Photo Cred Lisa The discussion of the day is dehydrators, lots of questions coming in which is timely with the arrival of the dreaded cold weather. I use a nine tray Excalibur without a timer. It works like a dream for fruit leathers, crackers, flat breads, wraps, dog treats, chips and seasoning to name a few. There are several types of dehydrators on the market that come with added features but ultimately it's a basic device so I suggest keeping it that way. If you're looking for something pretty then the Sedona is it, personally there is too much going on with this system for me. And if you're curious but on a tight budget the round dehydrators are fun to play with. Both Upaya Naturals and Juicers 4 Life have great selections and competitive prices. Here's an good recipe to experiment with: Homemade Chili Seasoning  9 habanero peppers 9 green chili peppers 1 red onion 1 bulb garlic 2 large red tomatos Chop peppers in half lengthwise leaving the seeds for extra kick, slice remaining ingredients to about 1/4" thick or less. Lay everything flat on dehydrating screens (no teflex), set temperature to 115° for approximately 18 hours or until ingredients are completely dry. Blend into a fine powder, careful not to inhale "smoke" it's hot!!! Store in a glass container, and add to dressings or in your fav recipes for extra flavour.

photo cred Cat My recent Parker's PolkaDot Party (The Triple P) was such a blast and the food was so good that I thought it only fair to share a few fab recipes. My GF, Leith, made this crazy-delish dish which I personally devoured.  She found it on Pinterest and then modified it to be vegan/non-dairy with a gluten-free option.  Talk about inclusive food. The LM Dip Supreme 1 1/2 cups vegan, gluten free hummus 1 cup non-dairy tzatziki (recipe below) 1 cup tomato, diced (mix with 1 tbsp lemon juice) 1/2 cup cucumber, cubed 1/4 cup red onions, diced 1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped 1 handful fresh oregano, chopped 4 whole wheat pitas, cut into triangles OR gluten-freecrackers/rice crackers (for celiacs) Optional: 1/4 cup goats-milk feta / organic feta (crumbled). Good for those who like dairy but can't have cow's milk.  And I didn't even see the cheese as it was on the side, so please believe me that it doesn't make the dip. Assemble dip starting with the hummus and stacking each ingredient on top of the last. Tzatziki Recipe 1 1/2 cups plain soy yogurt / or plain organic yogurt 1 cucumber, grated and well drained 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tbsp lemon juice dash of pepper sea salt to taste 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped 1/4 tsp paprika Mix together by hand, and layer with ingredients above.

photo cred Cat Summer is here and so is all that lovely fresh, local fruit. I especially love peaches and nectarines but often find them too hard.  Then by the time I remember them again, they are rotten or past their prime.  My dear brother in-law and I recently went shopping together and he bought some nectarines.  I commented on how I never buy them (for above said reasons) and he shared with me the cure. Place any hard fruit (avocado & tomatoes will work too) in a brown bag and/or plastic bag WITH an apple and store it in a dark cool place (ie. your cupboard). In the morning, your fruit will be good-to-go.  So simply but so effective. (...and if you haven't already checked it out, also see other uses for your cupboard).