What are you cooking for Christmas dinner? ?
I always cook a lot during the holidays but this year I’m so tired of all the work that’s involved. I don’t want to spend Christmas in the kitchen. It’s starting to feel like a chore and it’s just not as much fun as in the past. What are you cooking? Please give me some ideas that are interesting and SIMPLE. Thanks.
We didn’t have a Thanksgiving dinner because someone was hospitalized, so we’re having it for Christmas.
Turkey & dressing
Mashed potatoes & gravy
Deviled eggs & relish tray
Some sort of pie & cookies
Already made the dough for the cookies:
These are best glazed with a mixture of powdered sugar and milk and then sprinkled with colored sugar. The dough can also be used to make Thumbprint cookies. You will need a strong mixer – a KitchenAid helps, but you can always knead in the rest of the flour. The dough does not spread or distort – they can be baked fairly close together and can be shipped or transported without breaking.
1 cup (2 sticks) butter (do NOT use oleo or spread)
½ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups sifted all purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.
Add egg and vanilla extract.
Add flour and baking powder.
Mix until mixture clings together.
Gather into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate one hour.
Roll out between ¼ and 1/2 inch thick. Bake 5 to 6 minutes at 375F. Do not let the cookies brown.
Cool on wire rack before glazing or frosting.
Glaze: With a fork, mash together 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon powdered sugar until a fine paste. Add a few drops of milk. Continue adding powdered sugar and milk until desired consistency is achieved. Add 2 drops of almond extract. Yield: about 1 cup.
What is the best brand/kind of stand mixer?
it’s unanimous! :p
Consumer reports says Hamilton Beach Electric is the best buy. But do read what th pros and cons are, it’s going to depend upon what you want to use it for.
I don’t usually cut and paste, but I recently bought a 1 month subscription to Consumer reports. Here is what they have to say on stand mixers:
Big, pricey stand mixers stand up to dough better and work faster than hand mixers or even less-expensive stand mixers. But our tests still showed differences in how well they perform.
They work in different ways, too. Some use two beaters, which spin against each other; others use one beater, which spins in one direction and moves around the bowl the opposite way. All but the three lowest rated have one beater.
With most, you tilt the mixer head up to remove beaters or bowl; with the KitchenAid Professional models, you turn a lever that lifts or lowers the bowl.
To test the mixers’ mettle, we whipped, mixed, kneaded, and mashed. If whisks or dough hooks were included, we used them. We judged loudness at the highest speed. We checked convenience by replacing beaters and adjusting speed, and found that all the mixers were about equally convenient.
Whipping. The best mixers made fluffy whipped cream and meringue in a few minutes. The Jenn-Air left unbeaten egg white in the bowl bottom. All but the two lowest rated come with a whisk.
Mixing. The best needed little help when they were creaming, blending flour, or folding chips into big batches of cookie dough.
Kneading. The best needed little help with a loaf of white-bread dough. Most easily handled two loaves’ worth. The three lowest rated vibrated a lot.
Mashing. We used the regular beaters to mash 2 pounds of potatoes. Most mixers performed similarly, leaving small bits but no large chunks.
Noise. Quietest was the Hamilton Beach Eclectrics. The Viking was uncomfortably loud and shrill.
THE BOTTOM LINE
If you use a mixer often or do lots of kneading, these should fill the bill. The KitchenAid Classic and Hamilton Beach Eclectrics offer the best combination of value and performance. The prices we’ve listed are approximate retail.
For the best combination of value and performance:
• KitchenAid Classic K45SS[WH] , $180
• Hamilton Beach Eclectrics 6322 , $170, CR Best Buy
The KitchenAid Classic K45SS[WH] excelled at everything from meringue to double batches of bread dough.
The Hamilton Beach Eclectrics 6322, a CR Best Buy, performed very well overall, was convenient to use, and was the quietest machine we tested.
What is a good quality breadmaker ?
that is easy to use, and makes delicous bread.
Take the money you would spend on a quality bread maker and get a Kitchenaid stand mixer, the 5 quart. It will do all the heavy kneading of bread doughs for you and a 100 other things! Mash potatoes, mix cakes, cookies, beat cream just to name a few. And you can buy attachments for it to do even more. The attachment I use the most is the food mill/strainer to make my own tomato sauces and a ton of applesauce for the freezer.
And you will have it for years and years to come! I have two (one was my mother’s) and the oldest is a good 25 years old. It’s the 4 quart and is fine for most basic mixing and whipping jobs but it lacks the power for really kneading breads. I use my 5 quart for that. And I do bake breads a lot in the cooler weather, usually at least once a week and I’m always baking cookies, brownies, cakes to keep the sweet tooths satisfied around here. By baking my own, I’m controlling what goes in and can easily substitute healthier ingredients.
Hmm, it’s cooler and rainy here today. Maybe I should get the yeast out! It’s been miserably hot this summer and we’re actually getting a couple days in the 70′s.
Need help picking a kitchenaid mixer?
So I think it’s time for me to add a kitchenaid mixer to my arsenal of kitchen stuff. Not something I plan on using 24-7, but will be thankful to have it when I need it. Anyway I usually cook for 2-4 people. On some occasions 6-8 people. I plan on using the mixer to make pizza dough, mash potatoes, and maybe some fresh pasta…so maybe whipping it out 1-2 times a month. My girlfriend might use it around the same frequency to make cakes, cookies, and I’m sure we might experiment making bread every now and then.
Anyway, what size & power would you recommend? Artisan, Classic, Accolade, Professional series? what are the pros and cons of using the different bowl loading types? I understand this is one of those purchases that typically lasts forever so I wanna make the right choice…all help is greatly appreciated. Thank You.
We bought the Heavy Duty 5 qt stand mixer, and got the extended warranty. We’ve had a Kitchen Aid mixer for over 10 years but twice we had a problem with the gears grinding (our fault, we should have had a 6 qt the way my son likes to make pizza!). Because we got the warranty, Kitchen Aid sent us a NEW mixer both times. This last time, they upgraded us to a 6 qt Professional because it was the only one they could find in the Cobalt Blue that I wanted.
I would recommend either the 5 or 6 qt Professional if you are going to make pizza or bread on a regular basis; and don’t forget that warranty! It is one of the best purchases we ever made. We also got the meat grinder attachment which has come in handy on several occasions. The mixer is one of the best purchases we have ever made.
Can anyone share their mashed potato and gravy recipe?
Sure. My wife makes the BEST mashed potatoes and gravy. Both of these are hers. First the mashed potatoes recipe:
Garlic mashed potatoes are another traditional holiday side dish. I DO usually make this two or three days ahead and just pop it in the oven before serving.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Cook 5 lbs potatoes with 2 tsp salt in 4 cups water
Drain and mash. I usually do this in my kitchenaid mixer as well.
6 oz cream cheese
2 T. finely minced garlic (I like to use grilled garlic cloves that I’ve minced)
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. salt or to taste
1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups milk
When ready to serve:
Spread potatoes in greased baking dish; bake in oven at 350° for 45 minutes.
Now for the gravy:
I’m always surprised by how many people I know are totally intimidated about making gravy. Making gravy for the Thanksgiving turkey is about the easiest thing, so I thought I’d outline how I do it. (For those of you who already know how to make gravy and could practically do it in your sleep, I’m sure there are other blogs to read right now….)
Gravy for Turkey
See all those lovely rich juices at the bottom of the pan once you’ve lifted the cooked turkey out to carve it? Those juices are going to become your gravy.
Start by pouring the drippings (another name for the turkey juice) into a sauce pan. Make sure you don’t fill the saucepan more than 2/3 full. Bring the drippings to a rolling boil. Salt this just a little.
Meanwhile, stir 4 T. of cornstarch into a cup of very cold water. If you add cornstarch directly into hot juices, the cornstarch will just clump together and get nasty. So stir it into cold water. Once the juices are boiling heartily, slowly stir in the cold water/cornstarch mixture. Stir constantly. I like to use a wire whisk for this part although a spoon will work just fine.
Bring the gravy back to boiling and cook until it thickens to the degree that you want it to. Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste.
You can also use flour instead of cornstarch. I grew up using cornstarch and prefer the flavor but it really doesn’t matter a lot which you use.
Any leftover gravy can be thrown into the stock pot that you’re cooking the turkey carcass in on the stove. It adds some really nice flavor to the stock.
Can you make mashed potatoes in an electric Mixer?
I want to make a LARGE batch of mashed potatoes and i have an electric kitchenaid mixers i normally use for cookies etc….
Is it safe to use this for mashed potatoes and will their consistency be the same as manual mashing?
I would try it myself but i dont want to waste the $$$$ if it turns out to be a flop.
I have a kitchenaid and have tried it. It works ok with the whisk attachment (not the paddle) but there are still some lumps.
Best gadget for this is a potato ricer. You can go through a large batch of potatoes in about 3 minutes. It will cost you $5 for one at walmart or target.
Does pureed pumpkin come in jars or only cans?
I was using canned pumpkin and found specks of metal in it. Since then I don’t trust using canned pumpkin and am trying to find an alternate way to buy pureed pumpkins.
Can you buy pureed pumpkin in a jar, or some other type of container that is more safe to use?
I’ve already tried looking for pumpkin baby food, but I can’t find any.
It doesn’t come in a jar as far as I’ve ever seen but you know it is actually really easy to make your own pumpkin puree and it freezes really well.
You buy the smaller sugar pumpkins during the pumpkin season. Cut them in half and stick them on a baking tray lined with foil, cut side up. Cover with more foil and roast in a 300-350 oven for an hour or two until they are fork tender.
Take the pumpkins out, scoop out the seeds and then scoop out the pulp into a bowl. You can discard the skin although you can use it if you like, I just think it’s easier not to.
Then, take your puree and either mash with a fork, potato masher, or even put it into a blender, kitchenaid, food processor, etc. It purees really easily if it is cooked soft enough.
Then just measure it out in 2 cup increments into ziplock baggies and freeze them. 2 cups of puree is equivalent to one can of pumpkin, and if I remember correctly I usually get about 3 cups of puree per pumpkin (though it does vary with pumpkin size).
As far as baby food, it’s the same thing… I made all my baby food and pumpkin is one of the easiest ones to do. I liked to freeze the baby food pumpkin in those little 4oz gladware containers… makes it easy just to stick into the fridge to defrost and then you have pumpkin anytime for your baby.
P.S. you can peel and de-seed the pumpkins before you cook them, and you can also boil them if you like. I find pumpkins difficult to peel, and I compost the seeds so that’s why I cook the whole thing first. As far as boiling the chunks of pumpkin, people do that and it’s fine, but then the extra water needs to be drained out of the puree. I just find it much simpler to cut it in half and deal with the skin & seeds when they are cooked soft.
What size Kitchenaid Mixer should I buy?
The options are 4.5qt, 5qt, or 6qt. Any opinions would be great. There are only two people living in my house if that helps.
Thanks, it’s probably just going to be just the two of us for a while. We do entertain a fair amount but never more than 10-15 people.
I’d love to go with a less expensive brand but my girlfriend is obsessed with the Kitchenaid.
for your home choose between these…
this is a gift like her wedding ring… it’s a forever thing…. so buy the best you can afford…. the first one gives you a color choice, the second one is ‘just basic’, but would still be loved…. the first one has a higher wattage, thus a stronger motor for stirring heavy recipes, like cookies or mashed potatoes…. how much do you like those??…. as a person without one, tho I bought one for my son’s kitchen, the first one, I can say, that if I were to ask for one specifically, it would be the first one….. please…..
Do you love your KitchenAid Stand Mixer?
I baught my stand mixer around October a Classic Series and I love it so far. So Far I use the meat grinder attachment, made some cakes, brownies about 5 or 6 times , mash potatoes, lastly cookies like 2 times. But does anyone own a Classic Series that last them a long time and use it like 3 or more times a month :). Thankyou ! No rude negative comments please!
I love my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, which my father bought my mother back in the late 70s. I used the whip attachment yesterday to make coconut macaroons. I used the dough hook Friday to make Old Fashioned Brown Bread. I used it on Thanksgiving with the paddle to make my mashed potatoes. I used the grinder attachment on Wed. to grind the cranberries and orange for our cranberry salad.
As you can tell, I use mine often! And it will get another workout during Dec. with all the Christmas baking I do! I know I’ll be using the shredder attachment next Sunday to make coleslaw also. And this machine is at least 30 years old. I also still have my mother’s first KitchenAid – a model 3 from in the 1940s that works fine for cakes and cookies. It just isn’t as strong for heavier doughs.
I’m sure you’ll enjoy your KitchenAid for years and years!
Have any of you used a Sunbeam stand mixer instead of Kitchenaid?
My last kitchenaid starting giving me shocks at it’s not that old so I looked up a Sunbeam and it’s about $100 cheaper and was just wondering if anyone has any reviews on the sunbeam stand mixer.
I got a Sunbeam upright heavy stand up mixer at an auction about 20 years ago. I use it frequently and never had a problem with it. I have to make cakes all the time for grandkids, mash potatoes, etc..
Does the kitchenaid food processor knead dough properly?
I m planning to buy the kitchenaid 12cup food processor.
I want to know if it kneads dough for pizza and bread well…. coz that wld be my primary requirement.
Any1 having used the gadget are welcome to share experiences.
PS: Is there any other appliance to knead dough? I tried a stand mixer but m not happy with the result.
well the KFP750OB comes with what they call a dough blade, and on their site it says you can knead yeast dough with it. I couldn’t find a jpg of this dough blade tho, I would hope it looks similar to the dough hook that they have with their stand mixer.
Why aren’t you happy with their stand mixer? it’s what I have.
maybe it’s your dough recipe.
when i worked in restaurants we had GIGANTIC floor mixers to mix pizza dough. I would always let the dough rise up twice and then rest for a few hours before using. I do the same at home with my stand mixer. it’s all i really make with mine, and it’s strong enough to use for the massive amts i make at times.
in the restaurant(s) i’d let the dough mixer go for about 11-19 min. at home with my stand mixer I do it for 9.
I only use a plastic bowl to have my dough rise. In the restaurant(s) I would use very clean bus pans reserved only for the dough. I would either line the bus pan with a bit of olive oil or even a clean garbage bag, and then top with a garbage bag while it rose. at home I do the same, but of course with a smaller garbage bag, plastic of course. maybe it’s the plastic container, but it seems to work for me. punching it down twice is written in stone for me, as well as keeping it in the kitchen with the heat and away from drafts and windows.
the only time i use a hand mixer is when i need to whip up egg whites and simple things like mashed potatoes.
try putting some ground fennel in your pizza dough.
my pizza dough recipe has whole milk, butter, salt, sugar, eggs and of course yeast. it yields itself towards making thin, thick, pan dough for pizza as well as making buns, french bread, bread sticks and of course elephant ears (scraps fried and topped with cinnamon sugar)
i’d be interested in learning how that dough blade works tho. email me and let me know
What are some use for food processor?
And what kind of food processor do you recommend ? I need one !
I am single and have been using one tiny kind by hamilton beach, its ok for ONE kind of cut, the rest of the blades does not work well.
Can I use it to make a mashed potato ?
No you don’t mashed potatoes with a food processor. mainly it is for chopping,blending,purees, you can make smoothies or juice drinks with it..
You can use it for pastry and dough. I either use a hand mixer for the potatoes. Or use a potato masher..A very good brand would be the Kitchenaid brand…=)