Wednesday, June 7, 2017

6 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Garden This Summer

You work hard in your garden all summer to grow your fruits, veggies and herbs—don’t let them go to waste by not taking care of the finished product. We’ve come up with six ways to get the most out of the fruits of your labor:
           1. Harvest at the right time- Picking herbs, fruits and veggies at the right time of the season is the key to keeping them fresh. The best time of year depends on your zone and variety of crops. For
most, harvesting just before peak ripeness is

ideal for preventing over-ripeness and rot.

Harvesting is best done either early in the morning or later in the evening to keep yourself and your crops cool. After picking, most crops should be taken out of direct sunlight to avoid wilting. It can be helpful to bring bunches indoors every so often to give you and your crops a break from the sun and heat.
2         2. Don’t wash your harvest immediately- It’s tempting to get everything inside and immediately give it a quick rinse to clean them, but don’t! Moisture promotes bacteria growth, which speeds up the decomposition process. Instead of washing or rinsing, brushing soil off as you pick can keep your kitchen clean while keeping everything fresh. If you can’t resist rinsing, make sure to dry crops thoroughly before storing to avoid bacteria growth.
3         3.  Store fresh crops properly- How you store your fruits and vegetables is the most important factor in how long they will keep. While there are some general guidelines to keeping things fresh, within the same type of crop every species is a little different so it may take some trial and error to perfect the process. Some general rules for  the most common types are:
Tomatoes: Do not refrigerate tomatoes. Rather, leave them on the kitchen counter in the open air to breathe.
Potatoes: Leave potatoes in the sun to dry, then brush off all of the dirt and soil (to prevent molding). Store in a cool, dark and dry place like a cupboard or dry basement until ready to use.
Carrots: Carrots are similar to potatoes in needing to be stored in a cool, dark and dry area after being dried out. Just don’t leave them out in the sun after uprooting because they have a thinner skin than potatoes.
Garlic & Onions: Store in a cool, dark and airy place like a cupboard. Make sure they are thoroughly dried and the stems are cut off before storage.
Zucchini & Cucumbers: Both zucchini and cucumbers store better in the refrigerator than at room temperature. Just be sure to dry their skin thoroughly as moisture can cause decay quickly on these crops.
Pumpkins & Squashes: Pumpkins and squash vary greatly by species, but can generally last up to several months if properly stored in a dark and dry environment. Before storage, make sure that all moisture is removed from the skin and wipe away any dirt that can contain additional moisture.
Berries: Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries should be sealed in an airtight container and left in the refrigerator. Berries keep better in shallow containers with fewer layers to avoid crushing the delicate fruits. Place a paper towel in the bottom of the container to absorb any moisture that may drip.
Leafy Greens: Spinach, lettuce and kale are best harvested as needed as they only keep for a few days before wilting. When they are harvested, they should be kept in a humid veggie drawer in the refrigerator.
Herbs: Herbs can be stored for up to 10 days, just put the stems in a glass of water like a bouquet of flowers, and wrap the exposed leaves in plastic wrap. While most herbs should be placed in the refrigerator for maximum longevity, cold sensitive herbs like basil should be left at room temperature.
4          4. Seal in the freshness- Vacuum Sealing can keep almost anything fresh for longer. By eliminating oxygen flow around your food, decomposition and bacteria growth slow. Just ensure that everything is dry before sealing to reduce bacteria that thrive in moisture. Vacuum Sealing can also eliminate freezer burn if you’re freezing your fresh crops.
5          5. Know when your crops are no longer safe- While it’s tempting to save your crops for as long as possible, take care to know when they have run their course. Produce can grow and harbor bacteria that can reduce quality and make you sick. Signs to look for include sliminess, mold, discoloration and signs of rot. If your crops are showing these signs, throw them out or compost them to avoid illness.
6          6. Take care in your preparation­- You’ve worked hard to grow and care for your crops, so see the process through. Wash them thoroughly just before use to ensure any chemicals used in the Dehydration. Home dehydrated goods are more nutritious and flavorful than store-bought and make a great snack or dessert. A combination of Dehydrating and Vacuum Sealing can help your hard work last through the winter months. 
growing process are removed. One healthy and delicious way to prepare your home-grown produce is



Friday, May 26, 2017

The 85 Year Journey of a Roaster

            Mary Rakunas is the life of the party and the glue that holds her family together. She’s always in charge of hosting her family’s holidays, a responsibility she took over from her mother, “Grandma Bee”.  Also taken over from Grandma Bee is the family Nesco Roaster Oven. The origins of the Roaster are a mystery—all Mary knows is that it was probably purchased sometime shortly after Grandma Bee’s wedding in 1934. For nearly 85 years, that Roaster Oven has been brought out every time there was a holiday, barbecue, baby shower, graduation or any and all special gatherings. It became a symbol of bringing the Rakunases together. Eventually as Grandma Bee got older, Mary took over her duties of cooking and hosting the family gatherings, and the Nesco Roaster. She continues to roast potatoes, briskets, turkeys, and other family favorites that will bring the family together for that show-stopping meal. The future is set for the Roaster. It will continue being passed down the line, generation to generation.

            Nesco’s line of cookware may have grown since that Roaster was made in 1934, but our commitment to bringing people together around a quality meal hasn’t changed. There is nothing that makes us happier than knowing that we help make your Thanksgiving turkey tasty or your Easter ham heavenly. Schedules today are busier than ever, making it harder and more rare to get everyone together. Let us help you by making it easier than ever to enjoy quality time and focus on your family. With our expansive selection of products, including Pressure Cookers, Slow Cookers, Dehydrators and so much more, bring us to your next gathering and see everyone come together like Mary’s family has been for 85 years. 
Grandma Bee and her new husband, before
she was "Grandma Bee"
Grandma Bee celebrating Valentine's Day in 2010




Friday, May 19, 2017

Bruschetta with Dehydrated Tomatoes:

Bruschetta served as an appetizer to
Parmesan-crusted chicken
Ingredients:
1 baguette loaf, thinly sliced
2 cups parmesan cheese
Dehydrated tomatoes (see below)
1 Tbsp olive oil plus extra for brushing
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Fresh Basil, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste


Brush baguettes with olive oil and place on baking pan and broil for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown. In a bowl, mix tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper and balsamic. Place 2 Tbsp cheese and a spoonful of tomato mixture on each slice of baguette. Top with fresh basil. Garnish with a sprig of basil and serve as an appetizer to an Italian meal (like Parmesan-crusted chicken), or as a healthy afternoon snack.



Dehydrated Tomato Prep:

Cut 12 Roma tomatoes into thin slices and brush one side with olive oil. Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning. Dehydrate in your favorite Nesco Dehydrator at 135° for 6-12 hours (time depends on tomato thickness, amounts and size). Any extra dehydrated tomatoes can be saved for salads, pasta garnishes or to be eaten by themselves. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

45 Minute Ribs and Coleslaw

Classic Fall-off-the-Bone Ribs

Ribs are a classic American dinner that everyone loves. The only problem with making ribs for the whole family is the time it can take to cook them to the perfect tenderness. Let Nesco cut down your cook time with our Pressure Cooker, available in multiple sizes. For the perfect dinner, serve these ribs with a side of homemade coleslaw (although we cheated and used pre-made dressing).



10 lbs. bone-in ribs, defrosted and cut up
2 bottles Smoky Barbecue sauce
2 cups ginger ale
1 Bay leaf

Place rack in Pressure Cooker. Layer ribs and barbecue sauce in pressure cooker, using about ¼ cup of sauce in between each layer. Add ginger ale and bay leaf. Set Pressure Cooker to HIGH and timer to 30 minutes for tender ribs, or 45 minutes for fall off the bone.
When timer is done, release pressure and carefully remove ribs from Pressure Cooker. Brush ribs with remaining barbecue sauce and serve.

Coleslaw:
1 Large head white cabbage
½ Head red cabbage
2 Cups baby carrots
1 bottle coleslaw dressing

Using the shredding attachment on your Food Processor, slowly feed cabbages and carrots until all are shredded. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add coleslaw dressing. Mix well. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Mother's Day Frittata

Mother's Day Frittata Recipe

1/2 Cup of fresh or fully cooked maple sausage links, sliced and browned
1 Cup of diced potatoes, browned until tender
6-8 large eggs
1/3 Cup milk
1/3 Cup dehydrated mushrooms
1/3 Cup dehydrated tomatoes
1 Tbsp of Italian Seasoning
1/2 Cup of cheddar cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste


On medium heat brown the sausage and potatoes and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and milk together. Add all ingredients to the skillet and stir just until everything is mixed well. Set temperature to medium heat and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until center is firm. Remove from Skillet, cut and serve fresh. 

Friday, May 5, 2017

Chicken Mole and Mexican Rice



Chicken Mole

Ingredients:

Chicken:
6-8 Boneless chicken breasts, defrosted
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 cups water

Mole Sauce:
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups finely chopped onions
¼ cup chili powder
3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Pinch of ground cloves
1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
3 Tablespoons peanut butter
2 cups water


Add water to 11 qt. Nesco® Pressure Cooker. Place chicken breasts on wire rack in cooker and set regulator knob to PRESSURE. Set Cooker to HIGH temp for 5 minutes and press START. Timer will not begin counting down until ideal pressure is reached. Ensure that internal temperature of chicken reaches 180 for doneness. When finished, release the pressure but leave chicken in Cooker to keep warm.

In Nesco® 8” Electric Skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until onions slightly are browned, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in chili powder, brown sugar, cloves and cook for 2 minutes, continuing to stir. Mix in tomatoes, cocoa powder, peanut butter and water. Let simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, or until desired thickness is achieved.
 ________________________________________________________________________________


Mexican Rice

2 cups white rice
1 Tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 ½ teaspoon salt
16 oz. tomato paste
4 cups water
2 cups frozen peas and carrots


Preheat Skillet to medium-high and add oil. Reduce heat to medium, add rice, stirring constantly until lightly brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin, salt, tomato paste and water. Raise heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Cover and cook until rice is tender. Add peas and carrots, and cook for another 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve. 


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Oriental Cashews



More and more you read how nuts are a good source of vitamins and nutrients. This recipe for Oriental Cashews made in your NESCO/American Harvest® Food Dehydrator is great tasting as well as a healthy snack. Also try these delicious cashews on a salad for a wonderful crunch.

Let us know what you think. What are some of your favorite snacks you like to make in your NESCO/American Harvest® Food Dehydrator?

12 oz can dry-roasted whole cashews
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp powdered ginger

Place nuts in a 9 inch square pan. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over nuts. Let sit at room temperature overnight. Drain liquid from nuts and place on Nesco®/American Harvest® Dehydrator tray. 

Dry at 145ยบ F for 3 to 5 hours or until nuts are crunchy. 


Store in an air-tight container.