THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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Archive for June, 2011

TIP OF THE DAY: A Glamorous Beverage Dispenser Jar

The easy and impressive way to serve party
beverages. Photo courtesy Sur La Table.

 

If you entertain regularly, consider treating yourself to one or more beverage dispensing jars. They’re perfect for dispensing cocktails, iced tea and coffee, juice, lemonade, punch, sangria, even water.

  • Holds more. Not only do they look great on the table; they hold far more than a pitcher (up to two gallons) so you won’t have to refill as often.
  • No heavy lifting. The dispenser makes it easy for guests of all ages to fill their glasses: no heavy lifting.
  • Great in the kitchen. If you have a large crew at home, it looks handsome on the kitchen counter, filled with filtered water, iced tea, etc.
  • Elegant And Impressive. The optional wrought iron stands look impressive and help contain spills (place a shallow bowl underneath the spigot).
  • Find beverage recipes in our Specialty Beverages and Cocktails sections.

     

    We love the fun beehive shape beverage dispenser jar from Sur La Table, which holds two gallons. There’s also a handsome apothecary shape beverage dispenser jar that holds 1.4 gallons.

    Get one of each, and quench thirsts in style.

      

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    RECIPE: Red, White & Blue Potato Salad

    Potato salad is almost imperative at a Memorial Day or Independence Day celebration. With this recipe from Frieda’s Produce, you can make yours red, white and blue.

    If you can, prepare the potato salad a day in advance, the flavors will have more time to blend.

    RECIPE: POTATO SALAD FOR MEMORIAL DAY & INDEPENDENCE DAY

    Ingredients For 6 To 8 Cups

  • 2 pounds mixed potatoes: red jacket, yellow jacket and purple; leave skins on
  • 3/4 cup chopped green onions (scallions), divided
  • 1 pint red grape tomatoes, whole or halved
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper
  • 3 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • Garnish: 2-3 ounces crumbled blue cheese
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    Preparation

    1. PLACE the potatoes in a large pot and add enough salted water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and cool. While the potatoes cool…

    2. PREPARE the dressing. In a medium bowl, blend half of the green onions with the sour cream, mayonnaise, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Cover and chill.

     

    Grape Tomatoes

    Top: Add red-jacket potatoes for a red, white and blue potato salad (photo © Svetlana Kolpakova | Dreamstime). Bottom: Grape and pear tomatoes. Grape tomatoes are oval like grapes, pear tomatoes are curved like pears. Both are smaller than cherry tomatoes (photo courtesy Lucky Tomatoes).

     
    3. SLICE the cooled potatoes into chunky quarters and place them in a large bowl, along with the grape tomatoes. Add the chilled dressing, blue cheese and remaining green onions; toss gently to coat pieces. Cover and chill for at least two hours, or up to one day. The flavors will continue to blend as the salad chills. When ready to serve…

    4. GARNISH the bowl with additional blue cheese, as desired.
     
    FIND MORE POTATO SALAD RECIPES.

      

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    PRODUCT: Kozy Shack’s Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding Rocks

    We love it: Kozy Shack Apple Cinnamon bread pudding. Photo courtesy Kozy Shack.

     

    We are despondent when we should be happy. Why?

    We’ve just finished our last four-pack of Kozy Shack Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding, and our two closest markets don’t carry it. (Supermarkets in New York City are on the small side, owing to high rents).

    We must go without. But everyone who lives near a “normal” supermarket and likes bread pudding or flan should pick some up and enjoy it on our behalf.

    Kozy Shack has recently added bread pudding to its line of puddings. The three varieties are Apple Cinnamon, Cinnamon Raisin and Peach.

    In individual four-ounce servings, each flavor has an appropriate sauce on the bottom of the cup. You can invert the puddings onto a plate for a pretty dessert (see photo). Or enjoy them as a snack, consumed right out of the cup.

    The Scoop

  • Cold Is Better. While there are instructions for warming the puddings, to us they taste far better cold. As satisfying as ice cream, in fact.
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  • Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding Rocks. A favorite. The rich blend of cinnamon, plump raisins and bread chunks enveloped by custard, has a light caramel sauce (like flan). Yummmm.
  • Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding Also Rocks. We grew to be big fans of this flavor. It’s a combination of custard and crustless apple pie.
  • Peach Bread Pudding. Not a favorite. It’s a matter of personal preference, of course. But we didn’t like the combination of peach and custard.
  • It’s More Like Flan. Some of THE NIBBLE tasters felt that there was too little bread and too high a percentage of custard to be “bread pudding”; that it’s “flan with a few pieces of bread.” Note taken, but we could care less: We could eat a truckload Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding.
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    Head out to your supermarket, and tell us how you like it.

    BREAD PUDDING RECIPES ON THENIBBLE.COM

  • Chocolate Bread Pudding
  • Pannetone Bread Pudding
  • Apple Cheddar Bread Pudding
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    TIP OF THE DAY: Ways To Enjoy Fruit Liqueur

    If you’ve got bottles of fruit liqueur that don’t see much action, take them off the shelf and put them to use!

    Liqueurs were first produced by medieval alchemists as medicines. Some were noted for their digestive benefits and became after-dinner drinks, served in small liqueur glasses or on the rocks.

    Start experimenting with your liqueurs:
     
    Drinks

  • First, try reviving the custom of an after-dinner liqueur. Relax in a comfortable chair, sip and enjoy.
  • Before the meal, serve spritzers: Put an ounce of liqueur in a tall glass or wine glass and add soda water or ginger ale.
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    Try some liqueur-flavored whipped cream. Photo courtesy MackenzieLtd.com.

     

    Desserts

  • Marinate fruits for an hour or more to make dessert or a dessert topping. We like raspberries in raspberry liqueur, cherries in cherry liqueur (kirsch) or maraschino liqueur, bananas in banana liqueur, and so forth.
  • Make broiled grapefruit for dessert, with a drizzle of Curaçao or orange liqueur.
  • Drizzle on top of ice cream or sorbet.
  • Drizzle on fresh fruit: figs, melon balls, sliced stone fruits, or a bowl of multicolored grapes—with a side of shortbread or other cookies.
  • Add a tablespoon of coffee, chocolate or mint liqueur (crème de menthe) to chocolate pudding, mousse, pie filling and/or chocolate sauce.
  • Add orange liqueur to any sweet soufflé recipe (or coffee liqueur to a coffee soufflé, etc.).
  • Stir a teaspoon or two into heavy cream, prior to whipping cream.
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    Let us know what works for you.

      

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    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Edible Flowers

    Have a bite of borage. The beautiful blossom tastes like cucumber. Photo by Karma Pema | IST.

     

    Have you ever eaten a flower?

    Mankind has been eating them for millennia in cultures worldwide. They just haven’t taken off yet in the modern United States, except in the hands of caterers and artisan bakers.

    Beginning with our prehistoric ancestors foraging for food, the flower garden later became an extension of the vegetable garden, enabling cooks to add vibrancy to foods and beverages.

    Edible flowers are the easiest way to add some wow factor to your recipes. Just pluck posies from their container (or snip them from your garden) and use them as a garnish. Your canapés, cocktails, salads and desserts will become memorable.

    As with mushrooms, only certain varieties of flowers are edible. So if you decide to grow your own, you’ll want to buy a book on the topic—which will also have recipes for cooking with flowers.

    And while many varieties are edible, they also need to be grown organically—without chemical pesticides.

     

    Take a look at some of these bodacious blossoms. You can find them in farmers markets, specialty produce stores and online at Melissas.com.

  • Read the full article on edible flowers
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