strawberries

End Of Summer Celebration – “Creamy Tomato & Bell Pepper Soup”

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End Of Summer Celebration – “Creamy Tomato & Bell Pepper Soup”

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Now that summer is almost over in Germany, I took the opportunity to buy some of the last garden-grown tomatoes and bell peppers from my neighbor down the road. (In a normal year, September provides the last locally grown tomatoes, while the season for bell peppers ends during October/November. As much as possible, I like to buy food that has been produced locally. My neighbor produces eggs, chicken, and lamb, as well as potatoes, tomatoes, capsicum, apples, blackberries, mirabelles, and strawberries.
Even the local supermarkets sell a lot of locally grown food-stuff, which makes one feel good about giving a little help to the local farmers. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good
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Click here for more  Soup  on  ChefsOpinion
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End Of Summer Celebration – “Creamy Tomato & Bell Pepper Soup”

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End Of Summer Celebration – “Creamy Tomato & Bell Pepper Soup”

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4 lbs tomatoes, 1.5 lbs red peppers

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add 2 ea medium size onions, cut int chunks

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add kosher salt, sriracha, sugar and garlic paste to taste

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add 1 gallon chicken- or veggie – broth,, simmer until liquid has reduced to 2 quarts

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with a stand-mixer or hand-mixer blend all until very smooth, last minute ad 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

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add 2 cup heavy cream, check/adjust flavor

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“Cobb” Yogurt

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“Cobb” Yogurt

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Fresh fruit yogurt is a dish I love to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and …….just about any time of the day.
Which brings up the question  – why would anybody buy the crappy ready-made stuff when this is so much better !?
I make this all the time, using whatever fruit is available, changing often so as to have a great variety of what is basically the easiest dish out there to prepare from scratch. Most of the time when good fruit is avilable, it is sweet enough that I don´t even have to add honey to the mix. The pictued amount is usually what I eat during a single day, either in addition to, or in place of, a regular meal. After years of eating this 4 to 5 times a week, I still do not get tired of it and I believe I never will. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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“Cobb” Yogurt

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“Cobb” Yogurt

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“Cobb” Yogurt

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“Cobb” Yogurt

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“Cobb” Yogurt

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

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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Once in a while, my neighborhood fishmonger receives an overnight delivery of fresh-caught, never frozen salmon. He usually leaves me an e-mail message the same morning, so by noon I’ll have salmon in my kitchen which happily swam in the ocean or stream just one or maybe a couple of days before that. Ahhh, the wonders of our modern times 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Salmon  on  ChefsOpinion
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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Sautéed Salmon With Arugula, Strawberries & Walnuts In Raspberry Vinaigrette


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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over 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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Rice Pudding With Fresh Berries And Yogurt (Arroz Con Leche)

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What  do vegetables and rice pudding have in common ?
– Most of us have been turned off by crappy versions when we were kids. Overcooked vegetables and over-sweetened, wallpaper-paste resembling, under-cooked rice pudding made most of us hate the stuff as kids. While a few moms and even fewer restaurants served decent vegetables and rice pudding, the majority of it turned us off to it for life 😦
Only with the introduction of nouvelle cuisine did vegetables get the respect they deserved. Nowadays, vegetables have finally achieved the place they deserve. Bright, perfectly cooked, deliciously seasoned and in an incredible variety, they are here to stay, from the simplest home preparation to incredible concoctions at fine dining establishments.
So what the heck happened to rice pudding ???!
For some reason, outside of some Latin countries, it has never caught-on in the mainstream, neither in most homes and definitely not in commercial food establishments.
To this day, it has the stigma as being too simple, too boring, too old-fashioned and just simply “bah”.
Yet I beg to differ, as I am trying to proof with this recipe of one of my newly re-discovered childhood favorites.
My mom was a less than stellar cook (love made me say that – in reality, outside of very few dishes she had mastered, she was as bad at cooking as one can imagine) 🙂 😦 .
But, as I recall from sweet memory, her rice pudding was second to none. However, through the years I had completely forgotten about the deliciousness of a well-prepared rice pudding, until a few months back when I had a perfect one at a friend’s house. This made me remember how wonderful it can be when done right and ever since, I have prepared it often for Bella and myself .
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
Usually, I would top this pudding with whipped cream and fresh berries. However, I prepared this large badge because I was invited to a beach party and whipped cream would not hold-up in the heat. Low and behold, the yogurt made a huge difference, the added tartness and the texture took the the final dish to an even higher level of comfort food heaven 🙂
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Rice Pudding With Fresh Berries And Yogurt

Rice Pudding With Fresh Berries And Yogurt

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Rice Pudding With Fresh Berries And Yogurt

Rice Pudding With Fresh Berries And Yogurt

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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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 :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Crustless No Bake Cheese Cake Dessert

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My  intention was to prepare a healthy, no refined-sugar containing, tasty and simple to prepare dessert. I started out on track, replacing the sugar in the cheese-cream filling with organic honey. But then, after I plated the first half of the cheese cake cream in a glass, topped it with honey-enriched strawberries and sugar-free whipped cream, I slipped and piled on the sugar in the form of a oh-so delicious, strawberry-jam filled, sugar-coated doughnut. Now, I will surely go to diet hell for this, but it was absolutely worth it !
And by the way, this particular cream cheese cake filling is the bomb, best I ever had.
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Bon Appetit !  See You In (Dessert) Hell 😦 🙂
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Link to Crustless Apple & Pear Pie
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Crustless No Bake Cheese Cake Dessert

Crustless No Bake Cheese Cake Dessert


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Crustless No Bake Cheese Cake

Crustless No Bake Cheese Cake

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Crustless No Bake Cheese Cake

Crustless No Bake Cheese Cake

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Preparation :
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To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Vanilla Pudding Chock-Full With Berries

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Ever  since I have started to eat healthier, my sweet tooth has suffered.
I had no problem giving up alcohol and I had no problem to stop smoking, but giving up on cake and patisserie remains a daily challenge, I miss my sweet’s terribly.
I am eating and enjoying a ton of fruits, but sometimes that just does not do the trick. I am a fairly good cook but a lousy patissier, so my sugar-free desserts are a bit lacking in finesse and variety.
Having said that, I DO have a few great options for sugar-free or at least refined-sugar free desserts. The following is one of my favorites because of its creaminess and richness.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Sweet ! (Sometimes)
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Vanilla Pudding Chuckfull With Berries

Vanilla Pudding Chock-Full With Berries

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Vanilla Pudding Chuckfull With Berries

Vanilla Pudding Chock-Full With Berries

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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  • 1/3 cup Honey
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 6 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
    lots of fresh, washed and dried berries

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Freeze Your Bananas !!!

H'LHCF Logo
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Link to “ Hans’ Lighter, Healthier Comfort Food ”
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 of my favorite fruits are bananas. So, me being me, every time I buy a bunch, without fail I buy too many. In the past, I discarded them once they had too many brown spots – until I started to become a fan of smoothies.
At first, I made my smoothies like I’ve seen them being made in bars around the world: Some fruit, lots of ice, milk, lots of sugar. Wonderful concoction if you are young, healthy, slim and have a smoothie once in a while. However, if you drink a lot of the stuff you will soon realize that after standing at room temperature for a short time, all that ice will melt and you have a very watered-down mess in your glass. Also, all that sugar and full-fat milk is fattening and can be harmful if you are a bit overweight (HELLO) and a diabetic (HELLO AGAIN).
In order to remedy all that , here is my recipe for a guilt free, delicious sweet treat / great drink, which can be had any time of day, for breakfast, lunch or dinner or as a sweet treat / dessert in between or after meals:

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Freeze any fruit that is on the verge of becoming overripe in airtight ziplock bags. This will save you money and it eliminates the need to add ice to your smoothie, keeping it from watering down.
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Instead of full-fat milk, use fat-free milk.
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Instead of sugar or artificial sweetener, use natural honey or fruit nectar (frozen into cubes) as sweetener.
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For extra body, add fat free Greek yogurt.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Guilt Free Sweet Pleasure: Banana / Strawberry  Smoothie

Guilt Free Sweet Pleasure:      Banana / Strawberry Smoothie

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Preparation :
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Breakfast Of Champions # 34 – Fruits & Dairy

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This  morning I did not feel like cooking, so I prepared myself this simple but delicious breakfast:
Blackberries, banana, strawberries, raspberry yogurt and whipped cream , accompanied by my usual breakfast beverage of choice, peppermint tea.

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Breakfast Of Champions # 34 – Fruits , Yogurt & Cream

Breakfast Of Champions # 34 – Fruits , Yogurt & Cream

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Breakfast Of Champions # 34 – Fruits , Yogurt & Cream

Breakfast Of Champions # 34 – Fruits , Yogurt & Cream

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Breakfast Of Champions # 34 – Fruits , Yogurt & Cream

Breakfast Of Champions # 34 – Fruits , Yogurt & Cream

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