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Archive for October, 2010

TIP OF THE DAY: Halloween Gift

Headed out to a Halloween party?

You could bring a bottle of wine or other libation that will blend in with all the bottles brought by everyone else.

Instead, make your hostess gift stand out—permanently. A mug, plate or other Halloween-themed serving piece will be a permanent reminder that you came to party.

To add to the memento, take a Sharpie and inscribe the bottom of the piece with a Halloween greeting and the year.

Happy Halloween from THE NIBBLE, 2010. Rock on, ghouls.

Drink from Dracula, $9.95 at

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HALLOWEEN: Vampire Cocktail Recipe

I vant to drink your blood. Photo
courtesy Riazul Tequila.


Vampire fans: Here’s a Halloween cocktail for you, courtesy of Riazul Tequila. It combines Tequila with crème de cassis, raspberry liqueur that is bright red in color.

First produced by French monks in the 16th century as a cure for snake bites, jaundice and “wretchedness,” crème de cassis is perfect for celebrations with a red theme (Halloween, Independence Day, Christmas).

While those monks would not win any prizes for medicine, the delicious liqueur can certainly help make one less wretched and brighten up drinks. Perhaps the most famous cocktail with crème de cassis is the Kir and its sparkling sibling, Kir Royale.



  • 1 ounce silver tequila
  • 1 ounce crème de cassis (blackberry liqueur)
  • 1 lime wedge
  • Ginger beer
  • Ice


    1. Combine tequila, crème de cassis and squeezed lime juice with ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a chilled glass.

    2. Top with ginger beer.

    3. Bonus points: Garnish with glow-in-the-dark or wax candy vampire fangs!

    Here are substitutions using cranberry juice and ginger ale:

  • 1-1/2 ounces tequila, 1 ounce cranberry juice, lime wedge, 1/2 ounce simple syrup, 1 splash ginger ale.
    Find more of our favorite cocktail recipes.


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    TIP OF THE DAY: Make A Truly Special Salad

    What is a salad?

    According to the Random House Dictionary, it’s:

    1. A usually cold dish consisting of vegetables, such as lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers, covered with a dressing and sometimes containing seafood, meat or eggs.

    2. Any of various dishes consisting of foods, such as meat, seafood, eggs, pasta or fruit, prepared singly or combined, usually cut up, mixed with a dressing, and served cold: chicken salad; potato salad.

    3. Any herb or green vegetable, such as lettuce, used for salads or eaten raw.

    We propose a minimalist style of salad like this one, created by Chef Terrance Brennan of Picholine restaurant in New York City. All you need to create a salad work of art is your imagination and a stroll down the produce aisle.


    Salad as art. Photo courtesy Chef Terrence

    In this “tomato salad,” Chef Brennan arranges halved red and yellow grape tomatoes topped with fresh herbs, cauliflower florets topped with a grilled scallop and a dehydrated tomato slice, cubes of cheese topped with bacon, oven-dried grape tomatoes (here’s a recipe), basil leaves and preserved strawberries (you can substitute fresh berries or other fruit).

    With a pinch of sea salt, the tomatoes need no dressing. But you can drizzle olive oil or a vinaigrette on the dish, or serve a side ramekin of vinaigrette or pesto.

    Inspired to create? Let us know your favorite combinations.

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    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: John Wm Macy’s CheeseSticks

    Cheese straws come in different forms, all of
    them delicious. Photo by River Soma | THE NIBBLE.

    We don’t remember when we had our first cheese straws, but it was love at first bite. They’ve always been a special-occasion food we serve at parties, as well as an occasional treat (we can’t resist eating the whole box).

    We are grateful to that unknown Southern cook who whipped up as a snack from leftover biscuit dough, some time in the 1800s.

    We love to give cheese straws as a house gift. When we don’t have the time to bake our own, John Wm Macy’s keeps us happily supplied.

    Learn about John Wm Macy’s CheeseSticks and the different ways you can use them to accent different foods. In addition to a variety of cheese flavors, there are whole-grain WheatSticks and CheeseCrisps, the cracker shapes shown in the photo.

    The company also makes SweetSticks in chocolate and cinnamon, delicious with ice cream and other desserts.

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    Tips For A Healthy Halloween

    Afraid that the kids will stuff themselves full of bad-for-you candy on Halloween?

    Here are some tricks to overcome excessive treating, courtesy of Pirate’s Booty guilt-free snacks and THE NIBBLE:

    • Set up rules. Explain beforehand that Halloween is for fun, costumes and treats—but not to over-indulge on candy, which should be enjoyed in moderation. If you haven’t already done so, this is the time to explain healthy food vs. less-healthy food. Your guidance now will set kids up for a lifetime of wise food choices.
    • Fill ‘em up. Feed kids a full, nutritious meal before they head out to trick-or-treat. That way they’ll be less likely to devour a lot of candy before they return home.
    • Trade agreement. Offer kids a cash honorarium or a coveted toy for giving up the candy. Explain the options before trick-or-treating begins.

    Coppery plastic mini yo-yos are as low as
    $1.99/dozen at, which has many inexpensive Halloween toys.

    • Treat others. Let kids pick out the 10 pieces of candy they want most. Call it “10 Days Of Halloween” and let them have one treat a day. Donate the rest of the sweets to a local food bank. Bring the kids with you to the food bank and teach a valuable lesson in the joy of sharing with the needy.
    • Cavity cutback. Some dentists participate in the Candy Buy-Back program the day after Halloween. Kids receive a monetary reward, while the candy gets shipped to U.S. military forces abroad. If your dentist doesn’t participate, give him or her this URL so you’ll have a program next Halloween:
    • Divide and conquer. When the candy arrives back at home, allow them to pick two pieces. Then, put it away and enable them to pick one piece a day, for dessert after dinner.
    • Don’t be an enabler. Distribute non-sugared treats such healthy popcorn or whole-grain pretzels. Find single-serve bags at club stores. Or, look at inexpensive toys like plastic or gummy spiders and worms. 

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