Pepper Crusted Tuna Sashimi
with Pineapple Guacamole & Herbed Crema

Written by chanie on February 4th, 2016

I used to hate raw fish. It make me all squeamish. Raw meat too. I mean why would you want to eat raw food, possibly swimming with parasites, if you could eat it cooked, am I right? I was fine with a runny egg or two. Or three. But not the real proteins. Put a fancy plate of beef tartare with a raw egg in the center in front of me and I was out the door.

But then sometime about a year or two ago, I decided I was done being afraid of food and I wanted to try everything. I’m still not a fan of beef tartare but I’ve come to love raw sushi. It’s so much fun to be able to order off the entire sushi menu now, and not just the cooked rolls! You’ll be surprised just how easy it is to prepare pepper-crusted tuna sashimi at home. Just make sure you get the freshest, best quality tuna out there for this dish.

Related Recipes:

pan seared tuna steak
persimmon guacamole
jalapeno crema

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Everyday Secret Restaurant Recipes Review & Giveaway

Written by chanie on January 27th, 2016

In the spirit of my Blogoversary last week, I figured it was about time for a giveaway. And I’ve been itching to review the latest cookbook in the Secret Restaurant Recipes series, so it worked out just perfectly!

Like all of the cookbooks by seasoned cookbook writers Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek, Everyday Secret Restaurant Recipes does not disappoint. It’s got the same beautiful graphics, breathtaking photos and clean-cut layout as it’s original, but the recipes are a bit less glitzy yet not one bit less mouthwatering.

For this round, the writers went to everyday establishments – grills like the famous Fish Grill in LA (where I’ve noshed on their famous fish and chips), local favorites like Bagels ‘n Greens (ever taste their insane donuts?!), Boeuf & Bun (loooove their bondi burger), Izzy’s BBQ Addiction (I’m legit addicted, it’s in my ‘hood after all), Mendelsohn’s (we love their breaded cauliflower) and Pizza Time (best kosher pizza outside of Israel IMHO). They’ve covered Miami hot spots like 26 Sushi & Tapas (lettuce wraps please!), China Bistro (love their spicy chicken and eggplant) and Zak the Baker (I’ll have everything on the menu) and National must-haves like C  & R Kitchen (I’m till dreaming of the prime rib I had there), Milt’s BBQ (I must get there soon!), And Nobo Wine & Grill (I’ve already booked my reservation). Of course we can’t forget all the International spots like Aussies Milk & Honey (I had a great lunch there!), Israel’s Rimon Cafe (great memories!), and eateries in Austria, Brazil, England, Panama and Uruguay.

When they say they’ve hit the little guys, they mean it. They’ve got supermarkets like Pomegranate and Breadberry in Brooklyn, heimishe bakeries like Zishes in Monsey and even stadium joints like Legends in Yankee stadium. My favorite though would have to be The Wandering Que, a BBQ trailer that hauls it’s Texas-style BBQ rig around town. Leah & Victoria have indeed covered their tracks.

Of course I’m partial because my ‘hood made it to the Kosher Food Trends list (we house the famous Basil Pizza & Wine Bar, Boeuf & Bun & Izzy’s BBQ Addiction after all) and having my name on the shout-out list was a nice surprise (I shared some of my favorite hot spots). But the truth is – we have to let the recipes do the talking. The fact that roasted chickpeas are the first recipe of the Starters & Sides should say something. They’re my absolute favorite nosh to date. But the kani poppers, beef fry apricots, buffalo cauliflower, tater poppers and smoked hot wings tickled my fancy as well. Soups & Salads are down to earth, with recipes like black bean soup, Asian nappa salad, harvest twist and peach glazed chicken salad. They’ve even covered basics like store coleslaw (haven’t you always wondered how to get it just right?) and potato salad. Sandwiches are possibly my favorite chapter, and thankfully they’ve included the Morning Scramble from Boeuf & Bun, so when I don’t feel like walking up the block to their hip joint, I can just make it at home! My husband is particularly excited about Essen’s Sino Steak Sandwich, a dish he grew up eating! Pretzel sticks, honey mustard pargiot, chicken Pad Thai and Gotham glazed ribs are favorites from Chicken & Meat while the grilled fish taco, bourbon salmon and sushi pizza stood out from the Fish. They’ve even got Brunch & Lunch covered with recipes like Israeli breakfast, creamy home fries, and veggie chili, but I’ll take the creme brulee freezer. They finish off with a bang with dessert goodies like Zak the Bakers chocolate rugelach, T Fusion’s churros and Lula’s halva parfait. Mmm mmm good.

So, should you buy this book? Well, if you live in a place that doesn’t have too many eateries or you don’t mind cooking up some restaurant fare that’s not too intimidating, then this is the book for you. While the cookbook includes “everyday recipes” don’t expect them all to be quick and easy. If they’re good enough to be on a menu in a cafe somewhere, they’re going to require some work. But it looks to me like it will be well worth the effort.

Purchase Everyday Secret Restaurant Recipes on Amazon.

Read a review of Secret Restaurant Recipes.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

So lets get down to business because I know you are waiting! To enter this fabulous giveaway, here’s what to do!

1. Leave a comment on my Blogoversary Post letting me know your favorite BIB recipes of the past 5 years and/or what you’d like to see on the blog this year.
2. Leave a comment here letting me know your favorite kosher restaurant worldwide.

For an extra entry, follow Busy In Brooklyn via any of the channels below. Just be sure to leave a note in the comment letting me know where you follow.

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest 

Giveaway is open to U.S. residents (for international entries, prize can only be shipped in the U.S.). Winner will be chosen at random at 10:00 AM EST on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016.

SAMPLE RECIPES:

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Blogoversary Funfetti Pecan Turtles

Written by chanie on January 21st, 2016

Happy 5th Blogoversary!!!! Will somebody pinch me?! I honestly cannot believe that I have been blogging since my first post back on January 19th, 2011. That is FIVE WHOLE YEARS of posting consistently 1-2 times a week. 260 weeks, 1,825 days of committing myself to this foodie journey. A journey that has taken me to places I never dreamed.

I never imagined this blogging thing would become a life’s passion and so much more than just a hobby. I’m so proud of the progress I have made as a chef (I had some embarrassing moments like these and these) and the strides I have taken as a food photographer (with hands-over-eyes emoji moments like this and this). I’ve thought about updating old recipes with better photos, or removing some posts that didn’t go over well, but the truth is, my blog is not just about the recipes and the photos, it’s about my journey.

I love when I meet up and coming foodies who are thinking about starting a blog. I always tell them to go back to the old days of BIB, and they’re always wowed by my progress. I think it’s such an important lesson for all of us, in whatever stage we find ourselves – as mothers, daughters, teachers, musicians, you name it – we can all get better at what we do, we just have to practice!

This is so true of photography, my photos are constantly evolving as I’m learning to find my photography voice. But as a foodie too – I’ve learned never to say no to anything, and my willingness to try new things has really opened up my palate. I’ve learned to love foods and spices I used to hate (like fresh ginger and brie) and not to be afraid of making my own bread or learning new cooking techniques. I have become quite fearless in the kitchen and for that I am thankful.

I’m so grateful to you, my loyal readers, who encourage me to challenge myself and wow you with fun and original twists on traditional foods, healthy spins on comfort food, and delicious baked creations which I used to detest. It’s all you. {Insert emoji kisses here}

To show my appreciation, I decided to ride the funfetti wave, because you all seemed to love last year’s funfetti cake which was so popular, it went viral! I love the idea of using the same theme for my Blogoversary each year (I wish I had thought of it sooner), so I’m going to stick with the funfetti thing for many more Blogoversaries to come!

These cute little funfetti pecan clusters are made with 5 pecans, to celebrate my 5th year of blogging! They’ve got the most incredible artisan caramel and I hope you give them a try!

In the meantime, as we head into my SIXTH YEAR (ahhhhh!), I’d love to hear from you. What would you like to see on the blog this year? What are some of your favorites from years past? Have there been any BIB kitchen fails? Please share in the comments below!

Happy Blogoversary! Cheers to many more, and hopefully a cookbook too, very soon!

Related Posts:

1st Blogoversary Mulled Wine
2nd Blogoversary BBQ Brisket
3rd Blogoversary Celebration at La Brochette
4th Blogoversary Funfetti Cake

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Artisan Caramels (NO CORN SYRUP)

Written by chanie on January 14th, 2016

New Years may have come and gone, but I’ve still got a lot of foodie resolutions to accomplish. Besides for the typical “I’m finally going to lose those stubborn 20 lbs. I’ve been struggling with” promises, I decided to tackle some things in the kitchen this year, and I don’t just mean cooking diet food.

I meet people all the time and one of the questions I’m often asked is, “Are you a chef?”, and I never quite know what to say. Sure I’m a recipe developer who develops custom recipes for companies, writes for food magazines and teaches cooking classes, but am I a CHEF? To me, being a chef is not about the certificate (although I did go to culinary school) or which restaurant you work in. Being a chef means food is your passion, and you are constantly striving to keep with the times and get better at what you do.

Being a chef, to me, means you watch cooking shows and read food magazines in your free time. It means you experiment with cooking techniques and ingredients and you’re never satisfied with the status quo. It means you must try the latest sous vide machine and keep up with the ever-changing food trends. It means you don’t say “I don’t do pastry” or “Smoking is not my thing”.

So when I thought about my foodie resolutions this year, I decided that I have to try everything at least once. There’s no more “I don’t bake” or “I don’t do dough”. If food is my passion (it is!), then I want to be well versed in all things food. Over the past few months, I’ve been taking this commitment to heart, and I’m happy to say I’ve mastered these things in 2015:

✔️ made my own sourdough bread
✔️ learned to cook sous vide
✔️ made a variety of pickled vegetables
✔️ Used fondant for the first time
✔️ Created my own blend of dukkah
✔️ Cooked with plantains
✔️ Made homemade krembos
✔️ Made bread bowls for soup
✔️ Spiralized everything!
✔️ Learned to tolerate cilantro (this is a real victory for me!)
✔️ Made cauliflower everything (rice, couscous, buns, pizza crust, nachos chips)

Now for 2016, some of my foodie resolutions included:

✔️ Learn to smoke meats
✔️ Make kimchi
✔️ Make homemade soft pretzels
✔️ Make my own laffa and pita
✔️ Experiment with flavored sugars and salts
✔️ Deep fry a poached egg
✔️ Make egg yolk ravioli
✔️ Make caramel
✔️ Bake with kataifi

I’m happy to say that as of this writing, I’ve already made homemade pita, and obviously I’ve mastered the art of homemade caramel!

I have to hand it all to my dear foodie friend Melinda Strauss of kitchen-tested, the caramel queen! ‘Mels are even part of Melinda’s name, that’s just how much caramel runs through her veins. She used to sell the most incredible nondairy caramels, aptly named caraMELS, and when I decided to take on the caramel challenge, I knew just who to turn to!

The truth is, this dedicated caramel post was never supposed to happen. Instead, I was working on a special PECAN TURTLE recipe for next week’s blogoversary post, and when I posted pics of the caramel making process, everyone went gaga with requests. And since the caramel making process was a journey in itself (it took three tries to get it right), I decided it deserved a dedicated post.

Melinda gave me a basic recipe to work with, and she really held my hand through the process. Mel and I both have a passion for health-minded recipes, and we both decided that pulling off a corn-syrup-free caramel would be an amazing feat. Most homemade caramel recipes call for corn syrup, and they are a lot easier to make, but I was up for the challenge. After my second batch burnt though, I was feel frustrated and almost ready to give up. But I persevered and boy was it worth it!

The best part about working on three batches of these babies was being able to play around with the ratios to make the perfect combination of chewiness and buttery flavor. Mel was kind of worried when I wanted to add more cream and butter but the proportions worked out perfectly in the end. #thirdtimesacharm.

Stay tuned for a special blogoversary post next week featuring this caramel!


Related Recipes:

s’mores toffee bark
speculoos toffee party mix

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Banana Nut Greek Yogurt Bowl

Written by chanie on January 7th, 2016

Bowls are all the rage right now, at least that’s what everyone’s calling them! They’ve got grain bowls, smoothie bowls, salad bowls and soup bowls. Of course these are foods that have gone into bowls before, but now instead of mixing stuff together, the food is neatly organized on a base of smoothie batter, grains, greens or broth. It’s prettier and we all love seeing so many different options on our plates, right?

I’m not a big fan of smoothies, and the idea of topping off a fruit soup with more fruit just doesn’t do it for me, but yogurt I can take. I love to start with a base of plain tangy Greek yogurt. I almost feel like I’m indulging in soft serve (if I dream a little, ok?) and topping it off with some of my favorite toppings makes it feel like a treat. And since muffins or pancakes or scones are not happening around here, I’ll take it!

OK I may have just said that I don’t like smoothies, but the truth is, there is one smoothie that I love and that’s what inspired this yogurt bowl. So if you are into smoothies, give it a try too!

Related Recipes:

banana, date, almond milk & honey smoothie
blueberry sweet potato granola salad with strawberry yogurt dressing
banana oat pancakes
strawberry banana yogurt parfait with homemade granola

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Veal Marsala Bolognese with Turnip Noodles

Written by chanie on December 31st, 2015

It’s almost New Year’s and stigmas aside, I really want to get back into healthy eating. The December donutfest threw me off the wagon, and I’ve been having a hard time getting back on! I’m back to the “I’ll start tomorrow”,  or just after the weekend, or my favorite, “Monday is a new day”. Except Monday comes and goes and it’s already time for the ball to drop.

So here I am, heading into New Year’s Eve and I’m renewing my commitment to pull out my spiralizer and eat more veggies and less carbs. Who’s in for the ride?

We’ll start with these turnip noodles and this amazingly rich bolognese made with veal (my favorite protein), mushrooms and marsala wine, a twist on the classic chicken marsala.

I’m a big fan of marsala (it’s got wine and mushrooms, hello?!), but bolognese? Not so much. Classic bolognese is made with ground beef (not my fave) and dry red wine, and the good stuff is usually simmered for hours. Truth be told, I usually just make my split-second bolognese by browning my beef and adding store-bought marinara, which is probably why I don’t like it very much. My kids, on the other hand, love it over spaghetti with a side of zoodles. It’s by go-to whenever I need a quick and easy dinner, and eating it over zoodles makes it guilt-free too.

But I’m marinara’d out. I use it for my 2-ingredient lazy meatballs, my quick and easy shakshuka, my cheesy zoodle marinara and so much more. I wanted something different so I decided to create a bolognese that’s marinara-free. Something not so heavy, but rich and tasty, and oh so delicious. I hit the nail on the head.

Not only is this veal bolognese amazingly rich and satisfying, it’s virtually guilt-free when served with spiralized turnip noodles, a nice change from the overdone zoodles. Looks like January 2016 is going to be healthy and delicious indeed. Happy New Year!

Related Recipes:

spaghetti squash bolognese
melt-in-your-mouth veal meatballs
veal shepherds pie with celery root mashed potatoes
caraway roasted turnips

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Bundt Pan Rotisserie Chicken

Written by chanie on December 23rd, 2015

I have a confession to make. I used to be afraid of chicken. And I don’t mean of eating it.

Yes, you read that right. When I was a teenager, I wasn’t too fond of helping in the kitchen, and when I had to make chicken, lets just say it was an ordeal. I always wore gloves, but sometimes the chicken got the better of me and I would throw it into the sink, terrified that it would come to life and leap at me.

I mean, do you blame me? Look at that chicken sitting there all pretty. It looks so…well…human.

It took a few years, but I got over my fear. And just time in time for this GENIUS homemade crispy rotisserie chicken hack.

I can’t take credit for this stroke of brilliance. All credit goes to Justin Chapple, the senior editor of Food & Wine Magazine, who’s Mad Genius Tips constantly blow me away!

When I saw a short clip of this easy bunt pan rotisserie chicken on Instagram, I was all over it. I made it for Shabbat that week, and I’ve been making it ever since. It’s my husband’s favorite way to eat chicken, and we always fight over the crispier-than-ever chicken wings!

My favorite thing about this recipe is that it’s super healthy and indulgent nonetheless. You feel like you’re eating fried chicken (it’s that crispy!), but without those extra calories. It also makes a great one-dish meal when you add potatoes or other veggies.

Related Recipes:

lemon & garlic whole roasted chicken

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Artisan Toast, 6 Ways

Written by chanie on December 17th, 2015

Making my own sourdough bread has been on my wish list for years. I love the dark, crunchy crust on the outside and the chewy, tender crumb on the inside. Give me some sourdough bread and I’m a happy gal.

I’ve even turned my husband into a sourdough snob and now that the Artisan Bakeshop has opened in my neighborhood, we splurge on their bread every week for Shabbat. We can’t go back to regular Challah even if we wanted to. We are sourdough snobs, period.

Well, somehow, G-d was listening to my inner sourdough goddess when I ended up sitting right next to the Queen Of Sourdough at the recent Kosher Food Blogger Conference. Chaya Suri (also known as Spice & Zest) is a talented home cook who doesn’t shy away from a challenge. She taught herself the ins & outs of sourdough when she began her starter three years ago, and she’s never turned back! She makes sourdough everything – crackers, pizza, pretzel buns, pita, challah, even sweets like babka and donuts! I invited her over for a hands-on sourdough class-turned-artisan toast party and Oh. Em. Gee. you guys. Her bread is insane. And now, now I have my own starter blooming in the fridge, and my own batch of sourdough bread ready to be baked! I’ve hopped on the sourdough train and I’m never turning back!

The best part of cooking together with another foodie is that we speak the same language. Chaya Suri loves using herbs and spices in her cooking (hence the name Spice & Zest, soon to be a food blog!) and her creations are healthy, creative and full of flavor. I drool over her Instagram posts and I can’t wait to cook with her again! Of course I picked her brain about some of her favorite cookbooks, kitchen tools and spices, and lets just say my Amazon shopping cart is loaded to capacity.

So first things first, Chaya Suri came with her cast iron pan, a batch of ready made dough and sourdough starter. We baked up her bread and a quick batch of her amazing (and easier than ever) sourdough crackers and then started on a new batch of sourdough bread from scratch. To say I was a little overwhelmed by the whole you-need-to-take-care-of-your-starter-like-another-child thing is an understatement. I’ve been known to kill every plant I ever had. But I’m going to try. And if my starter “chokes”, I’m just going to have to bother the Queen of Sourdough for a fresh batch! ;)

After we put together our 85% hydrated dough, we set it aside for the autolyse stage (don’t ask me what that is, just hire Chaya Suri for your own class!) and got started on our toasts. Artisan toasts are all the rage right now, and being a huge fan of Zak The Baker, I couldn’t wait to put together my own Artisan bites.

In true Zak the Baker style, I even made a custom chalkboard for the occasion!

We made some fun combos including avocado toast with persimmon and pomegranate (with pomegranate molasses and sriracha salt!), Gingerbread toast with my own homemade gingerbread pecan butter (it’s as good as it sounds!), camembert toast with port cranberry jam, berry toasts with creme fraiche, honey & lime, feta toast with tomatoes, olives and za’atar (because I always HAVE to have za’atar on the table) and finally, a spicy cheese toast with preserved lemon and harissa (because you know I’m obsessed with the stuff).

My favorite, hands down, was the avocado persimmon toast, followed closely by the gingerbread and the feta with za’atar. The others came close behind because they were all winners!

What are your favorite artisan toast combinations? Share them with me in the comments below!


If you want to get started on making your own sourdough, here are some of Chaya Suri’s book/tool recommendations. To attend one of her sourdough workshops, email her at cookwithspiceandzest@gmail.com.

Tartine Bread
Tartine Book No. 3
Sourdough
Lodge cast iron pan
Proofing Basket
Bread Making Container (stainless steel is not recommended)
Bread Lame
Flour Sack Towels
Bench Scraper

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that a small percentage of every purchase made through that link goes to help support this blog.

 

Parmesan Lasagna Chips with Pizza Hummus

Written by chanie on December 9th, 2015

I can’t believe I’m about to say this but I’m gonna say it. I CAN’T LOOK AT ANOTHER DONUT.

Everywhere I turn there seems to be another donut flavor, each outdoing the next, and while they all look appealing, they all start to taste the same at some point.

It’s only Light #3 but I’m D.O.N.E. I’ve tasted crazy flavors like creme brulee, pistacho, banana nut, Irish cream and Oreo, thanks to my local coffee shop, Chocolatte. Then, my foodie buddy Sarah Chana sent me her homemade cronuts in flavors like lemon curd, cheesecake & fig, dulce de leche and chocolate bourbon. Of course there were the classic jelly and custard donuts from my local supermarket, and who can forget my JELLY RING donuts, which I tested in three batches! Are you getting my DONUT HANGOVER NOW?!

Ok, to be honest, I did not exactly EAT all of those donuts, but I definitely tasted each and every flavor and that itself is enough to make the scale point it’s finger at me in rebuke. Has your scale ever pointed it’s finger at you? I’m hallucinating from all the donuts!

Now while I may be over the donut trend, we’ve still got plenty days left to Chanukah, and I’ve got to get frying! Savory is the only way to go from here, so I came up with a fun and exciting pizza-inspired dish that’s the perfect appetizer for your Chanukah party!

Now I know the thought of frying pasta in oil with parmesan cheese has my scale freaking out, but it’s my birthday, and calories don’t count on my birthday, right? RIGHT?


I mean, common, we’ve got only a few days left to the holidays, and we can diet after that. Purim is not for a few months, so I’ll be hopping on the Paleo train as soon as I finish this batch of chips *GULP*

If you’re feeling the donut overload too, I’ve got plenty of savory fried goodness on the blog for your to enjoy! Parmesan zucchini chips are a must-have, and the zucchini help deguiltify the whole breaded and fried thing. If you want to go full-on Israeli, try my baked eggplant chips with harissa whipped feta. And if you really want to go healthy, my cauliflower chip nachos with harissa cheddar sauce are to die for! Told you I got you covered.

Speaking of healthy, lets talk about this pizza hummus for a sec, k? You can’t have drool worthy lasagna chips without having something to dip it into, can you? I decided to put a pizza spin on classic hummus, by adding some tomato paste, herbs, garlic and of course, parmesan. The fusion is simply delicious – creamy garbanzo beans that are reminiscent of classic hummus, with the flavor of pizza. Win win.

So get your frying pans ready and whip up a batch of this deliciousness. You can thank me later. And hate me next week. Just don’t tell your scale that I put you up to it!



This post was sponsored by Natural & Kosher Cheese. Follow them on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, or via their Blog

Related Recipes:

parmesan zucchini chips
harissa whipped feta with zaatar eggplant chips
chestnut hummus with Thanksgiving pita chips
roasted garlic hummus with everything pita chips
cauliflower nachos with harissa cheddar sauce

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Sabich Latkes

Written by chanie on December 7th, 2015

As a food blogger, one of the questions I often get asked is what my favorite dish is. If they want to know my most popular dish, that ones easy. But my favorite? It’s like asking me who my favorite child is. Can a mom really have a favorite child?! But now, NOW I can answer that question. Sabich latkes, hands down, is my favorite dish of all time. Does that tell you something?

Sabich is a classic Israeli sandwich consisting of pita stuffed with fried eggplant, hardboiled egg, Israeli salad, tahini and amba (a pickled mango condiment). Since amba is not readily available to everyone, I decided to pickle some onions instead, and I added my new favorite Mina harissa for some spice. The combo is so ridiculously incredible that you’re going to want to eat the leftovers for breakfast, and then lunch, and maybe dinner too.

The best part of sabich, is that you can switch things up if you wish – add some hummus, Israeli pickles, schug, or go gourmand with a poached egg for a truly sophisticated bite.

Related Recipes:

falafel latkes with harissa tahini
roasted eggplant with Israeli salad
sous vide stuffed eggplant with pistachio dukkah and tamarind tahini

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