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166 of 170 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for a college students, newlyweds, or empty-nesters.
I just got this cookbook last week. I have already used it to make two recipes (the roasted garlic shrimp pasta with feta and the whole wheat rotini with bacon and brussels sprouts). Both were excellent.

There are some things I really like about this cookbook. First off, many of these recipes are scaled down version of ATK recipes. This is convenient for a...
Published 9 months ago by badge

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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I was disappointed as I read through the recipes in this book
I was disappointed as I read through the recipes in this book. The recipes call for ingredients I don't keep on hand, like oyster sauce, figs, fennel bulbs, and lots of fresh ingredients impossible to keep on hand. I went through the whole cookbook, and found 10 recipes that used on hand ingredients and weren't too involved to prepare. If you grocery shop every day or...
Published 4 months ago by Kaitlin555


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166 of 170 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for a college students, newlyweds, or empty-nesters., April 11, 2014
I just got this cookbook last week. I have already used it to make two recipes (the roasted garlic shrimp pasta with feta and the whole wheat rotini with bacon and brussels sprouts). Both were excellent.

There are some things I really like about this cookbook. First off, many of these recipes are scaled down version of ATK recipes. This is convenient for a college student like myself. Also, when ATK scales recipes it isn't simply reduce every ingredient by 1/2 or 1/3; ATK will make substitutes to more convenient products that make sense for two people. This is the case with many stews. Instead of requiring a readers to find a 2lb chuck roast (not easy) they will substitute steak tips.

I also enjoy that this is a complete cookbook. This means that the cookbook features a wide variety of dishes for almost any occasion (breakfast, dinner, lunch, dessert, holidays, and even some ethnic). After reading the cookbook I am grateful for some of the designations provided by the editor. Certain recipes are indicated as light or fast to prepare. I have a feeling that I will be turning to these recipes in the future when I don't know what to cook.

I received this cookbook as a birthday gift. I had never really considered recipes for two since the offerings are so limited, but since there are 650 very usable recipes I am excited to be using this cookbook for many years to come. As a single college student I find that cooking for two is a nice way to enjoy a hot meal and have the right amount of leftovers for lunch the following day. This is the perfect solution for those who are struggling to cook for anything less than a large family.
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99 of 110 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully illustrated cookbook demonstrating recipe techniques, April 9, 2014
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The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook from the editors at the America's Test Kitchen is a beautifully illustrated cookbook with images depicting the recipe process. Also, the cookbook includes many delicious and varied recipes meaning you will not be bored with eating the same old recipes on a regular basis. There is an interactive table of contents making navigation easy.

Some of the recipes you will find in this cookbook include:

Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup
Potato and Leek Soup with Kielbasa
Gazpacho with Shrimp
U.S. Senate Navy Bean Soup
Weeknight Beef Stew
Indian-Style Chicken Curry with Cauliflower and Peas
Beef Chili with Bacon
Foolproof Herb Vinaigrette
Greek Chopped Salad
Broccoli Salad
Chopped Cobb Salad
Classic Chicken Salad
Juicy Pub-Style Burgers
Portobello Panini
Easy Skillet Cheese Pizza
Chicken Marsala
Spa Chicken with variations
Weeknight Baked Chicken with Lemon and Thyme
Chicken Soft Tacos
Perfect Filets Mignons with Horseradish Sauce
Skillet-Glazed Pork Chops
Roast Rack of Lamb with Whiskey Sauce
Baked Fish with Crisp Bread Crumbs
Chili-Glazed Salmon with Bok Choy
Kung Pao Shrimp
Maryland Crab Cakes
Vegetable and Bean Tostados
Risotto Primavera
Tempeh Tacos
Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil
Classic Pork Ragu
Skillet Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce
Sesame Noodles with Shredded Chicken
Grilled Beef Fajitas
Grilled Turkey Burgers
Grilled Cowboy Steaks
Grilled Fish Tacos
Grilled Vegetable and Bread Salad
Slow-Cooker Black Bean Soup
Slow-Cooker Curried Chicken Breasts
Garlicky Green Beans
Roasted Broccoli with variations
Roasted Carrots
Easier French Fries
Roasted Red Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary
Simple White Rice
Parmesan Risotto
Quinoa Pilaf
White Bean Salad
Perfect Fried Eggs
Ultimate Scrambled Eggs
Buttermilk Pancakes
Ten-Minute Steel-Cut Oatmeal with variations
Simple Currant Cream Scones
Blueberry Muffins
Cheddar Cheese Bread
Crepes with Banana and Nutella
Skillet Cherry Cobbler
Icebox Strawberry Pie
Pear Tart Tatin
All-Butter Tart Shells
Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Blondies
Rich Chocolate Bundt Cakes
Fluffy Yellow Layer Cake
Chocolate Frosting
Flan

Recommend.
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113 of 129 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Cooking For Two, April 4, 2014
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America's Test Kitchen always provides the best recipes and cooking/baking advice whether in cookbook or on their PBS television series. Their recommendations are true to form, and I have every cookbook they have written. Now, we come to one of the best. This is touted as a Cookbook For Two, and it delivers. I can see this as a wonderful Wedding Shower gift or for anyone who is cooking for one or two.

This cookbook has 650 Recipes for everything you might want to make. America's Test Kitchen has reengineered 650 of their best recipes to serve just two. Over the years they have discovered that scaling down a recipe isn't as simple as cutting the ingredients in half--cooking times, temperatures, and equipment need to be adapted as well. This cookbook takes the guesswork out of cooking for two so you can be sure that anything you want to make, will come out right every time. 150 recipes can be on the table in 30 minutes or less. For those times when you want healthier fare, there are more than 100 recipes labeled "Light" each with nutritional information listed in an easy-to-read chart in the back of the book. And there are chapters on for-two slow cooking, grilling, and baking pies, quick breads, cakes, and cookies. A 25-page manual teaches the basics of cooking for two, including shopping strategies to reduce waste, smart storage tricks help extend freshness of key ingredients, and our picks for the most useful kitchen equipment for any two-person household.

In looking at the recipes, I want to make everyone. We start with Soups and Chowders; Stews, Curries and Chilis; Side Salads and Dinner Salads; Burgers, Sandwiches, Pizza and More; Chicken; Beef, Pork, and Lamb; Fish and Shellfish; Vegetarian Mains; Pasta and Asian Noodle Dishes; Grilling; Slow Cooker Favorites; Vegetable Side Dishes; Rice, Grain, and Beans; Eggs and Breakfasts; Quick Breads; Fruit Desserts, Pies, and Tarts; and ending with Cookies, Cakes and Custards. Nutritional Information for the Light dishes are listed, Conversions and Equivalences, and the Index finishes this 440 page cookbook. With over 500 color photographs, it is very impressive.

This may be one of the best cookbooks I have seen.

Fudgy Brownies For Two
Makes 8 brownies
Everyone loves brownies, but a full pan of brownies for two is way too much for even the most ardent brownie lovers. To scale back our batch of fudgy brownies, we ditched the large baking dish in favor of a loaf pan, which made just eight brownies--perfect for two people to enjoy over a few days. Two types of chocolate--semisweet chocolate and cocoa powder--gave us plenty of fudgy flavor.
To make our batter easy to mix by hand, we melted the semisweet chocolate quickly in the microwave. A whole egg plus an extra yolk made our brownies rich, moist, and chewy. The deep sides of the loaf pan made it hard to cut the brownies neatly, so we lined the pan with a foil sling that allowed us to lift the brownies out in one piece before cutting.
1. Place 2 sheets of aluminum foil perpendicular to each other in loaf pan, pushing foil into corners. Smooth foil flush to pan.
2. Use foil handles to lift baked brownies or bars from pan.
Be careful not to overbake these brownies or they will have a very dry, cakey texture. The test kitchen's preferred loaf pan measures 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches; if you use a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan, start checking for doneness 5 minutes earlier than advised in the recipe.
3 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (4 1/3 ounces) sugar
1 large egg plus 1 large yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Make foil sling for 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan by folding 2 long sheets of aluminum foil; first sheet should be 8 1/2 inches wide and second sheet should be 4 1/2 inches wide. Lay sheets of foil in pan perpendicular to each other, with extra foil hanging over edges of pan. Push foil into corners and up sides of pan, smoothing foil flush to pan. Grease foil.
2. Microwave chocolate, butter, and cocoa in bowl at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth, 1 to 3 minutes; let cool slightly. Whisk sugar, egg and yolk, vanilla, and salt together in medium bowl until combined. Whisk in melted chocolate mixture until combined. Stir in flour with rubber spatula until just combined.
3. Transfer batter to prepared pan; spread batter into corners of pan and smooth surface. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 24 to 28 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Let brownies cool completely in pan on wire rack. Remove brownies from pan using foil, loosening sides with paring knife, if needed. Cut brownies into 2-inch squares and serve. (Brownies can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.)

Highly Recommended. prisrob 04-04-14
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 440 Page, 650 Recipe Cook's Illustrated Masterpiece!, May 13, 2014
This review is from: The Complete Cooking For Two Cookbook (Paperback)
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I see so many reviewers have gone into great depth to describe all the wonderful features of this outstanding Complete Cooking For Two Cookbook. I join them in singing their praises! As a Cook's Illustrated junky who has been following Cook's and Chris Kimball since they began in the early 90's, (and have probably 20 of their books), I consider this book one of my very favorites! They took some of the very best recipes and scaled them down for two. Perfect! I usually end up cooking more than we need. I guess years of cooking for a family of four has wired my brain that way, so this book is a real helper since there is now just two of us. We have certainly enough to eat and a little more by the standard portions for two in this book, and have enjoyed many excellent recipes.

The book has so many great useful features. One that I especially love and find extremely useful is the recipe tagging symbol system for "Light" and "Fast" recipes. Some recipes are both light and fast as well. "Light" symbol has a yellowish color and "Fast" has a red color. If you just thumb through the book you will see the symbols next to some of the recipe titles which qualify. Or, you can look in the back to the Table of Contents where you will see the colored symbols next to the titles as well. So,...if you are in a hurry and want to find something "Fast AND Light" for dinner that night, you can simply take a quick trip to the Table of Contents and find those recipe choices quickly by the colored tags. I like the way Cook's set the book up with the mix of light, fast, light and fast, and the more "sinful" recipes together in each section verses separating the categories into separate sections.

Note: For the really health conscious there is a Nutritional Information chart for the light recipes that are tagged throughout the book.

In the usual Cook's Illustrated fashion, there are tips and tricks scattered throughout the entire cook book. I have learned SO much from Cook's Illustrated. Basically I learned how to become a good cook :)
In the front of the book there is a section on "Kitchen Essentials Everyone Needs." This is a GREAT list, and it also recommends their favorite pics over to the right of the items. If you are not familiar with Cook's, they do brand testing such as test 12 toasters and pic the one they think is best. I have purchased many of these brands in my kitchen that they've recommended through the years. Most of their recommendations have been spot on other than a couple of durability issues I had with a couple of their suggestions I purchased. So if you are just starting out and need to set up your kitchen this is a big plus and could save you money and headache in the long run.

Another list I appreciate is the "Emergency Substitution" list. For instance, ..no dark brown sugar? Use 1/2 cup white sugar and 1 Tablespoons Molasses. Or, the "Ten Things you Didn't Know You Could Freeze" list. Did you know you can freeze wine in ice cube trays for those recipes that call for a little wine so you don't have to open a whole bottle?

Recipes I have made:

Chicken Saltimbocca: Fabulous.
Chicken Tikki Masala: Fabulous.
Chicken Piccata: Fabulous and so simple.
Parmesan and Basil-Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Carrots: Husband went nuts, he loved the carrots too.
Classic Pot roast: Another comfort food winner.
Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry: So Good! Fast!
Pork Schnitzel: Oh WOW! Served with cabbage, apples, and onion.
Pan Seared Scallops with Butternut Squash: Decadent.
Kung Pao Shrimp: Delicious...you won't feel guilty because it's light. Fast.
Maryland Crab Cakes: To die for...may want to double the recipe. :)

...and I could keep going with the list, there are so many recipes I have made. I can't think of one which my husband and I haven't enjoyed.

To conclude: The Complete Cooking For Two Cookbook in my opinion is a jewel of a cook book and I would recommend it for any household where two people reside! It would be a fabulous gift for that young newlywed bride who wants to knock the socks off her new husband, or a great gift for those empty nesters, and singles living alone who don't mind eating a meal of leftovers. I'm going to gift it to my sister this summer who's daughter is going off to college.

The icing on the cake: This is a gorgeous, high quality, heavy, thick and shiny paged , well put together book that's flexible and stays open on the page that I open it to. Every cookbook should do that! I much prefer this style over the hard cover books because it's much more functional in the kitchen when you're using the book.
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50 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Have an empty nest? Tired of leftovers?, March 22, 2014
This review is from: The Complete Cooking For Two Cookbook (Paperback)
We have been cooking from these recipes for about six months and I would say 90% have been a delicious success. There are cooking or equipment tips on every page which are also very useful. I gave this book to all my married children and they are liking it too. We particularly like reading about how they came to perfect each recipe. Yum!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great recipes and extras, June 11, 2014
By 
Aderyn (Small-Town Michigan, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Complete Cooking For Two Cookbook (Paperback)
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I am a fan of America's Test Kitchen and own several of their cookbooks, including the 2009 edition of this one, so one of the first things I did was check for duplication and sure enough, there were some duplicated recipes. Happily, there aren't enough repeats for that to be the deciding factor, though, since there are many other advantages to this new edition. This one is much larger, and I love that there is an entire chapter devoted to learning to cook for two, including how to shop, make emergency substitutions, put leftovers to work, and choose equipment that is handier for scaled-down results.

The index has a key that shows which recipes are rated "fast" and which are "light." On my way home from a tiring shopping trip right after I got this book, I passed a sign in a farmyard: Fresh Asparagus. When I got it home, I was happy to identify a quick recipe, pan roasted asparagus with toasted garlic and parmesan. YUM!

I have also made the almond granola with dried fruit, which uses a simple compress and bake technique that relieves you of the need to stir the granola while baking. It was a little too crisp for my taste, but I think I can remedy that next time by trimming a minute or so off the baking time. The flavor was very good.

I couldn't resist trying the prime rib for two, which makes use of a rib eye steak. It was very good and we enjoyed the novelty of creating a prime rib for two. The accompanying pan sauce was delicious. Honestly, though, considering the ease of simply grilling or broiling a nice rib eye, I'm not sure I'd repeat this one. The pot roast recipe, on the other hand, was amazingly good and well worth the effort!

If you're a baker, you know that altering baking recipes can get tricky. The dessert recipes and quick bread chapters are among my favorites, with things such as carrot cake for two and a recipe that produces four cupcakes. The raspberry-nectarine pie is at the top of my list for the next one I'll try.

There are also chapters for slow cookers and for grilling, two things that always seem to assume you're feeding a crowd. Again, it's nice to have lots of suggestions for using these methods with smaller quantities.

I do wish it had a table of contents that listed each recipe instead of just the chapter names, which would make browsing much easier. The index is very thorough, but it works best if you either know what recipe you're looking for or already have ingredients you want to use. I often browse a cookbook and choose the recipe first, then buy the ingredients I'll need. I also think they should have included nutrition info for all of the recipes, not just the "light" ones. [NOTE: Another user has mentioned that the final edition of the book does list each recipe at the beginning of the chapter, which should be very helpful.]

Whether you're just learning to scale down your cooking for one or two, or if you've done it for a long time, as I have, and need new inspiration, I think you'll like The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eating for two?, May 5, 2014
By 
NyiNya "NyiNya" (It was broken when I got here...) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Complete Cooking For Two Cookbook (Paperback)
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I saw a refrigerator magnet that said "Dance Like Nobody's Looking." Cute, but really, why would you. Dancing is a good time to show off. Or slink off the floor before that elbow takes out somebody's eye. Forget dancing. Eat like nobody's looking -- that's the thing...and the newest release from America's Test Kitchen tempts us to do just that.

The editors take a lot of trouble with their instructions. I understand they scout around and locate a few 'best ways' to cook something and then make their choice. I came to these books late...I have no idea why I waited, but they are always good, always have the info you need and, in fact, most of the time, it is the best way to roast pork or cook cauliflower or make cranberry relish.

In this case, ATK took about 650 of its favorite recipes from other books and revamped them to suit two people. Brilliant idea. There comes a point in every life, sometimes two or three points, where the number of people you cook for changes. Maybe you cook for yourself, then two, then a family, back to two or one, up and down. That's how it went for me. Now I'm down to one, and soon it will be two again. I can cook, but I can't cut down. I make that six serving casserole and the freezer is full of ancient stuff that was good but has worn out its welcome. Cutting recipes down just doesn't work. If I want a stew for two, what do I do with the rest of that lamb shoulder after I cut off enough for us? Measurements, food amounts, cooking times, everything is calculated for the deuce. You don't get an unspiced curry or an overcooked piece of fish.

The other thing I love about ATK is that they don't assume we automatically know something. They tell us what do to from the gitgo. I'm a long term cook of the so-so variety, and they've shown me I still have a lot to learn. For instance, this book includes a basic cooking guide and the smartest advice on how treat an egg that I've ever seen. There are tips on how to shop for two so you don't end up with furry tomatoes or squishy mushrooms, and they also tell you how to store things so they stay fresh longer.

Since there are 650 different goodies to cook, you have an entire repertoire between two covers, from parties to weekday meals, breakfasts, lunches and dinners, soups and salads, everything, in other words, that two people will be eating. Feeling romantic? Want a hearty dish for a cold night or something cool and crisp for the dog days of summer? You got it. Plus dessert.

Whether you are new to the stove or a seasoned vet, ATK's The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook is a gem. And it's fun to read. Plus you will never be forced to stuff down that third or fourth helping of mousse because the recipe was double what you needed. OKay, we can skip that part. The rest of the book is worth it.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I was disappointed as I read through the recipes in this book, September 15, 2014
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This review is from: The Complete Cooking For Two Cookbook (Paperback)
I was disappointed as I read through the recipes in this book. The recipes call for ingredients I don't keep on hand, like oyster sauce, figs, fennel bulbs, and lots of fresh ingredients impossible to keep on hand. I went through the whole cookbook, and found 10 recipes that used on hand ingredients and weren't too involved to prepare. If you grocery shop every day or two and like to spend time in the kitchen, then this cookbook would be an excellent resource. For those of us who don't on either count, pass this one up.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deliciously PERFECT, April 19, 2014
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This review is from: The Complete Cooking For Two Cookbook (Paperback)
I have so many cookbooks (an obsession of mine) and was torn between ordering yet another but I justified it with the fact I realized I do not own a cookbook that has recipes for TWO. Intrigued as I was, I clicked the buy-now-with-one-click feature. YES! I did it, a new cookbook was on its way. Then I realized it was not yet out and I'd have to wait about a month before I could received it. Bahhhh....Finally it arrived and I am so happy I purchased it. The Risotto Primavera for two was fabulous and it was done in no time. The Savory Spinach Strudel was a perfect dish to share with my friends along with a glass of wine. The Mediterranean-Style Fish Stew, according to my husband...."honey you knocked it out of the park with the quick simple meal." Oh and the Lentil soup - sooo good. Other than the Mushroom Miso Soup with Shrimp and Udon (I don't keep white miso paste on hand) most every meal I've made are with ingredients I have on hand so I am not having to purchase special products for each recipe. Plain and simple I love this cookbook and plan to give a couple as gifts this Christmas.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Have the Annuals? There are still new recipes here., July 4, 2014
By 
RobynMWJ (Bay Area, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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I delayed getting this cookbook for quite some time, because I've been buying ATK's Annual Cooking for Two cookbooks since 2009, and couldn't find any reference to whether this Complete collection was exclusively reprints of those recipes. Once I picked up my copy of this Complete collection, I sat down with all five Annuals and this new one and started working my way through the indexes.

Yes, most of the recipes in this Complete cookbook are repeats of recipes in the Annuals, only with far less explanation and description before each recipe. Some have had their titles slightly adjusted, and some are indexed differently, so my count may be slightly off. However, approximately 25% of the recipes in this Complete cookbook do not appear in the index of any of the five Annual cookbooks. With the cover boasting 650 recipes in this Complete cookbook, this ratio means there are approximately 160 new recipes. Each of the Annuals is described as having "over 150 recipes" on the dust jacket flap, so basically purchasing this Complete cookbook is getting a 2014 Annual in addition to portions of the previous five Annuals.

Overall, I'm glad to have all six books, as it's the only way to have every Cooking for Two recipe that ATK has put out since 2009, and I'm ok with the Complete cookbook being 75% repeats. In 6 years of using these cookbooks, I have never been disappointed by a recipe, and the detailed explanation of the process for each recipe that is included in the Annuals gives me a lot of cooking knowledge for creating my own recipes.
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The Complete Cooking For Two Cookbook
The Complete Cooking For Two Cookbook by Editors at America's Test Kitchen (Paperback - April 1, 2014)
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