Remember that ancient hot-air popcorn popper sitting in your pantry? Ah, now you do. Dust it off and toast nuts in it, already. Place ¼ cup nuts in the popper and turn on the contraption for about 1 minute, until the nuts turn golden brown.
Ever try rehydrating dried mushrooms (or tomatoes or chilies) in water, and the darn things keep bobbing back to the surface? Luckily, you have a perfect way to keep their heads underwater. Place the food in the carafe of a French press coffee maker, fill the carafe partway with water, and depress the plunger a bit to keep the food submerged. Just make sure to choose a model with a glass carafe that will not retain flavors—something tells that “coffee with notes of mushroom” isn’t exactly what you’d enjoy.
Give your tortilla press a new life (or a life, period) by using it to flatten chicken breasts into cutlets. Start with small chicken breasts (3½ ounces or less) or cut a larger breast in half crosswise. Wrap the breast in plastic (to keep the press plates clean), place it between the plates, and press. Bonus points go to the cook who goes on to make homemade tortillas to accompany your newly flattened (and cooked) chicken.
Want to make the best lemonade ever? (Does Christopher Kimball appreciate a good bowtie?) Sprinkle sugar on sliced lemons and the mash them easily in your standing mixer. Place the sliced lemons and sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; turn the mixer to low and mix for about 45 seconds. (Longer mixing can mash the lemons too much and make the lemonade bitter.) To prevent splatters, drape a kitchen towel over the mixer. Transfer mashed lemons and juice to a pitcher and add water to taste—and presto, you’re in business.