I'm not one to have 5 million kitchen gadgets, just to have them, and if I spend money on something, you better believe it's because I'm going to use it. My first few years of really getting into cooking, I came across a number of great recipes that I passed over because they utilized an immersion blender. But during my first round of Whole30, with the promise of homemade aioli, dressings and soups without dirtying my giant food processor every 5 minutes (I'm lazy, sue me), I finally caved. I'm so glad I did.
This puppy is my saving grace when it comes to ... well ... a LOT of things: mixing batters, salsa, aioli (more on that later), honey mustard, ranch, whipped cream, mashed potatoes, apple butters, soups, pesto, guacamole, smoothies ... the list goes on. It comes with a separate attachment specifically for small batch food processing and a whisk, so the sky is your limit.
The majority of the time, I blend my ingredients in the container I'm planning on storing it in, so the only clean up needed is a quick, hot rinse of the blade.