Spicy Beef and Bean Chili

Spicy Beef and Bean Chili is another effort to create a spicy chili without using hot peppers. This recipe is the best one so far. He who works has proclaimed it excellent as he came back for a second helping. I served the chili crackers but it is equally delicious with sweet cornbread or other breads.

Chili is better the day after it is cooked and refrigerated. Some people recommend it not be served the same day. Leftover chili can be used in a number of ways. Mix it with pasta and it is chili Mac. Chili is great over baked potatoes with sour cream and cheddar cheese. Toss in some corn, some tomato juice and it becomes a soup, serve it with tortilla or corn chips. Chili can be poured over cheese fries, white rice, cornbread, burritos, hot dogs and burgers. Served over corn chips with shredded cheese and diced onion it becomes a chili pie.


The recipe will serve 6 or more depending on the size of the servings. Serve with crackers, over wedges of sweet cornbread or along with other breads. Include a fruit salad and ice cream for dessert.

Spicy Beef and Bean Chili


  • 1 tablespoon or less of cooking oil or bacon fat
  • 1/2 to 1 lb. of ground beef
  • 3/4 of a large onion, chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 can of stewed tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 tomato can of water
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons of chili powder
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons of Spanish paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of ketchup
  • 10 squirts of Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons of granulated chicken bouillon
  • 1 can of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup of water


Heat the cooking oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Crumble the ground beef into the hot oil and cook until it begins to brown. Add the chopped onion, sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir well. Continue cooking and stirring until the meat is browned and the onion is tender.

Stir in the can of tomatoes, do not drain. Fill the tomato can with water and add it. Stir in the chili powder and the remaining seasonings. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cover the pot. Cook for about an hour, stirring about every 15 minutes and adding more water if needed.

Rinse the beans and drain them well. Stir the beans into the pot. Add a cup of water. Increase the heat to medium high and bring the chili to a boil. Boil a few minutes and reduce the heat to low so it simmers. Stir, cover the pot and cook the chili for another hour. Check it often and stir each time so the beans will not stick or burn. Add more water if needed. Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving.

Serve along with small dishes of sour cream, shredded cheese, diced onion and hot peppers.


The next time I will thicken it.

Beer can be used as part of the liquid.

A tablespoon or more of good whiskey or bourbon would enhance the flavor.

The cumin seeds can be lightly toasted in a dry frying pan before adding to the chili.

Beef is the traditional meat to use in chili but other meats can be used. Venison is wonderful in chili. Venison has almost no fat so you have to add some. Mixing it with an equal amount of beef provides fat.

Some people use chicken or turkey in chili. I sure as hell don’t. Poultry is for dumplings, noodles and roasting.

Vegetarian chili can be made from the same recipe. Leave out the bacon fat and the meat Increase the amount of beans by a can. Add mushrooms, fried eggplant, squash or potatoes. Corn and other vegetables can be added. Serve with cornbread.

A large chopped green pepper can be added with the chopped onion.

A couple strips of bacon can be cooked crisp in the pan, removed and the remaining bacon fat can be used to cook the meat and onion in. The bacon can be crumbled and added back into the pot during the last hour of cooking time or crumbled and served at table.

A drained can of corn can be added with the beans. Frozen corn can be used. It does not have to be defrosted before adding to the chili.

There are various methods of thickening chili. You can add crushed tortilla chips or corn chips. A cup or so of the chili can be blended or mashed and added back into the pot. Corn starch, flour or corn flour can be used to thicken chili and stews. Mix a few tablespoons with cold water until smooth and pour into the bubbling chili while stirring. Let it boil for a few minutes or until as thick as you want.


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Quick Creamed Beef and Vegetables

Quick creamed beef and vegetables can be made in little more than an hour. Ground beef is cooked with onions, wine, seasoning, mixed frozen vegetables and a can of cream of mushroom with roasted garlic soup. The creamed mixture can be served on bread, toast, biscuits, potatoes (baked, mashed or boiled), boiled rice, pasta or leftover sandwich buns. The only prep involved is slicing the onion.

One pot meals of one type or another seem to have been around forever. Meat pies are an early type where a creamed mixture is put in pie dough and covered with a top crust. Variations of creamed meats, fish, poultry and game along with vegetables became very popular after soup companies advertised quick one pot measl and casserole recipes featuring canned soup as the sauce.


The recipe will serve 4. Leftovers can be turned into a casserole the next day by mixing with leftover rice, potatoes or pasta.

Quick Creamed Beef and Vegetables


  • 2 teaspoons of cooking oil
  • 1/2 lb. of ground beef
  • 1/2 of a large onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 teasp0oon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of good red wine
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons of granulated chicken bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup of small cut frozen mixed vegetables or leftover cooked vegetables, approximate
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom with roasted garlic soup


Heat cooking oil in a wide, deep pan over medium high heat. Crumble in the meat and when it has almost browned add in the sliced onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir well and cook covered until the onion is tender.

Add the cup of water. Stir in the wine, the chicken bouillon, the Worcestershire sauce and the vegetables. Stir well, reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook until the vegetables are done.

Stir in the can of soup. If you want it thick do not add much additional water. Continue to simmer gently until heated through and bubbly.

Serve over almost anything. Good alone or with a light salad and dessert.


For a  vegetarian version use mushrooms or squash instead of meat.

Frozen hamburger patties can be used. Fry as per directions on the package and chop up before adding the onion.

Any variety of ground meat can be used in the recipe. Any kind of sausage can be used if the casing is removed before cooking.

Cooked leftover poultry can be used instead of the beef. Remove all fat and skin. Shred the meat or cut into small cubes. Cook the onion, then add the meat and other ingredients. The seasoning should be changed to poultry seasoning or sage. Some finely chopped celery could be added along with the onion. Corn would be a nice vegetable to use instead of the mixed ones.

Canned or leftover cooked fish or seafood could be used.

Other types of creamed canned soup could be used.

A casserole using approximately 1 1/2 to 2 cups of the creamed mixture can be made by mixing it in with cooked rice or cooked pasta. About as much rice or pasta as you have of the creamed mixture. Pour into a greased casserole dish and cover the top with buttered bread crumbs or your favorite topping. Cheese could be added to the topping. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes or until it is good and hot.

A large pot pie can be made from the mixture. There are several ways of doing this. Pour the creamed mixture into a pie dough lined pan and cover tightly with a top crust or pour the mixture into a baking pan, bake until bubbly hot and top the mixture with rounds of biscuit dough, canned or homemade. The pie should be baked at around 400 degree F until browned. The biscuit topped casserole should be baked at 425 degrees F until the tops of the biscuits are browned.

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Midnight Cheesy Pasta

The midnight cheesy pasta recipe combines beans and tomatoes with a rich cheddar cheese sauce and twisted pasta. It is extra cheesy and needs no meat. The sauce is well seasoned and has real cheddar cheese melted into it instead of the strange powdered stuff found in commercial pasta and cheese products. The flavors of the dish are intensified when it is baked in a casserole dish. Each serving can be topped with extra shredded cheese at the table.

As with all casseroles and one pot meals there are endless variations of the recipe. Some are mentioned in the notes that follow. This recipe is the quickest homemade version I know of other than using a can of cream of cheese soup for the sauce. From the earliest pioneer times to the present day American cuisine has been built around casseroles and one pot meals.

The recipe will serve 4 to 6 depending on the size of the portions. Serve with extra shredded cheese, crisp rolls or hot breads and a green salad for a complete meal. A nice dessert would be a fruit crisp or a slice of pound cake with fruit.


Midnight Cheesy Pasta


  • 8 oz. dry pasta, any shape
  • 1 can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 1 can of stewed tomatoes, drained
  • 1/3 cup of butter (approximate)
  • 1/2 cup of all purpose flour (approximate)
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard, heaping (or horseradish or diced hot pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon Hungarian smoked paprika, heaping
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper
  • 2 or more teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of chicken bouillon (mix with the liquid)
  • 1/3 cup or more of sliced or shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups of water or half milk and half water
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese for the table


Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a large casserole dish by lightly greasing it.

Open the can of beans. Drain and rinse well. Set the beans aside. Open and drain the can of tomatoes. Set the tomatoes aside. Slice about 6 to 8 slices of cheese from a brick of cheddar, cut each in half. Set the cheese aside to add to the sauce. Shred a 1 inch thick or larger chunk of the cheese brick to serve with the casserole.

Bring a large pan of well salted water to a boil over high heat. As soon as the water comes to a boil stir in the dry pasta. Cook the pasta until almost tender. Do not overcook. It will finish in the oven. Drain the pasta and put into a bowl with a tablespoon of butter. Stir well and set aside.

Make the sauce by melting the butter in a large deep pan over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and add mustard, paprika, salt, pepper and the Worcestershire sauce. Stir into the melted butter. Sprinkle in the flour, as much as it takes to absorb the butter and stir well to form a paste. Using a whisk slowly work in the water or half water and milk (add chicken bouillon) . Stir briskly with the whisk until the sauce mixture is smooth. Have thin slices of the cheddar cheese nearby. Return the pan of sauce to the heat and stir with a wooden spoon while it comes to a simmer and begins to thicken. Drop in the slices of cheddar cheese and stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is thick.

Add the drained pasta to the hot sauce and stir well. Stir in the drained beans and the drained tomatoes. Stir well and pour into a lightly greased casserole dish.

Smooth the top of the casserole. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree F oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove and allow to sit for 5 minutes or more before serving.


You can use any seasonings you like such as oriental or TexMex.

Leftover meats or cooked fish can be added. Hotdogs can be laid on top and baked along with the casserole.

Diced or sliced onions can be added to the sauce. Cook the onion until tender in the butter then proceed as in the recipe. About 1/3 cup should be enough. Diced raw onion can be stirred in along with the other vegetables.

One large green pepper, cleaned and cut in small dice, can be added.

Fresh sliced mushrooms, about a pound, can be cooked lightly in the butter when making the sauce. Or a small can of button mushrooms can be drained and added into the casserole.

Bacon fried crisp, onion and Swiss cheese would be a good combination with the pasta. The sauce seasonings would be about the same but you could use part bacon fat in place of some of the butter for the sauce. This would be very good with mushrooms added.

The recipe was baked uncovered and there was no topping put on before putting it into the oven. However you can cover the top with buttered bread crumbs, crushed crackers or any other type of casserole topping you like. Goldfish crackers on top might appeal to kids.

Any type of bean can be used in the recipe. Either canned or leftover cooked beans.

1 inch cubes of fried eggplant or squash can be added.

I didn’t use a casserole dish. I have a Dutch oven sized multi-purpose stainless steel pan that I prepared the sauce in, added the other ingredients to and then put in the oven to finish. It saves time and dish washing. Otherwise I would have baked the casserole in a Pyrex rectangular glass baking dish. If you do that do not forget to set the oven temperature 25 degrees cooler.

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Another German Potato Salad

I found this recipe for German potato salad in an old cookbook the other day. The “National Cook Book” was published in 1856 and is available online at the Project Gutenberg site. The recipe for German potato salad in the book matches my Dad’s description of the potato salad his grandmother made except it contains no mustard or bacon. He always said the version of potato salad Mom served didn’t have enough onions and mustard and complained it didn’t contain bacon. Mom only used a quarter of a raw onion and that would have made a huge difference in flavor compared to this recipe.

This recipe is high on my must try as soon as possible list. It is a very simple recipe but I believe it will be high in flavor because of the amount of onion and the method. The recipe doesn’t say how many servings can be expected. It calls for six potatoes and I would expect the completed recipe should serve around 4 to 6 adults.

The salad would be best served warm but it could also be served cold. It would be a good salad to make ahead for quick weekday and weekend meals as well as to have on hand in the refrigerator for late night snacking. The salad could be reheated in the microwave.

Another German Potato Salad


  • 6 potatoes, peeled and left whole
  • 6 onions, peeled and left whole
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Vinegar, to taste
  • Mustard, to taste (my addition)


Put the 6 whole peeled potatoes and the 6 whole peeled onions in separate pans. Cover each vegetable with water, add a couple pinches of salt and bring each to a boil. Cook the vegetables over medium heat until both the potatoes and onions are tender. They will take approximately the same amount of time.

Remove the potatoes and onions from the pans. Wipe out the pan the potatoes were cooked in and put the onions in it. Mash the onions. Slice the potatoes and add to the onions. Add butter, pepper, salt, vinegar and mustard to taste. Heat and stir until heated through and serve.


No potato or onion size is mentioned in the recipe. When the cook book was published potatoes were smaller than the ones we find today. So this recipe is an experiment. When I try it I plan on using at least 4 large potatoes or 6 small and 1 large onion or enough small onions to equal the amount a large onion would provide.

The mustard is my addition. Use prepared mustard as spicy as you like. Horseradish, crushed red pepper or dry mustard can be added for more heat. All the versions of potato salad my family made contained mustard and because I like mustard I always add it.

Sliced hard cooked eggs can be added and used as garnish.

Other possible additions; sliced radishes, ripe olives, small diced tomato, diced celery, diced carrots, diced green and red peppers, diced, crumbled or shredded cheese, diced cooked meats, cooked poultry or flaked cooked fish.

If you want to add crisp bacon to the salad dressing use part bacon fat instead of the butter called for in the recipe. You can make a nice dressing by combining warm bacon fat in a frying pan with vinegar and the seasonings and then stir in the crisp bacon bits before tossing the dressing with the potatoes and onions.

If you really can’t eat potato salad without it being covered in mayo you could put some on the table and let people add their own.

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Coral Spice Cake

Soup in cake? According to a booklet published by the H. J. Heinz Company condensed soup as an ingredient in cake is wonderful. I read this recipe and I don’t know if I will ever try it although I love a good spice cake.

Cakes containing mystery ingredients such as soup became popular in the 1930s during the Great Depression. The idea is cake using soup is rich and moist without using a large number of eggs so it was economical. The first printed spice cake recipe using soup was printed in a 1928 newspaper article. I think a cook may have used the soup instead of sour cream in a cake recipe. The purpose of the soup cake is that when entertaining the cake was a dessert and a conversation piece. The guests would be asked to guess the mystery ingredient.

There are a few variations of the basic soup spice cake recipe posted on the internet. Some include a cup of raisins. Another type includes a cup of chopped nuts. Others use chopped dried fruits such as dates or figs. It seems any combination of those items can be added to the cake batter as long as the total amount is around a cup to one and a half cups. The spices used differ from recipe to recipe. Different amounts and different combinations. Some did not include ginger or cloves but all included cinnamon and most included nutmeg.

While reading various recipes for soup spice cake I noticed that all were based on two cups of cake or all purpose flour. One of the first recipes from a soup company was from the Campbell company. It used two cups of regular flour and included raisins. The Heinz recipe is the only one I read that calls for three cups of cake flour and I think that might be a misprint. I haven’t experimented with the recipe but when I do I will use two cups of all purpose flour. Another change will be to add some ground ginger and maybe part brown sugar.

The recipe will make 1 layer cake. The recipe for cream cheese frosting from the booklet follows the cake recipe.

Coral Spice Cake


  • 3 cups of sifted cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup of shortening
  • 1 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can of Heinz condensed cream of tomato soup, undiluted
  • 1 /4 cup of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda


Heat the oven to 350 degree F and prepare the pans by greasing them and lightly flouring them or by using pan release spray.

Sift the first 5 ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Cream the shortening and sugar together in another large bowl. Add the eggs to the creamed mixture and beat well. Combine the soup, water and the baking soda in another bowl. Add the soup mixture and the dry mixture alternately to the creamed mixture. Mix well.

Pour into 2 9 inch layer cake pans. Bake at 350 degree F. for 30 to 35 minutes or until the cake tests done. Remove from oven, cool before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 2 packages (3 ounces) of cream cheese
  • 3 cups of sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla


Cream the cheese and butter together. Beat in the sugar and flavoring. Beat until smooth.


Cool the cake layers about 5 minutes before removing from the pans.

There is no salt in the cake recipe. I believe that is because the condensed soup contains salt. If the soup you use does not you will need to add about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt to the cake ingredients.

Taste the batter and adjust the spices if needed before baking. Sometimes more is needed in spice cakes because of the freshness of the spices.

Part brown sugar might improve the cake recipe.

Many cooks during the 1930s added a cup of raisins to the batter. Soak the raisins in hot water, sherry, brandy or rum until plumped. Drain well before adding to the batter.

Chopped nuts could be added to the cake batter. Walnuts are traditional in spice cake.

Lemon or orange extract can be used instead of vanilla in the frosting.

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Shrimp Fiesta

Shrimp fiesta is an example of a casserole recipe that uses canned soup as a base for the sauce. The recipe combines cooked shrimp with a can of soup and other ingredients. Biscuit dough spread with pimento and cheese is rolled up and cut into slices that are baked on top of the casserole. It is quick to put together and bakes in about 25 minutes.

The recipe comes from a booklet titled “For Variety Cook with Soup”. It was published by the H. J. Heinz Company sometime around the late 1950s to early 1960s. There is no date on the booklet. It comes from some that Mom collected and kept in her big Betty Crocker cookbook.

Condensed canned soup was developed in 1897 by a chemist who worked for the Campbell Company. Companies that produced canned condensed soups frequently published booklets containing recipes featuring their products and those could be found in the soup aisles at grocery stores from the 1940s on. New recipes were developed frequently and some of the most memorable classic recipes from the 1950s use condensed soup. Think green bean casserole.


The recipe will serve 6.

Shrimp Fiesta


  • 1/4 cup of chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 cans Heinz Condensed Cream of Mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 3/4 lb. cooked shrimp, diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pimiento
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups of biscuit mix (follow directions on package for rolled biscuits)
  • 1/3 cup chopped pimiento
  • 1/2 cup grated process American cheese


Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a 2 quart casserole dish.

Saute the onion and green pepper in the butter until tender. Add the soup and the next 4 ingredients. Pour into the casserole. Roll the biscuit dough into a 12″x7″x1/4″ rectangle. Spread the dough with the cheese and pimento. Roll the dough up, beginning with the long side. Cut into 1 inch slices and place those on top of the shrimp mixture in the casserole. Bake 25 minutes.


The biscuits are placed cut side down on top of the casserole. The soup, shrimp and other ingredients are put together in a sauce pan.

Other cooked seafood or fish can be used in the recipe.

The pimento can be left out.

For variation other condensed cream soups could be used such as cheese or mushroom with garlic.

Instead of biscuit mix you can use your own recipe for homemade biscuits. Bake the extras from a 2 cup of flour recipe in another pan.

Canned biscuits could be used, if you must. Pat the biscuit dough out into a rectangle.

Less seafood or fish could be used if you make up the difference with cooked vegetables such as peas and carrots.

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No Peel Potato Salad

No peel potato salad is made from mashed potato flakes instead of cooked potatoes. It tastes the same as traditional recipes but takes far less time to prepare. It can be served either hot or cold. It is a nice side dish to have on hand for quick meals of hamburgers, hot dogs or various sandwiches. Add salmon or tuna and it is a one dish meal.

My Mother would have liked this version of potato salad. Watching her peel steaming hot potatoes was scary. Cooking the potatoes and eggs really heated up her small galley kitchen in summer. Dad loved potato salad although she didn’t make it the same as his grandmother. Dad said his grandmother had always put in bacon and dressed it with a bacon dripping and vinegar dressing. Mom always used mayonnaise and never would have considered adding bacon.

Potatoes were introduced to Europe from the New World in the 16th. century by returning Spanish explorers. Recipes for various ways to serve potatoes were developed throughout Europe. Each country and region had their own recipes. European immigrants brought those recipes with them to the Americas. Potato salad was a thrifty way to use up leftover cooked potatoes.

Potato salad became very popular in the United States in the second half of the 19th. century. It was served at home and in most restaurants. German style potato salad is served warm and contains bacon, onion, mustard and has a vinegar dressing. Other types of the salad are served cold. Until the 1940s most recipes for potato salad found in cookbooks called for French dressing. Now a majority of potato salad recipes use a mayonnaise based dressing.

potato sa;ad

The salad will serve 4.

No Peel Potato Salad


  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup plus potato flakes or buds (enough to make a stiff batch of potatoes)
  • 1/3 cup of diced onion
  • 1/3 cup of mayonnaise, more if needed
  • 1 tablespoon of prepared mustard, heaping
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet pickle relish, drained
  • 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and sliced


Cook and peel the eggs. Dice the onion.

Put the water and salt in a sauce pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove the pan from the stove. Add the onions (stir in later for less intense flavor). Stir in the potato flakes. Let stand a minute and add a few more tablespoons of flakes at a time until the mixture is stiff.

Add the mayonnaise, mustard, pickle relish and black pepper to the potatoes. Stir well. Stir in the sliced eggs but keep some slices to garnish the salad.

Serve at once or cover and refrigerate until needed. Refrigerate any leftovers.


Your favorite seasonings can be added. Paprika, red pepper flakes, horseradish, dry mustard or garlic. Parsley, tarragon, and other herbs can be used.

On a hot day the water and salt can be heated in the microwave.

Crisp crumbled bacon can be added to the salad or used to garnish it. The pickle relish should be left out if you do. You can cook the onions in the bacon fat until tender for added flavor. Drain well before adding the onions to the salad.

Diced celery, cucumbers or sliced radishes can be added.

If you have some leftover cooked vegetables they can be added, about 1/4 cup or so.

Well drained canned salmon or tuna can be mixed into the salad.

Potato salad is nice served on tomato wedges or slices. It can also be served on crisp lettuce leaves.

A few tablespoons of sour cream can be mixed in with the dressing.

Cubes or shredded cheese can be added to the salad or on top of it.

A French version would include a vinaigrette containing Dijon mustard and tarragon.

A German version would include bacon, mustard and onion. There would be a small amount of bacon drippings in the dressing.

Diced red and green bell peppers can be added. Diced tomatoes can also be added. Sliced black olives can be mixed into the salad.

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