Sautéing

Escargots à la Bourguignonne

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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The garlicky butter in this dish is almost as delicious as the escargots themselves, and what better use for crusty bread than sopping up this delicious “snail butter.”
But the main event are the escargots’ tender texture and clean, woodsy flavor.
When I was an apprentice back in the mid-sixties, preparing FRESH snails was a most hated assignment, taking hours to remove the snails from the shells and then cleaning and cooking them, then cleaning and sterilizing the shells. I don’t want to go into the less than pretty details, but it was not a pleasant task and as a young kid of 14 years old I thought I would never in my life eat something as shocking as snails.
Boy, was I wrong 🙂
Nowadays snails are among my favorite appetizers in the World and I order them whenever I see them on a menu, which, sadly, becomes rarer every year. 😦
Luckily, I found that canned snails work just as well and turn this appetizer into one that can be whipped up quickly, economical, anytime. I usually buy a case online which lasts me for about a year.
Traditionally,  Escargots à la Bourguignonne  are served 6 ea or 12 ea in their shells on a special metal or porcelain dish, or, if these are not available, on a heat-proof dish covered with sea salt into which indentions the size of the shells have been pressed to avoid the shells to move or topple over and spill their butter. I would not shy off to buy these dishes for my home, plus the special tweezers to hold them and the tiny two-pronged forks to remove the snails from their shells, but the fact is 6 or 12 snails will not do it for me and the whole ritual makes no sense for me at home alone. So I always serve them in a bowl with lots of the traditional toasted bread on the side.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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snail tweezer and fork

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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Escargots À La Bourguignonne

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first bite always goes to Bella 🙂

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Preparation :
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Poached Cod Fillet With Whole-Grain Mustard Sauce And Pomegranate Pilaf

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Poached Cod Fillet With Whole-Grain Mustard Sauce And Pomegranate Pilaf

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Cod –
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Kabeljau / Dorsch / タラ Tara / Morue / Bacalao / smk alqadi / Treska / Turska / Γάδος Gádos / Kele / Torsk / треска, etc, etc. 🙂
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Until a few short years ago, cod (kabeljau), and especially cod in mustard sauce was a very popular dish in Europe. It was very cheap, tasted great, looked good and was widely available.
It could be found  at least  once a month on Fridays in private homes, in restaurants on “Daily Specials”, as a choice in school- and factory cafeterias and everywhere else where people did not eat meat on a Friday because of religious reasons, or simply because they loved the dish and welcomed it as a change from the usual daily meat or vegetable offerings.
I would love to eat cod at least 3 times a week, breaded, poached, sautéed, grilled, in tacos or sandwiches, plain or with sauce or condiments, and so forth. However, the exuberant pricing of at least $ 10 a pound prevents me from enjoying cod more often. 😦
But once in a while I spoil myself and Bella and go all out, no matter the cost. 🙂


Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Poached Cod Fillet With Whole-Grain Mustard Sauce And Pomegranate Pilaf

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Poached Cod Fillet With Whole-Grain Mustard Sauce And Pomegranate Pilaf

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Poached Cod Fillet With Whole-Grain Mustard Sauce And Pomegranate Pilaf

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Preparation :
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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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Black beans, potatoes, mushrooms, eggs and loads of cilantro – what would serve better as proper condiments than salsa verde and salsa Mexicana ? 🙂
Ever since I have discovered authentic tasting salsa verde and salsa Mexicana at my neighborhood international food market, I have them in my larder and fridge at all times, using it to enhance breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes of all types – eggs, seafood, meat, pasta, rice, vegetables, etc, etc. Together with chili paste of all levels of hotness, Maggi seasoning and soy sauce, these are the condiments/seasonings  without almost none of my meals are complete. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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Preparation :
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Perfection In A Bowl – Leftover Veggies Soup

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Perfection In A Bowl – Leftover Veggies Soup

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Some of my favorite dishes are the ones that come together without set ingredients, without planning and without recipes.
I just go to the fridge and/or cupboard, look what’s available and what needs to be used, and just throw together what I think will fit and taste delicious. Such was the case with this soup. I had some krakauer sausage, leftover cooked broccoli, leftover cooked cauliflower and leftover fresh leek from previous dishes, and of course there are always onions in the cupboard and at least 2 or 3 types of cheese in the fridge. Throw it all together and in a few short minutes – a dish as good as can be 🙂  Life is Good !
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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transfer to soup bowl or soup plate, sprinkle ea bowl with 1/2 tblsp grated asiago and drizzle with 1 tblsp EVO

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Perfection In A Bowl – Leftover Veggies Soup

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Perfection In A Bowl – Leftover Veggies Soup

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Preparation :
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Panierte Frikadelle Mit Schweizer Käse (Breaded Meat Patties With Swiss Cheese)

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Panierte Frikadellen Mit Schweizer Käse (Breaded Meat Patties With Swiss Cheese)

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WHY ARE MOST AMERICAN BURGERS CRAP ? “

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Easy boy’s and girls, just trying to get your attention here. 🙂
But………..

For many years the American style burger was a complete mystery to me.
You see, when I came to America for the first time in 1970, my  “burger”
senses were still completely in love with our German version, which go
by the names of:

Frikadellen, Buletten, Hamburger, Fleischpflanzln.

To this day I can not understand how one can forgo the deliciousness
and texture of a “proper” Frikadelle for a limp , skinny, mostly dry and
tasteless meat patty made of  low-grade, unseasoned and uninteresting
ground beef.
( Notice friends, I said “most’ American burgers, not “all” )
Of course, the principle of having a good piece of meat layered with lettuce,
tomatoes, pickles, mayonnaise and a variety of other goodies is a wonderful
idea. But, if this is such a standby and tradition for so many folks, why on earth
do most people treat it like crap ? Crappy buns, crappy patties, crappy condiments. No love 😦 .
So here is what I suggest to the American public :
Let’s LOVE and RESPECT our food from here on, even a simple burger !     🙂
I will throw the first coin by giving you all the simplest and best recipe for
a plain, good old frikadelle. There are many variations and once you have
mastered the basics, you should experiment until you find your personal favorite.
A frikadelle is a very versatile dish. It can be served as a snack, cold with mustard
to dip and a slice of sour dough bread on the side. Or as a lunch or dinner dish,
with mashed potatoes and mushroom sauce, roast potatoes and fried onions,
french fries (fritten) and salad or any other side dish, condiment and sauce
which would go well with a steak or regular beef burger. Just make sure that if you go the
few extra steps to make a wonderful frikadelle instead of a measly, skinny patty,
don’t destroy the good stuff by adding lesser sides and condiments.
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If you are a burger fanatic, you want to read :  History of the Hamburger

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Ingredients:
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1/2 cup finely diced onion
1 tsp. olive oil
1 day-old roll (about 2 oz.), softened in hot milk and squeezed dry.
1 lb. ground meat (half and half; pork and veal)
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 Tsp chopped, fresh parsley
1 Tsp chopped, fresh marjoram
1 oz butter

Method:
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Saute 
onions in oil until translucent. Cool slightly.
Cut softened roll into little pieces in a bowl, add meat and the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Heat butter and olive oil together in a frying pan.
Shape 4 patties and saute over medium high heat until browned on both sides. Place the patties on a baking sheet and place in a 375°F oven until done.
You may also continue sauteing them in the pan until they are no longer pink inside.

Variation 1: You may want to roll your patties in dried, seasoned bread crumbs before sautéing for a really nice, crispy exterior.
Variation 2: If you have German relatives, they might tell you to add some Maggi Seasoning.  In my house we use Maggi as a table side condiment.
Variation 3: Meat Patties with caraway. Substitute 1 teaspoon caraway and 2 teaspoons prepared mustard for the parsley and marjoram.
Variation 4: Add 4 ounces of finely chopped bacon to the meat .

Find your own best burger or fricadelle recipe by experimenting and giving them the love they deserve  !   🙂 

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here to read all about
Frikadellen, Buletten, Fleischplanzerl, Fleischküchle, Faschierte Laibchen, Fasírt,  Faširanci, Perkedel, etc…….


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Panierte Frikadellen Mit Schweizer Käse (Breaded Meat Patties With Swiss Cheese)

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Panierte Frikadellen Mit Schweizer Käse (Breaded Meat Patties With Swiss Cheese)

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Panierte Frikadellen Mit Schweizer Käse (Breaded Meat Patties With Swiss Cheese)

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Panierte Frikadellen Mit Schweizer Käse (Breaded Meat Patties With Swiss Cheese)

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Preparation :
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Cha Siu, Cabbage And Noodle Soup

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Cha Siu, Cabbage And Noodle Soup

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During my shopping trips to Foodtown Supermarket in Davie, about 5 minutes drive from my home, I usually go to their cooked food section, which has a great selection of Chinese roasted meat – Peking duck, cha siu, roast chicken, etc. I usually buy my dinner there, which I did a few days ago. As usual, my eyes were bigger than my stomach, resulting in leftover char siu for today. What better way to use leftover cha siu than in steamed buns or soup? Making steamed bun dough was out of the question because of ….. laziness :-),  so soup was the order of today, and here is the result 🙂

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Cha Siu, Cabbage And Noodle Soup

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Cha Siu, Cabbage And Noodle Soup

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Cha Siu, Cabbage And Noodle Soup

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Preparation :
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Salad Of Cracked Pepper -Dusted Chicken Liver Nuggets, Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, Romaine, Mild Chillies And Red Onions

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Salad Of Cracked Pepper-Dusted Chicken Liver Nuggets, Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, Romaine, Mild Chillies And Red Onions

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The success of this dish hinges entirely on the proper preparation of the liver nuggets. They must be crisp on the outside, medium-rare to medium (depending on your preference) on the inside and spicy but not mouthburningly so.
Seem’s easy enough, as long as you know how to handle VERY HOT fat.
If the temperature is not right, the nuggets will get well-done before they are crisp, resulting in a rubbery, dry and even tough protein. But when done right, they are truly wonderful. The result is a great dish that belies its humble ingredients.
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P.S.
If you can procure duck livers to replace the chicken livers, they will lift this dish from merely wonderful to absolute divine 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Salad Of Cracked Pepper-Dusted Chicken Liver Nuggets, Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, Romaine, Mild Chillies And Red Onions

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Salad Of Cracked Pepper-Dusted Chicken Liver Nuggets, Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, Romaine, Mild Chillies And Red Onions

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Salad Of Cracked Pepper-Dusted Chicken Liver Nuggets, Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, Romaine, Mild Chillies And Red Onions

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Salad Of Cracked Pepper-Dusted Chicken Liver Nuggets, Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, Romaine, Mild Chillies And Red Onions

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Preparation :
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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Shrimp & Spinach

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Shrimp & Spinach

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Not too long ago, one esteemed member of our happy ChefsOpinion family mentioned that I prepare shrimp too often. While I understand that not everyone loves shrimp as much as I do (many folks do, though), 99.9 % of my posts show what Bella and I actually prepare and eat at home and is not selected for popularity but for whatever we feel like eating that day. 🙂
If I would write this blog to get “likes”, make money or be universally popular, I would pick the food according to those criteria. ChefsOpinion evolved from my original, for-profit online business “Chefcook.Us” and is now a simple account of food I like and prepare at home for Bella and myself, with the occasional opinion about food in general thrown in.
Remember, ChefsOpinion is about “Real Food & Real Opinions”, not about trends or “in”- food, otherwise I would not feature such delicacies as ham hogs, tripe, liver, heart, gizzards,snails, kidneys and so many other dishes which are definitely not popular or even known to most folks, at least around here in the US. I pride myself to try to also cater to all (including myself) who love food that is not easily available at other places and has disappeared from the mainstream, even if those posts are sometimes only popular with a select few.
Obviously shrimp are not in this category, I just wanted to make this point again, lest my readers forget – “ChefsOpinion – Real Food & Real Opinions”
So then, please forgive me, but here, once again, is another post about Shrimp. 🙂

(To Robert, With Love) 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Shrimp & Spinach

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Shrimp & Spinach

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Shrimp & Spinach

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Preparation :
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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Cork Screw Pasta With Chicken And Vegetables In Curried Coconut Cream

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Leftover pasta. What to do with it ?
Usually, most folks just pop it in the microwave with a bit of sauce (or ketchup?? ) 🙂
Or maybe cook it up in a pan with some eggs ?
How about doing this easy, sexy beauty next time !
I had some left over pasta and roast chicken in the fridge from the previous day, and of course there is always some type of veggie in the fridge and coconut cream in the larder, so this wonderful tasty and pretty dish basically crawled together by itself 🙂
It took a mere few minutes to prepare and was truly delicious and satisfying. Definitely better than “microwaved leftover pasta with ketchup” ! 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Cork Screw Pasta With Chicken And Vegetables In Curried Coconut Cream

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Preparation :
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Sautéed  Chicken Thighs

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Sautéed  Chicken Thighs

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Sometimes when I think long enough about a certain dish, I can hardly wait to have it in front of me and to dig in.
Many times, my craving is so strong that I just want to have that particular item, with no “distraction” from side dishes, sauce or condiments. Such was the case with these chicken thighs, which madam and I nearly finished in one sitting.
Aaahhhh, gluttony………….  😦 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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season chicken with sriracha, granulated garlic, dried oregano, soy sauce and kosher salt for at least 6 hours, better yet, overnight

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pat the chicken dry, saute in peanut oil on both sides until golden and crisp (about 12 minutes on each side, depending on the size of the thighs); the temperature on the bone, at the thickest part of the meat should reach 162 F; remove from pan to absorbent paper, the carry-over heat will take the chicken to a safe and juicy 165F (any more and the chicken will be dry) !!!!!

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almost……….

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Sautéed  Chicken Thighs

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Sautéed  Chicken Thighs

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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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