Sunsella 100% Stainless Steel Collapsible Steamer Basket

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There are things you take for granted you have in your kitchen and then when it fails you, are at a loss where to go to get a quality replacement. A rolling pin. A dough scraper. Cookie sheets. You know the brands, and the big box stores that sell them, but which one is good? Which one will last you? Which one won’t fail? Well, when my collapsible steamer went kaput, I’d had it for so long I didn’t know where to start. And like a knight in stainless steel shining armor, in rode Sunsella’s Stainless Steel Collapsible Vegetable Steamer. And let me tell you, it does so much more than steam vegetables.

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See, these steamers are a staple in almost every kitchen, regardless of the background of the cook. It’s been used in this house to steam homemade tamales, to steam Asian-style pork buns and potstickers, to of course to steam veggies. It has a smooth action to open and close, a handy ring on the center post for easy grabbing, and little feet that are long enough to be able to put a good amount of water in your pot to keep the steam flowing. Have something big to steam? Just unscrew the center post and voilà, you’ve got all that real estate in your pot to fill. It takes up virtually no space in the cabinet but is absolutely indispensable in any kitchen. And the 100% stainless steel means it cleans like a dream and will last you for years and years. And while it says it’s dishwasher safe, I recommend cleaning by hand and air drying, as the harsh detergents in the dishwasher might cause it to tarnish and rust over time. I want my tools to last, and while my last steamer was over 2 decades old, I wanted him to last longer. And this Sunsella 100% Stainless Steel Vegetable Steamer might be there when I’m ready for Social Security. 

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The one drawback I find myself hitting over and over and over lately is price. At $13.99 (at the time of this writing), this steamer is, in some cases, almost 50% more than others on Amazon with the same features and materials. I had to go to Williams Sonoma to find one with a comparable price, and we all know how “out there” Williams Sonoma is with prices. Most were around $8 or $9. I just don’t know how to justify the markup here, and I feel it’s an awesome product. I don’t know, but I know I wouldn’t pay that kind of markup for a product. I liked it, I just don’t know if I liked it 50% more than the rest.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Sunsella.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

 

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Feel Good Foods: Gluten Free Pork Dumplings #Review #FeelGoodFoods

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At my house, we no longer eat out or order in when it comes to Asian cuisine. We were never happy in the end with the amount of protein the dishes delivered, the amount of sodium and the feeling after we ate such meals. Vegetables were usually overcooked from sitting under a heat lamp and I noticed my Husband was always picking out what he liked and disliked, to the point he always had a mountain of mushy vegetables along the side of his plate from things that did not pass the cut (to be eaten). So, I started cooking it myself. I do though appreciate help and even though I am picky about what I purchase from the freezer aisle, I can say that Feel Good Foods was a welcoming sight and taste.

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I was sent several coupons and visited my local Sprout’s Farmers Market. I went with an idea from what Feel Good Foods carried by visiting their website, but it was amazing in the amount of dishes, meals and sides they make. The company has a plethora of items that I had a list longer than the amount of coupons I had. I get to the store and I tell myself just get one item. Try them out and see what happens.

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I pick the Pork dumplings and even though no one thankfully suffers from celiac disease, there are times I just want a gluten free meal like other times I pick no meat to no corn days. Our bodies (well at least mine) needs a break when it comes to what I eat. I don’t want corn in any form in my system on a daily basis and there are days I want a gluten free meal. It changes what I put in my body and it’s welcoming to my taste buds. Labor Day was approaching and we always barbecued outside but this year I wanted something low key and different, so I opted to make it an Asian night. I made everything from Orange chicken, Korean-style BBQ ribs, Shrimp Japanese-style fried rice, Vegetable Lo-Mein to Ponzu Lime Fish. I always love the dumplings and sides but I honestly don’t always have the time to make them homemade but that should be no reason on why I should skip on flavor or real ingredients. Feel Good Foods uses simple ingredients and made from real stuff. No funny fillers and ingredients that come from a lab.

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Cooking- I have 4 burners going at the same time on a 5-burner stove. One was a grill for the short ribs, so that meant my 5th burner was not accessible. I never like to try products from the get-go in the microwave, so I went with the method I came up for times like this, when I have more pots going than burners available. I take the dumplings out and they are a nice size and a decent weight. That surprised me because I am use to the type that really are more wrap than filling. Feel Good Foods does not play that game and they are beautifully sealed too. I placed them on parchment paper and while I prepped the other food, they defrosted for 10 minutes. I use a baster brush and give the dumplings a thin coating of oil (a mix of peanut and toasted sesame oil). I literally use my hand and gather a few droplets of water from the sink’s faucet and let them drop onto the pan, cover with foil and cooked them at 400 degrees. I cooked them for 15 minutes, with the last 5 to 7 minutes uncovered. I get the best of both worlds, the softness and moistness on the inside from a steamed dumpling and the crisp on the outside from a pan fried one. You don’t even have to over brown them because they will be crisp without looking brown. Easy and problem free cooking, for those days I have more going on than usual.

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Verdict-
I serve our meals and noticed I went crazy with the sides but I tell myself this is what we would get at a buffet, share, and always end up eating a little bit of everything. I even made a Jasmine vegetable rice to add to the mix at the last minute, just in case no one felt like hijiki seaweed and wanted a less crispy rice texture. I serve the dumplings and the sauce and everything smells great. We dig in and of course I always tell my Husband to go easy with the Sriracha but noticed I’m too late because not only has his Lo-Mein noodles picked up a red hue, but he has a spoonful on top of the Sriracha garlic paste (too late!). We all continue eating and he asks me about the new sauce. This is the sauce that came with the dumplings. It’s good and not salty, simple but better than plain soy sauce. It’s a welcoming flavor that takes nothing away from the dumplings. Now, the Pork dumplings are plain awesome! Full of pork and the wrap is thin, so you taste the filling and not just the dough. You first taste ginger and this is the real stuff…..none of that powder and they are the best frozen I have bought. I love(d) the Trader Joe’s ones but I have to honest, I would buy the pork and the chicken bags and could never tell, which was which. The flavors just blended and sometimes the wrap was so thick, that the crimped top of the dumpling would not cook right. The Feel Good Foods dumplings were filling and I ate just 2 of them and was very satisfied. I actually wish I served myself 1 more! I cooked the dumplings along side of the Pork Shu Mai dumplings and the Feel Good Foods dumplings had more meat and the filling was not mush. You could see the strands of what made the filling and even though they come frozen, that did not effect the texture of the dumpling. Easy to make and they taste wonderful and I have purchased pretty much every dumpling out there from the Costco Roadshows (featured) brands to the common ones found at the local market. Nothing comes close to Feel Good Foods and the nice part, we just felt satisfied with our meal and no bad after effects from things like MSG or too much sodium. The way meals should be!

I can’t wait to go shopping next week and I will be picking up a new item from Feel Good Foods every 3 weeks and sharing my experience. The company was generous with their coupons, plus they have so much to offer!  You just have to check-out all they have because it’s overwhelming but in a good way 🙂 This is a company that cares about using non-GMO ingredients and where they source their foods from, plus they believe in all natural products and best of all, they see no reason why frozen should not look and taste good.  I never knew gluten-free could taste this good!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Feel Good Foods.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

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