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Category: Kitchen

Countertop Blender Vs Immersion Blender

Blenders are found in almost all modern kitchens nowadays. Two basic types of blenders are available in the market: countertop blenders and immersion blenders. Both the types are very useful kitchen tools which come in handy when performing so many of our day to day kitchen tasks. Pureeing baby food, making smoothies, soups, sauces, dips and dressings has become so simple with these blenders. If you are planning to buy a blender for yourself, the first question that comes to mind is whether you should buy a countertop blender or an immersion blender. Both types have their pros and cons. You need to make a decision according to your preferences.

Let’s consider the distinguishing features to make your decision easier.

Capacity:

With countertop blenders, you cannot blend more than the capacity of the blender jar. If you want to blend larger capacities, you will have to repeat the task with separate batches. There is no such limitation with immersion blender since you can immerse the blender in any pot or container of your choice depending on the amount of liquid you want to blend. With immersion blenders you will not have to blend in batches even if you have large amounts of liquids to process.

Storage space:

Immersion blenders take very little space in your kitchen; they can even be hung from wall hangers. This makes these types of blenders a suitable choice for people with smaller kitchens. Countertop blenders, on the other hand, take more countertop space than immersion blenders.

Power of the motor:

Countertop blenders generally come with greater powers than immersion blenders. This means they can handle tougher jobs as compared to immersion blenders. Immersion blenders are only suitable for processing liquids and ‘soft’ foods like cooked vegetables and soft fruits. Good quality countertop blenders can handle harder foods. Some countertop blenders also come with ice-crushing capabilities.

Cleanup:

Immersion blenders are easier to clean as they do not have the additional jar and lid that requires cleaning as is the case with countertop blenders. Immersion blender buyer’s guide & many more can helps you in understanding all these basics. However, they can cause food splattering in the surroundings because they do not blend food in a sealed container as is the case with countertop blenders. Countertop blenders, although a bit difficult to clean than immersion blenders, at least save the surroundings from getting messy.

Blending hot liquids:

Probably the biggest advantage of an immersion blender is its capability to blend hot liquids right in the pan. This makes them an ideal choice for making soups. With countertop blenders, you have to wait for the liquid to cool down, transfer it to the blender jar, blend it, transfer it back and reheat it. Some high-end countertop blenders come with the capability of blending hot liquids.

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How to make cake in a pressure cooker

Pressure cookers are a very useful and popular tool in a modern kitchen mainly because of its fast cooking and versatility. If you are thinking your pressure cooker is just for making soups, stews and steamed vegetables, you are wrong! There is so much more your pressure cooker can do. If you have not done a lot of research chances are you are using it to only a fraction of its full tendency. Do you know you can also make desserts using your pressure cooker? Even the simple stovetop pressure cookers can make exceptional desserts! Rice pudding, cheesecake, baked apples and bread pudding are only some of the examples. You can try much more!

Pressure cookers are used for this purpose by many users, especially those who do not own an oven. Once they start using their pressure cooker for baking, and see the results it produces, they no longer feel the need to buy an oven. Why waste money on something so expensive when their pressure cooker can do the same job with the same level of expertise?

What size is best for a pressure cooker?

Use a medium sized pressure cooker for baking your chocolate cake. 5 liters is a suitable size but bigger pressure cookers work fine as well. You will have to adjust the temperature and the cooking time according to the size of the pressure cooker that you choose.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make cake in your pressure cooker:

  1.    If this is the first time you are using your pressure cooker for baking, choose a simple cake recipe. I made a simple chocolate cake in my pressure cooker the first time I tried.
  2.    Prepare the batter as the recipe suggests. There is no difference in the recipe used. Same oven recipe works perfectly for pressure cooker as well. Once you have your batter ready, set it aside.
  3.    Remove the rubber gasket from the lid of your pressure cooker. This is because you do not want to seal the cooker to build pressure in it as you are not adding any water.
  4.    Some pressure cookers come with a metal stand that is placed at the bottom of the cooking pot. The purpose is to distribute heat more evenly inside the pressure cooker and is especially useful while baking. If your pressure cooker did not come with this stand, you can use a steel plate. If you cannot find one, gather some medium sized flat stones from your backyard, place them evenly on the base of your pressure cooker. It should do the job.
  5.    Before baking your cake, you need to preheat the cooker just like you do for oven. Place the lid (without the gasket) back on the cooker with only the steel stand (or its equivalent) inside. Turn the flame on and let it cook on high heat for 2 minutes.
  6.    The cake batter which is already ready and poured in a greased cake pan can now be placed inside the cooker on top of the steel stand. Make sure that the sides of the cake pan should not touch the walls of the cooker.
  7.    Close the lid and cook on medium heat for 2 minutes, then turn the flame to very low and let cook for 45 minutes to one hour, checking it at appropriate intervals to avoid overcooking.

Follow these simple steps and your cake will turn out as good as it would in an oven. If you are buying one with baking purpose also in your mind, choose pressure cooker of a good size that is not too small for your cake pan.

 

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Making the Perfect Desserts using Your Food Processor

Unleash your food process’s potential by using it to make some yummy, healthy homemade desserts that you have been craving. Amazing desserts can not only satisfy your cravings but can also make your meals memorable and can greatly help in pleasing someone.  Using your food processor for making desserts could tremendously reduce the time and effort required for making desserts. So take out your food processor and try these recipes which are as easy as a pie!

Blackberry, Coffee, and Cheese Cake

Blackberry, Coffee, and Cheese Cake

Begin with adding quarter cup sugar, two tablespoons flour, eighteen oz. cream cheese, and an egg in the food processor and pulsing until a smooth texture is achieved. You have the cream cheese filling ready now. Set it aside and wash the bowl and then add ¾ cups sugar and 2 ¼ cups flour to it and pulse. Then add pieces of butter (3/4 cups) to the mixture and pulse till coarse crumbs are formed. Take out a cup of the mixture and add half cup sliced almonds. Add half teaspoon baking powder, half teaspoon baking soda, quarter teaspoon salt, quarter cup sour cream, half cup vanilla yogurt, one teaspoon almond extract, and an egg to the remaining mixture and pulse in the food processor until a uniform mixture is formed. Put this mixture in the baking tray, then add the cream cheese filling over it. Next, spread blackberry preserves over it and then sprinkle the crumbs and sliced almonds mixture to it. Bake it for forty minutes at 350 degrees.

Frozen Fruit Yogurt

Frozen Fruit Yogurt

Mix 3 ½ cups of the desired fruit (peach, berries, etc.) and half cup sugar in a food processor until they are coarsely chopped. Next, mix half cup yogurt and a tablespoon of lemon juice and add slowly to the food processor via its feeding tube while the appliance is on. Process until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy. Your frozen fruit yogurt is ready to be served immediately!

You can also prepare fruit yogurt for your little ones using the food processor in the same way. For more food processor recipes, visit http://choosefoodprocessor.com/

Watermelon Sorbet

Watermelon Sorbet

Boil half cup sugar and ¾ cup water in a saucepan till sugar is dissolved. Then simmer for five minutes at low heat and let it cool at room temperature for nearly 45 minutes. Refrigerate it for an hour while covering the mixture. Process six cups seeded watermelon chunks and two tablespoons lemon juice in the food processor until a smooth mixture is formed. Sieve the mixture to remove tiny seeds and then whisk in the sugar syrup. Pour this mixture to a pan and freeze till the formation of ice crystals at the edges. Stir these crystals to the center and freeze again. Repeat this step at every twenty minutes till the mixture is completely frozen. Serve the yummy watermelon sorbet in chilled dishes!

Chunky Peach Popsicles

 Chunky Peach Popsicles

Using your food processor, coarsely chop 1 ¼ pounds ripe peaches. Set aside a cup of them and add one lemon’s juice, quarter cup fresh orange juice, and quarter cup sugar to the remaining mixture and process until smooth. Add the chunky peaches that you have set aside earlier and quarter teaspoon vanilla extract. Put the mixture in the pop molds and freeze for nearly an hour. Then pop in frozen treat sticks and further freeze for another hour. Yummy chunky peach Popsicles are ready!

All these amazing recipes just require a food processor and a few ingredients. You can even buy the baby food processor under $100.

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