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Handy Kitchen Appliances in Your B&B

February 11, 2007

by Kit Cassingham

Kitchen gadgets and appliances can make your work easier. The DeLonghi stand mixer, Delonghi wheat mill, and Zojirushi bread machine must have been designed for innkeepers. And they aren't gimmicky, they really work and are multi-faceted in what they can do. The mixer also makes a base for attachments like wheat grinders, food processors and blenders. The wheat grinder can be used to grind various grains, not just wheat. And the bread machine can make cakes and jams too. Your guests will love you even more when you serve them food made from these three kitchen appliances.

We've just completed a kitchen revolt, of sorts. We decided to pay attention to our health. While we were replacing our beat-up pots, pans and water bottles with stainless steel items, we replaced our mixer too. Then we added a grain mill and bread machine to finish the creation a wonderfully easy-to-use and healthy kitchen. It's fantastic because we are cooking more things than ever before but spending less time in the kitchen with the cooking and cleaning. And the food we are preparing is healthier and tastier since we are using whole grain wheat. If that's important to me, a non-innkeeper, just think how important it is to you and your guests! For now, we'll talk about the kitchen appliances -- a mixer, wheat grinder and bread maker.

We decided to bake and make bread more so needed kitchen gadgets to help us do that. I figured I'd get a Kitchenaid mixer, like the one my grandmother and mother had. But research pointed to the DeLonghi stand mixer as the best mixer on the market. And it had attachment points for grain mills to grind wheat and other grains, as well as food processors and blenders. So, that's the route we went.

Its powerful motor makes it a dream to use. I can mix larger batches of dough and not bog down the motor. It comes with a "splash guard" so that I don't make a mess all over me and the kitchen; no more splatters or dust clouds for me. Because of its shape with clean lines, it's easy to clean too. Since it's heavier than my old mixer, I leave it on the counter, rather than put it away. Leaving it out means I use it more for making wonderful taste treats.

With my DeLonghi mixer I more easily make batter for cakes, brownies, cookies and anything that needs mixing. It came with a bread hook, flat beater and wire whisk. It has variable speeds, making it even easier to choose the right speed for my mixing, unlike previous mixers I've had. The action of the whisk and beater, moving around the outer edge of the mixing bowl as they rotate, gives me an even blend. I feel I have the advantages of a commercial mixer without the size usually associated with commercial mixers.

The DeLonghi wheat mill we bought fits easily onto the mixer head. You can adjust the coarseness of the grind to get texture you want. The sourdough wheat we grind fine so we can get a lighter loaf. But for the steel-cut oats whole wheat bread loaf, we do half fine and half course because we like the that texture. All our baked goods taste so much better with freshly ground wheat than store-bought wheat. Though it takes a few minutes to grind four cups of wheat, the extra flavor is worth it. The health benefits of whole wheat flour are a bonus.

I wasn't really excited about the idea of bread machine because it seemed that you could make a better loaf when you could finesse the ingredients by hand. And there's something therapeutic about kneading bread dough. But my husband was determined to have one, so he found what seemed like the best bread maker on the market, giving him more capability for bread styles, and ordered the Zojirushi bread machine. This machine has two paddles for mixing ingredients and kneading the dough, giving a more even treatment to the bread. It also is a horizontal loaf so you get traditional-looking bread. We found out it can make our own sourdough starter and jam too. Bread making is easier and better than ever before. The steel cut oat bread I make with freshly ground whole wheat flour and oats takes me 5 minutes to put together; I come back three hours later to remove a perfect loaf from the machine. The sourdough breads are heavenly too. We also are experimenting with taking the bread out of the maker for the second rise to create a shepherd's loaf on our baking stone. That works well too.

If you want to treat your guests to healthier foods, and spend less time doing so, treat yourself to new kitchen appliances and gadgets. You can buy a 12-piece set of Farberware for about the same price as one All-Clad pan. And if you pride yourself on baking from scratch, how much better can you get than grinding your own wheat and other grains to use in your food products? You may spend a bit more on the DeLonghi mixer and Zojirushi bread maker, but the time savings will make up the cost difference quickly. Breakfast is half of what your business name offers your guests, so make your breakfasts memorable, easily.




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