Stacey Little

Call on a tried-and-true baking appliance

The dog days of summer call for pitchers of ice-cold lemonade. This refreshing beverage is incredible easy to make at home, requiring only three ingredients: lemons, sugar, and water. Squeezing lemons one by one with a handheld juicer is a labor of love: Not only does it take a while, but it also can be tough to extract all the possible liquid from the fruit (not to mention to the inevitable hand cramps). The acid from the citrus can be hard on your hands and cuticles as well. Next time you want to squeeze a big batch of lemons, turn to a tried-and-true kitchen appliance: a standing mixer. This hack will save not only your hands but also a lot of extra effort.

Start by quartering the lemons, and then put them in the bowl of the standing mixer. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (to avoid splashes). Turn the mixer on low speed. Let the paddle attachment beat the juice out of the lemons for 2 minutes, or until the rinds look depleted. Once it looks like all the juice has been wrung from the lemons, uncover the bowl and pour everything into a pitcher through a colander or sieve, pressing down to extract all of the possible liquid. Add the desired amount of water and granulated sugar to the pitcher, and stir to combine. Pour the lemonade over ice, and enjoy.

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Fresh-squeezed lemon juice always beats the powered mix. It also makes a tasty addition to beverages, dressings, or citrusy cakes. Use your standing mixer for preparing ingredients for cocktails as well; the paddle attachment works as the ideal muddler. For a batch mojitos, for instance, add quartered limes and sugar to the bowl of a standing mixer, and beat on low speed until it looks like all the juice has been extracted from the limes.