17/11/2017

Restaurant: Wild Goose Lakeside - Dodleston, Chester

Beetroot carpaccio, goat’s cheese, honey and walnuts - £4.50 

A country drive on a bright and crisp Sunday afternoon led us here - Wild Goose, on the fringes of Chester. Almost alone in 100 acres of parklands and lakes lies this gorgeous restaurant and bar, but it actually feels more like a home.

Serving local and seasonal produce, Cheshire ales, a quality wine selection and as it was Sunday, extraordinary roasts, it was the perfect location to celebrate Mum's birthday.

Prawn cocktail, toasted sour dough - £5.50 

The menu was limited, but quality shone through in every dish on the table. Starting with prawn cocktails and beetroot carpaccio, taste and presentation were first class. Portion sizes were healthy but never overwhelming to begin with, but then out came the monumental roast dinners. With chicken, beef, cod and a vegetarian option to choose from, it left us with just enough space for dessert. A special shout out to the puffy Yorkshire puds, magnificent roast potatoes and beautifully tender meat. Incredible stuff.

Half Roast chicken served with homemade bread sauce, pig in blanket, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and a selection of crisp vegetables with a rich meat gravy - £14 

Roast Sirloin of beef, served pink with roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and a selection of crisp vegetables with a rich meat gravy - £15 

After eyeing up the sticky toffee pudding early doors, we waited in hope and equal expectation and are glad to confirm it did not disappoint. Afterwards we moved over to the sofas and fire place, and had to have coffees as we felt so at home we were nearly falling to sleep.

On a sunnier day it will be fantastic to return and walk the beautiful surroundings, but for now, knowing that we'll certainly returning is enough.

Sticky toffee pudding, butterscotch, salted caramel ice cream - £4.50 

Food: ★★★
Customer service: ★★★★
Atmosphere: ★★★★★
Toilets: ★★★

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15/11/2017

Under 30: Goat's Cheese & Mushroom Risotto (v)

Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 5 mins


As Winter approaches us, it only means that the colder days need to be balanced with warmer heartier meals. Risotto is exactly what we all need; it's quick, simple, easy to have it however and whatever you like.
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12/11/2017

Sunday Soup: Thai Pumpkin (v)

Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 30 mins



If you're looking for something a bit thicker, filling and with a bit of a kick? This Thai pumpkin soup will satisfy all your cravings, maybe even that awkward cold you may or may not have from this very confusing weather we've been having recently.

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10/11/2017

Baking: Caramel Apple Cheesecake

Serves: 6/10 | Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook Time: 55 mins (with 2 hr fridge time)


So we all know I, Jessica, am not a stranger of making cheesecakes but all one (which we'll get into in the end) has been no bake cheesecakes, but today, this recipe is somewhat half baked, half refrigerated.

Combining some of the main ingredients of autumn: cinnamon, apples, crumble and with a sweet touch of caramel, we just knew this had to come out delicious! Perfectly paired with a hot cup of freshly brewed tea, you've got yourself what we call a Friday night ;)

So what are you waiting for? Get this in the oven and you're all set for tonight!

If you'd like to have a little giggle for old times sake, watch one of our first ever videos on YouTube making a baked cheesecake in 2015, at the end of this post.


Ingredients:

For the crust:
- 2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened

For the filling
- 110g cream cheese
- 3/4 cup sugar, plus 2 tbsp divided
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored & diced
- 1/2 ground cinnamon

For the topping
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Caramel, for serving

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 180. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.

2. Make crust: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add butter and use your hands, or a pastry cutter, to cut the butter into the flour mixture until it’s crumbly and moist. Press into prepared pan and set aside.


3. Make filling: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluff. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Mix in vanilla and salt. Pour over the crust.


4. In a small bowl, toss together apples, 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

5. Make streusel topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, sugar, flour and oats, then cut in butter with a fork or pastry cutter.

6. Scatter apples on top of the cheesecake mixture, then top with oat mixture.

7. Bake until the cheesecake is only slightly jiggly in the centre for about 55 minutes. Let cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

8. Before serving, drizzle with caramel sauce and slice.

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08/11/2017

Review: Dom's Tavola Calda - Deansgate, Manchester

Tagliere misto - a selection of Italian salami, vegetables and cheese

We enjoyed the magnificent views from our train journey across the Pennine's on this bright Saturday morning, as we made our way to Manchester to visit Dom's Tavola Calda - literally translated as 'no menu.' The Deansgate restaurant provides a classic and basic Italian and Mediterranean menu, but in the most authentic way with the offering changing on a daily basis to reflect the fresh, seasonal ingredients that they source from local markets.

Their approach is rustic, and with a head chef with over 40 years of experience, you are guaranteed quality in every dish. Our experience was faultless and our waiter, Lee, took amazing care of us throughout.
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05/11/2017

Sunday Soup: Creamy Mushroom (v)

Serves: 2 | Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 15 mins



It's November, Halloween is officially over and it's time to full focus on being autumnal - the soup recipes are coming out! So each Sunday of this month, we'll be sharing our favourite recipes for this year and what better way to start than a classic creamy mushroom soup!
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03/11/2017

Review: Wine Tasting at Veeno - Northgate Street, Chester


Oh it's good to be back in Chester! This weekend we made the most of an extra night at home on the Sunday as we were invited along to Veeno, the first Italian wine cafe chain, located on Northgate Street. With a growing presence across the UK, they serve the most incredible and wide range of Sicilian wines and sputuni, as authentically as it gets. The Caruso & Minini wines we spent the evening trying came directly from their Sicilian vineyards, along with a platter of meats, cheeses and breads - all especially paired with each wine.


With a welcome Aperol spritz cocktail, we were introduced to the two whites, a rose and two reds which we would be trying, kicking things off with a Grillo, their driest of the white wines. The buffalo mozzarella went perfectly with this one, with the strong cheese taste making the dry wine much easier to drink and the flavours of both were heightened by the other. 

Sicily is the perfect location for the vineyard as the climate almost stays the same throughout the year. This means that the wine's taste is consistent, although we learnt that where about on the vineyard itself can change the taste. The grapes for the drier wines are grown at the highest point in the vineyard as it is here where there is most sunlight, and they are never watered. 


The second of the white wines was quite similar, although sweeter and with hints of spice. With Sicily being home to Mount Etna, any volcanic eruptions taking place here just makes the wine that bit more incredible. The ash mixes with the rocks and allows plants to absorb plenty of water through the roots, and it is which gives this wine its spice. 

If that's too much Science for you, then all you need to know is that it is amazing with parmesan and balsamic glaze!


Jessica loves rose wine, however this one didn't seem at all familiar or taste like ones she has had in the past. It was because at this point we learnt that there is absolutely no sugar in anyone of Veeno's wines, which is a lot more than can be said about what is stocked in UK supermarkets. Cheese and wine in the UK is a cheat day treat, but in Italy, it's an everyday thing and part of their magnificent culture. It's a little bit more acceptable when there is no sugar and the cheeses aren't full of bad fats.

But in fact Sicilians don't drink much rose wine at all, and we tried the only one of its type that Veeno stocks. The strawberry, pomegranate and cherry flavours were an absolute delight, and the smoked parma ham made it extra special.


Now on the reds, which neither of us are usually massive fans of, but we may just have been converted now. The first was a Perricone - strong, deep, and with hints of liquorish, it wasn't one which we expected to think much of, but actually Jessica said she preferred it to the rose - and that was definitely a shock!

But the strongest and most expensive wine was saved until last. At a grand £8.50 for a small glass is the reserva Gorgonzola, a red that is high in tannins and hits the back of the throat immediately. Aged for 10 months in the barrel and 6 months in the bottle, it is also the wine with the lengthiest making process. Perhaps not one we'd go back for, but it was certainly interesting to try and say we've had the widest variety of wines we could possibly hope for!


But that wasn't all, along with a dessert wine was Tirimasu - homemade with a secret recipe and for a change, no alcohol! It was the perfect way to end a fantastic evening, and we can't thank Veeno enough for having us along! Also, big shout out to our waitress Hannah, who knew every last detail about all that was in our glasses and on our plates. We had an incredible service all night.

They have cafe's up and down the UK, and you can find your nearest one on their website, along with more details about their wines and story. 

Grazie!

Food & Wine: ★★★★★
Customer service: ★★★★★
Atmosphere: ★★★
Toilets: ★★★

Disclaimer: we were invited to the restaurant for a complimentary wine tasting experience in exchange for a review. As always, all our opinions and photos are our own.

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01/11/2017

Christmas: Homemade Chocolate Christmas Loaf Cake

Cuts: 8-10 | Prep Time: 25 mins | Cook Time: 55 mins


I know what you're thinking, either yay Christmas or it's way to early to be thinking of Christmas - but no matter what you say, we are proudly going to share with you a very simple Christmas not Christmas pudding.
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29/10/2017

Coffee: Upshot Espresso - Glossop Road, Sheffield

Maple syrup and bacon waffles - £7

The best thing about having Jessica visiting Sheffield during the week, is that my uni breaks are amazing! This time we went back to Upshot Espresso, a coffee shop on Glossop Road that we first visited around the beginning of last year. That time, we only had drinks, and it has been on our list to go for brunch ever since!

Good coffee doesn't just happen, although you'd be forgiven for thinking that in Sheffield. A peak through the windows of Upshot Espresso just gives you the feeling that good coffee awaits, and the beautiful cakes and buns sure enough makes sure you walk through the door. 

Latte's - £2.80

Pick up a copy of Caffeine mag - known for only being stocked in the best coffee shops, a sip of their incredible latte, and ponder around their displays of the finest coffee equipment and bags of beans which they use had us in complete relaxation mode. 

Our order of maple syrup and bacon waffles soon arrived, and it was everything you could possibly want and need from a weekday brunch. 


Their social media is one of the best for a restaurant or coffee shop we've seen, so when our Instagram photo got regramed whilst still in there, we looked around to see who it could possibly be. An approving nod from one of the guys in the corner left us feeling that extra bit pleased with this outing!

We'll definitely be back!

Food: ★★★
Coffee: ★★★
Customer service: ★★★★
Atmosphere: ★★★

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27/10/2017

Baking: Homemade Cinnamon Buns


Autumn is here and what else is more Autumnal than homemade cinnamon buns? Well, apparently pumpkin lattes, oversized jumpers and crunchy leafs are, but that's not that point. Cinnamon rolls are the bomb and these are obviously the perfect season for it.

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25/10/2017

Event: Brunching Bloggers at Annie's Restaurant

Eggs Royale - Smoked Salmon, Free Range Eggs, English Muffin, Hollandaise & Home Fries

On Saturday 21st October, Ashlee Moyo and I, Jessica, have organised our very first #BrunchingBloggers event! 

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22/10/2017

Event: Autumn Cocktails at TwoRuba


You know you're fully in the season spirit when you're already at another autumn cocktail event the following week and once again the other half, James, was unable to attend but this time I have brought my best friend, Ashley, to his first ever blogger event.

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20/10/2017

Coffee: Eve Kitchen - Sharrow Vale Road, Sheffield


The amount of times we've been so near to here but too full, or maybe even unashamedly dreamt of a doughnut from this wonderful place, but never actually been are countless. But today was finally the day we visited Sharrow Vale Road's Eve's Kitchen.

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18/10/2017

Event: T2 Chai Tea Masterclass - Meadowhall, Sheffield


Last week we had the honour of being invited to a chai tea masterclass at the T2 Tea store in Sheffield. Having popped in to a couple of the stores a while back in London, we couldn't wait to return to tea heaven and learn how to make one of our Autumn favourites - chai. 
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15/10/2017

Coffee: Tabby Teas Cat Cafe - Cemetery Road, Sheffield


What an absolute pleasure it was to be invited along to Sheffield's first cat cafe - Tabby Teas! With fantastic coffee and cake in the company of some amazingly cue and characterful felines, it was the perfect way to spend a late midweek morning. 
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13/10/2017

Event: Shoryu Autumn Cocktail Party

Shoryu Pork Bun

Autumn is here and there's no better to celebrate it than with some limited edition seasonal cocktails at Shoryu. We were invited to attend Shoryu's autumn cocktail party, although due to James recently moving back to Sheffield, he was unable to attend this weekday event with me, so of course I had to invite my trusty fellow friend and blogger, Ashlee Moyo, to experience this evening with me.
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11/10/2017

Under 30: Creamy Cod & Croutons

Serves: 2 | Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 25 mins



Anyone else super fond of being able to create a super tasty dish that you can simply throw all in an over proof dish and show it in the oven for 25 mins? Same and with that, this dish is for you!
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08/10/2017

Breakfast: Spinach & Ham Egg Cups

Makes: 12 - 16 | Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook Time: 30 mins


These are the ultimate brunch minis to have - simply whip up all the ingredients and pour them into a 12 muffin tin and bob's your uncle. Funnily enough we forgot to add the ribbons of ham on top but it tasted just as good, although we sure it would have given that extra flavour.

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06/10/2017

Under 30: Chicken & Broccoli Garlic Butter Pasta

Makes: 2 | Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 20 mins



"Once upon a time, there was some broccoli and it got chopped up, put in a pan, it then cooked and we ate it. We lived happily ever after" So guys, this is what it sounds like when I ask James to write a 'story' for this dish!
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04/10/2017

Coffee: Joni - South Road, Sheffield


We are back in Sheffield, well, James is back in Sheffield and is now once again officially my second home. If you've been following us for a while, you'd know that James attends university in Sheffield, so expect more restaurant, especially coffee shop reviews in Sheffield over the next year.
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01/10/2017

Under 30: Fish Couscous Parcel

Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 20 mins


If you haven't already guessed it by now, we enjoy making good food, but the easy way and this is one of our favourite dishes to make - simply throw in the ingredients together and shove it in the oven. Simple as.
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29/09/2017

Coffee: The Flower Cup - Watergate Row, Chester

Holy Guacamole - guacamole, bacon and cheese grilled sandwich - £5.50

If you've been following our blog for a while now, you'd know that we appreciate and support those cute little independent coffee shops. We feel like we hadn't been to one in a while, so we wanted to take advantage of the fact that we were in Chester.
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27/09/2017

Review: Picnic Essentials*

I know what you're thinking, a picnic at the end of September? Who on Earth would do that? Well last year, we proved that having a panic doesn't always mean going to a park on a sunny day. Picnics can be done in your own garden, in your room, off peak zoo times, anywhere that tickles your fancy to be honest.

Okay, I know we called this post picnic essentials, we all know about the sandwiches, juices and apples, but we're on about the good stuff: chocolate, fizzy drinks and sweet treats!


Doisy & Dam Chocolate*

This chocolate brand is definitely the greatest alternative for healthier treat to add to your picnic. The many different ranges of flavour, many free-from choices and healthy ingredients. I, Jessica, am not the biggest fan of dark chocolate but the unique ingredients have made it all the difference.

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24/09/2017

Under 30: Baked Gnocchi with Peas & Beans (v)

Makes: 4 | Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 15 mins


Returning from our travels, one of the question most people have asked is if we're sad to be back. Of course we'd rather be travelling around the world, but that costs a lot of money and nothing beats cheap and hearty home cooked dishes.
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22/09/2017

Breakfast: Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes

Makes: 6/8 | Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 10 mins


Throughout the year we haven't had many chances to have breakfast dishes in bed, but with recent circumstances it has opened many opportunities to create some fun dishes for each other and so we are kicking off this little segment with the fluffiest pancakes I've ever made.
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20/09/2017

Anniversary: Sushi Samba - Heron Tower, London



Saturday 16th September 2016 marked 3 years of our relationship and of course, we just had to celebrate in style. There are many places in the world we want to eat and if you've read our post on where we would eat if we won the lottery, you'd know that Sushi Samba was on that list.

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17/09/2017

Review: Letter Box Anniversary Cake


It's our three year anniversary and what does every celebration need... cake!!

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14/09/2017

Review: Sakagura London - Mayfair, London


Heddon Street - a haven of fantastic restaurants and bars nestled behind the bustling and frantic Regent Street in Central London. It is home to Piccolino, the Ice Bar, and perhaps more interestingly, Sakagura. Here they serve up the most delicious and high quality Japanese barbecue you could hope for... or in fact they don't... you, the guests do!
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10/09/2017

No Bake: Banoffee Cheesecake


Before we set off on our travels, I, Jessica, had made this Banoffee Cheesecake for my mum's birthday. We posted this on twitter and a lot of you wanted to see a post on how we created this beauty. Although it may be a few month late, but it's better late than never right? Plus, anytime is the best time for any type of cheesecake!
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07/09/2017

Review: The Alchemist - St John's Street, Chester

Jessica - Smashed Avocado & Poached Eggs with Bacon - £9.50

Rewind to last summer, and we were at the opening of Liverpool's newest bar and restaurant, The Alchemist. We were blown away by their unique cocktails and delicious menu, and have been craving to return ever since. When we found out a few months ago that they would be opening in my, James' home city of Chester, we were absolutely delighted and took the first opportunity to get down there for brunch. 
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03/09/2017

Under 30: Steak Taco Dogs

Makes: 4 | Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 10 mins


In the middle of this month the football season had begun once again. Yay for James but boo for Jessica. Don't get me wrong, it's not terrible, I can tolerate it but the only thing that keeps me going is the food. Usually when we're watching, it's in a bar or somewhere for me to have typical pub/bar food, but with this season starting at home, there was only one thing for it. Hot dogs and beer!
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31/08/2017

Review: Four To Eight - Covent Garden, London


What a way to start the weekend! We headed down to Four to Eight - a contemporary and independent Italian restaurant nestled in Covent Garden. With only a few tables joining us in the restaurant in our time there, we were treated like royalty and left not only with very happy bellies, but also feeling like we'd made friends with manager and waitress.
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27/08/2017

Afternoon Tea: The Tower Hotel - Tower Bridge, London


Hello beautiful people - we are back! As you should know, we have taken a couple of weeks off from blogging as we needed some time to recover and allow you lovely readers to catch up with our posts from our travels. If you are new to our blog, or have been gone completely missing from the face of the Earth (or maybe just our Twitter feed), you can catch up here.

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24/08/2017

Lifestyle: Where Would You Eat If You Won The Lottery?

We've all thought about that one question or have at least been asked several times in our lives
"What would you do if you won the lottery?"

But before even thinking about winning, you have to play. I remember the last time I played on the day I turned 18, had no idea what I was doing but now there are so many other ways online to play online such as LottoLand as well as around the world with the Irish lottery and the US Powerball.

Playing is only part of the fun, winning is what it's all about! If you haven't thought about it before, then you're a liar! Of course you've thought about that dream house, dream car, travelling the world or if you're like us, all the high end places you'd like to eat at that you wouldn't be able to afford on a regular day.

Bob Bob Richard

(Source: website)
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05/08/2017

Waffle Factory (finally) | Brussels Day 4

Caught up with Day 1, Day 2 & Day 3?


Waffle Factory - Rue du Lombard 30

After practically telling ourselves and even sharing it with all of you that we'll be going to the Waffle Factory for the past 3 day, we have FINALLY done it!
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04/08/2017

The Brussels Journey's Beer and Chocolate Tour | Brussels Day 3

Caught up with Day 1 & Day 2?


It's our last full day of Interrailing and we couldn't think of a better way to end than filling our stomachs with chocolate and beer. That would be the case anywhere, but with being in Belgium, it's pretty much customary. We embarked on Brussels Journey's Beer and Chocolate Tour, full of amazing food and drink, great laughs, all in the company of an amazing guide and fellow tour members.
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03/08/2017

Cinnamon Swirl, Cup Pasta & Belgian Waffles | Brussels Day 2

Caught up with Day 1?


CafĂ© Capitale - Rue du Midi 45

It always feels like it's been a while since we've been to a proper little coffee shop, it doesn't seem like we've been to many on this trip. We found this little gem whist walking around yesterday and vouched we'd come here this morning.
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02/08/2017

Belgian Fries from Fritland | Brussels Day 1



Fritland - Rue Henri Maus 49

Our first day in Brussels and in all honesty, our timings have been all over the place. So a full warning that there is only one meal shared in this post but a very good one to be fair.

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