Whipped cream

Fourth Of July – Celebrating The First Brexit Of 1776 (English Trifle)

Fourth Of July – Celebrating The First Brexit Of 1776 (English Trifle)

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Tomorrow is the 4th of July, “Independence Day”, Americas most celebrated public holiday.
And what better way than to rub it into the 200+year-old wound of the British than to celebrate this glorious occasion with this most typical of British desserts, the English Trifle 🙂
Well, just kidding. We are of course thankful that the Brit’s left us with this superbly wonderful dessert
(But mostly with the fact that they left us) 🙂 .
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Excerpt from “The Spruce”:
>>An English Trifle is the quintessential pudding that has graced British tables for more than four centuries.
The blousey looking, decadent, rich dessert is simply luscious. There are so many variations in the traditional recipe; some will boast jelly in their trifle, some not; fruit is a must-have for some, for others, no way. This is my recipe and one I have been making for many years. Essentially a trifle needs a sponge soaked (if for adults) in sherry, a thick layer of creamy custard and a deep layer of lightly whipped fresh cream. The rest is all about personal preference. My favorite trifle recipe is made with jelly as it is even more appealing to children though if so, do leave out the sherry. If you prefer a trifle without jelly, simply omit and proceed without, this will be quicker to make as it will not require setting in the fridge. You choose, they are all delicious.<<
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Vanilla pudding recipe:
1/3 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, pinch of salt, 2 cups milk, 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten, 2 tablespoons softened butter, a dash of vanilla extract.
1) – In a 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and boils. Simmer 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. Simmer and stir 1 minute; remove from heat. Stir in the butter and vanilla.
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P.S.
You can easily control the texture of your trifle by adding more or less cake, more or less fruit or jello, more or less whipped cream, more or less pudding and by soaking the cake with more or less liquid (booze for the grown-up’s, juice or honey for the kids)
(I personally prefer a lighter texture – more pudding, more cream, more fruits, easy on the cake).
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P.P.S.
I would usually use a bright red jam for a trifle, but when I started to prepare this one, I realized that I forgot to buy the jam. After an agonizing 2 seconds of mental deliberation, I decided to save myself a 5 mile trip to the store and instead use the apricot preserve I had in the larder. Less color, same great flavor.
And there you have it 🙂
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HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY !!!
(Great Britain rejoice, you still have Gibraltar) 🙂
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Fourth Of July – Celebrating The First Brexit Of 1776 (English Trifle)

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Fourth Of July – Celebrating The First Brexit Of 1776 (English Trifle)

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Fourth Of July – Celebrating The First Brexit Of 1776 (English Trifle)

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Fourth Of July – Celebrating The First Brexit Of 1776 (English Trifle)

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

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During  the past few very hot and very humid weeks I went to a couple of different establishments to get a cooling drink which I have had a huge craving for lately – “Eiskaffee“.
Today, after numerous unsuccessful attempts, I finally ended-up making it myself at home, because I could not get it anywhere 😦
Maybe it’s because German “eiskaffee” translates into English “Iced Coffee”???
At different places I was served various things, none of it even close to a Eiskaffee. Most versions were simple coffee with ice cubes, some contained added cream or condensed milk, some of them cold brewed coffee with ice cubes (why waste your time and $ on cold-brewed coffee when you water it down with ice??) but none of them was the original I was craving for.
You see, Eiskaffee is usually served at a Café (coffee shop)Eiscafé or Eisdiele (Ice Cream Parlor) in Germany. There you can order a huge variety of “Eisbecher“, different concoctions of ice cream, fresh or canned fruit, whipped cream, liquors, sweet wafers, coffee, chocolate, sprinkles, etc, etc, etc……..and one of the traditional  Eisbecher  is  Eiskaffee. It’s simplicity is stunning, it’s wonderful taste and refreshingness even more so. Like all simple food and drinks, the secret in it’s greatness lies in the use of top-notch ingredients. Top of the line vanilla ice cream, best quality, double strength coffee, fresh-whipped heavy cream, great quality coco powder to sprinkle on top and, if used, good quality cognac or coffee liquor.
So simple! So Good !
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here to see a large variety of  Eisbecher
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Click here to see what’s  NOT  Eiskaffee
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Below see the real McCoy.
Two different presentations, same ingredients :
Top of the line vanilla ice cream, best quality, double strength coffee, fresh-whipped heavy cream, great quality coco powder to sprinkle on top.
Optional : A shot of good quality cognac or coffee liquor.
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Eiskaffee

Eiskaffee

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Eiskaffee

Eiskaffee

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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 :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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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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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
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on 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 :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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I Once Was A Sinner………

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Sex, Drugs And Rock & Roll –
– Like most folks, I was not an angel growing up and growing old 😦 🙂
However, nowadays I am a lot older, a bit wiser and much less healthy, so the only sin I still engage in (ruefully) are the few sweet things which are left to me, such as cake, ice cream, whipped cream and chocolate.
Like everything else, I share them with Bella (tiny amounts of chocolate only, which she does not enjoy as much as ice cream and whipped cream anyway)
Here is an example of an afternoon sin-filled session which we both enjoyed 🙂
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Life is Good !   Enjoy It While You Can !
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Chocolate Panna Cotta With Rum-Macerated Rambutan & Vanilla Panna Cotta With Blueberries

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This  dessert is so fool-proof that it should feature prominently on the menu of folks who proclaim they can not cook and/or have no time to cook. Not only is extremely easy to prepare as far as desserts go, it is also super delicious and can easily be transformed into a whole new dessert by just adding another ingredient, such as chocolate, flavored syrup, fresh fruit, etc.
Quick, easy and delicious – my kind of dessert 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Sweet !
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Panna Cotta With Rum-Macerated Rambutan

Panna Cotta With Rum-Macerated Rambutan

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Panna Cotta With Blueberries And Whipped Cream

Panna Cotta With Blueberries And Whipped 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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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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BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS # 44 – Asparagus Omelette

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It’s  4.30am and I am jumping out of bed, upset that I’ll be late for work today. While walking Bella it dawns to me that it is Sunday…..
Well, the good thing is that my day will last longer,the bad thing is that I went to bed at 2.30 am in anticipation of sleeping in. Perhaps next weekend  will be the time to get enough sleep…….. 🙂
So, after deciding that it’s too late to go back to bed, at 5.00 am I had my first breakfast of coffee and brownies with whipped cream, followed by a second breakfast at 7.30 am of asparagus omelette with sautéed potatoes. Lunch was a German pancake with peaches and chocolate and dinner will be a vegetarian curry with basmati rice.
Life at present is not very exciting, but at least we eat good and plenty 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Asparagus Omelette

Asparagus Omelette

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Asparagus Omelette

Asparagus Omelette

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Preparation :
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season white asparagus spears with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (I usually don't use black pepper on light food, but here it belongs), when warm, remove and reserve

season white asparagus spears with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (I usually don’t use black pepper on light food, but here it belongs), when warm, remove and reserve

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saute blanched potatoes in garlic oil

saute blanched potatoes in garlic oil

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make an omelette with four whole eggs, seasoned with kosher salt and cayenne pepper, fold asparagus into omelette

make an omelette with four whole eggs, seasoned with kosher salt and cayenne pepper, fold warm asparagus into omelette

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Asparagus Omelette

Asparagus Omelette

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Asparagus Omelette

Asparagus Omelette

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Asparagus Omelette

Asparagus Omelette

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Asparagus Omelette

Asparagus Omelette

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