Sunday, December 1, 2013

Slow Cooker Chicken and Chickpea Tagine

This is a great slow cooker meal!!! I like this because the taste and texture is spot on in this recipe. I got this recipe  from Cooking Light Magazine. I did make one change. The original recipe was for 8 chicken thighs, I ended up using 6 chicken thighs...that is what fit in my slow cooker. Enjoy!

Chicken and Chickpea Tagine


1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil 
6 (5-ounce) bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups chopped onion 
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh garlic
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 cup unsalted chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
2/3 cup chopped dried apricots 
2 (15-ounce) cans organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup cilantro leaves

  1.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle meat side of chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Add chicken to pan, meat side down; cook 5 minutes or until well browned. Remove from pan (do not brown other side).
  2. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 4 minutes. Add cumin and next 5 ingredients (through red pepper); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, stock, honey, and cinnamon, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; bring to a simmer. 
  3. Pour mixture into a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Stir in apricots and chickpeas. Arrange chicken, browned side up, on top of chickpea mixture. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours. Discard cinnamon stick. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Snowball Cookies

When I bake cookies with children, this is one of my favorite cookie recipes. It does not have a ton of ingredients. The recipe is easy enough for older children to work on almost independently. Younger children can help and even handle the dough, since there are no eggs in this cookie recipe if they eat some dough there are no worries! Of course the most important reason I like this cookie recipe is that the cookies taste great!

Snowball Cookies
Makes about 5 dozen cookies


1 ½ cups butter, softened
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups mini chocolate chips or mini M&M’s
Additional powdered sugar for dusting

  1.     Preheat oven 375 degrees F. 
  2.   Mix the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt in a mixer until creamy. 
  3.  Gradually beat in flour
  4. Stir in Chocolate Chips or M&M's
  5.  Shape into 1 to 1 ¼ inch balls. Place on ungreased baking sheet. 
  6. Bake 10-12 minutes until cookies are lightly browned. 
  7. After you remove cookies from oven sift powdered sugar over hot cookies. Allow cookies to cool slightly on cookie sheets, then remove cookies and allow them to cool completely on wire racks.  
    8.      Once cooled, sift additional powdered sugar on cookies.
Note: If you do not have a sifter you can use a colander to “sift” the powdered sugar.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake

Although pumpkin cheesecake is a nice holiday treat I like regular cheesecake as well. This combines both!
The flavors of a traditional cheesecake topped with a pumpkin cheesecake.  Enjoy!

3 (8oz) packages of cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
1 (8oz) can pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 graham cracker crust, prepared. (I used a recipe off the graham cracker crumbs box)

  1. Press graham cracker crust onto the bottom and up 3/4 of the sides of a 9 inch springform pan.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  3. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Fold in sour cream. Remove 1 1/4 cups of batter and spread into bottom of crust; set aside.
  4. Add pumpkin puree, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to the remaining batter and fold gently until well blended. Carefully spread over the batter in the crust.
  5. Bake in preheated oven in a water bath for one hour, center will still jiggle. Turn oven off and open door and allow cheesecake to sit in oven for an additional hour. Refrigerate and cool completely before serving.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sweet Potato Casserole

This sweet potato casserole is a big hit when I serve it for Thanksgiving. The consistency of the potatoes is great...not too runny and not too dense....perfectly light and creamy! The topping is sweet but not overly sweet. This is a perfect side dish for Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

6 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup milk (I use fat free)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped pecans

  1. Wash sweet potatoes and pierce with a fork. Roast sweet potatoes in a 350 degree for about an hour to an hour and a half...until a fork can be easily inserted in the potato. Allow the sweet potatoes to cool so, they are easier to handle.
  2. Remove skin from sweet potatoes and cut the sweet potatoes into chunks.
  3. With a mixer on medium high speed mix together sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, sea salt, butter, milk and vanilla.
  4. Spread potato mixture into a casserole dish coated with cooking spray. I used a 12x4x9 oval 2 1/2 quart Corning oval dish.
  5. With a pastry blender, mix together brown sugar, flour, butter and chopped pecans until crumbly.
  6. Sprinkle topping evenly across sweet potato mixture.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-45 minutes until temperature reaches 165 degrees F and topping is golden brown.
  • To save time sweet potatoes can be boiled to soften them but....roasting does taste better.
  • I roast the potatoes the day before and store them in the refrigerator until I am ready to make the casserole.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Brine for a Super Moist Thanksgiving Turkey!

cooked turkey photo: Turkey Cooked turkeycooked.jpg
A brine is a great way to ensure that your Thanksgiving bird will be delicious and moist. This is a simple process....but it does take up some space in the fridge so be prepared! A turkey marinated in a brine solution will also cook a little faster. I suggest not stuffing the bird  because, in my case the bird was done before the stuffing. I also found that there were less drippings from the bird that was soaked in a brine solution. With all that said this had to be one of the most moist turkeys I had ever eaten! I will never roast a turkey again without putting it in a brine solution first.

Turkey Brine

1/2 gallon vegetable broth
1/2 gallon apple juice
1 cup sea salt
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried savory
1 gallon ice water

  1. In a large stock pot combine the broth, juice, salt, rosemary, sage, thyme and savory.
  2. Bring to a boil and stir frequently, until salt is dissolved.
  3. Turn off heat and cool to room temperature.
  4. When brine is cooled place the brine in a food storage container large enough to fit the turkey and brine so that the turkey will be completely submerged in the brine.  Add the cold ice water.
  5. Remove the innards and rinse and dry turkey.
  6. Submerge the turkey breast side down in brine, make sure cavity is filled with brine. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  7. Remove turkey from brine, rinse and pat dry. Discard excess brine.
  8. Cook turkey as desired.
  • If you have not checked it out... the Butterball website is a great source of information. There are guides on how to find the right turkey, buy the right size, thawing times, cooking times, etc.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Soba Noodles with Spicy Cumin Lamb

I saw this recipe in a Cooking Light magazine....I made a few slight changes. This is pretty quick to make and full of flavor. I will try this again down the road and substitute ground sirloin for the ground lamb. Curious if the flavors will be better for me, as I am not a big fan of lamb. If anyone tries it with ground sirloin, please message me and let me know how it turns out. Enjoy!


7 ounces uncooked soba noodles
1/2 cup low sodium vegetable stock
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon five spice powder
1/2 pound ground lamb
1 tablespoon pure sesame oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup snow peas, trimmed
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced
9 baby carrots, halved lengthwise

  1. Cook noodles according to directions. Rinse and drain well.
  2. In a small bowl combine stock, vinegar, hoisin sauce, garlic and five spice powder with a whisk.
  3. Heat a large wok over medium-high heat.
  4. Add lamb cooking about three to four minutes until browned. Remove lamb with slotted spoon, set aside.
  5. Return pan to heat. Add sesame oil to the drippings in the wok. Swirl to coat wok. Add cumin seeds and red pepper, cook 30 seconds or until the seeds pop. Stir constantly.
  6. Add broccoli, snow peas, red pepper and baby carrots to pan. Cook five minutes, stirring frequently.
  7. Add lamb and stock mixture cook about two minutes or until liquid is reduced slightly.
  8. Serve over cooked noodles.

Contact Form

My apologies to the people who have contacted me via the contact form. I just realized that the contact form emails were going to my SPAM box for the past week. I must have changed some setting by accident!  I have missed some of your mails so, if you emailed me via the contact form and did not receive a response, I apologize. Please feel free to submit your contact form has been tested and up and running.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

This recipe is almost too simple.....and too crazy sounding to be good. The recipe works and produces some of the best BBQ pulled pork. The ingredients are listed as approximates below. The actual amounts will depend on how big your slow cooker is and what size pork roast you use. Enjoy!

12-24 ounces of Root Beer
4-5 pound Pork Shoulder Roast (Boston Butt)
A bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
Hamburger Rolls or Kaiser Rolls to serve pork on (optional)

  1. Place the pork in a slow cooker. Cover the pork with Root Beer.
  2. Place slow cooker on High for 30 minutes to heat up the Root Beer then reduce to low.
  3. Cook for approximately 9 hours on low, until meat is completely cooked ans shreds easily. (Actual cooking time may be more or less depending on size of roast.)
  4. Remove meat from Root Beer sauce, drain crock pot.
  5. Shred meat, mix with BBQ sauce. Place back in crock pot to heat thoughly about 30 minutes
  6. Serve over rolls.
  • The fat from the meat will easily separate after cooking.
  • I have been told this works well with Dr. Pepper

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Three Bean Vegetarian Chili

This vegetarian chili is awesome. I love how easy it is to make, it reheats really well and it is a hearty chili. The recipe can be put together rather quickly and to save more time you could always buy precut butternut squash. I always have leftovers when I make this chili and to reheat I just add a little extra veggie broth and it tastes just as good as when it is first made. Finally, this is a filling dish...I usually serve it with some bread and it is a filling dinner! I hope you like it as much as I do. Enjoy!

Three Bean Vegetarian Chili

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
2 roasted red peppers, diced
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed into bite sized pieces
1 (28 oz) no salt added canned diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can dark red kidney beans rinsed and drained
2 green onions thinly sliced

  1. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions cook until tender about 8-10 minutes. 
  2. Reduce heat to medium low. Add cumin, crushed red pepper, paprika, salt and garlic. Cook 2 minutes stirring frequently.
  3. Add stock, roasted red peppers, squash and tomatoes. Simmer 20-25 minutes, stir occasionally.
  4. Add pinto beans, cannellini beans and kidney beans. Simmer 25-30 minutes.
  5. Garnish with green onions.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Shepherd's Pie

This was a popular dish is my school lunch delivery program. The kids LOVED it! It is simple to make and full of flavor. Enjoy!
Shepherd's Pie

4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 onion chopped
1 pound 93/7 ground beef
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons ketcup
2 tablespoons Worcester sauce
3/4 cup low sodium beef broth
1 (8-10 oz) bag of frozen peas and carrots, thawed
1 teaspoon paprika

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and mash. Mix in butter, milk, finely chopped onion and 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
  2. Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat . Add chopped onion and cook until tender. Add ground beef and cook until browned. Drain excess fat.
  4. Stir in flour and cook 1-2 minutes. Add ketchup, Worcester sauce and beef broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, add peas and carrots and simmer until sauce thickens about 8 minutes.
  5.  Spread the ground beef in an even layer on the bottom of a 2 quart casserole dish. Top with the mashed potato mixture and sprinkle with paprika.
  6. Bake 20 minutes.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Easy to Make Turkey Cupcakes

This is a fun little dessert for the kids on Thanksgiving. I saw this in a Betty Crocker magazine a few years back. I like this because it is so simple that the kids can help make the cupcakes. I know that Thanksgiving is still a few weeks away but leftover Halloween candy corn is on clearance at most stores! Enjoy!

Vanilla or Chocolate Cupcakes
Chocolate Frosting or Vanilla Frosting Dyed Brown
Candy Corn
Chocolate or Brown Sprinkles


 1. Start with plain cupcake.

2. Frost the cupcake.
3. Place frosting in a sandwich or freezer bag and cut a corner.

4. In the front squeeze small mountain of icing for the head. In the back squeeze a half circle of icing for the tail feathers.

5. Place a candy corn beak in the front and place the candy corn tail feathers in the half circle in the back.

6. For the eyes cut the white part off of the candy corn. Put either a dot of icing for the pupil or I made a dot with an black edible food marker.

7. Place some brown sprinkles in front of the tail feathers and place two candy corn in front for the feet.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Baked Acorn Squash

When I was at the farm stand I saw some really great looking acorn squash. Not only did it look great it was very inexpensive! I decided to buy one and bake it up for a nice side dish. Not only is this recipe easy to make it is really great!

Baked Acorn Squash


1 medium acorn squash, cut in half and seeded
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray casserole pan with cooking spay. Place acorn squash cut side (orange side) touching the pan.
  3. Bake 35 minutes.
  4. Flip acorn squash over in pan, skin side touching the pan.
  5. Spread one half a tablespoon on the inside of each half. Sprinkle each half with one tablespoon brown sugar.
  6. Place back into 350 degree F oven and bake an additional 35 minutes.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Super Simple Mushroom Fettuccine with Cream Sauce

I recently found this recipe in Cooking Light magazine. I usually stay away from cream sauces because the ones that are tasty are so laden with fat. Once and awhile I will try a light version and usually I am not too impressed. This time was different. This meal was really tasty. The sauce was creamy enough so it actually stuck to the pasta and it was not overloaded with fat. I also liked that this was such a quick meal to make. It was prepped and on the table in around twenty minutes! Enjoy!

Mushroom Fettuccine with Cream Sauce

6 ounces dry fettuccine or 9 oz fresh fettuccine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
12 ounces sliced baby bella mushrooms
2 garlic cloves smashed and chopped
3/4 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup white wine
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 cup fresh shredded Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

  1. Cook pasta according to directions, omit salt and fat.
  2. In a large skillet heat oil over medium high heat. Swirl oil in pan to coat. Add onions, mushrooms, garlic 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and pepper. Saute 10 minutes, until mushrooms brown and thier liquid is released.
  3. Add wine and thyme. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid evaporates.Remove pan from heat.
  4. Add hot pasta 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, half and half and Parmesan cheese. Toss together until sauce is evenly distributed. Top with fresh chopped parsley.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Apple Crumble Pie

I had some extra apples on hand and I could not decide if I wanted to make Apple Crisp or Apple Pie. I really like both and I was in the mood for both. I decided to make neither.....instead I made an Apple Crumble Pie....which for me was a good compromise. Enjoy!

Apple Crumble Pie

1 (9 inch) deep dish pie crust
5 cups apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons butter

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix together apples, 1/4 cup white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/4 cup all purpose flour. Place into unbaked pie shell. Spread evenly.
  3.  In a separate bowl, cut butter into 1/3 cup white sugar and 3/4 cup all purpose flour. Sprinkle crumble topping over apples.
  4. Bake for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes, until top is golden brown and apples are soft.
  • To prevent crust from browning too quickly place a shield or foil around the edge, remove during the last 20 minutes of baking.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Easy Sloppy Joe Recipe

When I ran the school lunch business, this was a very popular dish. The kids really liked these Sloppy Joes. I really liked them as well! In my opinion this Sloppy Joe recipe tastes so much better than making Sloppy Joes with the canned sauce. These are super simple to make. Enjoy!

Sloppy Joes
Yield 6 servings

1 1/2 pound 93/7 lean ground beef
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
1 (6oz)  can tomato paste
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon brown mustard
6 whole wheat hamburger rolls

  1. In a large skillet, over medium heat, brown ground beef until completely cooked. Drain.
  2. Add can of diced tomatoes and chilies, tomato paste, ketchup, brown sugar and mustard. Stir and combine well.
  3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for five minutes, until sauce thickens.
  4. Serve on hamburger rolls.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Healthier Chicken Pot Pie

I was looking for a Chicken Pot Pie lower in fat and calories than a traditional pot pie. I found a recipe in a Cooking Light magazine that looked like it would fit the bill. I made that pot pie recipe but I found it a little lacking and bland. I ended up making the recipe again but this time I swapped out some veggies and added some seasoning. I am very pleased with the end result. Enjoy!

Chicken Pot Pie
Serves 6


1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound potatoes peeled and cubed
1 cup fresh diced carrots
1 stalk celery sliced
1 red onion, diced
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 prepared pie crust (I used refrigerated to save time)

  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add potato, carrot, celery and onion to pan; sauté about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken; sauté about 5 minutes or until lightly browned, and fully cooked stirring occasionally. Stir in flour, salt, pepper and thyme sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Slowly add stock to pan, stirring constantly; bring to a boil. Cook about 5 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring occasionally.
  4.  Spoon mixture into a 2 1/2-quart glass or ceramic baking dish. Top with dough and press down on edges to seal.
  5. Cut slits in dough to vent. Bake at 450° for 30 minutes or until crust is golden and internal temperature reaches a minimum of 165 degrees F for 15 seconds. Let stand 10 minutes before service.
  • You can also use smaller ceramic dishes (16 oz ramekins work well) and make individual pot pies

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bruschetta Recipe

About seven years ago I had a slight obsession with Bruschetta. Every time I went out to dinner I ordered Bruschetta as an appetizer. Call it I took everything I learned in sampling Bruschetta and then created a Bruschetta recipe I love. Enjoy!


12 fresh roma (plum) tomatoes, diced and drained In a
1 1/2 tablespoons smashed and chopped garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1 cup fresh basil leaves roughly chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 head of Roasted Garlic Recipe is located on this blog in Side Dishes, Posted on October 3, 2013 link:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 thinly sliced french or Italian baguette

  1.  In a large bowl combine tomatoes, garlic, shallots, basil, lemon juice, sea salt, pepper and olive oil. Refrigerate.
  2. Combine the roasted  garlic and 1/4 cup olive oil.
  3. Brush the garlic and olive oil mixture on bread and lightly grill the bread.
  • For best results make the tomato mixture minus the basil the night before serving to let flavors marinate. Drain out most of the extra liquid and add the basil about an hour before service.
  • I use a char grill on medium heat to grill the bread it takes about 3-5 minutes, George Foreman Grill could be used to grill the bread or the bread could be placed under a broiler.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

Here is another great Autumn recipe! These Pumpkin Muffins are really super moist and tasty. On top of the muffin is a nice light cheesecake layer and finished with some crumble topping. The recipe makes about fifteen muffins. I actually made a dozen muffins and then made a mini loaf of Pumpkin Cheesecake Bread....which was equally as good as the muffins.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins


Cheesecake Topping

1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons brown sugar

Crumb Topping
4 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
5 tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, softened

 Muffin Batter

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and flour 15 muffin cups.
  2. To make the cream cheese topping: In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until soft. Add egg, vanilla and brown sugar. Beat until smooth, (there will be some small lumps of cream cheese that is ok) then refrigerate.
  3. For the streusel topping: In a medium bowl, mix flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut  in butter with a fork or pastry blender, until crumbly. Set aside.
  4. For the muffin batter: In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl combine eggs, pumpkin, canola oil and vanilla.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix together until smooth.
  5. Place pumpkin mixture in muffin cups about 2/3 full. Then add one heaping tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture on top of the batter, avoiding the sides as much as possible. 
  6. Sprinkle on the crumb topping.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.