Posts Tagged ‘chicken’

Remember a few weeks ago when I had that CSN giveaway and asked you guys to tell me what recipes you’d like to see me make?

Well, thanks to YOU, I now have a full page of ideas (double sided) and I’m happy to say that this is the first off of that list.

There are a few dishes that still scare me when I think about making them on my own. Things like chicken pot pie, homemade pastas, and the ever elusive perfectly-even layer cake.

But it’s those dishes that are inherently southern that really get me.

Sure, I grew up in Virginia, but I didn’t grow up eating chicken ‘n’ dumplings. The closest I got to having them was at Cracker Barrel, and I knew I could make my own version that tasted better and was healthier for me, too.


If you like your dumplings thinner and more like a thick pasta, these are not for you.

These dumplings are thick and doughy and perfectly tender, with a slight tang from the buttermilk. Almost like biscuits without the butter.

I still may be lacking in my deep-south cooking adventures, but I’m getting there. And make sure you’re ready to put these in your regular dinner rotation – it was love at first bite for me and Nick.


Chicken ‘n’ Dumplings

  • 1 lb. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 cups broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • .5 tsp pepper


  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Heat oven to 350. Sprinkle chicken with some salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 1 hour.

While chicken is roasting, heat large pot over medium heat.

Add olive oil, carrots, celery, onion, salt and pepper and saute until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.



Sprinkle veggies with flour and stir to combine.




Once you can no longer see any white flour and the veggies have a gummy-looking coating, pour in your broth and water, a little at a time, stirring constantly.


Each time you add the broth and water, the coating on the veggies will release a bit more, helping to thicken the cooking liquid.

Once all the broth and water have been added, bring mixture to a boil and let simmer for 15 minutes.


In separate bowl, mix your dry ingredients for the dumplings.


Pour in the buttermilk and stir until dough just comes together (it will be a little sticky – that’s perfect!).

Right before you add your dumplings, take the chicken off the bone and cut into bite size pieces. Add chicken to the pot (along with the frozen peas) and return to a simmer.


Drop dumplings by the spoonful into the broth until all your dough is in the veggie mixture.


Cover and let simmer about 15 minutes or until the dumplings are fluffed.


Spoon dumplings and broth mixture into bowls and serve.


You made me do it, and I couldn’t be happier.

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Local Flavor

Nick and I are just too cute   🙂  Both on the couch, sitting with our laptops. Of course, he’s working on his dissertation and I’m blogging, but whatever!

I was hungry this afternoon!

I ate my snack of one of our golden jubliee tomatoes + homemade guac.


That held for me about 30 minutes, so then I broke into this.


yum. A slice of apple pie is always a good afternoon snack.

I had a lot of phone calls today at work, which is a little strange for me. It made for a weird day. Other than that, work was work for a Wednesday.

The family that bought the truck came by to pick it up today after work and one of their little girls totally made my day. I know kids often say things without thinking and I’ve heard some funny stuff before, but when they say something sweet, it just melts ya’! When the family was leaving, one of their little girls (she might have been 4 or 5?) leaned over in the car and told her mom “she’s pretty”, so when the mom turned back around to wave goodbye to us, she said back to her daughter “yeah, she is pretty”.

*blush* Seriously? I needed that today. I’ve been bloaty mccramperson the past couple of days which doesn’t make me feel too hot, so it just made my day. cute little girl.

I was excited for dinner tonight – almost everything was local!



I got the best zucchini at the farmer’s market this weekend. These little ones are so cute! I couldn’t wait to use them.

I sliced up all of these zucchini, 3 tomatoes from our garden, a pepper from our garden , and a small red onion.


I love that everything but the onion was either from our garden or our farmer’s market! Erin would be proud  🙂


I layered the following in a 9×13 pan:

  • chicken breast topped with salt, pepper, garlic powder, dijon + whole grain mustard
  • zucchini
  • tomato
  • red onion
  • pepper
  • more salt, pepper, garlic powder and some thyme

Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

While that was in the oven, I cooked some Israeli couscous on the stovetop with some onion, garlic, and parsley. We love Israeli couscous. So doughy and delicious. And whole grain mustard is good on just about anything.


These veggies were so good! Wanna know the best thing? The zucchini actually tasted like zucchini. Not like the zucchini I used to get at the grocery store that really don’t taste like anything. Local produce is the best.

I’ve got a book to start tonight, but I’ve made a HUGE list of all your suggestions to take to the library over the next couple of weeks. I can’t wait! All of the suggestions sound great, so thanks!

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?

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Grilled and Chilled

I’m happy to say my baking project turned out delicious!


After seeing these muffins on a few blogs, I decided I needed to make them while I had blueberries and chia seeds on hand.

I took Nicole’s  version of the recipe and made a few changes based on what I had:

  • I used 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour and 1/2 cup oat flour too add a bit more sweetness to the batter
  • I used vanilla sugar AND added some of my Honduran vanilla  🙂
  • I somehow got 13 muffins out of the batter – hooray for a baker’s dozen
  • I used almond milk in the batter

Yum! I’m excited to eat more of these this week, and I like knowing that they’re good for me at the same time.

Lots of laundry happened, and I also took a quick nap on the couch that involved a bit of drool – guess I was sleeping harder than I thought I would!

It was pouring most of the morning, but it finally cleared up so we could make our planned dinner: Beer Butt Chicken!

You just take a whole chicken, season the skin, and take a beer can that’s about 3/4 full and put it inside the chicken so that it stands up. We always grill ours, but you could also do this in the oven, as well. The beer evaporates into the chicken, which keeps it extremely moist and gives it a great flavor.

Nick wasn’t feeling very well when we ate and didn’t want anything other than chicken and corn, so I just heated up one of these single serving broccoli & cheese containers I got with a coupon yesterday. It was pretty good, but I would add more broccoli next time  🙂


I got some bicolor corn at the farmer’s market yesterday, so we cooked that up to have with the chicken. This corn was SO sweet! I love the bicolor corn – it’s always super sweet and it’s just pretty.


I think Nick is feeling a bit better and I’m hoping my stomach craziness doesn’t get any worse.

I’ve got one more load of laundry to fold and I think we’re all caught up from our trip.

In trip recap news – I’m still working on getting through my 500 + pictures, so I’m hoping to have some recap posts up sometime this week. I’ve also just got a bunch of stuff on my mind from this trip that I’m sure will come out sooner or later. I’m just working on finding the right words, which is proving harder than I thought.

is tomorrow really Monday already? How was your weekend?

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I can’t believe it’s only 7:30!

I feel like I’ve done so much already, but that may be because my lunch is already packed for tomorrow since I didn’t have it today. Whatever works!

I had my fruit that I brought with me today for an afternoon snack.


Cantaloupe, peach, blackberries, raspberries.

I cannot get over how perfect these peaches are! I hope they have more this weekend.

Dinner was kind of unknown earlier today.

I knew I had some chicken that I needed to use, so I tried to put together meals in my head based on what I remembered having in the fridge.

It actually worked out pretty well!

I made a chicken marinade with:

  • about a cup of cilantro
  • 1″ piece of fresh ginger
  • garlic
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

I blended that up in the food processor until it turned into a sauce consistency.


I put the chicken in the sauce for about 15 minutes while Nick heated up the grill, and I had put sweet potatoes in the oven about 30 minutes before.

Once the chicken went to the grill, I threw some broccoli in the oven to quick roast while the potatoes cooled down.


The chicken turned out great! I loved the big cilantro flavor with the lime juice and ginger. I’ll definitely make this again.


Anything grilled just makes it feel like summer.

Let’s get up close and personal with my sweet potato.


I like mine with cinnamon + salt. The perfect combination, I think.

I also went ahead and made something while I had the food processor out tonight.


Nick’s mom got these at Costco and they’re awesome! But, we’d had this bag for a while and I knew we wouldn’t finish it as-is, so I decided these little babies needed to be turned into almond butter.


Since these were already roasted, sweetened, and salted, I didn’t add anything.

Just dump them in and let them go!



It didn’t quite fill up my empty jar, but I guess that just means there’s less to go through until I have another almond butter bowl, right?  🙂

Nick’s playing guitar and I think I’m going to try to finish one of the 5 or s0 books I’ve started over the past couple of months. I feel like I have all night and so much more time than usual – so strange how the clock dictates my day and my thinking.

Make sure to tune in tomorrow for my last pancake challenge entry – ooh, I can’t wait. 🙂

What do you put on YOUR sweet potatoes?

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I have so many fun pictures today! Both fun to look at and ones that were just fun to take  🙂

But first! Look what we saw while we were eating lunch!!!


Little known fact about me: I. love. groundhogs.

I know, I know….they dig up yards, yadda, yadda. We don’t have them in our yard, though, and I just think they are so cute and pudgy and fuzzy and I get so excited whenever I see them around here. My record so far is seeing 8 in one day! Impressive, huh?  🙂

We also ran over to Sonic at lunch because I really wanted a light cherry limeade for some reason, so that’s what I got. I hadn’t been to a sonic in forever. I actually used to go just about every afternoon in college for their “happy hour” 1/2 price drink specials. That’s where a lot of my laundry quarters went, no surprise.


It hit the spot and was a great way to end lunch.

I brought a good snack today since I knew I would be running after work. I bought this new trail mix the other night and brought it to have with my last Oikos! 😦 Please, Oikos, go back on sale! I just can’t afford you at your normal prices.


This trail mix has whole raw almonds, slivered almonds, raisins, craisins, and dark chocolate chunks – it was the perfect yogurt topping. I can’t wait to try it on oatmeal!


We had a good run today. We actually ran over the river on this pretty steep bridge, so my pace was a little slower on the way out than it was on the way back in. I was so excited today because I looked at my garmin on the way back DOWN the bridge and my pace was 8:22! That is crazy! I haven’t run that fast since like 5th grade. I can’t keep it at that pace yet, but it’s nice to know that it wasn’t horrible being there, you know?

After getting back, stretching, and taking showers, I got started on a quick dinner.

I was so happy to be able to use this beautiful rainbow chard I got from the market.


I found this great sounding stew in one of my Eating Well magazines, but I modified it to be more of a “one pot” dish than a stew – it turned out great!


I mostly followed the recipe, using a huge bunch of my rainbow chard which wilted down like crazy!

The only difference is that I added 1 cup of Israeli couscous to the boiling water/broth and let that cook almost all the way before stirring in the chard. Serve once the greens are cooked. Easy!


The flavors in this dish were awesome with the chard. The chile paste made it spicy, and I love the warmth that ginger gives to a dish. Definitely a keeper.

Then, my strawberry sundae happened.

But it wasn’t any sundae.

It was life changing.

That’s right – I made Gena’s banana soft serve after seeing and hearing all the rave reviews.


This stuff was so good and super creamy! I cannot believe that this is only bananas. It really has the texture of soft serve ice cream.

I topped mine with some chopped strawberries + a tsp of carob chips.


This recipe is definitely going to be used a lot – I can’t wait to try it with more toppings + flavors! Thanks Gena! I will definitely have to remember to freeze more bananas from now on.

Of course, after that I’m freezing so I’m about to have some hot tea and read until I fall asleep  🙂

Did you make a sundae today? Was it life changing?

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Crazy Busy Weekend

Good morning!

Ah, I have so much to catch up on!

My dad got in last night around 5 on his new motorcycle and stayed the night with us before heading home this morning.

Nick’s parents, sister and her husband got in around 7 last night and we started on dinner. Of course, everyone had to take turns riding on my dad’s new bike before eating, but dinner still turned out great!

We made our Caribbean feast  –


I made our jerk marinade and let the chicken sit in that in the fridge until we were ready to grill.

I also made some peas and rice, based on a dish we had in the Bahamas and a recipe we found online, and used some of our fresh peas! We also had some grilled squash for a quick, summer meal.


Nick also made some blueberry mojitos, but none of my pictures turned out well!   😦

and then the cheesecake.


I am so happy with how it turned out! It didn’t crack at all (thanks to the water bath) and it was delicious!


Nick’s sister brought some fresh blueberries from Maryland, so we took about a cup of those and a Tbsp or so of agave nectar  and let that simmer until the berries broke down, then poured it over the slices and added a few pieces of our fresh mint.


The best thing about the cheesecake? You would never guess that’s it’s pretty healthy!

I used:

  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 8 oz. fat free cream cheese
  • 8 oz. low fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup park skim ricotta
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  1. Spray 9″ springform pan with cooking spray and pat crumbs into bottom of pan. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Take out and let cool while you make the filling.
  2. Mix together the cream cheese and ricotta until smooth.
  3. Add in the eggs one at a time, then mix in the whites until mixture is smooth.
  4. Blend in the zest and sugar.
  5. Pour over crust.
  6. Put springform pan into deep dish, then pour hot water into dish so it comes 1/4- 1/2 way up the springform pan.
  7. Bake 50 minutes or until center looks almost set.
  8. Take out and let cool, then chill in fridge for 3-4 hours before serving.

A successful first cheesecake! I’m psyched  🙂


Nick is doing the Ride, River, Run race this morning at 10 that is 14 miles bike riding, 7 miles paddling in the kayak, and 5 miles running. He’s crazy  🙂

I got up and made my Mom’s breakfast casserole this morning for everyone to have while we’re getting ready to cheer him on.


For the casserole, I used:

  • 1 lb. lean turkey sausage
  • 1 pkg. low fat crescent rolls
  • 3 eggs, 1 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup fat free cheese
  • 1/4 cup colby/jack shredded cheese
  • salt, pepper, oregano

We also had some fresh berries on the side + coffee.

Good way to start the weekend!

The plan today is going to be kind of crazy – I’ve got a pork loin in the crockpot for lunch, pasta salad is made, and corn is in the fridge. It will probably be a late lunch (after the race is finished), then maybe a food/beer/wine festival today? I guess we’ll see  🙂

Happy 4th of July!!!

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Happy Birthday Eve to me! Yes, I am celebrating a little early  🙂  I’m having the best birthday eve night!

I guess I should recap this afternoon first before getting to dinner.

Lunch today was the same leftovers as yesterday – still tasty! That Barefoot Contessa has some awesome recipes.


The last piece of chicken + the last of the zucchini / saffron couscous from the other night.

Plus some broccoli


All eaten in the beautiful sunshine! We had a beautiful day today and got to eat outside – it’s finally looking and feeling like summer here!

Nick wanted a snack so we went by Our Daily Bread, this great bakery here, to get some sweet after lunch desserts.


Remember when I tried the chocolate macaroon last week? Well, I got the raspberry one today. And I remembered to get a picture of the inside!


I tried to cut this into thirds to share with a few coworkers, but it kind of just crushed. The jam inside this was amazing – seriously the best jam I’ve ever had.

I am in love with these little french macaroons – they are so light and not too sweet. The perfect light lunch dessert.

Work, work, work, then snack!

Since it was so nice today, I knew Nick and I would probably go for a run after work so I packed a slice of my banana bread.


We ran today for the first time in over 2 weeks! It was pretty good, too.

The last time we ran was actually on that trail race we did, so I wasn’t sure how it would go today. My legs were a little stiff at first, but I actually felt really good while we were out -except for my shoulders! My arms were killing me and I just couldn’t figure it out – until I remembered all the yoga I’ve been doing lately 🙂 They haven’t been hurting just during the day, but I guess moving them while running just let me know how much work they’ve been getting lately.

We did about 3 miles tonight and I’m glad we finally went. It was nice having a few weeks off to recover from that trail run since it kicked my butt.

Dinner tonight was even more delicious than last night – I love when meals get more flavor after sitting for a night in the fridge.


I had more of the guacamole salad on some romaine – this salad got spicier overnight!


I made my huevos rancheros on corn tortillas tonight instead of grits, just so I could see how good they were  🙂

Delicious! I love how crispy the tortillas got in the oven, and then the beans, runny eggs, and fresh cilantro?


Maybe one of the best Mexican themed meals I’ve made – and that’s coming from both of us!

Well, Nick is baking my birthday dessert as we speak! I may or may not partake in some this evening – I guess it depends on when it’s ready  🙂 And….he may make me wait until tomorrow anyways.

Great components of a birthday eve:

  • Good run
  • Tasty dinner
  • Birthday dessert  🙂
  • The Devil Wears Prada on tv

I’ve got to pick out a cute birthday outfit + pack my lunch.


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I think that’s right, right? Pretty + Delicious!

I’m so glad you guys enjoyed the french-ed donuts – we sure did  🙂  They were so good. Good thing I don’t have donuts hanging around the house all the time!

I’m so happy today is over – I had a bunch of stuff to do today, but it just seemed to go by so slowly. I’m hoping the rest of the week is a little faster because I have a fun weekend coming up.

Lunch today was great, thanks to some leftovers.

I had a piece of the chicken + some of the saffron/zucchini/ww couscous mixture from the other night


Plus some broccoli


Nick and I went over to TJ Maxx and I found the most beautiful dress!  I took too long looking through the clothes and I didn’t have time to try it on – I have to go back! I’m trying not to get my hopes up in case it doesn’t fit, but I loved it. I also found a really cute pair of sandals but we just had to get back to work. I’m hoping both the dress + sandals are still there whenever I get back!

I brought fruit to go along with my lunch, but by the time we got back, I had to get working on some other things and I just never ate it. I put it in the fridge for tomorrow’s lunch – one less thing for me to pack  🙂

I did end up eating the actual snack I brought with me:


I had one of my homemade bran muffins on some plain oikos. I’m going to be really sad when this yogurt isn’t BIGI free anymore.

Nick had plans to go out on the river by himself in the kayak tonight since I had a chiropractor appointment – it worked out perfectly. My appointment went really well – it seems like my back/neck are doing really well after the accident, and I think everything is just about back to normal.

I came home and started prepping dinner, then just waited until Nick got back to finish it.


I made Barefoot Contessa’s Guacamole Salad, except I used 1/2 a yellow pepper and 1/2 an orange. I used regular tomatoes since we didn’t have grape tomatoes. I also only added about 2 tsp or so of olive oil – you really don’t need 1/4 cup on this salad. I actually think it would just be too oily with that amount.

I love this salad – it has just the perfect amount of spicyness, and I love how colorful it is.


I put mine over a bowl of romaine – no dressing needed on this salad! All the flavor is in the guac salad.

The main part of dinner came out of a recipe in Eating Well for Huevos Rancheros. I forgot to  buy salsa verde, so I just kind of did what I wanted.


For some reason, I just cannot have runny eggs without grits or oatbran! I just want to make sure I have one of those to soak up all that eggy goodness  🙂

I mixed up a can of pinto beans with fresh cilantro, scallion, cumin, ground coriander, and garlic powder, mashed them up a bit and put them on top of my grits.

Then I added my eggs, some red pepper flakes, ancho chile powder, and more fresh cilantro.

Ay caramba, this was bueno! Nick and I both loved it. I made his on actual corn tortillas – 2 on a baking sheet with the beans + some cheese on top until the cheese melted, then his eggs on those. Same toppings as me!

I love easy meals, and this one had so many flavors and colors. I love having healthy meals that are delicious and beautiful to eat. It makes me feel good that I’m taking care of myself and eating a balanced meal.

Well, I’m off to maybe paint my toenails? and get ready for Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives – if I can make it that long!

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System Failure

This afternoon may prove to be pretty crazy for a Monday – apparently, our system at work has run out of space! They’re working on it, but it’s a good thing I have my other normal Monday tasks to keep me busy in case it takes a while to fix.

My breakfast cookie held me over really well! I do like having some cold breakfast options that are filling, especially when it’s warm in the house and hot outside.

I was really looking forward to lunch today and it proved to be a good one.


I made a big batch of a tex-mex barley salad yesterday so I could have that for lunches this week with different add – ins and toppings.

The barley salad is just 1 cup of quick cooking barley cooked with chili powder, cumin, garlic, and a little cayenne. Then I mixed in a can of drained/rinsed black beans, corn, and diced tomatoes. Easy! and it made a LOT.

This morning, I added a little rotisserie chicken and then topped it with some avocado for lunch. I love avocado so much! I should have some everyday.

I also brought some steamed broccoli for a little more green


Plus an apple for some crunch


I love making a big batch of something on the weekends for lunch options – it makes easy to pack something quickly if you don’t have other leftovers or don’t want a sandwich.

Do you make stuff specifically for lunches during the week?

I have to, to keep my sanity during the week. Since I have to eat at work every day, I need to have quick options in the fridge and know  that there will at least be something easy to grab!


I guess I missed it with all the anniversary festivites, but check out my guest post on KERF! I should make those again…

Polly’s Yoga Video is ready for ordering today!!! Make sure to check out the info.

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Woohoo – it’s the end of humpday!

I loved reading all of your hair routines. I am pretty low maintenance – wash, dry, done. I usually let it air dry most of the way because I hate drying my hair THAT much, plus I know air drying is a bit better for it. I know my hair would look a lot better with some curling, ironing, twirling and whirling, but it just takes so long! I need my own hair person to make me pretty every morning, and I haven’t convinced Nick to do that for me yet.

I think Roxy would help, but she doesn’t have thumbs, so that would be tough.


Not to mention that this is the look I usually get from her and she’s lazier than I am  🙂

I planned on this awesome stick-to-my-ribs snack since we had BodyPump after work – I was just glad I was actually hungry for it! I guess my lunch was mostly veggies, so I was ready for this at 3 pm.


I took some fat free plain yogurt and topped it with some sliced strawberries, blackberries, and this:


I love that this bar has whole almonds in it! Yum. I also need to remember to crumble granola bars over yogurt/oats/anything instead of just eating them by themselves. This seemed like a huge amount of “granola” on my yogurt, but I could probably eat that granola bar as-is in 4 bites. I like that it stretched out the enjoyment but I knew I only have a serving, too.

So – ready for BodyPump, right? Snack eaten, workout clothes on….and I worked it out in Kroger instead  🙂  Neither Nick or I were really feeling like BodyPump tonight: We had some more errands to run before our crazy weekend, it was gloomy and rainy, and we kind of convinced each other to not go tonight. It actually worked out good – I missed the class, but I had so much stuff to do tonight, so I’m glad we came home.

We ran to Kroger to buy a few things for next week so Sunday night won’t be so crazy. I was planning on running once we got home if it wasn’t raining, but of course it was. It slacked off a bit so we went outside and played some b-ball with our two neighbor boys across the street – 20 minutes of heart pumping activity is better than nothing! I was sweating and I was playing horribly, but it was fun. I’m blaming the bad playing on the fact that it was wet and the ball was slippery (come on, Sarah – I’m waiting for it!)

I came in from playing and made a dish for a work lunch tomorrow – I’m glad I got that done earlier tonight. Otherwise, I would have probably remembered in the middle of LOST and have to make it then.

We had easy dinners tonight and ate the leftovers of the Sweet, Hot, and Sour Chicken with brown rice and the rest of the asparagus/radish salad.


The pineapple is my favorite part.

I think this dish got hotter while sitting – I guess it soaked up that hot chile garlic paste – my mouth was on fire after eating dinner.

I’m off to research a possible dessert for tomorrow and get ready for LOST *cue creepy music*

Oh, and these also might happen, too –



What’s your favorite end-of-the-day snack when you’re hungry?

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