Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Newest Members of My Kitchen Family

I have a friend who refuses to buy anything used, EVER.  I can appreciate the reasoning.  Who wants to inherit other people's potential germs? What if the item was abused by it's previous owner? And there are no guarantees or warranties on the item.  But, you know what I see???

Lots of saved money!

Case in point? This juice extractor cost me twelve dollars at a thrift store.

Waring JEX328 Health Juice Extractor

Obviously I got a good deal. And, it's a pretty good looking and productive little machine.

The next item I scavenged at the thrift store was this mandolin, which I only paid two dollars for.

Zyliss Easy Slice Mandolin, White

So, those are two of the newest members in my collection.

The third addition to my little gathering of appliances is my food dehydrator. Let's just say that my blender (boyfriend) is having a really hard time welcoming Mr. Dehydrator and my new infatuation with him (although his curviness would allude to him being female, but just let's not go there). Now, I didn't find this baby at a thrift store, I actually hit up amazon for it.

Nesco American Harvest FD-61P 500 Watt Food Dehydrator

So, here are the ways I have already utilized my new items.

I used my mandolin to make these amazing "chips". I found the recipe online, and it was referenced as coming from an old issue of Gourmet Magazine (R.I.P.).

Set your oven to 500 degrees.
Butter up some cookie sheets.
Mandolin some potatoes.
Lay them on the sheets. They can touch, but not overlap.
Butter the tops of the slices of potato.
Bake 15 Minutes.

I like to use red potatoes and fleur-de-lis salt.

As for my juicer... ahhh... carrot juice. If any of you readers out there (are there any readers out there?) like carrot juice, please take this opportunity to declare your love and endure the ridicule and distortion of the faces of all the normal people. That is what my experience has been when I tell people how much I love carrot juice. However, if you aren't a lover of the orange milk of the Gods, you can do orange juice, apple juice, grape juice. If you are really adventurous, you can even do celery juice. It's supposed to a natural gatorade.

Needless to say, I have juiced a lot of things, and I have enjoyed it. I pour the juices into ice cube trays, freeze them, pop out the cubes, bag them, and put them in the freezer for later.

That later time would be today. Today I grabbed a few of those cubes, mixed them with some fresh fruit and threw them into the dehydrator to make fruit leather.

This leather here is made with fresh oranges, frozen banana, frozen strawberry, frozen mango puree, and frozen pineapple.

Why not just use fresh fruit? Because, having homemade juice on hand, that doesn't spoil because it is not pasteurized, is wonderful.

So that is where Mr. Wonderful comes in.. you know, the dehydrator. I spent about 1.50 on some over-ripe bananas, threw them into the machine, and the next day had some pretty good banana chips. Now, these aren't the crappy ones that you get at the store. They are a little chewier, tens times sweeter, and much more flavorful. Or, as my son says, "YUM!".

I made peach leather, which ended up being totally too expensive for my liking. A word to the wise, pick cheap fruit because watching your pounds of fruit dehydrate into a thin layer of leather is rather irritating when you spent almost eight dollars on it. Go with the less expensive stuff on sale, and if you are really into saving the money, canned isn't a bad idea.

I read that applesauce is a good idea as well. So, tonight I put a bit of natural applesauce with some cinnamon in it in the tray to make more fruit leather. Tomorrow will reveal how accurate the article I read was.  I also did a tray of pureed cantaloupe and one of pureed green and red grapes.  My kitchen smells amazing right now!

Needless to say, my little family of appliances really worked together today to get the job done. The blender made the puree, and the extractor made the juice that went into the puree that made the leather. The mandolin sliced the potatoes that the oven baked. The extra puree that we had left over from making the fruit leather went into a smoothie which we enjoyed with the chips.

Good times!

No comments:

Post a Comment