The Ultimate All-in-One Kitchen Appliance! Homemade Ice Cream, Freshly Milled Flour, Smoothies, Grind Your Own Meat, Knead Bread Dough & More! My Blendtec Review and Give Away!

On October 13, 2012, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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Talk about a dream machine!!!  I’ve been having a BLAST testing my new Blendtec Total Classic Blender with the WildSide jar and the Twister Jar accessory.  I have been putting them through the paces, so I could report to you about the quality of this powerful and versatile kitchen machine.  In case you hadn’t guessed, I am head-over-heels for […]

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Talk about a dream machine!!!  I’ve been having a BLAST testing my new Blendtec Total Classic Blender with the WildSide jar and the Twister Jar accessory.  I have been putting them through the paces, so I could report to you about the quality of this powerful and versatile kitchen machine.  In case you hadn’t guessed, I am head-over-heels for the Blendtec!  It’s 1560 watts of incredible power with a 4″ precision tuned blade.  I was amazed when I looked at the blades in both the Wildside Jar AND the Twister Jar.  To look at them, they are about 1/16″ thick and blunt — no sharp edges.  You KNOW the first thing I did was reach in and run my finger across it.  While it wasn’t 100% blunt, my finger definitely didn’t meet any sharp edges, unlike the multitude of other blenders I have owned, over the years.  The Wild Side Jar (it has an extra 5th side) holds almost 3 quarts and is BPA-free, so it can tackle jobs that other blenders simply don’t have the capacity to handle.  And speed!!!!  Oh my goodness!  It’s phenomenal how quickly you can whip up something healthy and delicious, with little, to no, effort.  This professional quality appliance will change the way you work in your kitchen.  You won’t believe everything I’ve done with it, so far!

Blendtec

This is the Blendtec Total Classic Blender, Wildside Jar, Twister Jar, cookbook and spatula I reviewed and the same set that one lucky Busy-at-Home reader will win for their own kitchen!!!!

From the moment I started reading about the Blendtec, I knew that making ice cream would be my first attempt at using it.  I was so curious as to how ice cream could be frozen without an ice cream machine or without being full of gritty, ice crystals.  Well, the Blendtec performed beyond my wildest dreams AND provided something I never thought could happen — a healthy ice cream that my kids will eat.  After reading through the options in the included Blendtec cookbook, I made a few variations of one of their ice cream recipes.  The beauty of it is that you can make different flavors for different family members, so everyone can have their favorites and a batch is literally done in LESS than 60 seconds!

raspberry ice cream ingredients

I actually made three different flavors of ice cream in a span of about 20 minutes. Taking pictures of the steps, the finished products and enjoying their yumminess took way more time than actually making the ice cream. Using frozen fruit, coconut milk, lemon juice and only 2-3 Tablespoons of sugar, I could mix up a batch in less than 60 seconds! It’s absolutely DELISH – creamy, smooth, & satisfying!

 

 homemade icecream

First I made raspberry, then peach and then pineapple. You can’t believe how good (and how much healthier) these are compared to commercial ice cream!

 

Dairy-Free Homemade Ice Cream with the Blendtec Blender

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 - 3 Tablespoons sugar (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 rounded cups frozen fruit (choose your favorite)

Instructions

  1. I used the Twister Jar for this recipe, but I think it would do just as well in the Wild Side Jar.
  2. Simply place all the ingredients in the jar, in the order listed. If you're using the Twister Jar, hold the Twister Lid with one hand and with the other hand, select the Speed Up button (up arrow) to Speed 7 and run for 40-50 seconds or until smooth. Turn the twister Lid counter-clockwise while blending.
  3. If making this in the WildSide jar, I would double the recipe and select the Ice Cream button to make it.
  4. Serve your delicious, healthy, soft-serve ice cream immediately.
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I haven’t tried it, yet, but I’m toying with the idea of freezing mashed pumpkin or canned pumpkin in ice cube trays, then using that in place of frozen fruit and adding in all those warm, fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves to make a pumpkin pie version of this ice cream.  I’ll let you know, if I get it done.  :)

Next I tested the ice shaving (crushing) feature.  All the promos say that the Blendtec can turn ice cubes into snow in seconds.  Not chunky ice crystals or gritty, slushy ice, but snow.  Oh my gravy!  They didn’t lie.

crushing ice

I started with 5 cups of ice cubes in my WildSide jar.

 

blendtec ice crush

I put the lid on the jar and selected the Ice Crush button. It’s pre-programmed and shut itself off automatically at the end of the cycle.

 

crushed ice

Extraordinary! I’ve never seen so much power and the job was completed in seconds! It’s, literally, snow. This would make fantastic blended drinks, smoothies and snow cones. Yum!

 

Next, I filled my WildSide jar with a combination of veggies, that I just had in the fridge.  I broke them into chunks and added about 3/4 cup of water.  I don’t know if your family is like mine, but they love veggies and their flavor, IF they don’t know that’s what they’re eating.  I have been camouflaging vegetables in my family’s favorite dishes for years; and after seeing all that the Blendtec can accomplish, I had an idea.  With the cool fall weather, soup is a staple in our home and no matter what kind I make, I love to cook lots of vegetables in the stock for the flavor and nutrition.  Not being fans of very soft-cooked vegetables, my family rarely wants to eat them, though; and I either puree them and add them back to the stock, or simply throw them out.  I knew with more liquid and a few seasonings, I could use these vegetables to make my own version of V-8 juice, but I wanted to make a slightly thicker, albeit smooth base to add to soups.

veggies in the blender

The veggies I used to make my veggie “soup and stew base”. It was just what i had in the fridge and it turned out SOOO good!

So I pureed a full blender jar of RAW veggies in only 3/4 cup of water, adding about 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 2 Tablespoons of worcestershire and 1 teaspoon of salt.  The resulting “vegetable base” was delicious and perfect to bring extraordinary flavor to soups and stew broths!  It’s simple and you can use your family’s favorite vegetables, herbs and seasonings.  I normally wouldn’t put cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber or tomatoes in my chicken soup stock, but the addition of the extra fiber, flavor (and antioxidants) was a huge hit!  The other “up-side” to prepping the vegetables in this way is that I’m not fishing hot, cooked vegetables out of my stock, then trying to blend hot vegetables and liquid in the blender and then, finally, adding them back to the stock pot.  Much simpler and safer, this way!

blended raw veggies

The resulting veggie base had great flavor to impart to soups and stews. I’m guessing it would be fairly easy to mix into spaghetti sauce and casserole sauces, as well. I poured some in this bowl to try and give you an idea of how thick and rich it is. This is about 1/3 of what the batch actually made, so it would definitely add fabulous flavor to a batch of homemade chicken stock or a beef stew gravy.  Yum!

 

After vegetables, I decided to make a typical blender or food processor staple — bread crumbs.  The difference was I was going to use fresh bread, not dry or toasted.  Typically, that choice would result in a blender full of gummy dough balls.  There is definitely no reason to go to the expense of buying pre-made bread crumbs, any longer.  Use your own homemade bread and you’ll know exactly what’s in them.  Plus, you can season them as you wish.  Of course, if you have day old or dry bread, it will be simple to make your bread crumbs, but if you don’t — no worries.  Blendtec’s got you covered.  :)

bread in blender

I tore four slices of bread into large pieces and put them in the WildSide jar. I used the “Speed Up” arrow button to go to speed one.

 

Blendtec bread crumbs

In about 15 seconds, I had these gorgeous bread crumbs — perfect for meatballs, topping casseroles, meat loaf or breading something to be fried. Super simple!  They could easily be seasoned or toasted.

 

Curious, and maybe even a little skeptical, the final task I out set out to accomplish with my Blendtec was grinding meat.  I know all of you struggle, just as much as I do, navigating the grocery store in light of steadily rising food prices and incomes that don’t keep up with the increased cost of living.  Paying nearly $4.00 a lb for hamburger is very difficult for me to justify.  So when I saw bottom round roast go on sale for $1.98 in one of our local markets, I decided to put the Blendtec to the test.  I know you will be as excited as I am at what I achieved and the potential for savings and better nutrition that can come from grinding meat, fresh, in your own kitchen.

roast

Bottom round roast for $1.98 a lb. I intend to turn it into very economical, fresh and lean ground beef!

 

cubed roast

I cut the roast into approximately 2 inch cubes. I will do a better job of trimming the fat BEFORE cubing it, next time. The thicker pieces of fat, didn’t grind as easily as the meat and a few larger chunks of fat needed to be picked out of the finished meat. But, no one was more surprised than me at how quickly and effectively the Blendtec produced ground beef from my roast.

 

hamburger

Can you believe it! I couldn’t be more pleased!

 

frying hamburgers

The hamburgers were easily shaped and fried, just as though I had purchased the meat, already ground.

 

burger and chips

Delicious, inexpensive and easy!

I don’t have one reservation about the Blendtec Total Classic Blender with the WildSide jar.  Upon first receiving it, I was disappointed to learn I had been sent a factory reconditioned base with new jars.  My disappointment was immediately alleviated when I learned that reconditioned Blendtec blenders have the same 7-year warranty as the new models, because they have been restored to like new condition, often having been returned for cosmetic reasons.  Any necessary repairs are made and the good as new appliance is ready for a new owner.  The giveaway winner will receive the same high quality items that I’ve been testing in my own kitchen — a factory reconditioned Blendtec Total Classic Blender Base with new Wild Side Jar and new Twister Jar!

There is so much more I’m excited to try with the Blendtec, but this post is getting longer and longer and I definitely need to leave room for the giveaway!  There are dressings, and sauces, dips and nut butters, hummus and freshly milled flours, in my very near future.  The potential of this amazing appliance is limited only by imagination.  I can’t wait to test it further and I can unreservedly recommend it as a professional-quality, essential, kitchen appliance that will eliminate the need for, and most certainly outperform, many of your other appliances.  You’re going to LOVE it!

 

GIVEAWAY RULES

  1. You must be 18 or older and reside in the United States to enter.
  2. Mandatory Entry (must be completed, before optional entries will be counted.)  Leave a comment on this post telling me the first thing you would make if you win this fabulous Blendtec.  Then use the Rafflecopter form, below, to register your entry!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a Blendtec Reconditioned Blender with Wild Side and Twister Jars in order to test them in my own kitchen and gather data for this review.  No monetary compensation was received.  The views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and based on my personal experience with the product.  Links in the post include my affiliate ID.

When You Give a Girl a Meatball…She’s Going to Want Some Sauce : Super Simple Recipe, For Quick and Delicious Suppers!

On December 3, 2009, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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Birthdays are one of the few times our kids get to choose the menu.  Our youngest turned eight years old on the 24th; and we celebrated with family and a delicious meal on the 22nd.  The birthday dinner requested was Spaghetti with Homemade Meatballs.  I was completely out of ground turkey and so I decided […]

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Birthdays are one of the few times our kids get to choose the menu.  Our youngest turned eight years old on the 24th; and we celebrated with family and a delicious meal on the 22nd.  The birthday dinner requested was Spaghetti with Homemade Meatballs.  I was completely out of ground turkey and so I decided to use up some of the hamburger I had on hand in the freezer.  I checked the web for specific recipes and found several that had ingredients we like, but I didn’t have everything needed to make them.  I found a couple that included ingredients we definitely don’t care for, so I looked for the ingredients that were “core essentials” in all of them and from there we built our own recipe.  It was a smash hit and will be the “go-to” recipe for meatballs in the future!

This recipe made 132 meatballs.  Flash freeze them on a cookie sheet and then put them in a zip-top freezer bag to use for quick meals in the future if you won’t be needing all of them at one sitting.  –  lol  –  We fed everyone at the birthday party, ate leftovers for lunch the next day and froze half for another time.  You will be so happy to be able to pull these out of the freezer for a quick delicious meal!  Yum!

Glenda’s Spicy Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 4¼ lbs 93% lean ground beef
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 medium red onion, minced
  • 5 cloves garlic, pressed or minced fine
  • 2 cups Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbl red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbl Spike Seasoning
  • 1/3 cup dried parsley
  • 1/3 cup dried basil
  • 2 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbl  salt
  • 1 Tbl black pepper

Mix the hamburger, Worcestershire sauce, milk and eggs.

Add the minced onions and garlic, bread crumbs, pepper flakes, Spike Seasoning, parsley, basil, grated Parmesan, salt and pepper.  I would like to tell you I am very delicate and mix this with a wooden spoon or fork, but it just isn’t very practical.  For this one, you will need to get your hands dirty.  It’s the fastest easiest way to incorporate all the ingredients.  And for our oldest daughter, “Yes, Sweetie, this time I really mean mix it by hand.” – lol  (That is in reference to the lemon bar fiasco of 1996 and taking the instruction to mix them by hand, very literally.)

Once all the ingredients have been thoroughly incorporated, I use a cookie dough scoop to shape the meatballs in uniform sizes.  The shaped meatballs should be placed on a cookie sheet, leaving just enough space between them for air to circulate.  I actually got 54 meatballs to a sheet.

Bake them in a 350° oven for 20 minutes.

Okay, when these come out of the oven you will need some big sticks handy, to keep back the milling throng if you ever want these meatballs to see spaghetti sauce!  They are addictively delicious and once they pop one, hot, delectable little sphere into their mouths, your family will want them all!  Luckily, it’s a big batch so you have some wiggle room, but proceed with caution.  –  lol

Printable Glenda’s Spicy Meatball Recipe

Glenda’s Spaghetti Sauce

This is the point where honesty gets a little sticky.  Spaghetti sauce recipes should be long and laborious and top secret passed down from generation to generation, right?  Mine, not so much!  It’s easy, fast and absolutely delicious.  I have diced fresh tomatoes, peppers, onions and all the herbs and seasonings required for perfect, chef-quality sauces, cooked them over low heat for hours and hours and produced yummy sauces that are frankly not much different than what I am about to share with you.  So, don’t think I am casting aspersions on your homemade sauces, I’m not.  I love cooking from scratch and making things that could never be the same from a mix or a box.  I just don’t have that kind of time or cash, when a good alternative is available.  Here’s what we do.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of the least expensive canned spaghetti sauce available, (brand varies by what’s on sale, but usually Hunts)
  • (1) 14.5 oz can of petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup of sugar, (adjust this to your own taste)
  • 1 Tbl of dried Italian seasoning

Mix your sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Add the desired number of meatballs, reduce heat to simmer, cover and let the meatballs heat in the sauce for 15 or 20 minutes.

It’s not scientific or beautifully “chef’s kitchen”, but  it is delicious and one of our family favorites.  It’s a perfect quick fix when you’re in a hurry to get supper on the table!  Serve over your favorite pasta.  I also use this same sauce, minus the meatballs, when I make lasagna.

Of course, as usual, I always forget to take a final product picture for you, but since I had leftovers in the freezer I was able to snap a quick picture the next time we served this delicious main course.  Notice the cranberry salad leftover from Thanksgiving?  Yum!

Printable Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

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This post is linked to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and Tasty Tuesday.

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