I make a lot of things from scratch around here. In part, to save money...in part, for better health...and, in part, because it usually tastes much better. So, I have a lot of tools that help me do this.
After an ant invasion over this past weekend, we cleaned out & re-placed all my lower cabinet "stuff". There were a number of items that I decided that I could live without, seeing as how I hadn't used them in a year or more. But, there were some things I realized I use a lot. My Hamilton Beach 2 Speed Hand Blender is perhaps one of my most-used tools.
I could totally chunk the little case it came with, but I just might fight you to keep my little stick blender! I use the whipping attachment to make homemade sugar free whipped cream about once a week. I use the blending attachment weekly for several things, too...like mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower, mock-tato soup, and a Lynd home staple: homemade buttermilk ranch dressing.
I must acknowledge that some folks might have a tool like this and hardly ever use it. I suppose it depends on your lifestyle (how often you cook, what kind of things you prepare, etc.). But, if you do tend to prepare things from scratch, this little baby will save you time and effort. Also, it stores in a cabinet without taking up much room. Unlike my stand mixer, it doesn't take up any of my limited counter space. And hey, it doesn't cost much, either! Amazon.com has it for $24.74. I bought mine at Wallyworld for even less.
When I want to make homemade mashed potatoes, I can boil the potatoes in one pot, strain them, put them back into the same pot, melt in my butter, add the cream or milk, use this stick blender and puree the potatoes right there in the pot. Since the attachment has a plastic guard, it won't even scratch the bottom of my non-stick pot, unlike a typical hand-held mixer with the metal beaters. Once I'm done, I can just detach the blender attachment, rinse the potatoes off it and put it right into the top rack of the dishwasher. With a stand-mixer, I'd have an additional big bowl to hand wash.
When I make whipped cream, I do so in a tall storage container and mix it right there in the container. No additional dishes to clean. The whipping attachment can go right into the top rack of the dishwasher, too. When I make the ranch dressing, I do so right in the wide-mouth jar I'm gonna be storing it in. So easy!
Here's my favorite Low-carb Buttermilk Ranch Dressing recipe, just for you:
3/4 cup mayo
1/2 cup buttermilk (I prefer Marburger Gourmet, as it has less sugars)
2 Tbsp chopped parsley or 1 Tbsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1-2 tsps lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste
Put all ingredients in a wide-mouth jar. Use the blender attachment of your stick blender to blend together well. Store in the fridge.
I'd love for you to try the recipe out and tell me what you think.