Toddler Dinners: Ode to a Toaster Oven

All hail the toaster oven

I am not a huge person on kitchen gadgetry.  Yeah I like my Express 101 and my magic bullet but I don’t own anything from William Sonoma so I say I am pretty set. I do, however, love my toaster oven. We registered for the most fancy one at Bed Bath and Beyond for a wedding and it is by far the most used thing we have from that registry. It is Cuisinart and similar to this one. It touted being able to cook an entire chicken in there (I never have) but I have cooked quite a few things and use it at least once a day.

When it comes to toddler dinners, it rocks. I can whip up small versions of things without heating the house with the traditional oven. Not to mention I am getting a better outcome than the microwave. Even beyond just Landon’s food, we can make smaller serving sizes for us 3.

Because I love mine so much, I thought I would share the things I cook in it to make up quick,  tasty meals.

  • Traditional toasted things: toast, freezer waffles (I can make 4 at a time), cheese toast, toasted sandwiches
  • Freezer items with a crispy outcome: fish sticks, tater tots, chicken nuggets, french fries
  • Vegetables: roasted potatoes, roasted butternut squash, roasted brussel sprouts
  • Pastries: cinnamon rolls (in about 10 minutes), canned biscuits (5-7 min), crescent roles, apple bundles (wrap apple slices with crescent rolls with butter and cinnamon)
  • Baked chicken breasts. Brush with oil and garlic blend.
  • Small order of nachos
  • Keep pancakes and waffles warm while you keep making them
  • Mini pizzas with english muffins

Tips:

  • Always do a slightly lower oven temp and less time than a traditional oven.
  • Cover pan in aluminum foil for easier clean up. Also add cooking spray where appropriate.
  • Be conscience of the tray heights.  Don’t make biscuits on the top rack. The tops burn too fast. Cheese toast needs to be toasted at the higher rack. And so on.
  • I try and use the toaster oven to reheat a lot of meals. It leaves them more like the original and not rubbery.

So do you utilize your toaster oven like a boss? Any secrets? Tips?

Now for a few toddler dinners from our week:

 

 

 

Toddler Dinners is my weekly series of posts to explore the world of feeding munchkins. Each Monday I will post our previous week’s meals and a rating on how they went as well as discuss numerous issues we all face. Find out more hereAlso be sure to follow me along throughout the week with your creations on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #toddlerdinners.

2 Comments

  1. We have a convection oven, I love it! It’s my favorite thing in my kitchen. I put as much as I can in it as opposed to the oven and keep my kitchen from overheating. We make a lot of fish sticks, nuggets, pizzas etc. I also stick food in there to keep it hot while cooking the rest of a meal. LOVE LOVE IT!

  2. Well NOW I’m going to use my toaster oven like a BOSS! I have one…not as fancy as yours, but you’ve made me realize that I’m underusing it. Also, your kabobs with pretzels. I’m totally doing that this week for Abby. She’s getting finicky again. Oh toddler eating habits…how I loathe you!

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