Family Danz Recipe Corner: Strawberry-Pretzel Icebox Pie

July is definitely the month for backyard barbecues, cookouts and picnics. The warm weather has everyone going outside to celebrate, and chances are you and your family will be joining in on the fun, festivities and food too. If you’re looking for a great dessert recipe that will be the hit of the next outdoor get-together you either host or attend, then look no further than this unique icebox pie recipe from Southern Living. Simple to make ahead, everyone is sure to love this delicious, summer-inspired treat!

Strawberry-Pretzel Icebox Pie

Ingredients

  • 2 cups finely crushed pretzel sticks
  • ¾ cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ 8-oz package softened cream cheese
  • 4 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. strawberry gelatin
  • 2 cups whipping cream, divided
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Stir together first three ingredients, Press firmly on bottom, sides and lip of lightly greased 10” pie plate. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven, place plate on wire rack and cool completely.
  • Process strawberries in food processor until finely chopped. You can do this by hand if you don’t have a food processor, just be sure they are very finely chopped.
  • Beat condensed milk, cream cheese, and gelatin at medium speed until smooth. Add chopped strawberries, and beat at low speed until blended. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Beat ¾ cup whipping cream at high speed until soft peaks form; gently fold whipped cream into berry mixture. Spoon into prepared crust. Cover and freeze 8-10 hours or until firm.
  • Beat remaining 1¼ cups whipping cream at high speed until foamy. Gradually add granulated sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Spread over pie, and freeze one hour or until whipped cream is firm.

While this delicious pie is one way you can cool down this summer, don’t forget to call Family Danz to help you with your cooling needs. Whether you have central AC, ductless or even a heat pump system, we can help you make the most of your home comfort system and help you stay comfortable no matter how hot it gets outside! Just give us a call at 518.427.8685 and we’ll be happy to assist you!

Three Ways You Can Green Up Your Life This Summer

Every day, news headlines talk about environmental concerns. From greenhouse gas emissions to holes in the ozone layer to global warming concerns, many people are wondering what they can do to make their carbon footprint smaller. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take toward greener living – right at your own home. Choosing environmentally friendly cleaners, recycling and making sure the home appliances you choose are ENERGY STAR rated are all examples of how you can do more for Mother Earth, but there are many more ways you can do your part to keep the planet green.

Learn more about simple measures you can take to go green this summer and all year through.

If you and your family are interested in being a bit more environmentally conscious, here are three easy measures you can start taking today:

  • Pay attention to – and conserve – resources. Think about how you heat and cool your home, how much water you use, and what types of household products you use. Then take measures to conserve these resources. For instance, you can get better use of your HVAC system by making sure your home is well insulated and any leaks around doors and windows are sealed. And, installing a programmable thermostat can help you save even more energy. Shut off the faucet when you’re brushing your teeth, and take shorter showers. Choose reusable water bottles and reduce the amounts of food and drink packaging you purchase.
  • Consider composting and gardening. Your vegetation, plant and kitchen waste can be turned into nutrient-rich compost, easily! You can find composting bins at most home improvement stores, or you can make your own fairly easily. You can use that nutrient-rich soil in your own small garden. Tomatoes, peppers, squash and cucumbers are fairly easy to grow and can be canned for use over the winter as well. Even if you don’t garden on your own, you can offer your compost to other gardeners and enjoy some of the bounty of locally grown produce, as many are willing to trade! And, shop at one of the many farmers’ markets that abound during the summer and fall months.
  • Unplug cords and use energy-efficient lighting. A simple way to conserve energy in your home is to unplug your charging cords. You can also unplug other household appliances, like toasters and electric can openers, when not in use. Choose an energy-efficient power strip, and consider making the switch to LED lighting and bulbs. Keep outdoor lights on a motion sensor or timer, so they’re not on all night – using up valuable energy!

And, Family Danz can help you get the best and most efficient home comfort equipment.

At Family Danz, we think it’s important to do what we can to help our customers stay comfortable, all while being as energy efficient as possible. That’s why we offer equipment brands that have been manufactured to provide maximum effectiveness and energy efficiency. We can help you get a system that provides you and your family with ultimate comfort and reduced energy usage – and has been made with the earth in mind. To learn more, just give us a call at 518.427.8685 and we’ll be happy to assist you!

Family Danz Is Your Full-Service Contractor

At Family Danz, we pride ourselves on being able to help people stay comfortable, no matter what the weather outside. We’re always willing to go the extra mile for our customers, and we offer a broad range of products and services to help ensure a wide variety of needs are met. Learn more about our offerings below:

Residential Heating & Air Conditioning

Family Danz offers complete residential heating and air conditioning throughout the Capital District. Our full suite of products and services includes:

Commercial HVAC

Commercial clients can rely on Family Danz to offer comprehensive commercial HVAC solutions. From design and build services to completion, we provide a full list of services with your budget in mind. We can help with:

Heating Oil

You’ll never have to worry about running out of heating oil when you choose Family Danz. We provide oil delivery to residents and businesses alike, with plans that can help you budget for fuel expenses.

Plumbing

We offer residential plumbing services, and are fully staffed with master plumbers who are experts in the field. We provide plumbing equipment and accessories from top manufacturers, so you’re guaranteed quality.

To learn more about Family Danz and our full suite of HVAC, oil delivery and plumbing services, just give us a call at 518.427.8685 and we’ll be happy to assist you!

Need New AC? Consider High Efficiency.

Have you been thinking of replacing the air conditioning system in your home, but not sure if it’s the right time? Just about everybody loves the cool comfort that air conditioning provides during the summer months. But often, people worry about the expense that comes with replacing their old system. A new AC system can be expensive. However, with advances in modern home comfort technology, today’s air conditioning systems are much more energy efficient – and that helps you save money in the long run.

When people are thinking about replacing their home comfort equipment, it’s usually because of a variety of different factors. Of course, many people decide that they need new air conditioning because their old system simply doesn’t keep them as comfortable as it once did. But there are a few other indicators that can help you determine for certain that new AC is the right choice.

Here are a few symptoms of a worn-out system that might help you decide if a new air conditioning system is a good idea:

  • Your current system is more than 10 years old. Obviously, this isn’t always a symptom, per se. If you’re not noticing that you need to make frequent repairs, and your energy bills aren’t outrageous, replacing your older system probably isn’t necessary. But if your system is this old, and you’re noticing some of the issues below, it’s likely time to replace.
  • Repair costs are through the roof. If you’re spending a lot on repair costs, but you still find your system is breaking down often, it’s definitely showing signs that it’s wearing out. If your system does break down, make sure to ask your technician for an estimate prior to having any repair work done. A good rule of thumb – if the cost of repair is more than half the cost of replacing, a new system is likely your best bet.
  • Utility bills are outrageous. Of course, you can expect that your utility bills will go up somewhat in the summer, when running your AC system is at its peak. But if those bills are unusually high, or you’ve noticed a steady increase year over year, it’s likely that your air conditioning system is requiring more energy than usual to operate properly. Add to that the inefficiency of an older system, and you’re probably paying much more for your utilities than you need to.

The good news? You can get high efficiency air conditioning from Family Danz.

At Family Danz, we’re happy to help you get an air conditioning system that can keep you and your family more comfortable – all while saving energy. And, when you save energy, you’ll also likely notice that your utility bills are more manageable. We offer great products for your home, including high-efficiency central air conditioning, ductless cooling systems, and ultra-efficient heat pump systems. And, there are often manufacturer and utility incentives available, which can help you save money on your system up front.

Not sure what type of AC system is best for your home? No problem! We’ll be happy to schedule an appointment for you with one of our comfort specialists, who can explain the different types of air conditioning we offer and help you determine the right choice for your home. To learn more, just give us a call at 518.427.8685 and we’ll be happy to assist you!

Party Planned? Try Out This Coleslaw For A Crowd.

If you’re in the process of planning a party or even a neighborhood barbecue, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of food for your guests. Planning the menu for a crowd can be a bit complicated, especially if you’re making your own dishes. That’s why we’re happy to share this recipe for coleslaw that will serve a crowd of 50 people. Coleslaw is a great side, because it goes with everything from grilled burgers and chicken, to pulled pork or ribs. And this recipe is so simple and easy to prepare, you’ll have it ready in no time – giving you a few extra minutes for everything else that needs to be done!

Coleslaw for a Crowd

Ingredients

  • 12 pounds of cabbage (save time by purchasing the pre-shredded bagged coleslaw mix)
  • 12 medium bell peppers
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 tbsp. salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp. paprika
  • 3 cups mayonnaise

Directions

  • Chop or shred cabbage finely (or use pre-bagged cabbage). If you’re shredding your cabbage, place in several large bowls, cover and chill while preparing the rest of your ingredients. Cut peppers into thin strips, place in large bowl, cover and chill.
  • In another large bowl, combine vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and paprika. Pour over cabbage and toss to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes, and then drain well. Add green peppers and mayonnaise, lightly toss, and transfer to serving bowl. Keep covered and refrigerated until ready to serve.

June Is Party Time – How To Plan A Successful Celebration

June has arrived, and with it, the season of celebration. From graduation parties and anniversaries, to a backyard barbecue that will create special memories for years to come, a successful celebration doesn’t have to be complicated. Of course, some careful planning in advance will help your party go much more smoothly – along with a little help from friends and family.

If a party is in your near future, here are a few simple steps you can take to make the process go much easier:

  • Create a budget. This is the first step for successful planning, because it will dictate every action you take from here on out. Know how much you want to allocate for food, the space where you want to hold the party, any favors you’ll offer your guests, any help you may need, and any activities. Make sure to add a bit more as a cushion, because sometimes costs add up unexpectedly.
  • Choose your date, time and location: If you choose to hold the party at home, make sure you have adequate seating and tables. You may also want to consider tents in case of rain. Or, think about holding the party in another area, like a community center or banquet hall. Once you’ve squared away this information, you’ll be able to send out invites or set up your event on social media.
  • Build your menu. Depending on the type of party, you might need anything from cake and punch to a full buffet. If you’re having a backyard grilling session, you’ll need to make sure you have meats and veggies for grilling, as well as salads, chips, fruit and veggie platters and plenty of drinks. An anniversary celebration might entail a few hors d’oeuvre trays, punch, champagne and of course, a lovely cake. Your menu will depend on the type of party and your budget. 
  • Consider your decorations. Again, this is highly dependent on the party you’re planning. Grad parties can incorporate school colors, anniversary celebrations can be simple and elegant, using colors based on the year (gold, silver, etc.), and backyard barbecues might not need any decorations at all, unless you want to fun it up with a theme, like a tiki or tropical party.
  • Ask for help in advance. You will likely need some assistance – don’t think you can do it all by yourself, or you won’t be able to enjoy the party yourself, or your guests. De-stress the situation by asking friends and family if they would mind helping out, and assigning them specific duties, like keeping snacks and drinks replenished or helping to greet guests. Consider hiring some help for set-up, serving or clean-up.
  • Have a few activities planned. Choose a few participation-optional activities like quick games or a photo booth. If children are invited to the party, you might consider some yard games, a bouncy house, and a treat bag with items that will keep them occupied.

Make sure your home is a comfortable retreat, too.

If you’re planning a party at home, make sure you have some indoor space people can enjoy in case the weather is hotter than expected. You’ll know your air conditioning system will be running perfectly for your guests when you count on Family Danz to help. We’ll provide you with the AC maintenance you need to be company-ready this summer. Just give us a call at (518) 427-8685 and we’ll be happy to help.

Why Choose Family Danz For Your Commercial HVAC Needs?

You trust Family Danz for your residential home comfort needs; winter, spring, summer and fall. But did you know that we also provide commercial heating, AC and refrigeration services? You know that by choosing us for your home, you’re getting the best customer service, quality products, and maintenance that keeps your equipment running smoothly year after year. We offer that same expert service for your business as well – something we’ve been doing for decades.

At Family Danz, we’re invested in our community. We belong to the Albany, Bethlehem, Rensselaer and Saratoga Chambers of Commerce, and the Better Business Bureau, where we enjoy an A+ rating. Our skilled commercial HVAC/R pros are able to install, repair and maintain commercial heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems for your business or corporation. We’ll provide you with premium Bryant® commercial equipment, built for durability, efficiency and performance.

We’re pleased to offer a full range of commercial and mechanical services.

When you choose Family Danz for your commercial HVAC/R needs, we can help in the following ways:

  • Heating (Including Furnace & Boiler Applications)
  • Air Conditioning
  • Rooftop Installation & Repair
  • Refrigeration Installation & Repair
  • Chiller Installation & Repair
  • Large-Scale Projects (Including Design & Build Applications)

And, we’re proud to serve our commercial clients in a timely manner that minimizes downtime.

We can provide bid and spec work, and can help design and build energy efficient commercial solutions. Family Danz will work with you, helping you stay within budget and custom-tailoring your project to meet your individual business needs. We are pleased to work with more than 200 commercial clients locally, including:

  • Argyle, Averill Park, Bethlehem, Hudson Falls and Mechanicville Central School Districts
  • NYS OGS – Five Rivers
  • Mahamudra Buddhist Hermitage
  • Ida Yarbrough, Mohawk Harbor, News Lofts, and Seven Green Apartments
  • Tri City Rentals
  • Ashfield Senior Housing
  • Heritage Village

We have a broad service area throughout the Capital Region, including Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Colonie, Ballston Spa, Rensselaer, and Clifton Park. If you’d like to learn more about our commercial HVAC/R services, give us a call at (518) 427-8685, or email us at tim@familydanz.com.

Cool Down In All Your Rooms With Ductless

Have you recently converted a garage or attic into a living space, finished a basement, or built on an addition to your home? Congratulations! There’s nothing like having more space for family fun and activities. However, sometimes when you convert or add space to your home, this new area doesn’t have access to the home’s ductwork system. And that means it might not have the same comfort level as other spaces in your home. How can you make your new room as comfortable as the rest of your home?

Fortunately, there is a solution – ductless cooling and heating. There are many advantages to choosing this type of system for your converted area or addition. Of course, you can always consider using window AC or a space heater, but these types of equipment can be noisy, obtrusive and can use a lot of energy. Ductless, on the other hand, provides benefits that not only will help control your room’s temperature year-round, but also will keep the aesthetics of your new space so that you can enjoy your room, no matter what the weather outside.

Ductless cooling and heating provides comfort and many other additional benefits.

By choosing ductless for your renovated space, you’ll receive the following benefits:

  • Ductless operation. Adding to your ductwork can be costly and can cause a lot of construction mess. Ductless systems install easily without the need for additional ductwork.
  • Year-round comfort. One system has the potential to cool your room in the summer, and keep it warm in the winter.
  • High efficiency. Ductless systems are built to be highly efficient, so you’ll stay more comfortable – without seeing your energy bills go through the roof.
  • Seamless design. Unlike bulky window AC that can obstruct your view, or heaters that take up floor space, your ductless system attaches to the wall or ceiling, so the only thing you notice is improved comfort.
  • Quiet operation. You’ll find that ductless cooling and heating is much quieter than other types of room comfort equipment – often no louder than a whisper.
  • Ease of use. Ductless systems are easily operated via a remote control. You can turn your system on and adjust the temperature at a simple push of a button.

You can easily get ductless when you call on Family Danz to help.

And not only can you enjoy ductless in your converted spaces, you can also choose a split system for comfort throughout your home. That’s great for homes that have radiant or baseboard heating systems, with little to no ductwork available. If you’re not sure what type of ductless system is right for you, or you’d like to find out more, all you need to do is call Family Danz. We will be happy to talk to you about ductless for your home. Please contact us at (518) 427-8685 to learn more.

Heating Your Schenectady Home Is Easy With Family Danz

There are many different types of heating systems available for today’s homeowners, and it can be difficult to know what the right type of equipment is for your home and lifestyle. At Family Danz, we’re proud to offer our Schenectady customers a number of different options when it comes to home heating. We’re experts in the home comfort field, and we can help you choose the heating system that’s perfect for your home and needs.

We offer some of the best equipment available on the market today, so when it comes time for you to replace your old system, you’ll know your new equipment has been built to be effective, efficient, durable and safe. No matter what type of equipment is best suited for your home, Family Danz’s expert technicians will install it to perfection, so you can count on improved home comfort in your Schenectady home from the moment it’s installed and for years to come.

Family Danz offers many types of heating equipment to residents throughout Schenectady.

When you trust us with the heating needs of your Schenectady home, one of our comfort specialists will visit you to find our the type of equipment best suited to your needs. From there, we’ll provide you with expert installation, and of course, service after the sale. Learn more about the various types of equipment we can install for you below:

  • Gas Furnaces: We offer premium gas furnaces that are made to be effective and efficient, providing you and your family with the home comfort you need, no matter how chilly the weather might get outside. The gas furnaces we offer are among the most efficient available, so you’ll save on your energy bills, too.
  • Oil Furnaces: Family Danz is pleased to offer high quality oil furnaces throughout the Schenectady area. We’ll provide you with an oil furnace that effectively heats your home – all while keeping energy efficiency in mind. Not to mention, we proudly provide premium grade home heating oil. You’ll stay warm all winter with us!
  • Ductless Heating: Whether you have radiant or baseboard heat, or just need heating for a room in your home like an addition, converted attic or garage, or finished basement, ductless heating is a great option. Ductless heating is made to work without the need for ductwork – saving you from messy remodeling and downtime.
  • Boiler Systems: For the best boiler systems available, you can count on Family Danz to provide quality equipment and installation. We offer boiler systems that are both efficient and deliver clean, comfortable heating throughout your home, no matter how cold the weather might get in Schenectady.
  • Heat Pumps: With advanced technologies that make them much more colder-climate-friendly, many people are choosing to install heat pump systems. When you count on us to provide a heat pump for your Schenectady home, you’ll enjoy incredible energy efficiency, premium equipment, and expert workmanship.

When you need to replace your Schenectady home’s heating system, Family Danz can help. We’ll be happy to explain your options for you, and find you the heating system you need to best suit your home and lifestyle. Simply call us at (518) 427-8685, and we will be more than happy to help.

Need Heating Help for Your Albany Home? Choose Family Danz!

You rely on your home’s heating system to keep you and your family warm in Albany, NY. You need the peace of mind that your heating equipment will work properly, efficiently and safely. That’s why it’s so important to chose an expert in the field of home comfort to help. When you work with an HVAC company that not only provides superior products and installation, but also treats you like family, then it’s easy to rest assured that your heating system is at its best. That’s where Family Danz comes in.

At Family Danz, we strive to provide you with the best heating system services available in Albany, all while providing caring, committed customer service. We always work hard to show our customers that we value them. It’s important to us that our customers are completely satisfied before, during and after the heating repair, maintenance or installation. As a result of this, we offer a comprehensive listing of heating services, coupled with incentives on new equipment and the best brands available in the heating industry.

How can Family Danz help me heat my Albany home?

Family Danz provides complete heating services throughout the Albany, NY area. No matter what your needs may be, we strive to help you and your family stay warm and comfortable all year long. You can count on us to help you, whether you have a furnace, boiler or heat pump system. We proudly provide:

  • Heating Maintenance: We offer annual preventive maintenance for your heating system, servicing boilers, furnaces and heat pumps. Maintenance helps keep your system running smoothly, and your equipment warranty intact, and often, it helps your heating equipment retain its energy efficiency level.
  • Heating Repair: If the heating system in your Albany home breaks down, you can trust Family Danz to get it back up and running for you. We can repair virtually any make or model of heating equipment, and we strive to ensure that it’s operating effectively, efficiently and safely for you and your family.
  • New Heating Installation: Whether you heat your home using a boiler, a furnace or a heat pump, when it comes time for a replacement you can count on Family Danz. We offer premium home heating products from trusted manufacturers, and we provide expert, thorough installation to your complete satisfaction.
  • Ductless Heating: If you’d like to heat a space in your home, but worry about the lack of ductwork, stress no more! At Family Danz, we’re pleased to offer Albany customers ductless heating. These systems are easy to operate, highly energy efficient and provide optimal home comfort – without the need for ductwork.
  • Heating Oil: Aside from offering our customers the very best in home heating products and services, we’re also pleased to provide premium grade heating oil as well. With several delivery options available, and the best prices throughout the Albany area, you can rely on us to provide you with the fuel you need to keep warm.

When you need heating services for your Albany home, trust Family Danz to help. Simply call us at (518) 427-8685, and we will be more than happy to help you get the maintenance, repair or installation you need.