Meat Pie – A Downton Abbey Recipe

Meat Pies - A Downton Abbey Recipe

In Downton Abbey, most of the food we see is the fancy stuff that the “upstairs” folks eat. A lot of this fancy food looks beautiful and delicious, but some of it just sounds gross. However, we don’t see a lot of what the “downstairs” servants eat. So, when I saw an opportunity to recreate some more common English foods, I knew I had to take it.

In one of the episodes where Alfred is learning to cook, Jimmy makes fun of him for cooking such fancy things. As a retort, Alfred says, “We can’t all live off of battered fish and meat pies.” Well, that actually sounds pretty good to me.

English meat pies can be made with a variety of different meats and vegetables, but the most common vegetables are potatoes, carrots, and peas. I left the peas out of this pie because my husband hates them (which really stinks because peas are my absolute favorite vegetable!) But I’m going to include peas in the list of ingredients for you because they really give an added element of authenticity to these pies. You can make one big pie, like I did, or you can make smaller individual pies. It’s really up to you.

Meat Pie - A Downton Abbey Recipe

Meat Pies – A Downton Abbey Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef, browned
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup sweet peas
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup beef gravy
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 pie crusts
  • 1 egg

Directions

  1. Boil the potato pieces and carrot pieces in a pot of water on the stove for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables start to get soft.
  2. Drain the water from the carrots and potatoes.
  3. Combine the browned beef, cooked potatoes, cooked carrots, peas, onion powder, worcestershire sauce, gravy, and salt and pepper into a large bowl, mixing well.
  4. Line a pie dish or a deep pan with one pie crust, and pour the meat mixture on top of it.
  5. Place the second pie crust on top of the meat mixture, sealing the edges closed.
  6. Cut some slits into the center of the crust.
  7. Whisk the egg in a small bowl, and brush the top of the pie with egg.
  8. Bake the pie at 375 degrees F for about 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

 

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Enterprise Meatloaf – A Star Trek Recipe

Enterprise Meatloaf - A Star Trek Recipe

I was born in the mid ’80s, so I grew up watching Star Trek: TNG and Voyager with my family. Recently, I’ve been binge watching all the different Star Trek series on Netflix. Of course, I started with TNG and Voyager for nostalgia’s sake, but then I moved on to the original Star Trek series. Before a few weeks ago, I had never seen an episode of the original Star Trek series. While it wasn’t my cup of tea, there were things about it that I did enjoy, particularly the kitsch factor! I love how this show is so heavily influenced by the culture of the 1960s.

In one of the early episodes of Star Trek, Captain Kirk mentions that it’s Thanksgiving Day back on Earth, so he wants the normal meatloaf served in the mess hall to be shaped like turkey. Ummmm…okay? Where do I even start with this? First of all, I love that they serve meatloaf in a futuristic mess hall. That just screams “mid-century” to me. I honestly contemplated trying to make a turkey-shaped meatloaf for this blog post, but I couldn’t figure out how I would accomplish that, so instead I just used ground turkey instead of ground beef…bonus: ground turkey is half the price of ground beef. Ka-ching!

When deciding on a meatloaf recipe, I wanted to find one that was typical of the 1950s and 1960s, since the culture of that era is all over the original Star Trek universe. In an extensive Google search, I found a forum where someone mentioned they used squished-up Wonder Bread in their meatloaf in the ’60s. Score!

I did a lot of research on Wonder Bread and learned some really interesting things about it. First of all, did you know that Wonder Bread was one of the first companies to sell their bread pre-sliced in the 1920s and 1930s? But the reason Wonder Bread was so popular in the 1950s and 1960s is because it was marketed as being healthy! I’m not even kidding. Wonder Bread was one of the first companies to enrich their bread with vitamins and minerals. In their defense, this actually did lead to a reduction in a lot of diseases caused by vitamin deficiency. Anyway, I know those things have nothing to do with Star Trek or meatloaf, but I found it so interesting I had to share!

This meatloaf recipe was fun to make and it tasted yummy, but it did not look pretty. But, I just went with it and photographed it in all its hideous glory, because when is meatloaf ever cute looking anyway?

Turkey Meatloaf - A Star Trek Recipe

 Enterprise Meatloaf – A Star Trek Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 5 slices Wonder Bread (make sure it’s fresh and not stale!)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 small can tomato sauce

Directions

  1. Put all the ingredients, except for the tomato sauce, in a bowl.\
  2. Using your hands (yeah, it’s gross, but it’s effective), smoosh all the ingredients together until they are indistinguishable from each other. This should form one large mass.
  3. Place the turkey mixture into a greased loaf pan.
  4. Pour the tomato sauce on top of the meat.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for one hour.
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Cinnamon Hot Cocoa – A Once Upon A Time Recipe

Cinnamon Hot Cocoa - A Once Upon A Time Recipe

I’m back with another recipe from Once Upon A Time! Cinnamon hot cocoa is a food item that is referenced multiple times throughout the series. Cinnamon in hot cocoa…it’s a quirk of the “Charming” family. Cinnamon is probably my favorite spice, and combining it with chocolate is heavenly.

Yes, I am well aware that it is May…almost summertime. Cocoa is typically a wintertime beverage, but when you live in Florida like I do and it’s hot all year round, you just crank up the A/C and drink hot cocoa whenever you feel like it. 🙂

Cinnamon Hot Cocoa – A Once Upon A Time Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. powdered sugar
  • whipped cream

Directions

  1. Combine all the ingredients, except for the whipped cream, into a pot on the stove or into a hot cocoa machine. You can also use the “soup” setting on one of those fancy expensive blenders 🙂
  2. Heat the contents thoroughly, stirring constantly. A hot cocoa machine or blender on “soup” setting will stir for you as it heats, which saves you a lot of work!
  3. Pour the cocoa into a mug and top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of extra cinnamon.

Drink this cocoa on your own, or double the recipe to share as you bond with family or make new friends. It’s warm and comforting in every way possible.

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for sales made through those links. Rest assured, this does not cost you any extra money, and it helps me buy ingredients to make delicious recipes for you 🙂

 

 

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Regina’s Apple Turnover – A Once Upon A Time Recipe

Regina's Apple Turnover - A Once Upon A Time Recipe

I have a love/hate relationship with Once Upon A Time. I absolutely adored the first two seasons of this show. The storyline was so unique, the characters were so compelling (I’m lookin’ at you, Rumplestiltskin!), and I loved how all of the different fairy tales were woven together. Unfortunately, I feel like the show really went downhill after the second season. There was a lot more Disney fan service to the point where it felt just jarring to the show, and the dialogue got super lazy. That’s my opinion, anyway…

But that first season, though! Perfection. And it’s the first season where we see this apple turnover. Regina (otherwise known as The Evil Queen from Snow White) loves her apple tree…and she also has a knack for poisoning people with those apples.

Towards the end of season one, Regina tries to poison Emma using an apple baked into a turnover. I always thought the ginormous turnover she makes in the show is hilariously huge, so I made a smaller version of Regina’s “old recipe.”

I used a non-poisonous apple for this delicious turnover recipe, and I suggest you do the same 😉

Regina’s Apple Turnover – A Once Upon A Time Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet puff pastry dough
  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 4 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 egg, beaten

Directions

  1. Cut the puff pastry sheet into four equal squares.
  2. Place the puff pastry squares onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  3. Arrange the apple slices slightly off center on the puff pastry squares, leaving the edges free to crimp closed.
  4. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the apples, 1 Tbsp. for each turnover.
  5. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the apples, 1 tsp. for each turnover.
  6. Fold the puff pastry over the apples, forming triangles, and press the edges closed. You may have to wet the edges with some water to help seal them closed.
  7. Brush the tops of the turnovers with egg.
  8. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes, or until the puff pastry turns a golden brown color.

These apple turnovers were so easy to make, but they tasted amazing. No wonder Regina found it easy to tempt Emma into taking a bite.

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for sales made through those links. Rest assured, this does not cost you any extra money, and it helps me buy ingredients to make delicious recipes for you 🙂

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Reptar Bar Recipe – Rugrats

Reptar Bar Recipe

This recipe was a request from my sister! We loved watching Rugrats as kids, and still share Rugrats memes and such with each other on Facebook to make each other laugh.

Reptar Bars are the candy bar that turn your tongue green! (And these really did turn my tongue green, though I’ll spare you a picture 😉 ) In Rugrats, the babies love Reptar, who is a big green dinosaur, kind of like Godzilla except not scary. Reptar Bars are just one of the many Reptar-themed merchandise items that appear in the show.

In the show, we see that Reptar Bars are basically chocolate with a green gooey filling. In most of the recipes I found online, like this one, the green goo is made from died marshmallow fluff.

These bars were so easy to make, that I almost feel silly typing out the recipe, but here we go!

Reptar Bars – A Rugrats Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 bag milk chocolate chips
  • 1 small jar marshmallow fluff
  • green gel food coloring

Directions

  1. Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave for about 30 seconds.
  2. Stir the chocolate chips together, and microwave for 15 more seconds at a time, stirring after every installment, until the chocolate chips are melted.
  3. Pour half of the melted chocolate into chocolate molds. Dinosaur-shaped molds would be perfect, but you can also just use a square brownie pan or round muffin tin if that’s all you have available.
  4. Place the molded chocolate into the freezer for just a few minutes (less than 5) until just set.
  5. Empty the marshmallow fluff into a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave it for about 15 seconds. You don’t want it to bubble, just get it warm enough so that it’s easily stirred.
  6. Add a few drops of green food coloring and mix it well.
  7. Add about one or two Tablespoons of green fluff on top of the hardened chocolate in the mold, making sure the fluff stays in the center.
  8. Pour the remaining chocolate over the fluff, ensuring that it is completely covered.
  9. Place the completed chocolate bars in the freezer for 5 more minutes until set.
  10. Keep the bars in a sealed container at room temperature.

Am I the only one singing the Reptar on Ice soundtrack after making these bars?

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for sales made through those links. Rest assured, this does not cost you any extra money, and it helps me buy ingredients to make delicious recipes for you 🙂

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Deanna Troi’s Ultimate Chocolate Sundae – Star Trek: The Next Generation

Ultimate Chocolate Sundae Recipe - Star Trek

Hey! It’s my first Star Trek recipe! In trying to think of recipes inspired by Star Trek, I’ve had a bit of a hard time since a lot of the foods mentioned are made from foods that are not found on Earth. But then I started thinking about Counselor Troi and her love of chocolate…

For me Star Trek: The Next Generation falls into that “so bad its good” sweet spot. It’s so nerdy and so 80s, but so captivating. Part of the appeal for me, I admit, is that I have many fond memories of watching TNG and Voyager with my family growing up.

Deanna Troi is one of my favorite characters on this show, and I think it’s because of her heightened emotions and sensitivity. I love that her high sensitivity is seen as an asset to the crew of the Enterprise, rather than a detriment. I think we, as a society, could learn something from that. It’s okay to be sensitive and to make decisions based on intuition and feeling. There should be plenty of room for people like that in our society, and they can help us all if we let them!

One of Counselor Troi’s favorite things is chocolate. She’s always replicating some kind of chocolate concoction, whether it’s a mug of hot chocolate right before bed, or a delicious hot fudge sundae after dinner.

Enter the ultimate chocolate sundae. Almost all of the components are chocolate! I almost dipped the maraschino cherry in melted chocolate, too, but I figured the red would give a nice pop of color to the photograph.

Below are two really easy recipes: one for homemade hot fudge, and one for chocolate whipped cream. Use these recipes to make the most decadent hot fudge sundae you’ve ever eaten!

Easy Homemade Hot Fudge

From The Pioneer Woman

homemade hot fudge recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Add both ingredients into a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Microwave on high for 2 minutes.
  3. Stir until smooth.

Chocolate Whipped Cream Recipe

Adapted from The First Year

chocolate whipped cream

Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar

Directions

  1. Dump all ingredients into a mixing bowl.
  2. Beat until the ingredients are well incorporated and stiff peaks form.

Deanna Troi’s Ultimate Chocolate Sundae – Star Trek: The Next Generation

Ingredients

  • Chocolate ice cream
  • Hot fudge
  • Chocolate whipped cream
  • Chocolate chips
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Any other chocolate-y ingredients you can find!

Layer all of the ingredients to your liking, and enjoy!

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from sales made through those links. Rest assured, this costs you nothing extra!

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Saffron’s Bao Recipe – Firefly

We’re big Firefly fans in my house. If you’re sitting there saying to yourself, “What’s Firefly?” I gotta say, I don’t blame you. Firefly only ran for one season back in the early 2000s, and not even a full season at that. If you blinked at the wrong moment, you probably missed it. But after its cancellation, Firefly gained a substantial cult following through the sale of DVDs.

In 2005, Universal Studios responded to fan demands and released the movie Serenity as a sequel to the TV show. Both the Firefly TV show and the Serenity movie are awesome, and I can’t recommend them enough!

For today’s recipe, I took inspiration from the Firefly episode “Our Mrs. Reynolds.” This episode is one of my favorites, in which Mal finds himself inadvertently married to a “sweet” young woman named Saffron (I won’t spoil it to those of you who haven’t seen it yet, but let’s just say Saffron isn’t all she appears to be 😉 ). Trying to convince Mal that she’d be a good wife, Saffron prepares a homecooked meal aboard the ship: fresh bao.

The culture in the Firefly ‘Verse is a mixture of influences from China and the American frontier, so bao fits perfectly with those Chinese influences. Bao is a Chinese steamed bun stuffed with filling. There are a variety of different fillings, but Saffron probably used a meat filling for the dinner she made for Mal. Pork is probably the most traditional meat to use for the filling, but since it can be hard to come across supplies out in the Black, use whatever ground meat you have handy.

I adapted this bao recipe from China Sichuan Food to make Saffron’s recipe for fresh bao.

Saffron’s Bao Recipe – Firefly

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water

Filling:

  • 1/2 lb. ground meat
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots, cooked
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder

Directions

  1. Mix together all the dough ingredients.
  2. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, either by hand or with an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment.
  3. Allow the dough to rise for an hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. Brown the ground meat, and mix in the rest of the filling ingredients.
  5. Roll the risen dough into a long log shape.
  6. Cut the dough into 8 sections, and roll out each of the sections into flat circles.
  7. Place 2 Tbsp. of the filling onto each dough circle, and seal the buns in a cinched pattern on top.
  8. Spray a frying pan with oil, and place the bao on the pan.
  9. Cover the pan with a lid, and cook the bao on medium heat for 2 or 3 minutes, until the bottoms are browned.
  10. Pour 1/2 cup of water into the pan with the bao, and cover the pan again.
  11. Cook the bao in the water and steam for about 5 more minutes, or until the water is evaporated completely.

I loved using this method to make bao since I do not have a steamer at home. The crispy brown on the bottom of the buns contrasts so nicely with the fluffy steamed top.

Dip the bao in your favorite sauce, and serve it with rice and veggies to make a complete meal. To make enough for the whole crew, double or triple the bao recipe as needed. Just don’t ask Zoë to cook.

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for any sales made through those links. Rest assured, this costs you nothing extra!

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Ben and Leslie’s Date Night – Parks and Recreation Menu

Chow down on calzones and waffles for Ben and Leslie’s date night menu!

Ben Wyatt and Leslie Knope are basically my favorite fictional couple. Have you ever wondered what Ben and Leslie eat on the average date night? I’ll bet calzones and waffles are on the menu!

One of my favorite parts of Parks and Recreation is all of the running jokes from episode to episode. This menu combines two of those running gags into one delicious menu. You can’t go wrong with calzones and waffles! (Unless, of course, the calzones betray you. I hope they don’t.)

Ben and Leslie’s Date Night – Parks and Recreation Menu

Parks and Recreation Menu

Calzones

Ben sure loves his calzones. Almost as much as he loves Leslie. Not only does he love eating calzones, he also dabbled in perfecting his own calzone recipes, and branched out into pies because, “pies are just sweet calzones!” Use low-fat ingredients if you want to make a calzone worthy of the Low-Cal Calzone Zone.

Waffles with Whipped Cream

Leslie is a frequent customer of J.J.’s diner. Her favorite thing to order? Waffles. Pretty sure she loves waffles more than anything–or anyone, for that matter. If you live too far from J.J.’s Diner, just recreate J.J.’s Diner’s waffles from home. This recipe will give you flavorful, golden-brown waffles that are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Top them liberally with whipped cream, of course.

So, the next time you’re trying to think of what to cook for a date night in, take inspiration from Ben Wyatt and Leslie Knope, and cook up this irresistible Parks and Recreation menu.

 

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Ben Wyatt’s Calzone Recipe – Parks and Recreation

Get ready for the Low-Cal Calzone Zone

“Pizza is your grandfather’s calzone.”

-Ben Wyatt, Parks and Recreation-

When Ben Wyatt finds himself unemployed, he hits a bit of a rough patch. He uses his free time to explore different hobbies, like creating claymation movies and perfecting his calzone recipe.

Throughout the rest of the series, Ben’s love of calzones is referenced many times. Ben loves calzones almost as much as Leslie loves waffles. Almost as much as Ben and Leslie love each other.

I used this calzone recipe from allrecipes as inspiration for Ben Wyatt’s calzone recipe, but I made a few alterations to fit more appropriately with Ben’s version of the calzone. For one thing, although authentic Italian calzones do not have marinara sauce inside them (rather, marinara sauce is served on the side as a dip), Ben mentions several times that his idea of a perfect calzone is one with marinara sauce inside, and you can see the sauce oozing out of the calzones as he makes them. So, even though it’s less authentic to traditional calzones, I included marinara sauce inside these calzones to be more authentic to Parks and Recreation.

If you really want to be true to the show, you should also use healthier, low-fat ingredients so that your calzones will fit perfectly in the “Low-Cal Calzone Zone.”

So, roll up your sleeves, channel your inner Ben Wyatt, and let’s make some calzones!

“Pizza? Never heard of it.”

Ben Wyatt’s Calzone Recipe – Parks and Recreation

Ingredients

  • 1 packet yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. white sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, and other nutritious toppings

Directions

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
  2. Add the oil, sugar, salt, and 1 cup of flour. Mix well.
  3. Stir in the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time until a smooth dough forms.
  4. Knead for 5 minutes, either by hand or using a dough hook on an electric mixer.
  5. Place dough in a greased bowl.
  6. Cover the bowl and leave the dough in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes.
  7. Mix the egg, ricotta, and mozzarella together, and let it chill in the refrigerator while you wait for the dough to rise.
  8. Divide the dough and roll it into about a dozen small circles.
  9. Place a few Tablespoons of the cheese mixture on each circle.
  10. Place whatever toppings you desire on top of the cheese.
  11. Seal each calzone by folding them closed on top of the cheese and toppings. Crimp the edges with a fork.
  12. Bake the calzones at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

These calzones will not betray you!

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for any sales made through those links. Rest assured, this costs you nothing extra!

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J.J’s Diner Waffle Recipe – Parks and Recreation

waffle recipe

Transport yourself to J.J.’s Diner with this waffle recipe inspired by Parks and Recreation!

“Every diner claims their waffles are the best waffles in the world. But somewhere, in some town, there really are the best waffles – so rich, and so gold-brown, and so delicious that anyone tasted them would decide never to leave that town. Somewhere, those waffles exist. Why can’t it be here?”

-Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation-

Anyone who has ever watched Parks and Recreation knows that Leslie Knope love waffles more than almost anything. But not just any waffles. Leslie’s favorite waffles come from Pawnee’s own J.J.’s Diner.

When I set out to recreate Leslie’s favorite waffles, I knew that not just any waffle recipe would do. They had to be perfect. Slightly crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside. Golden brown with plenty of whipped cream on top.

I searched online for tips to make the best waffles and combined several of the tips I found. I used this recipe from Fifteen Spatulas as inspiration and added a few steps from there. Without further ado, here is the best waffle recipe around!

J.J.’s Diner Waffle Recipe – Parks and Recreation

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar

Directions

  1. Set aside the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg yolks, milk, butter, and vanilla.
  3. Sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt into the liquid mixture, and stir to combine.
  4. Add the sugar to the egg whites and beat the mixture on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  5. Gently fold the egg white mixture into the rest of the waffle batter.
  6. Cook the batter in a waffle iron for about 3 minutes for each waffle.

Tip: To keep the waffles crispy while you finish cooking, place cooked waffles in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place them in a warm oven (less than 200 degrees F) until you’re ready to eat them.

Top the waffles with plenty of whipped cream to enjoy thoroughly. If you’re anything like Leslie Knope, you’ll want two cans of whipped cream on hand: one for using on the waffles, and one for squirting directly into your mouth. J.J. would be proud!

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for any sales made through those links. Rest assured, this costs you nothing extra!

Good food is meant to be shared!