Reasons Why Your Stand Mixer Is More Versatile Than You Ever Imagined

Have you bought a stand mixer recently? No? Well, it doesn’t matter if you have bought your stand mixer recently or if you have it with you since a few years, a stand mixer is quite versatile and allows you to perform different tasks. A lot of users feel that a stand mixer is only good for mixing ingredients together or for preparing cake batter but it is much more than that. There are several other uses of a stand mixer besides the basic mixing and beating. Not convinced yet? Well, then try it for yourself. The more you experiment with your stand mixer, the more uses you find.

Then, read on to know the 4 reasons how your stand mixer is more versatile:

  1. Useful in shredding meat

Yes, you read it right! With your stand mixer, you can shred your meat in just a couple of minutes and you don’t have to put in as much effort as you might have put into it otherwise. It is an easy and convenient way to shred your meat, just put the meat in your stand mixer bowl and make sure that it is tender. Then add a few seasonings and flavorings and use a wire whip at a low-medium speed. You will be surprised to see that you are provided with shredded meat in just under a minute and that too without lifting a finger.

  1. Great for mashing potatoes

Another great use of your stand mixer is to mash potatoes with the help of it. Mashing potatoes by hand is a long and tiresome task which can be done in just a couple of minutes with the help of a stand mixer ( Here are some best stand mixers ). All you need to do is put some boiled potatoes in your stand mixer bowl and then use a wire whip to get your mashed potatoes ready in no time at all. The stand mixer will not only complete this task soon but will also provide you with a fluffier mashed potatoes.

  1. So many attachments

One of the best ways to make your stand mixer more versatile is by stocking up on more stand mixer attachments. There are a lot of attachments for different kitchen tasks which you can collect for your stand mixer. You can buy a mill grinder, pasta maker, ice cream maker, a ravioli maker, and so on. With all these attachments, you can expand your cooking experience and don’t need to bother to buy other kitchen equipment as your stand mixer can do it all.

  1. Marshmallow making time

Do you love marshmallows? Then you would be ecstatic to know that you can make your own marshmallows with the help of your stand mixer. You can make them soft and fluffy just like store-made ones and they would taste amazing too. Sure, you can make them by hand but that would take you hours whereas with a stand mixer, you can use the wire whip and it would just take you a couple of minutes.

Home tips : Ways to maintain your Planer for longer Usage

Maintaining your planer is an essential step towards making it last for a longer time. If you don’t take care of your planer properly, then you are going to likely end up with a broken planer or a dull planer which won’t be able to cut your board efficiently. You need to keep a regular check on your planer and ensure that it is not wearing down anytime soon. If you notice any issue with your planer, you need to get it fixed immediately. If you are looking for a new planer, here is the list of best planer 2017. So, here are a few ways in which you can take care of your planer to ensure a longer use for it:

  1. Clean your planer regularly

One of the best ways to take care of your planer is by making sure that it is cleaned regularly. If you use a mineral spirit and a soft cloth, then you can clean up the grease and the sap which is left behind while sniping aboard. Before you start cleaning with the spirit, you need to get rid of all the debris from the cutter heads, rollers, etc. with the help of compressed air and brass-bristled brush. Once this is done, you can clean the roller with mineral spirit and then use paraffin wax to smoothen the planer.

  1. Remove the debris from the rollers and the surface after every use

Another thing which you need to do regularly is to blow the debris away from the planer rollers and surface to ensure it is free of any such small particles. This will help in preventing roller feed slips and will ensure that your boards don’t have any weird patterns due to the feed rollers pressing the chips or the nails against the working board.

  1. Check your motor brushes constantly

Another thing which you need to pay attention to is the motor brushes of your planer for any sign of wear or tear. You need to inspect it after every 100 hours for any signs of wear on the carbon faces and if you see some sign of overuse, then you need to replace it with carbon which is less than ¼ inch long. Sometimes due to constant motor use, which is caused due to the deep cuts in the wide stock, the planer could start wearing down quickly so ensure that the carbon is always new and not being overused.

  1. Sharpen the knives at the first sign of dulling

If you don’t keep your knives sharpened, then your planer might end up tearing a small part of the wood which you are working on instead of just cutting it up. This happens because the knives become dull and get stuck into the wooden boards and this problem can only be avoided by keeping your knives sharpened at all time. You need to replace your dull knives if you have a double-edged, disposable planer knife as it will save you a lot of time. So, maintain your planer knives to have an efficient and quick cut every time you use it.

Kitchen tips: 4 Ways To Maintain Your Kitchen Faucets

If you want your kitchen faucet to work without any issues for a long time, then you need to take special care of it and maintain it properly. You will need to clean it and protect it from any damage, to retain its original look and feel. Not sure how to do that? Don’t worry, we have a list of ways in which you can easily maintain your kitchen faucet and make it look as good as new:

De-stain your faucet with lemon juice

If you don’t take proper care then your kitchen faucet can turn into a dull shade which will look ugly and will offer a sad look to your kitchen. Stains can also damage your faucets’ surface and you would be left with no choice other than to replace your kitchen faucet. So, to avoid such a situation you can perform a simple de-staining process on your kitchen faucet with the help of lemon juice. Clean up your faucet of those stains with the help of a cleaning solution which is made up of half cup of borax and juice of half lemon. Dab a sponge in this mixture and scrub your faucet with it and then rinse it with water, your faucet will get back its shine and will look as good as new again.

Use a vinegar solution to remove the clogging

A faucet can often develop a clogging due to the mineral deposits of the debris that get stuck in the aerator or the faucet hose. This can affect the working of the kitchen faucet and can lead to an inconsistent flow of water. To avoid such type of problem, we want you to read kitchen faucet reviews. Otherwise, you can fix this issue easily by soaking your faucet parts in a vinegar solution to clean all the debris and mineral deposits from it. This will allow the water to pass freely and fix the water flow problem which you were previously facing.

Protect your faucet from scratches and stains

Another important thing to do to maintain your kitchen faucet is to protect it from the various kinds of stains and scratches. Kitchen faucets are prone to scratches, fingerprint stains, and water stains which can disturb the attractive look of your faucet. In fact, a water stain can also lead to corrosion which will ultimately lead to you needing to replace your faucet. So, make sure that you keep your faucet polished and protect it from any scratches and stains and clean it with a cloth whenever you see any kind of stain on it.

Check your faucet parts in regular intervals

One of the most important ways to make sure that your kitchen faucet is in a good shape is by checking your faucet regularly for leakages or any other kind of damages. You need to make regular inspections and look for any weird sound or functioning of your faucet. If you find that your faucet is making too much noise or not providing you with a proper water flow, then you need to replace the faulty parts and install new faucet parts which aren’t damaged. This way, you won’t need to replace your faucet for a long time.

Who ate all the pies? My year of pies ~ Pickled cherry cheesecake

I still had some pickled cherries left over from the summer so thought I would give my dear friend Emma Shearer’s baked cheesecake recipe a go. I added some more lemon and pickled cherries to the actual filling. If you don’t have any pickled cherries, they are easily bought and you could also swap it out for any of your favourite preserved fruit. When summer rolls around in your neck of the woods, my recipe for pickled cherries is here in the diary too. They are really easy to make and perfect for sweet or savoury dishes.

Pickled cherry cheesecake

Pickled cherry cheesecake

For base
1 cups butternut snaps, blitzed to crumbs
80 g butter, melted
2 tbs brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
For filling
1 kg cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
60 ml thickened cream
1 cup caster sugar
2 tbs pickled cherries and 1 tbs for the top
3 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbs vanilla
5 eggs
2 tbs plain flour or buckwheat for gluten free alternative

Bring the cream, cream cheese, eggs and sour cream to room temperature. Grease the spring form pan and line the base with baking paper. Use a 24cm pan for best results. Preheat oven to 155°C.

To make biscuit base, mix the biscuit crumbs, butter, sugar and cinnamon until well combined. Using your hands, press mixture into the base of the lined pan, then freeze for 20 minutes to firm.

Now blitz the cream cheese, cream, sour cream, sugar, lemon juice, zest and vanilla in a food processor until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, then add flour and process until smooth. Mix in the pickled cherries. Spoon over the biscuit base and tap the pan on work surface  moving it around in a circle to remove any air bubbles and create a smooth top. Bake for 50 minutes or until firm but still a little wobbly in the centre.

Turn off the oven and, with the door slightly ajar, leave for a further 30 minutes. Cool completely, then refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve spoon the remaining pickled cherries on top of the cheesecake.

Curried Turmeric, Ginger and Cauliflower Soup

I am not sure about you, but I seem to have so much cauliflower in my house all the time at the moment. Just when I think I have used it all in multiple ways, there it is in my fridge ready for eating. This soup is easy, delicious and perfect with your leftover sourdough made into croutons. The addition of ginger and turmeric is for warding off the winter flu.

Curried turmeric, ginger and cauliflower soup

Curried turmeric, ginger and cauliflower soup

1x small head of cauliflower
1x litre good quality chicken or vegetable stock
1 x small onion, finely diced
2 tbs madras curry powder
1 inch fresh turmeric, grated
½ inch fresh ginger, grated
4 tbs creme fraiche
Drizzle olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 180C. Cut the cauliflower into florets and chop the stalk into chunks. Place onto a lined baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix with your hands so that the cauliflower is lightly coated with all of the seasoning. Place into the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes or until starting to go golden. Colour equals flavour.

Whilst that is baking, place a medium sized pot on a medium heat and cook the onions with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt for 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the turmeric, ginger and curry powder and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and add to the pot with the stock and cook for 15 minutes. In two batches, blitz the soup in a blender or using a hand mix. Season with salt and pepper, add the creme fraiche in halves to each batch and blitz until smooth.

Orange cake with zesty syrup and cream cheese icing

It’s orange season and if you are lucky enough you have your own tree or at least a neighbour with one! I use oranges for everything at this time of year. On my meats as a glaze, in salads, with roast veggies and in my deserts. This delicious gluten free orange cake is so easy and really quite scrumptious. It is quite dense so don’t be surprised by its weight. I am a little bit greedy and make a syrup and icing for this one. You can choose either too but I would advise just doing both. After all if a jobs worth doing, its worth doing properly.

Orange cake with zesty cream cheese icing

Orange cake with zesty cream cheese icing

2 oranges
3 eggs
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 cups almond meal
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
For the syrup
zest and juice of 1 orange
2 tbs caster sugar
2 tbs water
For the icing
100g cream cheese
2 tbs icing sugar
½ orange, zest and juice

Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Grease a 20 cm spring form cake tin and line it with baking paper. Place the oranges in a saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes. Coarsely chop the oranges (both skin and flesh) and remove the seeds.

Place the chopped oranges in a blender with a splash of cold water and pulse until smooth. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until thick and pale. Add the oranges, almond meal, flour and baking powder and fold to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool while you make the syrup.

For the syrup, add the orange juice and sugar to a small saucepan and heat on low, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes, or until the sugar dissolves and the mixture becomes syrupy. Make the icing by beating with an electric hand mix the cream cheese, icing sugar, orange zest and juice.

Gently poke holes all over the top of the cake with a skewer and then spoon the syrup over it. Once cooled lather on the cream cheese mix and decorate with some edible flowers live the rosemary and fennel in the photos.

Who ate all the pies? My year of pies ~ Pickled cherry pie

This is a wonderful pie recipe to use your pickled or preserved cherries from the summer time. If you don’t have any or can not get your hands on any, my recipe is below – perfect for all of you in the Northern hemisphere coming into summer but sadly down under you may have to wait until the winter has passed. You could substitute the cherries with other fruit if you can’t wait!

Pie crust

Pie crust
2 ½ cups flour
1tsp sugar
1 cup butter, cold and grated
Pinch salt
¼ to ½ cup cold water
1 cup almond flakes for top
Small handful nuts or more almonds for blind baking
1 tbs honey

In a food processor pulse the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles bread crumbs. Add part of the water and pulse again. Add enough water so as when you squeeze the mix it hold together. I suggest doing the water a tablespoon at a time as you do not want to over mix.

Turn out the dough onto some cling wrap and make the dough into a disk shape. Place in the fridge for an hour.

Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out so it fits into your pie dish enough to hang over the sides. Wrap the pastry around your rolling pin and unroll over the dish, gently pushing the pastry into the sides of the dish. Prick the pastry a few times around the dish with a fork. Any leftover pastry can be frozen. Now preheat your oven to 180.C and put your pie case back in the fridge until ready to use.

Blind bake your pie case by placing some baking paper on the inside of the crust and filling it with some almonds and a drizzle the honey which you can use on the top of the pie later. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the crust begins to go golden brown. If any of the pastry puffs prick with a fork a little more.

Once the pie crust is ready remove and fill with the cherry filling. Don’t put too much of the liquid in or it will go soggy. If you would like a sweeter filling, sprinkle the cherries with some brown sugar at this point. Now cover the filling with the flaked almonds and some of the blind baked ones too for texture. Bake in the oven for a further 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with creme fraiche or cream.

Pickled Cherries
1 kg cherries
6 strips orange zest
350 g (1 1/2 cups) caster sugar
500 ml (2 cups) white wine vinegar
180 ml (3/4 cup) water
10 cloves
2 cm piece of fresh ginger, smashed
2 cinnamon sticks
6 cardamon pods, bruised

Wash the cherries and remove the stems and pips. Keep the cherries as whole as possible. Combine all of the ingredients except the cherries in a saucepan, bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Add the cherries and cook for 10–15 minutes, or until tender. If not using in the pie, place into sterilised jars and stock up for the winter.