Breakfast / Brunch

Congee With Mushroom, Carrot & Egg

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Congee With Mushroom, Carrot & Egg

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“Congee With Mushrooms, Carrots & Egg (Chinese Rice porridge)
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Excerpt from a previous post of  Congee  on ChefsOpinion :
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” Rice Porridge –
The first thing that comes to mind is probably baby food or hospital gruff.
Most folks would never think of ordering it from a menu in a restaurant, much less wake up and crave it for breakfast, if they hadn’t tasted or at least seen it before.

Now, let’s try again :
Congee. Lúgaw. Chok. Xifan. Juk. Okayu.
OK now, that’s better  🙂

Sounds more interesting and exotic? These are just a few names given to rice porridge around the world. If there is a country or region which traditionally eats rice, then there is some form of rice porridge eaten.
Congee can be enjoyed as breakfast, snack, lunch or dinner. Congee most often contains rice, but other grains can be used.
Ideally, it is made with strong, tasty stock that infuses great taste and debt into the dish. But from there on, let your fantasy run wild. Congee can be made with seafood, meat, vegetables or a combination thereof.
Then there are the toppings – Pickled vegetables, fried shallots, sliced scallions, any mushroom, crisp fried garlic, dried shrimps, 100-year eggs, cilantro, etc, etc.
If you like it, put it on.
Below is a version I made on Sunday for breakfast. The texture is more like a Filipino Lugaw, with the rice VERY soft but still keeping its shape. .
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for  Congee With Smoked Pigs Tails & Vegetables  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Congee  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here to read all about  Congee
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Congee With Mushrooms, Carrot & Egg

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Congee With Mushrooms, Carrot & Egg

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Congee With Mushrooms, Carrot & Egg

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Congee With Mushrooms, Carrot & Egg

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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See you again in 2018……….

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Dear Friends,
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.I am spending the next three weeks in Argentina, visiting friends, eating (mostly) parilla and drinking (mostly) red wine.
Since I am living with friends who keep me busy 24/7 🙂 , I will not post my usual three or four posts per week during this time.
However, I have a surplus of about 50 dishes/post’s I have cooked and photographed in the past few months, which I will post as soon as I’ll return to Florida in mid- January, together with the new stuff I’ll produce when I will be back in my own kitchen.
Until then, here is a preview of a small selection of dishes waiting to be published. Hope to see you all again in 2018 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Easy Does It # 35 – Torrejas

Torrejas

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Like most groups of lovers of traditional, old and beloved dishes, Torrejas have their fans divided into two main parts: on one side of the fence you’ll find the traditionalist’s, who don’t want to change a thing and believe that only the original recipe and ingredients are worthy of  their love, and, on the other side of the fence, the folks who believe that nowadays we have access to better and more varied ingredients and therefore should try to improve recipes whenever possible, as long as the character of a dish is respected.
I personally respect both sides, depending on the dish involved. However, when it comes to Torrejas, I am a big fan of improving the original, which is just stale bread, dipped in milk or wine, then dipped in whole whisked eggs, sautéed and finally sprinkled with sugar. While there is nothing at all wrong with that, I believe you can agree that the version on this page outshines those simple, traditional Torrejas by a mile. (I can imagine the steadfast traditionalist’s reaching for their cannons right now……. 🙂
But anyway, don’t knock it until you try it. I am sure you too will become a convert, at least as far as Torrejas are concerned.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for an easy Cranberry/Pecan-Bread Recipe
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Click here for more  “Easy Does It”  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Pan Perdu (Arme Ritter) (French Toast)  on  ChefsOpinion

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Torrejas

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Torrejas

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Torrejas

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Torrejas

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Lunch Quickie – Smoked Salmon, Spicy Potato Salad And Sunny Side Up Eggs

When contemplating what to prepare for a combined breakfast/lunch today, I found that I had some leftover cooked potatoes, leftover “cebollas en escabeche” (escabeche de cebollas) and a packet of smoked salmon.
Within less than 10 minutes, this gorgeous dish was ready on the table.
Bella and I were happy and content, and cleanup was a snap. Easy peasy 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for  Cebollas En Escabeche  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Salmon  on  ChefsOpinion
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Lunch Quickie – Smoked Salmon, Spicy Potato Salad And Sunny Side Up Eggs

Lunch Quickie – Smoked Salmon, Spicy Potato Salad And Sunny Side Up Eggs

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Easy Does It # 34 – Angel Cake With Vanilla Cream And Blueberry Compote

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Easy Does It # 34 – Angel Cake With Vanilla Cream And Blueberry Compote

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I prepped  this beauty, and a few more, a couple of days before I took off for Germany, thinking that I can keep posting at least twice weekly while on the road. Oooops, that did not work out as planned. But, this here little gem deserves the extra time spent on the computer when I could be exploring my old/new country.
Without further ado, here is the easiest to prepare, prettiest to look at and most important, “yummiest” sweet dish of the month 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more “Easy Does It”  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for  Angel Food Cake  Recipe
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Vanilla Cream Recipe :
Ingredients:
I cup heavy cream, 1/2 cup milk, 1 dash organic vanilla extract (or seeds from 1 vanilla bean), 1 tblsp honey.
Method :
Scrape seeds from vanilla bean with tip of a knife into a bowl. Bring cream, honey, and vanilla to a simmer, add 1 tblsp cornstarch slurry, simmer a few seconds, remove from heat, check/adjust taste and texture, let cool to room temperature.

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P.S.
!!!!! If you use other than edible flowers, wrap the stems tightly in plastic film, then in aluminum foil, so that they don’t come into contact with the edible part of the dish. !!!!! Remove before cutting the cake  !!!!!
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Easy Does It # 34 – Angel Cake With Vanilla Cream And Blueberry Compote

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Easy Does It # 34 – Angel Cake With Vanilla C And Blueberry Compote

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Easy Does It # 34 – Angel Cake With Vanilla C And Blueberry Compote

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Gravlax

Gravlax

I have prepared gravlax a thousand times over the years, starting at the beginning of the 70’s when I worked in  Torekov/Sweden  for the first time, and usually, it comes out perfect, or at least close to perfect. It is one of those dishes which actually require an effort to mess it up. So every time I prepare it, I am sure that the outcome Is a predictable “10” on a scale from 0 to 10. But then came this baby !!!
I had to increase the scale by another point to accommodate its level of excellence. It was so off the chart, in taste, texture, and color. Just a perfect “11” 🙂
It was probably a combination of the quality of the fish, the freshness, the amount and quality of the dill, the ratio of the ingredients of the brine and finally, the time I left the salmon in the brine to cure. Whatever it was, this gravlax is the one all future gravlax will be judged by.
But, I can not give you the EXACT amount of time or ingredients, only approximates. Like with most savory cooking, recipe-measurements and times can only serve as guidelines. Usually, there are too many variables to cook EXACTLY by a recipe. (I am sure you have often heard folks say “I followed the recipe to the dot, but it did not turn out to be like in the picture or in the book or the video?- well, that’s the reason why – too many variables. It is also the reason why a professional chef “interprets” a recipe because, with his/her experience over many years, he/she has learned to factor-in these variables and make the necessary adjustments accordingly.
To quote myself – “Cooking is easy – if you know how to do it !” 🙂
So here now is the recipe I used for this specific gravlax. Again, there are a million and one recipes out there. Every Scandinavian cook, housewife and home cook guards at least one gravlax recipe they swear by, and most of them are pretty awesome, just slightly different from each other.
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2 lbs raw salmon, skin on
2 cup kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 jigger vodka
1/2 cup sliced dill leaves plus 1/4 cup
1/2 cup red beet juice
2 tblsp dijon mustard
1 tblsp fresh-cracked>
black pepper
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Dill/Mustard Sauce
(Traditional condiment for gravlax)
Good quality mustard, white wine vinegar, kosher salt, neutral tasting oil, sugar, fresh dill leaves, pepper(optional), mix all ingredients well.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Gravlax  on  ChefsOpinion
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Gravlax

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Gravlax

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Gravlax

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add the salmon and onions (for a prettier presentation / restaurant presentation) put the egg and capers together with the onions on top of the salmon, however, the way I did it here will keep the capers and egg from rolling off when you eat the sandwich)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Breakfast Of Champions # 62 – Baked Breakfast Wrap

 

Breakfast Of Champions # 62 – Baked Breakfast Wrap

Here we have the perfect breakfast for dog owners (and everybody else who loves a great breakfast and can wait awhile before breakfast is ready,) 🙂
Once the prep has been done (you can do this the previous evening), just put the wrap into the oven (hot or cold), turn to 375F and walk your dog.
Make sure you are back before the hour is over and you will be rewarded with a perfect breakfast). Generally, the egg inside will take about 35 minutes for a “sunny side up” texture, while additional time spent in the heat will obviously take the egg to the next level of doneness. This doneness will depend on various factors, such as the thickness of the wrap, the thickness of the ham and tomato, the amount of cheese and /or other fillings, and so forth.
When I made this dish the first time a few years back, I took it out of the oven WAY too early, not realizing how much time the egg actually takes to cook inside all these layers. However, if you like this dish, take some notes about the time and temperature you use in order to get it right on future occasions.
Also, and this is even more important, chose a wrap which suits this preparation. If you select the wrong one, the shell will become dry and tough after it’s considerable time in the oven. But if you find the right one (see the pic below for an example), the wrap becomes wonderfully flaky, almost like a puff pastry, as is clearly visible in the pics of the cut wrap 🙂 . The reason why I use two wraps per pocket is that the (RIGHT) wraps add a great flakiness one would not get with a single layer (there is a lot of moisture inside).
I also like to emphasize the importance of the grated parmesan cheese between the moist layers to help keep a proper texture, (you don’t want a soggy mess !) and the importance of brushing the wrap generously with whole butter before baking, both for taste and texture.
As for the sauce, I love to serve this with sweet Thai chili sauce or a honey/herb yogurt. Again – serve it with whatever makes YOU happy ! 🙂
Of course, as with most of the food I publish on my blog,  I recommend using this dish as an inspiration for your very own variations of a baked wrap. I have prepared them with seafood, ground meat, chicken, veggies, with or without cheese, with or without eggs, etc. ( one of my favorites is tomato, onion, sauteed spinach, and brie). Also, although I have this usually for breakfast, it makes a great snack or meal any time during the day or evening.

Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Wraps  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for 61 more  Breakfast of Champions  on  ChefsOpinion
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Breakfast Of Champions # 62 – Baked Breakfast Wrap

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Breakfast Of Champions # 62 – Baked Breakfast Wrap

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Breakfast Of Champions # 62 – Baked Breakfast Wrap

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 61 – Chocolate Buttermilk Waffles With Strawberries In Honey/Vanilla Cream

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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 61 – Chocolate Waffles With Strawberries In Honey And Vanilla Cream

Today was the first time that I remember getting up at 7.00pm without a reason other than trying this new lifestyle, where I get up early and go to sleep early (Midnight), without any compelling reason other than that’s the conventional thing to do.
Let’s see how long THAT last’s………
So, getting up that early and having nothing planned to do, I treated myself to this wonderful breakfast.  Before I retired fully (last Sunday), I only ever had a full breakfast on a day off, so this was breakfast virgin territory to me. I must say, with a good breakfast under the hood, the day turned out very different from what I am used to. No food-craving until the late afternoon (I did share a few grapes and cashews with Bella at around 2:00 pm), and only had a very small dinner at 8:00 pm. Feels very good and of course, I know that this is far healthier than my usual monstrously sized dinners after 10:00 pm 🙂
Let’s hope I can keep this up and become used to this healthier way of life, where the most important meal is breakfast and/or lunch and dinner is small, healthy and (mostly) sensible 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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More  Waffles  on  ChefsOpinion
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More  Breakfast of Champions  on  ChefsOpinion
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More  Strawberries  on ChefsOpinion
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Waffle Batter :
Ingredients :
1. 1/3   cup flour, 4 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp sugar, 1/2 cup melted butter, 1. 3/4 cup buttermilk, two egg yolks (whisk the two egg whites to stiff peaks)
Method :
Mix dry ingredients well, add buttermilk, egg yolks and melted butter, fold in whisked egg whites
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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 61 – Chocolate Waffles With Strawberries In Honey And Vanilla Cream

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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 61 – Chocolate Waffles With Strawberries In Honey And Vanilla Cream

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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 61 – Chocolate Waffles With Strawberries In Honey And Vanilla Cream

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 60 – “Fruit, Milk And Some Interesting Reading”


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Dear Friends,
while today’s featured breakfast might not warrant a post of its own, I think the accompanying article by Jeremy Taylor, which appeared in  THEFW, will make some interesting reading for my non-professional readers, as well as for my many young cooks and chef- colleagues, who are lucky enough to have entered our beloved profession decades after most of the practices described in this article have been abandoned (at least some of them, in some places).
I don’t want to go into the details and the opinion I nurture about these practices, but those who know me will understand that I believe in most of them to this day 🙂  😦
As for the breakfast on this page, it might not be an example of culinary craft and/or art, but it certainly is an example of the beauty of some of the culinary bounty that is easily available to most of us in its original, God-given state, it’s richness, beauty, and simple awesomeness 🙂
(I know, that was a bit of an awkward sentence, but it just felt good to express the joy that comes to my mind when looking at these pics).
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Breakfast Of Champions  on  ChefsOpinion
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“Ridiculously Demanding Craigslist Ad For Line Cook Goes Viral

Thanks to Bloomington, Indiana and America’s desire to stuff their faces like these are the last days of the Roman Empire the job title of chef has grown in stature and prestige.

But before you become a chef, you have to work your way through the kitchen. Farm Bloomington, a restaurant in Bloomington, Indiana, figured there would be so many applicants with culinary stars in their eyes for their line cook position that they posted a Craigslist ad with 44 intricately detailed job requirements.

They include “Only answer ‘yes, chef’ or ‘oui, chef’ and “Always show up to work, even if you are sick as a dog. Let the chef see that you’re really sick and send you home.”

If taken separately, the requirements are overbearing but not necessarily unreasonable. But when you read them all together it offers a horrifying peak inside the id of the restaurant industry.

Harry Shaffer, the general manager of Farm Bloomington, has admitted the ad was posted in haste by a sous chef and the restaurant quickly took it down.

However you can’t really ever erase something from the internet. You can see the entire list that should make any wannabe Food Network star reconsider their path below.

Farm Bloomington Menu

COMMENTS:
Ridiculously Demanding Craigslist Ad For Line Cook Goes Viral | http://thefw.com/ridiculously-demanding-craigslist-ad-for-line-cook-goes-viral/?trackback=tsmclip

To enjoy the full impact of this article, click on the link to the original post just above this line and scroll to the bottom of the article to read 120 comments, of which the majority is quite entertaining and not a few are very funny 🙂
Cheers !
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A Regular Day In The Life Of A Food Blogger

Here is how my usual day-off’s  look like. (I still work part-time)
I don’t go out, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, and my conversations with Bella are usually pretty one-sided.
Movies and reading a few hours a day.
The rest of the time is usually spent prepping, cooking and eating.
(Bella only helps with the eating).
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Breakfast – Dutch pancake with caramelized fruits
Lunch – Porkchop “Parisienne” with tomato/garlic orzo
Dinner – Sautéed bone-in rib eye with potato and Brussels sprouts
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All in all, a day as any other., nothing exciting, but great food 🙂
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( Post’s to follow soon)
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Breakfast – Dutch pancake with caramelized fruits

Lunch – Porkchop “Parisienne” with tomato/garlic orzo

Dinner – sautéed bone-in rib eye with potato and Brussels sprouts


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