castor sugar

Vanilla Crepes With Caramelized Blackberries & Pomegranate Seeds

Vanilla Crepes With Caramelized Blackberries & Pomegranate Seeds


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One
has to wonder:
Why are sweet or savory crepes not on everybody’s table at least once a week ???
I can’t recall to ever have met anybody who’d claim not to like crepes, either in its sweet or savory form, or both.
Crepes can be prepared easily by anybody, even by a child or somebody with two left hands. Even if one does not like to cook, these babies need all of a few minutes to prepare, are very economical and, have I said this already? – are easy and quick to prepare.
In its sweet, plain variation, just sprinkle some castor sugar on top and maybe a bit of whipped cream, and you have a great dessert or sweet snack.
It’s savory, plain version will make a quick meal by drizzling a bit of butter on top and serving them with a small salad on the side.
And then, you have the more elaborate stuff 🙂
Savory crepes can be filled with creamed or buttered mushrooms, vegetables, seafood, chicken, game meats, spicy sausages and a myriad of other, more or less fancy goodies.
Sweet crepes will be happy to be married to caramelized fruit, creams, chocolate sauce, puddings, cream cheese (blintzes anyone?), nutella, yogurt, nuts, etc, etc, etc.
I myself have prepared just about any combination of crepes and “stuff” under the sun. I don’t really have a favorite per se, I love ’em all 🙂
So here is a version of crepes with caramelized fruits. I have to admit that the blackberries and pomegranate are rather expensive, especially when you cook for a large family. But be assured, caramelized apples, pears, oranges, bananas, strawberries, or any other more economical fruit will be just as wonderful – yummy to taste and pretty to look at 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Vanilla Crepes With Caramelized Blackberries & Pomegranate Seeds

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Vanilla Crepes With Caramelized Blackberries & Pomegranate Seeds

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Vanilla Crepes With Caramelized Blackberries & Pomegranate Seeds

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Ricotta Cheese Cake With Apples And Cashews, Served With Greek Yogurt And Pomegranate Seeds

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Looks  like the devil is trying hard to get me off my sensible eating habits again.
Since I decided (once again) not to eat anymore sweets, (or at least just the tiniest amounts), the cravings to do so are getting stronger and stronger 😦
The only way for me to fight this is to actually prepare a sweet dish, set a tiny piece aside for Bella and I and get the rest of it off to the neighbor as quick as possible.
So far this works, hopefully for some time to come.
Yesterday, I had to fight the demons again………
I had some apples, ricotta and cashews at hand and in the back of my mind I was playing with different dessert-options, until they finally crystallized into this delicious pie/cake. And, to appease my conscience, I added some “healthy” elements by serving it with a bit of tart Greek yogurt and crunchy pomegranate seeds.
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Final Score –  Myself: Happy; Bella: Happy; Neighbor: Happiest !
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !

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Ricotta Cheese Cake With Apples And Cashews, Served With Greek Yogurt And Pomegranate Seeds

Ricotta Cheese Cake With Apples And Cashews, Served With Greek Yogurt And Pomegranate Seeds

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Ricotta Cheese Cake With Apples And Cashews, Served With Greek Yogurt And Pomegranate Seeds

Ricotta Cheese Cake With Apples And Cashews, Served With Greek Yogurt And Pomegranate Seeds

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Ricotta Cheese Cake With Apples And Cashews, Served With Greek Yogurt And Pomegranate Seeds

Ricotta Cheese Cake With Apples And Cashews, Served With Greek Yogurt And Pomegranate Seeds

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Ricotta Cheese Cake With Apples And Cashews, Served With Greek Yogurt And Pomegranate Seeds

Ricotta Cheese Cake With Apples And Cashews, Served With Greek Yogurt And Pomegranate Seeds

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Black Plum Bread Pudding

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Plums

Plums

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5  Reasons We Love Plums
By Erika Freeman
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1. “Plum” is often used to describe a deep purple hue, but in fact plums come in a wide spectrum of colors, such as black, yellow, red, pink, even green.
2. Dark plums (purple, black) are full of anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins, antioxidants that give them their color and are associated with helping to keep the heart healthy and the brain sharp.
3. Without the plum, we wouldn’t have prunes! Oh, but excuse us, we call them “dried plums” now. (In 2000, the prune was renamed to make it easier to market—apparently prunes’ reputation as a fruit to keep you regular was no longer a selling point.)
4. They have an au naturel protection; called a “bloom,” it’s a natural wax coating the fruit produces to keep its skin from losing water. Look for the whitish-silvery bloom: it’s also a sign a plum hasn’t been over-handled.
5. This juicy sweet treat has only about 36 calories.
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This plum bread pudding was the glorious end to a great meal I had with my friends Laura, Fernando and André at my house the other day.
It was the first multi- course dinner I hosted at home in four years and it reminded me how much I miss these gatherings with great food, drink and company that were so common and frequent at the homes Maria’s and I shared for so many years in times past. Happy dinner parties were the highlights of our social life when she was still alive and sometimes I miss them, along with so many other things we shared.
Although Maria was not physically present at this dinner, her spirit was with us and so it was only the second social gathering I was happy at since her passing.
(Xmas dinner at Dieters and Chachas house being the only other occasion) 🙂
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So, while the seafood salad, tenderloin steak, flat iron steak, teriyaki cauliflower and tomato/garlic pasta were delicious, the highlight was the dessert in the form of this black plum pudding.
Plums are wonderful to prepare cakes and tatin’s with, superb for marmalade and compote and, as you can see below, just perfect for bread pudding.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Bread Pudding  on  ChefsOpinion
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Bread And Black Plum Pudding

Bread And Black Plum Pudding

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Bread And Black Plum Pudding

Bread And Black Plum Pudding

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Bread And Black Plum Pudding

Bread And Black Plum Pudding

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Preparation :
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Berries And Cream Pound Cake

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Berries And Cream Pound Cake

Berries And Cream Pound Cake

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So  I woke up early today and the first thing that came to my mind was food – sweet food with lots of fruit, to be precise.
I went to the store to see what’s available and got home with some great raspberries and blueberries. First I was thinking pancakes, but I had those a few times in the past month, so something different was called for. Since I did not feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen, pound cake seemed easy and fast enough and it went into the oven in a flash 🙂
Two hours (and a good movie) later, the baked, cooled down and halved cake was in front of me. First I drizzled the cake with fresh-squeezed orange juice for flavor and moistness, then covered one-half with nutella, the other half with raspberry jam. Topped that with the washed and dried berries, drizzled the berries with melted apricot jam and finished it all with a sinful amount of whipped cream and castor sugar. As usual I ate too much and I am sure I’ll pay for it with a day of my life.
But, at the time, it seemed well worth it………..
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Pound Cake Recipe :
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Ingredients:

  1. – 8 oz unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  2. – 2 cups cake flour, plus extra to dust the pan
  3. – 2 cups granulated sugar
  4. – 2 tsp organic vanilla extract
  5. – 1 tsp kosher salt
  6. – 4 whole, large eggs
  7. – ½ cup soft cream cheese
Method:
  1. Heat oven to 325° F. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, line the bottom with parchment, butter again, and dust with flour.
  2. Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the cream cheese until smooth.
  3. Add the flour and mix just until combined (do not overmix). Transfer the batter to the pan, smooth the top, bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

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Topping:
Juice of 1 orange, 2 pint raspberries, 2 pint blueberries, 1/2 cup nutella,
1/2 cup melted apricot jam,  1/4 cup raspberry jam, 1 cup whipped heavy cream, castor sugar.
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P.S.
Serve one piece each of raspberry jam covered cake and one each piece of nutella covered cake per portion.
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Berries And Cream Pound Cake

Berries And Cream Pound Cake

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Berries And Cream Pound Cake

Berries And Cream Pound Cake

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Berries And Cream Pound Cake

Berries And Cream Pound Cake

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One For The Kids # 2 – Banana/Nutella Tortilla Roll With Fresh Raspberries And Blueberries

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Yesterday  afternoon my friend Ralf came by with his four-year old son Justin.
Ralf and I had some Chili Noodles which were fantastic, but would have been way too spicy for a four-year old, so I made this dish for him. I made this for him before, so I knew he would love it. Heck, so did Ralf and I. (Of course I prepared way too much, so we ate the rest) 🙂
While this is a simple, quick and easy dessert or snack, it is yummy and pretty enough to serve on any informal occasion.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for  Vanilla Cream  recipe
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Click here for  Tortilla Dulce recipe
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Click here for more  Tortilla recipes on  ChefsOpinion
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One For The Kids - Banana/Nutella Tortilla Roll With Fresh Raspberries And Blueberries

One For The Kids – Banana/Nutella Tortilla Roll With Fresh Raspberries And Blueberries

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One For The Kids - Banana/Nutella Tortilla Roll With Fresh Raspberries And Blueberries

One For The Kids – Banana/Nutella Tortilla Roll With Fresh Raspberries And Blueberries

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One For The Kids - Banana/Nutella Tortilla Roll With Fresh Raspberries And Blueberries

One For The Kids – Banana/Nutella Tortilla Roll With Fresh Raspberries And Blueberries

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Preparation :
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To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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P.S.
I just know that somebody out there will be inspired by the look of these tortillas and serve a variation of them as a whimsy “Marrow Bone Dessert” 🙂
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Blackberry Waffles With Vanilla Cream

Blackberry Waffles With Vanilla Cream

Blackberry Waffles With Vanilla Cream

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I had  these a couple of days ago and I had waffles again this morning (bacon waffles).
Waffles – my new Addiction 😦 🙂
I have made them with raspberries, bacon, shrimp, crab meat, caramelized apples, shredded chicken and caramelized onions. They are so versatile and never disappoint. Just make sure that when you make a savory version you cut 3/4 of the sugar and add kosher salt to taste.
Good Stuff ! 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for  Waffle  recipe
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Click here for  Pancakes  on  ChefsOpinion
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Vanilla cream/pudding recipe:
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1/3 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, pinch of salt, 2 cups milk, 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten, 2 tablespoons softened butter, a dash of vanilla extract.
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– 1 In 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute.
– 2 Gradually stir at least half of the hot mixture into egg yolks, then stir back into hot mixture in saucepan. Boil and stir 1 minute; remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla.
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Note:
Use this cream while it is still warm as waffle or pancake topping. To enjoy as pudding, pour into molds and refrigerate.
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Blackberry Waffles With Vanilla Cream

Blackberry Waffles With Vanilla Cream

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Blackberry Waffles With Vanilla Cream

Blackberry Waffles With Vanilla Cream

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Belgian Buttermilk Waffles With Fresh Raspberries, Yogurt And Honey

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Today  I rolled breakfast and lunch into one yummy, satisfying brunch by preparing these special treats. Waffles were served on special occasions at our home when I was a kid. It was one of the dishes my dear Mom excelled on preparing.
Eating and enjoying them today made me wonder why I did not prepare waffles more often in the past (I will in the future)
While I am a sucker for pancakes, today reminded me why I always preferred waffles. The crisp texture on the outside and the light softness of the interior put’s them just a step above pancakes…..
While way back then the waffles were usually accompanied by fresh apple sauce (freshly made and canned by my Mom in Fall to last for the whole year), I now prefer raspberries in yogurt and honey which makes the dish much more lively, both visually and taste-wise.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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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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P.S.
I love the slight bitterness of the cocoa to contrast with the sweetness of the rest of the dish; if you don’t, substitute the cocoa with castor sugar 🙂
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Belgian Buttermilk Waffles With Fresh Raspberries, Yogurt And Honey

Belgian Buttermilk Waffles With Fresh Raspberries, Yogurt And Honey

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sprinkle with more cocoa powder, fresh raspberries and top with whipped cream

sprinkle with more cocoa powder, fresh raspberries and top with whipped cream

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Preparation :
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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 49 – Dutch Buttermilk-Pancake With Fresh Raspberries

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If ! I would NOT be an overweight, diabetic old man,  I would have me one of these at least three times a week for breakfast 🙂
Of course I would change the fruit often – I would rotate such fruit as apples, rhubarb, strawberries, carambola, bananas, lychees, pears, pitaya, grapes and many more, but the concept would always be the same. This wonderful dish can be prepared in less than 10 minutes, is extremely easy to whip-up and, if you use the less-exotic fruits, is also very cosy on your wallet 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
If you don’t have buttermilk at hand, regular milk or half&half will do the trick.
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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 48 – Dutch Buttermilk Pancake With Fresh Raspberries

BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 48 – Dutch Buttermilk Pancake With Fresh Raspberries

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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 48 – Dutch Buttermilk Pancake With Fresh Raspberries

BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 48 – Dutch Buttermilk Pancake With Fresh Raspberries

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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 48 – Dutch Buttermilk Pancake With Fresh Raspberries

BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 48 – Dutch Buttermilk Pancake With Fresh Raspberries

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Preparation :
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Easy Does It # 27 – Strawberry Croissant


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While
 I was shopping early this afternoon, I was nostalgically remembering the old German tradition of  “Kaffee und Kuchen”.
In Germany and Austria, between lunch and dinner, there is traditionally a short break for a social gathering around a piece of cake or two (or any other Pastry) and a hot steaming cup of coffee, hot chocolate or tea. This ritual is referred to as Kaffee und Kuchen, Kaffeetrinken, or Kaffeeklatsch. Even these days, it is still quite common to get together with friends and family on Sunday afternoon between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. to share some cake/pastry and good conversation. Well, I was certainly not going to run home and start baking a cake just for my self, but I had an idea for a simple solution for my craving, so I bought a couple of freshly baked croissants, two small cups of sugar-free chocolate pudding and some fresh strawberries. To assemble these sexy beauties took only about as long as it took to brew a cup of strong Java and both the Java and the pastries were absolutely delightful. I was even able to enjoy the added bonus of having my  Kaffee und Kuchen  outside by the pool, since the sun was behind dark clouds and there was a nice breeze blowing, keeping the temperature pleasant 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Live is Good !
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More  Kaffee und Kuchen
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Strawberry Croissants

Strawberry Croissants

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Strawberry Croissants

Strawberry Croissants

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Preparation :
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Pear Crumble


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If
 you have not yet decided on a stunning dessert for your holiday party, you might want to strongly consider this one. It is easy to make, can be made in advance and looks and tastes like a million bucks. Otherwise, promise yourself that you’ll prepare this as soon as sanity has returned to your kitchen after the holidays. I am sure it’s ease of preparation, as well as it’s deliciousness, will make it one of your standby’s, just as it has become one of mine. When you prepare this, make sure you let the crumble rest at  least 30 minutes in a warm place to let it set. If you want to re-heat it, give it enough time to get warm in low heat (about 20 minutes at 300F), then a bit under the broiler to re-crisp the crust. – You’re welcome 🙂 >
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !

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Pear Crumble

Pear Crumble

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Pear Crumble

Pear Crumble      (My kind of food porn – no tweezers required)

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Pear Crumble

Pear Crumble

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Preparation :

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