Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Maker Review!

So for my birthday, I asked for the ice cream maker attachment made by Kitchen Aid to accompany my mixer. At full capacity, it can make up to two quarts of any type of ice cream or sorbet or frozen treat. So being that I’m just me, myself and I, this sounded perfect. Who doesn’t want to take two quarts of ice cream to the face?!

484The ice cream maker is $99.99 at retail value but can sometimes be seen on sale at places like Kohl’s in the home-goods section. Plus, Kohl’s almost ALWAYS has some type of promotion running which is how I got my attachment for $75 instead!

So the first time I used this machine, it was a complete disaster. It basically comes in three pieces- the mixing bowl, and two pieces that make up what’s called the dasher. One piece attaches to the top of the mixer (no matter the style of mixer you have) and it has jagged teeth facing down. Those teeth then line up with the other piece kind of like gears, and then will push against each other to churn. The other plastic piece with up-ward facing teeth looks like a square version of the paddle attachment. The major problem that I have with these pieces is that they’re made of plastic. PLASTIC? I wish they came as more durable pieces given that you could’ve paid $100 bucks for the attachment.

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Here’s about how my horror story went down- I had frozen the bowl overnight in my freezer so that the liquid inside the bowl would be cold enough to help my sorbet form it’s ice crystals. When I was assembling the pieces, I was being very careful to read the directions and follow the instructions. HOWEVER, there weren’t any pictures and I suppose I didn’t understand how it worked… At last, I poured the liquid in which immediately began to freeze and flipped my mixer switch to the absolute lowest setting. However, something happened where the teeth weren’t lined up properly and the ground against each other causing the plastic to break and jam into the bowl!

So here I was, the mixer head locked and the pieces jammed below. There was no way for me to unlock the head of my mixer so I stuck my hands in the blueberry sugar juice (for blueberry sorbet) and stained my hands trying to un-jamb the pieces. After a minor panic attack and a 20 minute call to my mom, the pieces miraculously un-jambed themselves. I still have no idea how this happened but thank the lord.

So here I was, with broken plastic pieces and a dent in the mixing bowl of a present I had just gotten for my birthday and never officially used. What the fucking fuck!? Still on the phone with my mom, she told me to make sure that my mixer was also still working. So I plugged it back in and turned it on the lowest speed and IT DIDN’T FREAKING WORK. So NOT ONLY did my attachment break, but it also broke my $300 mixer!!! So I know that this sounds like a horrible equipment review, but I promise it has a happy ending.

I ended up calling customer service at Kitchen Aid and they replaced my ice cream attachment AND mixer for free. They sent me the new equipment in a pre-paid shipping box so I could send back my old mixer to be re-furbished by the company and then re-sold. They were quick, prompt and VERY polite. Probably one of the best customer service experiences I have ever had. So despite all the drama surrounding my first use of the equipment, I was ready to give it another go-around.

The first recipe I tried was their French Vanilla ice cream recipe which you can see below. YUM. It was so creamy and delicious and fatty and everything I want ice cream to be! Check it out!

Ingredients

600g milk
6 large or 7 medium large egg yolks
¾ cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 fresh vanilla bean, split in half and seeds removed.
300g cream

Method

1. Heat milk in a heavy based, non-stick saucepan, stirring often until very hot and without boiling or scorching milk. Transfer to a jug or bowl with a lip and set aside.

2. Whisk egg yolks and sugar together in a separate bowl.

3. Gradually add hot milk and vanilla and mix until well combined (called tempering!). Transfer mixture back to saucepan. Stirring constantly, cook for about 8-10 minutes over a very low heat until mixture thickens and lightly coats back the spatula (called nappe!). Mixture must not boil or it will curdle, however it will be quite hot and a little steamy. Be patient with this step do not rush making the custard.

4. Whisk in cream and refrigerate overnight!

5. Assemble drive assembly, freezer bowl and dasher (as per instruction book). Turn mixture to speed 1, slowly add cooled custard to freezer bowl. Churn for approximately 20 minutes or until a very firm soft serve ice cream results.

6. Immediately remove ice cream to serving dishes or transfer to an airtight, sealed container and freeze for 4 hours or until frozen.

7. Remove ice cream for about 5 minutes before scooping. Homemade ice cream is harder than commercial ice cream so remove from freezer and allow to soften slightly.

I think I would give the Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Attachment 3.75 Abby stars. I’m not a fan of the plastic dasher pieces and that you cannot find their individual replacements online at sites like Amazon or Ebay in case only those pieces break or crack. I also don’t love that you have to freeze the bowl almost 24 hours in advance and if your freezer is as tightly packed as mine, you’ll have trouble making space for it. However, once I finally watched a helpful assembly video on YouTube, I had a blast making and eating my creations! I would also give Kitchen Aid Customer Service 5 stars for all of their help in this long and frustrating process. The ice cream is great to have if you want to WOW someone for dinner or if you’re just having a terrible day and need a large helping of the fruits of your labor.

What do you think? How many stars would you give the Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Maker Attachment? Let me know what you think of the recipes! Have a great weekend- stuff your beautiful faces for me! Next Tuesday will be another blog about my vacation in Myrtle Beach! So come back and check it out!

America’s Test Kitchen!

My first job out of college was with a company called America’s Test Kitchen! ATK is an amazingly huge conglomerate of all sorts of food media- a couple magazine publications, two TV shows on PBS, TONS of published cookbooks and even an online cooking school. ATK is a test kitchen dedicated to finding recipes that work to share with the home cook and also explain WHY they work. It’s a company focused on the fun and education behind food.

I was a total PBS kid growing up since I didn’t have cable. SHOCKER I KNOW. Given that we had 8 channels to choose from, I would watch so many shows on PBS. Throwbacks to Arthur or Zoom anyone? I can even remember memorizing the address for the show Zoom- BOSTON MASS 0-21-34! Send it to Zoom! Totally ironic now that I live here now.

I would spend day and night watching PBS and would watch all the cooking shows with my mom on the weekends which is probably where my interest for food began. DAMN YOU EDUCATIONAL SHOWS! Julia Child and Jacques Pepin were my favorite people to watch and of course America’s Test Kitchen. ATK showed you not only recipes, but they talked food science, kitchen gadgets and product reviews. I LOVE knowing how things work so I was hooked.

I jumped at the chance to work for them so when I saw the internship posting, I knew I HAD to apply even though it was supposed to be a culinary internship. After phone interviews and giving my references, I was one of four interns who landed the job for the spring term.

Photo team!

Photo team!

Part of the kitchen before renovations began!

Part of the kitchen before renovations began!

I was place on the photo team and it was my job to help prep and execute all finalized recipes for the magazines, cookbooks and online cooking school. It was a super cool job! Occasionally, I’d spend a whole day outside manning the grills in sub-zero temps since we tested recipes about 6 months in advance. Other days, I would be able to stand in on the photo shoots and watch the food photographers and stylists works their magic! (Don’t be fooled, their hands touch EVERYTHING!) I occasionally got to switch teams when they needed help and mise/test recipes for Cooks Country, Cooks Country or the Books team.

My little mise station!

My little mise station!

Grill dayyyyyy

Grill dayyyyyy

The coolest part of my internship however, came in May when they filmed the 15th season of America’s Test Kitchen for PBS. They filmed right on our facilities (you’d never know the kitchen was even there from the outside) and set up camp. Our storage room turned into the tech room where the director sat watching and giving feedback during filming. Half of the kitchen was filled with camera and audio equipment as well as craft services which is a fancy way to say FREE FOOD/SNACKS. Our dry goods room turned into the runners area with a live feed tv set up in it so we’d always know what was happening.

Setting up for TV!

Setting up for TV!

The back kitchen was used for prep of the recipes! You know the magic of television, when they pull out a perfectly golden turkey out of the oven after about 3 seconds of cooking? Well, we’d be in the back pushing out these recipes so everything would be ready when they finished filming the talking segment beforehand. We’d have to prep recipes upwards of 15 times- on set, on set back-ups, back kitchen, flash forwards, flash backs, food props, half prepared foods, etc. You could only walk on and off-set when the camera’s weren’t rolling and you could NEVER look directly at the cameras. All the cooks in the background usually were testing their own recipes and actually getting real work done, but sometimes I’d get to stand in and chop some carrots to look busy while the other cooks were doing a tasting or prepping their own recipes.

Prepping for tv... I always wondered what a whole box of lemons zested looked like

Prepping for tv… I always wondered what a whole box of lemons zested looked like

Trying to look busy on set...

Trying to look busy on set…

Waiting off set but still watching the live feed!

Waiting off set but still watching the live feed!

At the end of TV filming, the whole crew gets together to do a rice krispy treat competition! We would split into teams and work together to create the best rice krispies. It was all VERY competitive. Then the filming crew would be the judges in the end. Of course, team intern bonded together (WILL WORK FOR FOOD PROPS) and made a lemon meringue RKT. Sadly, we didn’t win but it was a lot of fun!

286I really loved working there and made some pretty great friends there as well. Most of the work was culinary based so I knew I had to move towards something more in my field but it was definitely an experience I won’t forget! Check out an episode below where I might actually be seen walking around in the background and my name is in the credits! I’M FAMOUS!

ATK Family!

ATK Family!

Bon Appetit and see you all on Tuesday for another post!

Click here to see me in the background in the first couple minutes!

A Secret Language: Kitchenese

Whenever I talk about work with my roommates or parents, I usually get a “Huh? What’s that mean?” somewhere along in the conversation. Working in the foodservice industry, we speak in our own language of sorts. I’ll call it Kitchenese. There are so many terms used to describe instances or equipment that it can sometimes be hard to understand to someone who doesn’t work in the industry. So I’m here to crack the code and break some of it down!

House– This typically means whatever establishment you work in. It’s almost a term of endearment since food service people tend to throw their heart and souls into food. For example: How many onions do we have in house? What’s the house cake for today? Are those chocolate brioche for house or for orders?
Front of House (FOH)– All people who work with the customers! This typically means hosts, servers, bartenders, wait staff, general managers, etc.
Back of House (BOH)– All the behind scenes staff! Chefs, cooks, pastry teams, stewards, dishwashers, delivery drivers, etc.
68– This means that we now have something in stock. At the bakery, I use it to tell the FOH what products we have available as they become available throughout the day!
86– The opposite of 68, so basically it’s what we run out of. We make these announcements in front of customers and most of the time they don’t know what we mean which allows FOH to tell them more politely when we’re out of an item.
Pars– Similar to a golf course! Pars are what you’re expected to make (in our case per day). Sometimes we talk about upping pars when we expect a larger crowd or lowering them in case of a snowstorm or something along those lines.
All Day– This refers to all the product you have of something before you run out and need to 86 it. Can also refer to all the items on an order.
Short– Usually refers to an order when you don’t have enough to give to someone. Typically it’s used in a sentence like this followed by fast improvisation: Fuckin’ A. I’m short 3 chocolate chip cookies. I’ll have to pull from house and just have to lower the pars.
Mise/ Mise En Place– In French, it means to “put in place” or prepare ahead of time. This usually means weighing/measuring out all ingredients before starting a recipe or prepping vegetables (aka veg) and other products for use later.
Behind/Beside You/ Above You/ Atras– “Get out of my way. No really, GET THE EFF OUT OF MY WAY” in both English and Spanish.
Hot/Caliente– Carrying a hot pot or pan and you don’t want anyone to turn around, bump into you and then blame you for their burn. So you say this like 12 times while carrying a pot from the stove to your station to continue your work. Or, “GET OUT OF MY WAY I HAVE A HOT POT”
Knife– “Hey, I’m carrying this super sharp knife behind you” “GET OUT OF MY WAY I HAVE A KNIFE”
Opening/Closing– Opening the oven doors, fridge doors, ice machine doors. “GET OUT OF MY WAY I’M OPENING SOMETHING”
Coming Out/Corner– Announcing where you are in a room and basically verbally tell people when you’re stalking them. “Hey, I’m coming around the corner!” “I’m coming out of the fridge!” “Peekaboo, I’m sneaking out behind this rolling rack!”
Stage- It’s what you do when interviewing for a job. So you basically go work for a couple hours for free somewhere so you can see what kind of work they do, what they’d expect you to do and whether or not you fit in with the rest of the staff. A working interview, basically.
Family Meal/Staff Meal/Snack Tray– Perks of being in the industry. All broken, overcooked, under-baked or generally ugly products are put up for the staff to nibble on. Usually in restaurants, a “family meal” is made of older or pretty basic products to consume before a dinner rush comes. You’re staff is your family and your restaurant is your house. Food is your life.
Low Boy– Another name for a short fridge who’s top usually doubles as a work station.
Walk In– Another name for a huge refrigerator and freezer that holds the majority of the products/ingredients in house.
Robocoup, Hotel Pans, Still Oven, Convection Oven, Rolling Rack, etc– All names of equipment used in the kitchen
Fire– Typically used more-so in restaurants. It refers to starting to cook a meal for a table. Someone will call out “Fire two fish, one gchix and 3 risottos all day”
Board/Rail– This is a piece of equipment that holds all of the orders/tickets in place. Tickets are placed on the rail in the order that they come to the chefs.
6 top,4 top, Deuce– Refers to how many people are in a party. 6 top means 6 guests, 4 top means 4 guests and deuce refers to two.
Covers– Usually means how many people come on any given day/night/shift. This varies depending on restaurant sizing.
In the weeds– Staff is behind on the orders, things are going to shit and slight panic ensues. Usually is a way of asking for help when you tell someone you’re in the weeds.

These terms are really only a few of the major ones used in the industry. Most of these we use in the bakery however, if you work in restaurants, a whole separate slew of slang is thrown at ya! If I ever use these in another blog post, I hope this guide helps those of you not involved in food service to decipher the code.

Holla atchu, boo thangs. Hope you all have a great weekend. Check back on Tuesday for another blog post!