Monday, April 11, 2011

My Favorite Things

"...I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don't feel, so bad."

I love Julie Andrews. I love the Sound of Music. I used to watch the movie every day of summer vacation when I was little, which explains why Favorite Things and Doe a Dear are the only songs I can ever think of to sing to Busy when she's tired.

But today I'm not thinking about The Sound of Music. No, today I'm thinking about my favorite things. Specifically, my new favorite thing that I discovered this weekend. What is it, you might ask? It's sleek...it's powerful...it's…

...not some kind of sports car. Are you kidding? Think about who is writing this. No, it's my brand new Immersion Blender!!




No I'm not kidding. This thing is amazing. I was talking to a friend of mine this weekend about making baby food (sorry folks, it's another baby-related post). I was feeling guilty for not making Busy more food, even though she loves her Earth's Best food (and the brand that comes in a pouch...but I forget what that's called). Anyway, I was feeling bad because she eats a lot of fruits, but not a ton of vegetables, and the variety in baby food is just so/so. However, it's a lot of work to haul out the blender or the food processor (after you figure out which one you should be using) just to make a batch or two of food.

Before my amazing discovery of the fantastic thing known as an immersion blender, I'd made peas, cauliflower, and mangoes, the first two in a food processor, the third in a blender. I'd also attempted kale after another friend raved about how much her daughter liked it, but it smelled so bad after I steamed it that I knew there was no way I could feed that to Busy...mostly because I didn't think I could stand to smell it myself. Anyway, the cauliflower and the mangoes turned out okay, but it was so much work for not so much food. I was feeling discouraged.

Then, during a conversation with my friend about what types of food she'd fed her son, she happened to mention that she always used her immersion blender. She gushed about how easy it was, how quick the cleanup was, and how she could use it for anything - fruits, veggies, meats, whatever. I was stunned, not because of all the ways she could use it, but because I'd never thought about using one of those myself.

That was late Saturday night. By 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, I too was the proud owner of an immersion blender. By 12:30 Busy had amazingly settled into a two hour nap (in her crib...truly amazing) so I was in the kitchen, roasting sweet potatoes, cooking black beans, and having a ball with my new blender. It was great! Super easy, fast to wash, and it worked superbly. My freezer now contains ice cube trays full of deliciousness for Busy.

For those of you interested in purchasing an immersion blender (for baby food or otherwise), I did a lot of Googling to research the different brands. Initially I'd wanted a Breville cordless immersion blender; I've drooled over that in the Williams-Sonoma catalog for years. However, I found the reviews to be surprisingly poor…2 out of 5 stars! It seemed that the KitchenAid and Cuisinart immersion blenders (both with cords) got the best ratings of those in my price range. I shopped at Kohl's (it was closest to my house) and was going to buy the Cuisinart, but I happened to notice they had one Hamilton Beach blender left. This one, with the same 200 watt motor as the other two, had also gotten fairly good reviews, but I was going to stick with the other brands because I own several KitchenAid and Cuisinart products and know they're reliable. However, the Cuisinart was on sale for $53.99, and the Hamilton Beach was on clearance for $11.99.

Sold.

After using the Hamilton Beach immersion blender, I'd say it's powerful and runs like a champ. It's a little awkward to hold, because you have to hold down the button while it's running (not sure if they're all like that). Also, the shaft is plastic, rather than stainless steel (although the blade is a regular metal blade), so it probably won't last me a lifetime. However, it'll last me long enough to make baby food, so for the price, I consider it totally worth it!

I wish I was at home now making baby food, instead of getting ready to start my day at work. I think I might have dreamed about my new blender last night.

Is that bad?