Thanks to our itsy-bitsy, teeny-weenie 1928 kitchen, counter space is precious. Over the years we have reevaluated what we use in the kitchen and what we actually need. In fact, several years ago we got rid of our microwave (Gasp! How does one live without a microwave?!?), and recently donated our toaster. We now use our toaster oven for our rewarming and toasting needs.
Yes, ours is a larger toaster oven, similar in size to a microwave, but we can do more with it. Besides reheating food just about as quickly (and with better results, I think) as a microwave, and toasting bread, it can double as another oven for us. This is occasionally a necessity because of my insistence on using the stove featured in the picture. The upper right door is the oven, and only fits two pans, hence the occasional need for more oven space (I absolutely love this vintage stove. We got it for FREE. And it is so darling to look at – which is why I chose it for the featured image for this blog post, despite its supporting role in this tale).
Another benefit to a toaster oven is that even our kids can make fast, actual meals in it with little to no supervision. The following has become a great lunch for school and at home this past year.
Toaster oven Cheesy Bread
Butter bread on one side. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Top with desired cheese (we often use a co-jack). Toast until melty (we toast ours on the default 4). Careful – cheese is hot! Cut into slices and serve with a side of tomato/spaghetti/marinara sauce. Good both right from the oven and chilled in a lunch box.
*tip* We freeze unused sauce in silicone mini muffin pans similar to these. This makes the meal even more convenient, as the sauce is always available. They thaw quickly, too. Usually two 1/2 to 2/3 full mini muffin cups are good for a serving of 1 1/2 to 2 full slices of cheesy bread.
It is always nice to have a main dish like this on hand – convenient, fast, yummy, and the kids can make it, too – speaking from experience.