Hosting the Perfect Tea Party at Home

Hosting a tea party at home is one of our favorite ways to entertain our guests. If you’re looking to gather a small group of family together for some afternoon tea, you’ll need to begin the planning a few weeks in advance to prepare some tasty finger foods and have an array of teas available for your guests to choose from on the day of the party.

The Basics

Before you start to work on the menu, make sure you have everything in order!  We provided a checklist so that you can have your bases covered:

  1. Pick a date that works for you and most of your guests.
  2. Send out an invitation so everyone knows when and where you’ll be having your party.
  3. Be sure to ask your guests if they have any allergies, so you can keep that in consideration when planning your menu.
  4. Confirm how many guests can make the event.
  5. Plan to have enough mugs, plates, cutlery, snacks and a wide selection of tea for the group.

Menu Planning

Tea parties differ from brunch or dinner parties, and generally require a lighter menu that features a selection of finger foods. Here are some of our favorite go-to recipes from around the world that can be easily made using your Zojirushi Breadmaker that you may want to consider for your upcoming event. Pro tip: make as many of these treats of these ahead of time as possible, so you can enjoy getting ready and just hosting your friends on the day-of.

  • Apple Danish: Originating in Denmark, this is one of many sweet pastries from around the world enjoyed by all. This flaky bread with sweet apple filling can be part of a relaxing breakfast, or a satisfying mid-afternoon snack.
  • An-Pan: An-pan is a Japanese sweet bun filled with red bean paste and is recognized as one of the most popular snack breads in Japan. It was first made by a former samurai during the Meiji period (around 143 years ago), when Japan was becoming more westernized. Make sure to pinch shut the bottom of the dough to prevent it from opening while baking!
  • Bacon Pain d’Epi with Coffee Spread: Pain d’Epi is a type of artisan bread in which baguette dough is baked in a shape of a wheat stalk. Our version features a slice of juicy bacon over a robust coffee spread inside.
  • Broccoli Salmon Crescent Pocket: This large, flaky crescent sandwich is filled with salmon and cheesy broccoli. It’s the perfect tasty party dish.
  • Luscious Blueberry Loaf: Our recipe for this luscious blueberry loaf uses fresh blueberries and finishes with a crumb topping for a lovely presentation. Add the blueberries when the kneading cycle completes to maintain its shape and color.

Tea Selection and Temperature

As important as it is to have a wide array of finger foods, it’s also great to have a variety of teas to offer your guests at your party. This allows them to select the taste and caffeine level they are comfortable with. Some different types of tea we love include: Matcha, Gyokuro, Oolong, Black Tea & Herbal.

Did you know that different teas are best brewed at different temperatures? If you don’t brew at the right temperature, the tea could become bitter or not be as fragrant and tasty as it should. Zojirushi water boilers have different temperature settings ideal for a variety of teas, so you can brew your tea to perfection.  Find the perfect temperatures for your favorite teas below:

Secret Weapon

The Zojirushi Micom Water Boiler & Warmer’s (CD-NAC40) capability to heat water to various perfect temperatures is one of the main reasons this machine is our secret weapon for all tea parties.

But, there are many other features that make the water boiler useful, on a daily basis. For example, its Quick Temp Mode. Zojirushi water boilers are all designed to boil the water first, before keeping it warm at the select temperature. This was designed for safety, as well as to reduce the chlorine in tap water. If using bottled or purified water, this step can be omitted by using the Quick Temp Mode, which skips the boiling process and heats to the select temperature, reducing time and energy.

Additionally, the boiler has a useful timer. The timer setting will shut off the heater for an extended period of time, and automatically turn it back on, so you’ll have hot water ready for you after 6-10 hours. This is useful to set up at night so hot water is at the ready in the morning without keeping the heater on all night, using up electricity. With features like this, every day can be a tea party with very little effort!

Learn more here:

 

Did you try any of these recipes or host your own tea party? Be sure to share your experience with us on social by tagging your photos on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram! #Zojirushi #ZoFan #ZoParty

 

 

Score Perfect Rice, Every Time

Welcome to September, Zo fans!  What better way to welcome a completely new season than with the celebration of National Rice Month Zo  and by making the perfect bowl of rice with our product of the month, the Zojirushi Pressure Induction Heating Rice Cooker & Warmer (NP-NWC10/18). We’re going to share more about what makes this appliance so special, as well as tips to help you make better tasting rice, right in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Product of the Month Highlights

The NP-NWC features three pressure levels for cooking and steaming, which promotes gelatinization. This helps to create fluffy and plump rice! The NP-NWC automatically selects from the pressure levels based on the menu you select and will automatically utilize pressure and steaming to eliminate excess moisture during the cooking process.

The NP-NWC also features advanced fuzzy logic with artificial intelligence. This advanced technology allows the rice cooker to adjust the cooking cycle to deliver the same perfect rice, no matter the season or water temperature, and even after years of use.

Through induction heating technology (or IH), the inner cooking pan itself serves as the heat source for cooking the rice. This allows high heat and fine heat adjustments to control the cooking process, delivering perfectly fluffy rice.

Top Tips to Make Better Tasting Rice

The biggest secret to making perfect rice is in the perfect measurements. Here are our top 2 tips to consider when you measure your proportions for your next meal:

  1. The rice cooker measuring cup is based on an old Japanese measuring cup (masu), and is different than your standard US measuring cup. Always use the measuring cup that came with your rice cooker, fill to overflow, then level off. Using the measuring cup will make it easy to figure out how much water to fill. White rice is milled brown rice. Milling leaves a lot of starch on the surface of the rice and if not removed before cooking, rice becomes gummy. To cook delicious rice, Zojirushi recommends washing the rice to remove excess starch. But you have to work quickly. Rice is dry, and will start absorbing water as soon as it can, and we want to prevent it from absorbing any starchy water, as much as possible.
  2. Yes, we know about the knuckle method for measuring rice. But we cook and test tons and tons of rice every year, so that our rice cookers can cook the best-tasting rice for you. It’s scientific. It’s precise. Trust us, and use the rice measuring cup in conjunction with the water measure lines. It will yield perfect result. Every. Single. Time.

Your Rice, Your Way

 

 

 

Our Zojirushi Pressure Induction Heating Rice Cooker & Warmer (NP-NWC10/18) also features a menu feature so you can select the type of rice or grain you’re making and it does the rest of the thinking for you. The NP-NWC menu options feature White, Umami, Mixed, Sushi/Sweet, Jasmine, Porridge, Congee, Brown, GABA Brown, Steel Cut Oatmeal, Rinse-free, and Quick Cooking.  We’re going to explain a few of the menu options you can select from:

  • White rice, with your choice of texture (regular, softer, or harder) utilizes 4 different pressure settings to perfect a variety of textures.
  • Brown rice, can also be activated using the GABA Brown setting, to increase the amount of GABA, one of the nutrients contained in brown rice.
  • Jasmine Rice Congee, a Chinese rice porridge.
  • Jasmine White Rice that unlocks the delicious flavor and texture of this grain.
  • Umami, Zojirushi’s exclusive setting that extends soaking and steaming for sweeter tasting rice.
  • Steel Cut Oatmeal, cooks your oats until they are delicious and soft, without burning or overflowing.

Here are some of our favorite recipes for you to give a try with your NP-NWC:

Bibimbap (Korean Rice Bowl)

Chakin-Sushi

Oatmeal Pear Surprise

It’s no secret that the NP-NWC is one of our most advanced rice cookers, which is why we chose it as our Product of the Month!  Are you interested in having one of your own?  Make sure to follow us on Instagram and stay tuned for our giveaway with this rice cooker this month!

And don’t forget to try our recipes and rice tips!  Be sure to share your experience with us on social by tagging your photos on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram! #Zojirushi #ZojirushiAmerica #ZoFan #ZoRice

Back-to-School Prepartion with a Parenting Secret Weapon for Healthy Lunches

As summer vacation rolls to an end, students are preparing to head back to learn!  With online classes slowly starting, moms and dads across the country are getting ready to prep meal so that the kids can enjoy a delicious meal and remain focused and energized throughout the day.

And while most kids may not head back to school physically, it doesn’t mean that parents can’t help them with their new school supplies and getting back into their usual school routine!  With Mom or Dad (or both) at home working while the kids are taking online classes, we definitely understand how important it is to make lunch ahead!

We believe that the ideal lunch is delicious, healthy, and different from day-to-day, so they don’t get bored of eating the same thing.  The challenge sometimes is to find meal ideas to meet this criteria, are easy to make in the morning, and will keep well until lunchtime — especially if the meal is best served hot or cold, and not room temperature.  Our stainless steel food jars have been helping parents prepare delicious, versatile, and healthy meals, keeping them perfectly hot or cold for lunchtime, because of their vacuum insulation.

What does vacuum insulation mean?  It means that air between 2 walls is removed, to create a vacuum.  When there is a vacuum, heat can’t escape through conduction, keeping hot contents hot and cold contents cold.

Did you know that our company name in Japanese is Zojirushi Mahobin?  Mahobin means “magic bottle” or “vacuum insulated bottle”!  You can learn more about this feature here.

Usually, when hot foods begin to cool it creates a suction within the container, making the lid hard to open. But fear not, all Zojirushi food jars have a built-in pressure release valve on the lid. Just remove the lid cover, and gently push down on the valve with a toothpick to relieve the pressure, and voile, the lid is much easier to open. This helps the kids enjoy their lunch without any mess or fuss.

We understand that every parent lives a busy life, so instead of always making lunch from scratch, you might just want to send them off with leftovers from last night’s dinner from time-to-time. Preheating or pre-chilling your food jar before filling it with your food or beverage will ensure the temperature won’t drop (or rise) when you put the food in, in turn, keeping it hotter or colder for longer. Vacuum insulation too good that your food or beverage is too hot to eat or drink? In that case, allow it to cool a bit before putting it in the food jar.

For all of these reasons, we’ve named these containers our product of the month. They come in an assortment of sizes and colors. You might love them so much that you end up buying extra for you and your partner!

Learn more about this magical container here:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://youtu.be/eC9FihCvCzM

Other highlights:

  • Eliminates the use of wasteful disposable containers, or the use of a microwave or refrigerator
  • Dimples on the lid make it easier to grab and open
  • Clear-coated finish reduces fingerprints and makes cleanup easy
  • Made from BPA-free plastic and stainless steel
  • Good for hot meals, soups, oatmeal, cold desserts and beverages and more

Here are some of our favorite recipes to kick-off the school year with a one-week meal plan:

  • On Monday, you can start off with hot Pollo Tortilla Soup. This hearty Mexican-inspired soup is full of flavor, yet fun, easy and filling for the kids to eat during their lunch break. Our recipe also includes a quick-hack for fresh tortilla chips that you can pack separately and they can throw into the soup for added crunch. We recommend you let it sit for 15 minutes after it’s done cooking before pouring into the containers, and that it is consumed within six hours of making.
  • For Tuesday, make your salads heartier by adding ramen noodles as a base, with fresh karashi This Chilled Out Ramen Salad is so delicious and perfect for the warmer months. Also, you can throw all the ingredients into the food jar, close the lid and shake to mix it without any additional fuss.
  • On Wednesday, let’s take the kids to Italy! Our Saucy Pasta recipe features broccoli, bacon and onions, and is part soup, part pasta, full delicious. We love making this for dinner, and heating the leftovers in the morning.
  • Another fun cold dish for Thursday’s meal: Shrimp Escabeche! Inspired from the beach-days in the summer, this dish will be such a delight for the kids at lunch. Marinate the chilled shrimp in a garlic and oregano vinaigrette overnight, and pack it with minimum effort and time.
  • For Friday we recommend a power-packed Adventurous Couscous Medley. Quick to whip up by heating some onions, carrot, mushrooms, green peas in chicken broth, and adding the couscous in at the end to round out the dish – a healthy and delicious way to end the lunch week duties.

Did you try any of these recipes or make up your own? Be sure to share with us on social by tagging your photos on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram!

From us here at Zojirushi, we hope that all of you are continuing to remain safe and healthy!

Meet the Newest Members of the Zojirushi Family and July’s Product of the Month: Hello Kitty Rice Cooker and Stainless Mug

We are so excited to announce our collaboration with Sanrio to launch our two new Hello Kitty housewares, the Hello Kitty Rice Cooker and the Hello Kitty Stainless Mug.

This partnership marks Zojirushi’s first-ever licensed collection and coincides with Sanrio’s 60th anniversary, celebrating the heritage of two iconic Japanese brands and their milestones through these fun limited-edition products.

Let’s take a closer look at the two products and their features:

The Hello Kitty Rice Cooker (NS-RPC10KT)

The Hello Kitty Rice Cooker is a gorgeous white exterior with one-of-a-kind Hello Kitty illustrations in 360 gold print. It’s a necessity for all Hello Kitty fans – so kawaii!

Along with the ability to cook up to 5.5 cups of rice, this rice cooker will feature many Zojirushi standards, such as:

Easy one-touch operation with an automatic system that keeps the rice warm once it’s done cooking,

A patented triple heater system that works intuitively to always generate the ideal temperature for the best tasting rice,

 

A detachable and washable inner lid,

Easy-to-clean nonstick coated inner pan,

A hinged lid with easy-to-open handle, as well as a lock tight lid with push button release and a removable dew collector.  The rice cooker also comes with a measuring cup, spatula, and a spatula holder as accessories, which are BPA-free

The rice cooker is adorable and also thoughtfully constructed to not only make the cooking part easy, but also the clean-up. For example, during the boiling process, starchy foam may adhere to the inner lid and become dirty. The inner lid is designed so it can be removed and washed thoroughly. Especially if you add any ingredients other than rice (such as condiments) when cooking, wash thoroughly to prevent odors. The inner pan is nonstick coated for easy cleaning, because we all know how time consuming it is to clean off sticky rice!  When cleaning or washing, we advise not putting forks, knives or other cooking utensils in the inner pan to avoid scratches. Please only use the rice spatula that came with your rice cooker to keep the pan from scratching and deteriorating.

The Hello Kitty Stainless Mug (SM-TA48KT)

While the Hello Kitty rice cooker will only be sold in white, the Hello Kitty Stainless Mug will be offered in two colors – black and white – both featuring the same unique-to-Zojirushi gold print.

If you own, used, or have encountered any of our vacuum insulated stainless products, you know how they EXCEL at keeping beverages hot or cold…we’re not exaggerating. Enjoy the temperature retention for up to 6 hours for all of your liquids!

In addition to powerful temperature retention and a lovely design, they also offer everything you love about Zojirushi’s vacuum insulated stainless products, such as 6 oz capacity made of high-quality 18/8 stainless steel , a 2-step lid release process , which prevents excess condensation, a stopper that completely disassembles for thorough cleaning , Easy-to-clean double layer nonstick coated interior , nonstick coated

interior for enhanced durability, An air vent so drinks flow smoothly ,

and a safety lock to prevent the lid from opening accidentally.

Look at that beautiful 360 gold Hello Kitty design!

Zojirushi has other products that also have floral or other designs on our products. We take care in using materials and application methods that prevent the designs from coming off, but don’t rub or scrub hard when washing. Please be gentle. This tip works to keep both the rice cooker and stainless mug’s exterior design in pristine condition.

Are you as excited as we are?

The Hello Kitty Limited Edition Collection is exclusive to the U.S. and Canada, and features a never-before-seen Hello Kitty pattern. This pattern was designed specifically for Zojirushi, and the items will only be available through select retailers in North America, beginning in early July 2020 with plans on restocking the collection in early September.

Missed out on the release?  Make sure to sign up for our Zojirushi 101 newsletter for the month of July, and take our survey for a chance to win a product from the collection!

Don’t forget to also try out these delicious Hello Kitty recipes from this month’s Zojirushi 101.  The perfect meals to make with your new Hello Kitty rice cooker!  We feature 2 delicious Japanese dish-inspired meals with the iconic mascot, such as Hayashi Rice.

Be sure to show off your Zojirushi x Hello Kitty housewares with us on social by tagging your photos on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram! #Zojirushi #ZojirushixHelloKitty #ZoFan