Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Breakfast

Eggs and Peppers with Avocado Salsa

Servings: 2

Ingredients

1 large red bell pepper
1/2 avocado, diced
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/2 jalapeño pepper, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 plum tomato, seeded and diced
Juice of 1 small lime
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil,
4 large eggs
¼ teaspoon ground pepper

Directions

Slice off the top and bottom of the bell pepper… Remove and discard seeds and membranes. Finely chop the top and bottom end. Slice the pepper center into four 1/2-inch-thick rings.

For the salsa
Combine the diced pepper ends with the avocado, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, tomatoes, lime juice, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper rings, then crack 1 egg into the middle of each ring.

Cover the pan and cook until the whites are set and the yolks are firm.
Spread ½ cup of salsa on each serving [late and place two pepper rings on top.


Sicilian Potato and Green Bean Salad

Ingredients

1 ½ pound {about 5} unpeeled red new potatoes, steamed
1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup sun-dried tomato strips packed in olive oil
Salt

Dressing
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon capers, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 hard-cooked [steamed} egg, steamed and mashed
¼ cup olive oil from the sun-dried tomatoes
¼ cup packed fresh basil leaves, cut into very thin strips

Directions

How to steam the eggs and potatoes

I don’t boil eggs in water, instead, I steam them and they come out perfect every time. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a pot with the steaming basket in it. When the water is boiling add the eggs to the basket, cover the pot, and set a timer for 12 minutes. When the timer goes off, put the eggs in a bowl of ice water until completely cooled.

ill a pot with one inch of water and put a steamer basket inside. Place the potatoes in the steamer basket and bring water to a boil. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, thinly slice the potatoes.
If you do not have a steamer basket, you can cook the eggs and potatoes in the conventional; way.

In a 4-quart Dutch oven combine green beans and enough salted water to cover. Bring to boiling over high heat; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Drain. Let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour or until cool.

For the dressing

Finely shred peel from lemon; measure 2 teaspoons lemon peel. Juice lemon; measure 3 tablespoons of juice.

For the salad

in a salad bowl combine oil, 2 teaspoons lemon peel, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, the capers, anchovies, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Mash the egg and stir it into the dressing.

Oven-Baked Chicken Thighs

Ingredients

2 lbs {5} chicken thighs
5 teaspoons lemon pepper
5 tablespoons Dijon Honey Mustard
1 cup unseasoned panko crumbs

Ingredients

Season the thighs with lemon pepper and refrigerate for several houses.

When ready to cool:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and oil a baking dish.
Brush the chicken with mustard on all slides and dredge in panko. Place in the baking dish.

Cook for 45 to 50 minutes and the chicken is crispy and registers 165 degrees on an instant meat thermometer.


Suggested dishes to serve with the casserole: baked ham, sliced tomatoes, muffins, fruit salad.

8 servings

Ingredients

2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 large shallot, minced
1 bunch Tuscan kale {spinach/swiss chard}
1 large baking potato, peeled
1 garlic clove, minced
6 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Coat a medium baking dish with vegetable spray.
Remove the stems from the kale. Wash the kale well. Chop and dry the leaves.
Shred the baking potato on a box grater.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, and mustard. Add the garlic, shallot, and, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, the shredded potato, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
Stir the kale into the egg mixture, Mix well.
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Top the casserole with the remaining mozzarella cheese,
Cover with foil. and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake,
uncovered, for 15 minutes, until the top is lightly brown. Let rest 10 minutes before cutting into serving pieces.

 


Springtime Vegetables and Eggs

6 servings

Cut all the vegetables into ½ inch cubes

ingredients

¼ cup olive oil
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 medium baking potato, peeled and diced
1 cup diced red onion
1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
½ teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil1/4 teaspoon drie4d oregano
1 medium zucchini, diced
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cup leftover cooked asparagus {see recipe}
8 eggs, beaten
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

Heat the broiler and move the rack down to the center of the oven.
In a large 12-inch ovenproof skillet or omelet pan, heat the oil.
Add the garlic. potato. Bell pepper android onion. Cook over medium heat until soft, 10=12 minutes. Add the seasonings, zucchini, and asparagus. Cook until heated through.
Pour the beaten eggs over the vegetable and cook over medium until the eggs are set on the bottom. Distribute the cheese evenly over the egg mixture.
Place the pan on the oven shelf under the broiler and cook until the cheese is completly7 melted and the eggs are set on top.
Let the frittata rest for 10 minutes before cutting into serving pieces.


America is a melting pot that was formed by the hard-working people who migrated here from lands as far east as China and Japan, as far north as Russia and Europe. They utilized American supplies and prepared them in ways that they had prepared them in their homeland. True American food is a collection of these culinary traditions passed down from generation to generation”.Each culture brought its cooking methods, food, and spices to America. They farmed the soil, hunted game, and incorporated their ways into the food of America.

The earliest known reference to French toast is found in the Apicius, a collection of recipes dating to the 1st century, where the dish is described as simply “aliter dulcia” (“another sweet dish”. The recipe says to “Break [slice] fine white bread, crust removed, into rather large pieces which soak in milk [and beaten eggs] fry in oil, cover with honey and serve”.The usual French name is pain perdu.It may also be called pain doré, “golden bread”.

An Austrian and Bavarian term is pafese or pofese, from zuppa pavese, referring to Pavia, Italy.The word “soup” in the dish’s name refers to bread soaked in a liquid, a sop. In Hungary, it is commonly called bundáskenyér (lit. “furry bread”)

French toast was served in railroad dining cars in the early and mid-20th century. Santa Fe was especially known for its French toast.

So, if the French did not invent this breakfast treat, who did? According to some, it was a man named Joseph French. He created the dish in 1724 and advertised it as “French Toast” because he forgot to add the apostrophe to his name.

Still, others say that there are recipes from the early 5th century AD and the dish we now know as French toast existed as early as the Roman Empire/ Romans would soak bread in a milk and egg mixture, then fry it in oil or butter.

Others believe that French toast was created by medieval European cooks who needed to use every bit of food they could find to feed their families. They knew day-old bread could be revived when moistened and heated. They added the eggs for additional moisture and protein.

The phrase “French Toast” first appeared in print in the Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink in 1871. But it is known by a variety of names including German toast, eggy bread, French-fried bread, gypsy toast, Poor Knights of Windsor, Spanish toast, nun’s toast, and pain perdu which means “lost bread” in French.

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Almond Cream Cheese Coffee Cakes

Makes 2 cakes

Dough

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 cup milk at room temperature
2 eggs at room temperature
4 cups bread or all-purpose flour

Filling

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
8 ounces almond paste, broken into small pieces

Glaze

2 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
¼ cup toasted slivered almonds

To Make the Dough:

Mix all the dough ingredients in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment until the dough comes to a ball or comes away from the sides of the mixer bowl.

Switch to the dough hook and knead the dough for 10 minutes or until the dough is soft and smooth.

Remove the dough to a floured surface. Grease the bowl and return the dough to the bowl. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 1 hour, or until it’s puffy (though not necessarily doubled in bulk).

To Make the Filling:

While the dough is rising, prepare the filling by beating the cream cheese and the almond paste together until smooth. Chill until ready to use.

Assembly:

Cover two large baking pans with parchment paper.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and divide in half.
Rol one half into a large rectangle, about 12 x 140inches.

Spread half of the filling on the dough, leaving a half-inch border all around the dough.

Fold the dough into thirds like a letter from the long side. Seal the ends tightly. Form the roll into a horseshoe and pinch the ends together.

Place the dough on the prepared pan. Using kitchen scissors, cut two-thirds through the dough from the outer rim of the circle at 1-inch intervals.


Repeat with the remaining ingredients to form another cake.

Allow the cakes to rise, covered with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel for 1 hour until almost doubled in size.

Baking

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Bake the cakes for 30 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Switch pans after 15 minutes to alternate on the oven racks.

Remove the cake from the oven and slide with the parchment paper to cool on a wire rack.

To make the glaze:

Combine the powdered sugar, almond extract, and enough milk to make a thin frosting. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and allow the glaze to set before serving.


Make this big batch of Jumbo Apple Muffins if you have a large family or to store in the freezer for a quick breakfast.

Jumbo Apple Muffins With Crumb Topping

Makes 20 Jumbo muffins

Muffin Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 lbs (4 cups ) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and finely diced
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Topping Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granola
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons heavy cream

Directions

Mix the diced apples with the lemon juice and set aside.

Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Spray 20 jumbo muffin cups with non-stick spray and line the muffin cups with paper liners. Set aside.

In a large bowl, gently toss together the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, and buttermilk. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Avoid overmixing. Fold in the apples.

Use a ⅓ cup measure and fill each muffin cup with the apple mixture.

Combine the topping ingredients with your hands to form little clumps in a micing bowl.

Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the crumb topping on each muffin. Evenly distribute any remaining topping.

Bake at 425F degrees for 5 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375F degrees and continue to bake for 25 minutes until tops are lightly golden and the centers appear set. Allow cooling for 10 minutes in the pan before moving to wire racks to cool.

Combine the glaze ingredients and then drizzle a little over each muffin.

Store muffins at room temperature in an airtight container or freeze well for up to 3 months.

 

 


Make a large piece of meat (beef roast, chicken, or pork roast) one day a week and you will have lots of easy meals during the week. Last week I made a baked ham (recipe) that had been in my freezer for a few months. Having these leftovers made for some easy meals.

Ham Omelet For Breakfast

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
8 large eggs
4 small red potatoes, cooked and diced
1 cup diced Italian light green frying peppers
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 cup diced cooked baked ham
3 slices American cheese, broken into pieces

Directions

Position rack in the upper third of the oven; preheat the broiler.
Whisk eggs in a medium bowl. Heat oil and butter in a large ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, peppers, and potatoes; cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the ham; cook, stirring, until the ham is hot.
Pour the eggs over the vegetable ham mixture and cook, lifting the edges of the omelet so uncooked egg can flow underneath until the bottom is light golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top, transfer the pan to the oven and broil until the eggs are set, 6 to 8 minutes. Let rest for about 3 minutes before cutting. Serve hot or warm.

Ham And Potato Soup For Lunch

Ingredients

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 large onion diced
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
3 cups peeled and diced potatoes
4 cloves garlic minced
1 1/2 cups cooked ham, diced (add more if desired)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups ham broth, see recipe below
3 cups of milk
1 teaspoon of salt (adjust to your taste)
Fresh cracked black pepper

Directions

For the ham broth

Simmer the ham bone in a stockpot filled with enough water to cover the bone halfway.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover with a lid, and let simmer until the meat clinging to the bone begins to shred. (about 1 hour).
Discard the hambone.

For the soup

Heat the butter in the stockpot over medium heat. Sauté the onion, carrots, and celery until beginning to soften (about 4 minutes).
Add the potatoes, cook for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
Mix the flour through the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes.
Stir in the ham stock, mixing all ingredients together, and making sure the flour is completely dissolved. Cover the pan and cook until the potatoes are ‘just’ fork-tender, about 10-12 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low, add the milk and stir over the heat until thickened (about 5 minutes). Using a hand blender, process the soup until partially pureed. Leave a few chunks here and there. Stir in the chopped ham and heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve hot.

Air-Fryer Chicken Tenders For Dinner

Ingredients

1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
Salt
1 cup Italian seasoned panko crumbs
¼ cup of vegetable oil
Cooking spray
6 chicken tenders

Directions

Pound the tenders between plastic wrap to ¼ inch thick

Mix the oil into the panko crumbs until combined.

Dip each tender in the egg and then the panko. Place on a plate. Sprinkle the tenders lightly with salt. (Can be refrigerated at this point until ready to cook.)

Set the air-fryer temperature to 350 degrees F and preheat the oven (takes about 10 minutes).

Remove the air-fryer basket and coat with cooking spray. Place the tenders in the basket – don’t do more than 6 at one time. Repeat the process if you have more.

Bake 6 minutes. Turn the tenders over and bake 6 more minutes. Remove to a serving platter.

Spinach Stuffed Tomatoes

Ingredients

4 medium tomatoes
4 teaspoons panko crumbs
10 oz pkg frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons cream cheese
2 tablespoons heavy cream
salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese

Directions

Heat oil in a small saucepan and add garlic; cook 1 minute
Add spinach and heat.
Make a well in the center of the spinach and add the cream.
Heat and stir until cheese is dissolved throughout the spinach. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut a thin slice off the top of the tomatoes and scoop out the pulp and seeds. Salt the inside of the tomatoes and turn upside down on a plate lined with a paper towel to extract juices, about 15 minutes.

Stuff the tomatoes with the spinach filling, Sprinkle with the top of each tomato with Parmesan cheese and panko crumbs. Place the tomatoes in a greased baking dish just large enough to hold the four tomatoes. Bake until the filling is hot and the tops are light brown, about 20 minutes.


Coconut Layer Cake

When baking with coconut milk, I use shelf-stable boxed coconut milk.

Layer Cake
1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature-very soft)
1 2/3 cups sugar
9 eggs at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups coconut flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 1/3 cups coconut milk

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch or two 8-inch layer pans. Line the bottom with parchment paper.

Combine the butter and sugar, and beat together for about 2 minutes using an electric mixer.

Add eggs in one at a time and beat at high speed for about 3 minutes. Add in the vanilla while beating the eggs and butter mixture.

Combine the dry ingredients together and add one cup at a time, alternating with the coconut milk. Beat batter for about five minutes on high speed.

Spoon batter into the two prepared cake pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Place the pans on a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before removing the layers from the pans. Cool cakes completely before frosting.

Filling Ingredient
1 cup raspberry or strawberry jam

Frosting Ingredients
1 (8 ounces) package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream
Toasted or tinted coconut flakes

Prepare the Frosting: Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar with a heavy-duty stand mixer using the whisk attachment on medium speed until creamy. Add vanilla and heavy cream and beat until fluffy.

Assemble the cake: Place 1 layer on a serving platter, and spread jam over the layer, spreading to within 1/2-inch from the edge. Top with the second layer, and spread frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Garnish with toasted coconut.

Zucchini Bread

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg at room temperature
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 cup shredded zucchini squeezed to remove water (about 1 medium zucchini)
2 cups Oat Flour
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mix or cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350degrees F. Coat an 8×4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. Spray the paper.

In a large bowl mix together the olive oil, egg, vanilla extract, honey, milk, and zucchini.

Combine dry ingredients together (oat flour, spices, baking powder/baking soda, salt) and stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients, Fold in walnuts.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until the top of the bread is golden and the cake tester comes out clean.

Allow bread to cool completely for at least 20 minutes, remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Pumpernickel Bagels

Bagel Dough
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
3 tablespoons brown sugar
4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 ½ teaspoons molasses
2 cups pumpernickel or dark rye flour
2 tablespoons dehydrated onion
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2-3 cups whole wheat flour

Kettle Water
6 quarts water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

To make the bagel dough:
Whisk 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, yeast, and molasses in a large bowl until the yeast dissolves. Stir in pumpernickel flour, onions, cornmeal, caraway seeds, and 1 tablespoon salt. Stir in enough of the wheat flour to make a soft dough, about 2 cups.

Knead, gradually incorporating more wheat flour, until the dough is resilient and quite firm, 10 to 12 minutes (the dough will remain slightly sticky). Cover the dough with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into 12 pieces; roll each piece into a 10-inch-long rope. Wet the ends lightly with water. Form into bagels by overlapping the ends up 1 inch. Pinch ends together firmly. Set bagels aside, uncovered, to rise until slightly puffy, about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Bring water, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil in a large pot.

Slip several risen bagels at a time into the pot of boiling water. Cook for 45 seconds, turn them over with a slotted spoon or tongs and cook for 45 seconds longer. Drain the bagels on a clean dish towel and place them on the prepared baking sheets.

Place in the oven, reduce heat to 425°F and bake for 12 minutes. Turn the bagels over and bake 5 more minutes. Cool on wire racks. Bagels freeze very well.


Italian Bagettes

Ingredients

1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup lukewarm water
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Combine all the ingredients for the dough in the large bowl of an electric mixer and with the paddle attachment mix until the ingredients come together around the paddle. Attach the dough hook and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes.

Spray a large ziplock plastic bag with olive oil cooking spray. Place the dough in the bag and close the top. Let rest on the counter until doubled in size or you can refrigerate overnight. Remove refrigerated dough from the refrigerator 30 minutes before shaping.

Place the dough on a floured board and divide in half. Gently roll one dough half under your cupped fingers to form the classic baguette shape: about 15” long, with tapered ends. Repeat with the second.

Put the baguettes on a parchment-lined (or lightly greased) baking sheet or use a greased baguette pan.
Let the baguette(s) rise, covered, for about 90 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Use a sharp knife to make 3 or 4 diagonal slashes in the top of each loaf. Hold the knife at a 45° angle, rather than perpendicular. Place the pan in the oven and spray water onto the oven sides and bottom. Close the oven door and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly brown.


Walnut & Dried Cherry Scones

Perfect for breakfast.

Ingredients

1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons orange zest
11/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small cubes
3/4 cup tart dried cherries, cranberries or blueberries
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 egg

Directions

Preheat the oven temperature to 400F.
In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, zest, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add butter and use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse meal.
Stir in walnuts, oats, and cherries.
Lightly beat buttermilk and egg together. Stir into flour mixture just until evenly combined.
Scoop dough in 12 equal portions onto two lightly sprayed or parchment-lined baking sheets. You can also form the dough into a one-inch thick circle on a floured cutting board and cut the dough into 12 triangles. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack. Cool.

100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

This bread is great for making sandwiches and also makes delicious toast.

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups warm water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dough enhancer or 2 tablespoons wheat gluten
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
6 cups whole wheat flour, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast

Directions

Grease two 9×5 bread pans. Set aside.
Put 5 cups of flour and the remaining ingredients in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Add yeast last.
Mix on low speed until mixed together. Add the remaining flour continue mixing until the dough peels away from sides of the bowl. Switch to the dough hook and mix on low speed for 5 more minutes.
Remove dough from the mixer bowl, divide in half, and shape into two bread loaves. Place one loaf in each prepared pan.
Spray plastic wrap with nonstick baking spray. Cover bread pans with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size. The amount of time will vary depending on the temperature of your kitchen. It usually takes around 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake bread for 35-40 minutes.
Remove bread from loaf pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
Slice and store in an airtight container.



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