August 17, 2005|By Nichole Wright | Nichole Wright,SUN STAFF

Grapes are a healthful addition to a number of dishes. Besides the typical fruit salad, they can be used in lieu of berries to top a traditional coffeecake or as an ingredient in more exotic dishes, such as this Thai Prawn Curry recipe from the California Table Grape Commission:

Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup chopped onions and 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh ginger, and cook for about 4 minutes or until the onions are softened.

Add one 14-ounce can of unsweetened coconut milk and 3/4 cup of chicken broth, and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered for about 4 minutes or until slightly thickened. Whisk in 1 to 2 tablespoons of green curry paste.

Add 1 1/2 pounds (26 to 30) medium-size prawns that have been peeled and deveined, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of fish sauce. Cook for about 3 minutes or until prawns are opaque in center.

Transfer the mix to a serving dish and stir in 1 1/2 cups of red California seedless grapes that have been halved, the juice of 1 lime and 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil. Serve with 3 cups of cooked basmati rice. Serves 6.

Per serving: 420 calories; 22 grams protein; 29 grams carbohydrate; 20 grams fat; 14 grams saturated fat; 162 milligrams cholesterol; 668 milligrams sodium; 2 grams fiber

Recipe and analysis from the California Table Grape Commission

Mix tops homemade

Think cookies made from scratch taste better than those made from a mix? Maybe not.

Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix With Nuts recently beat out cookies made from scratch in a blind taste test of 500 chocolate chip cookie lovers. You just add an egg and butter to the mix, pop the cookies in the oven and you have fresh-baked cookies in minutes.

The Betty Crocker cookie mix is also available in Sugar Cookie; Peanut Butter; Oatmeal; and Rainbow Chocolate Candy flavors at grocery stores nationwide and has a suggested retail price of $2.20 per package.

Doubling up on drinks

Hamilton Beach has made it easier to mix your favorite drinks with the Double Spindle Drink Mixer, one of its most recent additions to the Eclectrics line.

Taking its inspiration from the original 1911 soda-fountain mixer, the new model has an all-metal body, commercial-grade stainless-steel spindles, two stainless-steel mixing cups and two speeds on each mixer.

More than that, the Double Spindle Drink Mixer comes with a spiral-bound recipe book that includes soda drinks and classic soda-jerk jargon.

It has a suggested retail price of $199.95 and is available at Williams-Sonoma at the Towson Town Center and online at

Hot off the pizza stone

Add a little excitement to your outdoor grilling menu with the new Williams-Sonoma grill-top pizza stone.

Designed specifically for use with gas grills, the stone sits within a raised stainless-steel frame and uses the grill's high heat to produce authentic brick-oven-style pizza with a crisp crust and hot toppings.

The stone is available for $99.95 by calling 877-812-6235 or visiting the company's Web site,


* The American Institute of Wine and Food will hold a summer-inspired Spanish tapas dinner 6:30 p.m. Aug. 24 at the Gramercy Mansion, 1400 Greenspring Valley Road in Stevenson. Reservations should be made no later than Monday. Cost is $72 for AIWF members and $83 nonmembers. For more information, contact AIWF at 410-244-0044 or e-mail

* Join For the Love of Food, 20 Clarks Lane, Reisterstown, for a class on breakfast cooking noon to 2:30 p.m. Aug. 21. $60. For more information, call 410-833-5579 or visit

* The Carroll County Farm Museum will hold an heirloom-tomato tasting noon to 1 p.m. Saturday at the farm, 500 S. Center St., Westminster. Tasting is free with admission to the farm. Reservations are suggested. Call 410-386-3893.

The Dish welcomes food news and notes. Send to The Dish, Attn.: Liz Atwood, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278; fax to 410-783-2519; e-mail

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