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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for September, 2009

NEW PRODUCT: Annie’s Homegrown Mac & Cheese & More



Parents who insist on the best for their children have two new choices in the popular all-natural Mac & Cheese from Annie’s Homegrown.

  • Lower-Sodium Mac & Cheese presents the classic kids’ favorite with 25% less sodium than the leading brands.
  • 5-Grain Elbows & White Cheddar blends durham wheat with four ancient whole grains: amaranth, kamut, quinoa and spelt. It contains 8g or more of whole grains per serving, an it’s also USDA-certified organic.

  • Our investigative adult palates preferred the slightly more sophisticated taste of the 5-Grain variety, but we’re betting the nuances will be lost on kids. They’ll only note that the 5-Grain is white, not orange. Try the tip from Annie’s Homegrown to substitute yogurt for the milk for a tangier taste.

    Annie’s Homegrown has also launched new Organic Cheddar Snack Mix Bunnies: crunchy Cheddar bunny crackers, buttery bunny crackers and pretzels, with a light seasoning of Organic Valley Cheddar cheese. Visit Annies.com to learn more.

     

    snack-mix-230

    Save some for the kids! A favorite snack mix, USDA-certified organic. Photo by Hannah
    Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

  • See more of our favorite kids’ foods.

  • Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Salade Frisée

     

    One of our favorite salad greens, not served often enough in the U.S., is the classic French frisée (curly endive). A salade frisée (frisée salad) is traditionally served with crumbled Roquefort cheese and lardons, which are crisp, browned chunks of pork belly (you can substitute bacon or pancetta). Toss the salad with a classic vinaigrette. For even more panache, add some fan-sliced red pear and a few toasted walnut halves.

  • See more salad recipes.

  • Comments

    PRODUCT: Voskos Greek Yogurt



    voskos-honey-duo-250

    A honey of a yogurt, Voskos is one of our
    favorite brands. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky
    | THE NIBBLE.

     

    Voskos Greek Yogurt is another welcome brand of Greek-style yogurt that is bound to please those who prefer their yogurt more like thick, creamy sour cream and less on the tart and tangy side. The company, based in California, offers a full family of all natural yogurt:

  • Plain in whole milk (“original”), Lowfat (2%) and Nonfat (0%) in 8-ounce and 16-ounce containers
  • Nonfat 5.3-ounce cups in Exotic Fig, Greek Honey, Honey Vanilla Bean, Wild Blueberry and Wild Strawberry
  • Organic nonfat 8-ounce cups in Plain, Greek Honey and Vanilla Bean

  • The Honey Vanilla Bean and Wild Strawberry have become our favorite vanilla and strawberry yogurts.

    Packed with probiotic cultures, Voskos will also help those who have digestive problems. The line is certified kosher, rBGH-free and gluten-free.

  • Read the full review.
  • Find more of our favorite yogurts, plus yogurt recipes, in our Yogurt Section.
  • Discover more about yogurt in our Yogurt Glossary.

  • Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Infused Honey

     

    We can’t end National Honey Month without talking about infused honey. Whether you like subtle flavors like lavender and anise or hot chile spice, there’s a honey recipe for you. Take 2 cups of honey and stir over medium heat until warm. Place your favorite herb or spice and on the bottom of a heat-proof jar and add the honey. Cool, seal and let the flavors mingle for two days. A tablespoon or two of infused honey can be the star of marinades and glazes, salad dressings, cocktails, honey mustards and dessert toppings.

  • Read the history of honey and how it came to America.

  • Comments

    FREEBIE: YoCrunch Yogurt Coupon



    On Saturday, October 31, the kids will be out gathering lots of Halloween loot—99.9% of it, if not 100%, falling outside the parameters of good nutrition. YoCrunch has a solution:

    For up to two weeks following Halloween, parents can trade in any candy wrapper that their kids have earned trick or treating to YoCrunch for a coupon good for any YoCrunch product.

    Of particular interest to the candy-coveting set are YoCrunch yogurts that combine healthy food (lowfat yogurt) topped with fun (the candy); specifically, Vanilla topped with Oreo, Butterfinger, Reese’s Pieces, Nestle Crunch (also available with strawberry yogurt) or M&M’s Chocolate Candies. For more nutrition, there are Strawberry topped with 100% natural lowfat granola; and Blueberry, Mixed Berry, Raspberry, Peach and Strawberry Banana topped with 100% natural lowfat granola. And for healthier trick-or-treating, there’s the special Halloween edition of YoCrunch, available through the end of October.

     

    yocrunch-halloween_230

    Trade a Halloween candy wrapper for a YoCrunch coupon. Halloween Yo-Crunch available through the end of October.



    The candy and granola are packaged in the form of crunchy mix-ins in a separate container atop the package.

    If you’d like to participate in the free coupon promotion, send a candy wrapper with your name and address clearly printed, to:

    Shaina Zalma
    YoCrunch
    9507 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 300
    Beverly Hills, CA 90210

    Wrappers should be sent October 31-November 14. Note that there’s a limit of one submission per household.

    All of YoCrunch’s yogurt products contain live and active cultures that aid in digestion. Visit Yocrunch.com for more information.

  • Read our review of YoCrunch yogurt.
  • Visit THE NIBBLE’s Yogurt Section for lots of yogurt information, reviews and recipes.

  • Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Truffle Oil Treat

     

    Truffle oil is an inexpensive way to get the flavor of truffle into foods. But when you buy a bottle, make it “truffle season” in your house. The aroma dissipates quickly after opening, so use up the oil within a few months. Fortunately, it works almost everywhere—as a bread-dipper, in salads or on meat, fish, eggs, chicken, corn and other vegetables. Just don’t cook with truffle oil—the scent evaporates when the oil is heated. Instead, brush it onto the food when it comes off the flame, or drizzle it into soups. Truffle oil’s “companion,” truffle vinegar, can be used to deglaze, but vinegar is not the ideal form in which to enjoy a hint of the fungus. Most truffle oil and vinegar are not made with real truffles, but are synthetic approximations. Some are much better than others.

  • Read all about truffles—and see some beautiful truffle photos.

  • Comments

    FREEBIE: Gift With Purchase From Edible Arrangements



    SpongeBob-edible-arrangements

    Eat more fruit, give more fruit gifts!
    Photo courtesy of Edible Arrangements.

     

    Through Sunday, September 26, Edible Arrangements is holding a Customer Appreciation Week in stores across the country. With a purchase of $50.00 or more at your local store, you’ll receive a free box of six gourmet, hand-dipped chocolate-covered strawberries. You can add the strawberries to a gift delivery or keep them for yourself; you can take an order with you or place one for future delivery.

    We love Edible Arrangements’ artistically-sculpted fresh fruit baskets and topical displays. (Read our review.) They’re:

  • Great gifts for calorie counters and healthy eaters.
  • A welcome hostess gift.
  • A terrific way to get kids excited about eating fruit.

  • In addition to sophisticated presentations for grown-ups, there’s a broad selection of kid-themed fruit containers, from Mickey Mouse and the Disney Princesses to Sponge Bob, footballs and a Halloween pumpkin. Find the store nearest you at EdibleArrangements.com.


    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Field Roast Grain Meat



    We have something to introduce today that may seem out-of-the-box for THE NIBBLE. Let us assure you: It’s so delicious we keep buying more and more. If you’re looking for a healthy hot dog solution, a delicious vegan dish or a way to help the planet reduce greenhouse gases (more about that in the main review), Field Roast Grain Meat is it!

    If you’re not a vegetarian or vegan, you may have enjoyed a few jokes about Tofurkey or Veat vegetarian meat substitutes. Even some vegetarians we know turn their noses up at “fake meat” on principle. But at THE NIBBLE, we’re only in it for food, glorious food.

    We’ve tried our fair share of vegetarian meats. Some we hope will never cross our plate again. Others, like the tempeh bacon served in a “TLT” sandwich (tempeh bacon, lettuce and tomato) with Nasoya’s Nayonaise (delicious!) at a local eatery, are a delight (“I can’t believe it isn’t bacon!”). We’re not vegetarian; we’re an omnivore. We eat anything that tastes good.

     

    meatloaf-1-230

    This meatloaf is 100% meatless comfort food. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.


    So when we first tasted a variety of products from the Field Roast Grain Meat Co., we couldn’t believe it wasn’t meat. Not knowing what “grain meat” was, we thought it might be a mixture of grain and meat. Whatever it was, we loved it. When we found out it was 100% vegetarian and vegan, we knew we’d found our next favorite culinary magician.

    Whether you’re vegetarian, looking to give up meat a day or two a week to help the environment or your health, or simply looking for a new and delicious food, meet this great “new meat,” Field Roast grain meat.

  • Read the full review.
  • Check out our other Top Picks Of The Week.

  • Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Wonderful White Chocolate

     

    Today is White Chocolate Day, but did you know that is only since 2002 that the FDA classified this ivory delight as chocolate? Because white chocolate contains no cocoa solids, it used to be classified with the chalk-white product called “confectionary coating,” which is made with cheaper vegetable oil instead of cocoa butter—and in our opinion, doesn’t taste so terrific. (If you think you don’t like white chocolate, you may have been eating confectionary coating.) The FDA finally agreed that the cocoa butter qualified it as true chocolate (the other components are milk, sweetener such as sugar and vanilla, plus a dab of lecithin as an emulsifier).

  • See our review of the best white chocolate brands.
  • Try white hot chocolate: Vosges Haut Chocolat’s Bianca.
  • Have some White Chocolate With Strawberries ice cream from Green & Black’s.

  • Comments

    RECIPE: Cherries Jubilee

    Cherries Jubilee served in contemporary
    fashion. Photo courtesy Victoria Glavin | Tiny New York Kitchen. Check out her recipe, too.

     

    September 24th is National Cherries Jubilee Day. Cherries Jubilee is an easy flambéed dessert that is presented with much fanfare. A sauce is made of cooked, pitted cherries and cherry liqueur (Kirschwasser—brandy can be substituted), which is flambéed in a chafing dish and ladled over a dish of vanilla ice cream at the table. It’s great entertainment for guests, many of whom have never had flambéed food.

    You can elaborate on the dish by serving the flaming sauce over an ice cream and angel food cake, pound cake or sponge cake, or over custard or puddings. (Cherries and chocolate are a delicious combination.)

    Famed chef Auguste Escoffier created the dish for Queen Victoria, for either her Golden Jubilee celebration (in 1887, her 50th anniversary as queen) or her Diamond Jubilee (1897)—hence the name, Cherries Jubilee. You can “jubilee” other any cooked fruit using any 80-proof spirit.

    Make this recipe for Cherries Jubilee. It’s an impressive yet easy to make dessert. When you serve it to guests, tell them the Escoffier/Queen Victoria story.

     

    CHERRIES JUBILEE RECIPE

    Ingredients

  • 1 can (16 ounces) pitted bing cherries
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup Kirschwasser or brandy
  • Premium vanilla ice cream
  • Optional garnish: 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  •  
    Preparation

    1. DRAIN. Drain cherries, reserving the juice.

    2. MIX. Combine sugar and cornstarch; mix in the juice, a little at a time.

    3. WARM. Warm the Kirschwasser or brandy, in a sauce pan on the stove or in the microwave in a flame-proof dish.

    5. IGNITE. Ignite with a long kitchen match. Scoop a serving in a ladle; let flame burn out and ladle over ice cream.

    Serves 6.
     

    TIP #1: To keep the ice cream from melting, it helps to pre-scoop the balls and let keep them in the coldest area of the freezer. Bring the ice cream and the sauce to the table, ready to flame and pour immediately.

    TIP #2: You can make your Cherries Jubilee even easier with a jar of Chukar Cherries’ Cherry Jubilee topping.
     

    WHERE DO CHERRIES COME FROM?

    You may not be surprised. Check out our Cherry Facts.

    How many types of sweet and tart cherries can you name?

      

    Comments

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