Dec 29, 2012





Before I get the obvious questions I will answer this question first…. Why this recipe is called blue pudding…. It’s not blue nor is it pudding! Explain! Well you are right it’s not blue nor is it pudding. I think the recipe is actually what would be called ambrosia salad.

This recipe was made by my great aunt Fern for Christmas when my Mom was a child in the 1950’s and 1960’s my great aunts father called it Blue Pudding and the name stuck. Blue Pudding is the only name this recipe has ever had to my knowledge and my Mom’s knowledge as well.

We had it with our Christmas dinner this year for the first time ever and I fell in LOVE with it. It’s so easy to make and it taste soooo good! I love the creaminess, the texture, and the random flavors and more than anything I love the Christmas colors.
Yummm… excellent!

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups waters
  • 13 large marshmallows
  • 1 small box of lime Jell-O
  • 8 oz. can pineapple chunks drained
  • 4oz package cream cheese (room temperature)
  • ½ pint heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup maraschino cherries (drained) chopped in half
Directions:
  1. To a large bowl add room temperature cream cheese. Pour boiling water over the cream cheese and mix well (If you have a stand mixer put it to work on this one) Stir until melted (it may still be lumpy but that's OK) 
  2. Next add marshmallows and allow them to melt also. They may not melt a lot either.
  3. Next add Jell-O to the water/marshmallow mixture and mix well. 
  4. Stir until it begins to cool. Add drained pineapple, cherries, and nuts then mix well. 
  5. Place in the refrigerator until it begins to congeal. 
  6. While the Jell-O is congealing in a separate bowl or in a mixer bowl add heavy whipping cream and begin beating either by hand or using a mixer until the creamy turns into whip cream with stiff peaks.  
  7. Remove Jell-O mixture from the refrigerator and fold in whip cream and refrigerate until it sets to a firm mixture then serve. (About 1 hour)
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Dec 28, 2012





I love … Love... LOVE these cookies! They were traditional for Christmas in my husband’s home growing up. They were also something we always had in my house too but instead of Russian tea cookies we called the Mexican wedding cookies. The recipes are exactly the same!  

These cookies are great and easy! Wow so easy! I stuck them in the Kitchen Aid mixer and then !BAM! they were done! I rolled them into little balls baked them and sugared them. Just that easy and oh so good!!

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar, plus more for rolling cookies
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Cream butter in a large mixing bowl. Add the vanilla then gradually add the 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, beating until light and fluffy. 
  3. Sift the flour, measure, then sift again with the salt. Add gradually to the butter mixture. Add the pecans and mix well.
  4. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on un-greased baking sheets. Bake for 20 minutes, or until edges are very lightly browned. 
  5. Remove the cookies from the baking sheets and roll in powdered sugar while still hot. Cool on wire racks and roll cookies again in powdered sugar before serving. 

Once they are completely cooled, cookies may be stored in airtight containers for up to 1 week.



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Dec 27, 2012




Spinach dip is one of my favorite dips to have during the holiday season we always have it on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. I rarely make it any other time of year. Why… no idea! I guess it’s just the holiday’s that make me crave it.  I was think today it would be excellent in a wrap.

If you don’t like spinach don’t let that stop you from making it because to be honest with you… you can’t even taste the spinach. It’s an excellent dip that goes a long way for a group but it’s also inexpensive and very tasty. I grew up on this dip and now my family is growing up on it too. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
  • 1 (10 ounce) package baby spinach, chopped or 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 (8 ounce) package vegetable soup mix
  • 1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped 
Directions:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. 
  2. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours over night would be best.
MAKES 4 cups dip.
Original Recipe Source

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Dec 26, 2012




This was a fun idea we came up with for Christmas Eve. We went out for dinner that afternoon, then came home to a snack and cookie buffet for everyone to snack on.  What is shown is the cookie buffet but we also had snack consisting of dips, cheese logs, crackers, and chips. It was a delicious and fun buffet for everyone to snack on all night. No one went hungry!




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Dec 25, 2012





H-E-B Has a contest going on called H-E-B Holiday Meal Pin to Win Sweepstakes Tell H-E-B what's on your holiday table this year by entering the H-E-B Holiday Meal Pin to Win Sweepstakes for a chance to win a $1,000 H-E-B Gift Card.Hurry you only have until December 31, 2012.

How to Enter:

·         Register at facebook.com/heb
·         Click "Submit & Pin" to pin the contest image to Pinterest
·         Re-pin five unique images from our "Holiday Meal Pin to Win" Board

Here is a great H-E-B recipe we had with our Christmas dinner! It’s a fun, simple recipe that takes the basic green bean and turns it into a gourmet dish. The best part about this side dish is it’s quick and delicious. Don’t forget to enter the H-E-B Pin and Win Contest!!


Ingredients:
  • 1 pound green beans
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon walnut or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

Directions:
  1. Wash green beans and trim ends.
  2. Bring 2 quarts salted water to boil in a 3-quart pot. Add green beans and cook 3 to 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Pour into a colander to drain.
  3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil. Toast walnuts in butter and oil 2 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Add green beans and parsley; toss to coat. Serve while hot
Original Recipe Source

*As required by the Federal Trade Commission: The information and gift packs have been provided by HEB to Colie's Kitchen at no cost to Colie's Kitchen, nor is Colie's Kitchen being paid to endorse this product. All that was asked of Colie's Kitchen was to review the product, and give our honest opinion. Full DisclosurePolicy*

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Dec 19, 2012





When we first purchased our Christmas tree this year I was a bit unhappy because I have never paid that much for a tree. Seriously people when did the price of trees go through the roof? When we got it home I was even more annoyed because once we set it up I realized it was shaped wrong and it looks crooked.

Although in the picture it looks crooked like we set it up that way, it’s not, it was shaped wrong. I then realized when I was looking for the biggest tree they had I neglected to think of the height of our living room and the angel that still needed to go on top of the tree. Opps! Over kill! No angel this year instead we have a super tacky star that we got at the dollar store years ago as a joke decoration. This year the joke is on us because It is the only thing we could find that would fit.

I was annoyed all the way around with this tree until it was all set up, lights, ornaments, candy canes, oh yes and the infamous star.  Then I realized that despite the flaws, despite the price, and despite everything else, it was the most beautiful tree Kevin and I have ever had. It’s just beautiful and it smells incredible! Now that my cold is gone I can actually smell it.

Oh Tannenbaum thank you for being one more thing I am thankful for this year!

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Dec 15, 2012




I love to keep compound better in the refrigerator. It comes in handy when I make garlic bread or toasted or when I want a few crackers as snack. It keeps for a few months so it’s something you can keep on hand.

What’s great about compound butter is you can make it any way you want it. If you like chives, onion, green onion, thyme, basil, or whatever you can add it to your butter.  I have found that the longer the butter sets the better it will taste.  

If you have ever purchased pre-made compound butter at a specialty store or a deli you know how expensive it is. You are simply paying for the convenience of someone else making it. Make it yourself, customize it the way you like it, and save a lot of money. The big bonus is you know what’s in it!


Ingredients:
  • Roasted Garlic Compound Butter
  • 1 stick salted butter (softened)
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • *any other spices that you want to add*
Directions for Roasting the Garlic:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Using a knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic.
  3. Place the garlic heads in a piece of foil. Drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil over each head, using your fingers to make sure the garlic head is well coated. Cover with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake at 400°F for 30-35 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft when pressed.
  5. Allow the garlic to cool enough so you can touch it without burning yourself.
  6. Use a small knife cut the skin slightly around each clove. Use a fork or your fingers to pull or squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins. 

Compound butter directions:
  1. Once your garlic has completely cool add it to the room temperature butter and make sure it is mixed well. 
  2. Once everything is mixed well together scoop the butter onto a piece of wax paper and form the butter into a stick or into the shape that makes you happy. 
  3. Place in a freezer for 30 minutes to set the butter, then refrigerator after and use as needed. 

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This recipe is modified for many good reasons. I took the reviews of this recipe and modified it based on what other people had to say. This is an amazing version of mayo. The flavor is better than anything you will get in a jar. You can do so many things with the recipe adding and changing here and there based on your preferences. I suggest just using this as a suggestion and adding the things you love to your own mayo.


I will give you a tip and it’s a critical tip, take it from me because this was my third try at making this recipe. The first two were a flop. The key to making mayo is adding the oil extremely slow. When I say extremely slow I am meaning ¼ of a teaspoon at a time, then mix and add and mix and so on. If you add the oil too fast your mayo will not come together and you will have wasted time and ingredients. Be patient! You will need them. Once again go slowly with the oil it’s KEY!


Ingredients:
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Directions:
  1. Place the egg yolks in the bowl of the food processor and add the vinegar and mustard. 
  2. Season with salt, to taste. 
  3. Turn the machine on and VERY slowly start to drizzle in the oil. Drip, drip, drip until the mixture starts to look like mayonnaise, then a slow steady stream of oil can be added.
Original Recipe Source


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Dec 14, 2012





This recipe really came in handy Thanksgiving afternoon. I realized about 2:30pm I forgot to buy Velveeta cheese for a casserole I was making to have with dinner. ALL of the grocery stores by my house closed at 2:00pm. I am always late!

I had wanted to try this recipe so the timing of finding this recipe was perfect. I had it saved waiting for the right moment. Who knew? I quickly and I mean quickly made this recipe up. I wasn’t concerned about refrigerating it because it was going to be melted in a casserole anyway, but it was imperative that it get done was.

Who knew it would be so easy to make your own American cheese? After making this up myself I don’t know that I will ever buy the pre-made/processed cheese again.  In cost alone this is worth making.

My American cheese loaf turned out fantastic!! Not only did it taste wonder (better than the name brand) but the texture was the same, the melting texture was the same, and it formed into a nice loaf too. I didn’t even have to refrigerate it for it to get hard. It was so fun and so ridiculously easy that it’s crazy!! I swear after I grated the cheese everything was done within minutes.

This recipe calls for whole milk powder, but I used the regular fat free powdered milk and had no problems with it. I didn’t see that it made a difference.


Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1½ teaspoons powdered gelatin
  • 12 ounces Colby cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk

Directions:
  1. Line 5-by 4-inch disposable aluminum loaf pan with plastic wrap, allowing excess to hang over sides. 
  2. Place water in small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over top and let mixture sit for 5 minutes. Pulse cheese, milk powder, salt, and cream of tartar in food processor until combined, about 3 pulses.
  3. Meanwhile, bring milk to boil in small saucepan. Off heat, stir in softened gelatin until dissolved, and transfer mixture to 1-cup liquid measuring cup. With processor running, slowly add hot milk mixture to cheese mixture until smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down bowl as needed. 
  4. Immediately transfer cheese mixture to prepared pan, pressing to compact. Wrap tightly and chill at least 3 hours, or overnight.
Original Recipe Source


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Dec 13, 2012



OK so we are not going to be literally cutting a measuring cup in half, but this is a chart that tells you how to cut a recipe in half using awkward measurements. This information has come in handy so many times for me. This is brilliant because there are many times that you just don’t have the time or the patience to do the math. 


Figuring out half of 1/3 of a cup is a real pain in the you know what when you are talking about measuring cups and spoons. This tells you exactly how to do those things using teaspoons and tablespoons and just makes it’s less complicated.

This is a great post from “The Nest” I am not only linking the original article, but I am also going to copy the conversion table and paste it here because so many times such great information gets removed from sites and they are gone forever. In my opinion this conversion chart is too good to lose.

ORIGINAL (HALF) 
  • 1 cup (1/2 cup)
  • 3/4 cup (1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp.) 
  • 2/3 cup (1/3 cup) 
  • 1/2 cup (1/4 cup) 
  • 1/3 cup (2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp.)
  • 1/4 cup (2 Tbsp.) 
  • 3 Tbsp. (1 Tbsp. + 1 1/2 tsp.) 
  • 2 Tbsp. (1 Tbsp.) 
  • 1 Tbsp. (1 1/2 tsp.)

Visit The Nest to read more


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Dec 8, 2012




In an effort to cut out as many pre-made boxed items I can from our diets I have been trying to find things that I can make ahead of time that will be just as easy to use when I need them.  I love boxed items because they are easy I just don’t like all the additives that can be found in the boxes.

This is a super easy recipe that can be stored in a zip bag and used when you need it.  (To me) they taste identical to Betty Crocker brownies! I like to call them dump brownies because you can dump everything in a bag, and then when you need them they are basically ready to go just add the wet ingredients.

Another great thing about these brownies is it’s something you can throw together when company is coming over. With the holiday approaching you may have guest stopping by and it’s nice to have something warm in the oven to serve them. Plus your home will smell wonderful when they walk in the door.  

These brownies are also customizable! You can add marshmallows, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, caramels, and so on to these brownies. Yumm-O!

I do not know who to give credit to when it comes to these brownies so if I owe you credit please let me know. I found them by clicking on a dead Pinterest link.


Dry Ingredients (For the make-ahead bag)
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1/3 Cup Cocoa
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Baking Powder.

Wet Ingredients to add later
  • 2 Eggs,
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil,
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla.
Directions:
Bake in an 8x8 pan at 350 degrees for 25-45 minutes. Mine took 45 minutes, but the original recipe states 25 minutes. 

This was after 10 minutes on the table!!

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Dec 6, 2012






I love green beans and I am always looking for new ways to make green beans. Sometimes you just get tired of the same plain Jane recipe. I remember a recipe my dad made called Parisian green beans. I have no idea why they were called Parisian other than the wine in them, but I do remember them tasting amazing so I thought I would try making them myself. I am sure happy I did. They turned out perfect and bursting with flavor. They cook quickly and have a nice end result.

Ingredients:
  • 8 ounces of frozen green beans
  • 1 tablespoon dry onions
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Pepper to taste

Directions:
  1. In a skillet add water, beef bouillon, butter, wine, pepper, dry onions, and bring to a boil. Once your mixture begins to boil cover and cook down to half the original amount of liquid.
  2. Once you are at half the liquid add green beans, cover and simmer until the green beans are tender and your liquid thickens. 


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Dec 5, 2012





I love the holiday season for so many reasons, but one of my favorite must buys during the holidays is the multipack of Land o’ Lakes Hot Chocolate from Sam’s Club (I am sure you can find it other places). This year’s new flavors are warm oatmeal cookie which is INCREDIBE and the other new flavor is Mint Chocolate Yumm-o!

I highly recommend this purchase if you are in the market for creamy delicious well worth the money hot chocolate!

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Dec 4, 2012






One of my favorite blogs to visit on a daily bases is Under the Big Oak Tree. Alison is always posting delicious looking recipes with mouthwatering pictures. One recipe that I have been dying to try is her Grilled Potatoes Recipe. Although I commented on it a few months ago I am finally getting around making it. I am so far behind its ridiculous!

This recipe is fantastic! I made it with the grilling directions except I put them in the oven. I also added precooked bacon bits to each potato. In order to make sure I got the onions and bacon bits between each piece of potato slice I propped each one open with a small sliver of butter. Oh my goodness they were so good. Everyone said they would have rather eaten the grilled potatoes than the main dish. I thought that was funny! The potatoes come out nice and crispy and the onions taste grilled. I think next time I make these I am going to add even more onions to each potato. They are delicious!

These are really great! I highly recommend making these tatars! Visit Under the BigOak Tree for this recipe and many more!!



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Dec 2, 2012



With the holidays coming up and family coming over I went in search of a cupcake stand. I am planning on making some peppermint cupcakes and I have nothing to display them on the table with. I wanted them to look nice, and decorative. I didn’t want to just stick them on a plate that would be too boring.

I thought it would be an easy find. But it ended up being harder than I thought, or maybe I am just a little too picky? I never would have thought to look at a Hotel Supplies but guess what that’s exactly where I found what I was looking for. PeachSuite Hotel Supply has a great variety of not only cupcake stands but just about anything else you could possible want for you kitchen, and better yet anything you need for entertaining. If you are looking for a Hotel Amenities Supplier then PeachSuites is the place to go.

Not only do they carry any Hotel Supplies need but they also carry products that the average person could use in their kitchens. One of my favorite products to find besides the cupcake stand was a new hand mixer at a great price. I love my Kitchenaid mixer but sometimes it would be nice to have a hand mixer that I can just take out and use and not  have to worry about all the washing.

I am now a happy shopper… one stop shopping for a cupcake stand and a mixer! 


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I got so busy on Saturday afternoon putting up Christmas decorations and getting my study guide ready for one of my finals that I completely forgot about taking meat out for dinner. My original plan was going to be making fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans. It was a great plan to say the least, but the problem was about six that evening I realized the chicken was still in the freezer and I had forgotten to buy potatoes while I was at the grocery store. That’s the story of my life if you know what I mean.

So anyway, last night we decided that the easiest thing to do was to ordered pizza from pizza hut. This would allow us the time to still continue to decorate, and it would also prevent us for doing dishes! I am all about paper plates!

In an effort to save as much money as possible I went searching for online pizza coupons. I found some pizza coupons from Mypizzatalk that would work on Pizza Hut’s website. I was really excited to find them because Pizza Hut online discounts allow us the ease of ordering pizza every now and then. Pizza can really be expensive so we have to use coupons whenever we can.

Who doesn’t like to save a little money right? We need to save all we can especially with during the holiday season when you are watching every penny. We ended up ordering two pizzas one was half was pepperoni and sausage and the other half was pepperoni, sausage, and jalapenos. 

My husband has to have jalapenos on at least part of the pizza, as for me they are just too hot. The other pizza was a whole supreme and it was to die for! I love supreme pizza because you can get everything you can imagine on it. In my opinion the best pizza is a loaded down pizza. We got them both on pan pizza crust. 

This was the first time we have had pan crust. I must admit it was fantastic!!
We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner! Right now you can get a pizza anyway you want it for $10. What a sweet deal, but I am sure that won’t last long. By the time dinner was over we had half a pizza left over. What a bummer!! I guess that means we will be ordering pizza again soon. 



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Dec 1, 2012





If you are looking for a wonderful, incredible, and AMAZING recipe then you have stumbled upon the right one! Oh my goodness we loved this cheesecake. It will be a holiday staple in our home. I hate crust and I hate the bottom of a cheesecake until now. The bottom crust on this cheesecake taste like toffee…yumm so good!

I love the Cheesecake Factory but I have never tried their pumpkin cheesecake. I always get the white chocolate macadamia nut. Yes, always! I don’t know how close to the real thing this recipe is, but if the real thing is better than this one then I can’t even imagine how good it must be. This recipe is simple fantastic. It taste like a creamier version of a pumpkin pie, but with a toffee bottom. So good!!

It’s super easy to make, takes what seems like forever to bake, and it worth every second of it!


Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (divided use)
  • 2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 3/4 cups sugar (divided use)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus
  • 1 pinch salt (divided use)
  • 2 lbs cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups sweetened whipped cream
  • 1/3 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped (I left these out)
Directions:
  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
  2. Brush a 10 inch springform pan with some of the butter; stir remaining butter into graham cracker crumbs with 1/4 cup sugar and pinch salt.
  3. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of pan , packing it tightly and evenly.
  4. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Cool on rack, then wrap outside of springform pan with heavy duty foil and place in a roasting pan.
  6. Bring a medium pot of water to boil.
  7. Meanwhile beat cream cheese with a mixer until smooth; add remaining 2 1/2 cups sugar and beat until just light, scraping down sides of bowl and beaters as needed.
  8. Beat in the sour cream, then add pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, 1 teaspoon salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves and beat until just combined; pour into cooled crust.
  9. Without pulling rack out, gently place roasting pan in oven and pour boiling water into roasting pan until it comes about halfway up side of springform pan.
  10. Bake until outside of cheesecake sets but center is still loose, about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  11. Turn off oven and open door briefly to let out some heat.
  12. Leave cheesecake in oven for 1 more hour, then carefully remove from roasting pan and cool on a rack.
  13. Run a knife around edges of springform pan, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  14. Bring cheesecake to room temperature 30 minutes before serving.
  15. Unlock and remove springform ring.
  16. To finish, place a dollop of whipped cream on each slice and sprinkile with toasted pecans.
 Original Recipe Source


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