THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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Archive for December, 2010

GOURMET GIVEAWAY #2 ~ Honey Ridge Farms Crème Trio Gift Set

These superior flavored honeys from Honey Ridge Farms are blended with fruits or spices. Luscious, yet light on the palate, they are delicious on just about anything.

  • Spread on toast, scones, pancakes and waffles
  • Top ice cream
  • Use as a cheese condiment
  • Add to grilling sauces or marinades
  • And by all means, sweeten tea or other beverages
  • Flavors include Apricot, Blackberry, Cranberry, Raspberry and Spiced. The line is certified kosher by Oregon Kosher and is available at

    Two lucky winners will receive a honey crème trio gift set of three of the flavors.

    Retail Value Of Prize: Approximately $18.99.

  • To learn more about Honey Ridge Farms, visit
  • To Enter This Gourmet Giveaway: Go to the box at the bottom of our Artisan Honeys, Gourmet Sugars & Syrups Page and click to enter your email address for the prize drawing. This contest closes on Monday, January 3rd at noon, Eastern Time. Good luck!

    Spread this honey on just about anything.
    Photo by River Soma | THE NIBBLE.


    GOURMET GIVEAWAY #1 ~ Smucker’s Snack’n Waffles Get Up & Go! Package

    Get Up & Go! with Smucker’s Snack’n Waffles.

    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and Smucker’s makes it easy not to miss it. Their Snack’n Waffles microwave in just 15 seconds and are available in four tasty flavors.

    • THE PRIZE: One lucky winner will receive a Smucker’s Snack’n Waffles Get Up & Go! package that includes four Smucker’s Snack’n Waffles coupons, an alarm clock and an mp3 player to create a morning music playlist. Retail Value Of Prize: Approximately $100.00 for the Get Up & Go! Package and $3.00 for the product coupons.

    Five additional winners will each receive a product coupon to try the delicious breakfast waffles.

    • To Enter This Gourmet Giveaway: Go to the box at the bottom of our Waffle History Page and click to enter your email address for the prize drawing. This contest closes on Monday, January 3rd at noon, Eastern Time. Good luck!
    • To learn more about Smucker’s, visit


    TIP OF THE DAY: Toast Your Spices

    There are two reasons to toast spices.

    First, a bit of heat releases the flavor of the spices, giving you much more punch. This extra flavor is worth the five minutes of time to toast them.

    It’s easy to toast your spices:

    Before grinding, toast whole spices in a dry skillet over low heat. Stir frequently until the spices begin to release their aromas.

    The aromas are a delicious kitchen sachet, which leads to the second good reason to toast spices:

    If you’ve recently burned some popcorn, fried a batch of fish or have that leftover meat-browning odor in your kitchen, toasting some spices in the oven should help alleviate bad kitchen aromas.

    Simply place 4 or 5 cinnamon sticks, a few tablespoons of cloves and/or some orange peel onto a baking sheet, and bake at 350°F until the aromas fill your home. The scent is much longer-lasting than aromatic sprays and more effective than kitchen candles.

    Toast me! Photo of cinnamon sticks by
    Ben Fink from Indian Home Cooking
    by Suvir Saran.

    Oh: And if you’re selling your home, you don’t have to go so far as to bake cookies for a homey household aroma. Just toast some spices.



    Cooking Video: Jacques Torres’ Chocolate-Covered Cornflake Recipe


    Here’s one of our favorite products from Jacques Torres: chocolate-covered cornflakes, a crunchy chocolate snack.

    In this week’s cooking video, Jacques Torres himself shows both how to temper chocolate and how to make his chocolate-covered cornflakes. Simple as they are to make, they’re also fancy enough to be a gift for your New Year’s Eve party host. We love them as a cupcake topping.

  • We made a wonderful Corn Flakes & Cheerios Chocolate Bar at Chocomize.
  • Here’s a recipe for customized chocolate bark.
  • Another chocolate gift to make for New Year’s Eve: Eggnog Truffles.
  • For more tips and how-tos, visit our Cooking Videos Section.


    TIP OF THE DAY: Salting Meat

    We use this salt cellar in THE NIBBLE test
    kitchen. It’s easier to clean than wood
    versions, since it gets a lot of spatter from
    the stovetop).

    Is there a proper way to salt meat prior to cooking? Of course!

    Chefs salt meat and fish by sprinkling the salt from a height of roughly 6 to 8 inches.

    This ensures that an even layer of salt seasons the meat, and there are no bland spots.

    Another thing: Many chefs don’t use a salt shaker. Instead, they use a large salt cellar and sprinkle on salt by the pinch.

    Salt is often kept in an oval wood box with a swivel lid. We prefer our glass and stainless salt cellar, for ease of cleaning.

    Similarly, many chefs prefer to use kosher salt or sea salt for seasoning. The coarse texture makes it easier to take a pinch for seasoning.

    Kosher salt (also called koshering salt) gets its name because coarse-grained salt is used in the koshering process to draw the blood out of meat and poultry.

    • Check out THE NIBBLE’s Salt Glossary for the many different types of salt (you won’t believe how many!).



    TIP OF THE DAY: Have A Merry Christmas

    Photo © Victoria Pearson for Sprinkles Cupcakes.






    RECIPE: Christmas Sangria

    Still looking for a smashing holiday drink?

    Get out the punch bowl or the pitcher and fill it with Christmas sangria.

    That’s pomegranate sangria with red and green apple slices, plus citrus.


    More tips:

    • Freeze “Sangria ice cubes” so you can chill the drink without diluting it.
    • Leave out the alcohol in the recipe and substitute 750ml worth of ginger ale to make a kids’ punch. Provide spoons so they can eat the chopped fruit. Kids love it!

    Make a red and green sangria for Christmas.
    Photo courtesy Pom Wonderful.


    TIP OF THE DAY: Christmas Coffee

    Put some thought into Christmas coffee.
    Photo CSP.

    “Christmas coffee” is a growing trend: There are coffees flavored with nutmeg and cinnamon; with bakery flavors such as almond, caramel, coconut, and vanilla; and even candy cane-flavored coffee.

    But you don’t need flavored beans to create a Christmas vibe around your coffee. Here are some tips from Eight O’Clock Coffee and THE NIBBLE editors:

    1. Enable Guests To “Flavor Their Own.” Put toppings such as cinnamon, cocoa, ginger and nutmeg.

    2. Offer Flavored Creamers. We’re very fond of Bailey’s Irish Cream flavored creamers. Also look for Caramel, French Vanilla and Hazelnut flavors.

    3. Add A Liqueur. Put out all of your coffee-friendly liqueurs: Amaretto (almond liqueur), Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur), Irish Cream liqueur (such as Bailey’s and Carolan’s), Kahlúa (coffee liqueur) and Sambucca (anise liqueur) go especially well with coffee.

    4. Decaf & Lowfat. Be sure to have a decaf coffee (and tea) option, as well as nonfat milk, if people in your crowd prefer it. (We know…it seems like the last thing calorie-counters need to worry about during Christmas dinner—but that’s the point.)

    5. Coffee Before Cocktails. If it’s cold in your ‘hood, guests may appreciate a hot cup of coffee when they walk in the door.

    6. Blender Drinks. Take out the blender so you can make iced lattes and blender drinks for those looking for something cold. Freeze coffee in ice cube trays prior to the event.

    7. No Surprises. If you have a new coffee maker or brewing gadgets, test it long before company comes.

    8. Coffee To Go. Find holiday-themed “to go” cups and lids so you can send guests home with a hot cup of coffee for the road. Those with a long ride ahead will be grateful. We found a cache of inexpensive green, red and silver travel mugs that we bought as party favors. Every guest is leaving with one, filled with hot coffee or tea.

    9. Coffee For Large Groups. If you’re brewing coffee for a crowd in a high-capacity urn, consider storing and serving coffee in carafes after brewing. Carafes keep coffee hot and fresh, while urns may “burn” your brew over time.

    10. BYOC. Be different and bring coffee—especially Christmas coffee. While most guests bring wine, you’ll be as distinct and tasteful as your gift of Eight O’Clock Coffee.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Sifted Flour

    Baking up a storm? Pay close attention to the flour specifications.

    It’s important to note that in a recipe, “sifted flour” is not the same as “flour, sifted.”

    In the first instance, you sift the flour, than measure out what you need. In the second, you measure out what you need, then sift it.

    Baking is chemistry: slight deviations can create disappointing results.

    Don’t pack flour into a measuring cup: You can end up with 20% more flour than intended. Instead, use a measuring cup that is exactly one cup to the brim. Fill to overflowing with a scoop or spoon, then level it off with a knife.

    Photo courtesy King Arthur Flour.

    And be sure to use the right flour. The wrong type of flour (or too much flour) can result in a tough, dry product. Too little flour can cause a cake to collapse.

    Put your baker’s thinking cap on and you’ll be fine.

    Thanks to Chef Louis Eguaras for this tip.



    RECIPE: Tequila Christmas Cocktail

    Party drink or a “homemade gift” for
    a lucky someone. Photo courtesy Corzo Tequila.

    Another cocktail recipe? Well, it is the season to be jolly.

    Here’s something fancy that you can make and bring to a party. And you’ve still got time to make it!

    First, you infuse a bottle of silver tequila. (Corzo Tequila, which created this recipe, has the benefit of a decanter-like bottle as well.) Then, you use the infused tequila to make a cocktail—or simply enjoy it straight.



    • 1 part infused tequila (recipe below)
    • 1 part apple juice
    • 1 part simple syrup
    • 4-6 apples for infusion plus apple slices for garnish (you can use all green apples, all red, or a combination)
    • 6-10 cinnamon sticks for infusion
    1. Infuse tequila a day in advance. Empty 1/3 of the tequila into a second container (a large glass jar will do). Infuse both the the tequila bottle and the second jar at the same time.
    2. Slice apples to fit through mouth of bottle. Add cinnamon sticks. Infuse until ready to create cocktails.
    3. Shake ingredients—infused tequila, apple juice and simple syrup—with ice and strain into a martini glass.
    4. When the Tequila bottle is drained, refill from the second container.



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