You can do so much more than butter a piece of bread. In fact, toast can be an actual meal if you make it the right way.

On this week's episode of "Things Cooks Know," hosts Sarah Karnasiewicz and Sarah Humphreys had a lot to say about toast. That's right, toast. Who knew that breakfast's simplest dish could be so versatile? Here, a few tips to take your plain piece of bread to the next level:

1. You need great bread to make great toast. Look for quality bread at the bakery or farmer's market, and make sure you buy a whole loaf. That way, you can slice it as thick or thin as you want.

2. Create your own toppings. While cream cheese is a classic topping, you can mix in your favorite flavors to make the spread even better. Try scallions or dill to spice up plain cream cheese, or give Greek yogurt or ricotta a try as a soft dairy spread.

3. Focus on the three S's: spread, slice, and sprinkle. The best way to turn toast into an actual meal is to layer your ingredients. You want a spread of something (like cheese or butter), a slice of something (like fruit), and a sprinkle of something (like chili powder or sesame seeds). Need some inspiration? See our 10 recipes for a plain piece of toast.  

For more toasting tips—and how to have a make-your-own-toast bar for your next party—listen to the full episode below. And don't forget to subscribe to all of our podcasts on iTunes!