THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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Archive for October, 2008

RECIPES: Halloween Kahlúa Cocktails

Halloween parties aren’t just for kids. Invite friends, decorate the house, Kahluathrow on your best spooky costume, then serve these stunning drinks for a memorable evening. Kahlua, perhaps the world’s most famous coffee liqueur, will help your coffee-loving guests ease from workday joe to party time coffee cocktails. Also try some spell-casting with Gin-Based Halloween Cocktails and the ultimate fright fest, the Bloody Eyeball Martini.

Dra-Kahlúa

Kahlúa Black Cat

Kahlúa Cryptini

 
Halloween calls for dark and scary
cocktails. We’ve conjured up a few for
you.
 

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TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: One Girl Cookies


Chocolate mocha sandwich Cecilia and
cousin Louisa, filled with lemon cream.
One day, one girl decided to leave her career at the prestigious Barney’s New York fashion temple to pursue the artisan craft of baking. After two holiday seasons testing the waters by making tea cookies in her tiny West Village apartment, the girl, Dawn, rented professional kitchen space and began to look for a full-time baker so she could focus on business management and marketing. And she needed a roommate. One boy, Dave, came to look at the room, and coincidentally was looking for a job as a baker. He decided that he needed the job more than the room, so he took the position at One Girl. But one day, he got the room, too: The boy and girl married. Beautiful artisan cookies continue to pour forth, made with even more love than one girl imagined when she followed her heart and traded fashion for flour.

Charming, petite butter cookies, sugar cookies, shortbread and whoopie pies provide a compelling reason to have regular afternoon teas, special endings to lunch and dinner, and gifts to bring (or send). Of course, you need no reason at all: Everyone deserves a regular treat of handmade, top-quality baked goodness. Read the full review and imagine each bite until your order arrives.

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PRODUCT REVIEW: SoNu Water

Soft drinks are the fastest-growing category of specialty foods. Mass-marketed, high fructose corn syrup drink sales are flat; consumers are showing their interest in “better for you” soft drinks. SoNu is in the right place at the right time. Its fruit-flavored waters are vitamin- and electrolyte-enhanced, certified USDA organic and certified kosher by OU.

Looking for a better enhanced water drink? Want to get your RDA (recommended daily amount) of vitamin C from a refreshing fruit-flavored drink that also packs in some electrolytes, which help with hydration, blood pH, nerve and muscle function? You’ll also get 20% of your RDA of B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid) B6 (pyridoxine), B12 (cyanocobalamin), and the electrolytes calcium chloride, magnesium chloride and potassium bicarbonate. There’s no fat or sodium; each 8-ounce serving contains 45 calories, or 90 calories per 16-ounce bottle, from the organic evaporated cane juice that sweetens the beverage.

Read the full review on TheNibble.com.

 
SoNu sweetened, fruit-flavored water is
organic and kosher.

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TRENDS: Eat Well For Less


You don’t need to buy a “top cut” to
have a great steak experience.
  In these belt-tightening times, how can you eat like a king on a knight’s salary? Justin Marx, CEO of gourmet food purveyor MarxFoods.com, offers three tips on how to eat well in a down economy:

1) Dried mushrooms are a bargain compared to fresh mushrooms. It takes approximately 8-10 pounds of fresh mushrooms to yield 1 pound of dried. A half pound of dried shitake mushrooms costs only $29 with shipping, but is equivalent to 4-5 pounds of fresh shitakes, which would cost at least $40 at a retail store. Dried mushrooms can be stored in your pantry for a long time, can be substituted for fresh in just about any recipe and are easy to reconstitute. See THE NIBBLE’s Mushroom Glossary for more about gourmet mushrooms.

2) Enjoy truffle flavor via truffle oil. At $2,000 a pound or so, even the wealthy will be holding back on fresh truffles this year. But you can enjoy the flavor of truffles with truffle oil. There must be at least a hundred servings in each bottle of truffle oil; a little goes a long way.

At $35 per bottle with shipping, that means that you can delight in the truffle’s aroma and flavor for only 35 cents per portion. Imagine your next bowl of pasta embellished with truffle oil, for pocket change. Add some affordable dried mushrooms, reconstituted into a mushroom ragout. But don’t forget that the most important thing with using truffle oil is to put it on your food after it is cooked, because heat can destroy the flavor and aroma. To learn more about truffles, read THE NIBBLE’s overview and Truffle Glossary.

3) Braising meats makes affordable, delicious winter dishes. Usually, the meats that are perfect for slow-cooked winter dishes are far more affordable. Try wild boar shoulder, venison stew meat and bison skirt steaks. If you want to eat the finest quality meats and game and exotic meats, buy meats in bulk and split orders with friends and family to save, or buy a quarter grass-fed beef to really save. Also check out less expensive cuts of beef in THE NIBBLE’s popular article on Best Value Steak Cuts.

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NEW PRODUCT: “Cheese Slices” Teaches Cheese Via DVD

Cheese Slices is the first television series to explore the rich traditions and skills behind many of the world’s best loved artisan and farmstead cheeses. The 21-part series, now available on three DVDs, has been shown in dozens of countries around the world, but never in the U.S. It’s now available on DVD to American turophiles (i.e., cheese lovers). You can purchase it at Whole Foods Markets and selected specialty food and cheese retailers nationwide. The three DVDs explore the world’s great cheeses—Camembert, Cheddar, Feta, Gorgonzola, Parmigiano Reggiano, Stilton, goat cheeses, washed rind cheeses and much more. Each segment takes you on an insider’s tour—the animals, the milking, the cheesemaking, the ripening—that deepens your knowledge and appreciation of these great cheeses and the people who make them. The first two in the series are $19.95; the third DVD is $24.99. For more information, visit CheeseSlices.com. You can learn a lot about cheese in THE NIBBLE’s Cheese Section as well.
Goat cheese from the Vermont Butter &
Cheese
company, a NIBBLE Top Pick.

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