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Romantic Meals for One: 5 Quick Toaster Oven Recipes

Romantic Meals for One: 5 Quick Toaster Oven Recipes

    Are you facing a Valentine’s Day alone? Feeling left out because the most romantic meals for the day are geared for, well…two?

    Well, if you are dining solo for the day and you have a toaster oven…never fear, we have some delicious treats you can cook up in flash. These are guaranteed tasty treats, and the bonus is there’s no leftovers to taunt you from the dark corners of the fridge the next day!

    1. Panko Crusted Salmon Fillet

    •  1 salmon fillet, approx 6 ounces
    • 2-3 Tablespoons panko crumbs
    • 1 teaspoon finely chopped chives
    • 1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley
    • Finely grated lemon zest of 1/2 lemon (optional)
    • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
    • salt and pepper

    Toaster oven setting: 425 degrees

    Salt and pepper both sides of the salmon fillet. Lightly grease the baking sheet for your toaster oven.

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    Place the salmon fillet on the baking sheet and brush with the mayonnaise, so the entire fillet is lightly coated.

    Mix the panko crumbs, chives, parsley, lemon and olive oil in a small bowl. Mix well and pat the crumbs evenly over the top of the salmon fillet.

    Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes until the salmon is medium-rare.

    Serve with a tossed green salad.

    2. Roasted Red Pepper and Zucchini Frittata

    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 cup finely julienned zucchini (about 1/2 small zucchini)
    • 2 Tablespoons finely sliced roasted red pepper
    • 1 small garlic clove, minced (optional)
    • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese (or 1 tablespoon grated)
    • 1/2 teaspoon herbs de provence (or thyme)
    • Pinch of salt and pepper

    Toaster oven setting: 400 degrees

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    Crack the eggs into a small bowl, mix well with a small whisk or a fork.

    Pour the mixture into an oiled small cast iron skillet (6” across), or a creme brulee dish.

    Bake for 8-10 minutes until the frittata is just set in the centre.

    3. Garlic Prawns

    • 1 dozen large prawns
    • 1 large clove garlic, minced
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • Freshly grated zest of 1/2 lemon

    Toaster oven setting: 450 degrees

    Peel and devein the prawns, if not done already.

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    Toss the prawns in a small bowl with the olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon zest and garlic. Let sit 30 minutes to allow the garlic to absorb the flavours. Place the prawns on the toaster oven baking sheet. Roast until pink and just beginning to firm up, about 5-6 minutes.

    Serve with roasted sweet potato and a tossed green salad.

    4. Roasted Sweet Potato

    • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2” dice (approximately 1 cup)
    • 1/2 small onion, cut into 1/2” dice (approx 1/4 cup)
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil

    Toaster oven setting: 400 degrees

    In a small bowl, toss the sweet potato with the onion, salt and pepper and olive oil.

    Place the sweet potato on the toaster oven baking sheet, and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the sweet potato is soft.

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    5. Fresh Berry Marscapone Gratinee

    • 1/2 cup fresh berries – slice strawberries, raspberries or
    • 1/4 cup marscapone cheese
    • 1-2 Tablespoons heavy cream
    • 1 Tablespoon Marsala wine (or brandy)
    • 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar (or light brown sugar)

    Toaster oven setting: Broil

    Arrange the fresh berries in a gratinee dish (or a shallow heat-proof bowl).

    In a small bowl, mix together the marscapone cheese with the heavy cream and Marsala until smooth and spoonable. Spoon the marscapone cheese mixture over the fresh berries, and sprinkle the turbinado sugar evenly over the top.

    Broil until lightly browned and bubbling on the top, about 2 minutes.

    Conclusion

    I suggest whipping a couple of these up, and enjoying over a good movie. My picks? Something along the lines of “Snatch”. Or if you are looking for a love story with a twist, try “Delicatessen”. (Just wait until after you’ve eaten to hit “play” on this one…)

    (Photo credit: A frozen pizza heats in the oven via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on August 20, 2018

    35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

    35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

    Every mature relationship has had a less-than-memorable anniversary. Maybe one of you forgot, or both of you got busy with work, kids, family issues, or something else. Whatever happened, the day came and went without fanfare. And neither of you seemed to notice or much care.

    But for the health of any relationship, it’s important to make important days feel special. Anniversaries offer the wonderful opportunity to relive beautiful memories, practice gratefulness for your partner, and to show your love and strengthen your bond. Make this year’s anniversary with your significant other something special  — one that will bring you closer together.

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    The best way to create a memorable anniversary is to do something new and different together as a couple. Stretch yourselves a bit.

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    While boredom can silently kill a relationship, new experiences reinforce the shared bond you already have and create strong new memories. Just think back to the most significant memories you have right now with your spouse and imagine what new ones you can create!

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    While you enjoy your chosen anniversary activity, be sure to keep a positive attitude and make your partner happy too on that day. Leave all arguments and day to day detail behind. Just celebrate your relationship. Whether you’re going to spend the day together at home, getting away, or having a wild and crazy new experience together, you can have your best anniversary yet!

    If You’re Staying In

    1. Spend an evening with no technology, just the two of you and maybe a board game. It’s hard to keep ourselves away from our computers and smartphones long enough to have a meaningful conversation. Make a rule not to use your tech and you’ll rekindle your relationship!
    2. Make wine or beer together. If you enjoy drinking together, this is a fun activity to try together. Just remember to buy the necessary equipment ahead of time.
    3. Learn something new about each other. With an open mind, try asking some of the New York Times’ 36 questions that lead to love. They’ll help spark intimacy and will lead to some really honest moments.
    4. Have a lazy day. Breakfasts in bed, spend all day in bed talking and napping. Follow breakfast with champagne and dessert! If you feel like getting more active, cook together or play some games. Here’re some simple breakfast ideas for you.
      • Learn to dance at home. This is best for those active couples who work out together and also enjoy learning something new together. Just go on Youtube to find any music with dance tutorials and learn together.
      • Visit model homes or open houses and plan your dream home.
      • Have a special dessert – champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. Having an unusual treat makes a day feel extra special. If you want to make the dessert really special, try these tasty dessert recipes.
      • Create a playlist of your favorite songs as a couple. Choose songs that tell your story, and songs that you bonded over throughout your relationships. Here’re some love songs ideas for your inspirations.
        • Write your love story. Write it together or ave each of you write your own and then bring them together in an interesting, both sides of the story format.
        • Get a fondue pot. Fondue is a fun way to enjoy melted cheeses (for savory items) and melted chocolate (for sweeter treats).
        • Decorate! Turn your home into a dressed-up french cottage, a sophisticated restaurant, or simply with flowers. The different ambience will immediately change the feel of your home and make it feel like a staycation.
          • Talk about the future together. It might sound simple and everyday, but imagining how you want to spend your retirement together, or planning future trips can be exciting and romantic.

          If You Want to Get Away

          1. Take a day trip together to your favorite spot. If you live in a city, it can be incredibly refreshing to get away for an afternoon and drink in the outdoors.
          2. Go on a scenic drive and stop at a wine and cheese bar. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have lots of options where you live, try a brewpub. There are tons of small craft breweries with fantastic food options too.
          3. Go camping. Relatively affordable and, if the weather’s right, beautiful and romantic.
            • Take an overnight backpacking trip. For the more adventurous couples, backpacking is an even more intense way to challenge yourself physically while becoming one with nature.
            • Take a wine tasting tour. If you live on the West Coast or in the Northeast, take a drive to the nearest winery. Many offer relatively inexpensive tastings and deals if you purchase a certain amount.
            • Take a scenic train trip. Taking the train means less stress traveling: nobody has to drive, you don’t have to stop for breaks every few hours, and you can sleep if you need to!
            • Save up for a destination vacation. What better time than your anniversary to enjoy the beach at a beautiful resort?
            • Explore a new city. Whether you’re on a budget or have a lot saved up, you can have a great time just exploring an unfamiliar town.
            • Rent a cabin for a weekend away, in the woods or next to a lake or ocean. If you like the outdoors but can only take so much nature, try glamping.
              • Go on a retreat. Yoga retreats, meditation retreats, beautiful natural surroundings … they’re all the rage. Search for centeredness and calm with your partner.
              • Spend a day at a food festival. Many cities have fun and affordable food festivals, occasionally based on a theme. Check out your town’s (or a nearby city) calendar for inspiration!

              New & Exciting Experiences

              1. Go spelunking. Dark, damp, and utterly exciting!
              2. Go on a hot air balloon ride. Because the basket is relatively small, this can be a romantic and deeply personal – and yet thrilling –
                experience.
                • Try sky diving. If you and you S.O. are real thrill-seekers, sky diving can really push you to the edge!
                • Explore the underwater world by snorkeling or scuba diving. This may take you far away from where you normally live and work, which is an added bonus.
                • Experience white water rafting.
                • Drive or hike to the highest spot nearby for a new view of the world. America has tons of beautiful mountains where challenging hikes (or drives) can deliver breathtaking views.
                • Take a craft or cooking class. Up your craft skills or food  making skills, and enjoy something new!
                  • Take a wine and painting class today. These classes are easily found these days and even a beginning painter can create a nice painting. Challenging but relaxing, fun, and you get to go home with some artwork!
                  • Learn to salsa dance. Dancing is a fantastic way to actively get closer and coordinate physically with one another.
                    • Visit a nearby festival you’ve always wanted to go to. Have fun and let go with fellow audience-members!
                    • Spend the day at an amusement park together. Laugh and carry on like teenagers.
                    • Meet new people! At a restaurant, concert, or class, make it a point to meet new friends. Striking up conversation with someone you don’t know – but with whom you have shared interests – can be an adventurous and rewarding experience.

                    Whether your budget is big or small, and whether you have a little or a ton of time together, focus on each other. There are tons of options, in terms of location, level of physical activity, and cost. You can make the day special in a way that’s right for you!

                    Featured photo credit: Photo by Taylor L. Spurgeon on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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