Today has been far too hectic. Here's a little timesaver that I just discovered while making a big pot of lentil stew with barley. (The temperature dropped way down in NY today and its definitely soup weather again.) I had pizza dough in the freezer that I wanted to defrost to make foccaccia or bread sticks to go with the stew but in the craziness of the day, I forgot to defrost it.
I greased a cookie sheet, put the blob of frozen dough in the center, covered it with a towel and placed the cookie sheet on top of the pot I was cooking the lentil stew in, leaving a space for the steam to vent from the pot. In other words, I used the cookie sheet as a pot lid. The results were wonderful. The dough defrosted in about 45 minutes while the soup was simmering.
A word of caution, if you try this make sure the towel is not hanging over the edge of the cookie sheet or use a pot lid instead of a towel.