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What to eat during the Holidays. Smart Economic Ideas.

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Christmas Cake 2012

Every year the economic situation is getting worse , especially here in Greece.  We are still grateful to have food on our plates but things are expected to get worse during the new year, as more austerity measures have already been announced.

Every year I put a list of holiday food for my readers to select what they would like to cook.  Some of the recipes are cheap and others are not, so here are a few ideas I intend to follow:

  • Each year we used to buy a fresh turkey, which is very expensive.   This year, we will be buying a frozen turkey, to keep the tradition going.  It is much cheaper and equally delicious. Do not forget to brine the turkey, as suggested in my recipe.   In order to cook a frozen turkey, all we have to do is to thaw it slowly in the refrigerator for at least 2 days and then brine it for at least 12 hours.
  • Wild boar is also very expensive. The recipes using wild boar may also be cooked with pork instead, which is much cheaper.
  • The chicken is also very cheap so wherever turkey fillet is used, it may be substituted with chicken fillet.
  • Fresh seafood like shrimps, crabs etc are very expensive.  They may be substituted with frozen seafood.
  • Depending on your budget instead of buying meat from your butcher, try frozen meat which is equally fresh and good .
  • Cook with seasonal, local ingredients, as they are much cheaper.
  • You will also find some ideas on how to  make good use of your leftovers (if any). Nothing must be wasted!

The tips given above are always referring to the Greek living standards.  In some other countries some of the food mentioned above may be much cheaper.


Deconstructed and Healthier Piroskis
Stuffed Cucumbers with Fetatziki
Garides Saganaki me Masticha (Shrimps Saganaki with Mastic Liqueur)

Side Dishes:

Dakos Savoury Greek Cheesecake
Greek Lemony Roasted Potatoes
Video How to Roll out Phyllo and make Kotopita (chicken pie)


Salad Bar (a post with many recipes)

Main Dishes:
Uses for our Leftovers: 
Turkey Soup
Cottage Pie
Kotopita (Chicken Pie) (or substitute with leftover turkey)
Turkey & Leek Pie (substitute chicken with turkey)
Turkey Fajitas (substitute chicken with turkey breasts)
Leftover Turkey Filling:

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Don’t forget to leave a comment in my previous post if you would like to enter for Two Giveaways.  One is a copy of both volumes of My Cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!  and the other giveaway is a Software for My Memories Suite.

My cookbook-002

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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Friday 28th of December 2012

I totally support your recommendation not to waste anything. Leftover meat has many uses and turkey or chicken carcass, skin and trimmings can be used to make stock together with vegetable trimmings. After removing any meat that can still be eaten, the bones are discarded, of course, but not before they've contributed to give you something more. Happy New Year, dear Ivy. I hope the situation improves in Greece and in Italy too in 2013.


Friday 21st of December 2012

Thank for the ideas. I'm going to try your suggestions. I will buy frozen turkey this time.


Wednesday 19th of December 2012

Thanks, Ivy, for the recipes and the tips. I have never prepared a turkey, well, my husband doesn't eat know what he has request for X'mas dinner? Gyros. Well, homemade gyros is never the same like the one we get in Greek restaurants. I guess we will have to buy some this weekend.


Wednesday 19th of December 2012

Homemade gyros is not the same of course but a roasted pork can be cut into thin slices and added to a pita, with lots of tzatziki.


Wednesday 19th of December 2012

Thanks for the tips Ivy...and the list of recipes. Have a great week!

Joan Nova

Wednesday 19th of December 2012


Best wishes to you and your family for the holidays and new year.


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