Thursday, September 14, 2017

Cooking Made Easy With Hamilton Beach

Today I would like to talk about cooking. I love being in the kitchen. Living in Alaska, we get fall temperatures faster than the Lower 48 and nothing says fall is here like good smells coming from the kitchen. Soups, stews, roasts, casseroles, breads, cake. They all smell so enticing as they heat up the house. Prepping though can really tie you down. Let's face it, as much as I love being in the kitchen and cooking, I do have other things to do. Like reading. Ha ha. Okay, other things that need my attention, too. Our days can seem endless when we have so many things that need to be done. I'm getting older, too. With that comes more joy than you can imagine as it brings aches and pains out of the blue. I always thought my grandparents could tell the weather by the sky or the way tree leaves look. Now I know. It was their bodies. We are more accurate than the nightly weather person. Honestly, need to know this week's forecast, ask an older adult how they feel.

Products that help me manage time are great. Ones that help me with time and my aches are phenomenal. That is why I turn to Hamilton Beach. They have a variety of products that help me in the kitchen, both with time and my needs. Recently they sent me a food processor to try. I am not paid for my review though I do keep the item. My review is honest and based on the following things that I look for in products I buy. 

Is it easy to put together?
Is it easy to use?
Can it be easily stored?
If it has to sit on my counter, does it take up a lot of space? 
If it is on my counter, does it look good?
Does it perform well?
Is it easy to clean?
Is it durable?
How does it improve my life?
If I need parts replaced, is it possible?
What is the company reputation for customer service?

I received the Hamilton Beach® Professional 14 Cup Dicing Food Processor. It is amazing although a bit intimidating to look at. It came with a storage container for all the blades. It is a beauty! As intimidating as it looks, I was happily surprised at how easy it was to put together! Everything just fits easily in place and then you raise the arm to lock it in place. Easy peasy. (Yes that is Hamilton Beach's Breakfast Burrito Maker in the background. If you need a delicious yet nutritious breakfast, fast, the breakfast sandwich maker is the appliance to have. I use it every weekday.) 

 I have used it in a variety of ways. I have made egg salad, sliced potatoes for a casserole, diced carrots and onion for soup, mixed a cake, kneaded rolls and made the Salted Peanut Cookie recipe from the product guide book. It is amazingly easy to use. I absolutely love it!

 Check out the potato slices! Perfect for my casserole, fried potatoes or potato chips. So much healthier than buying a bag of chips. Less expensive too! I found this to be an amazing help for drying potato slices. I sliced a whole bowl in seconds and had them in the dehydrator in no time.

 The blades lock on. If you can't easy lock it in place, it is the wrong side.

I diced carrots and onions. This was an amazing help in making my vegetables for soups and for dehydrating purposes. If you dehydrate food, or cook for holiday parties or large families,  this is a food processor you want.

 I love this tool! What is it, you ask? It is the dicing cleaning tool. It will push through any food left in the blade after chopping and then you can use it when you wash the dicing grid. It is super awesome. No more cut fingers.

This is my egg salad. I usually roughly chop  the eggs, onion and celery. I was making the sandwiches, though, for some older friends. Some of them have trouble eating. I decided to put everything in the bowl and mix it in there. It came out perfect for making smooth, easy to eat sandwiches.

This is one of my soups. It is super tasty. I had a little pork, a can of green enchilada sauce, hominy and some fresh veggies. I decided to toss it in my Instant Pot and see what happens. I used my food processor to chop all my vegetables. It was in my pot and 20 minutes later it was ready to serve. Recipe below, though I honestly do not measure things. I am one of those people who learned to cook by eye, smell and taste.

So to answer my buying questions:

Yes to both easy to put together and use. I found it very easy to clean. The biggest problem was the dicing grid with onions. Other than that clean up was almost as fast as using it.

I have mixed feelings regarding easy storage. The food processor is big, so no room in my cabinets. If you have a large kitchen or pantry, this may not be a problem for you. The storage container is a YES. All the blades are safely stored inside it and I could put it in my cabinet out of the way of small, curious hands.

The food processor is impressive and I like it on my counter. It makes it easy for me to use. However, you do need open space or it may hit the bottom of upper cabinets. It does take up a bit of space on the counter. I'm okay with that. It definitely looks good on my counter and I hear compliments on it.

Performance is exceptional. Easy to use. It is way safer than my old food processor. I have used it almost daily and it has not overheated or broken down. Everything looks well made. If you need to replace something, on their web site you can find a section titled parts and accessories. It comes with a 5 year warranty so you can call the company with any problems. I have used Hamilton Beach products for years. My mom used Hamilton Beach. I did not need to call customer service so I did not try speaking with them. Their reputation with me is solid from 40 years experience.

The instruction guidebook has detailed instructions, troubleshooting advice, tips, charts, care and cleaning instructions, processing times with which blade is best, and a few recipes. The booklet comes in English, French and Spanish. This booklet also contains your warranty information.

My verdict on this is if space is an issue you may want something smaller. Otherwise, I would recommend the Hamilton Beach® Professional 14 Cup Dicing Food Processor. I can't wait for holiday cooking! I am already planning my menu and delighting in how easy it is going to be!

Hearty Pork Soup

1 pound boneless pork, cubed
2 cups diced potatoes, 
1 cup diced carrots
1 diced onion
1 can, drained, hominy 
1 packet dry soup mix (I used onion)
1 can green enchilada sauce

I put all this together in my instant pot, adding enough water to cover it all. then hit soup. While it was cooking I took my left over fresh vegetables and chopped them. I had cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower,carrots and a little spinach. I threw it all in the processor and chopped it. When the soup was finished I topped each bowl with the fresh vegetable mix. It was filling and tasty, tasty. 
No, I did not use any additional salt. I did sprinkle some pepper on the soup of those who like pepper. 

Thank you for stopping by today. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. I will answer them to the best of my ability. 

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