HouseParty: Kikkoman Grilling House Party #Review #KikkomanParty #Sponsored

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We have been a Kikkoman family for several generations now. No other soy sauce has ever come through the door and my father always treated the brand like the one and only when it came to his soy sauce selections. From original to low sodium versions (red top or green top), the soy sauce sat by on the table with the everyday condiments. Kikkoman over the years has expanded their brand and products greatly. I recently found a Kung Pao recipe and needed Chinese Rice Wine……Kikkoman again was there for me.

Hosting a party for brand you are already familiar with, enjoy and trust is super simple. I already know where to hunt for what items and my only con is that all stores carry a Kikkoman product but not all carry a decent selection of the items they make. I even resorted to Amazon when I could not find what I wanted and knew Kikkoman made it. Heck, I have the bottle with 1/4 left of Ponzu sauce and I knew there was a lime version because I had the bottle in the fridge. Then I found out they also make a chili version, so the hunt begins again.

My Kikkoman Houseparty kit was phenomenal:

  • 11 Kikkoman Shirts with the Kikkoman logo
  • 11 Free Item Coupons
  • 11 Kikkoman Ready, Set, Grill! Booklets
  • 11 Washoku (Issue #13) Culinary Insiders Booklets
  • Receipe cards
  • 1 Set of Kikkoman branded Tongs
  • 1 Kikkoman branded Shopping Bag
  • An AMEX gift card to help with costs associated (i.e. supplies) with the Party

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I was super excited when I saw the shirts! Yeah, I have this thing about brand logo shirts and sort of unintentionally collect them. Due to Kikkoman being so generous with the party pack and including a gift card, this means I can make this party rock. I even bought shrimps to make a shrimp lo-mein. I went with the easy route of making beef short ribs and chicken sesame thighs. When choosing your short ribs, just make sure they have a decent thickness, as you will be grilling them and you also want your guests to get a good amount of meat from each rib. I was able to find beautiful ones at Sprout’s Farmers Market, which also carries the Teriyaki Takumi line of Kikkoman products. Chicken thighs remain juicy and because again we are grilling, I opted for skin on and they are usually priced economically. The shrimps were on sale the week of my party and because I was making the lo-mein that same day, I went with a mini cooking class on how to make the most from everything and even used celery leaves versus stalks for my entree.

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We started the night before by marinating the chicken thighs.  I simply mixed the sauces from Ponzu Lime to Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce and Soy Sauce.  I also added a few dashes of a Schezwan spice mix and big dollop of sriracha paste.  You simply mix the ingredients to taste and then add the meat of your choice.  Allow the meat to marinate over night and this means no prepping the following night.  You simple just grill the thighs until fully cooked and sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds while they rest.  The sugars from the sauces allow the seeds to stay in place.

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Then came the Lo-mein.  I first cleaned the shrimps and then made a quick marinade.  I made a medley of vegetables from green and red bell peppers, onions, some chopped fresh ginger and garlic.  The marinade was a dollop of Teriyaki Takumi, Garlic & Green Onion, some fresh onion, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes.  I found some Schezwan whole peppercorns and was able to add a small dash to the mix too.  You start by heating up your wok and cooking the fragrant (harder) vegetables.  I like a crunch still left, so I do not allow them to fully soften.  I then add the shrimps and celery leaves, then the lo-mein noodles.  Quickly toss and done!

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The beef short ribs were a cinch to make to.  The night before I marinated them in the Roasted Garlic Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce and that was all.  Next day, simple grill and you want you can glaze them with the sauce again but we opted not to, as the Kikkoman flavor was perfect with just the marinade.

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You have simply meals full of flavor and that equals enjoyment!  Thank you Kikkoman and HouseParty for another super event.  Don’t forget to pick-up some pot stickers!

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Get your Kikkoman Party on started at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from . I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Tryazon: Orange Crate Food Company Dips and Bakers Review #OrangeCrateFoodCo

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With time constraints and wanting to enjoy the weather, holidays, Summer time is as hectic for me as the month of December. I feel like I’m being pulled in all directions and meal times sneak up on me, along with dinners that include guests. I don’t want to miss out on the events and I don’t want to resort to catering or serving less than spectacular meals. So, when Orange Crate found me via Tryazon, I was more than happy to get some help!

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I welcome new ideas, short cuts but the most important factor is that things need to work for me. I don’t want to miss out on flavor because I use a “boxed item”. Yes, things out of boxes are easy because they are pre-measured and you just add a few ingredients and are told it will be as good as made from scratch or even better, however boxes have failed me. I end up with what I call salt lick boxes because that is the first and most prominent ingredient. What ends up claiming to save me….well dooms me.

When I received the parcel from Orange Crate Food Company, I noticed that I could smell the mixes before opening the box. Yes, Orange Crate teased my UPS man! It also smelled delicious and tempting, so they so far satisfied the “sniff test”.

Next came the unveiling and this is what Orange Crate sent:

I noticed on the dips that there was flexibility when it came to the creations. Orange Crate’s dip boxes encouraged you to think outside the box! They allow the consumer to make hot to cold dips and even use the seasonings in dishes. It’s a way to infuse dishes with flavor to trying new ingredients, so it goes beyond the sour cream tub and cream cheese brick. So far Orange Crate Food Company has separated themselves from the other dip companies, plus the ingredients are as listed. You must understand that when you see a cheese dip and you flip the box and the only cheese listed is the cheese they ask you to add……well, that upsets me! Then it’s not a cheese dip in my book but thankfully that is a memo that Orange Crate Food Company did not miss. Okay, you now got my respect Orange Crate Food Co.! 🙂

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Taste matters and for 4th of July everyone always does barbecue and it’s delicious but I wanted something new. Yes, we had the rib rack but this year I wanted a twist from the ordinary and Orange Crate had just what I was looking for, the Chipotle mix. This year I was doing a dry rub on the ribs so no sauce and just flavor to add to the change factor. I crossed my finger and when I took the ribs out of the overnight brine, I started rubbing in the Chipotle mix. I admit, I had that moment where my brain said, “what did you do”! But too late and it smelled delicious. Chipotle being just smoked jalapenos really is a match made in heaven when it comes to pork, but I’m not use to just depending on a rub from a packet. This is the girl that buys the whole peppers and makes her own seasonings, so this little packet have better make it worth it and especially since we were smoking the ribs for 3 to 4 hours. I allowed the rub to stay on for a couple hours while we prepped everything for the smoker and in they went! Okay, I’m now crossing my toes!

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I pretend everything will be fine because the minute the ribs hit the grill, within 20 minutes I know they will be divine by just how the smoke that lets out is smelling. Okay, that is +2 for the sniff test by Orange Crate Food Company. I start making the rest of the meal from baked beans, freshly baked corn bread and the baked potatoes. Four hours later and this baby back ribs look delicious with a gorgeous bark (crust) and a smoke ring that is to die for! We allow the ribs to rest and 15 minutes later I sneak a taste-test because that corner rib that has been peeking out from the foil is calling my name…….yes, food does that! It also helps to convince yourself that you are pre-tasting the ribs for a good cause, like before giving food to your guests in case it is not good.   I bite in and you taste the pepper but the overall flavor made me think why did I not do this before. These ribs are smoky, tasty, and the Chipotle just increases those flavor notes but also adds that spice that remains mild but that reminds you why jalapenos are so used in cooking. Easy ribs that took longer to cook than to prep!

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The Orange Crate Food company also has beautiful bakers and cold dip servers. The cold dip ones you just add ice and the dip holder conveniently fits over the column, which keeps the food cold and at a safe temperature. The brie bakers can be used to bake anything and not just when it comes to different cheese varieties.  I found that they are larger in size than all the other cheese bakers I own.  This is welcoming because no worries when the cheese begins to bubble in the oven and you can dip without caution that you will cause a cheese avalanche on the other side. Not nice when that happens because your bread/chip ends up with bare naked with nothing on it, and you just made a mess!

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Orange Crate Food Company not only satisfies your taste buds via their dips but also can use their products on other foods. They have a Lemon Dill that just screams for fish or even a chicken breast stuffed with spinach. The dips are easy to make and also adjust to your needs. I bought a lower fat sour cream and added less mayonnaise because I’m not overly wild about the latter condiment and the dip remains a hit. If the dip says cheese, it comes with cheese and you then add your own. The dip packets are also twice the size than other dip packets I have purchased and it’s not just salt! I have to fix other dip brand’s mixes because they all start tasting the same of just a mix of salt and pepper. Orange Crate Food Company is not like the others and you can with confidence just depend on what is included and not feel like something is missing. So, the next time you want to try a new dip company that goes beyond the dip and chip, I encourage you try the Orange Crate Food Company because you don’t know what you are missing!

Connect with the Orange Crate Food Company at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Tryazon and the Orange Crate Food Company.  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.

 

Style Asia Chef’s Basic 18-piece BBQ Grill Tool Kit

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I’ve had more than a few BBQ kits in my time, and they run the gamut form “Most Excellent” to “Right in the Trash”. And cost does not always equate to quality. So when the chance to try out an review a new Style Asia set popped up to review, I jumped in with both feet. Because you could always use a few good tools on the grill.

I would have to say, sadly, that I found this kit lacking. While it is attractive to look at and seems like it comes with an impressive amount of tools in the kit, it’s just not up to snuff with quality. To start, the tongs came loose in the box, and just beat the stuffing out of everything else in the kit. The glue that holds the velcro holder into the case ripped loose from several tools when I when to check them, effectively rendering the case useless. The grill brush had some schmutz on the handle, and it was rusting. That last bit bears repeating: The stainless steel handle was rusting. For those unaware, stainless steel is supposed to resist rust. If it’s rusting already in the dry case, with a moisture absorbing pouch to boot, I shudder to think what would happen exposed to the elements in the least. And, sadly, the steak knives were bent and a corn holder cracked, most likely due to the tongs going all bonkers, loose in the case.

Aside from the QC issues, all the tools seem sturdy, serviceable, and up to the task of grilling. I like that everything one would need for a 4-person BBQ night is right in the case and within easy reach. Even the basting brush has a removable, machine-washable silicone head (an upgrade from the bristle brush shown in the product picture). The aluminum case locks securely closed, and even has plate suitable for engraving. The 18-piece kit hase everything one would need save for the steaks. Competitively priced at $39.10 (at the time of this writing), this could make a thoughtful gift, especially with Father’s Day right around the corner. So long as the quality control issues are ironed out, that is. Otherwise, buyer beware.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Third Voice Marketing for the purposes of review. 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.

The Gourmet Nut: Tilapia Fish Bites made with the Himalayan Pink and Hiwa Kai Hawaiian Sea Salt #Recipe #Review

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With fish prices rising and myself still craving fish, I have pretty much made every fish readily available in a manner of ways. Nothing satisfies a dual craving of seafood and fried food like the recipe below. The combination of salts brings a unique flavor to the dish as do the flours, which create a perfect thin crust that is super crunchy but remains light. You can make the dish using pretty much any fish (that is not ultra oily)or even use shrimps….po’ boys style or just bites to enjoy. You can also make “Devil Fish” bites by adding Sriracha to the buttermilk soak. Great for fish tacos too because the batter is crunchy but not heavy!

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The combination of salts is what makes the impact because the salinity in the Himalayan Pink Salt is great in the buttermilk soak but does not “pickle” the meat. The Hiwa Kai Hawaiian Salt brings those earthy notes that is almost like a truffle but so unique that is difficult to pin point. In the end, you just end up with a flavor combination that is perfect and better than anything you can buy. It’s also quick to make!

Let’s get started……

I start the night before to allow the fish soak up all the flavors and I like making meals that allow me to prep the evening before, so I get less mess but the benefit of capturing every flavor note without doing a thing.

 

  • Start with 3 Tilapia Fish Fillets and cut them into finger size pieces and I usually try to make bites in size that take one to two bites each to eat.

Buttermilk Soak:

  • 1/8 of teaspoon of each (Dried Herbs)- Thyme, Oregano, Parsley, Dill Weed, Marjoram, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Black Pepper, and the Gourmet Nut’s Himalayan Pink Salt.
  • Optional- You may add 1/8 of a teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper or more to suit your taste. I have added Sriracha in the past to create “Devil Bites” but again this is to your own discretion. You can also make 1/2 normal and 1/2 deviled to get different bites out of one dish.
  • 1/2 cup of Buttermilk

You add the dry ingredients and the fish to a bowl and mix to combine and cover everything evenly.

Then add the buttermilk and allow the fish to soak over night. I like to give it at least 4 hours but the more you give it, the more the fish absorbs and the better the flavor.

The following day, take the fish out and allow it to lower in temperature for about 20 minutes and then begin making the coating/batter.

Batter/Coating:

  • 1/4 cup of Corn Flour
  • 1/4 cup of Rice Flour
  • 1/2 cup of All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Gourmet Nut’s Hiwa Kai Hawaiian Sea Salt
  • Cracked Black Pepper to taste
  • Optional- Cayenne Pepper to taste

Combine the batter and no egg needed bath is needed as the buttermilk serves as a great “glue” to make the coating stick. You simply drop each bite and coat evenly, repeat until finished.

 

Frying:
I use Peanut Oil to produce a nice crisp outside and a clean taste when frying but you may use any oil you desire. I heat up the oil between 370 and 395 degrees because I find this heat point perfect for less spatter and spitting, even though my chicken tends to cause more than the fish does. Simply drop the bites and because this is a light batter, the fish coating will remain light in color and you will achieve a light golden tone. The fish literally stops making noise when they are done. You will see within the oil the bubbling starts to subside and it takes only a few minutes to fry in small batches. It’s quick and self telling when it’s done, so that works for me.

 

 

Serving:
You can make fish tacos or serve the fish as-is with a side of tartar sauce. I made shrimps and crab cakes that evening, plus fries because I wanted to nip my fried food craving. I also like to grind a little finishing salt of the Hiwa Kai Hawaiian Sea Salt when serving because it gives it touch of extra flavor and the color against the white meat of the fish is just gorgeous! Enjoy!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from The Gourmet Nut.  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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