For all the clever tools you've bought for your kitchen, you can still find yourself waving your hands in the air and looking for the one that isn't within reach.
Here are some tips from Real Simple magazine's October issue about how to improvise, to find something to act as a stand-in before the chicken scalds or the caramel burns. It may even work better than what it's replacing. At least, it will get the job done.
- You need a biscuit cutter. You can use a 6-ounce tomato-paste can; remove top and bottom and wash inside well; dip the can in flour before each cut, to avoid sticking.
- You need a rolling pin. You can use a wine bottle (empty or unopened); sandwich your dough between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper to prevent sticking. Chill dough very briefly to firm it up.
- You need a milk frother. You can use a whisk and a saucepan. Heat milk in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat until it is frothy on top, and whisk rapidly to desired frothiness, about 1 minute, taking care not to scald it. Pour into coffee; serve immediately.
- You need a blender jar. You can use a quart-size mayonnaise or Mason jar; don't fill this replacement jar more than half-full, and avoid very hot liquids.