Recipes by Angela Nardone

Ventura County Growers- Buy Local Onions

I was fortunate to grow up in a household that valued great food and family gatherings. My parents did well for themselves and entertained often with family and friends. There are few things that can nourish the soul like breaking bread with those you care about.

Fast forward and I became an adult and fell on hard times. At one point I was homeless and for a period of time I was near homeless. What struck me most during those times was how horrible food tastes when you don’t have money for the “good ingredients.” So many of the cookbooks and recipes rely on ingredients or seasonings that have a premium to them. At the time, I was lucky to be able to afford $1-$2 per meal. I certainly couldn’t buy “saffron” or “herbs de Provence” to make a dish. I also did not have 2-3 hours to cook a meal. I was working 16 hours days and dead tired.

Having come from a background of eating better, I came up with ways to address these issues. It is these methods and recipes (and others) that I will share here.

One thing that I have heard over the years is how expensive the holidays can be when trying to host family. So here we will share recipes that will makes celebrating possible in spite of a smaller personal budget.

These recipes will also be written for people that may not have a lot of experience cooking. I am not a chef but have had to learn my way around the kitchen, often googling translations of kitchen terms I did not understand in published recipes. I also have made many errors cooking certain dishes wrong and finding out after I thought I was finished. What a bummer! So for those that may be in the same boat, these recipes are written with you in mind.

While I am not homeless anymore, I continue to make many of these recipes. Sometimes it is because I love the dishes. Other times to remind myself of how far I have come. I believe it is important to celebrate our victories to remind ourselves of the ability to overcome life’s challenges.

If you have a recipe that you think others may like, please send it to us. We would love to share your ideas with people who will appreciate them.

So join me in the kitchen! I am so excited for us to cook together!

-Angela Nardone