Saturday, December 31, 2011

You just won a KitchenAid mixer! What are you going to do now?

Okay, so I didn’t win it. Despite the numerous contests I’ve entered to snatch up this coveted prize. Instead, I claimed my stand-mixer over Christmas—thanks Dad and Peg!
Only… I didn’t quite know what to do with it. I mean, make bread, obviously. That was first on the list. But logistically, my kitchen is very small. I’d guestimate one square meter total of counter space—which is normally cluttered with dirty dishes… okay fine: beer bottles. Now you know.
Kitchen before Project "Let's live here for real."
I’ve been feeling like I need a better solution for the “pantry”—a wobbly, sticky bookshelf and cardboard TV stand combo. There is something about make-do, cobbled together furniture that makes you feel like you are squatting in your own home. I moved some things around to make room for the mixer, but it didn’t do this shining new piece of equipment justice.
Kitchen after Project "Let's live here for real."
So yesterday, we ventured all the way north to the Brown Elephant resale shop. And, Christmas miracle (can I keep saying that? I guess not)—and, birthday miracle (Christmas is over, the next six months are for my next favorite holiday), we found exactly what I was looking for: a 50-inch long, 18-inch deep, 30-inch high dresser. True story. It was under a few lamps, has some scratches/dents, and the drawers don’t quite close, but it has a counter! Sale price: $37. True. Story. That leaves quite a nice anthropologie knob budget. You know that’s right.
The kitchen project was completed with a new sink mat and full-on stuff reorganization. Now Alex has a whole drawer to house his Tupperware issues.
"Tupperware. Must. Be. Stored. With. Lids. On!" - Alex
Now that my KitchenAid has a place to live, I’m ready to put it to work. The NYE festivities tonight are set to include homemade pizza making and a few cans of Sofia Copola, so I decided to skip the bread for now and focus on our evening’s other necessity: dessert.

It was liberating to read the recipe I had in mind, to see the foreboding words that have always turned me away: “In the bowl of a stand mixer.”  How many recipes have I discarded because of that one simple phrase? “In the bowl of a stand mixer.” No longer will I fear them! Liberation is at hand!
I. Have. A. Stand-mixer. 
And starting in its shiny steel bowl, with the whisk attachment in position, I made meringues. Lemon-almond meringues. With a crisp, toasted crust, a chewy center, and nutty zesty sweetness. I know because I ate one after lunch.
The way I bake is kind of the same way I wear yesterday's eyeliner: A little bit smudged and messy, but unintentionally good enough to get by. With my extra countertop and miracle machine, I baked like Ina Garten, with ease and grace. I even cleaned up as I went. I’m finna mise en place the stuffing out of 2012.


  1. Yay! Looks awesome, the new space and counter, new mixer, meringues, all of it.

  2. ^^ AGREED. So glad it worked out so well. Can't wait to see what anthro knobs you go with. And what culinary feats you accomplish. YAY!

  3. I LOVE the kitchen and its portraits.
    So I looked up "stand mixer"and "dough hook" on my Mac and found well over 20 saved (and untried) recipes, due to (your now cured) "But I don't have one of those-Yet" syndrome. Can I bring a recipe over and try it with you? I'm pretty sure you've never made Pagharch. Yes? No? We could do a shared blog day.

  4. I just figured out another advantage to the Tupperware drawer--Tupperware can't fall out of a drawer.

    I stand in awe of your ability to cook such great food in such a small space: your metier is not limited by your square meter of space.

  5. love the makeover! kinda really jealous that your mixer is on display and mine is stuck on top of the fridge. also jealous that you have used yours.

  6. I assumed you had a whole raft of mixer recipes lined up. I guess it was a surprise!

  7. Love these pics. Great re-org. So purtay. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks -- it was a great way to start the new year!