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Blend with the times

By on May 29, 2008

photo by ChezDeniseetLaudalino
homemade butter

Small kitchen appliances can be an obsession. You don’t realize how many you own until you try to list them all. Some collect dust and serve as a reminder of your good intentions. One underutilized appliance is a conventional countertop blender. It’s often overshadowed by stand mixers with accessories, immersion hand blenders, choppers and food processors.

If you already have a standard 10-, 12- or 14-speed model, you might have forgotten all that it can do to speed up food preparation. They’re not just for frozen drinks. You can puree, chop, grate, grind, crush, shred, mix, crumb and whip with many models. And you know what that means? Imagine making homemade spreads, breadcrumbs, sauces, batters and condiments, or using it to mix your dry milk or frozen juice. Dust it off, grab a rubber spatula and try the following recipes. Then give it a more prominent place in your kitchen.

Homemade butter

1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt

Put heavy cream in the blender. Whip until butter separates from the liquid (about 5 minutes). Stop the moment it separates. Drain liquid with a mesh strainer or paper towels. Place into a bowl and press flat with a spatula or back of spoon to remove liquid, and pour off remaining liquid. Rinse and squeeze butter under cold water. Pat dry. Add salt. Refrigerate.

Mayonnaise

1 egg
1/4 teaspoon dry, powdered mustard
1/2 to 1 teaspoon sugar (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of cayenne pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Place egg, mustard, sugar, salt, cayenne pepper and lemon juice into the blender. Cover with lid and pulse for about 15 seconds. Gradually, in a steady stream, pour in 1/4 cup olive oil. Blend on high speed. As it thickens, gradually add the remaining oil. Scrape with a rubber spatula and place in either a spare jar with a lid or a squeezable plastic condiment container. Store in the refrigerator and use within a week.

Frosting

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup evaporated milk or hot milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Place all ingredients in the blender, cover with lid and blend until smooth. Thicken with confectioners’ sugar and thin with milk. Makes 1 cup frosting.

Peanut butter

Place 1-1/2 to 2 cups of salted, roasted peanuts into the blender. Put the lid on and blend until desired consistency. If too thick, add 1/2 teaspoon peanut oil until it’s spreadable. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides. Makes approximately 1/2 cup peanut butter. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use within a week.

Barbecue sauce

1 cup ketchup
1/4 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 to 3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon honey mustard
paprika to taste

Place all ingredients in the blender. Cover with lid and mix until combined. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Fruit spread

Place an 8-ounce brick of cream cheese into the blender. Add 1/2 cup strawberry preserves, orange marmalade or raspberry preserves. Cover with lid and blend on high speed. Use as a spread for toast, bagels or English muffins.

3 Comments

  1. Rachel @ Master Your Card

    5/29/2008 at 8:42 am

    Mmmm you are making my mouth water. Such a healthy way to make peanut butter for example and much healthier without all the preservatives and sugar that the store brands seem to add.

  2. Michelle Sackett

    6/1/2008 at 6:57 am

    You are absolutely right. I don’t think to use my blender for much other than smoothies, milk shakes, and mixed drinks. My dd has just informed me that she likes the cream cheeses with fruit, so I am going to try the fruit spread recipe you have posted above.

    The frosting sounds good too; I never would have thought to make frosting in a blender. As soon as I pick up some evaporated milk from the store, I will try that. My dd’s birthday is coming up, so this recipe is very timely.

    Thanks for the great ideas!

  3. Sherry Bailey

    6/14/2008 at 10:16 pm

    Thank you for these recipes. I can’t wait to try them!

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