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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.

Don’t Miss the 2018 Albany Tulip Festival!

Did you know that Albany is the oldest Dutch settlement in America? One of the ways the citizens of Albany hearken back to their Dutch heritage is through the annual Tulip Festival. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the festival, which is scheduled to take place on Mother’s Day weekend; Saturday, May 12 through Sunday, May 13.

Of course, the main attraction of the Albany Tulip Festival is the tulips – all 150 different varieties of them. According to Albany.com, there are more than 100,000 tulips in bloom in the Washington Park Tulip Beds. Colorful, cheerful and a sure sign of spring, these tulips are always the highlight and bring a bit of Holland to the Capital District.

In addition to the many different types of tulips on display, there are a number of other activities to enjoy as well. Fine arts exhibits, live music and entertainment by acclaimed artists, kids’ activities and annual Tulip Festival traditions round out the event. You can enjoy the pageantry of the annual scrubbing of State Street by people in authentic Dutch costumes. And, everyone looks forward to the crowning of the Tulip Queen – starting with the processional, then the coronation, and finally, the Royal Tulip Ball.

On Mother’s Day, the festival culminates when one of the Capital Region’s most deserving moms is given the Mother of the Year award – this year marks the twentieth year the award has been given. If you plan to attend the event, parking is available at the Elk St. parking lot, the Eagle St. parking lot, and the Albany Medical Center parking lot. Shuttles from all three locales run about every 20 to 25 minutes. Parking lots are free to use.

At Family Danz, we’re proud of our beautiful city and great events like the Tulip Festival that bring people here to visit us and help build our sense of community. We’re also happy to assist you with your home comfort, plumbing and fuel oil needs – in fact; we take pride in treating our customers like family. Just give us a call at (518) 427-8685 and let us help meet your needs.

Let Family Danz Be Your Plumbing Contractor of Choice

You rely on Family Danz to provide you with the home comfort solutions you need. But did you know you could also call us when you need help with plumbing? From running toilets and leaking faucets, to complete plumbing remodeling projects, our master plumbers are ready to help no matter what services you need.

Our team of plumbers is able to both install and repair all types of home plumbing. This includes sinks, baths, water heaters, toilets and more. And, we can help with outside plumbing needs like water and sewer main repair and replacements. We can also help you with needs such as sump pumps, disposals, filtration and water softeners.

Find out more about our complete range of plumbing products and services:

  • Tankless Water Heaters: For energy efficient, space saving continuous hot water, a tankless hot water heater is the perfect solution. We install many sizes, ensuring the perfect fit for your home and lifestyle.
  • Hot Water Heaters: We offer top quality hot water heaters, installed professionally for you by our skilled, highly trained plumbing technicians. Our units offer the best possible energy efficiency as well.
  • Kitchen Plumbing: We’re able to help our customers with all their kitchen plumbing needs, from water leaks and drips to complete kitchen plumbing renovation. We offer the best fixtures and appliances.
  • Bathroom Plumbing: Whether you have a leaky toilet or you’re considering an entire bathroom renovation, you can trust Family Danz to help you with any bathroom plumbing concern you may have.
  • Water Filters: Do you have water that smells and contains iron, sulfur or other contaminants? We can help you with your water filter needs, giving you cleaner, healthier water for you and your family.
  • Water Softeners: If hard water is a problem in your home, you won’t have to deal with mineral deposits and lime buildup anymore, when you rely on Family Danz to install a high-quality water softener.

Our products are chosen from some of the best brands in the plumbing industry. All plumbing work we do for you is durable, reliable, and built to last for years to come. Our master plumbing technicians take great pride in their work, and always strive to complete the work they do for you to your complete satisfaction.

At Family Danz, we offer a full suite of plumbing services throughout the Capital District. If you’re considering a tankless hot water heater for your home, give us a call at (518) 427-8685. We’ll tell you about the different plumbing products and services we offer, and help you find the solution that best suits your needs.

Need to Replace Your Hot Water Heater? Consider Going Tankless.

When it comes time to replace your hot water heater, you should know that today, there are options that can help keep the hot water flowing in your home – for less. Tankless hot water heaters heat water on demand, rather than a whole tank at a time, and that means you won’t have to run out of hot water again. Not to mention, tankless hot water heaters come with energy savings – and that means you’ll save money on your utility bills.

According to ENERGY STAR, installing a tankless hot water heater in your home offers numerous benefits, which include:

  • Continuous Hot Water: When you install a tankless water heater, you’ll heat only the water you need, on demand. There’s no waiting for an entire tank of water to heat up. That means no more chilly showers!
  • More Years of Use: You might be surprised to find out that tankless hot water heaters have a long life expectancy – according to ENERGY STAR, up to 20 years. And, you don’t have the worries of tank leakage – and the water damage from leaks.
  • Compact Size: Unlike large, bulky traditional tanks, tankless water heaters are generally small and wall-mounted. There are some models that can even be installed outside the home.
  • Energy Efficiency: One of the best features of tankless hot water heaters is their energy efficiency. They can save average families nearly $100 in comparison to traditional tank heaters. And, choosing an ENERGY STAR certified tankless system could save you an additional $20 a year.

At Family Danz, we offer a full suite of plumbing services, including installation of tankless hot water heaters throughout the Capital District. If you’re considering a tankless hot water heater for your home, give us a call at (518) 427-8685. We’ll tell you about the different tankless water heater products and services we offer, and 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.

Go Green this Spring with 5 Energy-Saving Steps for Your Home

March definitely came in like a lion here in the Capital Region, so we’re hoping the old saying is true and it goes out like a lamb! That being said, March is a great time to check out your home and see where you might be able to save some energy. While you’re spring-cleaning, look around your home for areas where improvements can be made to save energy. Not sure where to begin? The Dept. of Energy offers some tips that can help you save energy in your home – and save money on your utility bills.

Here are five ways you can save energy this spring:

  • Change out your light bulbs. When you change just five of your home’s light bulbs with ENERGY STAR bulbs, you can save $75 a year in energy costs.
  • Change your furnace filter. Check and replace furnace filters regularly – that helps your home’s HVAC equipment run more effectively and use less energy. And, getting annual maintenance on your equipment from Family Danz can help it operate at its efficient best all season long – and for years to come.
  • Invest in a smart power strip. A smart power strip makes it easy to turn off your lights, televisions, computers, electronics and appliances when you’re not using them. Believe it or not, this can help you save up to $100 on energy costs each year.
  • Choose a programmable thermostat. What if you could save an estimated 10 percent on your heating and cooling costs each year? You can, when you install a programmable thermostat! Not sure how to install one or set it up yourself? Your Family Danz technician will be happy to help!
  • Replace aging appliances with ENERGY STAR appliances. If you need to replace washers, dryers, refrigerators, and even your home’s HVAC system, it’s always good practice to look for ENERGY STAR certified appliances. And, you get a return on investment – using these appliances throughout your home can help you save nearly $750 over the lifetime of the products.

If you need to replace your cooling equipment this spring, Family Danz can help you choose the most energy efficient products for your home. We always look out for your best interest and provide you with the best products available. We’re ready to help you save energy – and money on your utility bills. Just give us a call at 518.427.8685 and we’ll be happy to assist you.

How You Can Save on New Comfort Equipment – Right Now!

Even though the weather has been a little tumultuous so far this March, winter is winding down, and spring will be here soon. It might seem like an odd time to consider having a new heating and cooling system installed in your home, but this month is actually the perfect time! Right now, through the end of the month, Family Danz has worked out an offer that can help you get into a new system that can keep your home more comfortable, save you money on your energy bills, and help you save!

If your current system is older, it’s probably not running as efficiently as it should be. The fact is, modern systems are much more energy efficient than their counterparts from a decade or so ago. As a result, if your system is 10 years old or older, you’re probably paying a lot more on your energy bills than you need to. When you purchase a new, high-efficiency system this month from Family Danz, you’ll not only get into a system that will help you save money on your energy bills, you’ll also enjoy significant savings.

That’s because we’ve pulled out all the stops to help you save thousands. When you purchase a new, high-efficiency system this March, you’ll be eligible for an amazing $3,074 in savings.

We’ve bundled together an incredible offer:

  • $1,475 Utility rebate
  • $800 Family Danz discount
  • $600 Humidifier
  • $199 One Year FREE maintenance
  • $3,074 TOTAL

 Combine this offer with interest-free financing available for qualified buyers, and a 10-year system warranty, and you have one amazing deal! This will be our best offer all year – but you have to act quickly to get these incredible March sale savings. It all ends March 31st, 2018. Call us at 518.427.8685 to find out how you can take advantage of this offer today!

Don’t Forget – Family Danz Offers Plumbing Services!

Do you need quality plumbing products and services for your home? Then Family Danz can help! Whether you have running toilets, leaky faucets or need a complete plumbing overhaul, we have highly skilled plumbing technicians who are ready to help.

Our qualified, experienced plumbing technicians can install and repair all varieties of home plumbing, including toilets, sinks, baths, water heaters and more. Additionally, we can assist with your outside plumbing needs as well, including water and sewer main repair and replacement. We’re also pleased to offer many plumbing accessories for your home, including water softeners, filtration, disposals and sump pumps.

Learn more about our wide range of plumbing products and services:

You’ll find that we offer products from some of the best names in the plumbing industry. Our products are durable, reliable and built to last for years to come. And, they’re professionally installed by technicians who take pride in doing the job right the first time!

Let Family Danz help you with your entire home plumbing needs. Give us a call at (518) 427-8685. We’ll tell you about the different plumbing products and services we offer, and help you find the solution that best suits your needs.

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.

Keep the Hot Water Flowing with a Tankless Hot Water Heater

We’ve all been there. Just a couple of minutes into enjoying a steamy shower, then – the hot water disappears. And… the rest of the shower is spent under a Nordic waterfall! Nobody likes running out of hot water, but did you know you don’t have to? Tankless water heaters heat water on demand, rather than heating a whole tank of water, so you can count on a hot shower every time! Even more importantly, though, a tankless hot water heater can help you save energy – and money on your utility bills.

ENERGY STAR offers a number of benefits to choosing a tankless hot water heater for your home. Some of these benefits include:

  • Endless Hot Water: As mentioned above, tankless water heaters only heat the water you need as you’re using it. So you won’t have to wait for a tank of water to heat up.
  • Space Saving: You won’t have a large water tank taking up space in your home when you go tankless; these water heaters are small and wall-mounted. There are even models designed for outdoor installation.
  • Longer Life: According to ENERGY STAR, tankless water heaters offer up to 20 years of usage. Additionally, you don’t run the risk of leaky tanks (and the subsequent water damage.)
  • Energy Savings: Tankless water heaters are efficient, and can save the average family of four nearly $100 a year compared to a gas storage water heater. And, the more efficient the model you choose, the greater the savings – choosing an ENERGY STAR certified model can save you an additional $20 a year.

If you live in Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga or the surrounding areas and need to choose a tankless water heater for your home, give Family Danz a call at (518) 427-8685. We’ll tell you about the different tankless water heater products and services we offer, and help you find the solution that best suits your needs.