Monday, December 10, 2012

Product Training: The Heat Cell

The Heat Cell at a Glance
ID Number:  56659
Q club Price:  $3.95 each
Size:  9 oz.  That is about the size of two hockey pucks stacked on top of each other. 

What is cool about the Heat Cell:

  • Contains Ecofuel, a 100% biodegradable, odorless, and non-toxic fuel 
  •  Burn time of 9 hours
  • Unlimited shelf life
  • Can be used indoors or outdoors.
  •  Spill proof design to reduce accidents
  • Easy to relight and reuse.

How to use at a party—Have a s’more bar. 

Last week in the middle of the night I could not sleep.  So after a couple of hours of tossing and turning I woke up and got on pinterest.  I saw a great idea of having a s’more bar at a wedding.  As I looked at the photo I thought.  I think you could do that with the heat cell.    I did some checking and the Heat Cell is safe to use when cooking directly over the flame.  I tried it out with my family and it was super fun.  We roasted our marshmallows over the heat cell and then added graham crackers, chocolate, and FD strawberries.  It was super yummy.  

Things to consider when making s’mores at a party.

  • Be sure the hostess is on board with having guest roast marshmallows over an open flame inside her home.
  •  Be careful with the chocolate.  Whatever you have out will get eaten.  I suggest buying the fun size Hershey’s candy bars (you know the size you would give out at Halloween) and only putting out a reasonable number.
  •  For an average party you will need a couple of heat cells.  I would recommend 3 or 4.  It takes a few minutes to roast a marshmallow so you definitely need more than one.
  •   The close the lid on the heat cell when finished using just put the lid over the flame and the flame with be extinguished and the lid will get sucked down. 
  •   Be sure to have some FD fruit to put on the s’mores.  I tried it with strawberries and bananas and it was heavenly.  I’m sure pineapple would also be great. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Creamy Asparagus and Peas Pasta

Asparagus is my daughter’s favorite vegetable.  Sadly most of the year is it too expensive for us to enjoy fresh.  This fall we bought some freeze dried asparagus, we have loved it. I really like that it cooks up bright green.  It doesnt' take too long to cook so be careful not to over cook it. 

These days simple dinners are what we are making and this creamy asparagus pasta fits the bill.  Ready in about 15 minutes it is a perfect for a busy night.
Creamy Asparagus and Peas Pasta
printable recipe
5 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups freeze dried asparagus
1 cup freeze dried peas
2 tablespoons freeze dried onion
1/2 lemon, juiced          
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 pound fettuccine pasta
3 tablespoons heavy cream
5 ounces shredded Italian three-cheese blend

1.       Place bacon in a large saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until bacon is evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally while cooking. Drain the bacon grease from the pan, and transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
2.       Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and stir in the fettuccine and freeze dried peas; after cooking 5 minutes add asparagus and onions.  Cook, stirring often, until fettuccine are tender and veggie are bright green and tender, about 12 minutes. Drain well. Return to pan.
3.       Stir in cream and bacon and bring mixture to a simmer.
4.       Sprinkle cheese blend over the mixture and allow to stand until the cheese melts, about 5 minutes; stir cheese lightly into the fettuccine and vegetables to serve.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Guava Cake

 Over the summer my Grandmother turned 90 so she had a luau with Hawaiian food, hula dancers, and fake palm trees.   For dessert she had Guava Cake.  I’ve never been to Hawaii (sigh) so I had never had this delicious cake before.  I searched the internet for an awesome recipe and after finding a promising one tried to make it.  Long story short, it was a horrible disaster.  My mom even told me the cake was terrible. 

I worked on the recipe improving the week points and adapting it to use ingredients I could actually find in the local grocery store.  And the resulting cake is delicious.  I made it earlier this week as a late birthday cake and realized that I had never shared the recipe.  It isn’t really made from food storage but it is delicious. 

Guava Cake

Cake layer
1 box white cake mix
1 (12 oz.) can guava concentrate juice , defrosted.  Buy this by the frozen orange juice.  I buy the Hawaii’s Own Brand.  If all you  can find is the Guava Strawberry frozen juice concentrate, it will work fine.
1 (3 oz.) box strawberry Jell-O mix

Cream layer
8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
tsp. vanilla
1 package cool whip thawed

Guava glaze layer
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
Remainder of guava concentrate

For cake: prepare cake according to directions except use 1/4 cup guava concentrate plus enough water to equal the water required on the package directions. Add I package Jell-O and stir to combine. Cook in 9x13 inch pan according to package.
For cream layer: in medium bowl, beat softened cream cheese until fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla. Beat. With a spatula, slowly fold in cool whip. Refrigerate until read to use.
For glaze layer: heat remainder of guava concentrate in a saucepan. Add sugar and cornstarch. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Set aside to cool

Assembly: cool cake completely. Spread on cream layer. Drizzle on glaze. Let cake set over night. Serve cold.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sausage and Egg Breakfast Bake

I really love breakfast, but I don’t really love mornings.  Consequently my family ends up eating breakfast foods a lot for dinner.   This breakfast casserole is one of our favorites.  It can be make 100% from your food storage or you can supplement with some fresh ingredients.  Oh and I’m pretty sure that the spinach cancels out all the calories and fat from the sausage and cheese (don’t I wish).   
Sausage and Egg Breakfast Bake
6 biscuits, cooked, cooked and cut into 1" pieces
6 large eggs, beaten (3/4 cup scrambled egg mix plus 1 ½ cup water)
2 1/2 cups half and half
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons hot sauce, or to taste
2 tablespoons Freeze Dried Onion, rehydrated and drained.
1 cup freeze dried sausage, rehydrated and drained
1 cup freeze dried spinach, rehydrated and drained
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1.  Butter a 9 x 11- inch baking dish.
2.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together scrambled egg mix plus water,  half and half, salt, pepper and hot sauce.
3.  Place biscuit pieces into pieces into prepared dish.
4.  Top with spinach, onion, sausage and half of cheddar cheese. Pour egg mixture over all and top with remaining cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
5.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
6.   Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until casserole puffs and center of casserole is set. If top of casserole is browning too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil during baking process. Allow 8 to 10 minutes of resting time before serving.

Tip:  You can rehydrate the sausage, onion and spinach all together.  Place in a large bowl and cover with very hot water.  Let sit about 10 minutes until sausage is fully rehydrated.  Drain well.