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Old 05-18-2010, 06:51 AM   #1
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Do you make your own yogurt?

I am in looove with greek yogurt...but it's too expensive! It is $1.89 for single serving containers, and my store doesn't carry the large size. I was thinking about making my own.

How do you do it?
Can I make greek-style by just straining it?
Is it worth the trouble?


Very curious!! Thanks!
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:53 AM   #2
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Do a search here at LCF-there are several threads on this in the recipe forum. Ljguitar has also posted pics in these threads.
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:08 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbeth View Post
I am in looove with greek yogurt...but it's too expensive! It is $1.89 for single serving containers, and my store doesn't carry the large size. I was thinking about making my own.

How do you do it?
Can I make greek-style by just straining it?
Is it worth the trouble?


Very curious!! Thanks!
Hi kb…
I make all ours and I use half heavy cream and half whole milk.

I actually made a pictorial on my flickr site which I will link. Building yogurt means picking a source of starter which for me is usually Dannon plain (not vanilla) yogurt.

I also use Mountain High or Oiokos plain...all of these have good tasting cultures. I tried FAGE and we just didn't think it did as good a job culturing the batch. We also tried a couple other brands...have never bought or used just plain dried culture. It's too easy just to use a cup or so of the dannon.

There is no need to build it a gallon at a time (which is what I do). The process is straightforward and simple and one could do it in a small yogurt maker a quart at a time.

I have used pure cream and it is no thicker than the 1/2cream-1/2milk and costs way too much. I get my cream from Walmart for about $2.50 quart, which makes a full gallon plus a pint for about $7.00...probably $7.50 with the Dannon.

Heat the milk/cream to 185°F (85°C)
Cool mixture to 110°F (43°C)
Stir in the starter
Put in containers
Incubate for 12-15 hours
Refrigerate

If you build it 1/2cream-1/2milk there is no need to strain it (like Greek). It is already that thick.

Build Your Yogurt - CLICK

Incubating can be done in a picnic cooler using a heating pad under a towel, or in a cardboard box or with one of the cheap yogurt makers from Wally World or GoodWill etc.

It keeps the yogurt at around 110°F (43°C). The only caution is to keep it under 120°F while incubating so you don't kill the cultures. I’ve never ruined a batch yet and have been building ours for about 18 months now.



Feel free to ask more questions and hope this helps...


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Old 05-18-2010, 07:13 AM   #4
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You can also make yocheese by taking a large container of plain yogurt such as Dannon Plain All Natural and drain the whey. I use coffee filters lining a sieve to drain-usually overnight in the fridge is long enough. You can Google yocheese or labneh for more info-there are also youtube videos on how to make yocheese and homemade yogurt.

Last edited by lisabinil; 05-18-2010 at 07:17 AM..
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:19 AM   #5
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Paper towels also work well in place of coffee filters.
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:56 AM   #6
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i have a yogurt maker that my MOH (matron of honor and best friend) bought me for christmas. basically it's a warmer that comes with 8 jars...i use non-homoginized grass fed milk (can't get raw here) - boil it per instructions, add the yogurt culture - then put it in the glass jars and let it sit in the maker for the 8 or so hours it requires...haven't made any in a while though - may have to do that this weekend.
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:30 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by lisabinil View Post
You can also make yocheese by taking a large container of plain yogurt such as Dannon Plain All Natural and drain the whey. I use coffee filters lining a sieve to drain-usually overnight in the fridge is long enough. You can Google yocheese or labneh for more info-there are also youtube videos on how to make yocheese and homemade yogurt.
Hi lisa…
I made yo-cheese from my thicker yogurt, and it was so stiff that it put cream cheese to shame. And I tried draining/straining Dannon and it doesn't compare to FAGE or other thick/smooth Greek yogurts.

Here is a picture of my thick cream yogurt after straining...we actually ended up using it for cream cheese because it was too thick to eat and enjoy.



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Old 05-18-2010, 10:45 AM   #8
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Hi lisa…
I made yo-cheese from my thicker yogurt, and it was so stiff that it put cream cheese to shame. And I tried draining/straining Dannon and it doesn't compare to FAGE or other thick/smooth Greek yogurts.

Here is a picture of my thick cream yogurt after straining...we actually ended up using it for cream cheese because it was too thick to eat and enjoy.



I've tried em all and Fage is my alltime yogurt favorite and for yocheese I like the Dannon Natural. Just a matter of personal preference. It's just a matter of personal taste.
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:09 PM   #9
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I just recently started making my own yogurt. It's really easy, economical and tasty!

I heat the milk to 180 keeping it there for 30 mins then let cool naturally to 110 add the dry culture or live store bought yogurt a couple of tablespoons for a quart of milk mixture is good. I put it in a warmed oven wrapped in a kitchen towel with a probe thermometer as to keep it the right temp if it goes below 110 I switch it on for a minute then back off not going over 115 or 120.

I make it in old glass jars from coconut oil or pickles for single servings sterilized with boiling water. I like it thick like store bought so I add a packet of gelatin for a quart of half whole milk and half cream with sweetener to taste flavored with green tea bags or vanilla. I prefer it not so tart so I incubate it for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours then I put it in the freezer for 1 hour then in the fridge. I like to start it in the morning then it's chilled and ready for the next morning. I'm impatient that way. If you use the gelatin the whey won't drain out. It's superior to anything you can purchase.
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:27 PM   #10
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I make my own in a glass quart jar. I follow Larry's instructions but I just use the oven light as my heat source. Works perfectly every time. I turn the light on about an hour prior to putting the jar in. I never wrap it in a towel or anything. Just stick the jar in back a couple inches away from the light and leave alone for 8 hours.

I use all cream. I don't use the Dannon/Fage tubs as starters though. I use a starter they sell at Whole Foods. I can't think of the brand right now but it's around $3 for a box of six packets.
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:04 PM   #11
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Hi everyone…

Here is a video I uploaded today (Wed May 19, 2010) to demonstrate the texture of half heavy cream-half whole milk homemade yogurt. There is no gelatin, there is no dried milk added, and there is no straining.

This is it right out of the jar...



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Old 05-19-2010, 12:33 PM   #12
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Wow, thanks for the video. I am going to try it without the gelatin your yogurt looks great!
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:52 PM   #13
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Larry, a question kinda off the wall. How much yogurt do you think you eat just yourself in an average week?

You may remember I mentioned that during a recent trip I had the opportunity to see a Kroger's and purchased some CarbMaster for the first time. It was so good and I love yogurt in general anyway. I am concerned that if I start eating it that this could be an item that could get out of hand easily.
I have two of those already and have done a good job of moderation but both are on mandantory control status, ha. I love cottage cheese and do eat about 4 oz daily. And macadamia nuts. I will not allow them in my house or work area unless I buy the 2oz little bag of Walgreen's Roasted Macs. 8 total carbs but only something like 2 net, I think? Anyway, I limit that to one bag a week.

So, just doing some preliminary collateral damage investigation re: the yogurt.
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:05 PM   #14
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...Larry, a question kinda off the wall. How much yogurt do you think you eat just yourself in an average week?
...So, just doing some preliminary collateral damage investigation re: the yogurt.
Hi Rob…
We go through about a quart a week between eating it and cooking with it...

It would be a simple solution to pickup one of the very small yogurt makers that only make a quart at a time. I’m guessing the yogurt we make is probably about 6 carbs per 8 oz.

And remember it can be 'extended' with Chia gel to a double sized portion for far less carbs and it is very filling that way. I don't extend it all the time, but sometimes just add 1/2 cup strawberries to 1/2 cup yogurt.

I use it on broccoli, along with butter and bacon to 'load' it. And I build mac-n-cheese casseroles with it as well (and lasagna).

Hope this helps...


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Old 05-19-2010, 01:20 PM   #15
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Oh wow. I am now ravenous for yogurt and can't wait to get started!! Thanks for the input, everyone!
And thanks for the video, ljguitar..the consistency is just about what I'm looking for. Plus, the toy cars were a nice touch.
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:22 PM   #16
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Hi Larry - I have a question for you - I am on my second batch with 1/2 milk and 1/2 cream. The first one i made came out actually chunky. It was like the cream separated from the milk. It did end up mainly on the top of the yogurt. I made like 42 oz in my little yogurt maker. Re-reading your instructions, I wonder if this may be why....my maker had instructions which said to heat to 180 for a couple minutes before cooling to 110. You heat to 185. Would this be the reason for the chunks? Or what do you think? Oh and I only incubated for about 7-8 hours.

Thanks!
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:36 PM   #17
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Hi Larry - I have a question for you - I am on my second batch with 1/2 milk and 1/2 cream. The first one i made came out actually chunky. It was like the cream separated from the milk. It did end up mainly on the top of the yogurt. I made like 42 oz in my little yogurt maker. Re-reading your instructions, I wonder if this may be why....my maker had instructions which said to heat to 180 for a couple minutes before cooling to 110. You heat to 185. Would this be the reason for the chunks? Or what do you think? Oh and I only incubated for about 7-8 hours.
Hi cb…
How did the 2nd batch turn out?

Wow I’ve never had 'chunks' and I’ve probably done this recipe 18-20 times now. It's almost become a no-brainer for me.

Troubleshooting questions...
  • Tell me how you heat it up please...
  • Tell me how you cooled the mixture from 180°F-110°F...
  • And did you use heavy cream and whole milk?
  • What was your starter?
  • Also, how did you incubate it? (and how did you check the temperature while incubating?)

I stir the milk/cream mixture pretty steadily as I heat it up, and then I float the pan in a sink with cold water and ice to bring it down to 110°F. Then I incubate mine in a food dehydrator, but there are many good methods to incubate...

Hot water bath in ice chest...
Heating pad under towels in box or cooler...
Oven light...
A yogurt machine like yours...

I like the taste at about 14 hours (a bit more tart perhaps), and the texture at 12 hours is where mine seems best...I wonder if you extend your incubation a bit if it will help (but I don't know that).


Hope this helps us push the diagnosis closer...


Last edited by ljguitar; 05-19-2010 at 01:37 PM.. Reason: oops
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:46 PM   #18
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Hi Larry!
The second batch is still 'cookin' so I don't know as of yet. Here is what I did, I poured the cream and milk into a sauce pan, added my candy thermometer and stirred it every once in a while until it reached 180. I took it off the burner, and let it cool on the counter, stirring every so often until it reached 110. Then I added, the first time I added a pack of yogurt starter, and this time I added a 6 oz jar from the previous batch. Stirred it up, and poured it into the jars. Put the jars in the machine, put the cover on and turned it on. After 7-8 hours (can't remember which) I took it out, put on the covers and put it in the fridge.
Perhaps the not stirring constantly, or not cooling in a water bath? Or you know, the first time, there was a lot of "skin" on the top of the milk as it cooked and cooled. Wonder if that played a part. As I am looking into the machine through the cover, now, the tops of the second batch look a little yellower, but I guess will have to wait till tomorrow for the final verdict.

Thanks so much for your help!
Oh yes - I used a pint of heavy cream and the rest milk to equal 42 oz. I made a point of not getting the ultra pasturized cream too. Not sure if that would make a difference or not though.
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:49 PM   #19
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...As I am looking into the machine through the cover, now, the tops of the second batch look a little yellower, but I guess will have to wait till tomorrow for the final verdict.

Thanks so much for your help!
Oh yes - I used a pint of heavy cream and the rest milk to equal 42 oz. I made a point of not getting the ultra pasturized cream too. Not sure if that would make a difference or not though.
Hi cb…
I am putting my money on the fact mine has no skin because I stir it till it reaches temp to prevent skimming over the top.

Mine foams up, but that goes away with the cooling.

Hey I want to know how it turns out this time...let's check in tomorrow.

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Old 05-19-2010, 01:54 PM   #20
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Thanks! Will let you know!!!
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Old 05-20-2010, 05:33 AM   #21
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Alright Larry - the verdict is in. Not chunky this time. But I make this for my husband (we both low carb, but I still cant do that heavy yogurt) anyway, he liked the texture but said it tasted like cheese...... (Which he despises). No idea why it would have tasted like cheese. But maybe I can use it somehow - or my daughter will like it. I guess I am off to try again.
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Old 05-20-2010, 06:25 AM   #22
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My husband and I make our yogourt similar to the way Larry does. We have perfected our method over the years and always get great results.

We use one gallon of raw milk that we get from a local farm for a mere $5.00.
Heat milk in a large pot to 180-185 degrees
Then, cool milk to 100-110 degrees ( I put the pot in the sink surrounded by cool water)
Stir in yogourt starter ( I use Yogourmet brand)
Divide between two large bowls
Incubate for 20-24 hours @ 105-110 degrees
Then, let drip through strainers (lined with paper towel) resting in large bowls
Incubate again for 2 hours
Then dump yogourt into a large mixing bowl ( it will look like cottage cheese ) and stir with a wire whisk for a couple of minutes until the mixture resembles a smooth pudding consistency.
*** The longer that you drip the yogourt the thicker it will become and it will be less bitter.
Refrigerate for a few hours to set up, then enjoy.
This yougourt is incredibly thick and creamy. My DH is addicted to it so we have to make two batches per week. We have found that it is well worth the time and effort for this wonderful, good for you, treat.
*** My DH made our incubator box out of plywood with a hinged door and mounted it on a wall in our basement. We have two light bulbs inside with a dimmer switch hooked up to regulate the temp. It looks kind of primitive but works great.
I`ll try to post some pics if I can figure out how, as I`m technically challenged.
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Old 05-20-2010, 06:32 AM   #23
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Alright Larry - the verdict is in. Not chunky this time. But I make this for my husband (we both low carb, but I still cant do that heavy yogurt) anyway, he liked the texture but said it tasted like cheese...... (Which he despises). No idea why it would have tasted like cheese. But maybe I can use it somehow - or my daughter will like it. I guess I am off to try again.
Hi cb…
Great news - how long did you leave it this time? What did you use for starter?

My experience tells me that using different starters is where specific flavors come from, and I sample one batch for mine for flavor at 12 hours and if they need more leave them in longer. The Dannon, Mountain High and Oiokos have consistently produced great flavor at about 14 hours for us.

My wife doesn't like the flavor unsweetened, but add a couple drops of liquid splenda to 1/2 cup she is nuts about it. Or I will strip the contents of a vanilla bean and add it to 2 cups and let it sit over night and then sweeten it and she likes that too.

And if I add 1/2 cup strawberries to a 1/2 cup with that same 2-3 drops of Splenda (total) it is one of her and my favorites. I’d try that before giving up on your cheese.
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Old 05-20-2010, 06:38 AM   #24
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My husband and I make our yogourt similar to the way Larry does. We have perfected our method over the years and always get great results.
Hi Tishy…
Actually the way you do it is vastly different than how I do, but it does sound like it gets good results. It certainly sounds interesting too. Yogurt has been part of cultures around the world for thousands of years and there are many ways to 'get there.'

Mine is very simple -
...half gallon milk and half gallon heavy cream merely heated to 185°F, cooled to 110°F and I add a cup of either Dannon, Mt High or Oiokos yogurt and stir it.
...Then I stuff it right into Quart Jars and incubate 12-14 hours in our Excalibur food dehydrator (and always end up with an extra amount which goes into a pint jar).
...Then from there without stirring or straining I just taste one to be sure the mix is where I want and into the fridge they go. If you view the video I posted further up in the thread you will see how smooth and creamy the texture turns out.

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Old 05-20-2010, 07:11 AM   #25
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This is a link to a yougurt thread and the first message on it has several links in it for making it .

http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/ce...ly-2003-a.html
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Old 05-20-2010, 07:26 AM   #26
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Hi Larry
I find that we have to drip ours to make it taste more mild, instead of bitter. Do you use any type of sweetener? We go totally natural and I was surprised that I could actually like yogourt that hasn`t been sweetened.
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Old 05-20-2010, 08:39 AM   #27
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I just used a jar of the first batch (which was started with a granulated yogurt starter). Perhaps that led to the cheeseyness.... Anyway I will doctor it up and see if I can handle it - or the rest of the family. And I will try and try again. I LOVE strawberry vanilla yogurt....will try your idea. And DH usually adds some vanilla davinci's in with his.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 05-20-2010, 08:43 AM   #28
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Hi Larry
I find that we have to drip ours to make it taste more mild, instead of bitter. Do you use any type of sweetener? We go totally natural and I was surprised that I could actually like yogourt that hasn`t been sweetened.
Hi TishyLish…
We do not use sweetener, and our is ubber mellow not bitter right out of incubation. I did strain a batch once and it ended up like cream cheese (only thicker). See pic below...



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Old 05-20-2010, 08:51 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coombacher View Post
I just used a jar of the first batch (which was started with a granulated yogurt starter). Perhaps that led to the cheeseyness.... Anyway I will doctor it up and see if I can handle it - or the rest of the family. And I will try and try again. I LOVE strawberry vanilla yogurt....will try your idea. And DH usually adds some vanilla davinci's in with his.
Hi cb…
Yogurt is one of the foods which is definitely a generic term which can take on a lot of shapes. And it can mean anything from something thin enough to nearly sip from a cup or something you can stand a spoon in.

And different cultures serve it warm, cold, room temp, sweet and cook with it too...

I experimented early on with different starters, and found that the type of yogurt I use for starter had the greatest effect on 'taste'. Since I found a couple we like - I am not changing it.

I like the taste of my yogurt chilled and right out of the jar, but my wife likes it sweetened and fruited (I do too).

The vanilla bean guts (scraped from the inside of a bean) and fruit are two great things. I also like key lime juice..but I may be a bit weird there.

Thanks for chipping in on the thread, and thank you kbeth for allowing us to explore the topic (not quite a thread-jack and hopefully headed the direction intended).

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Old 05-20-2010, 08:59 AM   #30
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I make up to a gallon of yogurt per week for my family. They love it. I use about 3 parts whole milk to 1 part cream. I have a yogurt maker, but I'm guessing the Larry's dehydrator does a better job. I only say that because I'm thinking that the dehydrator keeps a better, more even temperature all around, because the heat is coming from all directions, I think? Whereas our yogurt maker is a little more hot at the bottom (around 125 deg.) than at the top, since the base is the only source of heat. That probably results in a lesser quality yogurt. Now I want to spend the big bucks and get an Excalibur Dehydrator, like Larry's!

We like our yogurt as is, enough so that we don't bother to strain it usually. We have strained it a few times, and it is very good that way, though!

Hubby adds fruit and sweetener, and my kids love to eat sweetened yogurt with chopped nuts and oatmeal sprinkled in, and berry juice for flavor, since they don't like fruit "chunks", sigh. If I eat any, and I don't usually eat it, I like it plain, nothing added.
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Last edited by LaurieKeren; 05-20-2010 at 09:01 AM..
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