The Ultimate Kitchen Appliance – the Kenwoood Chef!

Kenwood is that wonderful British company that have been producing great kitchen appliances for years. The name Kenwood has become synonymous with the “Chef”, the ultimate kitchen appliance. It is a machine that can be used with a variety of attachments, thus allowing it to perform a really wide variety of functions in the kitchen. First introduced in 1950, the Kenwood Chef has become a household brand and a trusted multi-functional appliance still of immense use in all kitchens. The Kenwood Chef has four different attachment points, allowing you to beat, mix, and prepare various ingredients, and also perform other tasks such as liquidising, juicing, mincing, and pasta-making. This really is the ultimate kitchen gadget!

Get lean cuts by using the Kenwood Chef mincer attachment!

The Kenwood Chef will allow you to mince meat leaner than lean. Buying minced beef from your butcher or supermarket is a quick and convenient way to get the main ingredient needed for so many recipes, but it is usually easy to see in the meat packet that a certain amount of fat is also minced in the process. Many supermarkets today offer varieties of mince, showing the different percentages of lean content included, but none ever get to the bright red mince I remember my mother preparing when I was young.

By trimming all the fat from a prime piece of round steak you will have a pure beginning point. Popping on the mincer attachment to your Chef is the next step to getting pure lean mince. You know exactly what cut of meat has gone in, and you can have it as lean (or fatty!) as you wish. You can even grind up more than you need and store it in smaller portions in the freezer. Then it is ready to go when you once again fire up the Kenwood Chef to prepare for that great Bolognese sauce that will go with your homemade pasta!

Mama mia – Homemade Pasta via Kenwood Chef!

Let Kenwood transport you to Italia with the pasta maker attachment for the Chef. Readymade pasta from a box is quick and tasty, but it doesn’t compare to the fresh homemade variety of pasta Italian folk take for granted. The pasta maker will take the work out of this job. A variety of styles including spaghetti, lasagne, tagliatelle, rigatoni and macaroni can be made from the Kenwood Chef pasta maker. This attachment suits all Kenwood Chef and Kenwood Major models, and the continuous slow speed output makes it easy to use. So what are you waiting for?

Trendy Kitchen Gadgets

Time spent in the kitchen preparing meals can seem like a lifetime without the proper gadgets. For any kitchen diva that enjoys preparing healthy meals for her family or for the diva that enjoys making gourmet type meals to showcase her culinary skills there are kitchen gadgets to accessorize their kitchens and aid in those preparations.

Many of the gadgets found in the kitchen stores today are colorful, unique, and patterned to add lively décor to the kitchen. They are designed to simplify the cooking world and decorate the kitchen. Useful gadgets can cut cooking preparation time cut while allowing the cook to feel better about being in the kitchen by allowing them to see the beauty in the products.

Companies like Sur La Table make gadgets which are designed to cut down some of the prep time for meals. The Garlic Shake and Chop is one of those gadgets. With the Shake and Chop, cooks can put a clove of garlic into a shaker with tiny blades and within a few shakes, they have chopped garlic. This makes chopped garlic easier and safer than having to chop by hand.

Another new idea is The Chop to Pot by Joseph Joseph. This is a cutting board that allows you to chop the vegetables and then folds up to make it easier to pour the veggies into the pan or skillet that you intend to cook them in. This folding cutting board is a unique idea that could change the way we work in the kitchen.

It seems that every company makes a dish designed for something special, especially in the baking world. Doughnuts have to have a hole in the center, so what does a baker need other than a doughnut pan. These pans allow the baker to pour the batter into the pan in the shape of a doughnut and then bake them.

Also, filling a cupcake can be challenging and hard work. By using the Cuisipro Cupcake Corer, filling a cupcake can be simple. The corer takes the center out of the cupcake so that filling can be inserted in. This frees up some of the time that it would take to otherwise fill the cupcakes.

There are new juicers out now that are combined with a pitcher to make the process of making homemade orange juice much easier. Many companies make these and a quick search online will allow you to compare the different styles and will help you to choose just which one is right for you.

Tableware has also been improved upon in the last few years as well. There are brighter colors, bolder patterns, and even slanted or triangle shaped bowls to accessorize with. These colorful dishes and innovative kitchen gadgets are designed for adding convience and ambience to the kitchen.

Cheerwine Pound Cake Recipe: North Carolina Soft Drink Flavors This Southern Cake

Cheerwine is a soft drink local to the South and a favorite for drinking and for using in baked goods.

One of the most popular soft drinks in the South is not known widely outside the area. Cheerwine is home based out of a small Southern town – Salisbury, North Carolina. It’s the soda of choice in the area and gets raves in the states where the soft drink is sold, which just includes a few Southern states. People who visit become fans though and will pay to have Cheerwine shipped out.

While the name may be confusing, Cheerwine is not a wine. It’s like Ginger Ale which is not an ale. The old names on sodas were often selected to reflect the appearance of the beverage, and Cheerwine is a beautiful wine red color.

Although, people in the South mostly drink Cheerwine, they also add it to various recipes for an extra special flavor boost. For years, women in the South have been using this secret soda ingredient. It’s not such a secret now, and Cheerwine actually sells a Cheerwine cake through the Apple Ugly Baking Company – another small local company.

There are a number of different types of Cheerwine cakes made around the South. Some are layer cakes with frosting and some are sheet cakes. Then, there are Cheerwine pound cakes. This seemed inevitable, since pound cakes are super popular in the South.

Cheerwine Soft Drink Cake Recipe



  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks) – can use margarine but butter is better
  • ½ cup shortening (Crisco etc)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp lemon extract (or lemon flavoring)
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup Cheerwine soft drink
  • 8 drops red food coloring (optional) – but gives the cake a prettier color


  1. Put the butter out to soften. This makes it much easier to mix up this cake and gives it a better texture.
  2. Cream softened butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. This gives the Cheerwine cake height and a lighter texture.
  4. Add salt and lemon extract and beat.
  5. Alternate with flour and Cheerwine and beat well until mixture is smooth.
  6. For a pinker color, add food coloring and mix.
  7. Grease a tube cake or bundt cake pan and pour batter in pan. Wipe off any drips on the side for a better appearance.
  8. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to one hour and a half. Check on the earlier time with a toothpick. If the cake is done, the toothpick should come out clean.

Note: This recipe makes a smaller pound cake. It is not one of the pound cakes that goes up and over the top of smaller bundt cake pans for example.

Other Favorite Southern Dessert Recipes:

Southern Red Velvet Cake – This is a Southern fancy cake. The red cake with white frosting really stands out visually. The flavor is fabulous too.

Sweet Potato Pie Recipe – No. This does not taste like a vegetable pie. Think along the lines of pumpkin pie but with a little sweeter taste. If you’ve never tried sweet potato pie, you’re missing out. This is a classic Southern holiday dessert.

Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting – Keep this great sugar recipe in your file. It’s perfect for all kinds of holidays, and it’s fun to make and decorate these cookies. Kids especially like making these tasty sugar cookies.

Grandma’s Homemade Banana Pudding – Banana Pudding made with instant pudding will never cut it after you try the real thing. It does take some time to make the pudding base from scratch, but this is the “real deal” when it comes to banana pudding.

Easy Brunch Recipes – Cookbook Review of Brunch by Parragon Books

Hosting brunch is simple with the cookbook Brunch. Egg recipes, muffin recipes, and waffle recipes are among the inclusions in Brunch.

Brunch, a cookbook authored and published by Parragon Books, Ltd (ISBN: 978-1-4075-9485-9), contains numerous recipes for the late breakfast/early lunch meal of brunch. There are four chapters of recipes in the book, and the recipes range from sweets such as muffins to savory dishes such as smoked salmon.

Each recipe includes step-by-step instructions, an ingredients list, and information on the number of servings for the recipe. Glossy color photos also accompany each recipe.

Simple Brunch Recipes

Many of the recipes in the book require minimal preparation and easy-to-follow instructions. The dishes appear elegant, but they are easy for the home cook to prepare. Some of the sweet recipes included are Dried Cherry Cheesecake Muffins, Banana Bread with Strawberry Compote & Mascarpone, and Apple Pancakes with Maple Syrup Butter.

Savory offerings in this cookbook include Eggs Benedict with Quick Hollandaise Sauce, Tortilla with Roasted Bell Peppers & Spicy Chorizo, Cheese & Herb Souffles with Sauteed Mushrooms, and Mini Bacon & Egg Pastries with Cheddar.

Planning Brunch Menus

One of the benefits of the collection of recipes in Brunch is the variety of servings offered among the recipes. When planning a brunch menu, this book will be a valuable tool because it offers recipes in small portions or in portions large enough to feed crowds. Small portion recipes include twp-serving offerings such as Sausage with Mushrooms, Bacon, Tomatoes & Cooked Bread, Tuscan Beans on Ciabatta Toast with Fresh Herbs, and Toasted English Muffins with Honey-Glazed Bacon & Eggs.

For larger brunch crowds, several of the recipes in this book will serve a group. Larger portion recipes include Doughnut Muffins which serve 12, French Croissants which serve 12, Homemade Granola which serves six to eight, and Smoked Salmon, Feta & Dill Phyllo Packages which serves six. Many of the recipes serve four to six people, as well.

Shopping for Brunch Food

One concern with the brunch recipes in this book is the expense of making the recipes. Several of the recipes include a large number of ingredients, so if budget is a major concern, this may not be the right book.

Many recipes include 10 or more ingredients, which can add up in price, especially with some more expensive ingredients such as salmon, portobello mushrooms, and Gruyere cheese. On the other hand, it is these high-quality ingredients that make the dishes so flavorful.

Common Kitchen Helps for Recipe Substitutions

Don’t Panic If You’re Out of a Recipe Ingredient

Most kitchens have common kitchen helpers available for recipe substitutions. Don’t go into panic mode if you’re making dinner and you are missing a certain item. You may have a quick substitute right in front of you.

1. Sour cream
Sour cream is often added to casseroles or baking..
Substitute: 7/8 cup sour milk and 3 Tbsp butter or margarine
8-oz.carton plain yogurt

2. Light Cream
Light cream is often used for a white sauce, cheese sauce, casseroles or baking.
Substitute 1 cup undiluted evaporated milk for cup light cream.

3. Buttermilk or sour milk
Buttermilk or sour milk is often used in baking cakes or cookies.
Substitute 1 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice and enough sweet milk to make 1 cup for cup of sour or butter. Let stand 5 minutes.

4. Lemon juice
Lemon juice is often added to barbeque sauces or other sauces.
Substitute 1/2 tsp. vinegar for 1 tsp. lemon juice.

5. 1 cup sugar
Sugar, as you know, is a main staple in most kitchens.
Substitute 1 cup powdered sugar, firmly packed brown sugar or 1/2 cup honey. If honey is substituted, reduce liquid by 1/2 cup.

6. 1 square unsweetened chocolate
Unsweetened chocolate is often used in frosting and baking.
Substitute 3 Tbsp. of cocoa and 1 Tbsp. margarine.

7. Onion powder
Onion powder is often used in casseroles, making meat dishes, pasta and veggies.
Substitute one small onion for 3/4 tsp. onion powder.

8. Corn syrup
Corn syrup is a sweetener that can be a regular syrup on pancakes or used when making things such as hot fudge or a chocolate sauce for ice cream/other desserts.
Substitute 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water. Boil together and stir.

9. Baking powder
Baking powder is used in making bread, cookies, cakes etc.
Substitute 1/4 tsp. baking soda and 5/8 tsp. cream of tarter.

10. Fresh herbs
Herbs are used to enhance flavors in most all cooking.
Substitute 1 tsp. dried herbs, crushed.

11. Bread crumbs
Bread crumbs are added when making meat loaf, ham balls, scalloped dishes and as a topping.
Substitute 1 cup crushed cereal or cracker crumbs. Oatmeal can be substituted when making meat dishes.

12. Pumpkin pie spice
Pumpkin pie spice makes adding spices to pumpkin dishes quick and easy.
Substitute 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ginger, 1/8 tsp. ground cloves and 1/8 tsp. nutmeg for 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice. Cinnamon is needed, but you could probably go without the other spices. Your finished product will be more bland.

Hopefully these quick and easy subsitutions may save your day.

It’s best to check ingredients before we begin, but time and surprise conditions sometime prevent our having everything we need to complete a recipe.