New Recipe Review - August 2012

bbstxAugust 4, 2012

Tried 2 new recipes last night, Grilled Romaine and Quinoa Tabbouleh. Both are keepers.

The Grilled Romaine is from Simply Recipes:


3 to 4 romaine hearts

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar (or cider vinegar)

2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs)

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pinch freshly ground black pepper


1 Prep the romaine hearts - pull off any old leaves. Chop off the top 1 or 2 inches of the lettuce head, and shave off the browned part of the root end, leaving the root end intact so that the lettuce head stays together.

2 Prepare your grill for high, direct heat. Paint the lettuce hearts all over with the vinaigrette. Prepare the vinaigrette. Put the oil, vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk with a fork to combine.

3 Grill the romaine hearts until lightly browned on all sides, turning every minute or two until done.

Serve immediately. You can either serve the hearts whole, or chop them and toss them for a salad.

Yield: Serves 3-4.

The Quinoa Tabbouleh was a combination of two recipes. I prepared the quinoa according to the Bon Appetit Quinoa Tabbouleh recipe, but I used Ina Garten Tabbouleh for the ingredients.

Ina Garten Tabbouleh


1 cup bulghur wheat

1 1/2 cups boiling water

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)

1/4 cup good olive oil

3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts (1 bunch)

1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (1 bunch)

1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (1 bunch)

1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and medium-diced

2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Place the bulghur in a large bowl, pour in the boiling water, and add the lemon juice, olive oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir, then allow to stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.

Add the scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, 2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper; mix well. Season, to taste, and serve or cover and refrigerate. The flavor will improve if the tabbouleh sits for a few hours.

I made a few changes in the Ina Garten recipe.

- Quinoa instead of bulghur wheat

-I cut the dressing to 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice. I had made the recipe before and thought 1/4 cup of each was too much.

- I used 1/2 cup of chopped parsley and a scant 1/2 cup of chopped mint. I have to wonder if the recipe should read, "1 cup of parsley, chopped," because 1 cup of chopped parsley is a is 1 cup of chopped mint. And because I grow my own, "1 bunch" has no meaning.

This was my first attempt at cooking quinoa. I read many articles about how to do it, but the prevailing instruction seemed to be to wash it thoroughly or it will be bitter. One site said to wash it vigorously in a strainer for at least 45 seconds. I not only washed it in a strainer, I also put it in a bowl of water, picked up handfuls and rubbed them together. Then I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed in the strainer. It had no bitterness at all. The Kitchn has a pretty thorough tutorial on preparing quinoa for us neophytes.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Kitchn - How to Cook Quinoa

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Filing that tabbouleh recipe...we are on a quinoa kick (actually we have been since Jessy sent me a box in a swap years ago).

DH got brave and made a dessert from Gourmet magazine the other night. Someone gave us fresh raspberries and we had a handful of pie cherries from our baby tree and a few strawberries, so he threw those in too....omg it was wonderful.

Chocolate Raspberry Clafouti

12 ounces fresh raspberries (2 3/4 cups)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 -3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 400�F with rack in middle. Butter a 1 1/2-quart shallow baking dish.

Toss berries with granulated sugar and let stand 15 minutes.
Blend milk, butter, eggs, brown sugar, flour, cocoa, and salt in a blender until smooth. Scatter berries (with juices) evenly in baking dish, then pour batter over top.
Bake until slightly puffed and firm to the touch, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with chopped chocolate. Cool to warm, about 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 8:05PM
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Supper tonight was "recipe testing night." We had Thai Lettuce Wraps and Vietnamese Summer Rolls.

The Thai Pork Lettuce Wraps was a Cooks Illustrated recipe.

Yield: 6 appetizers or 4 main courses


1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound), trimmed of silver skin and fat, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 1/2 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 Tbsp. white rice
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 medium shallots , peeled and sliced into thin rings (about 1/2 cup)
3 Tbsp. juice from 2 limes
2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
3 Tbsp. chopped cilantro leaves
1 head Bibb lettuce , washed and dried, leaves separated and left whole


1. Place pork chunks on large plate in single layer. Freeze meat until firm and starting to harden around edges but still pliable, 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Place half of meat in food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped, 5 to six 1-second pulses. Transfer ground meat to medium bowl and repeat with remaining chunks. Stir 1 tablespoon fish sauce into ground meat and marinate, refrigerated, 15 minutes.

3. Heat rice in small skillet over medium-high heat; cook, stirring constantly, until deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and cool 5 minutes. Grind rice with spice grinder, mini food processor, or mortar and pestle until it resembles fine meal, 10 to 30 seconds (you should have about 1 tablespoon rice powder).

4. Bring broth to simmer in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook, stirring frequently, until about half of pork is no longer pink, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon rice powder over pork; continue to cook, stirring constantly, until remaining pork is no longer pink, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes longer. Transfer pork to large bowl; let cool 10 minutes.

5. Add remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce, remaining 2 teaspoons rice powder, shallots, lime juice, sugar, red pepper flakes, mint, and cilantro to pork; toss to combine. Serve with lettuce leaves.

I added a a peanut sauce from Chow

3/4 cup natural-style creamy peanut butter (used crunchy as directed by my Vietnamese friend)
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 1 1/2 medium limes)
4 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon granulated sugar (omitted)
2 1/4 teaspoons chile-garlic paste
1 medium garlic clove, mashed to a paste
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

I also made the summer rolls included with the peanut sauce. None of us had ever encountered rice paper wrappers before. Although the flavors were good, we did not care for the texture of the wrappers.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 10:24PM
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I had a dinner party for 12 for my Dad's 85th and wanted to showcase the beautiful sockeye that is available right now. I doubled this recipe and it was absolutely fabulous. Made it exactly as written except that I just used one sheet of phyllo for each fillet.I like the fact that it can be assembled ahead of time, which is what I did.
Phyllo-Wrapped Salmon with Leeks and Red Bell Pepper Bon Appetit : October 1997
Ristorante Araxi, Whistler, British Columbia
Yield: Serves 6

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
4 cups matchstick-size strips red bell peppers (about 2 large)
2 cups matchstick-size strips leek (white and pale green parts only; about 1 large)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1 teaspoon salt

12 sheets fresh phyllo pastry or frozen, thawed
6 5-ounce 6x2x1-inch skinless salmon fillets

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers and leek and saute until leek is tender, about 6 minutes. Add wine and crushed red pepper to skillet. Simmer until liquid evaporates, about 4 minutes. Remove skillet from heat. Cool vegetable mixture. Stir in basil and salt.
Preheat oven to 400F. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in small saucepan. Place 1 pastry sheet on work surface (keep remaining phyllo sheets covered). Brush with some of melted butter. Top with second pastry sheet; brush with melted butter. Place 1 salmon fillet crosswise on pastry sheet, 5 inches in from 1 short end. Top salmon fillet with 1/4 cup of vegetable mixture. Fold 5-inch section of pastry over salmon. Fold in sides. Roll up, forming rectangular packet. Transfer to heavy large baking sheet, vegetable side up. Brush packet all over with melted butter. Repeat with remaining pastry sheets, melted butter, salmon fillets and vegetables. (Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)
Bake salmon until pastry is pale golden and salmon is cooked through, about 35 minutes.

Read More

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 11:27AM
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Tobyt - I have made this recipe a number of times and I agree it is a great dish. I tried it for Thanksgiving last year for the first time when I had vegetarian guests, and they raved about it. I've done it with salmon, but also Dover sole. I'm sure there are other fish varieties which would work well with the phyllo/leeks/bell peppers.

I made mine a day before and put them into the oven about 30 minutes before people were arriving. The butter and phyllo help to avoid drying out. I use a Thermopen to check when the fish is done.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 11:43AM
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I agree about the different types of fish Cheryl, I was thinking that it would also be really good with halibut. My husband is fishing for halibut this week - so hopefully, he's lucky!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 6:03PM
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Tonight's dinner started as a disaster and ended in triumph. For supper, I prepared one of my absolute favorite dishes, avocados stuffed with shrimp salad. I had been anticipating supper all day. As I was getting ready to plate dinner, I pulled a dish out of the upper cabinet, lost my grip, and it fell on the granite countertop shattering into a bazillion pieces, some of which jumped into my shrimp salad.

Needless to say, most of dinner went down the drain. We ate avocados and found a small amount of leftover Thai Pork (see above)wrapped in some butter lettuce leaves.

To soothe my irritation, I made this butterscotch sauce and ate it over vanilla ice cream - pretty much my dinner tonight.

From David Lebovitz

Butterscotch Sauce
One cup (250ml)

Adapted from Ready for Dessert

No one quite knows where the name "butterscotch" came from. Some think it's derived from butter being "scorched" and others think it may be from when butterscotch was made into candies that were "scored", or cut. Although it's not where the name came from, nor is it traditional, I will sometimes put a shot of scotch or bourbon in my butterscotch sauce, because I like the flavors together.

4 tablespoons (55 g) salted butter
1 cup (180 g) packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml), plus 6 tablespoons (90 ml) heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a wide saucepan or skillet, melt the butter with the brown sugar and the 1/4 cup of heavy cream, stirring until smooth.

2. Without stirring, let the mixture cook at a bubbling simmer for three minutes.

3. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 6 tablespoons of cream. Let cool a bit, then stir in the vanilla extract.

Serving and Storage: The sauce should be served warm. It can be stored in a jar, in the refrigerator, for up to two weeks. Reheat the butterscotch sauce in a saucepan over low heat.

Here is a link that might be useful: Butterscotch Sauce from David Lebovitz

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 9:01PM
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I have two recipes to share. The first is pork tenderloin in a mustard sauce from Martha Stewart Living. I was surprised at how flavorful & easy this dish was - it's now in my Keeper file.

Pork Tenderloin and Mustard-Wine Sauce
4 servings

1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Whisk together wine, water, and mustard. Season pork on all sides with salt and pepper.
Heat a 12-inch ovenproof saute pan over medium-high heat; add oil. Sear pork until browned on all sides, about 6 minutes total. Remove from heat. Carefully add mustard-wine mixture. Transfer pan to oven.
Roast pork, spooning sauce over meat about halfway through, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat registers 145 degrees, about 15 minutes. Let pork rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Drizzle with sauce.

The second recipe is a strata I made for a yard party this past weekend & served as a side dish. I put it together the previous evening, baked it the next morning & let it sit until we ate around 6 PM. It's a very pretty dish with the red, green & golden of the cheese. Good flavor, nice dish for vegetarians, & was still good the next day. It's from Country Living magazine.

Tomato-Cheddar Strata with Broccoli
8-10 servings

4 1/2 c (about three-quarters of a French loaf) 1-inch bread cubes
Butter, for greasing dish
6 oz shredded Cheddar (about 1 1/2 c), divided use
1 c halved grape tomatoes
1 c frozen broccoli florets
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
8 large eggs
3 c milk
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
4 oz (1/2 cup) ricotta cheese
1 tsp herbes de Provence

Place bread in a buttered 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Top bread with 1 cup Cheddar, tomatoes, broccoli, and 1 Tbsp parsley.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour egg mixture over bread and gently press to soak every cube.
Add dollops of ricotta over top.
Sprinkle strata with herbes de Provence and remaining Cheddar. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or up to overnight.
Remove strata from refrigerator and bring to room temperature, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake until strata is puffed and lightly golden brown, about 1 hour. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Garnish with remaining parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 8:41PM
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Kathleen, I posted that Martha Stewart pork tenderloin with mustard and white wine sauce a couple of times. It is delicious. Have you tried it with the spinach and walnut salad that appeared with it in the magazine? They're perfect together.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 10:05AM
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As requested, here's the recipe for Honey Mustard Chicken that I prepared a couple of days ago. Leftovers last night were still delicious.

Sorry, no picture, that's apparently a trick I haven't learned yet. BTW, I did use fresh rosemary. Love that stuff! I served it with rice.

Honey Mustard Chicken Recipe

Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes If you don't want to eat skin-on chicken, still cook the dish with the skin-on, even if you don't eat it. The skin will protect the meat from drying out.

Add to shopping listIngredients
1/4 to 1/3 cup smooth Dijon mustard
1/4 to 1/3 cup honey
1 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 pounds chicken thighs (or legs)
2 sprigs rosemary (or a generous sprinkling of dried rosemary)
Freshly ground black pepper

1 Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large bowl, mix mustard with the honey, and olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and taste. Add more salt and mustard until you get the flavor where you want it.

2 Salt the chicken lightly and lay the pieces skin-side up in a shallow casserole dish. Spoon the honey mustard sauce over the chicken. Place the rosemary sprigs in between the pieces of chicken.

3 Bake for 45 minutes, or until the thighs read 175° on a meat thermometer, or the juices run clear when the meat is pierced with a knife. Remove the casserole pan from the oven, use a spoon to spoon off any excess chicken fat that has rendered during the cooking.

Sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper over the chicken before you serve.

Yield: Serves 4-6.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 11:11AM
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Hi Christine,

I'm sorry I missed your posting of the tenderloin and therefore more meals of it! :) Wouldn't you think the sauce would be on the bland side - but it's not.

No, I didn't make the spinach salad. DH isn't huge on spinach. I'll look at it again & maybe make it with romaine or butter lettuce.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 2:58PM
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I made some Pecan Cheesecake bars last week from a magazine recipe I had been saving. Not a keeper.

But this martini is a huge hit! Taking the ingredients on our canoe trip this weekend to make for the girls. They'll love it!

Tiramisu Martini

2 parts Rum Chata liqueur
1 part Espresso Vodka
Generous squirt of Chocolate Syrup

Put all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass and enjoy.

Garnish with a chocolate rim sugar or a chocolate curl. pics. It disappeared too quickly!


    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 6:37PM
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Thanks, Jude. Thighs are my favorite chicken part and that recipe sounds like we would really like it. I'll be trying it soon.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 7:24PM
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This is a new-to-me recipe, although I think it has been around for ages. Served it tonight with Chicken Marbella. I am not a salad fan, but it was delish!

Simply Recipes Mixed Green Salad with Pecans, Goat Cheese and Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

4 ounces pecans, whole
1 Tbsp melted butter
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp honey mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lb mixed salad greens, including fresh baby spinach
4 ounces goat cheese
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1-2 inch thin slices
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Place pecans in a bowl, pour melted butter over them, sprinkle
with sugar, and gently toss until the pecans are all well coated with a dusting of sugar.
Place them in a single layer on a parchment paper or Silpat lined cookie sheet. Bake for
20 minutes. Let cool to touch.
2. Whisk together the honey mustard, garlic, red pepper flakes, and balsamic vinegar in a
medium sized bowl. Slowly drizzle the oil into the mixture, whisking constantly until
completely incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Place lettuces and baby spinach in a large bowl. Add the goat cheese, dried cranberries,
red bell pepper, and pecans. Toss with 1/4 cup of the dressing.
4. Serve immediately.
5. Serves 8.
6. Chill remaining dressing

Here is a link that might be useful: Simply Recipes Mixed Green Salad with Pecans, Goat Cheese and Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 11:08PM
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Kathleen,we really like your Bourbon Steak so when I saw this recipe with bourbon in a magazine, I cut it out to try.

Note: here's the recipe as printed but I left the pork tenderloin whole, rubbed it with the spices and baked it at 375 for about 20-25 minutes (about 140 degrees internal). I let it set for about 5 minutes after removing from the oven; then sliced and served with the sauce.


1/2 cup bourbon
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 Tbs. white vinegar (I used white basalmic)
3 Tbs. reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. pepper

In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients above and bring to a boil. Cook until liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup, stirring occasionally.

1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground allspice

Combine and rub spices on:
1 pork tenderloin (1lb.), cut into 12 slices

In a large skillet coated with cooking spray, cook pork over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160. Serve with the bourbon sauce.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 9:04AM
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It's hotter than blazes here and last night called for a cool and refreshing meal. Poached salmon with a fennel/parmesan salad fit the bill.

Here's one of my new favorite salads-- I didn't have any celery leaves so I subbed ground celery seed from Penzey's and dried parsely flakes too. Delish!

This is the basic recipe that I followed:


Fennel is among my favorite cold-weather staples. Oddly enough I like the pairing of fennel and celery. Though their textures are similar, their flavors are so wildly different that the combination is striking. With little more than olive oil, loads of lemon juice, and pepper (and some Parmesan, why not?), they create just about as refreshing an uncooked dish as you can put on the table this time of year.
Quick Info:

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed, some fronds reserved
3 celery ribs, trimmed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, more to taste
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, more to taste
Freshly shaved Parmesan cheese.
The New York Times

Cut fennel bulbs in quarters lengthwise, discarding outer layer if it is exceedingly tough. Use a mandoline to slice quarters thinly; slice celery equally thin.
Put sliced fennel and celery into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently to combine. Top with lots of freshly shaved Parmesan and chopped fennel fronds if you like.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mark Bittman's Fennel, Parmesan Celery Salad

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 1:33PM
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Hi Ruthanna,

I'm glad you like that Bourbon Steak - it's different & GOOD. I just looked at the recipe; I've been making it since early '86. I would not have sliced the tenderloin before cooking, either. It cooks so fast anyway that I have to really watch it.

I have several other recipes for beef & pork (mostly) with liquor. If you're interested in any I'll be glad to post them in a new post so the New Recipe Review doesn't get side-tracked.

Pepper Steak with Brandy Sauce, from everydaymom
Pork tenderloin with Bourbon sauce, from canarybird
Bourbon-braised pork chops, from Sunset magazine
Pork loin with brandy & apples
Pork tenderlon with Cognac cream, from Williams Sonoma
Pork tenderloin with Dijon cream, from lakeguy/David (I posted this in May, I think, after I made it the first time - very yummy.)

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 3:53PM
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MAde this today with all fresh stuff from the Farmers Market. Subbed a fresh Cowhorn pepper for the dried and left out the potatoes since I didn't really want the extra carbs and didn't miss them a bit! This is a lovely fresh from the garden summer soup.


Preparation - Medium
Serves 6 - 8
The name means simply cooked bread, and like so many similar soups all over Italy the key ingredient is slightly stale bread. In Italian, the bread, once it's no longer fresh, is called pane raffermo, meaning bread that has firmed up - a nicer terminology than our "stale bread" with its negative connotation of bread that is no longer any good.
Ideally, pancotto should be flavored with lots of wild herbs and greens like borage, wild fennel, wild chicory, and rocket or arugula, but if you can't find these herbs, use a handful of fresh rosemary, thyme, basil, sage, arugula, and/or parsley, combined and chopped.
The vegetables can be varied with the season - add a handful of fresh fava beans in springtime, a few cauliflower florets in the fall, or bright cubes of butternut squash in winter.
� 8 TBSP chopped fresh wild or garden herbs (see above)
� 2 zucchini, quartered and cut in chunks
� 1/2 lb fresh green beans, broken in short lengths
� 1 lb small new potatoes, preferably white ones, their skins rubbed off - or larger potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks
� 2 ripe red tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped, or 1 1/2 cups drained canned tomatoes
� 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed with the flat blade of a knife
� 8 TBSP chopped white onion
� salt
� 2 - 1-inch-thick slices slightly stale country-style bread
� 1/2 small dried hot red chile pepper
� freshly ground black pepper to taste
� 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
IN a stockpot or soup kettle place the herbs, zucchini, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, and onion and cover with water to a depth of one inch.
ADD salt to taste and bring to a simmer over high heat, then turn the heat down to medium-low, cover the pot, and cook until the potatoes are tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
CUT the crusts off the bread slices and soak briefly in water, then squeeze the bread to get rid of all the water.
TEAR and crumble the soaked bread and add to the simmering soup along with the chile pepper. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the bread has thoroughly broken down and thickened the soup, about 10 minutes longer.
TASTE and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt if necessary and pepper if desired.
SERVE the soup immediately, with a good dollop of olive oil or olio santo and a little sprinkle of freshly chopped green herbs atop each serving.
OPTIONAL: You may also pass a bowl of freshly grated pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano at table.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 4:13PM
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I made this for dinner yesterday and it was a hit. I loved the ease of cooking it all in one pot. I posted the pic on the what's for dinner thread.

**I changed one thing. Instead of cooking the chicken with the tomatoes, I added it at the same time as the rice. That's plenty of time to cook it through. I also used boneless breasts. I'd love to do thighs next time, if I can sneak them past hubby. Oh I left out the cilantro, too....ptew, yuck.

Chipotle Chicken and Rice (Martha Stewart Everyday Food)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds total)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, minced
2 large tomatoes, diced large
1 cup long-grain white rice
Lime wedges, for serving
Chopped cilantro leaves, for serving (optional)

In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken on both sides with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Working in batches, brown chicken on both sides, about 6 minutes total; transfer to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot (if necessary, add a bit of water to release browned bits).

Add garlic, cumin, and chiles; cook until garlic is soft and fragrant, 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until tomatoes begin to break down and release their juices, 3 minutes. Stir in 1 cup water and return chicken and any accumulated juices to pot. Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook 25 minutes.

Remove several pieces of chicken and stir in rice, making sure it is completely submerged in liquid. Replace chicken, cover, and cook until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes more. Serve with lime wedges and cilantro if desired.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chicken with chipotle

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 8:22PM
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Made these burritos for dinner last night and they were super easy and very good. Definitely will make them again with just a few slight changes (my changes in italics.) Stew meat did not get tender enough to "flake", I would use a small roast and shred then add back to sauce for about 30-60 minutes. I also added a generous tablespoon of homemade taco seasoning and next time would add a small can of green chilies. I like stuff a little spicier.

The homemade beans are fabulous! I'll be making them often!

Smothered Chile Colorado Burritos
from Chef in Training blog

1 1/2 lbs. stew meat I would use a small roast and shred when tender then return to sauce
1 (19 oz) can red enchilada sauce (recommended El Paso Mild brand)I may try homemade next time
2 beef bullion cubes
refried beans (recipe below)
5-7 burrito size tortillas
1 cup shredded cheese (more or less depend ending on personal preference)
1 generous T taco seasoning

Put beef pieces into crock pot. Top with crushed bouillon cubes and enchilada sauce. Cook on low for 7-8 hours, or until meat is very tender.

When beef is done (very tender and flakes off when stirred), taste and add more salt, if desired.

Make sure beans are warmed through. You can use canned refried beans or the recipe I provided you with.
Smear about 2 heaping spoons worth of beans on to the center of each tortilla. Add about 1/2 cup of beef, give or take, and roll into a burrito.

Place burritos into a greased 9x13 baking pan until it fills the pan. Pour some of the extra sauce over the tops of the burritos to smother them. Place cheese on top.

Broil until cheese becomes bubbly, approx. 2-4 minutes.
This recipe makes about 5-7 burritos depending on how big you make them.


Put about 2 inches (about 3 cups) of dry pinto beans into 5 qt crock-pot. (Wash and rinse beans first)
Fill crock-pot nearly to the top with water

5 chicken bouillon cubes
1 Tbsp. garlic salt
1/2 medium sweet onion (Don�t chop up onion, just put half of onion on beans)

Cook on high until beans are soft. (stir occasionally during cooking process. You may have to add more water as beans absorb water.)

Strain beans or pour off juice, saving the juice in a separate bowl. I wasn�t sure what to do with the onion so I removed and tossed it

Add 1/2 cup of butter and a small amount of juice that beans cooked in.

Use a hand blender to mash beans. Add juice and blend to obtain desired consistency. You want to leave beans a little runny as they will set up quite fast.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 5:10PM
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These were amazing! Will be my "go to" from now on:


Season ribs and brown 3 meaty sides in olive oil and remove from dutch oven.

Toss in a few handfuls of roughly cut onions and saute for 5 minutes. Throw in some thyme and (preferably fresh) bay leaves. Drain a bottle of thick red wine in the pot and stir in a small can of tomato paste. Return ribs to pot, add some kind of stock so ribs are mostly covered, put a tight lid on it and cook in 350 oven for 2-1/2 hours or so. Either rub sauce through a sieve or not.

+++ My notes - I only used about a cup of Cabernet Sauvignon. I don't care for wine and was afraid that was all I would be able to taste. I also tossed fresh garlic in with the onions. Can't cook without garlic!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 1:08PM
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I wanted to make a special dessert for our neighbor's daughter, who is about to leave for her first year of college. We did a lobster boil, and this ice cream cake was a huge hit, especially with the kids. Totally decadent, but a small piece goes a long way. I subbed Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers for the crust because my local Wegmans no longer carries chocolate graham crackers.

I can't remember if someone here posted the link or I found it elsewhere. It's from the Noble Pig website.

Noble Pig's Whoppers-Malted Milk Ice Cream Pie
Servings: 12
Prep Time: 25 Minutes
Cook Time: 7 Hours


1-2/3 cups crushed chocolate graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled


1 (12 ounce) carton Whoppers or malted milk balls
2 quarts best quality vanilla ice cream, softened
1/2 cup malted milk powder


7 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream


For crust, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Crush graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground. Add sugar and butter and pulse until fully combined. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 10" springform pan. The crumb mixture will be very dry. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until firm and set. Let cool completely.
Place Whoppers into a ziplock bag. Seal the bag and crush the candies with a mallet or a rolling pin. Put to the side a 1/2 cup of crushed Whoppers to be used as part of the topping. In a large bowl, stir ice cream , malted milk powder and remaining crushed Whoppers. Spread the ice cream mixture evenly over the cooled crust, making the top smooth. Freeze for one hour.
To make the topping, place heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Pour over chocolate chips and let sit for 1 minute. Whisk chocolate until very smooth and pour over the partially frozen ice cream cake. Sprinkle with reserved crushed Whoppers. Freeze until firm, another 6 hours or overnight.
Remove cake from freezer and let sit for 5 minutes. Loosen pan sides and run a knife around the inside of pan. Remove cake pan, sides and bottom and place on a serving plate. Use a sharp knife to cut into wedges

Here is a link that might be useful: Noble Pig's Whoppers-Malted Milk Ice Cream Cake

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 11:58PM
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Goldgirl, your recipe gave me courage to post the semi-homemade recipe that I tried last week. I was in a hurry and need a dessert for a dinner meeting. It was a hit, 3 guest had seconds!!

Note: I cut the pie into cubes while it was frozen. I could tell it would have been too messy thawed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Turtle Trifle

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 8:40AM
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A new recipe I tried.

Home Cookin Chapter: Recipes From Thibeault's Table

Red Currant Tea Cake
Source: A Cake Bakes in Brooklyn Blog
Vintage Recipe

1 quart flour (4 cups)
One teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup of sugar (add up to another 1/2 cup)
2 eggs
1 pint milk (2 cups)
1/2 cup melted butter
Fresh Blueberries or Red Currants

Preheat oven to 350�F.

Sift dry ingredients together. Add eggs, butter and milk. Mix well. Toss berries with a little flour. Carefully stir into cake batter.

Butter and flour loaf pans.
Fill pans 3/4 full and bake about 30 minutes.

Notes: The original recipe calls for 2 cups of milk. The batter was too thick so I added almost another full cup.

I also glazed the finished loaves with a brown sugar and butter glaze.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 5:10PM
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Ann....where did you find the red currents? Do you know of a source for frozen? I used to grow currents (unfortunately moved away and left the bushes) but the birds got them before I ever did.
Can they be canned?
Linda C

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 6:48PM
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Linda, I have not seen fresh currants, but I buy Zante brand dried currants, in an orange box in the produce section or where boxed raisins are shelved.

DH says he doesn't like raisins, & my mother gave me the tip of substituting dried currants when raisins are called for. Works great.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 11:02PM
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Speaking of currants, I made some whole wheat muffins with currants today. I've been using a recipe from King Arthur Flour for "100% Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins." I've made it 3 times so far: once with dried blueberries, once with fresh blueberries, and today with fresh red currants.

It's a super easy recipe and seems very versatile too. The recipe calls for buttermilk but no eggs. Yet the muffins turn out tender and delicious.

Here is a link that might be useful: 100% Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 11:15PM
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My daughters had baked oatmeal at a summer camp a few years ago and although neither one of them will eat cooked oatmeal (and neither do I) they both raved about this method. Since I love oatmeal in any permeation except porridge, I wanted to try it. I forgot about it for a while and then saw this recipe while searching for something to do with the boatload of blueberries that I have purchased. It was a winner! I can see doubling the batch and keeping in the fridge for quick work/school day breakfasts.

Baked Oatmeal with Fruit
recipe from Annie's Eats

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds (whichever you prefer), divided
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen), divided

1. Preheat oven to 375 F.

2. Grease a 1 1/2 or 2-quart baking dish.

3. In a medium bowl, toss together the oats, half of the nuts, the baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir with a fork to combine.

4. In a liquid measuring cup, combine maple syrup, egg, butter, and vanilla.

5. Sprinkle half of the berries in the baking dish. Then sprinkle the dry oat mixture over the fruit in an even layer. Pour the liquid ingredients evenly over the oats. Sprinkle remaining nuts and berries over the top.

6. Bake 35-40 minutes, until top is browned and the oats have set. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 6:47PM
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I can buy dry currents....and often make an orange current quick bread....but not fresh.
A cooking friend once told me that current jelly makes everything better and cures most cooking I always keep a jar in makes steamed carrots special, a grilled pork tenderloin into an event meal and saves an over cooked chicken breast from the dog's bowl.
But I wish I could make my own current jelly....

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 7:16PM
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For anyone that has an excess of zucchini,
this is very good. I made it last week and intend to make more and freeze. It is copied from

Watchtide's Lemon-Blueberry-Zucchini Bread

Yield: 2 loaves

This zesty bread freezes well.

- 4 eggs
- 2 cups (or less) sugar
- 1 cup canola oil
- 2 cups unpeeled, coarsely grated zucchini, drained slightly
- zest of 1 lemon, grated
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3-1/2 cups unbleached flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup (or more) frozen Maine wild blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Beat the eggs. Add the sugar and beat until well mixed. Add the oil and beat. Add the zucchini, lemon juice, and lemon zest and mix well.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt, soda, and baking powder and add to the wet ingredients, mixing well. Gently fold in the blueberries.
Pour the batter into 2 greased and floured 5x9-inch loaf pans. Bake approximately 55 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center of one of the loaves comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool 10 minutes, then remove the loaves to a wire rack to continue cooling.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 8:17PM
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Lindac, I think you have to find a supply of 'fresh picked'
currants. And then make jelly as you would out of any
other fresh fruit. We had currant bushes in our yard,
when I was a small child, and my Mother sent me out
with a bucket to fill, and it took me 'FO-EVAH', since
the currants are so small. I hated those bushes.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 3:31PM
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I tried this recipe for lunch yesterday and it was a hit with all the boyz.

Mexican Chicken Salad

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. cumin
(Omitted because I don't like cumin.)
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
(I used 4 large poached leg quarters.)
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
(Added to dressing.)
16 oz. pkg. frozen corn
(Used 4 ears of lightly steamed fresh corn.)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 cups grape tomatoes
(Used about a cup because half the family scrapes the tomatoes back into the serving bowl!)
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
(Out of black beans so I subbed lt. red kidneys.)
2 red bell peppers, chopped
(Subbed 1 large green bell pepper.)
10 oz. pkg. mixed lettuce
2 avocados, peeled and chopped
2 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
4 cups blue corn tortilla chips
1 cup sour cream
10 oz. jar thick and chunky salsa

** I added a tablespoon or so of chopped cilantro instead of using cumin.
** Also, I added some chopped jalapenos.

For dressing, in small bowl combine vinegar, honey, cumin, chili powder, 1/4 tsp. salt, and cayenne pepper and mix well with wire whisk; set aside.

Heat olive oil in 12" skillet. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 tsp. salt, then saute in skillet with garlic until cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes. Combine cooked chicken, corn, red onion, tomatoes, black beans, and red peppers in large bowl. Stir in dressing. Chill at least 1 hour. (I prepare it up to this point and chill until the next day.)

When ready to eat, combine chicken mixture with lettuce. Serve along with avocados, cheese, tortilla chips, sour cream and salsa. Each diner garnishes his own salad as desired. Serves 6 to 8

*The guys all liked this salad a lot. I, OTOH, wasn't so crazy about the 'sweet' from the honey. It wasn't overpoweringly sweet and was OK after a few bites. While I will definitely make this again, I'm going to tinker with the dressing recipe. Lime, maybe instead of the vinegar and less honey??

*Recipe makes a lot and it is very filling.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mexican Chicken Salad

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 12:25PM
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I rarely post recipes that aren't wonderful, or ones I would not recommend.... but this is an exception. It is so amazingly bad, I want to warn all of you to avoid it at all costs! Do NOT believe the 4-5 star rating (350+ reviews) there seems to be a huge number of pans that people took the tim to post.

My review on the site is kind compared to what our opinions (family) actually thought. THIS IS A DOG OF A RECIPE even though it sounds pretty good....


Here is a link that might be useful: DONT EVER MAKE GIADA'S CLASSIC LASAGNA

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 3:15PM
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You are right Caliloo. I read the list of ingredients
and thought, what the hey. Then I read the detailed

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 3:30PM
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Alexa - the recipe is downright weird! I make lasagne using the instructions I got from my college housemates. They came from Florence, Bologna and Venice. I've also read many different versions of southern Italian lasagne. But I've never heard of a tomato-bechamel sauce being used, and the plain cooked ground beef is just strange. What was she thinking? And 350+ people drank the Kool Aid! What a waste of food and time.


    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 3:56PM
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I live close to strawberry fields and they are so good right now......and my neighbor has an orange tree with the best oranges ever, this year.
Here are some recipes for sorbets I got from a cookbook from our local library. (I can't remember which one.)
I made the orange sorbet today and I didn't have quite enough oj so I made up the remainder with a ripe peach. Yummy!
Berry Sorbet

15 oz. berries
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp vodka

Pulse berries, sugar and salt together in food processor until combines. About 15 pulses.
With processor running add lemon juice, water and vodka and continue processing until sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute.
Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl and refrigerated until very cold.
Transfer mixture to ice cream machine and churn until it resembles soft serve ice cream.
Pack in a tight container, pressing down to remove air pockets and freeze until firm. (At least three hours.)

Orange sorbet

Omit berries. Reduce sugar by 1 Tbsp. and add 2 tsps grated orange zest to food processor with sugar and salt.
Omit water and reduce lemon juice to 1 Tbsp. Add two cups orange juice to processor with lemon juice.

Lemon sorbet

Omit berries. Increase sugar to 1 1/4 cups and water to 1 1/2 cups. Add 2 tsps. lemon zest to food processor with sugar and salt. Increase lemon juice to 1/2 cup.

Peach sorbet

Substitute 2.5 pounds of peaches, peeled, halved, pitted and chopped coarsely in place of berries.
Reduce sugar by 1 Tbsp.. In place of vodka, use rum or peach schnapps.

Mango sorbet

Substitute 3 mangos, peeled, pitted and chopped coarse for berries. Reduce sugar to 3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp.

Pineapple sorbet

Substitute 1 small pineapple, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped in place of berries.
Reduce sugar to 3/4 cup and lemon juice to 1 Tbsp.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 9:47PM
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I used this recipe from Smitten Kitchen for inspiration, making do with what I had on hand, and using up and abundance of cherry tomatoes. I used regular feta, roughly chunked and just combined everything in the ingredient list and baked at 400 for about 25 minutes. Served with crostini, although I have made the crackers she mentions and they are great - but I was too lazy tonight. DH asked "why haven't you ever made this before?" so I think he liked it.

Baked Feta with Tomatoes and Olives
Adapted, barely, from The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook

I don't think anyone would mind if you use more than the suggested amount of tomatoes. Feta is so salty and tomatoes are so delicious and sweet right now, the more the merrier. Now, I don't have a grill but I am sharing the grilling instructions here because most of you do, but with the caveat that I haven't tested this on a grill. My only concern would be leakage. I don't think any harm would come from doubling up on the foil.

If you'd like to make this with haloumi (you can buy it here or here or here, btw, and probably a cheese or good grocery store closer to you), I like to cut my block of haloumi into about 1/3- to 1/2-inch slices. I brush the grill with oil and place it gently, directly on the grates, cooking it until it's blistered on one side, then flipping it and doing the other. Lay the grilled slices out on a plate and toss it with a chopped salad made from the non-feta ingredients below, plus a splash of red wine vinegar. I usually skip the garlic (just personal taste) and would only use a tablespoon or so of minced red onion, since the salad will be raw, but otherwise think you'll love it as much as we do.

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup chopped, pitted Kalmata olives
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion (oops, I forgot this)
2 tablespoons finely-chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 8- to 10-ounce block feta
Crackers, flatbread*, pita chips, or crostini, for dipping

In a bowl, mix the tomatoes, olives, onion, garlic, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, oregano, olive oil and a few grinds of pepper.

On a grill: Heat your grill to medium-high. Set the feta block in the middle of a piece of foil. Pile the tomato mixture on top of the feta. Fold up the edges of the foil so that it will hold in any liquid as it cooks. Place the packet straight on a grill for 15 minutes to warm it through. Remove from grill and transfer to plate or serving dish.

In the oven: Heat oven to 400�F. Check to see that your dish is oven-proof. (I didn�t!) Place the block of feta in the middle of your dish. Pile the tomato mixture on top of the feta. Bake for 15 minutes.

Both methods: The feta will not melt, just warm and soften. Serve with crackers; eat immediately. As it cools, the feta will firm up again. We found that the dish could be returned to the oven to soften it again. We did this with leftovers, too.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 10:16PM
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