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Archive for November, 2011

TIP OF THE DAY: Mint Lollipops For Holiday Visitors

Creamy mint lollypops from See’s Candies are a hit! Photo courtesy Sees.com.

 

Over the holidays, when people show up at the door—neighbors, letter carriers, package deliverers (lots of them!) and so on—we like to send them them off with a little something special.

In years past, we’d hand out homemade cookies, but those buttery cookies got messy, requiring napkins and plastic sandwich bags.

This year we’re streamlining and giving everyone a delicious Christmas Mint Lollypop from See’s Candies.

The white lollys in green foil wrapping are not kid food: They’re truly gourmet lollipops (both lollipop and lollypop are correct spellings).

The flavor of the heavy cream base is lightly accented with mint. And, dear to our hearts, the sugar is in perfect balance—not sugary-sweet like many lollipops.

In addition to the Christmas Mint Lollypops, there are Cinnamon Lollypops; mixed-flavor Lollypops in Butterscotch, Chocolate, Coffee and Vanilla; and the same four flavors in a Hanukkah Lollypop Box.

 

Get a bunch for yourself, too, and extras for stocking stuffers.

See’s Candies are certified kosher by KSA.

What would you give as a mini-gift? Let us know!

  

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TIP OF THE DAY: What To Do With Leftover Cranberry Sauce

15 Ways To Use Leftover Cranberry Sauce

  • Add 1/2 cup cranberry sauce to pancake batter.
  • Make cranberry syrup for French toast, pancakes and waffles: Combine 1 cup cranberry sauce and 2 tablespoons maple syrup in saucepan, then mix over low heat for 10 minutes. Cool or serve warm.
  • Purée and mix into a cocktail with gin, tequila or vodka with a splash of orange liqueur.
  • Add prepared horseradish or balsamic vinegar to taste, to turn cranberry sauce into general condiment. Use on burgers, meat and poultry-based sandwiches, eggs and hot meat, poultry and seafood dishes.
  • Add Dijon mustard to taste as a dip for sliced sausage or meatballs.
  • Add to a grilled cheese sandwich—especially with Brie, Cheddar, goat cheese or Gorgonzola Dolce.
  • Substitute for jelly in a cream cheese and jelly sandwich.
  • Use as a condiment with a cheese plate.
  • Top a baked Brie.
  • Mix with plain yogurt for a creamy dip.
  • Make a pizza with goat cheese, cranberry sauce and fresh basil.
  • Make goat cheese and cranberry bruschetta.
  • Mix into chicken salad or tuna salad.
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    Post-Thanksgiving uses for cranberry sauce.
    Photo by Sarsmis | Fotolia.

  • Sweeten as needed and spoon into tartlet shells, topped with orange zest, crème fraîche and/or mascarpone.
  • Use as a topping for ice cream or sorbet—as is, or puréed as needed.
  • Do you have a favorite use for leftover cranberry sauce? Let us know!

      

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    RECIPES: What To Do With Thanksgiving Leftovers

    What about the leftovers? Photo courtesy
    iGourmet.com

     

    Have too many leftovers?

    We love the fried stuffing balls we wrote about on Wednesday. The recipe also turns leftover cranberry sauce into a dip for the stuffing balls.

    What about too much turkey and too many sweet potatoes? Here are some ideas from Spice Islands and THE NIBBLE:

    Turkey Cranberry Sandwich
    Mix cranberries with mayonnaise and make a turkey sandwich on better-for-you whole wheat bread or toast. Add leftover stuffing, salad or a combination of lettuce, tomato and sliced cucumbers. As a side with your sandwich, crunch on any remaining crudités.

    Turkey Pot Pie
    Leftover turkey is a wonderful excuse to make pot pie! Here’s a recipe.

     

    White Bean Turkey Chili
    Use a traditional white bean turkey chili recipe with cumin—here’s a recipe from Emeril Lagasse. For a more complex flavor, add two teaspoons of vanilla to the recipe. Long a “secret” ingredient in chili, vanilla, also from Mexico, mellows the heat of the chiles, pairs well with cumin and adds a rich, earthy taste and aroma.

    Sweet Potato Mash
    You can turn candied sweet potatoes into mashed potatoes as a side, or sweetened to taste with sugar and pumpkin pie spices (plus some vanilla extract) to fill tartlet or pie shells.

    Cranberry Compote
    Mix cranberry sauce with a dash of cinnamon, orange liqueur and a teaspoon of vanilla. Heat on the stove until warm and pour over vanilla or berry ice cream or sorbet.

    Tomorrow: 15 things to do with leftover cranberry sauce.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: How To Cook A Moist Turkey

    One of the biggest challenges of making a turkey is the difference in cooking time between the white meat and the dark meat.

    Some people try to keep the white meat moist by tenting it with aluminum foil, or adding a pan of water to the oven.

    THE NIBBLE’s consulting chef, Eric Dantis, is a pro at cooking turkey. His technique to keep the breast from drying out is simple, especially if you carve the turkey before bringing it to the table (as opposed to showcasing the roasted turkey before carving).

    The tip: Simply cut the legs off and roast them in a separate pan.

    It’s simple science: With such a long and slow cooking process, the breast will reach serving temperature of 165°F way before the legs will. As the breast remains in the oven so the legs can finish cooking, it leaks valuable juices, causing the meat to dry out.

     

    Our chef’s trick will keep your breast meat
    moist. Photo courtesy McCormick.com.

     

    Some people flip the bird mid-roast, so that the juices flow down into the breast, which is now on the bottom. With a large, hot bird, this can be tricky—if not outright dangerous.

    So, roast the legs in a separate pan. This way, when the body of the turkey is finished cooking, you can remove it let the legs continue to cook while the body rests before carving.

    Your turkey will cook faster, the breast will remain moist, and the legs will be tender. Roast on!

    FOOD TRIVIA: WHERE DID THE TURKEY ORIGINATE?

    The turkey is a native American, domesticated by ancient Mesoamericans from the wild turkeys of what is today Central Mexico. The meat and eggs were major sources of protein; the feathers were used for ornamentation.

    The Spanish conquistadors brought turkeys to Spain around 1528. In a turn-about, England sent domestic turkeys back to the Americas—to the Jamestown Settlement in Virginia, in 1607. Here’s more on the history of the turkey.

      

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    RECIPE: What To Do With Leftover Stuffing

     

    If you have too much leftover stuffing from Thanksgiving dinner, convert it into this delicious appetizer, side or snack: fried stuffing balls, which look similar to falafel.

    Get out the cookie dough scoop, make stuffing balls, cover with breadcrumbs and pan fry in minutes.

    You can turn leftover cranberry sauce into a dipping sauce; or serve the stuffing balls with honey mustard, salsa, yogurt dip or other favorite.

       

       

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