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Archive for October, 2009

RECIPES: Mashed Potato Mummies & More For Halloween

What’s for dinner? Take your pick, or cook them all:

These recipes are too cute for words (take a look at the pictures!). Even if you don’t have kids, you may want to whip up a few. You can have your worm sandwiches with a beer instead of milk.

Happy Halloween!


Worms: They’re what’s for dinner. At least on
Halloween! Photo courtesy of Pillsbury.


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TIP OF THE DAY: A Toast To Halloween


The Bloody Eyeball Martini. Photo courtesy
of Kris Plazek.

While the kids are out trick-or-treating, you deserve a treat, too. Our Halloween cocktails with gin include the Bloody Scream, Ghost, Satan’s Whiskers, Swamp Demon and Witches’ Brew. But they’re only the top of the menu—we’ve got a whole Halloween Lounge going.

  • Check out the Bloody Eyeball Martini and the Bloody Brain.
  • Halloween Brandy Cocktails include Awake From The Dead and Pumpkin Eater Cocktails.
  • Coffee lovers can sip away at these “black” cocktails with Kahlúa: The Drac-Kahlúa, Kahlúa Black Cat and Kahlúa Cryptini. (They’re very dark brown, but you can add a drop of McCormick black food coloring to make them truly black.)
  • There’s a lovely bloody effect with Vampire Elixir from Grey Goose Vodka. The company also offers a bright orange Pumpkin Martini.

What are you waiting for? Start mixing!


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RECIPE: Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread

Back in the 17th century, sugar was costly and shortbread was considered an expensive luxury, a treat reserved for special celebrations, Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. Imagine how over-the-top-indulgent those party-goers would think us if they had these dipped shortbread fingers!

We thank the folks at Walkers Shortbread for this festive yet easy recipe. Serve it for dessert with ice cream or with coffee and tea when guests stop by during the holiday season.


  • 1 package (5.3 ounces) Walkers Shortbread Fingers
  • 1 bar (8 ounces) of chocolate—bittersweet and/or white (or double the recipe and make one batch of each)
  • A selection of toppings: chopped nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts or pistachios or walnuts); chopped candied fruit; crystallized ginger; mini chocolate (or other flavored chips); grated coconut; zest of orange or lemon; or your own favorite toppings)

Dip shortbread fingers: It’s easy, fun—and impressive! Photo courtesy Walker’s Shortbread.

1. Microwave chocolate in medium microwavable bowl on HIGH for 2 minutes. Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth.
2. Dip shortbread fingers into the melted chocolate. Immediately roll in chopped nuts, coconut, mini-chocolate chips, slivered almonds, etc.
3. Or place plain dipped chocolate shortbread onto waxed paper and let cool. Then drizzle with contrasting chocolate. Serves 4.

There are many more recipes available at Enjoy!


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TIP OF THE DAY: Freeze The Cheese


A wedge of Parmigiano-Romano and a grater. Photo courtesy of

Buy good Parmesan or other Italian grating cheese from your cheese store, have it grated very finely at the store and keep it in the freezer. It’s instantly usable for pasta, omelets, soups, salads or anything that could use a flavor lift.

Don’t buy pre-grated cheese at the supermarket—it isn’t top-quality cheese, yet you pay a lot more for the service. Of course, the best solution is to keep a wedge of cheese in the fridge to grate as needed—but our frozen cheese convenience really works!

We love mixing grated cheese with leftover rice and a bit of milk and fresh-ground pepper (add cooked mushrooms or or other ingredients if you like) and heating it in the microwave for a mock “risotto.”

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TIP OF THE DAY: Observe & Serve

Look for serving pieces that double as objets d’art. Bowls, cups and sauces, plates, pitchers and trays fall into this category. You can showcase them all year as room decor, then put them to use as needed during special dinners. If you like to collect and have more items than room to display them, rotate pieces on a schedule so family and visitors will enjoy different pieces of your collection.



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