Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Three is a Round Number

As you know (since I've been talking non stop about it)
Tom and Lucy's Art Shoppe is coming up this weekend!

If you live in Utah, near Utah, or traveling through Utah be sure and stop by!
In addition to meeting me and purchasing some fresh Fahrenheit 350° goodies,
you'll be in wondrous company and delighted by all the fabulous vendors
Tom and Lucy have collaborated to find.

Shoppe Location:
Ivory Country Club
32 East Clubview Lane
Lehi, Utah 84043

Shoppe Hours:
April 30th, 4pm - 9pm
May 1st, 9:30am - 9pm
May 2nd, 9:30am - 5pm

And... wait for it... yes!
I'll be giving away more tasty treats at the shoppe!
Visit Tom and Lucy's site for a sneak peek at vendors, directions, hours, and
Enter To Win!
Plus, for Tom and Lucy I'm creating a special Limited Edition Sweet Log:
Peanut Butter Fondant Center, wrapped in Chocolate Caramel and coated with chopped peanuts!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Straying From the Ordinary

Gabriel only likes one type of cheesecake, and that cheesecake is plain with a baked sour cream top layer. He doesn't even like a little lemon juice in it. Needless to say, that's the only type of cheesecake I make if anyone but myself is going to enjoy it.

The April 2009 Challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

With the order to be creative accompanying this month's Daring Baker's Challenge I couldn't very well present a plain cheesecake, regardless of how much Gabriel loves it. The recipe given was also a bit different from the standard Philly Cream Cheese recipe I always resort too, and since cheesecake reminds me of ice cream in cake form, when I saw that cream was one of the ingredients, I instantly envisioned root beer floats.

Cheesecake: Root Beer Float
Crust: Wafer

1 cup Nilla Wafers, crushed
2 teaspoons melted butter
¼ cup sugar
Press into bottom of 11" springform pan
Set aside

3 sticks of cream cheese (8oz each)
1 cup sugar
Mix until smooth

3 large eggs
One at a time, mixing well between each addition
Add ½ cup heavy cream with addition of last egg

In a separate bowl stir together:
½ cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons root beer extract
1 tablespoons vanilla extract
Pour mixture into cream cheese batter, do not stir

Pour combined batter over crust and smooth

Bake at 300°F for 45-55 minutes until cake is set, but still wobbly
Turn oven off but allow cake to cool in oven for a minimum of 1 hour
Transfer to fridge, chill before eating

It literally tastes just like a Root Beer Float! Smooth, with pockets of both Root Beer content and cream, and with a paisely ornate top crust to boot! The only thing missing is the decadent ice crystals.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tropical Paradise

My only regret is that I didn't make more.

The one year wedding anniversary is traditionally represented by paper. For our one year anniversary Gabriel gave me a paperback book, “Basic Tagalog” and a round trip paper airplane tickets to Manilla, Philippines.

This month's Sugar High Friday is travel themed, hosted by Heather at Diary of a Fanatic Foodie; my SHF theme is Philippines.

The Filipino's make a tasty dessert with bananas wrapped in lumpia, and while I was searching out varying recipes I came across this Filipino version of fried Ice Cream, and violà: that is how you make a food baby.

Gabriel lived in the Philippines for two years, but alas I only got to visit for an incredible two weeks.

There are three seasons in the Philippines: Hot, Hot and Rainy and Really Rainy. We visited when it was the Really Rainy season. This is a major street flooded with rain. One day while we were visiting friends it began to pour, and literally, in a matter of a few minutes rain had filled a huge industrial size 40 gallon garbage pail overflowing.

This is Gabriel posing with a native Igarut, a tribe of indigenous people to the Philippine Islands. In Baguio, the summer capital of the Philippines, we visited Wright Park where we met this man and also rode horseback through the park.

In the capital, Manila, there is a huge marketplace called Green Hills Market where you can find anything, and everything you could ever want from pearls to Nike shoes. The Filipinos are exceptionally skilled in woodcarving, and at Green Hills we bought a set of Igarut chess pieces.

This is Gabriel and I posing with the Beuno Family. Terista is located just behind me, left of her is her daughter Zhara and her son Salvi, and to the left of Gabriel is her other daughter Christine. The rest of the people in the photo were neighborhood friends. We spent the majority of our trip with Terista and her family; the kindest most wonderful people in the world.

Treat: Sagin Na Matamis
Topping: Coconut Sweet Sauce

This treat is quite literally the most perfect thing you will ever consume. A warm, soothing, crispy blanket envelops a cool, taut, tropical paradise; just like my favorite Filipino Island.

This is an easy recipe, but it does involve many steps.

Step 1: Blanket wrapper
Make Crêpes!

Step 2: Crumb coating
Crush 1 cup Nilla Wafers & 1 cup toasted Coconut
Add 1/2 cup Rice Krispies

Step 3: Tropics
Cut whole bananas in thirds, then slice each third lengthwise in half
Soak for 1 minute in 1 cup heavy cream & 1 whipped egg (use more depending how many bananas you are using)
Roll in crumb coating until densely covered
Chill in fridge for 5-10 minutes

Step 4: Blanket
Wrap coated bananas up in crêpe blanket; place banana in middle of crêpe, fold each vertical side over the banana, then roll the banana up like sleeping bag
Pin with a toothpick

Step 5: Chill
Remove toothpick
Soak filled crêpe in heavy cream/egg mixture taking care to coat all sides evenly
Coat crêpe in crumb coating; crêpe should not unravel at this point
Chill in freezer for at least one hour

Step 6: Fry
Heat oil to med high
Completely submerge crêpe in hot oil for 2-3 minutes
Remove and bloat with paper towel briefly
Serve under a layer of Fahrenheit 350° Toasted Coconut Sweet Sauce
(Some crumb coating will be released from your crêpe as it is fried, simply scoop away with slotted spoon - but do so quickly so it does not make your oil burn)

The warm fried crêpe will delight your senses as you nibble luxuriously to unveil a toasty magnificent chilled banana.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fortunate Circumstances

I'm feeling generous this month...
And offering another sweet giveaway!!!

Make and Takes

Enter to win this week, over at Make and Takes, a cacophony of excellent bounty:
  • Half pound Pecan Sweet Log
  • Half Pound Chocolate Pecan Sweet Log
  • Half Pound Walnut Sweet Log
  • 8oz Caramel Sweet Sauce
  • 8oz Chocolate Sweet Sauce
  • 8oz Toasted Coconut Sweet Sauce
***Giveaway now closed for entries; winner announced***

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

All American Lunch Ladies

You remember your high school lunch lady don't you? I'm sure you had a relationship with her just like Corey and Topanga had with Brenda on "Boy Meets World", right? Well, I was likely a tad abnormal, but I share the same sentiment as Chris Farley and Adam Sandler, and I did have a relationship with my lunch lady.

Although I typically brought a sack lunch to school during those bitter years, nearly every day I indulged myself with a chocolate milk and a peanut butter bar.

Oh man, just saying that name brings back the good ol' days... Hmmmm, I can imagine them now; that undecipherable thick peanut buttery cake/cookie bottom with chocolate ganache frosting layered on top. Every day my lunch lady knew I would be coming, and every day she smiled and laughed when I made my order and we joked and talked a bit. I do wish now I remembered her a little better.

Well, a few weeks ago my sister Pamela made a ridiculously scrumptious family favorite: Candy Pizza. This treat starts with a chocolate chip cookie crust and is then layered with a chocolate peanut butter sauce and coated with a variety of the classic candy bars.

Having just celebrated Easter I've had my fill of candy bars for the moment so it wasn't so much the candy bars that I was craving as it was the cookie crust. And what I really wanted was more of a cross between the cookie crust and toffee bars; I wanted a peanut butter bar. Now I've searched across this great continent for this recipe, but after 10 years I've ultimately resigned myself to the fact that it's the ultimate in protected secrets of the lunch ladies union.

Instead I interpreted my craving for toffee bars and cookie crust by translating, very literally, each recipe into one.

Bars: Lunch Lady

Toffee Bar Crust:
1 small egg
½ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
Mix together until thoroughly incorporated

Cookie Crust:
1 small egg
5 tablespoons butter
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
¾ cup flour
¼ cup mini chocolate chips
Mix together until thoroughly incorporated

Drop spoonfuls of both batters haphazardly into rectangular pan intermingling the two
Spread batters together until level
Bake at 350°F for 10-15 minutes; watch closely - crust is done when edges begin to brown

(Equal parts chocolate and peanut butter)
½ peanut butter
½ cup chocolate chips
Melt on low, stirring until smooth

Toast 2 cups shredded coconut over stove top until brown and crunchy
Stir in 1/8 cup sweet and condensed milk
Coconut will form small clumps

Spread sauce over crust immediately after removing from oven
Sprinkle coconut over sauce evenly
Let set

These cookies are smooth, buttery, and chewy. They melt in your mouth with a hint of peanut butter to accentuate the rich flavor, and with a crispy coconutty coating these cookies will hit the spot regardless of whatever your craving may be!

Improvise by substitutting Toasted Coconut Sweet Sauce for the toasted coconut to create a second top layer.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Everyone is a little sad being home today after spending a delightful couple of a days at the Oregon Coast. With the beach so temptingly close, winter always seems so long in Oregon. Not to mention free, as our favorite location is just one hour away!

Our favorite location is Cannon Beach. A lush green Ecola park is just a few strides from a great sandy location sandwiched between Logan Creek and the Ocean with a short bluff to block the wind. Cannon Beach is also home to Bruce's Candy Kitchen with incomparable salt water taffy, and Ecola Seafoods Restaurant and Market a delectable fishy eatery.

I've been trying for three years to help Danger find his sea legs. I know he wants to go in the water; at my parents house he will fetch his tennis ball and instead of bringing it back to you, he will drop it into the pool. Then he'll lap excitedly at the water with his paws for hours. Today, somehow he finally realized there was nothing to be afraid of, and there was no stopping him!

Danger was relentless, starting from when we left the house. It didn't take him long to recognize the highway to the beach, and once he did, he looked out the window stamping his paws the entire hour until we reached Cannon Beach. Once there he didn't stop for one minute running back and forth from the ocean to the river, running in circles, digging in the sand, and saying hello and wrestling with all the friendly furries on the beach.

After burning off all those calories at the beach this weekend, today we are recouping with some much needed treats.

Cookie Bars: Apple Peanut

Your doggies will forget how much they are missing the beach with these tasty, chewy treats! Plus, having no additives and just a a few standard ingredients they are not only safe for them, but tasty for you too!

1 medium apple, peeled and diced
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup applesauce
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup peanuts

Mix all ingredients together and spread thin in a rectangular pan
Bake at 325° for 30-35 minutes until edges are just begining to brown
Allow to cool in pan completely

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Chocolate of the Earth

It's impossible for me not to be passionate, ask... well, pretty much anyone that has so much as encountered me. To tell me not be passionate is like telling me not to be diabetic, I can't control it. I'm passionate about baking, I'm passionate about writing, I'm passionate about religion, and I'm passionate about politics.

That being said, I'm not one of those people who believe that everyone who disagrees with me is "stupid", on a political front or otherwise. I certainly don't understand the reasoning behind some people's views, but still welcome discussion, controversy, even a bit of a friendly quarrel in the spirit of comprehension and perception. I understand the adage, "The more I learn, the less I know."

When Muhammad Ali returned to America from the 1960 Rome Olympics, he was enraged and disgusted by the treatment of minorities in this country. Incensed over the discrimination towards himself, a human being, who represented and earned his country a Gold Medal, upon his return - he took the one solid token of America he had, and he threw it away into the Ohio River.

I reflect often on the heroic actions of those who came before me. Like them, am I willing to stand up for what I believe is right? What will I do when I feel misunderstood, or misrepresented? Steeped in frustration? Impregnated with anger? What do my actions indicate? Am I nothing more than an automaton, eating... sleeping... and going along with the daily trends?

I hope that I am never so complacent that I simply stand by and allow other people, who do not know me or my family, make decisions which will affect us on every basic level not only today, but for years and generations to come. So, among other things, on Tax Day I made these cookies as a salute to this promised land, and as a tribute to the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of America and the Bill of Rights contained therein.

Cookies: Chocolate Earth
These are your basic Chocolate Crinkles, but not just quite.
1/2 cup shortening
1 2/3 cup sugar
Mix until sugar is creamy and shiny

2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1oz semisweet baking chocolate
Mix until smooth
Add, alternating between
1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
Mix until incorporated
Chill for at least 3 hours
Roll into round balls, coat in equal parts powdered sugar and cocoa and place on cookie sheet
Sift additional cocoa powder over cookie balls to coat
Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes
Transfer to wire rack to cool

I welcome comments so long as they are respectful.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Secret Room

Among other things, we got rid of our Easter baskets last year when we moved. It wasn't a big move, but we did expect, or hope rather, that a big move would speedily follow and in our hasty anticipation we discarded several items which could have come in handy on several occasions since then.

I was delighted when Gabriel surprised me with adorable scratch made Easter baskets which he cut out of cardboard, handle and all, and fastened with wall mount screws.

We also had some fun company, our friends Daphne and her little girl Emari joined us in the festivities:

♪ Dinner: Steak, Orange Rolls, Fruit Salad, Green Beans, Deviled Eggs, & Scalloped Potatoes. Regrettably, the warm food was far too tempting to allow for a better picture to be taken, like maybe one where the flash didn't echo in the mirror... We headed down to our community game room because we have neither room for a family of 6, or a dining room table; Emari was delighted to play in the "secret room".

♪ Coloring and hiding eggs: One of my favorite memories of coloring eggs with Gabriel was when we were newly married and he took some of the dye and painted his lips bright blue! I think I'll always remember this year by Daphne tickling Emari, and how lucky we are to have captured this sweet exchange between Mother and daughter.

♪ Searching for Easter baskets: Searching for Easter baskets is a fun tradition I grew up with. After church on Easter Sunday, we always delighted in coming home to search for our Easter baskets; I was always the last to find mine. Up until this year, I have always hidden the baskets and Gabriel has searched for them, but since we had a little one coming to visit we let her search for all 4 of them! Don't think we left the dogs out, Tipsy and Danger each got a pig ear and a fun little squeaky toy shaped like a pig which they destroyed in all of 3 minutes, literally!

♪ Dessert: There is just something about Angel Food Cake and Easter. Last year we had Orange Angel Food Cake, and this year we opted for the Chocolate version. Plus, with Emari's help we realized how much better this cake could be with an obscene 4oz. of sprinkles! Notice in the photo below how the sprinkle container is centered directly above the middle of the cake? By the time I put the camera away the hole in the middle of the cake was filled, level to the cake, with sprinkles!

I love the pagan traditions of Easter, but of course, the true meaning of Easter is focused on Christ and his Resurrection; all the more reason we were delighted to share this meaningful holiday with friends. I can't wait to hear how you celebrated!
Cake: Chocolate Angel Food
Frosting: Creamy Sugar
Topping: An entire bottle of colored sprinkles

This cake shares the same recipe as Angel Fairy Cake, with a simple substitution of 3/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup powdered cocoa, for the 1 cup flour.
And the frosting is just as easy - heavy cream and powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Extravagant Spoils

Still disappointed you didn't win the Fahrenheit 350° San Francisco giveaway?
Don't fret, and don't shed another tear!

Vanessa, at I Never Grew Up is hosting a lavish Fahrenheit 350° giveaway (and might I add, much easier to enter with zero photos to identify) running through April 18th! Head over there right now to enter for your chance to win extravagant spoils of sweet logs, sweet sauces, and sweet treats!

For your chance to win this giveaway, click on the I Never Grew Up button above - and then:
  • Leave a comment sharing something from Fahrenheit 350° you are dying to try or a fun blog post you have enjoyed!
  • Bonus: To earn an additional 10 entries, blog about this giveaway on your own blog!! Make sure to email Vanessa with a link to your blog to get counted!
***Giveaway now closed for entries***

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Simple Request Please

At Cherry Park Elementary School 5th grade marked the entrance to the gates of musical exploration. I chose the trombone; secretly I loved it! I loved how after playing it made your lips swell up like inflated nightcrawlers, not to mention the vibration from the mouth piece onto your lips. I loved how slippery the slide was particularly after a good oiling, and I loved emptying out the spit valve even though it was a little gross.

Yet..., when 6th grade rolled around I dropped the trombone (a fitting metaphor since I was constantly over oiling the slide and literally dropping it) and picked up the clarinet. I never liked the clarinet; it was sooo girly, and the problem with the trombone was that it was too boyish. For a finicky child it was a lose-lose situation.

The plus side of the experience was that I learned the notes of both the bass and the treble clef, the bass via the trombone and the treble through the clarinet, and what precious knowledge that was when I decided to emulate a piano player while sitting in front of our families grand piano.

I'm decent; I'm much better when I'm alone in a room. The few times I've been asked to play at church, for others to sing along, I am immediately reminded how I should have employed a metronome when teaching myself how to play. And to top it off, for someone whose only "decent" I'm a piano snob. The experience of playing on a grand piano greatly distorts the experience of practicing on a keyboard, however grateful I am to Gabriel for buying me one for Christmas a few years ago. So, when friends of ours were moving to a different state and asked if I wanted to trade my keyboard for their piano, I didn't dare flinch worried they would express the gesture as a mistake; it was quite amazing how quickly my keyboard seemed to materialize to hand over for the exchange.

I love it when people ask me to bake them things! It makes me feel like an accomplished pianist being requested to play a special piece of music. If I'm being honest (and perhaps a little conceited), it really makes me feel important for someone else to consider my sweets to be good enough to request!

Cake(s): Lemon Sandwich
Glaze: Lemon
Biscuit: Chocolate

Darling friends of ours requested/asked that I make a special dessert to donate to their wards silent auction to help raise money for their young women to go to girls camp. I translated this into, "Make a fancy Fahrenheit 350° creation, preferably something you've never made for anyone else before - or try something from scratch, from inspiration, at the last minute." Since I feel like being honest tonight... I like to show off, but that probably isn't a surprising revelation.

I found a recipe in my "Essential Dessert Cookbook" (I love this cookbook!) for Lemon Pudding, and it thenceforth brought about a craving for Lemon Pudding Cake, which then elicited a secondary craving for Chocolate Shortbread... hence the origination of this luscious concoction.

Lemon Pudding Cake:
4oz. butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 egg yolks
Rind from one large lemon
Whip together about 5 minutes, until dark yellow and grainy

2/3 cup flour, and mix just until incorporated

Juice and pulp from one large lemon
3/4 cup milk
Mix until smooth

Stir in additional 2/3 cup flour until wet

Pour evenly into four greased 5" miniature springform pans
Bake at 350°F, 35-45 minutes until cake springs back to the touch
Run knife along perimeter of pan before removing rim, cool on wire rack
Chocolate Biscuit:
1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 powdered sugar
4 tablespoons margarine
5 tablespoons butter
Cut together with a fork or pastry blender until dough resembles small peas

2 egg yolks
Continue to mix until dough is wet and thoroughly mixed

Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes
Roll out to 1/4" thick between two sheets of parchment paper
Use ring of springform pan to cut circles
Bake on cookie sheet at 400°F, 6-8 minutes, cool on wire rack until firm

Juice and pulp from the half of one lemon
1 cup powdered sugar, or enough to create a paste like consistency
Whisk until smooth

Coat the bottom of each chocolate biscuit with a layer of lemon glaze
Center the biscuit over the top of each cake, flip cake over and repeat
Dust with powdered sugar
Adorn with cut strawberry, stem attached, if desired

The faint crunch of the wafery biscuit with smooth chocolate flavor paired with the thick milky cake composed of thousands of tiny condensed flavor dimples that immediately dissolve at the touch of an eager tongue into a delightfully scintillating experience, fuses with the glazing paste making it imperceptible as a distinct flavor but beautifully adds to the zest of the cake. I get very excited over competing textures.

What was extra fun is that this ward shares the same church building as the ward I grew up in, so I knew many of the families having gone to school with some of their children, or simply knowing them from mutual activities. But... what I found even more amusing was that most of the people I did not know, yet person after person kept coming up to me asking: "Is your maiden name Johnson?"

(Left to Right: Me youngest; Christina 3rd girl (after Candice);
Jill the oldest; Candice 2nd girl; Pamela 5th child/4th girl)

They recognized me by my similarities to my sisters, but I have never thought the similarities are that strong! Are they?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Drumroll Please

It's time to announce the winner of my inaugural giveaway here at Fahrenheit 350°!

Being that this is an inaugural giveaway, I think the occasion calls for an inaugural speech; don't you? I'd like to express my sincerest thanks to all my constituents who voted to receive the chance to be the solitary winner of a decadent pecan sweet log! Unfortunately, there could only be one winner...

And that winner is... Well, first let's go over the correct answers.

Photo 1: Winchester Mansion in San Jose
Photo 2: Sourdough Bread Turtles at Boudin's Bakery on the Wharf
Photo 3: Crab Sculpture at Pier 39
Photo 4: Chocolate at Ghirardelli Plaza on Ghirardelli Square
Photo 5: Kara's Cupcakes at Ghirardelli Square
Photo 6: Fishy Food along Fisherman's Grotto

Congratulations! You will love this treat, I guarantee it! Please email (right sidebar) me with your shipping address and information.

This seems an appropriate time as any to introduce the new: Chocolate Pecan Sweet Log!

This sweet log will be making it's grand debut at Tom and Lucy's Art Shoppe April 30, 2009. Visit Fahrenheit 350° to order, or email me.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

2nd Chance

As you know, we recently spent a fun getaway in San Francisco, and in honor of our trip I am hosting a giveaway of a Fahrenheit 350° favorite: A 1 pound Pecan Log! A deliciously tempting candy fondant center wrapped in caramel and then wrapped in pecans toasted in a secret savory concoction!

I have to admit I'm really disappointed that more of my friends and family haven't entered... perhaps I'm just too generous on a regular basis for their own good! Well, I'll just say it's not to late to enter! There are several hints about the photos within the post, not to mention the correct answers that have already been entered, and the free entries just for telling your friends, so happy hunting and entering! Just 2 days left!

Well, before our trip I was committed to making a bag for our new laptop!

Yes, the very laptop I am using to type this post! Gabriel surprised me with it a few days before our trip. I'll say it again: Isn't he perfect???!!! The computer I used to use is connected to our TV which is great for watching Hulu and You Tube, but a little hard on the eyes - and the computer is like 10 years old. He said he felt bad listening to me constantly scream at it (eek!).

As I've said before I am not a seamstress or a fancy designer, in fact I barely know how to operate my sewing machine - but I'm trying to expand my knowledge. What's more is that I didn't want a simple bag, I wanted a reversible bag. And... you guessed it, I waited until 1am the day we left to start working on it.

There are so many sewing projects that I intend to do but either never finish or stop midway. I need to join a sewing group for inspiration. For instance, when we moved to our current residence I planned to reupholster a chair in this beautiful upholstery fabric I found on sale at JoAnn's; I made it all the way through until I got to the front of the arms: I started, but with my measly experience and lack of professional tools the job became too much to tackle. Another unfullfilled idea I had was to make beanbags. We sold our couch when we moved, so I had this brilliant vision of filling the entire living room with oversized plush cushions but... I dispise bean bag pellets and I couldn't find shredded foam at a decent price.

Alas,... but on the upside I posses a fair share of darling fabric

I figured to make it reversible I simply needed to sew two sheets of fabric together.
Then, I wanted to add extra support in the bottom, so I added some plastic sewing canvas between the bottom fabric pieces.
I realized at this point, I would have to make sides - something I didn't really think through in the beginning and which added a whole new dimension I hadn't accounted for.
Bascially I tried not to think too much about it and just put it together logistically.
That was the trick!

I adore it!

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