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Archive for October, 2010

TIP OF THE DAY: A Clean Coffeemaker

It will make your coffee taste better. Photo
courtesy Heinz.

You should clean your coffeemaker every 2-3 months. So admit it: When was the last time you cleaned yours?

If your home-brewed coffee doesn’t taste as good as it should, it may be due to coffee oils and mineral deposits from the water that build up. Fortunately, it’s easy to remove them using a time-honored technique with distilled white vinegar.

1. Fill the glass carafe (or whatever receptacle your coffeemaker has) to the maximum cup level, using one part white vinegar to two parts water. If the carafe makes 12 cups, that’s 24 ounces of vinegar and 48 ounces of water, since coffeemaker “cups” are 6 ounces, not 8 ounces.

2. Pour the solution into the water reservoir of the coffeemaker. Turn on the appliance and let the solution run through (the basket that holds the ground coffee should be in place).

3. When the solution is completely back in the carafe, turn off the appliance. Allow the pot to cool for 20 minutes. Then pour the solution down the drain and rinse the carafe well with water.

4. Next fill the carafe with cold water, pour it into the reservoir and run it through the coffeemaker. Pour the cycled water out, rinse the carafe well, and repeat this step with a second pot of cold water.

5. Go to the kitchen calendar and write down the date of the next cleaning—in two months if you use the coffeemaker daily, in three months if you use it less often.

If you use a single-serve coffee system with pods or cups, read the product manual to see how often (and how) it needs to be cleaned.

How To Make A Great Cup Of Coffee



OPPORTUNITY: Your Own Coffee Franchise Shop

Do you love coffee? Want to be your own boss? Want to own a coffee shop? Are you fitness conscious?

BikeCaffè, a franchise opportunity, wants to make it easy for you. You get to work outdoors, bike for exercise, and please hundreds of people daily with a great cup of coffee or tea.

BikeCaffè is a uniquely-designed quad bike—a four-wheeler. It’s a full-service mobile “coffee shop” serving up the same high-quality, tasty beverages that fine coffee shops offer: Fair Trade organic coffee blends, cappuccino and latte, chai, hot chocolate, smoothies and the muffins and croissants to go with them.

Any good pedaler/peddler can operate a BikeCaffè as a full time, part-time or seasonal enterprise, anywhere in the country. The concept, which was created in London and launched outside Shakespeare’s house in Stratford-On-Avon, promises an affordable investment in an eco-friendly business.

Ready to roll? Learn more at

Your own coffee shop on wheels. Photo
courtesy BikeCaffè.


FOOD VIDEO: How To Carve A Pumpkin


Halloween is just around the corner, and this week’s video features tips on how to carve a festive pumpkin. Design and lifestyle expert Bruce Littlefield shares step by step tips on the best way to carve the top, using stencils and more.

After you’ve scooped out the flesh and seeds of your pumpkin, why not try one of these recipes? There’s more to pumpkin than just pie!

  • Make Pumpkin Soup with Pernod and Herbs, perfect for fall.
  • If it’s sweet you’re craving, try this recipe for Caramel Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars.
  • No time to prepare your own? Take a look at this list of artisan pumpkin treats we loved.
  • And if carving a pumpkin isn’t your preferred way to celebrate the holiday, you can always enjoy a good pumpkin ale like Buffalo Bill’s, one of our favorites.
  • See more videos in our Cooking Videos Section.


    PRODUCT: ALEX Stainless Water Bottle

    The ALEX water bottle comes apart for easy
    cleaning—or to fill with Halloween or Christmas
    candy as a gift. Photo by River Soma | THE

    There’s something truly new in water bottles: ALEX. The patent pending technology is a leakproof silicone seal in the middle of the bottle that allows you to take the bottle apart for a thorough cleaning.

    With their small mouth openings, most reusable water bottles require special cleaning tablets; bottle brushes aren’t that effective. Bottles can build up unhealthy bacteria and odors.

    Now there are no more worries about what lurks in that reusable bottle. You can wash ALEX in the sink or pop it into the dishwasher.

    Since you can clean ALEX thoroughly, you also can use it to carry iced coffee, juice or other cold drinks and powdered drinks. (Hot drinks aren’t recommended because the bottle isn’t insulated.)

    ALEX is made of premium grade stainless steel and is 100% BPA Free.

    And here’s another benefit: For traveling, you can unscrew the center and nest the bottom half into the top half.

    ALEX stands for “Always Live Extraordinarily.” Figuratively, ALEX stands for making sustainability simple. Fifty percent of the steel is recycled and the strap is made from recycled water bottles.

    Help keep those 38 million annual unrecycled water bottles out of the landfill and waterways. ALEX is available in two sizes—20 ounces and 32 ounces—and three colors: black, white and stainless steel (silver). The black and white versions have a choice of contrasting-color silicone bands.

    Get yours at



    HALLOWEEN: Great Chocolate Eyeballs

    These white chocolate eyeballs are sure to make your Halloween celebration memorable.

    They’re available from Woodhouse Chocolate, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week, on a chocolate hand ($10) or a chocolate spoon ($6), in milk or dark chocolate.

    Woodhouse has a large selection of artisan Halloween chocolates, including adorable bats and spiders. See them all at

    Mmm, eyeballs. Photo courtesy Woodhouse


    TIP OF THE DAY: Veggie Cocktail Garnish

    Cocktail and a snack. Photo courtesy In A

    Here’s a creative cocktail garnish idea: a “cocktail kebab.”

    Instead of spearing one or two olives or cocktail onions, turn the skewer into a small bite.

    For Bloody Marys, Martinis and other savory cocktails, you can use:

    • Pear (a.k.a. grape) tomatoes
    • Pickle chips, gherkins or sliced spears
    • Other pickled vegetables—carrots, cauliflower florets, sliced dilly beans (see our favorite pickled vegetables from Rick’s Picks and Tillen Farms)
    • Red or yellow bell pepper squares
    • Other favorite veggies: baby corn, pickled jalapeño, pickled okra (try Rick’s Picks fab Smokra, smoky pickled okra), water chestnuts
    • Cubes of cheese (or Mozzarella perlini), ham or turkey or a small shrimp


    Look for 4.5-inch wood or bamboo skewers.

    Find Bloody Mary recipes and other drinks in our Cocktails Section.


    RECIPES: Radicchio

    We love the rich color that burgundy-and-white radicchio gives to a salad. But it can do so much more!

    We’ve got recipes for Bruschetta With Radicchio di Treviso Tapenade, Mushroom Risotto In Radicchio Wrap, Radicchio Pizza and more.

    Radicchio—Italian red-leaf chicory—is a healthy food: It’s very high in antioxidants and full of vitamins A and C and phosphorus (the latter needed for healthy bones and teeth, energy, mental alacrity and more).


    Remember radicchio for your Christmas salad—the red leaves tossed with greens say “holidays.”

    How ‘bout a radicchio pizza? Photo courtesy
    Royal Rose Radicchio.


    GOURMET GIVEAWAY #2: Folgers Gift Basket

    Wake up to coffee and coffee accessories
    from Folgers! Photo courtesy Folgers.

    What’s the best part of wakin’ up? To some, it’s Folgers coffee in their cup. Five lucky winners will have plenty of the popular coffee if they win this week’s Gourmet Giveaway. Folgers is giving away five of their Home for the Holidays gift baskets bursting with coffee and coffee accessories.

    Each basket contains:

  • Folgers Classic Decaf – 11.3-ounce
  • Folgers Classic Roast – 11.3-ounce
  • Folgers Special Roast – 10.3-ounce ground coffee container
  • Folgers Black Silk – 10.3-ounce
  • Folgers Gourmet Selections: Vanilla Biscotti – 12-ounce
  • Folgers Gourmet Selections K-Cups Lively Colombian
  • Folgers Instant 8-ounce
  • Digital Ornament
  • Folgers Mug
  • Biscotti
  • Retail value of prize: Approximately $70.00.

  • To Enter This Gourmet Giveaway: Go to the box at the bottom of our Gourmet Coffee Section and click to enter your email address for the prize drawing.
  • After entering our giveaway, head on over to between now and the end of November to enter their second-annual “Home for the Holidays” Contest, where five winners will receive a seven day, six night trip for four to travel back to their hometown.
  • Comments

    GOURMET GIVEAWAY: “Think Pink” Silk Scarf

    Think pink for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and drink pink, too.

    Martini & Rossi Sparkling Rosé wine, which is supporting The Pink Agenda and its breast cancer awareness efforts to raise money for research, has sponsored three lovely prizes for NIBBLE readers: a special edition “Think Pink” 100% silk scarf.

    Created specifically for The Pink Agenda’s fundraising, this limited-edition scarf has a dotted pattern that represents the bubbles in the Sparkling Rose wine. Estimated value (the scarf is not available for retail purchase): $40.00.

    A startling 1 in 8 American women develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetimes. In 2010, an estimated 207,090 new cases will be diagnosed in the U.S. alone.

    That’s reason enough to want to do something—even something small. To this end, Martini & Rossi will match your $5 donations made through the end of October. You can donate most easily via Facebook. Or, look for more information and details in local wine and liquor stores where Martini Sparkling Rose is sold.

    Show your support with a small donation and
    a stylish pink silk scarf. Photo by Leah
    Hansen | The Nibble.

  • To Enter This Gourmet Giveaway: Go to the box at the bottom of our Gourmet Wine Section and click to enter your email address for the prize drawing.
  • You and your friends can toast with Martini & Rossi Sparkling Rose for $13.99 per bottle. Visit for more information on Martini & Rossi products.
  • Learn more about The Pink Agenda.
  • See our pink gin cocktail recipes.
  • Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Save The Shrimp Shells

    Turn your shrimp shells into another
    delicious dish.

    If you’ve purchased shell-on shrimp, you get more than delicious shrimp for your money.

    In Japan, the shells are battered and grilled as a crunchy appetizer. But that’s not what we’re suggesting—yet.

    The shrimp shells add lovely flavor to a variety of dishes:

    Make a simple shrimp stock by covering shrimp shells with water in a saucepan. Add a bay leaf and 6 peppercorns and simmer for 20 minutes. Reduce the stock for a more intense flavor.

    You can now use the stock for several purposes, including:

    • As a poaching liquid for mild white fish
    • To add shrimp flavor to a soup (substitute the stock for an equal amount of water in the recipe)
    • As a cooking liquid for rice and pasta (in seafood-based dishes)

    If you don’t want to make stock, you can add the whole shells to a soup or cooking water and strain them out. You can keep the shells in the freezer until you’re ready to use them. And you can do all of the above with lobster shells as well.

    Back to those Japanese grilled shrimp shells:

    You can grill the shells Japanese-style or oven-roast them. We found this suggestion from a Chowhound reader:

    Roast the shrimp shells in the oven at 350°F until pink. Add the roasted shells with some minced garlic to melted butter and make shrimp-flavored garlic toast.

    One friend tells us that the dog and cat fight over the shells, cooked or uncooked!



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