MAGIC CAKE


Ingredients

  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 8 tbsp butter unsalted and melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk lukewarm *
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 F degrees. Grease a 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish or line it with parchment paper so that it’s easier to get the cake out.
  • Separate the eggs and beat the egg yolks with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add butter and vanilla extract and continue beating for another minute or two after which you can add the flour and mix it in until fully incorporated.
  • Slowly start adding the milk and beat until everything is well mixed together.
  • Add the egg whites to a mixer and mix until stiff peaks form.
  • Add the egg whites to the cake batter and gently fold them in. Another variation to folding in the egg whites would be to whisk them in to the cake batter, this is a lot faster and easier. Make sure you don’t fold the egg whites in completely, you still want to see some of the white bits floating at the top.
  • Pour batter into baking dish and bake for 40 to 70 minutes or until the top is lightly golden. The baking time could vary greatly depending on the oven, so take a peek at around 40 minutes and see how it looks.
  • Sprinkle some powdered sugar after cake has cooled.

Notes

  • * To get the milk lukewarm,  warm it in the microwave for about a minute.
  • The baking time can vary greatly for this cake, depends on oven. Test if after 40 minutes to see what it looks like. The cake is done when it only jiggles slightly but feels firm to touch.
  • General guidelines for baking at high altitude (not all may apply to this recipe): If baking at altitudes of 5000 feet or higher, keep this in mind: -> Reduce sugar: for each cup, decrease 0 to 2 tablespoons. -> Increase liquid: for each cup, add 2 to 4 tablespoons. -> Increase oven temperature by 25 degrees F.

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MACADAMIA CASHEW BUTTER

Cashews and macadamia nuts are super creamy so you might think that they’d blend faster than almonds, but the opposite is true. They actually take a couple of minutes longer.

Your macadamia cashew butter will stay super creamy in your storage container and you won’t have to vigorously stir it before using. But, it does take a couple minutes longer to blend. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 2 cups raw macadamia nuts

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  • Place the nuts on a large, parchment-lined baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes. Then, let cool to room temperature.
  • Transfer the nuts to your Vitamix and blend on high for 3-minutes, using the tamper to constantly push the nut butter into the blades.
  • Pour the macadamia cashew butter into a storage container and keep in the refrigerator.

The macadamia cashew butter will stay good for 2-3 months in the fridge.

EASY TAHINI (SUPER CREAMY)

WHAT IS TAHINI

It’s toasted and ground sesame seeds. Tahini is a staple ingredient in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern culture and it’s frequently used as an ingredient in hummus or served alongside falafel, pita or babaganoush as a condiment or sauce.

Tahini is super easy to make at home and cheaper than buying in the store. But I have a few tips for the creamiest, best tahini recipe. #Tahini #TahiniRecipe #SesameSeeds #Vegan #HealthyRecipes

TAHINI TIPS

  • Use a high-powered blender. Like Vitamix. Food processors are great, but they’re just not as powerful as blenders, so can’t deliver the creaminess (without double or triple the oil) that makes for the best tahini. Case in point: when you use a Vitamix to make tahini, you only need 2 tablespoons of olive oil for 4 cups of sesame seeds. If you use a food processor, you’ll use that same amount of oil for 1 cup of sesame seeds.
  • Use hulled sesame seeds. Hulled sesame seeds will make a smoother tahini and taste less bitter.
  • Gently toast the sesame seeds. Sesame seeds will burn quite quickly, so make sure to keep an eye on them on the stove. You only want them turn a slightly golden color to help release their natural oils.
  • Use a high quality oil, such as olive oil or avocado oil.

Homemade tahini will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to a month, but you could always freeze leftovers. Just do what I do for fresh herbs and compound butters – freeze the tahini in an ice cube tray and pop out a cube when you need it.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups hulled sesame seeds
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil

DIRECTIONS

  • Gently toast the sesame seeds (stirring constantly) on medium low for 5 minutes, or until slightly golden. Then, let them cool to room temperature.
  • Once the sesame seeds have cooled, add them to your Vitamix. Blend on high for one minute, using the tamper to push the seeds into the blades, creating a tahini paste.
  • Add the olive oil and blend for another minute to create a creamy consistency.
Tahini is super easy to make at home and cheaper than buying in the store. But I have a few tips for the creamiest, best tahini recipe. #Tahini #TahiniRecipe #SesameSeeds #Vegan #HealthyRecipes
Tahini is super easy to make at home and cheaper than buying in the store. But I have a few tips for the creamiest, best tahini recipe. #Tahini #TahiniRecipe #SesameSeeds #Vegan #HealthyRecipes

SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE (VEGAN, DAIRY-FREE, PALEO)

HOW TO MAKE VEGAN CARAMEL SAUCE

Just mix the coconut milk, coconut sugar and salt and simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. You will have to watch it more closely towards the end, but that’s it. Then, remove from the heat, add the vanilla and coconut oil and there you have it….the most divine salted caramel sauce.

CARAMEL SAUCE TIPS

Cook until it coats the back of a spoon and tastes caramel-y. It will still be fairly liquid on the stove, but will thicken slightly as it cools. The cooking times will vary widely based on the brand of coconut milk used as well as stove temperature and climate. So for your first time making this recipe, just cook it slowly on a simmer and let it do it’s thing (on it’s own time). No need to rush this gorgeous sauce. The reward is worth the wait.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can (13.5 oz) full-fat coconut milk
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

  • Combine the coconut milk, coconut sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil (keeping a close eye on it, as it can quickly boil over), then immediately lower the temperature, keeping the sauce at a light simmer.
  • Simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. As the sauce reaches the last 5-8 minutes of cooking time, stir more frequently to incorporate the darker caramel bits from the bottom into the sauce.
  • Once the sauce has turned a dark amber and has thickened to coat the back of a spoon, remove from the heat and stir in the coconut oil and vanilla extract.
  • Serve the sauce warm or refrigerate in a sealed glass jar.

The caramel sauce will stay good for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

MAGNOLIA BAKERY BANANA PUDDING

Can I make banana pudding in advance?

Yes. You need to make it in advance. The actually pudding part of this dessert needs time to thicken in the fridge so it is best to begin this dessert a night or two before you plan to serve it or in the morning at the latest if you are serving it at night. While this particular step needs to be done in advance, the assembly of the dessert should only be done 4-8 hours in advance.

How long does magnolia bakery banana pudding last?

Once the pudding is assembled with the Nilla Wafers, it’s best to eat withing 4-8 hours. You can definitely eat it right after assembling but to get that perfect texture of the cakey Nilla Wafers, it’s best to wait 4 hours so the pudding can soften them.

After 8 hours the bananas really start to turn brown and the Nilla Wafers will get even softer and become more of a soggy texture than a cake like texture.

How to prevent bananas from turning brown:

Dip or brush the sliced bananas with any acidic fruit juice. This will result in a change in the flavor which is not favorable in some dishes. Where this is the case, use water (it won’t work as well but it will slow the browning). Non-tonic club soda can also be used and won’t affect the taste.

It is the oxidation of the fruit that causes it to turn brown. You can slow the oxidation by limiting the oxygen or air. For this recipe, seal the bananas off from the air by completely covering them in the pudding. If you plan to serve bananas on top of the pudding, wait to add those until just before eating.

Ingredients

  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups ice cold water
  • 1 3.4 ounce box vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 4 cups bananas sliced
  • 1 12 ounce box Nilla Wafers

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the sweetened condensed milk with an electric mixer while slowing streaming in the water. Add the pudding mix and beat until thoroughly mixed in. Cover pudding and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight so it can can thicken and set up.
  • Beat the heavy whipping cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks from. Fold the whipped cream and chilled pudding together until there are no more streaks.
  • Assemble the pudding in either a large bowl, trifle dish, baking pan, or individual dishes. Layer the ingredients by first adding a layer of Nilla Wafers, followed by sliced bananas, and then pudding. Repeat layers until you reach the top of your dish(es).
  • Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place the assembled dessert in the fridge for 4-8 hours. Top with additional bananas and Nilla wafers (optional) and serve.

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GUINNESS BRAISED SHORT RIB

WHAT IS BRAISING

While braising takes a long time, it is such a simple technique and one so worth all the waiting time. There are 4 simple steps to braising any type of meat.

  1. Sear the meat.
  2. Saute the mirepoix (onions, celery, carrots, etc.)
  3. Deglaze the pot
  4. Braise it.

It really is that simple. The end result is fall-off-the-bone tender, succulent meat.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BRAISING AND STEWING

The amount of liquid you use. While braising only requires the food (meat) to be 

partially

 submerged in cooking liquid, stewing requires the meat in this case, to be 

fully submerged

 in liquid.

WHAT ARE SHORT RIBS

Short ribs are a cut of beef taken from the brisket, chuck, plate or rib areas of beef. They are the equivalent of spare ribs in pork. Beef short ribs are usually larger and meatier than pork spare ribs.

WHAT CAN I USE INSTEAD OF GUINNESS

Guinness is a classic Irish stout with a deep dark brown color topped with a rich, dense head when poured. While the color may intimidate you, the flavor is surprisingly light. If you would like to substitute the beer in this recipe, you can try to stick to Irish stouts. Another way to braise short ribs is to use a red wine such as a Cabarnet Sauvignon, Shiraz or a Zinfandel.

HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER SHORT RIBS

Store leftover short ribs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

CAN YOU FREEZE THESE SHORT RIBS

Yes, you can also freeze these ribs, also stored in an airtight container or freezer bags. They will last in the freezer, if properly stored, for up to 2 months.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp pepper or to taste
  • 4 lb beef short ribs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 large carrot chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 440 ml Guinness stout (1 can)
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke I used Mesquite
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat oven: Preheat the oven to 375 F degrees.
  • Prepare short ribs: In a shallow plate whisk together the flour, salt and pepper. Dredge the short ribs through the flour mixture, making sure all sides are covered in flour.
  • Sear short ribs on all sides: In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ribs, only half of them at a time, do not over crowd them and sear them on all sides, about 3 to 4 min per side until browned. Repeat with remaining ribs. Remove the ribs from the pot and set aside.
  • Saute veggies: In the same pot add the onions, carrot, celery, garlic and saute for about 3 to 4 minutes or until the onion has softened and the garlic is aromatic. 
  • Deglaze the pot: Stir in the tomato paste. Add the Guinness stout, beef broth, liquid smoke, rosemary and thyme to the pot and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Add the short ribs back to the pot and cover with a lid.
  • Transfer to the oven and braise: Place the pot in the oven and cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours, until the ribs fall off the bone.
  • Garnish and serve: Remove the rosemary and thyme from the pot, then garnish with parsley. Serve hot over mashed potatoes.

Notes

– you can serve this over mashed potatoes, it’s also amazing over pasta, polenta, or even on its own.

– You can use pork ribs in this recipe if you prefer.

T

SALISBURY STEAK MEATBALLS WITH GRAVY AND MASHED POTATOES

WHAT IS SALISBURY STEAK

Salisbury steak is really a steak made from ground beef and served with a gravy or brown sauce.

If you’ve never had salisbury steak before, it’s just ground beef with condiments but it’s shaped to resemble a steak and it’s usually served with gravy along with mashed potatoes or noodles.

uncooked meatballs on a cutting board

BAKED OR FRIED SALISBURY STEAK MEATBALLS

If you want to go the healthier route with this recipe, you could bake the meatballs.

To bake meatballs, coat a baking sheet with cooking spray, or use a baking rack. Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes until golden brown.

Ingredients

For Meatballs

  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef lean
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs I used Panko
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup mustard coarse grain
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil for frying

For Gravy

  • 2 tbsp butter unsalted
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup beef broth or chicken broth, low sodium or no sodium added
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • parsley for garnish

For Mashed Potatoes

  • 5 large potatoes peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • 4 tbsp butter unsalted, ½ stick
  • 1/4 cup skim milk add more if needed
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese light
  • 1/4 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper or to taste

Instructions

  • Add all the meatball ingredients (excluding the olive oil) to a large bowl and mix well, use your hands. Shape into 1 inch meatballs. You should get about 40 meatballs.
  • Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium to high heat. Add meatballs and cook. If you’re using a large skillet all meatballs should fit in one batch otherwise, you might have to fry them in a couple batches. Cook the meatballs on all sides, add more oil if needed. Remove meatballs from skillet and set aside.
  • To the same skillet add butter and melt. Add onion and cook until onion is soft and translucent. In a bowl add the cornstarch and beef broth and whisk. Add broth and remaining gravy ingredients to skillet, and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, sauce should thicken. If the sauce is too thick add a bit more beef broth. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
  • When the gravy is done add the meatballs back to the skillet and toss them around so they’re covered in the gravy. Garnish with parsley.

For Mashed Potatoes

  • Peel the potatoes and cut them in 1 inch cubes. Boil them on medium heat until potatoes are tender, for about 20 minutes.
  • Drain potatoes and in a medium bowl, add the potatoes, milk, butter, cream cheese and salt and pepper. Using a potato masher mash the potatoes until desired consistency. You may also use a hand mixer if you wish. Add additional milk as necessary.
  • Serve meatballs over mashed potatoes.

Notes

– To prevent your meatballs from crumbling and falling apart, do not overcrowd your meatballs while cooking them. Leave about ½ inch of space in between. It’s best to do it in a couple batches. It can also be an issue with the binding, so either not enough egg or too much breadcrumbs, if your eggs are too small, add another egg, that should help bind the meatballs better.

a plate of mashed potatoes and salisbury steak meatballs and gravy

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SPINACH FETA WREATH

The flavors in this wreath are really quite similar to a spanakopita, a popular Greek appetizer of phyllo pastry stuffed with feta and cheese. In this recipe, while the filling is similar, the dough is completely different. It’s a cheesy, buttery, delicious dough, that’s super easy to put together.

Spinach Feta Wreath process shots

HOW TO MAKE SPINACH FETA WREATH:

To make this delicious, savory wreath, you first have to make the filling which is simply made with onion, spinach and herbs such as rosemary and thyme. If you’re not a fan of herbs, you can simply omit these and it will still be delicious.

The dough is quite simple to make, it’s yeast free, with butter and buttermilk and my secret ingredient, some Parmesan cheese, because parmesan cheese. No explanation required.

Spinach Feta Wreath process shots

Then all that’s left to do is to simply roll out the dough and fill with the spinach filling, more Parmesan cheese and lots of feta cheese. You can roll this out and cut it in slices and bake it like you would bake cinnamon rolls, or form it into a wreath like in the recipe. 

Ingredients

Filling

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 5 oz frozen spinach thawed, water squeezed out
  • 1 tbsp rosemary fresh, chopped
  • 1 tbsp thyme fresh, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 3 oz feta cheese crumbled

Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp butter unsalted cold, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg

Other

  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Instructions

Make the filling

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook until it softens, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, for an additional 2 minutes. If your spinach is watery, this is the time to squeeze out additional water, however, if you do it before adding it to the skillet, there shouldn’t be any excess water.
  • Turn off the heat and add the rosemary, thyme and stir. Set aside and let cool.

Make the dough

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl combine together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and using a pastry blender or 2 forks, mix it in with the flour. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
  • Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk and egg. Mix it until combined. It should be a soft sticky dough. 
  • Flour your work surface well, place the dough on your work surface and knead it gently until smooth, adding more flour as necessary. You can add another ¼ cup of flour, until the dough no longer stuck to your hands. Keep in mind it’s a soft dough. 
  • Roll out the dough into a square until it’s about ½ inch in thickness. Spread the spinach mixture over the dough, leaving about ½ inch strip along the edges. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and feta cheese over the spinach.
  • Roll up firmly, and pinch the edges together. 
  • Place the roll on the prepared baking sheet, seam side down. Using scissors or a sharp knife cut 1 inch slices, leaving about 1 ½ inches from the end. Bring the two ends together to form a circle. You could place a small bowl or ramekin in the center to make this easier. Take each slice and turn it over on its side, and repeat with each one, slightly overlapping it with the previous one.
  • Brush the wreath with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden. The loaf should sound hollow when tapped. 
  • Let it stand for 30 minutes before serving.

Notes

–  Alternatively, you could cut the roll into 1 inch slice and place them into a greased 9×13 inch baking pan and bake as instructed.

– This wreath is best served on the day it’s made, however if you’re having it the next day, it’s best when warmed up, place it on a baking she

et 

and heat it up in the oven.

Spinach Feta Wreath on parchment paper

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PEACHES AND CREAM STRUDEL

Peaches and Cream Strudel wrapped in puff pastry with a cream cheese and peaches filling and topped with toasted almonds.

Ingredients

For Peaches

  • 3 large peaches cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup sugar

For Cream Cheese Mixture

  • 8 oz cream cheese softened at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk

For Strudels

  • 2 sheets puff pastry
  • 1 egg for egg wash
  • icing sugar optional
  • 2 tbsp almonds sliced and toasted

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Prepare the peach filling first by adding the peaches and ¼ cup of sugar to a smaller pot and cook over medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes just until all the sugar dissolves and the peaches soften a bit. Remove from heat and strain if there is too much liquid. 
  • In the bowl of your mixer add the cream cheese and mix until smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla extract, egg yolk to the cream cheese and continue mixing until well combined and smooth.
  • Using one puff pastry at a time, place it over a lightly floured surface and roll it out into a 14×12 inch rectangle. Cut slits 1 inch apart from the 2 sides of the puff pastry about 1/3 way in, as seen in the video.
  • Spoon about half the cream cheese mixture down the center of the pastry and smooth it out. Next add half the peaches over the cream cheese mixture.
  • Starting at one end, fold the pastry strips over the peach mixture, alternating sides until you completely cover the peach mixture. Repeat with remaining puff pastry and ingredients.
  • Place the peach strudels onto the prepared baking sheet and brush with the egg wash. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the strudels are golden brown.
  • Let the peach strudels cool down for about 5 minutes then dust with icing sugar and top with toasted sliced almonds, if preferred.
  • Cut into slices and serve.

Notes

This recipe will yield 2 peaches and cream strudels.

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          BACON CORN DIP

This Bacon Corn Dip is creamy, cheesy, spicy and simply decadent.

TIPS

  • Try to use fresh corn on the cob versus the canned or frozen corn. However, don’t stress if it’s not the season and you can’t find fresh corn, frozen or canned will be just as good. When cooking the corn, the secret is to cook it until thoroughly golden and looks almost charred. Alternatively you can grill your corn for the same effect.
  • Choose a good cheese and shred it yourself. You can use fresh mozzarella cheese in this dip for that extra stretchy cheese, but Monterey Jack, provolone, gruyere or even Swiss cheese would work great. Just shred it yourself.
  • Mayonnaise is key in this dip to make it extra creamy. Replacements or additions could be sour cream or even cream cheese.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz bacon chopped, uncooked
  • 4 oz pickled jalapeños chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups corn about 5 ears), cut from the cob
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 green onions chopped
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp pepper or to taste

Instructions

  • Add the chopped bacon to a large oven safe skillet and cook until browned and crispy. Do not drain the fat.
  • Stir in the jalapeños and garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until the garlic is aromatic. 
  • Stir in the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is golden and starts to char. Should take 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the mayonnaise, green onions and 1 ½ cups of the mozzarella cheese. Stir everything together well, then season with salt and pepper as needed. 
  • Top with remaining mozzarella cheese then place under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown on top.
  • Top with more green onions or other herbs like cilantro if desired. Serve hot with tortilla chips or crackers.

Notes

* The pickled jalapeños here are used were quite spicy, so if you prefer less spicy, you can used canned green chiles instead. Also fresh jalapeños will work as well in this recipe.

* Other cheeses that would work well would be Monterey Jack cheese, provolone or gruyere cheese.

* This bacon corn dip can be made ahead of time. Simply do everything up to and including step 5, then let it cool. Once cooled cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and keep in the refrigerator until ready to pop in the oven and broil. 

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Anonymous asked: I found another recipe for the stew and it says to add the chickpeas after the root veggies. Reason being the chickpeas are canned so you’re really just warming them up. If they cook to long they’ll lose their texture (mushy peas).

Excellent!  Thank you😊❤️❤️❤️❤️3 notes

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