Share These S’mores Bars at Your Next Cookout

Summer’s here, and that means you’re probably excited to get grilling. Having friends and family over for a cookout is a fun, relaxing way to spend the day. And, it doesn’t have to be a lot of hassle, either. We’re sharing a recipe from Brown Eyed Baker that will make dessert easy – and fun! It’s a take on that summer favorite, the s’more, but it’s easily prepared in minutes right in your kitchen. Just a few ingredients and 10 minutes of prep time is all you need for S’mores Bars – but we think they’ll probably disappear even faster!

Golden Graham S’mores Bars

Ingredients

  • 8 cups Golden Grahams cereal
  • 5 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 ½ cups milk chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • 5 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 additional cup miniature marshmallows

Directions

  • Using butter, grease a 9”x13 “ baking dish and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Place measured cereal in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the 5 cups of marshmallows, chocolate, corn syrup and butter. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until mixture is completely melted and smooth. Stir in vanilla.
  • Pour the melted mixture over cereal, and using a buttered spatula or wooden spoon; gently stir until all of the cereal is coated. Stir in the additional cup of marshmallows.
  • Turn mixture into prepared pan. With buttered hands, press mixture evenly into pan, pushing it into a flat, even layer. Let set at room temperature 1 hour, or refrigerate if you need them to firm up faster. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days (they won’t last that long.)

Don’t let your outdoor party be ruined by an indoor plumbing problem – make sure your home is guest-ready by calling Family Danz. We can take care of any plumbing concern you might have, so you can relax and enjoy your cookout worry-free! We offer a full suite of plumbing services throughout the Capital District. If you’re in need of assistance, give us a call at (518) 427-8685.

Go Red, White & Blue with This Shortcake Recipe

With warmer weather here, and Memorial Day on the way, people are starting to think about outdoor fun. Picnics, parades and barbecues are all a part of the celebration, and that means good times with good friends – and good food! This year, why not treat your barbecue guests to a delicious dessert treat that celebrates the red, white and blue? A spin on classic strawberry shortcake, this mixed berry rendition is sure to be a hit at your Memorial Day cookout, and any other time of the year!

Mixed Berry Shortcake (Serves 8)

Ingredients – Berries & Topping

  • ¼ pound raspberries
  • ¼ pound strawberries
  • ½ pound blueberries
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1/3 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract

Ingredients – Biscuits

  • ½ cup whole-wheat flour
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • ¼ cup canola oil

Directions – Berries & Topping

  • Wash and hull berries, halving any large ones. Place berries in large bowl and drizzle with honey. Toss to combine. Cover and place in fridge until ready to serve, at least one hour and up to one day.
  • Pour cream into bowl, beat with mixer on medium-high speed until thickened. Add confectioner’s sugar, beat until soft peaks form. Gently fold in yogurt and vanilla extract. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Directions – Biscuits

  • Preheat oven to 425º. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Let berries come to room temperature.
  • Whisk together flours, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk and oil. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring until just moistened without over-mixing. Drop batter in 8 mounds, 3 tbsp. each, onto prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, or about 10 minutes. Cool slightly.
  • Using serrated knife, halve biscuits. Place bottom halves on individual plates; top each with about 1/3 cup of the berries and juices, and a dollop of whipped topping. Cover with top halves of biscuits and serve.

And, when you work with Family Danz for all of you plumbing needs, we think you’ll be “berry” satisfied. Need some kitchen plumbing help? Just give us a call at (518) 427-8685 . We’ll help you find the solution that best suits your needs.

Family Danz Recipe Corner: Lighten Up with this Springy Shortcake Dessert

Once spring arrives, our thoughts often turn away from the comfort foods we’ve enjoyed throughout the winter to lighter fare. Even our desserts move away from the heavier breads, pies and cakes, and delectable spring flavors tempt our taste buds. This month, we’re sharing a strawberry shortcake recipe from Bon Appétit that offers a light yet delicious departure from the heavier, more sugary desserts of winter. The surprise note of basil creates an interesting flavor experience for you and your guests to enjoy.

Strawberry-Basil Shortcake

Shortcakes

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (and more for surface)
  • 6 tbsp. chilled, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Berries/Assembly

  • 1½ pounds fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered (about 3 cups), divided
  • 4 tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 2 sprigs basil
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. crème fraîche

Directions

For the shortcakes: Preheat oven to 400ºF. Whisk sugar, baking powder, salt and two cups flour together in large bowl. Work butter into dry ingredients until texture of coarse meal, with a few pea-sized pieces of butter remaining. Add cream and mix until dough just comes together.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface, pat into 12×4” rectangle about ¾” thick. Cut rounds with 2 1/2 “ biscuit cutter, to make 8 rounds. Whisk egg and 1 tbsp. water in small bowl. Transfer rounds to parchment-lined baking sheet and brush tops with egg wash. Bake until tops are golden brown and shortcakes are fully baked, 15-20 minutes. You can bake shortcakes up to two days ahead – just make sure you wrap them tightly and store at room temperature.

For the berries: Coarsely chop 2 cups of strawberries (use bruised and imperfect ones). Cook these with 2 tbsp. sugar over medium heat, stirring occasionally until berries are softened and mixture is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Let cool.

Toss basil, 1 tbsp. sugar and remaining 1 cup strawberries in a medium bowl. Allow to rest until fruit releases juices, about 10-15 minutes. Remove basil.

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream, crème fraîche and 1 tbsp. sugar to soft peaks, about 4 minutes.

Split shortcakes and fill with berry compote, whipped cream mixture and macerated strawberries.

 

You know what else is delicious? Saving money on new heating and cooling equipment for your home. Right now, Family Danz is offering customers the deal of the year – right now, you could save up to $3,074 on a new, high efficiency system. To learn more, visit our special offers page or give us a call at 518.427.8685.

Family Danz Recipe Corner: Need Some Comfort this Winter?

Try this tasty mac & cheese!

When winter weather strikes in the Albany area, there’s nothing better than comfort food to help weather the storm. And when we think of comfort food, one of the first things that come to mind is good old macaroni and cheese. Delicious on its own or as a side, macaroni and cheese is tasty, comforting and the perfect dinner on a snowy evening. But did you know you can easily make mac and cheese right in your slow cooker? It only takes a couple of hours, and is super simple to make. We’re sharing this recipe courtesy of the Delish website – we hope you enjoy!

Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. elbow macaroni
  • ½ c. butter, melted
  • 4 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • ½ c. finely grated Parmesan
  • 24 oz. evaporated milk
  • 2 c. whole milk
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. paprika
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  • In your slow cooker bowl, combine all ingredients, seasoning to taste with the salt and pepper.
  • Cook on high until the pasta is cooked through and sauce has thickened, about 2-3 hours.
  • Begin checking pasta for doneness after two hours, then every 20 minutes after.

Comfort food in your tummy is good; home comfort is even better. Family Danz can help you stay cozy all winter long. Simply call us at  (518) 427-8685 , and we’ll be happy to assist with your winter heating needs.

Family Danz Recipe Corner: Cranberry Chutney

Cranberry sauce is a staple at most Thanksgiving feasts, and most of us are familiar with the jelly kind that plops out of a can! But this year, why not put a new spin on your cranberry side dish, with this tasty cranberry chutney recipe from Allrecipes.com? The addition of other fruits, spices and a bit of zing will make this dish be the standout at this year’s festivities.

Cranberry Chutney

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 12-oz. package fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup apples – peeled, cored, diced
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ¼ tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves

Directions:

  • In a medium saucepan, combine water and sugar. Bring to boil over medium heat. Add all remaining ingredients. Return to boil, and then simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Pour mixture into mixing bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the sauce. Cool to room temperature. Serve, or cover and refrigerate. Return chutney to room temperature before serving.

Thanksgiving is all about family.

At Family Danz, we believe in treating customers as though they’re a part of ours. That’s why for emergency repairs, we are available 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays – because we know emergencies can occur at the most inconvenient times. If you need emergency services, even on Thanksgiving, give us a call at (518) 427-8685 . Just be sure to save us the drumstick!

Family Danz Recipe Corner: These Tasty Treats Will Be the Apple of Your Eye

Fall is here, and so are all the delicious tastes of the season. Pumpkin spice abounds, and apples are literally everywhere. Whether you like to pick them yourself, or enjoy the great fall sales on them at the supermarket, there is no better time of the year than right now to enjoy fresh, ripe apples. Of course, they’re tasty just to grab and snack on, but there are so many different ways to enjoy them. Sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, baked into a pie, or, one of our favorite ways – covered in yummy caramel! We’re sharing a fun recipe for caramel apples with you from Allrecipes – they’re super easy to make, but one thing’s for sure – they won’t last long!

Caramel Apples

Ingredients

  • 6 apples, washed to remove any traces of wax and refrigerated
  • 1 14-oz. package of individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Sprinkles, chopped nuts, mini candies or anything you’d like to garnish apples (optional)
  • 6 wooden craft sticks

Directions

  • Remove stems from apples and press a craft stick into the top. Butter a baking sheet (you can use cooking spray as well).
  • Place caramels and milk in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for two minutes, stirring at one minute. Allow to cool briefly.
  • Roll each apple in the caramel sauce until coated well. Place on buttered baking sheet to set.
  • While apples are tacky to the touch, if desired decorate with nuts, sprinkles or candies.

Sticky situations are good when it comes to enjoying caramel apples, but not so good when it comes to your home’s heating system. If your heating system isn’t running the way you’d like, you can count on Family Danz to help. We can repair virtually any make or model of furnace or boiler, so just give us a call at the first sign of trouble and we will be more than happy to assist you.