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Posts tagged “Mustard

Grilled Beer Cheese Sandwich

Grilled Beer Cheese Sandwich

It’s time for the Crazy Cooking Challenge and this month the challenge was to find another blogger’s recipe for Grilled Cheese and make it and blog about, posting it TODAY! I was so sad because I forgot … until Tina said I have all night to make one and get it posted! So yes, I’m in a bit of a scramble to make my sandwich, but I found the PERFECT recipe …

It’s one of my favorite favorite soups … but in a sandwich! Ooh yes! Beer & cheese! What could be better? and OMG this is some serious goodness on a sandwich. Heaven on bread …

Grilled Beer Cheese Sandwich

I should have known, but wasn’t quite prepared for the sweetness of the onion, which, since I didn’t have any beer bread, I caramelized in dark beer. The combination of that sweetness with the spicy garlic peppercorn mustard I used & the sharp cheddar cheese and then that crunch factor from the toasted bread. I just wasn’t ready for this taste explosion, even after sampling quite a few of the onions as I cooked. I grabbed a Leinenkugel Creamy Dark for this … one of my favorites from Leinenkugel.

Grilled Beer Cheese Sandwich

Grilled Beer Cheese Sandwich

Adapted from Honest Fare

  • Thinly sliced yellow onion (I cut up the whole onion, since I know how much they cook down when you caramelize them)
  • 1/2 cup dark beer
  • Olive oil and/or butter
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Some fresh oregano (I used several sprigs from my little plant)
  • Beer bread … but I don’t have any beer bread! So I used French …
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Garlic Peppercorn (or Dijon) mustard


  1. Heat a frying pan over medium heat, add about 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil and swirl around to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the onions and cover to cook for a minute or two.
  2. Uncover the pan and stir, stir, stir. When the onions start to brown and stick to the pan, add a splash of beer, cover for a minute, then uncover and stir until the beer is evaporated. Add another splash of beer and do that whole thing again. I did this four times.
  3. Once the beer is gone, add a splash of worcestershire sauce and continue to cook and stir those onions until they are totally limp and caramelized. Season with a little sprinkle of salt and some freshly ground pepper and fresh oregano leaves.
  4. Spread one side of bread with a thin layer of mustard, cover with sliced cheese, a healthy pile of onions, then more cheese and the other side of bread.
  5. Heat a clean pan over medium-low heat and add about a teaspoon of butter and a teaspoon of olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
  6. Set the sandwiches in the pan, cover and cook for just a few minutes till brown on the bottom, then flip, cover and cook for a few minutes till brown on the other side and the cheese is melted.
  7. Enjoy! It’s best with a cold, dark beer, of course!

Grilled Beer Cheese Sandwich


This post is part of the Crazy Cooking Challenge, Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to see all the other great Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in the Cooking Challenge!

This recipe was also shared at Totally Tasty TuesdaysTuesday Talent Show,  Cast Party WednesdaysTastetastic Thursday and Newlyweds Recipe Linky.

Grapefruit & Sweet Toasted Walnut Salad

with Ginger Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Grapefruit & Sweet Toasted Walnut Salad with Ginger Grapefruit Vinaigrette

I don’t know why, but the past two days, all I have wanted to eat was this salad. I need to make some soup, but I don’t really care … all I want is this green salad with pink, juicy grapefruit chunks and toasted sweet walnuts and this luscious vinaigrette. I could drown myself in it …

The first time I made it, I didn’t have any greens, so I had to go foraging in my lawn and what little is growing in my garden so far. I added the petals from a couple chrysanthemums too … since I was picking things …

The mums were lovely, but I completely forgot them the second time around. Because this time I had a big tub of organic spinach I found at the grocery store, so I didn’t have to go outside picking anything. And because the second time my son joined in in “helping” me prepare the grapefruit and before I knew it, we’d gone through 3 grapefruit  and only one was left for my salad … because he pilfered all the rest … not that I mind … I love it when he revels in eating something healthy.

It reminded me of a different time and a different place when we used to have a grapefruit tree, so we would have “grapefruit festivals” … the kids and I would sit at the table and eat and eat and eat grapefruit to our heart’s content … and if we wanted more, we just ran out to the tree and picked a few more. This went on until we had each eaten 3 or 4 grapefruit. I’m not really sure how many we actually ate … it just seemed like the feasting went on and on and on. There was always a huge pile of rinds when we were done.

Grapefruit & Sweet Toasted Walnut Salad with Ginger Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Grapefruit & Sweet Toasted Walnut Salad

  • Mixed greens or spinach
  • Grapefruit
  • Walnut pieces (just a couple tablespoons per serving)
  • Powdered sugar (maybe 1/3 cup?)
  • Cinnamon (not sure how much I used … 1/2 teaspoon? maybe more?)
  • Chrysanthemum petals (or fresh mint leaves … or you could just leave these out)
  • Ginger Grapefruit Vinaigrette (recipe below)


  1. Peel the grapefruit and section it like you would an orange, then pull off all the membrane. If you have any difficulty doing this with your fingers, use a knife. Make sure you have extra grapefruit if you have any others around that like to “help”.
  2. Take the powdered sugar and mix it with some cinnamon (and maybe a bit of powdered ginger? of course this occurred to me AFTER we’ve eaten all the grapefruit in the house!), then dump your walnut pieces in. Use a colander or sifter to separate the nuts from the powdered sugar. Reserve the cinnamon sugar mixture for next time (or for powdering a dessert).
  3. Put the nuts on a cooking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and bake for about 5 minutes at 350 degrees or until the nuts are brown on top.
  4. In the meantime, put a big bunch of greens in the salad bowl and hide the grapefruit sections amongst the greens.
  5. Sprinkle with the sweet toasted nuts and chrysanthemum petals (if you have them), then drizzle with a bit of the ginger grapefruit vinaigrette.

Ginger Grapefruit Vinaigrette

This makes a small amount, but you really don’t need much on the salad because it has a lot of flavor (but then, I’m a “light on the dressing” kind of person). If you want extra for future salads, double the recipe!

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 Tablespoon ginger sugar (the sugar that falls from making candied ginger … or 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger)
  • 1 Tablespoon jam (I used mixed berry jam, but I think you could use whatever jam suits you)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon fancy prepared mustard (I used garlic peppercorn mustard, but Dijon would also be fine.)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

In a bowl, mix all the ingredients except the oil until everything is well blended. In a thin stream, add the olive oil, whisking the dressing till the oil is incorporated into the dressing.

Store any extra salad dressing in the fridge … let warm slightly for just a few minutes at room temperature to warm the olive oil and shake well before using.

Grapefruit & Sweet Toasted Walnut Salad with Ginger Grapefruit Vinaigrette

This recipe was shared at Tastetastic ThursdaysThursday’s Treasures, Full Plate ThursdaysWeekend Potluck, and Meatless Mondays.

Ham & Asparagus Rollups with Dijon Dill Cream

Ham & Asparagus Rollups with Dijon Dill Cream

It’s my favorite time of year. Asparagus season. I adore asparagus. It’s beautiful. It’s elegant. It’s delicious. It’s versatile. It’s the perfect vegetable.

I suppose I could go buy it at the store just about any time I want it, but I don’t. I wait for spring. I wait to go to my parents’ house where they have this HUGE asparagus bed and I can pick and pick and pick to my heart’s content.

And then once asparagus season is over, I don’t cook with asparagus till next spring. Don’t ask me why. That is just how it is.

Ham & Asparagus Rollups with Dijon Dill Cream

Ham & Asparagus Rollups with Dijon Dill Cream

I made 8 rollups. I have seen this type of thing done with store-bought crescent rolls. I suppose you COULD do that, but being the freakazoid make-my-own-bread fiend that I am, I just used my bread machine to make the dough. It’s so simple … why not?

Dijon Dill Cream

  • 3 Tablespoons light cream cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Several little sprigs of fresh dill, snipped
  • 1/2 cup shredded Havarti cheese


  • Fresh bread or crescent roll dough (I used this bread dough)
  • 16 – 48 asparagus spears (just the top 3 – 5 inches of each spear)
  • 8 Slices (or chopped) lean ham (I used chopped ham, but I think thin slices wrapped around the asparagus would be prettier)


  1. Make the bread dough. I used my French bread dough and made it in my bread machine on the dough setting. I made a whole recipe of the dough, then used about 1/3 of the dough for this recipe and made the rest into a small loaf of French bread. If you want to make all of the dough into rollups, just make about 3 times as much Dijon Dill Cream and adjust the amount of asparagus accordingly.
  2. Make the Dijon Dill Cream. In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese, yogurt and mustard until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the dill and havarti cheese. Set aside.
  3. Place the asparagus spears in a microwaveable dish, add a little water, then cover and microwave for a minute or three until the asparagus is just crisp tender.
  4. Roll out the bread dough into a large rectangle. Cut out half as many 4 inch squares as you will want for rollups, then cut each square in half diagonally to make a triangle.
  5. Spread each triangle with dijon dill cream, then lay the asparagus and ham on the triangle, with the tips of the asparagus poking past the tip of the triangle. I used 2 sprigs of asparagus per rollup but I wish I had put in more! I think 3 or 4 per rollup would be just perfect.Ham & Asparagus Rollups with Dijon Dill Cream
  6. Roll the bread dough around the ham and asparagus, then carefully lift and place on a greased baking sheet.Ham & Asparagus Rollups with Dijon Dill Cream
  7. Spray the rollups with cooking spray, cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place for about 20 – 30 minutes.
  8. Bake at 350 for about 10 – 12 minutes or until they are lightly golden brown. Let sit for just a few minutes before serving and serve while they’re still warm. If you have any leftovers, keep them in a bag in the fridge then reheat for a few seconds in the microwave.

They really don’t need any dipping sauce … they are SO good just like this, but if you like, you can serve them with avocado ranch dressing … or thin out some of the dijon dill cream with a little milk to make it into a dipping sauce.

You could serve this as an appetizer or alongside soup or salad for a lovely lunch or light dinner.

It needs a little more than 2 spears per rollup, don’t you think?

Ham & Asparagus Rollups with Dijon Dill Cream

If you want to see what they would look like with slices of ham wrapped around the asparagus, check out this beautiful post from The Fresh Fridge.

Versatile Blogger Award & Prosciutto-Wrapped Turkey

on a bed of greens with Kiwi, Pomegranate, and a Sweet Balsamic Habanero Mustard Drizzle

Prosciutto-wrapped Turkey Breast with Kiwi & Pomegranate

This was simultaneously a long, hard week for me and a wonderfully blessed week. I am blessed with so many talented foodie friends who are such beautiful people. Four times this week I was awarded the Versatile Blogger Award.

Last Wednesday the blow to my heart that I had been fearing would come, came. As much as I told myself I was prepared for it, I wasn’t. This man I had been seeing, I let myself fall too hard. From the start I knew this wasn’t the time for this relationship. But I had made a wish and he was the one that answered. We both needed each other right then and there. And so I let it happen. And it was wonderful. Every moment I spent with him was like a taste of heaven … I know I will be okay without him, but right now my heart is torn in two. And my body tells me to eat, but I don’t even want to. I force myself to nibble at things just to make the hunger go away. If you know me at all, you know that’s not like me. I still visited my foodie friends on facebook, but my heart wasn’t in it. I couldn’t cook. I couldn’t blog.  All I could do was share past recipes, past memories.

Versatile blogger awardMy family and friends were there for me in so many ways. My circle of foodie friends was there to comfort me too. This circle is so much more than just a bunch of people who share recipes. They are just phenomenal giving people and I am so blessed to be included in this circle. All these beautiful people I’ve never met in person were there for me. They are my angels.

This award came to me from these four beautiful bloggers.

  1. ChinDeep: an author, an artist, photographer and talented cook, I feel so honored to know Melissa. When I page through her hand-drawn book, I am just stunned by the beautiful artwork, not to mention the creative, wonderful ideas.
  2. Lisa’s Dinnertime Dish: Lisa is a sweetheart and a fantastic cook. I love the step-by-step photos she includes on every single post. Her blog is gorgeous and the foods she shares are SO yummy.
  3. Everyday Mom’s Meals: Krista is not your everyday mom at all! She is an awesome cook, but also a cheerleader of food bloggers, a sweet, fun person that just makes you smile.
  4. movita beaucoup: Movita has such a fun, refreshing sense of humor. Her words make me laugh, but all of her posts contain such beautiful amazing foods. If you don’t know Movita, you really need to meet her (and congratulate her, because she’s going to baking school!)

Now the rules of this award state that I have to pass it on to five other versatile bloggers. Since I was awarded it 4 times, I guess that means you get to meet 20 of my friends, and yet this is only a small fraction of all the beautiful people I have met through my blog.

So the awards go to these talented bloggers. Each and every one of them is so special to me.

  1. Silvia’s Cucina
  2. A Little Bit Crunchy A Little Bit Rock & Roll
  3. Linda’s Italian Table
  4. Ally’s Kitchen
  5. Basilmomma
  1. Simply Gourmet Photography
  2. Zestuous
  3. The Foodie Physician
  4. Chef in Disguise
  5. Recipes for my Boys
  1. She Eats Pork & Fishes
  2. Full Belly Sisters
  3. Serious Food for the Soul
  4. Celebrating Home with Karie Engels
  5. Sunday at the Giacomettis
  1. Cooking with Mel
  2. Lark’s Country Heart
  3. The Tastetress
  4. Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
  5. Mia’s Domain

Now, would you like to see the recipe? I didn’t want to cook, but after hardly eating anything on Thursday, I really needed to eat. So I dressed up some of my leftovers. It turned out SO pretty … and it was simple to make.

on a bed of greens with Kiwi, Pomegranate, and a Sweet Baslamic Habanero Mustard Drizzle

Prosciutto-Wrapped Turkey on a bed of greens with Kiwi, Pomegranate, and a Sweet Balsamic Habanero Mustard Drizzle

  1. Take a hunk of cooked turkey (or a cooked chicken breast) and wrap it with thin slices of prosciutto.
  2. Top with slices of cheese. I used Romano & Parmesan, but I think Gouda or Provolone would be better because they’re meltier.
  3. Broil the meat in a toaster oven (or regular oven) until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  4. Lay the meat on a bed of greens and sprinkle with chunks of kiwi and pomegranate seeds, then drizzle with the vinaigrette.

Sweet Balsamic Habanero Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 1 Tablespoon habanero pepper jelly (or other hot pepper jelly)
  • 1 Tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon light mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric

Whisk all ingredients together.

This recipe was shared at Fit & Fabulous FridaysWeekend Potluck, Totally Tasty TuesdaysCast Party Wednesdays and Newlyweds Recipe Linky.

Sweet Hot Habanero Ham & Gruyere Sandwich

Sweet Hot Habanero Mustard, Ham, and Gruyere Melted on French Bread

My friends and family take such good care of me. The other night after yoga, we went out for a glass of wine and my friend says to me “I have something for you.” … I got really excited because she KNOWS me well.

It was a little jar of habanero jelly. Someone had given it to her for Christmas and she and her family just don’t eat hot pepper stuff. She said “I’ll give it to Ann … she’ll know what to do with it.” … I tell you I just about did a happy dance right there in the middle of the restaurant. I love love love hot pepper jelly and there are really so many delicious ways this hot sweet little concoction can enrich your life.

This is one of them.

Sweet Hot Habanero Mustard Ham & Gruyere Sandwich

Sweet Hot Habanero Ham & Gruyere Sandwich

  • French Bread
  • Gruyere cheese slices
  • Lean ham slices
  • Tomato slices
  • Herb salad mix
  • Habanero Mustard Sandwich Spread (recipe below)


  1. First, mix up the sandwich spread (recipe below).
  2. Slice off a hunk of your french bread and then slice horizontally. Toast the bottom half lightly.
  3. Warm the ham briefly in a hot frying pan coated with cooking spray, then lay the slices on the bread … top with slices of gruyere cheese. Place it in the toaster oven (or oven) to broil for a few minutes until the cheese is melted.
  4. While the cheese is melting, toast the top half of the bread in the hot frying pan.
  5. Remove the cheesy bottom half of the sandwich and top with tomato, lettuce, and the top half of the bread. And enjoy …

Habanero Mustard Sandwich Spread

  • 1 Tablespoon habanero pepper jelly (or other hot pepper jelly)
  • 1 Tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1 – 2 Tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric

Mix all ingredients well. Use as a spread on sandwiches. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container.

Hot Sweet Habanero Mustard Ham & Gruyere Sandwich


This recipe was shared at Trick or Treat TuesdaysCast Party Wednesdays, It’s a Keeper Thursdays, Full Plate ThursdaysTastetastic Thursdays and Katherine Martinelli’s Pepper Blog Hop.

Pomegranate Walnut Salad with Maple Cranberry Vinaigrette

Pomegranate Walnut Salad with dried cranberries, apricots, mixed cheeses and Maple Cranberry Vinaigrette

Pomegranates are so beautiful. I’ve been entranced with them since I studied Greek mythology way back in junior high school.

Then when we lived in California, our neighbors had a pomegranate tree … one long branch of the tree stretched into our yard and that one branch always gave us plenty of pomegranates. Not that it really mattered, because the neighbors let us go into their yard and pick pomegranates whenever we wanted. My kids used to sell pomegranates like some kids sell lemonade. The neighbors loved it.

When you open up a pomegranate, it is full of all these gorgeous little jewels; it looks like a treasure chest to me. And the taste of the little jewels when you bite into one … oh my.

If you want to make this salad, you will first need to make the Cranberry Raspberry Vinegar, and that takes about a week … just giving you fair warning. You could do some clever substitutions, perhaps, but the jewel-toned vinegar with the little pomegranate jewels in the salad is really quite nice.

Pomegranate Walnut Salad with Mixed Cheeses and Maple Cranberry Vinaigrette

Pomegranate Walnut Salad with Maple Cranberry Vinaigrette

with Dried Cranberries, Apricots and Mixed Cheeses

  • Organic Herb Mix (or mixed greens)
  • Pomegranate Seeds
  • Shards of Parmesan Cheese (cut very thin slices off the edge of a hunk of parmesan)
  • Toasted Walnuts, chopped roughly
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Chopped dried Apricots
  • Blue cheese crumbles

First make the dressing and let it set to mix the flavors while you prepare the salad.

Fill the salad bowl 3/4 full with the organic herb mix, and sprinkle with remaining ingredients as you please. Drizzle with Maple Cranberry Vinaigrette.

Maple Cranberry Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

  • 3/4 cup cranberry raspberry vinegar (recipe here)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon strawberry or raspberry jam
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon, Spicy Brown or other fancy mustard (I used garlic peppercorn mustard)
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard seed
  • A couple of basil leaves, a small sprig of rosemary, and several sprigs of fresh dill weed

Mix all ingredients together in a handi chopper and whir until the herbs and garlic are well chopped and everything is mixed well. Refrigerate any of the remaining dressing.

Pomegranate Walnut Salad with dried cranberries, apricots, mixed cheeses and Maple Cranberry Vinaigrette

This recipe was shared at Midnight Maniac Meatless MondaysTotally Tasty Tuesdays, and Full Plate Thursdays.

Green Chile Crab Cakes with Smoky Remoulade Sauce

Green Chile Crab Cakes with Smoky Roumelade Sauce

I’m so excited! This is my first Secret Recipe Club (SRC) post! I have been jealously watching other food bloggers’ secret recipe club posts and just dying for my little food blog to become “old enough” to join. You have to have at least 60 posts to join the club. I guess my marathon of blogging every day in October really helped with THAT.

In case you’re not familiar with the Secret Recipe Club,  … it is a “club” of food bloggers. Each blogger in the club is secretly assigned to make a recipe from another food blog and blog about it. You are assigned to a blog, but you can make any recipe you choose from that blog. On the “reveal” day, everyone in that group publishes their Secret Recipe.

I totally lucked out and was assigned to Jessica at Kitchen Belleicious. Oh I had so much fun looking through her blog … she has so many amazing recipes. I finally narrowed it down to two recipes: I was debating between the Shrimp Stew and the Green Chile Crab Cakes and I guess you can tell which one won out. I have a great affinity for crab cakes and do not get them very often, living in the midwest.

I had not intended to tweak this recipe at all because it looked absolutely perfect to me just like it was. But life was not cooperating with me on that one … It was tough to find fresh crab meat where I live, but I was determined to make THIS recipe, so I ended up using canned crab meat (oh the shame of it!). I just discovered I didn’t check my mayo supply before I went shopping, so I totally ran out of mayo before I even started making the sauce. I also had to make up some Old Bay Seasoning because I couldn’t find any of that at the store. And then I totally forgot the celery, so I substituted red bell pepper, which I think was one of those “good” kind of accidents, because it made these little crab cakes look so festive!

Green Chile Crab Cakes with Smoky Roumelade Sauce

Green Chile Crab Cakes with Smoky Remoulade Sauce


  • 12 ounces of fresh crab meat (that’s 2 cans, if you can’t find fresh like me)
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion (about 1/2 of an onion)
  • 1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup roasted, chopped Hatch green chiles
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 TBSP cup spicy brown mustard
  • 1/2 cup light mayo
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp Old Bay Crab Boil Spice
  • Salt & pepper to taste (I actually didn’t add any salt or pepper)
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Remoulade Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 TBSP green onions
  • 2 TBSP sweet pickles
  • 1 tsp horseradish sauce
  • Dash of garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp adobo seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika


  1. Combine vegetables, chiles, crab meat, and bread crumbs.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and lightly toss together being careful not to break up the crab. If you are making large cakes, you can pan fry them in vegetable oil for 3-4 minutes on each side over medium heat or you can bake smaller cakes at 400. I shaped them into about 1 inch balls, then set them on the baking sheet and flattened them a bit. She said to bake them for 8 – 10 minutes, but I found I had to bake them for about 20 minutes to get them crispy.
  3. Whir together ingredients for remoulade in a handi chopper or food processor and serve alongside the crab cakes.
Green Chile Crab Cakes with Smoky Roumelade Sauce
Here’s the recipe I used for the Old Bay Seasoning I couldn’t find …

Copycat Old Bay Seasoning

from Robbie’s Recipes

  • 1 Tbls. ground bay leaves
  • 2 1/2 tsp. celery salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground mustard seed
  • 1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground mace
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and store in an airtight container.


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