When improvising in the kitchen, I like to "eyeball" measurements, as Rachael Ray would say. But if there's one scenario when I like to be exact, it's baking. While I'm rolling out dough for anything from tarts to pizza to shortcakes, I prefer to be precise, because variations in size can have a significant impact on baking time. That's why I always keep a ruler handy — so for instance, I can be sure that my breakfast tart is exactly 10 inches by eight inches, like it should be.

I shelled out an extra dollar on a designated kitchen ruler so it's always at arm's length when I'm up to my elbows in flour and isn't covered with anything questionable, like miscellaneous pen marks. Do you keep a ruler in the kitchen? What other measures do you take (no pun intended) to ensure that your baked goods come out right?