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Archive for June 9, 2013

FATHER’S DAY GIFT: Flavored Chocolate Bars

The most fun assortment of chocolate bars.
Photo courtesy Hebert Candies.


Father’s Day is a week from today. If Dad enjoys a chocolate bar, how about giving him twelve of them, all in different fun flavors?

Hebert Candies of Shrewsbury, Massachussetts has created a gift box of delightful chocolate bars—a unique take on this favorite indulgence. There are 12-packs and 6-packs, plus individual bars in whatever flavors you like.

The gift box of 12 bars, $34.95, includes both milk chocolate bars and dark chocolate bars in:

  • Café Espresso Bean
  • Caramel Smoothie
  • Marshmallow S’mores Galore
  • Peanut Butter Cup
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich
  • Peppermint Candy Crunch
  • Poppin’ Candy Crunch
  • Raspberry Burst
  • Salty Sea Shore Caramel
  • Shakin’ Malted Milkshake
  • Smokin’ Chipotle
  • Toffee Munchin’ Crunch
    Additional flavors include Coconut Craze, Kettle Potato Chip, Mint Cookie Crunch, Milk Chocolate With Caramel, Milk Chocolate With Crisped Rice, Milk Chocolate With Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate With Raspberry. Plain bars are available in dark, milk and white chocolate.

    If there’s someplace closer to chocolate bar heaven, we’d like to know about it.


    In 1917, young Frederick Hebert purchased a copper kettle, a knife, a thermometer, a slab of marble and a table. He handcrafted chocolates and caramels in his home kitchen, and sold them to the small neighborhood stores that dotted central Massachusetts.

    Business boomed, and Hebert built the Chocolate Mansion, his chocolate factory in Shrewsbury. If you’re in the area, take a tour of the factory. You’ll be enveloped in the aroma of chocolate that you won’t soon forget.

    In the summer, the venue hosts an oldies car show every Thursday, with a build your own sundae bar. In the winter, you can have your photo taken with Santa, or with the Easter Bunny in the spring.

    According to the company website, Frederick Hebert introduced white chocolate to the United States in 1956, after tasting “white coat” candies in Europe. (The first white chocolate bar was launched by Swiss chocolate manufacturer Nestlé in the 1930s.)

    Discover more on the company website.


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    RECIPE: Spicy Cucumber Green Iced Tea

    How about spicing up your iced tea? This spin is from Ted Allen, host of Food Network’s series, “Chopped.” Ted is a consultant to Lipton’s Pure Leaf Iced Tea. He created this recipe with a prep time of just 5 minutes, using a bottle of Pure Leaf Not Too Sweet.

    If you don’t like sugar in your tea or prefer a noncaloric sweetener, just brew your own tea and take it from there.

    You can turn the drink into a cocktail by adding gin, vodka or tequila.


    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 10 slices cucumber (about 1/4-inch thick)
  • 2 slices lime (about 1/4-inch thick)
  • Pinch ground red pepper
  • 1 bottle Pure Leaf Not Too Sweet Honey Green Tea or home-brewed green tea,

    Icy, spicy: Asian-style cucumber iced tea. Photo courtesy Pure Leaf Iced Tea.

  • Optional garnish: cucumber spear and lime wheel; fresh jalapeño slices if you really like heat
  • Optional cocktail version: 1/4 cup gin, vodka or tequila

    1. CRUSH (muddle) cucumber, lime and red pepper with wooden spoon in 1-quart glass measuring cup.

    2. STIR in tea. Mix well to combine.

    3. STRAIN into ice-filled glasses. Garnish as desired.

    Here’s more about Pure Leaf Iced Tea.


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    TIP OF THE DAY: Homemade Steak Sauce Or Marinade

    Make your own marinade and steak sauce.
    Photo courtesy Double R Ranch.


    So many recipes tell you to marinate meat by pouring a bottle of Italian salad dressing over it.

    That’s one type of cooking, but we prefer the superior flavors of from-scratch cooking, using the best ingredients. Whether you’re making a marinade or anything else, the finest flavors come from fresh ingredients, including herbs.

    Here’s a delicious marinade and steak sauce from a leading provider of quality beef, Double R Ranch. This family of ranchers wouldn’t dream of covering their fine steaks in bottled dressing.

    They like a chimichurri sauce (a spicy parsley vinaigrette) as a steak sauce and a marinade—a classic Argentinian preparation from country of avid beef eaters.




  • 1 cup Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons oregano, chopped
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons shallots or onions, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


    1. PLACE parsley, oregano, garlic and shallots in a food processor. Pulse until chopped but not puréed.

    2. ADD vinegar, mustard and lemon juice to the herb mixture. Process on low while gradually adding the olive oil.

    3. ADD salt and pepper to taste and pulse again. Store a sealable container. When ready to prepare the meat…

    4. RINSE the steak briefly and pat try. Place the steak in a glass baking dish or other nonreactive shallow pan and cover with the marinade. Turn the steak to coat all sides and marinate for 30 minutes or longer. If you’re marinating for more than 30 minutes, cover the dish with plastic wrap, and turn the meat every two hours.


    Even a hungry cowboy might have trouble finishing these large cowboy steaks. Photo courtesy Double R Ranch.

    NOTE that cowboy steak, ribeye and other highly-marbled meats absorb marinade more quickly than less marbled cuts, so a two-hour marinade may do the trick.

    5. REMOVE the steak from the marinade when you’re ready to grill; do not reuse the marinade because it can collect bacteria.

    Called a cowboy chop by Double R Ranch (it looks like an enormous chop), the cowboy steak is an impressive piece of meat.

    It’s a bone-in ribeye steak with a frenched rib bone. This “raw bone” feature and the fact that the cut is generally around two pounds of meat, makes it big enough for the hungriest cowboy—or enables two people to share.

    If you’d like to try a cowboy steak—or send one to Dad as a Father’s Day gift—Double R Ranch Co. is offering 10% off all cowboy chop purchases placed by June 11. To qualify for discount, all orders must be placed by 12 p.m. (EDT) on June 11 for shipment no later than June 12, 2013. Enter promo code “DRRDAD13” at checkout.



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    RECIPE: Greek-Style Grilled Lamb Loin Chops With Bread Salad

    We’re putting something special on the grill for Father’s Day: lamb chops. This Greek-accented lamb chops recipe is from Chef Curtis Stone’s new book, What’s For Dinner, which focuses on easy-to-make meals for every night of the week.

    Chef Stone serves his Grilled Lemon Oregano Lamb Chops with a rustic bread salad: a combination that‘s a treat for the family meal and special enough for guests. It takes only 35 minutes to prepare.

    You can marinate the lamb for 10 minutes or 10 hours; the more time you give it, the more flavorful it will be. For a weeknight meal, stick the chops in the marinade before you go to work; but don’t worry if you forget to do so because they’ll still be delicious with only a quick marinade.

    Prep time is 15 minutes, plus at least 10 minutes marinating time; cook time 10 minutes.


    Grilled lamb chops with bread salad. Photo courtesy Ballantine Books.



    Ingredients For 4 Servings

    For The Lamb

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 8 lamb loin chops (about 1-3/4 pounds total)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    For The Oregano-Red Wine Vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Baby spinach is used in this bread salad
    recipe, but you can substitute anything from
    arugula to romaine. Photo courtesy


    For The Salad

  • 4 slices crusty rustic bread
  • Olive oil, for brushing the bread
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 ounces fresh baby spinach (about 6 cups not packed)
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • Optional: Kalamata olives, pepperoncini

    1. MARINATE the lamb: In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano and rosemary. Add the lamb and turn to coat with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate at room tempera­ture for at least 10 minutes, or in the refrigerator for up to 10 hours.


    2. REMOVE the marinated lamb from the re­frigerator about 30 minutes before grilling and let stand at room temperature. Meanwhile…

    3. MAKE the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mus­tard, shallots, garlic and oregano. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

    4. PREPARE an outdoor grill for medium-high cooking over direct heat.

    5. MAKE the salad: Lightly brush both sides of the bread with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Grill the bread, turning halfway through cooking, for about 2 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Remove the bread from the grill, tear it into bite-size pieces, and put it into a large bowl.

    6. SEASON the lamb with salt and pepper. Grill the lamb chops, turning them over halfway through cooking. Cook for about 7 minutes for medium-rare, or until the meat feels resilient when pressed with a finger. Transfer to a platter, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest while you finish the salad.

    7. ADD the spinach, tomatoes, and onions to the bowl with the grilled bread. Toss with enough of the vinaigrette to lightly coat.

    8. MOUND equal amounts of the salad on four dinner plates and sprinkle with the feta cheese. Arrange two lamb chops on top of each salad, drizzle with some of the remaining vinaigrette and serve.


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