Dehydrating Food Is An Art

Dehydrating food caught my interest. After viewing many dehydrating machines, I selected one that has nine trays, stainless steel shelving, digitized timing and heat selections. And of course this machine also had to meet my budget. There are many different price ranges and purchases of trays that can drive up the cost. Luckily I came upon one that provided everything in a bundle.

My first attempt at dehydrating fruits was interesting. Upon reading the manual,  I discovered that the dried food in the grocery store has preservatives and this gives it the color. And it tastes different too. At first, I did not have the proper cutting tools and sliced the strawberries very thin. After watching a video one woman suggested an egg slicer to cut the strawberries so I will be trying that out! Although, slicing the strawberries thin makes a great crackle topping to yogurt. The bananas that I purchased were old bananas at discount and very wet. Next time I will just purchase bananas that are ripe and believe that it will dehydrate better, less chewy. The organic pears were delicious and now that I have an apple, potato core hand machine, the slices will be consistent and should dehydrate better. A few days before dehydrating I picked some organic parsley from my garden box and sandwiched it in-between two paper towels for drying. I decided to place the parsley onto a tray and into the dehydration machine and it was amazing how it turned out. I just picked up a handful of organic parsley and it crumbled right in my hand to a very rich consistency. So far I am very excited about trying out other herbs, fruits and veggies and creating fruit rolls. As I explore this dehydrating process it makes sense to share my experiences storing food and dehydration tips on the blog. Hope you enjoy it. Pictured below is fruit crackle on top of yogurt and the fresh organic parsley from my garden box. Dehydrating Food is another form of art where you can be creative!

 

Desert On My Mind

I wanted a brownie but all I have is meatballs. Tonight I over fried the meatballs to hard crusted shells. Brownies came to my mind and perhaps it was from a blog that I was reading that somehow left an impression. Now if I only had the proper ingredients and someone out there in culinary land has a recipe that can transform meatballs into brownies I could turn these meat bombs into something sweet!

meatballs

Chicken On A Budget plus Dessert!

Today, Saturday was a windy day and the air was cool. Despite the Autumn weather, I ventured down to the grocery store by bicycle as usual and was able to use that blue cooler bag that I found a few days ago on the side of the road. Eventually it was over-packed and worked great! I ventured over towards the produce area and before reaching it there was a display with over-sized packs of chicken quarter legs! I had a oh my gosh moment because for a huge package of chicken the price was four dollars. At the bakery section the pies were two dollars and ninety-nine cents and placed a apple dutch pie for dessert into the cart. Usually I enjoy baking apple pies towards the end of the season. The organic chicken stock was also on sale too. I ventured home with my purchase and going up the hill had to walk the bicycle because of its weight. Upon reaching home, I immediately turned the stainless steel oven on and broke out my sisters off white cookie sheet. Now this called for a home-made as you go recipe because elaborate ingredients were just not affordable at this time. Therefore, a simple splash and dash of Italian spices, paprika, freshly ground black pepper and lemon juice was spread onto the chicken with some sliced onion. I baked it for over an hour at 365 degrees and it came out simply delicious! Last weeks french beans were still good and steamed it. Towards the end of the chicken bake the beans were gently placed alongside the chicken legs so that the entire meal would be hot upon serving. I unfolded a linen place mat and used a glass dish to perk up the meal experience.

After the chicken bake I decided to return to the grocery store and purchase more chicken! This called for a vehicle! When I came to the chicken display there were only four packages left. It was a great sale to stock up! I broke open two packages and wrapped ten legs up for freezing. An eight dollar purchase! This could be meals incorporated into soups, sandwiches and even Thanksgiving dinner.

When you do go to the grocery store keep your eyes open for these great deals because it moves out the store doors very quickly!

YAH! Naturally, Saturday Is A Pizza Day … I baked it!

Yesterday at the grocery store my eyes caught a dough in the freezer box. I always wanted to try it out and figured Saturday would be a good day to make a pizza. As you can see by the photo, I tore right into this cooking project! cookietraypizza-2The dough comes in a plastic bag and inside divided into two packets. Easily, two pizza pies could be made out of these dough packets. Best of all the dough is all natural and no preservatives! I never made a pizza before except on English muffins in the toaster oven and was surprised to find out how easy it is to make a super large cookie sheet of pizza! There is allot that one could do with this dough but did not try flipping it up in the air like a pro. Instead it was moved from one arm to another for elasticity! My recipe called for a rich tomato sauce topped with Italian seasoning, fresh green peppers and red onions! The mozzarella cheese was sliced thick and placed on top. I did not think to purchase authentic pizza tomato sauce or graded mozzarella cheese. Next time! And, maybe in the future I will be able to purchase a professional pizza pan. Here is a capture of the back package that lists more baking uses!  No more pizza shops for me!

Thank you House of Pasta for providing a quality product!

cookietraypizza-3