Place your plates on top of the toaster oven while you’re cooking something inside. The radiating heat warms them right up and delivers your food to the table still hot.
If your kitchen lacks a stove and you’re wary of a hot plate, here’s how to use a microwave to poach eggs. Add 1½ cups of water, 2 teaspoons of white vinegar, and ¼ teaspoon of table salt to a 2-cup liquid measuring cup and microwave the mixture on high until it reaches a rolling boil. Stirring the mixture in a circular motion, slip in an egg and continue to gently stir for 3 seconds. Cover the measuring cup with plastic wrap or a plate and let the egg stand for 4 minutes before removing with a slotted spoon.
Instead of using a large coffee maker to brew a single serving of coffee, save precious space and time by using a funnel for a pour-over cup. Fit an appropriately sized plastic funnel over a mug and place a cone-shaped filter inside the funnel. Fill it with the desired amount of ground coffee (the test kitchen prefers 2 tablespoons of coffee for 6 ounces of water). Pour just-boiling water into the funnel and let the coffee “brew” into the mug.
Save time and money by replicating those commercial packets of instant oatmeal. Measure the dry ingredients for one serving of oatmeal into a sandwich-size zipper- lock bag; we like ½ cup quick-cooking (or 1-minute) oats, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, a pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon dried fruit. Repeat with as many bags as you like. When it’s time for breakfast, empty the contents of a bag into a bowl and add ⅔ cup boiling water. Stir, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit for 5 minutes. Uncover and stir again, and your “instant” oatmeal is ready.
Grilled hot dog buns are a frankfurter must, but if you have neither outdoor space nor a grill, use a toaster. Let the buns lie on top of the slots, then flip them over.