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rice, wine, grapes and almonds

When I made the spice-crusted lamb, I mentioned the grape-almond port sauce from the Sunday Suppers winter dinner.  I love being surprised by things, and the grapes in the sauce definitely did that for me. And I left that dinner wanting to make it again.


Only the next time I made lamb, I couldn’t give up my mint.  So I switched the sauce to a side and was equally happy with the result.

We didn’t have port on hand, and I am not sure if I would have used it in the rice regardless, but wine we do have and I figured it would amp up the rice … it works great it risottos.  I subbed half the water (or stock) that I normally use  in rice for red wine, giving the grain a vivid color and bright taste.

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I like to make a big grain salad to have on hand for lunch during the week.  They pack well, keep well and well, make me feel better than most other things I would come up with for lunch.

Quinoa is a fave of mine, and I often change up the veggies, but keep the dressing the same – some version of a vinaigrette to flavor it all.  So when Heidi reposted this double broccoli quinoa on 101 cookbooks this week, I couldn’t wait to give it a try.

Especially when it packs a little punch with chile oil.  The heat is important against all the other good-for-you stuff.


I am a big fan of pestos, especially non-basil ones, and so the thought of a broccoli pesto was right up my alley.

I changed it slightly from Heidi’s and a traditional one, as I omitted the parmesan.  Shocking that I left out the cheese, but I figured it wouldn’t really be missed – and I was right.  Plus, then I could amp up with more feta at the end.

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Martha Stewart I am not -
I have no intention of
whittling my own table
and can handle a martini
like nobody's business -
but I do have lots of
great ideas on cooking,
entertaining, and living
that I want to share with you.

Together, perhaps we can find
ways to have a bit more fun!


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