Recipe: Vegan Chocolate Chip Sweet Potato Muffins [Low Cal]

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Hello friends! During the last year, I had moved my blogging efforts over to a different fitness blog due to a bit of a lifestyle overhaul, but realized that people are still looking at recipes here every day. I can’t even believe it–I never thought that during such a long period of inactivity, my recipes would warrant so many daily views. I’m floored!

But more importantly, I’m inspired: inspired to come back and share some of my favorite recipes I’ve come up with over the last year, in the hopes that they might prove useful to any of you.

Some changes: I’m now fully vegan, and found a passion for lifting and fitness. And, more relevant to this blog, I’ve been dabbling in high carb, low fat veganism! (Also known as HCLF.) However, I still have tons of fun avocado and nut-filled recipes to share, so there will be all types of vegan food here. But it’ll mostly be healthy and low cal, now. 🙂

So to kick things off, I wanted to share one of my favorite new recipes, from last week: chocolate chip sweet potato muffins. They’re a tad addictive, and my omni friends were shocked that they were vegan (always my test of good vegan food). They were even more surprised when I told them they’re incredibly low cal, too! They’re my new favorite snack when I’m out and about: I’ve been bringing them to class straight from the freezer and they’re perfectly moist and thawed an hour later.

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Makes one dozen small muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour (for gluten free, try buckwheat flour)
  • 1/2 banana
  • 250g sweet potato, baked
  • 1 cup non dairy milk (I used unsweetened soymilk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp splenda, or sweetener of choice
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 -1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg

Directions

Ingredient prep: Use pre-baked sweet potato, or bake your own in the oven at 375 degrees F for around 45 minutes, or until soft. If you don’t have oat flour, make your own by grinding 1 cup of oats in a food processor–I like mine slightly course. Remove from food processor to a bowl, and set aside.

1. Combine baked sweet potato with banana, soymilk, and vanilla, and blend until smooth. Add maple syrup and sweetener, and set aside.

2. Combine the flours, baking soda and powder, salt, and spices in a medium sized bowl. Stir in chocolate chips, then add in wet ingredients and stir. If the batter is too dry, add non dairy milk until it’s at muffin-batter consistency.

3. Spoon batter into a standard sized muffin pan–it should fill one dozen cups about 2/3 full.

4. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out dry. Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove muffins to a cooling rack.

Nutrition info: 

  • Calories per muffin: 90
  • Carbs: 16.5g (2g fiber)| Protein: 2.5g | Fat: 1.8g
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If you’re not into the low fat thing, they’re great topped with cashew butter and coconut butter! (And every other nut butter, I’m sure)

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Enjoy!

Michelle

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Vegan Caramelized Banana Bread Quinoa Porridge [Low Cal]

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I’ve been in a bit of a breakfast rut lately. I’ve been making brunches for my family every weekend, but I’d never eat those kinds of things on my own: non-vegan french toast and parfaits, oh my! I have my usual avocado berry breakfast smoothie every morning–or occasionally my new tropical bowl, which I’ll have to post another time–but I haven’t come up with a new, vegan, gourmet breakfast recipe in over a week. (That’s a long time for me!) I decided that this had to change. It is summer, after all!

I ended up wanting to go back to my quinoa porridge concept from the last week of the semester. Instead of pumpkin, I turned to a differ flavor I was craving: banana bread. Last weekend, my boyfriend brought me half a loaf of his mom’s (absolutely scrumptious) banana bread, and I managed to eat the entire thing in the span of a few hours. After a huge bread-filled brunch. That’s just not right.

Anyways. I got my banana bread fix in a much, much healthier way that I could actually feel good about. And even though it lacked the refined flours and sugars that the true bread version had, I’d argue that it tastes just as good!

Give it a try–you won’t regret it! If you don’t like quinoa, feel free to sub in your favorite oats.

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Makes a little over a cup, or ~300 mL

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup soy, coconut, or almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 3 pinches cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • Half-pinch of salt (optional)
  • Cashew cream or non-dairy yogurt (optional)
  • 1 tbsp walnut or pecan pieces (optional)
  • Optional add-ins: chia seeds, flax, protein powder

Directions

1. Rinse your quinoa, and pour it along with 3/4 cup water in a pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Let it cook about 15 minutes, or until you can see the germ ring and it’s soft with an oatmeal-like consistency.

2. Prepare the caramelized banana: cut 5 slices for garnish and set aside, if desired. Mash the rest of the banana. Transfer the slices to a saute pan over medium heat and cook until browned on both sides. Set aside. Put the mash in the pan and saute it until slightly browned and fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.

3. Prepare the cream topping (optional): Mix cashew cream or yogurt with 1/2 tsp maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon.

4. Once the quinoa is soft, add the mashed banana and your milk of choice until it’s at your desired consistency. If you add too much, you can just cook it down again. Add the nutmeg, 1/2 tsp maple syrup, and 2 pinches of cinnamon, or to taste.

5. Pour into a bowl and top with the maple cream, walnuts, and caramelized banana slices.

Calories: 325 without walnuts and yogurt; ~400 with

Enjoy your fancy (but easy to make) breakfast!

Michelle

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Vegan Baked Gingerbread Donuts

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Prepare yourselves, everyone. The vegan baked vanilla doughnuts are about to get fancier.

Back when I posted the original recipe, I said I’d post with more flavors. People seemed excited about it, so I decided it (hopefully) wouldn’t be too repetitive for you guys. Here’s the first one: the gingerbread variety, probably my favorite of the bunch! I don’t care if it’s summer right now–the taste of fall is always welcome. Something about gingerbread flavors are always so comforting to me. These are one of my best selling pastries, so I guess I’m not the only one who feels that way!

Also, I can’t seem to decide which form of the word doughnuts (versus donuts) to use; guess I’ll keep mixing it up, because why not?

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cups vegan white sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 + 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (can sub in applesauce)
  • 3/4 tbsp apple cider vinegar (can sub white vinegar)
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 + 1/4 cup water
  • Maple syrup + powdered sugar for glaze

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 6-hole doughnut pans.

2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

3. In another small bowl, stir together the oil, vinegar, vanilla, and water.

4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet. Mix just until lumps are gone. Add more water if necessary to get a batter consistency.

5. Pour batter into doughnut cups until about 2/3-3/4 full.

6. Bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Vegan Apple Walnut Green Smoothie Bowl

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Nothing kicks off spring (or summer) quite like a fresh green bowl of creamy fruits and veggies.

With how hot it’s been out this past week, the thought of eating warm meals just makes me feel like melting on the spot. Instead of a typical salad dinner, I decided to try something new and come up with an extra heat-friendly dinner: a green smoothie bowl. Somehow, it was my first time making a true green smoothie. It was cool, creamy, refreshing, and contained pretty much all the same ingredients as the salad–with the addition of my customary after-dinner fruit! It was like a healthy meal and a decadent dessert all together in one bowl.

It was so filling, and unbelievably delicious; I was shocked by how well it turned out considering I had to throw it together with what I happened to have on hand. This would also make a wonderful breakfast–I’ll definitely be having it more often!

Makes one bowl / 3 cups worth.

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Ingredients

  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 cup or 2 big handfuls spinach
  • 3/4-1 cup soy, almond, or coconut milk
  • Hemp protein powder (optional)
  • 1/2 frozen banana (optional)
  • 1-3 ice cubes (optional)
  • 2 tbsp walnuts, chopped
  • Fresh ginger or powder: 1 tsp
  • 1 tbsp crystallized ginger, chopped, for topping

Other add-in ideas: Beets, blueberries, chia seeds, flax seed, psyllium

Directions

1. Set aside a quarter to a half of your apple to use for topping. Put the rest of it in a blender along with the avocado, cucumber, spinach, 1/2 cup milk, fresh ginger, and other optional add-ins. Blend until combined. Add 1/4 cup more milk, or until the mixture has reached your desired consistency.

2. Pour into bowl, and top with leftover apple pieces, walnuts, and chopped crystallized ginger.

And that’s it–enjoy!

Serving size: entire recipe (3 cups). Calories: 440

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Vegan Pumpkin Pie Quinoa Porridge [Low Cal]

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I have trouble letting go of winter and autumn foods by the time spring rolls around. Something about pumpkin spice, warm apple pies, winter squashes and brussels sprouts, and steaming soups and porridges just makes me want to eat them regardless of how hot it is outside.

When I cook for other people, though, I have to at least try to be season-appropriate–and when I’m home for the summer, I’m a bit addicted to cooking for my friends and family. So, I decided to give myself a last winter hurrah before I moved back home, and treated myself to this pumpkin pie porridge before one of my last finals.

I may continue to have this dish on those slightly-less-hot summer days simply because of how how delicious it is… and I’ll have to come up with an apple pie version, too!

Serves 1 (about 1.5 cups)

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 cup soymilk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (add more to taste)
  • Dash of cloves, nutmeg, and ginger, or of premade pumpkin spice
  • Maple syrup or sweetener to taste
  • Toppings: cocoa nibs, chocolate chips, cranberries, walnuts, etc.

Directions

1. In a pan over medium heat, combine soymilk, pumpkin puree, and quinoa. Bring to a boil, and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the quinoa are split and soft and the mixture has thickened to an oatmeal-like texture.

2. Remove pan from heat, and add in the spices and sweetener. You may want to add another splash of milk if you like a less thick consistency.

3. Add toppings if desired, and serve hot!

Calories: 300 (using a 0 calorie sweetener and unsweetened soymilk)

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One-hour Cinnamon Rolls

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As someone who eats almost entirely vegan but indulges in dairy on rare occasion, my strategy for coming up with particularly tricky veganized versions of classic dishes often involves attempting to make the original versions first. In order to try to make a vegan version as similar as possible, I’ll taste some of the original to get an idea of what I’m aiming for, and give the rest away to friends. I try to avoid making non-vegan food whenever possible, but with cinnamon rolls, I knew I needed a reference point; I’d never made them before, and had no idea what homemade ones should taste like!

And this slightly modified version of a recipe from Averiecooks turned out amazingly. In fact, I was shocked at their resemblance to Cinnabon, especially considering that these only took an hour. The insides were tender and buttery, and the sweetness was perfectly offset by the tartness of the cream cheese frosting; my friends devoured them within minutes. I even added a splash of Bailey’s to the frosting for some St. Patrick’s weekend spirit!

As for the vegan version coming up: hopefully, curdling some soymilk will have a similar effect to the buttermilk called for, Earth balance should easily replace the butter, and I’ll be substituting Daiya cream cheese in for the frosting. If you try these (or other) substitutions, let me know how it goes!

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Makes about eight 3″ cinnamon rolls

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk, warmed
  • 2 & 1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Inside filling:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), very soft
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon

Glaze:

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, very soft
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar (Or more if you like it sweeter)
  • ~1 tbs half and half, milk, or Bailey’s, to your desired consistency
  • Dash of vanilla

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Directions

(See photos of the whole process below!)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9″ round or square pan.

2. Combine flour, buttermilk, yeast, oil, salt, and sugar in a bowl, and mix until it begins to form a ball. Turn onto a large cutting board or other clean surface, and knead for about 5 minutes either by hand or with a stand mixer. The ball should be smooth, no longer sticky, and getting difficult to knead.

3. Using a rolling pin or similar shaped object (since my rolling pin is back home, I had to use a jar!), roll out the dough until it is about 9″13 inches–you can use your 9″ pan for reference.

4. Spread the butter across the dough leaving a small margin at the edges. In a bowl, combine the sugars and cinnamon; sprinkle the mixture across the top of the butter in an even layer.

5. Starting with the longer side, roll the dough relatively tightly into a log. Depending on how large you want your cinnamon rolls, cut the log at 1-2″ intervals using a sharp knife or unflavored dental floss.

6. Arrange your rolls in the pan leaving at least 1/2″ between them, and reshape them a bit if they got squished during the cutting process. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the exposed parts of the dough aren’t squishy when tapped. (Warning: if you don’t leave a bit of space between the rolls when you first put them in the pan, the dough between them could end up raw, and they will be hard to separate! They’ll spread out into each other as they bake, so leave them a little room to do that.)

7. While the rolls are baking, prepare the glaze by whisking together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla, and add liquid(s) of your choice until it reaches your desired consistency.

8. Remove the rolls from the oven, top with glaze, and serve immediately! Some of the cinnamon-sugar-butter sauce will be at the bottom of the pan; we found scooping it back on top of the rolls was a fun sort of second glaze!

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Recipe: Avocado Berry Smoothie [Vegan]

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People are always telling me how much they love avocados. I suppose it’s because I’m a foodie, but self proclaimed avocado fanatics tend to bring it up in conversation more than I’d expect.

But in my book, you aren’t a true avocado fanatic until you’ve embraced the avocado smoothie. Or the mousse. Or any other delectable sweet avocado concoction that, when mentioned, elicits a look of disgust from the aforementioned “avocado fanatics.” It’s as if non-savory avocado dishes are some kind of taboo; but come on people, they’re fruits!

My family, who are pretty neutral on the avocado-loving spectrum, thought I was crazy when I mentioned that avocado smoothies should be a thing. After two minutes searching for recipes, I found that it was indeed a thing, and decided to make my own: basically just avocado and milk (with some flavorings of course). And my family actually ended up liking it.

This recipe is a slightly more complex version of my original avocado smoothie (which I might also be sharing if people want it), and is pretty much a healthy-skin cocktail: it’s chock full of healthy fats and antioxidants. I’d imagine it’d also be a great pre-workout snack because of the combination of available carbs and fats!

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Makes one smoothie.

Ingredients

The amounts are estimates, so play around with the ratios until you get your favorite combos!

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries (or fresh berries + 3 ice cubes)
  • 1/2 banana, pre-sliced and frozen
  • 1-3 tbs protein powder (optional)
  • 1 tbs acai powder (optional, but delicious)
  • 1/4 cup soy yogurt
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy milk (or more to your desired consistency)
  • Dash vanilla
  • ~1 tsp lemon (or lime juice). If you have a bitter avocado, add more to taste
  • Agave nectar if desired
  • Handful of kale, oats, or other add-ins

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Directions

Combine all ingredients in blender, and blend until smooth, without chunks of frozen fruit or ice. Play with the amounts to find  your favorite ratios!

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Recipe: Baked Vegan Vanilla Doughnuts

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People always look at me like I’m a wizard whenever they hear I make doughnuts. They tend to respond as if they’re some rare species of baked good that only Krispy Kreme holds the sacred knowledge to. But those of us who’ve made them know how simple they really are.

A few weeks ago, I brought a batch of chocolate peppermint ones (they tasted like thin mints!) to a vegan bakesale hosted at a local grocery store, which also happens to be one of my favorite stores in town. When they saw that I’d made doughnuts and I mentioned that I’m currently doing freelance catering, they offered me a job baking for the store. Now, three times a week, I deliver batches of vegan gingerbread doughnuts, chocolate doughnuts, pumpkin muffins, and brownies to them. Thanks to the aforementioned awe that doughnuts seem to elicit from people, I was able to get more routine baking work (compared to my more chaotic catering) that fits perfectly into my busy student’s schedule!

I hope these doughnuts will bring you as much luck as they’ve brought me. The recipe only took a few rounds of testing to come up with, and the best part is that it’s a simple vanilla base, that you can add just about anything to. I’ll be sharing my recipes for peppermint, chocolate, and gingerbread varieties in other posts, too!

They’re soft, pillowy, and almost impossible to resist!

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Makes a dozen 5-6″ diameter doughnuts.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cups vegan white sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (can sub in applesauce)
  • 3/4 tbsp apple cider vinegar (can sub white vinegar)
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 + 1/2 cup water

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Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 6-hole doughnut pans.

2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

3. In another small bowl, stir together the oil, vinegar, vanilla, and water.

4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet. Mix just until lumps are gone. Add more water if needed to get a batter consistency–it should pour easily.

5. Pour batter into doughnut cups until about 2/3-3/4 full.

6. Bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Recipe: Skinny Mocha Banana Coconut Shake [Vegan]

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Sometimes, my chocolate cravings turn me into a bit of an animal, stuffing chocolate covered almonds and homemade haystacks into my face like I haven’t eaten in days. Okay, I exaggerate, but still; as you can probably imagine, my serial chocolate snacking never ends well for me or my stomach.

So I’ve been coming up with new, healthier strategies to satisfy my chocolate quotas. This low-calorie “shake” is definitely a winner, as it gets me my caffeine and chocolate fixes at the same time, using fruit as a base. I also incorporated my new favorite teavana tea, My Morning Mate, in place of coffee, as the latter tends to give me the jitters. Any black tea or coffee would work wonderfully, though! Also, if you’re not into caffeine, you can use your favorite kind of milk as the liquid, or even just water.

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Ingredients

  • 1 banana, sliced and frozen
  • About 2 tbs shredded coconut – sweetened or unsweetened
  • 1/2-3/4 cup black tea or coffee
  • Soy, coconut, or almond milk to thin it out if you need to
  • 2-3 ice cubes
  • 2-3 tbs cocoa powder
  • Handful of walnuts (optional)
  • Chocolate or vanilla flavored protein powder (optional)
  • Sweetener if desired (I found it unnecessary)

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Directions

1. Slice bananas into a bowl and store in freezer until frozen.

2. Combine ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth. Add more liquid (milk or tea/coffee) or solids (walnuts, cocoa powded, banana, coconut) until it is at your desired consistency.

3. Pour into a glass or jar, garnish with coconut or banana slices, and enjoy!

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Thanks for reading,

Michelle

Recipe: Peach Banana Breakfast Smoothie [Vegan]

My favorite part about smoothie making is the ability to completely improvise, and still end up with an amazing smoothie. This time, I happened to have some peach slices on hand in addition to my usual bananas and berries, so I experimented with a new combo. I thought it turned out so well, I wanted to share it with you guys! (I usually keep most of my various smoothie concoctions to myself since they seem more obvious than this particular combination.)

If you’re interested in a more fall-inspired flavor, check out my pumpkin banana smoothie recipe!

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Makes one large glass.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Banana
  • 1/2-1 peach
  • Handful of strawberries
  • 1/4-1/3 cup soy yogurt
  • 1/3 cup soy, almond or coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • Pinch of ginger (fresh or powdered)
  • 1-3 ice cubes (optional)

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Directions

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

2. Add more liquid (milk or yogurt) or solids (oats or fruit) as necessary until the smoothie is at your desired consistency.

3. Pour into glass, and garnish it with fruit, oats, or nuts if you want to.

And enjoy!

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Thanks for stopping by,

Michelle