Monday, June 30, 2014

Green Flop Jello

This recipe comes from Taste of Home magazine.  Our grand-kids really like Jello with our Sunday dinner, so when I saw this recipe, I wanted to give it a try.  I would say it is more of a dessert than a salad, but it is really quite yummy!  When I served it, I used an ice-cream scoop, and it gives it a fun look.  It is quick and easy to put together-using a blender for part of it.  A fun new thing to try with Jello!

Green Flop Jello
from Taste of Home Magazine

2 cups lemon-lime soda
2 pkg (3 oz each) lime gelatin
6 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups lemon-lime soda, chilled
1 carton (12 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed

1. Microwave 2 cups soda on high 1-2 minutes (I did it for 3 to get it hot enough) or until hot.  Place hot soda and gelatin in a blender; cover and process until gelatin is dissolved.  Add cream cheese, process to blend.

2. Transfer to a large bowl; stir in chilled soda.  Whisk in whipped topping.  Pour into a 3 qt. bowl.  Refrigerate, covered, for 4 hours or until firm.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Light Tacos

This isn't really so much a recipe, but a new way to make tacos that we REALLY love!  I replaced hamburger with ground turkey - (which you can't tell the difference once you have added the taco seasoning.)  I replaced the regular tortillas with a new 100 calorie/ high fiber tortilla that is really good!  It is made by Mission and is an Artisan tortilla -the one I tried and liked is Corn and Whole Wheat Blend. (there are other flavors, such as blue corn/flax seed, and another one I can't remember right now) The tortilla is soft and has almost a nutty flavor.  I heated the tortillas in a dry pan for a few seconds on each side.  Top with avocados, tomatoes and cheese - SO good!




Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Beautiful Bountiful Basket

When our oldest daughter Jenny got married, her husband's family had a reception in Oregon at their home for the newlyweds.  Jake's aunts (called "the Sistahs") did all of the food.  It was amazing!  My favorite thing was the vegetable tray.  Oh my goodness!  It was SO beautiful!  It totally changed my way of looking at a vegetable platter.  I have made it for 4 or 5 parties and it is always has a big WOW factor.  The colors of these beautiful vegetables are so beautiful together.   



These two pictures are of the finished basket.   I took the lower picture before we took it to the gathering, so I hadn't put the dip in the cabbage yet, but the lighting was better.  You can see all of the different vegetables we put in: carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, yellow and red cherry tomatoes, english cucumbers, green onions, red/orange/yellow peppers, radishes, and a purple cabbage dip bowl - all on a bed of kale. (the "Sistahs" also put blanched asparagus on theirs and it was delicious - but it was a little expensive right now)



This picture shows the basket (I line it with plastic wrap first) with the kale arranged to cover the bottom.  It took about 3 bunches of kale to do this basket- which is a large basket.  In the center is a small purple cabbage that we scooped the center out of to make a bowl to put the dip in. (you can cut the bottom of it to make it sit flat if needed)
We found that an ice cream scoop works wells to scoop out the cabbage.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Easy Crock Pot Sunday Roast and Self-Making Gravy

My daughter-in-law Estee told me about this recipe for roast and self making gravy.  She said it is a combination of our family's tradition of using Lipton Onion Soup mix in the crock pot to cook our roast, and her family's use of Cream of Mushroom Soup to cook her roast in.  She combined them and voila! - perfect tender roast and delicious gravy without any work at all!  


Easy Crock Pot Sunday Roast and Self-Making Gravy
from Estee

3-4 lb beef chuck roast
1 pkg dry Lipton Onion Soup mix
2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup of water

Brown the roast in a very hot frying pan with a little olive oil.  Let cook until the meat forms a nice dark carmalization, then flip it over and do the same on the other side.  Place the meat in a crock pot. Combine the dry soup mix with 1 cup of water.  Add the two cans of cream of mushroom soup and stir to combine.  Pour over the top of the meat and turn crock pot to low and cook for 7-8 hours.  When finished, remove the meat to a serving plate, and pour the gravy into a gravy boat and it is ready to go!  (I like to put a little A-1 sauce in the gravy to give it a little more flavor)  How easy is that!!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Dutch Oven Chocolate Coconut Marshmallow Cake

We had our annual Dutch Oven Dessert party this past weekend.  We make the SAME dessert every year- but it is SO very easy and always turns out great and is very popular.  It is a nice variety to add to all the fruit cobbler desserts that dutch ovens seem to lend themselves to.  




This is what the finished product looks like - topped with yummy toasted marshmallows.

You can stack dutch ovens and share the coals.

Here is what it looks like after the chocolate chips and coconut are added, just prior to the marshmallows being sprinkled over the top - to toast and melt.  MMMMMMmmmmmm!

Dutch Oven Chocolate Coconut Marshmallow Cake

1 box of chocolate cake mix of your choice (I used triple chocolate) -mixed as directed on the box.
1 bag milk chocolate chips
1/2 bag sweetened flaked coconut
3/4-1 bag miniature marshmallows

Line a 14" dutch oven with heavy duty foil and spray with PAM.  Mix chocolate cake according to directions on the box.  (when doing this camping, I put all the ingredients together in a gallon zip-loc bag and smoosh them for 2 minutes)  Pour cake batter into the bottom of the dutch oven.  Put lid on and put 12 hot coals spread out under the dutch oven, and 16 coals on top.  Cook for about 20 minutes - checking after about 15 minutes.  The cake should bounce back in the center when done.  Sprinkle the chocolate chips and coconut over the top of the hot cake.  Now pour a layer of miniature marshmallows over the top of the chips and coconut.   Move the dutch oven off of the bottom coals, but leave the top coals on.  Keep an eye on the marshmallows - it is done when they are toasted to a beautiful golden brown.  Shake the top coals off and the cake will stay warm inside the hot dutch oven for quite a while.  It is definitely best when eaten warm!  The foil makes for a quick and easy clean-up!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Bavarian Cream with Fruit

My wonderful friend Debbie has made this for many occasions that I have been to - and I can't get enough of it! It is the kind of thing that you want to lick the bowl when you are done because you want more!  We served this at a bridal shower at my house yesterday.  It is creamy and delicious and the fresh fruit is such a great compliment with the rich velvety cream.  You MUST try this one!  Thanks Debbie!



Bavarian Cream
from my friend-Debbie McAllister

1 cup sugar
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
½ c hot water
Mix together and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat.

Add:
2 c unwhipped  heavy cream
2 c sour cream
1 tsp vanilla

Refrigerate in a covered bowl for at least 6 hours and serve in individual cups with a sprinkle of brown sugar, strawberries, kiwi, and blueberries. (or other berries of your choice!)




Monday, July 15, 2013

Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon

We love grilling anything on a cedar plank!  The yummy smokey flavor is unbeatable and the meat cooks up so moist and juicy - without burning and without having to flip the meat over.  We wanted to cook some salmon for our Sunday dinner and I found a yummy rub that was delicious!! It has smoked paprika - which gives everything a smokey flavor.  This, added with the smoke of the cedar plank, makes it SOOO good and it was SO easy!!



The salmon was moist and flavorful


This is a picture of the salmon cooking on the plank.  You can see how the brown sugar melted into a yummy glaze

Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon
from Kristen at Simple Bites

one 2 lb salmon filet, skin removed (I bought mine from Costco - skin is already removed)
1 cedar plank, pre-soaked in water (about 4 hours) (I also buy these at Costco - they come in a pack of 6, but I have heard that you can also just go to a lumber yard and buy untreated cedar planks and cut them!)
1/2 c brown sugar
2 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP dried Italian seasoning
1 Tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp Kosher salt

1.Preheat gas grill
2. Place the pre-soaked cedar plank on the grill grate for 5 minutes.
3. In the meantime, combine brown sugar, olive oil, Italian seasoning, smoked paprika and Kosher salt in a small bowl.
4. Rub the mixture over the top of the salmon filet (the side the skin was not on)
5. Place the prepared salmon onto the cedar plank, what would have been the skin side down.
6. Grill for 30 minutes, or until salmon turns light pink in color and is flaky.  (My salmon was thinner and cooked in about 8-10 minutes, so watch carefully - you don't want to overcook it)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Skinny Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo


I have been trying new recipes, but haven't loved any of them enough to put them on my blog.  This one, my husband and I decided, was blog worthy!  It is a very healthy version of Chicken Alfredo - using Greek yogurt, chicken broth and skim milk to make the sauce.  I used the easy way and bought a deli chicken instead of grilling it, and I steamed my broccoli instead of roasting it.  It was very good, but now I want to try it her way - I'm sure it has a richer flavor.  Very yummy and easy!!  We will be having this again for sure!


Skinny Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo
from Courtney Horan

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled and cut into chunks (about 2 cups)
2 cups roasted broccoli florets
8 oz. fettuccine
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
2 TBSP flour
1 cup fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
1/4 c plain 0% greek yogurt
1/4 c skim milk
1/4 tsp pepper
1 pinch ground nutmeg
3/4 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

In a pot of boiling, slated water, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is golden, 1-2 minutes.

Whisk in the flour until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth, Greek yogurt, Milk, pepper and nutmeg. Bring to a low boil, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring gently, until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup Parmesan. Add salt to taste.

Add cooked chicken and broccoli to sauce mixture, followed by the cooked pasta. Toss to combine and serve with more Parmesan, if desired.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Mini Samoa Bundt Cakes


Our daughter-in-law Aubrey made these last night for our Sunday dinner dessert.  Oh my goodness!  These were some of the best things I have ever eaten!  They were heaven. Not overly sweet.  I loved the mix of chocolate, caramel and toasted coconut - mmmm!  I highly recommend these.  Thanks Aubrey!




                                   
This recipe uses a mini bundt cake pan (as seen on the right)and makes 2 dozen


Mini Samoa Bundt Cakes
from girlversusdough -Tablespoon

Ingredients
FOR THE CAKES –
1 box Betty Crocker chocolate fudge cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3  eggs
1/4 cup caramel sauce
FOR THE FROSTING –
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces (1 package) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup caramel sauce
4 cups powdered sugar
FOR THE TOPPINGS --
3 cups sweetened coconut flakes
1 cup chocolate chips

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees F (325 for a dark or nonstick pan). Grease and flour bottom and sides of 2 6-cup mini Bundt pans; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together cake mix, water, oil and eggs on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.

Pour batter evenly into prepared Bundt pan cups. Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.

Remove cakes from oven; cool 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack. Using the back of a spoon, poke a few holes in the top of each cake, being careful not to poke all the way through the bottom. Carefully pour about a teaspoon of caramel sauce over the top of each cake; let cakes cool completely and caramel soak in.

Meanwhile, make the frosting: In a large bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese. Add caramel sauce and powdered sugar; beat until smooth. You may need to add more powdered sugar to get the correct consistency for frosting.

Frost fully cooled cakes with frosting. Heat oven to 350 degrees F; place coconut flakes on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, stirring occasionally, until a deep caramel brown. Let cool completely, then use your hands to pat the coconut flakes onto each frost cake; cover completely.

Place chocolate chips in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 30 seconds, then stir; melt another 10 seconds at a time until chips are fully melted. Pipe melted chocolate onto cakes in lines so they look like Girl Scout Samoa cookies.





Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Coconut Crusted French Toast with Coconut Syrup (Easter Brunch)

I found these two recipes on Pinterest and combined them for our dinner last night.  It was heaven!  I think it would make a wonderful Easter Brunch item.  The mixture of toasted coconut, creamy coconut syrup and the contrast of the sliced fresh strawberries were SOOO good.  Loved it!

Coconut Crusted French Toast
From "Two Peas & Their Pod" {with my notes added in italics)

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:
3 large eggs
3/4 c lite coconut milk
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1 c shredded sweetened coconut
6 slices of french bread, cut into 1/2 inch slices (I just used Texas Toast)

Directions:
1. In a shallow dish, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, coconut extract, vanilla extract, and salt.  Place the shredded coconut on a plate.  Dip both sides of each slice of bread into the egg mixture.  Dip both sides of the coated bread into the shredded coconut.  (I tried it this way and thought it was too much coconut ~I didn't think that was possible!~  I liked it better with only one side dipped in the coconut).Drizzle a little of the egg mixture on top of the coconut to make it stick to the bread.(I found this step is important because it protects the coconut from burning too easily)

2. Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick frying pan or a griddle to medium to medium-high heat.  Cook the slices of bread until golden brown on one side and then turn and cook the other side.  Serve immediately or keep French toast warm in a 250 degree oven.

3.  Serve with butter, pure maple syrup, and/or strawberries.  (I made the coconut syrup recipe below instead of the maple syrup - yummy!)


Coconut Syrup
from "Cooking a la mode"

1/2 c butter
3/4 c buttermilk
1 c sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp coconut extract

Place butter, buttermilk, and sugar in a medium saucepan.  Stir over medium heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves.  Bring to a boil and boil one minute.

Remove from heat and add baking soda and extract, stirring constantly.  It will bubble up, so if your pot is small, hold it over the sink to avoid spillage.  Continue to stir syrup and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.  Serve over almost any breakfast food: waffles, pancakes, French toast, crepes,. etc.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Winter Sunshine Salad

This salad is SO easy to throw together and tastes great in the middle of a long winter without much fresh fruit around.  This is one that my husband requests quite often.  

Winter Sunshine Salad

1 large can of pineapple tidbits (with the juice)
1/2-3/4 of a small box of instant lemon pudding (depending on how thick you like it)
2 small cans of mandarin oranges - drained
1/3-1/2 bag miniature marshmallows (to your liking)
1/4 c coconut
2 bananas - sliced

Pour pineapple with the juice into a large bowl.  Stir in the dry instant lemon pudding and stir until pudding is dissolved and starts to thicken.  Stir in oranges, marshmallows and coconut.  Refrigerate for 1 hour or more. Stir in bananas right before serving.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Fun and Festive Drink Idea

My sister Barb served this fun drink at our family Christmas Progressive Dinner and also at a shower.  For Christmas she had red sugar around the cup with the lime drink, and today for the shower she used hot pink sugar.  The darling purple striped paper straw topped it all off.  SO CUTE!  


Fun and Festive Drink Idea

Corn Syrup
Colored Sugar
Lime Sherbet (or any flavor you like)
7-Up

Dip just the rim of a clear plastic cup in corn syrup (pour some in a bowl), then dip in colored sugar.
Mix 1 quart sherbet with 1 2-liter bottle of 7-Up in a punch bowl, breaking the sherbet up into small pieces.
Serve and enjoy!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Easy Creamy Tomato Basil Soup with Rice

This recipe is from my friend Debbie - who is a wonderful cook!  She served this at a bridal shower years ago and I loved it.  I loved it even more when she told me how EASY it was to make!  I made it for a shower today, and enjoyed it once again. Delicious!!


Tomato and Basil


Easy Creamy Tomato Basil Soup with Rice

1 Bottle of Classico Tomato Basil Spaghetti Sauce
1 Bottle (fill the empty Spaghetti Sauce bottle) of Heavy Cream
1-2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
a pinch of sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cooked White Rice

Combine all ingredients except the rice.  Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until hot but not boiling.  

To serve - put a large spoonful of rice in the bottom of the bowl and add soup.  Enjoy!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Oat Apple Crisp

I wanted to find a new apple crisp recipe for my parents' combined birthday party last week.  My sister-in-law made a chocolate dessert and I was supposed to make a non-chocolate one.  I came across this recipe that used a yellow cake mix, which I have used before in a crisp recipe and loved, but this one also used oats, brown sugar and other things along with the cake mix.  It turned out really good!  I just made it again last night for our big family Sunday dinner.  It is the perfect fall dessert - served hot with vanilla ice cream - MMMMMM!
Oat Apple Crisp
from Taste of Home

7 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (about 7 medium) (I used granny-smith)
1 c sugar
1 TBSP flour
1 tsp cinnamon
dash of salt
1/4 c water
1 yellow cake mix (dry)
3/4 c quick-cooking oats
1/3 c butter, softened
1/4 c packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda

Place apples in a greased 2-1/2 qt shallow baking dish (I used a 9X13 pan).  In a small bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt; sprinkle over apples.  Drizzle with water.  In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, oats, butter, brown sugar, baking powder and baking soda.  (I used my *clean* hands to mix the butter in, mashing the butter into the dry ingredients between my fingers).  Sprinkle over apples.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is golden brown.  Serve warm with ice cream.  Yield: 8 servings

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Grilled Rib-eye Steak Salad with Gorgonzola and Honey-mustard Dressing

I saw a show on BYU TV called the Food Nanny and she helped a young couple who were very busy - find a healthy dinner option that is quick and easy (it takes about 15-20 minutes!).  I wanted to try it.  I couldn't find the exact recipe, so I sort-of made this up from what I remembered and what sounded good to me.  It was WONDERFUL!  My husband said that it was one his favorite dinners that we have had this summer.  It was a perfect dinner-salad, and the dressing recipe is from Alton Brown and is very low fat and delicious. We will be having this once a week until our cherry tomatoes freeze I think!


Grilled Rib-eye Steak Salad with Gorgonzola and Honey-Mustard Dressing
adapted from the Food Nanny and Alton Brown

1 rib-eye steak
1 bag of Leafy Romane Salad greens
1 handful of cherry or grape tomatoes (cut in half)
1/3 c sliced almonds - toasted in a dry frying pan until golden brown, then cooled
1 avocado cut into cubes
Gorgonzola cheese crumbles (it is similar to blue-cheese) - optional

Honey-Mustard Dressing (notice - no oil!)

5 TBSP honey
3 TBSP smooth Dijon mustard
2 TBSP rice wine vinegar

Whisk ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Salt and pepper the steak and grill until still slightly pink in the middle.  After flipping the steak the first time, sprinkle crumbled Gorgonzola cheese on top and let melt into ooey- yummy goodness (this step is optional if you are not a fan - but I highly recommend it!)  Let the steak rest about 10 minutes before slicing into thin strips.

Mix the salad greens, tomatoes, toasted almonds and avocados pieces together.  Put onto plates and top with pieces of the sliced steak.  You can also add more crumbled Gorgonzola if you would like (we did).  Drizzle the honey-mustard dressing over the top and enjoy!



Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Avocado Tomato Salsa

This recipe comes from Cooking Light magazine.  It is included with a chicken tostada recipe - which is basically just a tostada shell, rotisserie chicken, beans, lettuce,  queso fresco cheese, then topped with this salsa.  The tostadas were ok, but the salsa was AMAZING!  I loved the addition of avocados, and the lime juice makes it taste so fresh and light!  Yummy!!!  I think it would be good on all kinds of things - even just with tortilla chips as a dip.  With fresh tomatoes coming on - I will make this one a lot this summer.  Give it a try!



Avocado Tomato Salsa
from Cooking Light Magazine

3 TBSP fresh lime juice
1 1/2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 c chopped tomato
1/2 c chopped white onion
1 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro
1 avocado, peeled and diced

Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Add tomato, onion, cilantro, and avocado; toss gently to coat.

Here is a picture of the salsa on top of the tostada.  


Monday, July 30, 2012

Lion House Almond Chocolate Pie

My cousin Cathy used to bring a pie similar to this each Thanksgiving and everyone loved it.  This is the Lion House version.  I made it this week for our book club and remembered how yummy it is!  It's rich and creamy and chocolaty and the toasted almonds make it REALLY delicious!! It's kind of like a s'more pie when made with a graham cracker crust.  SO GOOD!!!!




MMMMM!

I don't have a double boiler - so I just put a stainless steel bowl over the top of a pan with an inch of water in the bottom.  It works great!
I garnished the finished pie with some grated dark chocolate and some of the toasted almonds.

Almond Chocolate Pie
from Lion House Pies

1 graham cracker crust or baked 9-inch pie shell (see recipe below for graham cracker crust)
1/2 c almond slivers, toasted (I used sliced almonds instead)
1 7-oz chocolate bar (I used the big Symphony -red version)
1/2 c half-and-half
18 large marshmallows
1 c heavy whipping cream (I used regular whipping cream)

Place almonds on a cookie sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes at 350 degrees.  almonds should be light golden brown.  Remove from oven.  Be careful not to overcook; almonds will continue to brown after being removed from the oven.  (note:  since my oven was being used to bake my crust, I toasted my almonds in a dry frying pan over medium heat - stirring carefully - it only took a few minutes.)

Place the chocolate bar, half-and-half, and marshmallows in the top of a double boiler and heat until chocolate bar and marshmallows are melted.  (*See note below) In a large bowl, whip the cream until stiff; fold cream and almonds into chocolate mixture.  Pour into crust and refrigerate to cool.  When cool, place in freezer.  Remove from freezer 1 hour before serving.  Makes 1 pie.

NOTE:  This recipe sounded to me like you fold the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream while it is still hot - which I did on the first go-around.  It immediately melted the whipped cream and turned soupy.  I tried it again on the second pie and let it cool to room temperature before I folded it into the whipped cream and it worked much better.

Graham Cracker Crust
from America's Test Kitchen

1 1/4 c graham cracker crumbs (about 8 whole crackers)
5 TBSP butter, melted
2 TBSP sugar

Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Toss the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar together thoroughly with a fork.  Pour crumbs into a 9 inch pie plate.  Using the bottom of a measuring cup-press the crumbs into an even layer on the bottom and side of the pie plate.  Bake until the crust is fragrant and beginning to brown, 15 -20 minutes.  The pie crust may be cooled completely or used warm, according to the particular pie recipe.  

Monday, July 9, 2012

Blueberry Jello Salad

We recently had some friends over for dinner and they brought this delicious Blueberry Jello salad.  I couldn't get enough of it!  It was different than the regular Jello you normally have and SO good.  It was almost like a dessert.  Thanks for the new idea Royene!  




Blueberry Jello Salad
from my friend Royene


1 6 oz pkg of black cherry Jello (I couldn't find it in the big box, so I just bought 2 of the small boxes)
1 15 oz can Oregon Blueberries in light syrup (undrained)
1 20 oz can crushed pineapple (undrained)
1 8 oz cream cheese
1 8 oz sour cream
1/2 c sugar (this makes it really sweet, almost like a dessert.  I tried it the second time with 1/4 c and it was good too)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

In a 9x13 pan - dissolve Jello in 2 c boiling water.  Add blueberries and pineapple - undrained (this replaces the cold water). Refrigerate until set - about 4 hours.

Topping:
Beat softened cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla in mixer until smooth.  Spread over well set Jello. Sprinkle with chopped nuts (if using).  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Super Fast Pork and Tomato Skillet Saute

This recipe comes from Cooking Light Magazine and is under the Super Fast 20 minute cooking section.  I am always looking for quick dinners.  This was a REALLY good one!  We loved it.  I love the small grape tomatoes - they are bursting with flavor.  I have a basil plant in my garden that provided the beautiful and yummy garnish.  I have to admit that this is the first time I have ever tried using shallots.  They were yummy sauted in with the balsamic vinegar!  This was a quick and delicious way to serve pork chops.




Pork and Tomato Skillet Saute
from Cooking Light Magazine


4 tsp olive oil, divided
4 (6-oz) bone-in center-cut loin pork chops, trimmed (about 1/2 inch thick)
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/2 c thinly sliced shallots
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
2 tsp minced garlic
2 c grape tomatoes
3 TBSP chopped fresh basil

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 1 tsp oil; swirl to coat.  Sprinkle chops evenly with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Add pork to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.  Remove pork from pan.  Add remaining 1 TBSP oil, shallots, vinegar, and garlic to pan; saute 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.  Combine tomatoes, remaining 1/4 tsp salt, and remaining 1/4 tsp pepper in a medium bowl; toss gently to coat.  Add tomato mixture  to pan; cook 2 minutes or until tomatoes begin to soften.  Sprinkle with basil.  Serve tomato mixture with pork.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Grilled Huli Huli Chicken

To all of you who found this on Pinterest-welcome!  I hope you take a few minutes to look around on my blog.  Some of my all time favorite recipes are black beans & rice with chicken and apple salsaLacies infamous broccoli and craisin saladpotato and ham spinach frittatarustic balsamic chicken with roasted tomatoes and asparagus,caramelized onion mashed potatoes,sweet and sour meatballscoconut banana bread with lime glaze, just to name a few!  Thanks for stopping by.-Judy

According to Taste of Home magazine, this recipe comes from Hawaii.  Huli means "turn" in Hawaiian.  These were very flavorful.  The marinade is very close to the Barbecue Glaze I put on my Cedar Plank Pork.  Thighs are such a great cut of meat to grill - they don't dry out like the breasts do.  


Grilled Huli Huli Chicken
from Taste of Home Magazine

1 c brown sugar packed
3/4 c ketchup
3/4 c low-sodium soy sauce
1/3 c chicken broth
2 1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
24 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 5 lbs)  (This makes a TON - I made half a batch)

In a small bowl, mix the first six ingredients.  Reserve 1 1/3 cups for basting; cover and refrigerate.  Divide remaining marinade between two large resealable plastic bags.  Add 12 chicken thighs to each; seal bags and turn to coat.  Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Drain and discard marinade from chicken.  Moisten a paper towel with cooking oil; using long-handled tongs, lightly coat the grill rack.

Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat for 6-8 minutes on each side or until no longer pink; baste occasionally with reserved marinade during the last 5 minutes.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sauteed Chicken with Sage Browned Butter

I was looking through new recipes to try to find something using chicken.  I came across this recipe that used sage.  I planted a sage plant a few years ago and it is getting HUGE!  It keeps coming up year after year and needs no care. (I highly recommend planting one!)  We loved this dinner and it is really quick and easy!  The sage flavor is reminiscent of Thanksgiving turkey - and the lemon juice brightens it all.  mmmmm!




Sauteed Chicken with Sage Browned Butter
from Cooking Light Magazine Jan 2011


4 (6 oz) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
cooking spray
1/2 c all-purpose flour
3 TBSP butter
2 sage sprigs
1 TBSP minced shallots (I used green onions)
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme (is sprinkled in some dried thyme)
2 TBSP lemon juice (I used the juice from 1 whole lemon)
Fresh sage leaves (optional)

Place each breast half between 2 sheets of plastic wrap (or a gallon zip-lock bag -open ended), pound to 1/4-inch thickness.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, coat with cooking spray.  Place flour in a shallow dish; dredge chicken in flour.  Add chicken to pan, saute for 4 minutes on each side or until done.  Remove chicken from pan.

Add butter and sage sprigs to pan; cook over medium heat until butter browns.  Discard sage.  Add shallots and thyme; cook for 30 seconds. Add lemon juice, cook for 30 seconds (scraping up all the good browned bits on the bottom of the pan).  Serve with chicken.  Garnish with sage leaves, if desired.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pulled Chicken with Apple-Cucumber Slaw

This has got to be one of the quickest and easiest dinners ever!  It has great flavor combinations and textures.  It is a wonderful summer alternative to hamburgers.  Using rotisserie chickens sure save a lot of time! I'm all for quick and easy.


Pulled Chicken with Apple-Cucumber Slaw
from Everyday Food Magazine


1 rotisserie chicken (about 2 1/2 lbs.)
1 Granny Smith apple, cut into matchsticks
2 English cucumbers, cut into matchsticks
2 green onions (green parts only), thinly sliced
1/4 c mayonnaise
3 TBSP Dijon mustard
2 TBSP cider vinegar
1/4 c honey
coarse salt and ground pepper
 4 hamburger buns

Shred chicken, discarding skin and bones.  Stir together apple, cucumbers, green onions, and mayonnaise.  In a large skillet, heat chicken, mustard, vinegar, honey, and 1/4 c water, over medium-high, tossing to combine, until warmed through, 3-5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Divide chicken mixture among buns and top with apple-cucumber slaw.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Lime Fluff - Fruit Dip

Here's a quick and easy fruit dip that uses Key Lime Pie yogurt along with fresh lime juice and lime zest to make a delicious dip for all the yummy fresh fruits that are coming into season.  Enjoy!


Lime Fluff

1 7-oz container of Marshmallow Cream
1 8-oz whipped cream cheese
1 Yoplait Key Lime Pie Yogurt
Zest and Juice of 1 lime
2 drops of green food coloring

Put all ingredients in a large bowl and blend with a mixer until smooth and fluffy.  Refrigerate and serve with any fresh fruit.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos with Creamy Cilantro-Lime Ranch Dipping Sauce

My daughter tried these and said she loved them, so we made them for our big family party this past weekend. Oh my goodness-they are delicious!!  They are a low-fat version - because they are not fried, but when you bake them, they still come out crispy.  The dipping sauce is over-the-top yummy!  I highly recommend you make the sauce with these.  All the adults agreed that this was a keeper.  (the kids saw the green stuff (onions) inside the taquitos and wondered!)  I have been dreaming about them ever since we had them - oooh they are good!

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos with Creamy Cilantro-Lime Ranch Dipping Sauce
From Our Best Bites Cookbook



1/3 C (3 oz) cream cheese
1/4 C green salsa
1T fresh lime juice
1/2 t cumin
1 t chili powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t granulated garlic
3 T chopped cilantro
2 T sliced green onions

2 C shredded cooked chicken (We used chicken breasts that we grilled)
1 C grated pepperjack cheese (I didn't want it too spicy for the kids - so I just used monterey jack cheese)

small corn or flour tortillas (we used flour ones - fajita size)
kosher salt
cooking spray


Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it's soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and granulated garlic. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.

You can prepare up to this step ahead of time. Just keep the mixture in the fridge.

Work with a few tortillas at a time and heat in the microwave until they are soft enough to roll without cracking. It helps to place them between damp paper towels. Usually 20-30 seconds will do it. If you find yours are cracking when you roll them or come unrolled right away, just try heating them longer and try the paper towel thing.

Place 2-3 T of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges.

Then roll it up as tight as you can.

Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and sprinkle some kosher salt on top.

Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown. 


Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing
Recipe by Ourbestbites.com

1 pack (1oz) Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix (regular or buttermilk, and ignore directions on the packet)
1C mayo
1/2 C milk (or buttermilk depending on which packet you buy)
1 lime
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 C roughly chopped cilantro
1/4 C green salsa
hot sauce

 Place milk, mayo, and ranch mix in a blender.   Juice the lime in there too, you should get about 2T juice.  Toss in the garlic, cilantro and green salsa.  Blend 'er up.  Sample it and add hot sauce to taste.  Make it several hours ahead of time to allow it to thicken. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Crispy Coconut Chicken Fingers

I found this recipe in "Our Best Bites" cookbook and thought it looked good.  I haven't cooked with curry very much, so I wasn't sure how it would taste.  My husband and I both loved this recipe!  It is kind of like chicken fingers for adults! (I'm sure kids will like them too!) What great flavor - the coconut and curry with the yummy dipping sauce - it was a hit!


Crispy Coconut Chicken Fingers
from Our Best Bites


1 c sweetened coconut flakes
1 c panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp table salt
3/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, optional (it doesn't add a lot of heat, but kids may be sensitive to it)
1/2 c flour
2 eggs
12 chicken tenders (you may use more or less depending on their size)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Spray a foil-lined baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray

Chop coconut so it's roughly the same size as the bread crumbs (I used my food processor)

Combine the coconut, bread crumbs, and spiced in a shallow dish.  Stir well to make sure everything is evenly distributed.

Place the flour in a shallow dish and the eggs in another shallow dish.  Whisk the eggs.

Working with one chicken tender at a time, dredge the chicken in flour, shaking off any excess.  Then dip in the egg, again shaking off any excess.  Roll in the bread crumb/coconut mixture, gently pressing the mixture onto the chicken.  Place on the prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining chicken tenders.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until juices run clear, being careful not to overcook them.  If the tenders are smaller, the time might be closer to 15 minutes, whereas if you have larger tenders, it could take closer to 25 minutes, so keep a close eye on them.  Either way, the coconut and bread crumbs will be lightly golden brown and crispy.

Dipping Sauce


1 c apricot-pineapple preserves
2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp curry powder

Whisk together for a great dipping sauce.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Easy Baked Chicken Parmesan

I got this recipe from my friend Melinda.  It is so easy and fabulous tasting!  It has great flavor and the croutons make a yummy topping.  I love how easy it is to make.  It would be a good recipe to make when you are entertaining because it can all be put together and in the oven with no last minute things to do.  Thanks Melinda - once again you gave me a winner!

Easy Baked Chicken Parmesan
from Chef John


2 TBSP olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
hot red pepper flakes, to taste
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or however many you need)
2 c bottled Marinara Sauce
1/4 c chopped fresh basil (or if using dried, about 1 TBSP)
8 oz shredded mozzarella
4 oz grated Parmesan
1 (5oz) package garlic croutons

Pour olive oil into bottom of a 9X13 pan.  Add garlic and swirl it around to coat bottom of pan.  Sprinkle on red pepper flakes (to taste).  Lay the chicken breasts in the pan.  Cover with the sauce.  Sprinkle on the basil.   Top with half the mozzarella and half the Parmesan.  Spread the croutons over the top, then add the rest of the mozzarella and Parmesan.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Banana Nutella Panini

I found a very simple treat to whip together at a moment's notice - and it was yummy!  It would be a wonderful casual dessert or a delicious breakfast treat!  If you have Nutella on hand and bananas and white bread - you are set!  We had it for our family night treat last night.  We will be making it again soon.


Banana Nutella Panini
adapted from Everyday Food Magazine


1/4 c Nutella
8 slices of bread - could be a nice dense white bread, brioche, or challah - which we used
3 firm-ripe bananas, thinly sliced
1/4 c butter

Spread 1 TBSP of Nutella on 4 slices of bread.  Layer with bananas and top with remaining bread.

Melt the butter and brush on top and bottom of sandwiches.  Cook in a frying pan, pressing down on top with a heavy skilllet to create the panini, flipping when bread is golden brown and spread is melted.  (I used our George Forman grill - it worked great!)  Serve warm.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Black Beans & Rice with Chicken and Apple Salsa

My daughter told me about this recipe.  It is so delicious and good for you!  I love the fresh flavors of the apple salsa and the zip of the lime juice.  I really liked the mixture of the different flavors and textures. This is definitely one we will have again soon!



Black Beans & Rice with Chicken and Apple Salsa
from Our Best Bites


1 c chopped peeled Granny Smith apple
1/4 c chopped cilantro, divided
1/3 c finely chopped red onion, divided
2 limes
1/3 c finely chopped green bell pepper
1-2 TBSP olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
 1 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1 13.5 ounce can chicken broth
2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups cooked brown or white rice
1 rotisserie chicken, or 4 grilled chicken breasts
4-6 lime wedges

Combine apple, cilantro, 2 TBSP onion, and the juice from half a lime.  Sprinkle with a little kosher salt and black pepper.  Set aside.

Combine remaining onion, bell pepper, and oil in a large skillet.  Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until completely softened, 6-7 minutes.  Add garlic and next 3 ingredients; stir constantly for 2 minutes (I only cooked it for about 30 seconds so the garlic wouldn't burn).  Stir in broth and beans; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium; simmer briskly, mashing some of the beans with the back of a spoon or fork, stirring often, until sauce is thickened, 8-10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and a big squeeze of lime juice (I put in a lot!)  Divide rice and beans among plates.  Top with some chicken and apple salsa.  Garnish with additional cilantro and lime wedges.  Serves 4-6.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Baked Lemon Chicken

I was blog hopping and found this recipe.  I am a sucker for anything lemon - and thought I needed to try this one out.  We really loved it.  It's amazing the difference in taste and texture when you cook chicken pieces with the bones and skin attached.  The skin was crispy and delicious and the meat was so moist and juicy.  I loved the light lemony flavor.   This was a really easy and delicious dinner!

Baked Lemon Chicken
from Annie's Eats


2 TBSP lemon zest
1/3 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves (I didn't have any, so I left it out)
1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2-4 lbs of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks
2-3 TBSP melted butter
Thinly sliced lemons, for garnishing

Directions:
Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper in a large zip-lock plastic bag.  Seal the bag and shake well to blend.  Place the chicken pieces int he bag with the marinade, pressing out excess air and sealing once more.  Refrigerate and let marinate for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Remove the chicken pieces  from the marinade and transfer to a baking dish, skin-side up, reserving the leftover marinade.  Brush the top of each piece of chicken with melted butter.

Bake for 50-55 minutes, until the skins are crispy and well-browned (mine was getting pretty dark so I took it out after 45 minutes).  Halfway through baking, pour the remaining marinade over the chicken pieces in the baking dish.  Once fully baked, cover loosely with foil and let rest 10 minutes before serving.  Transfer to a serving platter, garnish with lemon slices and serve.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Potato, Ham and Spinach Frittata

I found this recipe in the February issue of Real Simple Magazine.  It looked good, so I made it tonight.  Wow!  We REALLY loved it!  It has amazing flavor and is good for you.  (It is listed as a low-calorie recipe)  I really love it when new recipes exceed expectations.  Yahoo!  I highly recommend it.  It is a keeper.
Tip: To turn out nice even potato and onion slices quickly, use a food processor fitted with a slicer blade.

Potato, Ham and Spinach Frittata
From Real Simple Magazine


2 TBSP olive oil
2 small russet potatoes (about 3/4 lb), peeled and thinly sliced (For me it was 1 big potato and I quartered it so it would fit in the food processor tube.
1 small onion, thinly sliced
9 large eggs
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 10-oz. pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
4 ounces white Cheddar, grated (1 cup) (I had some wonderful Cougar-Gold White Cheddar from Christmas, but you can buy sharp white cheddar in most stores - great flavor!)
4 oz. thinly sliced deli ham, cut into 2-inch pieces


Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Heat the oil in a large oven-proof nonstick skillet over medium heat (I used a cast iron frying pan).  Add the potatoes and onion and cook, tossing occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 12-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Mix in the spinach, cheddar, and ham.

Add the egg mixture to the skillet, stir once, and transfer the skillet to oven.  Cook until the eggs are set, 12-14 minutes.  (It took longer for my eggs to set - I think my pan was smaller)  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Light Sweet Potato Casserole


We have loved Sweet Potato Casserole for holidays over the years.  When I looked at the calorie count and the fat content of the recipes we have been using - I about died!  Holy Cow!  They are so high!  I went on a search this last Thanksgiving and found this light version.  We had them for Thanksgiving and again for Christmas.  I really liked them!  They aren't as rich or sweet as the original, but you can taste the sweet potatoes a little more and they are SO yummy- I couldn't stop eating them!  


Light Sweet Potato Casserole
from Cooking Light

Potatoes:
2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
3/4 c granulated sugar
1/4 c evaporated low-fat milk (I just used skim milk)
3 TBSP butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
cooking spray

Topping:
1/3 c all-purpose flour
2/3 c packed brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 TBSP melted butter
 1/2 c chopped pecans

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

To prepare potatoes, place potatoes in a dutch oven; cover with water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until tender; drain.  Cool 5 minutes.

Place potatoes in a large bowl; add granulated sugar, evaporated milk, 3 TBSP melted butter, 1/2 tsp salt, and vanilla.  Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.  Add eggs; beat well.  Pour potato mixture into a 9X13 baking pan coated with cooking spray.

To prepare topping, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife.  Combine flour, brown sugar, and 1/8 tsp salt; stir with a whisk.  Stir in 2 TBSP melted butter.  Sprinkle flour mixture evenly over potato mixture; arrange pecans evenly over top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or just until golden.  

Preheat broiler (remove casserole from oven)

Broil casserole 45 seconds or until topping is bubbly.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Toasted Coconut-Golden Oreo Cookie Balls

I saw this on the Kraft Foods site and, as always, had my interest piqued by the word COCONUT!  I made this last week and they are yummy.  I would like to try them again with everything the same, except use regular Oreo cookies instead of the golden ones.  I think the chocolate - coconut combination would be good! (Note: I just made them with the chocolate oreos and LOVED them!  They are less sweet and are very delicious - I liked them better this way) These were very fun to make and turned out so pretty!

I found the cute snow-flake papers at Walmart

Toasted Coconut-Golden Oreo Cookie Balls
Adapted from Kraft Foods

1 pkg (8 oz) Cream Cheese, softened
32 Golden Oreo Cookies, finely crushed (about 3 cups) A food processor works great
1 1/2  c coconut, toasted, divided
1 bag of good quality white chocolate chips, melted

Mix cream cheese, cookie crumbs and 1 cup of the coconut until well blended.
Shape into 42 (1-inch) balls.  (I used a 1 TBSP measuring spoon and it came out to be the perfect sized balls, but I only got 26 balls instead of 42)
Dip in melted chocolate.  Place balls in a single layer in a shallow waxed paper-lined pan.  Sprinkle with remaining coconut before the chocolate sets up.
Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.

To easily coat balls with the melted chocolate, add balls, in batches to bowl of melted chocolate.  Use 2 forks to roll balls in chocolate until evenly coated.  Remove balls with forks, letting excess chocolate drip back into bowl.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Roasted Sweet Potato Salsa

My daughter found this in a magazine ( actually it was her husband who found it and asked her to make it).  She loved it, so I gave it a try.  What a wonderfully refreshing change from normal salsa!  So good for you too.  It is amazingly sweet - roasting the sweet potatoes and onions brings out the natural sugars.  I think it would make a great appetizer for a party this Christmas.  I served it with tortilla chips, but it would be delicious on a chopped salad or on tacos (which my husband tried and loved).

 Cut the sweet potatoes and red onions into small diced pieces and drizzle with a little olive oil. Roast about 20 minutes.


Roasted Sweet Potato Salsa
Everyday Food Magazine


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together 1 large sweet potato (1 lb) peeled and diced small, 1 red onion, diced small, and 1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil.  Roast until sweet potato is tender and browned in spots, about 20 minutes.  Transfer to a large bowl and let cool completely.

Add 1 medium tomato, diced small, 1 avocado, diced small, 2 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro, and 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (from 2 limes).  Season with coarse salt and toss to combine.  Makes 4 cups.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Quick and Easy Homemade Hash Browns


My daughter had a hard time finding frozen hash browns when she lived in Florida.  She started making them this way and found that it takes only a few more minutes than the frozen ones and tastes SO much better!  I am a believer - I have made them many times since she told me how to do this. They  make a great side-dish to any meal.  They really are so simple and delicious!


Quick and Easy Homemade Hash Browns

2 lbs potatoes
1/4 c vegetable oil
salt and pepper or other seasonings of choice

Wash and dry potatoes, leaving skins on.  Cut into 1/2" cubes and toss with the oil in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave them for about 5 minutes - stirring half way through.  

Pour into a non-stick skillet (I have tried it in a regular pan - don't do it!  What a mess!).  If a little more oil is needed, add it.  Season with salt and pepper and cook until the potatoes are well browned, then carefully turn the potatoes and allow them to brown on the other side.  

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