Happy Halloween 2016!!

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Well Happy Halloween everyone!!!ย 

Yes I know I have not blogged in FOREVER!! But this girl has been busy, but today
I have a quick easy recipe for Halloween or really anytime. ๐Ÿ™‚

I do like a Butterfinger Candy Bar every once in awhile, so when I saw this online, I thought really does it taste like a Butterfinger????

This was one of those million some videos you see of recipes, and I was like 3 ingredients and you have a Butterfinger…well lets give this a try ๐Ÿ˜› ย LOL!!

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Now I made a big batch, I wanted to bring them to the office today for everyone for Halloween.ย 

So I will give you the original recipe and then tell you what I did for large batch.

So you need – Chocolate discs for melting, Creamy Peanut Butter and a bag of Candy Corn…

Now you know tomorrow you will find a ton of bags of Candy Corn marked down to like 25 cents…LOL
So stock up and you can make this anytime ๐Ÿ™‚

Melt Chocolate, spread on to a silpat or parchment paper

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In a microwave safe bowl add peanut butter and candy corn

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Heat in microwave until softened, then mix until smooth
and candy corn has been melted and mixed in

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Once Chocolate layer is firm, layer candy corn mixture over top

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Spread mixture over chocolate to the edge

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Melt more chocolate

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Spread it over top all the way over the edge

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Like this, now let it set up, I let mine set on the counter

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Now Cut and there you have your bars,ย 
you also can free form bar shapes and then dip
the whole bar into chocolate

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Homemade Butterfinger Bars

The original recipe is not mine, just google it and you will find a lot of them.

1 cup candy corn
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups chocolate discs

Melt half the chocolate and spread out onto a silpat or parchment paper, set aside to cool

In a microwave safe bowl add candy corn, heat for 30 seconds and keep repeating until smooth,ย then add peanut butter, mixture will become stiff.
Let cool a little, then spread over top of chocolate, then melt remaining chocolate and spread over top of candy corn mixture, let set then cut into bars.

What I did was a little different, and this is that recipe, this was a large batch

4 cups candy corn
1 jar 16.3 oz. peanut butter
1 lb. milk chocolate disc, dividedย 
1 lb. semi-sweet chocolate disc, divided

I used a silpat for this and made it over the entire thing

To a microwave safe bowl add half the milk chocolate and half the semi-sweet, I also like to add a tablespoon of Crisco shortening to my chocolate to make smoother. ย Heat for 1 minute, stir, then heat again in 20 secondsย intervals, stirring each time until smooth.

Pour out all over the silpat, let set to cool, once cool, then in a large microwave safe bowl add candy and peanut butter. I added some peanut butter first then some candy, then peanut butter again then candy then peanut butter again.

Heat for 1 minute, stir, then heat for 1 minute and 30 seconds, stir again, then heat in 20-30 second intervals until candy corn is completely combined into the mixture. ย 

TIP – take the candy corn and add it to your food processor to chop up, I think doing this will help in melting easier and then it will not take that long in the microwave.

Let candy corn mixture cool just a bit, then spread it over the cooled chocolate, spreading it to the chocolates edge.

Now melt the same way as the first, the remaining chocolate and pour over top the candy mixture.

Let set up at room temp for at least 6 hours, if you can’t wait you can put it in the fridge to firm, but let it get to room temp before cutting or chocolate could crack.

Cut into any size bar you want…and Enjoy!!!

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Happy Pi Day! 3-14

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Happy Pi Day Everyone!!! 3-14-16

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In honor of Pi Day here is a link to my Banana Cream Pie!!! ย I hope you check it out and what Pie will you be eating today!! LOL!! ๐Ÿ™‚

https://whatscookingwithchefamy.com/2012/06/17/banana-cream-pie-for-fathers-day/

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National Chocolate Cake Day!!!

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So yesterday was National Chocolate Cake Day, and I got the itch to make a
Chocolate Cake and I brought it in for the office today!!! ย 

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I know they will happy, since this is the second thing I made this week, on Monday
I made a Cinnamon and Walnut Coffee Cake and they all loved that!! ๐Ÿ™‚

So I didn’t have my usual ingredients at the house that I have used in my Chocolate cakes before, like
buttermilk or sour cream those things make my cakes moist and I like using them.

So I just followed the recipe on the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa Powder can.

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The only thing I did differently was two things:
1. I used 1 cup of cocoa powder, instead of what it said, (I can’t remember LOL)
2. I used Hot Strong Coffee instead of Hot Water.

I also made it in a bundt pan ๐Ÿ™‚ Bake for about 40-50 mins, just until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.

The I made Cream Cheese Frosting and that recipe is below ๐Ÿ™‚

Adding the chocolate to the cream cheese, butter and sugar (sorry i didn’t take better pictures)

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whipped up altogether ๐Ÿ™‚

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frosting!!

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Done ๐Ÿ™‚

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now Enjoy!!!

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Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

2 – 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
2 stick of butter, softened
1 3/4 – 2 cups powdered sugar
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup half and half

In a double boiler add chocolate and half and half, stir until chocolate has melted and mixture has before like a thick paste. ย Remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl mix cream cheese until fluffy, then add butter and mix until combined and fluffy.
Then add powdered sugar, I only used 1 3/4 cup but if you like it sweeter add more, mix until combined.

The mix in chocolate and continue to mix until all in combined and fluffy.

This recipe covered the bundt cake and I had about 2 cups left over.

Store cake in the refrigerator, let set at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving.

YUMMY!!! Enjoy!!

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Homemade Pumpkin Spice Creamer!!

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So are you one of those people that CANNOT wait till fall hits so you can get your
Pumpkin Spice Latte on!! ๐Ÿ˜›

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As you know most of the coffee shops only have this Pumpkin Spice Syrup during the fall and maybe into the winter???

I don’t know because I am not one of those people ๐Ÿ˜›

But it doesn’t mean I don’t want to get on the “Band Wagon” and make my own…LOL!!

So many recipes have been flying around the internet, so I decided I would give it a try…

And let me tell you it turned out DELICIOUS!!!!!!!

I kind of shock myself…LOL ๐Ÿ˜›

So of course I dug into my spices to find the hidden Pumpkin Pie Spice in the back from the fall before LOL and finally can open one of the two large can of pumpkin pure, again from the fall before ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Okay so what else…I found some sweetened condensed milk and now I just needed cream, but I didn’t want to use cream, so I settled for half n half.

Okay I think I am ready to go and this is how it all went.

Ingredients

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in a saucepan, pumpkin, milk and spice

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stir that up, then stir in the half n half

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cook on med-high
okay I will confess, I had in on med-high, but I was trying to do other things as well, and I may not have been stirring it the whole time…hence it started to burn on the bottom, when I went back to it, and started whisking like a mad women, black bits started to surface. ย I may have cursed that this time, but I turned it down to low and kept on whisking until it thickened a little, then I let it cool for 5 minutes

Once I tried it was AWESOME!! It tasted like Toasted Pumpkin Marshmallow ๐Ÿ™‚
I thought Holy Crap I just added another flavor dimension…WOOO HOOOO!!!!! LOL ๐Ÿ™‚

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It does get a little darker as it thickens

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now you have strain this through a fine mesh strainer,
and take the back of a spatula and force the mixture through the
strainer by moving the spatula back and forth

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this is what you will have left in the strainer

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after I let the mixture cool in the fridge,
I poured it into 2 little mason jars

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This will keep in your fridge up to 2 weeks
if it last that long ๐Ÿ™‚ LOL

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My Pumpkin Spice Cappuccino

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I added to my mug, about 2 Tbsp. pumpkin mixture
2 Tbsp. creamer and stir it up

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Then I frothed that

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Then I add my espresso

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and to finish it off I sprinkle a little
Pumpkin Pie Spice on top…it was just Yumm!!!

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Now you can just mix it into your regular coffee,
as I did at the office this morning ๐Ÿ™‚

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As I talk to some of the ladies this morning, I started coming up
all kinds ideas to do with this mixture besides to put in your
coffee…oh a can wait to get back in the kitchen…stay tune!!!

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Homemade Pumpkin Spice Creamer

  • Time: 15 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup half n’ half, or cream or whole milk

Whisk everything together in a saucepan, cook over med-high, whisk until mixture thickens
and darkens a little. ย Like I said above, let it burn a little and it will give it a toasted flavored, I felt
like that added such good flavor.

Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer, take a spatula and force mixture through the strainer by going back and forth. ย Pour mixture into a jar or container and keep refrigerated for up to two weeks if it last that long…LOL ย Mind didn’t ๐Ÿ˜›

Add as much or as little to your coffee or tea and sit back and enjoy!!

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You Say Tomato I Say Tomahto!!

25 Comments

Tomatoes, who has tomatoes…I DO!!!!!!!!
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My Dad’s garden is producing a plenty, his plants are 8 feet tall and going wild!!!

I have a few pictures here from the beginning stages, they are about 5 to almost 6 foot at this point,
my Dad here is growing, leaf lettuce, kale, peppers, cucumbers, onions, green beans, eggplants and of course Tomatoes!!!
There maybe be more he grows but I can remember, I do know he has another patch that asparagus is in and the green house that things grow too…

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but I just decided to write this blog about tomatoes last night, so I don’t have recent pictures of it ๐Ÿ™‚ these picture were about the 2nd week of June

So I have been eating a lot of tomatoes lately, but they have really only been from my Dad’s, I don’t buy them usually, but I do love when I get them from him and his garden.

As anyone knows they just taste better than you can get in the store and it’s really the only eat time I do eat them.
My Mom and Dad will freeze them, stew them, roast them, sauce them, slice them for BLT (which I think they east daily during the summer) and chop them for salads. ย Plus whatever else they do with them ๐Ÿ™‚

I on the other hand I tend to eat them a little differently ๐Ÿ™‚

First I blanch them and remove the skins, I have issues with the skins, that’s all I will say ๐Ÿ™‚

Here are a few pictures of ways that I have enjoyed using my Dad’s fresh tomatoes from his garden.

I hope you will enjoyย too!!!

Making sauce, in my Vitamix are tomatoes, roasted garlic, some Italian herbs, red pepper flakes and salt.
The Vitamix will also cook it too you let it run about 5-7 minutes and you have hot soup or sauce ๐Ÿ™‚

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Mixing it all up

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Freezing some for winter ๐Ÿ™‚

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Cooking some down too

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This is the cherry tomatoes, sauteed with garlic, onions and spinach
tossed with the pasta, then fold in some fresh mozzarella pearls
then a drizzle of some balsamic glaze…Delish!!!!

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My all time favorite thing in the world is
Polenta with fresh tomatoes and a poached egg!!!
This is heaven for me!!!

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another day again…YUMMY!!!

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This is my FBT…Fake bacon and tomato ๐Ÿ˜›

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Ran out of the cornmeal to make polenta
So I made couscous instead…Delish too!!!

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This was last night’s dinner
tomatoes, roasted garlic tossed with pasta and some fresh mozzarella cubes
I was talking about making this a work…so ladies this is what I made…simple and quick ๐Ÿ™‚

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Oh and here is the kale and I made some kale chips…very good with a
sprinkle of kosher salt and garlic powder ๐Ÿ™‚

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Here are couple of links of 2 more of my blogs that I used tomatoes in the past
First up is my Tomato Cobbler – this turned out really really good so if you
want something a little different try this recipe.

ย Second is Orzo Salad with Basil, Tomato & Feta – I made this at one
of my outdoor cooking classes last year.

Enjoy the rest of the summer everyone!!!

What’s next here hopefully sooner than later
my trip to Bourbon Country ๐Ÿ™‚
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It Was An All-Star Week!!!!

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Well if you are not a sports fan and don’t live in Cincinnati, then you may not even know what I am talking about ๐Ÿ™‚ but for a year the city has been planning for Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game.

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Let me say the city was crazy, I did go downtown a couple of days but if you didn’t get down there early to find a parking space, lot or garage it was nuts. ย So to say the least I just drove around and then went back across the river ๐Ÿ˜›

But the Home Run Derby was exciting since Todd Frazier of the Cincinnati Reds won it this year!!!

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 13:  National League All-Star Todd Frazier #21 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates with teammate National League All-Star Aroldis Chapman #54 of the Cincinnati Reds after winning the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders at the Great American Ball Park on July 13, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 554358169 ORIG FILE ID: 480626732

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 13:  National League All-Star Todd Frazier #21 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates with the trophy after winning the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders at the Great American Ball Park on July 13, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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All and all I think Cincinnati and Northern Ky. did an outstanding job hosting this years All-Star Game.

I did take some pictures, I have some here that friends took as well, but as I say it was an “All-Star Week”

There were are couple birthdays in our family and of course I made a few things, so check out my pictures and enjoy!!!

First of the birthdays was my little niece I made cupcakes ๐Ÿ™‚

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She likes presents and bubbles ๐Ÿ™‚

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Around town they made these mustaches statues here are few of them

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here is the picture of all of them that they made, pretty cool ๐Ÿ™‚
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Here are few of my souvenirs

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Buskin Bakery made the cookies got to love that!!

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Here are some pictures of the Red Carpet Parade,
the players start at their hotel and end at the ball park, all on red carpet ๐Ÿ™‚
Grand Marshall – Barry Larkin

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Mr. Red and Gapper

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Rosie Red

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Some other mascots

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Todd Frazier and his family

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You can see on Todd’s hand the blisters from the Home Run Derby ๐Ÿ™‚

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Few other Players ๐Ÿ™‚

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Some of the city skyline and downtown

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yes they had a zipline too

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My All-Star Pizza, half spinach & garlic
other half was spinach, Gorgonzola cheese,
sliced almonds, sliced strawberries and
balsamic glaze…so so GOOD!!!

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The other birthday was my Mommy!! ๐Ÿ™‚

I made her cookies peanut butter with no flour ๐Ÿ™‚

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Dinner – Braised Short Ribs, butter noodles and carrots ๐Ÿ™‚

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Peach Ice Cream (I just scooped some out to take the picture)
she took the Ice Cream, cookies all home ๐Ÿ™‚

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And for actual dessert I made Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting ๐Ÿ˜›

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I must say I agree is was an All-Star Week ๐Ÿ™‚

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Summer Cooking Class Series!!

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Yes I know I have been a little “MIA” lately!!!

But this summer has been busy and I can’t believe its JULY!!!!ย 
I have my hand in so many different little things that I am just so busy and it’s been hard to find the time to blog. ย Plus I have not been cooking anything really good for myself, so hence no blogs.

But I did finish a couple weeks ago a cooking class series that I did in 3 of our stores ๐Ÿ™‚

They all turned out great, a lot of grilling and a few out of the box recipes, beer sampling with one too!!

Here are a few pictures of the dishes and the crowds, it was a great time and I had a LOT of help from some of GREAT co-workers.

I hope you enjoy!!!

Grilled Fruit Pizza – naan bread, Camembert cheese, blackberries, strawberries, basil and balsamic glaze

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Grilled Asian Corn with peanuts

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Grilled Watermelon with arugula, feta and balsamic glaze

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Crowd pic

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Veggie Pizza – Garlic naan bread, red pepper hummus, grilled veggies topped with goat cheese

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Grilled pound cake and pineapple

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Grilled German Potato Salad

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Grilled veggies with garlic couscous topped with basil

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crowd pics

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Zucchini & tomato salad with ricotta, Parmesan and pesto

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Hawaiian Rice – cooked in coconut milk, golden raisin, macadamia nuts and green onions

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Mango & pineapple salsa

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Crowd Pics

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Grilled romaine with mango vinaigrette, shredded jicama, pineapple, red pepper and black sesame seeds

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Me – having fun with the microphone….I love being on the Microphone ๐Ÿ˜›ย 

Chef Amy