Chinese Steamed ClamsHappiness is a clam. The recipe for “Chinese Steamed Clams,” from The All New Good Housekeeping Cookbook, cannot be messed up. The clams open and you’re done -- end of cooking.

Instead of using the suggested dry sherry, I used Marsala wine, which is perhaps a bit sweeter. My resulting broth was absolutely delectable. We wanted to slurp it up. My young child devoured these clams, and would have eaten all 24 of them if we hadn’t intervened.

Enjoy life; enjoy clams. This recipe is so quick and easy.

Asparagus Cashew Rice Pilaf

As an intriguing side dish, I prepared “Asparagus Cashew Rice Pilaf,” from All Recipes. By mixing pasta and rice in a pilaf, you get to celebrate their different textures; they cook dry and dark, with an addictive flavor.

I added 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper to the pilaf. I boiled the asparagus for only a few minutes, before adding it to the mix. Cashews are a kick. You’ll like this recipe.

RECIPES: the singing clams will make you demand an encore; the accompanying pilaf will hold its own
PREP TIMES: eat the clams within 30 minutes; the pilaf needs a bit more time
TASTES: scallions/ginger/garlic/Marsala/soy sauce combine into a delectable, drinkable clam broth; dry and dark grains mix well with asparagus and cashews

Next time, I want to cook “Honey-Teriyaki Chicken,” from the May 2009 issue of Everyday Food, along with “Quinoa Salad with Fresh Hearts of Palm,” (where I’ll boldly substitute daikon radish), from the May 2009 issue of Gourmet. Get ready and return to my site on Saturday, November 14, to see what happens with my meal.