Category Archives: dehydrator

When a friend gives you lemons…

you give your friend a big Thank You and take home the treasure.

First wash and dry them well. The lemons on the left are unwashed.

The first thing the girls requested was pink lemonade. It isn’t hard to make. Just follow this recipe and add pink food coloring. I used a neon pink color, because that is all I had. Just one drop. Don’t let your daughter’s talk you into making more lemonade, so they can dye it blue. It really doesn’t look appetising.

With my batch of yellow goodness, I juiced some using my juicer attachment on my DLX mixer, and froze the lemon juice in ice cube trays. This is just the right size for recipes. Once they are frozen, I pop them out and place in a freezer bag.

I also zest the peel. Some I put in the freezer and some I dehydrated.

The rest of the lemons I dried in the dehydrator. I used a mandolin to slice each lemon thinly, placed in the dehydrator and dried over night at 118 degrees. The lower temps. keep the lemons from browning.

I then packed them in mason jars and sealed tight. This jar went to the friend as a thank you. 🙂

What to do with all these dried lemons?

  • Grind the peels to add to teas and other desserts.
  • Add to a pitcher of water and sugar to make lemonade.
  • Make this salmon dish.

Twisted Kitchen

It is that time of the week for Tuesday Twister with GNOWFGLINS.  

I didn’t do a lot this week.

Still working on snacks for Sir Son.  This week I tried the Cheese Cracker recipe from King Arthur’s Flours.  I’ll be posting the recipe and more pictures tomorrow.  Here they are just before baking.

Cheese crackers

I gave one to Sir Son and one to Sir Friend. This is what I got in response to “How is it?”
Sir Friend, “It taste like salted dog treats.”
Sir Son, “He should know because he ate dog treats before.”
So…I gave them one without the salted/cheese covering. “How is it?”
Sir Friend, “I’m not going to lie to you.”
Sir Son fed it to the dogs.
I gave it to the girlies. My youngest ate them. I don’t know if there are any left. Go figure…

I didn’t take pictures this time, but I did make mini-pizzas for the girls lunch today. You can read about what I did in Lunch and Snacks.

The last thing I want to share from my Twisted Kitchen are dog treats and these are not the ones mentioned above. Nope, these were started by “Not Me“. Not Me went into the kitchen this week and ate 2/3 of three different loaves of bread. Then Not Me left the remaining 1/3 of each loaf, on the counter. I didn’t see them until it was even too late to make bread crumbs. I felt they were probably a day older than it should have been. So… I sliced them thick and dried them in the dehydrator until very hard. The dogs love them. Maybe I should call these “Not Me Biscuits”.

dog treats

I hope you have enjoyed this week’s Tuesday Twister.

A gift for me!

Most of you know how I like to dehydrate things. Well, I hadn’t done it as much as I would like, because I didn’t know that much about it. My biggest problem was storing it. The dried fruits just would not stay dried for long in humid Florida. So, I only dried a little and either ate it right away or kept it in the freezer for later use.

About a month ago I stumbled upon Dehydrate2store. I watched all of her videos and then got busy. I now have several jars of dried veggies and fruits and I am doing more every day.

Tammy and I exchanged a few emails, because I had a lot of questions. She is a very nice lady and very helpful. Earlier this week I received this lovely apron in my mailbox.

cooking

The apron has a mouth watering  picture of fruit and the words Dehydrate2store on it. I really like it.  To celebrate getting the apron, I decided to make Tammy’s Fruit Pudding. In the video Tammy uses two boxes of vanilla pudding and adds a little more liquid to the mix.  

Because of Sir Son’s allergies I had to make the pudding from scratch. The pudding did not come out well at all, so I am not going to post the recipe. First thing we did was line the bowl with Nilla Waffers.

cooking

Then we mixed the ingredients which was mostly sugar and milk.

mixing

Then we layered the pudding mixture over the Nilla Waffers and added a layer of dried fruit, more pudding, then more fruit, then topped off with pudding.

cooking

I only had dried bananas and a very small amount of dried strawberries to use in our pudding.

cooking

After the pudding was made, it was placed in the refrigerator for several hours. This pudding never thickened. I even added extra cornstarch, but it wasn’t going to thicken. Not a good recipe.

We ate it anyway. 😀   The dried fruit plumped up nicely, because of the extra liquid.   Even though it was a runny pudding, it was really good.  We’ll make it again, but use a different recipe.

fruit pudding

So, if you like drying foods and storing them for a good while, check out  Dehydrate2store.  You’ll be glad you did.

Her Apple Oven Pancake is exceptionally good. 🙂

Carrot Soup

I made Carrot Soup (recipe way down below) for dinner the other night. It was pretty good.

  • One out of four kids found this to be edible.
  •  Three out of four kids went to bed hungry.
  • Two out of two adults didn’t care.

Carrot Soup

I used chicken broth for the stock. I waited until the last 25 minutes of
cooking time to add the lentils. I didn’t want them to be mush.

I did not puree the soup after cooking, like the recipe suggested.  About two cups was reserved for experimental drying. I placed plastic wrap around the drying tray and poured on the soup, by that time the soup had thickened a good deal.

I dried it for 12 hours or so.

Dried Carrot Soup

Then it was vacuumed sealed and placed in the freezer for some future date. The rehydrating instructions are at the bottom of the recipe.

packaged carrot soup

Yes, I know what it looks like.

Next time we make this, it will be with beef broth and barley (instead of rice).

Carrot Soup
Source: Backpack Gourmet
Serves 4

In a large pot over medium heat, cook for 15 minutes:
1 TB olive oil
1 onion, chopped
6 carrots, scrubbed and chopped
1 zucchini, chopped

Add and bring to a boil:
6 cups any variety stock
3/4 cup dried lentils
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice

Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 50 minutes or until rice is tender.

Stir in:
1 tsp honey
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 TB hot sauce

Puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Spread on covered dehydrator
trays and dry for 6 hours at 145.

To rehydrate, cover with water 2 inches above level of food in pot, boil, stir,
and serve.

Dried Fruit

Some fruit has gone on sale at our grocery store, so I stocked up and dried them for later use.  I want to use these fruits for “chips” in our lunch boxes when the school year begins.  We will have co-op every Tuesday and we have to bring a lunch.

I am learning more and more about dehydrating from Dehydrate2store.   There are lots of instructional videos that are wonderful.

From one of the videos, I learned about fruit cookies.  Slice mangoes, kiwi, and bananas, very thin.  Place the bananas and kiwi on the mangoes.  Tammy had bigger mangoes than I, so she was able to place two kiwis and two bananas on one mango, in one layer. I wasn’t able to do that.

dehydrate

Mine were also too thick and took a long time to dry. Tammy suggests using a meat slicer, but I don’t have one yet. My Mandolin slices either too thin or too thick.

Here are the dried cookies. You can see that some of them are missing. Yes, we ate them right away. lol  One of my liners is wobbly.  I’ll have to order a replacement.

dehydrate

I also dried bananas, one of my favorites.

BEFORE:
dehydrate

AFTER:
dehydrate

Here are the fruit stored in glass jars. Using oxygen absorbers in the jars is the number one best thing I learned from Dehydrate2store. I haven’t been able to keep anything long term, because it is so humid here nothing lasts, even if stored in airtight containers. The oxygen absorbers help with that.

dehydrate

Aren’t they cute?  🙂  That’s pineapple in the middle.

Next adventure.  More fruit leather.  I have been ordered by #2 daughter to make some.  I would also like to make some dehyrdated refried beans and not from instant refried beans.

Apple Oven Pancake

Yesterday, I made Apple Leather in my Excalibur Dehydrator.  Last night I decided to make the Apple Oven Pancake by Dehydrater2Store.  The recipe is in Episode 7.  I was told by Tammy, the ownder of Dehydrate2Store , will be opening their own website within the next two weeks, so all of the recipes will be written down. 🙂 

I try to buy apples when they go on sale for less than a dollar a pound.  I usually have a few ziplock bags of dried apples in the freezer.  I never bake with them. We would rather eat them as chips, but the Apple Oven Pancake looked too good to pass up. 

I get out the dried apples.  These are Granny Smiths, it is the only kind I bake with, but any apple is great as a chip. 🙂    I added just a little more, because I know that a few slices will disappear before I add the water for them to soak in.   I was an eye-witness to their disappearance. Yep.

dried apples
 

I add boiling water and wait 5 minutes. 

adding water

Then I add other ingredients. Smells good… Notice the apples are not limp. They have soaked up the hot water, which makes them ready for the oven.

wet apples

You have to bake the apples for a little bit  before adding a batter topping. The apples come out a very nice color and smell really good.

adding dough

I poured the dough over the apples and popped the pan back in the oven for a while. Because I did not use a tart pan, my baking time was longer than requested in the recipe.

the dough

After it bakes, it comes out all puffed up and pretty.

Mmmmm

Just add some powdered sugar to the top and wah-lah a yummy breakfast/desert. 😀

all done

I will make this again, but with a tart pan.  This is my excuse to get one.  😀

Using the dehydrator

I found this little gem of dehydrator instructions on YouTube,  Dehydrator2Store.   I have really enjoyed watching most of her videos, especially the cooking ones.   They make me want to try new things.

Last night I made apple fruit roll-ups the way this lady makes hers.  I haven’t make plain apple leather before and I have never cooked the puree either. So this is new for me.  I usually just dump the pureed fruit onto plastic wrap or parchment paper.

The first thing I did was to hydrate a few of last years figs.  My girls ate most of them when the figs were dehydrated, this is all that I had left.  It took about an hour to hydrate.

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Next I chopped up some red delicious apples (they were on sale) and placed them in the Vita-Mix along with the figs and a squirt of honey.  You don’t need a whole lot of honey in this leather; the figs will sweeten it up very nicely.

mixing

This next part is new to me. Once it is all pureed the Dehydrate2Store lady cooks hers for about 2 minutes. You are suppose to add some lemon juice, but I don’t have any.

Kind of looks like something that I found in my children’s diapers at one time or another. Don’t  you agree?

cooking fruit

Then I used two trays with plastic wrap and taped them down with blue painter’s tape. The video says to use duct tape. Now we all know duct tape is the universal cure all, but I just didn’t feel like looking out in the garage for a roll of Sir Husband’s greasy duct tape. I’ll have to purchase my own roll and hide it from Sir Husband.

Still looks like something that came out of a diaper.

pureed fruit

I dried the trays of fruit leather at 118 degrees for almost 12 hours. Normally it doesn’t take that long for my fruit leathers. I think it took this long because of the extra liquid; I added a touch of apple juice to get the Vita-mix working better.   I had two trays of plastic wrap and two trays using ziploc bags, which is what the video used.

 

I had an extremely hard time getting the fruit leather off the ziplock bags, so I won’t be using those again. Also the blue tape did not stick as well as I had hoped. I have used scotch tape and that works great. I’ll have to try the duct tape later.

dried fruit

After drying, I rolled the leather in parchment paper and placed in a ziplock bag. I didn’t  do anything special to keep these fresh because I know that these will be gone by tomorrow night. When I do a large batch of fruit leather, I’ll pack them in a gallon mason jar and hide them from my daughers. Only I know where they are, so they last just a few days longer…just a few days, because I know where they are and they are yummy.

wrapping dried fruit

These leathers looked funny. I don’t know if it is because it was made from apples or if I did something wrong. The taste; however, is really good.  It must be the apples, I just know I didn’t do anything wrong.  😉

My next big project from the videos is the apple oven pancake.   I’ll be making that tonight and hopefully post about it tomorrow. 😛

After the pancake, I just might try my hand at the yogurt.  I did that several years ago and had one success and one flop.  I’ll try the Dehydrate2Store’s way with some success, I hope.

Do you have a dehydrator and do you use it?

Other post:

Fruit Leather

Snack Attack

I have been drying fruits for a little while now and sealing them in mason jars.  My goal is to have a variety of fruits available to add to a granola snack, for hiking this summer. Sealing them in mason jars, keeps them fresh and dry.

The first thing I do after drying, is  place the fruit in a mason jar and add the flat seal lid.  This is cantaloupe in the jar.  It has a strong flavor after drying, which makes it great to add to other things.

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You don’t have to use mason jars. You can use whatever glass jar a seal lid will fit on. I would rather use the wide mouth jars, but I do not have the sealer  cap for that size.

Next, place the Vac ‘N Seal machine sealer cap on top of the lid and press down on the machine. This will suck all the air out and seal the jar.

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Once it is done, the seal is stuck on the jar. The only way to get it off is to use a knife to lift up the lid and break the seal. You don’t even have to put the screw lid on.   Some people will punch a small hole in the center of the lid and then cover it with tape, before sealing.  When they want to break the seal, they just pull the tape off.

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I wish I had a photo of all the dried fruits ready to add to hiking snacks, but I don’t have one. All of the fruit is gone.  All the yummy, apples, bananas, pineapples, and cantaloupe.  All gone.  The girls ate them.     Ok… I dipped way too many times in the fruit jar too.     We’ll just have to start all over again.

A Yummy Snack

Some of you know my son has a few food allergies.  Nothing that can’t be handled with good planning and careful reading of labels. 🙂  Because if his allergies, I am always on the look out for good snacks that just might fill him up some between meals. 

I decided to try out a  Chex Party Mix, without peanuts.  I took a few days to search for the right recipe.  I wanted something sort of spicy, but not hot.  I found the perfect recipe at The Confessions of a Pioneer Woman

I did make a few changes, but not much. One was leaving out the peanuts.  I doubled the recipe and added extra fresh garlic.  The extra garlic was a mistake.  The recipe calls for 2 to 4 cloves and I lost count when I doubled and ended up using a whole garlic bulb.  Thankfully it was a small bulb.

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I didn’t have any Tabasico sauce so I used Hot Sauce.  Once again I lost count with the amount of drops I put in.  oops.   I also added some salt, since salted peanuts were not added.

Then I placed the whole thing into the dehydrator at 118 and let it go over night. It is hot here, so I didn’t want the oven on for so long. Sorry for the blurry picture. I tried to get another shot, but the air of the dehydrator was blowing in my eyes. All the hot sauce started burning my eyes, making them water. ooops.

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The mix was ready the next morning and it turned out great. We are going on a hiking trip today, and this will be just the right snack to take with us.

Verdict:
Mom and Dad: oooo yum…
Sir Son: It has an awful after taste.
Girls: Got into trouble because they can’t keep their hands out of it.

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Changes: I’ll add peanuts next time since Sir Son stuck his nose up at it. 🙂

In my kitchen today, bread crumbs and croutons

Yesterday I baked four loaves of bread and one Garlic Ring Loaf.  It was after I had kneaded the dough that I realized, I had only put in 1 TB of yeast instead of 3 TB.  So, what do you do with dense bread?  Let the girlies eat the garlic bread, because they don’t know any better or make croutons.

Croutons

Slice a loaf of bread and slab on some butter and garlic.  Cut slices into squares the size of croutons you want.  Place bread squares on trays and set dehydrator to 145 degrees for around 4 to 5 hours, until very dry.  Store croutons in a sealed container.

 

Homemade Italian Bread Crumbs

Slice bread.  Place slices in dehydrator for a few hours until thoroughly dry.  Break up slices and place in food processor and process until fine crumbs.  Add the following:

For every two cups of crumbs:

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 to 3 TB Italian Seasoning
  • 1 to 2 tsp garlic powder

Mix and place in a sealed container, put in frig.  If you have a food sealer, you can seal them in mason jars and they’ll keep a long time.

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