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Can you believe Waterfest 2015 begins already this Thursday, June 18, on Summer Solstice? It should be a pretty good party starting the summer lineup with Pablo Cruise, Paul Sanchez and the Minimum Rage and Salsa Manzana with gates opening at 5:00 PM. Teachers are FREE on opening night with your school ID!
Waterfest is the perfect way to enjoy our Wisconsin summers with friends and family on the banks of the Fox River in a beautiful outdoor setting. The location doesn’t get much better with it being situated in downtown Oshkosh where you have your choice of restaurants and outdoor patios to relax at before or after a show. The riverfront is also a great way to hear your favorite bands as well which welcomes boaters and tailgaters. Since 1986, each summer Oshkosh is treated with groups from Jazz, Pop, Rock, Blues and R&B. Did you know that anywhere from 2,500-7,500 fans may be in attendance on any given evening depending on the entertainment? Eight evenings this summer, you are sure to find a group(s) that you love for a great price.
Diet? Wait, your thinking where is my recipe that she usually posts! Its not that I don’t have one this week, its just
that I thought this was just as important and since diet is based on food, I figured this was along the same lines. So, what comes to mind when you hear that word? I know mine use to be thinking that if you were on a diet, you must be trying to lose weight. Then about ten years ago when we started the B&B, the word diet took on a whole new meaning because we always asked about our guests dietary restrictions or allergies. So then, restrictions took on that similar meaning. These restrictions usually meant trying to lose weight, but most of the time it was for health, usually Dr. advised. As of recent though, dietary restrictions have taken on more of a different meaning with not only myself but our guests as well too. Now, if I hadn’t gone through these “dietary restrictions”, that by the way, I had put on myself, then I might be asking the same question that I hear from those that question this word, diet.
So, let me try to explain. Diet can mean you are trying to lose weight, but we have always been told that we shouldn’t deprive ourselves when trying to do so. Everything in moderation, right? So, you can be on a diet and still have that chocolate chip cookie. Yes, there are those that can’t because of no self control or the Dr. says No. For those people, skip over this part. I am not trying to change the world, just show a different perspective.
Now days, people are gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, lactose intolerant and everything in between and more. You can call yourself whatever you want. Maybe you are vegetarian, but you decided this morning, you wanted sausage. Now, true vegetarians out there will say you are not a “real vegetarian”. Depending how you went into this new diet of yours, who is to tell you what you are and what you are not unless it was Dr. advised. Most of us have a our cheat days. If you are like me, I consider myself a vegan, more so a travel vegan. I am really good when I am at home but when I am dining out or at a friends home (hence traveling), I am much more casual about the word. I made this change for myself to feel better, not because I am against anything. Therefore if I tell you I am vegan, it just means that I prefer to lead a vegan lifestyle, however I do not want to put anyone out or if I decide, because I am an adult, that I want a cheese pizza, I am going to enjoy it.
So, whether you agree with me or not, give your friends, family and acquaintances a break if they tell you they are on a diet and have that piece of cake or sneak that slice of bacon. We are all trying are best.
With so much going on, in and around Oshkosh, why not “Loos”en up and take a cruise On the Loos Cruises.
Yeh, we have Scotty’s Pontoon boats for you to take out, but if you want something bigger, more people, and really cool, all summer long on Wednesday and Friday evenings, enjoy a two hour cruise with appetizers and a cash bar, departing from the Ground Round all for $19.95 per person. Experience the Fox River with a leisurely cruise to Lake Butte des Morts.
Oshkosh Irish Fest is back for its seventh year at the Leach Amphitheater this weekend from June 11-14th. Come down and enjoy authentic Irish music, food, dancing and presentations on Irish history and culture and watch the Currach boat demonstration. There will be vendors selling merchandise, a 5K, raffle and even fun for the kids where Little Leprechaun Land will be open. Irish Fest benefits many local charities.
Interested in the 5K? The Irish Fest 5K and One-mile Charity Run/Walk will benefit Cerebral Palsy of Mideast Wisconsin and Oshkosh Irish Fest, The two runs start at 9:00 Am and 10:00 Am. The one-mile route is new for 2015. Participants will receive an event t-shirt (guaranteed if registered before June 8), drinks and snacks, and FREE admission to Irish Fest on Saturday before 4:00 pm.
Raffle tickets are only $5 or 5 chances for $20. The drawing is guaranteed no matter how many tickets are sold and will be held Sunday, June 14, 12:00 pm on our stage at the festival. Grand prize is $1500.00, 2nd prize is a weekend getaway to St. Brendan’s Inn in Green Bay with a complimentary full Irish breakfast and a $75.00 bar/restaurant gift certificate, 3rd. prize is an Irish themed gift basket valued at $300.00, 4th prize is a new pair of running shoes donated by Run Away Shoes, and 5th prize is a $20.00 gift certificate donated by McGuinness Irish Pub. All the prizes sounds pretty terrific to me.
Oh my gosh, I am so excited for this Saturday, which is opening day of the Downtown Oshkosh Saturday Farmers Market. The indoor winter market is great but I look forward to this every year being able to wander around downtown Oshkosh and shop all the great vendors that have crafts, bread, honey, jams, flowers and fresh fruits and vegetables and on and on on I could go. Opening at 8:00 AM and going until 12:30, don’t miss the entertainment and cooking demonstrations as well that begins at 9:00 AM. Parking is plentiful on side streets, and nearby parking lots but stay with us and just walk out the front door 1 block and spending the morning browsing and shopping.
We are so honored that Discover Wisconsin will be filming at the inn and around Oshkosh in just a couple of days. In search of an urban B&B where you can get away from it all and still be within walking distance to all that the city offers is exactly what they were looking for when they contacted us. Watch for them around the city as they will be dining in area restaurants, enjoying the riverwalk, shopping in our amazing downtown retail shops and visiting the Grand Opera House. Of course after a long couple days of enjoying our city, they will have plenty of time to decide what they would like for breakfast as we give them a few choices, enjoy a glass of wine under the pergola, and get to know some of our guests staying with us. This won’t air for almost a year, but I promise we will let you know when it does as it will show a few times over the next two years.
Here is just another sampling of the different items we put out for our wine and cheese social that we hold for our guests every Friday and Saturday evening from 5:00-6:00. Of course, it always depends how many we have that are participating on what and how much we decide to provide but this one was a huge hit last weekend. Not only is it very colorful but it provides it a little something for everyone. Lucky for me there were extra so my dinner consisted of a few of the tortellini skewers. The platter consists of summer sausage and my favorite Satori Bellavitano cheese which is a little sharp, nutty and fruity all in one bite. Great with red or white wine. Home made fresh salsa (see previous recipe), home made Roasted red pepper Hummus (see previous recipe), served with pepperjack rice crackers (great for gluten free folks and yummy with all sorts of things) and Ritz crackers for those that are not, cheese tortellini skewers and toasted salmon baguettes. See both recipes for the skewers and baguettes below.
Cheese Tortellini Skewers
1 package of cheese tortellini (in the dairy case), cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella balls, hard salami, and fresh basil leaves. Boil tortellini as package describes. Cut cherry tomatoes in half. Assemble on the skewers. I used two of everything except fresh mozzarella which I only used one, but that is up to you. I then drizzled them with a home made balsamic glaze (recipe is at bottom of page when clicking on link).
Toasted Salmon Baguettes
French bread, sliced about 1″ thickness, cream cheese(room temp) mixed with a little garlic, smoked salmon, capers, crush black pepper.
Toast bread slices at 400 degrees about 5 minutes. Spread cream cheese mixture on bread, add smoked salmon, a few capers and crushed black pepper.
Its back! Ultimate Ladies Day, downtown Oshkosh this Saturday,May 30th. Registration begins at 1:00 at Opera House Square. Hopefully this rain will give us a little break but if not, The Backlot Comedy House at 424 N. Main St is where you will register. This is your chance to shop local! $40.00 and your ticket includes a buy local bag with a coupon sheet, downtown directory and gift card for downtown area Oshkosh businesses worth $10.00 or $20.00. You will also receive two drink and food tastings, one art activity and one entertainment venue. Included is also a 20% off your food purchase at either Beckets, Ground Round or Manila. So, grab your sisters, daughter, your Mom and/or friends and head downtown and show your appreciation for our local businesses.
Is there anyone out there that does not like turtles, the candy? These turtle bars are scrumptious and yes rich, but its hard to say no to just one. I would usually save such recipes for when it is colder outside, but mother nature has not been too consistent with us lately so these bars seemed like the perfect time to get made over the weekend. Oh, by the way, super easy to make too! Hope you enjoy.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9×13 pan. Combine crushed Ritz crackers with melted butter until moist. Spread evenly in the bottom of the pan, pressing down until firm.
Add half of chocolate chips on the crust, followed by the caramel bits and 1 1/2 C of the pecan pieces and then finally the rest of the chocolate chips and the rest of the pecans.
Drizzle with sweetened condensed milk.
Bake 30 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting or you are going to get a mess.
You can refrigerate these if you choose, but make sure you let them warm up before eating, otherwise you may break a tooth on the caramel. Still good, just not as easy to eat.
What to do in Oshkosh this weekend?
Well, there are three very different events that will take you around the city on Saturday, May 2nd. Staring off with Bird Fest beginning at 6:00 AM at Shelter #1 in Menominee Park going to 2:00 PM, rain or shine. There will be Live birds of prey presentations, The “Big Sit” which is a tailgate party for birders, Bird walks and childrens activities with informative exhibits along with a native plant sale and concessions. Later on in the evening, during Gallery Walk from 6:00-9:00 PM at the Masonic Center there will be a Student birds art exhibit plus photography and art displays throughout downtown Oshkosh.
The Natural and Organic Expo is a FREE event that will be taking place on Saturday as well at the Sunnyview Expo center starting at 9:00 AM. This Expo brings together local and national companies that specialize in natural and organic foods and products. Learn what it is to buy direct from local, organic farmers and vendors. Snatch up early seedlings, innovative new products, specialty, meats, cheeses, sauces, olive oils, jams, nuts, dried fruits, wine, beer, baked goods fresh greens, free-range meat and eggs. Learn to grown your own garden. Not enough space, learn where community gardens are at in your area. Also, health products, art and Eco Sustainable items will be at the expo. Try different products from area restaurants that are all locally and organically purchased and prepared.
Don’t forget about Afterwalk starting at 8:00 at the Grand Opera House Lounge. Never any cover and a full service bar and bar menu. After Gallery walk, enjoy music Rob Anthony.
I am hoping these lemon muffins will bring on some warmer weather. Man, I got spoiled last week and now this snow, sleet and rain the last couple days has got me craving some warm sunshine so out comes what I consider summer feeling goodies.
1 lemon, 1 C sugar plus 1 TB sugar, 2 C flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt, 2 eggs, 1 C buttermilk, 1 TB lemon extract and 1/2 C melted butter.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Zest lemon and chop if not using a microplaner. Slice lemon in half(short way) and squeeze out juice, removing any seeds. Mix lemon juice with 1 TB sugar
In a bowl combine remaining 1 C sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest.
In a separate bowl, mix eggs and buttermilk and lemon extract. Stir in butter and add to dry ingredients and mix until combined. Spray 8 jumbo mix tins or use cupcake liners and fill almost full. Bake 25-30 minutes.
Option 1: Brush tops of muffins with lemon juice mixture and sprinkle with additional sugar.
Option 2: Best used when using muffin liners. Let muffins cool slightly. Poke holes in tops of muffins with a toothpick and pour lemon juice mixture over muffins. Sprinkle with a course sugar.
Festival of Spring at the Paine Art Museum and Gardens is awaited by many each year. Saturday, May 16 from 9:00 to 4:00, this FREE outdoor event features the Paine’s annual spring plant sale which includes thousands of “tried and true” plants as well as new and hard to find varieties. The festival also includes more than 150 vendors displaying and selling their art, crafts, plant and garden supplies and plenty of activities for the kids with fair food and live entertainment.
The Paine mansion and gardens are also open for FREE during the festival where the exhibit of Winslow Homer in America is taking place, and outdoors, the gardens feature more than 10,000 blooming tulips and spring flowers. Bring on summer!
Don’t be scared about by the word vegan. It just means healthier and you can still enjoy the flavor especially when you add peanut butter. These truffles are not made with caramel but an alternative. Since I am still somewhat new to the vegan world I am always looking for new recipes so I am really excited to share this 5 ingredient recipe, since we all need a little chocolate after dinner, in my opinion. This one came from the minimalist baker which I find myself using a lot. Hope you enjoy.
16oz. Medjool dates, pitted, 2.5 TB melted coconut oil, divided, 3/4 tsp. sea salt, 1/4 C all natural creamy, salted peanut butter, 1 C dairy free dark chocolate chips.
Add dates to food processor. Add 1 TB melted coconut oil and mix. ( do not melt coconut oil in the microwave. Heat in a bowl over a gas range or add to a saucepan for electric range). If it doesn’t look like it is forming a paste, add a little bit of warm water. Not too much though other wise it won’t stick together. Add 3/4 tsp. seal salt and mix more, scraping down the sides.
Form into ball the size of a superball or a bit larger and place on parchment paper and freeze for 30 minutes.
While they are freezing, combine peanut butter and 1/2 TB melted coconut oil. Right before your 30 is up, heat peanut butter mixture in microwave for about 20 seconds. Remove truffles from the freezer and pour peanut butter mixture over the tops of the truffles. Freeze again for another 30 minutes.
About 5 minutes before you are ready to take the truffles out of the freezer, warm the chocolate chips with remaining 1 TB melted coconut oil in the microwave until melted and dip truffles into the melted chocolate. Sprinkle with more sea salt if desired and place back on the parchment paper. Put in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
I will probably be making breakfast for other Mom’s on Mother’s Day weekend and that is okay, however, if I wasn’t, I would want someone to treat me to a Mother’s Day Brunch at the Paine Art Museum and Gardens on Saturday, May 9th. at 10:00 AM. The Paine is an amazing setting and inside the Paine’s conservatory is the perfect location to enjoy this scrumptious brunch prepared by Zuppa’s. Some of the items being offered for brunch are chilled asparagus with strawberries, goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette
watercress salad, brown sugar bacon, rhubarb glazed ham, dauphinoise potatoes, vanilla crème brulee, assorted muffins and scones, coffee, orange juice, champagne and mimosas. Why not splurge on your Mom, Grandma, Aunt, Sister or friend this year who means so much to you. Afterwards, wander through the gardens and enjoy the wondrous display of tulips, daffodils and flowering trees coming to life as we enter into summer.
The WPA Homeschooling Conference is being held once again at the UWO campus May 1st and 2nd. There is so much here for everyone. If you do not have children but are considering homeschooling or unschooling, than this is the the conference for you. Maybe you are new or are a long time homeschooler, than this is the conference for you as well. Whether you have toddlers, teens or grown children, there is something for everyone. You can purchase curriculum, create or your own or share ideas with others. Many have walked away with a sense of relief just feeling that this is the place to connect with other parents that are asking themselves questions or going through some of the same things that you may have.
I am not sure why I have never had much luck with cheesecake, but this chocolate cheesecake turns out great every time. I have always made cheesecake in a water bath but this one doesn’t call for it. If you are not a chocolate fan, this recipe may not be for you. Covered with a chocolate ganache topping is just fine with me, but it is very rich and decadent so be prepared to be overwhelmed with goodness! Also, cheesecake is always best the next day so plan on two days for this goody.
Crust- 9 oz. of finely crushed Oreo cookies and 6 TB of melted butter
Filling – 10 oz. Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet chocolate chips(I have used Nestle semi sweet which is fine, but better chocolate always makes a better product!), 4- 8oz. packages cream cheese at room temp, 1 1/4 C sugar, 1/4 C Ghiradelli unsweetened cocoa (same goes here for brand), and 4 Large room temp eggs.
Topping – 3/4 whipping cream, 5 oz. Ghiradelli chocolate chips and 1 TB sugar
Spray a 10″ springform pan with high sides. Mix your finely crushed Oreo cookies with melted butter and press into the bottom of your springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.
While your crust is cooling, melt 10oz. of chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth. You should stir every 30 seconds to prevent from burning. While chocolate is cooling, blend cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder until smooth. Make sure there are not any lumps! Pour in chocolate. Add eggs one at a time until blended but do not overblend! Pour cheesecake filling over crust, smooth top and bake for 1 hour until sides are hour and center still looks a bit soft. Do not attempt to open oven door to check on cheesecake! Once done, turn oven off, open oven door and let cheesecake cook until at room temp. Once cool, run knife around the outside of cheesecake between pan to loosen. Cover tightly and chill in fridge overnight.
A few over before serving, make topping. Stir cream, 5 oz. chocolate and sugar in a saucepan over low heat until smooth. Pour over center of cheesecake but leaving edges bare. Chill until topping is set. When ready to serve, remove sides of springform pan.
Hints: If cheesecake cracks in the middle, no worries it will be covered up by the ganache.
To prevent cracking, use room temp. products, do not over beat eggs, and do not open oven door. Cheesecake needs to be cooled gradually. Opening oven door or cooling to quickly are sure ways to crack cake. Of course it will still taste great, but if you are going to go through the work, be patient!
WineFeast I would have to say is probably one of Oshkosh’s greatest social events of the year. Each year over 750 attend this event to sample fine wine, sip cold brews and try appetizers from area restaurants. The best part of this event is that 100% of the proceeds raised go to directly benefit almost 4,000 youth at the Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh. Guests can either attend WineFeast at 7:00 PM on Saturday, April 25th or you can purchase reservations that take place before the general admission. Come at 4:00 Pm for Cellar Select which provides a enhanced wine and dinner tasting.
WineFeast tickets cost $75/person, Cellar Select Reservations (which includes a ticket to WineFeast) cost $125/person.
So, as many of you know, we entered the Bedandbreakfast.com breakfast recipe contest for the second year in a row. Both years we made it to the top 16 out of the hundreds of people that entered. Once it gets down to the top 16, you are then paired up with another recipe and Facebook fans vote on whose recipe they would like to see go on to the next round (very similar to the March Madness Brackets). Both years, this is as far as we have made it. Last year was the best “sweet” original breakfast recipe. This year, we had to use “regional” ingredients. I
Last year, our chocolate covered cherry cheesecake bread pudding looked amazing in pictures.
This year, our breakfast grilled cheese didn’t have as nice of a picture, but I thought the recipe is one that I will not quit making. It is not real friendly to make for a full house just because its a little putzy, but for a few people its perfect. I had many requests to make this when people come back to visit, so do not be afraid to ask me to make it ahead of time. I just have to make sure I have all the specialty ingredients on hand. I don’t think you will be disappointed. It’s actually one of my favorites.
With that being said, no new recipes this week but I have included the links to both last years entry and this years.
The WPS (Wisconsin Public Service) Farm Show starts tomorrow at 9:00 Am and goes through March 26th at the EAA AirVenture Grounds. As an attendee, your admission is FREE! With over 400 vendors will be at the show to answer any questions you may or help with any purchases you may be considering. You will be able to see the latest farm equipment, machinery, tools and services. There will be onsite agricultural consultants from WPS to answer any energy management questions you have and show you the latest energy efficient equipment and techniques. A three silent auction will also be held to help benefit the FFA organization. along with the a kiddie tractor pull on Wednesday.
What else is there to say? Who does not like a warm glazed donut? I have not bought a donut from a grocery story or bakery for years. I love them but know how bad they are for me so I do have some self control in the donut department, expect when it comes to making my own. I mean, they are just sitting there, staring at me. I have to cave. Now, I don’t proclaim these to be any better, or any worse for that matter than a store bought donut, in fact you may argue that these really are not donuts, but just knocks off. That’s okay, I think once you try these you won’t complain. I did pull this idea off the internet because it just seemed too good to be true, but its not. Don’t like glaze, add some cinnamon sugar. That is what I did with the holes. Yum!
1 can of Grands biscuits ( I used the honey and butter flavor), oil for frying, cinnamon sugar or a powdered sugar glaze. Recipe below.
Separate biscuits so you have 8 biscuits laying in front of you. Cut out a circle in the middle of each biscuit, so it looks like a donut. I used the top of my maple syrup bottle. Separate your holes from the donuts. The holes may look small, but trust me, they will get bigger once you fry them up.
Heat your oil in a deep frying pan, one that has a lid. I used about 2 C of oil until it came up about half way in the pan. Here is the tricky part, heating your oil. I have an electric stove so for me 2-3 was my setting, or low for most. If you oil is to hot, your donuts won’t get done in the middle and if its too cool, they won’t get crispy on the outside and moist inside so you may have to try one out first. Make sure your oil is hot before adding your biscuits. Add one to two biscuits at a time. They will grow and you don’t want them to touch. Put on your lid and watch them get brown on the bottom side. For me, it took about 45 seconds on each side. Once you see it starts getting brown in the middle, carefully flip biscuit over and brown the other side. Once done, cool on a wire rack with wax paper underneath for a minute before glazing or sugaring. Eat right away! (Like that wasn’t obvious)
Powdered Sugar Glaze – 1 1/2 C powdered sugar, 2 tsp. vanilla, and 4-5 TB of milk. Mix well until smooth. You want this glaze to be a little thinner than usual, so don’t be afraid of the milk.
For the past ten years, Oshkosh has hosted a half marathon and 5K but this year with the completion of Hwy 41, a full marathon (26.2 miles) has been scheduled for April 19th along with a two person half marathon relay. This is a certified marathon qualifier for Boston.
People have been asking for this, and so Oshkosh delivers once again. All races will start in downtown Oshkosh beginning at 7:00 AM and will continue through the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh campus before joining the WIOUWASH Trail. It is a flat, scenic route that should appeal to a lot of runners. I am not a runner, and try to avoid it whenever possible, so no, I will not be participating, however many of our past guests tell us that it is a great course and they enjoy coming to Oshkosh each and every year.
Oshkosh brings it when it comes to St. Patricks Day. Starting on Friday, March 14th is the ShamROCK the court fundraiser for Cerebral Palsy at The Bar. Rest up, because then its time for the Shamrock Shuffle at 10:00 AM at UW Oshkosh. Barley & Hops will then be hosting an Irish Cider School at 2:00 PM, followed by the St. Patricks Day Tent Party and Night parade on Saturday evening.
This is family affair that starts at 4:00 PM. Oshkosh’s very own Irish bands Dornan and Sheamus Fitzpatrick and the McNally Boys will perform in the gigantic, heated tent at 547 Main St. Dancers from Richard’s School of Dance, Kinsella Academy of Irish Dance, bagpipers will keep you entertained all afternoon and into the night. There is a fun contest for the “reddest hair and most freckles contest for the kids. There will be Irish cusine, Guinness beverages and displays on St. Patrick and Ireland’s history, with several fundraising activities as well, such as raffles, and a silent auction. The well anticipated parade with start at 6:30 PM from Ceape Ave. and head North on Main St. to Iriving.
These raspberries muffins may make you think of summer but I think that is what we all need right now to take our minds off this of this dreadful cold weather. I have used both kinds of topping on the muffins so I wanted to give you both recipes depending on your preference. I also love these new parchment paper muffin liners. They are so simplistic and they don’t leave any crumbs on the paper. These were great paired with our spicy sausage casserole this past weekend. Hope you enjoy.
1 1/4 C sugar, 1 stick of butter, 2 eggs, 1 C sour cream, 1 tsp. vanilla, 2 C flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1 C fresh raspberries.
Sugar Topping- 2 TB sugar, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg (blend)
Streusel Topping – 1/2 C butter, softened, 1/2 C sugar, 1/2 Brown sugar, 2/3 C flour, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp. of nutmeg. Blend butter until smooth. Gradually stir in other ingredients until crumby.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together sugar and butter. Add eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Add remaining ingredients and mix until blended. Gently fold in raspberries. Place batter in muffin liners or spray a jumbo muffin pan. Sprinkle on topping mixture or streusel mixture onto each one. Bake 25-30 minutes.
*Note- You should have left over topping(which over one you decide to make). I keep my left over sugar topping in the pantry for use at another time and my left over streusel topping in the fridge for a couple of weeks.