Sharon - you are amazing - I bow down to your power to smooth LOL
Thanks so much for trying to help!
I will tell you what I do (although I bet it would be easier to just fly down there & you can show me in person
Mixer bowl = 4.5 quart
1/2 cup room temperature unsalted (usually store brand) butter
1/2 cup (usually store brand) shortening with 2g of trans fat in it
I mix these together with the paddle attachment on almost high until smooth (maybe one minute or so)
Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla (usually McCormicks - not imitation)
Mix on almost high until smooth & mixed in (maybe half a minute)
Add 4 cups or 1 lb powdered sugar (I was using Domino's & sifting it because it was so lumpy. I have recently switched to the powdered sugar at WalMart because it's cheaper & seems to be much finer/smoother - I did sift this I think because I'm so used to sifting because of Domino's!)
I add one cup (approximately) at a time & mix until smooth/incorporated and then add another cup, and so on until it's all mixed it. Then take it out and stir it with a rubber spatula.
Ok - now here's the funky part - if I use this exact recipe (with these small amounts), it doesn't fill up my bowl at all BUT the icing usually comes out pretty smooth. IF I double the recipe, the icing doesn't fill the entire bowl, and it has more air bubbles in it then if I didn't double it?! It seems like the more amounts I put into the bowl, the more air bubbles I come out with? Or if I mix it on high, or mix it too long I get tons of air bubbles.
So whaddya think doc? LOL (Ok it's late & I'm getting tired & goofy!)