Quick like a bunny

Quick like a bunny
Home in Pflugerville, TX.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

My New Non Toxic Dehydrator

I am so happy to not have a poly-plastic dehydrator. This was a gift from my hubby for our ten years of tolerance, hee. I mean ten years of marriage together. This is a Weston 10 tray stainless steel Dehydrator Model NO. 74-1001-W (update: Have been using this dehydrator for about three weeks and poof it went out with a puff of smoke. I was going to make some kale chips and turned it on to heat up and it lasted about one minute. Hope the company can resolve my problem. Keep you updated.) The company e-mailed me and said it sounds like the heating element went out. They said they will send one. It will not arrive until late Feb. though. I can wait. I still have my older dehydrater, but after using this one it is hard to go back.
Updated again: Just got a another Weston dehydrator from the company to replace the broken one. Nice. Trying it out right now. Drying some garden Brussel Sprouts. I noticed the heating part working way better that the last machine. So, I geuss it was never working right to begin with. I am excited to see the results of the new machine. Thank you Weston.
Online it said the trays have a chrome finish, but the manual says that they are only stainless steel. Even if they were to have a chrome finish it would not be and issue. Only because you must have at least 10.5% chrome (chromium) as part of the steel for it to be called stainless steel. Chrome needs extreme temperatures to exhaust toxic fumes. So, industrially making stainless still has toxins in the air. That is why much of that process is now mechanical, run by people away from the fumes. I am sure there are still some level of toxic risk working in that environment. Some Stainless steel uses 7% Nickel to and is more flexible. I have read that perhaps it is less toxic to use/process the nickel than the Chromium, But we would have to find different ways to have such strength in metal and or with less pollution. There are other ingredients that have toxic qualities to.

There is 15 square feet of tray space and I bought 4 silicone high heat resistance baking mats to fit the trays. Yes, I may need to by more with a ten tray ability. This will allow me to dry my baked pumpkin/squash in order to then bend it and store in glass jars. Plus the trays square openings are large and items will fall through. I am even considering trying to find stainless steel mesh screens to fit. But I need to find where to get such an item.

This dehydrator is not any louder than my Nesco American harvest was. The fan and heating element are in the back and dehydrate items much more evenly than my old machine. My Weston was half the price of an Excalibur and non-poly=toxic.

I have been using it nonstop since I got it. It has a 12 hour timer. I just crank the timer up whenever I need more time or it is bed time. The front door comes off. I can open it while the machine is on to check food. I have only heated it to 145 so far. The side and top do get hot and I am sure the back with the heating element gets very hot. This machine needs a lot of clearance (more so in the back) and have it be non accessible to people bumping or touching by accident.

If you have a small or large garden. This machine will help you store your harvest and more for a long time in glass jars or other forms of storage as noted at the dehydrate to store site. No hot canning, no freezer to overload. No worry about an electrical outage in the hot summer or cold winter. I learned to dry many items from dehydratetostore.com.

Yes, it is the end of December and I am still processing food. I just finished boiling and then dehydrating the last of my acorn nuts. Blanched and dehydrated some cabbage. I have cabbage, and brussel sprouts just about ready to harvest.  Still harvesting and drying Kale, Kohlrabi, and eating Butter crunch lettuce. I have to cover the 2 greens garden boxes during freeze warnings, but so far everything is still alive and producing.

Spicy Chicken And Spinach Recipe Using Garam Masala

This is a recipe I had read about with vague details somewhere on the Internet. I have made it a few times and have found great variation and best detailed instruction. It is very good and the spice is mild. You have the choice to make it more spicy to.

Had this last night and forgot to take a pic. I was so hungry.

Ingredients:

4-6 pieces skinless chicken, bone in. ( the flavor is so much better in this recipe with bone in) I only use 2-3 pieces of chicken with success using same ingredients.
Vegetable oil
1/2-1 onion chopped (or more or less. what you like best).
1 tsp. Garam Masala spice (look for my recipe in this blog)
1 tsp. ground Ginger or about a one inch chunk diced or shredded fresh Ginger
1 tsp. dried ground Garlic powder
1 tsp. Salt
1 Bell pepper and or 2 Tomatoes diced (a can of diced Tomatoes, or Rotel is a good replacement, If you use the Rotel. The Jalapenos are not needed).
2-4 T. diced Jalepeno' (this extra spice is optional)
About 10 oz. fresh spinach and or other greens like Kale, and Collard greens work to. (I have even used dried kale and dried Kohlrabi leaves with success). More or less depending on how many people you are serving.
Water: just enough to cover the Chicken in the pan.




Put spices into a small cup or bowl. In a large pan or pot, brown Chicken in 1-2 T. oil. Then take out and set aside on plate/bowl and cover. Put Onions into the pan or pot with another 1-2 T. oil. Saute on medium to low for 5-10 minutes. Now add spice and stir. Place the Chicken on top of the spices and Onions.  Add the Vegetables and pour enough water to just cover the chicken. Bring to a boil and then simmer until Chickens juices run clear. I do a timer for 20 minutes during the simmer.

Serve over rice or with NAAN bread, tortillas or rolls of choice.



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cranberry Dressing/Dipping Sauce Recipe For Steak and Chicken


I found this recipe at Opra.com site. My husband wanted steak with cranberries and this was so good. This is a dressing for meat or a type of dipping sauce. Not a side dish.
I did change the recipe to my taste and here it is.

Ingredients:
Serves about 3 (double for 6 people)

1 Cup. Cranberries fresh or de-frosted
1/2 Cup diced Onion
1 sliced clove of Garlic
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar ( I am sure any sweet will do)
2 T. Red Wine Vinegar
1 Cup of water
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. Soy Sauce

Put all into a medium pot and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer. Let it simmer until reduced to a thicker sauce consistency. Stir it here and there to check the sauce along the way. I estimate about 45 minutes. When the sauce is done. Turn off the heat and re-heat/use when ready.

You can start the sauce, then make the rest of the meal.  This can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge for up to two weeks. Then re-heat when you want.

I made this for steak sauce and even ate it a few days later re-heated as chicken tender sauce. Very good. A must try.