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Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

Reviewed: Feb. 7, 2007
Easily one of my favorite salads. My modifications: 1) I minced the onion very fine since I don't have a food processor. 2) I also used walnuts instead of cashews and it goes so well with cranberries. 3) I cube the apples in advance and dump them into a container with the dressing, This way when I'm preparing lunch for work in the morning I just scoop out the apples onto a bed of lettuce, toss in some nuts and berries, and I have a fantastic salad!
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Orzo with Mushrooms and Walnuts

Reviewed: Jan. 31, 2007
3.5 stars. My modifications: 1) I used just enough oil to coat the pan, a tablespoon or so. 2) I omitted walnuts since I wasn't sure how well it would match with the other ingredients. 3) I added half a bag of chopped spinach for more veggie content. It went well with seared tuna steaks, but it was a little rich for me. Next time I would use half broth and half water, and add pine nuts if I have them.
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Quick Hoppin' John Soup

Reviewed: Jan. 21, 2007
4.5 stars. Great winter soup & one-pot meal. I tweaked it by first sauteing half an onion and half a bell pepper, then using a package of spicy chicken sausage. The diced tomatoes I used had garlic/onion. Also, instead of rice I used Trader Joe's spelt flavored with bell peppers (cooks like rice but nuttier with more protein), and instead of black-eyed peas I used chickpeas. I also had to add some water intermittently to keep it soupy. Thanks for this easy & tasty recipe!
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Gramma's Apple Bread Pudding

Reviewed: Nov. 13, 2005
It was definitely comfort food, and very popular. I saved a clean bowl by putting the ingredients directly into the greased baking dish (after mixing the wet ingredients). Instead of the sauce I served this with butter pecan ice cream which I think provided a nice touch of crunchy texture, and drizzled some amaretto liqueur which was a nice touch. Also I only baked this 40 min or else the egg would've been too tough. Next time I would 1) double the raisins and plump them in warm apple sauce, 2) mix it better but leave some slices of apple to lay on top before baking, and 3) added apple pie spice since I thought the flavor just a little bland.
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Spinach-Stuffed Salmon Fillets

Reviewed: Sep. 12, 2005
It was pretty good. The natural flavor of salmon was brought out by the spinach and pesto, though overall the flavor lacks punch. Instead of cutting slits in the salmon, I cut a slit clear through the side and stuffed the spinach so as to make a sort of salmon sandwich. If you do this though, don't use the broiler as the bottom layer of salmon will undercook; instead I would cook it in a regular oven setting at 400 for 15 or so minutes. Also I would add a bit of pesto on the top of the salmon, and use sundried tomatoes packed in oil for a bit more flavor.
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