The holidays are here: 4 ways to get your Stand Mixer ready

The holidays are here: 4 ways to get your Stand Mixer ready

The holidays are fast approaching and for many of us, that means a lot of holiday baking!

 

Here are some simple tips from our KitchenAid brand expert that will get your stand mixer into tip top shape.

Beater Adjustments

Does your mixer not reach all the ingredients in the bottom of the bowl? Your beater may be too high.
Or, do you have the opposite problem? Is your beater is hitting the bottom of the bowl?
Is your flat beater chipping on the bottom? These are clues that your beater is too low.
You can easily raise or lower your beater by performing the “Dime Test”.

Neck or Hinge Pin Adjustments

Is the silver “pin” sticking out or moving while you mix?
Here’s how to fix it!

Extra Bowls and Beaters

We can all use an extra bowl for our holiday baking. Spend less time washing your bowl and more time making!
They make great holiday gifts (or to yourself?)
KitchenAid® has ceramic, glass and stainless bowls in colors and patterns and various sizes to choose from.

Flex Edge Beaters

A Flex Edge beater is a great holiday gift and greatly reduces bowl scraping.
Which one fits your mixer?

How to care for your ugly holiday sweaters

How to care for your ugly holiday sweaters

Tis the season for ugly holiday sweaters and while you are out being holly and jolly, your sweater is getting dirty!

Keep your ugly sweaters fresh with these simple tips from our laundry expert Mary Zeitler.

First, always check the care label on your sweater. This will help you find the best way to wash your sweater.
If your sweater does not have a label, it’s best to wash it depending on the material it is made of.

Wool Sweaters

Follow the care label for cleaning instructions, but if labeled “hand wash,” use your washer’s hand wash or wool cycle with cool water. Easy care wool knits can be cleaned on the gentle or wool cycle of your washer with warm water. Dry on a flat surface away from direct heat or sunlight.

Acrylic Knits

Acrylics can be sensitive to pilling. Machine-wash in cool water on a gentle cycle or wash by hand, but do not wring. Tumble dry on low heat settings or as recommended on the care label.

Beading, sequins, and feathers

Details like beading, sequins and feathers make it a challenge to clean the conventional way, and professional cleaning is recommended.

How to get your towels clean and fresh

How to get your towels clean and fresh

Have you ever wondered how you should wash your towels? Or how often you should wash them? It’s a common question for many because towels can be tricky to wash. With so many uses for towels and how often they are used it can be slightly confusing how to take care of them and keep them from looking dingy. Here are some simple tips from our laundry expert Mary Zeitler.

Q: When should I wash my towels?

How often you wash really depends on what you are using your towels for. Towels used at the gym for example should be washed more frequently than your bath towels that you use after a shower. Sweat, oil and skin cells can build up on the towel and if stored in a moist environment can cause bacteria to grow on the towels making them smell faster than normal.

Zeitler recommends using the sight & smell method. If the towel looks dingy, stained or smells sour or musty, wash it immediately.Towels become harder to clean when odors and stains build up over time. Don’t worry about waiting until the laundry basket is full either. Most modern washing machines have sensor technology that sense the size of the load and will adjust the amount of water needed to the size of your load, saving water and energy.

Q: How should I wash my towels?

One of the most important things when washing towels is to make sure that you are using the proper amount of detergent. Most consumers use more than actually needed, which can leave your towels looking and feeling dingy. Some modern machines have auto-dispense systems that sense the load size and accurately administer the correct ratio of detergent to the load. However, if your machine doesn’t have this function make sure you check the dosing label on your detergent bottle. When in doubt, it never hurts to add the extra rinse option to make sure all of the detergent is completely rinsed out.

When washing white towels, try using the warmest water option safe for your towels. Using a detergent with bleach or adding chlorine bleach to the load will also help those towels come out clean and bright.

Choosing a cycle is as easy as recognizing how soiled your towels are. Using a heavy-duty cycle will help with heavily soiled towels but most of the time the normal cycle will work just fine, and create less wear on your towels.

Go easy on the fabric softener! Fabric softener is great for making your towels soft and smell wonderful but too much over time can decrease the wicking ability of the towel.

Always give your towels the sight & smell test before adding them into the dryer. If your stains and odor are stubborn, it may take a few cycles to get them completely clean.

For more laundry tips from our experts: Stain Assist.

Preheating 101

Preheating 101

The kitchen range is typically known as the work horse of the kitchen. It can bake, broil, roast and toast, but do you know how to get the most out of it?

Here are some simple tips from our cooking expert Anna Carl, Senior Food Scientist at Whirlpool Corporation on the importance of preheating and how you can maximize your time while cooking:

  • Remove unnecessary racks from the cavity to speed preheating.
  • Always start your oven first, before starting your meal prep.
  • Consider using a convection cycle – ovens with convection use additional elements and fans to speed preheating and baking.

4 tips to keep your food fresh

4 tips to keep your food fresh

There’s not much worse than having a house full of family and friends when you discover your vegetables are past prime, your bread is stale, or the cheese you’re about to serve has grown an unsightly color.

 

Keep your foods at their best by using these handy tips:

  1. Store cheese in cheese paper or parchment paper instead of foil or plastic. Plastic wrap, foil and other non-porous materials can suffocate cheese, altering its flavors and accelerating spoilage. Cheese paper allows cheese to breathe while maintaining optimal humidity.
  2. Wrap bread in a dish towel and put it in a paper bag or use a bread box to keep it fresher longer. Bread actually goes stale faster in the refrigerator than it does at room temperature, so keep it out of the fridge. If you still have some left after a day or two, wrap it up and freeze it for longer-term storage.
  3. Wrap lettuce in aluminum foil to keep it fresh longer. A plastic lettuce storage container will also help, as well as wrapping the head in damp paper towel. The best place to store lettuce is in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
  4. Our brands have refrigerators featuring flexible organizational spaces, which you can adjust to keep party platters, meat and cheese trays, and even sheet cakes at their freshest.
Yes you CAN cook a turkey in the microwave!

Yes you CAN cook a turkey in the microwave!

“Hey mom, how many minutes does it take to microwave a 25 pound turkey?”

The responses on social media can be funny, with reactions of shock, horror and disbelief. But even though mom typically knows best, mom may be wrong; you really can cook a turkey in a microwave!

Our microwave expert Evelyn Carpenter says it is possible but your microwave must have a convection mode.

Here are some of her tips for microwave turkey perfection:

  • Make sure your turkey will fit in the microwave cavity. Since you will be using convection, there will need to be adequate space to allow the airflow all around the turkey.
  • Prepare the turkey – defrost it first. Season – lift up the skin and rub the meat with the desired seasonings. You could inject the seasoning into the turkey breast. For a golden brown skin rub it with cooking oil.
  • You can place the turkey breast directly onto the rack with a plate underneath to catch the drippings. Or you can put the turkey into a heat and microwave safe dish and place it on the rack. Also, the turkey can be placed into a cooking bag – follow the cooking bag instructions.
  • Program the oven – the user has to enter the weight of the turkey breast. The cooking time will countdown.
    Check the temperature of the turkey after about 2/3 of the time. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the breast, near the bone.
  • Remove the turkey when the temperature is 165F. Cover with foil and let stand 10 minutes.
How to use convection cooking and make your holiday meals legendary

How to use convection cooking and make your holiday meals legendary

Your reputation as a holiday chef is on the line.

You want perfectly browned turkey, succulent ham and evenly cooked pies and side dishes. It’s the perfect time to use that convection setting on your range!

For those who aren’t familiar, a convection oven has a fan and exhaust system that a regular oven does not, helping to circulate hot air evenly throughout the oven cavity, allowing for quicker and more even cooking. Here’s when using that convection setting will really help to make your holiday meals shine.

Roasting: Foods that are roasted like meats and vegetables can benefit greatly from convection cooking. They will cook faster more evenly, and the drier environment yields crispy skin and caramelizes foods much better.

Baking: Convection heat melts fat and creates steam faster, which helps to create more lift in pie doughs and pastries such as croissants. Because it is an even heat, convection cooking also allows you to bake more than one tray of cookies at a time without the need to rotate them part way through baking.

Covered cooking: If you’re covering up a side dish with a lid or a casserole dish with foil, moisture loss is not an issue, so you might as well cook on the convection setting.

Convection Tips

  • Lower the temperature: Lower the recommended oven temperature by 25°F with convection because it heats more evenly and best of all, more quickly.
  • Check earlier and more often: Foods cooked with convection should cook faster and be ready sooner than you’re used to, so check on them periodically until you get the hang of convection cooking.
  • Make sure air can circulate: Convection cooking depends on air circulation to work properly. Use trays, roasting pans, and shallow baking pans if possible, and don’t cover the oven shelves with foil. Space foods out so there is room for air to circulate all the way around.

Preserve your herbs before winter

Preserve your herbs before winter

As summer comes to end, you can preserve the fresh herbs and vegetables from your garden so that they can be enjoyed on a cold winter days.

According to the National Gardening Association food gardens are at the highest levels in more than a decade with 35% of all households in America growing food at home or in a community garden. Now that’s a lot of basil & rosemary! Here are some great, simple ideas to keep the summer taste fresh into winter.

Freeze & Preserve in Olive Oil

According to The Kitchn preserving in oil can help cut down the chances of browning and freezer burn. Add oil and herbs into an ice cube tray and you’ll have a delicious and convenient way to add flavor to your meals. While this method works well with harder herbs like rosemary, sage, thyme and oregano soft herbs like mint and dill are better preserved in other ways.For more tips on the best way to preserve in oil, check out our friends at thekitchn.com

Basil & Pesto Cubes

Similar to freezing herbs in oil, the basil cube can take a surplus of basil and allow it to last much longer. Simply hand chop or use a food processor to finely cut the basil leaves. Add enough oil to make a thick paste. You can add garlic and pine nuts for pesto or simply spoon the basil and oil mixture into ice cube trays to freeze. Once frozen you can transfer to a sealed freezer bag. According to The Kitchn you’ll want to use the cubes towards the end of the cooking process to finish the dish.

When you are ready to enjoy your hard work, the Food Network has some delicious recipes that incorporate basil and pesto: 50 Things to Make with Pesto.

Drying

There are many methods to drying herbs, using a rack or hanging the herbs are the most common. Both methods will leave you with delicious herbs but the flavor will be slightly less aromatic than fresh or frozen herbs. Rinse and dry herbs before starting. Both methods require a well ventilated, dry area with little to no direct sunlight. The drying process should be complete in about a week or so depending on the amount of humidity. Drying your herbs will concentrate the flavor so you don’t need to use as much during the cooking process.

Herb Butter

Simple, and simply delicious. Adding herbs to softened butter will add flavor to any dish throughout the winter. Simply whip one part herb to two parts softened butter, roll into a log, cover and freeze. The frozen butter is easily cut into slices and goes perfectly over vegetables and pasta. You can freeze garlic and parsley with butter and spread onto french bread for delicious and quick garlic bread.

For other great ideas and recipes for herb butter check out Southern Living, they have some unique combinations that will add flavor and impress your dinner guests: 6 Fancy Flavored Butter Recipes

Tips from Expert: Chef Ann Nolan.

  • Keep long stemmed herbs like parsley, cilantro, & basil fresh by trimming the bottom of the stems and placing them in water. Make sure to change the water daily.
  • Bushy herbs like thyme, oregano, tarragon, sage and rosemary are best stored between two damp pieces of food-safe paper towel and stored in an air tight plastic bag.
  • Before chopping herbs, make sure to remove all the stems. Stems can later be used together as a bouquet to add flavor to sauces, stocks and soups.
  • Before freezing, wash herbs and allow them to dry completely before starting the freezing process. This will help keep softer herbs from browning or freezer burn.
  • When using dry herbs in place of fresh remember the ratio 3:1 or three times more fresh than dried.
  • Even while following proper care, herbs can wilt quickly. Expect a shelf life of three weeks when stored at 32°F and two weeks when stored at 41°F.
5 steps to conquer mud stains

5 steps to conquer mud stains

Spring brings new growth, buds appearing, birds chirping, and … lots of mud!

Get hard to clean mud out of your clothes with these simple tips:

  1. Check the care label on the garment for specific instructions.
  2. Brush any excess dirt or mud off of the garment.
  3. Rinse garment in cold water to flush out soils.
  4. Wash in the warmest water safe for the garment, using a gentle detergent. (Add color-safe bleach for colors for stubborn stains)
  5. Air dry and check garment for any remaining stains. Repeat the process until stains are removed before adding to the dryer

 

Mud season tips

How to avoid ‘trapped turkey syndrome’

How to avoid ‘trapped turkey syndrome’

A trapped turkey is a thing!

Setting the temperature higher than 500 degrees can engage your oven’s locking mechanism

It’s a nightmarish situation. Your family and friends are all gathered at your home for Thanksgiving or Christmas—and they’re all hungry. The turkey is taking longer than anticipated, so you boost the temperature as high as it will go. That’s when it happens. Your turkey is trapped. The door to the oven locks because it switches into the self-cleaning mode. Now, what do you do?

HOW TO FREE YOUR TURKEY

  • Turn off the oven to allow the internal temperature to cool. In most cases, once the oven temperature falls to a safe level, the door will unlock and the turkey can be taken out.
  • If all else fails, switch the circuit breaker off that controls power to the oven. That will turn the oven off and allow it to cool down. The cool-down might take up to 30 minutes. Once you switch the breaker back on, hit the cancel key on the oven and you should be able to resume cooking.
  • Most chefs will recommend that you roast a turkey at 325° or 350° (depending on size of your bird). Fore best results, follow the directions included in the wrapper, or from your favorite cookbook. If you are using a food thermometer, leave the turkey in the oven until the thermometer registers 160°.

For help with a trapped turkey, Whirlpool, Amana, Maytag, and KitchenAid brand consumers can call Whirlpool Corporation Customer Care at 1-866-698-2538.