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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 March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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