Cucumber Sandwiches
Cucumber Sandwiches
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These can be a light lunch or served as an appetizer. These sound delicious! Simple ingredients and very common to find. On my to make list. Keep in mind, an electric mixer is not required for this, you can easily mix this by hand, just follow the instructions if you do not have an electric mixer.
Servings Prep Time
30 appetizers 20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
30 appetizers 20 minutes
Cucumber Sandwiches
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These can be a light lunch or served as an appetizer. These sound delicious! Simple ingredients and very common to find. On my to make list. Keep in mind, an electric mixer is not required for this, you can easily mix this by hand, just follow the instructions if you do not have an electric mixer.
Servings Prep Time
30 appetizers 20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
30 appetizers 20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: appetizers
Instructions
Using an Electric Mixer
  1. In a mixing bowl, add the room temperature cream cheese and mayo, and mix until smooth.
NOT Using an Electric Mixer (my preferred way)
  1. In a mixing bowl, add the room temperature cream cheese, mash with a potato masher, yes, I know this sounds weird, just go with it, it works. When the cream cheese is mashed well, now you can use a heavy spoon to mix in the mayo. See, wasn't that easy?
Continuing on...
  1. When the cream cheese and mayo is a nice smooth mixture, stir in the dill, chives, and garlic powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper as desired.
  2. For the cucumber, skin on or off is your choice, some like skin on for the color, some like it off. An alternative is the peel strips off, so the cucumber is in strips before peeling, totally up to you.
  3. Slice the cucumber thinly, the use of a mandolin is highly recommended.
  4. Lay out the bread slices and cut off the crusts, makes for a very nice presentation when served as appetizers. Spread the cream cheese mixture on each slice of bread.
  5. Top half of the slices with a good layer of the cucumber slices, overlapping them the slices.
  6. Place the remaining slices on top, cream cheese spread side down. Slice each into 3 sections. If you want to make smaller appetizers, slice in 3 sections then cut all three in half to make 6 tiny sandwiches. You may want to use toothpicks inserted in the centers of the smaller ones to keep them together.
  7. Serve and enjoy.
Recipe Notes

The cream cheese will cost about 150 Baht/250 grams. This recipe makes a lot of appetizers so I will say this is overall, low cost.

Inspired by Spend With Pennies and the link to this recipe is here.
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Hamburger Helper Shortcuts
Hamburger Helper Shortcuts
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I grew up on Hamburger Helper, and many times the hamburger (hamburger meat for all my friends in the deep south of the US) was substituted with ground venison. My early years in the Navy, my wife and I made Hamburger Helper to stretch those dollars between paydays. This is basically hamburger, pasta (maybe potatoes), spices, milk, and water, and a load of preservatives. So I did a bit of research on the internet and found a site that replicated all of the dishes available. The basic instruction is brown the ground beef and drain, then add in the ingredients for each version you wish then simmer. Enjoy. Links to the shortcut are listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings
4 servings
Servings
4 servings
Hamburger Helper Shortcuts
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I grew up on Hamburger Helper, and many times the hamburger (hamburger meat for all my friends in the deep south of the US) was substituted with ground venison. My early years in the Navy, my wife and I made Hamburger Helper to stretch those dollars between paydays. This is basically hamburger, pasta (maybe potatoes), spices, milk, and water, and a load of preservatives. So I did a bit of research on the internet and found a site that replicated all of the dishes available. The basic instruction is brown the ground beef and drain, then add in the ingredients for each version you wish then simmer. Enjoy. Links to the shortcut are listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings
4 servings
Servings
4 servings
Ingredients
Chili Mac
Lasagna
Cheesy Beef Taco
Beef Stroganoff
Potato Stroganoff
Salisbury
Cheesy Italian Shells
Cheesy Jambalaya
Servings: servings
Instructions
Chili Mac
  1. In a large non stick pan, brown the ground beef and drain off any fat.
  2. Add the remaining items except the cheese. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until the macaroni is tender.
  3. Stir in the cheese and when it is melted in, serve and enjoy.
Lasagna
  1. In a large non stick pan, brown the ground beef and drain off any fat.
  2. Add the remaining items except the two cheeses. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until the egg noodles or lasagna noodles are tender.
  3. Stir in the Mozzarella cheese and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on the top. Cover for 5 minutes to let the Mozzarella melt in, serve and enjoy.
Cheesy Beef Taco
  1. In a large non stick pan, brown the ground beef and drain off any fat.
  2. Add the remaining items except the cheese and Fritos. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until the rice is tender.
  3. Stir in 1 cup of the Cheddar cheese, sprinkle the remaining cheese on the top then the Fritos, Cover and let sit for 5 minutes, serve and enjoy.
Beef Stroganoff
  1. In a large non stick pan, brown the ground beef and drain off any fat.
  2. Add the remaining items. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until the egg noodles are tender. Serve and enjoy.
Potato Stroganoff
  1. In a large non stick pan, brown the ground beef and drain off any fat.
  2. Add the remaining items. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until the potatoes are tender. Serve and enjoy.
Salisbury
  1. In a large non stick pan, brown the ground beef and drain off any fat.
  2. Add the remaining items. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until the egg noodles are tender. Serve and enjoy.
Cheesy Italian Shells
  1. In a large non stick pan, brown the ground beef and drain off any fat.
  2. Add the remaining items except the cheese. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until the pasta shells are tender.
  3. Stir in the Cheddar cheese and cook for another 5 minutes or so to let the cheese melt in, serve and enjoy.
Cheesy Jambalaya
  1. In a large non stick pan, brown the ground beef and drain off any fat.
  2. Add the remaining items except the cheese. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until the rice is tender.
  3. Stir in the Cheddar cheese and cover for another 5 minutes or so to let the cheese melt in, serve and enjoy.
Recipe Notes

Low cost.

Shortcuts: Italian Seasoning, Sour Cream.

Notes: 1. If using true Thai chili powder, cut the amount back by 1/3 to 1/2 as it is quite hotter than chili powder in the US. 2. The salt and sugar are OPTIONAL! I have made several of these and you can certainly leave out the sugar. Salt is used in the boxed version of this much the way McDonald's uses salt, sugar is used in the box version much the way cereals in the US are made, to get you to not like the meal, but love the meal, and buy more. When I make these, I do not add sugar, but I do add salt, a touch less than what is stated.

Adapted from an internet recipe.

Spaghetti Salad
Spaghetti Salad
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This comes from a good friend and sounds very nice, I love a good pasta salad and this seems to be on par with that. This is a make with what you want, think left overs or cleaning out the fridge, no measurements are given for the ingredients. Links to the shortcuts are listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Prep Time
10 minutes
Passive Time
2-3 hours
Prep Time
10 minutes
Passive Time
2-3 hours
Spaghetti Salad
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This comes from a good friend and sounds very nice, I love a good pasta salad and this seems to be on par with that. This is a make with what you want, think left overs or cleaning out the fridge, no measurements are given for the ingredients. Links to the shortcuts are listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Prep Time
10 minutes
Passive Time
2-3 hours
Prep Time
10 minutes
Passive Time
2-3 hours
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Mix everything together in a mixing bowl, use amounts of items based on how much spaghetti you are using, and dress with the Italian dressing and Ranch mix to taste, add cheese, and seasonings to taste.
  2. Cover and place in the fridge for 2-3 hours before serving as a side with any dish.
Recipe Notes

Low cost.

Shortcuts: Italian Dressing, Ranch Dressing Mix.

Recipe and photo provided by a friend, Joeann Lafferty, and her recipe is here.
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Crab Rangoon Ravioli
Crab Rangoon Ravioli
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No, this is not a crab and cream cheese wonton in a ravioli, how odd would that be? Think of Crab Rangoon filling in a ravioli, how awesome does that sound?
Servings Prep Time
20-22 ravioli 20 minutes
Cook Time
5-10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
20-22 ravioli 20 minutes
Cook Time
5-10 minutes
Crab Rangoon Ravioli
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No, this is not a crab and cream cheese wonton in a ravioli, how odd would that be? Think of Crab Rangoon filling in a ravioli, how awesome does that sound?
Servings Prep Time
20-22 ravioli 20 minutes
Cook Time
5-10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
20-22 ravioli 20 minutes
Cook Time
5-10 minutes
Ingredients
For the Filling
For the Egg Pasta Dough
Servings: ravioli
Instructions
For the Egg Pasta Dough
  1. In a large bowl, add the flour and mix in the salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and crack in the eggs. Use your fingers to slowly mix the eggs and flour together until it forms a ball, it will come together. Knead the dough for just a few minutes, adding flour if it starts to get sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge while you prep the filling.
For the Filling
  1. For the crab, you can use canned (drained), fresh picked, or even imitation. If using imitation, just cut each crab stick into 1/4 inch pieces and use your hands to break them apart, very easy and will be the first way I prepare this.
  2. Mix up the filling in a bowl, room temp, you want the filling to be good and soft as you are going fill some raviolis with this. Cover and set the filling aside.
To Assemble the Ravioli
  1. Feel free to make your ravioli in squares, rounds, or half moons, your preference. For this recipe, I will use a 3 inch dumpling press.
  2. Take your dough from fridge and cut into quarters. Using 1 piece of dough, flour a a work surface and roll out the dough with a rolling pin, get it as thin as you can.
  3. When the dough is rolled out, cut circles just a bit larger than the press.
  4. Take a circle and flip it over and place on the press, push down in the center to fit the press, then press along the edges to make sure dough it tight on the press.
  5. Take about a teaspoon of filling and place in the center of the press. Use a brush and brush one side of the edge of the press with water.
  6. Fold the press in half and squeeze to crimp the edge, any of the dough that comes out from the press, just scrape off with a knife. Open the press and remove the ravioli and place on a lightly floured plate.
  7. Take the leftover dough, form into a ball, roll out and repeat the steps. I used 2 pieces of dough from the original ball and made 15 ravioli.
To Cook and Serve
  1. Use any sauce you like, prepare your sauce or used jarred, your preference. A tomato pasta sauce, or an Alfredo sauce.
  2. When your sauce is simmering, go ahead and cook the ravioli.
  3. Heat a pot of salted water to boiling. Add some ravioli using a slotted spoon without over crowding the pot, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon to a plate.
  4. Ladle on your sauce, and enjoy.
Recipe Notes

The Cream cheese will cost about 60 Baht/125 grams. The imitation crab will cost about 50 Baht/140 grams. (When I buy fresh crab, I will price this once I pick 140 grams.) Figure 3 servings, this is about $1.08 per serving.

Inspired by a conversation with Spend With Pennies and the link to the Crab Rangoon recipe is here.
United States.

Crab Rangoon Grilled Sandwich
Crab Rangoon Grilled Sandwich
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No, this is not a sandwich with the crab and cream cheese wontons grilled between bread, think of the filling grilled between bread 😉 These are delicious!
Servings Prep Time
2-3 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-3 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Crab Rangoon Grilled Sandwich
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No, this is not a sandwich with the crab and cream cheese wontons grilled between bread, think of the filling grilled between bread 😉 These are delicious!
Servings Prep Time
2-3 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-3 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. For the crab, you can use canned (drained), fresh picked, or even imitation. If using imitation, just cut each crab stick into 1/4 inch pieces and use your hands to break them apart, very easy and will be the first way I prepare this.
  2. Mix up the filling in a bowl, room temp, you want the filling to be good and soft as you are going to spread this after the first slice of bread is in the pan. Heat a non stick pan on medium low or low heat.
  3. Spread some mayo on two slices of bread, place one slice, mayo side down on parchment paper, spread some filling on that slice, be generous, then top with the second slice of bread, mayo side up. Place in the hot pan.
  4. When the bottom is golden brown, flip and cook the other side until golden brown.
  5. Remove from pan, cut in half from corner to corner, or best you can with homemade bread, serve.
  6. Repeat for additional sandwiches.
  7. Serve and enjoy.
Recipe Notes

The Cream cheese will cost about 60 Baht/125 grams. The imitation crab will cost about 50 Baht/140 grams. (When I buy fresh crab, I will price this once I pick 140 grams.) Figure 3 servings, this is about $1.08 per serving.

Inspired by a conversation with Spend With Pennies and the link to the Crab Rangoon recipe is here.
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Cream of Carrot Soup
Cream of Carrot Soup
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This original recipe comes from a good friend, and it sounds delicious. On my to cook list for sure.
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
20-30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
20-30 minutes
Cream of Carrot Soup
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This original recipe comes from a good friend, and it sounds delicious. On my to cook list for sure.
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
20-30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
20-30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Add the stock to large pot and add the carrots, bring to a simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. When the carrots are good and tender, use an immersion blender to blend up the carrots, or as I will do, use a potato masher for a good work out 😉
  3. Then stir in the cream, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and the cheese and simmer to melt in the cheese.
  4. When the cheese is melted in fully, serve and garnish with fresh grated or shredded Parmesan.
Recipe Notes

Low cost.

Original recipe, and photo, provided courtesy of good friend, Mary Weinberger. Original recipe is here.
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Crab Rangoon
Crab Rangoon
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To clear things up, this is not Chinese in origin, this is American, but does sound really good, as I love Cream cheese and crab, but I will use imitation crab for starters, easier to get and lower cost.
Servings Prep Time
18-20 wontons 15 minutes
Cook Time
3 minutes
Servings Prep Time
18-20 wontons 15 minutes
Cook Time
3 minutes
Crab Rangoon
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To clear things up, this is not Chinese in origin, this is American, but does sound really good, as I love Cream cheese and crab, but I will use imitation crab for starters, easier to get and lower cost.
Servings Prep Time
18-20 wontons 15 minutes
Cook Time
3 minutes
Servings Prep Time
18-20 wontons 15 minutes
Cook Time
3 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: wontons
Instructions
  1. For the crab, you can use canned (drained), fresh picked, or even imitation. If using imitation, just cut each crab stick into 1/4 inch pieces and use your hands to break them apart, very easy and will be the first way I prepare this.
  2. In a small bowl, add the Cream cheese, crab, spring onion, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix until combined.
  3. Lay out a wonton wrapper, place about 1 teaspoon of filling in the center. Base this on the size of your wontons. The wrappers I use are about 3 inches on each side.
  4. Wet your finger in a small bowl of water and run it across the 4 edges, need to dip your finger in water a few times doing this.
  5. Now, pull up two opposite corners and press them together to seal the top,
  6. Now bring up the other two corners and seal them at the top and press together the 4 seams to seal them as well. Place the wonton on a sheet of parchment.
  7. Repeat for the remaining wontons.
To Deep Fry
  1. Heat about 1 to 1 1/2 inches of cooking oil in a large deep pan or a heavy pot. You want the oil hot but not smoking. Your preference on the oil, rice bran oil would be a good choice.
  2. Carefully place the wontons in the hot oil and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, do not overload the pan, until nice and golden brown. Remove wontons to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining wontons. My wife is cooking the wontons on the left, I am cooking some fish on the right.
To Bake
  1. Preheat your oven to 220 C (425 F)
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. and arrange wontons in an orderly fashion. Spray with cooking oil, a oil mister would be perfect for this, for folks in the US, feel free to use a cooking spray of your choice.
  3. Another option is to lightly, and I mean lightly, brush each wonton with oil. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Keep in mind baked will not be as crispy as the deep fried, but just as good in flavor.
  4. Serve with dipping sauces of your choice.
  5. I served these as a side with some fish and long beans I cooked.
Recipe Notes

The Cream cheese will cost about 60 Baht/125 grams. The imitation crab will cost about 50 Baht/140 grams. (When I buy fresh crab, I will price this once I pick 140 grams.) Figure 6 servings (3 each 6 people for appetizers), this is about 54 cents per serving.

Inspired by Spend With Pennies and the link to this recipe is here.
United States.

Basic Chili II
Basic Chili II
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This is a revision to my basic, yet delicious chili, that I have been making for 40+ years. I received a chili mix packet from a good friend in Texas, and I used that spice mix to make a pot of chili yesterday, 2 Feb 2018. The taste is nearly spot on with my basic chili but some of the steps are a bit different so I decided to post a second Basic Chili. I also used red kidney beans I cooked in a pressure cooker to reduce the time. Link to the shortcut is listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 1 hour
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 1 hour
Cook Time
1 hour
Basic Chili II
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This is a revision to my basic, yet delicious chili, that I have been making for 40+ years. I received a chili mix packet from a good friend in Texas, and I used that spice mix to make a pot of chili yesterday, 2 Feb 2018. The taste is nearly spot on with my basic chili but some of the steps are a bit different so I decided to post a second Basic Chili. I also used red kidney beans I cooked in a pressure cooker to reduce the time. Link to the shortcut is listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 1 hour
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 1 hour
Cook Time
1 hour
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. For the beans, you can use canned (drained), make from dry by soaking and simmering, or by soaking and using a pressure cooker. If using dry, use 500 grams dry.
  2. In a large pot, add the minced pork or ground beef and chop up with a spatula and brown. Drain off most, not all of the fat, the fat adds flavoring. Pork is just starting to cook at this point.
  3. Add the beans, these were right out of the pressure cooker and drained.
  4. Add the tomatoes and juice, tomato paste, water, spices and mix. Let chili simmer for about 30 minutes.
  5. Serve.
Recipe Notes

Pork mince is about 85 Baht/kilo. For 6 servings, this is about 42 cents per serving.

Shortcut: Kidney Beans (Pressure Cooker).

Inspired by a packaged chili mix.

Roasted Cauliflower
Roasted Cauliflower
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This sounds extremely good, the head is baked whole, not in pieces like other recipes. Link to the shortcut is listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings as a side 20 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings as a side 20 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Roasted Cauliflower
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This sounds extremely good, the head is baked whole, not in pieces like other recipes. Link to the shortcut is listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings as a side 20 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings as a side 20 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings as a side
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 200 C (400 F).
  2. Trim the leaves and stem so the cauliflower sits upright when placed stem down. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, leaving the oven on, and remove from the foil and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
  3. Whisk together the olive oil, mustard, cheese, parsley, pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl. If using unseasoned breadcrumbs, add a pinch of salt as well.
  4. Place the cauliflower on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, rub the mixture all over the surface of the cauliflower then sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.
  5. Return to the oven and bake for another 30 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
  6. Remove from the oven and slice like a pie to serve.
Recipe Notes

Low cost.

Shortcut: Breadcrumbs.

Adapted from an internet recipe.

Make Ahead Greek Pasta Salad
Make Ahead Greek Pasta Salad
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This is a make the day before you serve salad, or at a minimum, prepare in the morning for serving with the evening meal, the flavors need time to blend. I made this on 26 Dec 2017, tasted 6 hours later for dinner, outstanding, very well liked by my Thai wife as well.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Make Ahead Greek Pasta Salad
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This is a make the day before you serve salad, or at a minimum, prepare in the morning for serving with the evening meal, the flavors need time to blend. I made this on 26 Dec 2017, tasted 6 hours later for dinner, outstanding, very well liked by my Thai wife as well.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
For the Salad
For the Dressing
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Heat a pot of salted water to boiling, add the pasta and cook until tender, drain well.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, mix together the Dressing ingredients in a good sized mixing bowl.
  3. After the pasta is well drained and cooled a bit, add it to the dressing along with the rest of the Salad ingredients except the cheese. Toss well to coat everything.
  4. Now add the cheese and fold that, then cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  5. Serve as a side, or in my opinion, as a main dish as that is what I will probably do.
Recipe Notes

I cannot price pepperoni at this time, I used a 150 gram pack of smoked ham for 90 Baht. For the Feta, that is 150 Baht for 275 grams, use half the package (75 Baht), cut the block in half and crumble that for right about a cup. Based on the Feta and smoked ham, for 4 servings, this is about $1.22 per serving.

Variants: 1. In place of pepperoni, use thin sliced smoked ham. 2. Use what you have, like a whole bell pepper instead of cup, or a package of pepperoni or smoked ham, like a cup or so, etc.

Adapted from an internet recipe.