Foodsaver Appliance (Gadget?)

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This post is about something I’ve come to appreciate using for more things than just ‘the usual’.  Thank you, PJ, it’s yours, but I sure do like using it!  I’m referring to a FoodSaver.  By using it the way I do, my ‘family of two’ can easily and conveniently have a variety of food without eating ‘one thing’ over and over until it’s gone.  I can save money when buying the bags for the FoodSaver it if I get the kind that’s labeled “SimplySmart Universal Vacuum Sealer Bags”.  (On the cover of their box, they list five different brands of vacuum sealers they’ll work with.)  This brand of bags might be sold all around(?), but I bought mine at Fleet Farm.

Upon PJ’s suggestion, which I greatly appreciate, I can make a large pan/dish of food and we can first enjoy it fresh from the oven…

Then, tightly cover the left-over portion and refrigerate it for 10-12 hours, or until it firms up.  After that, cut it into squares (as seen below) and put the ‘blocks’ into little plastic containers like this…

Snap their covers on, stick ’em into the freezer for about 10-12 hours.   Once frozen through, I get them out, pop ’em out of their little plastic containers and stick the frozen squares into a FoodSaver quart-sized bag– ‘suck the breath’ out, label/date (as seen below), and put them back into the freezer.  Handled this way, they really do taste ‘fresh’ for at least three months,– or, more?   (See my note at the bottom about foods that, individually, do not freeze well.*)

Above:  I do not put the ‘name/date’ on the place that is provided for it on the bags.  Instead, I write on the tab that will be cut off/discarded when opening/using the food.  This way, again concentrating on being a bit ‘thrifty’, I end up with a vacuum seal bag that can be thoroughly cleaned and re-used for something smaller the next time around (small block of cheese, or ???).

Another use:  I found that I can freeze some FRESHLY BAKED MONSTER COOKIES in single layers, get them out of the freezer, vacuum seal them in a gallon-size bag, and send them to the West– when I follow these steps,** and use some sort of packing material, the cookies arrive in ‘great shape’. (When sealing those frozen cookies, I double-deck them with their backs together.) 

And, another:  FoodSavers are good for prolonging the life of many things— I’m sure you have a list longer than I do!  As I’ve done in the past, I vacuum packed a couple of blocks of dipping chocolate that are so readily available at this time of the year– also, a few of the large Hershey bars that I use for a certain recipe, etc.

And, another:  Recently a family of two moved from out-of-State.  Knowing they would be living in a ‘sea of boxes’ for a little while, I took a number (and variety) of vacuum sealed ‘food blocks’ to them.  They said they really appreciated being able to have a home-cooked meal with that kind of convenience.

I think the list of possible uses for a vacuum sealer is almost………….. endless!

So,…INhale!, Mr. FoodSaver,…IlikeYOU!!!!

*Note about foods that don’t freeze as well:  While I’ve found that foods combined in a casserole seem to freeze well and taste fresh when thawed, there are foods that don’t ‘do well’ on their own.  If you want to check out a site or two on this subject, click on…
http://lancaster.unl.edu/food/ciq-foods_that_do_not_freeze_well.htm
OR
http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/freeze/dont_freeze_foods.html
OR
http://www.ext.nodak.edu/extnews/askext/freezing/4451.htm
There are more sites, but you should get a pretty good idea of what to expect when  freezing certain foods from this information.

**When I did not freeze the cookies first, they sort of crumbled as the air was being sucked out.  Not a good thing!  Even on the ‘manual’ setting, it wasn’t a good experience for the cookies!  This ‘vacuum sealing method’ of sending cookies may not work with ‘delicate’ varieties, but,……………….m-a-y-b-e……………… it would……..if they were first frozen and then quickly sealed. (???)

Best Restaurants in America If you eat out in the U.S.A. and want the best dining experiences possible, this guide is for you What makes a good restaurant a “best”? Food that’s better than just good, of course. A dining room and a level of service that suit the quality of what’s on the plate. A good wine list (which doesn’t always mean an encyclopedic one), good beers and/or cocktails where appropriate. And then the less easily quantifiable stuff: personality, imagination (or intelligent commitment to a lack of same), consistency. 101 Best Restaurants in America (Gallery) When we were a young website, way back in 2011, we drew up our first 101 ranking ourselves, making a list of the places where we, The Daily Meal’s editors, liked to eat. Taking into consideration our mood, our budget, and where we happened to be when we get hungry, how would we vote, we asked ourselves — not only with our critical faculties but with our mouths and our wallets? Where would we send friends? Where would we want to dine if we had one night in this city or that? By this method, we ended up with a shortlist of 150 places. Then we argued, advocated, and cajoled each other on behalf of restaurants ranging from old-fashioned to avant-garde, ultra-casual to super-fancy. Finally, we invited an illustrious panel of judges (restaurant critics, food and lifestyle writers, and bloggers) from across America to help order restaurants via an anonymous survey and tallied results to assemble a ranked list. Upstairs, the simple Scandinavian-style dining room is kitted out with tables that look like tangled tree trunks, carved by Tom senior. The ingredient-led 12-course tasting menu is constantly changing (you might spot one of the chefs picking a final herb flourish outside minutes before it hits your plate). Starters could include a mouthful of smoked eel and apple, or an exploding dumpling of ox cheek and lovage. A crapaudine beetroot slow-cooked in beef fat is meaty in texture as well as flavour, and local lamb is paired with turnip and mint. Even the bread with sour butter is sensational. Afterwards you’ll be grateful for the walk through the village to a pretty rose-covered house where some of the nine bedrooms have antique oak four-posters and copper bateau baths. Wake to the sound of cows mooing in the next field and head back to the inn for a simple breakfast of sheep’s yogurt with fresh berry compote and house granola or toasted brioche heaped with mushrooms and a duck egg. Unsurprisingly, the most talked about restaurant in Yorkshire is often full, so book it quick. By Tabitha Joyce.

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