bruschettaRight before my boyfriend moved into his new apartment, I accidentally set his toaster oven on fire.
I was broiling strips of fake bacon, otherwise known as “fakon” (or “facon”), and due to my Asian thriftiness, I used an old foil sheet I hadn’t changed for quite some time. As a result, previous residing oils and fats caused my fakon to become extremely flammable, and halfway through a conversation with my best friend Jenny, I turned around only to notice the inside of the toaster oven engorged in crackling flames.

While I panicked and shrieked uselessly, Jenny filled a basin with water and put out the fire. I learned something very important that day: toaster ovens can bring friends together!

Here’s a recipe below for tomato, olive and mozzarella bruschetta, that you can try this week. It’s a nice ‘faux posh’ recipe as it calls for the most ordinary ingredients to produce a very sophisticated outcome. You and your friends can host a classy night while spending very little money — unless, of course, you have to replace an appliance.

On a serious note though, please don’t forget to change the foil inside the toaster oven, especially if the previous food item had oils.

(Needless to say, I did buy my boyfriend a new toaster oven for his housewarming gift when he moved, and I’m proud to say that I’ve been toaster-oven-fire-free since August!)


Trader Joe’s Mini Toasts
olives and/or fresh basil
olive oil

toaster oven
new foil sheet

Serves: a party!

1. Place a new foil sheet in the oven tray.
2. Place Trader Joe’s Mini Toasts on top. You can also substitute with normal slices of bread. Just cut or tear them into bite-sized pieces.
3. Place mozzarella on top. I like using shredded cheese for ease, but since mozzarella has a very low melting point (meaning it melts very easily with little heat), you can use any type you have available — even string cheese if you want.
4. Cut up tomato slices to add on top.  I like using pearl on vine tomatoes because they’re small and fresh and the slices fit perfectly on top of the mini toasts.
5. Add olives to top it off. Cut them in half if necessary. Substitute or add fresh basil if you have it.
6. Slide into the toaster oven and set to broil for five minutes.
7. After it’s done, take them out and dab a smattering of olive oil on top.
8. Share and eat!

Photo by Bonnie He

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