Trouble With Toast

Hot foodie love | January 21, 2009

As I flew back to Atlanta yesterday, the pilot turned the plane in such a way that I could see the huddled masses on the National Mall.  I expected to have guilt about being in DC during inauguration weekend but not attending any inauguration-related events.  But, for the first time in my self-flaggelating Jewish life, there was no guilt.  Because, despite my lack of Obamamania (not because I don’t dig him, but because it was too damn cold for all of that mess), I had one kickass weekend.

There was too much awesomeness to recount here.  The highlights  included dinners at Proof and Ray’s Hell Burger (both to be detailed in future posts), beers with friends at Wonderland Ballroom, my first Pizzeria Paradiso experience, being a diva and having a dear friend bring me donuts to fight my wicked hangover, psychology at work at the Reef with three fascinating men, splurging at Denim Bar while strangers commented on my ass, and pounding beers while discussing the finer points of birthday cake with nuts (don’t ask).  The piece de resistance, however, had to be cooking with Lemmonex on a chilly Saturday night.

We batted around a lot of ideas for our tandem kitchen adventure, including pie crusts (shot down because of a too-small food processor) and sushi (shot down because the trek to Blacksalt would have been too long and too cold).  Then the perfect idea hit us–let’s balance out all of our shopping and expensive boozing by making a budget meal!  I was responsible for the appetizer, and Lem was in charge of the main course (which you can read about on Culinary Couture today).

I chose to prepare a multicultural starter, and I wanted to keep everything under $10.  As you can see, I didn’t quite hit that mark, but I still think that three types of bruschetta (which, all total, would serve at least 20 people) for under $20 is a success.  For the toast base, you can either buy them pre-made or just slice a baguette (make sure you have a serrated knife, though…ahem).  You may balk at these apps because they contain things like canned beans and frozen corn, but the fresh ingredients are so flavorful that you can keep costs down where it’s possible.  I really loved the Greek version (though I wish I had remembered to add fresh dill), but I think Lem’s favorite was the Mexican.  They were all pretty darn satisfying.

So, while I had to leave DC without getting spooned by the city’s hottest foodie, at least I left with these yummy bruschetta in my repertoire.  And Lem, I cannot WAIT until you come to Atlanta…the city won’t know what hit it.

“Around The World” Bruschetta

Traditional Italian: 2 slicing tomatoes (diced), 1 clove garlic (finely chopped).  Mix and spoon onto toast, then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Total cost: $4.89, plus tax.

Greek: 1 can garbanzo beans (drained and “rustically mashed”), 1 8 oz. container plain Greek yogurt, 1 cucumber (peeled and diced), salt and pepper to taste.  Mix and spoon onto toast, then drizzle with fresh lemon juice to taste.  Total cost: $5.52, plus tax.

Hot Mexican: About 1/2 can of black beans (drained), about 1/2 bag frozen yellow corn (cooked according to package directions and cooled), 1/2 red onion (diced), 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, salt and pepper to taste.  Mix and spoon onto toast, then cover with shredded pepper jack cheese and place under broiler until melted.  Total cost: $7.25, plus tax.




  1. Yes, the Mexican was my favorite as I cannot get enough black beans. They were all great, though.

    Miss you already, woman.

    Comment by Lemmonex — January 21, 2009 @ 3:07 pm

  2. […] to see if we could prepare a dish for less than ten dollars.  She took the appetizers…go check it out. This is what I came up with–it is inexpensive, filling, and tasty. Most of the ingredients […]

    Pingback by Cheap Trick « Culinary Couture — January 21, 2009 @ 3:09 pm

  3. I can’t believe I missed you this weekend! Next time, definitely… glad you had fun!

    Comment by LiLu — January 21, 2009 @ 5:58 pm

  4. Lem: Miss you too!!! Let’s book you a flight to Atlanta so I can start my own countdown.

    LiLu: Sorry I missed you too! Hope you had fun at the Ball, and we’ll definitely meet up next time.

    Comment by bettyjoan — January 21, 2009 @ 7:04 pm

  5. You guys had a great idea going. If I had to cook under $10 I think I would make some chicken salad. I could eat that stuff forever. But bruschetta was a great idea and I loved the garbonzo beans.

    Comment by Oxen Cox — January 22, 2009 @ 4:25 pm

  6. Your gone?!?! But you just got here!

    Come back soon, ya hear?

    Comment by freckledk — January 22, 2009 @ 5:53 pm

  7. Oxen: Thanks, and welcome! I love chicken salad, too, but I felt like I had to step it up a notch for Lem. 😉

    FK: I know, the weekend FLEW by! Glad I got to see you, if only for breakfast and Golden Globe judging.

    Comment by bettyjoan — January 22, 2009 @ 7:41 pm

  8. […] started the year in DC, eating my way through the city and making cheap and delicious food with Miss Lemmonex, and then I came home to be interviewed by the AJC.  In February, I perfected roasted chicken and […]

    Pingback by 2009 – Full Throttle, Full Circle « Trouble With Toast — December 29, 2009 @ 1:28 pm

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