate can have. You also probably won’t find a milk chocolate with a percent even listed on it! But it’s good to have one bar as a reference point to start with.

Get Organized

To organize your tasting, start with the milk chocolate bars first, and then move up to by percent, finishing with the highest percent. I would recommend tasting a maximum of 5-7 chocolates-otherwise, your palate will be chocolated out!

You can do the tasting blind, hiding each of the chocolate brands and percent until after you are done tasting. This makes it more fun for the participants to try and guess which bar was which after the tasting.

To get organized, prepare as many plates as you have bars of chocolates, and if doing a blind tasting, label each plate underneath with a piece of tape and the chocolate brand. Prepare cups of water and a tray of unsalted crackers for each participant to use to cleanse the palate between each chocolate.

Break the chocolate into small pieces, about the size of a quarter or less.

To properly taste each piece, use the following guidelines:

You should observe several things when you taste any chocolate:

1. Visual – The chocolate should have a nice brown or mahogany sheen, and be clear of blemishes or a matte appearance on the surface. This is a sign of properly tempered chocolate.
2. Audible – The chocolate should have a crisp snap when you break the piece or bar. This is another sign of properly tempered chocolate, and the presence of real cocoa butter. The chocolate should not be soft and easy to break.
3. Smell – The chocolate should have a clean, chocolate and cocoa smell to it. No ‘off smells’ or rancid smells should be present.
4. Touch – when held in the palm of your hand, the chocolate should slowly melt and the melted chocolate should leave a clean, smooth feeling– not a greasy one.

Eat and Indulge!

When tasting chocolate, place a small piece in your mouth and let it melt slowly on the tongue. Try not to chew it, however tempting that may be! As it first melts, try and recognize any unique flavors. Once melted, move your tongue around your mouth to spread the chocolate. Some of the flavors you might find include citrus, nuts, dark or red berries, raisin, plum and others. Don’t be shy and write down what immediately comes to mind!

Finally, once the chocolate has completely melted and you have swallowed all of it, wait and try to describe any lingering aftertastes. Is it pleasant, unpleasant, long, or short? There are many ways to describe chocolate flavors, so just describe whatever you taste. There is no right or wrong here!

Holding a chocolate tasting party can be a great way to learn about chocolate, discover the wide range of flavors possible in different chocolate bars, and enjoy a great time with friends and family.

$75 Gift Certificate Givewaway

 

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Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Review and Giveaway http://steamykitchen.com/40895-mr-coffee-cafe-barista-review-and-giveaway.html http://steamykitchen.com/40895-mr-coffee-cafe-barista-review-and-giveaway.html#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 19:29:16 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=40895 Mr. Coffee provided the giveaway unit

It was quite a big change in my morning routine - to go from the cheap Aeropress that fits in my back pocket to a full fledged coffee drinks machine! With my Aeropress, I was limited in the types of drinks to create - that's not a knock on the Aeropress, but it . . .

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cafe-barista-review-1

Mr. Coffee provided the giveaway unit

It was quite a big change in my morning routine – to go from the cheap Aeropress that fits in my back pocket to a full fledged coffee drinks machine! With my Aeropress, I was limited in the types of drinks to create – that’s not a knock on the Aeropress, but it is because of my own laziness and preference. I don’t like adding cold milk to my coffee – and too lazy to warm the milk up.

cafe-barista-review-2We tested the Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista for 1 week.  I enjoyed a different drink every single morning! The milk is poured into a container, that stores in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to make a drink, the container pops right into the coffee maker.  Brewing the drink is a lazy-woman’s dream. Just pack with coffee grinds and put a button.

Café Barista brews espresso with 15-bar pumps and has a refillable water reservoir in the back.

You can choose between a single shot or double, espresso, latte or cappuccino. The automatic milk frother will give you beautiful, light foam. While the machine can accommodate a smaller espresso cup as well as normal sized coffee mugs, I wish I could use a little taller mug – the ones at our house are a little taller than normal.

The Cafe Barista is a snap to maintain and clean. I refill the water reservoir every other day. The milk goes between the machine and refrigerator with ease. There’s a clean button on the machine to clean the frother nozzle.

We used both prepared ground espresso (Illy) and beans that I ground every morning. I like that I don’t have to buy expensive and wasteful pods.

Honestly, I was quite surprised at how well the Cafe Barista works – I’ve always thought the Mr. Coffee products were on the low-end coffee machines. I love that it’s an all-in-one unit. The design makes it really convenient to make customized drinks. I hope this is a sign that Mr. Coffee will continue to introduce higher-end machines! ~Jaden

About Cafe Barista

Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Giveaway

 

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Aervana Review & Giveaway http://steamykitchen.com/40890-aervana-review-giveaway.html http://steamykitchen.com/40890-aervana-review-giveaway.html#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 17:57:41 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=40890 Aervana is one of the most innovative wine products I've seen - combining the functionality of an aerator and a no-drip pour.

We tried so many different wine aerators - from the classic wide, curvy body of a decanter to a strange magnetic powered aerator machine that swirled your wine.

We like the Aervana. Sure, it's another . . .

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Aervana-Packaging_Front

Aervana is one of the most innovative wine products I’ve seen – combining the functionality of an aerator and a no-drip pour.

We tried so many different wine aerators – from the classic wide, curvy body of a decanter to a strange magnetic powered aerator machine that swirled your wine.

We like the Aervana. Sure, it’s another battery-operated wine gizmo, but its innovative design allows for sediment to stay where it belongs – at the bottom of the wine bottle.

The unit pumps up the wine, adds in the air before allowing the wine to pour out into your glass.

I like that I don’t have to pour an entire bottle of wine into a decanter (along with the gritty sediment), and that I’m only aerating exactly the amount of wine that I’m drinking. No more wasting wine in the decanter, or trying to pour unfinished wine back into the bottle without spilling.

We also used to have an aerator that you had to hold in your hand, balancing it over your wine glass. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve missed the pour, and spilled red wine all over. Plus, where do you put the drippy, messy aerator after you’re done with a glass?

aervana reviewThe Aervana is no mess, effective, easy to use and keeps the sediment from mixing in with my wine. We also love that there’s no pouring involved, no balancing and no dripping. A clean, steady stream of properly aerated wine.

A set of batteries will last you 250 bottles of wine. It’s expensive, at $99. But if it means enjoying a better glass of wine over and over again, it’s worth it.

Aervana won the Red Dot Award for innovative product design and has also been awarded as a finalist for the Innovation Award at the International Home + Housewares Show.

Buy the Aervana for $99

 

~Jaden

 

 

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Oster Versa Blender Review & Giveaway http://steamykitchen.com/40881-oster-versa-blender-review-giveaway.html http://steamykitchen.com/40881-oster-versa-blender-review-giveaway.html#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 16:30:14 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=40881  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oster provided the product for giveaway

In 1924, John Oster started a company in his garage. His first product was hair clippers for cutting men's hair! These days, Oster is known for their kitchen small appliances, and is now owned by Sunbeam.

While they've been manufacturing quality kitchen blenders for some time now, Oster hasn't been able . . .

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versa

Oster provided the product for giveaway

In 1924, John Oster started a company in his garage. His first product was hair clippers for cutting men’s hair! These days, Oster is known for their kitchen small appliances, and is now owned by Sunbeam.

While they’ve been manufacturing quality kitchen blenders for some time now, Oster hasn’t been able to compete in the high-end blender market that Vitamix and BlendTec have long dominated, until now. We’re impressed with their Oster Versa line – with an all-metal drive, dual directional blade, 1,400-watt motor that runs at 28,000 RPMs.

71w82N7wKDL._SL1500_

Not everyone can afford a Vitamix or BlendTec – the Oster Versa 1100 is priced right at less than $200. Plus, it also includes a food processor component AND a to-go smoothie cup that can be used on the Versa.

How does it blend?

Side by side with my Vitamix, I blended a morning frozen fruit smoothie with a handful of spinach. The Versa performed fabulously, the frozen berries and fresh spinach smoothie was smooth, creamy, no un-blended bits. I did have to use the “Reverse Blend” button twice to get all of the spinach, but the job was done well.

I like having the Reverse button, it saves me opening up the lid, using a small spatula to get pieces unstuck. On the Vitamix, I don’t have a reverse button, but it is rare that I need to open up the Vitamix lid, unless I’m making something like almond butter.

71CK8NeQwmL._SL1500_How does it process?

The food processor attachment did an okay job. The container is smaller than I’m used it, but for small jobs it’s fine. Personally, I probably would just use my trusty Cuisinart food processor. But for a starter kitchen, the Oster Versa is actually a really good deal – high performance blending with food processing capability.

71K3hR-e15L._SL1500_Smoothies to go

The smaller 20-ounce to-go cups are very convenient, but they didn’t perform as well with hard vegetables, like carrots and fresh leafy greens. Because the jar is so skinny and tall, the ingredients just couldn’t get to the blade very well. But for soft fruits, frozen small berries, it worked well enough. Tip – as you fill the cup with your ingredients, place the hard to blend stuff in last, so that it will be closest to the blades.  Have plenty of liquid in the cup to make the ingredients move better.

Lots of parts to keep track of

The great thing about all-in-one machines is multi functionality at one price. The bad thing? Don’t ever lose your manual and keep track of all your parts. The Oster Versa 1100 has a lot of parts, and you have to remember what goes where, or keep your manual handy.

Conclusion

It’s a powerful blender. I like the all-metal drive, and 7 year warranty. The price is right for a powerhouse blender that can also multi-task. It’s great for starter kitchens – if you don’t have a reliable food processor, or can’t afford a Vitamix or BlendTec, put this Oster Versa 1100 on your wish list.

 

 

Oster Versa 1100 Giveaway

Enter to win one Oster Versa 1100.

 

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Summer Essentials Giveaway http://steamykitchen.com/40663-summer-essentials-giveaway.html http://steamykitchen.com/40663-summer-essentials-giveaway.html#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 15:31:33 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=40663 The ultimate seasoning for BBQ’s and year-round cooking.

Buy Colmans Original English Mustard

 

 

This citrus press will make squeezing lemons and limes (essential for marinades, margaritas and lemonade) a breeze!
Buy Imusa Lemon Squeezer

 

Not all summer cooking is done outdoors or on a grill – sometimes it rains! T-Fal has a variety of awesome cookware sets to choose from!

Buy a . . .

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summer-essentials--3

T-Fal Ceramic Non Stick Pan

summer-essentials--2Even though summertime is known for grilling, cooking on a pan is just as essential!

T-Fal’s ceramic nonstick cookware is stain and scratch resistent. More importantly, it features PTFE and PFOA free surface for safe cooking.

We love searing chicken and pork chops in our T-Fal Ceramic Pan – it’s great for high heat cooking, safe up to 700F!

It’s affordable – a 2-piece set for less than $30!

summer-essentials-Gaea Organic Greek Olive Oil

With all of the frauds on the market, its safe to say that Gaea is the real deal! Gaea’s olives are naturally grown in the fertile earth of Greece, sun-ripened and are harvested at the perfect time when they will deliver the right balance of flavor, nutrients and oil at the crush which is within hours of being picked.

They are never left to sit overnight.  Gaea’s oils are never blended or mixed with lower quality oils. They contain 100% Greek verified and traceable Extra Virgin grade Olive Oil.

Gaea is also certified organic by “DIO” according to EU as well as the USDA NOP standards.

We’ve been using the Gaea Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil in our homemade salad dressing: In a mason jar: 1 tsp Colman’s Prepared Mustard, juice of 1 lemon, salt/pepper, 1/4 cup olive oil, minced herb of your choice.

colman

Colman’s Prepared Mustard

 

 

I was so happy to find this Colman’s Prepared Mustard in a convenient squeeze bottle! This is a new bottle design, it’s so cute!

We’ve used this mustard in easy homemade salad dressings (recipe above), on our burgers and as a marinade.

Colman’s is known all over the world as the Englishman’s mustard, with a history of nearly 200 years! Did you know that 45 jars of Colman’s is sold every minute?

imusaIMUSA Red Citrus Squeezer

The IMUSA Red Citrus Squeezer from the GlobalKitchen Caribbean line is a handy tool that makes extracting citrus juice a breeze. Start with a cut citrus half, then simply press down to squeeze and extract juice.  A little bit of pressure goes a long way. Try fresh lemonade or lime juice to mix into your margaritas and civiche!  This colorful and stylish hand-held press has an ergonomic design for comfort, and a bright red exterior finish to add a pop of color to your kitchen.  The squeezer juices lemon or limes quickly, without the seeds or mess.

It’s super affordable, less than $8 at Target!

Thanks for your support!

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Place your content in here.

 

Enter the Summer Essentials Package Giveaway

Giving away T-Fal Ceramic Pan, Colman’s Mustard, IMUSA Citrus Press, Gaea Olive Oil.

 

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Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Giveaway http://steamykitchen.com/40858-adobe-creative-cloud-photography-giveaway.html http://steamykitchen.com/40858-adobe-creative-cloud-photography-giveaway.html#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2015 18:52:51 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=40858 Adobe provided the giveaway of 1-year Creative Cloud Photography.

 
Outside of our kitchen and camera, the number one business tool that we use is Adobe Creative Cloud Photography. Lightroom and Photoshop are always open, and I seamlessly transition between the two programs to manage digital assets (Lightroom) and edit or create graphic images (Photoshop).
I've been a . . .

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adobe creative cloud

Adobe provided the giveaway of 1-year Creative Cloud Photography.

 

Outside of our kitchen and camera, the number one business tool that we use is Adobe Creative Cloud Photography. Lightroom and Photoshop are always open, and I seamlessly transition between the two programs to manage digital assets (Lightroom) and edit or create graphic images (Photoshop).

I’ve been a long time user of Adobe products, I think since their early 90’s! Prior to the monthly subscription of Creative Cloud, users had to purchase the software full price, and then purchase upgrades to stay current. It was always too expensive for me to buy on my own, so every job I went to, I would convince my managers that Adobe products were needed to do my job in marketing.

These days, using Adobe is so much more affordable! A monthly subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud gets you access to their programs AND all the software updates.

We use the Creative Cloud Photography plan at $9.99 per month. It not only is essential to our business, but also for our personal photography and video, too. Being able to catalog, organize and do basic photography editing in Lightroom has given structure to the tens of thousands of photos we take each year – between the iPhone, iPad, computer and dSLR camera.

 adobe-2

All the video shot from the iPhone also gets organized and tagged. So, if I ever wanted to find Andrew playing tuba in 6th grade video, all I would have to do is search “tuba” — and up pops all of the digital assets.

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I use Photoshop for adding text to photos, detailed editing of photos or designing a cool collage for Pinterest!

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Creative Cloud Photography includes not only Lightroom and Photoshop for the desktop, but also Photoshop Mix and Lightroom for your iPad or iPhone. I haven’t tried using Adobe on my mobile devices yet, but we’ll have fun exploring the possibilities.

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Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Giveaway

Giving away 1 year of Adobe Creative Cloud Photography!

 

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Bella Popcorn Maker Review and Giveaway http://steamykitchen.com/40847-bella-popcorn-maker-review-and-giveaway.html http://steamykitchen.com/40847-bella-popcorn-maker-review-and-giveaway.html#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 19:45:13 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=40847 Bella Housewares provided the product for giveaway.

The Bella Stir Stick Popcorn Maker gave us a break from the nasty chemicals found in our microwaveable popcorn! We never looked at the label before, thinking, "popcorn can't be that bad!"

Here's what we found on the label of our Pop Secret Microwaveable Popcorn: Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Natural & . . .

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bella-popcorn-maker

bella popcorn Bella Housewares provided the product for giveaway.

The Bella Stir Stick Popcorn Maker gave us a break from the nasty chemicals found in our microwaveable popcorn! We never looked at the label before, thinking, “popcorn can’t be that bad!”

Here’s what we found on the label of our Pop Secret Microwaveable Popcorn: Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Natural & Artificial Flavor, Color Added, Propyl Gallate.

Propyl Gallate is a man-made substance used to prevent oil from going bad. If you do a little research, you’ll never buy products with Propyl Gallate ever again!

The alternative? Pop your own corn.

We tried out the Bella Stir Stick Popcorn Maker for family movie night (X-Men FTW!) Our local farmstand carries the Amish Country Popcorn, and we bought the Baby White Popcorn kernals. One batch, we seasoned with regular salt for the kids. And the other was for me, seasoned with Japanese Furikake!

Furikake is a Japanese seasoning that you normally sprinkle on top of rice. Each blend is different, but it contains things like bonito fish flakes, seaweed, sesame seeds, dried salmon flakes and powdered miso. I love it on french fries and popcorn.

Otonano_Furikake01

Furikake – image from Wikipedia

The Bella Stir Stick Popcorn Maker performed well, I like that the top dome doubles as a serving bowl. The motorized stirring rods ensures even popping of the kernals. We used very little oil, and it was pretty fun for the kids to watch the popcorn come to life. We also place a little container of butter on top of the dome to melt.

Pros: Simple to use, all natural ingredients, no chemicals. 6 quart capacity (huge!)

Cons: It’s a giant appliance! Hard to find room to store. After popping, you need to carefully grasp each side of the popcorn maker and flip it. It was hot! Oven mitts required, Bulky oven mitts made it difficult to grasp the little handles.

Bella Stir Stick Popcorn Maker Giveaway

 

 

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Made in USA Baking Sheet http://steamykitchen.com/40838-made-in-usa-baking-sheet.html http://steamykitchen.com/40838-made-in-usa-baking-sheet.html#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 19:05:38 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=40838 Jacob Bromwell products have been our favorite products to review and write about - not only do they function as advertised, but the products are all a true pleasure to work with and handle.

The company's rich history began nearly 200 years ago, with products like the Tin Cup that was used during the Civil War. In . . .

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Jacob Bromwell products have been our favorite products to review and write about – not only do they function as advertised, but the products are all a true pleasure to work with and handle.

The company’s rich history began nearly 200 years ago, with products like the Tin Cup that was used during the Civil War. In fact, Jacob Bromwell is one of America’s oldest brands in kitchenwares! These days, the company still makes non-electric, timeless wares with a focus on craftsmanship and durability. All products are made in the USA.

We’ve been testing out the Jacob Bromwell Flour Sifter and Baking Sheet.

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Did you know that Jacob Bromwell held the world’s first patent for the flour sifter?

The sifter still is made with the original style, with a 4-wire stainless steel agitator that sifts 5 cups of flour at a time.

Sifting flour the old fashioned way is not only fun (the kids love doing this), but it’s also a connection to the past. This is how generations of bakers lovingly sifted their flours too.

The boys had so much fun sifting the flour that they ended up sifting the entire bag of flour, just for the heck of it.

As with all of the Jacob Bromwell products, this flour sifter is guaranteed for life. I love that the flour sifter is customizable for lefties as well!

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About Jacob Bromwell Flour Sifter

  • A Jacob Bromwell® product is an investment for life. Only Bromwell manufactures these quality old-fashioned flour sifters! Many other flour sifters imitate the original Bromwell design. None are made as well, and none have the history to back them up. See how it’s made here at ourFactory Tour!
  • Our most famous and instantly recognizable product. Undoubtedly, the All-American Flour Sifter is our most famous and instantly recognizable product, which can be found in millions of American households.
  • Available in both ‘original tin’ and ‘stainless steel’. As a company that prides itself on the authenticity of its products, this Heritage Collection product is available in ‘original tin’, which is the same material that our company used nearly two centuries ago. For those who prefer a more premium material, we are now offering this product in ‘stainless steel’ as well for an additional cost. As a premium material, stainless steel has a shinier finish than tin, is a bit heavier, and is rust-resistant.
  • It’s still made the good old fashioned way. The handle is attached to the sifter using old-fashioned metalworking techniques, just like the sifters made by our company nearly 200 years ago.
  • Our secret is the uniquely-designed 4-wire agitator. Each wire smoothly sweeps the screen below it, creating the smoothest flour possible for a consistent measure every time.
  • It’s easy to use. Just pour in your desired amount of wheat, acorn, almond, chestnut, maize or rough whole grain flour, turn the handle and fill your mixing bowl. You can also fill the sifter with powdered sugar for a dust on top of a cake, pie, or whatever else you’re cooking.
  • It holds 5 cups of flour. It features a stainless steel body, stainless steel mesh screen, and our uniquely-designed 4-wire stainless steel agitator.
  • Left-handed? Not a problem! Our flour sifters come in a specially designed option for lefties.
  • It’s guaranteed not to rust. Built out of quality stainless steel and guaranteed not to rust.
  • Product care: Hand wash only. Do not place in dishwasher.
  • Dimensions and weight: 7.5 x 7 x 6.25 (inches), 0.75 (pounds).
  • Minor cosmetic imperfections may occur. Small imperfections are a natural part of the handmade process and lend charm, depth, and individuality to each piece.
  • This product is guaranteed for life. Your purchase is backed by our 100% Lifetime Guarantee, so you can buy with confidence.
  • It’s proudly made in America. Still Made in the USA, even after all these years. Buy American and save jobs.

***

cookie_sheetI’m a not-so proud owner of over a dozen baking sheets. Each one of these is warped and stained from use. They’re so unstable even my kids said to me, “Mom, this is too wobbly to use.”

No more wobbly, cheap, thin baking sheets for us! We’re using the Jacob Bromwell Heritage Cookie Sheet, made of heavy-gauge aluminum that won’t rust, and are crafted for a lifetime’s use.

 

At $39.99 per baking sheet, it’s an investment, but one that you’ll only have to make once in your lifetime.

Cookies bake evenly, no turning necessary for our test of 3 batches of Chocolate Chip Cookies!

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About Jacob Bromwell Heritage Cookie Sheet

  • Built for lifetime durability. Made of heavy-gauge natural aluminum, which will never rust, for lifetime durability.
  • Aluminum bakes best. Aluminum is 100% food safe and FDA approved, and experienced bakers agree that aluminum bakes best!
  • It provides superior heat conductivity. Provides superior heat conductivity so your cookies bake and rise evenly without hot spots, and the encapsulated steel rims prevent warping.
  • It’s elegant, and it’s casual. Elegant enough for your finest dinner party or family gathering.
  • Product care: Hand wash only. Do not place in dishwasher.
  • Dimensions and weight: 17.5 x 13.5 x .5 (inches), 1.60 (pounds).
  • Minor cosmetic imperfections may occur. Small imperfections are a natural part of the handmade process and lend charm, depth, and individuality to each piece.
  • This product is guaranteed for life. Your purchase is backed by our 100% Lifetime Guarantee, so you can buy with confidence.
  • It’s proudly made in America. Still Made in the USA, even after all these years. Buy American and save jobs.

Jacob Bromwell Giveaway

Giving away one Heritage Flour Sifter and one Heritage Cookie Sheet.

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Philips AirFryer Review & Giveaway http://steamykitchen.com/40822-philips-airfryer-review-giveaway.html http://steamykitchen.com/40822-philips-airfryer-review-giveaway.html#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 13:02:15 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=40822 Philips provided unit for giveaway
Philips AirFryer Review
We have a deep fryer that's been sitting unused for three years. It used to get lots of action, homemade french fries, homemade potato chips, crispy egg rolls. But these days, the only thing I deep fry is the egg rolls - and it's easier for me to deep . . .

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Philips provided unit for giveaway

Philips AirFryer Review

We have a deep fryer that’s been sitting unused for three years. It used to get lots of action, homemade french fries, homemade potato chips, crispy egg rolls. But these days, the only thing I deep fry is the egg rolls – and it’s easier for me to deep fry those in a wok than it is in the machine.

For the past 5 years, we’ve used the T-Fal ActiFry, which uses hot air, rotating paddle and minimal oil (1 tablespoon for 2 pounds of potatoes) to cook healthier fries, chips, wings and even Brussels sprouts!

phillips-airfryer-review-2Philips sent an AirFryer, which is similar in concept, for us to review. How does it stack up against the ActiFry?

The AirFyer is beautifully designed, sits upright and shaped like a coffeemaker with a pot belly. I like it’s smaller counter footprint, making it easier to store in the pantry and taking up less space on the counter. Plus, it’s not bad looking if you keep it on the counter – nice and sleek design.

While the ActiFry has a moving paddle to stir and move the food around, the AirFryer does not. If you have more than one layer of food (like fries) in the AirFryer basket, you need to open and pull out the basket, give it a good shake or stir several times during cooking.

However – because the Actifry’s paddle continuously rotates (there’s no way to stop the rotation), it’s only good for food that can withstand constant motion (like fries, shrimp, wings). Not good for a whole chicken, frittata or rack of lamb. This is where the AirFryer shines. Roasting a whole chicken is easy – just plop the bird into the basket and set the timer.

One thing that is difficult for BOTH machines – adapting recipes or package instructions (if you use frozen foods) to cook in these appliances. It’s trial and error – food cooks much faster in circulating hot air than in the oven.

My Mom also took the AirFryer for a spin. She purchased some small fish fillet, brushed the fish with just a tiny bit of cooking oil. Normally, she would pan fry the fish, in batches on the stove.

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The AirFryer performed beautifully. Crispy skin. Minimal mess (basket goes in the dishwasher) and no greasy splatter on her stovetop. So much healthier than deep frying or pan frying!

The controls on the AirFryer are easy to use – just the basic settings for temperature and time. My ActiFry was a pain in the butt to adjust – only one temperature setting and one button for timer (no up/down, so you had to scroll through the numbers if you missed your target).

The AirFryer can bake as well, though we haven’t tried this yet. Philips has three recipe booklets that feature American favorites, Asian specialities and Indian recipes.

While the promotional video from Philips shows cooking steak and shrimp in the AirFyer, I find that steak is easier to cook and tastes better on my cast iron pan (or BBQ grill) — and the shrimp is easier to control/prevent overcooking in on my stove. Unlike the ActiFry, the AirFyer lacks a transparent window to monitor your food.

I suggest using the AirFryer for food items like whole chicken (cooking time based on weight of chicken), traditional fried stuff (nuggets, fries) or baked items (turnovers, Char Siu Roast Pork — see below). Our next test will be Mom’s Crispy Spring Rolls.

Coincidentally, I was at the HSN offices two weeks ago, and sat down for an hour with one of the executives in charge of product and talent. We talked about both units (they have sold both on their show) and I raved about the AirFyer.

ActiFry or AirFyer? AirFyer wins for more evenly cooked food, larger variety of recipes that you can make, smaller counter footprint and ease of use. ~Jaden

char-siu-recipe-phillips-airfryerPhilips AirFryer BBQ Pork Char Siu Recipe

1.25 pounds pork butt, cut into 2″ strips
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon cooking oil

Char Siu Marinade/Sauce
2 tablespoon maltose (or corn syrup)
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
3 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon Chinese rice wine
2-4 drops red food coloring (optional)
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
4 teaspoon sesame oil

1. In a small saucepan, add all of the marinade ingredients and whisk on medium-low heat until sugars has dissolved. Let cool completely. Reserve half of the marinade for cooking.

2. In a gallon-sized resealable bag, marinate the pork with the other half of the cooled marinade, along with the garlic for at least 8 hours in the refrigerator.

3. Preheat the AirFryer to 390F for about 5 minutes. Drain the char siu and discard the marinade. Pat dry and brush on the cooking oil. Place the pork in the AirFryer basket. Set timer for 10 minutes. Roast the char siu until golden reddish brown. During cooking, brush the reserved, unused marinade/sauce onto the char siu.

4. Lower the temperature to 320F and roast the char siu until perfectly charred.

Buy the Philips AirFryer
(Thank you for your support!)

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Phillips AirFryer Giveaway

Giving away one Phillips AirFryer HD9220.

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