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Archive for February, 2009

VALENTINE’S DAY GIFTS: VDay Minus 8 ~ Low-Calorie Heart-Shaped Muffins

Send your favorite dieter Vitalicious 100-calorie, heart shaped chocolate muffins; and enter for a chance to win a Tiffany diamond pendant at The chocolate muffins, available year-round in standard muffin shape and muffin tops, are quite tasty for diet food.

– Read our review of Vitalicious Muffins.

– Find more of our favorite diet products in the Diet Nibbles section of

Vitalicious Heart

Win a Diamond & Free VitaTops Sweepstakes


CONTEST: Win A Year Of Chocolate

Bridge Brands’ “Chocolate By Numbers” collection.

The San Francisco Chocolate Factory has changed its name to Bridge Brands Chocolate. To commemorate the new name and the company’s ninth anniversary, one lucky person will win a year’s supply of chocolate.

But you have to tell the company why you deserve all that chocolate, by sending in a 600-word (more or less) true account of how you have used chocolate to “bridge the gap” between friends, lovers…or anyone else. Did you give a box of chocolate to a first date? Share a slice of chocolate cake on a wedding anniversary? Made peace after an argument with a chocolate milkshake?

Entries are due by February 10th. Winners will be announced on February 14th, Valentine’s Day. Runners up will receive gift sets of Bridge Brands chocolate. Enter your story at

Win a Diamond & Free VitaTops Sweepstakes


TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Ruby et Violette Chocolate Chunk Seduction Cookies

We’ve been seduced by many of the Top Picks Of The Week, but Ruby et Violette’s “Seduction” chocolate chunk cookies at least give fair warning. After we devoured the cookies in record time, THE NIBBLE staff unanimously decided to give a box to our significant others for Valentine’s Day—just so we could have another opportunity to devour them all over again!

The brainstorm of Heather Sue Mercer, whose repertoire includes more than 100 flavors of chocolate chunk cookies, Seduction comprises nine chocolate cookies with different combinations of dark chocolate chunks and flavors: banana/toffee, caramel, cream cheese, curry, ginger, mint, sea salt, toffee and “plain” chocolate chunk. The flavors can be ordered individually or in any combination you like (we bought one of each) and are packaged in a beautiful “keeper” box.

Yet, rich as the cookies may sound, the recipes are so perfectly crafted that you can eat all nine flavors (or at least divide each one among your colleagues) without needing so much as a glass of milk. That’s great baking!

Go bananas with Primal Seduction: bananas
dipped in peanut butter and toffee with white
chocolate chunks.

With this Top Pick, Ruby et Violette takes the gold medal as the only three-peat Top Pick Of The Week winner (check out the rainbow of chocolate chunk cookies and the gorgeous brownies). And Heather’s Sue’s phenomenal ice cream is earmarked for Top Pick number four.

Read the full review, and let the seduction begin!


VALENTINE’S DAY GIFTS: VDay Minus 9 ~ Red Velvet Heart With Artisan Chocolates

Chokola'j Chocolates

We love the fine hand of Susan Kennedy at Chokola’j. Serving a discriminating Hamptons crowd, her chocolates are a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week.

There’s even free 3-day domestic shipping on orders of $50 or more (enter code VDAYSHIP at checkout)—not just on Valentine’s gifts but on all of her delicious products, through February 28, 2009. Go to or call 1-631-874-2674.

Read our review of Chokola’j, made of local and organic ingredients.

From You Flowers. LLC


NEW PRODUCT: Kettle Cuisine Gluten Free Soups

Lovers of Kettle Cuisine, the nation’s leading premium soup brand, can feed their gluten-intolerant family and friends four new varieties of gluten-free soups, bringing the total to nine choices packed in convenient 10-ounce microwaveable bowls. Kept in the freezer, these easy-to-prepare soups are convenient workplace fare as well as a quick meal or snack at home. For family with friends (or friends of the kids) who have Celiac disease, they’re convenient to keep in the freezer as an offering.

The new flavors include Organic Carrot Soup with Coriander (organic, dairy-free & vegetarian), Organic Mushroom & Potato Soup with Cream (organic & vegetarian), Roasted Vegetable Soup (dairy-free & vegetarian), Tomato Soup with Garden Vegetables (dairy-free & vegetarian).

Tomato Soup
These gluten-free flavors join Angus Beef Steak Chili with Beans (dairy-free), Chicken Chili with White Beans, Chicken Soup with Rice Noodles (dairy-free & low fat), Grilled Chicken & Corn Chowder and New England Clam Chowder.Kettle Cuisine is found at retailers nationwide and is also available online for delivery anywhere in the United States from

Check out THE NIBBLE’s favorite gluten-free products.

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VALENTINE’S DAY GIFTS: VDay Minus 10 ~ Champagne


We’ll toast to today’s Valentine gift idea: a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne. Pair it with the recently-published book, The Widow Clicquot, about the life and times of the widow who helped to make Champagne into the celestial beverage it is today.

See more of our favorite Champagnes.

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RECIPE: Barackoli Obama

How does the 44th president keep so trim? The Obamas have hired Sam Kass, a private chef from Chicago who specializes in healthy meals, to prepare their dinners at the White House. Those without a private chef can make this Zone-friendly dish, created in honor of the 44th President, that will now be available to customers of the food delivery service. (Obviously, this would not have worked for George H.W. Bush.)

BTW, Nayonaise is one of our favorite products—especially the Dijon Nayonaise, which is harder to find but worth the search.


– 2 cups chopped broccoli
– 2 cups chopped mushrooms
– 3/4 cup onions
– 1 cup chopped red bell peppers
– 1/4 cup chick peas
– 1/2 cup Egg Beaters (egg substitute)
– 1 oz. low fat cheddar cheese
– 1 teaspoon Nayonaise (mayo substitute)
– 2 teaspoons slivered almonds

Barack Obama Broccoli


1. Put veggies in a large casserole pan.
2. Mix Egg Beaters, cheese and Nayonaisse. Pour over vegetables.
3. Sprinkle almonds over the top. Bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 35 or 40 minutes.

Zone Calculations

– 3 blocks of carbohydrates
– 3 blocks of proteins
– 3 blocks of fats



VALENTINE’S DAY GIFTS: VDay Minus 11 ~ Go Nuts


For the guy or gal who doesn’t like chocolate, give a gift tin of Squirrel Brand truffle almonds. That’s truffles as in rare and costly fungus—but the nuts are more affordable than an expensive box of candy.

See more of our favorite Gourmet Nuts.

Dale and Thomas Popcorn


RECIPE: Chocolate Fondue With Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice

Chocolate cake… chocolate ice cream… chocolate mousse… chocolate soufflé… chocolate bars… and boxes and boxes of chocolate truffles and bonbons.

What about hot melted chocolate? We’re in the midst of a fondue renaissance. But rather than drag out the fondue pot and dip marshmallows, cake and fruit into melted chocolate (not that there’s anything wrong with that), we offer you a sophisticated foodie twist.

We propose for your dessert, snacking or party pleasure, a truffle melt. We hasten to add that we’re not suggesting that you melt down a box of truffles. It’s something just as tasty but much more cost-effective—a chocolate fondue variation that may become as big a favorite with your family and friends as it is with ours.

Instead of serving melted chocolate in a communal fondue dipping pot, you’ll serve the melted chocolate in individual cups or bowls, and instead of dipping fruit, cake or marshmallows, each participant mixes in his/her individual choice of additions to create custom blends.

If you supply everyone with small saké or demitasse cups instead of one larger cup or bowl, everyone can be a chocolatier for the evening and create a small selection of personal blends.

Because personal preferences vary, we’re providing Spicy Truffle Melt and Traditional Melt recipes. Spicy accents are hot (no pun intended). Thanks to fusion cuisine, the finest American chocolatiers have incorporated the flavors of the world into their chocolates; and these have found many fans.

Now you can experiment with exotic-flavored chocolates at home, by opening up the spice cabinet and your imagination. Read the full article, complete with recipes and instructions.


Chocolate Fondue

Top: Chocolate fondue from the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. Bottom: Laderach Chocolatier Suisse suggests mixing in paprika, allspice, chili, cinnamon-nutmeg, coconut-curry, ginger or cardamom.




NEWS: Penguin Ice Water Served At Inaugural Ball

We just learned that Penguin Ice waters was served at The Green Ball, held in Washington D.C.’s historic Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium on Inauguration weekend. Designed by noted San Francisco architect Arthur Brown, Jr. between 1926 and 1931, the Mellon Auditorium was completed in 1934 and is the central focus of a tripartite building group occupying the area between 12th and 14th Streets on Constitution Avenue.

Penguin Ice was reviewed by THE NIBBLE in December. The subhead by writer Marissa Goldberg, “Coming To A Well Dressed Table Near You,” was prescient.

Read THE NIBBLE’s review of Penguin Ice Water.

Shop FIJI Water Today!


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