Candy Apples

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If you haven’t been tipped off by the cold weather, you just know it’s Fall when you see the bushels of Apples in the stores. Apples are everywhere. Ontario boasts of producing many different kinds of apples including the prized Honey crisp. Last year I was fortunate to go on a trip courtesy of the Ontario Apple Farmers and I made a lovely behind the scenes video that you can fine here – This year they’ve invited me again and I’m thrilled to be visiting another farm this year.

 

This year I’m having a bunch of people over for the Canadian Fall weekend potluck. I’ve requested my friends to think ‘fall’ when planning the menu. Since I’m hosting, I’m preparing the bird that I affectionately call ‘the beast’ and for dessert, I thought of making an all time favourite – Candy Apples. For it’s contrast against the sweetness of the caramel and chocolate, I chose the Granny Smith and I bought snacking apples instead of the regular sized apples.

 

When I visited the Apple packing plant last year, I learned that the apples are sorted by weight and the smallest ones gets packed and sent off to schools for their lunch programs. And as I discovered these are also the perfect size for Candy Apples.

 

The Apple Growers of Ontario are partnering with me this year to produce three amazing Apple recipes. These will be right here on my blog on Oct 29, Dec 10 & Feb 11. In the meantime, how do you like ‘em apples?

Candy Apples

Ingredients

  • 6 cups Water
  • 4 tbsps Vinegar
  • 8 small Granny Smith Apples
  • 1 lb soft Caramel candies
  • 2 tbsps
  • Sprinkles and candies
  • Walnuts, crushed
  • 8 oz Chocolate

Instructions

  1. Prepare the apples by boiling water, adding vinegar and quickly dipping the apples in to remove any wax
  2. Dry thoroughly and refrigerate for best results
  3. Once cool, remove the stems and pierce each apple through the middle with a bamboo stick
  4. Prepare the caramel by melting the candies & milk in a microwave for 1 minute, stir and then microwave again for another minute till smooth
  5. Working quickly, dip the apple in the caramel and dredge in the crushed walnuts
  6. Place on a silicone mat to prevent sticking
  7. You can also add sprinkles or candies as well
  8. Put it back in the fridge for an hour for the caramel to set
  9. Melt the chocolate in the microwave and drizzle on top of the candy apple as desired
  10. Add more nuts or candies
  11. Refrigerate again
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/candy-apples/

Pad Thai

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I can’t begin to tell you how much I love Pad Thai. It’s my favorite to order at my favorite restaurant Suko Thai and they never disappoint. Replicating Thai food has never been an issue for me, but somehow I just wasn’t truly happy with my Pad Thai results.

I tried this at least 50 times over the last few years. It wasn’t until I decided to prepare a Thai feast for my overseas guests that I decided to dust off the old recipe notes and try again. I re watched videos by all my fave Thai creators including non Thai ones and realized that the secret was in the sauce. Sure you can buy store bought Pad Thai sauce but the freshness from the sauce recipe is second to one. Most recipes just call for a bunch of sauces to be added together with palm sugar, but I decided to cook the sugar and tamarind together first to give it a nice syrupy texture. The addition of shallots and garlic in addition to the lime juice adds to the amazing flavour.

This recipe sure calls for a LOT of ingredients, but the good news is that these days they are pretty easy to find at an Asian grocery store. And the best part of making this yourself is that you can customize it – I like my Pad Thai dry, but you make like it saucy! I also like to control the amount of protein besides eggs I add to the dish. For simplicity, I added Shrimp, but you can also add Chicken to the dish if you like. You can also make this with Beef.

Pad Thai

Ingredients

  • Pad Thai sauce
  • 2 cups of water
  • 8 oz - 226 gms Palm Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp Chilli oil
  • 1/2 cup finely minced Shallots
  • 1/2 cup minced Garlic
  • Juice of a Lime
  • 8 tbsps Fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp of the Tamarind concentrate
  • 400 gms of Rice sticks or Vermicelli (Pad Thai noodles)
  • 1 + 1 tbsp Chilli oil
  • 1/2 cup minced Shallots
  • 1/4 cup minced Garlic
  • 1/4 sweet Daikon preserved Radish
  • 3/4 cubed Tofu
  • 1/2 cup dried minced Shrimp
  • 300 gms Tiger Shrimp
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 cups Bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup Chinese Chives or Garlic Chives
  • Chopped Peanuts to garnish

Instructions

  1. Prepare the sauce by boiling the water and adding the palm sugar and the tamarind
  2. Cook this till the sugar dissolves and gets syrupy and take it off the heat
  3. In a saute pan add the chilli oil and sauce the shallots and garlic
  4. Pour the syrup through a strainer and bring to the boil
  5. Add the lime juice, fish sauce and tamarind concentrate
  6. Refrigerate for best results
  7. Soak the noodles in barely warm water for 15 minutes
  8. Heat up some oil and add the shallots followed by the garlic and allow these to saute for a minute
  9. Add in the radish & tofu and follow with the minced dried shrimp
  10. Move everything over to one side and add more oil and cook the Shrimp
  11. When it starts to turn orange, mix it with the other ingredients and keep cooking till fully orange
  12. Add the drained noodles followed by the prepared sauce - I used 2 cups you can use more for a saucier Pad Thai
  13. Move everything over to one side again and beat in the eggs and scramble them
  14. Allow them to set before mixing.
  15. Finally toss in the bean sprouts and chives and toss to cook
  16. Serve with the chopped peanuts
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/pad-thai/

Chilli Chicken Wontons

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Ok seriously … I think this has gotta be one of the better or more genius ideas that I’ve had! Chilli Chicken in a Wonton???? Why did I take this long to figure this out. I’ve made many a Chilli Chicken in my time from my Mom’s easy recipe to the more complex but incredible Kolkata Chilli Chicken so the evolution to an adorable Wonton was bound to happen.

To create this and make it practical, all of the ingredients are diced very small so they can be easily stuffed into a small wonton wrapper.

I love making a batch of Wontons and just freezing them for a rainy day. These ones kept my family and friends happy for a while. I also made a batch to take to my friends home for a potluck.

Check out my Mom’s Chilli Chicken recipe – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-Sy-_4gRPg

Check out my version of Bong Eat’s Kolkata Chilli Chicken – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qUjJ7YSBYA

Chilli Chicken Wontons

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of boneless Chicken thigh
  • 2 tsps dark Soya sauce
  • 2 tsps light Soya sauce
  • ?2 tsps Shaoxing wine
  • 2 - 4 tbsps Cornstarch
  • 4 cloves Garlic finely minced - 2 tbsps
  • Thumb size of Ginger finely minced - 2 tbsps
  • 1 large chilli finely minced - 1 tbsp
  • 1/2 red onion finely minced - 1/2 cup
  • 3 spring onion bulbs finely minced - 1/4 cup.
  • Green Bell pepper finely minced - 1/2 cup
  • Fresh coriander or cilantro finely minced - 1/2 cup
  • Oil
  • 2 tbsps light Soya sauce?1 tsp Vinegar
  • Fresh cracked Pepper
  • Glue paste Flour + Water
  • 1 lb - 454 gms fresh Wonton wrappers
  •  

Instructions

  1. Marinate the Chicken with the dark, light soya and the shoaling wine
  2. Add Cornstarch and mix well and leave for an hour
  3. Finely dice all the other ingredients and keep it ready
  4. Add some oil to a pam and fry the Chicken on both sides till it’s caramelized and almost cooked
  5. Allow Chicken to cool and then finely dice
  6. In a wok heat some oil and saute the red onion, followed by the ginger, garlic and green chilli
  7. Add the diced Chicken and stir to combine
  8. Add the soya and vinegar
  9. Add the spring onions, green pepper, fresh pepper and finally once cool add the coriander
  10. Make the glue paste by combining flour with water
  11. Lay out the wonton squares and add the paste to two sides
  12. Add some filling in the center
  13. Seal the wonton, you should have a triangle
  14. Take one edge of the triangle and wrap it around
  15. Add a dab of flour paste to the other side and seal
  16. Lay these on some parchment paper to prevent sticking
  17. Deep fry in hot oil
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/chilli-chicken-wontons/

Tandoori Chicken

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I love love love Tandoori Chicken. If you make this by slathering chicken with a store bought spice and yogurt, you are not alone, but if you want to try something amazing this recipe is for you. Tandoori is derived from the work Tandoor which is basically a large clay pot that is used to cook food. Coal is lit at the bottom and creates a tunnel of heat to submerge skewers of chicken and meat. Tandoori is basically the kind of marinade used in Chicken, Fish or Shrimp although some people now apply this marinade to Paneer Crab and even Turkey.

 

As with every recipe, everyone has their own secret blend. Mine isn’t such a big secret since I have published the recipe a few times before. I also like to use this recipe to cook the Chicken that finally goes into a Butter Chicken. Recently I made this live on my FB page, here is a link if you missed it –

 

As I write this, it’s already fall, but we had a sudden turn of weather for the better. Instead of the colder fall temps, the sun was out and the day warm. We decided to just grab some food and drinks and get out there for one last hurrah before mother nature realized she screwed up. Top of mind of me was making a batch of Tandoori Chicken, from scratch and with a lot of love to share with my family and friends.

 

Although I have shared this recipe before both on my YouTube channel and my blog, this new and improved video and recipe is amazing – enjoy!

Tandoori Chicken

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs Chicken drumsticks
  • 1st Marinade
  • Juice of 1/2 a Lime
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp of Ginger and Garlic paste
  • 2nd Marinade
  • 1.5 cups of Yogurt
  • 1 tsp red Kashmiri Chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried Fenugreek also known as Kasuri methi
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp Chaat masala
  • 1 tsp Black salt
  • 2 tsps of Ginger and Garlic paste
  • And 1 tbsp Mustard Oil
  • 1/2 cup minced green Chilli & Coriander
  • 1/4 cup Mustard and regular oil for basting

Instructions

  1. Skin the drumsticks and using a sharp knife make slits or gashes in the flesh
  2. Add all the ingredients from the first marinade and leave for at least an hour
  3. Prepare the tandoori marinade by mixing all the ingredients together
  4. Pour this over the marinated chicken and allow this to get right into the slits or gashes
  5. Stuff the minced chilli & coriander into the crevices as well
  6. Marinate overnight
  7. Heat the BBQ to 450 degrees and cook the chicken on both sides basting with a mixture of mustard and regular oil in between
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/tandoori-chicken/

3 Chicken Soups for the soul with Veggie options

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Whoever said that Chicken soup is good for the soul is spot on. These three Chicken soup recipes with vegetarian options are like a warm hug on a cold day. These 3 recipes are made very easily and can be stored in mason jars for a wonderful light meal all week long. I grab whatever soup I fancy and bring it to work and at lunchtime, all I have to do is reheat in the microwave and enjoy!

The first soup is a Sweet Corn soup also known as the Chicken sweet corn for a non vegetarian version. This soup is a favourite in every Chinese restaurant and it’s so easy to make, my mom would make this for us all the time. If you like seafood, this is also super delicious with crab meat.

The next recipe is a Thai Coconut Rice & Mushroom soup, again, with or without Chicken. Lemongrass and Thai Red Curry paste is the star in the soup and is made hearty with Mushrooms and Rice.

And finally who doesn’t love a good old fashioned Chicken Noodle soup. The stock is enhanced with Garlic and diced Carrots & Celery make this super colourful. Cooked Pasta is added to the broth together with some fresh Parsley. This soup is not cooked for long to prevent the veggies from losing their vibrancy and crunch. Again, Chicken is optional.

3 Chicken Soups for the soul with Veggie options

Ingredients

  • Sweet Corn Soup
  • 600 ml Chicken or Veggie Stock
  • 400 ml Creamed Corn
  • 1 tsp Chilli Vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tsp light Soya sauce
  • 1 Egg beaten
  • 2 tbsps Spring Onion leaves
  • 1/4 cup cooked shredded Chicken optional
  • Thai Coconut soup with Rice & Mushrooms
  • 600 ml Chicken or Veggie Stock
  • 1 Lemongrass stick cut in 4, 2 inch pieces
  • 1 tsp Thai Red Curry paste
  • 1/2 cup Mushrooms
  • 1 tsp Fish sauce (use Soya for Veggie option)
  • Fresh cracked Pepper to taste
  • 100 ml Coconut Milk
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1/2 cup cooked Rice
  • 1/4 cup cooked shredded Chicken
  • Noodle Soup
  • 600 ml Stock (Chicken or Veggie)
  • 1 tsp minced Garlic
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup each diced Carrots & Celery
  • 1/2 cup cooked Pasta
  • 1 tbsp chopped Parsley
  • 1/4 cup cooked shredded Chicken

Instructions

  1. Sweet Corn Soup
  2. Heat up the stock
  3. Add the creamed corn
  4. Add the Chilli Vinegar, Salt, Pepper, Soya and stir
  5. Beat the egg and drop into the soup stirring with a fork
  6. Add the sliced spring onion leaves
  7. Add shredded Chicken optional
  8. Thai Coconut soup with Rice & Mushrooms
  9. Heat up the stock
  10. Add the lemongrass and allow to infuse into the stock and remove
  11. Add the red curry paste
  12. Add the mushrooms, fish sauce and pepper
  13. Add the coconut milk
  14. Add a pinch of salt and the rice
  15. Add shredded Chicken optional
  16. Noodle Soup
  17. Heat up the stock
  18. Add the Garlic
  19. Add the diced carrots and celery
  20. Add the noodles
  21. Add the Parsley
  22. Add shredded Chicken optional
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/3-chicken-soups-soul-veggie-options/

Fall round up

Fall is here people! Are you going to run screaming like a terrified little child when you see the first leaf fall or are you going to grab a warm pot of something and embrace the crisp weather? Here are some amazing recipes to get you warmed up.

Fall Meal Prep

Meal planning an prep is all the rage. Using some shortcuts and strategies find new and interesting ways to roast Chickens and create multiple meals out of them including a nice warm soup.

3 soups for the soul

They say Chicken soup is good for the soul and it is. Use these quick recipes to make three different types of Chicken soups with a Veggie alternative for each – Sweet Corn, Thai Rice & Coconut & Chicken Noodle. These are stored in mason jars and ready for whenever you need to heat and eat.

Cheddar Apple Pie

And what Fall is complete without Apple Pie. Last year I was fortunate to get on a bus trip with some amazing bloggers from Food Bloggers of Canada and I got to document the process from apple picking to storing. And why just eat and apple pie when you can have a more sophisticated Cheddar crust Apple Pie.

Thanksgiving Turkeys

Turkeys aren’t just for Christmas, in fact I actually prefer them for Thanksgiving. Given that it is all about the harvest festival, it is also the time the pilgrims would hunt and capture wild Turkeys. Over the years I have made several types of Turkey. You can find all of these recipes below.

Chicken Liver Stuffing

I love stuffing, and this recipe is special as I learned how to make it when I took a course at George Brown culinary school. I never like to stuff my bird, instead I prefer to serve my stuffing on the side.

And don’t forget to enter my giveaway – a box full of spices and swag! Comment on ANY of my videos on #YouTube with the #Kravings for your chance to win. You must be subscribed to win, full details and rules here – http://bit.ly/KravingsGiveaway2018

Beef Chilly Fry – Quick Pressure Cooker Recipe

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I never met a Chilly Fry I didn’t like. There are so many ways to make a chilly fry and I have a few variations on my channel and blog. A few weeks ago I made my friend Viola Gardonis’s Beef spread for Sandwiches. When she sent me the recipe initially, she also mentioned that the same recipe could be used to make a quick Chilly fry and I decided to test it out for myself. I love the ease of preparation of this dish, the meat is cooked in a pressure cooker and then just shredded and cooked with potatoes, onions and spicy.

It couldn’t be easier. Chilly fry is great with bread, roti or rice. I like to serve it with some dhal for a perfect home cooked comfort meal!

Beef Chilly Fry – Quick Pressure Cooker Recipe

Ingredients

  • lbs Beef or Lamb/Mutton cubes
  • Juice of 1/2 Lime
  • 1 tbsp fresh black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red Chilli powder
  • 2 tsps Ginger & Garlic paste
  • Salt
  • Whole spices - 2 Star Anise, 2 Bay leaves, 2 black Cardamons, 2 inch stick Cinnamon, 6 green Cardamons, 10 Cloves
  • 2 green Chillies - 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 2 cups sliced Potatoes
  • 4 cups sliced Onions
  • 1/4 cup sliced green Chillies
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsps Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli powder

Instructions

  1. Marinate the meat cubes with the lime juice, powdered spices, salt & pepper
  2. Add oil to a pressure cooker and add the whole spices
  3. Remove the whole spices and keep aside in a small cheese cloth and tie it
  4. Add the meat into the flavored oil and cook for a few minutes till you see a lot of juice come out of the meat
  5. Add the spice bag in, cover the pressure cooker and cook for one whistle
  6. Cool and open the lid, add 1/2 cup of water and close again
  7. Cook for 2 - 3 whistles till the meat is tender
  8. Cook open to dry up all the gravy
  9. Remove and shred the meat
  10. Heat some oil and saute the potatoes and keep aside
  11. In the same oil add the onions and cook till caramelized
  12. Add the green chillies
  13. Add the shredded meat back in with salt, pepper, coriander and chilli powder and mix
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/beef-chilly-fry-quick-pressure-cooker-recipe/

Meal Planning – Meal Prep

I’ve been meal planning for years without formally documenting anything. I’m just naturally wired to constantly want to do things more efficiently. One of my favorite things to do is party plan and to do that you have to constantly look at time saving strategies and process efficiencies. When I saw that all my fellow YouTubers  making Meal Planning videos I decided to jump on that bandwagon, and I’m so glad I did, as the feedback has been incredible. Here are some great ideas!

Batch Meatballs

This is a great technique – make meatballs once, and enjoy them forever… well maybe not forever. This recipe is very generic. The meatball making technique here is incredible as you can pump these out very quickly. Once cooked they are frozen and ready on hand to make any dish in a hurry.

Office lunches

If I don’t have my lunch prepped and ready to go, chances are I’m going to buy expensive and calorie rich foods at lunch time. Follow these ideas to prepare stunning lunches for yourselves

Global Dinners

It isn’t hard to go International. In this video, I give 5 Chicken breasts a different look, feel and taste from around the globe

Soups On!

With Fall here(brrr), quickly prepare and bottle 3 delicious soups using stock, shredded Chicken and other ingredients. These are portable, heat and enjoy!

Coming soon!
Back to School lunches

Kids eat with their eyes and the challenge is to get interesting meals into their lunchboxes for the week. Using ground chicken, I’m create three unique lunchbox ideas using a mix and match technique.

Back to School

Back to School is a different issue from Back home and what’s there to eat??? Make easy and simple after school snacks for your hungry monsters!

Fall Meal Prep

Two whole Chickens get roasted together with some potatoes and veg and while they roast, I prepare a tasty Broccoli and Cauliflower aka Broccoflower rice with the left over veg. This is another great mix and match video!

University Freezer Meals

My son is starting his third year and is not going to have much time to cook or eat properly. Using different techniques, I prepack meals for my son before I freeze them. All he has to do is heat and eat!

Kofta Makhni – Buttery Meatball Curry

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A few years ago I chanced upon a video on Youtube for Jhinga Makhni by one of my favorite Indian chefs Sanjay Thumma of Vahrehvah.com Makhni, comes from the work butter and is similar to a preparation of Butter Chicken. Most of this recipe is made using a pressure cooker and makes life so much easier!

Kofta Makhni – Buttery Meatball Curry

Ingredients

  • Meatballs
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 2 lbs of ground meat Beef, Lamb or Mutton
  • Gravy
  • 15 dried Kashmiri
  • 1/4 cup Oil
  • 5 Cardamoms
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 4 cups sliced
  • 2 sliced green Chillies - 1/4 cup
  • 2 tbsps each fresh ginger and Garlic
  • 1/2 cup of raw Cashew nuts
  • 4 cups diced fresh tomato
  • 1/2 a cup Water
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch dried Fenugreek (Kasuri Methi)
  • Extra Water as required
  • ½ cup Butter – 1 stick
  • 1/4 cup Cream heavy or whipping cream

Instructions

  1. Add the spices to the ground meat and keep aside
  2. Deseed the Kashmiri chillies and keep aside
  3. Heat the oil and add the whole spices
  4. Add the onions and saute till it’s golden brown
  5. Add the red chillies
  6. Add the green chillies, ginger and garlic
  7. Add the cashew nuts
  8. Add the tomatoes and saute
  9. Add some water, put the pressure cooker lid on and pressure cook (see notes in video about an alternative)
  10. Cook till one whistle, remove and cool
  11. Add to a food processor with some water and blend to a paste
  12. In the same pot add the butter and allow to melt
  13. Using a strainer, strain the paste into the pot
  14. Put the reserved solids back into the processor 1 -2 times with water and puree again
  15. Strain this as well into the pot and allow the gravy to come to a boil
  16. Add salt to taste and dried fenugreek
  17. Form the meatballs and drop into the gravy and allow to cook for 10 mins
  18. Finish off with cream
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/kofta-makhni-buttery-meatball-curry/

Beef Sandwiches – Potted Beef Spread

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My friend Viola Gardonis is famous for her Beef Sandwiches. Wherever she goes, there is a tray of neatly cut triangles with a delicious creamy filling. She told me they were super simple to make and sent me the recipe, you know the kind with no weights or measures! I never really felt the need to make them as Vee as we call her is always the sandwich queen and I don’t want to step on her toes, however when she said she couldn’t make our picnic, I decided to give her recipe a go.

I developed the recipe just going by memory of it’s incredible taste. This filling is mildly spiced and is made creamy with Mayonnaise and Mustard that I added for a little kick. I also worked with a half ground and half shredded meat texture so you get something to chew in the sandwich.

Beef Sandwiches – Potted Beef Spread

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Beef or Lamb/Mutton cubes
  • Juice of 1/2 Lime
  • 1 tbsp fresh black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red Chilli powder
  • 2 tsps Ginger & Garlic paste
  • Salt
  • Whole spices - 2 Star Anise, 2 Bay leaves, 2 black Cardamons, 2 inch stick Cinnamon, 6 green Cardamons, 10 Cloves
  • 2 green Chillies - 1/4 cup
  • 2 tbsps Mustard
  • 4 - 6 tbsps Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • Butter
  • Bread

Instructions

  1. Marinate the meat cubes with the lime juice, powdered spices, salt & pepper
  2. Add oil to a pressure cooker and add the whole spices
  3. Remove the whole spices and keep aside in a small cheese cloth and tie it
  4. Add the meat into the flavored oil and cook for a few minutes till you see a lot of juice come out of the meat
  5. Add the spice bag in, cover the pressure cooker and cook for one whistle
  6. Cool and open the lid, add 1/2 cup of water and close again
  7. Cook for 2 - 3 whistles till the meat is tender
  8. Cook open to dry up all the gravy
  9. Remove and shred the meat
  10. Process half the meat and combine with the half shredded for texture
  11. Add the mustard and mayo and mix
  12. Spread onto buttered bread for great tasting sandwiches
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/beef-sandwiches-potted-beef-spread/