Tag - menu monday

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Gourmet Eating Experience – in your own home!
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Tuna Steak
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Carnivores Rejoice! Turkey Has Been Saved.
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Shrimp Linguine
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Brie Is Beautiful
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Is It Time To Rethink Your Steak Dinner?
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Egg White Omelet
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Menu Monday…Shrimp Chop Salad Recipe

Gourmet Eating Experience – in your own home!

hello fresh

All I can say is holy smokes.  I had no idea that you could have a quick, gourmet meal delivered right to your front door for the price of a night out at an average restaurant.  I was recently introduced to Hello Fresh.  This is an amazing company that delivers all varieties of meals customized to your liking.  These are not frozen dinners from a truck or carry-out meals from the local Chinese restaurant.  These are down-home, healthy, flavorful meals that will blow you away!  I have written a fair amount about having a little swag and at least acting like you know your way around a kitchen (I am talking you men).  This company has your back in the department.  I will give you some details in the next few blogs about the three recipes that graced my kitchen and hope you give them a little love.  This is an introduction to the experience.  The three recipes will soon follow, I promise.

The Plan

hello freshHello Fresh has an online presence that allows you to customize meals based on taste and needs.  They have vegetarian options along with larger serving options.  The site is very easy to navigate and walks you through the menu planning process.  Fast forward a couple days as the package shows up at your house, complete with everything  you need to make the recipe.  The ingredients are fresh, super fresh.  The recipe cards, special offers, and apron (nice touch) are separate from the produce and  greet you as you open the box.

I had some doubts, after all, I like to cook and enjoy making my own meals.  My expectations were obliterated.  These first three recipes I tried were nothing I would have made on my own.  Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken Saltimbocca, Curried Jamaican Beef and Collard Greens, and Charred Zucchini & Bean Quesadillas are the tastes that changed my look at food.  I think I did not even realize my rut.  Did I mention they were awesome?

Some Details

Each recipe gives a picture based view of the cooking process which helps so much.  There are little icons that remind you of the time, the difficulty level, the spice level, allergens, and the core ingredient.  The card is very clear and concise.   I have read a fair amount of recipes and rarely dohello fresh I see calorie count, carbs, fat, protein, fiber, and even the tools needed listed as part of the recipe.

Is this more expensive than going to the store, sure.  The question that has to be asked, are you buying this kind of food at the store?  I mean really people, this is more like eating out at a great restaurant.  That is your comparison.  Don’t you dare compare this to some box of stuff and a some frozen beer.  When you match this up against the real target, a meal out, you are actually saving money and looking like a super star at the same time.  Picture this, date night, you cook this meal, pair it with a great wine and some mood music.  You are miles ahead financially than if you went out, got a cab, ordered drinks and food, left a tip for average service and came home broke.  Here is your only action item, planning.  This requires a little planning but please, don’t kid me, I know better.  You know when her birthday is, your anniversary comes up every year on the same day, and you should know when a holiday is coming up.  YOU HAVE A CALENDAR AND KNOW THE WEEKEND IS FEW DAYS AWAY.    These meals were under 12.00 per person.  My son and I ate at a sub shop the other day.  Two subs, chips and soda, 19.00.  Guess what else, it was super average tasting and made completely of salt, sugar, starch, and fat.  Game, set, match.

Final Thoughts

I don’t how to say this any other way.  Try it!  Don’t take my word for it, I am not a reliable source, your palate is.   Click on this link and enter this code – YCKNZUget $40.00 off your first order.  I will put the Curried Jamaican Beef and Collard Greens up against your homemade version any day (no offense but odds are you made ham instead).  People, step out of the routine, you will thank me.

Let’s Go!

Tuna Steak

Seared Tuna Steak

This may be my favorite recipe yet.  In the spirit of getting a huge bang-for-your-buck, this tuna steak is a bullseye.  I picked up an amazing tuna steak at my meat market and had it for lunch.  That’s right –  lunch – just $5.99 for a great meal that was ready in less than ten minutes. I guess you could have some processed grease-bomb with chips and a cup of sugar for the same price.  You pick.  I know which one I’d choose.

Tuna Steak

Get Ready For Lunch

Here’s all you need to do… practice this once on your own, then get ready to blow away your friends. Mix the following together:

  • 1 Tbsp. powdered wasabi mustard
  • 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp. Kosher Salt

Seared Tuna Steak

Once they are mixed together, it’s time to firmly press the steak into the seasonings covering it completely.  I have seen posts where they say to use tongs or some kind of gloves, but I say balderdash.  Grab it with your hands and get dirty.  The sesame seeds add a fantastic crunch to the tender steak.

Get the pan heated to medium-high.  Don’t rush.  Get that pan really hot because you only have one shot at a seared steak that rules the kitchen.  Put a thin coat of sesame oil on the bottom for flavor and to crisp up the crust.

How to Cook Tuna Steak #Viewblender

This step is important…

You all have to figure out how you like your tuna, but for me, the more rare the better.  Look at the finished product in the picture.  That steak was done with one minute on each side. Exactly one minute. If you really like it really rare, I would cut it down to 30 seconds per side.  Now get that meat off the heat, onto your plate, and into your mouth!

Ahi Tuna Steak

Plating

There are a lot of ways to serve this beauty.  Cut it up and eat it dipped in wasabi and soy sauce.  Lay the slices over a bed of greens and have a salad.  Take some leaf lettuce and make some wraps with rice.  There are endless ways to dress it up. I just ate it (sometimes plain and simple is the best way).

Ok gang, I am going to sign off and search for another great option for all of my Viewblender friends.  Heat it up and Let’s Go!

 

 

 

 

Carnivores Rejoice! Turkey Has Been Saved.

Avocado Turkey Feta Burger

Just when you though the health food nuts had met their match…  I have tried and tried but nothing has been able to displace the good old greasy burger.  My parents make Turkey burgers all of the time.  They are good for you and have NO TASTE.  Listen, I am 100% on board with health and treating your body right but, at some point we all must demand flavor.  All of you carnivores are welcomed back at the table for the most flavorful turkey burger you have ever eaten.  I understand it may be the first turkey burger you have ever eaten so you have no frame of reference but, I will take credit for bringing you to the turkey-table regardless. Buckle up kids, here comes the Turkey Burger.

Here Is The Straight Scoop

All you need is a bowl and a bunch of stuff to mix in it.  Get some lean ground turkey.  The one I bought was 1.25 pounds of 94% lean protein.  Grab your sharpest knife and a cutting board.  As always you can mix and match ingredients, but here is what I used.

1/4 cup Feta Cheese (blue cheese would certainly rock)Turkey Burger

1/4 cup Craisins (use cranberries, or anything sweet)

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh spinach

1 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper (use something else if you don’t like a little heat)

1 Farm fresh egg (ok, any egg but I sound so hipster when I say farm fresh)

Mix this all together.  The egg will help hold it together since turkey is a little harder to keep in a tight patty, like beef.

Turkey BurgerMake the patties about 5 or 6 inches across and keep them thinner than a normal burger.  These burgers do not shrink down like beef so make them about the size you would prefer.  Exercise a little patience, they need some TLC to form up.

Next take a big drink of beer and wash your hands.  This step is not optional.

Step two is a deceptive little topping.  In a second bowl (and yes, you have to wash two bowls) mix 1/2 ripe avocado with 2 heaping Tbsps of Greek Yogurt.  After that is all mixed up why don’t you go ahead and chop some tomato and add it to the dip.  Toss that dip in the fridge so it is good and set up when you need it.

Heat a skillet to a medium temperature or fire up the grill.  Use a heavy dose of non-stick something since the feta will sear onto the pan or the grill.  I like an olive oil spray since olive oil is…cooler than regular spray, so says science.  It will take about seven minutes per side.  Don’t flip it over and over!  Be patient and try to live with one flip because this bugger can crumble if you are not careful.

Get that hot burger on a bun ASAP.  Smear a healthy pile of avocado topping on the meat and add some fresh veggies for a little crunch.  Be creative with the entire process.  I added some radishes, bell pepper slices, and red onion to the sandwich.  Crunch and zing make the burger all the better.

I know that it seems like a lot of work for a burger but it is really good.  The part that I underestimated as a carnivore was the flexibility that I held in my hand.  Tons of different flavors, dozens and dozens of fillers, and almost any combination of toppings.  I think I am going to fire up some coconut with a pineapple topping next time.   If it is good I will tell you about it.  If it is terrible I will hide in shame.

Get the bread and Let’s Go!

 

 

Shrimp Linguine

shrimp linguine

Welcome back to those who are trying to update their recipe book.  As we continue down the path of easy, healthy, good-looking meals we come across a Shrimp Linguine.  I realize that easy, healthy, and good-looking is a common bio on many dating sites, this time it is a food site (simmer down).  In the spirit of keeping the ingredients to a minimum, and the fresh items very consistent, this pasta dish is a nice little spin-off of the shrimp salad and appetizer.  Let’s make some Shrimp Linguine, shall we.

Shrimp Linguine

We have covered this in the past but as a reminder you should buy some shrimp that matches your taste.  It is cost effective and simple to grab the frozen shrimp for most dishes.  I do not want to dissuade you from buying the prawns that look like lobsters, but that may be overkill.  Get some medium shrimp so your dining partners at least realize there is shrimp in the pasta.  That should suffice.

In a frying pan add 2 tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil and warm things up on a medium heat.  Depending on your personal health situation I really like to use a 1/3 stick of real butter, sooo good.  Add the shrimp and these ingredients to the pan.  This recipe is designed to feed 4 reasonable people.  I am not going to define reasonable, I would guess they are reasonable people if you are feeding them.

Approximately 20 – 30 shrimp

1 Tbsp  Minced or fresh garlic

1 Tbsp Pepper Blend – here is that ambiguity I end up with.  I use a Habanero pepper blend because I love hot food.  Please substitute what you like.  I have seen some great pre-mixed seafood seasonings, lemon pepper, dill pepper among others.  Just use about a tablespoon of whatever you like.

Cook this until the shrimp is done based on the directions tied to that particular crustacean.  Pre-cooked shrimp only needs to be warmed up, fresh shrimp needs some addition foreplay to get to the right temperature.

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a rolling boil.  Add a full box of linguine noodles along with a Tbsp of Olive Oil and spend a few minutes making sure the noodles don’t stick together.  I like a higher end pasta like De Cecco but you can grab whatever you fancy.  Pasta is usually done in about 12 minutes but can be pulled in ten minutes if you like an Al dente pasta.  Once again you are welcome to try other pasta styles if you like or go whole wheat if you fancy a healthy option.

While all this madness is occupying your burners mix the cool stuff in a bowl.

1 Cup of Cherry Tomatoes

1/2 Cup of Red Onion – diced or slivered (I don’t know if you can sliver an onion – just do it)

1/2 Cup Bella Mushrooms (quartered, sliced, or whole shrooms if they are little)

1 Tbsp Finely Chopped Parsley

Once the pasta is done give it a little rinse blend in the vegies.  Drizzle a little olive oil into the pasta and mix it up.  Gather up the slippery little devils and the cool staff and split it up between the plates.  I struggle with having to explain this stuff but they tell me recipes need to be detailed.

You can either mix the Shrimp into the noodles or flop those bad boys one top.  It looks cooler when they are on top but you are your own man.  Don’t let me tell you what to do – go for it!

Sprinkle a little Parmesan on top to make look pretty.

Obligatory Options

If you don’t like any of these ingredients or are allergic just change them!  Sometime it is ok to think outside of the box (for those of you that miss quality 1990’s clichés still used today).  We chatted about the shrimp seasoning earlier so let’s discuss other things that can light up that pasta.

I always pimp legumes – toss in some beans, any kind (black, garbonzo, navy, even lima).  Cheese is a can’t miss filler and it tastes great.  There are so many great crumbles that sing.  Almost any raw veggie can fill the void.  I am certain some chopped spinach or green onions or even something call arugula would work as a complimentary flavor.

Go on now – take this dish and expand you food vibe.  I have posted a pile of recipes that use some core ingredients, look great, taste great, and don’t break the bank.  You can do it.

Let’s Go!

 

 

 

 

Brie Is Beautiful

Brie with LingonberryOne of the easiest appetizers in the world to make is Brie.  It is cheese, just cheese.  Serve it warm, serve it cold, serve it with crackers, serve it with bread, serve it any way you like.  I will shoot you a couple cool versions and show you why “brie is beautiful”.

Let’s Make Some Brie

Grab a wheel of the soft cheese magic.  Brie ranges in price, find one that you are comfortable with until you lock down your palate.  It is much like wine, sometimes a great bottle of wine is under $10.00.  I bought the Brie used in this post for about $5.00.  I ate half of it before I heated it up and it was delicious.

You will need something to serve it on, or dip into it (if you heat it up it will be liquid for the most part).  I love a fresh Brie with applesbaguette but crackers can do the trick.

Once you have your two core ingredients all you need are your bonus items.  I have two versions here, one served with a Lingonberry spread and one with thinly sliced, sour, Granny Smith apples.  Next time I am going to serve up some Kalamata olives and almonds on the side.  I think you see the versatility of the Brie plan.

If you bake the cheese it only takes about 10 minutes at 350.  You can cut the corner and use the microwave.  Be aware the microwave is only about a 30 second heat-up, don’t boil it to death.  Drop it on a plate or in a little crock and set it on the plate.  Stash your apples, your nuts or you fruit on the plate and get eating!

Bonus Info

brieThis is another one of the recipes that I love.  It is easy and it looks very sophisticated and purposeful.  You are serving great shrimp, a steak, or maybe even some pasta dish so you don’t want to fire up pizza rolls as your appetizer.  Trust me when I tell you this, dropping this appetizer on the table along with some good wine and a little smooth jazz in the background is like having a police escort to date three (you may get to skip date number two).

Do some research on your own and come up with a variation that rocks.  The key is keep trying new recipes and become a better man.  Challenge yourself – Let’s Go!

Is It Time To Rethink Your Steak Dinner?

steak salad

Steak is great.  That may be the best way to explain this recipe, simply Steak is great.  The downside is we eat way too much red meat as rule. We all need to find ways to get the taste without driving the bad juju truck through our heart.  There are plenty of scientific journals, like this one from the Journal of the American Medical Association, that point towards healthy humans not needing much red meat.  There are a bunch of articles that say eat it for breakfast too I guess.  Just be sure to check your source.  The point is we need steak because it is great, let’s just be smart about it.

Steak Dinner Disguised as a Salad

Here is what we are going to do.  We are going to find a bunch of ways to add protein to a great salad.  First get some thin, seared slices of New York Strip Steak and pile them deep on the other proteins.  The recipe is a basic salad which allows you to fit the ingredients you like into your diet.  The 21 Day Challenge will help you measure them out when you are ready to get serious about weight loss and health.  If you are on the other end of the spectrum, and are looking for more calories and protein, you can count this as a breath of fresh air in a protein shake and fried egg world.

The Recipe

Start with a fresh bed of greens like Spinach and Endive.  I am not picking the steak saladamount, you are an adult, give it a whirl.

Grab a big, I mean a big fist-full of rinsed black beans (or Garbanzo beans – love them and it is a fun word) along with Feta  or Blue Cheese.

Next go crazy with the good vegies like Bell Pepper, Cucumber, Red Onion, Green Onion, Mushroom, and Tomato.

You are on your own with the dressing.  I love creamy Blue Cheese and French mixed, but that is food nightmare.  I also enjoy a good vinaigrette, that will probably not destroy all the work you did trying to be healthy.  Heck, snatch up some fruit as your topping and leave out the dressing all together.

Don’t Forget The Star!

Grill the steak if you can.  Everyone loves steak on the grill, even vegans.  Ok, not vegans but that is it, everyone else does.  Leave some life in it.  You are not going to be dumbing it down with steak sauce so the meat has to stand on its own merits.  You may also be using less dressing leaving the delicious juices as the moisture in the meal (did that accidentally sound sexual?).  If you are cooking on the stove top try slicing the steak first and flash fry the thin strips on a very high heat.

And the long game…

Men, and women who want their man to be a man and cook something other than a giant steak on the grill, add this to the arsenal.  You have very little prep time with the salad other than a good wash and cut.  You can still crank out a perfect medium rare New York Strip and…YOU LOOK EVOLVED!  The best part is that you may actually become evolved.  Steak is Great.  We started with that and now it is time to add other great things.  Healthy eating is great.  Veggies are great.  Your swagger is great.  Having the ability to cook is great (and sexy).  Keep cooking, keep trying and you will do just fine.

If you are just plain sick of your food rut or if you are hoping to impress a lady friend with a little more than being able to belch the alphabet, this is a good play.  Go forward and eat steak.

Let’s Go!

Egg White Omelet

 

Egg White Omelet

 

Wether you are tying to lose weight, bulk up, or just maintain your physique omelets have a place in your diet.  This particular option leans toward the “lose weight” part of the equation.  I don’t want to quibble about why, let’s just make an omelet.

Awesome Egg White Omelet

Breakfast is one the greatest meals.  It starts your day off on the right foot, tastes great and has unlimited options.  A full tummy keeps you from saying stupid things to your boss.  I helps calm your troubles when boxes of donuts keep showing up in the break room and it gets the body fueled up.  The problem for most people is trying to get that last minute of sleep.  This menu will take some time to prep and cook but it is so easy to plan ahead and make this a ten minute meal.

Recipe

Beat One Egg and 1/2 cup of egg whites while the pan pre-heats, beat that egg.

Pour liquid mix into a pan over a medium heat.

Let the eggs set up before you flip the omelet.  Make the move when there is very little liquid left on top otherwise it is a mess.

Immediately add cheese followed by all dry ingredients.  The cheese needs to melt.

Once everything is spread evenly on top, fold the egg in half and slide onto your plate.

Ingredients

omelet ingredientsThis particular omelet used the following:

•1 cup Chopped Spinach  •1 Tbsp finely chopped Red Onions and Green Onions

•2 medium Bella Mushrooms • A sprinkling of Feta Chunks or Shredded Cheddar to taste •Serrano Pepper slices if you like a little heat • Top it with Diced Tomato and some ground Black Pepper.

Pro Tip – Spinach goes on last to help give the cheese more time to melt.

Pro Tip 2 – get all of this chopped and prepped ahead of time.  Take some little containers and put your entire mix inside except tomato and spinach.  All of the other items play nicely together in the fridge.  The goal of this is to minimize prep time and get you out door energized to start your day.

Crank It Up

There are 500 different hot sauces out there and they are great on eggs.  You can get stuff that burns going in and reallyhot sauce burns going out or you can get some added  flavor with a reasonable little zing.  Go crazy, try a few different ones.  Here is a little sample pack of some tasty common hot sauces.

I chopped in some serrano peppers but like everything else pepper species are more prevalent than Kayne West rants.  You may want to reference some charts that explain the heat.  Ease into it cowboy, it is not a challenge on Fear Factor.

Grab Some Meat

I LOVE BACON.  That is not going out on a limb, but, bacon is basically magical fat and salt and should be moderated.  God I hope I did not lose readers.  Put a little in the omelet.  The nice thing is you can get the flavor and fun that is bacon without eating 17 strips.  Toss some crumbles of fresh bacon inside that little egg flavored bacon holder and feel good about your diet.

Jimmy Dean has a tasty Spicy Sausage that is easy to cook and full of tangy delights.  Go to the meat market and try Andouille Sausage or Steak (don’t over cook steak in you omelet) or even Smoked Salmon.  Then you can really fly in the face of convention with cheese sauces (not cheese wiz zippy) or cream sauces.

Seal the Deal

In the true spirit of this blog’s recipe plan you need to remember how this adds to your swag.  A true gentleman offers up a hearty and aesthetically pleasing breakfast to his date so she is fully energized for her walk of shame.  OK, maybe that is a little harsh but I don’t make all of the rules.  We are taking this one step at a time, no judgment.   To be fair, you may be visiting her abode and would move from a strong 5, marginal 6 in the right light, to a pimpin’ 8 if you had breakfast for her in bed.  Pro-Tip – cooking from her fridge gives a peek into her psyche and you didn’t have to buy the groceries.

Let’s Go!

 

 

 

 

Menu Monday…Shrimp Chop Salad Recipe

shrimp chop salad

Here comes a super versatile, amazingly delicious Shrimp Chop Salad Recipe.

The version posted here is a single-serve salad but there are so many cool ways to offer it to your guests, family, or your date (and he/she will be impressed).

Ingredients

•One bag of frozen shrimp – for this salad grab the 41-50 per pound bag  shrimp chop salad ingredients

•4 Cups of Fresh Spinach  •1/2 Medium Red Onion  •1 cup Sweet Cherry Tomatoes

•1 Medium Cucumber  •1 Orange  •1 Lemon  •1 Lime  • 1/2 Cup Cilantro  •1 Avocado

•1 Tbsp Seasoning – I used a pre-packaged Orange Ginger but you know what you like

•1 Tsp Black Pepper  •1 Tsp Cayenne  •1 Tsp chopped or Minced Garlic

•1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese  •1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Directions

Prep all of your fresh fruit and vegetables first.  This helps stay organized while you make the main course or mix your Margarita.   Spread a bed of spinach and sliced red onions on a small plate.  The tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados can be placed in cool little piles on the plate.Next, take a few tomatoes, cucumber discs, and avocado wedges so they plate can them in little fun piles.  The fruit is used as a combo platter of aesthetics and salad topping.  Put a piece of each on the side.

Saute the shrimp in the olive oil.  Use the directions on the bag.  It is basically a medium heat until the shrimp a little browned on the outside.  Add the Pepper, Cayenne, Orange Ginger, and Garlic when the shrimp is almost done.  Crank the heat to high for about 2 minutes to sear the seasonings to the shrimp.  PAY ATTENTION HERE.  You have the potential for burning the only ingredient that is actually expensive and, it could escalate to kitchen fire.  I am not saying you will die in a giant fireball, but it is the only risk point (I like that there is some element of danger).

Take about 1/4 of the shrimp and place them in cute little pile on the greens.  Sprinkle the Cheese and the Cilantro on top and serve.

Variations

This guy can be a few different appetizers, a dip, an entrée, and a snack.

Appetizer

shrimp chop salad plateHere is a picture of a variation that is fun for munching on in a casual environment.  A party in the back yard where the theme has a finger-food theme.  Big chunks of ingredients that people can mix-and-match allow each person to eat what they like.  You may want a side of flat bread crackers to pile the good stuff on, pile it deep and gobble it up.

You can also finely chop the ingredients into a pseudo-salsa style.  Pour the fixings into a goblet with some huge shrimp or prawns hanging over the edge.  A simple twist on the classic shrimp cocktail.  This will require some starchy little chip or cracker for cleaning up the extra salsa (waste-not-want-not).

 

Dip

This is the easiest way to make this recipe fast.  Chop all of the ingredients (including oranges) into a pico and serve with whole wheat tortilla chips or pita chips.  I would be a little cautious with the amount of lemon and lime you add.  Squeeze the juice into the mix based on taste.

Ingredient variables

My favorite thing about chop and serve recipes is all creative options.  You can use any seasoning you like on the shrimp.  Look in the cupboard and experiment.  Sweet, hot, savory, all of these work.  If you don’t like avocado replace it with feta cheese.  If you really love red bell peppers JUST DO IT.  I am not the boss of you.

Be a little careful of what you add because you can move this from a healthy little ditty to artery assault by adding cream cheese and bacon.  Listen, I love bacon, this is not blasphemy here, just think about the children.

Final Thoughts

If you are trying to impress a date, this is a great option.  It is not hard at all and it pleases so many senses.  It looks great, smells amazing, tastes delightfully complex and can be eaten with your fingers.  You look like you understand health and imply you are functional in the kitchen.  You can serve it with many different entrees or just as a small plate before you go out to eat.  I hope I don’t have to tell you not to serve this with wieners and beans.  Have some fun with it, my family loves it and they have begrudgingly allowed me to share with all of you good Internet people.

Enjoy and Let’s Go!

 

 

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