Better than Panera: Frontega Chicken Panini

Honestly I’ve never been Panera’s biggest fan. I like it well enough. I go there when it’s convenient and I want a sandwich or bowl of soup, but I would never go out of my way to eat there.

When I do end up there I always order the Frontega Chicken Panini and a cup of black bean soup.

Sandwiches aren’t tough to make at home, which might explain my lack of enthusiasm for Panera. After a huge stock up trip to Costco where I had picked up a rotisserie chicken these sandwiches were on the menu for the week.

Frontega Chicken Panini


What makes these better than Panera is you get to put as much of the yummy stuff in there as you want. I can’t tell you how many times my husband looks at his sandwich to find one tiny little piece of chicken. He complains he leaves hungry every time and his supposed to be hot sandwiches are always cold.

He was pretty happy with these sandwiches served along side Trader Joe’s Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup. I loaded his up with chicken, slathered on some extra spicy chipotle mayo and pressed them until piping hot on the panini grill.

Better than Panera: Frontega Chicken Panini
Prep time: 
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Serves: 2

  • 3 tablespoons lite mayo
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 2 ciabatta rolls
  • 1 chicken breast, roasted then shredded or use a deli rotisserie chicken
  • ½ tomato, sliced
  • ¼ red onion, sliced
  • 4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil

  1. In a mini food processor combine mayo and chipotle pepper. Process until smooth.
  2. Split ciabatta rolls, spread both sides of the bun with chipotle mayo, layer on chicken, tomato, red onion, mozzarella cheese, and basil.
  3. Heat panini press to medium high, press about 5 minutes until cheese is melted.

Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

Approx cost per serving: $3.23

Roasted Lemon Garlic Shrimp

Roasted Lemon Garlic Shrimp - Supper for a Steal This post was originally publish on 3/21/2012

I remember the first time I had shrimp. It was popcorn shrimp from Red Lobster. Before then I refused to touch it and for a few years after, popcorn shrimp was the only shrimp I would eat. I have come a long way since then and now shrimp is probably one of my favorite meals.

I discovered this roasted lemon garlic shrimp recipe a few months ago and have made it multiple times since.  Serve with rice or orzo with the extra lemon garlic sauce drizzled over, divine.

Roasted Lemon Garlic Shrimp I like to buy the deveined, but still in the shell shrimp. You can buy them peeled as well, but it’s going to cost you $1-2 more per pound. Peeling them is the easy part.

For these updated pictures, I used medium shrimp because they were cheaper. I usually prefer large shrimp for this dish, but you know I’m not going to pay an extra $3-4 per pound for the larger shrimp.


Old photo

Roasted Lemon Garlic Shrimp
Prep time: 
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Serves: 4

  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 lemons, 1 zested, both cut into slices
  • ½ tbsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 pound fresh shrimp, deveined with tails off
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large glass dish combine olive oil, lemon zest, thyme, salt and pepper.
  2. Bake the spices for 8 minutes.
  3. Remove pan from the oven and add butter.
  4. Add shrimp, garlic, and lemon slices. Mix. Bake for 6-7 minutes until shrimp are fully pink.

Adapted from Cinnamon Girl Recipes

Approx cost per serving: $3.37

Brown Sugar Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

Today is my 3rd wedding anniversary. Where did the time go? When I started this blog we had been married almost a year, even though I have always loved cooking, I was still learning my way around the kitchen. Now I’m the girl that friends text when they have questions about the dinner they are making. How far things have come…

Today I have another crock pot recipe for you. But I won’t be doing any cooking tonight. We are heading out to dinner at an Italian restaurant in downtown Dunedin. I’m thoroughly looking forward to the break from the kitchen (not that I have even been cooking all that much).

Chicken and the other white meat, pork, are the two cuts of meat we live on most of the time. When we aren’t eating meatless I can almost guarantee it’s one of those two (or seafood).
Brown Sugar Balsamic Pork Tenderloin - Supper for a Steal

Pork tenderloin is a favorite cut of ours since it’s so lean. I always buy one or two when I find them on sale and stick them in the freezer. That way when I’m all out of dinner ideas I can usually Google a good pork tenderloin recipe.

This was my first time cooking a tenderloin in the crock pot. And while I think I prefer them grilled or in the oven it definitely made for easy cleanup with a crock pot liner.

The brown sugar balsamic glaze was amazing. I’m imagining it on chicken or even steak. It would be great. Make sure to keep a little extra on the side for dipping and then maybe lick the bowl clean :) .

Brown Sugar Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

Brown Sugar Balsamic Pork Tenderloin
Prep time: 
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Serves: 4

  • 1.5-2lb pork tenderloin
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  1. In a small bowl combine sage, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Rub all over tenderloin. Place in crockpot with ½ cup water. Cook on low 6 hours.
  2. About 30 minutes before pork is done cooking combine brown sugar, cornstarch, balsamic vinegar, water, and soy sauce in a small sauce pan. Heat over medium and stir until sauce thickens slightly.
  3. Brush roast with the sauce 2-3 times in crockpot. Serve with remaining glaze on the side.

Adapted from Big Oven

Approx cost per serving: $2.50

Crockpot Red Beans and Rice

I know I’ve been slacking on the blogging lately, and I fully expect it to continue for the foreseeable future. I’m thinking 1-2 new recipes a week is what you can realistically expect to see from me, unless you are interested in my daily lunch salad (aka whatever I find in the fridge).

Crockpot Red Beans and Rice - Supper for a Steal

For the last few weeks we have been planning a 3 year anniversary trip and also calling it our babymoon, our last long vacation before baby. Sure we have a few weekends around Florida planned, but nothing else that requires flying after this trip. While I was all set to go to Hawaii, Hagin was a little leery of me flying that far, eventually we settled on San Antonio and Austin, but not before strongly considering New Orleans.

My sole motivation for New Orleans was the spicy Cajun food, and maybe a beignet or two…

But alas I decided that would probably be a better trip once I’m no longer pregnant. So instead I just whipped up this easy red beans and rice.

And I’m talking easy. My job was going to keep me away from the house from 6am until 6pm so I knew this was the perfect day to make this red beans and rice. I chopped and prepped everything the night before and around 10am I had Hagin add the 7 cups of water and start cooking it. When I got home the only thing I had to do was cook up some rice.

FYI: Trader Joe’s makes some awesome frozen rice products. I always keep my freezer stocked with them because they are the easiest and best rice. Three minutes in the microwave and they are done. I like the brown rice and the jasmine, but on this last trip I also picked up a wild rice blend that I’m looking forward to trying. It doesn’t get any easier than these bags of rice.

Crockpot Red Beans and Rice


5.0 from 1 reviews

Crockpot Red Beans and Rice
Prep time: 
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Serves: 8+

  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14oz smoked turkey sausage, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun/Creole seasoning
  • 1lb dried red beans
  • 7 cups water
  • rice, for serving

  1. Place all ingredients except rice in the crock pot, cook on high for 6-7 hours, check beans for doneness. Crack the lid open and simmer for an additional 30 minutes to thicken.
  2. Serve over cooked rice. We used Trader Joe’s 3 minute frozen brown rice.

Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

Approx cost per serving: $.83

Strawberry Cheesecake Bites for #SundaySupper

It is strawberry season here in Florida! I couldn’t be happier. We aren’t huge dessert people, unless we are talking ice cream, but recently I find myself eating strawberry shortcake after dinner almost every single night. Strawberries, sugar, cool whip and cake. I’m loving it. Plus it’s kind of healthy right… I mean there are strawberries in there.

This baby clearly likes fruit because strawberries with a little sugar sprinkled on top is becoming an everyday snack. Along with green grapes. Wow are they yummy lately.

Strawberry Cheesecake Bites w Dixie Crystals

I have never been a fan of regular cake. Birthday parties growing up were always cheesecake or cookie cake for me. And although I love cheesecake, I had never made one myself, until a few months ago. I made a cheesecake  for a friends birthday. She doesn’t like chocolate. I know, I don’t even know how we are friends. So I made something with absolutely no chocolate, a strawberry topped cheesecake. It was delicious, but man was it time consuming. I knew there had to be a better way to enjoy one of my favorite treats.

So a few weeks ago I attended a tea party which we were asked to bring a snack to share. There were tea sandwiches, scones, and at one point these strawberry cheesecake bites, but they disappeared almost as soon as I walked in the door.

I had fun whipping these up the night before. I employed my husband to help press the crumbs in the bottom of the cups while I filled with batter. With a cooking time of less than 20 minutes, these are great treats to whip up for any spring fling.

Since the recipe made 72, I didn’t even bring them all to the party. I stuck about 20 in the freezer (pre topping) and they have been great to pull out when we have a few people over for dinner.

Strawberry Cheesecake Bites

Last year Dixie Crystals sponsored a brownie contest. I got to taste Nikki’s winning Red Wine Cream Cheese brownies at the conference and they were amazing! I may have had dreams about those brownies.

15453 Std Manual Cover

And, guess what this year Dixie Crystals is doing it again. Now with three prizes! I’m a little sad that I will be missing the conference this year, baby girl is due only a week or so after, because I know the submissions and winners are going to make some amazing brownies. Who doesn’t love brownies? Don’t answer that if you hate chocolate, just pass your brownie over to me and I will enjoy it.

If you have a brownie recipe that has what it takes to be named the Food and Wine Conference Signature Dessert, then you must go enter it HERE for your chance to win.

Get social with Dixie Crystals: Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

Strawberry Cheesecake Bites
Prep time: 
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Serves: 72

  • 1 sleeve of graham crackers
  • 3 tablespoons Dixie Crystals sugar
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • 4 (8oz) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup Dixie Crystals sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup raspberry jelly
  • 1 quart strawberries, sliced

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line mini muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. In a food processor combine graham crackers, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and butter. Process until graham crackers turn into crumbs. Scoop 1 teaspoon of crumbs into each muffin cup and use spoon or fingers to press down to make crust.
  3. Beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice on medium speed until well combined. Add eggs 1 at a time, mixing until just combined.
  4. Spoon filling on top of crusts, leaving a little bit of room at the top. Bake 13-15 minutes. Remove from oven, let cook, and refrigerate overnight. Pop in the freezer for an hour or two before attempting to remove the paper liners.
  5. Microwave raspberry jelly for 30-45 seconds until warm and easy to drizzle. Top each cheesecake with a slice of strawberry and drizzle with raspberry jelly.
  6. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.


Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

This post is sponsored by Dixie Crystals. All opinions are my own.

Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

Before I get to today’s recipe, these cute furballs have an announcement to make.

Gender reveal

We found out a week and a half ago that our little peanut is a girl! By the looks on their faces the boys are thrilled to be adding a little pink to their lives.

I have been busy planning the pink, green, aqua, and yellow Lilly Pulitzer inspired nursery. I have plans of holding my teacher friends hostage this summer and helping me paint. There is lots of painting to be done from the walls to furniture, the summer can’t come soon enough. I’m ready to start now.

Now onto the food.

As you can tell from my recent recipes if it doesn’t stir fry in a pan in less than 10 minutes there is a good chance we aren’t eating it. Unless, of course, I somehow convince my husband to make dinner. Just yesterday I convinced him to make ground chicken teriyaki burgers, because I’m sorry, but that was not something I wanted to do. Talk about messy…

I came across this recipe for shrimp lettuce wraps and immediately added it to the menu plan.

Less than 10 minutes … check

Easy ingredients … check

Already had frozen shrimp … sold

Shrimp Lettuce Wraps - Supper for a Steal

While I was looking at my options for romaine heads I found some prewashed and bottoms cut off ready for lettuce wraps. Just pull them out of the package and stick your filling in them. They were about the same price as all the other romaine heads, so if you are looking to save a few minutes in the kitchen look for them at the store.

I try to eat healthy, but filling, low calorie meals. These fit the bill perfectly. Full of different vitamins and minerals they are great for those of use growing babies. The original recipe serves two but between my husband and I, there was still plenty leftover for lunch the next day.

Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

Shrimp Lettuce Wraps
Prep time: 
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Serves: 3

  • 1 head hearts of romaine
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • ½ tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
  • ½ tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • ½ cup matchstick carrots
  • ½ lb salad shrimp, precooked
  • ¼ cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

  1. In a small bowl whisk together water, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, and cornstarch. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet saute garlic, bell pepper, green onion, and carrots in olive oil for 2 minutes until softened. Add shrimp, peanuts, cilantro, and sauce. Stir fry until all is heated through. Serve mixture in lettuce leaves.

 Adapted from Fit, Fun & Delish

Approx cost per serving: $2.72

Ramen Peanut Noodles

Ramen Peanut Noodles - Supper for a Steal

If you are in need of a very quick and easy dinner, then look no further. These Ramen Peanut Noodles are for you if you aren’t a huge cook or are just burned out in the kitchen one week.

Believe me, I know how those days or weeks are. I have really been feeling unmotivated to get in the kitchen lately. I’m perfectly happy eating every meal out, but my bank account is not. So I’m really trying to at least whip up somewhat healthy and as easy as possible meals.

For the first part of my pregnancy pasta was my worst enemy, but now I can’t get enough of it. I love making big bowls of it loaded with veggies. Cold pasta salads, hot with a delicious peanut sauce. Yep, we have been eating plenty of pasta the last few weeks.

Ramen Peanut Noodles


Ramen Peanut Noodles
Prep time: 
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Serves: 3-4

  • 2 packages ramen noodles, any flavor we are disgarding the flavoring package
  • 16oz bag fresh stir fry veggies
  • 1¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • chopped peanuts and sliced green onion, for topping

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add ramen noodles, breaking them up, and vegetables. Cook for 3 minutes then drain and set aside.
  2. Whisk together water, peanut butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, cornstarch, and red pepper flakes.
  3. Using the same pot cook sauce over medium heat until thickened. About 5-7 minutes. Toss back in noodles and vegetables.
  4. Divide into bowls and top with peanuts and green onions.

Adapted from Yummy Healthy Easy

Approx cost per serving: $1.47

Chimichurri Stuffed Flank Steak

I have had this this sitting in my recipe vault for way too long. It has taken me since September to finally type up the recipe for this stuffed flank steak.

Chimichurri Stuffed Flank Steak

A few girls and myself were trying to get a freezer cooking date on the calendar. (Which we never ended up doing, but I do plan on doing before the baby comes.) To steer away from a freezer full of casseroles, I was testing out different ideas that I thought might freeze and bake up well and this was one of them. I never did end up freezing it. I imagine it would work well though. Make sure to fill with all the extra chimichurri sauce though for an easy freezer to table meal. Let thaw in the fridge overnight before baking and just stick it in the oven. If you ever try it from the freezer, let us know in the comments how it turns out.

We don’t eat red meat too often around here. I have to really be in the mood for it. When we do eat it I want a really good, lean, tender, and flavorful piece of meat. The chimichurri sauce helped make the flank steak just that.

I’ve heard flank steak can be a bit tough, but cooking it with the oil and vinegar sauce inside really helped tenderize it. I also had my butcher run it through the tenderizer before taking it home. Cutting it thinly against the grain is also said to be key in enjoying this cut of meat. I really haven’t had flank steak enough to know how it tastes when it’s tough, but I can assure you that I thought this preparation was excellent.

Chimichurri Stuffed Flank Steak - Supper for a Steal


Chimichurri Stuffed Flank Steak
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Serves: 4

  • ¼ cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 5 medium cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 lbs flank steak, butterflied
  • salt and pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a food processer combine onion, parsely, and garlic. Pulse until chopped. Add in olive oil, vinegar, water, sat and red pepper flakes and pulse until combined.
  3. Open the steak up, sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides, and fill the inside with about half of the chimichurri sauce, save remaining for topping the steak after cooking. Roll the steak up so that the grain runs lengthwise and tie with butchers twine.
  4. Bake for 1 hour, or until a thermometer reads 145 degrees. Let sit 5-10 minutes before slicing. Top with more chimichurri before serving.

Most butchers will butterfly the steak and run through the tenderizer for you if asked. If you do it yourself, cut along the grain almost all the way through. Depending on the thickness of your steak you may be able to do this two times.


Adapted from Serious Eats

Approx cost per serving: $2.58

Creamy Onion Soup

Creamy Onion Soup - Supper for a Steal

I worked at Outback Steakhouse all through high school as a hostess. Since we got a pretty good discount and often times plenty of free food I tried a lot of the menu. One thing I never tried while working there was the Walkabout Soup. Something about the description of creamy onion soup just sounded horrible to me. I have always loved onions I guess it was the creamy part that just threw me off.

Recently someone finally persuaded me to try it. Yes a good, 6 or so years after I stopped working there I finally tried this weird onion soup. And to my surprise, it was actually good. Like really good. I immediately started googling copy cat recipes.

I was a little sad when all I could find was recipes using Velveeta cheese. Finally I stumbled across a few similar recipes without Velveeta and I decided to give that recipe a try.

The flour is used to thicken the soup and the heavy cream adds that velvety texture. Between the bouillon and the cheese, I found it to be a little too salty for me. I suggest looking for low sodium bouillon or maybe using low sodium beef stock instead of the water/bouillon combo.

Creamy Onion Soup

As long as you are a fan of onions and rich, creamy soups I think you will be a fan of this one. Don’t let the weird name throw you. It really is good, I promise.

Creamy Onion Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Serves: 6-8

  • 8 cups water
  • 6 beef bouillon cubes (low sodium, if you can find them)
  • 3 medium white onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • green onions, for garnish

  1. Heat the stock until boiling in a large dutch oven. Add the bouillon cubes and dissolve. Add onions to the broth along with the pepper.
  2. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour. Ladle 1-2 cups of liquid into a large bowl, slowly sift in flour, whisking until it is all dissolved and there are no clumps. Add back to the soup, stir well, and simmer an additional 30 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, add cream, and 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Stir until combined.
  4. Ladle into bowls, top with additional cheese and green onions, if desired.


Approx cost per serving: $1.15

Black Bean and Avocado Flautas for #SundaySupper

Black Bean and Avocado Flautas - Supper for a Steal

I’m no stranger to meatless meals. My lunches are almost always meatless and I only have meat for dinner maybe twice a week. Most of the time my meatless meals are pretty healthy, but not today friends!

I made flautas, and I fried them!

There are plenty of veggies stuffed inside those little fried rolls, but lets not fool ourselves into thinking veggies inside fried tortillas are healthy.

I was perusing Pinterest one day and saw a recipe for fried black bean and avocado burritos. This sounded like a winning combination which I thought would be even better snack sized.

Black Bean and Avocado Flautas


The black bean and avocado flauta was born. The term flauta or taquito seems to be used interchangeably often on food blogs, but after a little research it looks like fried flour tortillas are flautas while if these were in corn tortillas it would be more appropriate to refer to them as taquitos. I just call them delicious.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Black Bean and Avocado Flautas for #SundaySupper
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4-6

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ red onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (15oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 avocados, chopped
  • ½ cup shredded pepperjack cheese
  • 12-14 fajita size flour tortillas
  • canola/vegetable oil for frying

  1. Saute bell pepper, onion, and garlic in ½ tablespoon of oil for 3-4 minutes over medium heat, until soft. Add cumin and salt and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl combine vegetables, black beans, and avocados. Lightly mix to combine.
  3. Heat ½ inch of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of filling into the center of each tortillas, top with about ½ tablespoon shredded cheese, and roll up. Place seam side down in the skillet and cook 3-4 minutes turn and cook an additional 3-4 minutes, until browned and crispy. Remove to paper towel lined plate to cook and drain. You should be able to fit about 4 in the skillet at a time.

If you have leftovers these store well in the refrigerator until the next day, just pop them in the toaster oven to reheat

Approx cost per serving: $1.70

Salads, Soups, Stews and Starters


Pastas, Pizzas and Casseroles


Tacos & Everything Wrapped

Other Main and Side Dishes

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.
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