When we first got married, I managed a weeks worth of shopping with less than twenty dollars. To this day, I can't quite fathom how we did it. It helped that my parents would occasionally send us packages of bulk produce. A friend worked at a chicken and dairy ranch and he would bring us expired products. But I still don't fathom it.
One dish I started making is one I found on the side of a bottle of Miracle Whip. We bought Miracle Whip because my husband scorns anything that is not Miracle Whip. I made the dish quite frequently for many years and then stopped. Every so often, my husband would ask for it. I never wrote the recipe down - it was one of those this and that sort of things. Recently, I decided to try writing it down and come up with the 'best' combination. This casserole tastes good cold too...I've had people who are visiting help themselves to the "ham salad" they found in the refrigerator and comment on how much they liked it.
M's Ham Casserole
1/2 tsp dill
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne
a couple cloves garlic
2 tsp basil
1 tsp tarragon
1 tsp thyme
1 1/2 cups milk or evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups miracle whip
2 cups shredded cheese
approx. 2 cups cubed cooked ham
1 pound of frozen mixed veggies (we prefer a mix with cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots)
1 pound cooked pasta
Mix the first eight ingredients to make a dressing or sauce. Toss the remaining four ingredients. Combine the dressing with the 'dry' ingredients. Place in a casserole dish or in the crock-pot. Add a little milk so that the bottom of the dish is just barely covered. If baking in the oven, cover the casserole. Bake in oven or crock-pot until hot and bubbly.