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Donut Man, part II: Peach donuts

August 24th, 2009 (12:48 pm)

Peach donut from Mr Donut

Millions of Peaches,
Peaches for you.
Millions of Peaches,
Peaches for me.

The rumblings are true-- strawberry and peach donuts are worth writing home about!

This past April, I wrote about the strawberry donuts at Mister Donut. The strawberry donuts are quite memorable-- huge, fresh strawberries are injected into a flattened sphere of freshly glazed deliciousness. I told myself that it was only right to come back later in the summer during peach season. Boy, was I glad I did! The peach donuts are done in a similar fashion but I must admit that this one outshines the former. The peaches are FRESH beyond belief-- the slices are generous and macerated with sugar to perfection.

Although these two tend to outshine the other varieties at Mister Donut, I also give high accolades to the apple-filled donuts with cinnamon on top, the tiger tail, and the donuts topped with cream cheese and raspberry sauce. The cinnamon rolls and bear claws are ridiculously huge!

All the donuts are fresh, fluffy, and perfectly sweetened. Other perks are the low prices and the very friendly staff, who go above and beyond in customer service (e.g., package "to go" orders with care).

maarte_stewart [userpic]

Baking adventure: Easy peach pastries

August 21st, 2009 (06:10 pm)

Easy peach pastry

I don't have much time or energy these days as I'm doing this thing called writing a dissertation. But, there are moments where I crave something fresh from my oven. So, I did a search and found a few references to a quick and easy recipe for peach tarts. It's so easy that it only requires FIVE ingredients:

1. Peaches, peeled and sliced.
2. Puff pastry, cut into individual squares (1 pastry sheet= 9 squares)
3. Sugar.
4. Pumpkin pie spice.
5. Egg wash.

and then the process only involves THREE steps:
1. Macerate peaches in sugar and pumpkin pie spice.
2. Place peaches onto individual squares and finish with egg wash on edges.
3. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.


maarte_stewart [userpic]

Filipino Cook-off this Sunday!

July 11th, 2009 (12:32 am)

I'm participating in a Filipino Food Cook Off at the 1st Annual Filipino Independence Day Festival in Chino Hills on Sunday, July 12th. It is hosted by the Kabalikat Society and more information can be found here. I'll be submitting dishes for the pork adobo and bibingka categories. If you're around Chino Hills on Sunday afternoon, come on by and check out this free event! Tasting is at 3pm and winners are announced at 5:20pm.

The First Annual Philippine Independence Day Festival!
July 12, 2009!
Chino Hills Community Park.

maarte_stewart [userpic]

Food review: The Park's Finest

July 2nd, 2009 (09:31 pm)

The Park&apos;s Finest The Park&apos;s Finest

I've had the honor of enjoying Farmer Johneric's BBQ for the last ten years. Yes, this man is SERIOUS about his BBQ sauce, selection of meats, and BBQ technique. He's is equally serious about his dedication to serving the community, including a community-based collective approach to his business that allows his steadfast followers to contribute to The Park's Finest.

The Park's Finest offers a fresh approach to Filipino BBQ. Traditionally, Filipino BBQ techniques are more like harsh, quick grilling (i.e., burnt to a crisp) while The Park's Finest honors the true slow and low technique of BBQing. The selection of meats are always amazing as they offer from hot links and chicken to pork loin and beef rib eye. I recently had a Big Tony Combo for $8, which lasted for 2-3 meals. What a deal!

The Park's Finest is a true Los Angeles gem. The BBQ is amazing and so are the folks behind it.

The Park's Finest BBQ
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 247-4909

maarte_stewart [userpic]

Baking adventure: Pistachio + white chocolate cookies

June 25th, 2009 (11:34 pm)

Pistachio + white chocolate cookies

What should one do with leftover pistachios and white chocolate? Make them into cookies, of course. I found a recipe by Nigella Lawson here and loved how quick and simple it sounded. I particularly liked how the ground pistachios allows you to taste the nuts in every bite unlike typical nut-and-chocolate chip varieties, which usually only has one or two nuts in every cookie. Sweet, buttery, and nutty-- I love the combination!

maarte_stewart [userpic]

Baking adventures: A tale of two tarts

June 22nd, 2009 (01:01 pm)

Strawberry Mascarpone Tart Apricot pistachio tart

I have been on a fruit tart kick lately, particularly with using seasonal fruits as my inspiration. For Mother's Day, I whipped up a strawberry mascarpone tart and for Father's Day, I made an apricot pistachio one. The strawberries were from the local farmers market in Eagle Rock and the apricots were from my dad's backyard. As for the actual tart, I cheated as used store-bought puff pastry for the strawberry mascarpone one while I used a store-bought pie crust for the other. Both turned out to be well-recieved by the celebrants and other family members. Oh, and for the second tart, I got a chance to break in my new 7-cup food processor! It was so exciting to have it as I've been pullling a McGuyver with my tiny 3-cup one for several years now. I shouldn't have any excuses now not to make my pie crusts and tart shells from scratch! Sofia had a fun time helping me "make make" the Father's Day tart as she got to press "pulse" repeatedly with the food processor. That girl will never know what life was like without it.

maarte_stewart [userpic]

Cooking adventure: Welcome, Mister Crock Pot!

June 8th, 2009 (07:33 pm)

The other kitchen friends welcome him to the family

I've been waiting patiently for a high-end crock pot to go on sale. I wanted one that had a timer, three modes (high, low, keep warm), and a capacity larger than what I already have (which only holds 2 quarts). A co-worker of mine has converted many of us to slow crock pot cooking with her addictive recipes. Alas, Target had a sale last week for a 5.5 quart crock pot with all the bells and whistles I yearned for. Earmarked for this special day was one of my all-time favorite American classics-- pot roast. Some people think that it's odd that I love Americana dishes like pot roast, roast beef, turkey and gravy, salibury steak, etc. as they often pin me as an uber Filipino pride foodie. Yes, I love FIlipino food but I am also a product of American imperialism a la the US Navy. You see, my father enlisted in the US Navy as a steward in 1967 and befriended many other Filipino sailors who worked in the mess hall. In fact, most of his best friends were navy cooks who have a knack at making Americana dishes. During my childhood, every weekend consisted of some sort of party for a Navy family-- a baptism, birthday, deployment. That meant trays upon trays of roast beef, Navy gravy, creamed corn, and pineapple upside down cake.

Slow-cooked pot roast

So, it seemed fitting for Mister Crock Pot's welcoming party to my kitchen to include good ole fashioned pot roast. And yes, the recipe isn't from scratch. It has canned soup and other shortcuts. Don't hate-- my uncles would've done the same thing.

Beef pot roast
1/2 pound small new potatoes, quartered
1 (12-ounce) bag frozen pearl onions
1 (8-ounce) bag frozen (or fresh) baby carrots
1 (8-ounce) package mushrooms, quartered
4 pounds beef chuck roast, rinsed and patted dry
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 (10.75-ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup
1 packet onion soup mix
1 cup low-sodium beef broth
1/4 cup steak sauce

1. Place the onions, carrots, mushrooms, and potatoes into the crock pot.

2. Season the roast with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the meat on all sides in oil. When it is browned, put it in the slow cooker on top of the vegetables.

3. In a small bowl, stir together the cream of celery soup, onion soup mix, beef broth, and steak sauce. Pour over top of roast. Cover and cook on high setting for 3 to 4 hours or low for 8 to 9 hours.

* Note: Do not sitr or lift the lid while cooking. Trust your crock pot.

Serve with rice, mashed potatoes, or soft slices of multigrain bread. Enjoy!

maarte_stewart [userpic]

Foodie adventure: The Donut Man (Glendora, CA)

May 12th, 2009 (11:11 pm)

I've heard about an urban myth about donuts the size of a baby's head being sold in Glendora, especially during strawberry and peach seasons. Humongous donuts are supposedly filled with fresh strawberries or peaches to lines of folks. So, I had to check it out.

The Donut Man (Glendora, CA)
Driving along the old Route 66 in Glendora, I knew I found the spot with this sign and the lines of people ordering donuts.

The Donut Man (Glendora, CA)
I ordered a few strawberry donuts (which really are the size of a baby's head), an apple-filled donut, and a maple donut bar (with the length of my forearm). Don't worry, the order wasn't for me-- it was for my sister and her family. I was tempted to get a cinnamon roll donut but decided to practice some restraint. Next time, my love, next time. I'll be back when peaches are in season.

Oh, and I also loved the customer service. They were super friendly, sweet, and hilarious. That kind of service is a rarity these days.

maarte_stewart [userpic]

Foodie (+nerd) adventure: Who Glues Your Community Together through Food?

May 12th, 2009 (10:02 pm)

NPR&apos;s Kitchen Sisters and Renee Montagne
The Kitchen Sisters and NPR's Renee Montagne talking about food and Afganistan.

Let&apos;s Be Frank veggie dog Kogi tacos (beef, pork, and chicken)
Veggie hot dog from Let's Be Frank and Kogi Korean BBQ tacos.

Tonight, I attended a community lecture at the California Endowment. Their Center for Health Communities hosted "Who Glues Your Community Together through Food?", a night of food, community and storytelling with The Kitchen Sisters. It was just experienced foodie+nerd bliss in listening to NPR's Kitchen Sisters talk with community activists who are passionate about accessing healthy food and community building through food. Oh yeah, FREE Kogi tacos and hot dogs by Let's Be Frank, and a guest appearance by NPR's Renee Montagne (Morning Edition) were added bonuses. I was geeking out just because of the hosts. Add in the fact that Kogi tacos were given out for free (and yes, they are really worth the hype). Top with the opportunity to meet like-minded folks who are passionate about urban planning, policy, public health and food. It was pure bliss in my book.

maarte_stewart [userpic]

Baking adventure: Blueberry muffins

March 14th, 2009 (09:17 pm)

Blueberry muffins (baking session with Sofia and Neil)
One night, it was chocolate chip cookies. The next night, it was blueberry muffins...

Baking lesson 101: Measuring cups and spoons Chocolate chip cookie dough
Waiting for the chocolate chip cookies Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies
While hanging out with my very-pregnant sister and my goddaughter, I had a baking itch. One night, I introduced the joy of baking to Sofia with a batch of Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies. She helped in measuring ingredients, mixing the batter, and spooning the dough onto the cookie sheets. She also learned about the magic of the oven as she patiently waited for the cookies to bake. Her reward was a freshly baked "chaw-quit cookie" (as she calls it) with a glass of milk.

Mixing a batch of blueberry muffins Enjoying a blueberry muffin
The next evening, I noticed a package of fresh blueberries in the fridge. I asked my sister if she would like some blueberry muffins. Of course, she did. Sofia put on her apron and got to work. This time, we had another sous chef with us- Uncle Neil!Neil!Neil! They both did a great job of folding the fresh blueberries into the batter and in filling the muffin tins to the brim. It was great to have them both in the kitchen with me. I hope they both join me again very soon!

maarte_stewart [userpic]

Baking adventure: Lemon tart

February 21st, 2009 (10:59 pm)

Lemon tart

For my friends' housewarming party, I wanted to make something that could be displayed on their cake stand (which I got for their wedding last year). Cakes and cupcakes were predictable and I felt up for a challenge. I have never made a tart and didn't even own a tart pan. Plus, I had a big bowl of lemon from my sister's garden calling out my name in my kitchen. Tart. Lemon. Lemon tart! And of course, I went to my favorite foodie blog to see if she had a recipe. Of course, she did! (Recipe found here)

The process went surprisingly well. The recipe instructions were thorough and the pictures helped at appropriate moments. The one thing I didn't get a chance to do was refridgerate it. The housewarming party was between 1pm to 4pm and I didn't get it out of the oven until 2pm. It had to cool in the car and go straight onto the cake stand. Although the lemon filling had not completely set, the crust held it all together quite nicely. The lemon filling was subtle in its tartness, not too sour. The crust was buttery and firm (but not hard). No complaints here. Neil is still sad that we didn't take any home but I promised to make another one soon as I barely made a dent on my lemon supply. I still need to think of more lemon desserts or if all else fails, I'll just make some lemonade. Kalamansi tarts are next in the queue!

maarte_stewart [userpic]

Cookies: Choclate chip cookies battle- Toll House versus Ghiradelli

February 13th, 2009 (10:31 pm)

Milk and cookies

Last Friday, I had a hankering for freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. In my bin of chocolate (yes, I have a bin of chocolate varieties), I pulled out a bag of Toll House semi-sweet chocolate chips. Goodie bags were distributed to family members that would hopefully last longer than a day. Then, I found out that that batch was done rather quickly and some (ahem, Neil) was pleading for more. This time, I had a bag of Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips to work with.

3/365: Toll house chocolate chip cookies
Original NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields: 5 dozen cookies

* 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
* 3/4 cup granulated sugar
* 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 large eggs
* 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
* 1 cup chopped nuts

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Ghiradelli milk chocolate chip cookies
Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: 4 dozen cookies

* 11 1/2 ounce(s) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
* 1 cup(s) butter or margarine, softened
* 3/4 cup(s) sugar
* 3/4 cup(s) brown sugar, packed
* 2 large eggs
* 2 teaspoon(s) vanilla
* 2 1/4 cup(s) unsifted flour
* 1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
* 1 cup(s) walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)

Heat oven to 375ºF.

Stir flour with baking soda and salt; set aside. In large mixing bowl, beat butter with sugar and brown sugar at meduim speed until creamy and lightened in color. Add eggs and vanilla, one at a time. Mix on low speed until incorporated. Gradually blend dry mixture into creamed mixture. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.

The verdict? Neil likes both for different reasons. The Toll House version is crisp and melts in your mouth. The Ghiradelli version is soft and chewy. Milk chocolate works differently than semi-sweet chips and it's hard to compare. It's like comparing Texas oranges versus naval oranges. The same thing to many people, totally different to few. So, the verdict is still out but I'm leaning a little more towards the Toll House version.

maarte_stewart [userpic]

Arts and crafty: Cupcake onesie

January 24th, 2009 (11:10 pm)

So, the angel food cupcakes with kalamansi cupcakes were a hit and I got to indulge in my arts and crafty side during the baby shower. There was a crafts table set up where guests could color and create onesies, socks, and book marks for Joel and Glenda's baby boy. It was so much fun to create and watch others show their creative side. What did I create? Well, surprise, surprise...

Sweet baby cake creation (front) Sweet baby cake creation (back)

And here's one of my favorites that was created by the profound Elijah Om:

Eli&apos;s creation: Dancing sleeping robot

maarte_stewart [userpic]

Cupcakes: Angel Food Cupcake with Kalamansi Glaze

January 23rd, 2009 (10:17 pm)

For Joel and Glenda's baby shower, I wanted to create a cupcake that best fits their personalities and preferences. Joel is seriously lactose intolerant and their shower menu is Filipino vegetarian. So, with a bag of fresh kalamasi from my parents' garden and this foodie challenge, my sister and I came up with Angel Food Cupcake with Kalamansi Glaze. It's light. It has a subtle zing to it. It's off the beaten path of overindulgent chocolate cupcakes that I'm used to. It's a recipe that lactose intolerant folks can enjoy. We'll see if it is well-recieved tomorrow at the baby shower.

Angel food cupcake with kalamansi glaze

Angel Food Cupcake

1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
13 or 14 egg whites (2 cups)
1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt

1. Preheat the oven to 375° degrees. Line cupcake pan with papers and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour with one cup of the sugar. Sift these together three separate times. Set this aside and place remaining sugar in a separate cup for later use.

3. Place the egg whites in a standing mixer bowl and, using the whisk attachment, turn the mixer at the lowest speed.

4. After 1 minute, add the cream of tartar, vanilla, and salt.

5. After another minute of beating, turn the mixer to medium speed and gradually add the 1/2 cup of remaining sugar. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula when all the sugar is added. Resume beating until the whites are stiff but moist. (This should take about 3 to 5 minutes.)

6. Transfer the egg whites to a large bowl. Sift the flour-sugar mixture over the whites and gently fold until all the dry ingredients are mixed in.

7. I used a small ice cream scooper (2 scoops) to fill the cupcake liners and it was the perfect amount. The cupcakes baked for 9 minutes but each oven varies, so watch your baking times. I would say no longer than 10 minutes as the bottoms may burn.

8. Cupcakes will be done when a toothpick comes out of the center clean. Remove cupcakes from the pan and place on a wire rack.

Kalamansi Glaze

2/3 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons kalamansi juice, fresh
1 teaspoon grated kalamansi rind

maarte_stewart [userpic]

Baking adventure: Gingerbread-cookie trees

December 16th, 2008 (11:08 pm)

Gingerbread-cookie trees

I saw this recipe online and instantly knew that I had to try it. However, I hit a few bumps along the way due to technical difficulties-- wrong cookie cutters. Because of this, it didn't turn out like the recipe's photo. Instead of eleven cookie layers, I only had six. The largest cutter was 4.5 inches. And the cutters were flower-shaped, not round fluted. Bah. Despite my dismay and frustration, I tried my best. I hope to redeem myself soon either with this receipe again or something totally different. But... happy holidays nonetheless!

maarte_stewart [userpic]

Foodie adventure: Up the California Central Coast to Cambria

December 16th, 2008 (10:56 pm)

For our one-year anniversary, Neil and I drove up the Central Coast for a weekend get-away. He wanted to show me his old haunts in Lompoc and I wanted to show him my favorite vacay escape in Cambria. Secretly, my agenda was focused on introducing him to my favorite foodie delights-- olallieberries. What is an olallieberry, you ask? It's a cross between a loganberry and a Youngberry. It tastes like a combination of a blackberry, raspberry, and a hint of blueberry.

Linn&apos;s in Cambria, CA

Once we checked in to Cambria, I rushed him over to Linn's for dinner. I instantly ordered an Olallieberry lemonade and eagerly waited for their fresh bread and olallieberry preserves. Neil looked at me like I was a nut but I insisted he try this wonderous, scrumptious fruit preserve. Upon first bite, he was hooked. Our entrees were delicious as well (I had their chicken pot pie and he had seared ahi) but we kept asking for refills of bread and jam. I had no shame at the end of the meal when asking for a doggie bag with more jam and bread.

For lunch the next day, we went to Linn's Easy as Pie Cafe. This time I tried their beef stew while Neil had their meatloaf. Their mushroom gravy and Yukon Gold mashed potatoes were memorable while the meatloaf is tender and juicy. Then, we stopped by Linn's Gourmet Goods to pick up some frozen pot pies, olallieberry pies, and preserves for family.

The weekend get-away was well worth the drive and we look forward to going back soon!

Linn's Main Bin Restaurant & Gifts
2277 Main Street
Cambria, CA 93428

Linn's Fruit Bin Original Farmstore
Santa Rosa Creek Road
Cambria, CA 93428

Linn's Gourmet Goods
4241 Bridge Street
Cambria, CA 93428

Linn's Easy as Pie Cafe
4251 Bridge Street
Cambria, CA 93428

maarte_stewart [userpic]

Sofia eats soba with one chopstick

November 12th, 2008 (09:04 am)

Sofia's food palate is a trip. We think that she has an old soul of either a Filipino or Japanese lady. She loves Asian fruits and vegetables. She loves rice any time of day. She loves Asian noodles. Plus, she can stare you down with disgust and judgment that is up to par with many Asian grandmas. In this short clip, she defied all of us in eating her soba noodles with two chopsticks. She prefers using one. Like many Asian grandmas, she asks "Why waste a second one when you only have to use one?"

maarte_stewart [userpic]

Maarte meets Martha Stewart!

November 10th, 2008 (01:46 pm)

Meeting Martha Stewart!

I woke up this morning giddy as can be as I headed over to my local bookstore. Martha Stewart was scheduled to have a book signing for her newest book "Martha Stewart's Cooking School." I thought I would check it out and see. To my surprise, the line was long even before the store opened. I was probably the 50th person in line and I thought I was late. But I found out that I was actually pretty early. So, I waited in line to get inside. Then, I had to wait in line to buy a few copies of the book. Yet again, I waited in another line to get a wristband that would allow me to get my books signed. THEN, I waited in the actual line to get my books signed. I waited. And waited. I made friends with other people in line who share many same foodie/shopping fanatic/domestic tendencies as I. It was like a book store filled with my people! At last, I found people who were just as nutty as me. YAY!

So, we waited. We share stories about the importance of Martha Stewart, as if she is our goddess. We wait. Then, all of a sudden, I'm face to face with her. What do I say? What do I do? I panicked. I froze. I watched as she autographed each of my three copies. All I could stuttered was "hi" and "thanks" over and over again. I wanted to thank her for being an inspiration. I wanted to tell her that I love her one-bowl chocolate cupcake recipe. Anything! Nope, I was so star-struck that I couldn't speak in complete sentences.

It was all worth it. The 3+ hour wait. The bonding with other Martha Stewart fans. The stuttering. Priceless.

maarte_stewart [userpic]

Cooking adventure: Pork loin back ribs adobo

November 8th, 2008 (12:15 pm)

Pork loin back ribs adobo (edit)

Pork loin back ribs were on sale this week and Neil gave me his never-used crock pot. What to do, what to do... Pork loin back ribs adobo, of course! Neil always insists on his slow-and-low meat philosophy especially with his favorite Filipino dishes. I always insist on trying different twists to traditional recipes. Bring these two together and we end up with something great. BTW, I don't measure when I prepare adobo dishes so the following recipe is according to my particular taste...some people like more soy sauce, others like more vinegar. I'm with the latter camp.

Pork loin back ribs

1 rack of pork loin back ribs, cut every two ribs
1/2 cup of soy sauce
3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup of white vinegar
1 Gala apple, sliced
3-4 Thai chilis
1/4 cup of apple juice
5-6 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tablespoon, black peppercorn
2 tablespoon, crush black pepper

1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl or container. Do not mix ingredients.
2. Marinate overnight.
3. Place all ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on low for 4-5 hours. Check every 2 hours for doneness.
4. Place ribs on a platter. Pour sauce into a saucepan on medium-high heat to reduce. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Return sauce to ribs.

Serves 4-5.

The end results in a dish that is salty, sour, and slightly sweet. The Thai chilis has a subtle heat at the end of each bite. The garlic always packs a great punch. The meat falls off the bone. Neil even sucked the marrow out of the bone. Try this recipe and tell me how it goes.

maarte_stewart [userpic]

Baking adventures: mini YES PECAN! pies

November 3rd, 2008 (10:09 pm)

Yes Pecan! mini pies + Filipinos for Obama

On the eve of an historic Election Day, I made a batch of YES PECAN! mini pies. As a community activist and academic for the past 12 years, elections have such importance in my heart. This election is especially meaningful as we hope for CHANGE on a national level and as we fight against discrimination in California with Prop 8. So, I made a batch for my fellow hopeful community activists tomorrow to say thanks for all their hard work in polling, phone banking, and rallying. YES PECAN! (Recipe found here).

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