Pasta with Shrimp, Corn, Tomatoes, and Zucchini

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Okay, I lied.

So this will be my last summery recipe.

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Sure, I said the Blueberry Sour Cream Crumb Cake would be, but it’s just so hard to get out of the Summer mindset when it’s still 90 here in Tampa. Plus, we still have a week until Fall officially hits.

So let’s all this The End of Summer Pasta.

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It totally makes sense… corn, tomatoes, and zucchini.

Use up all of your summer veggies with this pasta dish.

Besides that, I just love cooking this way. Just winging it and incorporating what I have in the fridge into a dish. I was originally going to use chicken but then saw shrimp was on sale so I changed it up. Don’t like shrimp, use chicken. It all works.

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I love pasta but I try not to eat too much of it since I feel so bloated afterwards. Plus, I could eat a mega portion of it which is just killer when you are watching what you eat. By adding in the vegetables to the dish, you reduce the amount of pasta you eat. It’s all about finding balance to enjoying what you love with healthy habits

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This light dinner will fill you up with loads of shrimp and fresh vegetables instead of pasta and tantalize your taste buds with so much flavor.

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Pasta with Shrimp, Corn, Tomatoes, and Zucchini

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound shell off, deveined shrimp
  • 10 ounces of spaghetti
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Cup corn kernels, preferably fresh
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 zucchinis, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, cut into small pieces
  • serve with ripped basil leaves and shredded Parmesan cheese, and a lemon wedge

Process 

  1. Remove the tales from the shrimp. Set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and salt to the bowl. Cook until al dente. (reserve 1 Cup of pasta water before pouring out)
  3. In a large skillet over high heat, add the olive oil, garlic, and corn. Cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the tomatoes and zucchini, cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Move the veggetables to the outter edge of the pan to clear the center of the pan. Add the shrimp to the center of the pan with the butter. Stir occasionally for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add  the lemon juice and 1 cup of pasta water to the pan. Mix the vegetables and shrimp together.
  7. Add the Pasta and basil to  the skillet. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste
  8. Serve the pasta with shredded cheese and ripped basil leaves.
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Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia – SRC

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

I am learning the weather here in Tampa Bay is cray cray.

I swear you never know if it’s going to be sunny, rainy, or whatever. The weather changes on a dime. I’m used to that with Boston, to some degree, since the weather there did the same, but it’s a whole different beast down here.

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Just yesterday, I took the dogs out for an afternoon walk. It was cloudy, but nothing concerning, so I didn’t think much of it. Wrong…

Thankfully I only planned on doing a 1.25 mile loop with the dogs. It started sprinkling after .8 miles and really started dumping at the mile point. I had to run back with the dogs who don’t love rain BUT are easily distracted with geckos so while running they were still trying to catch geckos, who were fleeing from the rain themselves. I’m sure it was hilarious to watch. Actually, I know it was since a neighbor was standing on her covered porch watching the rain roll in and cracking up at us running down the road.

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Price was actually so concerned that he left in the car to get us. We were on a rolling running in the rain so I just waved at him and kept going. He looked at me like I was nuts. What else is new?!?!

Never a dull moment.

At least we were able to come home and lounge while watching the NASCAR race. A nice relaxing Sunday afternoon. Plus, I was able to make a healthy Sunday dinner for us to all enjoy. The perfect end to the day and weekend.

I selected the Parmesan-Crusted Talapia from Renee’s Kitchen Adventures for this month’s Secret Recipe Club post. I knew it would be a winner once I saw it.

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Let’s be honest, everything from Renne’s blog is wonderful. I have been a long time fan and was so excited to have it this month. I was ready to make some wonderful food. But I needed to figure ot what to make! I browsed her MASSIVE recipe index and picked out several recipes, including her Chile-Cheese Cornbread, Smokehouse BurgersDenver Omelette Muffin Cups, and her Apple Rum Raisin Cake. Like I said, I ultimately decided on the fish. But not to worry, I pined several recipes to come back to.

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I served the fish with mashed potatoes and sauteed spinach. We hadn’t had mashed potatoes in forever and I was craving them. And the lemony spinach just worked so well with the fish. A well-rounded meal that everyone loved.

I really hope that you will give this, and any recipe of Renee’s, a try. I just know you will love it. Promise!!

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Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound tilapia loins or filets
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
  • 1/4 Cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 cup egg beaters ( or one beaten egg or skim milk), to moisten fish before coating

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Beat the egg and milk together in a shallow bowl.
  3. In another shallow bowl, combine he cheese, breadcrumbs, dried parsley, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  4. Dip the fish into the egg and then into the breadcrumb coating and place on prepared baking sheet.
  5. Spray the tops of the fish fillets with a bit of cooking spray.
  6. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes (the loins are thicker than the filets, so cook for approximately 15 minutes) or until fish is done, opaque and flakes easily.

Adapted from Renee’s Kitchen Adventures

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And Autumn loved dinner too!! Just don’t correct her when she says ‘Oooo Mommy! Yummy chicken!” She can think it’s whatever, all that matters is that she inhaled it!

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Check out all the other great Secret Recipe Club posts HERE this month!

And be sure to check out my 4+ years of Secret Recipe Club posts!!!!

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Thanks for visiting. Please leave me a comment to provide some feedback. I appreciate all the comments I receive.

A Weekend in Seattle- The Food

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There are people who vacation and like to shop, but I am someone who likes to experience a place by walking around eating my way through it. Thankfully there are so many creative, delicious places to try. And many use local ingredients as well. Even better!!

{Friday}

I arrived late Thursday night so we had a late start to the day on Friday.

My best friend Emily and I kicked off my sight seeing tour by heading down to Pike Place Market. There are so many options for great food and drinks in and around Pike Place. We skipped stopping off in ‘Original’ Starbucks location as the line was way too long and made a stop for doughnuts instead.

We kicked off our weekend of eating by each getting a doughnut from Daily Dozen Donuts. They make and serve mini donuts from their Pike Place Market stall. Emily got a Maple Bacon one and I got a Maple one. They were the perfect 2 bites to kick off the day.

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Ultimately, we decided on getting our lunch from Pirosky Pirosky and taking it to Rachel’s Ginger Beer to get some drinks.

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Pirosky Piroksy is located outside the Market, but in the area as it’s just across the street from it. They serve a wide variety of hand pies of both the sweet and savory variety. The walk up food vendor does not have

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We continued to walk around Pike Place and then ventured into Downtown Seattle, ultimately wandering to the Pioneer Square area. But then we were in need of a refreshment so we stopped by Bar Sajor.

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I enjoyed a glass of Chardonnay, while Emily had a cocktail and some oysters.

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Taking walk, a bus, a monorail, and another walk ensured that we were hungry for dinner by the time we got back to Emily’s apartment in Lower Queen Anne. Plus we were beat!!! We had been on our feet for hours so getting some takeout from El Camion in Ballard was a perfect plan.

Winner, winner taco dinner!!

Since I was (kinda, sorta!) trying to be conscientious of what I was eating post Whole30, I focused on items that didn’t have cheese, beans, or rice. So I ordered the Shrimp Ceviche ($6.50), a fish taco ($2.00), and an Adobada taco ($1.45).

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Everything was really good. I enjoyed the fish taco the most as it was really flavorful and I enjoyed that it was not a breaded and fried piece of fish, which is what I normally get when I order a fish taco.

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I was shocked at how large the portion was for the ceviche. I expected it was going to be half the size that it was. It really is something to share with multiple people. It was served with tostadas, but I would have preferred for chips instead as the super crisp tostadas were hard to eat.

{Saturday}

Another day of great activities and great food with my best friend in a beautiful city!

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We kicked the day off by walking up to Toulouse Petit in Queen Anne for brunch. Thankfully, we arrived right when they opened so we were able to grab a table quickly. A great ‘win’ as they get really busy because they are so popular being that they are consistently voted one of the best restaurants in the U.S.

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I ordered the ‘Eggs Hussarde’ ($18/$15 during ‘Breakfast Happy Hour’), which is once of their 8 different Eggs Benedict options. It consisted of a toasted split English Muffin, Snake River Farms Ham, poached eggs, the Veal Shallot Pan Sauce, and a Hollandaise Sauce. I was so happy with my selection as it was one of the best Eggs Benedict dishes that I have ever eaten. (You can read a really in depth review of it HERE)

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We continued on working our our way up and through the Queen Anne neighborhood that morning. We stopped off at Cupcake Royale for a bit of a snack. While some might think cupcakes are a fad I think they are classic so they are always a ‘must’ in my book. You just can’t go wrong with a cute handheld mini cake.

And the Maple Bacon cupcake that we split was so good. The texture had great flavor and texture, the frosting was thick and creamy, and you can’t beat the smokey bacon and sweet maple combo.

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Last year, for my first Mother’s Day, Emily sent me Top Pot Doughnut shops’ cookbook. All of the donuts in there look mouth watering, so I was really excited to be able to sample the donuts in the book directly from the source.

We snacked on the doughnuts that we grabbed throughout the day. They were so good that I didn’t want the experience to end!

After a generous amount of food we took a long afternoon hike at Discovery Point. It was such a beautiful day that the walk along the sound was the best way to spend a few hours.

And, of course, work up our appetite again!

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Weeks prior to my trip Emily created an email thread of all the restaurants that we should consider to check out while I was visiting. One of the places that she suggested was Revel in Freemont. I was hooked when I saw the menu so I was excited when we went here for dinner.

We split an order of shrimp cake pancakes, short rib dumplings, and a bowl of dungeons crab noodles ($16). I could have eaten another order of those short rib dumplings but we knew from the start that we wanted to split a dessert so we focused on that.

They create seasonal menus and ones focused on different themes. When we first looked at the menu in late January, the dessert theme was based on the Seahawks. This time it was focused on Dr Suess. We selected “In the Zoo” dessert which a banana

We ended the night by taking a trip to Molly Moon’s, a local ice cream shop in Queen Anne that specializes in great quality ice cream and unique flavors. I was tempted to get a single scoop of ice cream with their homemade hot fudge, but reigned myself in as I had already eaten quite a few rich things that day already. I sampled their seasonal Vegan Coconut Chunk and loved it so I got a kid’s scoop ($3) for that. The perfect amount and the perfect flavor.

 {Sunday}

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We had discussed taking a ride on a ferry on Sunday but the weather was kinda grey, so we visited Freemont again. I liked what I had seen the night before, and I also wanted to see a few things in the area, like the Freemont Troll and Gasworks Park.

Plus, there the Freemont Sunday Market which features food trucks and different vendors so we could browse that while doing some touristy things. (I ended up buying Price the cuff-links that he wore at our wedding from a local craft vendor!)

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Besides doing some shopping, we, of course, ate some delicious food. We checked out the different food trucks and decided on getting some Taiyaki from BeanFish.

Besides thinking that the Taiyaki was super cute… hello fish shaped waffle!… I thought it was a just a great hand-held meal, perfect for browsing the stalls. It was a fun way to kick off the day. Of course I could have happily eaten all of them, but I was satisfied with the savory K-Pop. But I still think I should have gone back for a Gimme S’mores or the Elvis. Okay, I should have gone back for all of them!

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The general theme for the weekend was: eat, walk, eat, walk, eat… repeat.

It worked out really well as it gave us a chance to try a lot of great food and do plenty of catching up as we walked from place to place. I love days/weekends like that.

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After Emily and I visited the Troll and went to Gas Works Park, Peter and their dog Aldo met us so we could all go for lunch.  We ended up at The Leary Traveler, where we enjoyed some food and hard ciders. It was a great pub with a nice selection of brews and food.

I enjoyed their Steak Frites ($15). The 6oz Bistro Steak was served with Frites, Caramelized Onions, and a Demi Glaze. The portion of the food was great for the serving, and the price. I felt like I was getting a great value for lunch as it was so filling, flavorful, and presented so nicely. The Demi Glaze was so good that it was so nice to dip the steak and the fries in it. I did request it medium rare and it came out very rare so I did send it back but a quick extra minute on the grill made it perfect.

It was a grey and rainy so we kept the rest of the afternoon pretty low key with some relaxing back at their apartment. All the walking and eating was catching up with us!

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We tossed around a few ideas for dinner but in the end decided on the Steelhead Diner, which is located above Rachel’s Ginger Beer outside Pike Place Market.

I knew that I was in for a real treat for dinner as soon as I had one of their Crab and Shrimp Tater Tots. I was dreaming about them for weeks afterwards. I was hooked immediately. I was tempted to order another order. I couldn’t help falling in love with the flavors from the crab and shrimp and the creamy texture from the potato. The crunch from the deep fry was the perfect contrast from the soft filling as well.

They were promoting their restaurant week offerings so Emily decided to pick a starter, entry, and dessert from the selection. She enjoyed the soup, but didn’t love the entree, but still thought it was a good menu for the value.

I ordered the wedge salad which seems like a safe pick, but it could have easily fallen flat on it’s face as it’s base of ice berg lettuce is so very basic. But the salad toppings worked so well with the crisp and crunchy lettuce. I was pleasantly satisfied with the salad for dinner.

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While Emily has a (slight-ish) allergy to walnuts and pecans, we still split an order of their Theo Chocolate Pecan Pie. It was a perfect combination of sweet chocolate with the toasted nuts. It reminded me of Thanksgiving, but with a delightful chocolate spin to the typical Pecan Pie. Plus, it was topped off with a generous spoonful of Bourbon Chantilly Creme.

It was so good that Emily happily suffered through the mouth itching!

{Monday}

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Prior to going to the airport for my flight home, Emily took me over to Nielsen’s Pastries to get some Danish pastries. It was tough to pick something as their selection of pastries looked fantastic. I am a big fan of kringle, but I wanted to try something I hadn’t had before so I picked a Snitter, which was described as a flat cinnamon roll that is topped off with a bit of custard. Oh my god. It was so freaking good. Just like a cinnamon roll but 10x better. We each had a Snitter so 3 cost $8.25.

Before heading back to their apartment we grabbed iced coffees from Tully’s.

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At the airport I grabbed a Mariachi Mac and Cheese from Beecher’s. They have an outpost at Sea-Tac so I was able to enjoy their “World Famous” mac and cheese. A very generous 8-oz cup was $6. I enjoyed my mac and cheese on the plane. It was really, really good, although it was cool by then.

The Mariachi Mac and Cheese uses the Classic Mac and Cheese base but also adds roasted Anaheim chilies and a blend of fresh veggies giving it a great South of the Board kick.

It was a wonderful way to end a great foodie weekend!!

1.24-25: End of Cruise Weekend Recap

{Saturday}

up early | breakfast & walk around the ship | disembark | Dad picked us up | visit Model Home | unpack & start laundry | mom & nanny come to Dad’s house | lunch, hang out, dinner | Autumn has a bath | Autumn to bed | Mom and Nanny leave | guide mom to highway | get ice cream with Robin | watch The Interview | pack the suitcases | go to be really late

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{Sunday}

up early | breakfast | Dad drops us off at the airport | flight | home | Kemper gets home | go to the grocery store | Autumn naps | basketball | make Autumn’s dinner | Autumn has bath & goes to bed | burgers and fries for dinner | hang out | watch Screen Actors’ Guild Awards | bed

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Homemade General Tso’s Chicken- SRC

Homemade General Tso's Chicken

Oh, back to life. Back to reality.

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We’re back from our Caribbean cruise vacation. It was such a wonderful time. A wonderful break from life. It was a wonderful way to celebrate my 30th birthday!

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But we’re back home now and back to the normal grind. Back to work today…

But it seems like Tuesday will be a day at home, and maybe even Wednesday, because of this blizzard heading our way. Yay? I mean it’s great for another day ‘off’ but I’ll need to make up the time in the end and snow. But, damn, I love a good Nor’easter. I heart you already Winter Storm Juno!!

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I am a Weather Channel junkie. JUNKIE. Whenever there is a big storm I watch the Weather Channel, or our local news channel, 24/7. I love tracking storms. I love watching the updates throughout the day(s) as they get more and more information from different areas to get more specific quantities of snow/rain with tides or wind gusts. Oh, it’s so damn exciting.

Plus, it’s a good break from reality so we get to veg out and I get to cook!! I have some fun recipes to get to work on too! I’ve had my eye on a brownie recipe for awhile that I gotta make. And I’m working on perfecting my chocolate chip cookie recipe. It’s getting there!!

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And I know I am going to be making this General Tso’s Chicken again.

Hot damn, this General Tso’s Chicken is so freaking good. It will make you toss your take out menus in the trash. Okay, maybe you still need take out for your egg rolls and such, but I doubt we’ll ever order General Tso’s again. It is gonna be homemade for us all the way now.

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This is another one of those instances when I love Secret Recipe Club as it helped me discover another great blog and recipe. I thoroughly enjoying checking out the recipes on Asiya’s blog Chocolate and Chillies. She posts delicious recipes while sharing about her life in Toronto as a stay at home mom to 2 little boys. Her recipes often pack some heat (from chillies!) since she is Indian and her husband is Pakistani. There were quite a few recipes that caught my eye, including her Chocolate Truffle Energy BitesBlack Bean Burger, Pasta with Spinach Pesto, Roasted Red Peppers and Sundried Tomatoes, but I picked out her General Tso’s Chicken recipe.

I stuck with the recipe with the exception that we love broccoli with our General Tao’s so I added that. Because of that addition I doubled up the sauce. If you don’t want broccoli then cut back the sauce to follow the recipe exactly as it was on Asiya’s blog.

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So while the Northeast is getting slammed with snow, we’ll be cozy at home making chocolate chip cookies and another batch of General Tso’s Chicken, since we know take out is not getting through 24+ inches of snow!

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General Tso’s Chicken

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ cubes (about 1 lb)
  • 1 teaspoon orange juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 3 1/2 tbsp canola oil, divided
  • 2 Cups pieces of broccoli
  • 1 inch ginger, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 5-7 dried red chillies
  • 2 green onions, white part only, cut into 1 inch length

Sauce

  • 5 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 6 Tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 Cup water
  • 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch

Process

  1. Marinate the chicken in orange juice and salt for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Coat the chicken with the 1/3 cup cornstarch.
  3. Over high heat, heat 2 Tablespoons of oil in a wok/large non-stick skillet.
  4. Add the chicken and fry until cooked through.  Remove and put on a paper towel lined plate.
  5. Add the broccoli and stir every 20 seconds or so. After 2 minutes add 1/4 Cup of water and cover for 1 minute. Remove the broccoli, set aside.
  6. Heat the remaining oil in the wok and add the garlic, ginger, and dried red chilies.  Fry until you can smell the spices.
  7. Add the sauce and mix.  When the sauce boils and thickens add the chicken, broccoli, and green onions.  Stir to coat everything with the sauce.  Serve immediately with some hot steamed rice or quinoa.

Adapted from Chocolate and Chillies

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Check out all the other great Secret Recipe Club posts this month!

And be sure to check out my 3 years of Secret Recipe Club posts!!!!

 

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Thanks for visiting. Please leave me a comment to provide some feedback. I appreciate all the comments I receive.