Frugal Fiesta Chef
Mesa, AZ / San Jose, CA
Marlena was born in San Jose, lived in Mexico for a year with family, moved to Vegas, and then finally planted her roots in Mesa, Arizona with her husband of 3 years.
She grew up in a Mexican-American family, with her earliest memories being in complete awe of her grandmother as she would cook tacos and quesadillas.
As the child of teen parents who struggled financially, Marlena was raised on food stamps, and had to be creative in order to stretch the meals for her and her family.
Marlena never buys pre-cut veggies or sliced cheese, as these selections are more costly. She also only shops on the perimeter of the store, avoiding the aisles which are full of pre-processed and often more expensive food.
She absolutely loves making tacos, something she learned from her grandmother and her mother. Marlena's husband says her tacos are so good that there's no longer a need to visit the local taqueria any more!