Monday, March 26, 2012

5 Simple Uses for 5 Kitchen Utensils You Already Own

One of the things on my 2012 list this year is getting my kitchen together. I have been cooking in what is essentially a bachelor's kitchen for way too long. I spent a little time this week kind of looking though what I have and what needs replaced and what I do actually need to complete my mission.

There was actually surprisingly little that I can think of that I needed in the way of actual kitchen utensils. I have learned to adapt to having limited space and limited funds so I have had to be crative in the things that are my must haves for the kitchen. Some of the things I use my kitchen things for are not even kitchen activities.

So, I decided to share with you some of the alternative uses for you existing kitchen tools that you may not have thought of. Hopefully it will even help you be able to declutter your drawers just a little.

Ice Cream Scoop (two sizes works best):
  • Perfect for portioning. Doesn't matter if its making perfect cookies or portioning muffin batter into the cups, an ice cream scoop is generally all you need and no more trying to get them all even. Several different sizes are handy but one can do the job. For example, a larger scoop makes larger muffins.
  • Making seeding your garden a lot less time consuming. You can use your ice cream scoop to make perfect, evenly deep holes for your seeds.
  • Making bath bombs for yourself or as gifts. You can find a super easy "recipe" to make these relaxing treats HERE. 
  • Scraping out perfect little melon balls. This is great for a picnic or party and is super quick and easy.
  • Making meatballs. Perfect size, every time.

Pizza Cutter:
  • Cutting sandwiches quickly. This is really only helpful if you are making several at once. 
  • Cutting food up into baby or toddler sized bites. A few passes over just about anything you cook and its all chopped and ready for little hands. 
  • A quick and easy way to chop herbs or vegetables. 
  • Painting a perfect line in a corner. Use a smaller brush and just roll it up the corner as you drag the brush. Makes for a perfect, straight line, every time.
  • Creasing hems before sewing. Makes a sharp line and heats evenly.

  • Invert a metal colander over frying bacon or ham to prevent the splatter from covering your kitchen.
  • Draining bath toys. 
  • Keep produce fresh. Any kind of produce can be washed and stored in a colander in the fridge to prevent it from molding. I keep a basket of washed grapes and celery in the fridge where the boys can just grab a few for a snack.
  • Hand washing silverware. We have all done it and all been cut or poked by an errant knife. Just load all the silverware into the basket and dunk it in hot, soapy water. Then all you have to do is pull it out and rinse.
  • Floral frog. If you do very much flower arranging, you know what this is.

Coffee Maker:
  • Making iced tea. Just use three large tea bags and about 10 cups of water to brew and then mix with water (and sugar) to your taste.
  • Make noodles. Yes, you can cook noodles in your coffee maker. Just put the noodles in and run the water through. Let the noodles sit until they are cooked. 
  • Boiling hot dogs. This one takes a little longer but it still works just the same.
  • Cooking corn on the cobb. Put frozen or fresh ears half ears of corn in coffee pot, run water through the filter and cook until tender.
  • Cooking rice. Put 1/2 cup of instant rice per person in your coffee pot. Put the correct amount of water in and let it runt through. After the water is done, leave the pot on for about 5 minutes for the rice to fully cook.

Ice cube trays:
  • Portion and freeze yogurt for smoothies. Pop a couple cubes int he blender with some fruit and blend away.
  • Paint tray for crafts. Put a different color in each dip to save time.
  • Use as a cookie cutter. Place it upside down on rolled out cookie or biscuit dough for some square but equally delicious treats.
  • Sorting activity for kids. Give the kids a tray and different kinds or colors of just about anything and let them sort them. A perfect quiet time activity.
  • Make flavored ice cubes. You can freeze iced tea in them to keep your tea from getting watered down or you can use juice for a treat for the kids. 
How many of these have you used? Have you ever used one of your kitchen utensils for something clever?

*(All images courtesy of

Want to keep track?

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