The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: KitchenAid Stand Mixer Edition

kitchenaidAs some of you might already know, I finally received my long-desired KitchenAid Professional 6 quart stand mixer, in part thanks to the generosity of a reader who got me a very nice deal on one (thank you again, Keana). I’ve already made three loaves of bread (one of which was given away to a friend), a batch of mashed potatoes, and a batch of cookies. This week, I’m planning on two loaves of rye bread (my favorite kind of bread, but I’m having problems getting rye flour around here), some homemade from-scratch cinnamon rolls, and I’m also going to try it out for fresh pasta. I’m such a food nut!

Pre-Career Advice This is absolutely spot-on advice for people in college. I basically think anyone who works just for wages in college is making a long-term mistake (unless they’re in an atypical life situation, of course). (@ wise bread)

Don’t Trust Customer Ratings When buying Online No kidding. It often feels like half of the reviews on amazon.com were written by corporate flunkies. (@ finance is personal)

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17 thoughts on “The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: KitchenAid Stand Mixer Edition

  1. Susy says:

    Congrats on the mixer! I got one for our wedding 10 years ago and wore it because I made so much bread (I just ruined the low gear). I kept my eyes peeled for a good deal for a new one, and after about a year I found one at Target on clearance for $130, and it was more powerful than my own one.

    A great source for flour & baking supplies are little bulk food stores. We have them all over where I live and they carry any kind of flour, sugar, or baking supplies you can imagine and for really really cheap prices (I get 2 bricks of yeast for $3)! Check around see if you have anything similar in your area.

    Happy baking!

  2. RG says:

    Get a wheat grinder (if you don’t already). It is well worth the investment and you can grind your own grains – which is cheaper than buying flour and tastes phenomenal. A must have for frugal-minded folk and those who love to cook. I have a K-Tec Kitchen Mill (http://www.harvestessentials.com/kteckitmil.html) which I absolutely adore. I can buy bulk grains and just grind as I need to.

    You have the KitchenAid (I have one to and love it). Next step: wheat grinder (Christmas is coming up).

  3. ConstantLearning says:

    I live in a rural area where there are few grocery stores and they only carry commonly used (for the area) items. However, I can often find rye flour in local health food stores. They usually sell in bulk; this makes me feel like I am getting a great deal!

  4. mbhunter says:

    Thanks very much Trent — I’m glad you’re enjoying the eBay series!

  5. Stu says:

    Nice going on the bread, only I don’t get why you need a mixer for it. (yeah I’m kinda jealous and pine for one of those gizmo’s too).

    Figure since I made bread on the counter top by hand last night, I can get buy without the gizmo..

    We have a very good farmers market near us (mennonite place) which has loads of good old rye flour. maybe you have a good old farmers market nearby??

  6. AnusJuice.com says:

    Recipe for Pizza Dough in your mixer:
    3/4 C. Water (105 – 115 degrees)
    1 TBS Active Dry Yeast
    1 TBS Olive Oil
    4 tsp Sugar
    1/2 tsp salt
    2 Cups of Flour (high gluten if available)

    Mix Water and ADY yeast – stir together – it should foam a bit at the top showing the yeast is alive. Put all ingredients into the mixer (water last) and mix on a lower setting with a dough hook for about 15 minutes. Depends on humidity in your house. Dough should be soft and not sticky to the touch. When done, put in plastic freezer bag, fold over but don’t seal, and let sit on your counter with a towel over it for about 1.5 hours (not much longer). Dough will rise. Push down gently and put it into your fridge for minimum of 2 to 24 hours.

    When it’s time to use, preheat oven to 475, put Crisco on pizza pan, take out dough and stretch out (this will make a huge 18″ crust), poke holes in the crust to avoid air bubbles from forming, coat crust with a thin layer of olive oil. Put on sauce, cheese, toppings and bake on the lowest shelf for 12 minutes (rotate in 6) until pizza is done.

    Same dough can be used for cinnamon rolls. Just mix cream cheese, brown sugar and cinnamon together (google a recipe) and spread that on a rolled out crust, jelly roll it and cut is with a knife, place it together on a pan and bake.

    Good as gold!

  7. Stephanie says:

    Oh man, I’ve been drooling over a stand mixer like that for a while now. It is rather pricey, isn’t it…

  8. Taylor says:

    This is Keana –

    I only ever used the mixer once and believe that Trent has no idea how low I would have gone to get my two square feet of counter space back. I know for a fact that my sister and my step sister also have not used theirs (we received them as Christmas presents while the boys – husbands etc – received useful items like saws and screwdriver sets – they are the identical models, cobalt blue, etc. Of course, I cannot guarantee that they dusted theirs religiously like I did – I suspect that one, if not both of them, have theirs in their original box. Anyway, I can ask around if someone else out there is crazy enough to actually want to use one of these things.

  9. Mitch says:

    Trent, you should write a longer review on the mixer once you’ve had it a few weeks. Someone at my house would like one for other baking, but I can’t see the point for bread; wouldn’t it take longer to wash all the little pieces than to just stir up dough with a spoon? Or maybe you make some other kind of bread than I’m used to? Or maybe you have a dishwasher…. But now I totally want to take cinnamon rolls to class, will need a block of time to do the rolling out, cutting, rolling up.

  10. Emily says:

    Trent, I think if you are going to start considering yourself a foodie you might have to drop the terms “casserole” and “minute rice” from your vocab.

    I will be interested on hearing your review on making pasta with your kitchen aid – I am assuming that you bought the pasta attachment for yours and this is something that I have been considering for awhile.

    On miracle kitchen machines I have to put in a plug in for my Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker – it’s a marvel of Japanese engineering. It cooks rice and hot cereals to perfection (no more chewy brown rice). But one of our favorite functions is the timer. I can put my oatmeal in at night before I go to bed and wake up in the morning to the smell of hot cereal. We have tried several different types of hot cereals including oat groats, Irish oats, and Red Mill high fiber cereal – all turn out great. Anyway I love mine and recommend it to everyone – and no I don’t work for a company that sells them, this is an honest consumer review.

  11. chris says:

    You have GOT to get the pasta roller/cutter attachments for that bad boy. Not only is it very inexpensive fresh pasta, but it’s fun and easy to make.

  12. Tyler says:

    Trent, sounds like you want to destroy your ‘diet’ with the things you’re making in that thing. Everything you’ve made is purely carbs and loaded with gluten. You won’t lose weight eating all that.

  13. Beth says:

    It sounds like Trent is having SO much fun! That’s great. I don’t read anywhere where he says he ate every crumb himself :)

    Once I found out how easy it is to make real rice on the stove top, I said goodbye to minute rice, but I think every home cook has room for a casserole in his or her repertoire. Yummy goodness!

  14. SwingCheese says:

    Try Campbell’s on 42nd in Des Moines. They usually have hard-to-find, healthy items.

  15. Mariette says:

    I would also recommend griding your own grains if you have the time for it and can afford the grinder – that way your flour is as fresh as can be and tastes much better! And it does pay out in the long run.

  16. Susy says:

    I just bought a cheap pasta maker from a local cooking outlet for $19.99 (much cheaper than the $100 for Kitchenaid attachement) and it works perfectly. We love fresh pasta, as do all of our guests.

    I have used my kitchaid mixer for years for making bread. I also make by hand, but the kitchenaid is so handy if I want to make bread and something else at the same time. It’s not hard to clean, only the dough hook and the bowl.

    I could live without my kitchenaid mixer, but I wouldn’t want to!

  17. Dave M says:

    Hey, all you foodies who make your own bread! Never knead again with this recipe:

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DE7D6113FF93BA35752C1A9609C8B63

    The first time you make Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Bread, you will seriously FLIP OUT.

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