Hey, readers! Please see below to enter the contest. Not only do you have a chance to win $100 worth of Uncle Ben's products, and one of ten grand prizes of a chef for a week, the company will donate $1 PER ENTRY to Feeding America, the nation's food bank network and the largest charitable hunger relief organization in the country. It's a fun contest for a great cause.
[Update: Congrats to #25, contest winner, Rachael! And thanks for raising $58 for a very worthy cause!]
Uncle Ben's recently sent me samples of their microwave Basmati and Jasmine rices to try. I have a rice cooker so rice is generally not a food item that I take short-cuts on. It's easy enough for me to put whatever kind of rice I'm cooking into my trust Zojirushi, and 20 or so minutes later (longer for brown) it's ready to eat and it will be kept warm until we're ready to eat.
But, lately we've been really busy. My work is busier than ever, and in order to keep the girls occupied in the afternoons (so they don't end up bored and wanting to kill each other in hours before dinner), we've been filling the time with activities. An hour of cheerleading on Mondays falls right at dinner time. Swimming on Tuesday is in the afternoon which leaves me time for cooking, but two back-to-back gym classes on Wednesday fills up the afternoon quickly. Yoga on Thursdays ends right and dinner time. And so on. There are times when I am either too pressed for time to cook or don't want to eat carbs with my meal or simply just don't feel like making a big dinner. That's where I can see a product like the Uncle Ben's Basmati and Jasmine microwave rices coming in handy.
Microwave rice is nothing new. It's something I've been seeing in Asian markets for at least 7-8 years. Bowls of pre-cooked rice are usually stacked on the end caps awaiting purchase. I've bought them at the Korean market before, especially when the girls were little and wanted a quick snack. I never quite felt the flavor was on par with fresh-cooked rice, but they didn't seem to mind. I have to admit, though, that the Uncle Ben's Basmati and Jasmine rices were very tasty.
What I liked about it: Hot, tasty rice in 90 seconds. There's something to be said for that. The flavors were yummy and my girls gobbled it up. It really made dinner prep easier on the nights we were busy and I was too tired to cook. I have to admit, it was nice to have the product to fall back on. I also think it's a great "gateway" product to get folks to try a new style of rice. If people aren't comfortable going to their local Asian or Indian market (or don't have a Trader Joe's nearby) it's a way to try something exotic. My hope is they will then want to venture out of their normal shopping comfort zones.
What I didn't: As someone who cooks a lot from scratch, it felt a little like cheating. I think it's just as easy to cook up a big batch of rice and freeze it into portions that can be microwaved later. The rices were not as fluffy as when I cook basmati or jasmine in my rice cooker and I didn't think the texture was "authentic." Would I purchase the product? Probably not, but after trying it and seeing how absolutely convenient it was, I am leaving that door open a crack. If it makes your life simpler, that convenience counts for a lot in my book.
Cost to you: around $2 per 8 ounce bag
Cost to me: Free
Now for the fun part: your chance to win $100 worth of Uncle Ben's products and a chance to win one of 10 grand prizes, all for a very worthy cause.
How do you ‘Simplify Your Life’?" Share tips and have a chance to win $100 worth of Uncle Ben's products (chosen by me), and if you win you are automatically entered to win one of 10 grand prizes: a chef for a week! (chosen by Uncle Ben's). All you have to do is leave a comment on how you simplify your life. For example, do you prep a week’s worth of meals on Sunday to make weekday dinners a cinch? Beyond the kitchen, do you assign a weekly rotation of household chores to get the kids involved?
Once all the tips are submitted, I will choose one winner to receive $100 worth of Uncle Ben’s products. To sweeten the deal, the winner will be up for the chance with nine other winners to receive a grand prize selected by Uncle Ben’s – a chef for a week! Pretty good odds.
AND It’s all for a good cause. For each tip submitted Uncle Ben’s will donate $1 to Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network and the largest charitable hunger-relief organization in the country.
So go ahead leave your tips! Every tip is a chance to win AND get Uncle Ben's to donate to a worthy cause!
Contest ends on June 1, 2009.
The complete rules are available after the jump.
The UNCLE BEN’S® Simple Solutions Contest
NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.
The UNCLE BEN’S® Simple Solutions Contest (the “Contest”) starts on May 1, 2009 at 12:01 AM Eastern Time (“ET”) and ends on June 1, 2009 at 11:59 PM ET (“Contest Period”).
is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District
of Columbia who are “readers” of the designated blogs and are 21
years of age or older.
Employees of Mars, Incorporated, the manufacturer of UNCLE BEN’S®
(“Sponsor”) and Current Lifestyle Marketing, and their respective
parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, and promotion and advertising agencies,
and members of their immediate family (spouse, parent, sibling, child
and their respective spouses, regardless of where they reside) and persons
living in the same household of such employees, whether or not related,
are not eligible to enter or win. Void where prohibited by law.
Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws.
HOW TO ENTER: During the Contest Period, visit one of the blogs designated by Sponsor and follow the directions provided to share a cooking or food tip that helps simplify one’s life. You may be required to register to post a tip. Your tip must be written in 100 words or less and involve cooking or food. All entrants are required to comply with any blogging guidelines of Sponsor (incorporated herein by reference). All entries must be received by 11:59 PM ET on June 1, 2009 to be eligible. Entries generated by script, macro or other automated means and entries by any means which subvert the entry process are void. There will be no e-mail or mail entries accepted. All entries become the sole property of the Sponsor and will not be returned.
Each entry must be entrant’s own original work, be in English, cannot be previously published or submitted in connection with any other contest, be in keeping with the Sponsor’s image and may not be offensive or inappropriate, as determined by the Sponsor in its sole discretion, nor can it defame or invade publicity rights or privacy of any person, living or deceased, or otherwise infringe upon any person’s personal or property rights or any other third party rights. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any entry that it determines, in its sole discretion, is offensive or inappropriate, not in keeping with Sponsor’s image or that is otherwise not in compliance with these Official Rules.
By submitting an entry, entrant hereby grants permission for the entry to be posted on the applicable blog and Sponsor’s and other websites selected by Sponsor. Entrant agrees that Released Parties (as defined below) are not responsible for any unauthorized use of entries by third parties. Released Parties do not guarantee the posting of any entry.
By submitting an entry,
entrant acknowledges and agrees that Sponsor may obtain many entries
under this Contest and that such entries may be similar or identical
in theme, idea, format or other respects to others submitted under this
Contest and/or other contests sponsored by the Sponsor, and waives any
and all claims entrant may have had, may have, and/or may have in the
future, that any composition and/or other works accepted, reviewed and/or
used by the Sponsor (or its designees) may be similar to his/her entry.
Round 1: All eligible entries received for each blog will be judged by the author of the blog on the following criteria: overall creativity (40%), overall simplicity (40%), and originality (20%) (the “Judging Criteria”). The entry with the highest score, as determined by the blog author in his/her sole discretion, will be deemed the “finalist” for that blog, subject to verification of eligibility and compliance with these Official Rules (for a total of ten (10) finalists). In the event of a tie for any blog, an additional, “tie-breaking” judge will determine the finalist for that blog based on the criteria listed herein. Sponsor and blog author reserves the right not to select a finalist for any blog, if, in its sole discretion, it does not receive a sufficient number of eligible and qualified entries for that blog.
Round 2: The top ten (10) finalist entries (one from up to ten (10) blogs) will be judged by panel of qualified judges selected by UNCLE BEN’S® based on the Judging Criteria. The finalist entry with the highest score, as determined by judges in their sole discretion, will be deemed the “Grand Prize winner”, subject to verification of eligibility and compliance with these Official Rules. In the event of a tie, an additional, “tie-breaking” judge will determine the winner based on the criteria listed herein. Sponsor and judges reserve the right not to select a winner, if, in its sole discretion, it does not receive a sufficient number of eligible and qualified entries. Prize awards are subject to verification of eligibility and compliance with these Official Rules.
Any individual may only be selected as a finalist once. In the event the same individual is selected as the blog finalist by more than one blog, all but one of the blogs will be required to select a runner-up as their finalist. Sponsor will determine which blogs will be required to do so in its sole discretion. Judges’ decisions are final and binding on all matters relating to this Contest. Potential finalists and potential Grand Prize winners will be notified by telephone, mail and/or email and may be required to complete an Affidavit of Eligibility, Liability and Publicity Release (unless prohibited by law), and, if Grand Prize winner, any other documents that may be required by Sponsor, which must be returned within fourteen (14) days of date appearing on prize notification. Return of prize or prize notification as undeliverable, failure to sign and return requested documentation within fourteen (14) days of date of issuance, the inability to contact a potential finalist and/or winner within a reasonable time period, or noncompliance with these Official Rules will result in disqualification and the prize may be awarded to the runner-up for the applicable blog or the runner-up finalist (as applicable).
Finalist Prize (10): $100 worth of UNCLE BEN’S® READY RICE® Basmati and Jasmine products awarded. Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”): $100 each.
Grand Prize (1): A personal chef for a work week (5 days/meals). Personal chef service is subject to terms specified by UNCLE BEN’S®. Personal chef will be selected by Sponsor. (ARV: $2,500). Total ARV of all prizes awarded: $3,500.
General Prize Conditions:
All prize details are at the sole discretion of the Sponsor. All
prizes are awarded “as is” with no warranty or guarantee, either
express or implied. No substitution, transfer, or cash equivalent of
prize is permitted, except by Sponsor, which reserves the right to substitute
a prize (or portion thereof) with one of comparable or greater value,
at its sole discretion Any and all federal, state and local taxes
on the prizes, and any other costs, fees, and expenses associated with
prize acceptance and use not explicitly stated herein as being awarded,
are the sole responsibility of the prize recipient.
By participating, each entrant agrees: (a) to abide by these Official
Rules and decisions of Sponsor and judges, which shall be final and
binding in all respects relating to this Contest; (b) to release, discharge
and hold harmless Sponsor, Mars, Incorporated, the manufacturer of UNCLE
BEN’S® (“Sponsor”) and Current Lifestyle Marketing, and their
respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, dealerships, and advertising
and promotion agencies, and the respective officers, directors, shareholders,
employees, agents and representatives of the forgoing (collectively,
“Released Parties”) from any and all injuries, liability, losses
and damages of any kind to persons, including death, or property resulting,
in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from entrant’s participation
in the Contest or any Contest-related activity or the acceptance, possession,
use or misuse of any awarded prize (including any harm or injuries that
may occur as a result of accepting the Grand Prize); and (c) to the
use of his/her name, voice, performance, photograph/video, image and/or
likeness for programming, advertising, publicity and promotional purposes
in any and all media, now or hereafter known, worldwide and on the Internet,
and in perpetuity by Sponsor and its designees, without compensation
(unless prohibited by law) or additional consents from entrant
or any third party and without prior notice, approval or inspection,
and to execute specific consent to such use if asked to do so.
an entry, each entrant agrees Sponsor and its designees shall have an
irrevocable, assignable, non-exclusive license to edit, publish, use,
adapt, exploit, modify, copy, disseminate or dispose of any entry, the
concepts embodied therein or any elements thereof, including, without
limitation, the proper names of any persons embodied therein , online,
in print, film, television, or in any other media now known or hereafter
devised for advertising and promotional purposes, worldwide in perpetuity,
without compensation, permission or notification to the entrant or any
third party of any kind, except as prohibited by law.
Released Parties are
not responsible for late, lost, damaged, misdirected, incomplete, illegible,
undeliverable, garbled, destroyed or stolen entries; or for any typographical,
printing, human, mechanical, electronic, network or other errors relating
to or in connection with this Contest, including, without limitation,
errors or problems that may occur in connection with the administration
of the Contest, the processing or judging of entries or posts, the announcement
of the finalists and/or the Grand Prize winner, the announcement of
the prizes, or in any Contest-related materials. Released Parties are
not responsible for entries that that fail to enter into the Sponsor’s
processing system, or that are processed, reported, or transmitted late
or incorrectly or are lost or misdirected for any reason including computer,
telephone, paper transfer, human or other error; or for electronic,
computer, or telephone malfunction or error, including inability to
access any Web site associated with the Contest or to process any transaction
thereon. Sponsor may disqualify anyone from participating in the
Contest or winning a prize if, in its sole discretion, it determines
that such person is attempting to undermine the legitimate operation
of the Contest by cheating, deception or other unfair playing practices,
or intending to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other entrant or
Sponsor’s representatives. Released Parties are also not responsible
for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by site
users, tampering, hacking, or by any equipment or programming associated
with or utilized in the Contest. Released Parties are not responsible
for injury or damage to any person's computer related to or resulting
from participating in this Contest or downloading materials from or
use of the website. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY UNDERMINE THE
LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST MAY BE IN VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL
AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES
THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES AND OTHER REMEDIES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’
FEES) FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW, INCLUDING
CRIMINAL PROSECUTION. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion
to cancel or suspend any portion of the Contest should causes corrupt
the administration, security or proper play of the Contest and, in the
event of cancellation, to select the finalist(s) and/or winner from
among all eligible, non-suspect entries received for the selected blog(s)
up to time of such impairment using the judging procedure outlined above.
In the event of a dispute as to the identity of an entrant, entry will
be deemed to be from the authorized account subscriber of the e-mail
address submitted at time of entry, regardless of the name that appears
on the official entry form and he/she must comply with these Official
Rules. Authorized account subscriber is the natural person who is assigned
the e-mail address by the Internet Service Provider (ISP), on-line service
provider, or other organization responsible for assigning email addresses.
Request for FINALISTS’ Names: For a list of winners (available after June 30, 2009) send a self-addressed, stamped, envelope by July 31, 2009 to: The UNCLE BEN’S® Simple Solutions Contest c/o Current Lifestyle Marketing, 111 E. Wacker Dr. Suite 2605, Chicago, IL 60601.
Incorporated, 2001 Cashdan Street, Rancho Dominguez, C
Mars, Incorporated, 2001 Cashdan Street, Rancho Dominguez, C