Spaghetti and Fresh Tomatoes

The tomatoes in the garden are still trying to set on and ripen. We’ve had just enough to enjoy fresh, including this favorite dish of mine, spaghetti and fresh tomatoes.

It is my side dish of choice when ever we do anything on the grill!

Spaghetti with Fresh Tomatoes

Peel 8 medium tomatoes. Chop, seed and drain.

Combine 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1 clove of garlic (crushed), 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley chopped, 1 tsp. basil, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 of a green pepper (chopped) and 16 black olives, sliced.

Add tomatoes and set aside at room temperature.

Cook 8 oz. of spaghetti according to directions. Drain and place in serving bowl. Add tomato mixture and toss. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

I’ve used whatever kind of pasta that I had on hand and it worked just fine! I like to cook a big bag of pasta (16 oz.) and divide it into two bowls. One bowl (for the kids) will get just Parmesan cheese and melted butter. The other bowl (for the adults) will get the tomato mixture!

It’s a fresh and delicious taste of summer!

Homemade Hot Pockets

Homemade Hot Pockets

Here’s a thrifty homemade version of a popular convenience food. It does take a few more minutes to prepare than the frozen variety, but it is still quick and easy.

Original Homemade Hot Pocket recipe:

Unroll 2 tubes of refrigerated crescent rolls and cut into 8 rectangles, sealing the perforations.

Brown 1 pound of ground meat. Stir in 1/3 cup of barbecue sauce, 1/4 tsp. onion powder, and 1/4 tsp. garlic powder.

Place a cheese slice on half of each rectangle. Divide the meat mixture between the 8 squares, placing it on top of the cheese.

Fold dough over the filling, pinching the edges to seal.

Mix together 1 egg white and 1 Tablespoon of water. Brush over each bundle and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Place on greased baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.

Super Thrifty Version and Substitutions:

I didn’t have 2 tubes of crescent rolls, so I used a batch of homemade crescent roll dough which only took a few minutes to make and cost me about a dollar to make. You could also substitute frozen bread dough or just plain refrigerated biscuits. Whatever is on sale would work just fine!

I used ground venison but you could also substitute any ground meat (turkey, chicken, sausage) or even do a variation with a little pizza or spaghetti sauce and pepperoni or Canadian bacon slices.

I didn’t have sesame seeds, so I omitted them.

Feel free to add other seasonings if you wish, or omit the ones in the recipe. You can use fresh onions and garlic if you want too, just brown them with the meat.

The Thrifty Idea for today is that the cheapest ingredients to use are the ones in your own pantry. Don’t be afraid to substitute in recipes! Be creative with what you have in your hands! You may be amazed at the results!