Monday, January 31, 2011

Funeral Potatoes

I really don't like the name of these potatoes, but since they are a staple at LDS funerals people just call them that.  Anyway, besides the name I absolutely love these potatoes. They are creamy and delicious.  I like to have them for an easy Sunday dinner with some ham and veggies.  If you want to make them for a larger crowd you can double or triple the recipe easily.  Enjoy!
 Ingredients:
-16 oz frozen shredded hash browns
-1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup (I use fat free)
-1 cup sour cream
-3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
-1/4 cup margarine, melted
-1/4 cup onion, chopped
-1 cup crushed corn flakes
-1 Tbs melted butter/margarine
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease 8x8 baking dish with PAM.
In a large bowl, mix soup, sour cream, cheese, onion and the 1/4 cup melted butter.  Gently fold the hash browns into the mixture.
Pour mixture into prepared dish.
Mix 1 Tbs butter with corn flakes and spread on top of potato mixture.  Bake for 30 minutes in preheated oven.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Apricot-Pineapple Chicken

The sauce on this chicken is absolutely amazing!  So flavorful and delicious!  I served mine with some rice and sweet peas, and it worked out great.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-3 skin on, bone in chicken thighs
-salt and pepper
-2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
-3 Tbs apricot-pineapple preserves
-2 Tbs red wine vinegar
-1 clove garlic, minced
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Heat 1/2 Tbs olive oil in oven proof skillet.  Score chicken, then season with salt and pepper on both sides.  When oil is hot, place chicken in skillet and cook for 10-12 minutes on each side, or until chicken is cooked through.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine preserves, the rest of the olive oil, vinegar and garlic.  Mix well.
When chicken is cooked, pour sauce on top of it.  Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.  Enjoy!
Adapted from here.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Creamy Parmesan Tilapia

The tilapia is so light in this dish.  I loved how nicely all the flavors combined.  Very yummy!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-6 tilapia fillets
-1 cup sour cream
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
-1 1/2 tsp paprika
-1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
-1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
-1 Tbs butter, cut into small pieces
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Grease baking pan.  Arrange tilapia in baking dish.
In a small bowl, combine sour cream, salt, Tabasco sauce, paprika, and cheese.  Spread mixture over fish and top with the bread crumbs.  Dot each fillet with the butter.
Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
adapted from The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner cookbook

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pistachio Salad

My friend, Eni, posted this on her blog a while back.  I have been dying to make it and now I finally have!:)  It is sooo creamy, delicious and super easy to make.
Ingredients:
-16 oz whipped topping
-1 small package pistachio pudding (dry)
-16 oz crushed pineapple, drained
-2 cups mini marshmallows
-1 cup shredded coconut
-1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Directions:
In a large bowl, mix whipped topping and pudding.  When mixed well, add remaining ingredients.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bacon and Tomato Pasta

This is a recipe courtesy of Guy Fieri from food network.  I adapted it a bit, according to ingredients I had on hand.  It is soo yummy and spicy, but not too much.  The flavors are great.  It's a simple yet unique dish.  I hope you enjoy it!
Ingredients:
-1 lb cooked spaghetti
-1 lb bacon, chopped
-3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-1 onion, diced
-1 tsp crushed red pepper
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained
-1/4 cup red grape juice
-1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
-salt and pepper, to taste
Directions:
In a large saute pan over medium heat, add bacon and saute until crispy.  Remove bacon to drain on paper towels and remove all but 1 Tbs of the bacon fat.  Add olive oil, onion and red pepper.  Cook until onions are translucent.  Add garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and cook for 5 more minutes.  Add grape juice and cook for a couple of minutes.  Add pasta and bacon.  Remove from heat.  Toss with Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper.  Mix well and enjoy!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chicken and Beans Burritos

This makes for a super easy and yummy dinner.  It's also a great way to use that leftover chicken you might have.  Although it has Tabasco sauce and chili powder, it is not spicy at all.  It has a very mild and great flavor.  Enjoy!
 Ingredients:
-1 Tbs vegetable oil
-1 onion, diced
-2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
-1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
-1 cup mild salsa
-1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
-1 Tbs chili powder
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-1/2 tsp ground cumin
-1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
-8 flour tortillas, burrito size
Directions:
Heat oil in large skillet.  Add onion and cook until tender.  Add remaining ingredients (except tortillas) and cook until cheese is melted.
Scoop about 1/2 cup mixture into each tortilla.  Fold and enjoy.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mint Brownies

I have many wonderful memories from attending BYU, one of them, of course, being about my sweet husband.  A very fond memory though is brought by the delicious mint brownies they have there.  I got completely addicted on them!:)  This recipe comes pretty close.  The mint frosting is a tad bit runny (maybe I over mixed it).  But other than that, they are great!  Enjoy!
Ingredients for batter:
-1 cup butter
-4 eggs
-2 cups sugar
-2 tsp vanilla
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 cup cocoa powder
-1 1/2 cups flour
Mix well together.  The batter will be quite thick.  Pour into greased 9x13 baking pan.  Bake at  F for 30 minutes.  Let cool completely.  When cool, top with mint frosting, then with chocolate frosting (both recipes following).  Let it set for a couple of hours.  Cut into pieces and enjoy!
Mint frosting:
-3 cups powder sugar
-6 Tbs butter
-2 tsp mint extract
-3 Tbs milk
-green food coloring (as much as desired)
Chocolate frosting:
-melt 3 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
-melt 3 Tbs butter
Combine them together and mix very well.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Creamy Fruit Salad

This is an extremely easy and super delicious fruit salad.  It's also only 218 calories per cup!  Yum!  I found the recipe here and adapted it a little.  The beauty of this recipe is that you can put pretty much any type of fruit you have on hand and it will still be delicious.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 can pineapple chunks, drained
-1 medium apple, cored and sliced
-1 cup mandarin oranges, drained
-1 cup strawberries
-2 medium bananas, sliced
-1/2 cup sour cream
-1/2 cup coconut flakes
Directions:
Mix everything in a large bowl.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (so that the flavors blend well).

Friday, January 21, 2011

Chicken Caesar Wraps

This is just simple and delicious!  Enjoy!
 Ingredients:
-tortillas, soft taco size
-spinach leaves
-cooked chicken breast, diced
-Caesar dressing
-Parmesan cheese, either grated or shaved
-ground black pepper
Directions:
Place one tortilla on a plate.  Top with spinach, about 1 Tbs chicken, dressing (the amount wanted), cheese and pepper.  Wrap it and enjoy!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Caesar Dressing

One of my biggest weaknesses is Caesar salad.  I simply love it!  This recipe makes a lot of it, but it is soooo good.  Yummy, creamy and delicious.
Ingredients:
-3-4 garlic cloves, minced
-1 (2 oz) can flat anchovies, drained
-2 tsp Dijon mustard
-3 Tbs lemon juice
-1 cup mayonnaise
Directions:
Put all ingredients in blender and mix until creamy and smooth.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Shrimp and Tomato Chowder

This is very quick and easy.  I loved the sweetness of the tomatoes and the perfect blend of the aromas.  So yummy!  It went perfect with the foccacia.
Ingredients:
-1 Tbs olive oil
-1 large onion, chopped
-2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, undrained
-8 oz large peeled, deveined, cooked shrimp, with tails removed
-1/2 cup half & half
-1/2 cup water
-pepper, to taste
Directions:
In a large saucepan, cook onion in hot oil until tender.  Add tomatoes and cook until heated through.  Add shrimp, half & half, and water.  Cook until hot.  Ladle into bowl and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Quick and Simple Foccacia

I love foccacia.  It's very versatile, as you can top it with pretty much anything you want.  I also like just simple, plain foccacia, like the one I made.  You can eat it with soups, salads, or just by itself.  This is a super easy and quick recipe.  You can have a nice, yummy foccacia in just about 90 minutes.  Enjoy!
 Ingredients:
-2 tsp fast-rising dry yeast
-1 cup warm water + 2 Tbs
-2 Tbs sugar
-3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
-1 Tbs salt
-1/4 cup olive oil
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 F.
In your mixer's bowl, add the yeast, cup of water and sugar.  Mix a little, then let stand for about 3minutes, or until foamy.  With the mixer set on low, slowly add the flour.  In a small cup, dissolve the salt in the 2 Tbs water.  Pour into dough.  Add olive oil to the mixture.  Mix until dough is smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes), adding flour as necessary.
Grease large bowl.  Place dough into bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and place on top of stove (it should be warm from the oven).  Let stand for about 45 minutes, or until double in size. 
Coat a baking sheet with a bit of oil and stretch dough on it.  Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes.  With the bottom of a wooden spoon, dimple the dough.  Brush the surface with more olive oil.  Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Cut into pieces and enjoy!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas

I only tried enchiladas once before and I was not too thrilled because of the red sauce.  It was pretty nasty.  Then, I saw this recipe here and I knew I had to try it.  Everything about it sounded good.  I am really happy I tried it because it was DELICIOUS!  So good!  Enjoy!
 Ingredients:
-6 burrito size flour tortillas
-2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
-1/2 cup chopped onion
-4 garlic cloves, minced
-1 tsp ground coriander
-1/4 tsp pepper
-2 Tbs butter
-3 Tbs flour
-8 oz sour cream
-2 cups chicken broth
-1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
-1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F and lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.
In a large saucepan melt butter.  Add onion, garlic, coriander and pepper.  Cook until onions are tender (about 5 minutes).
In a small bowl, combine sour cream and flour.  Mix well.  Add mixture to onions.  Also add the chilies and chicken broth.  Stir well and cook until thick and bubbly.  Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese.
Mix 1/2 cup of sauce into the cooked chicken.  Mix well.  Spread 2-3 spoonfuls of the chicken mixture onto each tortilla and roll up (I like to tuck the ends in as well).
Place tortillas, seam down, into prepared baking dish.  Top tortillas with remaining sauce.  Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes.  Uncover and top with remaining cheese.  Bake for 5 more minutes.  Enjoy!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Kielbasa with Sauerkraut (Mancare de Varza Calita)

Almost every Saturday that I can remember from growing up, we had this dish.  I love it.  It's very easy to make, tasty, and brings lots of memories for me.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 lb polska kielbasa
-1 cup oil, for frying
-3 (14 oz) can sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
-1 small onion, finely chopped
-2 Tbs tomato paste
-1/2 cup water
-1 tsp paprika
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp black pepper
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Cut the kielbasa into large chunks.  Fry in oil, then set on paper towels to dry.
Remove the oil from pan, except for about 1 Tbs.  Saute the onions for about 5 minutes.  Add drained sauerkraut and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Mix tomato paste with water.  Mix well.  Pour over sauerkraut.  Add the spices and stir until well combined. 
Place the pan into preheated oven and bake for about 10 minutes.  Enjoy!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Watermelon Raspberry Smoothie

My dear friend, CL, had lots of frozen watermelon in her freezer and she needed to use it up.  So she made this absolutely delicious treat and shared it with me and my family.  Super easy and soooo delicious!
Ingredients:
-2 1/2 cups watermelon
-1 cup raspberry sherbet
-ice
-some water
Directions:
Blend watermelon, sherbet and ice.  Add water to thin out, if necessary.  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mixed Salad

As soon as I saw this recipe here, I knew I wanted to try it.  I changed it a bit according to my taste and the results were fantastic!  Very satisfying and delicious.
Ingredients:
-1 bag baby spinach
-1 cup candied pecans
-1 cup crumbled blue cheese
-2-3 pears (any type), cored and thinly sliced
-1 cup lightly seasoned (salt & pepper), cooked and diced chicken
Dressing:
-3 Tbs lemon juice
-1 small shallot, minced
-1 Tbs Dijon mustard
-1/2 cup olive oil
Directions:
Place dressing ingredients in tupperware, close the lid tightly and shake well.  Mix salad ingredients and drizzle with dressing.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Candied Pecans

Before you make these, be aware of the fact that they are highly addictive!  I could not stop eating them! :)  They are absolutely amazing!  You can either eat them by themselves as a snack (most likely VERY high in calories), or toss them in a salad, or however you want to.  Enjoy!
 Ingredients:
-1 egg white
-1 Tbs water
-1 lb pecan halves
-1 cup sugar
-3/4 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Directions:
Preheat oven to 250 F.  Grease one baking sheet.
In a large bowl, whip together the egg white and water, until frothy-looking like this:
Add pecans to the egg white mixture and stir to coat evenly. 
In a separate large bowl, mix the sugar, salt and cinnamon.  Add the coated pecans.  Mix well.  Spread pecans on baking sheet.  Bake in prepared oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Veggie Stuffed Chicken Rolls

This was an experimental dinner that luckily turned out quite tasty.  For the wrapping of the chicken I used the "press & seal" wrap.  It holds really well and it sticks together so that you don't have any ends to tie.  Enjoy!
 Ingredients:
-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half (4 pieces together)
-salt and pepper, for seasoning
-1 Tbs olive oil
-2 cups mixed bell peppers, seeded and sliced
-1/2 red onion, peeled, quartered and sliced
-1 bag fresh spinach
-1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
-1 tsp garlic powder
-salt and pepper, to taste
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Pound chicken breast halves until thin.
In a large saute pan, heat up olive oil.  Add veggies and stir until tender.   Add balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Mix and remove from heat.
Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides.  Place on press & seal wrap.  Scoop some of the veggie mixture and place in the middle of breast.  Wrap the chicken around the veggies, then wrap everything in press and seal.  Secure the edges tightly.  Repeat with remaining breasts and veggies.  Place wraps in baking dish.  Pour about 2 cups of water around wraps.  Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until chicken looks cooked through.
Slice the roll and serve.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Guacamole

This is quick, easy and delicious!  I served it with my taco salad and it was just wonderful!  
Ingredients:
-4 ripe avocados
-3 Tbs lemon juice
-8 dashes Tabasco sauce
-1/4 cup finely diced red onion
-1 garlic clove, minced
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-1 Roma tomato, seeded and finely chopped
Directions:
Cut the avocados in half.  Remove pits and scoop the flesh out into a bowl.  Mash the avocados with a fork.  Mix the rest of the ingredients in.  Enjoy!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Banana Lumpia

This is such an incredibly easy to make dessert and very, very tasty!  I had this in Asian restaurants and I'm so glad it can be done at home too.  Super easy!  Enjoy!
Ingredients (for 2 lumpias):
-2 egg roll wrappers
-1 banana
-canola oil, for frying
-vanilla ice cream
-caramel syrup
Directions:
Cut the banana in half.  Wrap each banana half in the wrappers, like here.  Fry for about 1 minute on each side.  Top with vanilla ice cream and caramel syrup.  Yum!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Seared Scallops with Pineapple-Cucumber Salsa

I really enjoyed this dish.  It was light and very tasty.  The sweetness and tanginess of the pineapple blends perfectly with a touch of spiciness that the other ingredients provide.  The scallops melt in your mouth, adding a perfect touch to such a yummy dish.  I adapted this recipe from one I found on foodnetwork.com.  I served the dish on a bed of rice.
Ingredients:
-1 cucumber, peeled and diced
-1 cup canned pineapple chunks, drained
-1 Tbs finely chopped red onion
-1 Tbs lime
-1 tsp finely chopped jalapeno pepper
-salt, to taste
-1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
-2 lbs sea scallops
-black pepper, to taste
-1 Tbs olive oil
Directions:
In a bowl, combine cucumber, pineapple, red onion, lime juice, jalapeno, salt and Tabasco.
Rinse the scallops and pat them dry.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet, over medium-high heat.  Sear scallops, without moving them in the pan, until golden- about 2-3 minutes per side. 
To serve, place a bed of rice on the plate.  Scoop some of the pineapple-cucumber salsa on top of rice.  Top with seared scallops.  Enjoy!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sesame Chicken Pasta

Yummy, yummy, yummy!  That's all I have to say about this dish.  Give it a try.  You will absolutely LOVE it!
Ingredients:
- 1 lb cooked (al dente) pasta (shells, bowties, swirls, any kind you want)
-1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-1/3 cup rice vinegar
-1/3 cup soy sauce
-1 tsp sesame oil
-3 Tbs sugar
-1/2 ground ginger
-1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 chicken breasts (skinless, boneless), cooked and cut in small chunks
Directions:
Place all ingredients besides chicken and pasta in a large tupperware or jar.  Close tightly with lid.  Shake until well mixed.  In a large pot, place cooked pasta, cooked chicken and sauce.  Mix well and serve immediately.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Oriental Salad (Salata Orientala)

I really don't know why this salad is called oriental.  But I grew up with it, so I'll call it that as well, I guess.  Anyway, it literally is another potato salad.   The flavors are amazing!  It's super easy to make and just delicious!  I used cooked herrings for mine, but you can use anchovies instead or no fish at all.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 1/2 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced in large cubes
-2 hard boiled eggs
-1 small onion, quartered and sliced
-1 cup kalamata olives, pitted
-1 cup pickled herrings or 1 small can anchovies (drained), optional
-salt and pepper, to taste
-2 tsp oil
-1 tsp vinegar
Directions:
Cook potatoes until fork tender.  Drain.  Chop the eggs into small chunks.  Mix all ingredients together and adjust the taste as desired.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cod with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

I like fish because it's light, quick to cook, tasty and full of health benefits.  This dish is very easy, yummy and quick.  I served mine with some rice and sweet corn.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 Tbs olive oil
- 3-4 cod fillets
-salt and pepper
-about 1 1/2 cups roasted red peppers
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 Tbs lime juice
-1/2 tsp ground ginger
-1 tsp ground cumin
-sunflower seeds for topping
Directions:
Heat oil in large skillet.
Season fillets with salt and pepper.  Add them to hot oil.  Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown.  Remove from pan.
In a blender, combine peppers, garlic, lime juice, ginger and cumin.  Puree until smooth.  Pour into small sauce pan and bring to a simmer.  Cook for about 5 minutes.  Spread some of the sauce on top of fish.  Top with sunflower seeds.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Chocolate Spiced Pork Chops

Thank you, Paula Deen for yet another delicious recipe!  This is super easy, quick and amazingly delicious!   The spices are perfect for each other, complementing beautifully.  When you take a bite, it's sweet at first, then the other spices kick in and it's a symphony in your mouth.  Super yummy!  I served mine with mashed potatoes and lemon broccoli.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-2 Tbs brown sugar
-1 Tbs Italian seasoning
-2 tsp onion powder
-1 1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
-1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
-1 tsp paprika
-1/2 tsp ground red pepper flakes
-1/2 tsp ground cumin
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp black pepper
-4 pork chops (about 1 1/2 inches thick)
-1 Tbs vegetable oil
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F. 
In a large bowl, combine all the spices.  Rub the mixture evenly over pork chops.
Add the oil to an oven proof large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the pork chops and cook for about 3minutes on each side.  Put the skillet in preheated oven.  Bake for 3-5 minutes, or until chops are cooked through.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Philippino Lumpias

Lumpias are Philippino egg rolls.  They are extremely easy to make and oh, so good!  I like to eat mine with sweet and sour duck sauce.  Enjoy!
 Ingredients:
-1 Tbs vegetable oil
-2 lbs ground pork
-2 cloves garlic, crushed
-1/2 cup onion, chopped
-1/2 cup finely shredded carrots
-4-5 green onions, chopped
-1/2 cup finely shredded cabbage
-salt and pepper, to taste
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 Tbs soy sauce
-about 30 egg roll or lumpia wrappers
-vegetable oil for frying
Directions:
Heat the 1 Tbs oil in a large frying pan.  Add pork and stir until cooked through.  Remove pork from pan.  Drain grease from pan, leaving just a thin coating.  Return pan to stove.  Add garlic and onion.  Cook for about 2 minutes.  Add cooked pork, carrots, green onion and cabbage.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and soy sauce.  Give it a good stir and cook for a couple more minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside until cool enough to handle.
Place one wrapper on cutting board.  Place about 1 Tbs of pork mixture on one of the corners.  Wrap tightly, tucking in the side corners.  Moisten with a bit of water the remaining corner.  Seal the wrapper and place on plate.
Repeat wrapping procedure with remaining ingredients. 
In a large frying pan, heat enough oil for frying.  Slide lumpias in hot oil and cook on both sides until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.  Serve immediately.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Slow Cooker Honey Barbecue Wings

These wings are absolutely incredible!  So tasty, delicious, the meat falls off the bone.  Do I need to say more?  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-4 lbs chicken wings
-salt and pepper
-1 cup honey
-1/4 cup soy sauce
-1/4 cup Teriyaki sauce
-1/4 cup BBQ sauce
-1/8 cup vegetable oil
-1 clove garlic, minced
Directions:
Start oven broiler.  Season wings with salt and pepper.  Place on baking pan and broil for 12- 15 minutes on each side.  Transfer wings to slow cooker.  Mix the rest of ingredients and pour over wings.  Cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours, stirring once or twice to coat all wings with sauce.  Enjoy!

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