Toaster Oven Parmesan Toasts

These are so simple it’s almost a joke. The benefit-to-effort ratio is heavily off balance here. They are so good. And with 4 ingredients and 5 minutes to the whole shebang, how can you go wrong?? I served these alongside this also-absurdly-easy — and luscious — garlic and mushroom soup and they were PERFECT. Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* 1 loaf French or Italian bread, sliced thin on a diagonal
* olive oil
* freshly grated Parmesan cheese
* pinch of salt
* optional: dried or fresh parsley

WHAT TO DO
Place your sliced bread on the tray of your toaster oven in a single layer. Brush each slice with olive oil, and then grate the Parmesan over the oiled bread. Sprinkle with just a pinch of salt and set for two cycles on the toaster function at a medium toasting level. You want golden and crispy, not browned and hard! That’s it! Sprinkle with some parsley if you like (or don’t!). Voila!

Made by Kid: Easiest-Ever Skillet Cornbread

cornbread5This is a very basic cornbread recipe. Nothing fancy – just straightforward, simple, and so so so tasty. I had every one of these ingredients in my pantry. And it’s ready in 30 minutes. AND.

The ONLY steps I handled in the preparation had to do with the oven – putting it in and taking it out. This is a PERFECT recipe for your tiny sous chefs! Also for you, but seriously, this is a great kid-friendly recipe. Anyway, it’s awesome, so here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* 1 stick of butter
* 1 1/2C milk
* 1 egg
* 1t salt
* 1 1/2t baking powder
* 1/4C sugar
* 1/2C all purpose flour
* 1 1/2C ground yellow cornmeal

WHAT TO DO
Preheat your oven to 425F.

Cut the butter down into quarters and reserve one. Put the other three quarters in a microwave-safe dish and melt in the microwave. Use the last quarter of the stick of butter to butter the living daylights out of your cast iron skillet (if you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can use another oven-safe skillet with a flat bottom and high sides).

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Put all of the ingredients into the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix on the lowest speed for about 20 seconds, then on a medium speed for 20 seconds.

Pour the mixture into your buttered skillet.

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Bake 25 minutes at 425.

Allow to cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

5 Ingredients: Easiest Ever Garlic Bread

You just drooled, right? Because, well, garlic bread. It’s the best. It’s got garlic, it’s got bread. Easy win. There are lots of ways to make garlic bread, and plenty of variations as far as butter vs. oil, herbs, and such. But sometimes you just don’t have the luxury of a leisurely dinner prep, so you need a quick fix. Even for the quick fix, I prefer to make it myself as much as possible. So I give you the quickest, easiest, crowd-pleasing garlic bread ever. Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEEDgarbread3
* 1 loaf French or Italian bread (you can make mini individual versions with smaller rolls)
* butter (I like to use unsalted Irish butter)
* garlic powder
* chopped fresh or dried parsley
* grated Parmesan cheese

WHAT TO DO
Preheat the oven. I usually already have something else going in the oven, like veggies for roasting, so whatever temp you’re cooking at is fine. But if this is the only thing going in, preheat to 375 or 400F.

Slice your bread in half. Place a few pats of butter on each half, and spread it out – you don’t need to cover the bread with butter completely, and you don’t want a thick layer. Sprinkle a generous amount of garlic powder over one half of the bread, sprinkle parsley over that, and finally sprinkle Parmesan on top. Place the other half of the bread back on top, and wrap the loaf in tin foil.

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Place the foil-wrapped loaf in the preheated oven and cook as long as you have left on your dinner prep, or up to 20 minutes or so. Slice and serve!

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Food for Thought: When it All Falls Apart

What’s your go-to, easy, throw-together quick dinner? You know what I’m talking about. When plans fall apart. You can’t leave work on time; the grocery store is out of the one ingredient you need but didn’t pick up ahead of time; someone gets sick; you burn it; it doesn’t work out for whatever hundred possible reasons… what do you do? Do you order in? Go out? Do you go all Chopped-style and make it work with the five random ingredients you do have? What’s your go to when it all falls apart?

Maybe you see where I’m going with this… because this is what happened tonight. I had planned to pick up a few things on the way to the train after work, but I left work late (it’s been a week… it’s been a… first month of the year, amiright?) and I knew I didn’t have time to stop – I was in the thick of rush hour and I was already going to be standing smashed into someone’s giant backpack and under someone else’s armpit. I just had to hold my breath and get home. Aaaaaanyway, long story short, clearly tonight was going to have to be a make-it-work moment. So I made peace with bumping my planned meal to next week and thought about my go-to on such occasions.

Mine’s an omelet sandwich. Quick, filling, hearty, healthy, and so so good. A little schmear of mayo, a little schmear of fresh avocado, and an omelet filled with whatever’s available (even if sometimes that’s just cheese and seasonings). So please tell me – what’s your go-to when all plans fall through?

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