Holiday buffet tips from Pillsbury®

Friday, December 17, 2010

Are you planning a party for Christmas? These great tips came from my Pillsbury® Holiday Cookbook.

Chocolate white chip cookies

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

After baking nearly 1500 cookies this week, you'd think I'd have some good pictures and recipes for you... Well, I have some good recipes... And one picture that I was able to pull other pictures out of, like the one above. These cookies have a crisp outside and chewy middle and are simply delicious!

Peppermint Pretzel Canes

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

This recipe came from my Holiday Cookbook from Pillsbury®. They are as delicious as they are beautiful and would make a welcome addition to any holiday package or holiday table!

Marx Foods challenge

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Have you ever visited Marx Foods website? Oh my goodness the deliciousness they have there is incredible! If you haven't visited them, you totally should!

I was given an opportunity to challenge myself thanks to Marx Foods. They sent me a package of 5 ingredients: Granulated honey, Ginger salt, Smoked Serrano chiles, De Arbol chiles and Star Anise.

My challenge was to create something using these ingredients. I felt like I was on Chopped! Here's your mystery go!

I don't think I did too badly!

We have a winner!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

I stayed up late last night to close the comments on my Black Friday CSN Stores giveaway at midnight and then got up early and did a drawing using

Congratulations Liz of Quiltz 'n' Hoez!! Have fun shopping at CSN Stores & thank you so much for entering!!

Thanks go to everyone who entered & welcome to my blog for all my new followers!! I'm so happy to have you here!!

Don't forget to enter for a chance to win $60!! Time's almost up!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I wanted to remind you that my giveaway ends tomorrow night at midnight, Eastern Standard Time (EST)! Click on the money bag above or right here to enter! Hurry! You don't want to miss out on a chance to win $60 worth of goodies from CSN Stores!! Good luck everyone!

Baked potato casserole

Thursday, December 2, 2010

This is another dish I made for Thanksgiving...and neglected to take a picture can KIND OF see it here on my leftovers plate...

See it under the Saran Wrap? Yeah. Sorry. But the dish is absolutely delicious. If you like baked potatoes then you'll love this!

Red velvet cake

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I made this cake for Thanksgiving and it was really, really good! Here's what it started out looking like:

And after we dug into it:

OK, those aren't the BEST pictures ever but the cake was delicious!

Just a tip -- Non-exploding frosting

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Now that I have your attention...


Seriously though, when I've made frosting in the past, I've always had a powdered sugar mess all over my kitchen. This is because I don't have a cover for my mixer so as I add the sugar, it tends to poof out all over the place. I got smart this Thanksgiving though...

Do it your way pizza

Monday, November 29, 2010

I made pizza last week. I got an urge for some... and didn't really have an extra $20 to order some... so I made some instead....for a lot less than $20. And we had two pizzas. One for me, and the one shown up there for Tim. What? You want to see mine too? K, here ya go:


Kat's cheatin' beef stew

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hey guys! I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I know normally I'd be posting Thanksgiving dinner leftover recipes but I made this stew last week and wanted to share the recipe with y'all. And yes, yesterday we ate leftovers. But last night it was 30° and this stew would have hit the spot! I call it a cheatin' stew because you just throw it all together & it's practically done.

Black Friday Giveaway!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

 UPDATED: We have a winner!!! As soon as the lucky person emails me back, I'll announce it here! Thank you to everyone that entered & welcome to my blog...I hope you enjoy it here!!

*Sing to the tune of My Favorite Things...For those of you that don't know it...*

Get a playlist! Standalone player
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Bean bags and Counter stools and Kid's rugs and Water tubes,
Book cases, Dog beds, and Trash cans and coolio Shoes,
Baby accessories, Projector screens
These are a few of my favorite things!
When the dog pees!
When the baby cries!
When you're feeling sad,
Just simply remember CSN Stores
And then you won't bad!

All month long, I've told you about some great products from CSN Stores that would make awesome Christmas gifts. Now CSN Stores wants YOU to have a gift, a $60 Gift Card that you can use at any of their 200+ stores!

Thanksgiving switch-up: Classic baked corn pudding

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Every year for Thanksgiving I basically make the same meal with one or two exceptions. For example, I sometimes make potato salad instead of mashed potatoes or I'll use a different stuffing recipe. This year I was going to make my corn fritters (the non-spicy super delicious with maple syrup!) instead of corn-on-the-cob but then I came across the following recipe on the Betty Crocker website and decided that this is it!! (I'll show you a picture of mine after Thanksgiving.)

Classic Baked Corn Pudding

Sassafras Kid's Christmas Holiday Baking Kit {Product Review}

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's time for my fourth review this month for CSN Stores! Today we're talking about the Sassafras Kid's Christmas Holiday Baking Kit. It was a big hit with our 5-year old granddaughter!

Just a tip -- Turkey tips

Saturday, November 20, 2010

If you don't count today (and I don't have to if I don't want to!), Thanksgiving is 5 days away! Lots of good food, family, fun, football & food borne illnesses...

Doesn't quite work does it?

Today I'm going to post some tips on how to prevent those nasty things from showing up at your Thanksgiving dinner.

Perfect Turkey Gravy from McCormick®

Friday, November 19, 2010

Make the holidays extra special with Perfect Turkey Gravy. Great flavor and no lumps. For a change of pace, try one of the Flavor Variations listed below.

Makes 15 (1/4-cup) servings.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

The Natural Fertility Workshop has reopened!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A little while back I told you about Donielle and her workshop that helps you conceive using healthy living & nutritious food. Now don't start thinking that this is only for people who want to conceive. Healthy living & nutrition are an important part of your entire pregnancy, from conception to birth, and this course has so much wonderful information!

Donielle's workshop has reopened NOW! And if you sign up for her Monthly Newsletter you'll receive a coupon code in your email for 30% off enrollment in her course! Hurry though, this offer is only good until November 21st!

Here's what Donielle's site says:

This one-of-a-kind 12 week multi media workshop will be a breath of fresh air in an otherwise depressing world of unfortunate statistics. With these classes you will learn:
  • How to cleanse your body of toxins
  • Why common products you use may be contributing to your infertility
  • What exercises can help you prepare your body for conception and pregnancy
  • How to pin point ovulation
  • What to eat…..and what not to eat
  • Alternative treatments for infertility
But most importantly you will learn how to conceive and go on to have a healthy pregnancy and a truly healthy baby!

While I am in the Grandma stage of my life, I know many people who would benefit greatly from this course and highly recommend it! And yes, in all honesty, as an affiliate of Donielle's I do earn a commission if you enroll in her course through my site, but that's not why I'm telling you about it. I personally had many conception issues when I was in the Mommy stage of my life and I wish I had a course like this to help me back then. I think it's an awesome course!

So what are you waiting for? Click on the button above, the button below or the button on my sidebar and start on your journey to having a beautiful baby!

Impossibly easy pumpkin cheesecake

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

This recipe comes from Betty Crocker® and is both impossibly easy and incredibly delicious!

Vegetarian Recipes for Thanksgiving - Roasted Vegetable Cornucopias

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My friend Doris asked me if I could post a vegetarian recipe for Thanksgiving. I found this video on YouTube and thought these cornucopias were too cute!

Nordicware Pro Form 6 Cup Bundt Pan {Product Review}

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's time for my third CSN Stores review this month! Today I'm going to tell you about the Nordicware Pro Form 6 Cup Bundt Pan. It's an awesome little pan!

Creamed onion bake

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Counting today, it's 13 days until Thanksgiving! Woohoo! I ♥ Thanksgiving! So I thought I'd post some good holiday dishes between now and then. Don't forget that there are already great holiday dishes that you can find on my sidebar under "Find by type of recipe"/Holiday dishes and "Find by occasion"/Thanksgiving. Today's recipe comes from Campbell's Kitchen.

Henry Watson Original Suffolk Terracotta Garlic Cellar {Product Review}

Monday, November 8, 2010

I told you that CSN Stores was allowing me to review four different items this month from their site so that you can see some of the awesome products that they have that would make wonderful Christmas presents (or anytime presents if you ask me!). Today I'm going to tell you about the Henry Watson Original Suffolk Terracotta Garlic Cellar.

The proof is on the receipt

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I get told all the time that there is no way I feed us (me, my husband, often times a granddaughter or two and random family members that show up at my house around suppertime) each month so inexpensively. I really do though. I promise!

Easy Frosting Tips for Layer Cakes from Betty Crocker®

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tis' the season for baking cakes & one of the most frustrating things about baking cakes, especially layer cakes, is getting the frosting on & pretty! At least to me it is frustrating! Thanks to my Betty Crocker® newsletter, I received some great tips on frosting layer cakes that I'm going to share with you today.

Iron Chef, Blogland Style!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

This month The Foodie BlogRoll and Marx Foods are joining forces to bring us...drum roll please....IRON FOODIE 2010!

KidKraft® 27-Piece Primary Cookware Set {Product Review}

Monday, November 1, 2010

Now that November is here, Christmas is on my mind. (I bet it's on a lot of your minds too!) Thinking about Christmas and Christmas gifts made me think about CSN Stores and all the great products they have that would make wonderful gifts.

During this month I will be reviewing four different products from CSN Stores site which I think will make great gifts.  And I think you'll agree with me.

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Have a safe & joyous Halloween everyone! jack o lanterns; halloween

Halloween Chex® Mix from Pillsbury®

There are lots of Halloween parties going on tonight and tomorrow night but it's still not to late to throw together some great party (or anytime if you ask me) snacks! This simple recipe from my Pillsbury newsletter takes a classic and turns it Halloweeny :)

Baked eyeballs casserole from Campbell's Kitchen®

Friday, October 29, 2010

To continue with my Halloween recipes (2 more days!), I decided to share this recipe with you that came from my Campbell's Kitchen® newsletter. If you are a pasta and cheese lover like I am, you'll love this recipe! And don't worry, there aren't any real eyeballs in it :)

How to cook pumpkin seeds {an annual repost}

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The one thing that I get asked every year is how to roast pumpkin seeds so I decided to repost this tip just for y'all that emailed me and asked.

How to...

Make perfect pumpkin seeds...

Creepy ice additions

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I'd thought I'd share with you some simple ideas to "spook" up your Halloween punch. These are all simple, inexpensive & ghoulish to look at :)

Fudgey-chocolate chip-pecan-cherry-cream cheese-coconut brownie things

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What's the matter? You don't think that's a real name for a recipe? Well just look at them...

Just what else would you call them??

Crescent Mummy Dogs from Pillsbury®

Monday, October 25, 2010

These crescent mummy dogs from Pillsbury® are too darn cute for words! Sure to be a hit with the kids & adults alike.

Witch's Hat Chocolate Cupcakes from Hershey's Kitchens™

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I got this recipe from my Hershey's Kitchens™ newsletter. The orange cream is my favorite they look cute as can be :)

Haunted treats

Friday, October 22, 2010

Since it's only 9 days until Halloween (yes! 9 days! I ♥ Halloween!), I thought that I would post some creepy, spooky, haunted but fun things. Some of them will be recipes, and some, like today, will be Halloween related products that I've found and thought were cool.

Cooking Light -- November 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Plus: The Annual Holiday Cookbook with Recipes for Starters, Sides, Desserts & More

Orange Sherbet

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I tend to call this orange ice cream when in fact it's a sherbet. Ice cream is made with milk & cream and sherbet is made with fruit juice and a dairy product (usually milk). I use heavy cream which makes this very smooth and delicious.


I was going to make some orange ice cream/sherbet today and share the recipe with you but then I talked to my friends at CSN Stores and they offered me another review opportunity! (You know ALL about CSN Stores right? They have over 200 different sites where you can get just about everything that you can imagine: TV stands, dining chairs, housewares, kid's toys & pet accessories....just to name a few. They seriously have so much awesome stuff there!)

I'm so excited to get to review another one of their products! I just love CSN Stores! And I promise you that tomorrow I'll share the ice cream recipe with you (that I AM making today :) ....some of you know that I've been really pinched for time lately so you'll understand that lol)! See you tomorrow & as always, Happy Cooking!

Just a tip -- Swanson® Broth Tip

Monday, October 18, 2010

Like pasta and rice, stuffing can absorb a lot of moisture quickly. If yours isn't as moist as you like it, drizzle it with a few tablespoons of extra broth before baking. And it's always a good idea to add a little broth to leftover stuffing before reheating to enhance its flavor and increase moisture.

Drop dumplings

Saturday, October 16, 2010

People who make dumplings will argue that their way is the best way. I've made roll-and-cut dumplings, dumplings out of biscuits and drop dumplings. I like them all. I've really been needing "hot stuff" lately because I've been so cold and chicken & dumplings sound just right! This recipe is delicious...I say the sugar makes a huge difference.

What you'll need:
  • 3 c flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c + 2 Tbl milk
  • 1 egg
  • 4 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 c vegetable oil
Mix all ingredients together until well combined. Drop by spoonfuls into hot broth and boil until centers are done.

all purpose flour - $1.25/bag
milk - $1.78/gallon
eggs (18 count) -$1.47
baking powder - $1.14
sugar - $2.42/bag
vegetable oil (regular) - $2.28
Total - $1.02

Hot apple cider

Friday, October 15, 2010

Last night it got really chilly here...almost cold to me. It made me crave a good hot apple cider so I thought I would repost one of my favorite drink recipes.

What you’ll need:

  • 5 c apple cider
  • ¼ c maple syrup
  • 1 orange peel, sliced thinly
  • 1 lemon peel, sliced thinly
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Square of cheesecloth

In a large pot mix cider and syrup. Place the orange, lemon, cloves and cinnamon in the cheesecloth and tie it closed. Place the spice bundle into the pot of cider and syrup and heat over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Remove the spice bundle and pour the cider into mugs. Serve with additional cinnamon sticks if desired. Makes 5 cups.

apple cider - $2.85
maple syrup - $2.12
oranges - $2.25/bag
lemons - $1.99/4
cloves - $1.12
cinnamon sticks - $1.85
Total - $6.30

Stromboli Hero from Betty Crocker®

Saturday, October 9, 2010

We have sandwich night at least twice a month; once on grocery shopping day and at least once when I'm feeling tired (or lazy lol) and don't want to stand over the stove. We tried this recipe from Betty Crocker® and instantly fell in love with it!

What you'll need:
  • 1 round focaccia bread (8 or 9 inches in diameter)
  • 1/4 cup Italian dressing
  • 4 to 5 leaves leaf lettuce
  • 1/4 pound sliced provolone cheese
  • 1/4 pound sliced fully cooked ham
  • 1/4 pound sliced salami
  • 8 pepperoncini peppers (bottled Italian peppers), drained and cut lengthwise in half
Cut bread horizontally in half. Drizzle dressing evenly over cut sides of bread. Layer lettuce, cheese, ham, salami and peppers on bottom half of bread. Top with top half. Secure loaf with toothpicks or small skewers. Cut into 6 wedges.

Make the Most of This Recipe

You can use an unsliced 8- or 10-inch round loaf of Italian or sourdough bread instead of the focaccia. If you don’t have pepperoncini peppers, use sliced tomatoes, sliced red onion or bell pepper rings.

Do-Ahead Tip
You can make this hero up to 6 hours ahead; just wrap it (uncut) securely with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

bread - $2.49/loaf
Italian dressing - $1.89/bottle
lettuce - $1.98/head
provolone cheese - $2.59/lb
ham - $2.12/lb
salami - $3.69/lb
peppers - $2.12/jar
Total - $6.71

Cute Halloween cookies

Friday, October 8, 2010

I'm putting together a package to send to my kids for Halloween and I'm including these cookies that I made last night and decorated today. Tim was my taste tester and he says they're great!

What you'll need:

For cookies:
  • About 5 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c butter, softened
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbl milk
  • Powdered sugar for rolling out dough
For frosting (each batch...I used 3 batches total for the above cookie recipe):
  • 1 c powdered sugar
  • 2 - 3 tsp milk
  • 3 tsp light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • Assorted food coloring
For cookies:

Sift together 3 cups flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat until well combined. Gradually add flour until well combined. Add additional flour a little at a time until mixture pulls away from side of bowl and is of rolling consistency. Divide dough in half and wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375°

Sprinkle rolling surface and rolling pin with powdered sugar. Working with one half of dough at a time, roll to 1/4" thickness. Cut into desired shapes and place cookies on a wax paper lined or greased cookie sheet.

*Just a note here, I'm working with only one cookie sheet so I placed the remainder of my dough back in the fridge while each pan was baking. Also, I used waxed paper on my cookie sheet for the first batch and they stuck so I sprayed my pan with non-stick cooking spray for the remaining batches and that worked perfectly. I got my Halloween shaped cookie cutters at Walmart for $9.00 and they had really cute shapes: a witch, a frankenstein, a ghost, pumpkins, tombstones, etc.*

Bake for 7 - 9 minutes, turning cookie sheet once halfway through baking time, until cookies are just starting to brown around edges. Let cookies rest on cookie sheet for 2 minutes and then move to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before frosting. I let mine cool overnight just because I was tired and didn't want to tackle the frosting last night. 

 I got about 50 cookies out of the batch.

For frosting:

In a bowl mix together sugar and milk using a whisk. It will be very thick. Whisk in corn syrup and almond extract. Add desired colors. If it's too thick, add a little more corn syrup. If it's too thin, add a little more sugar. I started with my base of white and used a pastry brush to paint all the white parts of my cookies then added food colors to make each color. At first I did the red, then added some yellow and made it orange then added some blue to make the get the idea. I just painted each color and then changed the color and painted those sections. I also place some in a baggie and piped the faces on a few of them...

flour - $2.69/5 lb bag
baking powder - $2.12/can
butter - $1.79/tub
sugar - $2.86/4 lb bag
egg - $1.49/dozen
milk - $2.26/gallon
powdered sugar - $2.14/2 lb bag
corn syrup - $2.86/bottle
almond extract - $3.26/bottle
Total - $3.36

Real Sangria

Monday, October 4, 2010

If you know me, then you know that I am not a big drinker. I don't find anything wrong with alcohol, I just don't like it very much. Every now and then (like once a year...I know, I'm boring lol), I'll have a drink. Wanna know how boring I really am? The drink has to follow these rules: 1. It has to be some kind of clear alcohol (vodka, gin, get the idea), 2. It can't taste like alcohol and 3. I prefer something fruity. It should be no surprise after I told you that that I love Sangria! This recipe came from a Daily Recipe email that I get from Enjoy! 

What you'll need:
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 3 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 (1.5 fluid oz.) jigger vodka
  • 1 (1.5 fluid oz.) jigger Cointreau or triple sec
  • 1 (1.5 fluid oz.) jigger gin
  • 1/4 cup orange soda
  • 1/4 cup lemon-lime soda
  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle of dry red wine

Place the lemon, orange, and brown sugar in a large pitcher. Pour in vodka, Cointreau, gin, orange soda, lemon-lime soda, pineapple juice, and orange juice. Add ice cubes and pour in red wine; stir well until the sugar has dissolved. Serve immediately.

lemon - 99¢/3
orange - $2.69/bag
brown sugar - $1.29/1 lb
alcohol - $7.50/all four
soda - 89¢/1-liter
pineapple juice - $2.69/gal
orange juice - $2.46/gal
Total - $6.58

Pico de Gallo

Saturday, October 2, 2010


I say it and say it and say it...everything is better when you make it yourself. I think you'll just love this simple recipe.

What you'll need:
  • 6 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded & finely diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 Tbl lime juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c chopped fresh cilantro
Mix all ingredients together, cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 1 hour. Serve with tortilla chips, tacos, enchiladas or anything else that you want! Makes around 2 cups.

tomatoes - $2.25/lb
jalapeno - $1.00
onion - 99¢/3 lb bag
cilantro - $1.29/bunch
Total - $3.48 

Mint chocolate chip ice cream

Monday, September 27, 2010

I made this ice cream last night and it is WONDERFUL! We almost ate all of it in one sitting.

What you'll need:
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 c milk
  • 2 c heavy cream
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • About 1/2 c chocolate chips
  • 4 - 5 drops green food coloring
In a saucepan, mix together eggs and sugar. Stir in milk and then heavy cream. Add peppermint extract. Add food coloring, 1 drop at a time, stirring after each addition until desired color is reached. I used 5 drops. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until the mixture is heated through. Remove from heat and place in refrigerator or freezer until mixture is chilled thoroughly. 

Pour into ice cream machine and let run about 30 minutes. Halfway through the churning process, add the chocolate chips. I have an attachment to my ice cream maker that grinds candy for me but if you don't have that then just roughly chop the chips or you can use a chocolate bar that has been chopped. 

So far this is our favorite ice cream that we've made!

eggs (18 count) -$1.47
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
milk - $1.78/gallon
chocolate chips - $1.97
cream – $1.12 
Total - $2.04

Let's go to the fair!

Friday, September 24, 2010

One of my favorite things to do is go to the fair. I love all the games and rides and especially the food! There's just something about "fair food" that makes my taste buds explode!

I also love to do my CSN Stores reviews. They have so many wonderful things to choose from that I take days to decide what I'm going to review. This time the choice was easy...cotton candy!

That's right, I got to review a Nostalgia Electrics Vintage Collection™ Carnival Cotton Candy Maker! It was so much fun and so delicious!

First of all, the machine itself is totally cute! See?

Be sure to let it heat up for about 5 minutes first. Can you see where it's getting hot?

We bought this refill kit that comes with 2 packages of Pink Vanilla flavored sugar and 2 packages of Blue Raspberry flavored sugar...

Plus 24 reusable cones...

But you can use regular granulated sugar in the machine if you don't want to buy the refill kit. For added flavor and color just add a pinch of presweetened flavored drink mix to the sugar.

The regular kit comes with 2 reusable cones and a measuring spoon...


After the cotton candy maker has heated up, turn it off and add one level measuring spoon of sugar to the top. Turn it back on and start the fun!

The sugar spins out into the top and you turn your cone around it to collect...

It was so good! My husband said "make some more!!" :) 

This machine would be great for birthday parties, church carnivals or just for fun and it's not too expensive...only $40.95! The refill kit was only $12.95 so that's totally affordable too!

If you're anything like me you'll love this machine. 


Want one too?

I knew you would! Click here to buy your own Nostalgia Electrics Vintage Collection™ Carnival Cotton Candy Maker. Click here to buy the refill kit. Click here to visit all of CSN Stores 200+ sites.

Not tired of clicking yet? Cool beans :)

Click here to follow CSN Stores on Twitter and click here to become their fan on Facebook. 

I would totally recommend all of the above :)

Have a great day everyone and as always, Happy Cooking!

*Disclaimer: I received a $60 promotional code from CSN Stores in order to do this review*

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