Rediscovering the Rewards of Cooking From Scratch

When KitchenAid introduced its iconic stand mixer almost 90 years ago, cooking from scratch was the norm and processed foods were almost non-existent. Much has changed since then, but tough economic times and a growing emphasis on healthy eating are now driving more Americans to seek frugal, healthier alternatives to prepared foods and restaurant meals.

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According to market research firm Information Resources, 53% of consumers said they are cooking more from scratch than just six months ago. Another firm, BIGResearch, reports that about 45% of Americans are eating out less this year to save money.

For the millions of American households equipped with a stand mixer, and for those who have one on their wish list, the road to scratch cooking can be a relatively easy one, according to Deb O'Connor, senior marketing manager for KitchenAid. By using any of more than a dozen optional attachments, the powerful motor of this kitchen workhorse can be tapped for everything from grinding grain and meat to kneading dough, slicing vegetables, rolling and cutting pasta, and even making ice cream.

Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds, coauthors of recently published second edition of The Mixer Bible (2008, Robert Rose Inc.), are among the appliance's biggest fans. They have created more than 300 time-saving recipes for the stand mixer, each designed to reward home cooks with the sense of accomplishment that comes from scratch cooking.

"Our stand mixers are the hardest working appliances in our kitchens," says Snyder. "Understanding and utilizing its hidden potential can be tremendously gratifying for the home cook."

Optional attachments for the stand mixer include a slicer and shredder, fruit and vegetable strainer, food grinder, grain mill, citrus juicer and sausage stuffer; a pasta roller and a ravioli maker; several pasta cutters (including fettuccine, spaghetti, angel hair and wide noodle); and an ice cream maker. Prices on individual attachments range from $34.99 to $159.99. Special attachment sets, including a pasta kit and a gourmet specialty attachment pack, also are available.

The stand mixer is available in a choice of either a tilt-head or a bowl- lift design. The tilt-head design features easy bowl access and can accommodate eight to nine cups of flour. The professional style bowl-lift design accommodates 12-14 cups, enough to make up to 13 dozen cookies or eight loaves of bread. Every model includes three basic accessories: a flat beater for mixing batters, making pie dough or mashing potatoes; a dough hook for kneading everything from soft dough to stiff pizza dough; and a wire whip for beating egg whites and whipping cream.

Suggested retail prices range from $239.99 to $545, depending on the model and the stand mixer is available in more than 40 colors and metallic finishes, from basic white to such eye-catching colors as tangerine, pear, boysenberry and buttercup.

Since the introduction of its legendary stand mixer in 1919 and first dishwasher in 1949, KitchenAid has built on the legacy of these icons to create a complete line of products designed for cooks. From small appliances to cookware, ranges to refrigerators, and whisks to wine cellars, KitchenAid now offers virtually every essential for the well-equipped kitchen. To learn why chefs choose KitchenAid for their homes more than any other brand*, visit

* Based on a September 2007 survey, KitchenAid was found to be the home kitchen appliance brand chosen most often by members of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and the American Culinary Federation when asked about refrigerators, ovens, cooktops, ranges, dishwashers, microwave ovens, electric mixers, blenders, food processors, kitchen gadgets and toasters.

  Everything Crackers


  -- Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C)
  -- 2 large baking sheets, lined with parchment paper

  2 cups     unbleached all-purpose flour           500 mL
  1 tbsp     granulated sugar                        15 mL
  3/4 tsp    salt                                     4 mL
  1/4 tsp    freshly ground black pepper              1 mL
  2 tbsp     cold unsalted butter                    25 mL
  2/3 cup    milk                                   150 mL
  3 tbsp     poppy seeds                             45 mL
  3 tbsp     sesame seeds                            45 mL
  2 tbsp     dried minced garlic                     25 mL
  1 tbsp     caraway seeds                           15 mL
  1-1/2 tsp  kosher salt                              7 mL
  1          egg, beaten with 1 tbsp (15 mL) water    1

1. Place flour, sugar, salt and pepper in the mixer bowl. Attach the flat beater and mixer bowl to the mixer. Set to Stir and mix together the dry ingredients. Add butter and mix until coarse crumbs form. Pour in milk and mix until just moistened. Using your hands, form dough into a ball, then cut it into quarters. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 5 minutes. Press each quarter into a rectangle.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic, caraway seeds and kosher salt. Set aside.

3. Remove the flat beater and attach the pasta roller to the mixer. Turn the adjustment knob to setting 1. Set to Speed 2 and, working with one piece at a time and keeping the remaining pieces covered, roll dough once through the roller. Turn the knob to setting 2 and run the dough through one more time. Place on a lightly floured work surface.

4. Brush dough lightly with egg wash and sprinkle liberally with seed mixture. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut dough crosswise into 1 1/2- inch (4 cm) strips. Place on prepared baking sheets and pierce with a fork. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes. Rotate pans and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until crackers are golden brown and crisp. Let cool on baking sheets on wire racks. The crackers will continue to crisp up as they cool.

Makes about 35 crackers

Recipe courtesy of The Mixer Bible, Second Edition, by Meredith Deeds and Carla Snyder, (2008, Robert Rose Inc.)

  Lemon, Pepper and Asiago Crackers


  -- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)
  -- 3 baking sheets, lined with parchment paper

  1           egg                                 1
              Grated zest of 1 lemon
  1-1/2 cups  unbleached all-purpose flour      375 mL
  1/3 cup     granulated sugar                   75 mL
  1 tsp       freshly ground black pepper         5 mL
  1/2 tsp     salt                                2 mL
  1/2 tsp     baking powder                       2 mL
  1/2 cup     unsalted butter, cubed            125 mL
  1/3 cup     shredded Asiago cheese, divided    75 mL
  1 tbsp      freshly squeezed lemon juice       15 mL
  1 tbsp      milk                               15 mL

  1.  In a medium bowl, whisk together egg and lemon zest.

2. Place flour, sugar, pepper, salt, baking powder, butter and cheese in the mixer bowl. Attach the flat beater and mixer bowl to the mixer. Set to Stir and mix until butter is incorporated and mixture resembles coarse meal, about 2 minutes. Add egg mixture and lemon juice; increase to Speed 2 and mix until dough comes together and cleans the sides of the bowl, about 2 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 15 minutes.

3. Roll dough into a log about 12 inches (30 cm) long and cut crosswise into 12 slices. Keep the dough covered.

4. Remove the flat beater and attach the pasta roller to the mixer. Turn the adjustment knob to setting 1. On a floured work surface, flatten out one piece of dough. Set mixer to Speed 2 and feed dough once through the roller. Lay out on a prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all the crackers have been rolled out. As one sheet fills up, refrigerate it while you continue to roll the crackers.

5. Brush the tops of the crackers with milk and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until crackers are firm and golden brown. Let cool on baking sheets on wire racks. The crackers will crisp up as they cool.

  Makes twelve 12- by 4-inch (30 by 10 cm) crackers

  Make Ahead

The crackers will lose their crunch if kept tightly sealed. They can be made 1 day ahead and kept uncovered on a baking sheet at room temperature.

Recipe courtesy of The Mixer Bible, Second Edition, by Meredith Deeds and Carla Snyder, (2008, Robert Rose Inc.)

  Pasta "Handkerchiefs" with Roasted Tomatoes and Lemon


  -- Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C)
  -- Rimmed baking sheet
  -- 8-cup (2 L) casserole dish

  1    recipe Basic Egg Pasta (page 192)                                1
  10   plum (Roma) tomatoes, quartered and seeded                      10
  1/4  cup olive oil, divided                                          50 mL
  3    cloves garlic, chopped                                           3
  1/2  tsp salt, divided                                                2 mL
  1/4  tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided                         1 mL
  1/2  cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable stock                  125 mL
  1    container (15 oz/425 g) ricotta cheese                           1
  1    cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided                        250 mL
  1/2  cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided                    125 mL
  1/2  cup shredded Asiago cheese, divided                            125 mL
  1    bunch fresh basil, finely sliced (about 1 cup/250 mL), divided   1
  1    egg                                                              1
       Grated zest of 1 lemon
  Pinch ground nutmeg                                               Pinch
  Pinch cayenne pepper                                              Pinch

1. Roll pasta to setting 5 (see Pasta Basics, page 190, for instructions on rolling pasta). Cut into 4-inch (10 cm) squares and set aside on a floured baking sheet.

2. Arrange tomatoes on baking sheet, drizzle with 3 tbsp (45 mL) of the oil and sprinkle with garlic, 1/4 tsp (1 mL) of the salt and a pinch of black pepper; toss to coat and spread in a single layer. Roast in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until tomatoes have dried and colored slightly. Remove from oven, and pour stock over the tomatoes, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a spatula. (It may seem strange to add chicken stock after roasting tomatoes, but most of this flavorful stock will be absorbed by the pasta as it bakes.) Set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (180°C).

3. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, half each of the mozzarella, Parmesan and Asiago, half the basil, egg, lemon zest, 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt, a pinch of black pepper, nutmeg and cayenne.

4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook, stirring frequently to keep it from sticking together, for 2 minutes, or until tender. Drain and rinse under cold running water until cool. Separate the pasta sheets and lay out on a towel to dry (not terrycloth, as it will stick.)

5. Add the remaining oil to the casserole dish and swirl to coat. Lay a square of pasta on a work surface and place a large tablespoon (15 mL) of filling in the center. Fold the pasta in half, slightly off-center, to form an open V, enclosing the filling. Fold again, corner to corner, slightly off- center, to create the shape of a folded handkerchief. Repeat with the remaining pasta and filling and lay the pasta "handkerchiefs," slightly overlapping, in the dish. Top with the tomato mixture and remaining basil, mozzarella, Parmesan and Asiago. Bake for 20 minutes, or until pasta is heated through and cheeses are melted.

Serves 4 to 6

Make Ahead: The dish can be assembled up to 1 day ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator. Add 10 minutes to the baking time.

Recipe courtesy of The Mixer Bible, Second Edition, by Meredith Deeds and Carla Snyder, (2008, Robert Rose Inc.)

  Tomatillo Chicken Tamales


  4 cups          packed coarsely shredded cooked chicken
                   (from a 3 1/2-lb/875 mL chicken)                     1 L
  2 cups          Tomatillo Salsa (see recipe, page 407)              500 mL

  1 package       (8 oz/250 g) dried corn husks Dough                   1
  1-1/3 cups      lard or vegetable shortening                        325 mL
  1-1/2 tsp       salt                                                  7 mL
  1-1/2 tsp       baking powder                                         7 mL
  4 cups          freshly ground masa (see tip, page 95)                1 L
  1-1/4 to 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock (approx.)           300 to 500 mL

1. Prepare the filling: In a bowl, gently toss together chicken and salsa. Set aside.

2. Place corn husks in a large pot or bowl and add enough hot water to cover. Place a heavy plate on husks to keep them submerged. Let stand, turning occasionally, until husks soften, about 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the dough: Place lard, salt and baking powder in the mixer bowl. Attach the flat beater and mixer bowl to the mixer. Set to Speed 6 and beat until fluffy. Reduce to Speed 2 and beat in masa a handful at a time. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the stock. Continue to beat in stock as needed until dough resembles thick cake batter. Test dough by dropping a small spoonful in a cup of cold water. The dough should float to the surface. If it sinks, continue beating for a minute, adding more stock, and retest.

4. Fill bottom of a large stock pot fitted with a vegetable steamer insert with enough water to reach bottom of insert (about 2 inches/5 cm). Line bottom of insert with some of the softened corn husks. Tear 4 or 5 large husks into 1/4 -inch (0.5 cm) wide strips to use as ties and set aside. On a clean work surface, open 2 large husks. Spread 1/4 cup (50 mL) dough in 4-inch (10 cm) square in the center of each husk, leaving a 2-inch (5 cm) border at the pointed end. Spoon 2 tbsp (25 mL) filling in the center of each dough square. Using long sides of husk to lift dough, bring dough up over filling, meeting in the middle so that the dough completely encompasses the filling. Press to make sure dough covers filling. Then wrap both sides of husk around dough, overlapping at edges. Fold up narrow end of husk. Tie folded portion with strip of husk to secure, leaving wide end of tamale open. Stand tamales open- end up in the steamer basket. (If necessary, to keep tamales upright in steamer, insert pieces of crumpled foil between them.) Repeat until all filling has been used. Bring water in pot to a boil. Cover and steam tamales, adding more water as necessary, until dough is firm to the touch and separates easily from husks, about 1 hour. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

  Makes about 30 tamales
  Make Ahead

Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Let cool for 1 hour, cover and refrigerate. Before serving, resteam tamales until hot, about 35 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of The Mixer Bible, Second Edition, by Meredith Deeds and Carla Snyder, (2008, Robert Rose Inc.)

  Toasted Oatmeal Scones with Maple Glaze


  -- Preheat oven to 425°F (220ºC)
  -- Baking sheet
  -- Rimmed baking sheet, lined with parchment paper

  3/4 cup     unsalted butter                       175 mL
  1-1/3 cups  old-fashioned rolled oats             325 mL
  1-2/3 cups  unbleached all-purpose flour          400 mL
  1/3 cup     packed light brown sugar               75 mL
  2 tsp       baking powder                          10 mL
  3/4 tsp     baking soda                             4 mL
  3/4 tsp     salt                                    4 mL
  2/3 cup     well-shaken buttermilk                150 mL
  1  egg, lightly beaten                              1
  2 tbsp      whipping (35%) cream                   25 mL
  2 tbsp      granulated sugar                       25 mL
  1-1/2 cups  confectioner's (icing) sugar          375 mL
  3 tbsp      pure maple syrup                       45 mL
  1 tbsp      milk                                   15 mL

In this recipe, we use a couple of unusual techniques to ensure a flaky and flavorful scone. We toast the oatmeal, which gives the scones a deep, nutty flavor, and we freeze and grate the butter before briefly mixing it into the dough. When the dough bakes, the butter melts, leaving flaky little pockets inside the scones. Tea, anyone?

1. Place butter in the freezer for 20 minutes.

2. Spread oats evenly on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven, stirring halfway through, for 5 minutes, or until oats are just beginning to brown. Let cool.

3. Place cooled oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the mixer bowl. Attach the slicer/shredder, with the coarse shredder, to the mixer (or use a box grater). Set to Speed 4 and shred the frozen butter into the mixer bowl. Using a wooden spoon, stir briefly to combine. Place bowl in freezer for 20 minutes.

4. Attach the flat beater and the mixer bowl to the mixer. Add buttermilk and egg. Set to Speed 2 and mix until just combined.

5. On a floured work surface, knead dough gently until it comes together in a ball. Pat into a 9-inch (23 cm) square, about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick. Cut into nine 3-inch (7.5 cm) squares. Cut each square diagonally to form 2 triangles. Place 2 inches (5 cm) apart on prepared baking sheet.

6. Brush tops of scones with cream and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 16 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet on a wire rack.

7. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioner's sugar, maple syrup and milk. Drizzle over cooled scones.

Makes 18 scones

Recipe courtesy of The Mixer Bible, Second Edition, by Meredith Deeds and Carla Snyder, (2008, Robert Rose Inc.)

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SOURCE: KitchenAid

CONTACT: Kim Roman, +1-212-350-7822,, or David Tobin,
+1-646-735-7717,, both of Digitas; Debbie O'Connor,
KitchenAid, +1-269-923-3382, Deborah_H_O'