When it comes to appliances I used to have a minimalistic approach. Now I am slowly realizing that some appliances can really save you a lot of time and frustration and although you don't really need them, they sure are nice to have. I do a lot of research before taking the plunge and cluttering up my house (though the ice cream machine I must confess was in a moment of weakness and I hope it will not be banished to some cupboard and never see the light of day.)
That said, I do love my little Cuisinart Mini Prep Food Processor.Tiny but powerful it has served me well in the kitchen, grinding nuts and pureeing veggies. But it was a little too small to make smoothies comfortably and I didn't want a bulky huge blender cluttering up my counter, or have to deal with the washing up of the huge glass blender jar. So instead, I recently bought this Cuisinart Stick Hand Blender and now I feel like a fool for not having done so sooner.
What this stick/immersion blender can do:
Puree veggies for soup (right in the pot) -check
Blend spinach and onions for palak gravy right on the stove top-check
Mash bananas into creamy baby food for Jelly bean-check
Pulverize a handful of frozen fruit and a cup of soy milk into a JambaJuice busting smoothie?- oh yes!
The tip to making great smoothies in a blender is to add little bit of liquid to liquefy the frozen fruit,- milk/soy milk and use short bursts or "pulses" of about 10 seconds to break up the frozen fruit or even ice cubes instead of letting the machine run for a long time where you end up with mush near the blades and chunks at the top. If using a stick blender, move it up and down so that there is even blending.
I really like how easy clean up is as the blade part is dismantalable and can be easily dish-washed.
Here are my two little kitchen buddies ( Laurel & Hardy) who will be featuring in a lot of my kitchen escapades this summer: