Four recipes that make the most of small kitchen appliances

I'm amazed that manufacturers can constantly find ways to make time-saving appliances save even more time. Take toaster ovens: it seemed miraculous enough when I was growing up that they could grill cheese sandwiches and bake potatoes; now they can roast beef tenderloins and broil fish, too. The convection fan in my new model circulates hot air, cutting cooking time by a third. Today's blenders have seemingly countless settings for tasks that go far beyond crushing ice for daiquiris. I use mine for everything from mixing quick-bread doughs to making cold soups, like the refreshing combination of cucumber, watercress and yogurt that follows; the blender makes it so smooth and frothy that I don't even have to strain it.