Grape and Almond Bites

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I adapted this recipe from one on writes4food and changed a few things to make it a dessert rather than an appetizer.  The combination of flavors is wonderful.  I used these as a light dessert, but I can also see two or three of them on a plate with some fancy sandwiches for a tea.  They are neither difficult nor time-consuming to make, but a little messy.

Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

GRAPE AND ALMOND BITES

  • 5.3 oz. pkg. goat cheese (cold from refrigerator)
  • 3 oz. cream cheese (cold from refrigerator)
  • 2 tsp. apple juice
  • 20 seedless grapes
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tblsp. toasted sliced almonds, finely chopped.

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Use goat cheese and cream cheese directly from the refrigerator so it will be easier to handle.  In a small bowl, mix together the goat cheese, cream cheese and apple juice.  Take out a scoop of the cream mixture that is just slightly bigger than the grape.  In the palm of your hand, form the cheese into a ball and then press the grape into the cheese, pressing it into place to cover the grape completely.  Roll in chopped almonds.

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Place completed grape on a paper plate or waxed-paper-lined plate.

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Repeat with the remaining grapes and cheese mixture. Roll each cheese-covered grape in the toasted almonds to coat lightly. Place on plate, cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes to set the cheese.
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Yield: 20 Grape and Almond bites (depending on size of grapes)

I used 5 of the bites as a light dessert at lunch – 4 servings 

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Chicken & Fruit Orzo Salad

For about 10 years, this has been one of our favorite summertime salads.  Full of chicken, orzo pasta, fruit and topped with toasted almonds – what’s not to like?

CHICKEN & FRUIT ORZO SALAD

  • Servings: 6 one-cup servings
  • Print

  • 1 cup dry orzo pasta

Fruit:

  • 3/4 cup pineapple tidbits in juice, drained
  • 3/4 cup green grapes, halved
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2-1/2 Tblsp. lemon juice
  • 2 medium bananas, sliced (reserved)

2 chicken breast halves, cooked and cubed (about 2 cups)

Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tblsp. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. curry powder
  • Sprinkling of salt and a couple gratings of black pepper

1/4 cup slivered toasted almonds

Cook orzo pasta in boiling salted water for approximately 7 minutes.  Rinse with cold water and drain well.

Place orzo in a large mixing bowl.

In a medium bowl, combine pineapple, grapes, raisins and lemon juice.

Place fruit mixture in bowl with orzo.

Add cubed chicken breast to bowl with orzo.

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, sugar, curry and salt/pepper.

Add to dressing to orzo/chicken bowl, mixing well to blend.  Place salad in a covered container and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

When ready to serve, mix in reserved banana slices and sprinkle slivered almonds on top of each serving.

Yield:  Approximately 6 cups of salad.