Archive for December, 2011

Try this coffee cake recipe that uses whole wheat (we highly recommend Bob’s Red Mill brand). Plan ahead to make this in your solar cooker on the next sunny day.

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1 cup brown sugar, packed

3 cups whole wheat flour

3 eggs

1 cup butter

2 tsp vanilla

1-1/2 tsp baking soda

1-1/2 tsp baking powder

1-1/2 cups buttermilk

1/3 cup wheat germ

For the filling:

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup chopped pecans

 

Putting it together:

Set your solar oven out to preheat to at least 170 degrees. Ready your cake pan (bundt or regular) with a coat of PAM or simply grease it.

Take a large bowl and beat together the eggs, vanilla, butter and sugar for a thorough blend. Then stir together the baking powder, baking soda, wheat germ and whole wheat flour. Go back and forth by adding the flour mixture, then buttermilk to the butter mixture. Mix it thoroughly. Next, spoon about 1/3 of the batter equally in the cake pan and sprinkle in the filling. Use the remaining batter to top it off.

On a nice sunny day, after placing the pan in the solar oven, it should take about 3 or 4 hours to cook through. Use the toothpick test on it. Once removed from the oven, let it cool for at least 15 minutes before dumping it onto a tray or plate for serving. It’s a great cake at room temperature, or reheat for a great coffee companion. This recipe makes about 20 servings and is a great way to show off the capabilities of a solar oven.

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December 30, 2011 4:32 am

 

Some folks still don’t believe that solar ovens actually work! Look, you can research solar ovens on the web and find out all sorts of things about them; solar oven history, types of ovens and thousands of recipes. However, until you actually remove hot food from one, there’s just no comparison to that first time experience. Some say it’s better than sex, but we’ll leave that opinion up to you.  If you have access to a solar oven, whether it’s yours, a friends, colleague or relative. To see proof of how well they work, try this task.  One tried and true method to prove a solar oven’s capabilities, is to hard boil eggs. It is a simple recipe and well worth the try for you folks from “Missouri”.

First, place the oven (box oven or panel cooker)  where you know there will be plenty of sunshine for about 4 to 6 hours. In the northern hemisphere, it’s best to start cooking by 10am and finish up by 3pm. Of course, this varies with latitude and season. You should “preheat” the solar oven, by simply letting the chamber to heat up to near cooking temperature. A good goal is 150 degrees.

Next, put 4 whole eggs into a dark colored pan, cover them with water and place the lid on the pan. With strong sunshine,they should be done in around 4 hours. If you don’t know how to boil eggs or tell when they’re done, perhaps you should start on the stove top first before “graduating” to the solar cooking. When they’re done, rinse the eggs in cold water before you start peeling and eating them, or prepping them for another dish. Remember the old trick to know when they’re hard? The eggs will spin fast on a tabletop. In case they’re not quite done, finish them on the stove top. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get the solar cooking part right.

So, by boiling a few eggs for the first time in a solar oven, you have acquired that self-assured experience that solar ovens do work just fine. I hope you like hard boiled eggs!

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December 28, 2011 3:59 am

Solarovenshop.com is pleased to announce its dealership status with SunBD Corporation manufacturers of the great new solar electric oven,the SunFocus. This solar oven that has the largest cooking capacity of any other solar electric cooking oven on the market today. It’s made in the U.S.A.

TAKE A LOOK AT ITS FEATURES:

Very portable: its yellow suitcase design with handle makes it easy to carry and hard to lose. It can fit nicely into your car trunk, RV, or boat.

Suitcase design: It’s tough polymer clamshell design protects the sensitive parts inside. Setting it up is as easy as opening a suitcase and takes only seconds.

Gigantic cooking chamber measures: Length 13.5″ x Width 13.5″ x Height 6.25 ” ( cook a 14lb turkey, whole chicken  or larger dish)

Its hybrid design combines high performance of a solar oven and 110v. AC efficiently powered electric oven(uses 75% less energy than typical household oven and operates for pennies).
(Perfect for cooking anytime: 24/7/365, yes, even at night!)

Window glass: Double paned for improved heat retention.

Temperature range up to 400 F that provides for reliable, easy cooking.

Seal: made of moisture resistant EPDM

Reflector: made of scratch resistant anodized aluminum for long wear.
(has better reflectivity than a normal glass mirror)

Side booster reflectors: (helps increase your ovens temperature)

Accessories: It Comes with everything you need to start solar cooking today: a 6ft. power cord, oven thermometer, side booster panels & set up instructions.

Be ready for the next emergency: storms, earthquakes, floods…the SunFocus can be used daytime or at night. The components are made in the USA

The SunFocus™ solar electric oven is real cooking for the real chef in your household.

Should you have any questions about this new and exciting product please email us.

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December 26, 2011 4:16 am

 

Here is a simple, quick, and delicious dessert that is easily created in the solar oven. It looks great on just about ANY holiday table. It’s a moist treat that nearly everyone enjoys.

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1 can creamed corn
1 can whole kernel corn (drained)
1 box of “Jiffy” (or similar) corn bread
2 eggs
8 oz of sour cream
1/3 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of vegetable oil

 

Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a mixing bowl.

Pour into a 9 x 13 baking pan (or similar) to fit your solar oven

In good sunshine, it will take 2 – 3 hours of baking at a temperature over 200 degrees.

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December 24, 2011 3:29 am

Ever sit by a stream with your line in the water waiting for a fish to strike, then lose track of time? Suddenly it happens, the line tugs and next you pull a nice “brookie” out  for your dinner. Have you ever sat watching a play, get so rapped up in it and then discover the curtains closing? Where did the time go? Isn’t it magical? How about this; ever get caught up in watching a great comedy film, like a Marx Brothers or Jerry Lewis flick, and, at some point, catch yourself laughing…and then realize that you’ve been doing it for awhile? All of these things indicate that you, despite your immediate attention to your pastime, became detached enough to let things continue on automatically.

At times, operating your solar oven can be like this. You start out fresh on your bright, sunny cooking day with a new recipe and all the necessities in hand. You carefully readied the solar cooker by preheating it. All of the ingredients are ready and maybe you had some prep work for some of them. Finally, everything is in the pots and roasters, you’ve closed the oven door and focused the cooker. Now you can relax, take up another task, or indulge in a little recreation for the day, while your latest solar creation is underway.

So, perhaps you sit in the shade reading a news article, or take a dive into the lake that you’re visiting. Or, maybe you went to the mall to do a little shopping. In any case, time slipped away. Possibly you dozed off while reading, got involved with water polo on the lake, or found that the traffic while returning from the mall was a bit much. Somehow, after all of this, you open the oven door, the steam and aroma wafts out of the solar cooker and all is right with the world again.

That’s really the beauty of solar cooking. It’s hard to overcook something. So, if your trip to the hair salon took longer than expected, no worries mate! Your solar cuisine will still be quite tasty. Yes, it’s like the solar oven is on automatic, no matter what your circumstances happen to be. Have a sunny day!

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December 21, 2011 3:30 am

Oh, the mighty hunters have brought back their bounty, first from the woods, and then from the butcher. Now, we’ve got a selection of meat cuts to choose from and prepare this wild game in an acceptable and tasty manner. With our trusty solar oven nearby, we can’t wait to cook up some venison.

There is an important factor in making venison palatable to the masses. You know the people. It includes all those kids from the city, maybe your nieces and nephews, now sitting at your dinner table with turned-up noses. And, of course, there are adults who love slices of dead cows, but somehow can’t imagine eating a sweet and pretty forest animal, like the deer. Sorry, we don’t mean to offend or alienate anyone here, especially our good friends the vegetarians. They often point out how unnecessary it is to be a carnivore, and have contributed loads of great recipes.

The fundamental secret is in the meat preparation. Oh sure, there’s lots of folks around here (Pennsylvania) who enjoy venison without any special fixin’s, but for many people, some simple preparation is the way to go. Preparing the venison can be done several ways. One way, especially for larger cuts like roasts and steaks, is to soak it in milk for a day in the fridge, possibly adding a few spices at that time. Another method, one we prefer, is to use full strength apple juice. Others report that soaking the meat in sangria or just cold water with a dash of vinegar yields good results. It’s said the chemicals used in these methods break down proteins in the meat that help change the flavor. Another method, used successfully with venison sausage and hamburg, is to mix those cuts with their beef equals. Yet another way, is simply by using other additives like spices and rubs of various kinds (we like cajun) followed by mixing, cooking, baking it with vegetables to enhance the flavor. This method includes the example additives of, onions, garlic, peppers, and mushrooms.

However you choose to prepare your venison, don’t underestimate how great it’ll come out of your solar cooker. Remember, little to no liquid, like water, need be added into the solar oven. Slicing the meat thinner than beef cuts, or cubing it, say for stew, also helps it thoroughly cook. Venison cooks wonderfully in its own juices in the solar oven. Enjoy!

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December 14, 2011 3:27 am

 

Often, new solar chefs put away their ovens as soon as temperatures dive and snow flies. However, with the well designed and heavily insulated commercial solar cookers available today, this is not necessary. By keeping a few simple concepts in mind, and with some experimentation, solar cooking in winter and the off season delivers the same delicious results as in the other months of the year. Why else would anyone ever suggest its use for disaster preparedness? The effects of the wind, sun power quality, setting, time and good planning must be considered for off season solar cooking. Most of the following advice is for box oven or panel cooker use ( although many principles still apply to parabolic style cookers) in the northern hemisphere.

Wind: Wind speed and duration play a significant role in winter solar cooking. The cooling effect of the wind lowers overall temperature and lengthens cooking time. So, whether the oven is situated by a rock outcropping, if out for a hike, behind a row of the house’s arbor vitae, or around the corner of the neighbor’s barn, finding a way to block wind helps ensure successful sun cooking during the off season.

Sunshine quality: This is the ever-present necessity of solar meal preparation, no matter what time of year. All solar chefs quickly learn of its overall importance. The thermometer may read 22 degrees Fahrenheit, but, as long as strong sunshine prevails during the prime solar cooking hours of the day (9am – 3pm), a tasty meal should be the outcome.

Setting: Observation is key here. Look for the influences of shadows from various sources; trees, buildings, etc. Look for these sun killers prior to planning the next solar cookout. In fall and winter, it is amazing how quickly shadows from corners of houses, landscaping elements, trees, etc, can encroach on the selected setting for the solar oven. Experiment with other settings such as parks, fields, family and friends houses, to see if those settings are easier for oven placement and minimize the effects of shade. Also, in northern areas, the sun’s angle comes into play with solar cooking. Some commercial ovens have been designed to counter this effect by being able to use them at an angle to capture the sun power. Other models make use of large reflectors to multiply the sun power’s effect.

Time: Realistically, winter and off season solar cooking takes more cooking time. Even if the other elements are kept in mind; that is, the setting, wind effect and sunshine quality, more time is required for making a solar meal. It is more likely that recipes for baked dishes, soups and stews will be used more often for off season meals, as opposed to preparing heavy meat meals like roasts. However, whatever is made in the solar oven can be just as tasty in November as it is in June.

Planning: Finally, by giving due consideration to the described effects of winter solar cooking, a careful plan is hatched to capitalize on the weather, setting and time constraints. Watch the weather forecast, gather the ingredients, have utensils, recipe and oven ready to go. Remember, preparing a winter solar meal on a windless, sunny day is likely to yield a better meal than otherwise. So, planning becomes essential for the successful solar cookout.

Do not put away that solar cooker when colder temperatures arrive, unless no sunny days are forecasted for several months! Follow the aforementioned advice and many tasty solar cooked dishes will be the result.

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December 7, 2011 12:51 am