Enriques Mexican Restaurant in Kuna.

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Enrique's-Logo300x269Enrique’s Mexican Restaurant,482 W Main Street, Kuna, ID is by far one of the best, if not The Best, Mexican restaurant in the Boise/Kuna area. The name has changed from El Gallo Giro. Same people are operating the restaurant, just a name change. And I think the food has gotten better! Every bit of a 5-Star restaurant! A great place for the entire family. But be aware – They get very, very busy, so it might be best to call for reservations, especially if you are going to be there on Friday or Saturday or Sunday around 4:00 in the afternoon and later. (208) 922-5169. Look at what we had. Enjoy! Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.

The change-over explained

The change-over explained

If you are lucky, you just might hear and enjoy a Mariachi Band. This one was awesome!

If you are lucky, you just might hear and enjoy a Mariachi Band. This one was awesome!

Some of the Mariachi players.

Some of the Mariachi players.

Maybe you would like some fresh guacamole made right at your table. This young man had great knife skills!

Maybe you would like some fresh guacamole made right at your table. This young man has great knife skills!

27August2015_1h_Enriques_Tableside-Guacomole_2

Start dinner with a good Watermelon Cosmojito

Start dinner with a good Watermelon Cosmojito

or maybe a Corona!

or maybe a Corona!

Awesome House Salad with an Olive Oil and Honey Dressing. The salad had walnuts, and other nuts in it.  Super good salad!

Awesome House Salad with an Olive Oil and Honey Dressing. The salad had walnuts, and other nuts in it. Super good salad! These salads change periodically.

An appetizer of Cabeza Pork Taco.

An appetizer of Cabeza Pork Taco. Superb pork.

Coconut Shrimp appetizer. Delicious and just what you would expect.

Coconut Shrimp appetizer. Delicious and just what you would expect.

Robin had Idaho Trout for dinner and all the trimmings for sides - fresh vegetables, pico de gallo, tortillas and sour cream.

Robin had Idaho Trout for dinner and all the trimmings for sides – fresh vegetables, pico de gallo, tortillas and sour cream.

I had this spot on, out of this world, shut the front door Mojarra Doreda - Tilapia! I'd drive the 12 or so miles from Boise and fight the I-84 construction - or find a "country route" - just for this entree! Absolutely loved it.

I had this spot on, out of this world, shut the front door Mojarra Dorada – Whole Tilapia! I’d drive the 12 or so miles from Boise and fight the I-84 construction – or find a “country route” – just for this entree! Absolutely loved it.

Churros for dessert with an good coffee.

Churros for dessert with an good cup of strong coffee.

Will we go back? Absolutely! The quality of the food is far better than it was. Well worth the trip, folks! Let us know when you are going and we’ll try to join you.

Great Visit to Capitol Cellars

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Capitol-Cellars-Logan-Smyser_CardReally a good visit tonight to the newly opened – March 2015 – of Capitol Cellars at 5th and Main Streets in Boise in the Belgravia Building. (There is also an AirBNB in the building, Belgravia AirBNB.) The ambiance is like entering a “wine cave”. Dim lights; cool air and wonderful Waite Staff. In certain sections of the restaurant, it is like sitting in a wine cellar – because you really are! I have placed a permanent link in the sidebar of this blog so you can contact them, make reservations or check their manu. Definitely a 4-Star (out of 5-Stars) restaurant. My only comments about the food is that the risotto seemed to be a little gummy – undercooked. The crispy fries were not really as crispy as I had expected. I expected more of a twice fried Belgium style potato. Here are some photos from our visit. Enjoy! It is great to see that they use Idaho products and produce as much as possible. This would be a great Date Night restaurant or Special Occasion.

The entrance at 5th and Main in the Belgrade Building.

The entrance at 5th and Main in the Belgravia Building.

Part of the main dining room.

Part of the main dining room.

The wine cellar.

The wine cellar.

Wine cellar ambiance.

Wine cellar ambiance.

Shoup Pernod Shrimp - garlic, shallot, basil, Pernod cream sauce

Shoup Pernod Shrimp
garlic, shallot, basil, Pernod cream sauce

heese plate- specialty artisan and local cheeses, fruit, spiced nuts, port-fig jam, imported olives, baguette & crackers

Cheese plate
specialty artisan and local cheeses, fruit, spiced nuts, port-fig jam, imported olives, baguette & crackers

Borah Burger - Idaho Kobe beef, fresh mozzarella, basil, tomato, balsamic reduction, roasted garlic aioli, brioche bun

Borah Burger
Idaho Kobe beef, fresh mozzarella, basil, tomato, balsamic reduction, roasted garlic aioli, brioche bun

Risotto

Risotto

Rib-Eye

The Senator’s Prime Rib
Idaho-northwest raised beef, Idaho bake potato, warm horseradish sauce, au jus

Lamb

Pete’s Idaho Lamb Shank
Lava Lake Lamb. goat cheese polenta, seasonal vegetable, natural jus

Logan Smyser

Logan Smyser, Director of Operations, shows us how to use a sabre to remove the top of a champagne bottle.

Good Eats!

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16July2015_1_State-And-Lemp_Robin A couple days of some really good eats – good food! The weather is not 100+, it is 58 degrees at night and in the mid 80’s during the day. I’ll take that. The Soda Fire is 90% contained and rehab has started for the grasslands – it’ll take two to three years for it to totally come back. Grazing will be at a premium. Wild horses are being cared for and watched for injuries. All seems as well as it can be under the circumstances. Back to the kitchen!

Meadowlark Farms Eggs Benedict Fresh Williamson Orchards Fruit

Meadowlark Farms Eggs Benedict
Fresh Williamson Orchards Fruit

Home Stead Foods Rib Steak Asparagus with Bearnaise Sauce True Roots Heirloom Tomatoes with Purple Sage Basil Threads

Homestead Foods Rib Steak
True Roots Asparagus with Meadowlark Farms Eggs for Bearnaise Sauce
True Roots Heirloom Tomatoes with Purple Sage Basil Threads

Braised Scallops Shaved Zucchini Salad with Tomatoes Basil and Cheese

Braised Scallops
Shaved Zucchini Salad with Tomatoes, Basil Treads and Cheese

Ratatouille Toasted Baguette with Garlic

Ratatouille
Toasted Baguette with Garlic

Here is the Ratatouille recipe.

Scrambled Eggs Grits and Shrimp

Meadowlark Farms Scrambled Eggs
Grits and Shrimp

I asked Robin what she wanted for breakfast. Without even blinking an eye, she said, “Shrimp and Grits.” I asked her if she wanted some scrambled eggs with that. She said, “Just one egg.” I had some, too!

Such a yum couple of merals. Such a great time in the kitchen!

“Eggs Baked in Tomatoes” For Breakfast

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04Mar2015_1_Ciottonwood-Grille_Robin-at-Arid-Club_GoodReally a super flavor. A great idea that Robin found. But, we find that certain changes should be made – use cupcake tins (pans) for one thing. Basically, the recipe comes from PowWow recipes, Eggs Baked in Tomatoes. We found that the tomatoes have a lot of liquid in them for this recipe. We used Beefsteak, which are super tomatoes. We need a more pulpy tomato, but not a San Marzano or Roma. Wrong shape. I will check at the Boise Farmers Market tomorrow to see what I can find. Here are some photos that I took of our breakfast. Enjoy. I will post the recipe as we used it at the end of this post. Cheers! The tomatoes and the eggs are from the Boise Farmers Market. The herbs are from our garden.

The tomatoes are scooped out and have a large pinch of herbs and salt and pepper in them. We used a cupcake pan so the tomatoes would keep their shape. Take care when you remove them from the pan. Let them cool first.

The tomatoes are scooped out and have a large pinch of herbs and salt and pepper in them. We used a cupcake pan so the tomatoes would keep their shape. Take care when you remove them from the pan. They have a tendency to want to collapse and fall apart. Let them cool first.

Even being careful while removing them from the pan, they tended to "fall apart". But still deliciously different for breakfast.

Even being careful while removing them from the pan, they tended to “fall apart”. But still deliciously different for breakfast.

Here is the recipe –

Eggs Baked in Tomatoes

Adapted From: Eggs Baked in Tomatoes | Recipes – PureWow
Robin Young, Boise, ID Servings: 3 Start to Finish: 45 minutes Prep: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Ingredients:
2 T Olive Oil
6 med Tomatoes
6 lg Eggs
¼ c Whole Milk
¼ c grated Parmesan Cheese
Sea Salt and freshly ground Tellicherry Black Pepper
2 T chopped fresh Chives
1 T fresh Thyme leaves
2 t chiffonade fresh Basil
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a large, oven-safe skillet with the olive oil, or a muffin tin.
2. Using a small paring knife, cut around the stems of the tomatoes and remove them. Use a spoon to scoop out all the insides of the tomatoes, including the liquid. (Reserve the insides and liquid and use them to make tomato sauce or salsa.) Be careful not to split the sides of the tomatoes.
3. Blend together the chopped chives, fresh thyme leaves and basil. Sprinkle the inside of the tomatoes with a large pinch of the herb blend and salt and pepper.
4. Arrange the tomato shells snugly in the prepared skillet or in a muffin tin. Again, be careful not to split the sides of the tomatoes. Crack an egg into each tomato. Top each egg with 1 tablespoon milk and 1 tablespoon Parmesan. Season each egg with salt and pepper.
5. Bake until the tomatoes are tender, the egg whites are set and the yolks are still a little jiggly, 18 to 25 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes and then garnish with a little more of the fresh herbs. Serve immediately.

It’s Been A Long Time – Salisbury Steak Time!

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Every so often, one has a yearning for “things from the past”. In this case, comfort food. A Salisbury Steak and Baked Potato. Not much more basic than that. Add a good and hard to find Idaho wine, and you are in ecstasy!

Salisbury Steak with mushroom dark gravy Baked Potato with butter and chives Toasted Basque Bread

Salisbury Steak
with
mushroom, garden fresh thyme, onion and bacon dark gravy

Baked Idaho Potato
with
butter and garden fresh chives

Toasted Basque Bread

2012 Weston Winery and Vineyards Murray Hill Estate Malbec

How easy was that? Yum.

Yummy Breakfast

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………… and very easy to do. Only thing is, you must have scrapple. What? Scrapple. Wikipedia explains scrapple as,

Scrapple Fresh Grapes and Bananas Toasted Basque Bread Basted Eggs

Fried Scrapple with Ketchup
Fresh Grapes and Bananas
Toasted Basque Bread and Huckleberry Jam
Basted Eggs

Scrapple, also known by the Pennsylvania Dutch name panhaas or “pan rabbit,” is traditionally a mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal and wheat flour, often buckwheat flour, and spices. The mush is formed into a semi-solid congealed loaf, and slices of the scrapple are then pan-fried before serving. Scraps of meat left over from butchering, not used or sold elsewhere, were made into scrapple to avoid waste. Scrapple is best known as a rural American food of the Mid-Atlantic states (Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia). Scrapple and panhaas are commonly considered an ethnic food of the Pennsylvania Dutch, including the Mennonites and Amish. Scrapple is found in supermarkets throughout the region in both fresh and frozen refrigerated cases.

The roots of the culinary traditions that led to the development of scrapple in America have been traced back to pre-Roman Europe. The more immediate culinary ancestor of scrapple was the Low German dish called panhas, which was adapted to make use of locally available ingredients, and it is still called “Pannhaas,” “panhoss,” “ponhoss,” or “pannhas” in parts of Pennsylvania. The first recipes were created by German colonists who settled near Philadelphia and Chester County, Pennsylvania in the 17th and 18th centuries. As a result, scrapple is strongly associated with rural areas surrounding Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, eastern Virginia, and the Delmarva Peninsula. Its popularity on the Delmarva Peninsula is celebrated the second weekend of October during the annual “Apple Scrapple Festival” in Bridgeville, Delaware.

In composition, preparation, and taste, scrapple is similar to the white pudding popular in Ireland, Scotland, and parts of England and the spicier Hog’s pudding of the West Country of England.

Breakfast and Dinner

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27Jan20015_1_Captains-Shack_Making-PastaFun times, again, in the kitchen! Fun making our own pasta, and better than some of the store bought “stuff”. Pasta dishes can take all forms and so can breakfast. Here we made two different breakfasts – two days – and a really good pasta dinner. Let’s look at breakfast first. Left-Click any of these photos to see enlarged.

Eggs in Pockets Spray cup cake pan. Shave - slice thin -potatoes and line cups. Bake off to lightly brown at 350 degrees F. Scramble several eggs and add whatever you want to the mix. Pour into cups. Bake at 350 degrees F until eggs are set. Remove from oven and cool. Remove Pockets aand serve.

Eggs in Pockets

Spray cup cake pan with Pam. Shave – slice thin -potatoes and line cups. Bake off to lightly brown at 350 degrees F. Scramble several eggs and add whatever you want to the mix. Pour into cups. Bake at 350 degrees F until eggs are set. Remove from oven and cool. Remove Pockets and serve.

Eggs in Potato Pockets Fresh Peaches and Blueberries

Eggs in Potato Pockets
Fresh Peaches and Blueberries

Lox and cream Cheese cream cheese, red lettuce, shaved onion,  capers, homemade lox

Homemade Lox and Cream Cheese
Acme Bake Shop Sourdough Bread, cream cheese, red lettuce, shaved red onion, sliced tomato, homemade lox, capers

Here is the recipe for Robin’s Homemade Lox. In the photo above, I added fennel fronds to the process in the refrigerator. You can add any herb you wish.

Homemade Pasta in White Wine Reduction  with braised squash, eggplant, shaved fennel, scallops

Homemade Pasta
in
White Wine Reduction
with
braised squash, eggplant, shaved fennel, scallops

Here is the recipe for the White Wine Reduction. This is really a wonderful and rich dinner. We do like to make our own pasta.

Baked Potato with Chives Braised Fresh Green Beans, Carrots and Roasted Peppers Green Salad with Fresh Tomatoes, Fennel and Celery Bacon Wrapped Beef Tenderloin with Bernaise Sauce

Baked Potato
with
Chives

Braised Fresh Green Beans, Carrots and Roasted Peppers

Fresh Green Salad
with
Fresh Tomatoes, Fennel and Celery

Bacon Wrapped Beef Tenderloin
with
Bearnaise Sauce

This was our dinner tonight

Corn Pie and Sliced Tomatoes. Corn What?

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Robin-Bob-In-Kitchen_Looking-RightI went to the Boise Farmers Market on Saturday to get my weekly supply of farm fresh products: eggs, carrots, squash, eggplant, tomatoes, string beans and almond croissants. When I bought my tomatoes, big, wonderful beefsteak ones that actually smelled like a tomato, the lady said, “These will be great in a salad.” I said, “Yes, but they will be much better with a Corn Pie. Sliced tomatoes and corn pie for dinner! Yum.” To which she aked, “Corn what? How do you make corn pie?” So I told her and she seemed amazed. I bought the tomatoes and walked by some other booths, when a lady came up to me and asked, “Are you the one who makes corn pie? How do you make it?” So I told her. Now I will let you know how to make a Corn Pie. It’s not hard. Why all you need is some fresh corn, pie crusts, milk – or half and half or cream – flour, butter, salt and pepper and a little (just a touch) nutmeg or cinnamon. A 9″ pie pan. An oven at 350 degrees F. And about a total of an hour and a half. Here is the recipe. Enjoy! And as a note: This is probably better at the end of the season with older corn.

12 ears of corn off the cob. Salt and pepper to taste. About 1 cup of whole milk and about 2 Tablespoons of butter broken up. About 2 Tablespoons of flour. All mixed together in a large bowl then poured into a partial baked pie crust.

12 ears of corn off the cob. Salt and pepper to taste. 1 cup of whole milk and about 2 Tablespoons of butter broken up and 2 Tablespoons of flour. All mixed together in a large bowl then poured into a partial baked pie crust.

A second pie crust is put on top. Pierce it with a fork and butter the top liberally.

A second pie crust is put on top. Pierce it with a fork and butter the top liberally.

After 30 minutes at 350 degrees F, check the pie. Smell it. Drool a little. Dinner is in about another 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes at 350 degrees F, check the pie. Smell it. Drool a little. Put it back into the oven and wait. Dinner is in about another 30 minutes.

After 1 hour at 350 degrees F, this is what you end up with. A luscious, splendid, delicious Corn Pie. Bubbling with a creamy mixture of whole milk (or cream) and butter and wonderful fresh corn.

After 1 hour at 350 degrees F, this is what you end up with. A luscious, splendid, delicious Corn Pie. Bubbling with a creamy mixture of whole milk (or cream) and butter and wonderful fresh corn.

One piece has been devoured!

One piece has been devoured!

Corn Pie Farm Fresh Sliced Yellow and Red Tomatoes with Basil Threads and Hawaiian Sea Salt.

Corn Pie

Farm Fresh Sliced Yellow and Red Tomatoes
with
basil threads and Hawaiian sea salt

This is a family traditional summer or late summer meal. Simple. Corn Pie and Sliced Tomatoes. I like this recipe, but here is one recipe that we have used. It calls for you to also make your own pie crust. Corn Pie Recipe. The recipe also calls for a 400 degree F oven, but that always seemed a little high to me. I like the lower temperature better. I may have to re-write the recipe. Pre-bake the bottom pie crust – it will not be soggy.

“State and Lemp” – Awesome

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16July2015_1c_State-And-Lemp_Wall-ArtI could, and probably should, fill up this page with the word awesome, but that would be boring! If you are in Boise and have been here for awhile, do you remember Andrae’s? That definitely was a 5-Star restaurant. And so is State and Lemp. It is every bit as good as Andrea’s was; If not better. But I can only give 5-Stars and State and Lemp earned every one of those stars. From the local art on the wall, as pictured here, to the outstanding service. Also outstanding was the plating of the different food offerings. We eat with our eyes first, and as you will see, the presentations were super good! The seating is limited to about 28 people, so call for a reservation. We did like the way they have the tables set, it gave us time to chat with our table “neighbors”. Here are some photos from the evening. Enjoy! We will return for another special celebration, whatever that may be!

Robin at our seating.

Robin at our seating.

The seating arrangements.

The seating arrangements.

The menu and our place card. Yes, it is that formal!

The menu and our place card. Yes, it is that formal!

It is great to see that they use as much local products as possible. Here is Acme Bake Shop Sourdough Bread. For a complete list of their farmer suppliers, check their web site.

It is great to see that they use as much local products as possible. Here is Acme Bake Shop Sourdough Bread. For a complete list of their local farmer suppliers, check their web site.

Sardine with Micro Greens and Flowers

Sardine
with
Micro Greens and Flowers

Strawberry & Cucumber Scallop. Cilantro. Shiso Patrick Bottex – “La Cueille” Gamay / Poulsard

Strawberry and Cucumber
Scallop. Cilantro. Shiso
Patrick Bottex – “La Cueille”
Gamay / Poulsard

Summer Squash & Fava Beans Black Cod. Sea Beans Nasturtium Taft Street – Chardonnay

Summer Squash and Fava Beans
Black Cod. Sea Beans. Nasturtium
Taft Street
Chardonnay

 Carrot & Apricot Goat. Sesame. Fried Rice Maxime Magnon – “La Démarrante” Carignan / Cinsault

Carrot and Apricot
Goat. Sesame. Fried Rice
Maxime Magnon – “La Démarrante”
Carignan/Cinsault

Intermezzo - Huckleberry Sorbet

Intermezzo – Huckleberry Sorbet

Beets & New Potato Pork. Gooseberry. Sorrel Domaine Gayda – “Flying Solo” Grenache/Syrah

Beets & New Potato
Pork. Gooseberry. Sorrel
Domaine Gayda – “Flying Solo”
Grenache/Syrah

Currants & Cherry Ginger Ale. Vanilla Cream. Mochi Taylor Fladgate – “LBV” Port

Currants and Cherry
Ginger Ale. Vanilla Cream. Mochi
Taylor Fladgate – “LBV”
Port


Those little ginger ale “balloons” just “popped” flavor in your mouth. I intentionally did not pick a “favorite” dish – they were all superior. The wines also were paired perfectly. Here is a little more about State and Lemp from their web site.

In our effort to showcase local and regional farmers, ranchers, and artisans we have utilized the following…
Purple Sage Farms /purplesagefarms.com – Waterwheel Gardens /waterwheelgardens.com – Rice Family Farms / ricefamilyfarms.com – Sweet Valley Organics / sweetvalleyorganics.com – Peaceful Belly / peacefulbelly.com – Dawson Taylor Coffee Roasters / dawsontaylor.com – Malheur River Meats / malheurrivermeats.com – Ohana Farm Inc. Frostenson Farms – Acme Bread Co. – Double R Honey Farm – Cloverleaf Creamery …. Ownership and management will maintain a constant presence on the floor as we interact with guests to ensure an unforgettable experience. We provide continuing education and training for all team members in order to better enable them as they assist guests with decisions. Additionally, we seek to advance all team members and enable their growth as hospitality professionals.

32nd Anniversary Dinner

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14July2015_2_Captains-Shack_Gardinea_01 -1A happy 32nd anniversary dinner tonight! Thank-You Robin for all that love and those many years! The gardenia pictured here is on our front porch. Last century, when Robin and I would go to a formal dance, I would get her a corsage of gardenia. This plant is fitting and brings back many fond memories.
The dinner tonight, Tagine of Lamb with Peas and Fennel, is a very traditional Moroccan dish and tonight we prepared it in a traditional way – in a tagine.

A tajine or tagine (Arabic: طاجين‎ tajin from the Arabic: طاج‎) is a historically North African Berber dish that is named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked. A similar dish known as tavvas is found in Cypriot cuisine. The traditional method of cooking with a tajine is to place it over coals. Use of the tajine can be compared to stewing.

Ceramic tajines.
The traditional tajine pot is made of pottery, which is sometimes painted or glazed. It consists of two parts: a base unit that is flat and circular with low sides and a large cone- or dome-shaped cover that sits on the base during cooking. The cover is designed to promote the return of all condensation to the bottom. Tajines can also be cooked in a conventional oven or on a stove top.
Tajine is traditionally cooked over hot charcoal leaving an adequate space between the coals and the tajine pot to avoid having the temperature rise too fast. Large bricks of charcoal are purchased specifically for their ability to stay hot for hours. Smaller pieces of charcoal are reserved for cooking brochettes (barbecue) and other grilled meats.
Other methods are to use a tajine in a slow oven or on a gas or electric stove top, on lowest heat necessary to keep the stew simmering gently. A diffuser – a circular piece of aluminium placed between the tajine and burner – is used to evenly distribute the stove’s heat. European manufacturers have created tajines with heavy cast-iron bottoms that can be heated on a cooking stove to a high temperature. This permits the browning of meat and vegetables before cooking.
Tajine cooking may be replicated by using a slow cooker or similar item; but the result will be slightly different. Many ceramic tajines are decorative items as well as functional cooking vessels. Some tajines, however, are intended only to be used as decorative serving dishes. [Wikipedia]

Using the recipe link above, the vegetables are cut and placed in the tagine along with all spices.

Using the recipe link above, the vegetables are cut and placed in the tagine along with all spices.

At about 2 hours, or halfway through the cooking process, check to see if more liquid is needed.

At about 2 hours, or halfway through the cooking process, check to see if more liquid is needed.

The finished product still in the tagine. It could be served from this pot.

The finished product still in the tagine. It could be served from this pot.

Tagine of Lamb with Peas and Fennel Fresh Spinach and Tomato Salad with Meyer Lemon Olive Oil and Tarragon Vinegar

Tagine of Lamb with Peas and Fennel

Fresh Spinach and Tomato Salad
with
Meyer Lemon Olive Oil and Tarragon Vinegar Vinaigrette

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