Category Archives: Main Course

Sloppy Joes-Bagel Style

Sloppy Joes-Bagel Style

I must give credit to my beautiful mama. She always has the best dinner ideas when I fail to let my mind come up with…well anything. I have many days where coming up with a dinner “idea” is challenging for me. Those are also the days I love to sleep in, lay in pj’s all day and watch romantic movies and not clean an item in my house. :)

Anyway, my mom brought this idea to the table and we devoured it. It was so delicious and a quick last minute option.

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Sloppy Joes used to be my nemesis when I was younger. For some reason they scared me to death and looked like meat out of a can almost like spam. Who wants meat from a can with the name “sloppy”? You get my drift, I must have been caught up on the name for years. The name itself is entirely unappealing. Who want’s ‘Sloppy’ and a Joe in their dinner? Lets be real here, how did this name even come to fruition?

But through time, a lot of time, I sure learned that you can spice up the flavor and make it taste like a delicious spaghetti sandwich without the pasta. It is wonderfully flavored and easy eating, well not so much in the sense of the “sloppiness” but more in the full-flavor making it easy. Make sense? Good, lets move on.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Ground Turkey
  • 1 tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 Small Onion
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Coriander
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1 Spoonful Brown Sugar
  • 1 Can Tomato Sauce
  • 1/3 Cup Ketchup
  • 1/4 cup Dijon Mustard

In a large sauce pan begin cooking the turkey, minced garlic and onion. Add in chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic salt, coriander and water.

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Allow to simmer until the meat is fully browned.

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Once the meat is cooked, add in the tomato sauce and brown sugar.

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Keep at a low simmer and add in mustard and ketchup.

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Once everything is stirred in, allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes.

Meanwhile butter your bagel and sprinkle with garlic salt. Toast in a toaster oven and top with Sloppy Joe mix. Sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

Sloppy Joes 6You can also serve upon a non-freezer-burned Ciabatta roll.

Let’s set the mood.

Originally these sloppy joes were to be served upon a nice garlic toasted ciabatta roll. Once toasted and ready to devour, I about lost my cookies with one single bite that made it directly back out of my mouth and into the sink. I had not eaten cookies, but it was that bad, my tummy was about to lose cookies that hadn’t even been eat. Yes it was that bad. It was horrible, so horrible!

Out it came and on with the better idea to stack it with a bagel.

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I’ll try not to disgust you with my loosing-of-the-cookies next time I experience a horrific taste in my mouth!

Buffalo Blue Cheese Chicken Burger

Buffalo Blue Cheese Chicken Burger

First and foremost, lets talk about the pink decor. I know your gawking at the beautiful plates that you have failed to see the delicious burger that rests upon your fingertips. This plate is associated with out camping gear. We went camping and this delicious dinner sat rest on the presence of a wonderful bright-pink-plate. Yahoo!

These burgers my friends were amazing and by far the best camping burger that anyone would be impressed.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 Chicken Burgers
  • 4 Ciabatta Buns
  • Onion, sliced
  • Pickles, sliced
  • Lettuce

Buffalo Blue Cheese Sauce

  • 1/4 cup Blue Cheese Crumbles
  • 1/2 cup Blue Cheese Dressing
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Pepper
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce

In a small bowl, mix together Buffalo Blue Cheese Sauce. Set aside.

Cook chicken according to package instructions. I bought our from Costco. They are already cooked and needed to be grilled.

Toast bun and smoother on buffalo sauce and layer toppings.

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Be prepared to be wowed and devour.

Crunchy, flavorful and without too much spice = powerful!

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I prepped everything before we left for camping so all that needed to take place was grilling the chicken burger, toasting buns and layering all the ingredients. It was actually really easy and a wonderful camping meal.

Blackened Fish Fillets

Can you believe school is starting already? It’s crazy how quickly life passes by and how much quicker it goes with children.

He’s quite the little boy now, not so much a baby anymore. :( But he’s still beyond adorable. Clearly I am a bit biased towards my child. :)

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I love summer as there are countless opportunities for our family to partake in but by the time we accomplish these tasks, summer has flown by and we are scurrying around for last minute opportunities before the weather takes a turn for the worse.

Today was a perfect example. We took advantage of the great weather and went hiking at Forest park and went to brunch at a delicious crepe and coffee house.

Enjoying the weather, family time and good conversations- now that is what life is all about.

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And of course We have to love fall for the simple fact that football begins. Are any of you football fans? College? NFL or both? I prefer NFL but we do get our college share in as we do love watching Oregon play. Go Ducks.

Whose more enveloped in the TV watching?

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So even though our fabulous weather will be leaving quickly, I will continue to embrace my son still being young, innocent and a mama’s boy. Being able to avoid the hustle and bustle of last minute school shopping, fashionable clothes drama with your teenager trying to fight their way to the top of the popularity chart and worrying about their group of friends. Our biggest battle will be my creativity on outdoor adventures to keep my son busy, that’s a battle worth fighting right now. But I do believe when we reach the stage of teenage drama, I hope and pray we will have it a bit easier as boys are not as difficult as teenage girls. I’ve been there, done that….Haha my poor parents.

So with that in mind… let’s talk fish. :)

Ingredients:

  • 3 fillets, White fish
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/4 cup Half & Half
  • Dash of Italian seasoning for garnish (optional)

In a medium skillet, melt butter. Once melted add garlic salt, onion onion powder and smoked paprika. Stir constantly. Once slightly thickened, add half & half to mixture and continue to stir until sauce begins to bubble. Add fish and sear on each side for approximately 3-4 minutes on medium high heat.

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Served with sauteed mushrooms and quinoa salad.

Spicy Black Bean Burgers

Music in the park tonight, yup that was music not movies. As we continually have this discussion all throughout summer about our movie dates we officially ended the movie phase last week and now have transitioned to music nights.

We decided we would continue our Thursday Date Night Park Night (boy was that a mouthful) with whatever decides to land itself in the park and tonight happens to be music.

I had a light bulb moment today while hashing out picnic ideas to myself and a brilliant idea hit–black bean burgers with a titch of spice. Before I get started, I must confess that this idea came to me only, I repeat only because I just made black beans last night. What was I making black beans for you may ask, I’m not entirely sure, they just sounded scrumptious. There was no heartfelt pondering as to what I should make for our dinner park date but that does not mean love is not genuinely wrapped tightly in my non-heartfelt idea. :)

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First, let me just say that replacing lettuce for fresh green beans was by far the best idea I’ve had to date. I do not know how to express to you this transitional period in my life. Something about the sweet flavor of the beans along with the crunch lettuce holds, brought this sandwich to a WHOLE new level; unexplainable.

Now here are the magical ingredients for my delicious spicy black bean burgers–

Quantity = 4 burgers

Ingredients: 

  • 4 Ciabatta Buns
  • 2 Cups Black Beans
  • 1 Cup Quinoa
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Green Beans, chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Palm full Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 TBSP Garlic Salt
  • 1/2 TSP Sea Salt
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Crumbled Blue Cheese
  • 4 Slices of Cheese

Toppings:

  • Spicy Spread (optional)
  • Fresh Green Beans (replacement for lettuce)
  • Tomatoes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine oil, eggs, garlic, sea salt and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Mix well.

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Add in black beans, quinoa, green beans, tomatoes and cilantro.

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Add in cheese.

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Use a 1 cup measuring cup and scoop onto a cookie sheet. Pat down to make flat.

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Bake for 20-25 minutes until crispy. Remove from oven and top with cheese slices.

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Return to oven and heat until melted; 1-2 minutes.IMG_6705

Lets just say that the blue cheese crumbles melted within this giant black bean burger is to die for. You do not want to opt out of using blue cheese crumbles as this adds lots of flavor and pairs perfectly with the spicy spread.

Top your buns with a black bean burger, a large dollop of spicy spread, green beans and tomatoes. If you love the spicy spread as much as we do, fill each side of your bun with it as well. :)

IMG_6713This meal will knock your socks off guaranteed. Holy smokes you may want to call the fire department, it’s that sizzling good.

Summer Sausage and Orzo

Chicken flavored orzo with summer sausage and fresh vegetables.

The great thing with orzo is not only the incredible taste but the simple fact that it can be cooked in so many ways with numerous ways to flavor it. I absolutely love orzo. Mmmm so delicious and versatile.

This particular night, I cooked the orzo in chicken broth leaving the pasta flavored so beautifully that nothing needed to be added to the pasta; not even butter.

This meal is less than 30 minutes and is a very inexpensive option to serve the family for dinner.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb kielbasa sausage
  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • Orzo
  • 1 tbsp Better than bullion chicken flavored
  • Vegetables of choice

Bring water to a boil, add chicken stock and orzo. Follow package instructions on how long to cook.

Meanwhile, slice sausage, onions and mushrooms. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and add in minced garlic. Stir frequently to keep garlic from burning. Roast garlic for 2-3 minutes until fully cooked.

Keep the heat on medium and add in the onions and mushrooms. Continue to saute garlic mixture until onions and mushrooms are nice and tender.

Toss in sausage and heat through.

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Serve with vegetables and orzo and enjoy.

BLTA Grilled Cheese

Movie in the park date night entailed BLTA’s per the husbands request.

This particular night we wanted a delicious BLTA and received a mushy, soggy replica of what should be a crunchy sandwich. We reached the park, got settled in and began to open the cooler of delicious dinner remedies to fill our tummies. As I was scoping out the cooler and lifting and prodding to get to the sandwiches below the pile of chips, I encounter a white milky substance resembling my sons cup of milk. This liquid was all over everything. I mean everything.

I pull out the sandwiches which were wrapped in foil, to find a disaster of wet soggy bread. My sandwich was completely wasted and was not at all salvageable. My husbands on the other hand was partially ruined. He was gracious enough to share half of his half with me. We spent the rest of the time filling up on chip, nuts and chocolate. Although I had very little BLTA, the little I had was quite delicious.

I’ll be opting for another BLTA in the comfort of our own home soon!

Dinner equaled disappointment. Learn from me, do not put liquid near food while in a cooler.

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Ingredients:

  • Homemade bread (I did not have time for this last minute idea and used Dave’s Killer bread instead)

Homemade Garlic Butter:

  • Butter
  • Garlic Salt
  • Sea Salt
  • Italian Seasoning

Toppings:

  • Tomatoes
  • Bacon
  • Lettuce
  • Avocado
  • Cheese (optional)
  • Cucumbers (optional)

In a small bowl mix together butter, garlic salt, sea salt and Italian seasoning. I do this to taste depending on how many sandwiches I am making.

Spread on top of bread.

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On one half of each sandwich, place a slice of cheese.

Toast bread in a toaster oven or broil in regular oven at 550 degrees until nice and crispy.

Mash avocado and spread on top of the slice of bread without cheese.

IMG_5997Meanwhile, cook bacon and begin to layer your BLTA.

*For bacon tips click here
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Layer on cucumbers and tomatoes. (I used fresh cherry tomatoes from our garden)

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Top with lettuce and VIOLA you have an incredible BLTA grilled cheese sandwich. 

When packing and carrying your meals outside of the home, just remember not to place them by milk or any liquid for that matter that can spill. :) If you follow my instructions, you will be pleased.

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Even though our dinner was unsatisfying due to the spillage of milk, we still had a blast with our son and spending time together as a family. 
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While our sandwiches turned to a disaster, I also forgot Cooper’s meal sitting on the counter at home. So he partook in cashews and cranberries for his protein…..

Always crossing his legs….. like mother like son. :)

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Always a happy baby!

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Just goes to show how important family time is. With or without dinner, the night was still a success.

Mediterranean Chicken

I have been making this recipe for years and this recipe is still one of my most favorite meals. I absolutely love and adore this recipe. It’s a top hit with all our friends and family as well and mind you, this is the easiest recipe to date. It will blow your socks off.

It seems as of lately, I have had to step up my game with my sister and her weekly attendance at our abode. She has been seeking and searching for goodies and has officially been spoiled. This was on our lunch menu one afternoon after a long morning of swimming and walks to the river.

It was very satisfying and made everyone quite happy.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium Onion, yellow or red, chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 Cups Diced Tomatoes
  • 1/3 Cup EVOO
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano Cheese
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • Garlic salt
  • Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 1/2 Cups Gorgonzola Cheese Crumbles

In a skillet, add a smidgen of EVOO, onions and 1 tsp sugar for a little caramelization.  Slightly saute just until barely tender. Remove from heat and place in a small bowl to cool.

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Once onions are cooled, add tomatoes and 1/3 cup oil.

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Toss tomato mixture with Romano Cheese and refrigerate until needed.

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Meanwhile, cook chicken breasts either in the oven or pan fried; whichever you prefer. Season breasts with a generous amount of garlic salt, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook until no longer pink.

Once breasts are cooked, top with a generous scoop of the tomato mixture and sprinkle with Gorgonzola cheese.

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Viola– your meal is beautiful and delectable.

Pineapple Bacon Sausage Sandwich

Oh how I absolutely love grill season. Especially now that I do not count on my husband anymore. “I can do it myself” I proudly think to myself. No more waiting around for him to get home from work; now I can have dinner prepared before he gets home. Yahoo!

I bought these sausages from Costco but you can purchase them pretty much anywhere. They are precooked and have sweet pineapple and juicy bacon wrapped inside them. This grilled juicy sausage leaves for a crispy outside with extreme juice flowing on the inside. Oh my goodness, is your mouth watering yet? Yummy yum yum!

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Literally three ingredients is all you need. It is that easy. This meal is a 15 minute quick dinner (with the potatoes, 45 minutes).

From refrigerator to belly in a 25 minuets depending how quickly you gobble down your feast.

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The simplicity of it all brings out the flavors of the sausage, leaving this goodness– plain and simple.

Serve on a ciabatta roll which makes this even more delicious.

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Served this evening with pan friend potatoes…oh so delish’

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Feast your eyes and feast your belly! :) Yahoo take pleasure in the food you eat. Life becomes more enjoy able when we eat and drink with those we love and eat good food!

So here’s the scoop:

Ingredients: 

  • 4 Sausages, defrost if necessary
  • 4 Ciabatta rolls
  • Smidgen of Mayo

Grill the sausage on BBQ- if weather appropriate. I wouldn’t want you all standing outside in the rain and snow to enjoy a delicious sausage sandwich. You could also broil in the oven, boil or microwave though I’m least partial to the ladder.

Lightly toast your ciabatta rolls on the grill (or oven) and spread with a little mayo.

Slice the sausage lengthwise and lay flat on your buns. :) Viola, that simple! Really it sounds very unexciting but a good sausage brings a lot of flavor to enjoy and not be disguised by multiple ingredients. It is really delectable.

Than…. sit on your back porch and enjoy a beautiful sunset. While I was up visiting family, this was a similar meal we had and this was the scenery I was able to gratefully partake in.

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So beautiful! Though this scenery is entirely different than my backyard…I love enjoying the scenery from one house to another grateful that God has created a beautiful world that lies before us. IMG_5482

Red Enchiladas With Caramelized Onions

These enchiladas were by far an easy meal for a hot summer day with very little heat required. My sister came over for a summer swim in our pool, coffee talk, and mani/pedi time. We had a great day with wonderful laughs and good conversation. The kids played well together, and as always wear one another out.

Every time I cook with my sister around, a funny conversation takes place. She hates to cook. Seriously hates to cook. Her idea of a meal, is to have a smoothie, cereal, salad, or already prepared meal that someone else cooked. She loves to come over and enjoy the good stuff because she isn’t the one who made it. She loves my homemade goodies and meals as she knows I make most things from scratch.

I even sent her home with my cake pops last time she was here as I knew she would love them, but would never make them herself. I get the funniest messages from her while she is eating them in the confines of her own home. Oh how I love my sister, she’s funny in every way.

Today while she was here, I wanted to prep our dinner. In doing so this allows more time with my son and niece to prep while they are napping.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chicken, rotisserie works best on a hot day
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 can olives, sliced
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1 jar enchilada sauce (I used Trader Joe’s brand, I love the flavor)
  • 6-8 tortillas

Cook chicken and set aside. Begin to saute the onions in a skillet over medium heat. Once they start to become a little tender, add in the sugar to caramelize the onions.

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Stir in mushrooms and cook slightly, just until tender. Add in chopped olives and cooked chicken.

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Add in 1 cup cheese and half the jar of enchilada sauce. Split mixture up between 6-8 tortillas. Roll up and place in a greased 8×8 baking dish. Spread remainder of the enchilada sauce on top and sprinkle with remainder cheese. 
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Refrigerate until needed or freeze. If freezing, cook directly from freezer adding a few additional minutes, 10-15 depending on oven. Do not let thaw before cooking.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and cook for 20-25 minutes (not frozen). Serve with homemade chips or fresh garden salad. 
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I believe caramelizing the onions and slightly tenderizing the mushrooms makes this meal very unique and full of flavor.

Layered Crispy Chicken Taco Bake

While up visiting my parents, this was one of the amazing meals we got to enjoy with everyone. My mom is a great cook and she is where I learned everything I know. She adds passion and love to her cooking, giving everything a wonderful taste filled with delight.

This meal was wonderful and we served it with our delicious Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cake for dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tbsp smoked tabasco
  • 1 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Green onions
  • 3 cups shredded cheese
  • 1 lb chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 6 large tortillas

In a small bowl, mix sour cream and all seasonings together. Set aside.

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Meanwhile, in a skillet, fry tortillas in vegetable oil or EVOO until lightly toasted.

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Lay to rest on a paper towel.

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Cook chicken until thoroughly cooked and season to your preference.  While cooking chop green onions.

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Allow chicken to cool and chop into small pieces.

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In a greased springform pan, layer tortilla, sour cream mixture, chicken,  green onions and cheese. Repeat with tortilla and continue same pattern with ingredients ending with cheese.

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Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Until thoroughly heated and cheese is melted.

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Top with sour cream and additional green onions. 
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This meal was served with homemade chips and salad.

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You will not only be full from dinner but when served with Strawberry Cookie Cake for dessert, you will want to take a nap almost immediately.

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