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?

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.

Kitchen Gourmet 1.5 Qt Slow Cooker (YD-500): Product Review

The Kitchen Gourmet 1.5qt Slow Cooker is sold at retail through Walgreens, and can also be ordered from their website. At only ten dollars, it is about the cheapest option on the market for a new slow cooker. At this size however, it is really only good for stews, pot roasts, chili and whatever else you care to prepare for no more than two people.

The unit is completely without accessories, as should be expected for ten dollars. The ceramic pot liner is removable to double as a serving dish, and a glass lid allows you to keep an eye on things as they bubble up. The unit has two good-sized hand grips on the exterior, but the ceramic liner has only two tiny grips at the lip, which are a bit small to be adequate and require one to wear oven mitts or some other protective gear if they intend to remove the liner immediately after cooking.

The unit is fairly solid and well-constructed for ten dollars, however, and unless you put it through untoward rigors I can see it lasting for years. As with seemingly all Kitchen Gourmet cookware, however, the power cord is a bit shorter than most would like, measuring only about three feet.

Cooking is even throughout the dish, and the performance is adequate. However, the “slow” in the title is truly a case of accurate advertising here. The unit has three temperature settings – High, Low and Warm, but I found little difference between the Low and Warm settings, as both just seem to maintain the present temperature. The High setting is needed for thorough cooking, and even at this setting expect light dishes such as a pot of chili to take upwards of an hour, and something thicker like a roast can potentially take several hours. The unit seems to be safe to leave unattended, however; the ultra-slow heating seems to preclude any bubbling and spatter.

Lead in crock pots and slow cookers has become a concern as of late. I have found no reports of testing either way on this particular unit for lead in the liner. However, Walgreens is generally good about listing any potential lead in any of their cookware on their website, since they do so much business in California and the state has strict laws about notifying consumers of lead exposure. The Walgreens site goes so far as to warn you when the cookware has lead in the power cord, let alone in the cooking area, and they have nothing listed on their website under this unit for warnings, so I personally take that as enough of sign that it’s safe to use. As always, your mileage may vary, especially if children will be eating from it.

All-in-all, I’m pretty happy with this unit as a budget choice for making single meals for one or two people. It probably isn’t going to be quite big enough to prepare dinner for a family, however, and I can see where the minimal power cord length would be really annoying in certain kitchen settings.