Wednesday, May 1, 2013

On Food Processors and Mashed Potatos

Brace yourself. Its a long one. And I guess you might consider it sponsored, although I didn't get any money or get asked to do a write up or anything.

There are times when this blogging gig rocks.I get invitations and offers for the most incredible things, and while I don't take up about 75% of what gets sent my way, from time to time something tickles my fancy.

This time, it was an invitation to the Appliances Online Mothers Day morning tea. We would be given a demonstration by the Monday Morning Cooking Club, then hang about for some good food and company.
12 months ago I probably would have knocked this one back. I hate cooking. I'm a terrible cook. Most of my culinary efforts include premade sauces and packet mixes. So I have no idea how I scored an invite to this event.

But since going on maternity leave with Sebastian, I've been determined to make a wider variety of meals, and to make more of them from scratch. It's slow going, and I'm still a very experimental cook (as my kids and Husband will agree!), but I produce more and more meals from scratch these days. It's a fabulous savings in money, and I'm also finding that on the odd occassion I get it right, it also tastes better.

With that in mind, I'm finding I wantneed a bigger variety of gadgets in the kitchen. I'm kind of working with a small plastic cake mixer, a cheapie slow cooker, and a wok.

These days what I want is a slow cooker with a timer, a food processor, a killer cake mixer, maybe some kind of multi cooker to deal with vegetables, rice, etc. But I want it to take up as little space in the cupboards as possible so if one or two machines can fill multiple slots that would be awesome.

Husband and I have been trolling the various appliance stores over the last few weeks, reading the backs of boxes, and watching the occasional demonstration. Not knowing precisely what our long term cooking needs are, and how various appliances can help, we're not quite sure what we need. And I'm reluctant to spend any money unless I know it will hit the mark.

For now we are still looking. There are plenty of blogs reviewing appliances at the moment so I've been going over all of them. You can see why I was pretty stoked when I got the invitation from Appliances Online. I had never heard of the Monday Morning Cooking Club though, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Their website just didn't bring them to life for me.

After a stressful drive in which I was sure we were going to be late (and I am annoyingly anal about lateness, my own and other peoples), and tried to convince my chauffeur SIL Salwa to take a few creative detours we made it on time for a tour of the Appliances Online operations and our demonstration. Side note - the Appliances Online operation is pretty cool. In my professional life I was running a national bank call centre before going on mat leave, so I was interested in all the wrong things on the tour. I kept having to remind myself to focus on appliances, and not on call centre stats. I was dying to talk to the staff there though, it looked like they had a great workplace culture.
See how the mission statement is the backdrop for each work
station? I thought that was neat. The CEO was sitting out there
at a hotdesk in the call centre too, not locked away in an office. 
Anyhoo, back to the Monday Morning Cooking Club.These women are incredible. They are a group of 6 ladies who have been doing their cooking thing together on Mondays for years. Kind of a masterchef playgroup. A few years back they stepped up to the challenge of gathering Jewish recipes and immortalising them in a cookbook for charity. This cookbook not only shares the special family recipes looked away in little old Jewish lady minds, it also captures the spirit and stories behind the recipe.
3 of the 6 Monday Morning Cooking Club
I watched 3 out of the 6 banter and bicker their way through 3 demonstrations. Given my newfound interest in appliances and my complete ignorance in how to use them I was fascinated to watch them whip together the 3 recipes in the Breville All In One, which I believe is a fancy schmancy food processor. It really only took a minute or two for each recipe to be well combined, and these women made it look so easy.
I admit to getting a little distracted when I found out that the filling of the Kindlech was Nutella and raspberry jam mixed together. I can see alot of possibilities for that mixture. icecream topping, strawberry dip, sandwiches, cupcake icing....see? Distracted again.
Kindech with the delicious Nutella and raspberry jam filling

The three recipes that were demonstrated for us were Honey Macadamia Nut Wafers (thin, crispy, and so ridiculously yummy), Almond Kifli, (mmm, a little shortbready for me, but still good), and Kindlech (surprisingly not as overwhelmingly sweet as I expected).

And afterwards, we got to sample all of them as well as lots more while getting time to chat. I LOVE blogging events, because bloggers are some of my favourite people. Even if I don't read their blog, I still love talking to bloggers, although in this case there were a few I had met before and have been following for a while. Its always nice to catch up and even better when it includes good food!

 The icing on the cake though, was the Monday Morning Cooking Club recipe book and Breville All In One I was given to take home. Yay!
Salwa and I with our new goodies
I would like to say that I miraculously turned out something fabulous first try with my new AIO. But no. I gave mashed potato's a whirl, since its something I have NEVER been able to get the hang of. I followed the recipe, and still turned out a runny mush. But I can say that the AIO turned it into runny mush VERY quickly and easily. I will give it a whirl again tomorrow night and see if I can do better. And no, there is no photo of the outcome. I may or may not have had a tantrum when it didn't work out as hope for. Instead here is a picture of the machine sitting nice and compact on my counter top. The only annoying thing about it so far is the one random attachment (whisk?) that doesn't sit on the unit. I'm not sure what to do with it.

Another side note - Jewish recipes don't include any pork products, so as a partially muslim household this is a great addition for us. For all my inlaws that may or may not read this occassionally, this is definately a cookbook you would get value out of.

Being a complete food processor newbie, I am curious as to what else I can do with it. Soup, presumably. And I know that my mother uses one to make her cheesecake base.

Anything else? Also, if you have a miracle multi gadget at home that you swear by, feel free to plug them so I can check them out.


  1. All the best in your future adventures of your new found gadget! I'm a pretty messy and non-talented cook so unless we are talking about my trusty microwave (lol!) I have yet to find a miracle multi gadget that does it all for me. One day perhaps - when I get invited to such a cool event such as yourself! :)

    1. Messy and non-talented...sounds alot like me! I'm on adventures at the moment to learn to cook but its very slow going lol

  2. It is awesome. Maybe you should come over and I can show you how i make mash potato lol.

    1. pfffft. I will get the hang of it. Eventually. Maybe.

  3. Hello, I tried to comment on the post above but for some reason it wouldn't work out at all. Wanted to say these are good points for brands, especially asking for a giveaway. It draws a lot more traffic too.

    1. I don't know what happened! I'll have to check the settings - agree, I always find some new readers with each giveaway that tend to stick around.


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