Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

AS SEEN ON TV: Appliance tips to maximize your kitchen

July 3, 2012

Rena Sarigianopoulos of KARE and Carla Warner of Warner Stellian chat about how to help your appliances help you.

Carla Warner visited KARE 11 News@4 on Monday to share some tips for making the most of your most-used kitchen appliances.

In case you missed us, here are those tips:

Microwave

1. To get rid of that popcorn smell or other odors, squeeze a lemon into a bowl of water and boil it in the microwave it for several minutes. Allow the bowl to cool before opening the microwave door and then wipe down the interior with a soft cloth.

2. Take advantage of different power levels. Most people only cook using 100% of the microwave’s power and just nuke everything. But you can effectively use your microwave to soften and melt gently, too. To quickly soften butter, cook 1 stick for 1 minute on 10% power level.

Refrigerator

1. A small amount of condensation on the fridge or freezer is normal, especially during humid weather and summer vacation, if you see more condensation than normal, check the seal (or gasket) for any obstructions and clear them. If there aren’t any, try moistening the gasket with Vaseline by rubbing a thin layer on the seal where it meets the cabinet of the fridge. This should create a stronger, air-tight seal.

2. Brands might create the perfect space for gallon-jug storage on your refrigerator door, but consider how quickly you will use highly perishable foods (like milk) before storing them here. Why? Consider the temperature fluctuations of this region of the refrigerator. Accordingly, produce like broccoli, asparagus and apples benefit from colder temperatures located near the rear, while corn and berries — for example — benefit from the warmest spot in the refrigerator, so choose those for the front. (Alternatively, fresh herbs like basil thrive in slightly warmer-than-fridge temperatures, so I keep mine in the door!)

3. Use your crisper. Those clear drawers in your fridge aren’t just for convenience. Many models allow you adjust the humidity of your crisper drawers to suit their contents. Consult your use & care manual for specifics on your model, but in general, separate your fruits from vegetables and set humidity to high for green, leafy vegetables and low for fruits and vegetables with skins. Meats should be colder – often just above freezing – so keep them in your deli drawer, which is usually designed to stay colder.

Range

1. Keep your burner caps and drip pans clean. Maintaining a tidy cook surface isn’t just about impressing company. Dirty surfaces don’t reflect heat as well as polished surfaces, thus wasting energy and potentially your time. We sell range top cleaner made specifically for cooking surfaces that will help you keep your range or cooktop looking — and cooking — well.

2. Match pots and pans to the size of your burners
Unless you’re using an induction cooktop or range, you’re heating a lot of air while you try to heat your food. For instance, induction cooking – which only heats the cooking vessel and not the air — is 20% more efficient than electric and 70% more efficient than gas. To lessen energy loss, choose the appropriate-sized pot or pan for the size of burner you’re cooking on (i.e. don’t put a 1-qt saucepan on a ginormous “power burner”).

3. Cover your pots while boiling water
When you think about it, it makes no sense to boil water in an uncovered pot. Using a cover helps water boil faster while creating pressure and preventing evaporation. Saving lots of time and energy.

 

Refrigerator temperature: What temperature should the freezer be set at?

January 2, 2012

Refrigerator temperatures come automatically set to factory recommendations, which are the proper refrigerator temperature of 37 degrees and the ideal freezer temperature of zero degrees.

These are generally the correct temperatures, but according to Whirlpool Corp., your freezer is set at the correct temperature when the ice cream is firm.

If the freezer is too warm or too cold, first check the air vents to make sure that nothing’s blocking circulation. Then adjust the temperature up or down one setting and allow a full 24 hours for the temperature to adjust.

One level is equal to about 1 degree of temperature, so remember: the higher the freezer temperature, the faster your frozen foods lose their quality. However, colder temperatures also could dry foods out, so try to keep the freezer at the recommended zero degrees.

>>Read more tips on proper frozen food storage

Refrigerator, wine refrigerator, freezer and pantry – all in one

December 21, 2011

I recently trendspotted cooking appliances that multitask over separate appliances for separate functions.

But what about refrigeration?

Some of you have a second refrigerator, maybe for beverages or the extra freezer space, but until the holiday season, you don’t really use most of the space. It’s probably 15 cubic feet, in total.

Then people might have wine refrigerators for storing and chilling their wine.

If you’re really lucky, you have an area for cold pantry storage. (If you’re me, you have your poorly heated laundry room to keep the potatoes and winter squash.)

But if you don’t really make use of all the space those different appliances take up, you can see the genius in the Fisher & Paykel CoolDrawer.

Fisher & Paykel, the New Zealand brand best known for its DishDrawers, created a multitemperature fridge drawer. It packs 3 cubic feet into a 33-inch wide drawer and adjusts the temperature setting based on what you need it to be at that moment. Amazing, right?

This is how my daydream plays out:

Pantry (53.5°F)

Chill (31°F)

It can be a cold pantry for fresh herbs and produce leading up to the holidays.

Then days before you can turn it into a refrigerator to defrost your roast without taking up a shelf in your fridge for a few days.

The day of, convert it to wine mode it to chill wine and spirits. You can also keep soda and juice in easy reach for kids.

Afterwards, use the extra space to freeze (or deep freeze) or refrigerate leftovers. All at the touch of a button.

Wine (53.5°F for long-term storage, 44.5°F for white wine serving and 59°F for red wine)

Freezer (0°F) (Deep Freezer -13 °F)

Repair your refrigerator seal with Vaseline

December 13, 2011

Gasket, seal, "rubber thing" -- whatever you call it, keep it moistened.

If you’ve noticed ice crystals on your frozen foods or condensation in your fridge, check your refrigerator seal. After some troubleshooting, you might be able to make a DIY repair without having to resort to a refrigerator gasket replacement.

First, open your refrigerator’s freezer door and slip a dollar bill against where the gasket seals to the freezer cabinet. Shut the door to hold the bill in place.

If the bill slips out, your seal isn’t tight.

Fortunately, moistening the seal with Vaseline (petroleum jelly) should do the trick and revive the strong rubber grip of your fridge’s youth AND keep your foods nice and chilly. Just apply a thin layer of Vaseline to the part of the seal that touches the refrigerator or freezer, and voila!

Canning classes help you preserve the season, just like mom did

August 12, 2011

When I was growing up, we went strawberry and raspberry picking every season to make a freezer full of jelly to enjoy and give as gifts all year long. To this day, I can’t eat store-bought jelly, because my mom has ruined me on anything that doesn’t taste as fruity and fresh as her own stock.

Since moving out, I’ve missed the annual preservation tradition and wanted to learn the science for myself. Apparently, I’m not the only one.

The Star Tribune featured canning's "comeback" last week.

Homesteading is like, super trendy right now, so canning has enjoyed quite the resurgence in the past couple years. Some people have taken it up to continue local, sustainable eating into the colder months; some out of a misguided attempt to save money (it ain’t cheaper). But many just want to make something absolutely delicious.

The Star Tribune published a list of upcoming canning classes, for both newbies and those looking to brush up their skills.

Warners’ Stellian is also planning to host a canning class at our St. Paul store in September, in cooperation with the Mississippi Market Co-op and one of my favorite bloggers and Master Food Preserver, Liz McMann, of Food Snobbery Is My Hobbery.

Stay tuned for details, or email me at jawarner at warnersstellian.com for more info. Feel free to let me know if there’s anything else you’d like us to do. Otherwise, I’ll just keep creating events to satisfy selfish curiosities :)

A freezer with a side of beef

July 15, 2011

Readers of this blog know my love of photos of animals inside appliances...this is a bit different.

Being cheap and running low on the supply of my boyfriend’s game meat, I’m intrigued by the concept of cow-pooling, or sharing an entire animal carcass with a few others.

I’ve heard of more people doing it, and while it sounds nutty at first, buying a whole cow offers more affordable ($3 to $5 per pound) access to normally (outrageously) expensive pasture-raised or grass-fed beef.

Your refrigerator’s freezer compartment probably won’t have a cow…not a whole or half one, at least.

But chest freezers and upright freezers are surprisingly affordable, starting below $190 for a 5 cubic foot model. In general, 50 pounds of meat fits in 2.25 cubic feet of freezer space. A half cow takes up about 10 cubic feet of freezer space. And stored properly, the meat stays tasty for 12 months.

Something to keep in mind: when storing meats and other foods for periods longer than say, six months, it’s best to purchase a manual defrost freezer. While manually defrosting a freezer is a pain in the butt, frost-free freezers remove more moisture from the air in the freezer, which can degrade the quality of the meat over time (i.e. freezer burn).

One of my favorite magazines, Cooking Light offers more tips on buying and storing beef in bulk.

Has anyone ever bought a whole or half animal carcass? Where did you keep it? Would you do it again?

Introducing…a new Maple Grove farmers market

June 13, 2011

Those looking for an alternative to the Maple Grove Farmers Market on Thursday evenings can shop and enjoy lunch at the Bass Lake Center Farmers Market every Tuesday from 11-3.

Beginning June 14, shoppers can sample food truck fare from Gastrotruck and Border Tacos while shopping for produce, flowers and unique gifts and crafts.

The market runs through Sept. 6 and is not affiliated with the Maple Grove Farmers Market. The Bass Lake Center is home to Warners’ Stellian Appliance and several other tenants. >>See map & directions

Vendors include:

5 ways to preserve food longer

May 12, 2011

With the opening of the Mill City Farmers Market last weekend and the start of many people’s summer CSA shares, the perennial topic of food storage becomes fresh again (see how I did that?).

Numerous ways to extend the life of fresh fruit, veggies, meat and dairy exist, but here are the 5 I could think of.

What do you do to try to make your food last longer?

1. Use your crisper

Those clear drawers in your fridge aren’t just for convenience. Many models allow you adjust the humidity of your crisper drawers to suit their contents. Consult your use & care manual for specifics on your model, but in general, set humidity to high for green, leafy vegetables and low for fruits and vegetables with skins.

2. Pick your spot

Brands might create the perfect space for gallon-jug storage on your refrigerator door, but consider how quickly you will use highly perishable foods before storing them here. Why? Consider the temperature fluctuations of this region of the refrigerator.

If you go through a gallon of milk every couple days, then maybe it doesn’t matter, but those of use who just use a sprinkle in our coffee should definitely select a cooler spot, like the back of the fridge, which is less affected when the door opens.

Accordingly, produce like broccoli, asparagus and apples benefit from colder temperatures located near the rear, while corn and berries — for example — benefit from the warmest spot in the refrigerator, so choose those for the front.

3. Use a paper towel to keep your greens…green

I love making big salads, but we all know that greens (especially leftovers) quickly become yellows and browns.

I arrange washed greens between paper towels to absorb excess moisture and seal them in punctured plastic bags. I’m not sure how “official” this is, but it’s allowed me to eat salad leftovers for two days before.

4. Don’t pass gas

Ethylene gas, that is. Foods like apples, peaches and pears produce ethylene, a gas that kick-starts ripening, which can cause premature aging in some fruits and damage in others. Avoid storing ethylene-producing foods near others sensitive to it (see list here) or keep them in a plastic bag to contain the gas.

5. Know what NOT to refrigerate

Sometimes the refrigerator can do more harm than good — as in the case of avocados, bananas, tomatoes, pineapples, mangoes, potatoes and squash — which should be stored at room temperature. Cold temperatures can dehydrate and damage these foods.

Plus, I think that refrigerating tomatoes sucks all the flavor out, doesn’t it?

Living Green Expo: Enter to win energy-efficient LG appliances

May 5, 2011

When choosing our returning spot for this year’s Living Green Expo, we went with our gut…and headed straight for the food.

I have a feeling you might, too.

This Saturday and Sunday at the State Fairgrounds, watch (and taste) live cooking demonstrations by top local chefs on the Warners’ Stellian Celebrity Chefs stage in the 4-H building, part of the Local Chefs, Local Food experience.

Chefs like Scott Pampuch of Corner Table and other favorites like Birchwood Cafe, Common Roots and Chef Shack will be cooking on stage while talking about what local food means to their cooking.

Just west of the audience area of the stage, come visit us to find out how you can enter to win $5,000 in LG appliances by completing the Living Green Challenge.

Products are for representation only (we figured you'd want to pick your own stuff!).

Basically, you learn about living more sustainably by visiting different Living Green Expo exhibits and collect stamps in each category. Once your challenge card is completed, drop it in our high efficiency top load LG washer (yes, I said top load washer).

You can also talk to our appliance experts about the latest models’ energy- and water-saving technology and our own award-winning recycling program.

RECIPE: Caribbean Chicken on the grill

April 25, 2011

Because this is exactly what I have on the to do list this week, here’s my post on waking up your grill ready after winter hibernation.

Need some motivation?

Thanks to our Holland Grill and Big Green Egg expert, Stu “King of the BBQ” Glock, for sharing this recipe for grilled chicken that’s anything but ordinary. It looks like a lot of ingredients, but if it’s coming from Stu, I know it’s amazing (i.e. 3 takes on steak).

I’m going to try it soon…let me know if you do!

Grilled Caribbean Chicken

Courtesy of Derrick Agate

  • 1 Tbs allspice
  • 1 Tbs thyme
  • 1- 1/2 tsp each – cayenne pepper, black pepper and ground sage
  • ¾ tsp each ground nutmeg and cinnamon
  • 2 Tbs each salt and garlic powder
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ¾ cup white vinegar
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 jalapeno or haberneros, finely chopped
  • 1 cup white onion chopped
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 3 lbs chicken

In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients.  Whisk in olive oil, soy sauce, orange juice, vinegar and lime juice, then the peppers and onions.

Add the chicken, cover, and refrigerate overnight or up to 48 hours.  Cook on the Holland Grill or the Big Green Egg at 350 degrees until the internal meat temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest 5 minutes before serving.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 89 other followers