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Archive for March 10, 2010

ENTERTAINING: Wines For St. Patrick’s Day


Pinot Blanc with corned beef and cabbage?
Who knew? Wine available from/photo
courtesy of

Pondering what to serve with your St. Patrick’s Day dinner? We’ve combined tips from Natalie McLean, James Beard award-winning writer of Nat Decants, with our own recommendations:




  • Spring asparagus: Grüner Veltliner -or-
  • Spinach and bacon salad: Merlot







We’re counting down to St. Patrick’s Day with new ideas daily.

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TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Part 3, Kathryn’s Cottage Salad Dressings

Little did we know when we opened the jar of Kathryn’s Cottage Blue Cheese Dressing that we would fall in love.

We try every blue cheese dressing that crosses our path. Most don’t measure up.

Funny: Kathryn was in the same boat, so she decided to make her own. After much experimentation, she came up with the current masterpiece; then developed a superb Thousand Island Dressing as well.

If you think you don’t need to send away for salad dressing, think again! Or at least twist your retailer’s arm to stock up on them. Read the full review below.

Stacked Cobb Salad

Blue cheese dressing this good should be
shown off in a recipe like this. Photo by
Soulgems | Fotolia.

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Top Pick Of The Week: Part 2, Effie’s Homemade Oatcakes


Perfect with tea (and almost any repast),
we hope that oatcakes will become as
popular as shortbread. Photo courtesy
Effie’s Homemade.

What’s an oatcake, and why should you be interested?

It’s true: “Oatcake” doesn’t sound too beguiling. To Americans, it can sound like something you might give your horse as a treat.


As Scotland is too cold to grow wheat, oats were the staple grain until modern times and easy distribution of wheat products throughout the U.K. In Scotland, biscuits—sweet or savory—were made with oatmeal instead of wheat flour.

So think of a simple but sublime shortbread cookie—essentially wheat flour, butter and sugar. Then substitute oats for the wheat, and you’ve got an oatcake.

While they might not sound as graceful as “shortbread,” oatcakes are just as satisfying—even more so, as they’re not as sweet or buttery. So they go with just about everything, from breakfast to soup and salad to the cheese course.

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TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Part 1, Tipsy Cocktail Stirrers

This week, our Top Pick is a trio of treats. They’re not related to each other but for the fact that they’re all very special and worth seeking out.

Our first product is Tipsy Cocktail Stirrers from Sable & Rosenfeld.

Bloody Marys, martinis and any savory cocktail will be greatly enhanced by dressing up with gourmet cocktail stirrers. So will a sandwich, a burger or anything else that begs for visual excitement and savory splendor. (That makes it a great gift, too.)

Tipsy cocktail stirrers are also a very low calorie snack, and certified kosher by OU.


Why didn’t we think of this? Our new favorite
cocktail garnish. Photo by Katharine Pollak |

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TIP OF THE DAY: An Herb Pot Of Sage


Three varieties of sage: tricolor, pineapple
sage (it smells like pineapple) and golden
sage, available from

Sage is a spice that most people buy during the holiday season, to season turkey, goose or duck. But it’s more than a holiday stuffing (or a sausage stuffing).

Think of sage to season beans, in cheese recipes, with eggplant, tomatoes and any pork dish.

The pretty leaves also make a charming plate decoration or general food garnish. You can also add the leaves to iced tea, instead of mint!

RECIPE:, a premium purveyor of fine plants, recommends adding chopped fresh sage with sautéed chopped onions and garlic, and a squeeze of lemon, to cooked pasta or rice.

This wonderfully aromatic plant is a delight in the kitchen—and in the garden. Get a pot (and several for gifts) for St. Patrick’s Day!


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