Get Running App Winners

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Congratuations on the ten winners of the Get Running App!

Winners (listed below) will be receiving an email from me with the code to pick up the app in the Apple store.

Thanks everyone for entering! Don't fret if you didn't win...the app is only $1.99 and your health is worth at least that much!

- mary the food librarian

Drawn using
Comment # / Name
2 Isabel
3 Emily
7 Topher / Chris M.
9 booksNyarn
15 Audrey
17 Kim
26 Naomi
33 Kimberleyblue
35 Ann MT
43 Bec
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Blood Orange Cornmeal Cake (Everyday Food)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Blood Orange Cornmeal Cake
Blood Orange Cornmeal Cake

Blood Orange Cornmeal Cake
It's blood orange season. I love cooking with blood oranges because the color is so vibrant! However, I usually don't eat the blood oranges raw. My favorite citrus are the Cara Cara, Satsuma and this year, the Dekopon or Sumo Citrus.

Blood Orange Cornmeal Cake
This cake is super easy to make and you can use all types of citrus. I've used Cara Cara in the past and navels too. The cornmeal provides a nice texture.

Blood Orange Cornmeal Cake
I used several blood oranges and 1/2 a cara cara orange. The blood oranges are so pretty! The batter is super easy. Dry and wet ingredients combine with a whisk. No Kitchen Aid needed here.

Blood Orange Cornmeal Cake
Blood Orange Cornmeal Cake
Adapted from Everyday Food's Orange Cornmeal Cake

Printable recipe here

1 c sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 or 2 oranges
1/2 c olive oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 c orange juice (I used blood oranges and a cara cara orange)
1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 c sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prep 8-inch round cake pan with butter or Pam spray.
2. In a large bowl, rub the zest with the sugar until fragrant and damp. Whisk in oil, eggs, orange juice until smooth.
3. In a separate bowl, combing flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
4. Combine wet and dry ingredients and whisk until combined. Don't overmix.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle top evenly with 1/3 cup sugar (topping will be thick). Bake until cake begins to pull away from sides of pan and a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.
6. Cool in pan 20 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake; invert cake gently onto a plate or parchment covered cooling rack (you'll lose some of the sugar topping). Reinvert cake onto a rack to cool completely. If you wish, you can serve with fresh orange segments.
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Get Running App - Giveaway!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

GetRunning app giveaway
Last year, I wanted to try this crazy thing called "running." My friends do it. I've heard some good things about it. And it doesn't require a gym membership.

I heard about the popular Couch to 5K program...taking you from couch potato to a 5K or at least 30 minutes of running in less than 10 weeks. I didn't believe it.

But then I purchased the Get Running App from the Apple store (only $1.99) and loaded it on my iPod Touch.

And wouldn't you know it? It totally freaking worked!

Starting with 1 minute runs (I wanted to die during the first ones), the program gradually gets you running! An English woman gets you going with encouragements. You can read my detailed account of the app on this July 2010 post (including me hating the woman who speaks to you at first, then liking her)

Some programs have little bleeps or bells, but Get Running has an English woman guiding you through the workout and gives you encouragement. She says things like:

Today we are going to run... five 10-minute runs
You are halfway done, turn around and head home if you need.
You have one minute left (with enthusiasm)!
You have run 20 minutes! You have 5 minutes remaining.
Today's run is only 2 minutes longer than last week.
Great job! Congratulations!

The nice peeps at Get Running have given me 10 apps to give away so you can try the program out! The program is compatible with the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. Before you laugh at the idea of someone running with their iPad (like I was), people had used the iPad with their treadmill. Ahhh...that makes sense. But it's only compatible with those devices so only enter if you have one of them, okay?

1. You need to have an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. Please don't enter if you don't have one of these devices.
2. If you win, you need to download the app within 2 weeks. No, you don't need to start using the app...but why wait? Get a properly fitted pair of running shoes and good socks and you are ready to go!
3. To enter, just leave a comment. Make sure your email is on your Google login, or you leave your email address in the comment.
4. If you don't win, don't can buy the GetRunning app for only $1.99 in the Apple store.
5. And remember, I may be totally enthusiastic about this program...but please note that the $1.99 app does not get you out of bed in the morning, put on your shoes and get you butt out the door. Just sayin'. Just wanna be clear about it.
6. You have until Monday, March 28, 2011, Midnight PDT to enter. :) I'll do a random drawing for the 10 winners.

Disclosure: I did not receive anything from the makers of Get Running App for this post. They are offering the 10 apps free to the winners. Opinions about the app, the lady on the app, and running in general are my own. ;) - mary the food librarian

*** Updated: Contest is closed. Winners listed here. ****
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Los Angeles Marathon 5K

LA Marathon 5K at Dodger Stadium, March 19, 2011
I ran my second 5K on Saturday! Whoo hoo! I can't believe a year ago I was just a spectator on the LA Marathon route...this year, I was a spectator again! BUT, I ran the 5K (3.1 miles) the day before the rain drenched LA Marathon.

LA Marathon 5K
I joined the Noah's Wish Team to raise funds for services to animals during a disaster. You can still donate on my fundraising page. Thank you to all those who donated to the cause!!! The group raised over $28,000! In the left photo, I'm all ready: Wristband so I can get into the luxury suite at Dodger Stadium hosted by the charities (this was awesome - fancy bathrooms and orange juice!), 5K bib, Noah's Wish running shirt and of course, my I Like Big Bundts button!

The run was not a picnic for me. It went around Dodger Stadium and had three big hills. Well, an anthill is "big" to me...I pulled out my camera to take a shot. See above. That's pretty big for a beginning runner, no? :) I speed walked up the hills.

LA Marathon 5K at Dodger Stadium
I finished in 38:00 minutes. The Olympics trials aren't next up for me, but I'm excited I finished two 5K in the past 12 months and got myself from Couch to 5K! Thanks to Team Noah's Wish, friend and coach Dave and Helen for coming to support me!

And do YOU want to get yourself from the Coach to a 5K? You can. I used the Get Running App on the iPod Touch or iPhone, and miraculously, in nine weeks I was running for 30 minutes! It totally works (well, it works if you get yourself out of bed and on the road...the app doesn't include that part). And the nice people at Get Running gave given me 10 apps to give away! The giveaway will be the next post!

Hope you can join me in my next 5K! - mary
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Los Angeles Marathon 2011...Rain, Run, Rain, Run

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

LA Marathon 2011 Fans
Los Angeles Marathon 2011 with Santa and Vuvuzelas.
Remember last year's Los Angeles Marathon and the debut of the Daveypop? Well, my friends and I headed out to cheer Dave and Phil during this year's LA Marathon. Unlike last year's nice weather, this time is was All rain. All day long.

LA Marathon 2011 Mile 7
First, friends Helen and Alison and I camped out at Mile 7 in Silverlake. We met this English chap who was cheering for his cousin Sally Baker. We got there early enough to see the wheelchair and elite racers speed by. It was mind boggling how fast they were going...and that they would keep up that pace for so many more miles!!

LA Marathon 2011 Dave
Then the rain started and never let up. But it was so worth it to see Dave run by! Dave organized the Noah's Wish Charity team that raised over $28,000! Awesome!

LA Marathon Phil Mile 7
Our friend Phil also ran the marathon. We saw him at Mile 7 too! It is easier to find people when we are holding signs of one of their faces!

LA Marathon Mile 18
After seeing Dave & Phil at Mile 7, we hopped in the car and got ourselves to Mile 18. It was pissing rain. Just crazy rain. And freezing cold. I don't know how the 23,000 runners did are all amazing! Hundreds had to be treated for hypothermia! Hypothermia!!!

Congrats Dave, Phil and all the runners in the Los Angeles Marathon! You all rock!!!

P.S. I ran the LA Marathon's 5K the day before...that's the next post! Also, you can read Dave's post about his marathon on his blog! - mary
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Ochazuke - Rice with Tea

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ochazuke - Rice with tea
Ochazuke with Salmon

I haven't felt like cooking, baking or blogging much lately. The tragedy in Japan overwhelms me and my heart. Earthquake, tsunami, nuclear reactors, H5N1 flu found in chickens and the snow. I really have no words, just sadness...and hope. I know the Japanese people will make it through this difficult time and I can only send donations and my prayers. Ganbatte Japan! I want to again thank Maki of Just Bento and Just Hungry blog who is tweeting English translations of Japanese news sources (I really wish I learned Japanese as a child from my immigrant mom).

Anyway, I thought it would be appropriate to finally post of my many posts in queue: Ochazuke, a Japanese comfort food. Because we all need some comforting right now. Basically, it is tea poured over rice with any number of goodies.

This is part of a "series" of cooking I'm doing for my friend Pam and her super cute kid, Toby. I sent her a box of stuff I picked up at a Japanese grocery store, including the Ochazuke mix and am cooking some easy to make dishes.

Ochazuke Collage 1
For this, you need leftover or fresh rice. Have you tried these packets of cooked rice? I find they so handy. Just pop into the microwave for 90 seconds and you have hot rice. Salmon is often added to Ochazuke but not mandatory. Of course, a nice piece of grilled salmon rocks, but packaged salmon works for me in a pinch. Finally, you can purchase Ochazuke seasonings and green tea at a Japanese store. They have a lot of flavors; most have wakame or dehydrated seaweed and some sort of crunchy balls. You don't have to have just adds more toppings. The most basic Ochazuke is rice and tea - I used to eat it that way all the time. I really like Genmai Cha green tea - it isn't as bitter as regular green tea because there is roasted rice in the mix.

Ochazuke 2
Simple instructions: 1. Place heated rice in a bowl. 2. Top with salmon or any other toppings. 3. Top with Ochazuke topping 4. Pour hot brewed green tea over the top.

Ochazuke - Rice with tea
You can also top it with a sunny side up egg and an umeboshi (pickled plum). I find this dish total comfort food and a great late night snack...especially when studying or working on a project.

P.S. On a totally different note, I'm running in the Los Angeles Marathon's 5K (only 3.1 miles) this Saturday with Team Noah's Wish. I have a fundraising page here if you are interested in supporting Noah's Wish: providing care to animals in a disaster. Thank you!!
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St. Patrick's Day Jello Cream Cake

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

St Patrick Jello Cream Cake
St. Patrick's Day Jello Cream Cake

Happy almost St. Patrick's Day!

You know I have a major thing for Jello and my co-workers love it too. So, I pulled out a card from my mom's cookbook and made this Jello cream cake. My auntie used to make this every holiday season as well (it is great with a topping of Cherry Jello!)

St Patrick Jello Cream Cake collage 1
The crust is butter, brown sugar, flour and nuts. Easy peasy to make! Bake it off and let it cool before adding the next layers.

St Patrick Cream Cake collage 2
The ingredients are simple. Jello, cream cheese, heavy whipping cream and a little more sugar. The middle layer is cream cheese and sugar with whipped cream folded in. The lemon Jello is dissolved and gives the layer stability because of the gelatin.

St Patrick Jello Cream Cake
A big tray of this gelatin treat is always a big hit at potlucks or...the library! :)

If you don't want to make this one for St. Patty's day, try the Ice Cream Jello I made two years ago!

St Patrick Jello Cream Cake
Jello Cream Cake
Printable Recipe here

1 1/2 sticks - butter, softened
1/2 c brown sugar
1 1/2 c flour
1 c chopped walnuts or pecans

Cream Layer:
1 - 3 oz package of lemon Jello (small box)
1 c boiling water
1/2 c sugar
8 oz package of cream cheese (one block), softened
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Jello Layer:
1 - 6 oz package lime Jello (large box)
2 c boiling water
1 c cold water

1. Make the crust. Cream together butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add flour and nuts to the mix. Press dough into buttered 9 x 13 inch pan. I use the Pyrex pan. Bake crust for 10-15 minutes in pre-heated 375 degrees oven or until crust is brown. Let cool.
2. Make cream layer. Dissolve lemon Jello with 1 cup boiling water. Let this mixture cool. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and cream cheese. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks (but don't make butter). Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Don't worry about it blending perfectly. Add the cooled lemon Jello and hand whisk together. Pour cream mixture over cooled crust and chill until firm in the refrigerator.
3. Make the Jello layer. In a large bowl, dissolve lime Jello with 2 cups boiling water. Add 1 cup cold water. Let this mixture cool. Pour on top of cheese mixture and return to refrigerator to cool completely.
4. Cut and enjoy!
5. Notes: You can, of course, change the color to suit your mood or holiday. This makes a bunch and can get pretty tall! When you add the cream layer, make sure you leave space for the top Jello layer. I usually place the 9 x 13 pan on a half-sheet pan in case I have spillage when placing the top layer on the cake!
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Citrus Currant Sunshine Muffins - Tuesdays with Dorie

Citrus Currant Sunshine Muffins - Tuesdays with Dorie
Citrus Currant Sunshine Muffins 

For this week's Tuesdays with Dorie selection, Lauryn of Bella Baker Citrus Currant Sunshine Muffins on page 7 of Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.

Citrus Currant Sunshine Muffins - Tuesdays with Dorie
I used the zest and juice from a Cara Cara orange, juice from a blood orange, and a bit of juice from a Meyer lemon. In addition, Zante Currants were thrown into the mix. The recipe says 20 minutes at 375 degrees, but I think you should start checking at 15 minutes as my 20 minute muffins were a bit overdone.

Citrus Currant Sunshine Muffins - Tuesdays with Dorie
Check out the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers and see their creations!

Lauryn of Bella Baker blog,
or, Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours (page 7)
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Japan Earthquake & Tsunami

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Photo of Sakura - Cherry Blossom by pictureTYO. Thanks to pictureTYO for making this available with Creative Commons.

My heart hurts.
The destruction of the earthquake and tsunami leave me speechless.

My mom's family in Okinawa, and my friend and her family in Chiba prefecture are okay, but there are so many who can't say the same. Heatbreaking.

I pretty much lost it when I saw footage on NHK of little children eating rice balls (onigiri) in an emergency shelter. Onigiri is the most basic comfort food, something your mom would make you for lunch or a snack. Volunteers were making them, pressing them into the familiar triangle shape with their hands.I just wanted to go to Japan and make everyone an onigiri. You just feel helpless seeing it all happen from afar.

Thanks to JustBento's Maki for translating major new sources in Japan on her twitter feed. She tweeted for 12 hours straight after the earthquake and she informed me more than CNN. For footage that concentrates on Japan, you may want to catch Japan's public broadcasting NHK World News streaming video (in English). Many cable companies are offering free access to TV Japan for the week for the live NHK feed (in Japanese).

I hope you keep Japan in your thoughts, and open your wallet to give to a relief organization. In the USA, you can text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to the relief fund for Japan.
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Broccoli Salad

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Broccoli Salad
Broccoli Salad

The water heater died and needs a new part. I wash my hands about 100 times while baking/cooking so that  is out for a bit. (I've been visiting my folks for the shower :).  I made this broccoli salad last month and am finally posting it. Do you have a lot of "draft" posts as well? I really need to have a bit of spring cleaning in my queue and post 'em!

Broccoli Salad
I'm making this salad "with Pam and Toby". My friend Pam lives in Berkeley and I'm sharing a few recipes with her and her cute son, Toby. This salad is really easy, keeps for a day or so and you can mix and match lots of toppings.

Broccoli Salad
Raw broccoli, salted & roasted sunflower seeds, chopped red onions, golden raisins, dried cranberries, turkey bacon and mayo-based dressing. I also added fresh mandarin oranges to a batch of the salad and loved it.

Broccoli Salad
I used turkey bacon. Um...turkey bacon is no regular bacon. It is way salty and just isn't the same. Next time, I'm going back to regular bacon, or just make it vegetarian.

Broccoli Salad
Broccoli Salad
Adapted from Modern California Cookbook by the Los Angeles Times and appears in "The Best of Lucks" article by Jennifer Lowe, Los Angeles Times, December 08, 1999

Printable Recipe

Mix together and refrigerate for at least 2 hours:
1 cup mayonnaise (I used "Light" mayo)
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 to 2 pounds raw broccoli florets, cut into bite-size pieces (broccoli crowns are perfect for this)
1/2 cup golden raisins (or regular raisins)
1/2 cup dried cranberries (original recipe only has raisins)
1 cup salted sunflower seeds
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 fresh tangerine, peeled and sectioned or can of mandarin oranges, drained (optional) (I added this, not in the original recipe)
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Combine the salad ingredients. Dress with chilled dressing right before serving.
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Umami Burger, Studio City, CA

Monday, March 7, 2011

Umami Burger - Studio City, CA
Umami Burger

After all the hype over the Umami Burger (see the press), I jumped at the opportunity to go with my friend Barbara. First, Barbara and I worked up an appetite by hiking the trail in Wilacre Park in Fryman Canyon for a little over an hour. Usually, Barbara and I hang out only on the hottest days of the year, but this time, the weather was pretty good ;).

Umami is your fifth taste "savory"...after the usual sweet, sour, bitter, salty. The name was coined by my peeps in Japan.

Umami Burger - Studio City, CA
We both got the popular Umami Burger $10. It has house ground beef, caramelized onions, shiitake mushrooms, roasted tomato, Parmesan cheese crisp, and house made ketchup.

umami sides
Barbara ate the Smushed Potatoes $4.50 (according to the menu: dutch yellow creamers , double fried) with roasted garlic aioli, and I devoured the Sweet Potato Fries $4.00 with Umami ketchup. The fries were topped with some brown delicious.

The Valli location has a full bar with counter seats and a row of tables. The day we went, the music was way way loud. Damn, if you go to the bathroom, it's like being in a club. 

Umami Burger - Studio City, CA
All burgers are cooked medium rare, unless you tell them otherwise. What is funny is that Umami opened this 5th location two doors down from the popular The Counter Custom Built Burger joint. And the waiter tells you, "You can't change anything on the burger...taking some from one type to another. You can remove items, but no substitutions." In other words, we aren't the Counter!

I thought the burger was very delicious...but I probably won't eat another one for a couple years as it is a hella lot of beef. Next time, I'm going to try the portobello or turkey burger. I was very hungry from the hike and ate the whole thing in one sitting...I'm not eating beef again for a month.

I'm pulling out the weather forecast and checking to see when the next heatwave is coming...then I know it's time to visit with my friend Barbara again! :)

Umami Burger
5 locations in Los Angeles
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Savory Cheese and Chive Bread - French Fridays with Dorie

Friday, March 4, 2011

Savory Cheese and Chive Bread - French Fridays with Dorie
Savory Cheese and Chive Bread  

This week, the French Fridays with Dorie group made Savory Cheese and Chive Bread from Dorie Greenspan's cookbook Around my French Table.

Savory Cheese and Chive Bread - French Fridays with Dorie
I thought this was going to be a yeast bread and I wouldn't have time to make it, but luckily it was a simple savory quick bread. You can use a bunch of different cheeses and I used some sharp cheddar (those easy peasy pre-shredded varieties), fresh chives and California walnuts.

Cheese & Chive Bread Collage 1
Being part of Foodbuzz, I received free bottles of the new Crisco line of olive oils. They have Light, Pure and Extra Virgin Olive Oils. I used the Extra Virgin olive oil in this recipe!

Cheese & Chive Bread Collage 2
The bread is super simple to make...dry and wet ingredients are quickly mixed, but not overmixed and the walnuts, chives and cheese are folded into the thick batter. It all goes into a bread pan and 35 minutes have a yummy savory bread.

Savory Cheese and Chive Bread - French Fridays with Dorie
Be sure to check out my fellow French Fridays with Dorie members and see their creations!

Please note: French Fridays with Dorie will not be posting recipes. Please support Dorie and purchase the book or find it at your library.

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Homeboy Industries Chips & Salsa

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Homeboy Collage 1
Homeboy Industries Chips & Salsa

Just wanted to let my Southern California friends know about Homeboy Industries new line of chips and salsa available at Ralphs.

Homeboy Industries is a great organization that helps at-risk and former gang-involved youth with job skills, education, counseling and tattoo removal. Founded by Father Greg Boyle, it has really changed the lives of many people in Los Angeles.

With the motto,"Nothing stops a bullet like a job" and "Jobs not Jails", Homeboy Industries has a bakery and the Homegirl Cafe in Los Angeles. Now, they have a line of chips and salsa for sale in Ralphs grocery stores!

This Los Angeles Times article (Feb 17, 2011) discuss the agreements (chips and salsa are made by commercial companies with Homegirl recipe). I brought the chips and salsa to the library and they were enjoyed by all. Shout out to Ralphs/Food for Less company for waiving the placement costs and donating $50K to the project. If you are hungry for some chips and salsa (and who isn't?!), pick up some Homeboy Industries chips and salsa and help this vital and important non-profit organization!

Homeboy Collage 2
I bought the Pico de Gallo (hot) salsa and the Mango was on sale at Ralphs for $2.99. I forget the regular price. Enjoy! - mary the food librarian
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Thin Mint Pancakes - National Pancake Day

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Thin Mint Pancakes
Thin Mint Pancakes

It's dessert and breakfast. Together in one.
How efficient.
March 1st is National Pancake Day (celebrated at IHOP with a free pancake/fundraiser). Next week is Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday and you can make pancakes again. This was done to empty the kitchen of eggs, sugar and cream before Lent.

My friend's daughters were selling Girl Scout cookies. I helped them out by selling 22 boxes to my co-workers...and I bought 31% of said 22 box order! So, I'll be making some Thin Mint inspired goodies. In the past I've made Thin Mint Cupcakes, Thin Mint Brownies and Thin Mint Tart Crust...we'll see what else I can make!

I recently purchased the Cultured Buttermilk Blend product by Saco. Have you tried it? Can't figure out if I like it or not...I guess I need to make recipes with and without the real buttermilk and compare.

Thin Mint Pancakes
I made 1/2 the recipe for Buttermilk Pancakes that appears on the Buttermilk can! You can make any buttermilk pancake recipe and crush up some Thin Mints and add them to the batter. What can be better?! Um, nothing. :) Happy Pancake Day!

Buttermilk Pancakes
4 T (1/4 cup) Saco dried buttermilk blend
1 c flour
1 T sugar
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 egg
1 cup water
2 T vegetable oil
10 Girl Scouts Thin Mint cookies, crushed or cut into small pieces

Mix together the dry ingredients, including Thin Mints, in a bowl. Mix together the egg, water and oil in a measuring cup. Mix together just until mixture is smooth; don't overmix. Drop onto a hot, greased pan and cook until the top is full of tiny bubbles. Turn and brown other side.
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