It's the perfect cocktail party. It's a great spin around the bowl with all your favorite ingredients. It's the conversation you didn't even know you wanted to start. Welcome to the Land of Miss Mixer. Things are twinkling, and exciting, and delicious here.

Monday, July 4, 2011

I Hate to Get Up in the Morning

I recently received the following query and thought is was important enough to make sure Miss Mixer was heard from again.

Dear Miss Mixer,
I do not like getting up in the morning. I have small children who wake me and lots to do every day. How do I get up early and get going?
Sleepless in Seattle

Dear Sleepless,
There are lots of ways to approach this. Many people would tell you that you should make sure you are going to bed plenty early so that you can be the early birdie getting the proverbial worm. We all know that life doesn't always work that way. Might I suggest this handy system that seems to work for me.

A) Buy an espresso machine (pet peeve: please note, no "x" in espresso). I have a Starbucks' model from many years ago that rocks my world (kind of like this one). We call it "The Daymaker" at The Mixer House. Make sure you know how to use your machine. It will change your life.
B) Buy some espresso roast coffee ground properly for your machine or pods that work in your machine. Starbucks is my favorite, but Stumptown is making a fine showing these days. Do not accept crummy coffee.
C) In this order: Prime your machine, steam your milk (frothing first, then heating though to about 150 degrees), pull some shots (do not let your shots sit around for any amount of time). Finally, put your milk and espresso together.
D) Drink in deeply.
E) Seriously, you are now having a semi-spiritual coffee experience at home. You do not need to go to a coffee shop for an escape and pick-me-up. You have exorcised the exhaustion and you're ready to start the day.

It's not hard to start your day right.

-- More baking challenges and advice coming your way. I think.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ooooh! New Things!

A few weeks ago I bought something. It's just a little something and now I say to myself, "How did I ever live without this?" Ladies and gents, you need a silicone coated whisk. I have used it so many times since I bought it that I literally am not sure how I got anything done before.

Now, Miss Mixer shops in a variety of locations. Usually, I am shopping for a bargain. I suspect you already know this about me, no? Well, I often buy things at the store that hits you like a bullseye. Bargains galore there. But, sometimes you need to step it up. For those occasions there is nothing like the one and only, Crate and Barrel. Seriously, get yourself to C&B. Sure, it's not like they have magical elves inventing and building each and every item there. They aggregate all the best stuff from the best people. And, man are they some great aggregators. There's stuff you can't find anywhere else (melamine citrus reamer, anyone?!), and some you could get elsewhere (Bullseye!), but the shopping experience can't be beat no matter what you get. And what you need to get is a SILICONE WHISK.

I have used it to make brownies, jambalaya, creamy citrus pasta with spinach, chicken pot pie, cornbread, chicken piccata, Jacques Torres cookies, and, I think you get the idea. You can scrape down the sides of bowls, whisk in a hot, non-stick pan. It is amazing. And delicious.

Congratulations on your new whisk!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Let 'em roll...

How Miss Mixer loves a holiday! Tomorrow is Mardi Gras. Mama Mixer was always a big fan of Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday. In fact, Mama Mixer (that's my sainted mother), always loved any holiday where she got to feed people. And she was really, really good at it. I hope to spread a little holiday cheer and some good food any chance I get here in MixerLand.

In honor of the food fest the precedes Ash Wednesday, and the start of the season of Lent, I will be making jambalaya, cornbread muffins, and perhaps New Orleans cheesecake for dessert. And, while I can't have you all over for the goods, here's some suggestions for your own delightful event.

The very best Jambalaya recipe is the one in The Joy of Cooking. It is a true joy. Make your life easier by getting a rotisserie chicken instead of cooking as directed. You must add onion to the recipe. And probably a touch of garlic. Also, don't use boiling water if you have chicken broth on hand-- so much better. If you haven't heard, parsley is awesome. You'll be happy you have it in your house when you buy it for this recipe.

Next tip: Jiffy Cornbread mix rocks. Do not try to reinvent the wheel. The nice people at Jiffy figured it out and you should let them do any and all heavy lifting when given the chance. Make it as directed or add some chopped jalapenos or chiles for a kick. And be sure to not over bake it (perhaps this is just a general rule for life).

Last, but not least: Laissez les bon temps rouler!*

Miss Mixer

*Let the good times roll, y'all!

P.S. Miss Mixer is working on her first baking challenge: The famous Momofuku Crack Pie. It may require a great deal of tasting before I can begin to craft a recipe... It's hard work, but somebody's gotta do it.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Every great relationship starts with one good conversation...

... and sometimes an inside joke.

Sometimes throwing the perfect party takes a little more tweaking along the way, right? Well, the first party at Miss Mixer's place is certainly on the way. I hear Patience is a Virtue, so perhaps building virtuosity is part of the mission here in the Mix.

In the meantime, as a gal keen on pop culture, I notice that these little webby worlds are riddled with catch phrases, and particularly abbreviations and initials: lol, rofl, lmao, ttfn... Well, friends always know each others' little jokes and phrases, so I thought I would start our own.

Let's start by being clear that this shall normally be a classy place, and this may not be the classiest phrase going. Hopefully our virtues shall get us through.

jpal: Just Peed A Little-- an appropriate response for when you see, read, or hear something that challenges the fortitude of your bladder. This is the kind of laughter that might make you tinkle. Also appropriate for when you get really exciting news and can, literally, hardly contain yourself. One does not actually have to urinate to use "jpal." In fact, let's hope everyone stays Depends-free in most/all cases (Note: *most* people aren't actually rolling on the floor when they rofl).

There, now you have it: Your own new, fancy slang to share at parties, use on the web, and maybe make you giggle. Mix it around out there and see if you like it. And, now we have our own inside joke! One day we might say, "Remember that time we tried to make 'jpal' work? Whoops." Or we might read the entry for it on Wikipedia together and share a collective guffaw. Or huzzah.

So, let's really get this party started! Is there a pop culture question you are dying to ask? How about advice you are seeking... perhaps Miss Mixer has a pearl of wisdom to share? Would you like to invite Miss Mixer to take a challenge in the kitchen, a baking adventure to take? Just write to The Miss at dear miss mixer at gmail dot com. Questions will be selected at Miss Mixer's discretion. And if your question is selected perhaps you will receive a good answer. Perhaps you will not. In any case, random drawings will occur amongst ALL inquisitors for a special bakery-fresh prize. Mmmmm.

Lots of love,
Miss Mixer