Thursday, June 26, 2014

Steamed Salmon

Look at how unique and yet simple it is to make this steamed Salmon. Ready in less than 15 minutes and individually wrapped and steamed in its own marinade. Allowing the flavor to absorb and cook into it. Really a tasty way to eat your salmon. Very full of flavor, extremely moist and juicy.

To make this, you will need:
Salmon fillets
1 tsp soy sauce (per salmon fillet)
1 tsp white wine (per salmon fillet)
Seasonings such as: salt, white pepper, oregano, sesame seeds, garlic powder

Take aluminum foil and tear them into nice sized square pieces. Each to fit 1 piece of salmon; Brush each piece of foil with your finger lightly with oil, so that the salmon won't stick to the foil. Take your salmon and place it into the center of the foil as pictured above. One at a time season it individually whilst in the foil.

(it will help for you to cup the foil as for the liquids not to spill out.) start by sprinkling a pinch of each of your seasonings on every piece of salmon your salt,  pepper, garlic powder, oregano and sesame seeds, soy sauce and cooking wine all on top of your salmon fillet. (NO need to flip over and do the other side, just season the top) Now close all of your salmon pieces inside of the aluminum foil as pictured below (ensuring that it is tightly closed as to not have all your delicious seasonings to spill out)

Get a pot and a strainer to create a double boiler. Turn your fire on high heat (This is done by getting a pot and putting water in it, and then getting a strainer with holes to sit your salmon on, so that it doesn't directly touch the water. Your salmon will be sitting on the strainer as pictured below getting the steam from the water underneath it.) Cover and let steam for about 13 minutes.

You will know that your salmon is cooked because salmon is naturally a dark pinkish color. When  cooked it becomes a very pale pink color. 
Be sure to not overcook your salmon because this will make it dry and tough.

From my kitchen to yours
God Bless

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Herb crusted chicken

I made this Herb crusted chicken the other day and couldn't stop thinking about it. My husband loved it.Quick and easy to make in just a few simple steps.This chicken has so much flavor from the mixture of herbs and yet remains very juicy because of the cracker crust protection over it. Enjoy this with rice, potatoes, pasta, alone or with just about anything. It will light up any side dish served alongside it.

Here is how you can make this:

1 tray Chicken thighs ( preferably boneless)
1 pack salt crackers ( any salt crackers are fine 'Ritz','Town house')
1/2 onion
1/2 green pepper
4 cloves garlic
3 fresh basil leaves
seasonings: olive oil, salt, pepper,sage,oregano

Preheat oven to 350F/170C

Take your salt crackers and crumble them into a plate or bowl. Set aside.

clean your chicken and then lightly season it with  your salt, pepper, sage & oregano powders and a drizzle of olive oil to help the seasonings to stick.

Then take a food processor (or a blender for those of you who do not own a food processor) and throw in your onion, pepper, garlic & basil and process or blend until it is a type of liquidy paste. Take this paste and rub it one by one all over your chicken thighs until they are all well covered . Take each chicken one by one and pat them down onto the cracker crumble that you had set aside. For it to cover the chicken as pictured above. do the same to both sides of the chicken.
Now place it in the oven uncovered for about 45 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. Enjoy

From my kitchen to yours
God Bless

Friday, June 13, 2014

Is the quickest way always the best way? Part III

As you have been following my posts, in the continuation to the topic of: Is it better to do things in a quick and easy way, or to go the extra mile and do it the harder yet longer way? As I mentioned in the last post the easy way is not always best. Those who achieved great things in life had to push through hard situations to make something of themselves. As in the picture below. I love what it says. It captivates the message of what I am talking about 'Go over, go under, go around, or go through. But never give up'.

Now bringing this message to a cooking stand point, As this is a cooking blog after all...  It is never good to take the easy route even when cooking. I understand that at times we can be really busy and have lots to do. No one wants to spend their entire day in a kitchen in front of a stove. I completely understand that. But to become a person who does everything in the kitchen in a too easy, laid back fashion is also not good. 

"When does practical become too practical?" 

When cooking always take your time with each thing. If you are washing the dishes - wash it thoroughly. Don't rush through it. When you cook a meal - Do just that, cook the meal... take your time and season it with your salt, pepper, parsley, garlic, onion, paprika, lemon pepper, spices and whatever seasonings you enjoy. Don't just grab a seasoning bag with a million seasonings mixed into one and use that.You don't know how much % of each seasoning is in that jar, sachet or cube, it may contain all sorts of other seasonings that may not be healthy for your body such as Monosoduim Glutamate (MSG) which is found in most seasoning mixes, (More on that another day). Don't just grab a pre seasoned anything, whether it be jar, cube, sachet or whatever else. Create your own homemade. Cook your food over the fire/stove or in the oven. Take your time and follow the recipe paying attention to every detail, why rush through it?

Don't try to find the quickest way to do it just to get it done and over with. It takes away from that delicious home made taste; compromises the healthiness of the dish, as well as making you too practical of a person. Anything done in excess is wrong. There needs to be a balance. For instance - I have seen people cooking almost everything in the microwave 'literally' scrambled eggs, omelets, chicken, fish, hot dogs, all sorts of vegetables, rice, mashed potatoes, desserts etc. I mean not heating up an already cooked meal. But actually getting these things raw and actually cooking it in the microwave. With a stove and an oven right there in front of them. Because its quicker... I have seen others buying their meat already pre-seasoned for them, buying rice, veggies and everything else already pre cut, pre seasoned etc. These things are not good for your health. 
The 1950s women
The 2014 woman
Since when has humanity revolutionized so much that we don't even have time to cook a decent HOME MADE meal anymore. The grocery store has to pick out, cut, season, wash and half way cook the food for us too? next were going to have machines in the kitchen cooking the meals and setting the table too.  If you take a look back from the times of the bible all the way to your parents or grandparents. Meals were done fresh, at home, cooked from scratch with no additives, not pre-cut, pre seasoned, pre cooked, microwave zapped or anything else. No... the food was done with care and patience, tender, full of taste, fresh, and aromatic. Because everything was done with love and from beginning to end. These women or men were not looking to find the quickest way to get it done and over with. They were looking for the best way to provide a delicious meal for their family. We need to do the same.

Don't choose the quick way in the kitchen, decide to choose the better way
'Go the extra mile, its less crowded'
From my kitchen to yours
God bless

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Is the quickest way always the best way? Part II

Of course, on any given day a person in their right mind would want to take the quick or easy way out of anything. Thats human nature. But Unique - is to be the person who does differently. The one who goes against the wave and chooses to take the harder path knowingly. Positive that it will give a more rewarding result.

Take a look at history. Those who were successful in achieving something big, had to think outside the box; persevere beyond their own limitations and reach toward a goal even higher then themselves. It was never easy... Research their story, walk a day in their shoes, ask the questions. I guarantee that each one will tell you the same thing.

'It is hard to achieve the impossible'

Albert Einstein - Insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results
Thomas Edison - I haven't failed I just found 10,000 ways that don't work
Richard Branson - failure is just a reason to try again
Apostle Paul - I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith
Jesus - Please take this cup from me, but nevertheless let not my will but yours be done.
Milton Berle - If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door.

In all of these quotes you see behind it difficult moments in their lives. Hurdels they had to jump over, tears they had to cry. All for this greater purpose they endured. So 'Is the quickest way always the best way?' No! Defiently not.
If you want results to look back at and be proud of, you definitely will need to take that hard road ahead.

I know this is a cooking blog, but hang on I am going somewhere with this

Follow the continuation in part III tomorrow

Is the quickest way always the best way?

There is always the 'Easy way' and the 'Hard way'. This applies for everything in life. You will always have these two options in front of you to choose from. Do something quicker and get it out of the way or work harder, push stronger, exert all your energy and get it done better, but take a little longer. 

Taking the 'Easy' Road
  • choosing not to get married or stay married because 'it's too hard' to maintain
  • follow the crowd, use drugs, drink, smoke & party because thats what everyone else is doing
  • sleeping around recklessly not waiting for the 'right one'
  • not putting a filter on your words, 'whatever comes up, comes out'
  • choosing not to believe in a Higher Power

 Its simply the easier thing to do at that moment. Not only are you cheating yourself but you are also not pushing yourself to reach your full potential, nor are you creating something to last a lifetime. 

Taking the 'Hard' Road
  • Choosing to battle it out, no matter the situation, choosing to be the bigger person and fight for what you know is right to do
  • fighting every thought in you to just throw life in the air and just go be reckless and free doing what you want.
  • In most cases and from a human standpoint loosing the fight 
  • enduring ridicule, hard moments, times when you feel there is not a soul alive that believes in you, with a smile on your face and still continuing your fight pushing forward knowing it will be all worth it in the end

Taking the hard road requires a lot more effort. For this you need to get your mind straight. Wrap your mind around the idea and push hard with "One Goal- All your Strength" putting everything you have in you to reach your target. Taking the hard road most times is not easy. Because you are often despised, ridiculed, put down by others who think you won't make it 

The only difference between the easy road and the hard road is the results...
For the easy road your results are just as much effort as you put into it... None... but for the hard road your results are well worth the wait, its rewarding to see that all the effort you put into achieving these goals payed off. Its the laws of physics. What you put into it is what you will get out of it. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

CookieButter Cupcake

Cookie butter cupcakes, these things were delicious. I mean DELICIOUS. Its a cupcake that tastes like cookie. I made a basic cake follow this recipe   and bake it instead in your cupcake pan for 20 minutes; then I added the most ultimate topping 'cookie butter ' a frosting to the cake. This was amazingly good; Unfortunately, I don't have a recipe yet for the cookie butter but I can tell you where you can buy it here in America. Those of you who are not in America… Sorry : - (  

This is cookie butter, it can be found in a store called trader joes here in the U.S but is also known as biscoff spread in some areas of Europe. This is a really good spread to use on cakes, cookies, bread and almost anything else. What I did was pipped it on top of my freshly baked cupcakes and there you go. Simple and yummy.

From my kitchen to yours
God Bless

Friday, April 25, 2014

Peanut butter and Jelly cupcakes

Have you ever had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Its such a customary american snack. Most eat it for breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner. But how about a peanut butter and jelly cupcake? Some peoples first impression of the name was 'Yuck!!! Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcake' but it is actually really good. This is how its made.

Firstly follow my basic cake recipe and then to the batter add in peanut butter and bake as directed. Once that is done get the jam of your choice and inject it in the center by making a tiny hole and filling it with your jam. Here I chose to use strawberry jam but you can use grape or whatever else. 

From my kitchen to yours
God Bless

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Stuffed Meatloaf

I used Ground turkey meat to make my meatloaf instead of ground beef to be healthier. but It came out amazing and at the same time very presentable cut up into neat slices that showcase all the layers of the meatloaf. This meatloaf was juicy not dry and packed with flavor. I ate so much and still wanted more. A must try for everyone. Here is the recipe.

ground beef or ground turkey
sliced deli ham and turkey
seasonings of your choice (salt, pepper, all purpose seasoning, black pepper)

How to make it
Preheat oven to 350F or 175C. Put your raw meat into a large bowl and lightly add in your seasonings a little at a time ( bearing in mind that cheese naturally has a little salt and oil already. Be careful to not over season) Once you added in all of your seasonings, with your hands mix it all in together until all incorporated

To stuff it:
Now lay your meat out onto a large surface and flatten it out into a large rectangle. In the center of your rectangle put your stuffing which is the ham and turkey slices and cheese. Place a nice layer of that in the center of your meat and then from one corner to the other start rolling it; securing the stuffing in the center. The good thing about this is that if your roll slightly falls apart; it is sticky and can easily regain its shape. So just roll it up into a big roll rechecking that none of your fillings are falling out of the sides.

Take an oven tray and lightly brush the bottom of it with a little oil just to make sure your meat doesn't stick to the bottom. Now place your stuffed meatloaf on the oiled oven tray and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes or until the top of the meatloaf is nice and golden brown and cooked all the way through.(no pink showing)

Now remove it from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Once you are ready to serve it; slice it up and it will be round little circles as pictured above, showing all that yummy melted cheese and deli meat inside.
Print Recipe
From my kitchen to yours
God Bless

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Oreo Cookie Cupcakes

Are you an oreo cookies fan? My brother in law 'Leonardo' is the biggest oreo fan I have ever seen. There is never enough oreos in the world for him. No matter what flavor - double stuffed or not. He loves himself some oreos  : - )

Just the other day I decided to make oreo cookie cupcakes and boy! Oh boy! did they come out delicious. I crushed up some redo and put it in the batter and I made a vanilla icing on top and then topped it off with 1 whole oreo cookie. Really yummy; they tasted just like an oreo cookie cake. Here is how you can make your own.

1 pack oreo cookies
1 cups powdered confectionary sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp clear vanilla extract

How to make it:
Preheat oven to 350F. Follow my basic cake recipe then: Take half of your oreo cookies packet and scrape off the inside (the filling) from all of your cookies and take only the chocolate cookies itself and crumb them up and throw them into your cake batter once you are completely done following the recipe above. Mix it all in and put them into your muffin trays. Bake in cupcake trays for 25 minutes in the oven. (Do Not over bake or it will harden) ( if you are not making muffins, then just put it into a cake tin and bake in the oven as usual, exactly as is described on the basic cake recipe above)

While your cupcakes are baking in the oven work on making the icing. In a big bowl using an electronic mixer. Mix in your confectionary sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Mix it well until it is like a frosting. Frost the top of your cupcake with it once its done and then top it off with your oreo cupcakes and your done.
From my kitchen to yours

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Orange cupcake

Picture this: An orange flavored cupcake filled with soft milk chocolate and covered with a really good cream cheese frosting; decorated with an orange chocolate leaf on top.This was really, really fun to make and didn't take much time to do at all. You can do the same but flavor your cupcake, filling and frosting however you want. To get your own unique blend of flavors. I absolutely loved mine.

Play with your cake flavors, why only try vanilla cake when there are a world of flavors out there. Take this basic cake recipe which I use for almost anything and add vanilla extract to make it vanilla, add chocolate or strawberry powder to make it that flavor or even replace the milk for your pinnacle or orange juice to make it that flavor.

To make this orange cake. Follow my basic cake recipe just DO NOT ADD VANILLA EXTRACT and in the place of the milk add instead 1 cup orange juice. Put your cake in muffin pans and bake in the oven for 25 min. Once they are done use a cupcake filler and pipe in your filling. 
After you filled it, make your cream cheese frosting by following the recipe here  and use this frosting to pipe nicely on top of your cupcakes. If you don't have the cake tips or pipping bags like mine. Be creative and make a small hole in the cake and add in your filling and for the frosting use a knife and spread your frosting on top.

Then what I did was I got a chocolate mold and used orange colored chocolate chips and melted it in the microwave for 30 seconds and put it on the mold, and placed it in the freezer for about 5 minutes to create these shapes and designs; and put it nicely on top of the cupcake. Look at these cool cupcakes.

From my kitchen to yours
God Bless

Basic Cake Recipe

This basic cake recipe can be used for almost any cake. You can add to it or take away from it in order to get the flavor you desire. Here is your recipe: It comes out nice and super fluffy. Really an irresistible cake.

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 3/4 cup flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350F, in a mixing bowl put in your butter and sugar and mix well until smooth, then add in your eggs and mix again until nice and creamy, add flour and mix, add baking powder and mix again then add in your vanilla and mix and lastly add your milk and mix it well.

Butter and flour your cake pan and pour in your mixture. Bake in the oven for 45 min.
Print Recipe
From my kitchen to yours
God Bless

Friday, April 4, 2014

Honey Citrus Salmon

Quick and easy with very minimal ingredients.

2 Boneless Salmon fillet
1/2 tsp Honey
1 Orange
1 Lemon
Seasonings (salt, white pepper, garlic powder)

Simply season your salmon to perfection with a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Once its seasoned, in a frying pan under medium-low heat, pan fry your salmon for 3 minutes on each side.
'Do Not Overcook your salmon or else it will get tough.' Set it aside while you work on your sauce.

Take your lemon and your orange, squeeze out as much juice as you can from each of them. Put that juice into a small pot; and cook on medium heat, until it starts to boil. Once boiling take your add in your honey, mix and cook for about 8 minutes until the sauce thickens into a syrup. Coat your fish with this sauce or serve it on the side.
Print Recipe
From my kitchen to yours
God Bless

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ideas on plating the food

Presentation is the key. If you worked hard at making it, then work hard at presenting it to show how hard you actually worked at it. One thing I learned in culinary school is that a person will buy something first with their eyes. Take yourself for instance when you go to a bakery, restaurant or anywhere that serves of sells food. How do you know what you want. In most cases you see it and fall in love with its appearance or how delicious it looks that you end up getting it. You don't know how it tastes yet. But you already love it.
Get this by placing your food in the center of the plate and lightly drizzling the sauce & oils all around your food

Then you buy it and you either  love it or hate it after you take your first few bites. Sometimes you'll hate it. You think it tastes horrible, nothing compared to how it looked etc. But you bought it. Because of how it looked.
take your food and neatly decorate it cater-cornered on your plate, use different colored vegetables ( raw or cooked) to get the vibrant colors you like and cut up tiny pieces of chives or baby spring onions or any herb. To create the line.

Sometimes you go through all the hard work of preparing the food but then because you don't know how to properly plate it  you end up having your food presentation looking a mess. In this post I am going to teach you different ways that you can actually fix the food on the plate. To make it look more than amazing. Amazing enough where people don't want to touch it because it looks like a work of art as in these pictures below will show it.  To be honest even I myself need to take more time to plate the food better than I do.
Stack your rice, meat and veggies all in layers in the center of your plate and with your meat or veggie sauce/oils or any dressing, dipping sauce you want create this half circle by lightly drizzling it in place around your stacked food.
Kkkkk…. My husband is to blame for that kkkkk…. I love fixing the plate as in these pictures but he gets anxious to eat the delicious food that he won't wait for me to make it look nice on a plate. He could care less for the presentation. But look at it… I am one who really, really does care for presentation. though everyone is different I am sure that the biggest majority is of those who do care how their food is presented on a plate. Call me picky if you want but if the food does not look presentable. I am not touching it. If I do touch it ; its with a lot of ahhhhhhh….. I wish I didn't have to.
Do this with your food or dessert using any type of sauces or liquids. In this picture they were creative in using caramel. Just squeezing it out of the bottle in a zig zag motion will do the job. To make it a thicker consistency try refrigerating it a little to make it a bit harder before squeezing.
Pay attention to all the detail in these pictures. You can use any food, or anything edible to create these designs, colors and shapes on your plate. Play around with ideas. Uses sauces, creams, fruit, vegetables, oils etc. to create these swirly lines or funny dipping shapes and designs.
Look at this one. Absolutely genius. It looks as if someone just poured this light caramel sauce all over the plate. But look how gorgeous. You can lightly pour it on your plate neatly cleaning around the edges with paper towel to define the pour. Then place your food or dessert all around the poured out sauce.
Looking at these pictures above. If you have money and go to a restaurant just by the look of these amazing plating skills you would pay top dollar no matter how much it is just to try it. Because look how gorgeous it is. All of these things can be easily done at home. There is no huge secret or machines that make it look this nicely. Its just creativity and a person using their hands to make it as beautiful as they see it to be.
Take spoonful of your creamy styled sauce, mustard or anything you will use and put a big drop on your plate. Now with the back part of your spoon, push downward and drag forward to make this sideward droop look. Now plate your dish all around the droops 
So next time you cook don't ever just serve your food straight from the pot or just throw it on a plate with a wooden spoon, or just sit in front of the TV eating it any kind of way. It took your time to cook this great dish. Serve it whether it be to yourself or to others with beauty. This gives you much more joy and pleasure in eating this 5 star dish made from home.
I love this one, here you have what seems to be a perfectly cooked piece of salmon and instead of laying it flat on the plate as usual it is standing on its side. Laying on a bed of fresh vegetables and decorated with edible flowers. Brilliant.

From my kitchen to yours

Ideas on setting the table

Sometimes you go through all the hard work of preparing the food but then because you don't know how to properly  set the table you end up having your presentation looking a mess. In this post I am going to teach you different ways that you can actually set your table. To make it look more than amazing. Amazing enough where people don't want to touch it because it looks like a work of art as in these pictures below.

After your food is all done and cooked. Be creative with fixing your table. Get some nice flowers, candles or anything you have to decorate and use as a center piece to your table. Look for your best dishes, the nicest ones. The best cups, forks, knives and spoons you have at home. and place it there on the table with love. One thing that really frustrates me is when people forget to put napkins on the table. Everyone needs napkins. I hate sitting to eat and then I need to wipe my mouth and there are no napkins. Ahhhhhh…… so annoying. So make sure you put napkins to clean the mouth, put some placemats.

If you don't have placemats look for some decorative paper, pillow cases or whatever you have at home to make it look nice. Be creative. If you don't have the money look around the house for what you think would work. If you do have the money then go out and get these timings. Its a necessity for when serving anyone from family to guests to well… Yourself… People I've lived with in the past laugh at me because even when I cook for myself if my husband is not home. I will set the table the same way and cook the best meal for myself. Hey! I deserve it too… : -)

So go all out and set up your table first even before the cooking  of the food and before the plating for the food. You need to have a well set table. Pay attention to the detail on all of the table settings. Notice they have a center piece, something drawing your attention on the table. Then notice they all have matching cups, utensils and plates, Notice how they are placed on the table. Mix and match your colors. Each table arrangement is different. Try your own way and do what you can with what you have.

If you want to go one step further you can even decorate your napkins into tons of different fun shapes, colors and designs. Check out this blog post on napkin folds

There is never no set design of how your table should be set. This is where creativity comes to play. Don't ever limit yourself. If you find it try to make it work, use a pretty sheet to cover your table if you don't have a table cloth and have no money, and different colored pillow cases as your placemat. You see. No one has an excuse to have a poorly set table. Try your hardest. The more joy you put into creating this master piece the prettier it will come out. If you have the money then go be creative and find a color theme, set it up with different colored pebbles, rose peddles, marbles, flowers, candles or anything else. 

Another nice thing to do is leave a treat on top of each nicely folded napkin. Whether it be a nice note, a mint, chocolate a small gift or anything else. Depending on the occasion go the extra mile. Especially for guests. Be hospitable and give your all. But to have a properly served table shouldn't be only when you have guests come over. You should constantly have a set table when eating. As I mentioned above. Whether it be just for you yourself , family or for a group of people.

From my kitchen to yours

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Neapolitan Cake

Just the other day I made a cake with 3 flavors in the batter. Strawberry, chocolate and vanilla. Boy oh boy was it good, and look how cool it looks with all the swirls. I chose these 3 flavors cause its what I had at home and I thought it would look cool but you can choose whatever colors you want and you can use as many colors as you see fit; and make it a super cool rainbow cake. kkkkk…. just don't mind the hideous florescent blue icing I used kkkk… its all I had at home and I didn't feel like running to the store to get food coloring or anything else. So blue icing it is. The point is that the neapolitan cake was amazingly good blue icing or not : - )

To get this cake all you need to do is make a fresh batch of cake from scratch. Here is one of my basic cake recipes. Then you will separate your cake batter into as many bowls you want ( each bowl will be colored a different color) You will use food coloring/ food dye to color your cake batter each a different color. I used pink, brown and yellow ( but I didn't have food coloring so what I did instead was use chocolate powder, strawberry powder and vanilla to make my flavors Neapolitan as well as to make the colors different.

Preheat your oven to 350F or 175C and After mixing in your colors to each bowl. Grease and flour your cake tin and then you need to carefully layer your colors on top of each other in the tin one at a time until its all done. For example: Put one layer of pink,  then on top of that yellow,  on top of that brown then go again pink, yellow, brown  or whatever colors you are using. etc. until the entire batter is gone. Do not mix in your colors AT ALL once in the tin. Follow the cake recipe above and bake in the oven for 45 minutes until done. Your done and ready to serve. Eat it just as it is or frost it and serve,Once you cut into the middle you will get to see your rainbow design. 

Try using a variety of bright colors to get a really nice, fun, colorful cake.
From my kitchen to yours
God Bless

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