Archive | LAKESIDE KITCHEN

Kentucky Derby: Mint Julep Recipe

THE RACE

The Kentucky Derby, is a  race for 3 year old Thoroughbred horses. The race distance is one and one-quarter miles long, and it is run on the dirt racetrack at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Colts and geldings in the race carry 126 pounds (57 kg), and fillies in the race carry 121 pounds (55 kg)

20 horses compete in the Kentucky Derby, which is a larger field size than most horse races; where on average 8 horses race against one another. The 20 horses racing in the Kentucky Derby must first travel along the Road to the Kentucky Derby, which is a series of 35 races taking place at tracks across the country and the world. Points are awarded to the top 4 horses that finish in each of those 35 races, and the 20 horses with the most points earn a spot in the starting gate in the Kentucky Derby race. The Kentucky Derby winning purse is $2 million.

The Kentucky Derby takes place on the first Saturday in May every year, and typically draws a crowd of 155,000 people. It is the longest continually held sporting event in America, and it is one of the most prestigious horse races in the world. Often called “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports”, the Kentucky Derby receives this nickname from the approximate length of time it takes the winner to run from the starting gate to the finish line. The Kentucky Derby is the first race within the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, where it is followed by the Preakness Stakes race and the Belmont Stakes race.

 

Were you desperately hoping for a refreshing bourbon cocktail but frustrated that you didn’t have a good enough excuse? Thankfully for you, the Kentucky Derby Day is tomorrow to pander to your wildest fantasies… just as long as those fantasies involved sipping this classic cocktail.

Mint julep originates in the southern USA and still counts this area as its heartland. This is especially true of Kentucky where the annual Kentucky Derby horse race sees around 120,000 juleps served each year. Premium versions of the drink are served in gold-plated cups with silver straws at a cost of $1000, but you don’t need to spend quite as much as that to enjoy the day. The ingredients are simple: bourbon, mint leaf, sugar and water. However, no two bartenders seem to make the drink in the same way, which is all the more reason to sample a few before this special day is over!

MINT JULEP

The mint julep is a mixed alcoholic drink, or cocktail, consisting primarily of bourbon, water, crushed or shaved ice, and fresh mint.
 
Ingredients
1 teaspoon Powdered sugar
2 oz. Bourbon whiskey
2 teaspoons Water
4 Mint leaves
Highball Glass
 
Preparation:
 In a highball glass gently muddle the mint, sugar and water.
Fill the glass with cracked ice, add Bourbon and stir well until the glass is well frosted.
Garnish with a mint sprig.
 
 
The Best Ever!
SECRETARIAT-Triple Crown Winner
 

In 1973, arguably the greatest race horse of all time, Secretariat, won the Kentucky Derby. Nicknamed “Big Red”, for his reddish brown color.

What’s so impressive was Secretariat’s response to the pressure of his fans and the media to be the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years. Just two weeks following the Kentucky Derby, Secretariat won the Preakness Stakes. Then, just a few weeks later, only 4 horses went on to challenge Secretariat in the Belmont Stakes. He did more than win the Belmont, Secretariat set two more world–records

 

– he finished the Belmont’s one and half mile race in 2:24 seconds, and

-he won the race 31 lengths ahead of the second place finisher.

Secretariat’s victory was by such a large margin, that not even the widest camera angle could show him in the same shot as the next nearest horse.

 
The Belmont Stakes 1973
 

 
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Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo—or the fifth of May—is a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). A relatively minor holiday in Mexico. In the United States Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations.

The day is celebrated in the state of  Puebla with parades, speeches, and reenactments of the 1862 battle. In the mid-20th-century U.S., the celebration of Cinco de Mayo became among Mexican immigrants a way of encouraging pride in their Mexican heritage.

Cinco de Mayo is not to be confused with Mexico’s Independence Day, which falls on September 16. The latter holiday was established in 1810, some 50 years before the Battle of Puebla occurred.

 

PERFECT MARGARITA

It’s generally agreed that the components of a classic margarita are tequila, Cointreau is a brand of triple sec (an orange-flavoured liqueur) produced in France and fresh lime juice. But how much of each? The secret is proportions; balance accounts for the difference between a good drink and a bad one.

For one drink

1 1/2 oz. tequila (100% agave a must)
1 1/2 oz.  Cointreau
1 to 1 1/4 oz. of lime juice
Salt for the rim of the glass

Shake all the ingredients with cracked ice in a cocktail shaker until the exterior frosts. Strain into a glass over rocks, into a cocktail glass. A slice of lime as a garnish, while not necessary, adds a nice touch

 

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

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Happy Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday)

 

Mardi Gras means “Fat Tuesday” and is celebrated on the day before Ash Wednesday. Fat Tuesday is the last day of indulging for Catholics before Lent begins. Mardi Gras is the final day of Carnival, a celebration which begins on January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany.


Mardi Gras is observed in cities around the world, but the biggest and most famous Mardi Gras celebration in the United States takes place in New Orleans, Louisiana.  With big celebrations come great foods, such as beignets.  Beignets, in French literally means, “Bump.”  I can’t help but think of Peter Sellers in the Pink Panther Moveies  saying, “Bimp.”  Beignets are fried yeast dough squares, yum, which are then sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar. In the U.S., beignets are associated with the city of New Orleans, where they are served at all cafes. These beignets are also the state doughnut of Louisiana. Must be wonderful to live in a state where you have a state doughnut! Here’s the recipe I have and will be serving my gang…

 

New Orleans Sweet Beignets                                                
1 teaspoon plus 1/2 cup sugar, divided

1 envelope active dry yeast

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

4 cups flour, plus extra for work surface, divided

1 cup whole milk

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large egg, at room temperature

Peanut or vegetable oil for deep-frying

At least 2 cups powdered sugar for dusting
1. In a small bowl, combine one-fourth cup warm water and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture. Let sit 5 to 6 minutes; if the yeast is not absorbed, stir lightly until the mixture is creamy.

2. Combine the remaining one-half cup sugar, salt and 3 cups of the flour in a large bowl with a whisk, or in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.

3. Combine the milk and butter in a small saucepan and heat over low heat just until the butter is melted.

4. If you are using a standing mixer, swap out the whisk attachment for the dough hook. In a slow, steady stream, mix the milk mixture into the sugar-salt-flour mixture. If mixing by hand, stir with a fork or wooden spoon. Add the egg, the yeast mixture and the remaining 1 cup of flour. Mix until a soft dough forms (you may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot until the dough doubles, 1 to 2 hours.

5. Heat about 3 inches of oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven until the temperature reaches about 370 degrees.

6. Divide the dough into thirds. Working in batches on a floured work surface, knead each piece briefly. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a rectangle less than one-fourth-inch thick. Cut the dough into roughly 3-inch squares and gently drop them, 2 or 3 at a time, into the hot oil. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, until golden brown, then flip them over carefully with a slotted spoon. Cook 1 to 1 1/2 minutes longer, until the beignets are puffed and evenly browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beignets to paper towels to drain off excess oil. Dust with powdered sugar and serve hot or warm.

Embrace the day,

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February 23: Banana Bread Day

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The addition of mashed, ripe bananas to a cake-like batter is what gives banana bread its distinctive taste and moistness. What better opportunity to enjoy a slice with a cup of tea or coffee than on Banana Bread Day?

Banana bread first started to become popular back in the 1930’s, during the Great Depression. Cultural historians suggest that resourceful and creative housewives of the era created the recipe as a way of not wasting over-ripe bananas. In fact, the riper the bananas, the better the taste of the banana bread, so it ended up being a very clever creation! It is traditionally known as a “quick bread”, but is actually more like a cake in both texture and flavor.

Extremely easy to make, banana bread is still a favorite way to quickly bake up a special treat for the family. Modern-day breads also include the addition of chocolate chips, nuts, or even dried fruit. Why not experiment and come up with a bespoke banana bread recipe that everyone will love?

BANANA BREAD RECIPE

IngredientsBananaBread
1 cup granulated sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
 
Directions
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.Cream the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Mix in the milk and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.Add the banana mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until combined. Add dry ingredients, mixing just until flour disappears.Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan, invert onto rack and cool completely before slicing.dashed-blog-divider
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February 4: Homemade Soup Day

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BIG, oops! Forgot to post this on Saturday!

Soup is a common meal in many countries and probably dates back to the invention of the earliest cooking pots. Today it’s easy to open a can and heat some premade soup, but soup is even better when it’s made at home. Soup is easy, cheap and usually quick to make and can be stuffed full of healthy vegetables. When better to enjoy a delicious bowl of soup than Homemade Soup Day?

The origins of Homemade Soup Day are lost in time but you don’t need to know how it started to celebrate the day. Certain soups are traditional to particular areas, such as Borsht in Eastern Europe or the well-known Italian soup, Minestrone. Unusually, the famous Spanish dish Gazpacho, is generally eaten cold, making it perfect for summer.

The internet is full of recipes for soup so find one you like the sound of and get cooking! Below is my Chicken Gumbo Soup Recipe.

CHICKEN GUMBO SOUP  
3 tbsp. butterchicken-gumbo-soup
1 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 to 1 1/2 c. cooked or canned okra
1 1/2 qt. chicken stock (can use canned broth]
1 (16 oz.) can tomatoes, chopped
1 sm. bay leaf
1 tbsp. parsley, minced
1 c. leftover chicken, chopped
 
Melt butter in saucepan. Saute onion and green pepper until golden; add okra. Stir in chicken stock, cooked tomatoes, and bay leaf. Cook over low heat, simmering gently for about 45 minutes. Season to taste. About 15 minutes before serving add minced parsley and cooked chicken. Serves 4-6.

Thanks for stopping by,

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January 27: Chocolate Cake Day

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Before you is the ultimate in birthday confections, a rich and luxurious chocolate cake with rich Raspberry filling, you know it’s going to be a good day. Maybe you’re just coming into work, and some thoughtful soul has laid out a tray of chocolate cupcakes, each with their own design and one waiting for your mouth to wrap lovingly around it and fade away on a cocoa fueled holiday. However you like your chocolate cake, Chocolate Cake Day gives you an excuse to indulge as deeply as you’d like!

History of Chocolate Cake Day
Chocolate cake has been with us just over 150 years, having first come on the scene in 1764, when it was discovered that grinding cocoa beans between heavy stones produced cocoa powder, which could then become chocolate.

How to Celebrate Chocolate Cake Day
The way to celebrate Chocolate Cake Day is deliciously simple and perfect. Throughout your day, incorporate as many types of chocolate cake as you can! Below is one of my favorite Chocolate Cake recipes.

The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe {Ever} from Robyn

Chocolate Cake with decadent chocolate frosting that will quickly become your favorite!

Serves: 12
omg-chocolate-cake-7_1
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
 
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.

 

For the cake:

  1. Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
  2. Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
  3. Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely.

Frost with your favorite frosting.

 Notes
The cake batter will be very thin after adding the boiling water. This is correct and results in the most delicious and moist chocolate cake I’ve ever tasted! xo
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January 21: Granola Bar Day

homemade-granola-recipeTo honor all those busy times when a small cereal bar helped you make it through a hectic day at work, start celebrating Granola Bar Day right away!

Nutritious, yummy granola is typically based on rolled oats full of proteins and useful fibers. It’s been an increasingly popular type of breakfast food since the 19th century, but wasn’t compressed into a snack bar before the 1970’s. There’s been a dispute on who invented granola bars, but Stanley Mason remains accredited for creating this compact form out of loose granola by pressing it. To produce a firm bar, granola is bonded with honey, butter or syrups, and it is then baked. The exception are so-called chewy granola bars which are either briefly baked or completely raw.

The biggest fans of granola bars are hikers and other outdoor sporty types whose energy depends on highly nutritious snacks. Although there are no records of how Granola Bar Day started out as a food holiday, we should keep it up to promote a healthier lifestyle. The perfect way to celebrate it is to throw a home-made granola bar party for friends

GRANOLA BAR RECIPE by Ina Gartenpumpkinchocolatechipgranolabars

Ingredients
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions:
Watch how to make this recipe.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.

Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries and stir well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.dashed-blog-divider

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January 2: Is Cream Puff Day

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We all know and love the light, airy, and succulent to boot cream-filled treats known as Cream Puffs. Where did this delightful treat begin? When did it come into creation? Let us find out what Cream Puff Day is all about!

History of Cream Puff Day
Cream Puffs are quite unusual pastries. They originated in the 1540’s when Catherine de Medici’s pastry chef created the baked puffed shells for Catherine’s husband, Henry II of France.  The current cream puff is only clearly referred to in the 19th century. The “cream puff” has appeared on restaurant menus in the United States since 1851.

How to celebrate Cream Puff Day
In order to celebrate Cream Puff Day, we need cream. So let’s get out those baking pans and parchment papers and invite family and friends over to share these delightful treats. Now, there are many recipes for Cream Puffs, but let’s go with the classic! Cream Puffs with whip cream filling.

CREAM PUFFS RECIPE

Ingredients:27-cream-puff

  • 1 Cup of Water
  • 8 Tablespoons or 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 3 to 4 eggs, plus 1 egg for egg wash

Now, for the filling:

  • 2 Cups of Heavy Cream
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of vanilla

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large saucepan, bring the water, butter, salt, and granulated sugar to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. When it boils, immediately take the pan off the heat. Stirring with a wooden spoon, add all the flour at once and stir hard until all the flour is incorporated for 30 to 60 seconds. Return the pan to the heat and stir for 30 seconds to evaporate some of the moisture.

Scrape the mixture into a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix at medium speed. With the mixer running, add 1 egg at a time, stopping after each addition to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix until the dough is smooth, glossy, and the eggs are completely incorporated. The dough should be thick, but should fall slowly and steadily from the beaters when you lift them out of the bowl. If the dough is still clinging to the beaters, add the remaining egg and mix until incorporated.

Using a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip, pipe the dough onto the baking sheet in 2-inch diameter rounds or balls. Whisk the remaining egg with 1 1/2 teaspoons water. Brush the surface of the rounds with the egg wash to knock down the points (you may not use all the egg wash). Bake 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees F and bake until puffed up and light golden brown for about 20 minutes more. Try not to open the oven door too often while it’s baking. Let it cool on the baking sheet.

Whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla until stiff.

To fill the Cream Puffs, simply slice in half and fill each Cream Puff with the cream. You can also pipe the cream in each Cream Puff  by poking a hole in the bottom and piping in the cream.

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John’s Bantry Brown Irish Soda Bread

 

As promised, here’s the recipe for John’s Bantry Brown Irish Soda Bread that many of you have asked for. I know it’s after St. Patrick’s Day, but we eat this bread all year long. Make sure to double the recipe, because you’ll want to have two loaves of this bread for sure!

 

JOHN’S BANTRY BROWN IRISH SODA BREAD

John's Brown Bread Irish Soda Bread1 cup unsifted all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups unsifted whole wheat flour

1/4 cup currants

1/4 cup vegetable shortening

1-1/4 cups buttermilk

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon water

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Sift together the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium size bowl.  Stir in the whole-wheat flour and currants.  Cut in the shortening with a fork until the mixture resembles small peas.  Stir in the buttermilk.

 

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board. Knead 10 times-no more, no less!  Shape into a 7-inch round loaf.  Place on a cookie sheet.  Cut a cross on the top of the dough.

 

Bake in the pre-heated 375 degree oven for forty minutes.

 

Combine the 2 tablespoons of sugar and the water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Brush over the hot loaf.  Return to the oven and bake for 5 minutes until golden brown.

 

This recipe makes one 7-inch round loaf which, will make 12 generous slices.  Don’t forget the butter!

 

ENJOY!!

Diane Caro, Stampin' Up! Demonstrator

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New Orleans: Mardi Gras Sweet Beignets…

 

Mardi Gras means “Fat Tuesday” and is celebrated on the day before Ash Wednesday. Fat Tuesday is the last day of indulging for Catholics before Lent begins. Mardi Gras is the final day of Carnival, a celebration which begins on January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany.


Mardi Gras is observed in cities around the world, but the biggest and most famous Mardi Gras celebration in the United States takes place in New Orleans, Louisiana.  With big celebrations come great foods, such as beignets.  Beignets, in French literally means, “Bump.”  I can’t help but think of Peter Sellers in the Pink Panther Moveies  saying, “Bimp.”  Beignets are fried yeast dough squares, yum, which are then sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar. In the U.S., beignets are associated with the city of New Orleans, where they are served at all cafes. These beignets are also the state doughnut of Louisiana. Must be wonderful to live in a state where you have a state doughnut! Here’s the recipe I have and will be serving my gang…

 

New Orleans Sweet Beignets                                                


1 teaspoon plus 1/2 cup sugar, divided

1 envelope active dry yeast

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

4 cups flour, plus extra for work surface, divided

1 cup whole milk

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large egg, at room temperature

Peanut or vegetable oil for deep-frying

At least 2 cups powdered sugar for dusting

 


1. In a small bowl, combine one-fourth cup warm water and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture. Let sit 5 to 6 minutes; if the yeast is not absorbed, stir lightly until the mixture is creamy.

 

 

2. Combine the remaining one-half cup sugar, salt and 3 cups of the flour in a large bowl with a whisk, or in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.

 

 

3. Combine the milk and butter in a small saucepan and heat over low heat just until the butter is melted.

 

 

4. If you are using a standing mixer, swap out the whisk attachment for the dough hook. In a slow, steady stream, mix the milk mixture into the sugar-salt-flour mixture. If mixing by hand, stir with a fork or wooden spoon. Add the egg, the yeast mixture and the remaining 1 cup of flour. Mix until a soft dough forms (you may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot until the dough doubles, 1 to 2 hours.

 

 

5. Heat about 3 inches of oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven until the temperature reaches about 370 degrees.

 

 

6. Divide the dough into thirds. Working in batches on a floured work surface, knead each piece briefly. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a rectangle less than one-fourth-inch thick. Cut the dough into roughly 3-inch squares and gently drop them, 2 or 3 at a time, into the hot oil. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, until golden brown, then flip them over carefully with a slotted spoon. Cook 1 to 1 1/2 minutes longer, until the beignets are puffed and evenly browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beignets to paper towels to drain off excess oil. Dust with powdered sugar and serve hot or warm.

 

Hugs,
Diane Caro, Stampin' Up! Demonstrator

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