Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Mixer Bible

Before you turn away...this is a great book even if you don't have a stand mixer and even if you're not all that into baking.

The Mixer Bible: Over 300 Recipes For Your Stand Mixer has tons of recipes that you can make with a regular mixer, food processor, and even the way our grandmothers did...by hand! But let me back up a bit.

A number of years ago my 30 year old Sunbeam Stand Mixer died and I could finally replace it with the much coveted fire engine red KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixers . I was fortunate enough to have all this happen when there was an awesome deal that not only included the mixer at a substantial saving, but also a shredder/slicer attachment. Truth be told, I only used the attachment once. It's so much easier to grate and slice things using my food processor which is always sitting on my counter. So the attachment has sat in the cupboard, alone and lonely for a long time.


Back to the book....naturally there are many fantastic recipes for baked goods like the Cranberry Maple Squares that grace the Second Edition cover. I couldn't resist them and (because my son-in-law is allergic to cranberries) made them using dried blueberries & dried cherries. Their photo is much lovelier, but I promise you, mine were pretty tasty!


Six different pie crusts, banana cream pie, pumpkin pie, black bottom pie...the list of cakes, cookies, pies and muffins is endless. But that isn't all! Who'd have thought about soups and pastas, main dishes and side dishes and my very favorite section...sausages! when thinking about their stand mixer?! There are 29 different types of sausages you can make, which include my all time favorites that are not so easy to find in stores here in Halifax...chorizo, merguez and garlic fennel. You know they will definitely be on my table often, especially now that I can keep the spice level to our liking. Perhaps I will have to buy that attachment, but in the meantime, I'm going to be using my food processor to help me out. Here's a link to grind meat at home. In a nutshell, here's what they suggest...




"When using a food processor, cut chunks of beef and fat into one-inch uniform cubes and chill. Place meat cubes in the processor with metal blade, taking care to process in small (no more than 1/2-pound depending on the size of your processor) batches. Pulse in short 1- to 2-second bursts until the desired consistency is achieved, usually 10 to 15 pulses.

It is important to pulse rather than letting the food processor continuously run. Pulsing tends to distribute the pieces for more even chopping and avoids excess heat from friction that could turn your ground beef into mush. If you are adding herbs or
spices for a recipe, might as well toss them right in before beginning to process.

When using a food processor, cut chunks of beef and fat into one-inch uniform cubes and chill. Place meat cubes in the processor with metal blade, taking care to process in small (no more than 1/2-pound depending on the size of your processor) batches. Pulse in short 1- to 2-second bursts until the desired consistency is achieved, usually 10 to 15 pulses.

It is important to pulse rather than letting the food processor continuously run. Pulsing tends to distribute the pieces for more even chopping and avoids excess heat from friction that could turn your ground beef into mush. If you are adding herbs or spices for a recipe, might as well toss them right in before beginning to process."


So for those of you, like me, without fancy attachments or even fancy stand mixers, the recipes can be done with your trusty food processor or graters and blenders...which means that this book should definitely be on your wish list, no matter what tools you have in your kitchen.

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