Yes, yes I am still alive. As Mark Twain is said to have remarked, “Rumors of my death have been highly exaggerated”. Mind you, even as ancient as I am, I wasn’t around back then, so I don’t know that he actually uttered those words. But if one goes by the claims of the internet, he, Abraham Lincoln, Samuel L Jackson and Morgan Freeman are the only people who ever said anything worth quoting, other than a few random quotes attributed to Thomas Jefferson or Patrick Henry.
But I digress. Imagine that. I am here to bring you food!! Plus a giveaway. You all know I have had the much envied position of being a Hamilton Beach Ambassador for a couple of years now. As one, I get the opportunity to review their products from time to time and then offer those same products to you, my faithful (and slightly offbeat and rather warped) readers.
Today, I am bringing you two of the most iconic small appliances from Hamilton Beach– their 6 Speed Hand Mixer and their pretty darn awesome Stand Mixer. Let me tell you my thoughts on both now- First, the 6 Speed Hand Mixer-
I love this bad boy. This is the type of mixer one reaches for when doing the typical cooking/baking that requires a mixer. it is sturdy, easy to use ( I love the hand grip. It fits comfortably in my hand) and this one comes with some cool attachments, including a milkshake mixer (think of it rather like an immersion blender). I also love the storage area underneath. it’s a nice, convenient and NEAT (I have a thing for anything that leads to less drawer clutter) way to keep the attachments nearby. This mixer works well for everyday thing and has a “burst” button that gives you some extra power when you need it. it’s pretty much the perfect everyday mixer.
Now on to the Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer
. This one is a bit more powerful than the hand mixer and has the convenience of the bowl and hands off usage. It doesn’t have the horsepower, so to speak, to do heavy doughs easily, so no, this isn’t one to try to make 4 loaves of whole wheat bread in. But for regular baking and mixing, this is a workhorse. It worked fine for me when I made chocolate chip cookie dough in it and we all know that that dough can be rather dense. The only thing I DIDN’T like though I know I may be in the minority with this, were the stability suction cups on the bottom to hold it still when mixing. They are a great idea, but if one tries to move the mixer from one spot to another, the way it sticks to the counter makes it pull up forcefully and can make the contents of the bowl go everywhere. Don’t ask me how I know this, please. Ahem. This one comes with a standard flat beater hook, a dough hook and a whisk attachment.You want to win these. Trust me. You do. Both together are close to a $150.00 value and with the attachments, are sooooo helpful in the kitchen! I made my famous (hey, it is… in my household! 😛 ) Old fashioned Banana Bread using the hand mixer and it worked wonderfully. Oh, you want the recipe, you say? Well, ok, if I MUST *gives you an evil glare and gets on to the recipe* 😛 <3
Old Fashioned Banana Bread
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 cup solid shortening
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 cups of mashed bananas (this is about 5 to 6 medium bananas)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon banana flavoring
- 1 teaspoon butter flavoring (optional, but it adds a nice flavor)
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts (toast in a single layer in a 350 oven until they are a light golden brown)
- Preheat your oven to 350. Grease a 10 inch loaf pan (if you don’t have a 10 inch pan, make this in a 9 inch, and pour about 2/3 of a cup of batter into a mini loaf pan, a couple of muffin cups or a ramekin and bake it in there or you’ll end up with overflow everywhere) and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.
- In a large bowl, on low speed, cream together the shortening and the sugar until well combined. Add in the mashed bananas, vanilla, banana and butter flavorings and eggs. Beat well.
- Dump in the flour mixture and on the lowest speed, combine JUST until mixed. it’s fine if there are a few lumps or white streaks. I have said before and will say again, you do NOT want to over beat quick breads and/or muffins. You end up with tough rubbery final products doing that. Resist that urge.
- Fold in the toasted walnuts. Again; don’t over mix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan/pans. Bake at 350 for 55 to 75 minutes (yes, that’s a large gap. I’ve had it done by both both times. I have no idea why other than my oven is stupid 😛 ) or until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. If this starts to brown too much, just lay a piece of foil over the top as it bakes.
- Let it sit in the pan for ten minutes, then gently invert it over your hands and transfer it to a rack to finish cooling.
In the interest of full disclosure, Hamilton Beach provided me with both mixers for review and my personal use. But all opinions in here are 100% my own.
Now! On to the giveaway!!! Use the PromoSimple entry form below to enter to win both of those cool mixers!