Monday, August 3, 2009

Nesco Clean-a-Screen for Dehydrator Item# 168605, Model# LM-2-6

Screen flexes to remove sticky fruits and jerky quickly and easily. Herbs and spices wont fall through tray spokes. Includes 2 screens. Dishwasher safe. U.S.A.

How do you feel about strawberries. I personally like them. They are a treat that we eat whole or sliced with drizzled honey. Did you know that the average strawberry has about 200 seeds on the outside. My kids always contemplate growing strawberries in their tummies after eating the seeds.

A quick and easy way to hull out your strawberries is to insert a straw in the bottom of the berry and push it up through the stem.

When you are buying strawberries from the grocery store look for ripe berries that are firm and dry. The green tips should be fresh, not wilted. Turn the box over and check that it is dry. If the bottom is moist or stained some of the berries may be overripe.

To keep the berries fresh for the longest amount of time, do not wash them when you bring them home. Place them in the refrigerator and store until ready to use. Wash them when you take them out to serve, or cook with.

Did you know that seven to eight medium sized strawberries makes a serving. In that serving you will have only about 22 calories. This could be one of the best kept fruit secrets of all time.

If tradition does not dictate strawberry shortcake for dessert try these variations.

Dipped in chocolate

Chopped or dipped in your favorite yogurt

Dipped in sour cream

Dipped in whipped cream, homemade is preferable

Dusted with a little confectioners sugar

However you eat your strawberries enjoy them in the knowledge that they are healthy sweet treats.

Shauna Hanus is a gourmet cook who specializes in creating gourmet meal plans. She has extensive experience cooking with easy to find grocery items to create delightful gourmet meals. Her meal plans are easy to follow and pleasing to all who eat them.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Nesco American Harvest 5-Tray FD-35 425-Watt Snackmaster Dehydrator

Drying apple slices in just five hours and beef jerky in seven, this 425-watt dehydrator is exceptionally fast for its price range. Its patented hot-air circulation system ensures not only speed but uniformity, so foods dry evenly. Each of the five trays is 13-1/2 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch deep (the plastic dehydrator stands 10 inches high), providing more than 12 square feet of tray space for drying lots of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers at one time. Available separately is a two-tray accessory pack that expands the dehydrator to seven trays. Also available separately are accessories for drying fruit rolls, soups, and sauces and for making jerky from ground meat. Accompanying the dehydrator is a detailed instruction booklet with a drying-time chart for various foods and recipes for cooking with dried foods. --Fred Brack

Now that we have covered location, soil, and how big you want your garden it is now time to determine what you would like to grow in it. Unfortunately, there isn't a list I can give you since each family has different needs, but as you plant your garden, think carefully about what you will actually do with the harvest, the time you have to preserve if necessary, and what your family likes to eat. If they hate cherry tomatoes, there is no sense in planting them!

Before you go to a nursery and see all those lush beautiful plants and get carried away, make sure you have a plan. Similar to grocery shopping, if you go without a list you will most likely end up buying items you do not need!

Start with you family's favorites, then check the yields on the seed packets to try to determine how much you will need. If you are purchasing plants from a nursery, ask them to help you choose. When deciding what to plant ask yourself:

1. Does my family like it?

2. Do I have the room to grow it?

3. Do I know where in my garden it will go?

4. What am I going to do with the harvest (ie dehydrate, can, freeze etc)

If you are planning on canning, dehydrating, freezing etc, make sure you have adequate supplies and resources for it. If you don't have an extra freezer, it may be difficult to freeze a lot of items. If you don't have a dehydrator, can you borrow one? And if you don't have canning supplies, can you borrow, share or purchase some?

If you are a beginning gardening, this is an area that will get easier with experience. Once you know what worked and what didn't your next time around planning your garden will be easier. Make sure you keep a garden journal and note yearly yields noting if you should plant more or plant less or at all!

Now that I have you convinced on the size, you will need to consider how much to grow. I recommend vegetables that are high yielding and do not take up a lot of space and are easy to maintain. These would be:

Bush snap beans, or pole beans


Leafy greens, loose leaf lettuce


Bell pepper plants.


Some vegetables that will take up more space but are still worth considering are:

Vining melons (like watermelon)

Squash (summer, zucchini, cucumbers, etc)


Sweet corn

Before you choose what to plant, stop and think what your goals for you garden harvest? Is it to have a fresh garden salad on the table every night? Or do you want to can your own spaghetti sauce? Or both?

Another factor in determining what to plant is your zone, or basically what will grow in you area based on the climate. Often times on the back of your seed packets or on your plant tags it will say which zones it will grow in. You will need to know this zone in order to choose your plants. Obviously, if you are purchasing plants from a nursery you can be pretty sure it will grow in your zone. But if you are choosing seeds or ordering from a catalog, knowing your zone will come in handy. You can find a zone map here, and by typing in your zip code you will instantly know which zone you are in.

The last factor I would consider when determining what to plant is asking yourself if the plant is worth the work for what you get, and will it save you money at the grocery store? For me, potatoes are really not worth it to grow because I can buy them so cheap at the store, often marked down, and they would take up considerable space in my garden. I have not had much success in our area with watermelon, and since I cannot store it, it is easier for me to buy it at the grocery store where it goes on sale all summer long. Corn is so inexpensive, it is another item I typically do not grow. I do like the stalks for decoration though, and sometimes I will plant a few for that reason. Canned pumpkin is much easier if I want to make pumpkin pie, so I don't usually plant pumpkin. Consider what kind of tomatoes are always inexpensive at your store. Is it worth it to grow this kind? Maybe growing a different kind, more expensive variety, of tomato will work better for you. Your garden should save you money with your harvest, so take these things into consideration when you plant.

Don't limit yourself to only vegetables. Usually you can buy strawberry plants, blueberry bushes, raspberry bushes etc at any nursery or through a catalog (I like Four Seasons the best for price, quality and guarantee). Fruits are usually more permanent, in that they come up each year although you may have to wait to yield a harvest. Fruits are well worth it to consider planting as they are well worth the time, money and effort.

Stephanie is a homeschooling mother of 3 and owns A High And Noble calling, a blog to encourage and inspire women in their noble callings as homemakers, wives and mothers. You can read articles, find resources, and inspiration for your high and noble calling at


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Total Juicing Book - Elaine LaLanne, Richard Benyo and Jack LaLanne

Total Juicing: The Complete Guide to Healthy and Delicious Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Juices by Elaine La Lanne, Richard Benyo, and Jack Lalanne Features & SpecificationsJuicing For Life Book - a review of the health benefits of juicing fresh fruit and veggies Total Juicing: The Complete Guide to Healthy and Delicious Fresh Fruit and Vegetable JuicesBy: Elaine LaLanne, Richard Benyo, and Jack LaLanneJUICE YOUR WAY TO HEALTH...EVEN HELP PREVENT CANCERAcross America, millions of people are discovering juicing as an easy, inexpensive, and delicious way to enjoy tremendous health and nutritional benefits. Today's new juice extractors have opened up an exciting avenue to taking control over your own health and well-being. Elaine and Jack LaLanne, who have been juicing for thirty years, discovered that fresh fruit and vegetable juices, and the fiber-rich pulp that the juicer yields, have excellent benefits when used in combination with a healthful diet. Now you can learn how to control weight and lower blood pressure, address such conditions as psoriasis, stomach ulcers, arthritis, anemia, and gout, and even help prevent cancer- all in your own kitchen. Total Juicing provides up-to-date information and more than 125 recipes for great juice combinations and for fruit and vegetable pulp. You'll find:An A-to-Z guide to juicing directions, vitamin and mineral content of fruits and vegetables, and health benefits of specific foods A weight-loss program that works-with fresh juicesThe dos and don'ts of making and storing juice Baby-food recipes from the juicer Terrific original recipes for breakfast drinks, lunchtime refershers, dinner beverages, flavorful desserts and bartender's tips as well Great recipe ideas for fiber-rich pulp 240 Pages

After you have harvested your vegetables you might not be sure what you should do with them. Even a large family will have a hard time eating a steady supply of fresh organic vegetables. The way to avoid wastage is to store your vegetables in your home.

It is true that some vegetables are easier to store than others but most organic vegetables can be stored and saved in some way or another.

There are actually many ways to store your harvest so do not get frustrated if you feel that you have grown more than you can eat. Many grocery stores sell mason jars and supplies needed for making preserves and canning vegetables along with instructions on how to do this. The same stores sell cheesecloth which is great for placing vegetables on when drying if they are air drying.
Food dehydrators can also be used for drying your vegetables along with your oven. When using an oven to dry vegetables set it for the lowest setting, usually 140 degrees, and watch carefully to make sure the vegetables are drying out and not roasting.


Once you have harvested all of your lettuce you can wash it, remove the core, and pat it dry with a towel. When you have finished store it in a plastic bag and put it in your refrigerators crisping section. This will help your lettuce remain crisp for up to a week.

Since it is harder to store vegetables for a long period of time it is recommended that you harvest your lettuce and start using it even before it has reached full growth. When it has reached full growth use what you can, store what you can use, and offer the rest to friends and family members. They will appreciate some fresh organic salad to use in their salads or to place on their sandwiches.

Root Vegetables

Root vegetables can often store longer than the other vegetables you harvest as long as they are harvested on time and correctly. Make sure your vegetables have not been bruised or damaged during the harvest. If they have been damaged throw them away since the spoilage can spread if you are not careful.

Many root vegetables such potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, and more can be stored in a cool, dark, dry place such as a root cellar or some pantries. Other root vegetables (carrots) can be dried with a food dehydrator or even in an oven set to a very low heat setting. Some vegetables such as turnips can even be stored in a refrigerator crisper, especially if they are going to be used soon.


There are many ways to store tomatoes and that is a great thing since tomatoes are popular with many organic gardeners. Tomatoes can be stored well on a counter top or in a window sill if they are still a bit green. They can also be stored in the refrigerator.

Some people will dry tomatoes for later use in sauces or even preserve them. Tomatoes preserves either sweet preserves with ripened tomatoes or pickle preserves with green tomatoes can be a winter time treat.


Onions will store wonderfully in any dry, dark place. As long as the onions have not been bruised and have no sign of moisture they can be stored in a pantry or attic for a long time.

Beans and Peas

Beans and peas can often be harvested as needed but once it is time to store them there are several methods that can be used. Peas and beans can both be stored in bags in the refrigerator for several days. They also can be canned with the proper equipment. Beans can also be dried which is a popular way to store them. Once beans are dried and bagged they can later be soaked and cooked.


Corn can be stored in the refrigerator or, once the husk is removed, frozen for a long time. The kernels can also be dried, stored, and creamed at a later date.

Learn about the redbud tree and the weeping cherry tree at the Tree Facts site.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Nesco American Harvest 5-Tray FD-35 425-Watt Snackmaster Dehydrator

This unit features Nesco/American Harvest's innovative Top Mounted Powerhead that dries food quickly and evenly with superior results. Detaches to make dehydrator dishwasher safe for easy clean up. Fan-Flow Technology means faster, more even drying with no tray rotation necessary. Perfect for the beginner.

I simply love to hike camp, hunt and fish and do it just any chance I get. What I don't like is carrying pounds and pounds of gear the weight tends to distract me from the joys of the experience. So I am always looking for ways to lighten the load so to speak now I am not what they call an "Ultra-Light Hiker" I just don't subscribe to sawing my toothbrush in half and ripping all the tags off my gear to save a few ounces. Nothing wrong with this method it's just not for me.

My basic pack weighs about 30 pounds, but when I load it with food and water it soars to 45 or even 50 pounds. So I learned to carry less water as I can always (I HOPE AND SOMETIMES PRAY) find some on the trail and purify it and that helped immensely. However the food issue was still a weighty concern even though I usually just pack Military Meals Ready to Eat known as the MRE and some freeze dried or dehydrated food like Mountain House which is excellent pack packing food, but again weighty. Luckily a few months back a hiking friend introduced me to FBC.

Freezer Bag Cooking and before I explain the procedure I want to share with you that I no longer carry a set of cooking gear a plate or even wash dishes any more and that my friends is a true blessing in it self. I prepare the meals at home and put all the ingredients in a zip lock freezer bag. In the field I simply add boiling water from my canteen cup to the bag place the bag into what they call a cozy for insulation and wait 10 minutes eat a delicious meal then throw the now empty freezer bag into my trash bag clean up my spoon and move on to more pressing matters like a good cigar and a sip or six of my favorite brandy.

On a three day two night excursion I will prepare two breakfast meals three lunches and three dinners throw in some snacks and only add about a pound and a half to my load. Another plus is the food is great because I made it. Well my wife really makes it I'm not that good and I like my own food (Ah my wife's) indeed I do.

The only caveat with FBC is if you want to eat your own great food you will need the ability to dehydrate either by the home oven or using a dehydrating machine which is more efficient and it is so easy. Even when I hike solo the grand kids still love helping me prepare and bag the staples. We have great fun and they learn about cleaning and cooking food. Last month on a weekend fishing trip they made my favorite Grand mom's home made 6 layers Lasagna they simply separated three of the top layers which made two large pieces then they cut those into about 2 inch squares...well except for the 10 year old some of his pieces where err...let's just say uneven. Popped the meal into the dehydrator and 8 hours latter I had these ugly little chunks of dried Lasagna in a freezer bag. But at camp when I re-hydrated them they became beautiful bites of my wife's tantalizing 6 layers Lasagna that had the aroma of an Italian restaurant. My companions were a bit jealous.

Day 1 Johnny's Meaty Mac and Cheese:

4 Oz Dried Macaroni

1 PAK MRE Cheese Or store bought cheese pak

4 Oz Gravel (Hamburger meat Lean)

1 PAK Olive oil

2 Oz Dried tomato

2 Tbsp Dried milk

At home combine all ingredients except MRE Cheese and Olive oil. At the camp pour in one cup of boiling water stir add the MRE Cheese stir again add oil stir again. Let bag sit in a cozy for 15 minutes.


2 Packs Instant Oatmeal
1 Box raisins
1 Tbsp Dried milk
Cover with water cozy for 10 Minutes

Because of space constraints I can't go into details or other recipe's, but if you enter freezer bag cooking into your search engine it will produce a plethora of sites that go into great detail about the whole process including dozens of recipes. So learn enjoy and eat well. See you on the trail.
A portal site for all Mr. Sniders companies


Wednesday, July 8, 2009



Canning jar candles are very easy to make, make great gifts, and are only limited by your imagination!

To start all you need are some narrow-mouth canning jars, wire ribbon, potpourri, votive candles, small glass votive candle holders, and craft glue or a hot glue gun.

If you don't have any old canning jars, you can find some very inexpensively at thrift stores and yard sales. Wire ribbon can be a little expensive. Look for it at yard sales and at craft store clearance sales. The after-Christmas sales a great time to stock up. One roll of ribbon will make several canning jar candles. Potpourri you can make yourself or buy on sale. Votive candles are inexpensive at stores like Target or Walmart, and you can also find glass votive candle holders very inexpensively at Walmart. You want one that will set in the rim of the canning jar.

You can fill the canning jar with whatever you wish. Potpourri is one of the easiest fillers. I bought a nice autumn-scented potpourri and added some orange slices I'd dried in my food dehydrator. You can also add dried cranberries, apple slices, or cinnamon sticks.

After you fill the jar, you set the candle holder inside the mouth of the jar. The top of the candle holder should be even with the top of the jar. You might have a little trial and error before you find just the right candle holder. Place the candle in the holder and then use the ribbon to tie a big bow around the neck of the jar. That's it! (You might want to use a little craft glue or your glue gun to tack the ribbon in place).

You can glue some dried fruit, flowers, or other decorations on the bow for a more decorative look. You can also put other things in the jar besides potpourri. I've seen one half filled with white sugar with a short white taper candle set down in the sugar. Very pretty! And that one doesn't require the candle holder.

At Christmas you can purchase small ornaments and place them in the jar instead of the potpourri. Any small figurine would do--in the spring you could use little bunnies.

Maybe fill a jar with marbles or layers of colored sand. Even pennies! Use your imagination. These candles make great gifts and are also fun to make for yourself. If you get tired of one just empty it out and start again!

Originally published at Suite 101. Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer, mom, and owner of four home and family web sites. For scrapbooking, card making, gift-giving ideas, and more family memory-making activities, visit


Excalibur 2900 9 Tray Dehydrator

Features of the Excalibur Model ED-2900 Dehydrator * Controlled environment for a wide variety of uses, i.e. making fruit roll-ups and trail mixes, drying flower arrangements and herbs, plus various uses for art and crafts, and photos * 9 Trays with 15 square feet of drying area * Includes 9 polyscreen tray liners * Includes 28-page dehydrating guide * 7" FAN/600 WATTS * 1-Year warranty

When people think of knives they tend to think of a few select companies; Kershaw is one of those well known companies. This company is a corporation that makes nothing but knives and is known for the quality of the knives While the company is international, and is owned by a Japanese group, it is located in Oregon in the United States. There are many different facets to these knives including where the company came from and the knives that they create

Kershaw Knives actually got its start in its current state of Oregon. The company was started in 1974 in Portland, Oregon. The knives were actually manufactured in Japan, however, and in three years, the company was bought by a Japanese company. While the company is American, it as always had a large amount of production in Japan.

This brand of knives is easily one of the most popular brands of knives in the United States. These knives have won multiple awards, with the latest being a "Knife of the Year" award. These knives are known both by those who need knives and those who simply want them.

When people think of these knives they tend to think of switch blades and other types of knives They often fail to realize that chef knives are some of the knives available through Kershaw knives These knives must be sharpened often, but offer a great blade for all of your kitchen work, from basic chopping to complete carving. The knives also have styling that matches many types of dinnerware, meaning that the knives fit well at the table.

The kitchen knives available from this company are incredibly useful. These kitchen knives are made of great knife steel, and allow for you to chop, dice, and slice with ease. The knives do require sharpening (as do all other types of knives), but offer you the craftsmanship and quality that you expect from a knife with the Kershaw name. These knives can and will be a great addition to your kitchen cutlery.

The blades of these knives are made from great knife steel that allows you to know that your knife is strong and durable. The blade is long enough to get the job done, and has the perfect blade that allows for ease of use.

The handle on these knives is second to none in the knife business. These knives feature a great handle that gives an ease of use through length and balance. All knives whether they are utility knives or kitchen cutlery, use their handles to maximize your ease of use. The handle is stylish, and is easy to grip and use.

Trying to buy these knives on line is incredibly easy. Just like any other type of product, these knives are available on line in multiple different forms. You can search by Kershaw knives and blades on line individually, and can also purchase them in sets. One place that you cannot purchase the knives on line, however, is off of the actual company website. The website simply links you to the local dealers who have the knives that you are looking for.

If you are looking to purchase Kershaw Knives on line, there are a few things that you should do. First, you need to figure out exactly what tool that you want and need. Knowing exactly what type of knife you need is a big help. After you have chosen the knife, you need to find that exact knife on multiple websites. Finding these knives on multiple websites on line is the only way to make sure that you are paying the lowest prices for the exact knife that you want.

For all your cutlery needs, including Kershaw Knives visit our site.

All of your cooking supplies can be found at" at competitive prices.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Nesco American Harvest FD-61 Snackmaster Encore Dehydrator and Jerky Maker

This convenient dehydrator makes great tasting, healthy snacks & jerky! Introducing the Snackmaster?? Encore???. It's Grey top and marbled design features 500 watts of drying power, and generates maximum speed and quality for dehydrating fruits, vegetables, beef jerky, and venison jerky. Helps dry food in hours, not days like ordinary food dehydrators. The top mounted fan eliminates the worry of liquids dripping into the the heating chamber!You can make delicious beef jerky, turkey jerky, fish jerky, trail mix, homemade yogurt, apple snacks, banana chips, dried soup mixes, dried tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, mangoes, papaya and other dried fruits at a fraction of the cost. Make dried herbs and spices; also make potpourri and dried flowers for any occasion.

Many people from around the world enjoy the light flavor of chamomile tea. If you enjoy drinking the tea, you might be interest to know it is easy to grow your own chamomile.

Combine Gardening with Tea Drinking

Even if you are a beginner gardener, growing chamomile is easy. Start by buying some seeds from a local merchant. If you cant find any stores near you, there are many online seed stores to order from.

The seeds are very small, and can be scattered in a small area of your garden. Lightly rake the soil to cover them or cover with a thin layer of fine soil. Water and keep the soil slightly moist while the seeds germinate.

Chamomile grows well in North America. It can grow in relatively dry climates with a little watering. The plant doesnt grow very tall usually 24 inches is the tallest height. It can be used as ground cover or to fill in areas where you need a low lying plant.

Picking the Flowers

The flowers are bright yellow and slightly cone shaped. The blooms start out small and can grow up to a third of an inch across. To make tea, you need to pick the blooms before they seed. Once they turn a dull yellowish grey color, they have gone to seed. The seeded flowers dont have to go to waste keep the seeds to plant again next year.

After youve picked a fair amount, wash to get rid of any loose dirt. Shake off the excess water. You can air dry the flowers by putting them in a dry place in the house for several days. Covering lightly with cheesecloth can help keep dust off while they dry. If youd like the process to go faster, you can put them in the oven for several hours on a low heat. You dont want to bake them, just make the drying go faster. A food dehydrator is another way to speed up the drying process.

Chamomile makes a beautiful addition to the garden with the reward of providing you with your own, home grown tea.

Find more articles on tea at the Tea and More website. Find articles on blended chamomile tea and more related tea articles