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Lee’s Kitchen: When mixer returns, try celebrating with caramel chocolate chip cookies

At the end of my spacious, galley-like kitchen, there is a bay window under which is a window seat that holds all my somewhat heavy counter-type appliances.

These include two Cuisinart (one a big one, one a little one), a Ninja Pro that purees faster than a blink of one’s eye, a big Crock-Pot, two grinders, a machine that turns water into carbonated drinks and a blender. In the back is an industrial-grade Bernzomatic to make crème brulee. (What? You don’t have one? Really?)

What has been missing for almost three weeks is the biggest of my tiara of gadgets: my KitchenAid mixer. It is about 10 years old, and a new one costs around $600.

At some point, the arm that holds the bowl had been stuck. Nothing I did would make it go up and down. As the diagnostician, I figured out what was wrong and looked at YouTube to see if I could fix it.

It would have involved taking the head off, removing the engine, taking off the arm and buying the plastic part that was broken. Were I able to do this, it involved about 16 screws. I am sure I would have lost many of them.

So I called KitchenAid, which was of little help. Finally, HomeAdvisor gave me the name of a man in Rhode Island. He sounded lovely on the phone, so I drove the monster to his house in Central Falls. A few days later, he called and told me what was wrong. I gave him the go-ahead. A week and $166 later, my baby is back. By the way, my diagnosis was wrong.

I am now a happy camper. I am hoping this will last for another 10 to 20 years. My aunt had one when she got married, in 1934. When she died, in 1995, I gave it to my friend Marilyn Whiney. She still uses it.

What did I make first? I doubled the recipe for a cookie that called for the muscles of a weight lifter or, in my case, my KitchenAid.

Caramel-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

From Martha Stewart Living, September 2017, page 76


Yield: 12 cookies

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 and one-half cups packed light brown sugar

One-half cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

Three-quarter teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into one-half inch pieces

12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (1 whole bag)

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

24 caramels, such as Kraft, halved


Preheat oven to 375 degrees with racks on top and middle. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together flour, both sugars, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add butter; beat on medium speed until combined but some pea-size butter chunks remain. Add chocolate chips and beat until combined, then beat in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment (I use Silpat instead.) Scoop dough into 4-ounce balls (each about one-half cup), make a deep, wide hollow in each center. Enclose 3 pieces of caramel in each; roll back into a ball. Place 6 balls on each sheet. Freeze 15 minutes.

Bake, with one sheet on each rack, 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, swap sheet positions and bake until centers are almost but not completely set (press gently on tops with your fingers to check), 7 to 10 minutes more.

Remove from oven. Bang sheets on a counter a few times to create cracks on tops of cookies. Place sheets on a wire rack; let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

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Eight architects and designers imagine the kitchens of the future

Dezeen promotion: an elevated vegetable garden, a brass frame with sliding shelves and a wooden cube that folds open feature in these proposals for kitchens, presented by home appliance brand KitchenAid during London Design Festival.

Eight architects and designers, including Matalie Crasset, Ellen Bernhardt and Paola Vella, and Kensaku Oshiro, were tasked by KitchenAid to propose future kitchen concepts.

The results feature in the exhibition Serious About Food Kitchen Lab, on show at the brand’s London showroom until 22 September 2017, as part of this year’s London Design Festival.

Designs are shown in one of four trend sections that KitchenAid believes will define kitchens to come.

These include Living Kitchen, where living areas and kitchens merge, and Material Kitchen, which showcases designs featuring stainless steel. Dynamic Kitchen presents technologically advanced design, while Beyond the Kitchen features concepts for “those who consider the kitchen to be the centre of the home”.

As part of the showcase, KitchenAid will also unveil its n Black Stainless Steel collection, which it says is the UK’s first appliance collection to be made entirely of black steel, as well as the first limited-edition Black Tie Stand Mixer.

Serious About Food Kitchen Lab is on show at 98 Wigmore Street, London, W1U 3RN.

Read on for more information about all eight kitchen designs:

La Super Leggera by Bernhardt Vel

Designers Ellen Bernhardt and Paola Vella have proposed a lightweight brass framework, with kitchen appliances, including a sink, oven and dishwasher slotted between.

Coloured glass shelves, storing pans, plates and utensils, as well as herbs and plants, can slide up and down the vertical elements, while a large pin-board hold recipes and notes.

Liberamente by Castiglia Associati

Glass display cabinets and storage units can be stacked in different configurations around a wooden counter to create this kitchen, which was designed by Italian architecture studio Castiglia Associati to be adaptable to different spaces.

Other features include big round handles on cupboard doors and a huge lamp that peers over the worktop.

Whale Tail by Kensaku Oshiro

Japanese designer Kensaku Oshiro took inspiration from the Y-shape of a whale’s tail to create this angular counter, which also features a stainless steel top.

Oshiro’s stripped-back design is aimed at small homes, typical to Japan, and is accompanied by a built-in wall unit for steaming, baking, shock-freezing. It provides users with enough utilities to prepare a kaiseki meal – a multi-course Japanese dinner – in a tiny area.

The Artisan Box by Studio Marc Sadler

A closed box hosts all the functions in this kitchen, designed by Italian architect Marc Sadler.

Wood-clad doors wheel open to reveal the constrasting stainless steel units inside. A wooden wall on the exterior of the volume also folds down to form a dining table.

Capsule Végétale by Matali Crasset

A domed frame tops this kitchen by French designer Matali Crasset to add an extra level for cooks to grow fruits and vegetables.

The planters are arranged in a circle around the dining table and are provided with compost via a pulley system from the kitchen below.

Alloy kitchen by Rachel Laxer Interiors

London- and New York-based interior designer Rachel Laxer has paired copper and wood for her kitchen, designed for a family.

The long counter at the centre features stools to allow family members gather and socialise alongside cooking activities, while a wooden bookshelf provides storage space for recipe books passed down from older generations.

Comfort in design by Tor Interiors

Golden details, white marble and wood feature in this kitchen designed by Tor Interiors.

The London based interior design practice conceived the luxuriously finished kitchen for “foodies” with “sophisticated culinary techniques”. Other details include grey cabinets, green satin chairs and billowing pendant lights.

The Running Ribbon by Victor Vasilev

Sheets of steel are bent to form the kitchen worktop and the opposing dining table in this proposal by Italian architect Victor Vasilev.

Another of the ribbon-like sheets also wraps over the built-in cabinets on the rear wall, while one also forms the flooring in the kitchen.

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This $60 Stand Mixer Could Give KitchenAid A Run For Its Money

As the holidays approach, you’ll likely be spending a lot of time making cookies, pies and other baked goods. Which means you’re going to need some great tools to make the job easier. When it comes to mixing ingredients, you can’t beat having a stand mixer over the elbow grease and whisk method. But automatic mixers have always been pricey—until now.

Aldi is releasing a stand mixer that’s only $60. While U.K. cooks already have access to the machine, it won’t be available for purchase in the U.S. until Oct. 18, at which point we’ll be able to snag one at Aldi locations. On the bright side, this means that our U.K. counterparts can give us the lowdown on whether the cheaper version really can do as much as the prized KitchenAid appliance.

Before we take a look at the comparisons, let’s examine the specs.

KitchenAid Artisan Mini 3.5 Quart Stand Mixer:

  • It comes with three attachments
  • It has 10 mixing speeds
  • It has a tilted head feature
  • It comes with a 3.5-quart mixing bowl

Price: $399.99 

Kitchen Aid

Aldi Ambiano Classic Stand Mixer:

  • It comes with three attachments
  • It has 6 mixing speeds
  • It has a tilted head feature
  • It comes with a 4-quart mixing bowl

Price: $60


As you can see, these stand mixers have very similar specifications. The Kitchen Aid version wins out with more speed settings, but the Aldi option has a slightly larger mixing bowl to work with—which means even more cookie dough! Yum!

KitchenAid Reviews

YouTube Channel Cookies Cupcakes and Cardio put the KitchenAid product to the test in the video below:

As you can see, her only real complaint is the size of the mixing bowl, which she notes would have trouble holding a doubled cake recipe. Very important to note! Other than that, it lived up to the KitchenAid name with how effortless it was to use.

Folks who have reviewed the product on the KitchenAid website also seem to love this mini mixer.

“I love Kitchenaid mixers. I downsized from the 5qt mixer because my kitchen is not very big. This mixer is perfect. It’s light and easy to store… even though I’ve had it on my countertop for two weeks now showing it off! The honeydew color is delightful, and the attachments are easy to use. Love this little mixer,” one customer wrote.

Aldi Reviews

As for the much, much cheaper version, let’s see if it can live up to the KitchenAid brand. You can see each and every one of the attachments, as well as the set-up and cleaning process, in this video:

Reviews on this product say, “The Aldi mixer is more than £200 cheaper than its main rivals, yet mixes just as well. However, it loses out on the Star Baker title due to the racket it makes and those fiddly attachments that can’t be cleaned in a dishwasher.”

So, the biggest downside is the noise and the lack of ease when installing attachments, according to Trusted Reviews.

The Aldi Reviewer had a similar feeling. They said, “Aldi’s Ambiano 4 Quart Stand Mixer is not the same as a high-end KitchenAid mixer. The stand is lightweight (although secured well enough by suction cups), the bowl is easily scuffed, and the whole apparatus doesn’t feel as substantial as name-brand options. That said, you’ll have a hard time finding a set cheaper than this one, and it is backed by a 2-year warranty. If you do a lot of mixing, you’ll probably want to look at something more high end, but if you only need a mixer every once in a while, this is worth a look.”

The Verdict

For serious bakers, KitchenAid seems to be worth the investment, but for those who are only baking occasionally, the cheaper option is a very good option. So before deciding to make a purchase, you’ll have to think about how often you’ll be using the mixer in the first place.

But one thing’s for sure—no matter which one you choose, you’re bound to make an excellent batch of Christmas cookies this year.

[h/t: kitchn]

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This year’s hues are bolder than ever

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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KitchenAid Debuts High Performance Blender

KitchenAid is expanding its assortment of high-end blenders with the debut of its new High Performance Series Blender, which allows consumers to make a variety of food ranging from soups and smoothies to sauces and dips.

The blender features a 3.0 peak horsepower motor, variable speed dial with nine-speed settings and two switches offering a range of power, a die-cast metal base, 60-ounce jar, ingredient measuring cup and tamper that doubles as a spatula.

The KitchenAid High Performance Series Blender is offered in matte black, matte gray and matte white at a suggested retail price of $564.99.

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What to look out for at London Design Week 2017

London will once again open its doors to designers for 2017’s London Design Festival which runs until next Sunday, 24 September. With so much to see, so many events to attend and a host of talks to be inspired by, here are the must-visits and the highlights. 

First up are the Lapada fair and Decorex – both run until Wednesday. Lapada will be showing the finest arts and antiques in Berkeley Square, while Decorex, returning to Syon Park, in the west of the capital, is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

To celebrate, award-winning interior designer, Shalini Misra has been commissioned to design the Champagne Bar. Inspired by the Great Exhibition of 1851, expect an exclusive interpretation of one of the world’s most prestigious showcases of design and innovation.


The show will also take inspiration from the four senses – sound, smell, touch, sight – and will offer visitors the chance to explore these interactive areas.

“Touch” sees a collaboration between Country Life magazine, the Campaign for Wool and three industry greats, who consistently support the use of British wool in their products: Brintons, Roger Oates and Zoffany. They will all be showing the innovative ways this natural fabric can be used to create everyday objects and products we have in our homes.

This all on top of the usual display of great design. Must see stands include Vispring’s, where they will be showcasing their exclusive collection with Missoni Home, Vanderhurd which will show its new rug collection and Dedar which will launch a tactile collection of wall-coverings inspired by traditional Chinese lacquerware techniques


Focus/17 runs from 17 to 22 September and features a whole host of talks. Style Library, the official home for six of the best British brands: Zoffany, Harlequin, Sanderson, Morris Co, Scion and Anthology are presenting their brand new showroom for the first time, and are also part of the talks programme with The Alchemy of Colour by Zoffany. Peter Gomez will be taking the audience through a journey of how Zoffany set up its Alchemist studio to distill colour back to its purest form. There will also be a sneak peek of the new paint colours launching October. 

Just a short walk away from the Design Centre, luxury flooring brand, element7, have joined forces with House Garden, Tara Bernerd and Rita Konig to host a Design Masterclass (18 September) discussing the latest design trends in walls and floors. 


100% Design (20-23 September) and Design Junction (21-24 September) will then pick up the design baton. At 100% design Bethan Gray presents new monochrome marquetry and brass pieces from her Shamsian Collection, and a hand carved marble tea set. Danish lighting company VITA Copenhagen will also be taking up residence at 100% Design, showcasing its brand new collections – Asteria, EOS up, Willow, Champagne and Aluvia. The Asteria is a first for the brand, as it features LED lighting. 

At Design Junction look out for floral subscription service, Bloomon, which will be installing a flower tunnel in the Granary Square. The tunnel will lead to a hidden doorway, where Bloomon will be hosting flower workshops and serving floral cocktails. 

London Design Fair (21-24 September) will showcase the best in design from around the world, including stands dedicated to Finnish and Dutch design. The Seoul Design Festival will have a South Korean exhibition, growing on the recent popularity of Korean brands, home fragrance Soohyang. The stand will be showcasing designs by Bmixx, OIMU and Thence.

Foodies will want to drop into Smallbone of Devizes (Brompton Road/Thurloe Place) and Kitchenaid (Wigmore Street), which are both celebrating design through food. At Smallbone (21 September 4-8pm) there will be artisanal wood and leather demonstrations hosted by Smallbone’s master craftsmen as well as an interactive pasta-making masterclass from Electrolux Grand Cuisine. At Kitchenaid, The Serious About Food Kitchen Lab, which was shown first at La Triennale Design Museum during Milan Design Week, is finishing its tour at Kitchenaid’s flagship store. The eight kitchens, designed by eight designers will be on display from 18-22 September. 

At Clerkenwell, Spanish designer, Cristian Zuzunaga will be taking over the BD Barcelona store on Berry Street with his new furniture collection. Finally, representing design in Mayfair, Alessi will be showcasing its AW collection.

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This Mixer Will Be Your Best Friend In The Kitchen & It Only Cost $60 At Aldi

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