Creamy Asparagus Soup

For those of you who follow regularly, you might be a bit confused just by the title of this post. Creamy soup? What is she doing? I thought Amber was lactose-sensitive?

Well, turns out I can have milk… I just had to shop around for the right type! How exciting is that?!

I still can’t have most dairy. I still have to be careful when eating out, asking if and how much dairy is in a dish. I still have to politely decline milk products when visiting friends. But, when I cook at home… I can have as much as I want! I’ve been enjoying a glass of milk with my breakfast every morning… just because I can. Seriously, I didn’t realize how much I missed copious amounts of dairy in my diet until I found a way to enjoy it again.

Guernsey cows — the blurry one was trying to lick me as I took the picture!

(This is yet another post that was a long time in the making… I started drinking milk again in late February and have been cooking with it regularly since about April.)

So, what makes this milk different? It comes from a different breed of cow: the Guernsey (most milk comes from Holstein cows), and it is A2 grade (most milk is A1). The Bovine‘s article “Mercola advocates raw milk, discusses A1 A2 beta casein in connection with autism, diabetes, heart disease, etc.” gives a good explanation of the differences between A1 and A2 cows:

The type of proteins in milk, and the proportion of various proteins, varies depending on the breed of cow and the type of animal (sheep, goat, cow, etc.).

One of the major proteins in cow’s milk is casein, the predominant variety of which is called beta-casein. In older breeds of cows, such as Jersey, Asian and African cows (called A2 cows), the beta-casein contains an amino acid called proline.

In newer breeds of cows like Holstein (A1 cows), however, the proline has mutated into an amino acid called histidine.

[T]he proline that exists in A2 cows has a strong bond to BCM-7, which helps keep it out of the cows’ milk. The histidine in the newer A1 cows, however, has a weak hold on BCM-7, which allows it to get into the milk, and also into the people who drink the milk.”

Guernsey Cow

Back in February, I visited an A2 Guernsey cow farm. The farmers showed me around, explained their product, and shared delicious samples with me. They even insisted I wait around for at least 1/2 an hour so I would be somewhere comfortable if I had a negative reaction. So kind of them! After a wonderful experience, I signed up to buy a share in the herd of cows. I now get my milk straight from the farm. (Which I LOVE visiting… the cows are docile and let me pet them, the farm dog is friendly and always greets me enthusiastically, a few of the barn cats are friendly, and I love to look at the gorgeous horses) The benefit? I enjoy dairy and no longer fear the consequences of accidentally eating a bit too much. I am confident that I will not be ill when consuming milk products.

Sylvester the Barn Cat — this handsome little guy LOVE attention (and the camera)

I’m excited to make and share family recipes that I had given up for the last 10 years or so! 😀 Today I’m sharing my family’s Creamy Asparagus Soup recipe.

And I’m going to share a little secret… we usually make this with the “scrap” pieces of asparagus. That is, when we cook asparagus, we save the ends that we snap off for this soup. I like to buy an extra small bunch of asparagus so we can reserve a few spears to make a pretty garnish. However, this is not necessary if you don’t like a smooth soup. This is a great way to use up something that would otherwise go to waste.

Please, please, please share any great recipes you have that use a large amount of dairy products. I’m so used to cooking without milk, I find it hard to come up with anything but soups. I need more ideas of delicious milk-based foods that I can now enjoy without worry!

Creamy Asparagus Soup


  • 2 cups chicken broth – approximate cost $1.25
  • 4 cups asparagus pieces, spears reserved – approximate cost $2.50
  • 2 cups whole milk – approximate cost $2.66
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper – approximate cost $0.10


  1. Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large pot.
  2. Add the asparagus pieces (reserve the spears if you would like to use them to decorate your soup later).
  3. Cook the asparagus in the broth for 7-10 minutes (the broth should reduce by about half and the asparagus will be very tender).
  4. Allow the asparagus and broth to cook slightly.
  5. Move asparagus and broth to a blender and add half of the milk (1 cup).
    1. Note: An immersion blender is not ideal for this soup because you will need to strain it.
  6. Blend until smooth.
  7. Pour the asparagus through a fine strainer back into the soup pot.
  8. Press the asparagus gently to help release the liquid from the tough pieces. Be patient, this can take a while!
  9. Discard the pieces in the strainer.
  10. Turn the burner on medium-low.
  11. Add the remainder of the milk (1 cup), sea salt, and black pepper.
  12. If you reserved any asparagus spears, add them now!
  13. Cook the soup until it is steaming.
  14. Serve hot with crostini pieces or your favourite sandwich.

Makes 2 large servings (approximate cost: $3.28 per serving).

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Main Dish: Duck Breast with Port Reduction

And now for the main attraction! (Sorry to my readers who don’t eat meat, I don’t have any alternative suggestions for you today)

I’ve made duck a handful of times, using the same recipe time-after-time. Why? Because it’s delicious, savory, and not too complicated. I’ll admit, it’s not exactly pretty. But it tastes wonderful.

The first time I was going to make duck at home (about 4 years ago when I was still living with roommates), I went through hundreds of recipes online, looking for just the right one. My Nana had suggested duck l’orange, immediately afterwards reminiscing on how the duck was oily and she only made it the one time, never revisiting the recipe. I was determined not to make the duck using this recipe for fear of a similar lackluster experience.

Instead, the recipe I’m sharing today came about by researching like crazy then making something entirely different. I wish I could recall which recipes are mashed-up to create this dish, but it’s changed so often over the years that the recipe has since become my own.

Have you recently made a dish that started as a found recipe but has, over time, become your own?

Duck Breast


  • 3 duck breasts – approximate cost $30.00
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt – approximate cost $0.15
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper – approximate cost $0.10
  • 3 teaspoons grapeseed oil – approximate cost $0.30


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Score the skin on each duck breast.
  3. Season each piece with sea salt and black pepper.
  4. Heat 1 teaspoon of grapeseed oil in a frying pan on medium-low heat.
  5. Place the duck breast, skin side down, in the frying pan.
  6. Cook until the layer of fat under the skin begins to reduce and the skin is browned.
  7. Turn and cook until the flesh is browned.
  8. Remove to a baking dish.
  9. Pour any remaining oil/fat into a separate pot.
  10. Repeat for the remaining duck breasts.
  11. Move baking dish with duck breasts to the oven.
  12. Bake until the juices run clear (about 15-20 minutes).
  13. Allow duck breasts to rest at room teamperature for 5 minutes before serving.

Port Reduction


  • Leftover duck fat/grapeseed oil from cooking
  • 2 cups chicken stock – approximate cost $2.00
  • 3/4 cup port wine – approximate cost $2.00
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme – approximate cost $0.25


  1. Combine chicken stock, fat/oil, port, and thyme in a pot.
  2. Bring to a boil then reduce to medium heat.
  3. Cook for about 30-45 minutes (or until reduced by about half), there should be about 1 1/4 cups of liquid
  4. Strain thyme from mixture.
  5. Drizzle over duck breasts and pour remaining sauce into a bowl for serving.

Makes 3 servings (approximate cost: $11.60 per serving).

Monday Link Parties

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Rabbit Braised in White Wine

My parents tell me that rabbit was one of my favourite foods as a child. Yet, I don’t remember eating it, ever (nor do I remember seeing it for sale at the grocery store). I have trouble believing I was so adventuresome with my food choices at the time.

So, when rabbit was available at work, I quickly text messaged Bryan, asking him if we should give it a try. It was a bit more expensive than what we would usually buy for dinner, so I wanted to consult with him about whether I was being a bit too spontaneous with my food purchases.

I hummed and hawed over the purchase. Bryan was more than willing to give it a try. He was more confident than I was about my ability to turn it into something edible for dinner.

Was I going to like it? Would it be too much over our usual budget? Have I progressed enough as a cook to take on something like this? It still kind of looked like a rabbit… could I bring myself to cook it?

At the end of the day… it was still there, so I wrapped it up and decided to buy it. Worst case scenario I botch it and we order pizza instead.

Well, I cooked it, ate it, and enjoyed it very much. Bryan seemed to enjoy it a lot as well. We had leftovers for a few days and I found it was best reheated in the oven as opposed to the microwave.

Have you ever been nervous about cooking dinner? If so, what is it that you were nervous about cooking? What made you nervous?

Rabbit Braised in White Wine

Adapted from Rabbit with White Wine from Canadian Living


  • 1 rabbit, cut into bite-sized pieces – approximate cost $15.00
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1 teaspoons black pepper – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 tablespoon butter – approximate cost $0.10
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced – approximate cost $0.30
  • 1 Spanish onion, diced – approximate cost $1.00
  • 4 carrots, sliced – approximate cost $2.50
  • 1 package (about 500 grams) crimini mushrooms – approximate cost $3.00
  • 1 cup white wine (I used Silver Point Sauvignon Blanc 2010, New Zealand) – approximate cost $1.75
  • 1 cup chicken broth – approximate cost $1.50
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (I used fresh rosemary from my garden, but 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves would work as well) – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme – approximate cost $0.20
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1 baguette (for serving) – approximate cost $2.00


  1. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a plastic bag.
  2. Add rabbit pieces (in batches).
  3. Shake the flour mixture to coat the rabbit pieces.
  4. Repeat until all pieces are coated in flour.
  5. In large pot, heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/2 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat.
  6. Brown rabbit pieces (in small batches).
  7. Transfer browned rabbit pieces to a large baking dish.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. Reduce heat to medium.
  10. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/2 tablespoon of butter in the pot.
  11. Add onion pieces, carrots, and a few tablespoons of the remaining flour mixture.
  12. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion pieces soften.
  13. Add crimini mushrooms and garlic.
  14. Cook for about 1 minute (garlic will become fragrant).
  15. Add white wine and chicken stock.
  16. Bring to a boil (mixture should begin to thicken).
  17. Remove from heat and pour over rabbit pieces.
  18. Sprinkle with rosemary, thyme, and lemon juice.
  19. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes (or until the rabbit pieces are cooked through).
  20. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving with a piece of baguette as a side (and a glass of leftover wine).

Makes about 6 servings (approximate cost: $4.93 per serving).

Monday Link Parties


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Curried Squash and Coconut Cream Soup

A month or so ago, we came up with some reason to splurge and go out for lunch. Honestly, I can’t remember the reason, it wasn’t a very good one.  Oliver & Bonacini, one of our favourite restaurants, had their Winter Fixe menu out and the deal was ending that Friday. So we splurged. And we don’t regret the splurge. The meal was, as expected, fantastic. Bryan ordered the salmon appetizer, I ordered the soup, and we shared our appetizers. Coincidentally, we both ordered the pizza with prosciutto. For dessert, he had the carrot cake and I enjoyed a fantastic bread pudding.

I (CouldEatSoupForEveryMeal) really enjoyed the soup. Bryan (NotVeryFondOfSoups) enjoyed it too. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to try to make it myself. I found a soup that Bryan enjoys enough that he will eat it as leftovers the next day!!!

My version of the soup is lactose-free. It also adds chives as a garnish, because I thought it sounded good at the time (and it did indeed taste good).

It was a bit spicy. I could only eat small bowls. Bryan, on the other hand, could enjoy the soup as an entire meal. Adjust the amount of curry according to your taste preferences.

Have you ever tried to recreate a dish that you enjoyed at a restaurant? How did it turn out?

Curried squash and coconut cream soup


  • 1 butternut squash – approximate cost $2.00
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil + 1/2 teaspoon – approximate cost $0.25
  • 1 can coconut cream – approximate cost $1.50
  • 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon – approximate cost $0.25
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder – approximate cost $0.25
  • 2 teaspoons of dried chives (for garnish) – approximate cost $0.15
  • 1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds (for garnish) – approximate cost $0.75
  • 2 cups water


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Slice the squash in half and remove the seeds and stringy pieces.
  3. Slice the squash into pieces that are about one inch thick.
  4. Line the squash pieces on a baking sheet.
  5. Drizzle squash pieces with olive oil.
  6. Bake squash for 15 minutes, then turn each piece.
  7. Continue to bake for another 15 minutes.
  8. At this point, the squash should be very soft and beginning to brown (if it isn’t continue to bake for a few more minutes), remove the squash from the oven and allow to cool until it can be handled.
  9. Use a pairing knife to remove the skin from each of the squash pieces.
  10. In a large soup pot, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat (careful it doesn’t burn!).
  11. Place curry powder in pot and stir constantly for about 30 seconds to one minute (it will become fragrant).
  12. Add the squash pieces, chicken bouillon, and water, then stir well and bring to a boil (the squash pieces should start to fall apart).
  13. Turn the stove off and allow the soup to cool for a few minutes.
  14. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. The soup should be relatively thick. If it seems thin, cook it a bit longer in the next step to evaporate some of the excess water. NOTE: If you do not own an immersion blender, allow the soup to cool completely and puree in batches in a blender.
  15. Return the soup puree to the cooking pot and bring to a boil.
  16. Add coconut cream and mix well.
  17. Remove soup from heat.
  18. Serve with pumpkin seeds and dried chives for garnish.

Makes about 6 appetizer-sized servings (approximate cost: $0.90 per serving).

Egg Drop Soup

I usually avoid cooking Asian foods at home. The recipes often call for a variety of exotic sauces and spices that I don’t keep on hand. That, tied in with the perceived complexity of the recipes usually discourages me from even trying.Last week, I came across a recipe on The Kitchn for Egg Drop Soupthat looked so simple I had to try it for myself. It really was easy to make! From start to finish, I think it took 20 minutes to prepare (and I might even be over-estimating!).egg drop soupWe needed a quick dinner with a few leftover in case our guests were hungry when they arrived. Our friends assured us they weren’t hungry, but a few hours later one of them gave the soup a try, saying they just wanted a small taste. As I filled the soup bowl, he commented that it would be way too much because he wasn’t very hungry. When we cleared the table, the bowl was empty. As you can imagine, I was very glad that our guests enjoyed the dish as much as we did.This soup is so simple and tasty that it could easily be served as the main course on a busy weeknight or as an appetizer when you have guests.

Egg Drop Soup

Adapted from The Kitchn


  • 8 cups chicken broth – approximate cost $4.00
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon cornstarch – approximate cost $0.10
  • 8 large eggs – approximate cost $1.50
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce – approximate cost $0.10
  • 2 tablespoons red miso – approximate cost $0.25
  • 1/2 package of firm tofu, diced into bite-sized pieces – approximate cost $1.50
  • 1 bunch bok choy, thinly sliced – approximate cost $1.50
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced – approximate cost $0.75
  • 8 teaspoons of sesame oil – approximate cost $0.20
  • 2 teaspoons of white pepper – approximate cost $0.10

egg drop soup


  1. Pour the chicken broth into a large pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Add miso and soy sauce. Stir until miso dissolves.
  3. Turn down the heat to medium-low (so the mixture simmer for 15 minutes)
  4. Taste and add more soy sauce as needed.
  5. Add the tofu pieces and bok choy slices.
  6. Whisk together the eggs in a small bowl and add the remaining teaspoon of cornstarch to the eggs. Mix well until there are no powdery lumps. Set aside briefly.
  7. In a separate bowl or cup, combine 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with a small amount of cold water. Mix well until there are no powdery lumps.
  8. Slowly mix the cornstarch and water mixture into the stock and let it simmer for a minute or two until the broth no longer tastes starchy and begins to thicken.
  9. Ask a friend to help you with this part. Have your friend to hold a fork over your pot of soup.
  10. Slowly pour the eggs through the fork while constantly stirring the soup. Let the soup stand for a few seconds to finish cooking the eggs.
    Note: If you don’t want to invite anyone to assist, work in batches. Pour a small amount of the eggs through the fork and take a short break to stir the soup. Repeat until you run out of eggs.
  11. Serve immediately. Provide green onions, white pepper, and sesame oil on the side as a topping and allow others to add these items to taste.

Makes 8 servings (approximate cost: $1.25 per serving) as an appetizer or 4 servings (approximate cost: $2.50 per serving) as a main course.

Happy Thanksgiving! Rosemary Roasted Turkey, Candied Sweet Potatoes, Garlic Peas, and Spinach Salad with Dried Cranberries, Almonds, and Raspberry Vinaigrette

Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is that wonderful time of year when I get to visit with my extended family and enjoy their wonderful cooking. And this year is no exception. Because I don’t cook any of the meals for this occasion, I’m sharing the Thanksgiving meal that I prepared for the American Thanksgiving celebration last year.

I prepared my very first Thanksgiving meal last November. The dinner turned out pretty well, actually! Sorry, no horror stories of a burnt turkey here. I was worried about the amount of work and timing, but everything seemed to fall together nicely. All of the recipes are from one of my favourite recipe websites, (Except for the salad, which is my former roommate’s recipe). Our menu consisted of: Candied Sweet Potatoes,  Garlic Peas, Spinach salad with dried cranberries, almonds, and raspberry vinaigrette, and Rosemary Roasted Turkey.

Candied Sweet Potatoes

These candied sweet potatoes were another wonderful dish, though not very healthy. The sweetness was a nice offset to the savory turkey. This dish was received so well that I decided to make a second serving the next day so we could enjoy it with our leftover turkey.

Candied Sweet Potatoes

Candied Sweet Potatoes


  • 6 sweet potatoes  – approximate cost $3.00
  • 1/2 cup butter  – approximate cost $2.50
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 teaspoon salt  – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1/2 cup water

Makes 6 servings – approximate cost $1.00 per serving (See for the complete recipe).

Garlic Peas

Mmmmmmm garlicky. Our guests are not fond of onions so I omitted them from the recipe. The peas were delicious without; though I’m sure adding onions would also be tasty. This dish had a very strong garlic flavour, which we all loved. If you like garlic, but want a milder version I’d suggest starting with one clove and adding more as needed.

Green peas

Green peas


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil  – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 onion, chopped  – approximate cost $0.75
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced  – approximate cost $0.40
  • 16 ounces frozen green peas  – approximate cost $3.00
  • 1 tablespoon condensed chicken stock  – approximate cost $0.20
  • salt and pepper to taste  – approximate cost $0.10

Makes 6 servings – approximate cost $0.76 per serving (See for the complete recipe).

Spinach salad with dried cranberries, almonds, and raspberry vinaigrette

This salad is something I learned to make from a former roommate. I realized the day after that I forgot one ingredient, goat’s cheese. However, even without the cheese the salad was tasty. I’m not sure where the recipe came from, but it is delicious! This is a wonderful salad for those who “don’t like vegetables.”

Spinach salad

Spinach salad


  • 4 large handfuls of baby spinach  – approximate cost $2.00
  • 4 scoops of dried cranberries  – approximate cost $1.00
  • 4 scoops of sliced almonds (unsalted)  – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1 teaspoon of crumbled goat cheese  – approximate cost $2.00
  • 4 teaspoons of raspberry vinagrette  – approximate cost $0.25


  1. Divide all ingredients (evenly) between four salad bowls.
  2. Toss to coat ingredients with dressing.

Makes 4 servings – approximate cost $1.56 per serving.

Rosemary Roasted Turkey

A few years ago, I had tried to make this same recipe. My first attempt was a disaster! I didn’t know to cover the turkey while it baked and it was quite crispy and dry when it came out of the over. Despite my failed first attempt, I remembered that what was salvaged from the meal was tasty, so I decided to try it again (I even splurged for fresh herbs). This recipe was quite a bit of work, but turned out fantastic! I will definitely be using this recipe again.

Fresh Rosemary and basil

Fresh Rosemary and basil

Rosemary Roasted Turkey

Rosemary Roasted Turkey


  • 3/4 cup olive oil – approximate cost $2.00
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic – approximate cost $0.75
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary – approximate cost $1.50
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning – approximate cost $0.25
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper – approximate cost $0.05
  • salt to taste – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1 (12 pound) whole turkey – approximate cost $12.00

Makes 10 servings – approximate cost $1.76 per serving (See for the complete recipe).

New Mexican Style Chicken Tacos

I’ve had a few vacations to the Southwest, in particular to New Mexico. Though I haven’t seen all of it, from what I have explored I can say that I think it is a gorgeous state. I love going for walks through Santa Fe, sight-seeing from the top of a Mesa, hiking to the natural hot springs.

While I can’t bring any of that home with me, I have tried to replicate some of the food! My visits to New Mexico were the first time I tasted both Mexican and Mexican-American food (aside from the beef tacos we make at home with the taco spice seasoning). I was introduced to a variety of new foods, both homemade and from restaurants. I miss the wonderful breakfast burritos, enchiladas, chile rellenos, arroz con pollo, and chicken tacos, among other things.

Since then, I’ve experimented quite a few times to recreate some of my favourite dishes. Most of the time, it’s not quite the same. However, I think I might finally be close with my chicken taco experiments. This recipe should satisfy my craving for a delicious chicken taco from El Parasol  until my next vacation.

New Mexican Style Chicken Tacos


  • 6 large tortillas – approximate cost $2.00
  • 2 tomatoes (I used Roma tomatoes), diced – approximate cost $1.25
  • 2 ripe avocados, pitted and diced – approximate cost $2.50
  • 1 small can of green chiles – approximate cost $2.00
  • 200 grams shredded cheddar cheese (optional) – approximate cost $3.00
  • Sour cream (optional) – approximate cost $2.00
  • Salsa (optional – I usually skip this topping) – approximate cost $2.00
  • 3 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken breasts – approximate cost $8.00
  • 2 cups of chicken broth – approximate cost $1.75
  • 1 tbsp dried cilantro (of 2-3 springs of fresh cilantro) – approximate cost $0.25


  1. Bring the chicken stock to a boil.
  2. Add the chicken breasts.
  3. Cook uncovered until there is only a centimeter or two (1/2-3/4 inch) of broth left in the pot (the chicken should be cooked through at this point).
  4. Prepare the various fillings (chopping tomatoes and avocados, shredding cheese) while the chicken cooks.
  5. Shred the chicken (or chop into very small pieces). Note: You might want to remove the remaining broth from the heat during this process. It can take a while.
  6. Return the chicken to the broth and bring to a simmer.
  7. When it looks like the broth is mostly gone, add the cilantro.
  8. Remove the pot from the burner and cover it with a lid to keep the chicken warm.
Makes 6 servings (approximate cost: $4.13 per serving).

Serving suggestions

There are at least two ways that you can serve this dish. One is to let everyone build their own taco at the dinner table, which is a good option if you are serving guests with allergies or a variety of food preferences. I like to build it myself to make sure there is a good balance between all of the fillings in each taco. When I prepare the tacos myself, I like to grill it for a few moments before serving, which is an optional step, it tastes great either way!

Make sure you don’t over-stuff your tortilla, this increases the chances of it falling apart during your meal. With everything on hand, remember that it’s easy enough to prepare seconds or even thirds!

These tacos can be a bit messy, so keep lots of napkins on hand during your meal! Enjoy!
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