I'm not an appliance person, but..


We made it through Christmas weekend BJ!

After making gift suggestions for "hard-to-buy-for people" I realized that I myself, can be one of those very people...

I tend to be a minimalist, probably because we have moved so many times and I just get tired of moving so much stuff. So when people ask me what I want for Christmas my go-to answer is usually, socks.

I can put holes in socks like nobody else I know!

It is funny to me that kids dread getting socks for Christmas... every year I get a few pairs of socks and I am so grateful!

This year however, I received some really neat gifts I would not have thought of, and I wanted to share one of them with you as a gift idea for other occasions, or maybe even next year.

Alright, are you ready???

One of the coolest and simplest gifts I got for Christmas this year, is

a grater/slicer attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer.

I'm not an applicance person, but my dark blue Kitchen Aid has proven indispensable. Ours was given to us by someone who got a newer version about 5 years ago.

I was making cookies with some kids a couple Christmases ago and they had a bunch of googley eyes for some Rudolph cupcakes they were making. There was a set of googley eyes that was way too large to fit on a cupcake, so I stuck them on the mixer as a joke. The kids and I started calling the mixer "The Cookie Monster," and 5 years later the googley eyes and the nickname have all stuck.

I use the Cookie Monster for everything... baking, prepping dinner, even making zoodles! The Cookie Monster whipped up Peter's first whipped cream this Christmas, boatloads of eggnog, home-made hot chocolate, and corn bread for our holiday cribbage party we had last week too!

The only thing I haven't tried with it is grinding meat. I have heard this burns up Kitchen Aid mixers, and we have a couple of meat grinders so I haven't felt the need to try it.

But one thing I truly hate doing- and probably the only thing I actually hate doing when it comes to cooking- is grating cheese. I hate it so much, that when I announce that dinner is ready, Chris instantly asks if I want him to grate some cheese ontop of it.

What a guy!?

Well Chris's sister Abbie heard how much I hate grating cheese and she decided to get me a grating attachment for the Cookie Monster.

It is AMAZING!

Yes, I am aware that I could buy shredded cheese at the store, but did you know most shredded cheeses have weird things added to them to keep the shreds from sticking together???

The most common ingredients include cellulose, potato starch, cornstarch, calcium sulfate, and natamycin. Some of these are also key ingredients used in cement and tile grout!

Now, doesnt THAT sound appetizing?!

These ingredients can also wreck your recipes, because the anti-caking agents used will keep the pre-shredded cheese from melting normally and blending with other things like butter, when you are trying to make a creamy-cheese sauce, for example.

So you could say this handy gadget saves time, energy, Chris's fingers, and the integrity of cheesy recipes!!!

I'm in love!

What

What is the coolest gift you received this year?


Here are some recipes I recently cooked up that I thoroughly enjoyed and wanted to share with you.

Mollee's Most Eggcellent EggNog

3cups whole milk

1cup cream

4 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

pinch of salt

1tsp cinnamon

1/2tsp nutmeg

Heat the milk/cream to about 160 degrees, mix the eggs, sugar, salt, and seasonings in a separate bowl.

Once the milk is heated, temper the egg mixture by slowly whisking a cup of the hot milk into it, then another cup after that.

Mix tempered egg mixture back into the milk mixture and turn the heat off.

It will thicken a little while it cools.

Enjoy with home-made whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon on top!


Cream of Turkey Soup

Cream of chicken soup is another one of those things that is so full of junk, when you buy it at the store. I have fond memories of the recipes my mom used to make with Cream of Chicken Soup though, so I decided to make my own version with turkey leftovers from a Christmas meal we had with family.

  • 1 ½ cups stock, I used beef stock made with marrow bones because I love a thick, rich, nutrient-dense bone broth and I had some beef marrow bones on hand, but you could make a nice turkey-carcass broth that would work well too!
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
  • ⅛ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 pinch ground allspice
  • 1 pinch ground paprika
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour

Place 1 tablespoon of chicken stock in a saucepan over medium-low heat, and cook and stir the onion and garlic in the broth until they are softened, about 3 minutes. Pour in the rest of the broth and 1/2 cup of milk, and whisk in the salt, black pepper, parsley, pepper, allspice, and paprika. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and allow to simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.

Whisk together the remaining milk and the flour until smooth, and whisk the milk mixture into the hot stock mixture. Keep whisking continuously to avoid lumps until the soup comes almost to a boil and thickens.

Have any Winter recipes you care to share?


Until next week BJ.

Happy New Year!!!!

-BJ, Peter, and the Taste of the Wind Crew


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