Lifestyle Fashion

Let me help you beat the recession

February 2008, we put our house up for sale, because my husband lost his job. Trying to sell the house was at that time very difficult. We did everything that was necessary, including having open houses with yellow flowers everywhere, but nothing happened, except for an offer from a person, who was a butcher in real life and was willing to see blood in the market real estate. Believe me, he wanted to see our blood: he waited, put an offer on the table, waited, withdrew the offer and put a new one, lower than the previous one on the table about 6-8 weeks.
It was a real hell, and at the end of the fall we decided to close the house, move to Mexico with our things.
With much less money in our pockets and bank accounts, we rented a nice and affordable house in Monterrey, Mexico.

As a chef and a great food lover, I was inspired by the small street carts, the shacks that serve tacos and tortillas for $1 per meal and the small restaurants that serve a buffet with meat, vegetables and fruits for $4 per person. .
When you think about it, for the past few decades we’ve been spoiled for meat every day, going out to dinner at least once a week, and buying ready meals because we’re too lazy to cook.

During my travels, I have talked to people and asked them what they ate. The responses were shocking. A mother with 3 daughters told me that she never cooked. How the hell would those 3 girls learn to cook? An older couple had never eaten at home for 15 years. The husband joked that the reason was his wife didn’t know how to cook, but how boring it is to have breakfast at Denny’s every morning and Olive Garden or Red Lobster every night. Understand me, I eat there from time to time, when I travel, but eating at home family style is something I’m a big supporter of.

For me, the family style is: sitting at the table, eating, chatting, talking about everyday things. Especially when money is tight, some family members may experience anxiety. Talking about it, or just being there for each other over a nice home cooked meal works wonders. Traditional American life has this family style of eating as the foundation of security, which is missing from many homes these days.

What I discovered, when I had to cut back on food spending, was that buying store brands saved me $10-$20 on standard pantry items like condiments, flour, pasta, etc.
And when you look at the price tag for a T-bone steak versus a steak, the difference is $4 to $6 per pound. Also, when you make a delicious beef stew, you can freeze the leftovers, whereas a piece of leftover ribeye often ends up on a piece of foil and then in the dog’s mouth.

In Mexico, people still cook their meals almost every day at home for the whole family, and they eat it family style. At this point in our economy, we may be forced to go back to the kitchen and do the same for our family. Do you remember what your grandmother’s kitchen table looked like? Or maybe her family got together with the neighbors and shared a meal with each other.

Let’s take advantage of this strength and share our food and our recipes to make this food with our friends and family.
So here is a recipe for

Grilled ground chicken skewers
Easy to prepare and the ‘love’ of every member of the family. Serves 6 – $1.28 per person

Shopping/To-Do List:
– 2 pounds of ground chicken

– 3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs ” 1 egg

1 tablespoon garlic ” 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning ” S&P tt

1 teaspoon hot sauce ” 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

24 cherry tomatoes ” 12 kebab skewers

4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 – Heat the grill or grill pan. Soak the skewers in water to prevent burning.

2 – Mix ground chicken, breadcrumbs, egg, garlic, seasonings, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce.

3 – Shape into 24 patties (± 2 x 1 inch) and place on skewers.

4 – Grill the skewers for ± 10-12 minutes, turning them 2-3 times.

5 – Add a cherry tomato on each side and grill the kebabs for 2 more minutes.
Serve family style with your choice of potato salad.

Article and recipe by Chef Yvonne Stephens, CC

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