Elation for the winner! Sorrow for the rest!

A big THANK YOU to everyone who entered their favorite cheapskate or depression era dinner for our contest!!  Reading through the entries was a practice of intrigue and occasionally horror, but we were absolutely delighted with each and every one.  If we had a Tina’s Dozen cookbooks (you know, an ambiguous number somewhere between 13 and 29) to send out to each one of you, we certainly would.  However, sadly, the Nice PR Lady only sent us one copy of Erin Chase‘s The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook, and so decisions had to be made.

I warned you that we would be picking the winner based purely on instinct, appetite and personal bias (none of that random selection business for the Choosy Beggars!) and so we have.  Perhaps it is because we’ve been watching too many disturbing beauty pageants on TV lately, but I feel a need to start with the runners-up.

Fourth Place:

Contestant # 1 Pat, with the peanut butter, pickle and jalapeno sandwich.  Pat, I lived a mostly vegetarian lifestyle for about 5 years.  I say, “mostly”, because I had several indiscretions throughout that period, all of them involving bacon.  My favorite hangover food, bar none, is a toasted peanut butter, pickle and bacon sandwich with hot pepper flakes and an occasional sweep of honey.  I know that several people reading this probably just harfed into their throat a little bit, but thems the breaks.

Third Place:

Contestant # 7 Tara, for chopped up hotdogs in KD.  You are truly a woman after Mike’s own heart, and 10 minutes after reading through the entries he was still staring out the window with a dreamy look in his eyes, mumbling, “Hot dogs……Kraft dinner……hot dogs…..”

Second Place:

Contestant # 8 Roger A. Blizzard, because I’m certain that my parents fed us a variation on that paprikash when we were children.  Also, I am both repulsed and delighted by the thought of using beef jerky in a casserole.  Truly.  It keeps spinning around in my brain, tempting me at times, until an army of Gummie Bears chases it out of sight.

First Runner Up:

Contestant # 11 Marcel, with his every day quiche.  Eggs are always in style as an economical source of protein with near endless variations on preparation and flavor.  I covet our rag-tag omelet dinners, and when I have a crowd for brunch there is almost guaranteed to be a quiche or frittata on the table.  If Marie Antoinette had been just a little bit further sighted, she totally would have said, “Let them eat quiche!”


Contestant # 14 Jen, with the French onion soup pasta.  This dish was a winner for two reasons, the first of which is that it is dirt cheap to make and yet feeds that need for soulful comfort food which still has sophisticated flavor.  The second reason is that whenever I roast a bird on a bed of onions et al, my favorite thing to do is take the caramelized onions which have been stewing in delicious poultry juices and turn them into a sauce for whole wheat penne or fussili. It’s the bees knees. Jen, please send your address to tina(at)choosy-beggars(dot)com to claim your prize!

Thank you again to every participant who took the time to leave us a comment!!  Now I’m off to buy a few cans of cream of mushroom soup and a big bag of pasta…..

  • http://www.lechefsblog.com Drew

    I can confirm that the french onion soup pasta is a big winner. I had everything to make it on hand when I read the post, so obviously I had to give it a shot. This dish delivers a warm dose of comfort in a bowl that is far and away greater than the sum of its parts. You won’t be disappointed!