Monday, September 30, 2013

Easy Flatbread Pizza (Ree Drummond)

The word 'easy' in a recipe always excites me
Hence my pick on this recipe by The Pioneer Woman
Thanks to Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids for choosing Ree Drummond as the star chef of this month. I always like Ree, but by end of this month, the word 'like' has turned to 'love' Now she's in my top favourite chefs list :)

Okay, now back to pizza :)

I wanted to use naan bread for this recipe - just like Ree, but DH was craving for wraps, so wrap it is, it made super flat bread pizza LOL

This is really delicious! My first vegetarian pizza. It's gonna be a routine topping for my pizza I am sure! :)

Even though this is great, but I think using naan bread would be better, at least I would taste some fluffy bread beneath those yummy cheesy roasted veggies...

What you need:

any flatbread you like
jarred marinara sauce (I used Prego mushroom tomato pasta sauce)
jarred pesto sauce (I used Leggo's)
roasted vegetables (I used sliced yellow capsicum, halved cherry tomatoes, sliced shitake mushroom and sliced Japanese cucumber)
sliced mozzarella (I used grated)
grated parmesan cheese (my addition)

  1. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the preheated oven of 230degC til well roasted
  2. Spread bread with your preferred sauce (I made one with tomato pasta sauce and another one with pesto sauce)
  3. Arrange sliced mozzarella on top (I sprinkled grated mozzarella)
  4. Arrange roasted vegetables on top of the cheese
  5. Sprinkle grated parmesan on top of the vegetables (my addition)
  6. Bake for 15 minutes til cheese melted

Here's another version for my kids. They did not fancy vegetarian pizza haha...
I used tomato pasta sauce with sliced ham and button mushroom

I'm submitting this post to Aspiring Bakers #35: A Palate for Pizza (September 2013) hosted by Joey of Little Accidents in the Kitchen

This post is also linked to Cook like a Star, organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, Yen from Eat your heart out and Mich from Piece of Cake

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Homamade Pandan Extract

One of the easiest yet so useful, and the best part is homemade
Only two ingredients, pandan and water

This was after 3 days...

Inspiration from Sonia from Nasi Lemak Lover

What you need:

20g pandan leaves (use mature leaves), wash and clean, pat dry
200g water

  1. Cut pandan leaves into small pieces
  2. Mix into a blender with water, blend til fine
  3. Pour blitzed pandan in a fine strainer, squeeze out the juices
  4. Pour the pandan juice into a glass container, cover and leave it in the fridge
  5. When you see a thick layer formed at the bottom, pour away the upper layer of water and retain the pandan paste (concentrated pandan juice)
  6. You may keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks or til it turns bad

This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs up organised by Doreen from my little favourite DIY and Bake for Happy Kids, hosted by Joceline from Butter. Flour and Me, at this post

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Pretty, Yummy Fruit Salad (Ree Drummond)

Okay, I must admit. It's not as pretty as Ree's version, but the real thing looked nicer, actually (blame it on the lighting... no no no, blame it on me who was so long to finally kick my butt and started doing the preparation only in the early evening, and by the time it was ready it's dark outside!) 
But taste wise, I was pretty sure it matched LOL
Really nice, sweet and tangy, so refreshing!
I made this yesterday and this morning I tasted again, even though the fruits were not as fresh and crunchy anymore, but it tasted even better. I reckoned the sauce has been fully absorbed. Yum!

What you need:
1 cup sugar (I used only 1/2 cup)
1 cup water
zest of and orange
juice of an orange
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and halved (equivalent to about 48 large strawberries)
2 pints blueberries (equivalent to 400g)
2 cups red grapes, halved (equivalent to 300g)
2 cups green grapes, halved (I replaced with cut green kiwis - 2 cups equivalent to 340g)
1 cup fresh raspberries (my addition, equivalent to 150g)
mint leaves - for garnish
  1. Place the sugar, water, orange juice and orange zest into a small saucepan and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 to thicken slightly. Set aside to cool, then store in the fridge until cold
  2. Mix together all the fruit in a large bowl and pour the syrup over the top, tossing gently. Garnish with mint leaves and serve
* The sugar used highly dependant on the sweetness of the fruits used. I used half of the suggested amount since my orange, blueberries and red grapes were sweet. Final result, the sweetness was just right to me

This post is also linked to Cook like a Star, organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, Yen from Eat your heart out and Mich from Piece of Cake

Friday, September 27, 2013

Malted Milk Chocolate Chips Cookies (Ree Drummond)

I dunno why I had this craving for chocolate chips cookies
That's unlike me. I usually don't crave for chocolate chips cookies
Especially after I saw Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, Phong Hong from Phong Hong Bakes, and Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe baked the same kind of chocolate chips cookies using Ree Drummond's recipe where malted milk is used - must be delicious!
I could fee the yumminess in my mouth when I saw their postings. Woooaa... I must bake this too!
And so happened that my kids requested for the same thing. Well, of course they requested for it after listening to their mummy rambling about her craving for the cookies haha!
Ok, after getting the confirmation from the kids, it's time for me to proceed with the execution LOL
So, this is what I got. I made full recipes and it was lots of cookies. Dun ask me how many, I didn't count :P

If you love chewy cookies, try this! Must try, okay?

Nom nom nom...Oh yes yes yes!!! :))

I had to keep reminding myself not to indulge too many. It's so torturing!

What you need:

227g unsalted butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar (I will reduce to 1/4 cup the next time I bake this again, it's too sweet to my liking)
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups plain flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (rounded) malted milk powder (I used Horlicks)
340g chocolate chips (I used half semi sweet chocolate chips (since that's all I had!) and the other half chopped dark chocolate (luckily I had 2 blocks of dark chocolate!)

  1. Preheat oven to 175degC
  2. Cream butter, then add both sugars and cream until fluffy. Add eggs and beat slightly, then add vanilla and beat until combined. Add malted milk powder and beat until combined
  3. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to butter mixture, beating gently until just combined
  4. Add chocolate chips and stir in gently
  5. Drop by teaspoonfuls (or use a cookie scoop) (I used 1 1/2 tbsp measuring spoon) and bake for 10 to 12 minutes (I baked for 12-15mins, I judged from the colour. The baking time varies depend on the size of the cookies)
  6. Bake less if you want chewy cookies; more if you want crispy cookies

*The cookies was crisp at the edges and chewy at the centre but it turned soft and chewy after cooled
*The dough will spread during baking, so if you do not fancy thin flat cookies, you may refrigerate the dough for a few hours before baking. Another logic is, not to beat the butter and sugar til light and fluffy, just beat til creamy will do

This post is also linked to Cook like a Star, organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, Yen from Eat your heart out and Mich from Piece of Cake
 Simply delicious!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Oven Baked Crispy Yoghurt Chicken (Ree Drummond)

Fried chicken? I love it. My family does. Who doesn't?
How if it's oven baked instead of deep fried? Ho ho... it's a surely must try for me! :)
And how true! It's so delicious and fragrant too!

By the way, my apology for the no good quality pics, I had no choice but taking pics at night as I cooked this dish for dinner...


Ian voluntarily held up a piece for me to take a quick snap :)

Recipe is from HERE

What you need:

2 cups (140g each) low fat plain yoghurt
3 cloves of garlic, minced finely
fresh parsley, to taste (I used a tsp of dried parsley)
juice of a lemon
chicken legs (I used chicken wings (the part looks like mini thigh, oh gosh.. I forgot the name!) and chicken breast)
salt, to taste
2 cups panko bread crumbs
butter (1 pat for each chicken part)

  1. Pour yogurt into a mixing bowl. Peel and mince garlic, add garlic to the yogurt. Chop up a small amount of fresh parsley and add it to the yogurt. Add lemon juice. Mix together to combine
  2. Rinse chicken and pat it dry. Sprinkle with salt
  3. In another bowl, place the bread crumbs. Sprinkle with salt and stir lightly
  4. Butter a baking dish. With a pair of tongs, place the chicken, one piece at a time into the yogurt mixture. Turn it over thoroughly to coat. Then roll the chicken in the panko bread crumbs. Cover each piece thoroughly with bread crumbs and place in the baking dish
  5. Place a slice of butter over the large part of each chicken piece. Cover with foil and bake in a 180ºC oven for 1 to 1 ¼ hours, removing the foil for the last 15 mins of cooking. When the chicken is nice and golden, remove from the oven (mine didn't turn golden even after 20 mins without foil. I then broiled them for about 7 mins)

This post is also linked to Cook like a Star, organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, Yen from Eat your heart out and Mich from Piece of Cake

UPDATE 30 March 2016
Baked this again with boneless skinless chicken breast and knowing that it's the most plain (read: bland and tasteless) part of the chicken, it's surprisingly still turned out delicious. Crispy and tasty. Nice :)


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

THB #23 Morning Glory Breakfast Cake

This cake didn't excite me I almost skipped on this one
But my curiosity won and here it is...
Chosen by Lena from Frozen Wings

This was not bad at all, I must say, especially knowing the goodness in every bite
No butter, no oil - great, isn't it? Dense, moist, flavourful, and pretty tasty
It's not something that I would make again, to be honest, but I had no regret in baking this cake :)

I planned to make only 1/3 recipe, I saw Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids did the same, hence I followed her recipe - thank you Zoe for making my life easier - it's quite a lot of ingredients used here!

The changes I made were, I replaced dark molasses with honey, walnut with cashew, wheat bran with Weet-Bix - crushed , dried cranberries with golden raisins
I used muffin pan and I got 6 standard size muffins, baked 180degC for 20 minutes

This post is for The Home Bakers hosted by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours where we bake  from the book Coffee Cakes by Lou Seibert Pappas

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Zucchini Cakes (Ree Drummond)

After baking my double chocolate zucchini cake, I still have one big zucchini left
Wanted to grill it, which I love, but when I saw THIS, I changed my mind

This snack is so Asian, except for the cheese used. It's real tasty! I love it!
No dip needed, I can just eat it plain :)

What you need:

1 whole large zucchini
1 tbsp minced garlic (I used 3 cloves)
3/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used panko)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs (I used 3 - probably due to the size of zucchini I used)
salt, black pepper
olive oil (I used canola) - for frying

  1. Wash and cut the end off of one large zucchini. Shred it using the large holes of a cheese grater. Squeeze the shredded zucchini inside of a clean towel until you’ve removed as much liquid as possible
  2. Place shredded zucchini into a medium sized bowl. Add minced garlic, breadcrumbs, cheese, eggs, salt and pepper to taste. Stir with a fork until well mixed
  3. Heat oil (about ¼ inch deep in bottom of skillet) to a medium heat. When the oil is hot enough drop a glob of zucchini batter into the skillet and flatten it a bit. After about two minutes, turn the cakes over ( they should be nice golden-brown) and cook on the other side until done (about 2-3 minutes)
  4. Arrange over a kitchen towel to drain excess oil. Serve warm


This post is also linked to Cook like a Star, organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, Yen from Eat your heart out and Mich from Piece of Cake

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fusilli Chicken Alfredo (Ree Drummond)

Pasta again. This time from The Pioneer Woman
Among so many choices, I decided on this one, alfredo won't go wrong, especially for Ian :)

Simple and delicious. I like. We like :)

What you need:

fusilli pasta
4 tbsp butter
2 boneless skinless chicken breast (I only used 1)
salt and pepper (to marinade the chicken, I used garlic salt)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 cup dry white wine (I used chicken stock)
1/2 cup half and half (I used 1/4 cup + 3 tbsp cream and 1/4 cup fresh milk)
3 tbsp heavy cream (I omit)
extra salt and pepper to taste
extra chicken stock - if needed for thinning
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp fresh parsley (I used 1 tsp dried parsley)

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside
  2. Marinade both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper (mine was garlic salt). Heat 2 tbsp of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts and cook until deep golden brown on both sides and done in the middle. Remove from the skillet, slice into thin strips, and set aside
  3. Add additional 2 tbsp of butter to the skillet, followed by the minced garlic. Stir the garlic around the pan to avoid burning, and cook for 1 min. Pour in wine (or chicken stock), then let it bubble up and reduce for 2 mins. Add half-and-half, cream (mine was milk and cream)and extra salt and pepper, whisking constantly until it's all combined. Allow liquid to heat up and thicken for a few mins. If it gets too thick, you may thin it with a little chicken broth
  4. When the sauce looks good, remove it from the heat. Add parmesan to the pan, then throw the hot pasta right on top of it. Toss it a bit. Add the chicken (I didn't do this, instead I arrange the chicken slices on top of the pasta right before serving) and continue tossing until it's all combined. Again, if it gets too gloopy, splash in a little broth (you may return the pan to low heat if it needs it)
  5. Taste it, adjust seasonings, and top with minced parsley (I didn't) and extra Parmesan
  6. Serve immediately

This post is also linked to Cook like a Star, organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, Yen from Eat your heart out and Mich from Piece of Cake

Friday, September 20, 2013

Chocolate Cakes - ABC September 2013 & Bake Along #51 Two Different Recipes, Two Different Results

I saw the bake for September's Avid Baker's Challenge  is chocolate bread. I saw Bake Along #51 is also chocolate cake
I didn't want to waste time, energy and the amount of dishes to wash, I baked them together, half recipe each LOL

First, Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread for Avid Baker's Challenge hosted by Hanaa

The use of zucchini made me so curious on the texture and taste. The cake was easy to make, too
I had a soft, very moist, fudgy and chocolaty bread, nobody would think there's vegetables in it :)
I, however, could smell it when the bread was just out from the oven, but when it's cooled completely, no smell could be traced anymore
The texture was so moist that I thought I underbaked it. Skewer test came out clean in the middle and sides of the bread, so I didn't think it's underbaked
The grated zucchini was pretty wet when I mixed to the batter though. I wonder if that's the reason...
Anyway, after the bread was completely cooled, the texture was better, not too wet anymore, but yes, it's rich, moist, fudgy and oh so chocolaty - that's the way I like it :)

Recipe is from King Arthur Flour
I followed exactly, halved the recipe, changed espresso powder to instant coffee powder and used Valrhona cocoa
Used 20x10cm loaf pan for half recipe, hence the short bread. Baking time was 60 minutes

This bread is for Avid Baker's Challenge (ABC)
To view other members baking this wonderful bread. We are currently baking from King Arthur Flour website. Want to join? Please contact Hanaa

Okay, now...
While the first chocolate cake in the oven, I prepared the second one - Chocolate Cream Pound Cake
Recipe is from the book Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman for Bake Along #51, chosen by Lena from Frozen Wings

I got a very different cake from the first cake I made
This cake was dense and crumbly even though it's soft. Tasty and pretty light
I added three handfuls of semi sweet chocolate chips but somehow they all sunk to the bottom LOL
Ian chose this cake compared to the first one. He's always into lighter cake :)

What you need:
(half recipe)

3 tbsp unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
30ml heavy cream (I used cream)
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
57g unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cups sugar
2 medium eggs
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 170degC. Grease a 20x10cm loaf pan and dust with flour
  2. Sift the cocoa powder. Place the cream in a microwave-safe measuring cup and heat until hot (mine was 15seconds, break then another 15 seconds) Pour the hot cream over the cocoa and stir and mash with a spoon to make a thick paste. Set aside to cool
  3. Sift flour, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl
  4. Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until fluffy. Beat in the cocoa powder paste until smooth
  5. With the mixer on low speed, add eggs, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla
  6. On low speed add the flour mixture in 3 additions
  7. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake the cake until it is firm to the touch and skewer test comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes (mine half recipe was 50 minutes). Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes, invert it onto a wire rack, and then turn it right side up on a rack to cool completely. Slice and serve
  8. Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper or wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to 3 days
The second cake is for Bake Along , a baking event organised by  Joyce from Kitchen FlavoursLena from Frozen Wings and Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids. This is our bake no.51 :)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Last Batch Of Mooncakes 2013

This year I repeated doing 2 kinds of mooncakes, chocolate snowskin with custard filling I posted yesterday, and now cheesy Shanghai mooncakes
I did both back in 2011

Always love this cheesy yummy moonies
The skin reminds me of pineapple tart :P
A great combination with white lotus paste filling and the salted egg yolk
The crisp grated cheddar on top was a delicious bonus :)
Enjoyed this treat to the max!

To all, happy Mid Autumn Festival! :)

Source of picture HERE

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

More Snowskin Mooncakes 2013

I made chocolate snowskin mooncakes with custard filling, exactly what I did back in the year 2011

Recipe for both skin and filling are from HERE
I love the skin, so yummy chocolaty and moist
Custard filling does go well with chocolate! :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Snowskin Mooncakes 2013

I and my family always love snowskin mooncakes more than the traditional baked ones
This time I made coffee snowskin mooncakes with chocolate oreo filling and pandan snowskin mooncakes with cream cheese filling
While I preferred the pandan cheese, my family chose the coffee chocolate

Nice pandan flavour skin went so well with the smooth and creamy cream cheese filling

Aromatic coffee skin with oreo chocolate filling was yummy, too. Look at the oreo bits :)
Abby particularly loved this
I regretted I didn't add Kahlua into the coffee skin :P

Recipe is from HERE, still the same as last year and the year before
Unlike last year when I was quite disappointed with the result, this year it's pretty great
The year before was fine, too. Why it's not successful last year still remains a mystery til now LOL

As for the filling, I saw it from HERE
And I was pleased with the texture and taste, yummy!

For the cream cheese filling, I mixed 250g green bean paste (original recipe salty white tau sar paste) and 125g Philadelphia cream cheese
For the chocolate oreo filling, I mixed 250g white lotus paste, 40g melted dark chocolate (original recipe 30g), 2 tsp cocoa powder and 6 pieces of Oreo cookies, finely crushed

I made another batch of snowskin mooncakes, will post soon :)

This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs up organised by Doreen from my little favourite DIY and Bake for Happy Kids, hosted by Joceline from Butter. Flour and Me, at this post

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Very Late Winners Announcement

First of all, my BIGGEST AND DEEPEST apology for being MIA and the super late post in announcing the winners for my 3rd year blog anniversary giveaway
I was supposed to do so over a week ago!

Kids school holiday.. Busy busy busy.. Most of the time I was outside.. Some matters needed to be settled.. All has drained almost all my energy
Mood was ruined too in the end - lost all my mood to do most of my usual things.. cooking, baking, blogging, etc.

This evening today, on the first day of the kids back to school, I really had to kick my butt and opened up Random.Org and studied briefly on how to make use of the site

Thanks to all who has participated, 17 of you :)
Here's the 5 winners, not in particular order...

7. Yummy Bakes
14. Xu Shuting
16. Nicole
13. Kamen Chiang
15. Hippomama Lai

Congratulations too all of you! :)
Kindly email me with your contact number

Okay, that's all for today
Will start posting again tomorrow, hopefully :)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Bake Along #50 Nutella Rugelach (Barefoot Contessa)

Rugelach? What's that? That's what I thought when I saw the Bake Along to do list
I googled and I was looking at those little cute croissant-like munchies
Oh it's pastry with filling.. But when I read again.. Oh it's cookies, Jewish cookies
Okay, whatever it is, wherever it's from, it looks real good so I wanted to give it a try

Saw several recipes.. Dorie Greenspan, Ina Garten, Nigella Lawson..
Which one should I try? Think think think...

Then I read... Oh, many mixed reviews about Dorie's recipe.. Perhaps I should just cross this out for my first time trial
Ina's recipe looks good with many rave reviews, so is Nigella's
After much consideration, I finally chose Ina's recipe, since I have had many Nigella's cooking lately :)

I wasn't too pleased with the result. Not the taste, no.. Believe me, this was just delicious and addictive!
I'm talking about the shape. The crescent shape
The dough was soft that more refrigeration required than what stated in the recipe. After 3 hours chilling, I took the dough out and rolled, it took so fast to get the dough to turn soft again, and it's worse after spreading the Nutella
I tried to roll and it's just impossible. So I put the whole round sliced to 12 triangles back to the fridge and kept chilled for about 45 minutes (I reckoned it's still not long enough, perhaps 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours will do just fine)
It helped in making rolling the dough easier but still it turned soft too fast so I had to move quickly hence the not so satisfying end result :P

What you need:
Source HERE
(below is half recipe)

114g cream cheese at room temperature 
114g unsalted butter at room temperature
1/8 cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract 
1 cup all-purpose flour (I used cake flour, inspired by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids)

For the filling, I chose the easy way out, the surely loved Nutella :)

Original filling recipe:
1/8 cup light brown sugar, packed 
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/4 cup apricot preserves, puréed in a food processor

For sprinkle:
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder

1 small egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk, for egg wash

  1. Cream the cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, the salt, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and mix until just combined. Dump the dough out onto a well-floured board and roll it into a ball. Cut the ball in half, wrap each piece in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour (I did for 3 hours)
  2. On a well-floured board, roll each ball of dough into a 9-inch circle. Spread Nutella over it. Press Nutella lightly into the dough. Cut the circle into 12 equal wedges—cutting the whole circle in quarters, then each quarter into thirds (At this point, I found the dough was too soft to roll, I was struggling to do the rolling, so I refrigerated the whole round for another 45 minutes - yes, blame it to Singapore hot humid weather! Note: In the future I will chill longer, perhaps 1 hour 30 minutes, cos even after 45 minutes chilling, even though better but I still found it's not in perfect texture to roll)
  3. Starting with the wide edge, roll up each wedge. Place the cookies, points tucked under, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill for 30 minutes
  4. Preheat the oven to 175degC
  5. Brush each cookie with the egg wash. Combine granulated sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on the cookies (I didn't do this) 
  6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack and let cool

I must say this was one delicious cookies. With Nutella as the filling, it's really difficult to resist them, including the kids, too :)

It was pretty late when I finished baking the first half, so I kept the other disc in the chiller
I plan to use the original filling this time, perhaps tomorrow, we'll see :)
Hopefully I will have more luck in making better crescent shape hahaha...

This post is  for Bake Along , a baking event organised by  Joyce from Kitchen FlavoursLena from Frozen Wings and Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids

Last but not least, announcement!
Stay tune for the result tomorrow :)


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