It happens to the best of us. Inspired by a love of fondue, lured by the convenience of rice cookers, we spend our hard-earned cash on an appliance. Never again will we eat pasta from a box!
And then… reality sets in. Despite our best intentions, we don’t make homemade waffles every weekend or prepare our packed lunches with our freshly-baked bread. The appliances gather dust in the back of the cabinet. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Several single-use appliances aren’t as impractical as they may seem. Click through to check out some other ways to use these oft-neglected appliances. Maybe that fondue pot will make its way onto the counter more than once a year!
See Also: What’s Your Serving Size IQ? (Quiz)
Electric fondue pots can easily double as a deep fryer. And an effective one, at that, because you can control the temperature without needing a thermometer. Really, you can use a fondue pot for anything you might make in boiled water on the stovetop.
Recipe: Vegetable Tempura
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup corn starch
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/3 cups cold water
- Vegetables, washed, peeled, and cut into chunks (try zucchini, asparagus, carrots, green beans, sweet potato — whatever you like!)
- Peanut oil for frying
1. In a large bowl, combine eggs and water.
2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, corn starch, baking soda, baking power, sugar, and salt. Stir dry mixture into wet mixture, until batter is slightly lumpy. Take care not to over-stir.
3. Pour peanut oil into fondue pot and heat to 350 degrees. Using a fondue skewer, coat vegetables in batter until it’s coated well — not dripping.
4. Carefully place vegetables into peanut oil and let fry for about 3-4 minutes, or until batter is golden brown and vegetables are softened.
Recipe Credit: Fabulous Foods
Other Ideas for Fondue Pots:
- Chips – Potato, tortilla, banana, you name it!
- Egg Rolls
- Asian Hot Pot
- Yogurt, if your electric fondue pot has a lot of heat settings.
Recipe: Waffle Calzones
- Pizza dough at room temperature
- 3 cups pizza sauce
- Shredded mozzarella
- Any desired toppings (note: simple is best, and overloading a calzone can lead to disaster!)
1. Preheat waffle maker to its highest heat.
2. Roll out pizza dough as thinly as possible. Separate into 8 inch rounds. Spread pizza sauce evenly onto dough, keeping about 1/2 an inch sauce-free around the edge. Place toppings (don’t over load it!) over sauce, and then sprinkle cheese over toppings. Rub water along the sauce-free edge with your finger. Fold in half, and carefully crimp the edges of the dough.
3. Carefully place calzone in the waffle maker. Gently shut the lid, but don’t press down or apply any pressure. Cook until the crust is golden brown. Remove from heat and let it cool for a few minutes before eating.
Recipe Adapted from: Rachel Ray
Other Ideas for Waffle Irons:
- French Toast
- Hash Browns
Even the hand-crank kind of pasta maker has other clever uses. In particular, avid bakers will especially get use out of a pasta maker.
Recipe: Whole Wheat Sesame Crackers
- 4 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups cool water
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt (plus more if you’d like to add some to the top of the crackers)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 6 tablespoons sesame seeds.
1. Put flour, water, oil, salt, and baking powder in food processor. Process for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture forms a ball.
2. Remove from food processor and let dough rest for 30 minutes-2 hours. You’ll want to cover it with a towel to prevent the dough from drying out.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
4. Divide dough into four equal portions. Lightly flour work surface. Roll out dough until it’s thin enough to place in the pasta maker. Run through pasta maker until it’s about 1/8 inch thick.
5. Sprinkle lightly with sesame seeds and flaky salt. Continue rolling out dough enough to embed the seeds and salt.
6. Cut into 2-inch-wide strips. Poke strips evenly several times with a fork.
7. Carefully pick each strip up and lay it down on a cookie sheet. Bake crackers for 15 minutes, or until they are browned and crisp. Though they will continue to crisp as they cool, if they don’t seem crispy enough you can put them in the oven for a few more minutes.
8. Let cool completely and break crackers up into your desired size.
If you’d like to store your homemade crackers, do so in an airtight container at room temperature. They’ll stay crisp for about two weeks.
Recipe adapted from D.I.Y. Delicious by Vanessa Barrington and Sara Remington.
Other Ways to Use a Pasta Maker:
- Pie Crusts
- Wonton Wrappers
- Homemade Phyllo Dough
Rice cookers are amazingly versatile. You can make other grains, like quinoa and amaranth in a rice cooker, along with a huge array of beans and lentils. They’re also a great appliance to use for steaming foods, like potstickers, dumplings, and tamales.
Other Dishes to Make in a Rice Cooker:
- Hot Cereals
- Hot Soups
The key here is to think beyond the loaf. Though bread machines are generally best for, well, dough, it is possible to make jams and chutneys — many models even have that setting built in! Use your bread machine to make things like:
- Pizza Dough
- Pasta Dough