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by Joyce Davis
Daily-Times Call


SOCKS TO RESCUE: Daybreak Designs' polyethylene scrubbers aren't for your feet. Instead, they're handy for cleaning your produce. Fruit and vegetables are dropped in the socks and rubbed under flowing water. For larger jobs, the socks can be worn like a mitt. They also make handy colanders to clean and wash herbs and berries.

RISOTTO RIGHT NOW: Buitoni now offers a 24-minute cooking time to beat the hours it takes to make this popular Italian rice dish from scratch. The Tomato & Basil and Rosemary & Potato mixes offer authentic flavor and creamy texture. Both varieties contain 210 calories and are low in fat. But watch out for the sodium - there are 800 milligrams per serving!

PATRIOTIC SERVINGS: Chantal has new ceramic bakeware that Betsy Ross would have loved - star-shaped dishes in red, white and blue. You can find cup-size ramekins, one- and two-quart baking/serving dishes and serving plates in the patriotic line. Prices range from $2.99 for a ramekin to $14.99 for a set of four plates.

The bakeware is available at fine specialty and department stores or by calling 1-800- 365-4354 or by logging on to www.chantalcookware.com.

MICHAEL DRESSER'S WINE OF THE WEEK is a 1999 (Red), 2000 (White) Guigal Cotes du Rhone ($11).

He writes:

The master winemaker of the Rhone Valley scores twice with his current releases of his bargain-priced Cotes du Rhones ($11). The full-bodied red is one of his best yet - with vibrant blackberry and raspberry fruit and nuances of blueberry and black pepper. Serve with red meat, pasta or grilled poultry.

'Til next time