While I really enjoy browsing through Williams-Sonoma and looking at all of the lovely gadgets, gizmos, molds, pans and speciality items, the truth is that most basic kitchen tools and accessories will do the job of all of these fancy items. Do you really need a mallet to tenderize meat, a food grinder specifically for nuts or even cookie cutters? You might be surprised how common kitchen tools that you may already have can do the work of several other gadgets.
Take a look at what your tools can do and save both money and space in your kitchen.
Ice Cream Scoop
Not only can you use an ice cream scoop for its intended purpose, but you can put it to other uses as well.
I frequently use my ice cream scoop to measure and deliver muffin or cupcake batter into a muffin tin, scoop out melon and other soft fruit for easy serving and have even used it as a makeshift ladle for doling out small portions of soup, stews and deserts.
Oh my, the things you can do with a rolling pin. Besides rolling out pie crust or other dough, consider using it to flatten your chicken breast for quicker, more even cooking. It will give the chicken a more uniform thickness.
Place potato chips or cookies in a plastic bag and then roll your way to crumbs as needed for toppings or a pie crust. I use the rolling pin quite frequently to crush bran cereal for fresh raisin bran muffins.
Did you know that you can even grind nuts with a rolling pin? It is true. Use the rolling pin to whack and roll until you get the size of the pieces that you need for crumb toppings or in dips.
Toast fennel, cumin or other seeds and then once they are cool, whack them with the rolling pin. This will give you freshly crushed spices that are fragrant and flavorful.