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


  • 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


  • 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


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


  • 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


  • 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.

Family Danz Will Keep You Warm This Winter

Winters in the Albany area mean lots of snow and freezing cold temperatures. You rely on your home’s heating system to keep you warm no matter how frightful the weather outside gets. That’s why you need a heating contractor who can help with any heating need you might have. At Family Danz, we’re pleased to offer our customers in Albany and beyond complete heating services.

When you work with Family Danz, you’ll get a wide range of heating services for your home. We offer our customers heating repair, heating maintenance and heating system installation. We offer a range of heating products to choose from, including gas and oil furnaces, gas and oil boilers, oil to gas conversions and ductless heating. What’s more, we offer 24/7 emergency repairs, even on holidays.

Plus, you can count on Family Danz for quality home heating oil, too.

At Family Danz, when we say we’re full-service, we mean it! We’re pleased to offer our customers premium quality fuel oils in addition to our array of heating services. We strive to maintain competitive fuel oil prices. Our daily heating oil price is prominently displayed at the top of our website, so you’ll always know the cost. For customers looking for a greener alternative, we also provide Bioheat®, a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement made from a diverse mix of resources, such as agricultural oils, recycled cooking oil and animal fats. And, discounted budget and prepayment plans are available with automatic deliveries.

Family Danz Heating & Cooling offers premium heating products and service, all while keeping your comfort and safety top-of-mind. We strive to provide for your heating needs unlike any other home comfort company, and we promise that you will be 100 percent satisfied after purchasing our products or services. 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.

Can Ductless Heating Help Your Home’s Efficiency?

If your home’s heating costs are on the rise this winter, yet your furnace is relatively new and in good shape, there may be other factors in your home that are causing inefficiency. It has been an extremely cold winter so far, and that undoubtedly means you’ve likely been struggling to keep your home as comfortable as you’d like. Did you know that ductless heating could help you stay comfortable and maintain better efficiency?

Even though it’s been around for some time, many people have never heard of ductless heating. The premise is simple – ductless systems use a heat pump to either heat your home or cool it, without the need for additional ductwork. So for situations where ductwork is either impractical or impossible, a ductless system can save the day.

Where can I use ductless heating to improve my home’s energy efficiency?

If you install a ductless heating system in your home, that doesn’t mean you should stop using your furnace. The thing to remember is, ductless heating can provide very targeted heating to your home. That means, if you have a space in your home that’s been built on, such as an addition or sun porch, or a space that’s been renovated into living space, like a basement or attached garage.

Often, the house’s heating system can’t provide adequate warmth to these spaces, and the home’s HVAC system becomes unbalanced. This is why you may feel cold spots in your home, especially in those new or renovated spaces. Of course, your contractor can provide you with the best answers, but many times ductless heating can help restore the balance – resulting in better comfort and improved energy efficiency.

When you’re ready to learn more about how ductless heating can benefit your home, Family Danz Heating & Cooling can help. Simply give us a call at (518) 427-8685. We’ll tell you about the different options for ductless heating and cooling, and help you find the solution that best suits your 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 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


  • 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


  • 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!

You Can Get Anything You Want from Family Danz!

At Family Danz, Thanksgiving is always a time when we step back and think about how thankful we are for our customers. That’s why we work so hard to make sure we can meet a wide range of your needs. We’re much more than just a heating and cooling company, and nothing pleases us more than being able to keep you and your family comfortable on many different levels.

But maybe you don’t know all the products and services you can get from Family Danz. When you choose us, you’ll get the very best HVAC services and much more.

Learn about what Family Danz has to offer:

Heating: Family Danz is pleased to provide you with complete heating products and services. We are a proud Bryant® Factory Authorized Dealer, so you can rely on us for equipment built for energy efficiency and durability. We offer heating installation, maintenance and repair, offering boiler systems, furnaces and ductless heating made to provide you and your family with optimal comfort.

Air Conditioning: You can rely on Family Danz to keep you cool all summer long, with air conditioning products and services for your home. We offer top-quality air conditioning equipment. What’s more, we’re full-service contractors offering you professional installation, maintenance and repair services. We can help you get central air as well as ductless cooling for your home.

Plumbing: At Family Danz, you can count on us for complete plumbing services and products for your home. We offer hot water heaters, water filters, and water softeners. Plus, we provide the kitchen and bathroom plumbing you need to keep the water flowing properly throughout your home.

Home Heating Oil: For the best home heating oil, trust Family Danz. We provide the best prices available on fuel oil, as well as automatic delivery and budget plans. Our heating oil contains detergents to keep your heating system running clean and at maximum efficiency, too. Additionally, you can choose Bioheat®, a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement. And, we always list our price at the top of our website.

Commercial Services: Aside from the comprehensive residential services we provide, you can count on Family Danz to provide your business with the commercial HVAC necessary to keep it running smoothly. We’re pleased to offer commercial heating and cooling, as well as refrigeration and chiller installation.

Want to learn more about how we can keep you, your family and your business comfortable?

Just give us a call at (518) 427-8685. We will be more than happy to assist you.